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Old November 3rd, 2017, 11:52 PM   #1
PlasmaHam
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Default Denomination Differences

There was a question recently regarding denomination differences in the “Ask a Christian” thread. Due to the vast nature of such a question, and that many others are likely interested, I’m creating this thread here purely for that. Some denominations here are grouped with another one. I did that since some denominations are historically and doctrinally very similar, so it is easier to just group them together rather than make two very similar descriptions. Enjoy.

*Format of how I’ll do this*
Name of the denomination
Means of Salvation: What they believe is required to go to Heaven.
Baptism: Their viewpoint on baptism.
Mary: How they view Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Communion: How they view communion, also known as the Eucharist.
Homosexuality: Acceptance of homosexual acts and marriage.
Doctrine: The accepted sources of doctrine.
Organization: How the denomination is organized (See below).
Size: The estimated size of the denomination.
Origins: When and where it stems.
Other: Interesting tidbits regarding their beliefs that don’t fall elsewhere.

Note on Organization: There are three ways denominations govern themselves. First, we have Episcopal governance. This is where there is a denominational hierarchy, stemming from the local priest all the way up to a central figurehead for that denomination. Secondly, we have Presbyterian governance. This is where the local church congregation elects elders to make the decisions for the church. In some denominations there are also elders who manage multiple churches, and elders who manage the whole denomination. Thirdly, we have congregational. Congregational churches rest the power in the hands of the local congregation, though they can also elect officials like Deacons and Trustees to handle most of the minor decisions.

Note on Mormons and Jehovah Witness:
There is considerable debate among Christians as to if Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons should be considered Christian. They are considerably different than most denominations. I am including them here since many people do consider them Christian, but just keep in mind that some people will say they aren’t a Christian denomination, but something different.

Other Definitions:

Immaculate Conception: Belief that Mary, mother of Jesus, was without sin.
Communion: Also called the Eucharist, is the act of passing around bread and wine to honor Jesus.
Clergy: Generic name for the officials and staff of a church.
Sola Scriptura: The belief that the Bible is the only valid source of doctrine.
Prima Scriptura: The belief that experience and tradition can form secondary doctrine to the Bible.
Apocrypha:
Additional materials added to the Bible by some denominations.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Anabaptists (Amish, Mennonite, Apostolic)

Means of Salvation: By faith in Jesus
Baptism: Immersion or pouring; Christian only, encouraged but not required
Mary: No immaculate conception; no high honor.
Communion: Practiced; believed to be purely symbolic
Homosexuality: Not accepting of homosexual behavior, marriage, or clergy
Doctrine: Sola Scriptura
Organization: Congregational/Presbyterian hybrid
Size: 5,000,000
Origins: Unknown, one of the earliest churches
Other: Believe in separating themselves from the world, sometimes to extremes; claims to be direct descendants of the New Testament churches; predecessors to Baptists



Anglican/Episcopal

Means of Salvation: By faith in Jesus.
Baptism: Pouring or immersion; infant or Christian; required
Mary: Immaculate conception view depends on the church, not enforced or denied by doctrine.
Communion: Practiced; complicated and mixed views on the meaning of it.
Homosexuality: Increasingly accepting of homosexual behavior, marriage, and clergy.
Doctrine: Apocrypha; prima scriptura
Organization: Episcopal
Size: 82,000,000
Origins: mid-1500’s England
Other: Politically and socially the most liberal of mainstream denominations



Baptist
Means of Salvation: By faith in Jesus.
Baptism: Immersion; Christian only; encouraged but not required.
Mary: No immaculate conception; no high honor.
Communion: Practiced; believed to be purely symbolic.
Homosexuality: Not accepting of homosexual behavior, marriage, or clergy
Doctrine: Sola Scriptura
Organization: Congregational
Size: 105,000,000
Origins: early 1600’s, England
Other: Largest Protestant denomination in USA; called Baptist due to their belief in full immersion, Christian only baptism



