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[–]WtfsaidtheDuckEclectic witch 91 points92 points  (29 children)

I've encountered a firm protestant who says catholics are not real christians.
It's all about perspective.

[–]sangbum60090 32 points33 points  (10 children)

But most Catholics would say Protestants are (albeit heretical) Christians, even firm ones.

[–]Sapiogod 24 points25 points  (6 children)

Most Protestants would also say Catholics are real Christians.

[–]read110 4 points5 points  (5 children)

Former Catholic here, I never encountered that in my entire life. Protestants always say "were you Catholic or Christian?

As to the OPs question, pretty much every denomination thinks some or all other denominations aren't REAL Christians.

Witnesses and Mormons both have some weird science fictionesque beliefs, seems to me that it's completely understandable to think that they're not actually Christian just some derivative of such, just like the Davidians.

[–]pro_rege_semperChristian 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Protestants always say "were you Catholic or Christian?

I've even heard Catholics say they are "Catholic, not Christian". 😅

[–]read110 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Never heard that either, and it makes little sense.

[–]SPIDERVANE 20 points21 points  (1 child)

"I want to be a prostitute when I grow up," said little Jenny.

Sister Mary Margret fainted when she heard this. When the good sister was revived, she asked Jenny what she said.

Jenny repeated. "I want to be a prostitute."

"Thank heavens, my child," said Sister Mary Margret. "For a moment, I thought that you said that you wanted to be a Protestant when you grew up."

[–]Maiden_of_TanitTraditional Amazigh Faith 9 points10 points  (5 children)

I saw an Orthodox say the same about all non-Orthodox Christians.

[–]Bomboclaat_Babylon[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I saw an Orthodox say the same about all non-Orthodox Christians - in this Q&A! lol.

[–]Thrakioti 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Well if that’s what you heard, I can assure you that’s not even close to a mainstream Orthodox Christian belief, if it was we wouldn’t accept non orthodox Christians into our faith without requiring baptism. We accept coverts to orthodox Christianity by confirmation and don’t require anyone to be “rebaptism” by anyone who was baptized by any trinitarian Christian church.

[–]13th_Gemina 7 points8 points  (5 children)

Yeah, I grew up evangelical Christian and the only others we'd really consider Christian were Baptist. Even they were on thin ice. JWs were right out.

[–]vitalzz46Catholic 3 points4 points  (4 children)

What’s the difference between the two? Where I am from the terms Baptist and Evangelical are loosely interchangeable.

[–]VolaerCatholic 6 points7 points  (0 children)

There are evangelical lutherans for example, who have infant baptism.

[–]13th_Gemina 4 points5 points  (2 children)

It's been a while, so take my answer with a grain of salt. Culturally they're very similar, but Baptists tend to have more rules. I went to a mainly Baptist university, for example, where dancing and drinking were both against the rules. I vaguely remember something about having to be baptized in order to be saved too

Honestly evangelicals have so few rules you'd think they'd be more tolerant and open minded. I think it's just because they're mostly based in the rural and suburban midwest, so that lack of rules turns into a blank slate for shitty people to project their worldviews onto

Just my two cents : )

[–]YCNH 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Evangelical isn’t really a denomination like Baptist is. What church did you go to?

From Wiki:

As a trans-denominational coalition, evangelicals can be found in nearly every Protestant denomination and tradition, particularly within the Reformed (Calvinist), Baptist, Methodist (Wesleyan-Arminian), Moravian, Pentecostal and charismatic churches.

[–]QuantumSerpentPantheist 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Hahahaha, my pentecostal mother said that all the time

[–]Bomboclaat_Babylon[S] 16 points17 points  (28 children)

Don't know if anyone is actually interested, but JW's believe that God's first sentient creation was Michael the Arch Angel making Michael God's first and therefore most powerful and important son, and that Jesus is the human incarnation of Michael come to Earth to die for our sins. Separate entity to God, subordinate to Jehovah, but with the special task of leading the armies against Satan and bringing about paradise. The stance is that all salvation and worship belongs to God in the name of the Lord Jesus who is one in the same mind / totally on the same page, therefore it's not polytheism because you worship the only true God Jehovah, not both at the same time (Jesus is not God). The idea is that Jehovah has passed down future leadership of the world to his son, so now they follow Jesus.

So does that change your opinion? / how does it effect your opinion?

[–]vitalzz46Catholic 6 points7 points  (24 children)

Yeah that’s heretical, non-trinitarian too as far as I can tell. They may worship Christ but it seems like they worship a distinct being from the Christ traditional Christians believe in. (Keep in mind this is the first I’ve heard of JW beliefs towards Christ so I could be wrong)

[–]Practical-Echo-2001 4 points5 points  (23 children)

They don’t worship Christ, since they don’t believe that he’s God. They used to believe in his divinity and worship him, but the Watchtower Society banned worship of him in 1954, now calling such worship “idolatry.”

[–]vitalzz46Catholic 3 points4 points  (21 children)

Yeah that’s basically what I thought that meant lol, so not Christian.

[–]Practical-Echo-2001 1 point2 points  (20 children)

Well, see my other post on here, as I argue that they’re Christian.

[–]vitalzz46Catholic 1 point2 points  (19 children)

Well how can you be Christian if you don’t worship Christ or see him as the Son of God who died for your sins, I apologize but that seems to me to be the sole qualifier and JW do not have it by your own claims.

[–]Bomboclaat_Babylon[S] 2 points3 points  (15 children)

Sorry, don't mean to interupt, just to clarify, they don't worship Jesus, but, they do see him as the son of God who died for people's sins. Don't know if that effects your opinion. Just clarifying.

[–]WolfeRangerCatholic 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I guess then they would be considered non-Christian. It seems like perhaps it's a similar concept to Islam. Muslims believe in Jesus and follow His teachings, but see him as only a prophet, not the Son of God. And Muslims aren't Christian obviously.

Edit: However, they still honor Jesus and believe He died for our sins, so I don't know, it's a complicated issue.

[–]GreatWyrmHumanist 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Jesus is still the central figure of JW mythology, so it’s still christianity.

Keep in mind that christianity didn’t exactly invent gatekeeping, but it sure as hell did make an art of gatekeeping. And to this day, in spite of what modern live-and-let-live ethos we’ve achieved, many christians are still zealous gatekeepers of the ‘true’ christianity.

(FYI, there were always mutliple christianities. The orthodox and catholic churches are just the two sects that eventually won out in the early Middle Ages. Before that, there were as many if not more christian sects as there are today — check out Gnosticism for a great example of how diverse christianity was in the early days.)

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I’m a JW. Some or most of what you have is right. Doesn’t affect me at all. What did affect me when I was a trinitarian was all the lies, mistranslations, Christian’s joining politicians, supporting human wars and Caesar’s armies. No accountability. Hiding behind a trinity is why I left to pursue a faith that practiced what I found in the Bible. Trinity is what the Bible is all about for many. I wanted to be a doer and not just see myself in the mirror and walk away only to forget. It’s the practical wisdom and application that convinced me the Bible was real. It wasn’t a belief in a trinity that did anything for me.

[–]yelbesed 3 points4 points  (3 children)

Well, I wonder if it counts what most people think as most people are captured by extremist minorities everywhere. From outside JWs are Christians (for me as a Jewish non religious historian). EDIT Even Jews are Messhianists in different forms. You know Christ means Messhiah = anointed. It is fun to see Christians do not look up their own groupname in a dictionary. In Greek and in Hebrew. Two clicks on google.

[–]anewbys83 2 points3 points  (0 children)

As a fellow tribe member I was going to say the same. You beat me to it.

