Biblical Healing Directory

Denomination Beliefs

Who his own self bare our sins in  his body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed – 

1 Peter 2:24

 

Denomination Beliefs

Knowledge is power, do you know what the present church really believes? And why is it important to know? If you are sick or diseased why waste your time if the denomination doesn’t believe healing  is available!!

Disclaimer 

  • This information is taken from  WikipediaIf you want more information about core beliefs, click on the link
  • Religion is complicated and almost impossible to understand, our job is to make  the information available. You can decide if you to fellowship with any organization in regards to healing in your area

Catholicism – (1.3 billion members) 

1 – Roman Catholic Church 

The core beliefs of Catholicism are found in the Nicene Creed. The Catholic Church teaches that it is the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church founded by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission. That its bishops are the successors of Christ’s apostles, and that the pope is the successor to Saint Peter, upon whom primacy was conferred by Jesus Christ. It maintains that it practises the original Christian faith, reserving infallibility, passed down by sacred tradition. The Latin Church, the twenty-three Eastern Catholic Churches, and institutes such as mendicant orders, enclosed monastic orders and third orders reflect a variety of theological and spiritual emphases in the church.

Of its seven sacraments, the Eucharist is the principal one, celebrated liturgically in the Mass. The church teaches that through consecration by a priest, the sacrificial bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. The Virgin Mary is venerated as the Perpetual Virgin, Mother of God, and Queen of Heaven; she is honoured in dogmas and devotions. Its teaching includes Divine Mercy, sanctification through faith and evangelisation of the Gospel as well as Catholic social teaching, which emphasises voluntary support for the sick, the poor, and the afflicted through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The Catholic Church operates thousands of Catholic schools, hospitals, and orphanages around the world, and is the largest non-government provider of education and health care in the world. Among its other social services are numerous charitable and humanitarian organisations.

Protestantism – (792 million members) 

 

1 – Pentecostalism/Charismatic (612 million members) 

Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Catholic Church. Protestants originating in the Reformation reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy, but disagree among themselves regarding the number of sacraments, the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and matters of ecclesiastical polity and apostolic succession. They emphasize the priesthood of all believers; justification by faith (sola fide) rather than by good works; the teaching that salvation comes by divine grace or “unmerited favor” only, not as something merited (sola gratia); and either affirm the Bible as being the sole highest authority (sola scriptura “scripture alone”) or primary authority (prima scriptura “scripture first”) for Christian doctrine, rather than being on parity with sacred tradition. The five solae of Lutheran and Reformed Christianity summarise basic theological differences in opposition to the Catholic Church.

 1a Assemblies of God (60 million members)

The doctrinal position of the Assemblies of God is framed in a classical Pentecostal and evangelical context. The AG is Trinitarian. It believes that the Bible is divinely inspired and the infallible authoritative rule of faith and conduct. Baptism by immersion is practiced as an ordinance which was instituted by Christ for those who have been saved. Baptism is understood as an outward sign of an inward change, the change from being dead in sin to being alive in Christ. As an ordinance, Communion is also practiced. The AG believes that the elements that are partaken are symbols which express the sharing of the divine nature of Jesus of Nazareth; a memorial of His suffering and death; and a prophecy of His second coming. The Assemblies of God also places a strong emphasis on the fulfillment of the Great Commission and it believes that this is the calling of the church.

As classical Pentecostals, the Assemblies of God believes that all Christians are entitled to and should seek the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The AG teaches that this experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of salvation. The baptism in the Holy Spirit empowers the believer for Christian life and service. The initial evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues “as the Spirit gives utterance” (Acts 2:4). It also believes in the present-day use of other spiritual gifts such as divine healing.

While the World AG Fellowship has a statement of faith which outlines the basic beliefs which unify the various branches of the movement, each national AG denomination formulates its own doctrinal statements. The Assemblies of God USA, for example, adheres to the Statement of Fundamental Truths.

 

1bNew Apostolic Church (11.2 million members)

The doctrinal position of the Assemblies of God is framed in a classical Pentecostal and evangelical context. The AG is Trinitarian. It believes that the Bible is divinely inspired and the infallible authoritative rule of faith and conduct. Baptism by immersion is practiced as an ordinance which was instituted by Christ for those who have been saved. Baptism is understood as an outward sign of an inward change, the change from being dead in sin to being alive in Christ. As an ordinance, Communion is also practiced. The AG believes that the elements that are partaken are symbols which express the sharing of the divine nature of Jesus of Nazareth; a memorial of His suffering and death; and a prophecy of His second coming. The Assemblies of God also places a strong emphasis on the fulfillment of the Great Commission and it believes that this is the calling of the church.

As classical Pentecostals, the Assemblies of God believes that all Christians are entitled to and should seek the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The AG teaches that this experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of salvation. The baptism in the Holy Spirit empowers the believer for Christian life and service. The initial evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues “as the Spirit gives utterance” (Acts 2:4). It also believes in the present-day use of other spiritual gifts such as divine healing.

While the World AG Fellowship has a statement of faith which outlines the basic beliefs which unify the various branches of the movement, each national AG denomination formulates its own doctrinal statements. The Assemblies of God USA, for example, adheres to the Statement of Fundamental Truths.

 

1c – Foursquare Church (8 million members)

The beliefs of the Foursquare Church are expressed in its Declaration of Faith, compiled by its founder Aimee Semple McPherson. McPherson also authored a shorter, more concise creedal statement.

The church believes in the verbal inspiration of the Bible, the doctrine of the Trinity, and the deity of Jesus Christ. It believes that human beings were created in the image of God but, because of the Fall, are naturally depraved and sinful. It believes in the substitutionary atonement accomplished by the death of Christ. The church teaches that salvation is by grace through faith and not by good works. Believers are justified by faith and born again upon repentance and acceptance of Christ as Lord and king. Consistent with its belief in human free will, the Foursquare Church also teaches that it is possible for a believer to backslide or commit apostasy.

The Foursquare Church teaches that sanctification is a continual process of spiritual growth. Christian perfection and holiness can be attained through surrender and consecration to God. This spiritual growth is believed to be promoted by Bible study and prayer. The Foursquare Church believes in the baptism with the Holy Spirit as an event separate from conversion that empowers the individual and the wider church to fulfill the church’s mission of evangelization. The Foursquare Church expects Spirit baptism to be received in the same manner as recorded in the Book of Acts, namely that the believer will receive spiritual gifts, possibly (though not necessarily) including speaking in tongues. The evidence of the Spirit-filled life is the Fruit of the Spirit. The church believes that spiritual gifts continue in operation for the edification of the church.

The Foursquare Church believes that divine healing is a part of Christ’s atonement. It teaches that the sick can be healed in response to prayer. The Foursquare Church anticipates a premillennial return of Christ to earth. It believes that there will be a future final judgment where the righteous will receive everlasting life and the wicked everlasting punishment. The Foursquare Church observes believer’s baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion as ordinances. Open communion is practiced. Anointing of the sick and tithing are practiced as well.

 
1d Church of God in Christ (6.5 million members)

COGIC is a trinitarian Holiness Pentecostal denomination. The church teaches three separate and distinct works of grace that God performs in the life of believers: salvation, entire sanctification, and the baptism or infilling of the Holy Ghost. The church declares to be evangelical in ministry, fundamental in doctrine and practice and Pentecostal in worship and expression. COGIC theology and beliefs fall in the tradition of Wesleyan-Arminian theology.

Statement of faith
The beliefs of the Church of God in Christ are briefly written in its Statement of Faith, which is reproduced below: It is often recited in various congregations as part of the order of worship and all national and international convocations.

We believe the Bible to be the inspired and only infallible written Word of God.
We believe that there is One God, eternally existent in three persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
We believe in the Blessed Hope, which is the rapture of the Church of God, which is in Christ, at His return.
We believe that the only means of being cleansed from sin is through repentance and faith in the precious Blood of Jesus Christ.
We believe that the regeneration by the Holy Ghost is absolutely essential for personal salvation.
We believe that the redemptive work of Christ on the Cross provides healing for the human body in answer to believing prayer.
We believe that the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, according to Acts 2:4, is given to believers who ask for it.
We believe in the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling a Christian is enabled to live a holy and separated life in the present world

1 – Baptist (100 million members)

Many churches are also affiliated with Baptist Christian denominations and adhere to a common confession of faith and shared bylaws.

Shared doctrines would include beliefs about one God; the virgin birth; miracles; atonement for sins through the death, burial, and bodily resurrection of Jesus; the Trinity; the need for salvation (through belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, his death and resurrection); grace; the Kingdom of God; last things (eschatology) (Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth, the dead will be raised, and Christ will judge everyone in righteousness); and evangelism and missions. Some historically significant Baptist doctrinal documents include the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith, 1742 Philadelphia Baptist Confession, the 1833 New Hampshire Baptist Confession of Faith, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Baptist Faith and Message, and written church covenants which some individual Baptist churches adopt as a statement of their faith and beliefs.

Most Baptists hold that no church or ecclesiastical organization has inherent authority over a Baptist church. Churches can properly relate to each other under this polity only through voluntary cooperation, never by any sort of coercion. Furthermore, this Baptist polity calls for freedom from governmental control.

Exceptions to this local form of local governance include a few churches that submit to the leadership of a body of elders, as well as the Episcopal Baptists that have an Episcopal system.

Baptists generally believe in the literal Second Coming of Christ.[citation needed] Beliefs among Baptists regarding the “end times” include amillennialism, dispensationalism, and historic premillennialism, with views such as postmillennialism and preterism receiving some support.[citation needed]

Some additional distinctive Baptist principles held by many Baptists:

The supremacy of the canonical Scriptures as a norm of faith and practice. For something to become a matter of faith and practice, it is not sufficient for it to be merely consistent with and not contrary to scriptural principles. It must be something explicitly ordained through command or example in the Bible. For instance, this is why Baptists do not practice infant baptism—they say the Bible neither commands nor exemplifies infant baptism as a Christian practice. More than any other Baptist principle, this one when applied to infant baptism is said to separate Baptists from other evangelical Christians.
Baptists believe that faith is a matter between God and the individual (religious freedom). To them it means the advocacy of absolute liberty of conscience.
Insistence on immersion as the only mode of baptism. Baptists do not believe that baptism is necessary for salvation. Therefore, for Baptists, baptism is an ordinance, not a sacrament, since, in their view, it imparts no saving grace.

 

1a – Southern Baptist Convention (16 million members) 

 

Position statements
In addition to the BF&M, the SBC has also issued the following position statements:

Autonomy of local church — Affirms the autonomy of the local church.
Cooperation— Identifies the Cooperative Program of missions as integral to the Southern Baptist Convention.
Creeds and confessions — Statements of belief are revisable in light of Scripture. The Bible is the final word.
Missions — Honors the indigenous principle in missions. The SBC does not, however, compromise doctrine or its identity for missional opportunities.
Priesthood of all believers — Laypersons have the same right as ordained ministers to communicate with God, interpret Scripture, and minister in Christ’s name.
Sanctity of life — “At the moment of conception, a new being enters the universe, a human being, a being created in God’s image”; as such, it should be protected regardless of the circumstances underlying the conception. As such, the SBC opposes abortion and any form of birth control which acts as an abortifacient.
Sexuality — They affirm God’s plan for marriage and sexual intimacy as a lifetime relationship of one man and one woman. Explicitly, they do not consider homosexuality to be a “valid alternative lifestyle”. They understand the Bible to forbid any form of extra-marital sexual relations.
Soul competency — Affirms the accountability of each person before God.
Ordination of women — Women are of equal value to men and participate on Southern Baptist boards, faculties, mission teams, writer pools, and professional staffs. However, women are not eligible to serve as pastors.

Ordinances
Southern Baptists observe two ordinances: the Lord’s Supper and believer’s baptism (also known as credo-baptism, from the Latin for “I believe”). Furthermore, they hold the historic Baptist belief that immersion is the only valid mode of baptism. The Baptist Faith and Message describes baptism as a symbolic act of obedience and a testimony of the believer’s faith in Jesus Christ to other people. The BF&M also notes that baptism is a precondition to congregational church membership.

