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Not "real" Christians (or "real" Muslims or "real" whatever)

How does this serve as anything but a free pass - a sort of dampening of the offense done by someone, by being more interested in distancing them from whatever demographics they belong to, rather than acknowledging the wrong they've done?

Why is it so hard for some to admit there are assholes of every faith, and just because they are assholes, does not mean it's ok to kick them out, or to make excuses because they're still "on a journey"? Part of being a responsible adult is owning your actions, that includes the willful decision to belong to a group that openly welcomes such assholes on a large scale, even if your small scale sect does not encourage it.

When someone says a person is "not a real Christian" or a group "aren't real Wiccans", isn't it more about dodging their own responsibility for being a member of a group that has a scandal to deal with (though some seem to have a lot more than others)?

Answer Question
 
NotPanicking

Asked by NotPanicking at 10:53 PM on Feb. 19, 2013 in Religious Debate

Level 51 (421,172 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • I think it is trying to distance themselves. I do not see the need to do it quite that way. There are assholes in every color, size, race, sex, nationality, creed and probably a lot of other catagories that aren't covered by those. There are those that will twist and turn any of the above to advance their own ends. There are some in each that are just plain evil and some of those are very charismatic.
    They can call themselves whatever they like but in the end I just know that what they stand for is not what I am and the rest is irrelevant.
    Dardenella

    Answer by Dardenella at 11:18 PM on Feb. 19, 2013

  • Are we talking those who struggle to follow their religions tenets? Or those who do and may be seen as extremist? IMO wether you do either your still a (fill in the blank) you can't claim someone isn't a whatever because they cheat on their wife, are pedifiles, drink every night. Or demand ownership over a woman, believe homosexuals should die. Or if the fall somewhere in the middle. If what makes you a Christian Muslim Jew is soley the belief in their deity than everything that comes after that doesn't make them a fake follower.
    skinnyslokita

    Answer by skinnyslokita at 11:38 PM on Feb. 19, 2013

  • If being a true follow means perfection I think their are no true followers. You can't take the good and deny the bad IMO.
    skinnyslokita

    Answer by skinnyslokita at 11:40 PM on Feb. 19, 2013

  • I guess the way it would make sense to me is that someone who preaches hate, cheats on his wife, etc, isn't acting like a real Christian should. Whether he is a Christian--believes in the divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ, who died and rose from the grave--I have no way of knowing. That's between him and Jesus, and I want no part of figuring it out. But the two greatest commandments in Christianity are to love God with all of your being and to love your neighbor as yourself. Someone who preaches hate, cheats on his wife, etc, is braking at least one of those. Therefore, he may be a real Christian, but he isn't living out his faith.
    Ballad

    Answer by Ballad at 11:51 PM on Feb. 19, 2013

  • isn't acting like a real Christian should

    In your opinion. In his opinion, you're the one doing it wrong, and not living out your faith by tolerating (encouraging) things he believes are satanic acts. Which is really what it comes down to - isn't it arrogant for anyone to suggest they are capable of defining who is doing it right and who is doing it wrong?

    For example, there are sects of Heathenry that are extremely xenophobic. Some are outright racist. I don't agree with their interpretation of things, but I can read the passages they believe dictate this behavior and understand how they reach that conclusion. I despise having them associated with me, but that's not the same as being able to say they're doing it "wrong". They're doing it differently, in a way I would never be capable of, but we're not on a hierarchy of superiority.
    NotPanicking

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 12:05 AM on Feb. 20, 2013

  • If there's a way that the WBC people are loving their God and loving their neighbors as themselves, and showing it by their public actions, I can't see it. If there is, then God forgive me for judging them, and I truly do mean that. But I have studied the New Testament extensively and never found a single incidence of Jesus behaving as they do. He told people their actions were wrong--the scribes and teachers of the law for being hypocrites, the woman at the well for having had five husbands and living with a man she wasn't marrie to, etc. He even kicked over the tables of the money changers, who were cheating others in the temple, and called some of the priests a "brood of vipers." But he had compassion for prostitutes, grieving widows and orphans, sick people--and I would shudder to think what He might have said to those staging a noisy, hate-filled protest outside the funeral of a fallen soldier or a gay HIV victim.
    Ballad

    Answer by Ballad at 1:26 AM on Feb. 20, 2013

  • I hate when people roll out the No True Scotsman fallacy. '' So and so isn't a real christian... blah blah blah''. Drives me nuts!
    Nos4

    Answer by Nos4 at 7:19 AM on Feb. 20, 2013

  • Yep, assholes come in every race, gender, creed & religion.
    3libras

    Answer by 3libras at 7:51 AM on Feb. 20, 2013

  • i think the "real" Christian idea comes from the passages in the Bible that give Christians the "right" to call out other Christians' behavior as being wrong. i think its a misinterpreted passage (Matt 18:15-17) that was meant for individual churches, not denominations (since they didn't have those then). there are verses that allow for judgement (John 7:24) and verses that speak against judging (Matt 7:5)...so really its no body's business to say someone isnt a "real" or "true" anything, but rather say "i dont agree with their version of Christianity." or "i dont think Jesus would be okay with that behavior". but they are still claiming to follow Jesus, he's still their savior, so by that they are Christians...sins and all.
    okmanders

    Answer by okmanders at 11:47 AM on Feb. 20, 2013

  • I think people want to distance themselves from the "extremeist" of their religion the same as we might distance ourselves from people we used to call friend/neigbor/classmate if they killed someone, caught stealing, drugs, etc. We don't want people to think that we are like them.
    baconbits

    Answer by baconbits at 2:25 PM on Feb. 20, 2013

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