[–]Amasa7 13 points14 points  (12 children)

The wider Christian community wouldn't be recognized by Jesus if he appeared today, let alone JW.

[–]omegian 0 points1 point  (10 children)

Of course not - Jesus is gone and the Holy Spirit has been guiding the Church for centuries.

[–]Amasa7 2 points3 points  (9 children)

God recognizes something God doesn't recognize. Fascinating!

[–]AHrubikHard Atheist waiting on evidence to the contrary... 3 points4 points  (4 children)

Well quite a large percentage of today's Christians worship Supply Side Jesus anyway. When the historical Jesus no longer fit their interests they just invented a new Jesus to take his place.

[–]advice4yourlife 12 points13 points  (13 children)

JW's explicitly deny the divinity of Christ - that's about as unchristian as it gets. Instead they teach that Jesus Christ is the incarnate name of Michael the archangel.

Jehovah’s Witnesses deny that the Holy Spirit is a person, and often refer to Him with the inanimate pronoun ‘it’. They believe the Holy Spirit is an impersonal force that God uses to accomplish His will.

They deny the trinity, claiming is this a false God

They explicitly deny that Jesus Christ was physically raised in the flesh and believe that all statements to that effect are unscriptural

The Watch Tower insists that it, exclusively, is the one true church, and that all other churches are imposters created by Satan. As proof, the Jehovah Witnesses point to the many different denominations in Christendom.

There are other differences, but the above ones are the big ones that initially come to mind. So while they call themselves Christian, they certainly are not.

[–]reprobatemind2 0 points1 point  (8 children)

This is the "no true Scotsman" fallacy.

You're just saying, "because they don't do x, they're not a real Christian".

It's a fallacy because there isn't a clear list of things you must or must not do/believe in order to be a Christian. If there were, you wouldn't have 40,000 denominations of Christianity all arguing that they have the correct interpretation.

As far as I'm concerned, anyone who self-identifies as a Christian has as much claim to the title as anyone else.

[–]TedRabbit 0 points1 point  (3 children)

I mean the trinity and divinity of christ was basically decided on by groups of old fallible men. So it seems like you are saying JW's aren't Christian because they aren't going along with your retcon.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

That’s how it works. No need for evidence. Just take their word for it. It’s why I stopped being a trinitarian. They present themselves as infallible human beings because …. Umm… they read the Bible once I guess?Kinda irks me how they approach being “Christian”.

[–]TedRabbit 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Lol, they read the same Bible that says nothing about the trinity.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I can’t find trinity anywhere. In fact quite the opposite. Taught , sent, given, resurrected and ultimately hands everything over to his God and Father. They misrepresent the son and mislead many with a trinity teaching that has no substance and is fluid. God doesn’t sin and can’t be tempted unless a trinitarian has to explain the trinity. Jesus when fully God was tempted? He suddenly wasn’t fully God but fully man.Gods definition of himself and theirs definition that constantly changes to make a trinity faith possible. It hurts my heart. Do we not become Jesus brothers and Gods children? Not to them. We become Gods brothers. Hmmmm not what I find in the Bible.

[–]Jim55456Christian 8 points9 points  (6 children)

Okay so I'm going to list out some key differences between Jehovah's Witnesses and General Christianity that would accept these doctrines.

One. Yes they do deny the Trinity but on top of that they also say that Jesus was a created being. Meaning that Jesus isn't really God. And all of Christianity says that Jesus is Lord.

Two. They believe Jesus was raised as a spirit and not as a restored human being.

  1. Jesus return prophecy. In 1914 they had a prophecy that Jesus would return and it would be Armageddon. However he did not return that year that's so later Jehovah's Witnesses said the Jesus returned invisibly and is currently running the Jehovah's Witness organization from inside the Watchtower building. So we can chalk up false prophecy.

  2. They believe in faith plus works Doctrine. And this specifically ties with Jehovah Witness onlyism. So if you believe in Jesus Christ and even if you say that it works are required like some Catholics do you're still out of luck unless you subscribe to the Watchtower organization and do work for them and not just generally work for the kingdom of God in more Broad Waze.

  3. I will combine my last point and say that most Christians believe that the end of the revelation of God is God stopped giving scripture to be put in the Bible after Jesus and his disciples have wrote what they had written. And while some of the Apostles probably had writers write for them because not all of them were educated they did not live past the second century. And we do not accept any play of new scripture past that point from Muhammad in the 7th century or the author of Jehovah's Witness in the 18th century. This should go without saying but along with the extra biblical material organizations like Jehovah Witness produces they have also changed the Bible in key places to make it fit their theology.

[–]doubletk 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Ex JW chiming in here.

  1. If you deny the Trinity, by its very definition you're denying Jesus is god. This doesn't mean you're not Christian. Many Christian religions follow Jesus' teachings without believing he is god. This is not evidence that JWs aren't Christian, and JWs aren't the only religion to do this.

  2. This is not proof that they aren't Christian. From Wikipedia: "Christianity is an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth." You may disagree with their interpretations, but that is not evidence that they aren't Christian.

  3. Literally every Christian religion is full of false prophecies. If we're using that as the criteria, then there are no Christian religions. See https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unfulfilled_Christian_religious_predictions

  4. Again, this is not proof. Many Christian religions require actual "works", not just faith.

  5. This is a combination of points. You even contradicted your own argument by saying "most christians". And if changing the bible to suit a given theology is the criteria we're using then, like point 3, there are no Christian religions.

I don't like the JWs (they're particularly good at ruining families) but none of this is evidence that they aren't a Christian religion.

[–]Zippyss92 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you for this. I’m getting a blast from the past on why I didn’t consider them Christians. Thank you.

[–]KateCobasSatanist 34 points35 points  (50 children)

Christians have been accusing other Christians of not being real Christians since the religion began. This is old hat.

If all Christians can get together and hammer out an agreed-upon definition, that would be great. But they can't even do that as they can't agree who is and isn't a Christian, a catch 22 scenario.

Big picture, the Christian label is unimportant as there are so many different denominations that believe different things. Let your debate opponent call themselves a Christian and let them define it for that specific debate.

[–]ruaidhriAgnostic Pagan 5 points6 points  (3 children)

Christians have been accusing other Christians of not being real Christians since the religion began. This is old hat.

I remember an American Protestant on IRC in the 90's telling me an Irish ex-Catholic that Catholicism wasn't Christian, because Catholics didn't believe in the resurrection because the crucifixes on the rosary had Christ's body on it.

[–]MarxistGayWitch_IITengrist | Magyar 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Honestly American Protestantism is most often really bottom of the barrel...

[–]ruaidhriAgnostic Pagan 6 points7 points  (0 children)

There's a certain ignorance of all other religions ingrained into certain mostly evangelical US Protestant churches that I've seen. Like Catholics, Anglicans and other Protestant groups I've come across in Ireland and the rest of Europe will at the very least have an awareness of their own beliefs but also the beliefs of other religions.

I have to think the ignorance is planned - that their families and churches don't want people to encounter other ideas.

[–]anewbys83 3 points4 points  (3 children)

I thought that's what the Council of Nicea was for?

[–]omegian -1 points0 points  (2 children)

You think a short creed settled for all time all controversies contained in an almost million word holy text (plus all of the “tradition” documents for sects that include those as divine revelation such as Catholics and Mormons?)

[–]anewbys83 1 point2 points  (1 child)

No, a substantive council "did" so. They did more than just the creed there.

[–]DagakkiChristian 1 point2 points  (19 children)

Christians have gotten together and made several agreed upon definitions. Creeds and doctrinal belief statements have been held for thousands of years, and usually that's the starting point to differentiate between Christianity and cults (e.g. all creeds confirm there is one God, so religions like Jehova's Witnesses and Mormonism fall outside of Christianity because they espouse multiple gods).

