I guess the meaning of a true Christian depends on one's definition. Does
true Christian mean one who understands and accepts and acts righteously
on all the things Christ teaches to the smallest minutiae? If so, then
NONE of us are true Christians, even in the LDS Church, except Jesus
himself.

If it means those who have achieved full sanctification in Christ, then
few are true Christians, even in the LDS Church.

If it means those who will eventually receive exaltation, then it means
only some in the LDS Church are true Christians.

If it means those who are considered at least honorable by God (DC 76),
then all heading toward the Terrestrial and Celestial are true
Christians. These are, in fact described as 'children of Christ' in a few
areas of the scriptures.

If it means any who will receive a level of salvation thanks to Christ's
atonement, then most all are true Christians (even many Buddhists and
Hindus, etc).

So, before any of us less than perfect people try to proclaim such a
strong statement as some have given, how about defining just which one of
these definitions you are using. Otherwise, you are painting with a very
broad brush against those who Christ himself may consider his children.

I just read chapter 21 in the Harold B Lee manual again. Something
interesting he mentions about the "pure in heart" is that they look for
the good in those around them. I hope I can someday obtain to that level
by seeking to find the good and beauty in the world and mankind, and not
be so judgmental (and that includes with people like Bill Clinton and
Adolph Hitler, where possible).  I really need to separate acts from
individuals.  Do I think there are some true Christians outside the LDS
Church? Yes, I do. I think they are all on a spiritual journey, just as I
am. Some just haven't had the blessing of hearing the gospel yet, but
still merit Christ's blessings for accepting what they have accepted.

Otherwise, I must make being a 'true Christian' so perfect and out of
reach that there isn't any hope for any of us. Christ is all about hope
and gathering of his people. He calls all people to him, to the extent
that he offers salvation to all, and gives each as much salvation as they
will accept. While some wish for a vengeful god to destroy their enemies,
I am thankful for a merciful God who will gently take me up in his arms.
For me to have such mercy, I too must be merciful, which I admit isn't an
easy thing for me. But I'm learning...

Maybe someday I can become a true Christian in John's definition. Until
then, I'm glad that Christ accepts me with all the shades of gray and
excess baggage I carry with me.

K'aya K'ama,
Gerald/gary  Smith    gszion1 @juno.com    http://www
.geocities.com/rameumptom/index.html
"No one is as hopelessly enslaved as the person who thinks he's free."  -
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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