Christian denomination - Wikipedia
Different Christian denominations are organized and worship in different ways. in worship, rituals, and beliefs of the largest groups of the Christian Church. ( Lord's Supper), Penance, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders, Anointing of the. Chart of the 35 Largest Christian Denominations. Wesley believed that the living core of the Christian faith was revealed in Scripture, . by entering and experiencing a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. While virtually all Roman Catholic churches have the same beliefs, So, why are there so many different denominations and types of churches? that only Jesus Christ makes it possible for us to have a relationship with God.
The largest schism or division in many classification schemes is between the families of Eastern and Western Christianity. After these two larger families come distinct branches of Christianity.
Most classification schemes list six in order of size: Roman CatholicismProtestantismEastern OrthodoxyAnglicanismOriental Orthodoxyand the Church of the East, which was originally referred to as Nestorianism but in modern times is embodied by the Assyrian Church of the East. Unlike Roman Catholicism, Protestantism is a general movement that has no universal governing authority.
From these come denominations, which in the West, have independence from the others in their doctrine.
The Eastern and Roman Catholic churches, due to their hierarchical structures, are not said to be made up of denominations, rather, they include kinds of regional councils and individual congregations and church bodies, which do not officially differ from one another in doctrine. Antiquity[ edit ] The initial differences between the East and West traditions stem from socio-cultural and ethno-linguistic divisions in and between the Western Roman and Byzantine Empires.
Compare Christian Denominations: Beliefs and Theology
Since the West that is, Western Europe spoke Latin as its lingua franca and the East Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and northern Africa largely used Aramaic and Koine Greek to transmit writings, theological developments were difficult to translate from one branch to the other.
In the course of ecumenical councils large gatherings of Christian leaderssome church bodies split from the larger family of Christianity. Many earlier heretical groups either died off for lack of followers or suppression by the church at large such as ApollinariansMontanistsand Ebionites. The first significant, lasting split in historic Christianity came from the Church of the Eastwho left following the Christological controversy over Nestorianism in the Assyrians in released a common Christological statement with the Roman Catholic Church.
Today, the Assyrian and Roman Catholic Church view this schism as largely linguistic, due to problems of translating very delicate and precise terminology from Latin to Aramaic and vice versa see Council of Ephesus.
Why are there so many Christian denominations?
Following the Council of Chalcedon inthe next large split came with the Syriac and Coptic churches dividing themselves, with the dissenting churches becoming today's Oriental Orthodoxy. In modern times, there have also been moves towards healing this split, with common Christological statements being made between Pope John Paul II and Syriac patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwasas well as between representatives of both Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy.
There has been a claim that the Chalcedonian Creed restored Nestorianism, however this is refuted by maintaining the following distinctions associated with the person of Christ: East-West Schism In Western Christianity, there were a handful of geographically isolated movements that preceded the spirit of the Protestant Reformation.
The Cathars were a very strong movement in medieval southwestern France, but did not survive into modern times. This movement has largely been absorbed by modern-day Protestant groups. In Bohemiaa movement in the early 15th century by Jan Hus called the Hussites defied Roman Catholic dogma and still exists to this day alternately known as the Moravian Church.
Although the church as a whole did not experience any major divisions for centuries afterward, the Eastern and Western groups drifted until the point where patriarchs from both families excommunicated one another in about in what is known as the Great Schism. The political and theological reasons for the schism are complex, but one major controversy was the inclusion and acceptance in the West of the filioque clause into the Nicene Creedwhich the East viewed as erroneous.
Another was the definition of papal primacy.
Both West and East agreed that the patriarch of Rome was owed a "primacy of honour" by the other patriarchs those of AlexandriaAntiochConstantinople and Jerusalembut the West also contended that this primacy extended to jurisdiction, a position rejected by the Eastern patriarchs.
Various attempts at dialogue between the two groups would occur, but it was only in the s, under Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagorasthat significant steps began to be made to mend the relationship between the two.