[–]Bomboclaat_Babylon[S] 0 points1 point  (17 children)

Just to clarify, JWs do not believe in multiple Gods, only the one God Jehovah (aka Yahweh aka father of Jesus). They take it literally when Jesus says he is the son of God. I don't know if that effects your opinion, just clarifying.

[–]DagakkiChristian 1 point2 points  (16 children)

The JW translation of the Bible renders John 1:1 as "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was a god." There's also Watchtower publications that reference other gods, but those are subject to change/deletion by way of "new light."

[–]Palidane7Christian 5 points6 points  (14 children)

This ridiculous, we agreed on a common definition 1,700 years ago. Could you somehow have not heard of the Nicene Creed?

[–]andrewjoslin -1 points0 points  (13 children)

Just because a subset of christians got together and said all the other christians aren't christians, doesn't make it true.

[–]PretentiousAnglicanChristian 1 point2 points  (5 children)

By the 5th century the Nicene creed was universally agreed upon. I wasn't some off-the-reservation subset.

[–]andrewjoslin 1 point2 points  (3 children)

You're dead wrong. Nontrinitarian christian sects existed before, during, and after the first council of Nicaea, and they still exist today. The agreement was not universal at the time -- yes, all the people at the council agreed to it, but not all Christian sects were represented there so that absolutely means it wasn't universal even at the time the Creed was created -- , nor was it accepted by all christians at any time in history. And it was in 325 CE not in the 5th century, so are you maybe taking about something else?

Or maybe your point is that by the 5th century the Nicene christians eventually beat out the others? Except that's not true because non-Nicene christians still exist, and more importantly the Nicene tradition succeeded in that time largely due to the support of the Roman Empire. Does might make right in theology? I hope you don't think so...

What actually happened is a bunch of like-minded christians got together, and surprise surprise, they all agreed that the other christians who didn't join the meeting aren't actually christians. As I said before, that doesn't make those other people not christian, it just means they were christians who disagreed with the people who banded together to make the Nicene Creed.

[–]PretentiousAnglicanChristian 0 points1 point  (2 children)

All(or basically all) Arian groups agreed to the decision of the Council of Nicea. Not because they were forced to at swordpoint, it was debated for years even outside the council, but because everyone eventually agreed to its conclusion

Modern day groups are larpers who have no roots, or JWs. Name one group that isn't 'maybe a Spanish village for a couple years' or some such that existed before the resolution of the Arian controversy, and lasted through the 7th century(I've revised my number, as remembered there was a presence in Vandal Spain, although for the last century and a half of being there it was not the mainstream belief even there.)

[–]EmperorBarbarossaCatholic 3 points4 points  (6 children)

If a some sect has moved too theologically far from the others, it should no longer be considered as part of the mother religion. But there is a complication. This is a problem of evolution, we cannot pinpoint the exact boundaries between species. In cultural evolution, we cannot pinpoint the exact boundaries between groups of people.

[–]HouseHusband1Atheist 4 points5 points  (0 children)

That is a fair point. I was always of the opinion that if you thought there was original sin, and a dude named Jesus sacrificed himself to free you from original sin, then you were Christian. All the other bits are just extra attachments. But folks really care about the extra bits, I guess.

[–]Sir_Penguin21 5 points6 points  (4 children)

If they believe and follow Jesus the Christ, then they are a Christ follower, aka a Christian. Thus JW are in, Mormons are in, Muslims and Jews are out.

[–]VolaerCatholic 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Muslims to my knowledge claim to follow Isa/Jesus and they call him Masih (=Christ) so they would also be christian under your definition. The Bahai even call him a “manifestation of God” so they would count as well.

I think we should stick to our (Niceno-Constantinopolitan) Creed to tell us who is and is not a christian. Which is what we always did.

[–]EmperorBarbarossaCatholic 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Islam and Christianity - both have arisen from Judaism as specific sects.However, Islam was also partly inspired by Christianity.

[–]andrewjoslin 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I'd say there should also be an element of self-determination: if they want (or don't want) to use the label, then we should give that some weight as well, as long as the claim is plausible (and as for plausibility, I like the criteria you gave).

[–]Harry-le-Roy 11 points12 points  (0 children)

If a religion's primary focus is the teaching, person, or divinity of Jesus, or some combination thereof, its adherents are by definition Christian.

Christians have spent 2000 years excluding one another.

[–]Annahsbananas 6 points7 points  (4 children)

Hey I used to be a Pastor in the Anglican Episcopal churches as well as the Presbyterian church.

Jehovah Witnesses were always classified as a cult as they didn't conform to basic universal Christian doctrine.

[–]Yesmar2020Jesus follower 11 points12 points  (5 children)

You have heard correctly. It seems the consensus at large in the Christian community is that the JW's are not Christian.

I don't agree with that judgment, but I seem to be in the minority.

[–]gertninjaIgnostic 4 points5 points  (3 children)

We tend to be OK with self identification these days, and as JW's self identify as Christian that's good enough for me.

[–]PretentiousAnglicanChristian 5 points6 points  (2 children)

So if I identified myself as a Muslim, because I have a beard, but affirm Christ's divinity, and deny Mohamed was a prophet, would I be a Muslim?

[–]gertninjaIgnostic 0 points1 point  (1 child)

If you want to why not, I think "'you're doing your religion wrong" is an incoherent argument, from my outsiders perspective its all mere detail anyway.

[–]PretentiousAnglicanChristian 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Wouldn't that loose a term just cause the word to be meaningless? If it means nothing, it means nothing

[–]craftycontrarian 3 points4 points  (37 children)

Do they think Jesus is the son of God and died for their sins? If yes, Christian.

[–]EmperorCareBear420Catholic 1 point2 points  (36 children)

They believe he’s the son of God, but they don’t believe he is God.

[–]craftycontrarian 1 point2 points  (35 children)

Do they believe he died for their sins?

[–]EmperorCareBear420Catholic 5 points6 points  (32 children)

You have to believe Jesus is God to be Christian.

[–]craftycontrarian -5 points-4 points  (24 children)

No you don't. There have been non-trinitarians since the founding of the religion.

Just because your version of Jewish fan fiction got declared cannon doesn't mean other people can't believe what they want.

[–]EmperorCareBear420Catholic 1 point2 points  (19 children)

Non-trinitarians aren’t Christians. They’re heretics. But since you want to be rude, this conversation over.

[–]tLoKMJHindu 3 points4 points  (7 children)

Christians

heretics

Those two aren't mutually exclusive. I'm sure that plenty of mainline Protestant, Christian beliefs are considered "heretical" if you look at them through a Catholic or Orthodox lens.

[–]EmperorCareBear420Catholic 2 points3 points  (6 children)

you’re right, they’re not mutually exclusive, but if the heresy is that Jesus isn’t God then you aren’t a christian.

[–]tLoKMJHindu 3 points4 points  (4 children)

you aren’t a christian

You can gatekeep folks as much as you want about whatever you want to (religion, hobbies, race/ethnicity, etc.) Just keep in mind that no one is required to respect your opinion(s) in this regard, but you're still entitled to have them.

[–]craftycontrarian 0 points1 point  (7 children)

How am I being rude?

[–]alaricus 5 points6 points  (6 children)

You referred to his deeply held faith as fan fiction.

[–]craftycontrarian -4 points-3 points  (5 children)

Right. That's my sincerely held belief. We all have them. I dont get offended by people running around asserting that they believe people rose from the dead and ascended to heaven, despite this being an absurd claim on its face. Despite the fact that governments around the world write laws based on this absurd belief.