The BF&M holds to memorialism, which is the belief that the Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience in which believers commemorate the death of Christ and look forward to his Second Coming. Although individual Southern Baptist churches are free to practice either open or closed communion (due to the convention’s belief in congregational polity and the autonomy of the local church), most Southern Baptist churches practice open communion. For the same reason, the frequency of observance of the Lord’s Supper varies from church to church. It is commonly observed quarterly, though some churches offer it monthly and a small minority offers it weekly. Because Southern Baptists traditionally have opposed alcoholic beverage consumption by members, grape juice is used instead of wine (and is usually called “the cup” as a result)

1 – Lutheranism (87 million members) 

Constituent congregations of the ELCA hold many differences of opinion, and have had disputes over social and doctrinal issues. In part, this is related to the history of having assimilated three different Lutheran church bodies, each with its own factions and divisions, but also to responses to changing social conditions in the United States. Old intra-group conflicts were inherited and new inter-group ones were created. Differences on issues usually reflect theological disputes between various parties.

The ELCA is a very broad denomination. It contains groups of socially conservative or liberal factions with differing emphases on various topics such as liturgical renewal, confessional Lutheranism, charismatic revivalism, moderate to liberal theology, and liberal activism. The socially liberal segment of the ELCA is represented by independent organizations such as Lutherans Concerned/North America, Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, and the Evangelical and Ecumenical Women’s Caucus. What is now known as the Lutheran Coalition For Renewal (Lutheran CORE) is made up of socially conservative congregations that left the ELCA after it decided to accept openly gay clergy for ordination and calling. Adherents of Evangelical Catholicism practice High Church Lutheranism and include the members of the Society of the Holy Trinity. Those oriented toward Confessional Lutheranism, Evangelicalism, or an admixture of the two include the WordAlone network, and those involved with Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ. Members of the Charismatic Movement include congregations and pastors associated with the Alliance of Renewal Churches. Additionally, there has been a recent growth in Franciscan spirituality in the ELCA through the Order of Lutheran Franciscans.

Scripture

The ELCA constitution states: “This church accepts the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God and the authoritative source and norm of its proclamation, faith, and life.”

ELCA clergy tend not to subscribe to a doctrine of Biblical inerrancy, but see validity in various scholarly methods of analysis to help in understanding the Bible. This is in concord with most moderate Protestant bodies and in contrast to the LCMS and WELS, which practice the historical-grammatical method of biblical interpretation.

Sacraments
Like other Lutheran church bodies, the ELCA confesses at least two Sacraments: Communion (or the Eucharist) and Holy Baptism (including infant baptism). Confession and absolution is often included as a Sacrament; however, as it is a return to the forgiveness given in baptism, strictly speaking, there are only two sacraments. Guidance on sacramental practices in the ELCA is provided in The Use of the Means of Grace, a statement adopted by the 1997 Churchwide Assembly.

In addition to the two sacraments, ELCA churches also practice acts that are sacramental in character, or sacramentals. These include confirmation, ordination, anointing the sick, confession and absolution, and marriage. The practice and the view of these as “minor sacraments” varies between churches of a “high” and “low” church nature.

With respect to the eucharist or the Lord’s Supper, the ELCA holds to the Lutheran doctrine of the sacramental union, that is, that Christ’s body and blood is truly present “in, with and under” the bread and wine. All communicants orally receive not only bread and wine, but also the same body and blood of Christ that was given for them on the cross. Members of other denominations sometimes refer to this as a belief in consubstantiation. Lutherans, however, reject the philosophical explanation of consubstantiation, preferring to consider the presence of the Lord’s body and blood as mysterious rather than explainable by human philosophy. The Lutheran belief in the holy mystery character of the consecrated bread and wine is more similar to that of Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox belief than to the views of most Protestants. In contrast, most Protestant church bodies doubt or openly deny that the true body and blood of Christ is eaten in the Lord’s Supper.

Unlike certain other American Lutheran church bodies, the ELCA practices open communion, permitting all persons baptized in the name of the Trinity with water to receive communion. Some congregations also commune baptized infants, similarly to Eastern Orthodox practice. The ELCA encourages its churches to celebrate the Eucharist at all services, although some churches alternate between non-eucharistic services and those containing the Lord’s Supper.

1a – Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (5 million members)

Same as above

1 – Methodism (75 million members)

 Methodists generally accept the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed as declarations of shared Christian faith. Methodism also affirms the traditional Christian belief in the triune Godhead (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) as well as the orthodox understanding of the person of Jesus Christ as God incarnate who is both fully divine and fully human. Methodism emphasizes doctrines that indicate the power of the Holy Spirit to strengthen the faith of believers and to transform their personal lives.

Methodism is broadly evangelical in doctrine and is characterized by Wesleyan theology; John Wesley is studied by Methodists for his interpretation of church practice and doctrine. At its heart, the theology of John Wesley stressed the life of Christian holiness: to love God with all one’s heart, mind, soul and strength and to love one’s neighbour as oneself. One popular expression of Methodist doctrine is in the hymns of Charles Wesley. Since enthusiastic congregational singing was a part of the early evangelical movement, Wesleyan theology took root and spread through this channel. Martin V. Clarke, who documented the history of Methodist hymnody, states:

Theologically and doctrinally, the content of the hymns has traditionally been a primary vehicle for expressing Methodism’s emphasis on salvation for all, social holiness, and personal commitment, while particular hymns and the communal act of participating in hymn singing have been key elements in the spiritual lives of Methodists.
Salvation
 
Methodists believe Jesus Christ died for all humanity, not a limited few: the doctrine of unlimited atonement.
Wesleyan Methodists identify with the Arminian conception of free will, as opposed to the theological determinism of absolute predestination. Methodism teaches that salvation is initiated when one chooses to respond to God, who draws the individual near to him (the Wesleyan doctrine of prevenient grace), thus teaching synergism. Methodists interpret Scripture as teaching that the saving work of Jesus Christ is for all people (unlimited atonement) but effective only to those who respond and believe, in accordance with the Reformation principles of sola gratia (grace alone) and sola fide (faith alone). John Wesley taught four key points fundamental to Methodism:

A person is free not only to reject salvation but also to accept it by an act of free will.
All people who are obedient to the gospel according to the measure of knowledge given them will be saved.
The Holy Spirit assures a Christian that they are justified by faith in Jesus (assurance of faith).
Christians in this life are capable of Christian perfection and are commanded by God to pursue it.
After the first work of grace (the new birth), Methodist soteriology emphasizes the importance of the pursuit of holiness in salvation, a concept best summarized in a quote by Methodist evangelist Phoebe Palmer who stated that “justification would have ended with me had I refused to be holy.” Thus, for Methodists, “true faith…cannot subsist without works”. Methodism, inclusive of the holiness movement, thus teaches that “justification [is made] conditional on obedience and progress in sanctification”, emphasizing “a deep reliance upon Christ not only in coming to faith, but in remaining in the faith”. John Wesley taught that the keeping of the moral law contained in the Ten Commandments, as well as engaging in the works of piety and the works of mercy, were “indispensable for our sanctification”.

Methodists also believe in the second work of grace—Christian perfection, also known as entire sanctification, which removes original sin and makes the believer holy. John Wesley explained, “entire sanctification, or Christian perfection, is neither more nor less than pure love; love expelling sin, and governing both the heart and life of a child of God. The Refiner’s fire purges out all that is contrary to love.”

Methodist churches teach that apostasy can occur through a loss of faith or through sinning. If a person backslides but later decides to return to God, he or she must confess his or her sins and be entirely sanctified again (the Arminian doctrine of conditional security).

Sacraments
Methodists hold that sacraments are sacred acts of divine institution. Methodism has inherited its liturgy from Anglicanism, although American Methodist theology tends to have a stronger “sacramental emphasis” than that held by evangelical Anglicans.

In common with most Protestants, Methodists recognize two sacraments as being instituted by Christ: Baptism and Holy Communion (also called the Lord’s Supper). Most Methodist churches practice infant baptism, in anticipation of a response to be made later (confirmation), as well as believer’s baptism. The Catechism for the Use of the People Called Methodists states that, “[in Holy Communion] Jesus Christ is present with his worshipping people and gives himself to them as their Lord and Saviour”. In the United Methodist Church, the explanation of how Christ’s presence is made manifest in the elements (bread and wine) is described as a “Holy Mystery”.

Methodist churches generally recognize sacraments to be a means of grace. John Wesley held that God also imparted grace by other established means such as public and private prayer, Scripture reading, study and preaching, public worship, and fasting; these constitute the works of piety. Wesley considered means of grace to be “outward signs, words, or actions … to be the ordinary channels whereby [God] might convey to men, preventing [i.e., preparing], justifying or sanctifying grace”. Specifically Methodist means, such as the class meetings, provided his chief examples for these prudential means of grace.

 

1a – United Methodist Church (12 million members)

The basic beliefs of the United Methodist Church include:

Triune God. God is one God in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Bible. The Bible is the inspired word of God. F. Belton Joyner argues that there is a deep division within Methodism today about what this means. Does it mean the Bible was inspired when written (and the text today is always true and without error), or is it inspired when actually read by a Christian (and therefore depends on the interaction with the reader.) In the first case, says Joyner, the Christian is concerned only with the precise wording of the original manuscript, without regard to historical setting. In the other case, the reader tries to read the biblical text in terms of all of the influences of modern thought, with little regard for the meaning offered in the ancient texts. In that Wesleyan tradition, United Methodists balance these two extremes, aware that the same Holy Spirit who inspired the Scriptures is alive and well to bring the written Word alive for the twenty-first century. (United Methodists) take seriously both the original inspiration and today’s contemporary inspiration. “…In this way, the Bible itself becomes the balancing, clarifying, even correcting tool for understanding the Scripture. God’s gifts in the written Word are so rich that they can continue to give light and life as one digs again and again into the same Scriptures.”
Sin. While human beings were intended to bear the image of God, all humans are sinners for whom that image is distorted. Sin estranges people from God and corrupts human nature such that we cannot heal or save ourselves.
Salvation through Jesus Christ. God’s redeeming love is active to save sinners through Jesus’ incarnate life and teachings, through his atoning death, his resurrection, his sovereign presence through history, and his promised return.
Sanctification. The grace of sanctification draws one toward the gift of Christian perfection, which Wesley described as a heart “habitually filled with the love of God and neighbor” and as “having the mind of Christ and walking as he walked.” This emphasis in Methodism has led to the heralding of the motto “Holiness unto the Lord”.
Sacraments. The UMC recognizes two sacraments: Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. Other rites such as Confirmation, Ordination, Holy Matrimony, Funerals, and Anointing of the Sick are performed but not considered sacraments. In Holy Baptism, the Church believes that “Baptism is not only a sign of profession and mark of difference whereby Christians are distinguished from others that are not baptized; but it is also a sign of regeneration or the new birth. It believes that Baptism is a sacrament in which God initiates a covenant with individuals, people become a part of the Church, is not to be repeated, and is a means of grace. The United Methodist Church generally practices Baptism by sprinkling, pouring, or immersion and uses the Trinitarian formula. United Methodists recognize baptisms performed in other Christian denominations. The Church practices and encourages infant baptism; when persons baptized as infants mature, they may confirm (or reject) the baptismal vows made on their behalf as infants by families, guardians, and congregations through a process of Christian education called Confirmation. The United Methodist Church affirms the real presence of Christ in Holy Communion, but does not hold to transubstantiation. The church believes that the bread is an effectual sign of His body crucified on the cross and the cup is an effectual sign of His blood shed for humanity. Through the outward and visible signs of bread and wine, the inward and spiritual reality of the Body and Blood of Christ are offered to believers. The church holds that the celebration of the Eucharist is an anamnesis of Jesus’ death, and believes the sacrament to be a means of grace, and practices open communion.
Free will. The UMC believes that people, while corrupted by sin, are free to make their own choices because of God’s divine grace enabling them, and that people are truly accountable before God for their choices.
Social Justice. The church opposes evils such as slavery, inhumane prison conditions, capital punishment, economic injustice, child labor, racism, and inequality.

