The Diversity of Protestant Churches


#1

I know that one of the arguments against Sola Scriptora is the diversity of protestant churches. Some say there there are 24,000 or some other number of church (I think just in the U.S.). But, I don’t know how they got to that number. Does anyone know where that number was gotten? I don’t see how there could be that many churches.


#2

I can’t imagine how somebody could argue against the Biblical teaching of sola scripture based on the number of denominations.

Some say there there are 24,000 or some other number of church (I think just in the U.S.). But, I don’t know how they got to that number. Does anyone know where that number was gotten? I don’t see how there could be that many churches.

I think they’re saying 30,000 now.

I don’t remember the name of the source, but I’ve seen it and it’s been debunked many times.

Among the things they do that make the “30,000” number inaccurate, is that (a) they count non-Christian groups, (b) they count many groups more than once, and © they count subgroups in a denomination as seperate denominations.

The other mistake Roman Catholics make when they make the “30,000 denominations” argument is that they assume that, just because a denomination has a different name and perhaps a different governing body, that it must be at odds with all other denominations, but this simply isn’t true.

For instance, the Roman Catholic will say, “well, I was driving through your town and you’ve got a Baptist church and a Methodist church and a Presbyterian church. That proves that you’re not really a part of the church”.

But you’ll never, ever hear a Roman Catholic say, “You know, I was looking at the way that the Baptists and the Methodists and the Presbyterians and the Calvary Chapel all stand together and support one another, how they’re all united around the essential doctrines of the faith, how they come together for worship and for the preaching and teaching of the Gospel and for evangelism, etc. That’s good evidence that they’re being led by a common source of authority.”

It’s a big double standard, as most things are with Roman Catholics when it comes to us.


#3

The 30,000 number comes from a research project done in 2005 at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, a Protestant institution.

Then why do they have different names and differing/conflicting doctrines?

For instance, the Roman Catholic will say, “well, I was driving through your town and you’ve got a Baptist church and a Methodist church and a Presbyterian church. That proves that you’re not really a part of the church”.

Actually, the Catholic (not necessarily Roman, so in the future would you mind just saying “Catholic” so as not to alienate the 22 other Catholic rites in communion with us?)…anyway… the Catholic would say, “anyone who believes in Christ and has been baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is part of the Church, though not in full communion.”

But you’ll never, ever hear a Roman Catholic say, “You know, I was looking at the way that the Baptists and the Methodists and the Presbyterians and the Calvary Chapel all stand together and support one another, how they’re all united around the essential doctrines of the faith, how they come together for worship and for the preaching and teaching of the Gospel and for evangelism, etc. That’s good evidence that they’re being led by a common source of authority.”

It’s a big double standard, as most things are with Roman Catholics when it comes to us.

The reason you’ll never hear a Catholic (again, not just Roman but all rites of Catholic) say that is because it’s not true! They’re NOT united around “essential” doctrines because they can’t agree on what the “essential” doctrines are! They all claim to go by “the Bible alone as the sole rule of faith” but they come, supposedly by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to conflicting and contradictory conclusions about what the Bible says! Is the Holy Spirit schizophrenic? Is there more than one Truth? :confused:


#4

how they’re all united around the essential doctrines of the faith

With respect, this is a common statement made by protestants, but is in no way a truth. All Protestant churches agree in say Faith Alone, but ti is nearly impossible to get a uniform understanding of what Faith Alone actually means. Same is true for Scripture Alone, Baptism, Communion, Salvation, Justification, etc…

Some protestant denominations deny the trinity, some go so far as to say Jesus was not God.

If anyone believes that Protestants are united in core doctrines, the only thing one has to do is open a phone book, randomly pick various protestant churches, and ask each of the them the same theological questions. Not just do you believe in the Faith Alone, but questions like, what does your CHURCH teach faith alone means and get specific. Don’t accept gloss over answers.

What you will find is that there is almost NO unity or agreement at all when you get down to it. This is not meant as a slap at protestants, but it is a call to attention that the statement that “All protestants agree on the core Doctrine” is a very false statement and anyone making this claim needs to research it a little further.

Again… If you don’t believe me, Test it via the method mentioned. Protestant unity does not exist, despite the claims made here and elsewhere.

In Christ


#5

That may be, but I’ve already explained why the number is not accurate.

