An acceptance of Jesus as Messiah, the Son of God, is central to Christian faith, and is Christianity's "basic doctrine".
Many divergent traditions and structures that have emerged over the centuries as the result of disagreements over doctrine
and practice; in part, because the role and teachings of Jesus himself remain, after two millennia, a fundamental mystery.
At first, the Church was in disagreement between the Roman/Latin and Greek members. This conflict created the Greek Orthodox
or Eastern Orthodox Church and the Western or Catholic Church.
The Eastern Orthodox Church concentrated in the Middle East and Russia and is now often refered to as the Ukranian Church.
The Catholic Church grew and spread much more rapidly through Europe and became a large world power. There came calls for
change as a result of some abuses of this power, and there became the Protestant Reformation
Easter is the most important Christian holiday.
In the Catholic belief Easter was so important that if you did not attend Mass during the Easter Season you were ExCommunicated.
As of this writing, Easter (or Pascha) is celebrated according to one calendar tradition among believers in the West, and
another among Orthodox believers.
Along with Easter, other important Christian observances include Christmas, Epiphany, Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, Pentecost,
and the Feast of the Assumption.
In addition to the major holidays discussed here, Christianity is enriched by many variant traditions within the manifold
expressions of the faith.
Roman Catholics believe that Jesus was the son of God.
There are sacraments: baptism, confirmation, the Eucharist (shring the body and blood of Christ during Holy Communion), penance/confession,
the anointing of the sick, marriage, and holy orders for those living the clergy life.
The Church is of divine revelation. The Pope is the spiritual authority and the bishops of the Church have been assigned
earthly domination over the spiritual matters of the church.
The Human Soul is immortal. God is objective and exists in trinity: The Father, The Son, and the Holy Ghost.
The Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, is the mother and saviour of all humankind who is above sin.
More information? Try Catholic Answers Home Page and The Catholic Encyclopedia.
From a single point of origin, the European religious revolutions, the religions designated as "Protestant" form the most
diverse strand of the three great divisions within Christianity. The variety can be more than a little intimidating, because
the collection of Protestant views presents a rich profusion of Bible-based traditions. The authors respect and honor the
validity and devotion of the many Protestant traditions, not all of which can be identified here.
"Protestantism" is an umbrella term for a set of traditions that came into existence after the Reformations. If there is a
single common thread among the traditions in this group, It is probably rooted in ideas of group autonomy and respect for
individual experience. It has been said, for example, that Catholics come to Christ through the church, while Protestants
come to the church through Christ.
This is not to say that most early Protestants believed in religious toleration and pluralism. (In the 16th and 17th centuries,
such ideas were reserved for the radical fringe.)
The guiding accents in the Protestant experience have been the formation of communities and the power of direct experience.
Protestants claim "the priesthood of all believers by which they assert that lay believers have the same access to God as
clergy-that all have a religious vocation, whether farmers, factory workers, parents, or ministers.
Two other fundamental doctrinal points set Protestant Christians apart from believers in the Roman Catholic tradition. The
Bible is regarded as the only source of infallible, received truth, and the believer is justified by God's grace, obtained
through his or her faith in Christ not by good deeds or the mediation of any religious institution.
In practice, the vast majority of Protestant denomination have also rejected the notion of clerical celibacy. A few, including
the shakers; advocated celibacy among all believers, relying on the recruitment of outsiders to perpetuate the faith.
Baptists: Baptists cherish and defend religious liberty, and deny the right of any secular or religious authority to impose
a confession of faith upon a church or body of churches. We honor the principles of soul competency and the priesthood of
believers, affirming together both our liberty in Christ and our accountability to each other under the Word of God.
The Unitarian Universalist Association, which includes both Christian and non-Christian members, is among the most open and
tolerant of Protestant religious traditions. Unitarian Universalists reject the doctrine of the Trinity, seeing Christ as
a great teacher, not a divine incarnation. They tend to avoid dogma as restrictive and even presumptuous, choosing to emphasize
inclusiveness and understanding rather than a specific religious creed.