 

1b – African Methodist Episcopal Church (3 million members) 

The AME motto, “God Our Father, Christ Our Redeemer, Holy Spirit Our Comforter, Humankind Our Family”, reflects the basic beliefs of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The basic foundations of the beliefs of the church can be summarized in the Apostles’ Creed, and The Twenty Five Articles of Religion, held in common with other Methodist Episcopal congregations. The church also observes the official bylaws of the AME Church. The “Doctrine and Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church” is revised at every General Conference and published every four years. The AME church also follows the rule that a minister of the denomination must retire at age 75, with bishops, more specifically, being required to retire upon the General Conference nearest their 75th birthday.

 Church mission

 The Mission of the African Methodist Episcopal Church is to minister to the social, spiritual, physical development of all people. At every level of the Connection and in every local church, the African Methodist Episcopal Church shall engage in carrying out the spirit of the original Free African Society, out of which the AME Church evolved: that is, to seek out and save the lost, and serve the needy. It is also the duty of the Church to continue to encourage all members to become involved in all aspects of church training. The ultimate purposes are: (1) make available God’s biblical principles, (2) spread Christ’s liberating gospel, and (3) provide continuing programs which will enhance the entire social development of all people. In order to meet the needs at every level of the Connection and in every local church, the AME Church shall implement strategies to train all members in: (1) Christian discipleship, (2) Christian leadership, (3) current teaching methods and materials, (4) the history and significance of the AME Church, (5) God’s biblical principles, and (6) social development to which all should be applied to daily living.

Preaching the gospel, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, housing the homeless, cheering the fallen, providing jobs for the jobless, administering to the needs of those in prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, asylums and mental institutions, senior citizens’ homes; caring for the sick, the shut-in, the mentally and socially disturbed, encouraging thrift and economic advancement, and bringing people back into church. Colleges, seminaries and universities

1 – Reformed Churches (75 million members) 

Reformed theologians believe that God communicates knowledge of himself to people through the Word of God. People are not able to know anything about God except through this self-revelation. Speculation about anything which God has not revealed through his Word is not warranted. The knowledge people have of God is different from that which they have of anything else because God is infinite, and finite people are incapable of comprehending an infinite being. While the knowledge revealed by God to people is never incorrect, it is also never comprehensive.

The seal of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, an early American Presbyterian church
According to Reformed theologians, God’s self-revelation is always through his son Jesus Christ, because Christ is the only mediator between God and people. Revelation of God through Christ comes through two basic channels. The first is creation and providence, which is God’s creating and continuing to work in the world. This action of God gives everyone knowledge about God, but this knowledge is only sufficient to make people culpable for their sin; it does not include knowledge of the gospel. The second channel through which God reveals himself is redemption, which is the gospel of salvation from condemnation which is punishment for sin.

In Reformed theology, the Word of God takes several forms. Jesus Christ himself is the Word Incarnate. The prophecies about him said to be found in the Old Testament and the ministry of the apostles who saw him and communicated his message are also the Word of God. Further, the preaching of ministers about God is the very Word of God because God is considered to be speaking through them. God also speaks through human writers in the Bible, which is composed of texts set apart by God for self-revelation. Reformed theologians emphasize the Bible as a uniquely important means by which God communicates with people. People gain knowledge of God from the Bible which cannot be gained in any other way.

Reformed theologians affirm that the Bible is true, but differences emerge among them over the meaning and extent of its truthfulness. Conservative followers of the Princeton theologians take the view that the Bible is true and inerrant, or incapable of error or falsehood, in every place. This view is very similar to that of Catholic orthodoxy as well as modern Evangelicalism. Another view, influenced by the teaching of Karl Barth and neo-orthodoxy, is found in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Confession of 1967. Those who take this view believe the Bible to be the primary source of our knowledge of God, but also that some parts of the Bible may be false, not witnesses to Christ, and not normative for today’s church. In this view, Christ is the revelation of God, and the scriptures witness to this revelation rather than being the revelation itself.

 

Covenant theology

Reformed theologians use the concept of covenant to describe the way God enters fellowship with people in history. The concept of covenant is so prominent in Reformed theology that Reformed theology as a whole is sometimes called “covenant theology”. However, sixteenth and seventeenth-century theologians developed a particular theological system called “covenant theology” or “federal theology” which many conservative Reformed churches continue to affirm today. This framework orders God’s life with people primarily in two covenants: the covenant of works and the covenant of grace.

The covenant of works is made with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The terms of the covenant are that God provides a blessed life in the garden on condition that Adam and Eve obey God’s law perfectly. Because Adam and Eve broke the covenant by eating the forbidden fruit, they became subject to death and were banished from the garden. This sin was passed down to all mankind because all people are said to be in Adam as a covenantal or “federal” head. Federal theologians usually infer that Adam and Eve would have gained immortality had they obeyed perfectly.

A second covenant, called the covenant of grace, is said to have been made immediately following Adam and Eve’s sin. In it, God graciously offers salvation from death on condition of faith in God. This covenant is administered in different ways throughout the Old and New Testaments, but retains the substance of being free of a requirement of perfect obedience.

Through the influence of Karl Barth, many contemporary Reformed theologians have discarded the covenant of works, along with other concepts of federal theology. Barth saw the covenant of works as disconnected from Christ and the gospel, and rejected the idea that God works with people in this way. Instead, Barth argued that God always interacts with people under the covenant of grace, and that the covenant of grace is free of all conditions whatsoever. Barth’s theology and that which follows him has been called “monocovenantal” as opposed to the “bi-covenantal” scheme of classical federal theology. Conservative contemporary Reformed theologians, such as John Murray, have also rejected the idea of covenants based on law rather than grace. Michael Horton, however, has defended the covenant of works as combining principles of law and love.

 

1a – Presbyterian Church U.S.A. (3 million members) 

Presbyterian denominations that trace their heritage to the British Isles usually organise their church services inspired by the principles in the Directory of Public Worship, developed by the Westminster Assembly in the 1640s. This directory documented Reformed worship practices and theology adopted and developed over the preceding century by British Puritans, initially guided by John Calvin and John Knox. It was enacted as law by the Scottish Parliament, and became one of the foundational documents of Presbyterian church legislation elsewhere.

Presbyterian catechising, 19th century
Historically, the driving principle in the development of the standards of Presbyterian worship is the Regulative principle of worship, which specifies that (in worship), what is not commanded is forbidden.

Over subsequent centuries, many Presbyterian churches modified these prescriptions by introducing hymnody, instrumental accompaniment, and ceremonial vestments into worship. However, there is not one fixed “Presbyterian” worship style. Although there are set services for the Lord’s Day in keeping with first-day Sabbatarianism, one can find a service to be evangelical and even revivalist in tone (especially in some conservative denominations), or strongly liturgical, approximating the practices of Lutheranism or Anglicanism (especially where Scottish tradition is esteemed),[clarification needed] or semi-formal, allowing for a balance of hymns, preaching, and congregational participation (favored by probably most American Presbyterians). Most Presbyterian churches follow the traditional liturgical year and observe the traditional holidays, holy seasons, such as Advent, Christmas, Ash Wednesday, Holy Week, Easter, Pentecost, etc. They also make use of the appropriate seasonal liturgical colors, etc. Many incorporate ancient liturgical prayers and responses into the communion services and follow a daily, seasonal, and festival lectionary. Other Presbyterians, however, such as the Reformed Presbyterians, would practice a cappella exclusive psalmody, as well as eschew the celebration of holy days.

Among the paleo-orthodox and emerging church movements in Protestant and evangelical churches, in which some Presbyterians are involved, clergy are moving away from the traditional black Geneva gown to such vestments as the alb and chasuble, but also cassock and surplice (typically a full-length Old English style surplice which resembles the Celtic alb, an ungirdled liturgical tunic of the old Gallican Rite), which some, particularly those identifying with the Liturgical Renewal Movement, hold to be more ancient and representative of a more ecumenical past.

 

Sacraments
Presbyterians traditionally have held the Worship position that there are only two sacraments:

Baptism, in which they would baptize infants, as well as unbaptized adults by the Aspersion (sprinkling) or Affusion (pouring) method in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, rather than the Immersion method.
The Lord’s Supper (also known as Communion), in which Presbyterians believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the spiritual sense, in the bread and wine through the Holy Spirit, as opposed to being locally present as in transubstantiation or consubstantiation.

1b – United Church of Christ (1 million members) 

There is no UCC hierarchy or body that can impose any doctrine or worship format onto the individual congregations within the UCC. While individual congregations are supposed to hold guidance from the general synod “in the highest regard”, the UCC’s constitution requires that the “autonomy of the Local Church is inherent and modifiable only by its own action”.

South Parish Congregational Church and Parish House in Augusta, Maine in 2013.

Within this locally focused structure, however, there are central beliefs common to the UCC. The UCC often uses four words to describe itself: “Christian, Reformed, Congregational and Evangelical”. While the UCC refers to its evangelical characteristics, it springs from (and is considered part of) mainline Protestantism as opposed to Evangelicalism. The word evangelical in this case more closely corresponds with the original Lutheran origins meaning “of the gospel” as opposed to the Evangelical use of the word. UCC is generally theologically liberal, and the denomination notes that the “Bible, though written in specific historical times and places, still speaks to us in our present condition”.

The motto of the United Church of Christ comes from John 17:21: “That they may all be one”. The denomination’s official literature uses broad doctrinal parameters, emphasizing freedom of individual conscience and local church autonomy.

 

Historic confessions
In the United Church of Christ, creeds, confessions, and affirmations of faith function as “testimonies of faith” around which the church gathers rather than as “tests of faith” rigidly prescribing required doctrinal consent. As expressed in the United Church of Christ constitution:

The United Church of Christ acknowledges as its sole Head, Jesus Christ, Son of God and Savior. It acknowledges as kindred in Christ all who share in this confession. It looks to the Word of God in the Scriptures, and to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, to prosper its creative and redemptive work in the world. It claims as its own the faith of the historic Church expressed in the ancient creeds and reclaimed in the basic insights of the Protestant Reformers. It affirms the responsibility of the Church in each generation to make this faith its own in reality of worship, in honesty of thought and expression, and in purity of heart before God. In accordance with the teaching of our Lord and the practice prevailing among evangelical Christians, it recognizes two sacraments: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion.
The denomination, therefore, looks to a number of historic confessions as expressing the common faith around which the church gathers, including:

The Apostles’ Creed,
The Nicene Creed,
The Heidelberg Catechism (inherited from both the German Reformed and German Evangelical heritages),
Luther’s Small Catechism (inherited from the German Evangelical heritage),
The Kansas City Statement of Faith (a 1913 statement in the Congregationalist tradition),
The Evangelical Catechism (a 1927 catechism in the German Evangelical tradition), and
The Statement of Faith of the United Church of Christ (written at the founding of the denomination).

1 – Non-Denominational Evangelicalism (40 million members) 

Nondenominational churches are not affiliated with specifically denominational stream of evangelical movements, either by choice from their foundation or because they separated from their denomination of origin at some point in their history. Like denominational congregations, nondenominational congregations vary in size, worship, and other characteristics. Although independent, many nondenominational congregations choose to affiliate with a broader network of congregations, such as IFCA International (formerly the Independent Fundamental Churches of America).Nondenominational churches are recognizable from the evangelical movement, even though they are autonomous and have no other formal labels, such as the Church of the Highlands and the Willow Creek Community Church.

The movement is particularly visible in the megachurches.

The neo-charismatic churches often use the term nondenominational to define themselves.

Churches with a focus on seekers are more likely to identify themselves as nondenominational.

 

1a – Calvary Chapel (25 million members)

Spiritual gifts
Although Calvary Chapel believes in the continuing efficacy of the gift of tongues, it does not recognize uninterpreted tongues spoken in a congregational setting as necessarily inspired (or at least directed) by the Holy Spirit because of its understanding of 1 Corinthians 14. Calvary Chapel accepts that the Bible affirms interpreted tongues and modern prophecy. Practicing tongues in private occurs more commonly. Calvary Chapel does not teach that the outward manifestation of every Christian counts as speaking in tongues. Instead, the movement’s theologians regard speaking in tongues as one of the many gifts of the Spirit and see believers as blessed as the Spirit moves.

