born-again (was Christian suggestion)
greg at PULLIAM.ORG
Mon Nov 8 22:10:45 UTC 1999
This is the way I have experienced what we used to call "born-again"
Christians using the term "Christian" lately, also. When these folks
use the term "Christian," they are excluding members of a vast number
of mainstream denominations--Methodists, Episcopalians, Lutherans,
Does anyone use the term "born-again Christian" anymore, or did that
go out with President Carter? By appropriating the more general term
only for themselves, the Christians-formerly-known-as-born-again
(CFKABA?) have traded a relatively descriptive (albeit kind of
silly-sounding) moniker for a less-descriptive one, possibly in the
hope of having their particular brand of Christianity come to be seen
by the public at large as the default version.
I don't usually fight these sorts of word battles, but I think I'm
going to do what I can in my little corner of the world to hold on to
the term "Christian" for mainstreamers, too.
>This relates to the current Christianity topics because in many sects of
>Christianity, you will find that people will define a Christian only as
>someone who is saved. For example, a former Catholic schoolmate of mine told
>me that one does not have to be Catholic to be Christian. I replied that
>being Catholic does not automatically make one a Christian. He disagreed
>with me, of course, but my definition differed from his in that being a
>church member (any church) does not make one a Christian. By my definition,
>Christianity is not something you are born into, such as Judaism or Islam.
>Now, the definition of "saved," I'm sure, varies quite a lot between belief
>systems. However, it seems that most people recognize the traditional
>meaning: one must believe that Jesus Christ is God's son who died for
>humankind's lost souls and rose from the grave; one must accept Jesus Christ
>into one's life and surrender control to Him; one must confess sins and
>display genuine repentance for them.
>Does anyone know of instances where that definition is not accepted?
>From: David Bergdahl <bergdahl at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU>
>To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Date: Monday, November 08, 1999 12:15 PM
>Subject: Re: Christian suggestion
> >The anecdote about Christian business practices reminds me of an
> >experience I had teaching Conrad's Heart of Darkness my first
> >year--1963--and we naturally explored what it meant for Marlow the
> >interior narrator of the tale to be compared to the Buddha. One student
> >volunteered that just because he was a Buddhist that that didn't mean
> >that he wasn't a Christian. I explained that the Buddhists wouldn't
> >probably object to dual loyalties but that Christians certainly would. .
> >. but what I didn't understand was that for her Christian merely meant
> >"ethical person" and had little if any identification with any
> >institution. In this manner the beginning teacher learns not to confuse
> >dictionary citations with what people mean. . .
> >David Bergdahl http://oak.cats.ohiou.edu/~bergdahl
> >tel: (740) 593-2783
> >366 Ellis Hall Ohio University Athens, Ohio 45701-2979 fax:
> >(740) 593-2818
greg at pulliam.org
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