Unity or Heresy, Part 13 – Conclusion Part 3
We are almost to the end of this series. This week I will look at those items which speak to the nature of God. This means that one cannot turn away from these and still be considered Christian. Again, much of this is taken directly from the denominational websites. Color coded for ease of translation. RED is significant heresy while YELLOW is heresy that could lead to lack of Christian status for the church.
God exists in the Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
Roman Catholic – “Thus, in the words of the Athanasian Creed: ‘the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there are not three Gods but one God.’ In this Trinity of Persons the Son is begotten of the Father by an eternal generation, and the Holy Spirit proceeds by an eternal procession from the Father and the Son. Yet, notwithstanding this difference as to origin, the Persons are co-eternal and co-equal: all alike are uncreated and omnipotent.
Eastern Orthodox – We believe that the Father, who is the Source of all that exists, always has His Son and His Spirit who are not creatures, Who were not made like everything and everyone else, but Who exist eternally with Him; from, in and by His very own divine being.
Mormon – The trinity is three separate Gods: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. “That these three are separate individuals, physically distinct from each other, is demonstrated by the accepted records of divine dealings with man,” (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 35).
Jehovah’s Witness – There is no Trinity, Let God be True, 2nd Ed., pp. 100-101; Should You Believe in the Trinity? p. 7; Watchtower, 2/1/1960, p. 94, Why Do You Believe in the Trinity?
7th Day Adventist – There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present.
Christian Science – The unity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is Life, Truth, and Love. Jesus, the Messiah, is divine, not a deity.
Anglican/Episcopalian – And in unity of this Godhead there are three Persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
Pentecostal/Charismatic – There is one God, who has revealed Himself as our Father, in His Son Jesus Christ, and as the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is God manifested in flesh. He is both God and man.
Holiness/Holy – And in the unity of this Godhead, there are three Persons of one substance of eternal being, and equal in holiness, justice, wisdom, power, and dignity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Assemblies of God – We therefore may speak with propriety of the Lord our God who is One Lord, as a trinity or as one Being of three persons …”
Disciples of Christ – Disciples of Christ profess God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in their Confession, and they baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Church members are allowed freedom of opinion on this and other doctrines and are expected to give others that same freedom.
Quaker – Friends believe in God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit, although belief in the roles each Person plays vary widely among Quakers.
Foursquare Gospel – and that in the unity of the Godhead there are three, equal in every divine perfection executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
Salvation Army – We believe that there are three persons in the Godhead – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, undivided in essence and co-equal in power and glory.
Christian Reform – A quick look at the structure of the Apostles’ Creed reveals one of the bedrock truths of the Christian faith: the Trinity. The creed is divided into three parts: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. All Christians believe that the Bible reveals one God in three “persons.” In other words, God is a perfect community of love.
Full Gospel – varies
Apostolic – There is one eternal God, the Creator of all things, who exists in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Mennonite – We worship the one holy and loving God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit eternally.
Brethren – In the name of God, we declare and confess before men that we believe in the only true God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; that these three are one–the Father in the Son, the Son in the Father, and the Holy Ghost equal in essence or being with both; that this triune God created the heavens and the earth and all that in them is, visible as well as invisible, and furthermore sustains, governs, protects, and supports the same.
Nazarene – We believe in one God-the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Church of God – In one God eternally existing in three persons; namely, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Church of Christ- We believe in Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, the manifestation of God in flesh, who lived, suffered, and died for all mankind; whom we own as our only Leader, Witness and Commander.
United Church of Christ – We believe in the triune God: Creator, resurrected Christ, the sole Head of the church, and the Holy Spirit, who guides and brings about the creative and redemptive work of God in the world.
Presbyterian – He exists eternally as one God in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—a mystery beyond our understanding, but not a contradiction.
Lutheran – “We worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one: the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.”