Then why do they have different names and differing/conflicting doctrines?

Why do Roman Catholic churches have different names?

We don’t differ or conflict over essential doctrines, but it’s true that we do sometimes disagree over peripheral issues or matters of what the Bible calls adiopheron. But he fact that the Bible tells us to extend the liberty to one another to disagree over these things tells us that God understands that Christians will sometimes disagree over them.

the Catholic would say, “anyone who believes in Christ and has been baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is part of the Church, though not in full communion.”

There’s no doubt that we’re not in communion with the Roman Catholic church, but we are in full communion with Christ and His church.

The reason you’ll never hear a Catholic (again, not just Roman but all rites of Catholic) say that is because it’s not true! They’re NOT united around “essential” doctrines because they can’t agree on what the “essential” doctrines are!

Actually, this is a very popular Roman Catholic talking point. Unfortunately, it’s a lie.

You can go to the website of any denomination and look at their statement of faith and you’ll see that, their descriptions of their beliefs about essential doctrines are essentially the same.

They all claim to go by “the Bible alone as the sole rule of faith” but they come, supposedly by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to conflicting and contradictory conclusions about what the Bible says!

OK. Name any two Christian denominations and what essential doctrine they disagree on and how they disagree. I offer this challenge to Roman Catholics all the time and not one of them has ever been able to come up with an example of two Christian denominations disagreeing on any of the essential doctrines.


#6

Actually, it is true.

I wonder why it is that Roman Catholics get upset when Christians tell them what they believe, but then they have no problem telling Christians what we believe.

Yet another double standard.

All Protestant churches agree in say Faith Alone, but ti is nearly impossible to get a uniform understanding of what Faith Alone actually means. Same is true for Scripture Alone, Baptism, Communion, Salvation, Justification, etc.

So, can you give an example of any two Christian denominations who disagree on any of the essentials?

Some protestant denominations deny the trinity, some go so far as to say Jesus was not God.

Then, according to 2 John, they’re not Christians.

Again… If you don’t believe me, Test it via the method mentioned. Protestant unity does not exist, despite the claims made here and elsewhere.

You can deny it all you like, but despite what Roman Catholic propaganda says about us, we live our unity out every day.


#7

I have no problem with Non-Catholic Christians telling me what they believe. I have a problem with NCC telling me that my belief and practices are un-Biblical.

So, can you give an example of any two Christian denominations who disagree on any of the essentials?

There are some Christian denomination who believe in OSAS and another does not. There is another Christian denomination that believes in Infant baptism, while others do not. There is a Penecostal Church that insist that they baptized only in Jesus Name Only. While there are those who believe that we should be baptized in the Trinitarian formula (In the Name of the Father, And of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit).

Then, according to 2 John, they’re not Christians.

You tell them that because they believe they are Christians but believe the Trinity as unbiblical. They base their belief on the Bible Alone.

You can deny it all you like, but despite what Roman Catholic propaganda says about us, we live our unity out every day.

Roman Catholic Propaganda? Oh please. the Catholic Church recognizes Christians not in communion with us as being separated brothers and sisters in Christ. Whether you like it or not, you are a member of our Church since our baptism units us to the Body of Christ, which is the Church.

Doctrinally, there is no core unity in Protestantism. Unless you put out a joint declaration on agreeing all major issues on the nature of God and his plan for us. Then we will believe you are united.

Lately, I would reframe from calling us Roman Catholic. We are Catholics period. Roman is our Rite and there are those who are Eastern Catholics who abhof using the world Roman. Since they themselves are Eastern Catholics that either fall into 22 varies Eastern Rite Catholic Churches in union with the Pope in Rome.


#8

Even if the number is MUCH smaller than that, any more than one is a problem, IMO.

Why do Roman Catholic churches have different names?

Again, the Catholic Church is NOT just “Roman” though that is the largest rite of the 23 that are all in communion. I’m not talking about St. Francis Catholic Church vs St Lawrence Catholic Church, because they have the very same Catechism. I’m talking about Baptist Church vs the Presbyterian Church. Very different ideas about how we’re saved and when we’re baptized.

We don’t differ or conflict over essential doctrines, but it’s true that we do sometimes disagree over peripheral issues or matters of what the Bible calls adiopheron. But he fact that the Bible tells us to extend the liberty to one another to disagree over these things tells us that God understands that Christians will sometimes disagree over them.

