Christianity comprises 2.2 billion people on earth, yet they do not agree among themselves about God or Jesus Christ because their beliefs (faith) vary with thousands of opposing doctrines. Is one of them true? If they disagree with one another in doctrine about what is the true word of God, then by the very definition of "truth" they cannot all be true. If the world is not already in enough chaos and confusion when it comes to religion, then certainly Christianity has made it many, many times worse!
Christian "faith" is about what one "believes" concerning Christianity. If people believe they are to worship God in a church on Sunday, then that is their faith—they will live by that belief and attend worship services on Sunday.
If a Christian believes that the Bible, and primarily the New Testament, is the inspired word of God and that they are to live by every word of God (as the scripture says), then they would want to obey what God instructs. If there is one true religion and it is one of the Christian faiths, which one is it? Surely, it would be the one that follows God's word "faithfully" as it is given in scripture.
The examples one can use to address this question are endless; most certainly they cannot all be covered in a book this size. Instead, it would take volumes! But let's look at some examples and see if we can find a "true" Church that is the "true" religion on earth. Let's look at several examples so that we can begin to grasp the scope of the real problem.
The Catholic faith comprises a little over one-half (1.2 billion) of all that is called Christianity. Therefore, it is of primary importance that we consider this faith when we speak of Christianity. This will prove to be of great importance as we proceed through this area of comparison.
The Catholic doctrine of purgatory is a belief (faith) that some die with smaller faults, for which there has been no repentance, and upon death go to a place of purgatory rather than directly to heaven or hell. The Catholic Encyclopedia states that the church "has from the Sacred Scriptures.. .that there is a purgatory."
However, the Methodist plainly state in their articles of belief that there is no scriptural evidence of purgatory:
The Romish [speaking of the Catholic Church] doctrine concerning purgatory, pardon, worshiping, and adoration, as well of images as of relics, and also invocation of saints, is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warrant of Scripture, but repugnant to the Word of God. (Article XIV—Of Purgatory)
The Methodist clearly teach that the doctrine of purgatory is "vainly invented" and "repugnant to the Word of God." Most Protestant churches agree with this same stance of the Methodist faith.
Obviously, these two faiths (beliefs) are diametrically opposite to each other. To be the true followers of God and "faithful" to His word, only one of these can possibly be true. Either one is true, or both are false; but both cannot be true.
It is important that everyone consider some of the most basic doctrinal differences in a faith that calls itself "Christian." Each faith (group) believes it is right, yet these faiths (groups) differ greatly from each other. Therefore, only one can possibly be considered true. Stated another way, either one is true and the others are false, or all must be false.
The Catholic faith is one of the oldest known "Christian" faiths. None of the Protestant churches have the long history of the Catholic Church. The Lutheran Church, which is the oldest Protestant church, broke away from the Catholic Church. Many others eventually broke from the Catholic faith because they embraced a different faith—one never known before. The faith of the Lutheran Church didn't exist until Martin Luther came on the scene and stated his "faith" about God. Today, we find that most "Christian" faiths came directly from the Catholic Church or from splinter groups of other "Christian" faiths during the last two centuries.
All the "Christian" churches that embrace Sunday worship, Easter and Christmas observance, and the Trinity doctrine received these doctrines through the Catholic Church; yet all these churches believe that many doctrines, which the Catholic Church embraces to be spiritually true, are false.
Let's notice other great conflicts that exist among the various religious groups which believe they are the true representatives of Christianity.
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