Relationships of various Christian groups

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Posts 198
Bryan Brodess | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 28 2009 2:51 PM

As for the chart, it is still wrong.. For you have the church -non jewish- The church began jewish and spread to the gentiles.. It is not now, nor has it even been non jewish..

Posts 579
Jim VanSchoonhoven | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 28 2009 4:10 PM

Brian, I believe the church of this age also called the body of Christ was never actually Jewish, although the first believers were part of Israel, but God created a new group which was neither Gentile or Jew.                                                                                                                                                     

     26     For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.      27     For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.      28     There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.      29     And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.

New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Ga 3:26-29). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

 Although it would take a while for the early Jewish believers to understand this.

     11     Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called   “             Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh  by human  hands—

     12     remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.      13     But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.      14     For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall,      15     by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace,      16     and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.

New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Eph 2:11-16). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation. I believe the last half of Romans 4 is addressing this new man the body of Christ when talking about them calling Abraham their father.  Both Israel and the Church have they roots in Abraham if they are believers. In Christ, Jim
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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 28 2009 4:35 PM

JimVanSchoonhoven:
I believe the church of this age also called the body of Christ was never actually Jewish,

In a very real sense this is true. However, for my purposes, I would show any Christian group that recognizes the Old Testament as being a branch through Judaism. Similarly, because Islam accepts the (uncorrupted) Torah and Gospels I show it as a branch of both.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 198
Bryan Brodess | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 28 2009 4:40 PM

JimVanSchoonhoven:

Brian, I believe the church of this age also called the body of Christ was never actually Jewish, although the first believers were part of Israel, but God created a new group which was neither Gentile or Jew.                                                                                                                                                     

   

We agree. But he has them as non jew.. or gentile.. I would have put both jew and gentile so as not to leave one out.. The church is not strictly gentile..

 

Posts 376
Dan Sheppard | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 28 2009 4:41 PM

MJ. Smith:

JimVanSchoonhoven:
I believe the church of this age also called the body of Christ was never actually Jewish,

In a very real sense this is true. However, for my purposes, I would show any Christian group that recognizes the Old Testament as being a branch through Judaism. Similarly, because Islam accepts the (uncorrupted) Torah and Gospels I show it as a branch of both.

 

Who said Muslims accept (uncorrupted) the Gospel?

I would maintain that Islam is closer to apostasy, than Gospel.

 

 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 28 2009 6:03 PM

Dan Sheppard:
Who said Muslims accept (uncorrupted) the Gospels?

The Qur'an -The Qur'an teaches that Islam is the continued faithful religion in the same line as the Prophets who were before Muhammad: The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah ... and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus (42:13 AYA). The result of this view is that the scriptures given by these Prophets are considered to be genuine scriptures from God: But say, "We (Muslims) believe in the Revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you (Jews & Christians); our Allah and your Allah is One" (29:46 AYA).

In the Qur'an there are many references to the Jewish and Christian Holy Books. In fact the Qur'an addresses Christians and Jews in terms of the Book: O People of the Book! (5:68 AYA).

Most Muslims I have read on the subject limit this to the Gospels and the Torah i.e. a 9 book canon. They also imply that are manuscripts are corrupt - sufficiently that they need to consult only the Qur'an despite this broader canon.

...

The key sentence from the above is, For each We have appointed a divine law and a traced-out way. This verse is teaching that the different religious groups (Jews, Christians and Muslims), have each been given a divine law (Torah, Gospel and Qur'an) and that each group is to make their decisions based upon what they have been given.

Thus the Qur'an encourages Jews to judge by the Torah:

How come they (come) unto thee (Muhammad) for judgment when they have the Torah, wherein Allah hath delivered judgment (for them)? (5:43, MP)

And the Qur'an urges Christians to judge by the Gospel:

Let the People of the Gospel judge by that which Allah hath revealed therein. Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are evil-livers. (5:47, MP)

And it encourages Muslims to judge by the Qur'an:

And unto thee (Muslims) have We revealed the Scripture (the Qur'an) with the truth, confirming whatever Scripture was before it, and a watcher over it. So judge between them by that which Allah hath revealed. (5:48, MP)

Again, we see that the Qur'an refers to the scriptures of the Christians and Jews as God's reliable word. Jews and Christians are commanded to consult their scriptures when desiring to know God's will. The Qur'an therefore considers these scriptures to be reliable. Surah 5:43-48 also shows that the Qur'an is not claiming to abrogate (replace) the Gospel and Torah but is a parallel revelation to them.

