Things I want to know in Christianity.

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Hana
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Things I want to know in Christianity.

Post by Hana » Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:37 pm

Peace

well, I got some free time and I thought its okay to come here and post some of the things that I want to know about Christianity:

First, before I start, I don't want to read long article, I really have a lot of things to do. My time is very limited on the internet :cry: .... try to be short and it will be great to post links so I can read them later when I get time.

1. What are the Most denominations followed in Christianity, Or let me say the most denominations that Christians are belong to?


2. What are the main differences between the Catholics and the Protestant?


3. Which denominations are considered as Unitarian and which are Trinitarian?


more to come inshaAllah (God welling).....

I hope my questions are making sense here..... one more thing, if you feel that I offended or "will" offend anyone in the future by asking a certain question then please enlighten me and teach me whats wrong with asking such question.
I don't want to be a rude one here asking questions to attack a religion or something like that. I came here to LEARN.

I hope that I am making sense here

Peace
Hana

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BabsUK
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Re: Things I want to know in Christianity.

Post by BabsUK » Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:20 pm

:thumbs: Hello Hana and welcome to i church

I'm sure you wont offend anyone here by your questions Hana. We are all open and happy to answer; if we can. I hope that we can offer you 'something' of what you are seeking :thinking:

I guess it depends on 'what you are looking for Hana' are you a christian or are you thinking about becoming one? :tea:
Nothing is impossible

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Hana
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Re: Things I want to know in Christianity.

Post by Hana » Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:29 pm

Thanks BabsUK,

I don't think that the purpose of learning something have something to do with the kind of answers I need..... its a normal seeking of knowledge

I am not a Christian, I just want to know how things are in Christianity.

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Re: Things I want to know in Christianity.

Post by BabsUK » Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:33 pm

I found a link that might help you with your second question?

What are the main differences between the Catholics and the Protestant? you can print it off and have read when you wish
http://www.gotquestions.org/difference- ... stant.html :thumbs:
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Re: Things I want to know in Christianity.

Post by Karen » Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:51 pm

Off the top of my head I'd guess that the Roman Catholics are the most numerous denomination. I'm sure someone will be along soon to say that I'm wrong!

What are the differences between Roman Catholics and Protestants? The main difference as far as I can tell is in where the authority to make important decisions lies. The RCs have it that the Pope has a great deal of authority in church life. The protestants 'protested' against that authority during the reformation, which was in the 16th century in Europe, and said that that authority lay elsewhere. In Anglicanism it is with the bishops, in other protestant denominations it is with the individual churches which govern themselves. That is a very, very simplified version.

Most Christian denominations are trinitarian. The core belief is in the trinity, that God is three persons, one substance. That is God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Unitarian churches are in the minority. I'm not sure about the fine detail but they don't believe Jesus is important. They worship God, but if you go to their churches you don't see any crosses anywhere. I attended a course in one of these churches once. It was a big gothic building and it took me a while to work out what was missing, no crosses and no stained glass with pictures of the life of Jesus!
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Re: Things I want to know in Christianity.

Post by Pam » Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:40 am

You're very welcome to ask questions Hana, it's really great that you want to understand how we see our faith!

As you can see from the diagrams here, the structure of Christianity is very diverse.

The first split came very early on, and resulted in two strands, known broadly as Orthodox which was dominant mainly in the Eastern hemisphere and Catholicism which was dominant mainly in the Western hemisphere. The split was about the interpretation of theology and each side believed the other to be heretics and I think that split still continues (though the language may have softened.)

I don't know much about Orthodoxy, but on the Catholic (Western) side there were then more splits and splits of the groups that split, until you get the picture it shows in Wikipedia. Most of the splits were either about theology or authority - who could tell who what to do and believe.

The Church of England split off from the Catholic Church in the time of Henry VIII because the Pope would not allow him to leave his first wife and remarry. Henry made the king or queen of England the head of the Church of England and that's still the case. The senior priest is the Archbishop of Canterbury but the final authority is the monarch. This is why the Church of England is called the 'established' church.

In my area there are also a lot of independent churches among Africans who live here.

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Re: Things I want to know in Christianity.