Catholic
Means of Salvation: By faith and works.
Baptism: Pouring, sprinkling, or immersion; infants or Christian; required
Mary: Believe in the immaculate conception; highly honored.
Communion: Practiced; believe that it is changed to Jesus’ actual blood and body upon consumption and statement by priest.
Homosexuality: Not accepting of homosexual behavior, marriage, or clergy
Doctrine: Apocrypha; the church
Organization: Episcopal
Size: 1,200,000,000
Origins: 1054, Rome (Founded initially at an unknown time as a merged church with the Orthodox)
Other: Largest denomination in the world; headed by the Pope in Rome.



Church of Christ

Means of Salvation: By faith in Jesus
Baptism: Immersion; Christians only; required
Mary: No immaculate conception; no high honor.
Communion: Practiced; believed to be purely symbolic
Homosexuality: Not accepting of homosexual behavior, marriage, or clergy
Doctrine: Sola Scriptura
Organization: Presbyterian
Size: 2,000,000
Origins: early 1800s, USA
Other: Does not believe in the use of instruments in the church.



Jehovah Witness
Means of Salvation: By faith and works
Baptism: Practiced; Christian only; encouraged but not required; must be done in natural body of water.
Mary: No immaculate conception; no high honor.
Communion: Practiced; believed to be purely symbolic.
Homosexuality: Not accepting of homosexual behavior, marriage, or clergy
Doctrine: The Bible; the church
Organization: Episcopal
Size: 8,500,000
Origins: 1870s, Pennsylvania, USA
Other: Don’t believe in the idea of a Trinity; believe Jesus is high angel, not God; believe that salvation requires a certain amount of years of church service to count.



Lutheran
Means of Salvation: By faith in Jesus
Baptism: Sprinkling, pouring, or immersion; infant or Christian; required
Mary: No immaculate conception; but is highly honored.
Communion: Practiced; believed to hold spiritual power from Jesus.
Homosexuality: Mixed views between individual churches
Doctrine: Sola Scriptura
Organization: Episcopal/Congregational hybrid
Size: 85,000,000
Origins: 1530s, Germany
Other: The first large Protestant denomination



Methodist/Wesleyan
Means of Salvation: By faith and works
Baptism: Sprinkling, pouring, or immersion; infants* and Christians; encouraged but not required.
Mary: No immaculate conception; but is highly honored.
Communion: Practiced; believed to hold spiritual power from Jesus.
Homosexuality: Not accepting of homosexual behavior, marriage, or clergy
Doctrine: Prima Scriptura.
Organization: Episcopal
Size: 75,000,000
Origins: 1787, England
Other: Split from the Anglican Church over doctrinal issues; *Wesleyan Church disagrees with Methodists regarding infant baptism.



Moravian/Brethren
Means of Salvation: Faith in Jesus
Baptism: Sprinkling, pouring, and immersion; children and Christian; encouraged but not required.
Mary: No immaculate conception; no high honor.
Communion: Practiced; believed to hold spiritual power from Jesus.
Homosexuality: Some regional groups are accepting, no enforced stance by global church
Doctrine: The Bible is good, but doctrine comes moreso from personal experience and tradition.
Organization: Episcopal
Size: 1,000,000
Origins: 1457, Moravia (modern Southern Germany)
Other:



Mormon/Church of Latter-Day Saints
Means of Salvation: By faith and works
Baptism: Immersion only; children, Christian, dead; required
Mary: No immaculate conception; no high honor.
Communion: Practiced; believed to be purely symbolic, though regularly required of members.
Homosexuality: Not accepting of homosexual behavior; polygamy is accepted by some.
Doctrine: Apocrypha and the Book of Mormon
Organization: Episcopal
Size: 16,000,000
Origins: 1830, USA
Other: Very famous singing choir, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir; do not believe in the Trinity; have very unique views regarding Heaven, salvation, and relationship with Jesus.