Where in the Bible can I find this list of essential doctrines? Who decides what is essential? By what authority? Even the Baptists don’t agree on something as essential as salvation! Some Baptists teach that once you’ve prayed a “sinner’s prayer” you are 100% guaranteed to go to Heaven. Go down the road to another Baptist church and they’ll say that a person can lose their salvation. Both Baptist churches use the Bible as their sole rule of faith, but yet they disagree on this one doctrine, which I’d certainly call essential!

There’s no doubt that we’re not in communion with the Roman Catholic church, but we are in full communion with Christ and His church.

Christ’s Church is the Catholic Church. Which Protestant church was founded by Christ and His apostles?

Actually, this is a very popular Roman Catholic talking point. Unfortunately, it’s a lie.

Pretty please, don’t exclude other rites from the Catholic faith. Roman is just one of 23 rites, some of which are the Alexandrian Rite, the Byzantine Rite, the Maronite Rite, the Chaldean Rite, etc…

You can go to the website of any denomination and look at their statement of faith and you’ll see that, their descriptions of their beliefs about essential doctrines are essentially the same.

OK. Name any two Christian denominations and what essential doctrine they disagree on and how they disagree. I offer this challenge to Roman Catholics all the time and not one of them has ever been able to come up with an example of two Christian denominations disagreeing on any of the essential doctrines.

I already told you about two **Baptist **churches that disagree on a very essential doctrine, salvation!

Here’s another essential - Baptism. Oh, wait. Some Protestants don’t believe that’s essential. But if you go to a Church of Christ, and any of the splinter groups from them, they’ll say that Baptism IS essential and you’re not truly saved until you’ve been baptized! Presbyterians, Methodists, Episcopalians, and Lutherans all believe in baptizing infants to bring them into the New Covenant. Baptists, Pentecostals and most non-denominational churches only baptize someone when they’re able to vocalize a profession of faith.

Now, where is that list of essentials in the Bible? Chapter and verse, please.:slight_smile:


#9

Greetings to you in Christ War…

For starters, I would just like to say that though you may disagree with what I said, it is not based on Roman Propaganda. In Fact, it comes from my own personal search for what is or is not in truth. Why do I say call churches at random? Because I did just that. I went online and looked at what churches believed. In other words… I did the homework, not because the CC told me so. At the time i did this, (and still do this to an extent) I looked at the CC as ‘just another Denomination’.

So, how could propaganda by the CC influence me if I wasn’t following the Church?

However, per your request, I would like to touch on two of the Core Premises. Faith Alone and Scripture alone. Keep in mind, i am looking at Church level, not at the individual level

Faith Alone:
On the surface all protestant Churches say Faith Alone is a core tenant… An essential. So, I asked, what does faith alone mean. As you go down the list of churches and denominations, you get a wide variety of differing beliefs. For example, some belief that Faith Alone means ALL you have to do is believe. Once you believe Jesus Died for you and you accept his saving grace, everything is set. Some take this further and say you can then never loose that saving faith, the OSAS position.

Others take a more relaxed POV and say that you can still loose that faith and therefore loose salvation. Some believe Faith alone means that your faith will magically transform you and you will automatically and you will do those works God asks of you. However, some say the not doing those works doesn’t matter, God just gives you the desire to do those works. Doing them isn’t an issue. Other’s say that though you are saved by faith alone, we still must follow the desire god gives us to do those good works. Not doing those good works results in a lose of salvation. Much like getting fired from a Job.

Just in this one matter, you will find very little agreement and unity. Protestants are ONLY unified by this matter by saying they all Agree we are saved by Faith Alone, but there is almost no agreement what Faith Alone actually means.

Cont:


#10

[SIGN]Me too![/SIGN] I, too, went online and looked at as many Protestant “statement of faith” pages as I could access. I already knew from being a Baptist for 12 years that even if a church says “Baptist” on the sign, that is no guarantee that their doctrine will be the same as the Baptist church down the road. That’s why we have Independent Baptists, Regular Baptists, American Baptists, Freewill Baptists…and even amongst my typical choice of Independent Baptist churches there were differences. The “I” in Baptist stands for “Individual Soul Liberty” y’know. :wink:

So, how could propaganda by the CC influence me if I wasn’t following the Church?