Post by Ernest » Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:48 pm

Hi Hana,

I am not an academic and don't have a wider knowledge of world religions and cultures as some of the earlier commentators on this topic, I can however, give my personal view on the differences between Roman Catholics and Anglicans, having started life as a 'Cradle Catholic' (meaning from birth) having gone through Agnosticism to now being a confirmed Anglican.

My Experience as a Roman Catholic

To be a Roman Catholic is to accept a great deal more interference by a man with authority in your life. The Pope. He is acknowledged by the RC Church as being God's representative on Earth. The doctrine of any pronouncement from the Pope as being the Word of God. What he says should be obeyed as he is 'infallible' meaning that he cannot make an error when he speaks about belief, doctrine etc.

The RC church has a firm foundation of beliefs, doctrines and cannons (church laws), which you are expected to abide by, or be in danger of being in a state of sin. The opposite to being in a State of Grace, and being closer to God.

Being in a state of sin, means being seperated from God and not enjoying his confidence, his love or his grace. You must privately repent by praying with a man (the Priest) and ask for forgiveness and be forgiven by the priest for your sins, on behalf of God.

In this context God is portrayed as being both a loving God, but also a tyranical God, who will take vengence against all who do not measure upto his standards. Something which I have always found hard to accept.

All of these beliefs, doctrines and laws, place a hard burden and level of discipline and strain on people, as well, as in some cases placing them in a straight-jacket of belief, which makes it difficult or even be considered sinful for them to challenge the doctrines or cannons. To my mind, this restricts individual freedom of will and their ability to carefully think through and discern the true nature of God.

This, and my inability to conform to conventions, such as believing in Papal infallibility, led to my falling out of belief and leaving the RC Church.

My Experience as a Member of the Church of England

Many years later, last year in fact, I found myself once again experiencing God in my life, but in a completely different way. He came into my life, my mind and my heart, while I was part of a very tragic incident, he held me, supported me and loved me, when I was most vunerable and most joyfully made himself known to me as my God and my Creator.

I joined the Church of England as their beliefs and freedoms based on Scripture, Tradition and Reason, feel much more fitted with my conception that God is a loving God who with great patience, tolerence and love, accepts us and is there for each and every one of us, whatever our strengths, weaknesses or fallibilty. He is a forgiving God, who sent his only son to die for our Sin and to Rise again in Glory to redeem us all.

My relationship with God is therefore a Personal one, but I am part of Gods body here on earth (the Church) and my membership of the CofE is part of my commitment of the whole of my life in the Service of God and following his word.

The Church of England also has beliefs, doctrines and cannons - however, it has a great tolerence of individual members who contribute their gifts in many ways and is open to thoughful debate and allows you the freedom of thought and spirit to really feel and know that God is alive and working in the world today.

So, Hana, while I may not have answered your question adequately, I have shared my thoughts and feelings about what I believe the differences to be. Freedom of spirit and thought.

Ernest
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enyaj

Re: Things I want to know in Christianity.

Post by enyaj » Sun Apr 26, 2009 1:20 pm

Ernest wrote:Hi Hana,

The Pope. He is acknowledged by the RC Church as being God's representative on Earth. The doctrine of any pronouncement from the Pope as being the Word of God. What he says should be obeyed as he is 'infallible' meaning that he cannot make an error when he speaks about belief, doctrine etc.
This definition of Papal infallibility is not quite correct. In your search for understanding re Christianity this subject will occur a number of times, and as it defines one of the main difference between the RC church and The Anglican Church, (Church of England), it will be good for you to understand just what Papal infallibility involves.