The Episcopal Church is the American branch of the Anglican Communion. The Anglican Communion is an inheritor of 2000 years
of catholic and apostolic tradition dating from Christ himself, rooted in the Church of England. When the Church of England
spread throughout the British Empire, sister churches sprang up. These churches, while autonomous in their governance, are
bound together by tradition, Scripture, and the inheritance they have received from the Church of England. They together make
up the Anglican Communion, a body headed spiritually by the Archbishop of Canterbury and having some 80 million members, making
it the second largest Christian body in the world.
The Episcopal Church came into existence as an independent denomination after the American Revolution. Today it has between
two and three million members in the United States, Mexico, and Central America, all of which are under jurisdiction of the
Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Edmond Browning.
Bishops in the American Episcopal Church are elected by individual dioceses and are consecrated into the Apostolic Succession,
considered to witness to an unbroken line of Church leadership beginning with the Apostles themselves. For more than two decades
the American Episcopal Church has ordained women to the priesthood. In 1988 the Diocese of Massachusetts elected the first
Anglican woman bishop, Barbara Harris. ~ excerpt from the Rev Scott I Paradise from The Episcopal Church
The differences between the Catholic and Orthodox churches are more in the way they practice than in what they practice.
For example, Orthodox churches use leavened (yeast) bread in communion, while the Catholic church uses unleavened bread (like
matzoah or cracker) for communion. Orthodox priests may marry before they are ordained. The Orthodox church operates much
more independently between parishes than the Catholic church does, and there is not as much emphasis on the hierarchy of clergy.
The Christian Science movement, founded by Mary Baker Eddy, holds that the spiritual world is the true reality, compared to
which the material world is an illusion. Christian Scientists believe that sin and illness can be overcome by spiritual powers.
For this reason they tend to avoid medicines and medical procedures in favor of divine healing.
With Christians of other communions we confess belief in the triune God Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This confession embraces
the biblical witness to God's activity in creation, encompasses God's gracious self-involvement in the dramas of history,
and anticipates the consummation of d's reign.
The created order is designed for the well-being of all creatures and as the place of human dwelling in covenant with God.
As sinful creatures, however, we have broken that covenant, become estranged from God, wounded ourselves and one another,
and wreaked havoc throughout the natural order. We stand in need of redemption.~ from the UMC website
Download the entire Book of Mormon, courtesy of Project Guttenburg, here.
The Mormons are also called members of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints.
This may be your first experience with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or you may have had previous contact
with members of the Church. In either case, you have probably come to this Web site with some questions about the Church and
We are happy to give you some information about the organization of the Church and share some of our basic beliefs.
It is our hope that we can share something that will be of value to you in helping your life become happier and more meaningful.
Introduction to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
How can The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints help my life?
The Amish are usually known for their plain lifestyle and appearance. They are Christians and their lifestyle is based on
What are the basic beliefs of the Amish?
The Amish believe that:
* The Bible is the inspired word of God
* There is one God eternally existing as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Romans 8:1-17).
* God loved the world so much that he gave his only son, Jesus, to die on the cross for the sins of the world.
* Through faith in the shed blood of Jesus we are reconciled to God.
* Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ, a free gift bestowed by God on those who repent and believe.
* As Christians, we should live as brothers
* The Holy Spirit convicts of sin, and also empowers believers for service and holy living.
* The church is separate from the State
* We are committed to peace.
* Faith calls for a lifestyle of discipleship and good works service and holy living.
One scripture often quoted in Amish worship services is:
Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable
and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2)
The Amish are admonished to live a life that is separate from the world.
Jehovah's Witnesses accept the Bible as factually true in every detail and anticipate the coming of God's kingdom after
the battle of Armageddon, which is considered imminent and which is expected to be followed by a thousand-year reign of Christ
on earth. Their beliefs stem from the Bible's statement:
Jehovah God had witnesses on earth during the thousands of years before Jesus was born. After Hebrews chapter 11 lists some
of those men of faith, Hebrews 12:1 says: "So, then, because we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us
also put off every weight and the sin that easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before
us." Jesus said before Pontius Pilate: "For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, that I should
bear witness to the truth." He is called "the faithful and true witness." (John 18:37; Revelation 3:14) Jesus told his disciples:
"You will receive power when the holy spirit arrives upon you, and you will be witnesses of me both in Jerusalem and in all
Judea and Samaria and to the most distant part of the earth."—Acts 1:8.
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