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what's the difference between the different denomination of christian churches?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by kloth, May 5, 2013.

  1. kloth

    kloth Active Member

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    in other words; what are some that you know of or one you belong to, and can you give a brief description of the difference?
    thanks
     
  2. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    On very general, somewhat simplistic terms:


    1. Orthodox Christian Churches tend to be somewhat ethnic and centralized at a national level.

    2. Catholics, which used to be an Orthodox Church (from Rome), have set sights into claiming to be a truly universal Christian Church since the 11st Century. Nevertheless, they are very centralized and often criticized for their reliance on the leader figure of the Pope.

    3. The Protestant Churches arose in a large part as a reaction to perceived excesses from the Catholic Church a few centuries ago. They are fairly varied in doctrine and interpretation, but tend to give more emphasis to reading the Bible. There are many groups, some of which lend their leaders more authority than others. They are by no means unified in interpretation, but that is not always apparent.

    4. Anglicans (and Episcopalians?) are technically subject to the authority of the Queen of England. In practice, they are a fairly straightforward Church, of separate leadership than that of Catholics and mainstream Protestants, but not terribly different from those far as actual practice goes.

    5. Last Days Saints ("LDS", often called Mormons) are a more recent movement with an American prophet and a few scripture books of their own. Often criticized as "not being true Christians", although I don't think they like that and can't say it makes much of a difference. Still haunted by a poliamory controversy that comes mainly from their early times. Somewhat politically divided, although that is easy to forget about. Have a strong reputation for being "straight arrows" that try hard to treat everyone with respect and good will. Doctrinarily unusual in that they have their own metaphysical conceptions, which include a strong inclusivist approach and a desire to pray for the salvation of (everyone's?) deceased ancestors. Well-known for their interest in genealogy. Somewhat American-centred.

    6. Seventh-Day Adventists. I'm unfortunately not too well-versed on them. They, too, have a bit of doctrinary divergence from other mainstream movements, and a fairly well-earned reputation for being straight arrows. They do not believe in a literal hell, and that IMO has interesting and praiseworthy consequences in their practice.

    There are many, many other movements that are not quite one of the above. Literally thousands, even. Many occultist groups claim to have Christian doctrine to some extent as well, with varying ammounts of sincerity and seriousness. And then there is Gnostic Christianity, which is fairly different from the Pauline Churches describe above and tends to be, for lack of a better word, mystical.
     
  3. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Hey, pretty darned accurate for an "outsider." Just two quick corrections: (1) It's "Latter-day Saints," not "Last Days Saints." (2) Of the world's 14.5 million Mormons today, more of them live outside of the United States and Canada than live within those two areas, and if things continue going in the direction they're headed, there will be, not too many years in the future, more Spanish-speaking Mormons than English-speaking Mormons. Along the same line, only about 15% of today's Mormons live in Utah, and more than 2/3 of all Mormons are first-generation converts.
     
    #3 Katzpur, May 5, 2013
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
  4. savagewind

    savagewind Veteran Member
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    Many Christians believe God will take them out of the world to a better place. Jehovah's Witnesses believe God will make this Earth a better place.
     
  5. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    I'd be happy to explain some of Mormonism's distinctive teachings...

    While we are strongly insistent that we are a Christian faith (despite the frantic pleas of many Christians to get you to believe otherwise), our Church was founded on the basis of a belief that during His mortal ministry Jesus Christ did, in fact, establish His Church. We believe that following Christ's death and the subsequent deaths of His chosen Apostles, an "apostasy" or "falling away" from the truth took place, and men who were not divinely appointed to lead the Church changed its structure and doctrines. As this took place, truth was gradually lost and corrupt doctrines prevailed. We see the Protestant Reformation as an attempt on the part of well-meaning but unauthorized men to reform the existing Church of that day. Without divine authority to do so, though, the resulting denominations were still in errors, to one degree or another. A reformation was insufficient; a complete restoration or re-establishment was needed, and Jesus Christ Himself had to direct it. We believe the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to be the re-establishment of the ancient Church, authorized by God as the same Church Jesus Christ initially founded.

