ON THIS PAGE
PART I - Defining The Word
The word Christian is not a broad, all-inclusive term
Only The Bible Can Define The Word
The terms Christian, saint and believer originated with the Bible which is why
only the Bible can tell us exactly what the words mean.
Can a Person Be Born a Christian?
The short answer is "no!"
PART II - What a "Christian" Isn't HERE
Among other things, reading your Bible everyday, attending church or even praying doesn't make you a Christian.
And certainly no one who dabbles in the occult, or flirts with other religions can be called a 'Christian'.
PART I - Defining The Word
The Word "Christian" Is Not a Broad, All-inclusive Term
Unfortunately, the definition has become so all inclusive that it has been rendered almost meaningless. The site debunking-christianity.com offers up their definition of what a Christian is,
"We accept as Christian any individual or group who devoutly, thoughtfully, seriously, and prayerfully regards themselves to be Christian. That is, they honestly believe that they follow Yeshua of Nazareth's (a.k.a. Jesus Christ's) teachings as they understand them to be."
The article goes on to say "Other individuals and groups have much narrower definitions of the term. They often believe that their faith group is the "true" Christian religion, and that others are in error'.
As a by the way, in an astounding display of ignorance they add
Throughout the second half of the first century CE, the Christian religion was divided into three main main religious movements: the Gnostics, Jewish Christians, and Pauline Christians. Gnostic Christians still survive today. All of the rest of today's Christian faith groups trace their history back to the Pauline Christian movement. 
The biggest split is between the Catholic / Orthodox churches (the latter often described by nationality or geography) and the Protestant denominations rooted in the Reformation. Protestants are unfortunately split up into a large number of denominations most of whom hold the Bible to be both inspired and inerrant. However, for the most part they are agreed on the fundamentals of faith such as the nature of God and Jesus Christ, the virgin birth, salvation, the atonement and resurrection etc.
Christian or Cultist?
But to return to the first half of the definition. If "any individual or group who devoutly, thoughtfully, seriously, and prayerfully regards themselves to be Christian" is to be considered a Christian we would have to include the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons); the Jehovah's Witnesses (Latter Day Saints), the Seventh Day Adventists, Christian Science etc. etc.
Most of of these organizations have teachings and practices that are contrary to what the Scriptures thus can hardly be called "Christian". The deviations include
Adding to the word of God often in the form of other books which they often claim were given to their leaders by supposedly angelic beings
Their teachings often detract from the Deity of Christ who is portrayed by at least one group as a created being.
They tend to impose on their followers a number of requirements by which pardon from sin and eternal life is to be obtained.
In some cases questioning the 'anointed' leaders is akin to questioning God Himself.
See Section on Cults
The second half of the definition says
"they honestly believe that they follow Yeshua of Nazareth's (a.k.a. Jesus Christ's) teachings as they understand them to be".
The problem being that the Bible cannot be interpreted however the reader wishes to.
The meaning of any Biblical passage was determined by the original author, and unless the original author was double-minded (which would render him very unreliable and someone we can safely ignore), he would not have intended to convey more than one meaning. Therefore, "interpretation" has to be strictly limited to the meaning that the original author intended to convey, and it is our job as readers to discover what that meaning is.
Someone's wrong 'understanding' of a Biblical passage does not change the fact that every single Biblical text has only one legitimate meaning and therefore only one legitimate interpretation. You have the "right" to interpret Biblical text any way you want, but that does not change the fact that your interpretation is either right or wrong. See Context is CRUCIAL
When all is said and done words say what words say.
Here is a very simple example. The book of Isaiah, chapter 43, verse 10, has God Himself saying... "Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me". This is a very simple sentence that even a child can understand Yet, the Mormons teach that everyone can become a "god".
Only The Bible Can Define The Word 'Christian'
Christianity did not originate with nor is defined by any organization or group but finds its source in what God Himself has said... the Bible. Therefore, a person can be a Christian/disciple of Christ without any affiliation to church or denomination. However, those who abandon religion in favor of a 'personal spirituality' usually tend to make up their own spiritual path (hence the word "personal") which, all too often, is in complete contradiction to what the word of God teaches.
Interestingly, Jesus never called his followers Christians and, except for Peter who used the term just once, the early church never referred to themselves as such. It was non believers in Antioch who first used the word to describe Jesus' followers (Acts 11:26) and King Agrippa did on one occasion (Acts 26:28).
