Archive for the tag “Denominations”

Unity or Heresy, Part 1.5 – The Method

A few days ago I introduced a series that I will be doing that looks at the Christian denominations (and in some cases pseudo-Christian or cultic Christian) and tests them Scripturally.  In order to do this, I am going to compile a list of Scriptural teachings based on primary and secondary standing.  Then, based on the list I propose, I will come up with my own view on whether the denomination is 1) unified in the Christian faith, 2) Beginning to lean away from Biblical teaching, or 3) Apostate.  One thing needs to be said here.  Inside every true Christian denomination are apostate churches and churches that are faithful to the call of Christ.  This study will look at the overall denomination, NOT individual churches in each.

So before I begin digging into each denomination, here is the list I will be using:

1)      Primary Work and Nature of Christ – These are items that we cannot turn away from and still be considered Christian as are blatantly expressed in Scripture:

a.       Jesus is both God and man. (John 1:1, John 1:14, John 8:24, Colossians 2:9, 1 John 4:1-4)

b.      Jesus rose from the dead physically (John 2:19-21)

c.       Salvation is by grace through faith (Romans 5:1, Ephesians 2:8-9, Galatians 5:1-5)

d.      The gospel is about the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4, Galatians 1:8-9)

e.      There is only one God (Exodus 20:1-3, Isaiah 43:10, Isaiah 44:6-8)

2)      Nature of God – We cannot turn away from these and still be Christian

a.       God exists in the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost

b.      The virgin birth of Jesus – this relates to the incarnation of Christ as both God and man.

3)      Views on the Bible, church ordinances, and practice of Christians – turning away from these does not void salvation, however these are principles that are clear in Scripture and denial suggests apostasy.

a.       Male eldership and pastorate (1 Timothy 2:12-13, 1 Timothy 3:15, Titus 1:5-7)

b.      Fidelity in marriage and the heterosexual relationship (1 Corinthians 6:9)

c.       The condemnation of homosexuality (Romans 1:26-27)

d.      Inerrancy of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16)

4)      Non-essentials that are debated within Christianity that does not affect one’s salvation with God.  Denial or acceptance does not suggest apostasy.

a.       Baptism for adults/infants

b.      Predestination, election, free will

c.       Communion every week, month, year, etc…

d.      Saturday or Sunday worship

e.      Worship that is contemporary or traditional

f.        Pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, or post-tribulation rapture

g.       Premillenialism, amillenialism, and post millennialism

h.      Continuation or stopping of the charismatic gifts

So, after reviewing multiple websites, conferring with a few people whom I just graduated seminary with, and putting pieces together of my own theology, I came up with a pretty long list of items that I will consider as apostate and thus grade the denominations by in the upcoming 10 parts of the series.  The culmination will then be a chart that can be easily reviewed by denomination and apostasy or unity.

List of apostasies

1)      Denying the work and nature of Christ and the nature of God.  The first two points above culminate this one item in this list.  This includes the Trinity, the deity of Christ, salvation by grace, and Biblical moral absolutes.  If there is deviation from the primary works and nature of God, then apostasy is sure to be part of the church.

2)      Significant division in the body of Christ.  The gauge for this will be both John 13:35 and 1 Corinthians 1:10.  While we know that there will be differences of opinion, and that is healthy for any church (see Romans 14:1-12), anything that claims man’s rules over God’s absolutes is apostate.

3)      Homosexuality in church leadership.  Ordaining homosexual men into the ministry clearly goes against the gauges for this point which are Leviticus 18:22 and 1 Corinthians 6:9.

4)      Women elders and senior pastors.  This is a hotly debated topic in Christianity today.  Proof of the matter is that the Bible clearly states male leadership in the church.  Now, I am going to show a little of my trepidation here and I want you to know that I, personally, am on the fence about ANY leadership roles being allowed to be filled by women in the church.  Many great theologians today believe that woman can be ordained.  Many don’t.  The measure for this is going to be 1 Timothy 2:12-14, 1 Timothy 3:2, and Titus 1:5-7.  Keep in mind this is not a salvation issue.  This is apostasy issue, but not salvation.