That’s a very good question! :slight_smile: It was the very Word of God, Jesus Christ, and His words recorded in the Gospels, that made me Catholic, not any ‘propaganda.’ :smiley:


#11

Scripture Alone:
What about Scripture alone, the second core essential agreed upon by all Protestants. Is there unity here?

Again, you run into a similar issue. Some churches go so far as to say that we don’t even need a church. All you need is the bible, and prayer and you will learn everything you need. Church can actual HINDER ones growth. Others are less stringent and say, well… you can get by with just the Bible, but you need to go to church to keep yourself focused.

On the “High Church” side of protestantism, you have it meaning that scripture is the final authority, but you still need church, pastors, elders and Bishops to teach you what scripture actually means.

To make matters even worse, Scripture alone depends heavily on HOW you read the bible. Some teach an extreme that everything is figurative, A lot (not all) of people that follow “q” theory are in this camp. Some say it is all Literal, others say it is all literalistic. Some blend these ideas.

Once again, on not just an essential, a core tenant of Protestantism is all over the place. In other words No Unity.

Now, what about another item… Baptism…
This is an essential belief right? Then why is there once again no agreement. Some say it is water baptism, others say it is talking about spirit only, other say it is effectual for salvations, other say it is only a symbol. Some even go so far as to say Water baptism is a mark of the beast. How is this Unity?

All say they believe in baptism, but there is once again no agreement what this means.

Well, what about Sin… Surely ALL protestants agree on what sin is, right? Again, even here. No agreement. Some say it is simply doing anything that makes god unhappy. Others say you can only sin if you are under the Jewish law… And then you have a wide variety of beliefs in between.


War, I am not trying to be argumentative, and this is not meant as a slap at Protestants. I am only saying that there is No unity, there is no agreement on Core essentials, and saying there is unity either means you have not studied, you have not studied very deeply, or you know there isn’t unity, and are being deceptive.

Again, I did NOT get this because of Catholic Propaganda. The fact that you took it there makes your agreement suspect. Please, if you don’t beleive me. Fine, then don’t. But do the homework. Make the phone calls. If you are honest about it, you will find the unity that you proclaim is not there.

May the peace of Christ be with you always.


#12

Actually, you explained why you disagreed with the number. Depending upon the criterion used for determining denominations the number will vary. You didnt actually offer a number of your own to qualify your characterization of this number as “inaccurate”, nor have you proposed a list of the “core doctrine” criteria you hold to which unites Protestants.

We don’t differ or conflict over essential doctrines, but it’s true that we do sometimes disagree over peripheral issues or matters of what the Bible calls adiopheron. But he fact that the Bible tells us to extend the liberty to one another to disagree over these things tells us that God understands that Christians will sometimes disagree over them.

Do you have any idea what are “essential” doctrines? Are others in the Protestant community bound to your assessment of what the “core” doctrine are? Until you come up with a list of the core doctrine, we have no idea what you are talking about because Scripture doesnt separate essential doctrine from non-essential doctrine.

OK. Name any two Christian denominations and what essential doctrine they disagree on and how they disagree. I offer this challenge to Roman Catholics all the time and not one of them has ever been able to come up with an example of two Christian denominations disagreeing on any of the essential doctrines

Below are some issues which have historically divided Christians - divided as in congregations have chosen not to worship regularly with one another as a result of them. Perhaps you even have some issues I have not included here - please add them to the list. If there are some which you believe are not worthy of being considered a “division” (ie resulting in a separate denonination in Christianity) then remove them from the list.

[LIST]
*]Jesus is God (vs not)
*]Hell is real (vs not)
*]Real Presence (vs symbol)
*]Water Baptism important (vs unnecessary)
*]Infant Baptism (vs adult, believer)
*]Baptism by Immersion (vs other)
*]Confession in Church (vs directly to God)
*]OSAS (vs able to lose salvation)
*]Homosexuality OK (vs a sin)
*]Divorce OK (vs a sin)
*]Alcohol use OK (vs a sin)
*]Contraception OK (vs a sin)
*]Abortion OK (vs a sin)
*]Women ministers (vs men only)
*]Gay ministers (vs no homosexual ministers)
*]Rapture (vs no)
*]Millenialism (vs Amillenialism)
*]Sunday Worship (vs Saturday)[/LIST]


#13

If it were me, I’d have a bigger problem with the fact that many of my beliefs and practices were unbiblical than I would with the person who cared enough about me to point that out.

