What do you think about Jesus?
I’ve been thinking a lot these past few days about the term ‘Carnal Christians’. ‘Carnal’ means to be ‘worldly, earthly or temporal’, making the term ‘Carnal Christian’ an oxymoron. This term is used to describe people that speak of following Jesus with their mouths but don’t follow him with their hearts.
As I’ve been discussing this with friends, we’ve realized that many in the Christian community say they believe in Jesus, but don’t truely have him in their heart. I’ve come to conclude that this type of a person (Carnal Christians) drive spiritual people away from Christianity because they define Christianity into a box that most of us don’t want to conform too.
Does anyone else have an opinion of this term? Or just an opinion on allowing Jesus into your heart? Let’s get the conversation moving.
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He is the best thing there is
What is the box that you are trying to conform to?
I’m sorry, just a little confused.
u sould allow Him into your heart and actept Him as your Lord and Saviour.
get to know Him more, go to a nearby church and get anwsres,cause He is the best thing that has ever happend to me!!
spirituality saves me
Few have followed Jesus with their heart as much as the non-Christian Mahatma Gandhi.
fyi,u sould always capitilize His name.
I’m not sure if you are talking to me. I did capitalize His name. My point is, you don’t have to be Christian to allow Jesus into your heart.
you allow Him into your heart, then your a christian!!
God Bless all of you for your quick responses. I’m looking forward to where this conversation leads.
To answer your question about the ‘box’ I’m referring to. I feel that many of my friends have been driven away from Christ because of the perception of a ‘packaged’ person or standard of what true Christians are. I feel that many ‘Carnal Christians’ may be well read in the Bible, but don’t have the Holy Spirit within them. They have a worldly understanding of the Bible, but no acception of the Holy Spirit. They are running from hell rather than living for Jesus. They read the definition of a good Christian and attempt to live that way with out the Holy Spirit and fail, but continue to preach to others to do the same.
Becoming a Christian doesn’t mean changing yourself to fit into this Christian ideal or ‘box’ but, rather, it means allowing Jesus to transform you into the vessel he sees fit. Being Christian doesn’t mean resisting temptation, but allowing the Holy Spirit to make Sin taste bitter to your tongue.
I use the term Nominal Christian, meaning a Christian by name. Carnal to me implies flesh, with the connotation of sexuality. I agree that they make up a large portion of the Christian world. I was speaking to a Muslim friend of mine who was confused about why Christians talked like they were in the Roman times being persecuted when everyone was Christian, and I realized that the reason for the difference in perspectives was that non-Christians define a Christian as anyone who calls themselves a Christian, while Christians have the mental distinction between real and fake Christians.
I personally have yet to hear a positive remark about a Christian made to me by a non-Christian, but I am happy to say that I have been the cause of at least one non-Christian telling others about how great “real Christians” were.
It’s really hard to come up with a definition of Christian that works from an outside perspective, since it is really all about matters of the heart, and even the most devoted disciples sometimes act like they don’t know Him.
I personally have very different concepts of a number of things within Christianity or just life in general than most Christians I have talked to. I thoroughly enjoy discussing these ideas, since God is the best conversation topic there is.
As a closing note, you are succeeding as a Christian if people look at your life and love God more.
I think you sould go with being a Christian.
Ahh, interesting. Thank you for clarifying.
I am not a Christian (in any sense) but I have studied the Bible a great deal (I have a degree in history specialising in the Reformation and Counter-Reformation). I don’t want to offend you, and I certainly don’t want to assault your beliefs, or provoke you into assaulting mine, so I don’t want to attempt to answer your initial question, though I do respect you for asking it.
When you first mentioned the idea of a box, I thought maybe you referring to the idea of a regimented and rigorous Christianity that has no room for individuality. I understand what you mean a bit better now. Thank you for taking the time to clarify — it is very much appreciated.
dude, yall must be grown-ups cause i dont know how too put words together,
but let me say 1 last thing on this post,letting the Lord into your heart is the best dission u will ever make, not a Carnal Christian , or a Nominal Christian,
just a Christian,please look into it, like i said before, it will be the best dission u will ever make.
i rest my case….
First of all, God Bless you. Those were beautiful words, and exactly what I am talking about. I feel God is leading me to be his vessel to help non-chirstians understand the difference. People like Fred Phelps (who I would define as not only fake-Christian, but even Anti-Christian) are driving spiritual people away from the teachings of Jesus.
I liked your statements about the non-believer’s comments:
“personally have yet to hear a positive remark about a Christian made to me by a non-Christian, but I am happy to say that I have been the cause of at least one non-Christian telling others about how great “real Christians” were.”
