I have trouble answering the above question for myself, let alone for someone reading a blog post. I remember being young, elementary age, and singing the song "I am C, I am C-H, I am a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N" ignorantly not knowing what one really was. All I knew was that I was one, I played Sunday school games and I loved Jesus. Nowadays I hear the term thrown around by atheists, muslims and "God believers" in a loose enough fashion that it makes me uneasy. To the atheists a Christian ignores science and logic, to the muslim a Christian is someone lives in defiance to allah and to the "God believer" or a spiritual person, a Christian is a role they play when its convenient.
The best way to answer this question is from my own standpoint then I'll point to a source that I think best says what a Christian is. Personally I think a Christian is anyone who:
- Believes the Bible word for word, front to back and believes that it is absolute truth. (John 17:17)
- Believes that the only way to salvation is through Jesus Christ, the son of the living God (John 14:6).
- Believes that God speak/works/lives through/in us via the Spirit (Romans 8:11)
- Believes that God is One and Three living as a divine trinity - In Nomeni Patri Et Fili Spiritus Sancti. Boondock Saints anyone? (Isaiah 48:16)
- Believes that to truly take on the title of Christian you must live your life as a disciple of Jesus Christ, this means putting all the above listings into practice (James 2:14)
There's alot of believing in that list, but I guess that's why it's called faith (Hebrews 11:1). I put this into list form because I feel that lists are measurable. And that a Christian can be only on or off, not luke-warm. According to what the bible says, being a true Christian is measurable in two (but not limited to two) places:
- John 14:6: Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
- Revelation 3:16: So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
So to me these mean that my Christian checklist is pretty accurate and that no one but God, through his word and his Son, can determine what constitutes what a Christian is. The bible is full of places that tell us how to live out our faith, and if we're not firing on all cylinders, can we really call ourselves Christians? I don't think so, because it was said so clearly by God in Revelation that we must daily be accurate and on fire about our faith in order to honor God in the way that pleases him the most.