The early church referred to themselves as saints, believers, bond-servants, brethren, disciples etc. terms that are synonymous with being a follower of Christ or a "Christian". Thus it is to the Bible that we have to turn to define what a follower of Christ entails.
Although people have the right to identify themselves any way they like it does not change the fact that "Christian" has a very precise meaning according to the Scriptures. If you have been clinging to one or more of the illusions listed below it is well time to stop fooling yourself and see what the Bible has to say in this regard.
The core beliefs of Christianity are summarized by 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. Jesus died for our sins, was buried then resurrected, and thereby offers salvation to all who will receive Him in faith. Yet, this is not all. There are additional details that are an integral part of the whole package. None are expendable. A Christian is a person who...
Believes the Bible is the inspired Word of God and the final authority in all matters of faith and practice (2 Timothy 3:16)
Believes that Jesus Christ, the Son of God came into the world to be the only Savior of sinners.
Has genuinely repented of his sins
Acknowledges Jesus to be Lord and wholly and unreservedly commits himself to Christ for as long as he lives.
Knows that 'without holiness' no one will see God.
Has been "born again" of the Holy Spirit into a new life (below)and has been baptized into the body of Christ.
Knows that at His second coming Christ will judge the living and the dead and set up His own eternal kingdom.
Christians also aim to tell others the good news that Jesus has provided a way to have their sins forgiven, be adopted into God's family and thus, heir to eternal life.
See Relevant Articles
Salvation... Chapters I-IV
A large percentage of the modern church will tell you that in order to receive salvation and eternal life, you merely have to "believe in Jesus Christ" or "receive Christ as your Savior". Unfortunately, although the words come from the Bible by themselves these instructions are horribly abbreviated. They neither tell you what you are saved from, and what you gain by being "saved". Nor do they accurately convey all that is involved in a person being saved.
Additionally, one often hears that salvation is a 'free' gift from God. But does the Bible actually say it is free or have we managed to latch on to (and spread) a completely erroneous idea? I am sure it will surprise many to hear that 'free' isnít in the original Greek and that the word 'gift' may not mean exactly what we have been led to believe.
Salvation involves more than simply affirming in one's mind that Jesus is Lord and Savior - Repentance and Faith are both absolute requirements for forgiveness. Salvation and eternal life do not come without anything being expected of us. To imagine that we can live our lives like the rest of the world, but still be welcome in God's presence, is little more than wishful thinking. The kingdom doesn't come cheap.
Besides which, Jesus is unquestionably Savior but what happened to acknowledging Him as Lord? Think of it like this... Why would Jesus want anyone in His kingdom when they show no allegiance to Him as King and do not bother to obey Him?
Is The Sinner's Prayer Effective?
Repentance ...The Missing Message
What you believe about Biblical repentance is, quite literally, a matter of life or death. Do not be fooled by the watered down Gospel message of just "believe and be saved"heard in so many churches today. On innumerable occasions, the Scriptures record God as warning that He will only have mercy on those whose repentance is real but will destroy those who do not repent and turn from their sin. Scripture presents Repentance and Faith not as the same thing but as two sides of the same coin. Quite simply, you can't believe without truly repenting.
What is Holiness?
In the 21st century, the word "holy" often conveys some very negative connotations - often used to describe someone who is self-righteous, smug, sanctimonious, goody-goody, priggish etc. Although to most Christians the word "holy" implies moral goodness this is only part of the meaning. It is essential to fully understand the Biblical meaning.
The Myth of Faith Alone
One of the greatest delusions in the Christian world is the belief that in order to be forgiven their sins and inherit eternal life all a person has to do is believe Jesus died for their sins on the cross. Even the suggestion that anything other than faith is required for salvation is not only militantly opposed by most of Christendom, but denounced as an unbiblical works based false teaching. But is this true?
Rewards in Heaven
Apparently there are those that will make it to heaven, but who have earned little or no additional rewards.
Can a Person Be Born a Christian?
It may surprise some to learn that a person is considered a Muslim if they are born into a Muslim family, a Hindu if they are born into a Hindu family etc. however, no one can be born a Christian. Note the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus a prominent Jew of the time (Emphasis Added)
Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."
Nicodemus *said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?"
Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
"Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' (John 3:1-7 NASB)
In other words, one cannot be a Christian unless one is spiritually re-born from above. Although the term 'born again' sounds more than slightly bizarre Jesus used this expression because as everyone on earth knows, it is birth that brings forth life. This should help explain why claiming to be a Christian or physically going through the motions (attending church, doing good deeds, praying etc.) is no where near enough.
