Those Battling 45,000 Denominations

Author: RoderickSpode ,

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  • RoderickSpode
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    In the quest for finding the Christo Dirtylaundrius grail, someone came up with an idea that since they're so many denominations, us Christians just cannot get along. The idea is that each denomination has it's very own Christian doctrine that puts them at odds with everyone else. So basically, there are 45,000 different church denominations with their very own doctrine that puts them at odds with all of the other 44,999 denominations.

    I think most of these gallant grail seekers understand that there are a given number of prominent denominations, and many sub-denominations. And this doesn't mean that there's any significant difference in many of them as their identification may only imply a different region or emphasis on a specific biblical truth. At least I'd like to think most of them do.

    But even still, we could say that after eliminating the many sub-denominations, there's still a fair amount of denominations that do have a distinctive difference than others. And a fair question to ask is
    why?

    First off, I would argue that there's really nothing wrong with denominations. The Bible doesn't directly condemn denominations. The Bible doesn't
    even condemn having doctrinal differences. The Bible does condemn allowing doctrinal differences to divide. It also condemns placing a leader on a pedestal over others. Especially of course over God. Paul as an example was always careful to make sure he wasn't placed on a pedestal. When church leaders are placed in God's position, the danger is actually a cult being formed, not a denomination.

    The history of denominations (the why they exist) is similar to how nations came into existence. They each have a unique historical background. A
    unique spiritual foundation resulting in unique giftings and revelation designed to strengthen the entire body of believers. The names of each predominant denomination can give an idea of their spiritual heritage (Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, etc.).

    So to argue against denominations is similar to arguing against independent nations within the EU. Dissing the member nations of the EU for having their own languages and ethnicity.

    Another problem with the vilifying of denominations is that since doctrinal differences are inevitable, many of them are actually not the property of denominations. Many of them are actually personal. There's doctrinal differences between individual members of each denomination. So the accusation mentioned earlier is sort of like asking instead of why not just one denomination?, we have why not just one church? Of course the obvious problem there is that we wouldn't all fit. So we need numerous churches (places of gathering). And these numerous churches have their own names. And in addition, many are represented by a denomination.












  • Deb-8-a-bull
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    With every believer in god on this site in the correct religious group. We can sum it up with. 
    Theists are truly brilliant religious group pickers FULL STOP



  • Mopac
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    --> @RoderickSpode
    The Orthodox Church is the.very.church founded by Jesus and the apostles. We simply don't see it the same way.

    There is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. 

    All other churches can be traced back to their deviation from the true church.

    There really isn't room for compromise on this. Either you are with the church or you aren't. We are not going to compromise the truth to satisfy the myriad of churches who prefer a god in their own image. Never has an ecumenical council allowed heretics to cast their vote. 


    Unity of the faith is absolutely important. Unity of the body is absolutely important. Unity with the historical church is important. 

    We still love you though, and hope you find the church.




  • Mopac
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    "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
    Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

  • Polytheist-Witch
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    We have a new repeat moron 
  • RoderickSpode
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    --> @Mopac
    Assuming for a moment what you say is true, it wouldn't really have much bearing on the subject of this thread in terms of the claims being made about the alleged division within the evangelical church. So the thread is not really about the evangelicals vs. Catholics and/or the Orthodox church.

    I'm assuming you made a thread that might be more befitting in a discussion between you and myself?
  • Mopac
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    --> @RoderickSpode
    If you want to make a topic, I will take part in it. However, I don't really see why I should be excluded from this one.


    There are some mighty big irreconcilable differences between the protestant/evangelical churches. 


  • Mopac
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    --> @RoderickSpode
    There is no "evangelical church" in the sense that you are implying. 


    Back when everyone understood there was one church, schism was seen as a very wicked thing. The thing that defines evangelical/protestant Christianity is that there are no end to its schisms.

  • secularmerlin
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    --> @RoderickSpode
    You will forgive me but I was under the impression that cult and religion were synonyms. If that is not the case what precisely is the difference between a cult and a religion?
  • RoderickSpode
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    --> @Mopac
    If you want to make a topic, I will take part in it. However, I don't really see why I should be excluded from this one.
    You personally are not excluded. I was only concerned about staying on topic.


    There are some mighty big irreconcilable differences between the protestant/evangelical churches. 
    For example?
  • Mopac
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    --> @RoderickSpode
    Different beliefs about the nature of the eucharist. Homosexual marriage. If works is important to salvation. Whether textual criticism is mutilating scripture or not. Whether babbling in gibberish is a gift of the holy spirit or of the devil. How worship should be conducted. 