Similar to other Pentecostal or Charismatic movements, Calvary Chapel holds that the baptism of the Holy Spirit does not take place during conversion, but is available as a second experience. It is their understanding that there are three distinct relationships with the Holy Spirit. The first is that which is experienced prior to conversion. In this relationship the Holy Spirit is convicting the person of his sin. In the second relationship the Holy Spirit indwells believers during conversion for the purpose of sanctification. The third relationship is the baptism of the Holy Spirit which Calvary Chapel believes is for the purpose of being a Christian witness.

Baptism and Communion
Calvary Chapels practice believer’s baptism by immersion. Calvary Chapel does not regard baptism as necessary for salvation, but instead sees it as an outward sign of an inward change. As a result, the Chapels do not baptize infants, although they may dedicate them to God. Calvary Chapel views Communion in a symbolic way, with reference to 1 Corinthians 11:23–26.

Eschatology
Calvary Chapels strongly espouse pretribulationist and premillennialist views in their eschatology (the study of the end times). They believe that the rapture of the Church will occur first, followed by a literal seven-year period of Great Tribulation, followed by the second coming of Jesus Christ, and then finally a literal thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ on earth called the Millennial Kingdom. Calvary Chapel also rejects supersessionism and instead believes that the Jews remain God’s chosen people and that Israel will play an important part in the end times.

Interest in one event during the Tribulation—the building of a Third Temple in Jerusalem—led in the early 1980s to associations between some in Calvary Chapel (including Chuck Smith) and Jewish groups interested in seeing the temple rebuilt.

Return of Christ in 1981
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Chuck Smith wrote and published a prophetic timeline that declared the imminent return of Christ.

In the book Snatched Away!, published in 1976, Smith wrote:

the generation that was living in May 1948 shall not pass until the second coming of Jesus Christ takes place and the kingdom of God be established upon the earth.
In a 1978 book, Smith wrote:

I believe that the generation of 1948 is the last generation. Since a generation of judgment is forty years and the Tribulation period lasts seven years, I believe the Lord could come back for His Church any time before the Tribulation starts, which would mean any time before 1981.
The reasoning had to do with the idea that the seven-year Tribulation would end in 1988, forty years after the establishment of the state of Israel. In his 1978 book, Smith reasoned that Halley’s Comet in 1986 would result in problems for those left behind:

The Lord said that towards the end of the Tribulation period the sun would scorch men who dwell upon the face of the earth (Rev. 16). The year 1986 would fit just about right! We’re getting close to the Tribulation and the return of Christ in glory. All the pieces of the puzzle are coming together.

Disappointment resulting from the prophecy not materializing in 1981 caused some to leave the church.

Practices
Calvary Chapel pastors tend to prefer expositional sermons rather than topical ones, and they will often give their sermons sequentially from the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. They believe that expository preaching allows the congregation to learn how all parts of the Bible address issues as opposed to topical sermons which they see as allowing preachers to emphasize certain issues more than others. Another advantage, they say, is that it makes difficult topics easier to address because members of the congregation won’t feel like they are being singled out.[51] It sees expository teaching as providing consistent teaching that, over time, brings the “perfecting of the saints” which is part of their general philosophy for the Church. In teaching expositorily through scripture sequentially, Calvary Chapel believes God sets the agenda, not the pastor.

Calvary Chapels believe that most churches have a “dependent, highly organized, [and] structured” environment, but that most people want an “independent and casual way of life”. Calvary churches typically have a casual and laid-back atmosphere. As a practical implication of this philosophy, people may wear informal clothes to church. Praise and worship usually consists of upbeat contemporary Christian music though many of the churches also play hymns. The style of worship generally reflects the region and the specific make-up of the congregation.

Calvary Chapel does not have a formalized system of church membership. Calling a Calvary Chapel one’s church usually means regularly attending church services and becoming involved in fellowship with other “members” of the church.

 

1b – The Vineyard (15 million members) 

Doctrinal statements
For most of the early life of the Vineyard Movement, Vineyard churches had no official statement of faith. This is not to be interpreted as an absence of a common belief structure; rather, the primary reasons for the absence of such a declaration were:

the demonstrative teaching of John Wimber, who effectively set the tone and doctrinal beliefs of the movement
a desire to reflect the “low-key,” “low-pressure” environment of the church that encouraged people to “come as you are”
specifically, de-emphasizing any atmosphere or actions that could be considered overtly dogmatic.
According to text in the official Vineyard Statement of Faith released in 1994, an effort to create a common Statement of Faith had been underway since 1983, but took 10+ years to complete because: “On one hand, we felt obliged to set forth our biblical and historically orthodox beliefs, on the other hand, we wanted to describe the values and priorities that make the Vineyard unique within the context of Evangelicalism.”

LGBTQ+ position
In a 2020 letter to local church leaders, Vineyard Canada expressed its position that having a non-heterosexual orientation is itself not sinful, however the church does not allow the officiating of same sex marriages or licensing people in same sex marriages for pastoral ministry. This letter also distinguished gender identity from sexual orientation as its own theological and policy matter that requires further consideration.

1 – Restorationism (20 million members) 

Restorationism (or Christian primitivism) is the belief that Christianity has been or should be restored along the lines of what is known about the apostolic early church, which restorationists see as the search for a purer and more ancient form of the religion. Fundamentally, “this vision seeks to correct faults or deficiencies (in the church) by appealing to the primitive church as a normative model.”

Efforts to restore an earlier, purer form of Christianity are often a response to denominationalism. As Rubel Shelly put it, “the motive behind all restoration movements is to tear down the walls of separation by a return to the practice of the original, essential and universal features of the Christian religion.” Different groups have tried to implement the restorationist vision in a variety of ways; for instance, some have focused on the structure and practice of the church, others on the ethical life of the church, and others on the direct experience of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. The relative importance given to the restoration ideal, and the extent to which the full restoration of the early church is believed to have been achieved, also varies among groups.

In comparable terms, earlier primitivist movements, including the Hussites, Anabaptists, Landmarkists, Puritans, and Waldensians have been described as examples of restorationism, as have many seventh-day Sabbatarians. For Anabaptists, restoration primarily meant to relive in a studied fashion the life of the New Testament. Landmarkism (often identified with Baptist Successionism) is more properly a theory of the continuation of the pure Church through the centuries, recognizable by certain key doctrines, primarily believer’s baptism. Many groups have attempted a history of their movement and an ecclesiology that falls somewhere in between the two ideas of Restorationism and Successionism.

The term “restorationism” is sometimes used more specifically as a synonym for the American Restoration Movement. The term is also used by more recent groups, describing their goal to re-establish Christianity in its original form, such as some anti-denominational Charismatic Restorationists, which arose in the 1970s in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

 

1a – Seventh-day Adventists (17 million members) 

The official teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination are expressed in its 28 Fundamental Beliefs. This statement of beliefs was originally adopted by the General Conference in 1980, with an additional belief (number 11) being added in 2005. Acceptance of either of the church’s two baptismal vows is a prerequisite for membership.

Adventist doctrine resembles trinitarian Protestant theology, with premillennial and Arminian emphases. Adventists uphold teachings such as the infallibility of Scripture, the substitutionary atonement, the resurrection of the dead and justification by faith alone, and are therefore considered evangelical. They believe in baptism by immersion and creation in six literal days. The modern Creationist movement started with Adventist George McCready Price, who was inspired by a vision of Ellen White.

There is a generally recognized set of “distinctive” doctrines which distinguish Adventism from the rest of the Christian world, although not all of these teachings are wholly unique to Adventism:

Law (fundamental belief 19): the Law of God is “embodied in the Ten Commandments”, which continue to be binding upon Christians.
Sabbath (fundamental belief 20): the Sabbath should be observed on the seventh day of the week, specifically, from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.
Second Coming and End times (fundamental beliefs 25–28): Jesus Christ will return visibly to earth after a “time of trouble”, during which the Sabbath will become a worldwide test. The Second Coming will be followed by a millennial reign of the saints in heaven. Adventist eschatology is based on the historicist method of prophetic interpretation.
Holistic human nature (fundamental beliefs 7, 26): Humans are an indivisible unity of body, mind, and spirit. They do not possess an immortal soul and there is no consciousness after death (commonly referred to as “soul sleep”). (See also: Christian anthropology)
Conditional immortality (fundamental belief 27): The wicked will not suffer eternal torment in hell, but instead will be permanently destroyed. (See: Conditional immortality, Annihilationism)
Great Controversy (fundamental belief 8): Humanity is involved in a “great controversy” between Jesus Christ and Satan. This is an elaboration on the common Christian belief that evil began in heaven when an angelic being (Lucifer) rebelled against the Law of God.
Heavenly sanctuary (fundamental belief 24): At his ascension, Jesus Christ commenced an atoning ministry in the heavenly sanctuary. In 1844, he began to cleanse the heavenly sanctuary in fulfillment of the Day of Atonement.
Investigative Judgment (fundamental belief 24): A judgment of professed Christians began in 1844, in which the books of record are examined for all the universe to see. The investigative judgment will affirm who will receive salvation, and vindicate God in the eyes of the universe as just in his dealings with mankind.
Remnant (fundamental belief 13): There will be an end-time remnant who keep the commandments of God and have “the testimony of Jesus”. This remnant proclaims the “three angels’ messages” of Revelation 14:6–12 to the world.
Spirit of Prophecy (fundamental belief 18): The ministry of Ellen G. White is commonly referred to as the “Spirit of Prophecy” and her writings “speak with prophetic authority and provide comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction to the church.”, though ultimately subject to the Bible. (See: Inspiration of Ellen White.)

1b – Church of Christ (5 million members)

Identity
Because the Christian churches and churches of Christ are independent congregations there is no set creed, but The Directory of the Ministry[1] contains the following general description:

Members of Christian Churches and churches of Christ believe in the deity and Lordship of Jesus Christ, the inspiration of the Bible, and the autonomy of local congregations. Following the basic principles of the ‘Restoration Movement’, they accept and teach believers’ baptism by immersion into Christ for the forgiveness of sins; they assemble for worship on the first day of the week, making the observance of the Lord’s Supper a focal point in such worship. They seek the unity of all believers on the basis of faith in and obedience to Christ as the divine Son of God and the acceptance of the Bible particularly the New Testament as their all-sufficient rule of faith and practice.


Baptism
See also: Baptism in early Christianity

Baptism by immersion
Of the principles cited above, one characteristic marks most Christian Churches and Churches of Christ as distinctly different from other modern Evangelical Christian groups today. That is the teaching that a person receives the remission of sins, during his baptism. Baptism is:

by immersion,
for publicly confessing believers in Jesus Christ [Acts 8:37],
a work of God’s grace, not a work of man [Col 2:12],
a promise received through obedient submission [Acts 2:40, 41],
necessarily accompanied with confession of sinfulness and repentance [Acts 2:38; Acts 3:19; Rom 10:9,10],
the occasion when one receives God’s forgiveness for their sins [Acts 2:36-37; Acts 2:40-41],
the occasion when one calls on His name for salvation [Acts 22:16],
the occasion when the equipping, indwelling Holy Spirit is received as a seal and promise of heaven [Acts 2:38; Titus 3:5],
a “circumcision” or transformation of the believer’s heart by the hands of Christ himself [Col 2:11,12],
foreshadowed in the Old Testament ceremonial washings, now fulfilled in a believer’s shared experience with Christ [Heb 10:22],
sharing in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ [Rom 6:4], and the only assurance of the hope of the resurrection from the dead [Rom 6:5-7],
specifically emphasized and commanded by Christ in his brief closing remarks (“The Great Commission”) before ascending into heaven,
not only an outward sign of an inward change, but is both simultaneously [e.g. “born again” John 3:4, 5],
one baptism indeed, both physically in water and spiritually in the blood of Jesus [Eph 4:5; John 3:5],
entry into the body of Christ at large, and hence, the only viable entry into the membership of a local congregation of the Independent Christian Churches and Churches of Christ (as in the Church of Christ (non-instrumental), a candidate for membership is not usually required to be re-baptized if they have previously been “baptized into Christ” in accordance with the above general understanding and/or guidelines) [Eph 4:5].

 

1c – Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) (1 million members)

As a congregational denomination, each Disciple congregation determines the nature of its worship, study, Christian service, and witness to the world. Through belief in the priesthood of all believers, Disciples also practice freedom of interpretation among its members, with only baptism and confession of Christ as Lord required.

