Full Gospel And United Pentecostal Churches essay example

1,552 words
When Christianity began, it was one religion with one denomination. Now it has grown into one of the main world religions with many different denominations. Over the years, as one church split from another and opposition became common, the beliefs began to change, though the core has still remained. Fifteen of the most common Christian denominations follow, with their similarities and differences exposed. In all Christian churches certain rituals are present. However, what they are called and how many are recognized tends to vary.

Both ROMAN and ORTHODOX CATHOLICS recognize seven sacraments. EPISCOPALIANS and LUTHERANS accept only two sacraments officially, Baptism and Holy Communion, but they recognize the other five "Catholic" sacraments as special graces. Both the PRESBYTERIAN and REFORMED churches strictly accept Baptism and Holy Communion as the only sacraments. Methodists, Nazarenes, Wesleyans, and Adventist, and members of the CHURCH OF CHRIST, FULL GOSPEL CHURCH, ASSEMBLY OF GOD, and UNITED PENTECOSTAL CHURCH also accept only Baptism and Holy Communion, but refer to them as ordinances, not sacraments. BAPTISTS also believe in these two ordinances, and they very strongly resist the use of the term "sacrament". Though all the Christian denominations practice Baptism, they disagree on when they should do so.

ROMAN CATHOLIC, EPISCOPALIAN, LUTHERAN, PRESBYTERIAN, REFORMED, and METHODIST churches baptize both infants and adult converts. Baptism is prior to Confirmation, which typically occurs between the ages of 12 and 16. In the REFORMED CHURCH, Confirmation is optional and very flexible. The ORTHODOX CATHOLICS, NAZARENES, WESLEYANS, BAPTISTS, ADVENTISTS, and members of the CHURCH OF CHRIST, FULL GOSPEL CHURCH, ASSEMBLY OF GOD, and UNITED PENTECOSTAL CHURCH believe in Baptism of believers only who have made a personal confession of faith. Both EPISCOPALIANS and members of the UNITE PENTECOSTAL CHURCH believe that baptism indicates a finalization to the salvation process.

In Baptisms, there are several different modes that may be used: prinking, pouring, and immersion. ROMAN CATHOLICS normally baptize by pouring or immersion, but may occasionally sprinkle. To EPISCOPALIANS and LUTHERANS the mode of Baptism does not matter. NAZARENES also may use all three methods, but immersion is the most prevalent. PRESBYTERIANS typically sprinkle but may use pouring. REFORMED and METHODIST churches usually use sprinkling, but the other modes may be used.

For ADVENTISTS, WESLEYANS, and members of the CHURCH OF CHRIST and ASSEMBLY OF GOD, the mode is usually immersion. Occasionally other methods might be used. The ORTHODOX, FULL GOSPEL, and UNITED PENTECOSTAL churches baptize by immersion only. BAPTISTS, too, use only immersion, which is one of the key ingredients of the BAPTIST tradition. Holy Communion is the other rite that all faiths have in common. However, there are a variety of viewpoints on this topic also.

Communion is practiced most often, which is once a week, in the CHURCH OF CHRIST, EPISCAPALIAN CHURCH, and the ROMAN and ORTHODOX CATHOLIC churches. The other groups wait longer. ROMAN and ORTHODOX CATHOLICS and EPISCOPALIANS believe that the Body and Blood of Christ are actually present in the Eucharist. LUTHERANS, however, confess that the Body and Blood of Christ are "in, with and under" the Elements but feel that the Body and Blood are "present in" the Elements. PRESBYTERIANS strongly reject the Catholic concept of the Elements being the actual Body and Blood of Christ and, like REFORMED and METHODIST Christians, Communion is recognized as a "Holy Sign". NAZARENES, WESLEYANS, BAPTISTS, and ADVENTISTS, as well as members of the FULL GOSPEL CHURCH, CHURCH OF CHRIST, ASSEMBLY OF GOD, and UNITED PENTECOSTAL CHURCH regard Communion as a remembrance and celebration of Christ's Death.

Each denomination has its own set of rituals, most of which are extremely diverse. ROMAN CATHOLICISM has a structured, liturgical form of worship and is one of the only Christian religions, excepting ORTHODOX CATHOLICS and EPISCOPALIANS, to allow the use of both statues and pictorial images as methods of focusing faith in worship. The ORTHODOX faith considers such a practice idolatry. They do, however, allow for the use of "icons", which are pictures.

EPISCOPALIANS, like ROMAN CATHOLICS, have a liturgical form of worship, though some congregations might allow for less formal services. Statues and pictures may be used in a small number of congregations, but it is not a common practice in most. In LUTHERAN, PRESBYTERIAN, and METHODIST churches, worship is usually quite liturgical and has few exceptions, where REFORMED and ADVENTIST worship is semi-liturgical. NAZARENE, WESLEYAN, BAPTIST, CHURCH OF CHRIST, FULL GOSPEL, ASSEMBLY OF GOD, and UNITED PENTECOSTAL worship is non-liturgical. The NAZARENE CHURCH accepts prophecy, but is against "tongues in worship". However, the FULL GOSPEL, ASSEMBLY OF GOD, and PENTECOSTAL CHURCHES believe that speaking in tongues is a result of the reception of the Holy Spirit.

