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What constitutes a Christian denomination?

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  • shunyadragon
    replied
    Originally posted by lilpixieofterror View Post


    When you're done attacking piles of straw, perhaps you'll deal with what I actually said instead of your strawman recreation of it.
    How about a real live human response that I could respond to like KingsGambit. Dancing flaming straw men do not represent an answer.

    Leave a comment:


  • shunyadragon
    replied
    Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
    You are correct about the different orders of the RCC, but has anybody maintained that an integral aspect of a denomination is objecting to anyone outside the denomination claiming to be a Christian?
    It is a matter of fact that they do based how they define the limits of salvation in terms of the doctrine and dogma of the 'domination.' This often is the criteria that separates denominations. It is true that different denominations define the limits of salvation differently and more inclusive then others. For example, Methodist consider the concept of Salvation by the Method and consider 'Catholic' all those that accept the Apostles Creed as the criteria for Salvation. This definition of inclusiveness is very broad and includes most traditional Christians.
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 03-06-2015, 04:38 PM.

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  • KingsGambit
    replied
    Originally posted by Carrikature View Post
    I would strongly wonder why a church felt the need to delineate themselves if they didn't feel there were vital doctrinal issues that needed to be addressed.
    The Catholics distinguish between dogma, doctrine, and theology. This kind of tiered approach allows for absolutes, significant issues, and other issues that may be important but not "heretical". For example, I personally do not believe in baptizing infants, and would choose a church partly on that basis, but I'm not willing to say that the Methodists are heretical for disagreeing and should be written off.

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  • Carrikature
    replied
    Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
    You are correct about the different orders of the RCC, but has anybody maintained that an integral aspect of a denomination is objecting to anyone outside the denomination claiming to be a Christian?
    I would strongly wonder why a church felt the need to delineate themselves if they didn't feel there were vital doctrinal issues that needed to be addressed.

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  • KingsGambit
    replied
    Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
    I consider the 30,000 clearly an exaggerations, in part because many so-called denominations share beliefs that clearly agree to the point that they do not seriously object to each other being Christians. Some of the above list are simply different orders of the Roman Church.
    You are correct about the different orders of the RCC, but has anybody maintained that an integral aspect of a denomination is objecting to anyone outside the denomination claiming to be a Christian?

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  • lilpixieofterror
    replied
    Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
    I consider the 30,000 clearly an exaggerations, in part because many so-called denominations share beliefs that clearly agree to the point that they do not seriously object to each other being Christians. Some of the above list are simply different orders of the Roman Church.

    Unfortunately, you support the problem between the significant denominations limiting salvation to those that comply to certain beliefs, and call others cults, heretics, or worse. Even the Roman Church limits Salvation to the sincere ones inside the Church, and limited by grace outside defined by the Church, such as those without knowledge of the One True Church and those below the age of concent.


    When you're done attacking piles of straw, perhaps you'll deal with what I actually said instead of your strawman recreation of it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pentecost
    replied
    A comedian once said that non-denominationals are basically Baptists with cooler websites, but optionally they're charismatics with cooler buildings.

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  • Adrift
    replied
    Originally posted by Carrikature View Post
    I'm familiar with the non-denominational concept. In this case, it seems like claiming you don't have a demographic because you opted to put 'other'. You still have your own thoughts/beliefs, you just don't affiliate with others the way most people do. Don't get me wrong, I've nothing against being non-denominational. I'm just not convinced it should count when they're specifically excluding themselves from everyone else (which is the point).
    I've been to a few non-denominational churches. They never seemed wildly different from most Baptist and a few mainline charismatic churches I've been to.

    Just for clarity, I'm not necessarily defending the 30,000 number. I don't particularly care what that number actually ends up being, and there will always be a degree of fuzziness to the lines that are drawn. Even so, it seems that Christians rush to project unity where it's not really there. Atheists aren't much better, as evidenced by some of the bizarre lines. The reality is that there are a lot of divisions within Christianity, and they're a lot more...emotionally defended, shall we say, than what Christians here seem to think (or maybe just aren't willing to admit). Let's call those defenders a statistical but vocal minority. It may not be the deal breaker some atheists present it to be, but it's still a noticeable obstacle for many.
    I suppose its a matter of perspective. "Unity in necessary things; liberty in doubtful things; charity in all things" seems to be the motto of most orthodox denominations, and this has been my experience as well. I mean, I wasn't raised in an orthodox environment. I was born and brought up in a hippy cult. We were taught that orthodox Christianity was an absolute and hopeless mess of contradictory teaching and doctrine; That there was nothing but disunity within orthodoxy and that's how we knew for certain that the church was corrupt and evil. When I left that cult, and started learning about orthodox Christianity first hand, I was astonished by how united in teaching and doctrine Christianity actually was. I checked out a number of denominations: Pentecost, Baptist, RCC, Lutheran, Methodist, Nondenominational, and a bunch of other places throughout the US and even in Germany, and was always surprised to see how much they had in common. It radically changed my impression of mainstream Christianity. So when I hear people kinda nitpick at denominational differences within Christianity, I can't help but think "if only you could see it from my eyes".

    I do agree though, that it is unfortunate that the church isn't more united. And I pray for ecumenism in the church, but I honestly don't expect that to happen until Christ's return. In the meantime, I'm thankful that the church does have unity in necessary things, and liberty in doubtful things.
    Last edited by Adrift; 03-05-2015, 02:22 PM.

