For 40,000 denominations it only takes 16 issues ...

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Posts 1148
xnman | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 22 2022 9:47 AM

Here is a way I have drawn the idea expressed by GaoLu.....

Check Through The Bible

xn = Christan  man=man -- Acts 11:26 "....and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch".

Posts 1169
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 22 2022 11:13 AM

DMB:

David Thomas:
 I conclude DAL is the one who drew "first blood". I'm glad that we can reconcile past misunderstandings.

David, I'm smiling. But to illustrate why demoninationalists see the cOC as just one more, is the sign out front. To illustrate, I grew up in a cOC; even a not-a-cOC Bible college, with all cOC complying professors (complying to .... a common doctrine ... they kick out non-doctrinaires). Later, I attended a 'chapel' (name traditional to this area). Their beliefs were more conservative than the growing up cOC, or the Bible college. But ... here's the deal .... the sign out front didn't say cOC. And 'we' were most definitely not in fellowship, nor Fellowship of my cOC family.  

So, unavoidably, you end up with an unavoidable denominational self-image ... us .... not them. Ergo DAL's points.

Later, the 'chapel' renamed to a 'Bible chapel' ... tourists wanted to get married, instead of a church.

I like Gao's illustration.

Can we just let the whole churches of Christ discussion go? It's not helping move MJ's project forward, it's outside the forum guidelines, and even if it weren't, a discussion forum like this isn't conducive to the kind of nuance that would be needed to really tease out how a consensus on doctrine develops, is maintained, and then can disintegrate over time in a movement made up of formally autonomous congregations. It's an important topic, but this just isn't the right place for it.

Posts 28
JBR | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 22 2022 11:25 AM

EastTN:

Can we just let the whole churches of Christ discussion go? It's not helping move MJ's project forward, it's outside the forum guidelines, and even if it weren't, a discussion forum like this isn't conducive to the kind of nuance that would be needed to really tease out how a consensus on doctrine develops, is maintained, and then can disintegrate over time in a movement made up of formally autonomous congregations. It's an important topic, but this just isn't the right place for it.

Thank you.

For God and For Neighbor

Posts 122
Greg Dement | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 22 2022 11:33 AM

Agreed. 

Using rough estimates of others:

       40,000 denominations

37,000,000 churches/congregations

       15,000 coC/COC churches congregations

Reading this thread it is vey heavily weighted or entirely weighted on issues within the coC/COC. Very minor sampling of such a large discussion.

Posts 1302
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 22 2022 11:58 AM

EastTN:

Can we just let the whole churches of Christ discussion go? It's not helping move MJ's project forward, it's outside the forum guidelines, and even if it weren't, a discussion forum like this isn't conducive to the kind of nuance that would be needed to really tease out how a consensus on doctrine develops, is maintained, and then can disintegrate over time in a movement made up of formally autonomous congregations. It's an important topic, but this just isn't the right place for it.

I thought you'd have to eventually put your foot down.

But for the most part (ignoring the creedal lists), it's quite specific to MJ's question: does logic underlie 'denominations', and specific (not general) theological instances. My earlier point, was that creedal paths were an easier approach .... as you pointed out schisms, not doctrines.

The question intrudes in Logos in 2 ways:

- Folks try to track back theologies, but in Logos, are met with individuals (eg history of the church resources), and theology lists.

- And for going on 10 years, a Restoration package eludes, if only because 'which one'. Maybe it merits dicussion vs kicking the can?

Posts 1148
xnman | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 22 2022 5:42 PM

I have been thinking about this thread.... and for the record...

I will state .... I am a member of the Church of Christ.... And understand, I am not upset angry or anything else.  I am used to people taking "pot shots" at the Church of Christ".

And as I have shown earlier in my posts ....  I feel this thread has come to be NOT about teachings and such BUT use this avenue to show the Church of Christ in an unfavorable view.

If I were to say things like has been said on this thread about some other church... I feel I would be chastised with energy.

So while a lot has been said about the Church of Christ...  Maybe it's time for some some else to please take helm of this thread and let's discuss their church with the same vigor as has been used against the Church of Christ?

The Church of Christ is not the only  "theological faith view" in the world you know!

Thanks.  Geeked

xn = Christan  man=man -- Acts 11:26 "....and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch".

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 22 2022 6:02 PM

xnman:
If I were to say things like has been said on this thread about some other church... I feel I would be chastised with energy.

