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Christian: Denominations?

Discussion in 'Same Faith Debates' started by Lindsey-Loo, May 11, 2006.

  1. onmybelief

    onmybelief Active Member

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    I did at one point go to an Episcopal Church (my knees hurt after every service! But that's not the reason I left the church.;) ) Now I am a Methodist.
     
  2. Abram

    Abram Abraham

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    [SIZE=+0]I go to many different churches, but my favorite is the Baptist. It might just be the preachers of those churches but their sermons are great.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=+0]So... if I had to choose call me Baptist. I don't know anything about be the first church or a splinter of a church but a good Baptist preacher will give ya goose bumps. [/SIZE]At least me!
     
  3. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    I don't belong to the same church as you to, but I agree with what you're saying. Jesus Christ established a Church while He was on Earth. Logically, it was the Church of Jesus Christ. Unlike you, however, I believe that it fell into apostasy and that Christ Himself restored it to the Earth. That's why my church is called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We believe it to be the same as the original Church of Jesus Chrst, but since these are believed to be the "latter-days," and since the early Christians were referred to by the Apostles as "saints," the last half of our name simply refers to those points. Even though it was restored through Joseph Smith, it's not the Smithian Church. :D Regardless of whom Christ worked through to restore it, it is still His Church and always will be.
     
  4. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    So would it be possible for you to explain the differences between the two? I would be interested in hearing them.
     
  5. onmybelief

    onmybelief Active Member

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    Well basically the theology of the two churches are the same, though with some minor details they disagree on like how to worship etc. But the Episcopal Church has some books in their Bible that Methodists do not have. Also I have found that Methodism is a bit more liberal in there views of how the Bible should be interpreted (not literally).

    I hope this answers your question, Katzpur.
     
  6. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    I didn't know that. So does the Episcopal Church use the Apocrypha or are you talking about something else?

    Are you saying that the Episcopal Church does interpret it literally, or did I get that backwards? I would think that the more liberal the viewpoint, the less literal the Bible would be interpreted.
     
  7. mormonman

    mormonman Ammon is awesome

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    Christ didn't set up 30 different churches, w/ 30 different doctrines. He established one Church, w/ one doctrine.
     
  8. jonny

    jonny Well-Known Member

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    Mormon or LDS. Take your pick.
     
  9. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    He established one ecclesia, or body of people, who espouse different doctrines in a wide array of healthy diversity.
     
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  10. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    The Episcopal Church accepts the apocryphal books as scripture, but only for edification -- not to establish doctrine.

    The Episcopal Church does not interpret the Bible literalistically. In fact, the Episcopal Church is quite liberal. They did consecrate a homosexual bishop, and they have consecrated female bishops, as well as female priests and deacons.
     
  11. lunamoth

    lunamoth Will to love

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    What sojourner said, but also I think you can find a wide range of beliefs in the Episcopal Church, with most of them tending toward the more progressive side. But certainly individuals are free to understand the Bible themselves, and you can find some churches that are very conservative. Some of these are even breaking away from the Episcopal Church because they are not as 'liberal' as the majority. In MO I was in a largish (for Episcopal churches) church much like all the other Episcopal Churches I've ever been part of, but right down the road there was a smaller Episcopal Church that was breaking away over the brouhaha concerning the ordination of our gay Bishop.

    One thing I find is an important difference between Methodist and Episcopal is that the Eucharist is the central event at every service in the Episcopal Church. Even in our small church it is offered at all three Sunday services and on Wednesdays. When I looked into the nearby Methodist Church (where my daughter goes to preschool and where they have lots more children's activities because they are so much bigger) I found that they only offer the Eucharist once a month.

