Dr. Cynthia has found that many Muslims and others are confused about why there are different Christian denominations. First, she explains to us that it is not only Christians who have many denominations – every large religion does, for example Islam and Buddhism. It is human nature to want to do things in a variety of ways.
Dr. Cynthia explains that some of the reasons for different Christian denominations are doctrinal. Some are language based and reflect the cultures they arose in, and others are closely tied to our personal style preferences. This website does not promote any particular Christian denomination.
Although there are numerous smaller doctrinal differences between Christian denominations, some important or noticeable differences are: formal or informal styles of worship service, the understanding and practices of baptism, beliefs regarding whether the communion service (Eucharist) is symbolic or actual consumption of the body and blood of Jesus, whether or not a priest is needed to intercede between Christians and God or if there is a priesthood of all believers with Jesus as the high priest. A noticeable difference which is not strictly doctrinal is diversity in styles of worship music. In Dr. Cynthia’s opinion, none of these denominational differences either make or break a church as being “Christian.”
Some people become dogmatic, saying only their church is the true church. Some go so far as to say that anyone in another denomination is not Christian. Dr. Cynthia believes that the Bible teaches that the true Church is composed of the true believers in many denominations. She thinks having a variety of Christian denominations is actually a good thing. It allows freedom and diversity of understanding and style of worship. For example, some people are distracted by people yelling out in church, and others are encouraged by it. It is good to have a choice so everyone can find a church where they feel comfortable.
However, Dr. Cynthia warns to be sure that the church you attend truly does teach the Word of God, the Bible. Many no longer do, not fully. Also, beware of any church that places another holy book or the teachings of another “prophet” above the Bible – even if they do lip service to accepting the Bible. This is what Islam does, and other groups loosely connected to Christianity, which then are called “cults.”
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