That is exactly what we need to be striving for a Christians. To teach non-believers the difference. Educate them to see a difference and open their minds to learning more. Plant a seed and let God grow it.
What are your thoughts on accomplishing this?
I’m sorry to hear that you won’t be attempting to answer the initial question, Fionna. Your answers are always thought-provoking.
First off, please feel free to speak openly with me. Your opinions will not offend me and I promise you I would never assault you for your opinion. I value you your opinion and would love to discuss (not argue) your answer.
Thank you for your kind words and God Bless you too, my friend. I agree that fake Christians drive people away, because if there is one type of person that is universally despised, it is the hypocrite, since they condemn themselves. As for teaching people the difference, I personally don’t pull out the C word right away, until they at least have a chance to get a feel for who I am and I know I won’t be closing their ears with it before I say anything. I’ve had a couple people who I talked to who had previously heard that I was a Christian that later told me they were very close to just not talking to me at all, or chewing me out, but were pleasantly surprised when they gave me a chance. Then after I’ve at least got them comfortable with talking to me, I feel free to mention my beliefs, and while doing so try to describe the difference, which I have found they are all to ready to accept. I think their readiness to accept this comes from a desire to reconcile their conceptions of Christians with their ideas about me without offending me. This distinction lets them express their views about Christians without worrying about insulting me, or being contradicted by me.
The thing that I find helps is to make the distinction clear, using whatever examples you need, and then leave the topic alone for a while unless they bring it up. Just be their friend, and as they see that there is something different about you, you can give them the answer for it, telling them truthfully that the reason you are different is the work that God has done in you.
There doesn’t seem to be any way to do this on a widespread level, since it requires a relationship or at least personal communication, but if a lot of people do it on a regular basis it can have a great impact. The method I described has been the cause of numerous positive comments about my faith and even, as I mentioned before, a friend’s story of how she told her friends about how great real Christians were and how they were amazed, like they’d never heard of one of those before. Hope this is what you were looking for.
Yes, that is exactly what I am talking about. You seem like a very enlightened person, and it is a blessing to speak with you.
One question. You say, “There doesn’t seem to be any way to do this on a widespread level” when talking about informing the public about the difference. I think we can. I don’t know how, but through God we can.
I think it is our mission as True Christians. Those that are Carnal already have a seed with in them and it is up to God to transform them, but I believe their are millions out there that would come running if we can educate them on the difference. I truely believe that is the ’seed’ God wants us to be planting in people.
Let’s stretch our minds a little bit and really brainstorm. How can we communicate (or unite with other True Christians to communicate) to the public the difference? How can we start a ministry to plant those seeds?
There is a way to get it widespread without personal relatonships. However, I am wary of this way and that is why I didn’t mention it. Using media or having people speak on the difference to educate the public woul reach a number of people. Someone like Rob Bell could do this. However, the reason I am wary of making the distinction on such a mass level, is that it may turn out that the person making it happens to be a hypocrite, and that would really hurt the image of Christ. That is why I think that it needs to be based on relationships. Also, I wouldn’t want it to come off as just another schism in the already divided Church.
Ron Comfort of Ways of the Master along with Kirk Cameron has some dynamic ways to reach people with the Gospel of Christ that is worth watching and Ron Comfort has some powerful books that can give ideas of how to reach this world that is lost without his Love. But above all it is how we relate to others like Kaliveolive that has an impact on how we are able to reach out to those that don’t about Him and even reject Him. I’m a christian singer/songwriter and I wrote a song that describes what goes on in the heart of those who struggle to know the Lord. Here is the chorus: Standing between the darkness and the light. Within your heart there’s a holy fight. If you look to Heaven there’s victory in sight when you’re standing between the darkness and the light. (c)1998 JC Music. Take care and God bless.
I’ll give it to you, since you asked directly. I don’t like to shove my beliefs at others. I don’t claim that I’m right. In fact, I specifically claim that I don’t have enough evidence to say. This is my personal exploration of the topic, and I don’t mean to offend anyone with it.
My mom told me, when I was young, that Jesus was a man with some great ideas, and that he had moved a lot of people with some very smart things that he had to say about peace, compassion and forgiveness. My mom is very wise, and that’s pretty much what I believe to this day, though I’ve gone through a few alterations.
I’ve learned that a lot of Jesus’s philosophies were based on the teachings of Rabbi Hillel, who came up with radical stuff like: That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.. I still don’t understand the violent Christian condemnation of the Pharisees (Hillel was the head of that group), given that early Christians laid claim to so many of Hillel’s ideals. Hillel believed in peace above all things, and introduced the idea of forgiving people instead of doing stuff like stoning them to death. Sounding familiar? You can learn more about him here: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbi_Hillel).