In the CHURCH OF CHRIST, congregations do not use musical instruments in worship. Each different form of Christianity has its own belief about salvation. however, each one, with the exception of the CHURCH OF CHRIST, believes in the concept of original sin. The CHURCH OF CHRIST believes that all people sin of their own volition. Both ROMAN and ORTHODOX CATHOLICS believe salvation from sin is an intermixture of faith and works. EPISCAPALIANS, however, believe salvation is by faith alone, and all baptized individuals are assumed to be saved until they manifest a lifestyle that proves otherwise. LUTHERANS, PRESBYTERIANS, REFORMED CHRISTIANS, METHODISTS, NAZARENES, WESLEYANS, BAPTISTS, ADVENTISTS, UNITED PENTECOSTALS, and members of the CHURCH OF CHRIST, FULL GOSPEL CHURCH, and ASSEMBLY OF GOD believe salvation is by faith alone.

Members of the NAZARENE, WESLEYAN, UNITED PENTECOSTAL, and FULL GOSPEL churches, as well as the ASSEMBLY OF GOD, believe in the Doctrine of Holiness, which states that a person must live a holy and separate life if they are to be saved. EPISCAPALIAN, ROMAN CATHOLIC, and ORTHODOX CATHOLIC are the only Christian faiths that have ministers called priests; The others are called pastors. The ROMAN CATHOLIC faith is the only one whose ministers cannot marry. ORTHODOX CATHOLIC, EPISCAPALIAN, and LUTHERAN ministers have some status as earthly mediators, but PRESBYTERIAN, REFORMED, and METHODIST ministers are not usually accepted as mediators. Each church has a different person or group of authority to go to if necessary. The Pope is the highest authority in the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, and the Patriarch is the highest office in the ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH.

The Bishop or Archbishop is the highest authority in the EPISCAPALIAN, METHODIST, NAZARENE, and WESLEYAN CHURCHES. The LUTHERAN Church is largely governed by the local congregation with some issues being determined by a "bishop" or district representative. The PRESBYTERIAN and REFORMED CHURCHES are governed by a group of local pastors where no single individual or officer has power over any local assembly. In the ADVENTIST CHURCH, the local congregation has great authority but some issues are determined by a body consisting of local church ministers. In BAPTIST CHURCHES, CHURCHES OF CHRIST, FULL GOSPEL CHURCHES, ASSEMBLY OF GOD CHURCHES, and UNITED PENTECOSTAL CHURCHES, the local congregation has the final authority in church matters. All of these Christian divisions draw their beliefs and teachings from different places.

To ROMAN CATHOLICS, the Pope's writings are considered a reliable expression of official Church Doctrine and practice. ORTHODOX CATHOLIC believers typically accept the statements and Creeds associated with the seven Ecumenical Councils. EPISCAPALIANS use the "Book of Common Prayer" extensively in both private and corporate worship. The LUTHERAN doctrine is called the "Augsburg Confession". Traditionally, the PRESBYTERIANS accept the "Westminster Confession of Faith" as an authoritative guide for faith and practice.

For REFORMED CHRISTIANS, the Belgic Confession is the most generally accepted rule of doctrine. WESLEYANS rely on the writings of Wesley for explanation of doctrine and practice. BAPTISTS, NAZARENES, METHODISTS, ADVENTISTS, UNITED PENTECOSTALS, and members of the CHURCH OF CHRIST, FULL GOSPEL CHURCH, and the ASSEMBLY OF GOD consider the Bible the only final authority on faith and life. The issue of the dead is a very controversial issue in Christianity.

ROMAN CATHOLICS believe in praying for the dead and support a belief in Purgatory; few others share this belief. ORTHODOX CATHOLICS and EPISCOPALIANS pray for the dead, but they do not believe in Purgatory. In most other churches, though, such as the LUTHERAN, PRESBYTERIAN, REFORMED, and METHODIST, both prayers for the dead and any hint of Purgatory are strongly rejected. It is debatable which convictions came from the original Christians, and which, over the years, have become opinions.

As the world continues to grow and change, we will see more of this, and will watch more faiths emerge. BIBLIOGRAPHY Internet New Book of Knowledge, The. Grolier Inc. Danbury, Connecticut. 1991.

Vol. 3 pg. 286-295. New Book of Knowledge, The. Grolier Inc. Danbury, Connecticut. 1991. Vol. 5 pg. 45-47.

Grolier Inc. Danbury, Connecticut. 1991. Vol. 15 pg. 490-494 New Book of Knowledge, The. Grolier Inc. Danbury, Connecticut.

1991. Vol. 16 pg. 287-302,149-150


Connecticut. 1991.
Vol. 3 pg. 286-295. Grolier Inc. Danbury, Connecticut. 1991.
Vol. 5 pg. 45-47. Grolier Inc. Danbury, Connecticut. 1991.
Grolier Inc. Danbury, Connecticut. 1991.