*Papal infallibility is the dogma in Catholic theology that, by action of the Holy Spirit, the Pope is preserved from even the possibility of error[1] when he solemnly declares or promulgates to the Church a dogmatic teaching on faith or morals as being contained in divine revelation, or at least being intimately connected to divine revelation. It is also taught that the Holy Spirit works in the body of the Church, as sensus fidei, to ensure that dogmatic teachings proclaimed to be infallible will be received by all Catholics. This dogma, however, does not state that the Pope cannot commit sin in his own personal life.
This doctrine was defined dogmatically in the First Vatican Council of 1870. According to Catholic theology, there are several concepts important to the understanding of infallible, divine revelation: Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Sacred Magisterium. The infallible teachings of the pope are part of the Sacred Magisterium, which also consists of ecumenical councils and the "ordinary and universal magisterium". In Catholic theology, papal infallibility is one of the channels of the infallibility of the Church. The infallible teachings of the pope must be based on, or at least not contradict, Sacred Tradition or Sacred Scripture. Papal infallibility does not signify that the pope is impeccable, i.e., that he is specially exempt from liability to sin.
In practice, popes seldom use their power of infallibility, but rely on the notion that the Church allows the office of the pope to be the ruling agent in deciding what will be accepted as formal beliefs in the church."[2] Since the solemn declaration of Papal Infallibility by Vatican I on July 18, 1870, this power has been used only once ex cathedra: in 1950 when Pope Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary as being an article of faith for Roman Catholics. *

For the full article on this subject see:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_infallibility
Jayne( in aroha, hope and Faith ) nz

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Re: Things I want to know in Christianity.

Post by Ernest » Sun Apr 26, 2009 2:16 pm

Jayne,

Thank you for the helpful post, to clarify things for Hana.

I believe that I did say at the start of my post that I was not a great academic, and was relating my own experience and how it had shaped my outlook towards my beliefs and faith - which I think might be considered a personal statement.

I was born and brought up in the RC Church. I can only retell my own experience and understanding of the doctrines and beliefs as given to me as Part of the Catechism from early childhood, and learned by heart and repeated by rote, which was a standard for education in those days.

We were taught that Papal Infallibility was a fact, without question, whenever the Pope made an pronouncement on matters concerning faith, belief or doctrine, it was the word of God, and that belief in that infallibilty was an Article of Faith. This was in the 1950's, I was taught by Christian Brothers and Sisters of Mercy, who were strict on learning and interpretation of their teaching.

Things that you are obliged to learn by heart and expected to believe at that age become embedded into memory and you cannot forget them. The times table being another example.

I understand that wikepedia is quoted as a source for a lot of things, but it is fallible and has been found to be incorrect in lots of vital areas. I am not going to dispute their input on Papal Infallibility, however, that level of understanding and teaching would not be given to the average child of my era being given religious education.
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Re: Things I want to know in Christianity.

Post by Pam » Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:27 pm

enyaj wrote:This definition of Papal infallibility is not quite correct. In your search for understanding re Christianity this subject will occur a number of times, and as it defines one of the main difference between the RC church and The Anglican Church, (Church of England), it will be good for you to understand just what Papal infallibility involves.
However, in terms of what Hana wants to understand, I think the fact that the Catholic church has a Pope and the rest of the Christian church has various other forms of authority is probably the main difference.

Wikipedia is a great resource - but as Ernest says, not necessarily always right - people want to become Catholics, or indeed become members of any type of church, usually 'take instruction' from an authorised teacher before being formally admitted - in the Catholic church, and also in the C of E, that would almost certainly be a priest or someone in the parish that the priest had authorised to give instruction.

enyaj

Re: Things I want to know in Christianity.

Post by enyaj » Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:52 am

Pam wrote:However, in terms of what Hana wants to understand, I think the fact that the Catholic church has a Pope and the rest of the Christian church has various other forms of authority is probably the main difference.

Wikipedia is a great resource - but as Ernest says, not necessarily always right .
Papal infallibility is an essential part of understanding the differences between denominations. A misunderstanding of the reality of the Popes claim here can lead to further misunderstandings further down the line.

The Wikipedia entry is essentially the same as the Catholic Encyclopaedia, but a lot less wordy, that is why I choose that entry.
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* . * ( \(_)/ ) * * not freedom to do wrong,
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Re: Things I want to know in Christianity.

Post by Moz » Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:01 pm

I come from a slightly different angle, I think - I'm an Anglican, but I spend lots of time with Catholics. They keep asking me to convert, and I keep saying no :)

There are lots of differences that I can see...