There are some Christian denomination who believe in OSAS and another does not. There is another Christian denomination that believes in Infant baptism, while others do not.

One is adiopheron, while the other is a non-essential.

There is a Penecostal Church that insist that they baptized only in Jesus Name Only.

Sounds like the UCC, which, according to 2 John isn’t Christian.

You tell them that because they believe they are Christians but believe the Trinity as unbiblical. They base their belief on the Bible Alone.

As long as 2 John says that they’re not Christians, then they’re not Christians.

Roman Catholic Propaganda? Oh please. the Catholic Church recognizes Christians not in communion with us as being separated brothers and sisters in Christ. Whether you like it or not, you are a member of our Church since our baptism units us to the Body of Christ, which is the Church.

Oh, I can just see how we’d go over in a Roman Catholic church.

Doctrinally, there is no core unity in Protestantism.

Actually, we’re united around the essential doctrines of the faith.

Unless you put out a joint declaration on agreeing all major issues on the nature of God and his plan for us. Then we will believe you are united.

No you won’t. Because if you believed we’re united, then you’d have one less straw man to claim that we’re not really a part of the “true church”.


#14

Why? As long as we’re united around the essential doctrines, what’s the difference?

Where in the Bible can I find this list of essential doctrines?

The deity of Jesus

Jesus is God in flesh (John 8:58 with Exodus 3:14). See also John 1:1,14; 10:30-33; 20:28; Col. 2:9; Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 1:8
1 John 4:2-3: "This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God:

Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge
Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world."

The above verse needs to be cross referenced with John 1:1,14 (also written by John) where he states that the Word was God and the Word became flesh.

1 John 4:2-3 is saying that if you deny that Jesus is God in flesh then you are of the spirit of Antichrist.

John 8:24, “I said, therefore, to you, that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I am, you will die in your sins.”

Jesus said here that if you do not believe “that I am” you will die in your sins. In Greek I am is ‘ego eimi,’ which means ‘I am.’ These are the same words used in John 8:58 where Jesus says “…before Abraham was, I am.” He was claiming the divine title by quoting Exodus 3:14 in the Greek Septuagint. (The Septuagint was the Hebrew Old Testament translated into Greek.)

Jesus is the proper object of faith

It is not simply enough to have faith. Faith is only as valid as what it is put in. You must put your faith in the proper object. Cults have false objects of faith; therefore, their faith is useless–no matter how sincere they are.

If you put your faith in a vacuum cleaner, then you will be in a lot of trouble on the day of judgment. You might have great faith, but so what? It is in something that can’t save you.

The Doctrine of the deity of Christ includes:

The Trinity - There is one God who exists in three persons: The
Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They are all coeternal, and of the same nature.

Monotheism - There is only one God in all existence (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6,8; 45:5,14,18,21,22; 46:9; 47:8). Mormons believe that many gods exist though they serve and worship only one. Therefore, they are polytheists which excludes them from the camp of Christianity.

The Hypostatic Union - That Jesus is both God and man.

The sufficiency of the sacrifice of Christ - The sacrifice of Christ is completely sufficient to pay for the sins of the world

As God - Jesus must be God to be able to offer a sacrifice of value greater than that of a mere man.

He had to die for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2). Only God could do that.

As man - Jesus must be man to be able to be a sacrifice for man.
As a man He can be the mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5).

Salvation by Grace

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast” (Eph. 2:8-9, NIV).

“You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace” (Gal. 5:4).

This verse and its context plainly teach that if you believe that you are saved by faith and works then you are not saved at all.

This is a common error in the cults. Because they have a false
Jesus, they have a false doctrine of salvation. (Read Rom. 3-5 and Gal. 3-5).
you cannot add to the work of God. Gal. 2:21 says, “I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (NIV)

“Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin” (Rom. 3:20).

“However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness” (Rom. 4:5).

“Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law” (Gal. 3:21).

cont…


#15

…cont…

The Resurrection of Christ

“And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Cor. 15:14). “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins” (1 Cor. 15:17).

To deny the physical resurrection is to deny Jesus’ work, sacrifice, and our resurrection.

These verses clearly state that if you say that Jesus did not rise from the dead (in the same body He died in – John 2:19-21), then your faith is useless.