Orthodox

Means of Salvation: By faith and works
Baptism: Immersion only; infant and Christian; required
Mary: No immaculate conception; but is highly honored.
Communion: Practiced; believe that it is changed to Jesus’ actual blood and body upon consumption.
Homosexuality: Not accepting of homosexual behavior, marriage, or clergy
Doctrine: Apocrypha, though less material than Catholic; prima scriptura
Organization: Episcopal
Size: 310,000,000
Origins: 1054, Constantinople (Founded initially at 400 AD as a merged church with the Catholic)
Other: Largely restricted to Eastern Europe; was once the largest denomination but took heavy casualties from the aggressive rise of Islam.



Pentecostal/Assembly of God/Charismatic

Means of Salvation: By faith in Jesus
Baptism: Immersion only; children and Christian; Assembly believe it is required, Pentecostal believe that it isn’t required, but still encouraged.
Mary: No immaculate conception; no high honor.
Communion: Practiced; believed to be purely symbolic.
Homosexuality: Not accepting of homosexual behavior, marriage, or clergy
Doctrine: Sola Scriptura; prophecy
Organization: Congregational
Size: 300,000,000
Origins: Early 1900s, USA
Other: Some do not believe in the Trinity, instead the belief that God can manifest as Jesus, Jehovah, or the Spirit; famous for their belief in speaking in tongues; strict regarding modesty.



Presbyterian
Means of Salvation: By faith in Jesus
Baptism: Sprinkling, pouring, or immersion; infant and Christian; encouraged but not required.
Mary: No immaculate conception; no high honor.
Communion: Practiced; believed to hold spiritual power from Jesus.
Homosexuality: Increasingly accepting of homosexual behaviors.
Doctrine: Sola Scriptura
Organization: Presbyterian
Size: 75,000,000
Origins: mid-1500s, France
Other:



Quaker/Friends Church

Means of Salvation: By faith in Jesus
Baptism: Not practiced
Mary: No immaculate conception; no high honor.
Communion: Not practiced
Homosexuality: Varies depending on the region
Doctrine: Prima scriptura
Organization: Congregational
Size: 400,000
Origins: Mid-1770s, England
Other: Ardent pacifists; heavily stress separation from the world.



Seventh-day Adventist
Means of Salvation: By faith in Jesus
Baptism: Immersion only; Christian only; encouraged but not required.
Mary: No immaculate conception; no high honor.
Communion: Practiced; believed to be purely symbolic.
Homosexuality: Not accepting of homosexual behavior, marriage, or clergy
Doctrine: Sola scriptura; prophecy
Organization: Presbyterian
Size: 18,000,000
Origins: mid-1800s, USA
Other: Believe that some have the gift of prophecy; beliefs are based heavily around what they believe will happen at the Second Coming of Christ






Sources:
http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/charts
https://www.reddit.com/r/explainlike...jor_christian/
http://www.religionresourcesonline.o...re/baptism.php
http://christianityinview.com/eucharist.html
https://churchrelevance.com/qa-list-...their-beliefs/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._homosexuality
http://www.dummies.com/religion/chri...istian-church/
http://www.newhopemoravian.org/tradition.html

Last edited by PlasmaHam; November 14th, 2017 at 04:49 PM.
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Old November 4th, 2017, 06:58 AM   #2
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This was really interesting to read. It also looks as though you spent a lot of time putting this together, so thanks for making this.