Preamble
As members of the Christian Church, we confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and proclaim him Lord and Savior of the world.
In Christ’s name and by his grace we accept our mission of witness and service to all people.
We rejoice in God, maker of heaven and earth, and in God’s covenant of love which binds us to God and to one another.
Through baptism into Christ we enter into newness of life and are made one with the whole people of God.
In the communion of the Holy Spirit we are joined together in discipleship and in obedience to Christ.
At the Table of the Lord we celebrate with thanksgiving the saving acts and presence of Christ.
Within the universal church we receive the gift of ministry and the light of scripture.
In the bonds of Christian faith we yield ourselves to God that we may serve the One whose kingdom has no end.
Blessing, glory, and honor be to God forever. Amen.


The Design of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Early members of the Stone-Campbell Movement adopted the slogan “In essentials, Unity; In non-essentials, Liberty; and in all things, Charity.” For modern disciples the one essential is the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and obedience to him in baptism. There is no requirement to give assent to any other statement of belief or creed. Nor is there any official interpretation of the Bible. Hierarchical doctrine was traditionally rejected by Disciples as human-made and divisive, and subsequently, freedom of belief and scriptural interpretation allows many Disciples to question or even deny beliefs common in doctrinal churches such as the Incarnation, the Trinity, and the Atonement. Beyond the essential commitment to follow Jesus, there is a tremendous freedom of belief and interpretation. As the basic teachings of Jesus are studied and applied to life, there is the freedom to interpret Jesus’ teaching in different ways. As would be expected from such an approach, there is a wide diversity among Disciples in what individuals and congregations believe. It is not uncommon to find individuals who seemingly hold diametrically opposed beliefs within the same congregation affirming one another’s journeys of faith as sisters and brothers in Christ.

Modern Disciples reject the use of creeds as “tests of faith”, that is, as required beliefs, necessary to be accepted as a follower of Jesus. Although Disciples respect the great creeds of the church as informative affirmations of faith, they are never seen as binding. Since the adoption of The Design of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), in 1968, Disciples have celebrated a sense of unity in reading the preamble to the Design publicly.

Worship and Communion
Most congregations sing hymns, read from the Old and New Testaments, hear the word of God proclaimed through sermon or other medium and extend an invitation to become Christ’s Disciples.

As an integral part of worship in most Disciple congregations practice weekly celebrations of the Lord’s Supper, often referred to by Disciples as Communion. Through the observance of Communion, individuals are invited to acknowledge their faults and sins, to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, to remember their baptism, and to give thanks for God’s redeeming love. Because Disciples believe that the invitation to the table comes from Jesus Christ, Communion is open to all who confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, regardless of their denominational affiliation. For most Disciples, Communion is understood as the symbolic presence of Jesus within the gathered community.

Baptism
Most Disciple congregations practice believer’s baptism in the form of immersion, believing it to be the form used in the New Testament. The experiences of yielding to Christ in being buried with him in the waters of baptism and rising to a new life, have profound meaning for the church. While most congregations exclusively practice baptism by immersion, Disciples also accept other forms of baptism including infant baptism.

Anabaptism (4.5 milliom members) 

Charismatic manifestations
Within the inspirationist wing of the Anabaptist movement, it was not unusual for charismatic manifestations to appear, such as dancing, falling under the power of the Holy Spirit, “prophetic processions” (at Zurich in 1525, at Munster in 1534 and at Amsterdam in 1535),[54] and speaking in tongues. In Germany some Anabaptists, “excited by mass hypnosis, experienced healings, glossolalia, contortions and other manifestations of a camp-meeting revival”. The Anabaptist congregations that later developed into the Mennonite and Hutterite churches tended not to promote these manifestations, but did not totally reject the miraculous. Pilgram Marpeck, for example, wrote against the exclusion of miracles: “Nor does Scripture assert this exclusion … God has a free hand even in these last days.” Referring to some who had been raised from the dead, he wrote: “Many of them have remained constant, enduring tortures inflicted by sword, rope, fire and water and suffering terrible, tyrannical, unheard-of deaths and martyrdoms, all of which they could easily have avoided by recantation. Moreover one also marvels when he sees how the faithful God (Who, after all, overflows with goodness) raises from the dead several such brothers and sisters of Christ after they were hanged, drowned, or killed in other ways. Even today, they are found alive and we can hear their own testimony … Cannot everyone who sees, even the blind, say with a good conscience that such things are a powerful, unusual, and miraculous act of God? Those who would deny it must be hardened men.” The Hutterite Chronicle and the Martyrs Mirror record several accounts of miraculous events, such as when a man named Martin prophesied while being led across a bridge to his execution in 1531: “this once yet the pious are led over this bridge, but no more hereafter”. Just “a short time afterwards such a violent storm and flood came that the bridge was demolished”.

Holy Spirit leadership
The Anabaptists insisted upon the “free course” of the Holy Spirit in worship, yet still maintained it all must be judged according to the Scriptures. The Swiss Anabaptist document titled “Answer of Some Who Are Called (Ana-)Baptists – Why They Do Not Attend the Churches”. One reason given for not attending the state churches was that these institutions forbade the congregation to exercise spiritual gifts according to “the Christian order as taught in the gospel or the Word of God in 1 Corinthians 14”. “When such believers come together, ‘Everyone of you (note every one) hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation’, and so on. When someone comes to church and constantly hears only one person speaking, and all the listeners are silent, neither speaking nor prophesying, who can or will regard or confess the same to be a spiritual congregation, or confess according to 1 Corinthians 14 that God is dwelling and operating in them through His Holy Spirit with His gifts, impelling them one after another in the above-mentioned order of speaking and prophesying.”

1a – Mennonites (1.5 million members) 

The beliefs of the movement are those of the Believers’ Church.

One of the earliest expressions of Mennonite faith was the Schleitheim Confession, adopted on February 24, 1527.

Its seven articles covered:

The Ban (excommunication)
Breaking of bread (Communion)
Separation from and shunning of the abomination (the Roman Catholic Church and other “worldly” groups and practices)
Believer’s baptism
Pastors in the church
Renunciation of the sword (Christian pacifism)
Renunciation of the oath (swearing as proof of truth)

 

1b – Amish (.250 million members) 

Amish religious practices

A scan of the historical document Diß Lied haben die sieben Brüder im Gefängnüß zu Gmünd gemacht
Two key concepts for understanding Amish practices are their rejection of Hochmut (pride, arrogance, haughtiness) and the high value they place on Demut (humility) and Gelassenheit (calmness, composure, placidity), often translated as “submission” or “letting-be”. Gelassenheit is perhaps better understood as a reluctance to be forward, to be self-promoting, or to assert oneself. The Amish’s willingness to submit to the “Will of Jesus”, expressed through group norms, is at odds with the individualism so central to the wider American culture. The Amish anti-individualist orientation is the motive for rejecting labor-saving technologies that might make one less dependent on the community. Modern innovations such as electricity might spark a competition for status goods, or photographs might cultivate personal vanity. Electric power lines would be going against the Bible, which says that you shall not be “conformed to the world” (Romans 12:2).

Amish church membership begins with baptism, usually between the ages of 16 and 23. It is a requirement for marriage within the Amish church. Once a person is baptized within the church, he or she may marry only within the faith. Church districts have between 20 and 40 families and worship services are held every other Sunday in a member’s home or barn. The district is led by a bishop and several ministers and deacons who are chosen by a combination of election and cleromancy (lot). The rules of the church, the so-called Ordnung, which differs to some extent between different districts, is reviewed twice a year by all members of the church. Only if all members give their consent to it, Lord’s supper is held. The Ordnung must be observed by every member and covers many aspects of day-to-day living, including prohibitions or limitations on the use of power-line electricity, telephones, and automobiles, as well as regulations on clothing. As present-day Anabaptists, Amish church members practice nonresistance and will not perform any type of military service. The Amish value rural life, manual labor, humility, and Gelassenheit, all under the auspices of living what they interpret to be God’s word.

Members who do not conform to these community expectations and who cannot be convinced to repent are excommunicated. In addition to excommunication, members may be shunned, a practice that limits social contacts to shame the wayward member into returning to the church. Almost 90 percent of Amish teenagers choose to be baptized and join the church. During an adolescent period of rumspringa (dialectal [Pennsylvania] German for “jumping around”, “hopping around”) in some communities, nonconforming behavior that would result in the shunning of an adult who had made the permanent commitment of baptism, may be met with a degree of forbearance.


Amish way of life

Amish couple in horse-driven buggy in rural Holmes County, Ohio, September 2004
Amish lifestyle is regulated by the Ordnung (“rules”), which differs slightly from community to community and from district to district within a community. What is acceptable in one community may not be acceptable in another. The Ordnung is agreed upon – or changed – within the whole community of baptized members prior to Communion which takes place two times a year. The meeting where the Ordnung is discussed is called Ordnungsgemeine in Standard German and Ordningsgmee in Pennsylvania Dutch. The Ordnung include matters such as dress, permissible uses of technology, religious duties, and rules regarding interaction with outsiders. In these meetings, women also vote in questions concerning the Ordnung.

Bearing children, raising them, and socializing with neighbors and relatives are the greatest functions of the Amish family. Amish typically believe that large families are a blessing from God. Farm families tend to have larger families, because sons are needed to perform farm labor. Community is central to the Amish way of life.

Working hard is considered godly, and some technological advancements have been considered undesirable because they reduce the need for hard work. Machines such as automatic floor cleaners in barns have historically been rejected as this provides young farmhands with too much free time

Clothing
The Amish are known for their plain attire. Men wear solid colored shirts, broad-brimmed hats, and suits that signify similarity amongst one another. Amish men grow beards to symbolize manhood and marital status, as well as to promote humility. They are forbidden to grow mustaches because mustaches are seen by the Amish as being affiliated with the military, which they are strongly opposed to, due to their pacifist beliefs. Women have similar guidelines on how to dress, which are also expressed in the Ordnung, the Amish version of legislation. They are to wear calf-length dresses, muted colors along with bonnets and aprons. Prayer caps or bonnets are worn by the women because they are a visual representation of their religious beliefs and promote unity through the tradition of every woman wearing one. The color of the bonnet signifies whether a woman is single or married. Single women wear black bonnets and married women wear white. The color coding of bonnets is important because women are not allowed to wear jewelry, such as wedding rings, as it is seen as drawing attention to the body which can induce pride in the individual. All clothing is sewn by hand, but the way to fasten the garment widely depends on whether the Amish person is a part of the New Order or Old Order Amish. The Old Order Amish seldom, if ever, use buttons because they are seen as too flashy; instead, they use the hook and eye approach to fashion clothing or metal snaps. The New Order Amish are slightly more progressive and allow the usage of buttons to help attire clothing.

 

Cuisine

Amish cuisine is noted for its simplicity and traditional qualities. Food plays an important part in Amish social life and is served at potlucks, weddings, fundraisers, farewells, and other events. Many Amish foods are sold at markets including pies, preserves, bread mixes, pickled produce, desserts, and canned goods. Many Amish communities have also established restaurants for visitors. Amish meat consumption is similar to the American average though they tend to eat more preserved meat.

Miscellaneous Denominations 

Eastern Orthodoxy – (230 million members) 

Trinity
Orthodox Christians believe in the Trinity, three distinct, divine persons (hypostases), without overlap or modality among them, who each have one divine essence (ousia Greek οὐσία)—uncreated, immaterial and eternal. These three persons are typically distinguished by their relation to each other. The Father is eternal and not begotten and does not proceed from any, the Son is eternal and begotten of the Father, and the Holy Spirit is eternal and proceeds from the Father. Orthodox doctrine regarding the Trinity is summarised in the Nicene Creed.

In discussing God’s relationship to his creation, Orthodox theology distinguishes between God’s eternal essence, which is totally transcendent, and his uncreated energies, which is how he reaches humanity. The God who is transcendent and the God who touches mankind are one and the same. That is, these energies are not something that proceed from God or that God produces, but rather they are God himself: distinct, yet inseparable from God’s inner being. This view is often called Palamism.