The Gospel

“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!” (Gal. 1:8-9, NIV).

Verses 8 and 9 here in Galatians are a self declarative statement that you must believe the gospel. The gospel message which in its entirety is that Jesus is God in flesh, who died for sins, rose from the dead, and freely gives the gift of eternal life to those who believe.

Furthermore, it would not be possible to present the gospel properly without declaring that Jesus is God in flesh per John 1:1,14; 10:30-33; 20:28; Col. 2:9; Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 1:8.
1 Cor. 15:1-4 defines what the gospel is: “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (NIV).

Within these verses are the essentials: Christ is God in flesh (John 1:1,14; 10:30-33; 20:28; Col. 2:9); Salvation is received by faith (John 1:12; Rom. 10:9-10), therefore it is by grace; and the resurrection is mentioned in verse 4. Therefore, this gospel message automatically includes the essentials.

Who decides what is essential?

God.

Even the Baptists don’t agree on something as essential as salvation! Some Baptists teach that once you’ve prayed a “sinner’s prayer” you are 100% guaranteed to go to Heaven. Go down the road to another Baptist church and they’ll say that a person can lose their salvation.

That’s not salvation, that’s OSAS. They will both agree that one is saved by repentance and faith in Christ and His atonement on man’s behalf.

Both Baptist churches use the Bible as their sole rule of faith, but yet they disagree on this one doctrine, which I’d certainly call essential!

You might. The Bible doesn’t.

Christ’s Church is the Catholic Church. Which Protestant church was founded by Christ and His apostles?

The one in Acts.

Pretty please, don’t exclude other rites from the Catholic faith.

OK. You stop implying that we’re not a part of the “real church” and I’ll stop saying what thousands of Catholic church put on the signs outside their churches.

I already told you about two **Baptist **churches that disagree on a very essential doctrine, salvation!

No, you told me about two Baptist churches (which you did not name, by the way) that disagree on OSAS, which is adiopheron, not essential.

Here’s another essential - Baptism. Oh, wait. Some Protestants don’t believe that’s essential. But if you go to a Church of Christ, and any of the splinter groups from them, they’ll say that Baptism IS essential and you’re not truly saved until you’ve been baptized!

Like I said, because of their false doctrines on the nature of Christ, 2 John says that they’re not Christians.

Presbyterians, Methodists, Episcopalians, and Lutherans all believe in baptizing infants to bring them into the New Covenant. Baptists, Pentecostals and most non-denominational churches only baptize someone when they’re able to vocalize a profession of faith.

While I don’t believe in infant baptism, just as they would not believe in believers’ baptism, we both acknowledge that it is a matter of adiopheron, not essential.

Now, where is that list of essentials in the Bible? Chapter and verse, please.:slight_smile:

It’s the same list as the last time I gave it to you.


#16

OK. Let’s see some links.

Show me the links of any two denominations that disagree over any of the essentials.

However, per your request, I would like to touch on two of the Core Premises. Faith Alone and Scripture alone. Keep in mind, i am looking at Church level, not at the individual level

Faith Alone:
On the surface all protestant Churches say Faith Alone is a core tenant… An essential. So, I asked, what does faith alone mean. As you go down the list of churches and denominations, you get a wide variety of differing beliefs. For example, some belief that Faith Alone means ALL you have to do is believe. Once you believe Jesus Died for you and you accept his saving grace, everything is set. Some take this further and say you can then never loose that saving faith, the OSAS position.

Others take a more relaxed POV and say that you can still loose that faith and therefore loose salvation. Some believe Faith alone means that your faith will magically transform you and you will automatically and you will do those works God asks of you. However, some say the not doing those works doesn’t matter, God just gives you the desire to do those works. Doing them isn’t an issue. Other’s say that though you are saved by faith alone, we still must follow the desire god gives us to do those good works. Not doing those good works results in a lose of salvation. Much like getting fired from a Job.

Just in this one matter, you will find very little agreement and unity. Protestants are ONLY unified by this matter by saying they all Agree we are saved by Faith Alone, but there is almost no agreement what Faith Alone actually means.

OK. So can you show me any Christian denomination that believes in faith in anything other than Christ and His atonement on the cross for our salvation?

Scripture Alone:
What about Scripture alone, the second core essential agreed upon by all Protestants. Is there unity here?