Methodist – When we say the Apostles’ Creed, we join with millions of Christians through the ages in an understanding of God as a Trinity—three persons in one: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Baptist – The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
Evangelical/Non-Denominational – varies
Matthew 1:20-23 – But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ”The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”– which means, “God with us.”
The virgin birth of Jesus – this relates to the incarnation of Christ as both God and man
Roman Catholic – From conception, Mary was without original sin (Immaculate Conception). Mary is the “Mother of God.” Mary was a virgin when she conceived Jesus, when she gave birth, and remained a virgin throughout her life. (this is yellow because of the remaining a virgin her whole life piece…Matt 1:25, is pretty clear about that)
Eastern Orthodox – http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/theotokos.aspx
Mormon – “The birth of the Saviour was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood – was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers,” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115).
Jehovah’s Witness – Jesus took on human form as the man Jesus by means of a virgin birth.
7th Day Adventist – He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary
Christian Science – They believe in the virgin birth
Anglican/Episcopalian – Anglicans believe Jesus was conceived and born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. Mary was a virgin both when she conceived Jesus and when she gave birth. “They … have difficulties with Catholic belief in her immaculate conception – the idea … that Mary was free from the stain of original sin from the moment of her own conception …”
Pentecostal/Charismatic – The one true God, the Jehovah of the Old Testament, took upon Himself the form of man, and as the Son of man, was born of the virgin Mary.
Holiness/Holy – We believe that the Son, who is the Word of the Father, the very and eternal God, of one substance with the Father, took man’s nature in the womb of the blessed virgin
Assemblies of God – Mary was a virgin both when she conceived Jesus and when she gave birth. (Luke 1:34-38). Though “highly favored” by God (Luke 1:28), Mary was human and conceived in sin.
Disciples of Christ – Beliefs vary from congregation to congregation and among individuals concerning the Trinity, the Virgin Birth, the existence of heaven and hell, and God’s plan of salvation.
Quaker – Some, but not all Quakers, view the doctrine of Jesus’ and the virgin birth as nonessential and not accepted as fact.
Foursquare Gospel – Co-existent and co-eternal with the Father, who, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary
Salvation Army – The Virgin Birth illuminates our understanding of the nature of the Lord Jesus Christ. It asserts his divinity as well as his advent in time as a man, made in the image of God. It reminds us that Jesus is both like us and unlike us.
Christian Reform – who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.
Full Gospel – varies
Apostolic – Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was begotten by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life.
Mennonite – We acknowledge Jesus Christ as the only Son of God, the Word of God incarnate. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
Brethren – We believe in Jesus Christ; that He is very God and man; that He became incarnate by the power of the Holy Ghost in the Virgin Mary and was born of her;
Nazarene – While He is God, He is also human. Jesus was born to the Virgin Mary when the power of the Holy Spirit came upon her (Luke 1:26-35). In Him, the nature of God and the nature of humanity are united in one Person (Colossians 1:19-20).
Church of God – That Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of the Father, conceived of the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary.
Church of Christ – The statement in Isaiah 7:14 is taken as a prophecy of the virgin birth of Christ. New Testament passages such as Matthew 1:20, 25, are accepted at face value as declarations of the virgin birth. Christ is accepted as the only begotten Son of God, uniting in his person perfect divinity and perfect manhood.
United Church of Christ – There is nothing on their website discussing the virgin birth.
Presbyterian – Jesus was conceived and born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. Mary is honored as “God-bearer” and a model for Christians.
Lutheran – Jesus was conceived and born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. Mary was a virgin both when she conceived Jesus and when she gave birth.
Methodist – Mary was a virgin both when she conceived Jesus and when she gave birth. The United Methodist Church does not subscribe to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception – that Mary herself was conceived without original sin.
Baptist – Mary was a virgin both when she conceived Jesus and when she gave birth. (Luke 1:34-38). Though “highly favored” by God (Luke 1:28), Mary was human and conceived in sin.
Evangelical/Non-Denominational – varies
Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.