I do not avoid the consideration, yet, dare not attempt to define ‘what is a Christian’ pertaining to others. I think I am best served to focus on my own repentance and allow God to define it in my own heart pertaining to myself. I should speak my understanding of the Truth and pray God reveals Himself to others in His way for their heart to accept and understand. Thy will be done and Lord knows I cannot always discern what or how that goes down for myself much less others.
With that said I do believe in Baptism and Baptismal regeneration (though perhaps not to the fullness of an Orthodox? IDK yet) though constantly find myself reminded of the thief on the cross. In the end is it not God that defines this as it is God that instills His Spirit in our hearts?
I have and do profit from the following definition though of ‘an altogether Christian’. I presume as this is the ‘Orthodox-Other’ board it is permissible to post from a non Orthodox source. If that is improper to anyone please allow me to apologize in advance. The quote is from a John Wesley sermon ‘The Almost Christian’ and to my limited knowledge I don’t think it conflicts with Orthodoxy to any great length. I would be grateful to know if it did.
Yea, our Lord himself declares, "He that believeth in the Son hath everlasting life; and cometh not into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life."
But here let no man deceive his own soul. "It is diligently to be noted, the faith which bringeth not forth repentance, and love, and all good works, is not that right living faith, but a dead and devilish one. For, even the devils believe that Christ was born of a virgin: that he wrought all kinds of miracles, declaring himself very God: that, for our sakes, he suffered a most painful death, to redeem us from death everlasting; that he rose again the third day: that he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father and at the end of the world shall come again to judge both the quick and dead. These articles of our faith the devils believe, and so they believe all that is written in the Old and New Testament. And yet for all this faith, they be but devils. They remain still in their damnable estate lacking the very true Christian faith."
"The right and true Christian faith is not only to believe that Holy Scripture and the Articles of our Faith are true, but also to have a sure trust and confidence to be saved from everlasting damnation by Christ. It is a sure trust and confidence which a man hath in God, that, by the merits of Christ, his sins are forgiven, and he reconciled to the favour of God; whereof doth follow a loving heart, to obey his commandments."
Peace & Grace