- Authority. When Jesus died, his first followers started many small communities of believers, and eventually they wrote down his words and actions and added them to the Jewish Scriptures, along with some letters the first followers wrote, and created the book we call the Bible. The first followers and their descendents spent centuries discussing what Jesus had done and what God was like. The Catholic Church teaches that Jesus started the community of Christians - the Church - and that God guides the thinking of the community, so Christian tradition is actually a source of truth about God. The tradition is protected by the leaders of the Church (particularly the Pope), who make sure that no one gets it wrong. Protestants complained about this, and rejected a lot of these traditions - they say they can learn everything they need to know about God from the Bible, not the Church.

- The Saints. Because Catholics think the Church is so important, they think the people in the Church are really important too. When good Christians die, they are still with us, and they can still talk to God and pray to God for God to help us. These people are called "saints", and the saints are very important to Catholics. The most important saint is Saint Mary, Jesus' mother - because she was so important to Jesus, she can ask God to help us and God will listen to her. Protestants complained about this, too, because they said it was not in the Bible, and Protestants pay as little attention the Mary and the saints as possible.

- Grace and Sacrament. Christians believe that God comes to us and blesses us, and this is called "grace". You don't have to earn or deserve grace - God loves us, so he blesses us. Catholics say that God has created some pathways for his grace, certain actions and events that are always blessed, and they call these "sacraments". Catholic life revolves around these sacraments, including "the Mass", which happens at least every week. In the Mass, Catholics share bread and drink wine together, and they believe that the bread and wine actually become God. Protestants complained about this, and they pay much more attention to God's freedom - you talk to God, and maybe God blesses you, but there are no guarantees and no restrictions.

Now it gets a bit more complicated! There are lots and lots of different kinds of Protestants, and some people - like Anglicans - are actually halfway between Protestants and Catholics. So Anglicans pay most attention to the Bible, but pay attention to tradition as well, and some Anglicans ask the saints for help, and go to Mass every week. In my experience, Anglicans make Protestants and Catholics quite confused.

Hope that helps!

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Re: Things I want to know in Christianity.

Post by Hana » Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:09 pm

Peace to everyone.....

thanks everyone for your time and for your much appreciated replies.

I am sorry to be late in replying, I am very busy recently. You will notice that I didn't comment to all replies I got. I am not ignoring anyone here. I tried to comment on the first few replies. God Welling, I will continue tomorrow or whenever I got some free time with the next replies I got.

BabsUK....thanks for the link, defiantly I will read it

Karen...... about the trinity:
yeah I noticed that most of them are trinitarian, but I want to know which of them are Unitarian. I hope someone can bring up more details about the issue

also, for those Unitarian, you said that they don't believe Jesus is important, I want to know what they considered Jesus as?

Pam, the diagram is very helpful in giving me the general view about the divisions and the diversity in the denominations... many thanks to you!
One more thing, what do you mean by what you called "independent" church?


Ernest..... thanks for giving me your experience....I got the difference in your two experience.
Ernest wrote: Being in a state of sin, means being seperated from God and not enjoying his confidence, his love or his grace. You must privately repent by praying with a man (the Priest) and ask for forgiveness and be forgiven by the priest for your sins, on behalf of God.
And what if I prayed all by myself without an intermediate? will my prayer accepted?

To join another church, do you have to do anything like formal procedures?


All the best

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Re: Things I want to know in Christianity.

Post by Pam » Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:26 pm

It's fine Hana, you don't have to post a reply unless you want to!

By independent church I mean a church that doesn't belong to a larger group. Many churches are joined together in bigger groups such as the Church of England, the Methodist Church and so on, and they share a common view on certain things and have some standard practices such as training for ministers, how they run services etc so they are part of a wider body.

Some churches don't belong to any larger group, so they don't answer to anyone outside and are independent.

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Re: Things I want to know in Christianity.

Post by Hana » Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:05 pm

Pam wrote:It's fine Hana, you don't have to post a reply unless you want to!
Sure I want to, I appreciated all inputs I got here, but I am trying to manage my time to get everything done well. So everyone here bear with my late replies plz

By independent church I mean a church that doesn't belong to a larger group. Many churches are joined together in bigger groups such as the Church of England, the Methodist Church and so on, and they share a common view on certain things and have some standard practices such as training for ministers, how they run services etc so they are part of a wider body.

Some churches don't belong to any larger group, so they don't answer to anyone outside and are independent.
so, in terms of sharing the same views, how differ can those "independent" church be from the bigger ones?

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Re: Things I want to know in Christianity.

Post by Pam » Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:36 pm

An independent church will not have any teaching (doctrine) handed to it by a larger group or body. In practice they would probably take their interpretation of the Bible as their teaching (doctrine.)

Of course there are many interpretations of the Bible!

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Re: Things I want to know in Christianity.

Post by Karen » Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:39 pm

Unitarians think that Jesus was the ultimate example of a good man. He was fully human and not divine.
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Re: Things I want to know in Christianity.

Post by Ernest » Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:51 pm

Hana wrote:Peace to everyone.....

thanks everyone for your time and for your much appreciated replies.
Ernest..... thanks for giving me your experience....I got the difference in your two experience.
Ernest wrote: Being in a state of sin, means being seperated from God and not enjoying his confidence, his love or his grace. You must privately repent by praying with a man (the Priest) and ask for forgiveness and be forgiven by the priest for your sins, on behalf of God.
And what if I prayed all by myself without an intermediate? will my prayer accepted?

To join another church, do you have to do anything like formal procedures?


All the best
Hana, thank you for your understanding.

Prayer without an intermediary, is acceptable to God! All of us pray privately, quietly, in prayer spaces as well as openly or formally in services or on many occasions informally.

When I decided to join the Church of England, I spoke to the Vicar of the Church and had long discussions with him about my feelings, why I wanted to join, and about my belief in God. He was able to discern that I had real and genuine reasons to wish to belong to the Parish.

Because Christians believe that you can only be baptised once, I only had to attend a service of Communion, in which I publically renewed my Baptism vows, to become a member of the Parish.

Some months later, when I was than accepted formally into the Church of England at a Service of Confirmation by the Bishop of the Diocese, where many others were being confirmed as members of the Church of England.

For this, my Vicar has to confirm to the Bishop that I am a member of his congregation in good standing and a regular attender for Communion and taking part in the life of the Church and the whole Parish.

The only paper formality for me was to join the Electoral Roll of my Parish Church which demonstrates my commitment to the Parish and community.

Please keep asking questions - we all learn from the experience as others give answers, which also enlighten me.

Best Regards

Ernest :thumbs:
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Re: Things I want to know in Christianity.

Post by enyaj » Fri May 01, 2009 11:29 am

Ernest wrote:The only paper formality for me was to join the Electoral Roll of my Parish Church which demonstrates my commitment to the Parish and community.
Ernest :thumbs:
Technically this is all you have to do to become a member of a parish. Neither priest nor congregation can stop you doing this provided you attend at regular intervals.

However, in Earnest's case there was an expectation for something more, and this is so in many Anglican Churches, though not all. It can vary from considerable pressure to *conform* to the expectations of the congregation, through to no pressure at all, and being allowed to meander along at ones own pace.

Often the more evangelical a parish the more pressure will be felt to conform.
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Re: Things I want to know in Christianity.

Post by Ernest » Fri May 01, 2009 6:45 pm

enyaj wrote:
Ernest wrote:The only paper formality for me was to join the Electoral Roll of my Parish Church which demonstrates my commitment to the Parish and community.
Ernest :thumbs:
Technically this is all you have to do to become a member of a parish. Neither priest nor congregation can stop you doing this provided you attend at regular intervals.

However, in Earnest's case there was an expectation for something more, and this is so in many Anglican Churches, though not all. It can vary from considerable pressure to *conform* to the expectations of the congregation, through to no pressure at all, and being allowed to meander along at ones own pace.

Often the more evangelical a parish the more pressure will be felt to conform.
Jayne, thank you for expanding my explanation to help Hana's understanding.

I would say that my Church is not really 'Evangelical' as there are actually 5 churches within the Benefice, with 4 different Parish Councils. All are in Villages, and surprisingly, despite their proximity to each other, they come from different traditions.

I can attend BCP services and Common Worship. I can attend Evensong or Compline. Some services have the Vicar in Traditional Cassock & Surplice, others have him fully robed, although 'Bells and Smells' are conparatively rare. There is a great deal of crossover between churches, with a shared Choir and Ministry Teams, which I will be training to join from September this year. Many members attend more than one of the churches, I attend all of them, as the life in all of them is so vibrant and so filled with the Holy Spirit.

I do not consider that I have joined any particular tradition of the Church of England as I feel that there is room for them all - and as my Vicar demonstrates weekly, he celebrates them all. In the end, our common worship is to God, around which all revolves and relates to.

How fortunate I feel that God called me back to him and to my particular church. Of course, I also found i-church at the same time, which I value equally highly. :D
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Re: Things I want to know in Christianity.

Post by Hana » Sat May 02, 2009 12:42 pm

Hello everyone.....thanks for your answers again.

I got some free time to read the rest of the replies I got, and also comment in some other things.


Ernest.....I read in one of your posts this:
The doctrine of any pronouncement from the Pope as being the Word of God.
How come the pope pronouncement considered as God words?

If the prayers can be done in private, then why there is still need to ask the pope to forgive sins in behalf of God?

How can a person become a pope that is so trusted by everyone to be infallible? or what is the pre-qualifications he has to fulfill?

Moz wrote: - Authority. When Jesus died, his first followers started many small communities of believers, and eventually ....
Do you have any idea of when did those communities that lead to denominations start to appear for the first time after the death of Jesus?

Now it gets a bit more complicated! There are lots and lots of different kinds of Protestants, and some people - like Anglicans - are actually halfway between Protestants and Catholics. So Anglicans pay most attention to the Bible, but pay attention to tradition as well, and some Anglicans ask the saints for help, and go to Mass every week. In my experience, Anglicans make Protestants and Catholics quite confused.
I am still confused by the Anglican, Protestants, and the Catholics....it seems that all of them are different only in terms of authority of church.....can someone elaborate this point please?

what is the difference between Anglican and Protestant....I read somewhere that Protestant are somehow a part from the Anglicans, is that right?

What I understand so far is the difference in the church authority, I read that Protestants rely more on the Bible....who rely more in the bible? The protestants or the Anglicans?
Karen wrote:Unitarians think that Jesus was the ultimate example of a good man. He was fully human and not divine.
can you elaborate more please?
like don't they think that he is a prophet? do they believe on his miraculous birth? or his miracles?


sorry for many confused questions......Christianity is a very diverse religion with several denominations that need more studying I guess

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Re: Things I want to know in Christianity.

Post by Glo » Sat May 02, 2009 2:15 pm

Hana, perhaps it would be easier to start with the beliefs all Christian denominations share in common, rather than worry about the bits which differentiates them.

When you tell me about Islam, don't you focus on the core beliefs, rather than the differences between Sunni, Shi'a, Sufis and other subdivisions and sects?

Just a thought ...

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Re: Things I want to know in Christianity.

Post by Ernest » Sat May 02, 2009 3:24 pm

Hana, I will try to answer your questions directed to me, I will leave the others to those who you quote.
Hana wrote:Hello everyone.....thanks for your answers again.

Ernest.....I read in one of your posts this:
The doctrine of any pronouncement from the Pope as being the Word of God.
How come the pope pronouncement considered as God words?

This doctrine or 'Article of Faith' is based on the role of the Pope as the successor to St Peter, who was Jesus Christ's first disciple, and to whom Jesus Said "Your Name is Peter and on this Rock I will build my Church" - Peter led the disciples after the Ascension of Jesus into Heaven. Successors to Peter as Pope were elected by the senior disciples (who become known as Bishops), and the RC church claims a direct link between St Peter and today's Pope.

If the prayers can be done in private, then why there is still need to ask the pope to forgive sins in behalf of God?

This doctrine/ in the RC Church again developed over generations, but is based on the Words of Jesus Christ to the desciples after the Resurrection "Those whose sins you forgive, I will forgive, those whose sins you retain, I will retain" meaning that they would have the Power through the Holy Spirit to forgive sins on Jesus's behalf which were confessed to them and were genuinely repented for - in the same way, if they did not believe that the repentence was genuine, they could refuse to forgive the sings. This has led to one of the Sacrements that the RC church uses of "Confession & Absolution" often called "Reconciliation". A Priest ordained in the RC Church is authorised to exercise this Sacrement. In theory, you are asking Jesus Christ, through the Priest to forgive your sins. The Pope is still a Priest despite his elevation through the various bishops, arch bishop and cardinal grades, although he would not normally hear confessions routinely as a Parish Priest would.

In many Protestent denominations, it is believed that only two Sacrements were instituted by Jesus Christ, Baptism and Communion. Other are important rites and include confirmation, holy orders, reconciliation, marriage and anointing of the sick.

How can a person become a pope that is so trusted by everyone to be infallible? or what is the pre-qualifications he has to fulfill?

As the earlier answer the Pope first becomes a Priest, and eventually a Bishop or Arch Bishop). Bishops may advance to become Cardinals. All Cardinals belong to what is called The College of Cardinals. The college of Cardinals elects the Pope from among them selves. This is a traditional way of doing it within the RC Church. Although, I understand that Technically, any Catholic male who has reached the age of reason, is not a heretic, is not in schism, and is not “notorious” for simony* can be elected pope. In practice, this would not happen.
*Simony means (link)http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14001a.htm

Many of these RC doctrines were rejected by reformers (now Protestent churches) as being man inspired rather than being based on the "Word of God" from scripture, i.e, written down in the bible.

I hope that I have answered your questions. Although, they probably raise mores along the way.

Regards and Peace

Ernest
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Hana
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Re: Things I want to know in Christianity.

Post by Hana » Sun May 03, 2009 5:44 am

Glo wrote:Hana, perhaps it would be easier to start with the beliefs all Christian denominations share in common, rather than worry about the bits which differentiates them.

When you tell me about Islam, don't you focus on the core beliefs, rather than the differences between Sunni, Shi'a, Sufis and other subdivisions and sects?

Just a thought ...

Peace :flowerface:
you can say that I already have "kind of" good background about the core beliefs in Christianity and the general things they all share. That's why I want to go a little deep now, even though I still need to learn more because there are some obvious differences between some denominations..take for example unitarians and non Unitarians....they differ on the most important concept of the religion which is the divinity of Jesus peace be upon him......that's why I have to dig for such things ;)

Ernest........Thanks a lot for your answers, I will have to read about some few things you posted in your reply before replying on you so I will not waste your time to explain small details, God welling when I have some time probably next weekend, and if I did not understand anything I will refer back to you

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Karen
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Re: Things I want to know in Christianity.

Post by Karen » Sun May 03, 2009 8:19 am

All Christians are trinitarian. That is they believe in the trinity, that God is Father, Son and Spirit. They may not understand it, this is God we are talking about, so trying to explain via our mortal minds and langauage what God is like is always going to be tricky.

If someone says they are unitarian then aren't Christian. The creeds, which are at the core of Christian faith are quite clear on the trinity.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell. The third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
(extract from the apostle's creed)


Now all this does get confused by people say they are Chrisitians when they aren't trinitarian. Groups that I have encountered locally would include the Christian Spiritualists, the Jehovas Witnesses and the unitarians. The Christian Spritualists say that Jesus was spirit or a ghost, the Jehovas say that he was the Archangel Michael and the unitarians, that I have met, say that he was a good man, human and not divine. I won't go into the, Jesus as ascended master from my alternative spirituality healing friends as that is too complicated and they don't say that they are Christians!

I have friends and contacts right across the breath of Christian expression. We may worship in different styles, we may hold different views on authority within the church, we may differ on how to interpret the Bible, but what we hold in common is much bigger. We believe that Jesus lived on earth 2000 years ago but that he is also God who was there at the begining of the world. The begining of John's Gospel puts it into poetic words 'In the begining was the word and the word was with God and the word was God'. We believe that we can meet him today and that he is with us always.
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