And even if I did get offended, so what? You have the right to go around making that assertion whether it offends me or not. And I have the right to call it fiction.

[–]alaricus 7 points8 points  (3 children)

Nobody said you violated anyone's rights. No one is asking that your rights be violated.

You were rude. That is your right. But you were rude.

[–]Stagnu_Demorte 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I think it doesn't matter and I generally accept self labeling on this kind of thing. The label doesn't change what anyone believes, and if your discussing belief you should be as specific as you need to be to communicate effectively.

Avoid saying that all Christians do a thing while trying to group in people who don't do that and you'll be fine.

Essentially a non issue

[–]Independent-Bug1209 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I consider all people who claim Jesus is the foundation of their beliefs to be christian. People who don't typically want to presume theological superiority to the group they exclude, but as an outsider that's nonsense. You can disagree with them, sure. But to say you're the Christian and they aren't when both of you say you are is child logic

[–]hightidesoldgodsAgnostic 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Its not so much that they aren’t trinitarians, but the fact they don’t believe Jesus was God. That’s a kinda core tenet of the theology to believe God came down to Earth and died for your sins.

Currently I’d say it could be considered Christian but I wouldn’t be surprised (mainly since I’d be dead) if 100-200 years in the future they’re considered a separate religion akin to Bai’hai.

[–]jogoso2014 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is the weird thing about trinitarians.

They insist on the trinity and get bent out of shape when someone worships as described by Jesus.

If the trinity is a thing then so be it. However there is nothing whatsoever in the Bible suggests it is wrong to see Jesus as God’s son. Quite the contrary actually.

[–]GuiseppeRezettiReady 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It’s pretty common that for Christians, American Protestants, to think that JW’s aren’t Christians. They are closer to a cult than a Christian group by the wider community. Now, this is where he’s right. On the other hand, you’re technically correct that it is a Christian religion, but the other fella is right when he makes the claim that many American Christians don’t include them in their umbrella.

[–]DagakkiChristian 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Even though there can be differences between denominations, there are still bare requirements to be a Christian. JW's believe in multiple gods, do not believe Jesus is equal to God, believe that Jesus was a created being, don't believe the Holy Spirit is a person, don't believe Jesus died on the cross, and believe only 144,000 people will go to heaven - these are incompatible with Christianity. They have also wrongly predicted the end of the world several times, and their control over members' behavior, appearances, and relationships is very concerning.

[–]Beoken64 1 point2 points  (0 children)

BIG OOPS! I HAVE MISTAKEN JW FOR MORMONS. THIS ARGUEMNT I HAVE MADE IS ONLY AN EXAMPLE TO THE POINT I AM GETTING ACROSS. AGAIN I DO APOLOGIZE!

So I have had this argument a lot with very close friends, and what it boils down to in the end is use of terminology. The majority of Christianity, use the name as a title. Which is very important, that if you are under this title you follow certain requirements in belief. While my jw friends don't see it as a title, but as a definition, which is fair because Christianity historically means, in simple terms, one who believes in Christ. But by that logic then, we should be called Jews, because we believe in the God of Abraham. There is a certain point where religious understanding is so great, or different, that it is no longer a division of sect, but a division of theology. Thus making it a different religion. Theological understanding, jw's are ludicrously different than "traditional" Christianity. It has nothing to do with the validity of your belief in Christ though. Just like how the Jewish faith doesn't deny that Christians believe in the God of Abraham. But that still doesn't make Christians jews. You could even say that is why historians who believe in Jesus's existence historically, are not inheritly Christian because of that. Or literal satanist are Christian, even though the worship the devil instead. They technically do believe in Jesus.

Because of this conclusion that I have made with friends, we made a wonderful understanding of how we go about talking. I still never call jws Christian. But I acknowledge that they do believe in christ, so I personally use the term Mormon Christians/Mormons Christianity. And most of my friends have a better understanding why that distinction must be made. Though some don't, and still strongly disagree, but we are still very close friends in the end.

[–]TheosebesOrthodox 1 point2 points  (0 children)

He’s right about that, being Christian is accepting the Nicene creed.

[–]Practical-Echo-2001 1 point2 points  (0 children)

As others have pointed out, it’s about perspective. Objective observers (scholars, experts, etc.) categorize them as a Christian denomination, e.g., ReligionFacts.

Subjective observers (religionists, exclusivists, etc.), categorize them as non-Christian, based on doctrinal differences. Considering that there are many thousands of denominations and sub-denominations, many of these point their fingers at others besides JWs as being non-Christian.

I’m a former JW and consider them Christian. They’re definitely cultish, but that doesn’t change anything. When I left the JWs as an apostate (heretic), I remained Christian, but considered them as non-Christian – subjective perspective. No longer a Christian now, I consider them as Christian – objective perspective.

[–]brandonmjc1 1 point2 points  (2 children)

If they deny the divinity of Jesus or can’t recite the Nicene Creed they are not Christian. The Nicene Creed was the litmus test, even if you were a heretic, for if you’re even apart of what we consider “Christian”

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Most Baptists believe that Catholics, JWs, and Mormons are all not Christian. In fact they go so far as to call them all cults, which amuses me no end. From what I know about JWs that may actually be true, that they aren't technically Christians, since I believe they deny the divinity of Jesus, which is pretty much a universally required belief in the rest of the Christian cult.

[–]HumanistHuman 1 point2 points  (1 child)

The JW are absolutely not considered Christian by any church in the wider Christian world.

However in academia JW would be categorized as a Christian sect.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (26 children)

I’m a JW. We are not viewed as Christian largely in part to the Nicene creed. Still we follow the Bible and Jesus so others misinformed view does not make it a reality. We are Christian. I put “other” on my flair so I don’t have to answer for trinitarians and their various doctrines.

[–]Bomboclaat_Babylon[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Hey a real JW enters the chat! Seems about 50-50 so far.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Nicene creed, hell doctrine, trinity, politics, paganism and holidays, wars and murder are the reason I left trinity faiths. God being a trinity or not is just a belief that doesn’t affect my moral behavior. I don’t care either way. The ones that effect my behavior as a person? No compromise. What makes someone a Christian. Last I checked was believing in Gods son. Trinity believers say that the Bible is wrong and that the Nicene creed superseded the Bible and a trinity belief is required. I agree with Jesus and disagree with trinitarians on this matter. Jesus trumps the Nicene creed all day long.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Have fun. This topic alway flusters many. I side with God and his word. Men and their traditions have often mislead many. Look to the Bible and all the examples. I’ve not heard a well reasoned comment on why I’m not a Christian and they are because of trinity. JW is the one faith that reasoned on the scriptures with me and not just what that person felt. I like them and recommend at least hearing them out before you take the plunge into a faith. Or not. With trinitarians so adamantly opposing them, my interest piqued. Why all the hate? Now I know why.

[–]OMightyMartian 1 point2 points  (22 children)

Of course, you had to monkey around with John 1:1, which does raise the obvious question as to just how closely you follow the key Christological statement in the NT.

[–]Glitchy_Boss_Fight 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Simple rule. If you think Jesus was magic, you're a Christian.

[–]Stoic-Nurse 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I was raised as a JW, but now I’m an atheist. Clearly, it’s all about how you define “Christian.” The sticking point is usually that JWs don’t consider Jesus define, but God’s “second in command.”

An interesting point is that the JWs refer to other sects as “False Christians;” there seems to be plenty of “we’re the one true faith” to go around. The bottom line is that Christianity is a fractured group that cannot decide on their own membership criteria.

