What does it mean to be a Christian: Gnostic vs. Pistic by Daniel Murray

Essay by ruin204University, Bachelor'sA, December 2004

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What does it mean to be a Christian? Does it mean that you believe in Jesus, born from the Virgin Mary and accept him as the only begotten Son of God? Does it mean that you have been baptized, confirmed, and share in the eucharis? Maybe it means you believe in one Father, creator of Heaven and Earth who sent his only son, Jesus to die for the world's sins, and that only those who believe in Jesus are saved from the fires of hell? Or maybe there is something more, maybe there is something which has not been included in acceptable teachings of the so called Universal (Catholic) Church.

I grew up in an agnostic house, we went to Christian church from time to time but no religion had ever been forced upon me. At a very early age though I felt a connection with God and developed a personal belief that God existed inside of me, was love, and would simply judge me for how I treated others.

I can't say that I was what you would call "a good kid" growing up, but I tried my hardest to stand up for what I believed was right and to try and figure out what was truly real in this world. I signed up for the Army as soon as I was able, hoping to make a difference in the world by serving something that I believed was righteous. During basic training we were given the option every Sunday to either go to church or clean bathrooms, it was in no way a difficult choice to make. So I went, every Sunday, and while most people tried to sleep I would listen. I enjoyed hearing the sermons and within a few months I found myself in line to be...