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Old November 4th, 2017, 08:15 PM   #3
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That’s really good, a lot of information. Religion is so confusing to me when it comes to the history side of it. Even my own religion, I have a hard time following everything. This was a help understanding some stuff. Even though it’s not about the history, it did help with that


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Old November 4th, 2017, 11:26 PM   #4
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Do you know anything about Shabbat and which Christian denominations celebrate have it on Fridays? I can't find the information I'm looking for on the internet. My family had Shabbat on Fridays when I was a kid, but my parents won't really give me a lot of information on our former religious practices or where they got the tradition.
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Old November 5th, 2017, 10:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babs View Post
Do you know anything about Shabbat and which Christian denominations celebrate have it on Fridays? I can't find the information I'm looking for on the internet. My family had Shabbat on Fridays when I was a kid, but my parents won't really give me a lot of information on our former religious practices or where they got the tradition.
I believe that’s the Jewish sabbath isn’t it?
Not Christian, but I could be mistaken


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Old November 5th, 2017, 11:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just JT View Post
I believe that’s the Jewish sabbath isn’t it?
Not Christian, but I could be mistaken
I know it's typically a Jewish thing but we were definitely Christians. Kind of Old Testament.
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Old November 5th, 2017, 02:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babs View Post
Do you know anything about Shabbat and which Christian denominations celebrate have it on Fridays? I can't find the information I'm looking for on the internet. My family had Shabbat on Fridays when I was a kid, but my parents won't really give me a lot of information on our former religious practices or where they got the tradition.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just JT View Post
I believe that’s the Jewish sabbath isn’t it?
Not Christian, but I could be mistaken
The Jewish sabbath is celebrated on Saturdays. I'm not sure which Christian group celebrates sabbath or similar on a Friday. My best guess would be the Mormons, as they have special customs they observe on Fridays. Some denominations like Catholics and Orthodox also abstain from meat on Fridays. But I am not familar with any denomination that observes the Sabbath on Friday.
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Old November 5th, 2017, 03:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasmaHam View Post
The Jewish sabbath is celebrated on Saturdays. I'm not sure which Christian group celebrates sabbath or similar on a Friday. My best guess would be the Mormons, as they have special customs they observe on Fridays. Some denominations like Catholics and Orthodox also abstain from meat on Fridays. But I am not familar with any denomination that observes the Sabbath on Friday.
I don't think we were Mormons because we were never baptized and believed in the Trinity. I guess we were kind of miscellaneous, nothing seems to fit.
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Old November 5th, 2017, 04:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babs View Post
my parents won't really give me a lot of information on our former religious practices or where they got the tradition.
Just guessing here. Are your parents still religious at all? Perhaps they were following some traditions they believed were correct? Maybe they did not really know what the proper traditions for different or Christian faiths are?
Why won’t they help you understand this?
Could they be embarrassed by something?
Perhaps by not knowing, and realize now they maybe weren’t doing the correct traditions?
I dont mean to be offensive by this, it’s just a thought I had is all


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Old November 5th, 2017, 05:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babs View Post
I don't think we were Mormons because we were never baptized and believed in the Trinity. I guess we were kind of miscellaneous, nothing seems to fit.
To clarify, since we go by a lunisolar calendar in Judaism, Shabbat goes from Friday evening to Saturday evening (sundown to sundown). So it still could've been a Jewish tradition.

However, if you're sure it was some form of Christianity, it sounds incredibly niche, like a very small potentially unrecognized subset or cult. The mother of a friend of mine grew up in some sort of religious cult with odd traditions that I can't recall right now, but she doesn't like to talk about it.

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Old November 5th, 2017, 10:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just JT View Post
Just guessing here. Are your parents still religious at all? Perhaps they were following some traditions they believed were correct? Maybe they did not really know what the proper traditions for different or Christian faiths are?
Why won’t they help you understand this?
Could they be embarrassed by something?
Perhaps by not knowing, and realize now they maybe weren’t doing the correct traditions?
I dont mean to be offensive by this, it’s just a thought I had is all
Christians still but not particularly religious. They are nondenominational. It was kind of a phase they went through and I think they just feel a little defensive.

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To clarify, since we go by a lunisolar calendar in Judaism, Shabbat goes from Friday evening to Saturday evening (sundown to sundown). So it still could've been a Jewish tradition.