    There are so many things that I couldn't make an exhaustive list.





  • Goldtop
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    --> @RoderickSpode
    And this doesn't mean that there's any significant difference in many of them as their identification may only imply a different region or emphasis on a specific biblical truth. At least I'd like to think most of them do.
    Different regions? Not likely. Different beliefs on Biblical "Truths"? Yeah, that's the one. And, this is very important considering that to one denomination, it would be Truth, while another it isn't. Serious problem for Christianity.

    First off, I would argue that there's really nothing wrong with denominations. The Bible doesn't directly condemn denominations. The Bible doesn't
    even condemn having doctrinal differences.
    Then, you should have no problem with slavery as the Bible does not condemn that either. See how your argument is wrong?

    So to argue against denominations is similar to arguing against independent nations within the EU. Dissing the member nations of the EU for having their own languages and ethnicity.
    That has to be one of the silliest arguments considering Christianity is not at all like the EU, completely different. Terrible argument.

    A unique spiritual foundation resulting in unique giftings and revelation designed to strengthen the entire body of believers.
    Hilarious! The entire body of believers is NOT strengthened by denominations, the are weakened because they don't agree with one another.

    This argument failed miserably, Rod.

    If you want to compare Christianity, then use Communism. Lenin was their "Cult of Personality' who died yet was still worshipped and obeyed by the Soviets, just like Jesus. They have a single doctrine to follow, yet there were no denominations of Communism, yet it still failed.

  • RoderickSpode
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    --> @Mopac

    There is no "evangelical church" in the sense that you are implying.
    For now I'm just using it as a description to identify which major branch of Christianity I'm referring to.


    Back when everyone understood there was one church, schism was seen as a very wicked thing. The thing that defines evangelical/protestant Christianity is that there are no end to its schisms.
    I'm sure a significant amount of big inter-debates involve the question what is a schism?
  • RoderickSpode
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    --> @secularmerlin
    You will forgive me but I was under the impression that cult and religion were synonyms. If that is not the case what precisely is the difference between a cult and a religion?
    The problem with the term cult is that like the term religion, the definition is broad. So the definition will depend on the person's worldview. mopac for instance probably believes all evangelical churches are cults from I've seen from his posts. I'm pretty sure the people who maintain that the terms religion and cults are synonymous do so with a derogatory mindset. But, I don't know where your impression came from, so I could be wrong.

    Basically, a cult by Christian definition would be any group or movement that deviates from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • RoderickSpode
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    --> @Mopac
    Different beliefs about the nature of the eucharist. Homosexual marriage. If works is important to salvation. Whether textual criticism is mutilating scripture or not. Whether babbling in gibberish is a gift of the holy spirit or of the devil. How worship should be conducted. 


    There are so many things that I couldn't make an exhaustive list.
    In a sense I suppose I agree in that some if not most differences are irreconcilable. But that's because I personally don't think there will ever be a universal agreement amongst the Body of Christ on the major doctrinal differences (even within the Orthodox Church).

    Do all members of the Orthodox church agree on absolutely every doctrine?

    Do you think salvation depends on believing the right one of each?
  • secularmerlin
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    --> @RoderickSpode
    the definition will depend on the person's worldview.
    So basically what constitutes a cyly is largely a matter of opinion?
    a cult by Christian definition would be any group or movement that deviates from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 
    And your opinion is that all religions other than yours is a cult?

    Thank you for your input. I feel that you have confirmed that religion is synonymous with cult. Unless of course you would like to expand upon the definition "any religion but mine".
  • RoderickSpode
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    --> @secularmerlin
    So basically what constitutes a cyly is largely a matter of opinion?
    I would say more context.

    For instance, I fully acknowledge that The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a cult (or more appropriately, cult movie). But the movie, and it's cult following are not the cult equivalent of David Koresh's following.

    What is your definition of a cult?



    And your opinion is that all religions other than yours is a cult?

    No. For instance, I don't consider Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam a cult. Those are considered major religions of the world.

    Thank you for your input. I feel that you have confirmed that religion is synonymous with cult. Unless of course you would like to expand upon the definition "any religion but mine".

    It looks like you've come to a conclusion before I had a chance to answer you.





  • secularmerlin
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    --> @RoderickSpode
    It looks like you've come to a conclusion before I had a chance to answer you.

    Oh I'm sorry I thpught your answer was 

    a cult by Christian definition would be any group or movement that deviates from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 
    If this is not a workable definition one wonders why you gave it in the first place. If the above is not actually a definition you accept then please present the actual definition. 

