Comparing Christian Denominations - Beliefs (Part 2)

01
of 10

Original Sin

  • Anglican/Episcopal - "Original sin standeth not in the following of Adam ... but it is the fault and corruption of the Nature of every man." 39 Articles Anglican Communion
  • Assembly of God - "Man was created good and upright; for God said, "Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness." However, man by voluntary transgression fell and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God." AG.org
  • Baptist - "In the beginning man was innocent of sin ... By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and inherited a nature and an environment inclined toward sin." SBC
  • Lutheran - "Sin came into the world by the fall of the first man ... By this Fall not only he himself, but also his natural offspring have lost the original knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, and thus all men are sinners already by birth..." LCMS
  • Methodist - "Original sin standeth not in the following of Adam (as the Pelagians do vainly talk), but it is the corruption of the nature of every man." UMC
  • Presbyterian - "Presbyterians believe the Bible when it says that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)" PCUSA
  • Roman Catholic - "... Adam and Eve committed a personal sin, but this sin affected the human nature that they would then transmit in a fallen state. It is a sin which will be transmitted by propagation to all mankind, that is, by the transmission of a human nature deprived of original holiness and justice." Catechism - 404

02
of 10

Salvation

  • Anglican/Episcopal - "We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by Faith, and not for our own works or deservings. Wherefore, that we are justified by Faith only, is a most wholesome Doctrine..." 39 Articles Anglican Communion
  • Assembly of God - "Salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God, according to the hope of eternal life." AG.org
  • Baptist - "Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer ... There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord." SBC
  • Lutheran - "Faith in Christ is the only way for men to obtain personal reconciliation with God, that is, forgiveness of sins ..." LCMS
  • Methodist - "We are accounted righteous before God only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by faith, and not for our own works or deservings. Wherefore, that we are justified by faith, only..." UMC
  • Presbyterian - "Presbyterians believe God has offered us salvation because of God's loving nature. It is not a right or a privilege to be earned by being "good enough," ... we are all saved solely by the grace of God ...Out of the greatest possible love and compassion God reached out to us and redeemed us through Jesus Christ, the only one who was ever without sin. Through Jesus' death and resurrection God triumphed over sin." PCUSA
  • Roman Catholic - Salvation is received by virtue of the sacrament of Baptism. It may be lost by mortal sin and may be regained by Penance. CE

03
of 10

Atonement for Sin

  • Anglican/Episcopal - "He came to be the Lamb without spot, who, by sacrifice of himself once made, should take away the sins of the world ..." 39 Articles Anglican Communion
  • Assembly of God - "Man's only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God." AG.org
  • Baptist - "Christ honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin." SBC
  • Lutheran - "Jesus Christ is therefore 'true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary,' true God and true man in one undivided and indivisible person. The purpose of this miraculous incarnation of the Son of God was that He might become the Mediator between God and men, both fulfilling the divine Law and suffering and dying in the place of mankind. In this manner God reconciled the whole sinful world unto Himself." LCMS
  • Methodist - "The offering of Christ, once made, is that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin but that alone." UMC
  • Presbyterian - "Through Jesus' death and resurrection God triumphed over sin." PCUSA
  • Roman Catholic - "By his death and Resurrection, Jesus Christ has "opened" heaven to us." Catechism - 1026

04
of 10

Free Will vs Predestination

  • Anglican/Episcopal - "Predestination to Life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby ... he hath constantly decreed by his counsel secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he hath chosen ... to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation ..." 39 Articles Anglican Communion
  • Assembly of God - "And on the basis of His foreknowledge believers are chosen in Christ. Thus God in His sovereignty has provided the plan of salvation whereby all can be saved. In this plan man's will is taken into consideration. Salvation is available to "whosoever will." AG.org
  • Baptist -"Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man ..." SBC
  • Lutheran - "...we reject ... the doctrine that conversion is wrought not by the grace and power of God alone, but in part also by the co-operation of man himself ... or anything else whereby man's conversion and salvation is taken out of the gracious hands of God and made to depend on what man does or leaves undone. We reject also the doctrine that man is able to decide for conversion through 'powers imparted by grace' ..." LCMS
  • Methodist - "The condition of man after the fall of Adam is such that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength and works, to faith, and calling upon God; wherefore we have no power to do good works ..." UMC
  • Presbyterian - "There is nothing that we can do to earn God's favor. Rather, our salvation comes from God alone. We are able to choose God because God first chose us." PCUSA
  • Roman Catholic - "God predestines no one to go to hell" Catechism - 1037 See also "Notion of Predestination" - CE

05
of 10

Can Salvation be Lost?

