DFW Theology & Apologetics Meetup Message Board › Can you be a Christian without being a disciple of Jesus?

Can you be a Christian without being a disciple of Jesus? (Can you be a "Carnal Christian"?)

Todd H.
Group Organizer
Bedford, TX
Post #: 41
I've recently been talking to a couple of guys from a church in the area that teaches that someone can be a Christian (saved) but not be a "disciple" of Jesus (i.e., someone who takes obedience to Christ seriously).

According to these guys, there are three possible paths that people can take:

Path 1 -- Reject Jesus (in which case one would experience the wrath of God and go to Hell).

Path 2 -- Come to Christ and Disobey Him (they would call these Christians "Carnal Christians"). (Jesus is one's Savior but not one's Lord).

Path 3 -- Come to Christ and Obey Him (they would call these Christians "disciples" or perhaps "Spiritual Christians"). (Jesus is one's Savior and Lord.)

According to these people, there would be very little difference in in the life of someone on Path 1 and someone on Path 2. However, they believe that it is a violation of the Bible's teachings to assume that someone in disobedience to God is not "saved." They don't entertain the possibility of "false converts" to Christ.

What are your thoughts on the idea of the "Carnal Christian"? A popular way that this is expressed is that Jesus can be someone's "Savior" but not necessarily one's "Lord". Do you think that the Bible teaches this idea? If so, where are the scriptures to support it? When I asked these guys for scriptural support, there was either none cited or a huge generality (such as "Read the book of 1 Corinthians").

This conversation is timed perfectly with the lesson(s) that I'm about to teach in Bible study pertaining to Jesus' requirements for discipleship (at the end of Luke 14). When you read Luke 14, do you get the impression that Jesus is presenting an "option" for Christians or do you think he is giving a command? (You can probably guess my opinion already).

What are y'all's thoughts?

A former member
Post #: 3
The word "Christian" started out as an insult. to the Jewish followers of Jesus It means "Followers of Christ" I Do not see how you can be "Christian" and not be a "Follower" of Jesus.

it sounds like they may be more spiritual may be more akin to the thoughts of a Buddhist mentality, without knowing it.

just my 2 cent.
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