BIBLICAL CENTER FOR BIBLE STUDIES

God's love... "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (Joh 3:16)


  Is the traditional church dead?

TODAY,SHOULD A TRUE BELIEVER ATTEND CHURCH?




Here are some reasons that people think a true believer should go to church: 


1. Because it is an act of obedience to God and it honors the Lord's Day. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy (Ex. 20:8).


2. Because we need to belong to a community of faith that includes our brothers and sisters in Christ who are trying to live out the gospel just like we are.


3. Because we need a conscious break from work, family problems, and self interests in order to concentrate on the Lord. Church is a place where I can learn about the Bible


All right!

Now the next question is: Which church should the true believer go to?

Because many people are asking:

Who are right, Catholics, Protestants, or the others ?  Why there are many differences between their beliefs.  


We also heard:

"Many individuals stop attending their churches because the Gospel is not taught there, and they get fed up an disillusioned by "churchianity" and religion"
Probably "churchianity" stands for man-made gospel

Other people think that walking with Jesus Christ does not require a church or religion





                  Differences between Protestant and Catholic

PROTESTANT / MESSIANIC

CATHOLIC (official text)

The Old and New Testaments are the only sources of Christian doctrine.

(Messianic Judaism refers to these by their Hebrew names, Tanakh and B'rit Chadasha["New Covenant"])

Sources of doctrine include:

  • Certain papal declarations
  • Bishops in conjunction with the pope
  • Old Testament
  • New Testament
  • Apocrypha (some additions to the Bible)
  • Catholic Church Tradition
  • Catholic interpretation of the Bible

We are justified (saved) by faith alone, not by good works.  Good works will result in greater rewards in the afterlife but have no effect on getting saved. This "faith" means relying on Jesus' sacrifice as full atonement for our sins and trusting in God enough to try to live as he said to live. It is not mere intellectual belief in a set of facts.

When a person gets baptized his "original sin" is forgiven and God gives him some grace.  This grace enables him to do good works.  God appreciates the good works and rewards them with more grace.  Because the Christian has more grace, he can now do even better works. This pleases God even more, so He gives even more grace, etc.

Purgatory is totally unscriptural.  Christ's sacrifice on the Cross was the only offering necessary and the only offering sufficient to provide salvation.

There are two types of punishment after death: temporal (temporary) and eternal.  If a person dies with just one "mortal" sin on his soul he will be condemned to Hell for eternity.  If he dies with only "venial" sins on his soul he will be sent to Purgatory, perhaps for millions of years.

Purgatory is exactly like Hell except that it doesn't last forever.  Eventually, the person will be released and enter heaven.

"Mortal" sin is an extent of sin, a pervasiveness of sin, sinning as a way of life , sinning as a regular practice , not a single sin, Regardless of how serious sin that might be, eg, murder.

There are two types of sin: mortal and venial.

A particular sin is either mortal or venial, depending on the severity.  (For instance, stealing one dollar from a rich man would probably be a venial sin.)

See the box above for the consequences of Catholic mortal sin

Only God can forgive sins.

Catholic priests have been given the power to forgive sins, acting as representatives of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is Jesus' representative.

The pope is Jesus' representative on Earth.

The pope speaks for no one.

The pope speaks for all Christians.

It is clear from scripture that there was no "head" apostle in the New Testament churches. Paul expressly and publicly rebuked Peter, the alleged first pope, on one occasion.  There is no biblical or historical evidence that Peter was ever the bishop of Rome.

Anyone who denies the authority of the pope despises the one who (allegedly) appointed him (i.e., Christ) and therefore despises the one who sent Christ, (i.e., God the Father).

Mary had children by Joseph.  Jesus' brothers are expressly named: Joseph,. James, Simon, and Jude.

Mary remained a virgin her entire life. The Greek word can mean either "brother" or "close relative."  The Bible is talking about Jesus' cousins, not brothers.

This is totally unscriptural.

Mary was bodily assumed into heaven, like Elijah and Enoch.

This is totally unscriptural.

Mary is the "spiritual mother" of all men.

 



Differences between Mormons and Protestants

Religious Authority

All sacred texts equally, continuing revelations

Bible (all), ecumenical councils and creeds (Catholic and Orthodox), official papal pronouncements (Catholic), continuing revelations (Pentecostal)

Sacred Texts

Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price

Bible (some include Apocrypha)

Trinity

Rejected - Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three distinct beings who are "one in purpose"

Affirmed - Father, Son and Holy Spirit are of the "same substance"; three persons in one being

God

Heavenly Father, who has a physical body

Trinitarian God, who does not have a body

Jesus Christ

Son of God, Savior, originally one of the spirit beings that all humans used to be (see Jesus Christ). Has a physical body.

Son of God, Word of God, God, second Person of the Trinity (see Christology)

Holy Spirit

A spirit being who is a separate being from God and Jesus.

God, Third Person of the Trinity

Original sin

Denied (see Human Nature)

Affirmed (by most denominations)

Free will

Free to do good or evil

Free will to do good is seriously impaired

Purpose of Christ's Incarnation

Teach about God, provide a model for right living, die sacrificially for human sin (see Jesus Christ)

Teach about God, provide a model for right living, die sacrificially for human sin, reveal God directly to humanity

Resurrection of Christ?

