Whats the difference in all the denominations out there?


#1

My dad really does not know what Church to atend im working on him with the Catholic Church. But the problem is most people my dad included just go to a church that feels good. With no intention with what the denomination really teaches on some core issues. What does it matter as long as they believe Jesus is God and they feel good in that Church. But I would have a problem going to a church and only knowing the only thing about my denomination is that we believe in Jesus. And not knowing the difference in Assembly of God, Baptist, Lutheran Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic

So I myself would like to know even though not interested in converting to a different denomination but would like to know the main differences. If that is at all possible. Here are some of the most common issues I could think of. If you can add anything please do.

Authority

Bible

Results of Fall

Predestination

Atonement

Divine grace

Good works

Salvation

The Church

Sacraments

Priests

Transubstantiation

Prayer to saints


#2

Neat thread idea Odell :thumbsup: I am a Confessional member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod; I will list brief statements about our positions:

Authority

“We accept as our confession all the symbols contained in the Book of Concord of the year 1580. – The symbols of the Lutheran Church are not a rule of faith beyond, and supplementary to, Scripture, but a confession of the doctrines of Scripture over against those who deny these doctrines. Since the Christian Church cannot make doctrines, but can and should simply profess the doctrine revealed in Holy Scripture, the doctrinal decisions of the symbols are binding upon the conscience not because they are the outcome of doctrinal controversies, but only because they are the doctrinal decisions of Holy Scripture itself.”

Bible

“We teach that the Holy Scriptures differ from all other books in the world in that they are the Word of God. They are the Word of God because the holy men of God who wrote the Scriptures wrote only that which the Holy Ghost communicated to them by inspiration, 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21. We teach also that the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures is not a so-called “theological deduction,” but that it is taught by direct statements of the Scriptures, 2 Tim. 3:16, John 10:35, Rom. 3:2; 1 Cor. 2:13. Since the Holy Scriptures are the Word of God, it goes without saying that they contain no errors or contradictions, but that they are in all their parts and words the infallible truth, also in those parts which treat of historical, geographical, and other secular matters, John 10:35. We furthermore teach regarding the Holy Scriptures that they are given by God to the Christian Church for the foundation of faith, Eph. 2:20. Hence the Holy Scriptures are the sole source from which all doctrines proclaimed in the Christian Church must be taken and therefore, too, the sole rule and norm by which all teachers and doctrines must be examined and judged. – With the Confessions of our Church we teach also that the “rule of faith” (analogia fidei) according to which the Holy Scriptures are to be understood are the clear passages of the Scriptures themselves which set forth the individual doctrines.”

**Results of Fall **

We furthermore teach that sin came into the world by the fall of the first man, as described [sic] Gen. 3. By this Fall not only he himself, but also his natural offspring have lost the original knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, and thus all men are sinners already by birth, dead in sins, inclined to all evil, and subject to the wrath of God, Rom. 5:12, 18; Eph. 2:1-3. We teach also that men are unable, through any efforts of their own or by the aid of “culture and science,” to reconcile themselves to God and thus conquer death and damnation.

**Predestination **

The LCMS believes that Scripture clearly teaches a predestination to salvation by God’s grace in Jesus Christ alone. The LCMS does not believe that Scripture teaches a predestination to damnation: God desires all to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:3-4). Like so many teachings of Scripture (e.g., the Trinity, eternity, the two natures of Christ, the love of a holy God for rebellious sinners), this teaching seems contradictory and is incomprehensible to human reason. We believe it not because it “makes sense” to human reason, but because this is what we find taught in the pages of God’s holy Word.

Atonement

We teach that in the fullness of time the eternal Son of God was made man by assuming, from the Virgin Mary through the operation of the Holy Ghost, a human nature like unto ours, yet without sin, and receiving it unto His divine person. Jesus Christ is therefore “true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary,” true God and true man in one undivided and indivisible person. The purpose of this miraculous incarnation of the Son of God was that He might become the Mediator between God and men, both fulfilling the divine Law and suffering and dying in the place of mankind. In this manner God reconciled the whole sinful world unto Himself, Gal. 4:4, 5; 3:13; 2 Cor. 5:18, 19.

