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Reply #17: Will the REAL Christianity please stand up? [View All]

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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-12-08 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #8
17. Will the REAL Christianity please stand up?
Meta-groups, wings, families, denominations,
faith groups, and belief systems


Sorting Christian faith groups:

Except perhaps for a few years between the execution of Yeshua of Nazareth (circa 30 CE) and the start of Paul's ministry (circa 36 CE), the Christian religion has never been unified.

- Throughout the second half of the first century CE, the Christian religion was divided into three main main religious movements: the Gnostics, Jewish Christians, and Pauline Christians. Gnostic Christians still survive today. All of the rest of today's Christian faith groups trace their history back to the Pauline Christian movement.

- Currently, there are over 1,200 Christian denominations in North America. 1
- According to David Barrett et al, editors of the "World Christian Encyclopedia: A comparative survey of churches and religions - AD 30 to 2200," there are 34,000 separate Christian groups in the world. 2

Sorting them into categories is a difficult task. Six ways of classifying them are into:

1. Many thousands of denominations:
- There are on the order of 1,200 Christian organizations in North America, and over 30,000 in the world.
- Their names range from the Amish to The Way.
- We have essays describing some of them.

2. Four to eight meta-groups: Most of the Christian denominations and sects in the world can be sorted into about eight segments or branches:
- Roman Catholicism,
- Eastern Orthodoxy,
- Oriental Orthodox and Assyrian Churches,
- Protestantism
- Restorationists
- Anglican Communion
- Pentecostals
- Others

Unfortunately, there is no consensus about which faith groups should be embraced by the term "Protestantism." For example:

- Some theologians split out the Anglican Communion from Protestantism.
- Others consider Pentecostalism to be separate from Protestantism.
- Others separate the European Free-Church Family out as a separate group.
- Some include the Restorationist denominations, which includes the Mormon church (a.k.a. LDS) within Protestantism. Some consider them to be a separate Christian group. Still others consider them to be non-Christian.


So, I guess the whole Christian thing is all a bunch of hog-wash, since they don't all agree on every single detail.

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