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Old 03-28-2009, 03:01 AM   #8
Status: Banned
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 2,001
Originally Posted by Tommycat View Post
So every Muslim is also a Christian?

If Hitler was Muslim, however, he would have referred to "God" as "Allah", but this is just picking hairs and not entirely accurate.

Originally Posted by Tommycat
Really you need to separate out those who claim Christianity in public, but are not in reality.
As I cannot be in the mind of another, I am not sure if you or I are one to make that judgment.

The Pope claims to be Catholic. He is the Pope, gives speeches, and does Pope things. He has followers, and those that do his work.

Do I have 100% proof that he is Catholic? Do his own, personal beliefs even reflect what most would call Catholic? All I have to go on is his word, his public appearance, etc and the social "norm" of what being Catholic means.

I can go on what they say in public and take a guess at their personal beliefs, but from my Sociology Classes I've come to the conclusion that while you can try to make good guesses you are probably going to end up being wrong.

Which brings me to my next question:

What is a true Christian?

We all have our inside person whom only we can communicate with. Our "I". The internal us that does not interact with the outside.

And then we have the "We". The part of us that communicated with the outside. A personal mask over the "I" that we wear to change and adapt to the social atmosphere of social interaction.

Which, in my opinion, a distinction can also be made between Personal Faith and Belief, and the mask you put on for other people.

Now, how do you know that you, personally, know someone? Are you not always interacting with their "We" mask?

I can only make assumptions on your beliefs from what I know from reading your posts and vice versa. How do you know that I am not playing Devil's Advocate now and then if I do not state as such?

So, I submit to you that a "false" Christian and a "real" Christian are one in the same. A "real" Christian can only be truly defined by the person in question, while a "fake" Christian may be a speaker/friend/family member/etc who plays the Christian part but does not truly believe as such.

For an example, my Friend. Has been going to church his entire life. Goes almost every Sunday with his Parents. His parents believe him to be a solid Christian, maybe even a fundamentalist. When he is away from his parents, however, he is very much Nihilistic and expresses his distaste of going to Church and having to put on a mask for his parents.

Now, the question is: Is he a real christian or not? Is he putting on a mask for me, or a mask for his parents? Does his "I" believe, but he replaces his "We" mask to adapt to situations?

I do not know. I cannot fully make that judgment without being in his mind myself.

So, while I will contemplate the differences between public speaking and the "I" principle, I ask you to consider the differences between what is shown and what is not shown.

This thread mentions Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (I cannot comment on William Wilberforce, as I do not know enough about him). The context of the thread seems to place him in the category as a "true" Christian.

MLKjr was a well known public speaker and moved a nation with his words, if not much of the world. His preaching, speeches, words, etc all point to him being a Christian but how do we 100% know? How does he fit into a category as broad as Christianity?

In his time he demonized the Catholic church for example. Catholicism is a denomination of Christianity, so by the point of view of those on the other side of his words MLK may have been considered un-christian. By the standards of those people, he may not have been christian at all.

His praise, speeches, etc point towards it but as not having met him, interacted with him, or been in his mind I can only suppose.

And if they were not, then MLK, Hitler, and many others acted an act that played a crowd like a violin. If the masses could not see through their ruse, then who is really the "true" and "false" christian here? The public speaker, or the gullible crowds? The only evidence we have, or could ever have, about people who call themselves Christian comes from the very confession of those making the claim.

So, again:
Originally Posted by Tommycat
Really you need to separate out those who claim Christianity in public, but are not in reality.
My reply, summarized, is that I feel I have no way of doing so and would ask the members reading this thread to make this distinction clearer for me.

Because, as with my friend, myself and his parents cannot tell what is public and what is, as you say, "reality".

Clarification on "reality" as well, as, from my perspective, "reality" is what we view and what is presented to us. If the "We" mask is all we seem to see, then our social "reality" would be determined by the "We" masks we interact with on a daily basis. Any attempt to translate the "I" would merely be supposition.

Which comes to the problem of: What is a social belief, and what is a personal belief?
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