Why so many Christian denominations?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by MikeS, Aug 28, 2003.

  1. MikeS

    MikeS
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    Or, to put the question another way,

    Why aren't there 33,000 Buddhist sects?
    Why aren't there 33,000 Hindu sects?
    Why aren't there 33,000 Shinto sects?
    Why aren't there 33,000 Moslem sects?
    Why aren't there 33,000 Confucian sects?

    Why is Christianity so vastly more fragmented than any other world religion?

    My own suspicion is that Satan targets the true religion with much greater vigor than he targets false religions. It's like using radar "chaff." If you can't hide the true Church, you can at least put 33,000 other churches on the religious radar screen, to sow as much confusion and doubt as possible.
     
  2. Eladar

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    One should not judge a Christian by the name on the building.
     
  3. MikeS

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    I'm not judging anybody, I'm asking why Christians have felt the need to put 33,000 different names on their buildings, and why no other major religion has this "need."
     
  4. Hardsheller

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    An excellent question and one I would constantly use as my main excuse were I not a Christian.
     
  5. mioque

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    Actually Islam is also a fragmented religion.
    And the same can be said about Buddhism and Hinduism.
     
  6. GraceSaves

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    Islam is split a few ways, but nothing like Christianity. Their splits are big, while some of ours are big, and some of our seem incredibly small. I think you and I will agree that the "30,000" number or whatever number it is (which is nonetheless a huge number) is because of splits over tiny issues.
     
  7. mioque

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    Buddhism for example contains at least 4 broad movements (Theravada, Mahayana, Zen and Tibetan Buddhism) that can be sub-divided into many more.
    Islam isn't doing any better. (Sunni, Shi'a, Amadiya, ibadhi and the black muslim movement in the USA).
    Christianity (Catholic, Eastern-Orthodox, Oriental-Orthodox and Protestant).
     
  8. MikeS

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    But do they have 10s of thousands of sects? And furthermore, are these sects deliberate split-offs or new startups, or are they just the result of long-separate groups slowly evolving differently?
     
  9. mioque

    mioque
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    Gracesaves
    The simple fact that you don't notice the smaller splits does not mean that they aren't there. If there is one thing I learned during my comparative religion lessons, it is the fact that all of the larger religions in the world are anything but monolithic.
     
  10. mioque

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    "But do they have 10s of thousands of sects?"
    Hinduism probably has. The others either hide their splintered nature better (Islam), or are to small (Judaism) to have so many factions.


    "And furthermore, are these sects deliberate split-offs or new startups, or are they just the result of long-separate groups slowly evolving differently? "
    Both, just like Christianity.

    You could claim that each independant fundie baptist church is a seperate denomination, but I think this is kind of silly.
     
  11. Kamoroso

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    2 Tim 4:1-4
    1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
    2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
    3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
    4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.


    II Th 2:9-12
    9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
    10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
    11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
    12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.


    Bye for now. Y. b. in C. Keith
     
  12. MikeS

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    I'll have to go off and ask on some of the newsgroups about the number of sects in these other religions, because I've never heard that there might be 10s of thousands of them.

    I agree about each church not being a separate denomination. I'm talking about differences of doctrine or interpretation.
     
  13. mioque

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    "I'm talking about differences of doctrine or interpretation."
    Such differences are quite often minimal. At least among certain branches of the reformation.
    If Roman Catholicism had the same attitude as certain Calvinist churches in my country there would be 300.000 denominations instead of 30.000.
    It all depends on what you describe as a seperate denomination.
    Personally I'd say that dozens of different branches in Christianity is more accurate description then 30.000 different denominations.
     
  14. DHK

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    Quite true Mioque,
    What the Catholics do not like to admit, and in fact will in most cases vehenmently deny is that they themselves are quite fragmented. Among the Catholics, just as among the protestants there are conservatives and liberals; charismatics and non-charismatics; literate and illiterate; superstitious and non-superstitiuos; eastern and western; and within some of these there are sects of Catholics that they don't want to even talk about. The Catholics are very fragmented, but don't want to admit it.

    On the other hand, they won't admit how unified the evangleical protestant churches really are in their doctrine. I do sress the word evangelical. We all believe the same gospel, unlike the Catholic church which believes another gospel.
    DHK
     
  15. Ray Berrian

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    We all believe the same gospel, unlike the Catholic church which believes another gospel.

    Ray is saying, 'Yes and amen.' The other people make the other gospel look like a piece of rusty and twisted metal at the junk yard, because of their insistence as to their pet historical and ecclesiastical traditions.'

    The Word is God,[John 1:1-2] both written for us down here and living spiritually above in Heaven.
     
  16. Johnv

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    And Judaism as well. In the US, there are several Jewish "denominations". Most Jews in the US are Orthodox or Reformed jews.

    Insterestingly, Mormonism is also a fradmented religion. There's the LDS and the Reorganized LDS. There are also a handful of Mormon sects that attempt "Amish-like" lifestyles.
     
  17. mioque

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    "The Catholics are very fragmented, but don't want to admit it."
    Comparing Franciscan spirituality to Jesuit spirituality for example will show differences serious enough to cause a split in many Protestants churches.
     

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