 

Note my correction to your quotation of me .. Gospels, as in the 4 Gospels.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 29 2009 4:20 AM

I know we're never going to agree on something like this, but it does seem to me that this is flawed in lots of ways:

  • Islam is a corruption of Christianity and Judaism. I'm really not sure there's any point inventing a religion called Abrahamic religion just to place it on the chart.
  • Why the separation between Messianic Judaism and Gentile Christianity? The Messianic Jews I know are nothing like the the Jewish 'Christians' Paul wrote to in Galatia. They're Christians by faith and Jews by nationality. They belong with us, and Jewish/Gentile is a false dichotomy.
  • Lutherans are protestant. Or at least they were in Luther's day.
  • Anglicans are protestant. Even thought there's a few Anglicans who wish they were Catholics, there's no way they straggle their division.
  • Within Protestantism you should probably have: Lutheran, Episcopalian, Reformed, Other. Within Reformed, you should then have Baptist, Presbyterian, Congregational. If you wished, you could then have more coming from the baptist tradition.
Posts 5
Onell McCarthy | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 29 2009 5:48 AM

Why would Christianity be considered a heresy like islam. When did the islamic religion started and by whom?

Posts 308
James W Bennett | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 29 2009 6:08 AM

MJ. Smith:
Here is what is probably the final draft - giving dual relationships to Islam and Radical Reformation.

MJ,

I admire your intent to build a view of the hierarchy of the sects of the "Abrahamic" religions as viewed from the perspective of the different sects. I do hope that you carefully weigh the input given and keep to this goal.

One thing I have noted that should be corrected is the boxes describing the "Assyrian Church" and the Nestorians. The Assyrian Church is what the sect that was traditionally known as the Nestorians calls themselves. So this is really the same group. Therefore you might want the box to be labeled the "Assyrian Church."

This effort may get real complex, or may simplify greatly, within the next several years :) The Catholic Church is working through differences with the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Assyrian Church. The Eastern Orthodox Church is working through differences with the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Assyrian Church. The Anglicans and Lutherans are working out their differences. Now if the Oriental Orthodox Church would work with the Assyrian Church...

It might become one big happy family in the next century or so. Except that is for the sects that fall under the modern term of Protestant, the Restorationist Church(es) (which is from where I hail), and the Messianic Jewish movement.

---

James W Bennett

http://syriac.tara-lu.com/

Posts 308
James W Bennett | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 29 2009 6:14 AM

Mark Barnes:
Islam is a corruption of Christianity and Judaism. I'm really not sure there's any point inventing a religion called Abrahamic religion just to place it on the chart.

Mark,

Martha is not trying to capture the historical or theological divisions of these religions or worldviews. She is trying to reflect how each of these sects view themselves. And from that angle Islam should be a parallel development of Judaism. Muslims and the Q'uran do not view themselves as an extension of either Jewish or Christian thought even though we know historically that Muhammad had been exposed to and taught by Christians. Muslims view themselves as a separate or parallel tract that is a more correct revelation of God's true will.

---

James W Bennett

http://syriac.tara-lu.com/

Posts 13417
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 29 2009 7:04 AM

James W Bennett:

Martha is not trying to capture the historical or theological divisions of these religions or worldviews. She is trying to reflect how each of these sects view themselves.

Then that is an impossible task. The mutually-contradictory views held by these groups ensures that. Even more problematic is the inherent assumption that this a linear process. Protestants, for example, view themselves as going back to an earlier theological position. In no way do they view themselves as a 'child' of Catholicism. A linear graph like this leaves no room for rediscovery of lost doctrines, nor the shedding of earlier ones now viewed heretical.

Posts 320
John Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 29 2009 7:23 AM

Onell McCarthy:

Why would Christianity be considered a heresy like islam.

?? I'm not sure what you mean here.

Onell McCarthy:
When did the islamic religion started and by whom?

In the seventh century A.D. by Muhammad. I tried to explain why it should be considered a Christian heresy earlier in the thread.

perspectivelyspeaking.wordpress.com

Posts 320
John Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 29 2009 7:25 AM

Mark Barnes:
Then that is an impossible task. The mutually-contradictory views held by these groups ensures that. Even more problematic is the inherent assumption that this a linear process. Protestants, for example, view themselves as going back to an earlier theological position. In no way do they view themselves as a 'child' of Catholicism. A linear graph like this leaves no room for rediscovery of lost doctrines, nor the shedding of earlier ones now viewed heretical.

I agree. (And I agree that Jew/Gentile is (now) a false dichotomy.)

perspectivelyspeaking.wordpress.com

Posts 320
John Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 29 2009 7:48 AM

James W Bennett:
Muslims view themselves as a separate or parallel tract that is a more correct revelation of God's true will.