Door of the Schlosskirche castle church in Wittenberg to which Luther is said to have nailed his 95 Theses on 31st Octobersparking the Reformation. Protestant Reformation 16th century [ edit ] Main article: Luther's writingscombined with the work of Swiss theologian Huldrych Zwingli and French theologian and politician John Calvin sought to reform existing problems in doctrine and practice.
Due to the reactions of ecclesiastical office holders at the time of the reformers, these reformers separated from the Roman Catholic Church, instigating a rift in Western Christianity. Thomas Cranmer as Archbishop of Canterbury introduced the Reformation, in a form compromising between the Calvinists and Lutherans. The term 'Old Catholic' was first used in to describe the members of the See of Utrecht that were not under Papal authority.
The Old Catholic movement grew in America but has not maintained ties with Utrecht, although talks are under way between independent Old Catholic bishops and Utrecht. This stream has in its relatively short existence known many splits, which operate worldwide under several names.
Eastern Christianity[ edit ] In the Eastern world, the largest body of believers in modern times is the Eastern Orthodox Churchsometimes imprecisely called "Greek Orthodox" because from the time of Christ through the Byzantine empire, Greek was its common language.
However, the term " Greek Orthodox " actually refers to only one portion of the entire Eastern Orthodox Church. The Eastern Orthodox and the Roman Catholics have been separated since the 11th century, following the East—West Schismwith each of them claiming to represent the original pre-schism Church. The Eastern Orthodox consider themselves to be spiritually one body, which is administratively grouped into several autocephalous jurisdictions also commonly referred to as "Churches", despite being parts of one Church.
They do not recognize any single bishop as universal church leader, but rather each bishop governs only his own diocese. The Patriarch of Constantinople is known as the Ecumenical Patriarchand holds the title " first among equals ", meaning only that if a great council is called, the Patriarch sits as president of the council. He has no more power than any other bishop. Currently, the largest synod with the most members is the Russian Orthodox Church. A 6th century Nestorian church, St.
John the Arab, in the Assyrian village of Geramon. The second largest Eastern Christian communion is Oriental Orthodoxywhich is organized in a similar manner, with six national autocephalous groups and two autonomous bodies, although there are greater internal differences than among the Eastern Orthodox especially in the diversity of rites being used.
But make no mistake: A Presbyterian church in Uganda will have a style of worship much different from a Presbyterian church in Colorado, but their doctrinal stand will be, for the most part, the same.
Diversity is a good thing, but disunity is not.
Compare Christian Denominations: Beliefs and Theology - ReligionFacts
If two churches disagree doctrinally, debate and dialogue over the Word may be called for. If they disagree on style and form, however, it is fine for them to remain separate. This separation, though, does not lift the responsibility Christians have to love one another 1 John 4: The Downside of Christian Denominations: There seems to be at least two major problems with denominationalism.
First, nowhere in Scripture is there a mandate for denominationalism; to the contrary the mandate is for union and connectivity. Thus, the second problem is that history tells us that denominationalism is the result of, or caused by, conflict and confrontation which leads to division and separation.Church Denominations Explained (2018)
Jesus told us that a house divided against itself cannot stand. This general principle can and should be applied to the church.
We find an example of this in the Corinthian church which was struggling with issues of division and separation. There were those who thought that they should follow Paul and those who thought they should follow the teaching of Apollos, 1 Corinthians 1: Was it Paul who was crucified for you?
Obviously, according to Paul, there is only one church and one body of believers and anything that is different weakens and destroys the church see verse He makes this point stronger in 3: Some of the problems we are faced with today as we look at denominationalism and its more recent history: Denominations are based on disagreements over the interpretation of Scripture.
An example would be the meaning and purpose of baptism. Is baptism a requirement for salvation or is it symbolic of the salvation process? There are denominations on both sides of this issue. In fact, baptism — its meaning, its mode, who can receive it, etc. Disagreements over the interpretation of Scripture are taken personally and become points of contention.
This leads to arguments which can and have done much to destroy the witness of the church. Today the media uses our differences against us to demonstrate that we are not unified in thought or purpose.