  • RoderickSpode
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    --> @secularmerlin

    Oh I'm sorry I thpught your answer was


    It was. Copy and paste don't lie.

    In the Christian context, a cult is a group or movement that is in the guise of a Christian church or denomination, but presents a different teaching. Often they originate from an individual who gathers a following, teaching a different variation of Christianity. Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam are major distinctive religions.

    If this is not a workable definition one wonders why you gave it in the first place. If the above is not actually a definition you accept then please present the actual definition.

    It could be argued that I shouldn't of used it because apparently most members here seem to be atheists, thus even in it's proper context won't be relatable. But I didn't want to assume that.

    But hopefully my explanation cleared things up.
  • secularmerlin
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    --> @RoderickSpode
    hopefully my explanation cleared things up.
    It has not. What precisely is the difference between the major world religions and a cult? If a world religion becones less accepted does it become a cult? If a ciult is embraced by enough followers does it become a religion?

  • RoderickSpode
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    --> @secularmerlin
    Since you're hung up on the definition, would you agree then that atheist and humanist organizations are cults?

  • secularmerlin
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    --> @RoderickSpode
    In general I would only consider religious organizations cults. Atheism is neither an organazation nor religious and humanism is, while aeguably organized, not religious.

    If hiwever being a religious organization is not necessary to cult status then I would still need to know your prefered definition before I could be certain if it applies.
  • Mopac
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    --> @RoderickSpode
    I personally don't think there will ever be a universal agreement amongst the Body of Christ on the major doctrinal differences (even within the Orthodox Church). 

    Do all members of the Orthodox church agree on absolutely every doctrine?

    The things we might be at variance about are the kind of things that aren't doctrine. We pretty much agree on doctrine.



    Do you think salvation depends on believing the right one of each?

    I don't think it would be right of me to say whether or not salvation is contingent on knowing, but I will say that it is written...

    "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."

    And these are the words of Jesus.


    We know what we teach, while most evangelical/protestant churches don't even seem to know the God they profess to worship. I say that as someone who has a lot more experience as a protestant/evangelical than an Orthodox.

  • RoderickSpode
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    --> @secularmerlin
    In general I would only consider religious organizations cults. Atheism is neither an organazation nor religious and humanism is, while aeguably organized, not religious.
    I see you certainly seem to have your preferred definition.

    Christianity (simply following Christ) is not an organization either. If it was, the thief on the cross would not make it to paradise because he didn't belong to any organization. However, with the advent of the church, there are now of course Christian organizations. Atheism itself is not an organization, but there are atheist organizations just as you understand humanism to have organizations. And yes, humanism is religious. They don't adhere to any deity, but their focus is on a cosmic religion. A remodeling of traditional religions into one humanistic religion without a God.


    If hiwever being a religious organization is not necessary to cult status then I would still need to know your prefered definition before I could be certain if it applies.


    I don't think it really matters. My definition is only contextual to Christianity. It's not based on a dictionary definition. The question about whether or not a Christian faction of any sort is a cult is whether or not the faction is God inspired, or man inspired. If God inspired, then early Christians who called themselves, say Methodists, or Baptists are not a cult. And this not going to mean anything to you because you don't believe in God. So to you, there wouldn't be any difference.


    But let's face it, this is not really about proper definition. It's about whether or not the term cult is negative. I suspect that you're viewing the
    term in the negative. This may be evident by your seeming reluctance to acknowledge aspects of atheism and humanism as cults. We know for sure Goldtop does. When Goldtop sees the term cult in relation to Christianity, he's thinking Jim Jones and David Koresh. He's not thinking about the local band with a cult following.

    Most likely, if the term cult was not viewed in a negative light in relation to religion, we wouldn't be having this conversation.



  • RoderickSpode
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    --> @Mopac

    The things we might be at variance about are the kind of things that aren't doctrine. We pretty much agree on doctrine.
    Just to make sure you're not thinking along the lines of not agreeing on which island in Hawaii is the best for vacationing, can you give me an example of something you might be at variance with?

    I don't think it would be right of me to say whether or not salvation is contingent on knowing, but I will say that it is written...

    "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."

    And these are the words of Jesus.


    Does everyone in the orthodox church agree on the doctrine of eternal security (or OSAS)?


    We know what we teach, while most evangelical/protestant churches don't even seem to know the God they profess to worship. I say that as someone who has a lot more experience as a protestant/evangelical than an Orthodox.
    Are you saying there are exceptions within the evangelical/protestant churches?