The number of Protestant denominations

You have to follow your conscience as I do as well.

Yes, I agree with following your conscience as best you can. The problem is that doesn’t help this discussion at all.

For indeed, the Buddhist and the Hindu and the Pagan and the Secularist, are also following their conscience in most cases.

Does this mean we close our churches?

Does this mean that we stop dong missions?

Does this mean that God’s plan is for all roads to lead to heaven?

Does this mean that God’s instructions end at our consciences?

No, The Bible clearly supports a different way, a way that is consistent with the Old Testament way, and a way that is held in trust by the Church.

We should seek that truth, the ONE truth of God, and not settle for living in our conscience alone with no concern for truth seeking.

So you have the truth and I have some of it?

Not quite.

The Catholic Church under the direct protection of the Holy Spirit has the fullness of Christian Truth.

Scripture clearly shows this protection.

The protestant communion has parts of this truth, but has strayed from the truth in a vast array of differing ways as is evidenced by the amount of denominations, all of which claim to hold the truth.

I can respect that. Yes there are many non Catholic Christian traditions that have strayed far.

I would say that the Catholic Church, those in communion with Rome, are part of the OHCAC along with a few others. I believe we all have the truth but sometimes our human wills get in the way.

Yeah, I would say the orthodox are somehow still holders of truth in a lot of ways but also lacking in regard to some due to the great schism and others. Their situation is more complex than Protestants.

Similarly in some ways, the Anglican Church has retained a good amount of the truth of the apostles. In other ways though (look at the american episcopal church) it seems to have run completely off the rails.

To me, the only confidence we can have that we are practicing the ways the Apostles did is to belong to the church that existed and/or came out of that time.

In order to have authority in Protestantism, one would need to point to a prophet or divine revelation to constitute the change. Interestingly enough Mormons are one of the few that do this, the rest offer no authority for their change outside of personal opinion on bible interpretation.

Wide range of beliefs… yes - I think that is what is intended by the 33,000 number. I do think it is improper to lump all Protestants into one bucket. Division is a problem, not a solution, however.

In general, many fundamentalist Protestant are obedient to God and Word. You mainline Protestants obedient to God, Church and Word.

I really do wonder how that happens - I haven’t been able to see it. I think it will be enjoyable to come together again after the two of us have passed through the veil and reflect on our obedience discussion. I look forward to our future conversation, provided we’re still interested and that God is willing to allow it.

Theological issues should always be seperated from social issues. TEC, the Church that I belong to, often mixes the two. I commend them for their desire to socially reform but also believe it should not be done from the pulpit.

That 33,000 includes Catholic Rites, Orthodox Rites, Non Christian religions as well. I believe there are only 7 true denominations with 1000s of sects.

I really do wonder how that happens - I haven’t been able to see it. I think it will be enjoyable to come together again after the two of us have passed through the veil and reflect on our obedience discussion. I look forward to our future conversation, provided we’re still interested and that God is willing to allow it.

I will be at the Irish Pub with the great Notre Dame football players of old. :wink:

We’ll have a good time then…

No, of course not. Protestants have a subset of the total known revelation of God. Here is a diagram:

All that may be known about God is U (extending infinitely in all directions). The Catholic Church knows B which represents the total extent of public revelation. Non-Catholic denominations are represented by A, and A will be of varying sizes depending on which non-Catholic group is being considered. A would be large for Orthodoxy and much smaller for Mormonism, for example.

There is no known truth about God that the Catholic Church does not have; therefore, no part of A is represented outside of B.

Hope this helps. :tiphat:

That’s awesome!! This is a great way to explain known truth!

:tiphat:

I agree with this as far as it goes. Just want to add, that most Protestants would approach this from a different perspective. They see “the Church” as a collection of individuals; they might notice that in a given country, or in a given decade, it appears that Protestant individuals know more about God on average than Catholic individuals, just as Protestants on average may be holier. And they may right at times, from their view.

But Catholics view “The Church” as something in itself. The Church is wise, the best source of all knowable knowledge, even if all Catholics are fools this month. The Church is holy, the best available human channel of God’s grace, even if all Catholics that year are scoundrels, and all Protestants are devout and prayerful.

Heaven and Hell are populated by individuals, not denominations. When I go before St. Peter, it won’t help my case to claim “I had the best opportunities for doctrine and sanctity”. So?

This humility moment was brought to you by Commenter, who lacks it.

I agree with this as far as it goes. Heaven is populated by individuals, but all of them are members of one denomination or Church.

I have heard that, worldwide, there are probably somewhere between 25,000 to 40,000 different Protestant sects, denominations, churches and ecclesial communities. Those numbers do not surprise me, because Protestantism is by nature fissiparous in its atomization of Christianity. Given the fact that every Protestant can interpret the Scriptures and the content and meaning of Christianity for himself and is frequently fickle in his or her choice of where to attend church, and given the equal tendency of Protestants, without proper ecclesiastical authorization, to set up their own free-lance congregations and parachurch missions, what is really surprising is that there are not as many sects, denominations, churches and ecclesial communities among Protestants as there are Protestants (about 650,000,000+ worldwide).

Have you, or anyone else, examined the beliefs of each of these supposedly different denominations to see if or in what way their teaching differs?

That would take a lot of doing. But all it takes to divide and separate them is one thing.

Think about it. If your Presbyterian pastor started to teach Transubstantiation. That’s it…divide from that.

If a baptist starts teaching infant baptism, they divide from that then there’s a new denomination of baptist infant baptizers.

And a new denomination of Presbyterian transubstantiationers.

And on and on with literally thousands of doctrines among the different factions of Protestantism that are significant to say, " I can’t worship here"

With respect to that 25K-40K number, have you read the first page or so of this thread?

GKC

Like you I have no intention of reading the first page or two of this thread, and I have heard that, worldwide, there are probably somewhere between 25,000 to 40,000 different Christian sects, denominations, churches and ecclesial communities. Those numbers do not surprise me, because Christianity is by nature fissiparous in its atomization of religion. Hang on. Is it possible I’m talking nonsense?

That morphing number of denoms is part of urban folklore in places like this.

GKC

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