Not exactly. Their belief is sort of like that of Protestants to Catholicism. Protestants, as Mark said, believe they have recovered what Catholicism lost. In the same way, Muslims believe they have recovered what "Christians" (and Jews) lost. This is parallel to what the Jehovah's Witnesses believe.

For example, Surrah 2.75 reads, "Can ye (o ye men of Faith) entertain the hope that they will believe in you?—Seeing that a party of them heard the Word of Allah, and perverted it knowingly after they understood it." and 10.37 "This Qur’an is not such as can be produced by other than Allah; on the contrary it is a confirmation of (revelations) that went before it, and a fuller explanation of the Book—wherein there is no doubt—from the Lord of the worlds (Ali; cf. 12.111; 10.94; 35.31, 32; 62.5;) 

So if we are going to have Islam branching back then we need to add the Jehovah's Witnesses and other Christian heresies back there too.

This is why I think Islam needs to be viewed as a Christian heresy. Any argument that Islam is something other than that will end up extending to other groups that we (rightfully) consider Christian heresies. On the other hand, the same facts that lead us to consider something like Jehovah's Witness as a Christian heresy can be found in the origins of Islam.

perspectivelyspeaking.wordpress.com

Posts 33
Don D. Thompson | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 29 2009 8:15 AM

James W Bennett:

[

This effort may get real complex, or may simplify greatly, within the next several years :) The Catholic Church is working through differences with the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Assyrian Church. The Eastern Orthodox Church is working through differences with the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Assyrian Church. The Anglicans and Lutherans are working out their differences. Now if the Oriental Orthodox Church would work with the Assyrian Church...

It might become one big happy family in the next century or so. Except that is for the sects that fall under the modern term of Protestant, the Restorationist Church(es) (which is from where I hail), and the Messianic Jewish movement.

Even though there are ongoing discussions and even some agreements between some of the various denominations (which I am pleased to see), which lead to co-operation and mutual acknowledgment of ministry and orders, I believe that there are formidable barriers to any amalgamation or merging.  At best, I see your time frame as optimistic. SurpriseSmile

 

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Posts 2744
Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 29 2009 8:25 AM

Mark Barnes:

James W Bennett:

Martha is not trying to capture the historical or theological divisions of these religions or worldviews. She is trying to reflect how each of these sects view themselves.

Then that is an impossible task. The mutually-contradictory views held by these groups ensures that. Even more problematic is the inherent assumption that this a linear process. Protestants, for example, view themselves as going back to an earlier theological position. In no way do they view themselves as a 'child' of Catholicism. A linear graph like this leaves no room for rediscovery of lost doctrines, nor the shedding of earlier ones now viewed heretical.

I agree. If you would take only into account the self-description, you would have to change the chart even more. Many believe they were initiated directly by God himself. Not only Islam Smile

Bohuslav

Posts 2744
Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 29 2009 8:42 AM

John Bowling:

James W Bennett:
Muslims view themselves as a separate or parallel tract that is a more correct revelation of God's true will.

Not exactly. Their belief is sort of like that of Protestants to Catholicism. Protestants, as Mark said, believe they have recovered what Catholicism lost. In the same way, Muslims believe they have recovered what "Christians" (and Jews) lost. This is parallel to what the Jehovah's Witnesses believe.

For example, Surrah 2.75 reads, "Can ye (o ye men of Faith) entertain the hope that they will believe in you?—Seeing that a party of them heard the Word of Allah, and perverted it knowingly after they understood it." and 10.37 "This Qur’an is not such as can be produced by other than Allah; on the contrary it is a confirmation of (revelations) that went before it, and a fuller explanation of the Book—wherein there is no doubt—from the Lord of the worlds (Ali; cf. 12.111; 10.94; 35.31, 32; 62.5;) 

So if we are going to have Islam branching back then we need to add the Jehovah's Witnesses and other Christian heresies back there too.

This is why I think Islam needs to be viewed as a Christian heresy. Any argument that Islam is something other than that will end up extending to other groups that we (rightfully) consider Christian heresies. On the other hand, the same facts that lead us to consider something like Jehovah's Witness as a Christian heresy can be found in the origins of Islam.

It is exactly true. Islam is just a bigger and older sect similar to Mormonism and other semi-christian sects. It is (as I and others stated already) a reaction to Judaism and Christianity, combined with the old pagan Arab religion of the moon god.

