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Is the simple description of the site as considering any group that calls themselves Christian to be Christians too broad?

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A certain semi-troll like user can be dealt with by emphasising the word group in any group that calls themselves Christian. There should be no need to change the definition for that purpose.

The case of actual troll or parody groups, which you worry about in a comment, can be dealt with if it actually happens. I see little point in worrying about it beforehand.

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I would just use the Merriam-Webster definition, because I am American, and I speak that way.

Christian

a (1) one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ
b (1) : DISCIPLE 2
(2) : a member of one of the Churches of Christ separating from the Disciples of Christ in 1906
(3) : a member of the Christian denomination having part in the union of the United Church of Christ concluded in 1961

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Given a certain semi-troll like user and the potential for future abuse, I would suggest that we should clarify the definition of Christianity for the purposes of the site as any group of people that claim to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and refer to themselves as Christian. I'm not aware of any significant group which claims the name Christian and doesn't argue that they follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, even if the meaning of those teachings may be hotly contested.

This is the broadest general definition that anyone thinks of when you mention Christianity and to allow people to answer from their own perspective by simply saying "I call myself Christian even though I think Jesus Christ was a load of bollox, so here is my feelings" and then giving an answer that is completely unrelated to any group calling themselves Christian in a context that remotely resembles what people think of as if it was a standard view.

It doesn't add anything to the site and only serves to confuse people when someone plays this kind of semantics game and tries to conceal that that is what they are doing. Currently the way the site defines scope, they are technically allowed to do this and it isn't productive or helpful to anyone who is looking for answers to what different groups think about the religious spectrum founded around the teachings of Jesus Christ.

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  • Well, we also have the requirement that answers be supported with outside references. That pretty much obviates the need to define "Christian" more narrowly. That also takes care of that certain semi-troll-like user. Besides, countering violations of the spirit of the law by making the wording of the law stricter probably won't really help... Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 17:48
  • Fair point. In the case of an individual troll it doesn't matter so much, but something along the lines of Flying Spaghetti monster could pop up that decides to say they are "Christian" and then there would be external references. It may be premature to deal with it now before it is a problem though. I mostly was just hoping for something more concrete to point trolls to as why we can define them as trolling without falling back to the site policies for defense, particularly when it is highly confusing to those who aren't familiar with their antics. Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 17:50

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