From my perspective, although it got off topic at times, the discussion of the Stone-Campell movement church has been conducted with politeness and accuracy, primarily by people who know the tradition thoroughly. I only noticed two posts where things started to get testy. It is Churches such as the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Oneness Pentecostals, Bereans ... that get slammed. Catholics used to be in that camp, but for several years now, they are more frequently the subject of simple misinformation. Hopefully, the day is near when the groups mentioned are well enough understood to also be subject nothing worse than misinformation. Nonetheless, I am sorry you felt the CoC was attacked; I doubt that any of the participants intended that.

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

Posts 9023
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 22 2022 6:03 PM

This just goes to show that when it comes to “Theological issues” the churches of Christ are no different than the denominations around us. We must try to study with an open mind and always strive to accept only what’s acceptable in the sight of God. Then again, that’s another theological issue everybody struggles with.

Good night!

DAL

PS, By the way, us being described as the Stone-Campbell movement is our own fault for promoting “The Restoration Movement.” We should just do what we claim to do, i.e. “We should just go back to the Bible.” A popular quarterly magazine among churches of Christ (not going to name it) had an issue dedicated to “Pioneer Preachers.” Guess whose picture was at the front cover of that magazine? Yep, Alexander Campbell! A man who taught we could fellowship denominations (which is a huge no-no in today’s churches of Christ). So with that in mind, is it any wonder why people call us “Campbellites” when we ourselves (well, you can exclude me) are promoting magazines with Alexander Campbell’s picture at the front cover? Looks like we shot ourselves in the foot 😁 We claim the church of Christ has always existed before the restoration movement, yet what we do is promote the movement and it’s history and even putting in a pedestal the pioneer men that were part of the movement. Even in Spanish they call us “Campbelitas” because all we’ve done is just repeat what our American brothers have taught us! Isn’t that ironic?!

The more I read the history, the more I see where we’ve gone wrong in so many issues. Anyway, these are my closing thoughts! No more comments! Now let’s hear what the other guys struggle with 👍😁👌

Posts 1148
xnman | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 22 2022 6:56 PM

DAL:

This just goes to show that when it comes to “Theological issues” the churches of Christ are no different than the denominations around us. We must try to study with an open mind and always strive to accept only what’s acceptable in the sight of God. Then again, that’s another theological issue everybody struggles with.

Good night!

DAL

PS, By the way, us being described as the Stone-Campbell movement is our own fault for promoting “The Restoration Movement.” We should just do what we claim to do, i.e. “We should just go back to the Bible.” A popular quarterly magazine among churches of Christ (not going to name it) had an issue dedicated to “Pioneer Preachers.” Guess whose picture was at the front cover of that magazine? Yep, Alexander Campbell! A man who taught we could fellowship denominations (which is a huge no-no in today’s churches of Christ). So with that in mind, is it any wonder why people call us “Campbellites” when we ourselves (well, you can exclude me) are promoting magazines with Alexander Campbell’s picture at the front cover? Looks like we shot ourselves in the foot 😁 We claim the church of Christ has always existed before the restoration movement, yet what we do is promote the movement and it’s history and even putting in a pedestal the pioneer men that were part of the movement.

The more I read the history, the more I see where we’ve gone wrong in so many issues. Anyway, these are my closing thoughts! No more comments! Now let’s hear what the other guys struggle with 👍😁👌

2 things...

1. I remember reading many magazines that has pictures of Hitler on them. Does that make the publishers Nazis? I don't think so. Which again shows how you "twist" things. I think you know... that the Church of Christ does teach or follow all that Alexander Campbell taught, for example, his use of musical instruments in worship. Many in the Church of Christ (myself included) like the fact that Alexander Campbell was prominent in advocating "back to the Bible" and something it appears that he himself tried to follow.

2. Your distraught of the Church of Christ, which you have shown and show as you say "no more comments" is something that really is against the rules of the forum. I have tried to answer your rants, in a polite way... but no person should have to feel they are "put down" on the forum as you have tried to do with the Church of Christ. It appears you have a personal vendetta against the Church of Christ.

As I have said..... I am willing to discuss this with you in some venue other than on the forum. Any time.

I wish you well.

xn = Christan  man=man -- Acts 11:26 "....and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch".

Posts 1148
xnman | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 22 2022 11:16 PM

MJ. Smith:

From my perspective, although it got off topic at times, the discussion of the Stone-Campell movement church has been conducted with politeness and accuracy, primarily by people who know the tradition thoroughly. ....

And for the record.... the Church of Christ is not from or in the Stone-Campbell movement. That movement as I stated, is called the "Reformation Period" whereby the participates of that period were advocating people get back to the Bible basics. The Church of Christ does not follow, nor apply to, most of the teachings of the people of that period. But the Church of Christ is quite appreciative of anyone who advocates "getting back to Bible basics"...