For a long time, I doubted that Jesus had actually existed. I don’t trust the New Testament as evidence. It was completely in the hands of people whom it would be charitable to call Nominal Christians for too many years. People like the Emperor Constantine, who had his own agenda for pushing Christianity. These people proved, on many occasions, that they were willing to forge documents to promote Christianity (see the Donation of Constantine, for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donation…).
I fully acknowledge that not all Christians were as deceitful as the authors of the Donation, whomever they were. In this sense at least, I think you are definitely right — these Nominal Christians are very unfairly giving you a bad name, and have been for many centuries past. However, as any historian will tell you, you cannot accept text without context. The context of the New Testament makes it suspect as evidence, at least on its own.
However, I’ve now read the Nag Hammadi Libraries (and some other apocrypha), which were not in the hands of Constantine and his ilk, so I’m willing to say that Jesus probably existed. I’d still be more comfortable if there was a more certain historical record. Like if one of the Roman Historians or maybe the Pharisees had even whispered a little bit about him in their own writings. That they didn’t (at least not until many years later) is suspicious to me.
I also can’t help but notice that the stories that are told about Jesus are suspiciously similar to stories that are told about many pre-Christian gods. Of course, that doesn’t mean Jesus didn’t exist. The similarities could be for two reasons that I can think of. The first is that early Christians hadn’t quite let go of their pre-Christian beliefs. This wouldn’t be too surprising to me, given that they certainly did the same kind of thing later (like when the Irish goddess Bridhe became St. Bridget). The second possibility is the one given by Joseph Campbell in _The Power of Myth_. Campbell argues that the Jesus story (aka the hero cycle) is just so ingrained in our psyche that we retell it over and over again, and just change the characters.
Anyway, this is probably spammy, so I’ll stop now. If this seems clinical or dismissive of Jesus, I apologise. I don’t mean it to be. It is the state of my personal spiritual exploration of these ideas, which is undertaken with respect, and in good faith, given the tools that I have available to me (logic, reason and analysis).
I think that the term “Carnal Christian” applies to people that possibly once gave there life to Christ and has since backslid. Because the Bible commands us to seek Him and seek Holiness and if we dont seek and desire His Holiness in our lives than that is the begining of backsliding which leads to the term “Carnal Christian” or “Hypocrite” an I call them hypocrite in a way because they call themselves Christian but they deny the Power thereof. And they have really turned away from there first love, by which I mean they have taken there eyes off of Jesus and becomed charmed by worldly things.
I also agree with joe..Check out Ron Comfort and Way of the Master.
Awesome. I’m really enjoying where this conversations is going. Kalev, Fionna, Joe and Aslan, bless you all. I will check out all of this information you have given me as I have time.
lets just say with out Jesus we would all be suffering a life in hell, he is THE GREATEST guy that eva lived
Sorry,I just signed in for a few minutes.I promise to someone that i can’t miss your letter to watch bacause i am sometime busy that I can’t give answer to anyone.
Please help me to understand how I can accept to anyone,I do not follow that what
can i do so friends also comes toward me because when i click to anyone friend i do not understand how can i used to help.com to friends and giving message to anyone.I do not understand how the people should send to me and know that they can send to me.I read some messages but who can give us to me only member’s & staff where all my some friends here.Thank you.
um abhisheks, what was that?, can u explain please? its a little bit hard to understand what u just said.
Speak a little better English abhisheks. I can’t understand you.
I envy the faithfull, but I don’t know how to be one of them. I wish God would help me find God.
Hi, Fronde. I actually just read your post about allowing personal e-mails on here.
As far a God goes. I believe you already know him. He’s always there talking to you and helping you out. I think most of us have a hard time grasping that.
I’ve been raised as a Christian all my life, but I felt just like you do. From about 14 until 23 or so, I never quite grasped the concept of “a personal relationship with Jesus.” I even got mad a lot of the time, because Jesus had never come down and sat down on the park bench and had a conversation with me, maybe play little catch. Nope. Nothing.
Then one day I grasped it. That voice inside of me inspiring me, filling me with love, telling me everything was going to be okay — all of those voices and feelings — they were him, not me.
Here’s a great story that illustrates my point called “God, Speak to Me”.
You can find it at this link: http://www.llerrah.com/speaktome.htm
The man whispered
“God, speak to me”
And a Bluebird sang
But the man did not hear.
So the man yelled
“God speak to me!”
And the thunder rolled across the sky
But the man did not listen
The man looked around and said
“God let me see you”
And a star shone brightly
But the man did not notice.