**Divine grace **

We teach that conversion consists in this, that a man, having learned from the Law of God that he is a lost and condemned sinner, is brought to faith in the Gospel, which offers him forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation for the sake of Christ’s vicarious satisfaction, Acts 11:21; Luke 24:46, 47; Acts 26:18. All men, since the Fall, are dead in sins, Eph. 2:1-3, and inclined only to evil, Gen. 6:5; 8:21; Rom. 8:7. For this reason, and particularly because men regard the Gospel of Christ, crucified for the sins of the world, as foolishness, 1 Cor. 2:14, faith in the Gospel, or conversion to God, is neither wholly nor in the least part the work of man, but the work of God’s grace and almighty power alone, Phil. 1:29; Eph. 2:8; 1:19; – Jer. 31:18. Hence Scripture call the faith of men, or his conversion, a raising from the dead, Eph. 1:20; Col. 2:12, a being born of God, John 1:12, 13, a new birth by the Gospel, 1 Pet, 1:23-25, a work of God like the creation of light at the creation of the world, 2 Cor. 4:6.

continued…didnt expect it to run that long…


#3

**Good works **

Before God only those works are good which are done for the glory of God and the good of man, according to the rule of divine Law. Such works, however, no man performs unless he first believes that God has forgiven him his sins and has given him eternal life by grace, for Christ’s sake, without any works of his own, John 15:4, 5. We reject as a great folly the assertion, frequently made in our day, that works must be placed in the fore, and “faith in dogmas” – meaning the Gospel of Christ crucified for the sins of the world – must be relegated to the rear. Since good works never precede faith, but are always and in every instance the result of faith in the Gospel, it is evident that the only means by which we Christians can become rich in good works (and God would have us to be rich in good works, Titus 2:14) is unceasingly to remember the grace of God which we have received in Christ, Rom. 12:1; 2 Cor. 8:9. Hence we reject as unchristian and foolish any attempt to produce good works by the compulsion of the Law or through carnal motives.

**Salvation **

Holy Scripture sums up all its teachings regarding the love of God to the world of sinners, regarding the salvation wrought by Christ, and regarding faith in Christ as the only way to obtain salvation, in the article of justification. Scripture teaches that God has already declared the whole world to be righteous in Christ, Rom. 5:19; 2 Cor. 5:18-21; Rom. 4:25; that therefore not for the sake of their good works, but without the works of the Law, by grace, for Christ’s sake, He justifies, that is, accounts as righteous, all those who believe, accept, and rely on, the fact that for Christ’s sake their sins are forgiven. Thus the Holy Ghost testifies through St. Paul: “There is no difference; for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” Rom. 3:23, 24. And again: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the Law,” Rom. 3:28.

**The Church **

We believe that there is one holy Christian Church on earth, the Head of which is Christ and which is gathered, preserved, and governed by Christ through the Gospel. The members of the Christian Church are the Christians, that is, all those who have despaired of their own righteousness before God and believe that God forgives their sins for Christ’s sake. The Christian Church, in the proper sense of the term, is composed of believers only, Acts 5:14; 26:18; which means that no person in whom the Holy Ghost has wrought faith in the Gospel, or – which is the same thing – in the doctrine of justification, can be divested of his membership in the Christian Church; and, on the other hand, that no person in whose heart this faith does not dwell can be invested with such membership. All unbelievers, though they be in external communion with the Church and even hold the office of teacher or any other office in the Church, are not members of the Church, but, on the contrary, dwelling-places and instruments of Satan, Eph. 2:2. This is also the teaching of our Lutheran Confessions: “It is certain, however, that the wicked are in the power of the devil and members of the kingdom of the devil, as Paul teaches, Eph. 2:2, when he says that `the devil now worketh in the children of disobedience,”’ etc.

**Sacraments **

Since it is only through the external means ordained by Him that God has promised to communicate the grace and salvation purchased by Christ, the Christian Church must not remain at home with the means of grace entrusted to it, but go into the whole world with the preaching of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments, Matt. 28:19, 20; Mark 16:15, 16. For the same reason also the churches at home should never forget that there is no other way of winning souls for the Church and keeping them with it than the faithful and diligent use of the divinely ordained means of grace. Whatever activities do not either directly apply the Word of God or subserve such application we condemn as “new methods,” unchurchly activities, which do not build, but harm the Church. We reject as a dangerous error the doctrine, which disrupted the Church of the Reformation, that the grace and the Spirit of God are communicated not through the external means ordained by Him, but by an immediate operation of grace. This erroneous doctrine bases the forgiveness of sins, or justification, upon a fictitious “infused grace,” that is, upon a quality of man.