I mentioned that Alexander Campbell, while he did advocate baptism for the remission of sins, he actually became a member of the "First Christian Church", which I understand they believe that also.  I believe, if memory serves me right, he originally was a member of the Presbyterian Church.. (sometimes my memory jumps ship on me). I also seem to remember that he taught himself that baptism was necessary for salvation and was baptized (for the remission of his sins) by a deacon of the Presbyterian Church.

I visited the library of Alexander Campbell. He was quite a student in the Bible. I remember well the librarian stating that Mr. Campbell was a member of the First Christian Church... I asked her "He wasn't a member of the Church of Christ?" and she replied, "Never that she could find in his historical papers."

There is a lot of "church history" during the Reformation Period and there are several, if not many, men who championed the "Back to the Bible" idea. Two of my favorites are a man called John Racoon Smith and another called Marshall Keeble. Both are interesting reads.

But as I stated earlier... the Church of Christ did not come out of the Stone-Campbell era or the "Reformation Period". We are not "Campbellites" or "Stone-Campbell" people either. The Church of Christ was before that period started and was advocating before those men.... of "Back to the Bible basics" and still does.

xn = Christan  man=man -- Acts 11:26 "....and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch".

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 22 2022 11:30 PM

xnman:
And for the record

Give it a break, xnman. Note my grandfather was in seminary (while his sons ran the farm) when the Church of Christ/Christian Church(Disciples of Christ) split was finalized. He stayed Church of Christ (Standard Publishing version) - the seminary went Disciples of Christ. Also note my sister and one brother are Harding College (Church of Christ) graduates; a close childhood friend is a Pepperdine (Church of Christ) graduate. My father was a major donor to Puget Sound College of the Bible (Church of Christ) (now defunct) and Boise Bible College (Church of Christ) -- to the point they sent their presidents to his funeral. Like DAL I do have solid knowledge of the Church of Christ.

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

Posts 2962
David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 23 2022 5:37 AM

DAL:
  These are only a few “theological” issues that have divided churches  

One item I would add to that list is:

11 What Bible to use  

[[Note to DAL:  cut your statement at the word "churches" as your list [imho] may apply to all churches / denominations]]

(And as for why a church may split is the color of the new carpets.)

Posts 9023
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 23 2022 6:56 AM

David Ames:

DAL:
  These are only a few “theological” issues that have divided churches  

One item I would add to that list is:

11 What Bible to use  

[[Note to DAL:  cut your statement at the word "churches" as your list [imho] may apply to all churches / denominations]]

(And as for why a church may split is the color of the new carpets.)

Yes! In some states it’s KJV 1611 and/or ASV 1901.  Which brings us to #12.

12.  Pray using “Thee” and “Thou” when addressing God!

13.  A man cannot serve as an elder if he’s been married before (even if his first wife is dead).

14.  Social drinking

15.  Allowing man to serve as elders while working on filling qualifications instead of meeting qualifications first and then get appointed as elders.

16.  Even if it’s a church of Christ, many question if a church is Biblical if it doesn’t have elders and deacons.

17.  Reelection of Elders or Reaffirmation of Elders and how long should elders be allowed to serve.

18.  Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage.

19. The gift of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:38.

20. Head covering for women.

Phew! I’ll stop for now.  There’s plenty more if you need more MJ!

DAL

PS. This thread is about providing theological issues that different religious groups struggle with. In no way are the issues mentioned here meant to put down or run down any particular religious group.  Thanks!

Posts 224
1Cor10:31 | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 23 2022 10:35 AM

Hi MJ,

As the end of your research, if you could summarize using, say, an Excel file, it would be great because it could be easy to digest. For example, the columns could be a series of Y/N questions on grounds of difference and the rows could be various denominations. For example, Justification by Faith along (Y/N) could be one such column. Then it is a matter of putting Y or N in the cells.

Thanks

Posts 1148
xnman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 23 2022 11:51 AM

1Cor10:31:

Hi MJ,

As the end of your research, if you could summarize using, say, an Excel file, it would be great because it could be easy to digest. For example, the columns could be a series of Y/N questions on grounds of difference and the rows could be various denominations. For example, Justification by Faith along (Y/N) could be one such column. Then it is a matter of putting Y or N in the cells.

Thanks

I also would like a copy of the Excel spreadsheet, please. I do think it's a good project...as long as it doesn't get "lopsided"....

Also, I will add to the list that is started, as these are "theological issues" that I have come across, that do divide us the theological world of churches ....

21. Are apocryphal books canonized?

22. Is foot washing supposed to be practiced today?

23. How many different ways of "being saved" are there?

24. What is the name of the church? In CA they have the "Church of Satanology"???

25. Do we still want to have "tax breaks" for religious theologies?

26. What is the right way to baptize?

27 Is baptism needed at all?

28.Are we to keep the Old Testament Law today?