And this is not the only place in the Bible that made it crystal clear that no one will see the kingdom of God unless they are begotten... or born again of God.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13 NASB)
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Corinthians 5:17 NASB)
Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him (Colossians 3:9-10 NASB)
You don't have to do any of the things people think they must do... get an education, get married, have children, carve out a career etc, and you don't have to have all of the things people think they must have... a home, a car etc. The one thing you have to do during your lifetime is be born again... your future for an entire eternity hangs on it.
But what exactly is involved in being "born again"?
Although there are as many explanations as there are preachers, being born again of God is commonly believed to be in a figurative rather than a literal sense.
But what if it is not?
What if this being born again by God involves very literal physical changes that leads to a total transformation of the person? If, as shown in the linked article, it is very likely that Adam and Eve's epigenome underwent some drastic changes, why wouldn't true Biblical repentance and a conscious decision to follow Christ result in God re-setting' the altered Epigenome which in essence would be a new birth from above. Something that Paul spoke about centuries ago but has been misunderstood ever since.
The New Birth
Will tell you something of what people experience,
Original Sin and Epigenetics
There may be solid scientific grounds for the born again transformation.
PART II - What a "Christian" Isn't
Unfortunately, over time, the word "Christian" has lost a great deal of its meaning and intent. According to polls, more than 80 percent of all Americans call themselves Christian, but far too many people do so on the basis that they are generally 'good' people who haven't actually murdered anyone or that they are "religious"/ have high moral values. If asked why they call themselves Christians, many people would give you one or more of the following reasons...
I believe in Jesus
I was born in a Christian country and/or raised in a Christian home
I am a member of a church and attend church services regularly.
I was baptized in a Christian church.
I responded to an altar call and even signed a card.
I made a decision for Christ/accepted Jesus as my "personal Savior"/prayed the Sinner's Prayer.
I read my Bible every day.
I keep the Ten Commandments, follow the Golden Rule and have read the Sermon on the Mount.
I live a good life and help people in need.
These answers fall into a few broad categories but what we need to do is see what the Scriptures say about each one.
A Basic Belief in God and/or Jesus:
A large number of non-believers know that someone called Jesus once lived. However, just as believing that Adolph Hitler once lived does not make you a Nazi, simply believing that Jesus did does not make you a Christian. In fact, the Scriptures themselves tell us that the devil himself believes in Jesus but it would be a very safe bet that he is not a Christian. There is a little more (okay! a lot more) to it than just believing certain things.
You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. (James 2:19 NASB)
Inheritance - (born into a Christian family/country)
As shown by the following verses the Bible teaches that a person does not become a child of God through heritage or connections. God adopts as His sons and daughters only those that believe in and follow Jesus.
Jesus to the Pharisees - and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father'; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. (Matthew 3:9 NASB)
Paul to the Corinthian Church - Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God. (1 Corinthians 7:19 NASB)
Paul to Roman believers - for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God's kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. (Romans 11:21-22 NASB)
Profession of Faith - Answering an altar call, signing a card, or praying a certain prayer)
The apostle James' argument was simple... people act according to their beliefs. He emphasized that there is more to faith than agreeing with a set of facts, or having the correct beliefs, since even demons have that. There is only one kind of saving faith... the one that obeys. Any other 'faith' is nothing more than paying lip service to the Gospel. In his classic and well known words, Christ's earthly brother wrote
What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, "You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works." You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? (James 2:14-19 NASB )
In short, if you do not obey and bear fruit... the Bible does not consider that you believe. It doesn't matter how much you move your mouth or how much emotion you stir up, it's what you do that counts.
Reading the Bible, Attending Church, Praying, Supporting Missions etc.
A number of Bible verses well demonstrate that a Christian is not simply a person who is active in religious matters nor one who does wonderful things in His name. Christianity starts with a changed heart that shows up in actions. God is simply not interested in rituals alone.
The Pharisees and some of the scribes gathered around Him when they had come from Jerusalem, and had seen that some of His disciples were eating their bread with impure hands, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they carefully wash their hands, thus observing the traditions of the elders; and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they cleanse themselves; and there are many other things which they have received in order to observe, such as the washing of cups and pitchers and copper pots.) The Pharisees and the scribes *asked Him, "Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?" And He said to them, "Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'this people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far away from me. 'but in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.' "Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men." He was also saying to them, "You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition. (Mark 7:1-9 NASB)
Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.' (Matthew 7:22-23 NASB)
Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: 'God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.' But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, the sinner!' I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted. (Luke 18:10-14 NASB)
The Scriptures are plain.... by themselves good works cannot gain salvation.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB). Also See Titus 3:5-7.