    Actually, I thought that the Methodist church was more conservative/literal than the average Episcopal church, but perhaps it's just my limited exposure.

    lunamoth
     
  12. lunamoth

    lunamoth Will to love

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    As for your question Christiangirl about denomination'alism,' I agree with Karl. People are very diverse and I think the different denominations all provide different paths in Christ. Even non-denominationalism has become a kind of separation. Can't be helped. As soon as you seek to distinguish yourself for whatever lofty reason, bingo, an new division is made. Sure, we each think that the way WE do things is the right way, or the best way, and so it is, for us! The way I see it we are all parts of the Body of Christ, we all are important. Now, I know some denominations or groups tend to think that the rest of us are not really part of the Body, but oh well, they're not the ones determining my salvation anyway. That attitude always reminds me about the joke about someone getting a tour of heaven when they first arrive, and everything is beautiful and all, except that there's a huge walled fortress over and beyond the hill. What's that? the new arrival asks the angel and the angel replies, oh, that's for the XXX, they're not happy if they think anyone else is here...

    The problem is, as Dr. Malcom observes in Jurassic Park (the original), life breaks free. As soon as you start to view your laws and your doctrine as containment, rather than freedom, you're going to be tempted to start to enforce your laws and police your doctrine. You're going to be offended by someone who thinks differently than you, and you are not going to want to be associated with them, by sharing a denomination label or otherwise. But, Christ came to set us free. We often forget that.

    So, I agree with you Christiangirl that even though we appear to be split up into denominations we really are all One in Christ, whether we all happen to see it that way or not. In fact, I think the 'boundaries' of the Body of Christ are outside our view, and there are lots of people in the Kingdom who don't call themselves Christians.

    peace,
    lunamoth
     
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  13. CaptainXeroid

    CaptainXeroid Following Christ

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    Yeah! It's good to meet another Disciple on RF!:) Nice write up, and for once I have nothing to add.:D
     
  14. dawny0826

    dawny0826 Mother Heathen

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    Admiteddly, I haven't read from the link you posted but I wanted to comment that I've been thinking about this...and the more I think about it...

    I like to place more emphasis as being part of ONE SINGULAR BODY of Christ as opposed to a part of a religious denomination.

    I will say that my thoughts have turned to Catholicism a lot lately...many things that I discounted in the past are beginning to make a lot of sense to me now. Not that I'm stating...I'm in the mood to convert...

    I just see the Catholic church in a different light and have questions I didn't have before about Protestant history.
     
  15. EnhancedSpirit

    EnhancedSpirit High Priestess

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    Jesus' didn't tell us to build churches and convert people to Christianity. Jesus told us to go out and make disciples. He told us to help the poor, and feed the hungry, take care of the orphans and widows. Jesus didn't start any religion, he in fact talked about how religion gets corrupted. He talked about how the Jews paid so much attention to their 'rules' and 'traditions', but ignored the laws of God. Jesus said we are not to judge the unclean, but to help lift them up so they may be cleansed.

    Each church has their own doctrines, their own dogmas, their own traditions. Each of us seeks to remember our purpose. Religions are organized groups of people remembering and serving their purpose. (like groups of cells that form the liver, kidneys, hearts, lungs, etc.) For us to say that any one religion is better than another, is like the eyes saying they are better than the heart. And the skin cells cannot convince the heart cells to live by the rules of the skin, or to follow the life of a skin cell. Both the skin and the heart serve the same body, but they have very different rules to serve their purpose.
     
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  16. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Of course He did. At least He told Peter that He was going to. What makes you think He didn't?

    You're right there. The question is, is that what Christ intended when He built His Church?


    I disagree. The Church Jesus Christ established was based on the doctrines He personally taught. And those are the doctrines He wants us to know today. Our responsibility to to figure out who is teaching those doctrines today and who holds the authority He personally gave to Peter and His other Apostles. If the organization He established hadn't been important to Him, He would not have established it. He would not have established His Church in the first place, but would simply have told us to figure it out on our own and do our best. I certainly can't buy into the analogy that truth, as presented by God himself, is as relative as we feel like making it.
     
  17. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    E. S. said, "Jesus didn't start any religion, he in fact talked about how religion gets corrupted."

    Katz said, "Of course He did. At least He told Peter that He was going to. What makes you think He didn't?"

    Jesus didn't start a religion. Jesus was a Jew...he already had a religion.

    Jesus formed a church -- the word is ecclesia, and means "people." Jesus formed a community of people who followed his teachings.
     