  • Anglican/Episcopal - "Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ's Body the Church. The bond which God establishes in Baptism is indissoluble." Book of Common Prayers (BCP) 1979, p. 298.
  • Assembly of God - Assembly of God Christians believe salvation can be lost. "The General Council of the Assemblies of God disapproves of the unconditional security position which holds that it is impossible for a person once saved to be lost." AG.org
  • Baptist - Baptists do not believe salvation can be lost. "All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end." SBC
  • Lutheran - Lutherans believe salvation can be lost when a believer does not persist in the faith. "... it is possible for a true believer to fall from faith, as Scripture itself soberly and repeatedly warns us ... A person may be restored to faith in the same way he or she came to faith ... by repenting of his or her sin and unbelief and trusting completely in the life, death and resurrection of Christ alone for forgiveness and salvation." LCMS
  • Methodist - Methodists do believe salvation can be lost. "God accepts my choice ... and continues to reach out to me with the grace of repentance to bring me back to the way of salvation and sanctification." UMC
  • Presbyterian - With reformed theology at the core of Presbyterian beliefs, the church teaches that a person who truly has been regenerated by God, will remain in God's stead. PCUSA, Reformed.org
  • Roman Catholic - Catholics do believe salvation can be lost. "The first effect of mortal sin in man is to avert him from his true last end, and deprive his soul of sanctifying grace." CE Final perseverance is a gift from God, but man must cooperate with the gift. CE

06
of 10

Works

  • Anglican/Episcopal - "Albeit that Good Works ... cannot put away our sins ... yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and do spring out necessarily of a true and lively Faith ..." 39 Articles Anglican Communion
  • Assembly of God - "Good works are very important to the believer. When we appear before the judgment seat of Christ, what we have done while in the body, whether good or bad, will determine our reward. But good works can only issue out of our right relationship with Christ." AG.org
  • Baptist - "All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society ... We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick ... " SBC
  • Lutheran - "Before God only those works are good which are done for the glory of God and the good of man, according to the rule of divine Law. Such works, however, no man performs unless he first believes that God has forgiven him his sins and has given him eternal life by grace ..." LCMS
  • Methodist - "Although good works ... cannot put away our sins ... they are pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and spring out of a true and lively faith ..." UMC
  • Presbyterian - Still researching Presbyterian position. Submit documented sources only to this email.
  • Roman Catholic - Works have merit. "An indulgence is obtained through the Church who ... intervenes in favor of individual Christians and opens for them the treasury of the metis of Christ and the saints to obtain from the Father of mercies the remission of the temporal punishments due for their sins. Thus the Church does not want simply to come to the aid of these Christians, but also to spur them to works of devotion ... (Indulgentarium Doctrina 5)." Catholic Answers

07
of 10

Heaven

  • Anglican/Episcopal - "By heaven, we mean eternal life in our enjoyment of God." BCP (1979), p. 862.
  • Assembly of God - "But human language is inadequate to describe either heaven or hell. The realities of both fall well beyond our most imaginative dreams. It is impossible to describe the glory and splendor of heaven ... heaven enjoys the total presence of God." AG.org
  • Baptist - "The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord." SBC
  • Lutheran - "Eternal, or everlasting, life ... is the end of faith, the ultimate object of a Christian's hope and striving ..." LCMS
  • Methodist - "John Wesley himself believed in an intermediate state between death and the final judgment, where those who rejected Christ would be aware of their coming doom ... and believers would share in the "bosom of Abraham" or "paradise," even continuing to grow in holiness there. This belief, however, is not formally affirmed in Methodist doctrinal standards, which reject the idea of purgatory but beyond that maintain silence on what lies between death and the last judgment." UMC
  • Presbyterian - "If there is a Presbyterian narrative about life after death, this is it: When you die, your soul goes to be with God, where it enjoys God's glory and waits for the final judgment. At the final judgment bodies are reunited with souls, and eternal rewards and punishments are handed out." PCUSA
  • Roman Catholic - "Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness." Catechism - 1024 "To live in heaven is "to be with Christ." Catechism - 1025