In understanding the Trinity as “one God in three persons”, “three persons” is not to be emphasised more than “one God”, and vice versa. While the three persons are distinct, they are united in one divine essence, and their oneness is expressed in community and action so completely that they cannot be considered separately. For example, their salvation of mankind is an activity engaged in common: “Christ became man by the good will of the Father and by the cooperation of the Holy Spirit. Christ sends the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father, and the Holy Spirit forms Christ in our hearts, and thus God the Father is glorified.” Their “communion of essence” is “indivisible”. Trinitarian terminology—essence, hypostasis, etc.—are used “philosophically”, “to answer the ideas of the heretics”, and “to place the terms where they separate error and truth.” The words do what they can do, but the nature of the Trinity in its fullness is believed to remain beyond man’s comprehension and expression, a holy mystery that can only be experienced.

 

Sin, salvation, and the incarnation

According to the Eastern Orthodox faith, at some point in the beginnings of human existence, humanity was faced with a choice: to learn the difference between good and evil through observation or through participation. The biblical story of Adam and Eve relates this choice by mankind to participate in evil, accomplished through disobedience to God’s command. Both the intent and the action were separate from God’s will; it is that separation that defines and marks any operation as sin. The separation from God caused the loss of (fall from) his grace, a severing of mankind from his creator and the source of his life. The end result was the diminishment of human nature and its subjection to death and corruption, an event commonly referred to as the “fall of man”.

When Orthodox Christians refer to fallen nature they are not saying that human nature has become evil in itself. Human nature is still formed in the image of God; humans are still God’s creation, and God has never created anything evil, but fallen nature remains open to evil intents and actions. It is sometimes said among Orthodox that humans are “inclined to sin”; that is, people find some sinful things attractive. It is the nature of temptation to make sinful things seem the more attractive, and it is the fallen nature of humans that seeks or succumbs to the attraction. Orthodox Christians reject the Augustinian position that the descendants of Adam and Eve are actually guilty of the original sin of their ancestors. But just as any species begets its own kind, so fallen humans beget fallen humans, and from the beginning of humanity’s existence people lie open to sinning by their own choice.

Since the fall of man, then, it has been mankind’s dilemma that no human can restore his nature to union with God’s grace; it was necessary for God to effect another change in human nature. Orthodox Christians believe that Christ Jesus was both God and Man absolutely and completely, having two natures indivisibly: eternally begotten of the Father in his divinity, he was born in his humanity of a woman, Mary, by her consent, through descent of the Holy Spirit. He lived on earth, in time and history, as a man. As a man he also died, and went to the place of the dead, which is Hades. But being God, neither death nor Hades could contain him, and he rose to life again, in his humanity, by the power of the Holy Spirit, thus destroying the power of Hades and of death itself. Through God’s participation in humanity, Christ’s human nature, perfected and unified with his divine nature, ascended into heaven, there to reign in communion with the Father and Holy Spirit.

By these acts of salvation, Christ provided fallen mankind with the path to escape its fallen nature. The Eastern Orthodox Church teaches that through baptism into Christ’s death, and a person’s death unto sin in repentance, with God’s help mankind can also rise with Christ into heaven, healed of the breach of man’s fallen nature and restored to God’s grace. To Orthodox Christians, this process is what is meant by “salvation,” which consists of the Christian life. The ultimate goal is theosis an even closer union with God and closer likeness to God than existed in the Garden of Eden. This process is called Deification or “God became man that man might become ‘god'”. However, it must be emphasised that Orthodox Christians do not believe that man becomes God in his essence, or a god in his own nature. More accurately, Christ’s salvific work enables man in his human nature to become “partakers of the Divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4); that is to say, man is united to God in Christ.

Through Christ’s destruction of Hades’ power to hold humanity hostage, he made the path to salvation effective for all the righteous who had died from the beginning of time—saving many, including Adam and Eve, who are remembered in the Church as saints.

The Eastern Orthodox reject the idea that Christ died to give God “satisfaction” as taught by Anselm, or as a punitive substitute as taught by the Reformers. Sin (separation from God, who is the source of all life) is its own punishment, capable of imprisoning the soul in an existence without life, without anything good, and without hope: hell by any measure. Life on earth is God’s gift, to give humankind opportunity to make their choice real: separation or union.

Resurrection of Christ

A 17th-century Russian Orthodox icon of the Resurrection
The Eastern Orthodox Church understands the death and resurrection of Jesus to be real historical events, as described in the gospels of the New Testament. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is believed to, according to Orthodox teaching, in his humanity be (that is, in history) crucified, and died, descending into Hades (Sheol), the place of the dead, as all humans do. But he, alone among humans, has two natures, one human, one divine, which are indivisible and inseparable from each other through the mystery of the incarnation. Hades could not restrain the infinite God. Christ in his divine nature captured the keys of Hades and broke the bonds which had imprisoned the human souls who had been held there through their separation from God.

Neither could death contain the Son of God, the Fountain of Life, who arose from death even in his human nature. Not only this, but he opened the gates of Hades to all the righteous dead of past ages, rescuing them from their fallen human nature and restoring them to a nature of grace with God, bringing them back to life, this time in God’s heavenly kingdom. And this path he opened to all who choose to follow him in time yet to come, thus saving the human race. Thus the Eastern Orthodox proclaim each year at the time of Pascha (Easter), that Christ “trampled down death by death, and on those in the tombs bestowed life.”

The celebration of the Resurrection of Christ at Pascha is the central event in the liturgical year of the Eastern Orthodox Church. According to Orthodox tradition, each human being may partake of this immortality, which would have been impossible without the Resurrection; it is the main promise held out by God in the New Testament. Every holy day of the Eastern Orthodox liturgical year relates to the Resurrection directly or indirectly. Every Sunday is especially dedicated to celebrating the Resurrection and the triune God, representing a mini-Pascha. In the liturgical commemorations of the Passion of Christ during Holy Week there are frequent allusions to the ultimate victory at its completion.

 

Oriental Orthodox Church – (82 million members) 

Theology and ecclesiology
The Oriental Orthodox Churches are distinguished by their recognition of only the first three ecumenical councils during the period of the State church of the Roman Empire—the First Council of Nicaea in 325, the First Council of Constantinople in 381 and the Council of Ephesus in 431.

Oriental Orthodoxy shares much theology and many ecclesiastical traditions with the Eastern Orthodox Church; these include a similar doctrine of salvation and a tradition of collegiality between bishops, as well as reverence of the Theotokos and use of the Nicene Creed.

The primary theological difference between the two communions is the differing Christology. Oriental Orthodoxy rejects the Chalcedonian Definition, and instead adopts the miaphysite formula, believing that the human and divine natures of Christ are united. Historically, the early prelates of the Oriental Orthodox Churches thought that the Chalcedonian Definition implied a possible repudiation of the Trinity or a concession to Nestorianism.

The break in communion between the Imperial Roman and Oriental Orthodox churches did not occur suddenly, but rather gradually over 2-3 centuries following the Council of Chalcedon. Eventually the two communions developed separate institutions, and the Oriental Orthodox did not participate in any of the later ecumenical councils.

The Oriental Orthodox Churches maintain their own ancient apostolic succession. The various churches are governed by holy synods, with a primus inter pares bishop serving as primate. The primates hold titles like patriarch, catholicos, and pope. The Alexandrian Patriarchate, the Antiochian Patriarchate along with Rome, was one of the most prominent sees of the early Christian Church.

Oriental Orthodoxy does not have a magisterial leader like the Roman Catholic Church, nor does the communion have a leader who can convene ecumenical synods like the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Non-Chalcedonian Christology
Main articles: History of Oriental Orthodoxy § Chalcedonian Schism, and Non-Chalcedonianism
The schism between Oriental Orthodoxy and the adherents of Chalcedonian Christianity was based on differences in Christology. The First Council of Nicaea, in 325, declared that Jesus Christ is God, that is to say, “consubstantial” with the Father. Later, the third ecumenical council, the Council of Ephesus, declared that Jesus Christ, though divine as well as human, is only one being, or person (hypostasis). Thus, the Council of Ephesus explicitly rejected Nestorianism, the Christological doctrine that Christ was two distinct beings, one divine (the Logos) and one human (Jesus), who happened to inhabit the same body. The churches that later became Oriental Orthodoxy were firmly anti-Nestorian, and therefore strongly supported the decisions made at Ephesus.

Twenty years after Ephesus, the Council of Chalcedon reaffirmed the view that Jesus Christ was a single person, but at the same time declared that this one person existed “in two complete natures”, one human and one divine. Those who opposed Chalcedon saw this as a concession to Nestorianism, or even as a conspiracy to convert the Christian Church to Nestorianism by stealth. As a result, over the following decades, they gradually separated from communion with those who accepted the Council of Chalcedon, and formed the body that is today called the Oriental Orthodox Churches.

At times, Chalcedonian Christians have referred to the Oriental Orthodox as being monophysites—that is to say, accusing them of following the teachings of Eutyches (c. 380 – c. 456), who argued that Jesus Christ was not human at all, but only divine. Monophysitism was condemned as heretical alongside Nestorianism, and to accuse a church of being monophysite is to accuse it of falling into the opposite extreme from Nestorianism. However, the Oriental Orthodox themselves reject this description as inaccurate, having officially condemned the teachings of both Nestorius and Eutyches. They define themselves as miaphysite instead, holding that Christ has one nature, but this nature is both human and divine.

Modern alignments
Today, Oriental Orthodox Churches are in full communion with each other, but not with the Eastern Orthodox Church or any other churches; the Oriental Orthodox Churches while in communion do not form a single church as the Catholics or Eastern Orthodox. Slow dialogue towards restoring communion between the two Orthodox groups began in the mid-20th century, and dialogue is also underway between Oriental Orthodoxy and the Catholic Church and others. In 2017, the mutual recognition of baptism was restored between the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and the Catholic Church. Also baptism is mutually recognized between the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Catholic Church.

The Oriental Orthodox Churches are generally considered to be more conservative with regard to social issues as well as enthusiastic about ecumenical relations with non-Orthodox Christian Churches. All Oriental Orthodox Churches are members of the World Council of Churches.

 

Anglicanism – (85 millions members) 

“Catholic and reformed”
The distinction between Reformed and Catholic, and the coherence of the two, is a matter of debate within the Anglican Communion. The Oxford Movement of the mid-19th century revived and extended doctrinal, liturgical, and pastoral practices similar to those of Roman Catholicism. This extends beyond the ceremony of high church services to even more theologically significant territory, such as sacramental theology (see Anglican sacraments). While Anglo-Catholic practices, particularly liturgical ones, have become more common within the tradition over the last century, there are also places where practices and beliefs resonate more closely with the evangelical movements of the 1730s (see Sydney Anglicanism).

 

Guiding principles

Richard Hooker (1554–1600), one of the most influential figures in shaping Anglican theology and self-identity.
For high-church Anglicans, doctrine is neither established by a magisterium, nor derived from the theology of an eponymous founder (such as Calvinism), nor summed up in a confession of faith beyond the ecumenical creeds (such as the Lutheran Book of Concord). For them, the earliest Anglican theological documents are its prayer books, which they see as the products of profound theological reflection, compromise, and synthesis. They emphasise the Book of Common Prayer as a key expression of Anglican doctrine. The principle of looking to the prayer books as a guide to the parameters of belief and practice is called by the Latin name lex orandi, lex credendi (“the law of prayer is the law of belief”).

Within the prayer books are the fundamentals of Anglican doctrine: the Apostles’ and Nicene creeds, the Athanasian Creed (now rarely used), the scriptures (via the lectionary), the sacraments, daily prayer, the catechism, and apostolic succession in the context of the historic threefold ministry. For some low-church and evangelical Anglicans, the 16th-century Reformed Thirty-Nine Articles form the basis of doctrine.

 

Distinctives of Anglican belief
The Thirty-Nine Articles played a significant role in Anglican doctrine and practice. Following the passing of the 1604 canons, all Anglican clergy had to formally subscribe to the articles. Today, however, the articles are no longer binding, but are seen as a historical document which has played a significant role in the shaping of Anglican identity. The degree to which each of the articles has remained influential varies.

On the doctrine of justification, for example, there is a wide range of beliefs within the Anglican Communion, with some Anglo-Catholics arguing for a faith with good works and the sacraments. At the same time, however, some evangelical Anglicans ascribe to the Reformed emphasis on sola fide (“faith alone”) in their doctrine of justification (see Sydney Anglicanism). Still other Anglicans adopt a nuanced view of justification, taking elements from the early Church Fathers, Catholicism, Protestantism, liberal theology, and latitudinarian thought.

