For the first time, I have received a response in the form of three excellent questions referencing my previous Blog. I have included links to my other pages to expand upon any points that I discuss. I do hope that my careful answers clarify any omissions that occurred from my previous posting. The bold face type sentences are the from the youth in the order that I received them. These were challenging queries and I enjoyed the arduous time that was spent in creating a coherent response. I have separated the sentences to facilitate an understanding of my responses and points.
What has convinced you that the title Christian should only be applied to those who have received the chrism?
The names of various denominations such as Lutherans, Wesleyans, Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons give an indication that they are followers of Martin Luther, the brothers Wesley, the Old Testament Demiurge and the Book of Mormon.
Reasoning convinced me that the followers of Jesus should be called “Jesus-sim” or “Jesus-ite” or any name that gives an indication that Jesus is an aspect of their external teaching.
However, the name of Christianity indicates something beside Jesus.
People received the chrism as a symbolic reference to the belief that Jesus was the "anointed one" or the prophesied messiah.
I do not know that “the chrism” was “a symbolic reference to the belief that Jesus was the "anointed one" or the prophesied messiah”. If the ancient belief was, in fact, that chrism makes a Christian, then the symbolism that we take for granted today is applied retroactively. It would follow that the initiated would know of Jesus, but the outside world would not have any idea of Jesus.
An example of applying our knowledge retroactively- Today we know that Jesus was crucified between two other criminals and Roman soldiers were present. However, a perusal of “Crucified for us” shows that as recently as the 1400 and 1500's, artists did not consistently depict the crucifixion in the manner that we would expect. To be more explicit, the artists did not know the story as we know it today or they would have been uniform in their paintings. The conclusion that is drawn from this is that the story was still evolving, that is, more details are being added to the basic idea of a crucifixion.
At the page “John the Baptist”, we seen John with a staff in the form of the cross or John holding a lamb. Today we know these symbolize Jesus, however at that time the cross and the lamb must have been emblems identifying John. One painting has John present at the Crucifixion who, we all know today, was beheaded previous to the Crucifixion.
One aspect of “The Gravity of Sin” shows the criminal charges against Jesus were initially nonexistent and have also changed over time as the story evolved.
The conclusion that people received chrism because of a belief in Jesus is neither unfounded nor certain. Therefore, we must look at the whole church, and not chrism alone or philology, to reach an informed conclusion.
Wouldn't it then follow that it is actually the belief in Jesus as the messiah which makes someone a Christian?
You are correct that this would be the logical deduction and this what everyone in the Modern world knows, namely that Christianity is a belief system. However, historically this is not true.
The statement “actually the belief in Jesus as the messiah” is vague. The Jews, whose religion expects the Messiah to return Israel and defeat her enemies and setup of a government of God, know that Jesus did not do this. The Jews will backslide to Moloch, Baal and paganism, but they will not convert to Christianity. If Christians believe in Jesus as the Messiah as the Jews do, then the Christians are erroneous in their belief since there is no Messianic kingdom in existance. Therefore, Christianity can not be a belief in Jesus as Messiah in the Jewish expectations of a Messiah. Messiah in the Christian sense must mean something else.
Perhaps you meant to state “the belief in Jesus as Savior which makes someone a Christian.” On closer examination, that does not make any sense and I am glad that it was not written. “The belief in Savior as Savior” or “The belief in Jesus as Jesus” does not give us any more information concerning Christian beliefs. Neither does this tell us Savior of what nor Savior from what.
If only a belief in Jesus were needed to be a Christian, then the church is not unnecessary. The standard for being a Christian would be lowered and anyone can be a Christian. Baptism, chrismation, confession and communion become superfluous, if all one needs is a belief in Jesus.
The Nicene creed of 325 AD is compared with the Constantinopolitan Creed of 381 here. The creed is recited by the faithful. Neither of the two creeds even imply anything about a the Messiah or any knowledge of Judaism and the second creed adds the word “crucified”. One wonders why the second creed was needed at all after 300 years. It seems that the story was still evolving at that late date.
If the faithful never received chrism and only Jesus was anointed, then “Christianity” would point to only one person. Since all the faithful (not called the saved since neither the Greek nor Roman churches knows who will be saved) receive chrismation, the name “Christian” applies not to a belief system which can and does change from place and time, but to one physical act. The changing beliefs include, but are not limited to, which versions of books, and their variants, should be in the Bible, how the Crucifixion should be depicted and which emblems allude to John the Baptist. If belief in Jesus makes a Christian and we only know Jesus from the Bible and not from the church, then we can confidently conclude that was no belief in Jesus before 1516, when Erasmus created the Bible. This conclusion is absurd, but logically follows when one uses faith as the standard of Christianity and not church membership.
If I am wrong in my conclusions, gentle reader, it will not be the first time nor, gladly, the last time. Although as a Capricorn, I detest being wrong, however I will always admit a mistake or error of fact when it is brought to my attention. I do this not from a sense of justice, but because I will not deny reality. I learn from my experiences. As an occult researcher, I am always fearful of reaching an incorrect conclusion, due to the nebulous nature of my studies. Since there is no universally recognized authority for such subjects that I can appeal to correct my errors, I am grateful to those that have assisted my endeavors. And ingratitude is not a Capricornian trait.