5)      Ashamed to preach the Gospel.  The measure for this will be 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 and I need to give a shout out to my favorite verse in the Bible Romans 1:16.  The Gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is never an easy topic to speak about in today’s age, but it is a necessary one.

6)      Failing to send out missionaries.  The measure for this will be Matthew 28:18-20.  Jesus commands us to carry out the Great Commission.  Any church that does not support missionary work is in violation of Jesus’ command.

7)      A church that has become a storefront.  John 2:13-22 will be the Scripture verse for this.  I am not saying it is wrong to sell stuff at church.  For example, if you are undergoing a new vision casting session and you want people to support it, selling a T-shirt is not what I am talking about.  But there are churches, and entire denominations, that have created clothing lines and are selling them on their websites.  Also, the purpose of the sale is important.  A popular piece to almost all medium-large churches today is the coffee bar or sandwich shop.  Is the purpose to make money for the overall budget or is the purpose to support missions work or create community in the church to where the retail price of the product is equal to the cost of the product that you are serving.  This is a very gray area, and can easily turn subjective in this study, but I feel it must be approached.

8)      Church growth takes precedence over Biblical truths.  Ephesians 4:15 and John 14:6 are going to be the measure for this.  I will review the websites, doctrines, and claims of each denomination.

9)      Discipleship is not taking place.  The church is called to equip Christians.  The measure for this will be Ephesians 4:11.

10)   Not preaching about hell.  Jesus preached about eternal life a lot.  He taught of a life that was separated from God for eternity.  We call this hell.  The truth is that there WILL be people who are damned to hell for eternity.  That is not a gentle or easy topic, but whoever said preaching to Gospel would be popular or easy?

11)   Is the church growing organically.  Above we looked at church growth taking precedence over truth, but church growth needs to be happening.  I will look at statistics on the denomination’s growth (or lack thereof) over the past.  Acts 2 will be the measure of this.

12)   Church stances on abortion, evolution, and other hot button topics.  A church that doesn’t stand for something publicly stands for nothing eternally.

So these will be the measures of apostasy in the church.  As we review these by denomination, I will challenge you to research these with me.  If you feel uncomfortable by something I say on here, please research It on your own as well.  That is how we grow.

I guarantee that this will not be the perfect measure by any stretch of the imagination.  So if you are uncomfortable but going to a church that seems filled with apostasy, please approach your pastor.  Then approach other pastors and talk to them.  It is important to get a well-rounded view.

So next week, we will dig in to Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and the differences between Catholic and Protestant.  Hold on tight, here we go!

Unity or Heresy – Part 1, the Intro

Philemon 2:2Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose

I remember a day in 2005 when I was watching the news and heard a story about Pope Benedict XVI calling for “unification of Christians.”  Now what caught my eye was a quote that he said about collaborating with other religions.  “With this full knowledge, I would like to greet all those, including those who follow other religions … to reassure them that the church wants to continue with its open … sincere dialogue looking for the true good of man and of society.”

There are many signs that show to apostasy in the church, and one of them is lack of unity in the body of Christ.  Christians are to show love.  Jesus says that the world will know His disciples by the love we show one another (John 13:35).  The New Testament , in Ephesians 4:5, calls for us to be unified in Christ.

Paul cautions Christians to not follow anyone but Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:12-13).  Following man, not Jesus, leads to divisions in the church.  Now Paul does say that division is going to happen, and, when done in the proper manner, can be healthy.

1 Corinthians 11:19 – For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

It is not a secret that the Apostle Paul wanted unity in the church.  Paul’s books in the Bible were used to unify the Christians in the individual churches to which he communicated.

But we are human.

We are all different.

Our opinions are different.

Romans 14:1-12 – Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.  One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.  You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written:

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
    every tongue will acknowledge God.’”

So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

It is alright to have differences in opinion on non-essential things.  Style of worship, day of the week to worship, pre-tribulation or post-tribulation rapture, Armenianism, Calvinism, etc….  When it comes to those issues, they do not affect our salvation.  But I have seen Christians use non-essential opinions for causing unnecessary division in the church.  Clearly in those situations, pride overtakes the person and the love of Christ is sacrificed for our own opinions.