Arguably, the most influential of the original articles has been Article VI on the “sufficiency of scripture”, which says that “Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.” This article has informed Anglican biblical exegesis and hermeneutics since earliest times.

Anglicans look for authority in their “standard divines” (see below). Historically, the most influential of these – apart from Cranmer – has been the 16th-century cleric and theologian Richard Hooker, who after 1660 was increasingly portrayed as the founding father of Anglicanism. Hooker’s description of Anglican authority as being derived primarily from scripture, informed by reason (the intellect and the experience of God) and tradition (the practices and beliefs of the historical church), has influenced Anglican self-identity and doctrinal reflection perhaps more powerfully than any other formula. The analogy of the “three-legged stool” of scripture, reason, and tradition is often incorrectly attributed to Hooker. Rather, Hooker’s description is a hierarchy of authority, with scripture as foundational and reason and tradition as vitally important, but secondary, authorities.

Finally, the extension of Anglicanism into non-English cultures, the growing diversity of prayer books, and the increasing interest in ecumenical dialogue have led to further reflection on the parameters of Anglican identity. Many Anglicans look to the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral of 1888 as the sine qua non of communal identity. In brief, the quadrilateral’s four points are the scriptures as containing all things necessary to salvation; the creeds (specifically, the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds) as the sufficient statement of Christian faith; the dominical sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion; and the historic episcopate.

 

Episcopal Church in the U.S.A. (2.4 million members)

At the center of Episcopal belief and practice are the life, teachings and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The doctrine of the Episcopal Church is found in the canon of scripture as understood in the Apostles’ and Nicene creeds and in the sacramental rites, the ordinal and catechism of the Book of Common Prayer. Some of these teachings include:

Belief that human beings “are part of God’s creation, made in the image of God.”
Belief that sin has corrupted human nature, “thus distorting our relationship with God, with other people, and with all creation.”
The doctrines of the Incarnation and Resurrection of Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ is fully human and fully God.
Jesus provides forgiveness of sin and the way of eternal life for those who believe and are baptized.
The Trinity: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit are one God in three distinct persons, collectively called the Holy Trinity (“three and yet one”).
The Holy Scriptures, commonly called the Bible, consist of the Old Testament and the New Testament and were written by people “under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.” The Apocrypha are additional books that are used in Christian worship, but not for the formation of doctrine.
The two great and necessary sacraments are Baptism and Holy Communion (the latter is also called the Eucharist and the Lord’s Supper) Infant baptism is practiced and encouraged.
Other sacraments are confirmation, ordination, marriage, confession, and unction.
A general belief in Heaven, Hell and Jesus’ return in glory.
Emphasis on living out the Great Commandment to love God and neighbor fully.
Belief in an episcopal form of church government and in the offices and ministries of the early church, namely the threefold order of bishops, priests and deacons; both men and women are eligible for ordination to the clergy. Clergy are permitted to marry.
Belief that the Episcopal and wider Anglican bishops continue the apostolic tradition of the ancient church.
Emphasis on personal and corporate prayer, regular worship and observance of the ancient Church Year.
The full catechism is included in the Book of Common Prayer and is posted on the Episcopal website.

In practice, not all Episcopalians hold all of these beliefs, but ordained clergy are required to “solemnly engage to conform” to this doctrine. The Episcopal Church follows the via media or “middle way” between Protestant and Roman Catholic doctrine and practices: that is both Catholic and Reformed. Although many Episcopalians identify with this concept, those whose convictions lean toward either evangelical Anglicanism or Anglo-Catholicism may not.

A broad spectrum of theological views is represented within the Episcopal Church. Some Episcopal members or theologians hold evangelical positions, affirming the authority of scripture over all. The Episcopal Church website glossary defines the sources of authority as a balance between scripture, tradition, and reason. These three are characterized as a “three-legged stool” which will topple if any one overbalances the other. It also notes

The Anglican balancing of the sources of authority has been criticized as clumsy or “muddy.” It has been associated with the Anglican affinity for seeking the mean between extremes and living the via media. It has also been associated with the Anglican willingness to tolerate and comprehend opposing viewpoints instead of imposing tests of orthodoxy or resorting to heresy trials.
This balance of scripture, tradition and reason is traced to the work of Richard Hooker, a 16th-century apologist. In Hooker’s model, scripture is the primary means of arriving at doctrine and things stated plainly in scripture are accepted as true. Issues that are ambiguous are determined by tradition, which is checked by reason. Noting the role of personal experience in Christian life, some Episcopalians have advocated following the example of the Wesleyan Quadrilateral of Methodist theology by thinking in terms of a “Fourth Leg” of “experience”. This understanding is highly dependent on the work of Friedrich Schleiermacher.

A public example of this struggle between different Christian positions in the church has been the 2003 consecration of Gene Robinson, an openly gay man living with a long-term partner. The acceptance/rejection of his consecration is motivated by different views on the understanding of scripture. This struggle has some members concerned that the church may not continue its relationship with the larger Anglican Church. Others, however, view this pluralism as an asset, allowing a place for both sides to balance each other.

Comedian and Episcopalian Robin Williams once described the Episcopal faith (and, in a performance in London, specifically the Church of England) as “Catholic Lite – same rituals, half the guilt”.

 

Nontrinitarianism – (36 million members) 

Christian apologists and other Church Fathers of the 2nd and 3rd centuries, having adopted and formulated the Logos Christology, considered the Son of God as the instrument used by the supreme God, the Father, to bring the creation into existence. Justin Martyr, Theophilus of Antioch, Hippolytus of Rome and Tertullian in particular state that the internal Logos of God (Gr. Logos endiathetos, Lat. ratio)—his impersonal divine reason—was begotten as Logos uttered (Gr. Logos prophorikos, Lat. sermo, verbum), becoming a person to be used for the purpose of creation.

The Encyclopædia Britannica (11th edition) states: “to some Christians the doctrine of the Trinity appeared inconsistent with the unity of God. … they therefore denied it, and accepted Jesus Christ, not as incarnate God, but as God’s highest creature by whom all else was created. … [this] view in the early Church long contended with the orthodox doctrine.” Although the nontrinitarian view eventually disappeared in the early Church and the Trinitarian view became an orthodox doctrine of modern Christianity, variations of the nontrinitarian view are still held by a small number of Christian groups and denominations.

Various views exist regarding the relationships between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Those who believe that Jesus is not God, nor absolutely equal to God, but was either God’s subordinate Son, a messenger from God, or prophet, or the perfect created human:Adoptionism (2nd century AD) holds that Jesus became divine at his baptism (sometimes associated with the Gospel of Mark) or at his resurrection (sometimes associated with Saint Paul and Shepherd of Hermas);
Arianism – Arius (AD c. 250 or 256–336) believed that the pre-existent Son of God was directly created by the Father, before all ages, and that he was subordinate to God the Father. Arius’ position was that the Son was brought forth as the very first of God’s creations, and that the Father later created all things through the Son. Arius taught that in the creation of the universe, the Father was the ultimate creator, supplying all the materials and directing the design, while the Son worked the materials, making all things at the bidding and in the service of God, by which “through [Christ] all things came into existence”. Arianism became the dominant view in some regions in the time of the Roman Empire, notably the Visigoths until 589. The Third Council of Sirmium in 357 was the high point of Arianism. The Seventh Arian Confession (Second Sirmium Confession) held that both homoousios (of one substance) and homoiousios (of similar substance) were unbiblical and that the Father is greater than the Son (this confession was later known as the Blasphemy of Sirmium): “But since many persons are disturbed by questions concerning what is called in Latin substantia, but in Greek ousia, that is, to make it understood more exactly, as to ‘coessential,’ or what is called, ‘like-in-essence,’ there ought to be no mention of any of these at all, nor exposition of them in the Church, for this reason and for this consideration, that in divine Scripture nothing is written about them, and that they are above men’s knowledge and above men’s understanding”;
Psilanthropism – Ebionites (1st to 4th centuries AD) observed Jewish law, denied the virgin birth and regarded Jesus as a prophet only;
Socinianism – Photinus taught that Jesus was the sinless Messiah and redeemer, and the only perfect human son of God, but that he had no pre-human existence. They interpret verses such as John 1:1 to refer to God’s “plan” existing in God’s mind before Christ’s birth;
Unitarianism views Jesus as the son of God, subordinate and distinct from his Father;
Many Gnostic traditions held that the Christ is a heavenly Aeon but not one with the Father.
Those who believe that the Father, the resurrected Son and the Holy Spirit are different aspects of one God, as perceived by the believer, rather than three distinct persons:Modalism – Sabellius  stated that God took numerous forms in both the Hebrew and the Christian Greek Scriptures, and that God has manifested himself in three primary modes regarding the salvation of mankind. He contended that “Father, Son, and Spirit” were different roles played by the same divine person in various circumstances in history; thus God is Father in creation (God created a Son through the virgin birth), Son in redemption (God manifested himself as Jesus for the purpose of his death upon the cross), and Holy Spirit in regeneration (God’s Spirit within the Son and within the souls of Christian believers). In this view, God is not three distinct persons, but rather one person manifesting himself in multiple ways. Trinitarians condemn this view as a heresy. The chief critic of Sabellianism was Tertullian, who labeled the movement “Patripassianism”, from the Latin words pater for “father”, and passus from the verb “to suffer”, because it implied that the Father suffered on the cross. It was coined by Tertullian in his work Adversus Praxeas, Chapter I: “By this Praxeas did a twofold service for the devil at Rome: he drove away prophecy, and he brought in heresy; he put to flight the Paraclete, and he crucified the Father.” The term homoousion (ὁμοούσιον, literally same being) later adopted by the Trinitarian Nicene Council for its anti-Arian creed had previously been used by Sabellians.
Those who believe that Jesus Christ is Almighty God, but that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are actually three distinct almighty “Gods” with distinct natures, acting as one divine group, united in purpose:Tri-theism – John Philoponus, an Aristotelian and monophysite in Alexandria, in the middle of the 6th century, saw in the Trinity three separate natures, substances and deities, according to the number of divine persons. He sought to justify this view by the Aristotelian categories of genus, species and individuum. In the Middle Ages, Roscellin of Compiegne, the founder of Nominalism, argued for three distinct almighty Gods, with three distinct natures, who were one in mind and purpose, acting together as one divine group or godhead over the universe. He said, though, like Philoponus, that unless the three persons are tres res (three things with distinct natures), the whole Trinity must have been incarnate. And therefore, since only the Logos was made flesh, the other two persons must have had distinct “natures”, separate from the Logos, and so had to be separate and distinct Gods, though all three were one in divine work and plan. In this view, they would be considered “three Gods in one”. This notion was condemned by St. Anselm.
Those who believe that the Holy Spirit is not a person:Binitarianism – Adherents include those people through history who believed that God is only two co-equal and co-eternal persons, the Father and the Word, not three. They taught that the Holy Spirit is not a distinct person, but is the power or divine influence of the Father and Son, emanating out to the universe, in creation, and to believers;
Dualism;
Marcionism – Marcion (AD c. 110–160) believed there were two deities, one of creation and judgment (in the Hebrew Bible) and one of redemption and mercy (in the New Testament).