  18. EnhancedSpirit

    EnhancedSpirit High Priestess

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    from:http://www.eyesalve.org/jesusistheway.htm
    Jesus told us we are to seek Knowledge of God through Him, that His Life is the only True Witness of God's Character:
    • "Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:5-6)
    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Monaco]Why, then, do we seek God by joining churches whose doctrines result from the studies of other men? Did Jesus want other men to tell us about Him and the Father? Wasn't that the major problem the Pharisees had, interpreting God's Word for themselves and then lording that interpretation over other men to the point where they oppressed men rather than enlighted them?[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Monaco]None of today's Christian churches agree on doctrine. The World Christian Encyclopedia (Ed. David Barret) says there are presentently over 33,000 different Christian denominations. [/FONT][FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Monaco]The Apostle Paul saw these schisms coming, and attempted to reason with believers regarding them:[/FONT]
    • [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Monaco]"Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?" [/FONT][FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Monaco](1 Corinthians 1:12-13)[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Monaco]People choose themselves to follow men. Men choose to lead people. This is a fundemental issue Jesus addressed in His teachings in order that we could discern our need for God at the end. Our preference for following men will be exposed by Jesus' own teachings which men have explained away and led His sheep from:[/FONT]
    • [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Monaco]"And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." [/FONT][FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Monaco](John 12:47-48)[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Monaco]Part of the purpose of Jesus' teachings and parables, as Jesus said Himself, was to divide us - to keep one man or one church from controlling all Knowledge of God available to men ever again. Read the article on The Twoedged Sword for more information on how and why this was done.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Monaco]God's opinion of men teaching other men about Him is plainly spoken in the Bible. Jesus' sacrifice was intended to end such practices, as outlined in the Covenant of Promise:[/FONT]
    • [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Monaco]"But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." [/FONT][FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Monaco](Jeremiah 31:33-34)[/FONT]
      [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Monaco][/FONT]
     
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  19. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Yes, Jesus formed a church, and I know what the Greek word is. Ecclesia is not a synonym for "people." It's a little bit more comprehensive than that. The people who affiliated with the Church He formed believed in the doctrines He taught. They didn't believe in the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture. That's all I'm saying.
     
  20. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Enhanced Spirit,

    Would it surprise you to know that I agree with much of what you have said? I am well-aware of how many Christian denominations there are in the world today, and I recognize the fact that no two of them teach exactly the same doctrines. It is, mathematically speaking, virtually impossible for any two of these churches to both be teaching exactly the same doctrines Jesus Christ taught when He established His Church here on Earth. It would therefore be safe to say that no two of them can possibly be 100% accurate, in terms of doctrine. I also realize that we should not rely on the teachings of well-meaning but uninspired men to learn about God.

    I know that Paul warned that the Church Christ established would be divided. He and his fellow Apostles warned of this time and time again (See Acts 20:29, 2 Thessalonians 2:3, Galatians 1:6 and 2 Timothy 4:3), making it absolutely clear that (1)the flock would not only be attacked, it would not be spared, (2) Christ would not return to the earth until this universal "falling away" or "apostasia" had taken place, (3) these things were already beginning to take place as he spoke, and (4) the doctrines taught by the Savior would, in time, cease to endure.

    On the other hand, I simply cannot accept the idea that Jesus wanted to divide us, or, as you put it, "to keep one man or one church from controlling all Knowledge of God available to men ever again." That makes absolutely no sense to me at all. On the contrary, as Paul taught, "...he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive..."

    How could Paul have possibly been more clear? Jesus Christ organized a Church and authorized certain individuals to govern it in His absence. He called Prophets and Apostles, men He would personally direct, even after His death, to make sure that the doctrines He had personally taught would continue to be taught until His return. His desire was that we would all come into the unity of our faith and knowledge and not be "carried about with every kind of doctrine." But without Prophets and Apostes, who were the foundation upon which Christ built His Church, the schism you spoke of was inevitable.

    The question is not whether this schism was successful in corrupting the doctrines He had taught. The existence of 33,000 different Christian denominations is proof that it did. It is not proof that we should simply throw out the baby with the bath water and each forge our own path. Paul also spoke of a "restitution of all things," prior to which Christ would not return. That, to me is a key point, and one I am not willing to simply ignore.
     
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