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doctrines among denominations?

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missymssy
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Hi. I am new to this site, and I'm not quite sure this is even the right forum to post this, so I apologize if not. I was wondering if there is perhaps a book someone could recommend that gives a bit of an overview as to what different denominations beleive.

A bit of background...
I became saved only 5 years ago. Unbeknown to me (or most of the congregation I think) the church I began attending was slowly shifting from Independent Baptist more towards non-denominational. All I knew was "Baptist" wasn't in the name, and the music was very contemporary.

Since that time, we have a new pastor, and are "getting back to the roots". We didn't change the name (again!), but "non-denominational" isn't part of it. We still have the same praise band, but the style of music is different. I suppose some of it would still be called CCM, but since I didn't grow up hearing any gospel or CCM, I don't know an old hymn and from an old Amy Grant ballad unless someone tells me. They don't perform any fast, rock/pop sounding music anymore. Also, the dress is very casual, although I don't know what it was like before I began attending, and I'm not sure yet what it will be. I noticed the pastor does not dress casual.

I grew up without religion. My mother's side is very RC, my father's Lutheran. But neither parent was really involved. I never watched (or heard of until I was older) Billy Graham or Jimmy Swaggart or any TV "personality".

My best friend's family has attented an Assembly of God church for over 20 years, and I've attended a few times. A girl from my bible study (who actually never accepted Christ or was baptised that I know of) married and her and her husband now attend an Episcipalian church. Another good friend of mine is Methodist.

My question is, would you all consider any of these "false churches" (other than RC-that one I know). I looked at some of David Cloud's articles (wayoflife.org), which only confused me further. What am I attending? The women don't wear dresses, and some of the music is CCM (which, btw, I think is WAY too broad to include soft ballads that I'd consider glorifying God as well as a something with a beat you'd hear on any secular radio station).

Thanks in advance.

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Hi, and welcome!!!

I am not a big fan of way of life, but others are. YMMV.

The denominations you listed make up the majority of the protestant denominations today (minus Presbyterian). Unfortunately each denomination has various issues with their doctrine, and even worse, the churches can vary between each other. So its impossible to say all Methodist churches are bad. I have been to a bad methodist church and I have been to a "good" methodist church.

Baptist are independent, which means that there is an even bigger swing between churches. You can have the ultra-conservative all the way to the ultra-liberal.

Here is my recommendation. As a fairly new believer, dig into scripture. Read it, study it. Read books about it. Read books on studying it. As you are doing so, pray for direction. There is little better then the new desire to pursue God. Do not get hung up on being perfect doctrinally. If history repeats itself, you will be changing and tweaking the finer points of doctrine until your in Heaven. Just pursue God and he will guide you.

As you do, listen to the sermons at church and think through them. Do not take them at face value. Really work through them, and you will see that either they jive with what God is teaching you, or you seem to constantly be wanting to correct the pastor. If you find yourself in the latter, you may need to move on.

As far as researching the denominations, you can start with the wiki article and from there, jump to various ones and read about them, then ask questions.

Enjoy the ride!

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Welcome. :Green

My question is, would you all consider any of these "false churches" (other than RC-that one I know).


Here are a few of the issues with the some of denominations you mention. If you have more specific questions feel free to ask.

Episcipalians:

Sometimes even among themselves Anglicans are known as "catholic lite". This describes them fairly well. They hold to much of the doctrine of the catholic church but exactly where they draw a line varies a good deal. Some areas of error are: Salvation, infant baptism, communion, a hierarchy outside the local church etc. I would consider them very much a false teaching church.

Lutherans:

Usually better than the anglicans but still with numerous issues. For just one example, they still baptize infants... I consider them to be a false teaching church overall but depending on the individual church they may also teach a good deal of truth.... Enough to get saved on although growth will be limited...


Methodists:

Beliefs vary widely, from those that are blatantly apostate to those who are a little off doctrinally but more than likely saved. The more conservative Methodists(a ever decreasing group) don't have nearly as many doctrinal errors, but they certainly have some. For example in communion, they teach that it "spiritually" becomes the Lords body rather than literally becoming the Lords body as the RC and some others teach. Actually communion is a picture to be done in remembrance, but most can't quite admit that... I would consider the more liberal elements to be a false church, and the rest to contain a number of errors but also a number of actual Christians.

That is all just my opinion of course, and it is worth what you paid for it at least. :wink

What am I attending? The women don't wear dresses, and some of the music is CCM (which, btw, I think is WAY too broad to include soft ballads that I'd consider glorifying God as well as a something with a beat you'd hear on any secular radio station).


This is just a guess, but It sounds like what is generally known as new evangelical. Many formerly IFB churches have gone down that road.
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Hi Melissa!
I would encourage you as well to really get into the Word of God yourself. As you read and grow you will also grow in discernment. If your new Pastor is "worth his salt" he will encourage you to search the scriptures to see if what he is teaching you is doctrinally correct. My husband is a Pastor and he is always telling the people in our church to do this; because he realises that he is only human; and even though he tries not to, he can make mistakes!
Blessings to you as you grow in Christ.

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This is just a guess, but It sounds like what is generally known as new evangelical. Many formerly IFB churches have gone down that road.