So, the man cried out in despair
“Touch me God and let me
know that you are here”
Whereupon God reached down
and touched the man
But the man brushed the
butterfly away and walked on.
Don’t miss out on God’s blessings,
just because they aren’t packaged
the way you expect them to be.
Fronde, I hope you keep searching for God. A few months ago when I was doing some soul searching of my own — trying to discover Gods purpose for me — a wise man said to me, “God is more willing to lead us than we are to follow.”
Keep your eyes, ears and heart open. Talk to God everyday. Don’t worry about following some person’s idea of proper prayer. Just talk to God like he is sitting in the room with you, because he is and we will listen. He wants you to talk to him.
God Bless. Please let me know if I can help.
Thank you very much, Victor. You already are. Stay in touch.
Anytime Fronde. Glad to help.
Go to www.bible.com and look up and read the book of John.. This talks of God’s love for you and what He did so that you could be faithful :-)
Prayin 4 ya
Thank you ASLAN, I will try that. But I should let you know that I am in no way unfamiliar with the church. I have my own bibles, and I’ve read them before, including the book of John. Bible reading does not always work for me because I am unable to receive the scripture as kairatic material. My reading-mind is of too practical a cast. Sometimes, I really need a simple religion I can touch and feel; holy people, holy places, holy relics. I’m sorry if this sounds insufficiently protestant, but I really need a caring priest to bring me into contact with the divine.
Fronde, let me say that you are one of a slim group of people, who I admire more than any other group. People who aren’t believers, but are still sincerely seeking God, I count amoung the most blessed on this planet. If there is one prayer that God answers above others, I believe it is the prayer to let us come to Him. The bible says that we can’t come to God by our own power, but that He has to help us believe, and I wish you the best in your searching. I truly believe that God rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
Fronde, I completely agree. Thats why I tell you bible.com it has some understandable versions of the bible on it or you might prefer to check out The Message Bible you can get it at most any Christian Bookstore or you can go to www.cbd.com. Its an American English type of version which is my favorite it portrays a more touchable God. Which I am completely for. I dont go for the relecs and traditions. Im am completely into serving a One on One God. A personal God. A Loving God. A Merciful God. Traditional religions do nothing for me.
I know a number of people who have been in your position, most notably my mother. She recalls having a number of Christians approach her to bother her about this God thing and finally praying one day “God, if you’re real, I want to know about you, but I can’t believe just because of what these other people say.” Then she stopped being confronted by Christians and thought nothing more of it for years, during which she learned a number of things, including the difficulty with nailing down even simple facts from a course on polls and statistics, and realizing that if God existed, He would be bigger than whatever box we tried to put Him in. It was later, when she was working with a Christian, that she was given some books to read, but didn’t get around to them until she randomly sprained her ankle just by stepping on in in an odd way. It was after reading one of the books that she says she read John and was amazed that the words seemed to jump out at her. I hope that your searching is also rewarded and trust that it will be in time.
Wow… this post has been going on for a long time!
I just wanted to say, from a non-christian perspective, that I very much understand the difference between the “real” Christians and “fake” ones. I grew up in a Catholic family, and chose to go another way. I think that a lot of Christians are fakes, they do it to fit in, or look good, or to avoid confrontaion, or like someone above said (sorry, I read so many responses I forgot who said this) they are “running from hell instead of to Jesus”. Just to scared to be wrong. What those people don’t realize is, if the Christians are right in their beleifs, faking it still won’t get you into heaven, which kinda defeats the purpose. I’ve met tons of Christians who I would put at the top of my list of wonderful, caring, kind, lovely people in the world, but I have to say, unfortunately I’ve met more who were liars, cheets, and just mean to anyone they disagreed with. Its unfortunate that a religion that is supposed to be based on the love of God can be tainted by the people that say they serve it. I think that it is also unfortunate that the churches today seem to be more like populaity contests than religious centers. I’ve no bone to pick with Christians, so please don’t take this that way, but I’m really tired of people trying to push their religion on me. I think religion should be free of door-to-door salesmen, trying to sell me their church or sect like a knife set or a vacuum. I’m also tired of seeing one of my best friends, who is a devout Chrstian, torture himself because the preacher say’s he’s going to hell because he’s gay. I live in the South, and I know its not as bad everywhere else, but religion, which is supposed to be beautiful, gets pretty ugly here.
Jesus is the only one that really cares about me really loves me with no reason , he doesn’t change with time ,every body may change but he doesn’t
when I’m depressed he is the only one i can go to and feel much better ,in my hard times i enjoy praying and crying with hope inside me that he will never leaves me he is always there for me and for any one calls him
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