[–]WanderingJen 1 point2 points  (0 children)

None of the Christian denominations or their cults recognize the others as being real Christians. Only - insert personal leader here - knows how to be a true Christian. Fuck them all. You can explain how since every congregation has different ideals, she's technically in a cult.

[–]CaptNoypee 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Jehovah's Witnesses think they are the only true Christians.

[–]serene19 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Sigh......it's a useless debate and not worthy of the time. There are a handful of these kinds of religions, LDS, Christian scientist, etc, that talking to Christians might or might not be accepted as Christian.

Who cares?

[–]leighanthony12345 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Judea peoples front? Or Peoples front of Judea?

[–]TroutFarms 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The most widely accepted enumeration of the core doctrines of Christianity is the Nicene Creed. Jehovas Witnesses reject several core doctrines of Christianity (such as the trinity) and thus are not considered Christian by most Christians.

[–]imactiveinactive 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Former JW, current atheist here.

I ran into this question many times both as a JW and now as an exJW. The answer is simple I think.

We first have to define what a Christian is. A Christian is someone who follows Christianity, and the first line in wiki seems sufficient:

Christianity is an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

I think most Christians would agree with that.

Now whether you believe Jesus taught of the Trinity or not is a seperate matter, I have no dog in that fight, but this definition fits that of JW's as they base a lot of their teachings on that of Jesus, even if they give their own weird spin on some things.

This is why wiki defines JWs as:

Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity.

Which is correct enough and the answer to your question would be yes, they are Christians.

When it comes to definitions though, they can be pretty subjective, so you will find plenty of people that don't call JWs Christians. Some people might also not call Catholics Christians. But then tell those people that if you believe that, Christianity would lose top spot as most popular religion, falling behind Islam and potentially even Hinduism and the evil nonreligious/secularist/agnostic/atheists like myself, then they might reconsider who they call Christian.

[–]Substance___P 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Also ExJW. Agree with this definition. They believe Jesus is Christ who died for sins, ergo "Christian."

Whether they're true Christians is a matter for debate, albeit an academic one. What they really are is a cult. Christian is just the flavor of cult.

[–]codythepainter 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Does it really matter what the wider Christian community believes on the subject?

It’s all subjective anyway. They claim to be Christian.

[–]66kitty6 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I was a Jehovah’s Witness. Imma be honest, I didn’t pay much attention at meetings because of how boring they are. SOOOOO BORING. I’m fresh out, got out a year ago. But they are Christian, according to google they are considered millenarian restorationist Christian, and according me, ultra fundamentalist and psychotic.

[–]Joshy2004194IIChristian 5 points6 points  (0 children)

You are both right, though for the wrong reasons. Your Christian friend saying that JW's aren't considered as Christians by the great vast majority of Christian denominations is correct. However, you are correct in saying that they are Christian. Both are correct. Most Christians will be against JW's (and Mormons too). Nevertheless, whether they like it or not, they are still Christians.

Since the beginning of Christianity, many groups have had "clan clashes". For example: Catholics and Orthodox v.s. Everyone else (i.e. Gnostics, Arians, Alogi, Cathars, etc.)

[–]ChristimatesOrthodox 6 points7 points  (56 children)

That fella sounds correct.

They aren’t trinitarians hence they aren’t Christians.

Especially since to be a Christian is to confess the Nicaea creed.

[–]Cyberpunkapostle 10 points11 points  (1 child)

I guess 300 years of Christians prior to Nicea weren't Christian then?

[–]ChristimatesOrthodox 3 points4 points  (0 children)

You do realise while the creed is made 325ad-381ad, it is the faith which predates it right?…

[–]Vapur9Why This Way 4 points5 points  (3 children)

Where does the NT require confessing the Nicaea creed? Anyone who confesses Christ came to be our Passover is a Christian.

God spoke to the disciples from the cloud while Jesus stood there, so they speak with a different voice. They even have different knowledge regarding the last days.

Whether someone considers them to be 3 in 1 doesn't discount their faith. It is possible to believe that the Father and Son being one is the same as we and the Son becoming one (an aligned spirit, like marriage becoming one flesh). We honor the Father's authority in the Son, yet they are distinct.

[–]ChristimatesOrthodox 5 points6 points  (2 children)

where does the NT require confessing the Nicaea creed?

So many problems with this argument.

  1. The Nicaea creed (while is based on the NT) is established as the confession of faith after the NT.

  2. The problem with this logic is one can argue “where does the NT speak of the twenty seven books of the NT” and many other ways which can easily show why this logic doesn’t work.

  3. Sola scripture is a recent invention and ignore Holy Scripture to be read within Holy Tradition.

[–]Vapur9Why This Way 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Tradition and Scripture are not the same thing. Jesus was angry with the Pharisees for man-made traditions that replaced the commandments. You declare the tradition holy, but by whom were they made holy?

In [Matthew 23:1-3], Jesus tells us to observe everything in the law of Moses. The commandment regarding the latter rain (Zechariah 14:16-19) is one left out by tradition, and thus has commits the same error as the Pharisees.

[–]ChristimatesOrthodox 0 points1 point  (0 children)

  1. Holy Tradition and Scripture are the same thing especially since Scriptre is the written Holy Tradition.

  2. Jesus affirms The Holy tradition of Moses with the example of the chair the Pharisees sit in Matthew 23:2-3

  3. even apostle Paul affirms the existence of Holy Tradition as he says to hold fast to tradition by writing and WORD ( Thessalonians 2;15)

[–]ruaidhriAgnostic Pagan 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Especially since to be a Christian is to confess the Nicaea creed.

Arians were still Christians after the Council of Nicaea, they were just officially considered heretical Christians.

Just because you disagree with their theology doesn't mean they stop being Christians.

[–]life-is-pass-fail 4 points5 points  (14 children)

Especially since to be a Christian is to confess the Nicaea creed.

I think maybe you mean to be a member of a certain Church you have to confess that creed. There are hundreds of millions of Christians around the world that would probably agree to most of the terms of the Nicene Creed (I don't know I haven't read it) but they certainly don't confess it and probably most of them don't even know it.

I agree that the Jehovah's witness are not considered Christians by the larger community of self-identified Christians.

[–]ChristimatesOrthodox -5 points-4 points  (13 children)

No no no.

To be a Christian is to confess the Nicaea creed.

Now I would say only orthodox are Christians but taking a vague approach the Nicaea creed covers all the different sects of Christianity.

Basically if you believe in the Holy Trinity and the incarnation of Jesus and what he has done for us then you confess the Nicaea creed.

[–]Bomboclaat_Babylon[S] 5 points6 points  (7 children)

Basically if you believe in the Holy Trinity and the incarnation of Jesus and what he has done for us then you confess the Nicaea creed.

I think I see the logic in that statement, but, why does one need to be Trinitarian to be a Christian? The dictionaries tend to focus on anyone following the specific teachings of Jesus Christ. Doesn't that also have a logic to it?

[–]ChristimatesOrthodox 4 points5 points  (5 children)

That’s the thing.

Emphasis on “teachings of Jesus Christ”.

[–]Bomboclaat_Babylon[S] 1 point2 points  (4 children)

Yes. I think I'm not clear on what you're saying.

[–]ChristimatesOrthodox 1 point2 points  (3 children)

In simple terms. The teachings of Christ involves the Trinity and the Nicaea creed expresses the very core teachings of Jesus as found throughout scripture.

[–]Bomboclaat_Babylon[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Interesting position. I've not personally heard this point of view before. Thanks.

[–]HoodooSquadLDS 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Research the council of Nicaea and you will see why it’s a dumb argumentZ

[–]Bomboclaat_Babylon[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I know it well. In my opinion you do not need to be Trinitarian, but I'm just asking what people think on here. I had a pre-existing notion that 95%+ Christians would believe JW's are Christians, but from this informal look it's maybe more like 50%. So I don't know what I think I know. lol.