Again, it is not an essential.

Again, you run into a similar issue. Some churches go so far as to say that we don’t even need a church. All you need is the bible, and prayer and you will learn everything you need. Church can actual HINDER ones growth. Others are less stringent and say, well… you can get by with just the Bible, but you need to go to church to keep yourself focused.

While that may be wrong, it isn’t an essential.

On the “High Church” side of protestantism, you have it meaning that scripture is the final authority, but you still need church, pastors, elders and Bishops to teach you what scripture actually means.

Actually, most high churches are very liberal and don’t accept God’s word as the final authority.

Once again, on not just an essential, a core tenant of Protestantism is all over the place. In other words No Unity.

Not an essential.

Now, what about another item… Baptism…

Unless they’re teaching that you are saved by baptism, which I don’t believe any Christian church does, it isn’t an essential.

This is an essential belief right?

No.

Some even go so far as to say Water baptism is a mark of the beast.

What Christian denomination says that water baptism is a mark of the beast?

There is no unity about what this means.

There is unity about what it means, they just disagree about how to exercise it.

Well, what about Sin… Surely ALL protestants agree on what sin is, right? Again, even here. No agreement. Some say it is simply doing anything that makes god unhappy. Others say you can only sin if you are under the Jewish law… And then you have a wide variety of beliefs in between.

Not an essential. All believe that we sin and need a Savior.

War, I am not trying to be argumentative

But, based on the fact that you’re presenting non-essentials and matters of adiopheron as “essentials”, I can’t believe that you’re being sincere, either.

I am only saying that there is No unity

And as somebody who sees our unity every day, I’m saying that there is.

there is no agreement on Core essentials

And this would be a lie on your part.

and saying there is unity either means you have not studied, you have not studied very deeply, or you know there isn’t unity, and are being deceptive.

No, it means that I’m not going to believe your lies over what I see every day.


#17

And why it’s inaccurate.

Depending upon the criterion used for determining denominations the number will vary. You didnt actually offer a number of your own to qualify your characterization of this number as “inaccurate”, nor have you proposed a list of the “core doctrine” criteria you hold to which unites Protestants.

No, I didn’t. Because Roman Catholics are the ones who have an issue with the number of churches. I don’t care about the number. I only care about the unity that we share.

And, yes, I already gave a list of essentials.

Do you have any idea what are “essential” doctrines?

Yes I do. Do you have any idea why Roman Catholics get so upset when we tell them what Roman Catholicism teaches, and then turn around and have no problem telling us what we believe?

Are others in the Protestant community bound to your assessment of what the “core” doctrine are?

If you mean “do others in the Christian community recognize the Biblical teaching on the essentials”, I’ve never found any who don’t.

[LIST]
*]Jesus is God (vs not)
*]Hell is real (vs not)
*]Real Presence (vs symbol)
*]Water Baptism important (vs unnecessary)
*]Infant Baptism (vs adult, believer)
*]Baptism by Immersion (vs other)
*]Confession in Church (vs directly to God)
*]OSAS (vs able to lose salvation)
*]Homosexuality OK (vs a sin)
*]Divorce OK (vs a sin)
*]Alcohol use OK (vs a sin)
*]Contraception OK (vs a sin)
*]Abortion OK (vs a sin)
*]Women ministers (vs men only)
*]Gay ministers (vs no homosexual ministers)
*]Rapture (vs no)
*]Millenialism (vs Amillenialism)
*]Sunday Worship (vs Saturday)[/LIST]

Only one of these is essential and the Bible (and, yes, I know you’re gonig to disagree with the Bible) tells us that if they deny the deity of Christ, they’re not Christians, so your point is moot.


#18
  1. Look in the phone book.

  2. Call each religious community you find.

  3. Ask them who the definitive earthly person is who can define doctrine and dogma for that community.

  4. Extend that to the population at large.

Every Catholic parish you call will answer “Pope Benedict XVI”.

As we’ve seen in various threads here, every other community, if they provide a name at all, will provide different ones.

It isn’t “diversity”. It is anarchy. The anarchy is a direct result of the false doctrine of sola scriptura and the disobedience of the “Reformers”.


#19

And where in the Bible may we find the “Book of the Essentials?”


#20

I don’t know what to tell you. I’ll take our unity and our “anarchy” over your religion any day of the week.


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