However, if you're sure it was some form of Christianity, it sounds incredibly niche, like a very small potentially unrecognized subset or cult. The mother of a friend of mine grew up in some sort of religious cult with odd traditions that I can't recall right now, but she doesn't like to talk about it.
We joke about it being a cult but it really wasn't. They just don't like to talk about it because while they're still Christians even they aren't like that anymore and their kids are all atheists. They just have a lot of pride. Small unrecognized subset would be a better description.
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Old November 6th, 2017, 06:58 PM   #12
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I'm not impressed by the posted facts I read, but about the effort to put these facts together.
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Old November 7th, 2017, 03:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragle View Post
I'm not impressed by the posted facts I read, but about the effort to put these facts together.
I'm not for sure whether to feel praised or insulted, but alright.

BTW, this is going to be a continual project of mine. The info here is skimpy, I know. I plan on adding more to it in the future. I may be another month or so before that happens, as the end of the semester is near, which means more school work.
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Old November 7th, 2017, 08:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasmaHam View Post
The Jewish sabbath is celebrated on Saturdays. I'm not sure which Christian group celebrates sabbath or similar on a Friday. My best guess would be the Mormons, as they have special customs they observe on Fridays. Some denominations like Catholics and Orthodox also abstain from meat on Fridays. But I am not familar with any denomination that observes the Sabbath on Friday.
I think that the Seventh Day Adventists celebrate the Sabbath from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. I have a friend who is SDA and he goes to church on Saturday.
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Old November 7th, 2017, 10:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falcons_11 View Post
I think that the Seventh Day Adventists celebrate the Sabbath from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. I have a friend who is SDA and he goes to church on Saturday.
I have a friend who's also Seventh-day Adventist, but I don't think they recognize any religious significance on Friday nights. She attends church on Saturday mornings, though. Correct me if I'm wrong (especially @PlasmaHam, who knows way more about this than I do) but I think that's due to calendrical differences between Judaism and any form of Christianity; in Judaism, we celebrate holidays from sundown to sundown (so holidays start in the evening and end the evening of the following day), but in Christianity, I think it's more intuitive since we use a Christian calendar.

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Old November 7th, 2017, 10:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
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I think that the Seventh Day Adventists celebrate the Sabbath from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. I have a friend who is SDA and he goes to church on Saturday.
That's what I heared from a Seven Day Adventist classmate, too.
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Old November 8th, 2017, 08:34 AM   #17
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Surprise! This very informative thread has now been stickied

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Old November 9th, 2017, 03:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elysium View Post
Surprise! This very informative thread has now been stickied
Thanks staff!

I'll definitely be updating this as I can. In the future, I may add some info regarding the sects of Judaism and Islam, though getting the Christian stuff filled is foremost.
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Old November 10th, 2017, 05:02 PM   #19
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Gonna make a few clarifications and corrections here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasmaHam View Post
Catholic
Means of Salvation: By faith and works.
In Catholic doctrine, a person first enters into the state of grace (i.e. "gets saved") either by baptism, or by an internal act of love of God, which must include, at least implicitly, faith and a desire for baptism. The precise conditions required for the latter are a matter of some dispute.

Salvation once attained can be lost by the voluntary commission of a serious sin. Salvation lost after baptism can be recovered by repentance and confession, or by what is called perfect contrition. Perfect contrition is sorrow for sin motivated by the offense given to God, not due to the feeling of shame felt regarding the sin or fear of Hell. It must, at least implicitly, include the desire for confession.

In all cases, the assistance of God's grace is absolutely required either to obtain the state of grace for the first time or to recover it after it has been lost.

Quote:
Communion: Practiced; believe that it is changed to Jesus’ actual blood and body upon consumption.
The change occurs during the consecration (when the priest recites the words Christ spoke at the Last Supper "This is my body . . ."), not at the moment of consumption.