One more note:  Some experts on Judaism would say that both Rabbinic Judaism and Messianic Judaism followed by Christianity are 2 streams which come out of the 2 Temple Judaism. Some would say Rabbinic Judaism is younger and is in a measure a reaction to the Messianic Judaism.

Saying that Christianity has nothing to do with the Judaism is wrong IMHO. All about the beginning of the Church is Jewish. The Church started as Jewish (not from the Rabbinic Judaism but 2 Temple Judaism in all it's variations) It started to include Gentiles. We accepted Jewish Messiah, not that Jews would accept a non-Jewish Saviour. The split between the Messianic Judaism and Messianic Gentiles (Christianity) happened gradually in the first few centuries with the tragic growth of the antisemitism.

Sorry if I messed up a conventional way of looking at the matter. I might be wrong.

Bohuslav

Posts 1142
Juanita | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 29 2009 9:22 AM
MJ. Smith:

Please let me know if you think I have misrepresented the group to which you belong.

I can't find non-denominational, charismatic (not Pentecostal) house church in the chart.  That is the group I am part of.
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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 29 2009 2:35 PM

Mark Barnes:
I'm really not sure there's any point inventing a religion called Abrahamic religion

"Abrahamic religions" is simply standard terminology for the 3 (Western) monotheistic religions. To delete it would remove the Ismael/Israel distinction that is part of the self-identification. If I decided to not include that piece of information, Abrahamic religions could be deleted with no redrawing of the diagram.

Mark Barnes:
Why the separation between Messianic Judaism and Gentile Christianity?

I was unhappy with my terminology here and hoped someone could improve it. In the final version I changed "Gentile" to "non-jewish". The distinction I was trying to make was between the Christians whose practices and self-identification remain within Judaism vs. the Christianity that no longer considers itself to have direct (rather than historical) ties to Judaism.

Mark Barnes:
Lutherans are protestant.

I have labeled them as Protestant in the historic sense of the term. However, Lutherans do not self-identify as Protestants and are theologically quite distinct from much of Protestantism. A Lutheran who has participated in this thread has stated this position eloquately.

Mark Barnes:
Anglicans are protestant.

While the Anglicans in the US are usually associated with the Episcopal Protestant Church, the Anglicans self-identify as the middle way between Catholic and Protestant. This self-identification is what I am attempting to capture.

Mark Barnes:
Within Protestantism you should probably have: Lutheran, Episcopalian, Reformed, Other.

I've already explained the placement of Lutherans and Anglicans. Unfortumately, I don't understand the divisions within Protestantism very well. In fact, I can't even understand why there are so many divisions. So for Protestants, I've only included subdivisions that were suggested in this thread that I thought I undestood the group being referenced.

Some of the broad points I wanted the diagram to show:

  • there is an Eastern church that as Westerners we tend to completely ignore - or at most note the Eastern Orthodox
  • the Catholic Church is not "Roman" but also has an Eastern component
  • Islam recognizes (positively) both Judaism and Christianity
  • in some aspects, Lutherans and Anglican are closer to Catholic than Protestant
  • that the church does not divide easily into Catholic and Protestant - which is a Western church only distinction
  • that Samaritans are not outside the scope
  • that not all of Judaism is rabbinic
  • that the three major groupings - Judaism, Christianity, Islam - had a  mystic thread: Kabbala, Gnosticism, Sufism  (a representative not comprehensive list)

A major thing I learned which needs to be fleshed out - I didn't know the distinction between the reformation and the radical reformation.

A major disappointment was that while the Oriental church members that I have known over the years would consider my placement of them as historic rather than self-identification, I don't know the area well enough to do it justice.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 29 2009 2:50 PM

Onell McCarthy:
Why would Christianity be considered a heresy like islam. When did the islamic religion started and by whom?

This is very much an us vs. them question:

When did Judaism start and by whom?

  • Moses, a man  [non-followers of Abrahamic religions excluding Baha'i]
  • Moses, a religious educator [Baha'i]
  • God [followers of Abrahamic religions]

When did Christianity start and by whom?

  • Jesus, a man [non-Christians excluding Islam and Baha'i]
  • Jesus, a prophet [Islam]
  • Jesus, a religious educator [Baha'i]
  • Jesus, man-God [Christianity]

When did Islam start and by whom?

  • Mohammed, a man [non-Islamics excluding Baha'i]
  • Mohammed, a religious educator [Baha'i]
  • God [followers of Islam]

What I find fascinating is how non-Christians read and use Christian Scripture - not a topic Logos is strong in ... and probably not a topic with much market given how little I've seen. Yes, I know this chart is justly faulted in it detail ... but this is an "off the top of my head" cut not a dissertation.Smile

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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