Question re the various Christian denominations...?

I realise there is a large number of Christian denominations - can someone please explain what the *core* differences are between them....?

Which beliefs are shared by *all* Christian denominations?

Do they all agree on:

- Jesus as 'son of god' and messiah

- virgin birth

- resurrection

- original sin

Thanks!

Update:

COREY - your answer was FAB right up until the end :)

All Jewish groups share the same common tenets.

16 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Traditional Christian denominations, historical churches such as Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican and Calvinist churches, share the Trinitarian belief in one God in three persons, among which Jesus, the son of God, is accounted as being truly human and truly divine, and son of the Virgin Mary. They all believe in the narrative of the Gospel and in its resurrection the third day. But since Reformation times, other Protestant denominations were born, such as Baptist, Anabaptist and others, and they are innumerable, so their creed is to be examinated case by case. There were debates and disagreements too between many Eastern churches in antique times, such as Syrian Monophysites, Coptic, Armenian, Nestorian denominations, but these groups were mostly swept away by the islamic conquest, and the minorities that manage to survive today are all accounted as Eastern orthodox.

  • Corey
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    It depends if you include the early church, there were quite a few Christian groups back then which would not be considered Christian if they sprang up today (The Gnostic cosmology was radically different on how they viewed the god of Abraham).

    Most would agree with Jesus as "'son' of 'god'" and 'messiah', but then again, there's some on the edges that don't. The resurrection is also an extremely common belief. Virgin Birth isn't that important. And what "original sin" means varies a great deal.

    It's a difficult taxonomy. It's like trying to say what's in common between an Reform Judaism, Orthodox Judaism, and Judaism as practiced before King Josiah.

    If I had to put it into words, I'd say that they all believe that Jesus, a Jewish dude who lived in first century Levant, was uniquely important, divinely so, in forgiving mankind of their flawed nature. I think that covers even the early gnostics. Oh, also he got executed by the government, undesrvingly so.

  • 1 decade ago

    The differences are trivial. Some have the full complement of seven sacraments--baptism, confession, eucharist, confirmation, matrimony, extreme unction, and ordination. (of priests).

    Others go with only baptism and eucharist (communion). All the Protestant denominations stress Scripture over oral tradition. Many have used the "Vernacular" [non-Latin] Mass for centuries. The differences are in the rites and rituals, the Holy Days, and such as that. There are a few sects that stress some difference between "Virgin Birth" (Mary conceived by God, not a human male) and Immaculate Conception (Jesus born without Original Sin). And each can have a different version of the Bible, as to which books are included or excluded. Some have the Ten Commandments in a different order. Protestants generally use the Protestant version of the Lord's Prayer, which adds .."For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, Forever.". Catholics omit that.

    Just enough differences to think they are special.

  • 1 decade ago

    The core belief would be the divinity of Jesus, the resurrection After that everything is up for grabs. Original sin is viewed differently among Christians. Some believe Adam's sin literally was given to others. Some view it as man having a 'sin nature' or the ability to sin. Most believe in the Virgin Birth. The views on Hell vary from eternal fiery pain, to universal salvation where Hell is a purification and not endless suffering. Some believe Hell is just the grave, where you cease to exist.

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  • robb
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Probably most, if not all of what could be considered "mainstream" denominations would agree on the 4 beliefs you have mentioned. Someone else pointed this out but sometimes different denominations will use the same term but understand that term differently and this can cause confusion trying to figure out what a particular person believes.

    I have seen estimates of somewhere better than 30, 000 different denominations so it would be difficult to point out all the differences between the denominations. Many are very similar only differing on very minor points. I am aware of two different denominations that actually use the exact same Sunday school literature.

    There are denominations that believe in "speaking in tongues", these are called "Pentecostal". Of the Pentecostal denominations some believe in a "trinity" and some do not. The ones who do not are called "Oneness" or "Apostolic" Pentecostals. These two groups of denominations disagree over the proper way to baptize ("in Jesus name" or "name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost") as well as whether or not it is necessary to "speak in tongues" in order to be "saved".

    Baptist typically believe "once saved, always saved" while Methodist believe you can loose your "salvation" (many, if not most Pentecostals believe you can loose your salvation) Baptist baptize by complete immersion (most protestant denominations do) while Methodist consider it acceptable to sprinkle water on a persons head.

    World Wide Church of God--( not "mainstream, considered a cult by some)-------This one was started by a Mr Armstrong (Herbert G. I think, in the 1920"s or 30"s ?) and split into several different denominations after his death. Most of these observe the Sabbath as well as the Feast and Festivals of Leviticus 23. (beliefs appear to be similar to those of Messianics without claiming to be Jews)

    Be aware, there are many denominations that contain "Church Of God" in their title and most of these denominations are unrelated to each other.

    Source(s): ex Christian (Baptist) but spent some time in Pentecostal churches, studied several other denominations.
  • imrod
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Yes, Christian denominations agree on core beliefs. Certainly there are clergy and scholars within them that debate your little list here.

    I would add "deity of Christ" to the list.

    Please understand they do not define these exactly the same either. For example there may be some who understand the nature of original sin differently.

    In general all agree with what is called the Apostles Creed and the ecumenical creeds. You can look these up. Lainie below has clipped the Nicene Creed (an ecumenical creed).

    There are several groups that want to be considered as Christian Denominations, namely the Jehovah Witness and Latter Day Saints. Theologically these reject elements of the creed.

  • 1 decade ago

    We all agree on Jesus as son of God, Virgin Birth, and Resurrection. But we don't all agree on original sin.

    Theres too many differences to list them all.

    Source(s): LDS (Mormon)
  • 1 decade ago

    The core beliefs that most share are belief in Jesus as son of God, substitutional atonement and his resurrection. Original sin is emphasized more in the more conservative denominations. Some individual Christians regard much of the story as allegory rather than history. Mormons believe Jesus was a son of God, and in substitutional atonement and a resurrection, but don't completely agree on other details.

    The Nicene Creed was adopted as the basic statement of faith in the fourth century:

    I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

    And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

    Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

    And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

    And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

  • 1 decade ago

    yes most christians acknowledge that Christ Jesus is Lord and saviour

    virgin birth, yes begotten of the Holy Spirit

    That He was raised from the dead on the third day

    original sin, That with Adam's trespass, death and sin came into the world with Christ's obedience, He gave eternal life to all who believe.

    There is also that protestants believe they are saved by grace, whereas catholics believe their good works save them.

  • 1 decade ago

    There is nothing that all Protestant denominations agree on. However, the original Christian Church of course believes in all the truths you listed, and most protestant churches accept most of them. Many do not accept original sin.

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