Priests

By the public ministry we mean the office by which the Word of God is preached and the Sacraments are administered by order and in the name of a Christian congregation. Concerning this office we teach that it is a divine ordinance; that is, the Christians of a certain locality must apply the means of grace not only privately and within the circle of their families nor merely in their common intercourse with fellow-Christians, John 5:39; Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:16, but they are also required, by the divine order, to make provision that the Word of God be publicly preached in their midst, and the Sacraments administered according to the institution of Christ, by persons qualified for such work, whose qualifications and official functions are exactly defined in Scripture, Titus 1:5; Acts 14:23; 20:28; 2 Tim. 2:2.

**Transubstantiation **

Lutherans reject such an attempt to explain the Real Presence and insist that we must adhere to the simple words of Christ and be content to believe them as a divine mystery beyond human comprehension or explanation.

Prayer to saints

Of the Worship of Saints they teach that the memory of saints may be set before us, that we may follow their faith and good works, according to our calling, as the Emperor may follow the example of David in making war to drive away the Turk from his country. For both are kings. But the Scripture teaches not the invocation of saints or to ask help of saints, since it sets before us the one Christ as the Mediator, Propitiation, High Priest,
and Intercessor. He is to be prayed to, and has promised that He will hear our prayer; and this worship He approves above all, to wit, that in all afflictions He be called upon, 1 John 2, 1: 4] If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, etc.


#4

With so many Denominations,it would be impossible to list all the differances,but here are a few:Calvaniste believe pre-destination is God created some people for Heaven and the others for Hell.I don’t know of any that believe in the Comunion of Saints.A lot of them believe in their own private interpetation of scripture.They do not believe Peter is the Rock.They do not believe in transubstanciation.Baptism,Comunion are the only Sacraments they accept and most believe they realy don’t mean anything.Some believe "once in Grace always in Grace.Some believe you do not have the Holy Spirit unless you speak in tongues.Some believe the Bible is totally literal,and believe it or not there are some who drink poison and handle snakes.As you can see there is a lot of work to be done to help our separated breathern.


#5

Thanks

But two things this whole infused versus imputed deal I wish you would start a thed on that I have tried and no one has met the challenge try my thred Christ died for me or start your own as I have said I have tried two times to start a thred in the past on this subject and no Protestant has even tried to explain infused versus imputed
So let’s see what you got

Also I didn’t ask what scripture teaches in this thred I know what it teaches that is why I am Catholic all I want to know is the main teaching differences in all denominations

Thanks for the Lutheran stand point


#6

Thanks

I knew it would be difficult

arnt Pryspeterians calvenest and what is the differnce in pryspeterians and pres USA

Or united Methodist and just Methodist

Difficult but I have always wondered

Tahnks


#7

Odell:

These topics can be found at NewAdvent.org, and are more detailed and would assist you better.

What I would search for is a Church that was established by God, and the same one that was foretold by God would be born by His son. I would recognize it because it was foretold that His Son would die on the cross for our sins, and he would come back from the dead and raise dead people himself. Before he left for heaven he would establish an Apostolic Church, where future faithful can always be blessed by a succession of Apostles to aid us and deliver the truth, and establish a Sacrament of Penance so that we can never be abandoned and lost before he returned.

In character this Son of Man would do astonishing things, and devils would depart on his very command. Diseases would be relegated to nuisances and disappear, and death would lose it’s power.

He would empower his Apostles and Ministers to bestow the Fruits of the Church on us all through the Sacraments, which only this Church in it’s bounty can provide in richness.

I would be curious as to how a particular church had it’s beginnings, which “inconvenience” that the original Son of Man’s Church imposed that warranted a reformation by man. I would be cautious in a church that offered entertainment value, or provided some human convenience, or hate agenda, or one where it wasn’t required to expend energy, or had a dogma of self-centered-ism providing counsel on the “feel good/self esteem” premise, or dogma that is as varied has the whims of it’s ministers. Popularity by society would send up red flags of warning.

The true Church is still with us today by the same never changing name, the Catholic Church. It’s dogma would be the same as it was 2000 years ago as Jesus ensured it would. It requires obligations, but oddly the newcomer would find how attuned these obligations are to the interaction of the unital family. They become a part of the norm and not obligations. How intertwined it is with the understanding of the human condition. How it is willing to work with and assist those in Spiritual pain. The Mass is like a look forward to outing. Confession is simply a meeting with God to say we are sorry, and to really attain a state of salvation. The events and social groups are an extension of family activity.