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  • Carrikature
    replied
    Originally posted by Adrift View Post
    Some of the "independent churches" literally refer to themselves as "Nondenominational" (in fact, 236 Nondenominational churches are listed in the World Christian Encyclopedia's list of 33,000 denominations). Last time I looked, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (the seminary that put this list together for the World Christian Encyclopedia about 15 years ago) no longer maintained the list. As rogue mentioned, some of the list contained strange inclusions. Like, instead of 1 Roman Catholic Church, they made a distinction for each country the RCC was found. So, they distinguished the Catholic Church in Canada from the Catholic Church in the US from the Catholic Church in Mexico. They ended up with something like 242 separate Catholic Church denominations. As I understand it, they did the same thing with Lutheran churches as well. The Church of Norway was listed as a distinct denomination from the Church of Sweden, and both were a distinct denomination from the Church of Denmark, even though all 3 churches are "Evangelical Lutheran".

    Its been a long time since I checked the list out that this comes from, but if I'm remembering correctly, they did other weird things, like when listing separate religions, they included atheism in the list next to non-religious.
    I'm familiar with the non-denominational concept. In this case, it seems like claiming you don't have a demographic because you opted to put 'other'. You still have your own thoughts/beliefs, you just don't affiliate with others the way most people do. Don't get me wrong, I've nothing against being non-denominational. I'm just not convinced it should count when they're specifically excluding themselves from everyone else (which is the point).

    Just for clarity, I'm not necessarily defending the 30,000 number. I don't particularly care what that number actually ends up being, and there will always be a degree of fuzziness to the lines that are drawn. Even so, it seems that Christians rush to project unity where it's not really there. Atheists aren't much better, as evidenced by some of the bizarre lines. The reality is that there are a lot of divisions within Christianity, and they're a lot more...emotionally defended, shall we say, than what Christians here seem to think (or maybe just aren't willing to admit). Let's call those defenders a statistical but vocal minority. It may not be the deal breaker some atheists present it to be, but it's still a noticeable obstacle for many.

    Leave a comment:


  • Adrift
    replied
    Originally posted by Carrikature View Post
    I'm curious what else we should call such independent churches, Baptist or otherwise. After all, they've made a clear and intentional effort to delineate themselves from everyone else. I was a member of one that went so far as to specifically re-brand themselves, and I know it's not the only one to have done that. There are a lot of electrical engineers that do what I do. They don't deny the legitimacy of each other, but there's little doubt they operate as distinct entities. Seems to be about the same thing from where I sit.
    Some of the "independent churches" literally refer to themselves as "Nondenominational" (in fact, 236 Nondenominational churches are listed in the World Christian Encyclopedia's list of 33,000 denominations). Last time I looked, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (the seminary that put this list together for the World Christian Encyclopedia about 15 years ago) no longer maintained the list. As rogue mentioned, some of the list contained strange inclusions. Like, instead of 1 Roman Catholic Church, they made a distinction for each country the RCC was found. So, they distinguished the Catholic Church in Canada from the Catholic Church in the US from the Catholic Church in Mexico. They ended up with something like 242 separate Catholic Church denominations. As I understand it, they did the same thing with Lutheran churches as well. The Church of Norway was listed as a distinct denomination from the Church of Sweden, and both were a distinct denomination from the Church of Denmark, even though all 3 churches are "Evangelical Lutheran".

    Its been a long time since I checked the list out that this comes from, but if I'm remembering correctly, they did other weird things, like when listing separate religions, they included atheism in the list next to non-religious.

    Leave a comment:


  • KingsGambit
    replied
    One of my mother's best friends is a devout SDA and I just may have to ask my mother if she's said anything regarding the state of "other" Christian denominations. To my knowledge there is no friction there.

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  • Carrikature
    replied
    Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
    To say that number is grossly inflated is an understatement. It is based on a radically open definition of what "denomination" is. For instance under the definition used to arrive at that number if there two independent Baptist churches on each side of the street, each one of them is considered a different denomination. In fact every independent Baptist church is deemed to be a different denomination by the definition used to arrive at this figure. In fact, IIRC, even within Catholicism, there are a number of "denominations."
    I'm curious what else we should call such independent churches, Baptist or otherwise. After all, they've made a clear and intentional effort to delineate themselves from everyone else. I was a member of one that went so far as to specifically re-brand themselves, and I know it's not the only one to have done that. There are a lot of electrical engineers that do what I do. They don't deny the legitimacy of each other, but there's little doubt they operate as distinct entities. Seems to be about the same thing from where I sit.

    Leave a comment:


  • One Bad Pig
    replied
    Originally posted by Pentecost View Post
    My local A/G church started off borrowing the room of a Seventh Day Adventist church. Presumably they didn't think we were damned. OTOH, I wasn't even born yet.
    Some congregations aren't as dogmatic about it, I suppose. I live in the SDA heartland. I know a couple who came to Christ through an SDA church, and were subsequently shunned as apostate when they started going to a church that met on Sundays instead.

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  • Pentecost
    replied
    Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    You must not live near any Seventh Day Adventists.
    My local A/G church started off borrowing the room of a Seventh Day Adventist church. Presumably they didn't think we were damned. OTOH, I wasn't even born yet.

    Leave a comment:


  • shunyadragon
    replied
    Originally posted by lilpixieofterror View Post


    Many of those are cult groups. Which shows your understanding of religion to be quite lacking. Try again...
    I consider the 30,000 clearly an exaggerations, in part because many so-called denominations share beliefs that clearly agree to the point that they do not seriously object to each other being Christians. Some of the above list are simply different orders of the Roman Church.

    Unfortunately, you support the problem between the significant denominations limiting salvation to those that comply to certain beliefs, and call others cults, heretics, or worse. Even the Roman Church limits Salvation to the sincere ones inside the Church, and limited by grace outside defined by the Church, such as those without knowledge of the One True Church and those below the age of concent.

    Leave a comment:

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