Different Denominations

Catholic church in St. Louis. Source: Michael Butler

When Christianity began, it started small before growing into many different denominations by the number of people that are in these denominations today. Catholic, Orthodox and Methodist make up the three largest denominations in the Christian faith. The biggest Christian denomination in the world is Catholic. According to BBC News, “There are an estimated 1.2 billion Roman Catholics in the world.” The Orthodox Church has the second largest amount of people in the world. According to US news, “around 260 million people in the world today identify themselves as Christian Orthodox.” The Orthodox Church tries to keep the old tradition of the early church. Greenville University is a Free Methodist institution, which is a type of Methodist denomination. According to a student Kait Mathews, ”all men and women are equal.” This is a major aspect of being a Free Methodist. The Methodist population according to UM news is “12.5 million.” This is mind blowing because there are so many people in the world who believe in Christ.

Source: Bible Project

One of the Catholic beliefs is that the priest teaches the Bible to the people with full authority and they use the extra book to the cannon called Apocrypha. They also believe that every service should have communion. One notable thing is that they believed the Virgin Mary did not die, she was simply taken up to heaven. According to Janice Betscher, who has been a Catholic her whole life, “confessing to the priest is dying in her own opinion” which is a big tradition in the church. I used to be Catholic when I was in third grade, and I did confess my sins to the priest at the time. I felt really uncomfortable because I did not have a close relationship with the priest. Also, the Catholic Church makes you go through PSR, which is learning how to be Catholic. Until you go through that, you can’t take communion. They believe the Holy Spirit comes from the Father and Son.

Source: Ascension Presents

The Orthodox Church believes that Mary died and three days later was taken into Heaven. According to Professor Lori Gaffner, the “Orthodox like to follow the early church tradition as close as they can.” The Orthodox Church doesn’t believe that the priest should have complete power over how the Bible should be read as the Catholics do. For the Orthodox Church, you start taking communion right after you are baptized into the church. The Orthodox have a lot of icons in their church, and in addition to this, the bishop can get married while the Catholic pope cannot. According to Professor Gaffner, “the Holy Spirit comes from the Father alone, this is not what Catholics believe. They believe it comes from the Father and Son.” Theses two denominations have two very different belief systems.

Orthodox church in St. Louis
Source: Michael Butler

The Methodist Church believes that women can be pastors in the church, because all people are created equal. The people have authority over the Bible, and this denomination rejects the Catholic beliefs about the Virgin Mary. We are all saved by God’s grace freely. God gave us free will and it is seen as a gift from Him. Anyone can take communion, even if you are not a Methodist.  



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