29.What is the meaning of "sacraments" and how are they determined?

30. Was Jesus a god or part of the Godhead?

31. When did the concept of choirs become acceptable in the church?

And I am sure this list could grow to as big as needed.

xn = Christan  man=man -- Acts 11:26 "....and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch".

Posts 99
John Simpson | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 23 2022 12:12 PM

I've found this helpful:

Essentials and Non-Essentials in a Nutshell BY C MICHAEL PATTON  https://credohouse.org/blog/essentials-and-non-essentials-in-a-nutshell 




Essential for salvation
: These are the most essential doctrines of all essentials. This includes what every Christian should always be willing to die for. In essence, if someone does not believe the doctrines that are “essential for salvation,” they are not saved. Hence, it is at the center of the circle.

What I include:

  • Belief in God (there is no such thing as an atheistic Christian)

Issues pertaining to the person and work of Christ:

  • Belief in Christ’s deity and humanity (1 John 4:2-3; Rom. 10:9)
  • Belief that you are a sinner in need of God’s mercy (1 John 1:10)
  • Belief that Christ died on the cross and rose bodily from the grave for our sins (1 Cor 15:3-4)
  • Belief that faith in Christ is necessary (John 3:16)

As with all of them, I am sure that there are some ancillary matters that could be included, but this gives you the key doctrines. Without these, you simply don’t have any sense present of what it means to be a Christian.

Essential for historic Christian orthodoxy: These include beliefs “essential for salvation” but are broader in that they express what has been believed by the historic Christian church for the last two thousand years, no matter which tradition. This is expressed by the Vincentian Canon (434 A.D.): “that which has been believed everywhere, always and by all.” The exception of fringe movements has never been valid for this canon. It is simply asking, “What have all Christians everywhere always believed?”

Some of what I include:

  • The doctrine of the Trinity as expressed at Nicea
  • The doctrine of the Hypostatic Union (Christ is fully man and fully God) as expressed at Chalcedon
  • The belief in the future second coming of Christ
  • A belief in the inspiration and authority of Scripture
  • A belief in God’s transcendence (his metaphysical distinction from the universe)
  • A belief in God’s immanence (his present activity in the world and our lives)
  • A belief in God’s sovereignty (while there are different ways to define sovereignty, this basically purports that God is in control)
  • Belief that Christ is the only way to a right relationship with God
  • Belief in eternal punishment of the unredeemed

To be sure, some of these doctrines “develop,” or mature, but their maturation is only in relation to their seed form which preexisted their more mature expression. (For more on this, see here.)

Please notice that these are essential, even if they are not as essential as those expressed in the previous category. In other words, these do not represent negotiables. These are still cardinal doctrines.

But we could also include in this section a grouping entitled “Essential for Historic Orthopraxy.” This would include all of those practices and sins about which the church has been united in its belief. This would include humility, helping the poor, belief that homosexuality is a sin, issues of stewardship, respect for the imago dei (which would deem abortion wrong), and the need to evangelize the lost.

Essential for traditional orthodoxy: Again, these will necessarily include all of those from the two previous categories, but add some distinctives of their own. Essentials here will include all of those that are foundational to one of the three main Christian traditions: Protestantism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Roman Catholicism. These are beliefs that distinguish one tradition from the next, but are not absolutely essential from the broader Christian worldview expressed above.

Some Protestant distinctives would include:

  • General belief in the major pronouncements of the first seven ecumenical councils (325-787 AD)
  • Belief in the necessity for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ
  • Belief that justification is through faith alone on the basis of Christ alone
  • Belief that Scripture alone has ultimate and final authority on all matters of faith and practice
  • The canon of Scripture made up of 66 books (excluding the Deuterocanonical books)

Some Roman Catholic distinctives would include:

  • Belief in transubstantiation (the bread and wine turn into the actual body and blood of Christ)
  • Belief that justification is through faith and works
  • Belief that both Scripture and unwritten tradition have ultimate authority as they are interpreted by the Magisterium
  • Belief in the authority of twenty-one ecumenical councils
  • Belief that the Pope is the infallible vicar of Christ
  • Belief in the Marian dogmas
  • Belief that the canon includes the Deuterocanonical books

Some Eastern Orthodox distinctives would include:

  • Belief in the infallibility of the first seven ecumenical councils (325-787 AD)
  • Belief that the liturgy of the Church is part of the Gospel
  • Rejection of substitutionary atonement and the imputation of Adam’s sin
  • Salvation by grace through faith as God works these out through our unification with Him (theosis)
  • Traditional inclusion of the Deuterocanonical book (although there is some debate about this)

Again, for each one of these tradition, these represent essential distinctions which, while not as cardinal as those in the previous two categories, are important nonetheless.