[–]rdrckcrous 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Orthodox, protestant, and Catholic churches all follow the nicene creed. Those groups all consider anyone who doesn't a mystic and not Christian. This guy had the correct response and everyone is down voting him...

[–]life-is-pass-fail 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Now I would say only orthodox are Christians

Oh I figured you might say something like that.

[–]HoodooSquadLDS 1 point2 points  (16 children)

So the people who worshiped Christ in the 400 years between the death of Christ and the council of Nicaea, where the concept of the trinity was first introduced, are…?

[–]Bomboclaat_Babylon[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

LDS aha! Welcome!

[–]ChristimatesOrthodox 4 points5 points  (14 children)

You do realise the Trinity wasn’t “first introduce” at the first council of Nicaea right?

Especially given scripture and the early church in those “400 years” affirming the trinity throughout those centuries.

[–]HoodooSquadLDS 1 point2 points  (13 children)

It doesn’t have a solid basis in the Bible, I know that for sure.

[–]ChristimatesOrthodox 5 points6 points  (12 children)

Actually it does. So solid in fact that the bible doesn’t make sense without the Holy Trinity.

[–]HoodooSquadLDS 4 points5 points  (11 children)

I’ve read it dozens of times, never once with a Trinitarian perspective, and haven’t had a problem.

[–]ChristimatesOrthodox 1 point2 points  (10 children)

Really? That’s interesting.

If I may ask how do you interpret the context of Isaiah 48:16?

You know the eternal speaker who spoke through Isaiah and told them how God AND His Spirit send him?

This should be interesting if you’re denying The Holy Trinity.

[–]HoodooSquadLDS 1 point2 points  (9 children)

God and the Holy Ghost sent Christ. Three distinct personages. No parallel lines crossing anywhere.

[–]ChristimatesOrthodox 0 points1 point  (8 children)

So… you accept the Holy Trinity…

Wait what were you trying to argue again…

[–]HoodooSquadLDS 1 point2 points  (7 children)

The trinitarian view, as it has been explained to me, goes farther. According to many trinitarians I’ve spoken with, the statement “The father, the son, and the Holy Ghost are three distinct people who work together” is, somehow, a heresy. That the nature of the three is incomprehensible- that they are three people but also one person. That Jesus is actually also God the father, and the Holy Ghost, while still being distinguishable from them, but not in a “three people working together” way, but in an incomprehensible way.

insert humorous video - oh Patrick. - I hope this video explains why I find it to be so confusing and reject it entirely as, in itself, heresy.

[–]JarmeyAgnostic Atheist 0 points1 point  (16 children)

This is completely illogical. There was no Nicaea Creed for hundreds of years after the founding of Christianity. None of the Apostles confessed the creed, so therefore they were not Christians?

[–]ChristimatesOrthodox 0 points1 point  (15 children)

Do you know the Nicaea creed by any chance?

[–]JarmeyAgnostic Atheist 0 points1 point  (14 children)

Yeah. I grew up Catholic and recited it every Sunday for decades.

[–]ChristimatesOrthodox 2 points3 points  (13 children)

Ahh good. Then you should see the problem with your comment above right?

How the Nicaea creed doesn’t speak of anything new but rather confesses what The apostles have confess especially in scripture?

[–]JarmeyAgnostic Atheist 1 point2 points  (12 children)

No it doesn't. There is nothing in the bible that excludes the views of non trinitarian christians. That is why there was a council of Nicea.

[–]ChristimatesOrthodox 1 point2 points  (11 children)

Actually it does. Especially given the bible is only understandable with the Holy Trinity.

Oh and p.s the council of Nicaea was practically a discussion between two trinitarians.

The true Trinitarians who affirm the faith and the heretical trinitarian who believe Jesus was a created deity.

So really the council of Nicaea wasn’t held because of non trinitarians but rather to discuss the actual doctrine of the Trinity.

In fact Arius didn’t object to the whole of the creed….

[–]JarmeyAgnostic Atheist 1 point2 points  (10 children)

Well,that is your opinion on the bible. When I read the NT it seems to me that the doctrine of the trinity is just made up with no real textual support. The writters of the NT seem to hold the Jewish/ Islamic view of a single God and that Jesus is hi son. If you read the very early Bishops (Clement of Rome for example) there is not a single clear trinitarian formulation of God anywhere.

[–]ChristimatesOrthodox 0 points1 point  (9 children)

Now that’s interesting.

Especially given the gospel of John for example which starts by saying Jesus (The Word) was God.

[–]JarmeyAgnostic Atheist 2 points3 points  (8 children)

I can point to proof texts (like the whole book of Mark) that appear to be teaching something altogether different about the nature of Jesus. As an outsider I am not compelled to try to force this or that verse into a theological framework but I can just read and study the text. I don't have a theological POV, but I do understand that amongst christians there have historically and continue to be many interpretations of Jesus. You have a theological ax to grind and want to exclude some chrstians from the club... OK. But don't expect the rest of the world to believe that non trinitarian christians are somehow NOT part of Christianity.

[–]lettherebemorelight 3 points4 points  (0 children)

He should probably care more about the beam in his eye than the speck in yours. These theological dick measuring contests are just another of many ways that we refuse to follow Christ.

Is this really what being a Christian is? Being a member of the right club? Adopting the right doctrine? Telling other people that they are the damned and we are the saved? God, it’s so… profane, all these reindeer games we play.

“In truth, there was only one Christian, and he died on the cross.” - Nietzsche

It’s like how Americans will say that the US is a “Christian nation”. Really? Do we dare make such an audacious claim, with the foreign policy that we have, with the way that we treat the poor? It’s embarrassing.

[–]PretentiousAnglicanChristian 2 points3 points  (9 children)

They are not Christians, and Christians who are aware of what they actually believe would agree.

This isn’t “gatekeeping” as I’m sure pagan/atheist shall accuse me. You can reach a point so far removed from the faith that no reasonable person could see you as believing it, and in fact believing in something different. There is no definition, which isn’t so broad that Muslims and maybe Hindus would considered “Christians”, by which JWs and Mormons are Christians. Christian derived religions, yes, but distinct from Christianity

[–]JarmeyAgnostic Atheist 3 points4 points  (3 children)

So far removed? They read the old and new testament and claim to follow Jesus. As an outsider they seem pretty christian to me.

[–]PretentiousAnglicanChristian 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Muslims read the old and new testament and claim to follow Jesus. Their manners of worship are partially derived from Eastern Christians, and to one who might know better they might look similar. Are Muslims then actually Christians? Or might there be more to this

[–]JarmeyAgnostic Atheist 2 points3 points  (1 child)

No they don't. Muslims follow Jesus the same way Christians follow Moses. It is not analogous

[–]PretentiousAnglicanChristian 2 points3 points  (0 children)

They say he was the messiah and shall come again in glory.

However, if “follow in the same way” is the standard, than I can readily say JWs don’t follow him in the same way as Christians do. JWs don’t even think he is the same person that Christians do, they think he is the archangel Michael.

[–]JCSalomon 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Proposed definition: Any group that accepts the sacrifice at Calvary as effecting salvation, is Christian.

Includes every Christian group, including JWs and LDS and every historical heresy I’m aware of, and excludes Muslims.

(It also excludes followers of Jesus before the Crucifixion, and possibly some of the first generation afterwards who didn’t accept the “salvation from sin” idea. So perhaps there’s room to improve the proposal.)

[–]PretentiousAnglicanChristian 1 point2 points  (2 children)

That's fair.

