I will discuss some of the specific points about Catholicism as it is a main stream denomination in the Midwestern U.S. This denomination has increased to over 61 million members in over 22,000 congregations in the U.S. in the last few decades.
Catholics believe that the apostle Peter went to Rome to be the first church “bishop” (now called the Pope) and that future bishops of Rome have succeeded the office of Peter as the chief teacher and shepherd of the church. The church’s worldwide council is called the Vatican and it seeks to review the religious
practices, beliefs, and worship of the Catholic church on a regular basis. Continue reading
In today’s world, the Christian must understand the battle!
The present-day Christian church is in the middle of a cultural shift that permeates all of society.
Belief principles include:
1) we are all molded by our culture, and there is a tendency towards pragmatism to attract nonbelievers to churches.
2) Dedication to total tolerance is key; one can’t judge. Political correctness is mainstay as well. Continue reading
Introduction: There are SECTS within Christianity. WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT CULTS! That’s for future blogs. The English word sect comes from the Lain word sequi, means “to follow.” A sect is a smaller group under the umbrella of Christianity that adheres to a particular position on a point of doctrine.
The key to the definition of a sect is the fact that it remains within the larger group. The members of the different sects acknowledge that they are all part of the same religion, despite their differences on some doctrinal points. Within the bounds of Christianity, the most common sects to be discussed here include: Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Assembly of God, Vineyard Christian Fellowship, Church of Christ, Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Mennonite, Anglican/ Episcopal, Salvation Army, Nazarene, Seventh-day Adventist, Evangelical Free, Evangelical Covenant, Christian Reformed, Church of the Brethren, and the Church of God. There are numerous others. Continue reading
This principle is key in understanding the sacrificial system. First, think about the symbolism of the sacrifice. Here are the points:
- Knowledge of what blood is and its function is preeminent. Blood represents the life of God’s creatures.
So in our last blog, we discussed the Passover from Exodus 12 and the one-year old male lamb, without defect, perfect.
What was the significance of the lamb, and the lamb’s blood?
By butchering this precious lamb, the Israelites spilled innocent blood. Continue reading
We have emphasized that throughout the Bible, God injected potency into blood and what it meant. The power of the blood goes back to the “Passover” story in the book of Exodus. Let’s review the salient points in Exodus 12:1-13.
God’s chosen people, the Israelites, had been under the thumb of the more powerful, neighboring Egyptians. This was predicted by God and told to Abraham in Genesis 15:13, “that they would be strangers in a country not their own.” The actual story takes place later in the first several chapters of Exodus. Continue reading
God esteemed the vitalizing capacity of blood throughout the Bible. His desire was that his people would also treat blood with utmost respect.
In Leviticus 9:4-5, and then later in the book of Leviticus, he reiterates to his people, “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life. None of you may eat blood, nor may a stranger live among you who eats blood. A person who hunts any animal or bird that may be eaten must drain out the blood and cover it with earth, because the life of every creature is its blood…..anyone who eats it must be cut off” (Leviticus 17:11-14). Continue reading
Why is blood so important in the Bible? There are four key areas of understanding: 1) to know what blood is and how it functions, 2) learn about the atoning work of blood in the “sacrificial system” developed by God 3) know the importance of the “Passover” and how it relates to blood, and 4) know that blood is the difference between life and death of living things Continue reading
Baptism is the public identification with Christ. “Go and make disciples, baptizing them” is our commandment- Matthew 28:19. “Many believed and were baptized”- Acts 18:8.
Baptism is a praise declaration to Christ. “We were buried with him through baptism into death.”- Romans 6:4
Most denominations adhere to adult rather than infant baptism. Continue reading
I have always valued the importance of communion. Different denominations practice it differently especially in terms of frequency. Most churches that I have been affiliated with do it monthly.
Read with me 1 Corinthians 11:26-34:
1) We should take the Lord’s Supper thoughtfully because we are proclaiming that Jesus died for our sins (11:26) Continue reading