    In terms of beliefs... we reject the doctrine of the Trinity, as established in 325 A.D. We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. We do not, however, believe they are all a part of a single, indivisible and invisible substance, but that they are three separate divine beings, each of whom is "one" with the others in will, purpose, mind, and heart.

    We believe that the biblical canon was "closed" only because none of God's personally chosen servants continued to preside over the Church Jesus Christ established. Therefore, there were no prophets left to receive direction for His Church from Heaven. There is nothing in the Bible which states that that book is either "complete" or that it would be perfectly transcribed, translated and preserved. We believe in continuing revelation from Heaven to a living prophet, who stands today at the head of the Church as Peter did in the years immediately following Christ's death. Along with that Prophet, our Church is led by a quorum of twelve Apostles, who we believe to hold the same authority as did the Apostes Jesus personally appointed.

    We believe that the Book of Mormon, a religious and secular history of a group of Israelists who migrated to the American continent in roughly 600 C.B., is scripture stemming from the same source as the Bible. We believe that after Christ's resurrection, He appeared to the descendants of these people. The Book of Mormon is another testament (along with Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) that He is the Christ, the Savior of mankind.

    We believe that all who have ever lived are the spirit offspring of a loving Father in Heaven. We are all His children and are all brothers and sisters to one another. We're all a part of the same family and He wants nothing more than to see us all reunited in Heaven with Him someday.

    We deny that we were born already guilty of sinning, simply because we are all descended from Adam and Eve. We do recognize that we are, as their descendants, predisposed to sin, and that none of us will make it to adulthood without having sinned. We therefore need a Savior, someone who is perfect and infinitely good to atone for our sins and make us worthy to be reunited with our Father in Heaven. That Savior is Jesus Christ, and it is only through Him that salvation is available to us.

    We do not believe in the doctrine of Sola Fide (faith alone), but understand that we are expected to live the best lives we can before we can expect grace to be extended to us. This does not mean that we believe, as is sometimes claimed by our detractors, that we must "work our way into Heaven, and reject Christ's sacrifice." All it means is that if we are going to talk the talk, we must also be willing to walk the walk. Logically, this also means that we don't believe in the doctrine often referred to as "once saved, always saved."

    We believe in a Heaven that is large enough to accomodate all of us. We believe that God has provided a means by which even the dead can be redeemed. We don't speak of hellfire and damnation, but of being given the opportunity of being able to ultimately attain perfection, through Jesus Christ. We believe that, as children of God, we have been given the opportunity to someday become as He is. Finally, we don't see Him as being the slightest bit threatened by this possibility. After all, what truly loving Father would not want His own children to reach their full potential and would not do everything possible to help them achieve it.

    So, as you can see, Christian but admittedly different from the traditional groups. And why not? If there truly was an apostasy (as Paul predicted there would be) it would certainly be understandable that what was restored would be something new.
     
    #5 Katzpur, May 5, 2013
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
  6. kloth

    kloth Active Member

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    thanks for the replies everyone.

    i would still like to see some more brief replies on this. to mainly understand the basic difference in their belief systems.
     
  7. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Briefer please reading is hard and it hurts my brain. Just sum your religion up in one sentence so that I can act like I understand it.
     
  8. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Well-Known Member

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  9. Gaura Priya

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    I think it would be a difficult task, as Christian belief systems tend to vary very widely. If you're interested in a particular group of Christianity, I am sure there would be many people who can happily accomodate you!

    I follow the Anglo-Catholic tradition of Anglicanism. Which means 'Anglicanism with more practices akin to the Catholic and Orthodox Churches'. I am also a hardcore liberal, so I am coloured by such principles.


    GOD

    Anglicans believe in One God in Three Persons. It is officially Trinitarian. I myself am personally Unitarian and Arian in belief, but see the Trinity metaphorically.


    SCRIPTURES

    Anglicans follow the threefold idea of Scripture, Tradition, and Reason, and therefore Scripture is only one source of Christian inspiration. Anglicanism follows the canon of Old and New Testaments, plus the Apocrypha (or Deuterocanonicals) in worship. Interpretation varies from literal to metaphorical.



    CREEDS

    Anglicans testify of the historical Creeds of Christianity as expressions of our heritage. The Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed are the foundational creeds of our spiritual antecedents, but they are mainly historical.