No One Who Dabbles In The Occult, or Flirts With Other Religions Can Be Called A 'Christian'
Most American adults self-identify as Christians. But in a December 9,2009 article the Washington, D.C.-based Pew Research Center noted that
"...large numbers of Americans engage in multiple religious practices, mixing elements of diverse traditions. Many say they attend worship services of more than one faith or denomination ó even when they are not traveling or going to special events like weddings and funerals. Many also blend Christianity with Eastern or New Age beliefs such as reincarnation, astrology and the presence of spiritual energy in physical objects. And sizeable minorities of all major U.S. religious groups say they have experienced supernatural phenomena, such as being in touch with the dead or with ghosts. 
Roughly one-quarter of adults express belief in tenets of certain Eastern religions; 24% say they believe in reincarnation (that people will be reborn in this world again and again), and a similar number (23%) believe in yoga not just as exercise but as a spiritual practice. Similar numbers profess belief in elements of New Age spirituality, with 26% saying they believe in spiritual energy located in physical things such as mountains, trees or crystals, and 25% professing belief in astrology (that the position of the stars and planets can affect peopleís lives). Fewer people (16%) believe in the "evil eye" or that certain people can cast curses or spells that cause bad things to happen to someone. 
See Reincarnation and Yoga And Christianity ... Are They Compatible?
From cover to cover, Biblical condemnation of 'other gods' is very strongly worded.... the penalty for flirting with other gods severe and anything that is opposed to the worship of a monotheistic God is singled out in the Bible as the most abominable of sins. In fact, the first two commandments state...
Then God spoke all these words, saying, "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. "You shall have no other gods before Me. "You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. "You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing loving kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. (Exodus 20:1-6 NASB)
Note: In order to correctly understand the last part about "visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me" See Generational Curses 2
Also Note: The English word "jealous" has changed in meaning over time. Although the words jealousy and envy have become synonymous in general modern usage they used to refer to different emotions.
Envy is when we covet another's qualities, talent, achievement, success, possessions, etc.
Jealousy, on the other hand, can mean we are vigilant in guarding something. For example, we are jealous of our good name. It can also mean being intolerant of disloyalty or infidelity and often occurs when a special relationship is threatened.
In other words, God does not want anything we have but demands exclusive devotion. Here are a few examples.
"You shall not follow other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who surround you, for the Lord your God in the midst of you is a jealous God; otherwise the anger of the Lord your God will be kindled against you, and He will wipe you off the face of the earth. (Deuteronomy 6:14-15 NASB)
"Beware that your hearts are not deceived, and that you do not turn away and serve other gods and worship them. "Or the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you, and He will shut up the heavens so that there will be no rain and the ground will not yield its fruit; and you will perish quickly from the good land which the Lord is giving you. (Deuteronomy 11:16-17 NASB)
Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was being provoked within him as he was observing the city full of idols. (Acts 17:16 NASB)
You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led. (1 Corinthians 12:2 NASB)
The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; (Revelation 9:20 NASB)
But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." (Revelation 21:8 NASB)
And in case you are wondering there is a very good reason for this ban. Ss we should know by now there is only one God , which means these other 'gods' are not gods at all. So what are they? See Idol Worship... The Spirits Behind The Idols
Sadly, even some so called orthodox Protestant churches have adopted some ideas that stem directly from the occult,
See The Modern Church's Literal Doctrines and Practices of Demons
End Notes (Chapter 15)
(01) Anonymous. Who or What is a Christian? https://www.debunking-christianity.com/2009/12/who-or-what-is-christian.html
(02) Pew Research Center. Many Americans Mix Multiple Faiths.
(03) Pew Research Center. Many Americans Mix Multiple Faiths.
Continue To Part 16: Myths And Misconceptions About Christianity
It is truly amazing how many people reject Christianity on grounds that have absolutely no basis in reality. Some of the misconceptions are that Christians suppressed the 'lost books of the Bible', all Christians are opposed to critical thinking and scientific investigation, Christianity is a crutch for the weak and stifles personal freedom... blah blah blah! All these erroneous notions stem from knowing too little and, in all likelihood, assuming too much about the religion. HERE