One may also ask, "to what extent is it appropriate to refer to those outside the Church as Christian?"
I agree. And I think that anyone who tries to characterize what you're saying as uncharitable is misinterpreting your post.
I think it could be uncharitable, although it could be not mainly out of uncharitability, but just a definition of Christianity
"Self-identifying" as Christian isn't enough. Some sort of working definition needs to be established for the purposes of discussion.If I don't believe the Lord Jesus is God in the Flesh, rose from the dead, or even worked any miracles, but I follow His "moral teachings" a la Jefferson's The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth am I a Christian?
I think so, you are follower of Christ.If I don't believe in the Holy Trinity and claim such a concept is foreign to the New Testament am I a Christian?
I think you are follower of Christ.If I incorporate spirit possession and other polytheistic practices into my "worship" and cloak it in a Christian veneer, am I a Christian?
This sounds like the [crazy?] Charismatic movement in the Catholic Church. If it is just incorporation of bad practices, but faith is Christian, I think still Christian you are.If I believe that Our Lord Jesus Christ came back again as Haile Selassie, am I a Christian?
It seems not, because you are follower of combined Selassie-Jesus, and I think that has been infiltrated too much by another person. it's not just rejection of doctrines, you are following another person as if Jesus. It's arguable you are Christian, but I think no.If I am a polygamist because I think such a thing is a "Biblical concept which Jesus never specifically removed" am I a Christian?
I think so, just following ecil practices.If I "follow Jesus but not the distortions of Paul or Constantine" am I a Christian?
Yep.If I believe that the Bible forbids "interracial" relationships and that God made some "races" better than others, am I a Christian?
Yeah, but you need help on this.
If I believe that I can be a Christian and simultaneously be a Mason, a Skull & Bones member, or a "Christian Buddhist" am I a Christian?
Not a very consistent one in practice, but if you do believe in Jesus and not in Jebulon (Masons' God), then yeah.
If I believe that Jehovah is a man who lives on another planet and came down to "father" the Lord Jesus in a conventional human manner, am I a Christian?
This is so different than Jesus, and the writings they use are so different than the Bible, that it's as if they are not talking about the same human being.
So in conclusion, the idea of Rastafarians and Mormons actually is so distant from the human person Jesus, that I think no. At least with Jefferson and JWs, they have the right human being in mind. They do put themselves under the person who was Jesus, even if their understanding or obedience is very confused or wrong. With Rastafarians and Mormons they actually are not under the same person- the Rastas have combined Him with another human individual, and the Mormons as you said are talking of someone from another planet, not someone from Bethlehem and heaven. So it's just that they do not think of the person Jesus with wrong understanding, they are thinking of someone physically different.
Meanwhile, I think that Arians, Jehovah's witnesses, and now that I think of it, even Muslims are Christians because they follow the person who is Christ. However, they have very wrong understandings about who he is (they don't believe He is fully God, I think), and they also have wrong scriptures. But we can go to Bethlehem, the Theotokos, and His birth, and I think Muslims and JWs would say, yes, that's Him, we follow Him.
But with Rastas, they would say here's Selassie physically, this is physically Jesus, and the answer is No, He isn't. And with Mormons, you would go looking for Jesus at time of His birth on another planet and wouldn't find his physical body there. Also, if Masons do in fact deny Christ (I have heard this is in their writings someplace), then they aren't Christian. Also, if they worship Jebulon as a combination of ancient deities, then it seems their God isn't the same one as Christianity's, Islam, or Judaism's, it is actually a combination of non-Jehovah deities.
Further, Satanism and Scientology are not "churches." One is the opposite of a church and the other is a tax scheme with a "crossed-out cross" and explicit satanic origins- a strong statement but this is very strongly the hidden case!