    TRADITION

    Anglicans believe in the wisdom of the past, the practicality of the present, and in the innovation of the future. Christianity should expressly be both 'Catholic and Reformed;' that is, universal and accomodating. The Book of Common Prayer is a universal Anglican expression of liturgical worship, and a historical document that has united Anglicans in one common form of Liturgy. Many beautiful prayers and English phrases derive from this book.


    POLITY

    Anglicans believe in the Apostolic Succession (the passing of doctrine from the Apostles through the line of our bishops and priests), and see the Succession from a doctrinal and spiritual lineage and a historical expression of continuity. As in ancient times, Christianity was governed by the Bishopric, and we continue that tradition. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the primus inter pares, or first among equals. His governing status is symbolic for the entire Communion. However, local Archbishops lead to differences in worship, and even belief, according to the locality.

    Thus, while many of us as Ecclesial Provinces (under an Archbishop), heck, even individuals, may have different practices, worship, and beliefs, we are all united under one Anglican Communion.



    REASON

    Anglican Christians see Christianity as something living. We are not united by creed, by beliefs, by polity, etc. but are united under one worship in the Divine Liturgy. We understand that the locality will express their Christian life in different manners, customs, and interpretations, and thus life in Christ must needs be accomodating to the culture of the wider community!


    BEGINNINGS

    The Anglican Communion began as a Church of the Apostolic Succession in the British Isles, long before the separation of different denominations. It was not until later that the English Church came under the Archbishop of Rome (the Pope), and then split due to corruptions in the Roman Church allegiance. Thus, Anglicanism is just like Old Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy in hierarchy and order.



    Historically, Anglicanism has been the via media for Christianity, the middle ground between the Protestants who wanted to throw out our historical Traditions, and the Catholic-Orthodox Churches who did not want to change unnecessary accumulations over the centuries.


    There's so much, but I hope that helps. God bless!
     
  10. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Well-Known Member

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    You know what all this is too much please just a tidbit I can mock.
     
  11. Gaura Priya

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    Anglicanism in a nutshell?

    1. One God, followers of Christ - One God in Triune Understanding

    2. Ancient and Modern Church - "Catholic and Reformed"

    3. Via Media - Middle Way, Middle Path, Moderation in All Things

    4. "Scripture - Tradition - Reason"

    5. Faith and Works. Do good to others, through the goodness of God.

    6. Love God, Love Others and All Creation, and Love Your Self
     
  12. kloth

    kloth Active Member

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    thanks for that reply. :)
     
  13. kloth

    kloth Active Member

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    I've heard of the latter day saints, but not the last days saints. maybe there are two.
     
  14. kloth

    kloth Active Member

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    that's interesting. thanks for the brief explanation. :)
     
  15. kloth

    kloth Active Member

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    thanks. a bit longer than i wanted to read into, but thanks. I'm not looking to study into each faith that's why i wanted something brief. again, thank you. :)
     
  16. kloth

    kloth Active Member

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    i can't relate to the brain hurting thing. but as of now I'm would like to keep it brief as i have other things to do, and would like to know the basics out of curiosity for now, maybe i will look into each one more down the road.
    even though it might be difficult for people to explain as much as possible as they may be happy and excited about their faith, if they are explaining their own brand of christian faith. :)
     
  17. kloth

    kloth Active Member

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    i think i heard of that. :D

    but Google doesn't always have all the answers so easily from my experience. some faiths might not even be listed for all i know. :)
     
  18. kloth

    kloth Active Member

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    what might be difficult for some might be easy for others. so that's why i am looking to get as much as that variety as possible here for now.
    one thing is that i am very direct, so i would ask about a certain brand of christian faith if i do come across one that interests me, if i do. i am sure there would be at least one person willing to help with that.
    thanks for the reply, everything helps. :)
     
  19. kloth

    kloth Active Member

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    i would prefer you did not mock any brand of faith here on this thread. :no:
     
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  20. kloth

    kloth Active Member

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    thanks again.

    no offense about editing out part of your last reply. since the info was already there, i figured I'd keep the thread shorter for others and myself to get through it faster, as i will probably read this all over again. :)
     
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