Quote:
Doctrine: Apocrypha; the church
Catholic doctrine comes from God's Revelation. This includes both the written word of God (the Bible, with all its parts, including the 7 books of the Old Testament that the Protestants removed) as well as everything Christ taught the Apostles, and which they have passed on to us.

Since differing interpretations are bound to arise, Catholics believe that Christ instituted the office of the Papacy. The Pope has the authority to definitively decide doctrinal disputes.

Quote:
Origins: 1054, Rome (Founded initially at 400 AD as a merged church with the Orthodox)
As a matter of historical fact, no significant ecclesiastical event happened in the year 400 AD. Like all attempts to delineate between the Catholic Church and that of the Apostles, it is baseless. The first known use of the term "Catholic Church" was in a letter written around 107 AD. The letter indicates that the term was already in common usage.
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Old November 12th, 2017, 04:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Gonna make a few clarifications and corrections here:
Feel free, though as I noted in the initial post, I made some generalizations and did not go overly specific. This was made so those with limited to no knowledge regarding Christianity can understand the gist of it.

Quote:
In Catholic doctrine, a person first enters into the state of grace (i.e. "gets saved") either by baptism, or by an internal act of love of God, which must include, at least implicitly, faith and a desire for baptism. The precise conditions required for the latter are a matter of some dispute.

Salvation once attained can be lost by the voluntary commission of a serious sin. Salvation lost after baptism can be recovered by repentance and confession, or by what is called perfect contrition. Perfect contrition is sorrow for sin motivated by the offense given to God, not due to the feeling of shame felt regarding the sin or fear of Hell. It must, at least implicitly, include the desire for confession.

In all cases, the assistance of God's grace is absolutely required either to obtain the state of grace for the first time or to recover it after it has been lost.
I get what you are saying, that works aren't an intrinsic part of Catholic teachings of salvation. However, as you have stated, observing and participating in certain sacraments and being a member of the Catholic Church are requirements for salvation. While there may be a more fancy and precise term as to how Catholics view salvation, 'faith and works' suffices for my purposes.

Quote:
The change occurs during the consecration (when the priest recites the words Christ spoke at the Last Supper "This is my body . . ."), not at the moment of consumption.
I'll look into that.

Quote:
Catholic doctrine comes from God's Revelation. This includes both the written word of God (the Bible, with all its parts, including the 7 books of the Old Testament that the Protestants removed) as well as everything Christ taught the Apostles, and which they have passed on to us.

Since differing interpretations are bound to arise, Catholics believe that Christ instituted the office of the Papacy. The Pope has the authority to definitively decide doctrinal disputes.
That's more or less what I said. Apocrypha materials (uncanonized OT books along with some Apostolic materials), and the Church, which is headed by the Pope and has the ability to determine Catholic doctrine. Again, while there is probably a fancier way of saying that, in a generalized manner what I currently have works fine.

Quote:
As a matter of historical fact, no significant ecclesiastical event happened in the year 400 AD. Like all attempts to delineate between the Catholic Church and that of the Apostles, it is baseless. The first known use of the term "Catholic Church" was in a letter written around 107 AD. The letter indicates that the term was already in common usage.
Again, I use generalized terms and dates throughout this piece. The origins of the Catholic Church is in dispute, and I know you have strong feelings about that, but that is what is generally accepted. I chose 400 as that is around the generalized time Catholic Church as we know it came to be.

And the term "Catholic" is not exclusive to the Roman Church. 'Catholic' has been used throughout history to refer to Christians as a whole; some Protestant groups like the Methodists still commonly use that term in this fashion. The term 'Catholic' as to refer specifically to Roman Catholicism didn't come in accepted use until around the latter part of the 4th century, which is conveniently close to the 400AD date I choose.

I appreciate your comments, but you must also recognize that every person has a differing opinion on their church's doctrine, and that just about every church has opinions as to when they are founded that clash with each others' and generally accepted history. I'll look into what you've stated, but don't be surprised if your "corrections" aren't all implemented.
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