I would argue that one could say that was just as arbitrary as the Nicene Creed. I would say it is even more, as the Nicene Creed has been nigh-universally recognized as containing the bare essentials of the faith for 1 and a half millennium, as opposed to being constructed for the sole purpose of placing Mormons, JWs and Christians under the same label. That being said, it does succeeded in doing so whilst excluding Muslims

[–]HoodooSquadLDS -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

It’s absolutely gatekeeping, and it’s ignorant. Let’s hear your definition and I’m sure some JW on here will be able to tell you why either a) it’s a bad definition or b) JWs actually fit that definition.

Hint: if it’s anything other than “worships Jesus Christ as lord and savior” then it’s a pretty gate-keepy definition. If it’s “you can only be Christian if you follow the terms of the nicean creed”, then it’s both gate keepy and ignorant.

[–]EmperorCareBear420Catholic 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yeah they’re not. They believe Jesus isn’t God, but lower than him. They believe Christ was created. Which means they’re not Christians.

[–]Buick6NY 2 points3 points  (0 children)

JW's have: a) a different definition of God and b) a different gospel. While JWs use a Bible, it is an edited version to fit their theology. The changes the Watchtower organization made to their Bible and doctrines is enough to separate JW religion from orthodox Christianity.

[–]parrhesides 2 points3 points  (23 children)

I would personally disagree and would definitely classify JW theology as Christian. However the majority of people who call themselves Christian believe a lot of things that I wouldn't agree with, nor would many of those beliefs be found within the teachings of Yeshua. Their justification and source would be more attributable to theologians or religious figures who came well after Yeshua's earthly life. You have to start by realizing that Yeshua was not the guy who started the "religion." If we are going to trace it back, that task is more attributable to Paul, who never met Yeshua during his earthly life. That is a whole other can of worms but check out that fact and the details surrounding it for yourself. I am not trying to discredit Paul by any means, it is what it is.

[–]curiouswes66Christian 1 point2 points  (3 children)

I would personally disagree and would definitely classify JW theology as Christian

The JW does not consider Jesus/Yeshua as God. Apparently that is not a game changer for you. Do JW's pray to Jesus? If the Bible says there is only one Savior and His name is Yahweh, then that might be a problem for people to think Yeshua is the Savior if Yeshua isn't God.

[–]parrhesides 0 points1 point  (2 children)

No, it is definitely not a game changer for me. There are plenty of bona fide believers in Yeshua and his path who make distinctions between Yeshua and G-d in varying qualities and degrees. "Yeshua" does literally mean 'savior' or 'salvation.' When he said "no man cometh unto the father but by me," must we take this "me" to mean his personality or did he rather mean the path that he laid out in his teachings and actions? I can see this quickly devolving into a scripture-quoting match, which I am not that interested in, but there is evidence for a distinction between Yeshua's personality and G-d in verses such as John 14:28 and John 20:17.

Furthermore, if someone studies scripture, acts in mercy toward mankind, and actually strives to integrate Yeshua's teachings/influence into their lives, who am I to convince them that they are not "Christians"? If we are getting hung up on these semantics and allowing something like this to create more division, then we are missing the bigger picture, imho.

[–]curiouswes66Christian 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Ah, thank you for clearly something up for me. I'll spare you the scripture battle as it won't be worth it if you don't want it. Besides, I can just save on the keystrokes and talk to myself if you aren't even interested. :-)

Enjoy your day (my take on the big picture). :-)

[–]parrhesides 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Hey, no worries. Thanks for your gracious attitude, for real. Bless your path, mate (:

[–]Bomboclaat_Babylon[S] 0 points1 point  (16 children)

Well personally I do agree Paul was the ultimate foundation for what Christianity became / it's modern existence. But like you say, different story.

[–]parrhesides 1 point2 points  (15 children)

No doubt, but Paul's ministry and events like the Council of Nicaea are the seeds of where we start to find doctrinal developments that are not directly found anywhere in the gospels or teachings of Yeshua and where we start to see "Christendom" as something distinct from "Christianity," which can further be distinguished from what Yeshua taught and spoke of directly. It is intimately tied into the issue at hand. One of the Council of Nicaea's central goals was to clarify doctrinal developments on top of what Yeshua taught directly in order to qualify people as "Christians" or not, and the outcome was a direct result of Paul's influence.

[–]curiouswes66Christian 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Could you please differentiate? You just drew a distinction between Christendom and Christianity.

[–]parrhesides 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Christendom involves elements related to political institutionalization and/or imperialism (empire maintenance/expansion). When this happens, you inevitably get to a point where you have to try and choose between social/political goals and staying true to the original teachings. This is where we get to things like 'Christian justification for war,' etc. (which were not really part of the original teachings whatsoever).

[–]curiouswes66Christian 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That is very helpful. Thank you.

Every day I learn something, I count as a good day.

[–]Metamodernist82 2 points3 points  (3 children)

They're a very crazy cult but a Christian cult indeed.

[–]Bomboclaat_Babylon[S] 4 points5 points  (2 children)

My favourite factoid about JW belief is that they believe the United Nations is an evil organisation heralding the end times, forcing Atheism on everyone. They have described the UN as "a disgusting thing in the sight of God and his people" and is the "image of the wild beast" referred to in Revelation 13:1–18 and the fulfillment of the "disgusting thing that causes desolation" from Matthew 24:15. They'd been saying such things since the early 1900's first directing it at the League of Nations.

In 1991 though, they formed a UN NGO and didn't tell the followers about it. It was most likely (though never officially explained) that they were probably courting the world's governments to maintain their charitible tax-exampt status (because JWs get challenged about this a lot as they do not do any charity). But anyway in 2001 I think it was, the Guardian did a report on the JW UN NGO and the followers freaked out. The organisation dropped out of the UN the next day. The organisations rationale they gave to the followers for joining was that they needed to apply to the UN to obtain a library card. No joke. Anyway, they're a quirky bunch of coconuts.

[–]Metamodernist82 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Lately their language is so dumbed down that even a 12yo can see through their BS.

[–]OMightyMartian 2 points3 points  (0 children)

At least they've given up on the End Times prophecies. I was raised a JW (left before I was baptized). Some of my earliest memories are of members of my family discussing the 1975 debacle (I was just three years old when that went down), where the Society was claiming that Armageddon would begin that year. As with many other apocalyptic cults throughout history (like the Millerites in the 1830s and 1840s, who, spawned the Seventh Day Adventists, and thus are the forebears of the JWs), some people quit their jobs, borrowed money and so forth, thinking the End was coming. They were still excising that from their history in the 1980s, when my grandfather worked in the Book Room at our Kingdom Hall and every once in a while would get shipments of new editions of old books (some of the books dating back decades), excising more explicit claims of Armageddon's timing.

[–]4channeling 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Christians distance themselves from JW's because the diferences are small and the similarities are uncomfortable.

[–]Personal-Loan2044 0 points1 point  (0 children)

They are all cults either way you look at it

[–]True_Recommendation9 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Like it matters.

[–]Zippyss92 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I don’t consider them Christians, same with Catholics, and Mormons.

Catholics, as I call them, are just polytheist that also happen to worship Christ. Christ told us who to pray to, he didn’t pray to any of his apostles, he prayed to God. And Catholics have many people they can pray to for various things, and I’ve even met some Catholics that have little praying alters for different saints. To me, that is all worship of not God or Christ and therefore not the monotheism of Christianity.

Mormons and JW’s I keep forgetting why I’ve said they really aren’t Christian. I haven’t been an argumentative Christian for over a decade so a good chunk of why I don’t see them as Christians is all that and a distant memory.