Have you ever heard someone come to you and say, “I am right, you are wrong.”

There are clearly things in the Bible that are black and white, right and wrong.

But we should not sacrifice our humility to make our point.

So here is what I am going to do over the next few posts.  I’d like to go into detail about some of the main denominations in the world today (including some we consider pseudo-Christian, or cultic) and shine a light on their views.  This is not going to be a series that states only the evangelical church is right in its views, even though I am clearly evangelical in my views.  But this is going to be broken up into a few sections for each denomination.

First, I will give a little bit of the history of the denomination.  Next, I will show its views, past and present.  It is true that the church is made of the people.  People learn and grow as we disciple under Christ, if we choose too.  Finally, I will give you my views.

I know what you are thinking.  “Fred, you are going to cause more divisions in the church if you so this series.”

1 Corinthians 1:9 – God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.


But remember what Paul said, those who are approved will come to the front when the heresies are shown.

So I am sure that I will lose a few readers over the next few weeks.  I am sure I will offend people over the next few weeks.

I’m sorry.

But I know this needs to be said.

Here is the schedule:

Part 2 – Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox.  Roman Catholic versus Protestant views.

Part 3 – Mormom, Jehovah’s Witness, 7th Day Adventist, Christian Science, Unitarian

Part 4 – Anglican/Episcopalian, Pentecostal/Charismatic, Holiness/Holy

Part 5 – Assemblies of God, Disciples of Christ, Quaker

Part 6 – Foursquare Gospel, Salvation Army, Christian Reform, Full Gospel

Part 7 – Apostolic, Reformed, Mennonite, Brethren

Part 8 – Nazarene, Church of God, United Church of Christ, Church of Christ

Part 9 – Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist

Part 10 – Baptist, Evangelical

Part 11 – Comparison chart of beliefs for each denomination

So if you are interested in being uncomfortable, read for the next 10 weeks.  If not, I pray you come back at the end of the series.

Psalm 133:1 – How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!

Post Navigation




"Sometimes the story we're telling the world isn't half as endearing as the one that lives inside us." -Donald Miller

The Minstrel's Wife

A worship leader's missus and her views from the pew

Praises & Grace

My life, My walk, My missions


Sharing the life changing Gospel message found in Jesus Christ


We write to remember. To see our thoughts in sentences. So we can hopefully one day figure out what all those words really mean.

this is... The Neighborhood

the Story within the Story

The Awakening

An Ordinary Man Being Awakened By An Extraordinary God

Limbiley's Blog

Life&Love Trials&Tribulations Faith&Fortitude Redemption&Restoration.

Mind's Seat

Set your mind on the things above

J.S. Park: Hospital Chaplain, Skeptical Christian

From Devout Atheist to Skeptical Pastor: A Blog For Busted-Up, Beat-Down People (Like Me)

116 Boyz

Born Again Christian Male Gamers

Jayne Surrena

Fictional Memoirs


A topnotch site


Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.


twentysomething thoughts on grace, life, and health


positive thinking

One Salty Dawg

Recent College Grad's Quest For Meaning

Blonde and Fabulous

some girls were born with glitter in their veins.

Book Hub, Inc.

The Total Book Experience

Morgan Mitchell

• Dreamer, Thinker, Blogger • |Loves Jesus| • College Student • |Living proof of a loving God to a watching World.| • #fivecollective

valeriu dg barbu

©valeriu barbu

Moving at the Speed of God

Sharing the Thoughts and Adventures of David Jackson, Church Multiplication Missionary with the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware

My Blog

4 out of 5 dentists recommend this site

Morning Story and Dilbert

Inspiring, Encouraging, Healthy / Why waste the best stories of the World, pour a cup of your favorite beverage and let your worries drift away…

Tea Cups and Grace

Life, faith and cups of tea.

True Warriors of God

Put on the full armour of God ~ Ephesians 6:13

Write For A Cause

The Spiritually Inclined Deductions by Jenine Silos


By His Spirit

Reflections of a Female Seminary Graduate

Threshing Floor




Woven by Words


Penny of a Thought

Contemplating life, freedom, and the pursuit of something more


I am because we are

%d bloggers like this: