Same religion or different?

Into statistics? Curious what everyone else thinks? Then start a poll here.

Are Catholics, Protestants, Evangelicals, Greek Orthodox, Methodists, and Baptists all considered to be the same religion with different views or are they all different religions?

Same
21
72%
Different
8
28%
 
Total votes : 29

Same religion or different?

Postby koin4life » Sat Mar 18, 2006 6:32 pm

Are Catholics, Protestants, Evangelicals, Greek Orthodox, Methodists, and Baptists all considered to be the same religion with different views or are they all different religions?
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Postby stickmangrit » Sat Mar 18, 2006 6:36 pm

i'm pretty sure it was my comments that spawned this poll, and i've made my feelings on the issue quite clear. given that many of the Christian religions directly contradict and deny the validity of each other, sometimes going so far as considering the other sects to be false and sent by the Devil, to lump them together just doesn't make any sense, and debunks the "Christianity is the biggest" myth.
I see as much misery outta them movin' to justify theirselves as them that set out to do harm.
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Postby whoosanightowl » Sat Mar 18, 2006 11:23 pm

They are all basically the same for the most part;
Jesus was conceived by the holy spirit, the 3rd person in the godhead/ trinity.
Jesus was born of a virgin and is considered to be both fully human and fully god,
Jesus is the son, the second part of the godhead/trinity,
Jesus was crucified, died and rose again, for the salvation of humanity,

But they also have some very different ideas and opinions on many issues, some which would be considered quite important.
One of the most obvious to me is the differing views of what constitutes true salvation. Some believe it is only through faith in Jesus (or more accurately, what the writers of the NT claim about Jesus) period. Others believe it's through water baptism, some by full emersion as adults, others by a small amount being poured over the head of babies. Still others claim it's by both faith and works or a combination of all three. The bible suggests all 3 are necessary, but each denomination can find references to back up their own particular beliefs.
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Postby stickmangrit » Sun Mar 19, 2006 3:11 pm

but Christianity is still not a religion. a religion is an organized structure of rules and practices (i.e. Judaism, Baptist, Catholic) whereas Christianity is simply a group that shares a single belief and diverges on almost all others. there is no Christian Church, there are Baptist, Mormon, and Greek Orthodox churches, but there is no "Christian temple" there is no all -encompasing "Christian Prayer method". there is no all encompasing "Christian list of who to pray to." these things are what makes a religion a religion as opposed to a shared idea. and that is what Christianity is, a shared idea that formed a multitude of entirely seperate religions. do you consider Christianity to be a part of Judaism, or vice versa? they both believe in the same god named Yaweh, and they both believe that he led Moses and the Isrealites out of Egypt, they just disagree on the small point of whether this Jesus fellow was simply a prophet, or the son of Yaweh. clearly, that is no reason not to count them as the same religion. also, Islam is clearly the same religion too, since they believe that God chose Abraham as his own, just like Jews and Christians.
I see as much misery outta them movin' to justify theirselves as them that set out to do harm.
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Postby narsil » Sun Mar 19, 2006 3:36 pm

Well, if you want to go that route stickmangrit, then you'll have to propose how you'd define a religion.

clearly, that is no reason not to count them as the same religion. also, Islam is clearly the same religion too, since they believe that God chose Abraham as his own, just like Jews and Christians.


You are right, Islam and Christianity both come from Judiasm, and would be considered Judiac Religions, but are in fact very different religions. But I mean if you go with your defination, then there are no religions, since everyone's practice is a bit different than everyone else's. Mormanism has like 100 denomiations (http://www.religionfacts.com/mormonism/ ... ations.htm) yet we all still group them together. Same with Islam, there are tons of sects of that as well, yet we still lump them together. It's useful to group them, so people do. An easy way commonly used to group who's Christian and who's not, is the Apostles Creed.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.

He descended into hell.

The third day He arose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy *catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.

Amen.

*catholic of course just means worldwide

Or more simply, those people who adhere to the teaching of the Bible as being the source and teachings for life and godliness (though their views on its intepretation and inspiration can vary).
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Postby stickmangrit » Sun Mar 19, 2006 3:48 pm

so by your argument, the Roman Catholics, wh replaced the Apostles Creed with the Niciene(sic) creed aren't really christians.

at the very least i don't think that the Catholics and the Protestants, who have different prayers, lists of whom to pray to , and different Bibles, should be grouped together, as they are by definition highly seperated and generally don't have any regard for each other. both Jews and Muslims follow the same God, but they had a Prophet who branched off, much like Martin Luther, and as a result they are seperate, despite being quite strikingly simillar in many aspects. i think the same criteria should apply to the two main christian religions.

and why are Jehova's Witnesses and Mormons, whom the rest of Christianity thinks are misguided at best and utterly insane at worst, still grouped in? if you deny their place as "True Christians", then clearly, we should not count them as statistical christians either.
I see as much misery outta them movin' to justify theirselves as them that set out to do harm.
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Postby narsil » Sun Mar 19, 2006 4:00 pm

so by your argument, the Roman Catholics, wh replaced the Apostles Creed with the Niciene(sic) creed aren't really christians.

I think you missed by point ;)
at the very least i don't think that the Catholics and the Protestants, who have different prayers, lists of whom to pray to , and different Bibles, should be grouped together,

perhaps, but I think that there will be Catholics in heaven, so I'd say that kinda makes them still Christians :D

both Jews and Muslims follow the same God, but they had a Prophet who branched off, much like Martin Luther, and as a result they are seperate, despite being quite strikingly simillar in many aspects.

lol, I don't think that Martin Luther would agree to being like Mohammad :D, Martin Luther wasn't in fact trying to start a new religion, just reform the one he was in

and why are Jehova's Witnesses and Mormons, whom the rest of Christianity thinks are misguided at best and utterly insane at worst, still grouped in? if you deny their place as "True Christians", then clearly, we should not count them as statistical christians either.

fair enough to me, go talk to the bean counters

still I think its more about usefullness in that type of counting, Mormons while being very very different, as still closer to Christians than say Zoarastrianism. I think you gotta look at in terms of how far zoomed in or out you are on the field of religions as to where you draw the lines.
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Postby stickmangrit » Sun Mar 19, 2006 4:15 pm

i understand that the grouping is necessary and simplifies things greatly, but i still don't see them as being part of the same religion, since the protestants specifically went out of their way to form a new religion. thus, we have Mormons, Protestant Christians, and Catholics, three sepreate religoius groups with seperate prayers, systems of belief, and core books. to lump these three together and refer to them as some sort of super-religion is innacurate, as tehy all hold to radically different dogma and cannon.
I see as much misery outta them movin' to justify theirselves as them that set out to do harm.
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Re: Same religion or different?

Postby StillSearching » Sat Feb 14, 2009 9:03 pm

I think we have a spammer in the house (Qiuene78)

However you define "religion" the fact is that all Christians share a belief that Jesus of Nazareth was the son of God, and that he was crucified and resurrected from the dead. Christian denominations have many disagreements, yes. But in my experience, many are also eager to work together and socialize with each other, in spite of the small differences in belief or worship style. My father always had, and continues to have, good strong friendships with religious leaders from a variety of denominations.
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Re: Same religion or different?

Postby JustJim » Sat Feb 14, 2009 11:34 pm

StillSearching wrote:I think we have a spammer in the house (Qiuene78)

However you define "religion" the fact is that all Christians share a belief that Jesus of Nazareth was the son of God, and that he was crucified and resurrected from the dead. Christian denominations have many disagreements, yes. But in my experience, many are also eager to work together and socialize with each other, in spite of the small differences in belief or worship style. My father always had, and continues to have, good strong friendships with religious leaders from a variety of denominations.

It is not a "fact" that ALL Christians share those beliefs you've cited. Read John Shelby Spong or read up on Christian Deism. You'll find plenty of "Christians" out there who don't hold to those traditional Christian dogmas.

Jim
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Re: Same religion or different?

Postby StillSearching » Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:03 pm

JustJim wrote:
StillSearching wrote:I think we have a spammer in the house (Qiuene78)

However you define "religion" the fact is that all Christians share a belief that Jesus of Nazareth was the son of God, and that he was crucified and resurrected from the dead. Christian denominations have many disagreements, yes. But in my experience, many are also eager to work together and socialize with each other, in spite of the small differences in belief or worship style. My father always had, and continues to have, good strong friendships with religious leaders from a variety of denominations.

It is not a "fact" that ALL Christians share those beliefs you've cited. Read John Shelby Spong or read up on Christian Deism. You'll find plenty of "Christians" out there who don't hold to those traditional Christian dogmas.

Jim


If you don't share the belief that I mentioned, how can you consider yourself a Christian? Belief in various liturgical practices, interpretations of the scripture, takes on morality...there is great diversity in the beliefs and practices of Christians. But by definition, it seems to me that if you cease to believe in Jesus' divinity and resurrection, you cease to be a Christian as the word is defined, in the same way that a person who does not believe that Muhammad's writings were divinely inspired cannot call themselves a Muslim. You may use the term to define yourself but you have diluted it to the point of meaninglessness. And I speak as one who is guilty as charged. I attend a Christian church. I am, even now, prone to identifying myself as a Christian when pressed. However, I developed serious doubts about Jesus' divinity and resurrection, and the more I come to embrace these doubts, the less I consider myself to be a Christian.