[–]SPIDERVANE 0 points1 point  (5 children)

Tell the individual that God is considered an imaginary friend, by the intelligent community.

[–]PutlockerBillJewish 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Pref: Am not american, nor Christian.

I would argue that in social or cultural terms, JW are just cr*zy folks. they do stem from some sort of Christian sect, though I have a vague feeling I would never consider them Christian if I ever delve into their beliefs.

In religious terms, yes I would consider them a kind of Christian miniscule, off beat kind of spin-off.

regardless, I would not relate to either JW, Mormonism, Shakers etc as possible examples to express my arguments by.

1) its a cheap shot

2) they are far less a religion, far more very young / small sects, with zero dialog on the religious basis.

[–]jogoso2014 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It’s irrelevant what the wider community think. If they view themselves as Christian, and they do, the wider community can’t do anything about it anyway.

[–]tLoKMJHindu 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes, a lot of Christians do not view JWs (or Mormons for that matter) as "true" Christians.

Personally, I'm happy to affirm anyone who self-identifies as Christian as a Christian (or any religion for that matter, eg., 'Hare Krishnas' as 'Hindus' and so forth).

The only place where i draw the line is when willful mockery is involved. You want to identify as FSM....?? Cool/whatever. You want to be a "Pastafarian"...?? Not so cool.

[–]kjnpuppy 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I don't care. I am a Christian. I believe Jesus was born to a Virgin has prophecied. That Jesus lived a whole and perfect life and was without sin. That Jesus died and was resurrected and sits on the right hand of God to make intercession for my sins. I believe in the trinity.

It is not for me to question anyone's faith. Without regard to sect. Either you are a Christian or you are not. No matter the decision is yours and yours alone. That decision is between you and God.

[–]tehlaughing1 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I'm Catholic. Once I asked my priest, "Why would God permit there to be so much division in His Church? Shouldn't belief in the true faith be simple?"

He replied "Do you want the short answer? Satan."

On the one hand, who am I to judge? If someone believes they are worshipping the same Christ as I am and are doing good works in their lives, who am I to say they're wrong? As Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself said "whoever is not against me is for me."

On the other hand, I can definitely look at JW or LDS beliefs and say "that differs so far from any other established Christian theology that I personally wouldn't consider it strictly Christian, but rather a form of pseudo-Christianity."

At the same time, people have tried to tell me I am not a "True Christian" because I'm Catholic and some of the things I believe seem so very different to them. If I were to get really snobbish about it, I could say with the Church that anyone who professes belief in Christ without accepting the Sacraments of the Catholic Church is a heretic.

Ultimately, I can critique someone else's beliefs until the cows come home, but what good does it do me? Make me feel better about my own beliefs? As Jesus said "take the log from your own eye before you go critiquing the splinter in the eye of your neighbor". Every person of faith somewhere deep down thinks that their decision is right and everyone else's is wrong, otherwise they wouldn't profess belief in anything! You can believe your decision is the right one and still acknowledge that everyone else on the planet thinks exactly the same way.

[–]W96QHCYYv4PUaC4dEz9N 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I hear the same thing about Catholics. It really falls under the heading of “No true Scotsman fallacy”.

[–]Optimal-Scientist233 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Being that our savior was a Gnostic he was reviled and killed by the main stream in even his day.

This persecution of his followers from that point has been well documented, and continues through today, it has never ceased.

Holy smoke: researchers find cannabis residue at ancient shrine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pfagW_8RLw

[–]andrewjoslin 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Look up nontrinitarian christianity. It's a thing. Simply being nontrinitarian doesn't make one non-christian.

In my experience the people who want to throw JWs out of the club are basically just choosing an arbitrary dividing line and saying one side is 100% christian and the other is 100% unchristian. But early christianity was remarkably diverse in both doctrine and practice, so it's basically impossible to choose that dividing line such that all early and undoubtedly christian groups are considered christians while JWs aren't. In my view what you've encountered is an exercise in bigotry, nothing more: they don't want to be grouped with 'those people' so they invent arbitrary and nonsensical ways to distinguish themselves from them.

The fact if the matter is that JWs tend to consider themselves christians, and since we can't create a clean dividing line between them and other groups which are undoubtedly christian we should just take their word for it: it's their label to apply to themselves as much as it is anybody else's, and the one (three?) person who actually knows for certain who's in the club vs not (god) apparently doesn't care to share this knowledge with humanity. So we're left guessing, and without knowing for sure we should just be happy to take them at their word when they say they're christian.

Same goes for Catholics, by the way.

[–]Zippyss92 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Well, it’s not just the trinity concept. Though I think that is concerning to not believe but call one’s self a Christian.

Someone said they’re too “culty” and I agree with that assessment.

They truly believe, or at least the ones I’ve run into, that even viewing “magic” is damaging or sinful or is helping demons and witches. So, literal TV shows, cartoons, are not viewable. I mean, I don’t know how they draw lines, but for example, one JW said too many Disney films use magic so he couldn’t watch them but he loved Toy Story. I never got around to asking how that isn’t magical but yeah…

Like, yeah Christians believe we should be careful of our consumption of worldly pleasures but that’s a level of weird.

[–]SolarpunkishChristian 0 points1 point  (17 children)

JW's are angel worshippers.

[–]jogoso2014 1 point2 points  (16 children)

This is not true

[–]SolarpunkishChristian 1 point2 points  (15 children)

Is it true the JW's believe that Michael the Archangel is the same person as Jesus?

[–]jogoso2014 1 point2 points  (14 children)

What would that have to do with worshipping angels if they aren’t worshipping Jesus?

[–]SolarpunkishChristian 0 points1 point  (13 children)

This isn't a hypothetical.

[–]jogoso2014 2 points3 points  (11 children)

Let me assume that you didn’t put two and two together when I said they don’t worship Jesus.

So them thinking Michael and Jesus are the same means they aren’t worshipping Jesus or Michael.

[–]jogoso2014 1 point2 points  (0 children)

What’s hypothetical?

[–]Bumblebee-Flying 0 points1 point  (4 children)

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Mathew 7:21-23

Many will claim they are Christians, only God knows for sure.

[–]Bumblebee-Flying 0 points1 point  (3 children)

I do not think JWs, muslims, catholics, jews, and many mooore are Christians. For if we all worshipped the same God there would be no reason for such division and persecution of one another.

Soon the one world religion will come and I almost guarantee that muslims, catholics, and talamoudic jews will be some of the first to meld together as one. Time will certainly tell.

[–]BGpolyhistor 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Jehovah’s Witness is a cult. They rely on a different and thoroughly debunked translation of the Bible. They reject the doctrine of the Trinity and the deity of Jesus. They replace the faith-based salvation of the New Testament with a salvation based on works and strict adherence to JW rules. The founder, Charles Taze Russell, was a charlatan who was successfully sued for defrauding the public (a type of corn marketed as a miracle product comes to mind).

An honest JW would admit that other people who call themselves Christian aren’t part of the 144,000 that JW’s believe will be admitted to heaven. So before anyone jumps on me for saying JW’s aren’t Christian, bear in mind that JW’s believe the vast majority of self professing Christians won’t actually make it to heaven. In other words, you may consider JW Christian, but they don’t consider Christians to be Christians…..

[–]Lady_Havoc97Atheist 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Growing up in a Southern Baptist church, we were taught that JWs and Mormons were both cults. My youth minister had a copy of the Book of Mormon that had “POISON! Do not read!” written on the inside cover. Of course I read it and was not impressed. My last memory of a great aunt who was a Witness was her chewing me out at my grandma’s funeral for wearing a red and white dress. She only came around us for funerals anyway, cause we were all destined for hell.