08
of 10

Hell

  • Anglican/Episcopal - "By hell, we mean eternal death in our rejection of God." BCP (1979), p. 862.
  • Assembly of God - "But human language is inadequate to describe either heaven or hell. The realities of both fall well beyond our most imaginative dreams. It is impossible to describe ... the terror and torment of hell ... Hell is a place where one will experience total separation from God ..." AG.org
  • Baptist - "The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment." SBC
  • Lutheran - "The doctrine of eternal punishment, repugnant to natural man, has been repudiated by errorists ... but is clearly revealed in Scripture. To deny this doctrine is to reject the authority of Scripture." LCMS
  • Methodist - "John Wesley himself believed in an intermediate state between death and the final judgment, where those who rejected Christ would be aware of their coming doom ... This belief, however, is not formally affirmed in Methodist doctrinal standards, which reject the idea of purgatory but beyond that maintain silence on what lies between death and the last judgment." UMC
  • Presbyterian - "The only official Presbyterian statement that includes any comment on hell since the 1930s is a 1974 paper on universalism adopted by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States. It warns of judgment and promises hope, acknowledging that these two ideas seem to be "in tension or even in paradox." In the end, the statement concedes, how God works redemption and judgment is a mystery." PCUSA
  • Roman Catholic - "To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God's merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self- exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called "hell." Catechism - 1033

09
of 10

Purgatory

  • Anglican/Episcopal - Denies: "The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory ... is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God." 39 Articles Anglican Communion
  • Assembly of God - Denies. Still researching Assembly of God position. Submit documented sources only to this email.
  • Baptist - Denies. Still researching Baptist position. Submit documented sources only to this email.
  • Lutheran - Denies: "Lutherans have always rejected the traditional Roman Catholic teaching regarding purgatory because 1) we can find no Scriptural basis for it, and 2) it is inconsistent, in our view, with the clear teaching of Scripture that after death the soul goes directly either to heaven (in the case of a Christian) or hell (in the case of a non-Christian), not to some "intermediate" place or state." LCMS
  • Methodist - Denies: "The Romish doctrine concerning purgatory ... is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warrant of Scripture, but repugnant to the Word of God." UMC
  • Presbyterian - Denies. Still researching Presbyterian position. Submit documented sources only to this email.
  • Roman Catholic - Affirms: "All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven ...The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned." Catechism 1030-1031

10
of 10

End Times

  • Anglican/Episcopal - "We believe Christ will come in glory and judge the living and the dead ... God will raise us from death in the fullness of our being, that we may live with Christ in the communion of the saints." BCP (1979), p. 862.
  • Assembly of God - "The resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ and their translation together with those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord is the imminent and blessed hope of the church." AG.org Read more.
  • Baptist - "God, in His own time ... will bring the world to its appropriate end ... Jesus Christ will return ... to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men ... The unrighteous will be consigned to ... everlasting punishment. The righteous ... will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven ...." SBC
  • Lutheran - "We reject every type of millennialism ... that Christ will return visibly to this earth a thousand years before the end of the world and establish a dominion ..." LCMS
  • Methodist - "Christ did truly rise again from the dead, and took again his body ... wherewith he ascended into heaven ... until he returns to judge all men at the last day." UMC
  • Presbyterian - "Presbyterians have clear teaching ... about the end of the world. These come under the theological category of eschatology ... But fundamental ... is a rejection of idle speculation about the "end times." Certainty that God's purposes will be fulfilled is enough for Presbyterians. PCUSA
  • Roman Catholic - "At the end of time, the Kingdom of God will come in its fullness. After the universal judgment, the righteous will reign for ever with Christ ... The universe itself will be renewed: The Church . . . will receive her perfection ... At that time, together with the human race, the universe itself ... will be perfectly re-established in Christ." Catechism - 1042