I suppose that in spite of disbelieving these aspects of Jesus' story, you could accept his words as they are recorded in scripture and live your life in accordance with the things he taught, and that might give you reason to call yourself a Christian. Ghandi, MLK and the hippies espoused many of the same ideals that I choose to embrace in my worldview, but I don't call myself a Ghandian, a Kingian, or a hippie. I'm not trying to deny you the right to call yourself a Christian, though I think the vast majority of Christians would take offense to your use of that moniker.

My original point is that I don't believe you can call Roman Catholicism and Southern Baptist two different religions when, at their essence, they believe the same thing.
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Re: Same religion or different?

Postby spongebob » Sun Feb 15, 2009 1:10 pm

StillSearching wrote:My original point is that I don't believe you can call Roman Catholicism and Southern Baptist two different religions when, at their essence, they believe the same thing.


It seems like a peculiar differentiation, but Roman Catholicism and Southern Baptists have some pretty significant differences, enough that they can easily consider each other heretics. The term "denomination" seems inadequate to capture their real differences.
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
~Bertrand Russell

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Re: Same religion or different?

Postby whoosanightowl » Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:26 pm

SS wrote:
My original point is that I don't believe you can call Roman Catholicism and Southern Baptist two different religions when, at their essence, they believe the same thing.


Stillsearching,
I think it's pretty well known that Southern Baptists (and some other fundamentalist denominations as well) despise the catholic faith, the authority of the pope, the rituals of the mass, the statues and devotion toward Mary, etc., and consider it the Whore of Babylon. They do not consider Catholics to be Christians, but rather claim they are deceived by Satan, on their way to hell. On the other hand, Catholics are far more tolerant of SB's and fundamentalism and don't resort to tearing their beliefs down at every opportunity. Believe me, I've been at both ends in my own journey.
Alice:`There's no use trying, one can't believe impossible things.'
Queen:`...you haven't had much practice, When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
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Re: Same religion or different?

Postby NH Baritone » Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:19 pm

I think that the debate has drifted from "Do the various denominations all belong under the Christian umbrella?" to "Do particular beliefs held by individual Christians disqualify them from belonging under the Christian umbrella?"

These are very different debates, though the second probably serves as the source of church divisions, or as I used to call it, making hamburger meat out of the body of Christ. All you need is a couple of people who believe they've discerned a godly lesson that the rest of their church finds heretical, and they can take their families off to start a new congregation. Inevitably, some folks will join them, for at least a while. If they're lucky, they'll be named Joseph Smith & Brigham Young, and so attract a more than a few.

That said, there are some liberal denominations that willingly include within their ranks those who question the divinity of Jesus and the actual resurrection. These include the The Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, & the Disciples of Christ. Admittedly, these four state within their doctrinal statements that they believe Jesus was the son of God and arose from the dead. But in practice, those terms are allowed to have metaphoric/allegorical meaning for many members, including even members of the clergy. Those metaphoric meanings are often even taught in the seminaries.

The requirement that all Christian, all Muslims, all Buddhists, all Hindus (or even all Baptists or all Catholics) agree on even their core principles is impractical. After all, religions are human institutions filled with at least the same human loyalties and anxieties that fill all big institutions. If we try to impose a definition of their faith upon them, we'll end up unwittingly committing the "No-True-Scotsman" fallacy. I long ago decided that the term "Christian" is essentially meaningless without additional qualifiers to indicate where in the rainbow of Christianity the individual or group lies.
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Re: Same religion or different?

Postby JustJim » Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:54 pm

StillSearching wrote:If you don't share the belief that I mentioned, how can you consider yourself a Christian?

Sorry for the confusion. I don't consider myself a Christian. I was just pointing out that many who do do not share your ideas of what constitutes "essential" Christian dogmatic beliefs. I think you could gain some really valuable perspectives on that by reading some of Spong's works or by visiting some Christian Deism sites and seeing what they have to say. Marcus Borg is a well-known liberal Christian who also doesn't share some of those "basic" beliefs, although he is able to include many of them in metaphorical senses. I've found each of those three resources to be immensely valuable in understanding the potential breadth of Christian beliefs, all the way from rejection of the deity of Christ and his physical resurrection from the dead to the extremes of King-James-only literalistic fundamentalism. For me, it's really worth the effort to be able to understand that, in NHB's very accurate assessment, "the term "Christian" is essentially meaningless without additional qualifiers to indicate where in the rainbow of Christianity the individual or group lies."

Jim
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