Essential for denominational orthodoxy: This will be similar to the above, but one step down in importance, dealing as it does with the particular and peculiar denominational expressions by the various Protestant traditions.

Some examples:

  • Credo-baptism, i.e., Baptism is only for believers (Baptists)
  • Infant baptism (Presbyterians, Methodists, Anglicans)
  • Unconditional election (Reformed and Presbyterians)
  • Arminian theology (Methodists, Nazarenes)
  • Belief in the continuation of the Charismatic gifts (Pentecostals, Church of God)

While these might be considered worthy of breaking local fellowship in practice, they are not important enough to break ultimate fellowship. In other words, these represent legitimate debates that should not affect our unity.

Important but not essential: These are those beliefs that do not describe any particular tradition necessarily. They are important, but not that important.

Some examples:

  • Beliefs about particulars in the creation debate
  • Belief whether the books of Jonah and Job are historical accounts
  • Beliefs about the authorship of 2 Peter
  • Belief about particular end-time schemes (i.e. premillennial, amillennial, post-millennial)
  • The order of books in the canon
  • Which translation of the Bible to use from the pulpit
  • Which Gospel was written first
  • How often one should celebrate the Lord’s supper
  • Whether or not Christ taught in Greek or Aramaic

Not Important: These are beliefs that people have concerning Christian doctrine that are not important for any expression and do not affect Christian devotion or spirituality.

Some examples

  • The date of Christ’s birth (Christmas)
  • What kind of music to play at church
  • Whether to use real wine or grape juice at communion
  • Whether to hold Saturday night services
  • Whether or not John the Baptist was an Essene

Pure speculation: That is just what these are – speculation. We just don’t know one way or another, nor does it matter.

Some examples

  • Did Adam have a belly-button? (yes, he did…it would just look funny otherwise)
  • Belief in the eternal destiny of pets? (except I know my dog Rocky is going to heaven)
  • What was God doing “before” creation? (creating hell for those who speculate such things)
  • Will there be meat to eat in heaven? (we can all hope)
  • Will there be sex in heaven? (we can all hope more)
  • How long was it before Adam and Eve fell? (two hours after Eve was created . . . ask me why some other time)
Posts 1148
xnman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 23 2022 12:37 PM

John Simpson:

I've found this helpful:

Essentials and Non-Essentials in a Nutshell BY C MICHAEL PATTON  https://credohouse.org/blog/essentials-and-non-essentials-in-a-nutshell 



Mr. John Simpson.... you will never know how much I appreciate your post. Thanks for posting it!

xn = Christan  man=man -- Acts 11:26 "....and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch".

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 23 2022 3:17 PM

1Cor10:31:
As the end of your research, if you could summarize using, say, an Excel file, it would be great because it could be easy to digest. For example, the columns could be a series of Y/N questions on grounds of difference and the rows could be various denominations. 

Unfortunately, while I will have captured many differences I will not have captured which denominations take each route, only representative groups that have taken a specific route. For example, Masoretic vs. LXX canon - Calvin vs. Luther or Restoration movement Anabaptist vs. Luther or Apostolic tradition Anabaptist vs. Anglican or singing of non-psalms Scottish Presbyterian vs. Catholic or closed canon Quaker vs. Puritan... and representative groups may be in a category only for a certain historical period.

If someone is interested in tracking down the view on issues as I complete the argument map, I'd be delighted to work with them.

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: Wed, Mar 23 2022 3:23 PM

xnman:
as long as it doesn't get "lopsided"..

I fear it will be biased although not intentionally. I can only cover topics that I understand after reading my available resources and only topics that I know of, discover through holes in logic, or are brought to my attention.

Thanks for this list ... it brought some issues to mind as well as the vocabulary in which different groups discuss them. 

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: Wed, Mar 23 2022 3:26 PM

John Simpson:
I've found this helpful:

This is very, very helpful. Thank you.

To tease you a bit:

John Simpson:
one of the three main Christian traditions: Protestantism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Roman Catholicism.

I've spent years trying to teach Logosians that the three major traditions are Oriental Orthodoxy, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Catholicism Wink The Oriental Orthodox was the first to split off and the first to spread widely -- to China and to India. It did not do well against the onslaught of Islam. The Byzantine (Eastern) Orthodox was the next to spread widely. Catholicism (Western Christianity) was the slow poke in terms of spread ... and the first to splinter into many factions.

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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