Yes

Yes

Salvation

Both faith and works; works emphasized

Both faith and works; faith emphasized (in most denominations)

Second chance after death?

Yes, during a period of "learning and preparation" after death

No

Afterlife

All spirits go to the spirit world, undergo preparation, then rejoin with bodies in the resurrection (seeAfterlife). The good spend the intervening time in spirit paradise, while the wicked go to spirit prison.

Souls of wicked sent to Hell, believers go to Heaven for eternity (see Afterlife). In Catholicism, many believers will suffer inPurgatory before going to Heaven.

Hell

The wicked enter an unpleasant "spirit prison" prior to judgment; after that, only the most obstinately wicked (like Satan) will be consigned to "Outer Darkness" for eternity.

Place (or state of being) of eternal torment and distance from God.

Place of Worship

Chapel or Temple

Church

Meaning of Sacraments (Chr) or Ordinances (LDS)

Ordinances are covenants between man and God and a means of grace. Some of them are necessary for salvation.

Symbolic acts commanded by Christ (some Protestant); means of grace if received with faith (Catholic, Orthodox, and some Protestant).

Sacraments (Chr) or Ordinances (LDS)

Include baptism, confirmation, the sacrament (Lord's Supper), laying on of hands, ordination, temple endowment, and marriage sealing (see Temple Ordinances)

Two common to all denominations: Baptism and Lord's Supper. Total of seven in Catholicism.

Symbols

No official symbol; cross is not used; the angel Moroni raising a trumpet is seen atop Mormon temples

Crossfish and others

Holidays

Easter, Christmas, national and local holidays, birthdays, celebrations of events in Mormon history

EasterChristmas, saints' days, several others

 

Mormonism

Christianity


No. Protestant religions are those that trace their history to the Protestant Reformation. Mormons (though this may be hotly debated) stand alongside the Seventh-Day Adventists, Christian Scientists, and Jehovah's Witnesses (among others) in the American "Restorationist" movement.



Differences between Seventh Day Adventist and Protestant


SDA's belive:

Sabbath (not Sunday as a worship day).
death as a 'sleep' until Jesus returns (not a spirit that goes into Heaven or Hell at death)
Hell-fire will burn sinners up (not burn them forever without end)
Literal return of Jesus in full open glory (not a secret rapture and then 7 years later comes again)
Antichrist is here and has been here (not some future 'political' politician-like figure who comes to power after the so-called Rapture)
A pre-Advent-investigative judgment - which means Jesus will judge our case, our lives BEFORE his 2nd Coming -
The gift of prophecy - or as is called the Spirit of Prophecy. This means that God, like he always has throughout the history of the world has always communicated with his people through prophets, via dreams or visions. We believe this gift is manifested in the writings of Ellen White. 



        Differences between Jehovah's Witnesses and Protestants

 

Jehovah's Witnesses

Protestant Christianity

Religious Authority

Bible - New World Translation

Bible - NIV, KJV, NRSV, etc.

Bible Sections

"Hebrew Scriptures" and "Christian Greek Scriptures"

"Old Testament" and "New Testament"

God

Jehovah

Trinitarian God

Trinity

Rejected

Affirmed

Identity of Jesus Christ

Son of God, Word of God, God's first creation, Archangel Michael (seeJesus Christ)

Son of God, Word of God, God, second Person of the Trinity (see Christology)

Holy Spirit

God's active force (impersonal)

God, Third Person of the Trinity

Results of Fall

Physical and spiritual death entered the world

Physical death, tendency to sin

Free will

Free to do good or evil (see 10 Articles)

Free will to do good is seriously impaired

Purpose of Christ's Incarnation

Teach about God, provide a model for right living, die sacrificially for human sin (see Jesus Christ)

Teach about God, provide a model for right living, die sacrificially for human sin, reveal God directly to humanity

Means of Christ's Execution

Crucifixion on an upright stake (no crossbar)

Crucifixion on a cross

Resurrection of Christ?

Yes

Yes

Salvation

Both faith and works; works emphasized.

Both faith and works; faith emphasized (in most denominations)

Second Chance After Death?

Yes

No

Afterlife

Souls of wicked are annhilated, a select few Witnesses go to Heaven, other Witnesses enjoy a paradise earth for eternity (see Afterlife)

Souls of wicked sent to Hell, believers go to Heaven for eternity (see Afterlife)

Hell

Exists in the sense of a place of the dead (Jesus went there), but hellfire does not exist; idea was invented by Satan to turn people from Jehovah.

Place (or state of being) of eternal torment and distance from God.

Place of Worship

Kingdom Hall

Church

Meaning of Sacraments

Symbolic acts commanded by Christ

Symbolic acts commanded by Christ (some Protestant); means of grace if received with faith (Catholic, Orthodox, and some Protestant).

Number of Sacraments

Two: Baptism and Lord's Supper

Two: Baptism and Lord's Supper (seven in Catholicism)

Symbols

The watchtower

Crossfish & others

Holidays

Memorial of Christ's Death only

EasterChristmas, saint's days, several others

Involvement in Politics

Minimal

Full

Blood Transfusions

Rejected

Accepted


The local churches have been killed with too many different doctrines.
Nevertheless the true believers, which are the true church of God, are immortal!