Wow. God really is amazing. Just in the past few weeks I had been questioning a lot of things about my own church. I wasn't sure about where it stood on many things.

Part of the confusion, and I may have mentioned, we now have a new pastor. We operated for a year without a pastor, and the one before that may not have made the best decisions in some things. I could see some differences now. Not that all his sermons are about sin, but there's no questioning some things. He doesn't shy away from telling us something in our lives is wrong. Like he talks a lot about God's idea of marriage and family and what's right. Which I think is something the teens in our congrgation need in this world.

Well, this Sunday there was a letter in the bulletin and he spoke to us about putting the word "Baptist" back in the name! The name had been changed to a "generic" type-no denomination attatched, even though we remained a Baptist church. He said he understands this is common and that some feel that brings newcomers in. But he said he felt this is deceptive, that God doesn't need "marketing" strategies. He also spoke to the congregation (a little) about Baptist distinctives.

I couldn't beleive it! I think God was telling me I'm in the right place.
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  • 2 months later...

I went to Bob Jones University and graduated in 1976 with a degree in Bible. We had many denominations represented there. I believe that we had about 150 denominations. I do remember Baptists, Methodists, Anglicans, Presbyterians, fundamental Pentecostal maybe, and many others. Bob Jones University usually took more of a non-denominational approach since we had so many different ones. The doctrine unofficially was Independent Baptist since most kids were from that theological persuasion in that day. Being Baptist is great, but being a true born-again Christian is far better! In heaven, we will not have denominations but just true Christians who love the Lord Jesus Christ!

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Well said, Maxmya. What's on the church sign doesn't make the church, it's the people that make it and we are all first and foremost children of the same God.

Also, it's old, but great posting Dwayne. :thumb

So if it says Church of the Latter Day Saints are we all first and foremost his children? What if it says Roman Catholic church are we all first and foremost children of the same God?
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You beat me to it, ZYG. I still don't understand why Baptists are so afraid of being called Baptists. I don't see the trend of dropping denominational names in other denominations (Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist). While I may not agree with all Baptist churches, at least I know more about a church I'm visiting when its denomination in its name. Now, if the snake-handlers would somehow get that into their church name, it would held a lot! :lol:

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I agree with you guys... the names aren't bad or wrong, as they "tend" to relay the basics. However, I also do not think we should look down on those who do change to non-denominational. Baptist are most likely (IMO) to fall in the change the name category because there is such large differences between the Independent baptist churches. Associations do mean something, and if as a church, I would not want to be wrongly associated with other baptists, then I could see changing the name.

Edit to add: I do know of churches in other denominations that do not have the denomination in the name, its just more prevalent in Baptists.

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So if it says Church of the Latter Day Saints are we all first and foremost his children? What if it says Roman Catholic church are we all first and foremost children of the same God?

That's easy. If there are saved people in that congregation then yes, they are first and foremost children of God. However, I don't think the likelihood is very high that you'd find saved people in those churches. :wink
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I agree withy Zyg and Chevy. If you are a Baptist, call yourself one. I have yet to see a "good" Methodist church. Since the Methodists believe in sprinkling and infant baptism, and have a predominant social gospel, I could not classify them as a denomination worth going to.

Now, Dwayner, maybe you are referring to "Free" Methodists. They are much closer to Baptists. They at least have the doctrine of salvation down. Unfortunately they still baptize infants and sprinkle.

As to the other denominations. Many would like to believe that the majority of these groups are "Saved". The reality is that the gospel is not preached in most of them and many of the people are trusting in a works salvation. The Assembly of God adds tongues and emotion to their salvation.

We have many false churches in the world, just as God said there would be in the last days.

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There are many unsaved people in churches that don't preach the gospel but there are also a lot of saved people in churches that teach Biblical salvation outside of the Baptist church. Free Evangelicals, the Reformed Church, many Presbyterians(especially PCA), the Missionary Church, Bible Churches, and probably many others.

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yea, I do not think that I was being pro-methodist, and if I came across that way, then I apologize. My point is denominational labels give a decent description of the church, but 1.) they are not the end all be all and 2.) if a church group feels they do not "fit" with the stereotype, I have no problem with them choosing a name that does not have the "title" in it.

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Kevin,

I do believe there are people who are saved in other denominations, but God clearly states that many will stand before him thinking they are saved and he will say "Depart from me, I never knew you". I believe that most of these people will be from the denominations that have perverted the truth. The have 95% truth and 5% lie. That 5% will send them to hell.

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Kevin,

I do believe there are people who are saved in other denominations, but God clearly states that many will stand before him thinking they are saved and he will say "Depart from me, I never knew you". I believe that most of these people will be from the denominations that have perverted the truth. The have 95% truth and 5% lie. That 5% will send them to hell.

Oh I agree that many people will be in Hell as a result of the false teachings they have received from their churches. However, there will be scores there from other denominations, as well, that still do teach the truth about salvation.
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There are many unsaved people in churches that don't preach the gospel but there are also a lot of saved people in churches that teach Biblical salvation outside of the Baptist church. Free Evangelicals' date=' the Reformed Church, many Presbyterians(especially PCA), the Missionary Church, Bible Churches, and probably many others.[/quote']
But you can only say that because you have an idea of what the doctrines are among those denominations... ironic, eh? :saint
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