This is a Church I would want for myself and my family, one endorsed by God, unchanging and not man made; one where there can be no error in following.

AndyF


#8

You’re welcome Odell; I remember the thread you started at the time though I was swamped in discussions on another thread. What specifically about imputation vs. infusion did you want to discuss?


#9

Well I’m not the best apologest but I started the thred so I could basically get a better understanding of both because I think it is the crux of the problem when it comes to faith and works and I wanted to atac faith and works from a different angle
Maybe you can start a thred on it

Thanks


#10

What a wonderful and thorough post! I thank you, especially, for using scripture to back up your viewpoint.


#11

How about this! youtube.com/watch?v=6sP0yDQ4hGM&NR=1


#12

Plese remember that the Catholic Church is not a denomination. Its the only true Church. Its the Protestants that are the denominations.


#13

Only infallible authority is the Bible. Governence by Session made up of elders. Representatives sent to higher bodies such as Presbytery, Synod and General Assembly.

Standard Protestant Bible of 66 books. Finally authority. Interpretation varies from literal to symbolic etc.

Basically total depravity.

Generally predestination of the Elect

Atonement made in more than one way including penal substitution, satisfaction, exemplary

God’s free gift

Required particularly as evidence of faith but do not merit salvation in anyway.

By grace accepted through faith.

The true church is invisible and comprises all true believers. The true church is found among the various denominations.

Two sacraments, baptism and communion. Sacraments are visible signs and seals of the spiritual reality which in some mysterious means they really convey. Marriage, confirmation, ordination and prayers for the sick practiced but not considered sacraments.


#14

Are you Presbyterian Sy?


#15

Presbyterian Church in Canada. It is much modified from its Calvinistic roots.


#16

I’m not sure if you want input on this generally, or only from Protestants, but in case it is the former:

infused–grace animates us and we are essentially changed
imputed–we remain unchanged, but we get a pass anyway due to the label pasted on our foreheads: CHRIST.

Martin Luther used the analogy of a dung hill–you and me. The dunghill is covered pure white with snow–Christ. The dung remains dung, but gets a pass as pure because only Christ is showing.

Luther also used the analogy of you and me walking into heaven hidden under Christ’s voluminous cloak–so God the Judge doesn’t even see us, He sees only Christ walking into heaven. So again, we get a pass.

For the Protestant, grace doesn’t change us, it sort of labels us. It is Protestant to think of grace as “God’s free gift”; Catholics get that it is God’s free gift of **God’s life inside our souls **animating us.

For the Catholic, grace changes us–we are made holy with God’s life living inside us, animating us as we respond with free obedience to that grace.

The “most-Catholic” of the protestants might lean more toward grace changing us. not sure.

For Catholics: The Sacraments all literally cause (in the disposed soul) what they signify.

For Protestants: They have only 2 of the 7 Sacraments, but even these they don’t think cause grace but only symbolize it. However, unbeknownst to them, baptism, for example, really does happen in their children’s souls when the water washes while the words are said: Their baptized children have an eternal “mark” imprinted on their souls such that they literally become adopted children of God; while the Original Sin literally infecting those souls is cured, though its scars remain.


#17

When it comes to something being infused or changed, I think that most Protestants would agree that there is something. Its nature and result are where we differ.

Many Protestants break salvation down into a number of parts, commonly regeneration, justification, sanctification and glorification. For us these are all part of the process of salvation and are closely connected but distinguished as separate. Catholicism use all these as basically the same as salvation itself.

Now in regeneration, what many would refer to as being born again, we do receive a new nature that allows us to love God and seek to please Him. Our sins are forgiven. This is the work of the Holy Spirit and can be viewed as an infusion that causes us to want to be righteous and to pursue that goal. However we still have part of our old sin nature inside of us that we must struggle against and we can still sin. Since we lack perfection we cannot be fully righteous in God’s eyes. For this reason justification is viewed as an imputation since we have right standing in God’s eyes even though we are not perfect. Sanctification is our effort to live righteously and become more and more like Christ. This is not completed in this life. The process is completed in glorification after death.

This is a very brief summary and may not cover everyone’s beliefs but I hope it helps you understand some of Protestant thinking.


#18

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