 

Jehovah’s Witnesses (7.7 million members) 

Sources of doctrine
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe their denomination is a restoration of first-century Christianity. Doctrines of Jehovah’s Witnesses are established by the Governing Body, which assumes responsibility for interpreting and applying scripture. The Governing Body does not issue any single, comprehensive “statement of faith”, but prefers to express its doctrinal position in a variety of ways through publications published by the Watch Tower Society. Their publications teach that doctrinal changes and refinements result from a process of progressive revelation, in which God gradually reveals his will and purpose, and that such enlightenment or “new light” results from the application of reason and study, the guidance of the holy spirit, and direction from Jesus Christ and angels. The Society also teaches that members of the Governing Body are helped by the holy spirit to discern “deep truths”, which are then considered by the entire Governing Body before it makes doctrinal decisions. The group’s leadership, while disclaiming divine inspiration and infallibility, is said to provide “divine guidance”

The entire Protestant canon of scripture is considered the inspired, inerrant word of God. Jehovah’s Witnesses consider the Bible to be scientifically and historically accurate and reliable and interpret much of it literally, but accept parts of it as symbolic. They consider the Bible to be the final authority for all their beliefs, although sociologist Andrew Holden’s ethnographic study of the group concluded that pronouncements of the Governing Body, through Watch Tower Society publications, carry almost as much weight as the Bible. Regular personal Bible reading is frequently recommended; Witnesses are discouraged from formulating doctrines and “private ideas” reached through Bible research independent of Watch Tower Society publications, and are cautioned against reading other religious literature. Adherents are told to have “complete confidence” in the leadership, avoid skepticism about what is taught in the Watch Tower Society’s literature, and “not advocate or insist on personal opinions or harbor private ideas when it comes to Bible understanding.” The organization makes no provision for members to criticize or contribute to official teachings of Jehovah

The Tetragrammaton
Jehovah’s Witnesses emphasize the use of God’s name, and they prefer the form Jehovah—a vocalization of God’s name based on the Tetragrammaton. They believe that Jehovah is the only true God, the creator of all things, and the “Universal Sovereign”. They believe that all worship should be directed toward him, and that he is not part of a Trinity; consequently, the group places more emphasis on God than on Christ. They believe that the Holy Spirit is God’s applied power or “active force”, rather than a person.

Jesus
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus is God’s only direct creation, that everything else was created through Christ by means of God’s power, and that the initial unassisted act of creation uniquely identifies Jesus as God’s “only-begotten Son”. Jesus served as a redeemer and a ransom sacrifice to pay for the sins of humanity. They believe Jesus died on a single upright post rather than the traditional cross. Biblical references to the Archangel Michael, Abaddon (Apollyon), and the Word are interpreted as names for Jesus in various roles. Jesus is considered to be the only intercessor and high priest between God and humanity, and appointed by God as the king and judge of his kingdom. His role as a mediator (referred to in 1 Timothy 2:5) is applied to the ‘anointed’ class, though the ‘other sheep’ are said to also benefit from the arrangement.

Satan
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Satan was originally a perfect angel who developed feelings of self-importance and craved worship. Satan influenced Adam and Eve to disobey God, and humanity subsequently became participants in a challenge involving the competing claims of Jehovah and Satan to universal sovereignty. Other angels who sided with Satan became demons.

Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that Satan and his demons were cast down to earth from heaven after October 1, 1914,[187] at which point the end times began. They believe that Satan is the ruler of the current world order,[186] that human society is influenced and misled by Satan and his demons, and that they are a cause of human suffering. They also believe that human governments are controlled by Satan,[188] but that he does not directly control each human ruler.[189]

Life after death
Main article: Jehovah’s Witnesses and salvation
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe death is a state of non-existence with no consciousness. There is no Hell of fiery torment; Hades and Sheol are understood to refer to the condition of death, termed the common grave. Jehovah’s Witnesses consider the soul to be a life or a living body that can die. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that humanity is in a sinful state, from which release is only possible by means of Jesus’ shed blood as a ransom, or atonement, for the sins of humankind.

Witnesses believe that a “little flock” of 144,000 selected humans go to heaven, but that the majority (the “other sheep”) are to be resurrected by God to a cleansed earth after Armageddon. They interpret Revelation 14:1–5 to mean that the number of Christians going to heaven is limited to exactly 144,000, who will rule with Jesus as kings and priests over earth. They believe that baptism as a Jehovah’s Witness is vital for salvation and that only they meet scriptural requirements for surviving Armageddon, but that God is the final judge. During Christ’s millennial reign, most people who died prior to Armageddon will be resurrected with the prospect of living forever; they will be taught the proper way to worship God to prepare them for their final test at the end of the millennium.

God’s Kingdom

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that God’s Kingdom is a literal government in heaven, ruled by Jesus Christ and 144,000 “spirit-anointed” Christians drawn from the earth, which they associate with Jesus’ reference to a “new covenant”. The kingdom is viewed as the means by which God will accomplish his original purpose for the earth, transforming it into a paradise without sickness or death. It is said to have been the focal point of Jesus’ ministry on earth. They believe the kingdom was established in heaven in 1914, and that Jehovah’s Witnesses serve as representatives of the kingdom on earth.

Eschatology
Main article: Eschatology of Jehovah’s Witnesses
A central teaching of Jehovah’s Witnesses is that the current world era, or “system of things”, entered the “last days” in 1914 and faces imminent destruction through intervention by God and Jesus Christ, leading to deliverance for those who worship God acceptably. They consider all other present-day religions to be false, identifying them with “Babylon the Great”, or the “harlot”, of Revelation 17, and believe that they will soon be destroyed by the United Nations, which they believe is represented in scripture by the scarlet-colored wild beast of Revelation chapter 17. This development will mark the beginning of the “great tribulation”. Satan will subsequently use world governments to attack Jehovah’s Witnesses, an action that will prompt God to begin the war of Armageddon, during which all forms of government and all people not counted as Christ’s “sheep” will be destroyed. After Armageddon, God will extend his heavenly kingdom to include earth, which will be transformed into a paradise similar to the Garden of Eden. Most of those who had died before God’s intervention will gradually be resurrected during the thousand year “judgment day”. This judgment will be based on their actions after resurrection rather than past deeds. At the end of the thousand years, Christ will hand all authority back to God. Then a final test will take place when Satan is released to mislead perfect mankind. Those who fail will be destroyed, along with Satan and his demons. The end result will be a fully tested, glorified human race on earth.

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus Christ began to rule in heaven as king of God’s kingdom in October 1914, and that Satan was subsequently ousted from heaven to the earth, resulting in “woe” to humanity. They believe that Jesus rules invisibly, from heaven, perceived only as a series of “signs”. They base this belief on a rendering of the Greek word parousia—usually translated as “coming” when referring to Christ—as “presence”. They believe Jesus’ presence includes an unknown period beginning with his inauguration as king in heaven in 1914, and ending when he comes to bring a final judgment against humans on earth. They thus depart from the mainstream Christian belief that the “second coming” of Matthew 24 refers to a single moment of arrival on earth to judge humans.

 

Mormonism (14,700,000) 

Nature of God
Main article: God in Mormonism
Like most other Christian groups, Mormonism teaches that there are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, but unlike trinitarian faiths, the LDS Church teaches that they are separate and distinct beings with the Father and Son having perfected physical bodies and the Holy Ghost having only a body of spirit. While the three beings are physically distinct, in Mormon theology they are one in thoughts, actions, and purpose and commonly referred to collectively as the “Godhead”. Also, Mormonism teaches that God the Father is the literal father of the spirits of all men and women, which existed prior to their mortal existence. The LDS Church also believes that a Heavenly Mother exists. Further, it is believed that all humans as children of God can become exalted, inheriting all that God has, as joint-heirs with Christ, and becoming like him as a God. Lorenzo Snow is quoted as saying “As man now is God once was: As God now is, man may be.”

Restoration

A depiction of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery receiving priesthood authority from John the Baptist
Main article: Restoration (Latter Day Saints)
Mormonism describes itself as falling within world Christianity, but as a distinct restored dispensation; it characterizes itself as the only true form of the Christian religion since the time of a Great Apostasy that began not long after the ascension of Jesus Christ. According to Mormons this Apostasy involved the corruption of the pure, original Christian doctrine with Greek and other philosophies, and followers dividing into different ideological groups. Additionally, Mormons claim the martyrdom of the Apostles led to the loss of Priesthood authority to administer the Church and its ordinances

Mormons believe that God re-established the early Christian Church as found in the New Testament through Joseph Smith. In particular, Mormons believe that angels such as Peter, James, John, and John the Baptist appeared to Joseph Smith and others and bestowed various Priesthood authorities on them. Mormons thus believe that their Church is the “only true and living church” because divine authority was restored to it through Smith. In addition, Mormons believe that Smith and his legitimate successors are modern prophets who receive revelation from God to guide the church. They maintain that other religions have a portion of the truth and are guided by the light of Christ.

Cosmology
Main article: Mormon cosmology
Smith’s cosmology is laid out mostly in Smith’s later revelations and sermons, but particularly the Book of Abraham, the Book of Moses, and the King Follett discourse. Mormon cosmology presents a unique view of God and the universe, and places a high importance on human agency. In Mormonism, life on earth is just a short part of an eternal existence. Mormons believe that in the beginning, all people existed as spirits or “intelligences,” in the presence of God. In this state, God proposed a plan of salvation whereby they could progress and “have a privilege to advance like himself.” The spirits were free to accept or reject this plan, and a “third” of them, led by Satan rejected it. The rest accepted the plan, coming to earth and receiving bodies with an understanding that they would experience sin and suffering.

In Mormonism, the central part of God’s plan is the atonement of Jesus Christ. Mormons believe that one purpose of earthly life is to learn to choose good over evil. In this process, people inevitably make mistakes, becoming unworthy to return to the presence of God. Mormons believe that Jesus paid for the sins of the world and that all people can be saved through his atonement. Mormons accept Christ’s atonement through faith, repentance, formal covenants or ordinances such as baptism, and consistently trying to live a Christ-like life.

According to Mormon scripture, the Earth’s creation was not ex nihilo, but organized from existing matter. The Earth is just one of many inhabited worlds, and there are many governing heavenly bodies, including the planet or star Kolob, which is said to be nearest the throne of God.

Nestorianism – (.6 million members)

Nestorianism is a radical form of dyophysitism, differing from orthodox dyophysitism on several points, mainly by opposition to the concept of hypostatic union. It can be seen as the antithesis to Eutychian Monophysitism, which emerged in reaction to Nestorianism. Where Nestorianism holds that Christ had two loosely united natures, divine and human, Monophysitism holds that he had but a single nature, his human nature being absorbed into his divinity. A brief definition of Nestorian Christology can be given as: “Jesus Christ, who is not identical with the Son but personally united with the Son, who lives in him, is one hypostasis and one nature: human.” This contrasts with Nestorius’ own teaching that the Word, which is eternal, and the Flesh, which is not, came together in a hypostatic union, ‘Jesus Christ’, Jesus thus being both fully man and God, of two ousia (Ancient Greek: οὐσία) but of one prosopon. Both Nestorianism and Monophysitism were condemned as heretical at the Council of Chalcedon.

Nestorius developed his Christological views as an attempt to understand and explain rationally the incarnation of the divine Logos, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity as the man Jesus. He had studied at the School of Antioch where his mentor had been Theodore of Mopsuestia; Theodore and other Antioch theologians had long taught a literalist interpretation of the Bible and stressed the distinctiveness of the human and divine natures of Jesus. Nestorius took his Antiochene leanings with him when he was appointed Patriarch of Constantinople by Byzantine emperor Theodosius II in 428.

Nestorius’s teachings became the root of controversy when he publicly challenged the long-used title Theotokos[19] (“God-Bearer”) for Mary. He suggested that the title denied Christ’s full humanity, arguing instead that Jesus had two persons (dyoprosopism), the divine Logos and the human Jesus. As a result of this prosopic duality, he proposed Christotokos (Christ-Bearer) as a more suitable title for Mary.

Nestorius’ opponents found his teaching too close to the heresy of adoptionism – the idea that Christ had been born a man who had later been “adopted” as God’s son. Nestorius was especially criticized by Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, who argued that Nestorius’s teachings undermined the unity of Christ’s divine and human natures at the Incarnation. Some of Nestorius’s opponents argued that he put too much emphasis on the human nature of Christ, and others debated that the difference that Nestorius implied between the human nature and the divine nature created a fracture in the singularity of Christ, thus creating two Christ figures. Nestorius himself always insisted that his views were orthodox, though they were deemed heretical at the Council of Ephesus in 431, leading to the Nestorian Schism, when churches supportive of Nestorius and the rest of the Christian Church separated. A more elaborate Nestorian theology developed from there, which came to see Christ as having two natures united, or hypostases, the divine Logos and the human Christ. However, this formulation was never adopted by all churches termed “Nestorian”. Indeed, the modern Assyrian Church of the East, which reveres Nestorius, does not fully subscribe to Nestorian doctrine, though it does not employ the title Theotokos.

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