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  #1  
Unread 21st October 2003, 03:52 AM
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Please explain difference between Presbyterian, Episcopal, and Baptist churches

In the city where I live there are many churches and I have no idea what the difference is between presbyterian, episcopal, and baptist. Can someone please explain?

Yeah, i went to some meetings with Christians based on "Local Church" and they're too weird, actually many people accuse them of being cultists.
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  #2  
Unread 21st October 2003, 04:47 AM
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"Yeah, i went to some meetings with Christians based on "Local Church" and they're too weird, actually many people accuse them of being cultists."what?
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  #3  
Unread 21st October 2003, 04:49 AM
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http://www.christianforums.com/t54291
and episcopals are a lot like catholics, im not sure what they believe exactly.
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Unread 21st October 2003, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by calmius
In the city where I live there are many churches and I have no idea what the difference is between presbyterian, episcopal, and baptist. Can someone please explain?

Yeah, i went to some meetings with Christians based on "Local Church" and they're too weird, actually many people accuse them of being cultists.
Why not go to your local Catholic Church if you have any questions about the Christian Faith? I'm sure that they would be willing to help.

God Bless.
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Unread 21st October 2003, 12:55 PM
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Presbyterrians have 2 major denominations. 1 is very conservative, and Calvinist in theology PCA (I believe) and PCUSA is considered very liberal, and even endorses gay clergy.

Baptist are generally very independent, although there are some denominations of them as well. The largest denomination in America in which I am a member is the Southern Baptist Convention. Its rather conservative, and the churches are pretty independent of each other. They mainly are denominationalized for the support of missionary endeavors around the world, but they have colleges and universities that fall under their denomination as well. There was a liberal move in the Convention through the colleges primarily but the conservatives have taken over the leadership, and are taking back the colleges as well.

There are other groups of Baptists though: American Baptists, Freewill Baptists, Missionary Baptist, and even very independent groups like Baptist Bible Fellowship, and General Association of Regular Baptists. You could look any of these groups up by doing a Google search, and find out more than I could explain here.

Episcopalians, are similar to Catholic or Orodox in service structure, but they are connected at the time being to the Anglican Church in the UK. They are involved in political stuff right now over the ordination of a Gay Bishop, and about to split, although that will cause problems because then who gets the buildings and property?

I am not an expert, but if you have any more questions feel free to pm me.
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  #6  
Unread 21st October 2003, 01:07 PM
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It's phonetic.

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Another side to the coin:

Baptists get their name from the anabaptists, or "baptize again". The anabaptists did not believe in infant baptism, so they believed that one who was baptized as an infant must be "baptized again", hence the name. The anabaptists were also reformed, but the modern baptists are primarily arminians.

The words Presbyterian and Episcopal refer to the system of government.

Presbyterian comes from the word "presbyter" of elder. So, presbyterian churches are churches governed by elders.

Episcopal means overseer (epi, scope). Episcopal churches are churches governed by bishops. The Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox churches are examples of episcopal churches.
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  #7  
Unread 21st October 2003, 02:06 PM
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There are some big differences.

Presbyterians and Baptists (both considered Protestants) believe that the only way to the Father is through direct supplication to Jesus.

Catholics seem to believe that a priest must act as intermediary. I.e. you cannot confess your sins directly to the Lord, you must visit the priest tell him what you have done, and then he will tell you what penence you have to perform.

Catholics pray directly to Saints asking for help and intervention.

Protestants pray to God in Jesus name as the Lord taught us. We believe that praying to a Saint is nothing less than Idolatry.

As far as the difference between Presbyterians and Baptists is concerned:
(I must warn you that this is my take on theology, and I am no theologian.)

Both believe that man is sinful in nature and undeserving of salvation. But God in his Mercy and Grace has given us a Savior, Jesus. All who believe on him shall be saved. Once saved you cannot loose your salvation. Once saved the Holy Spirit will guide your walk (which may be kind of crooked, there are many temptations out there).

One of the most divisive differences between Baptist and Presbyterian Theology is Free Will Vs. Predestination.

Free Will: Salvation is available to all who will call on Jesus. We can choose to stay in our sin or to accept the gift of salvation. God, because he is all knowing and powerful, knows who will be saved and who will not.

Predestination: God, in his infinite wisdom, knowing the true hearts of men, decided, before he created the first man, who would be saved and who would not. Salvation will actually come after the person hears the Gospel and the Holy Spirit enters into that person.

In both cases, if you never hear the Gospel you can't be saved.

In one case God knows but you decide, in the other God decided because he knows.

Both end up with the same number of people saved.
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Unread 21st October 2003, 02:20 PM
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Caveat on the above post:

Some Baptists are very "Presbyterian" (though of course would say that it is very "biblical" in their theology, as opposed to being "Presbyterian" per se) in their theology, the largest Baptist organization, the Southern Baptist, was founded partly upon Calvinistic soteriologic principles, and the denomination I belong to is also Calvinistic in it's understanding of what the "will" is, and on how "free" it actually is... namely Reformed Baptist...

also, another well known Baptist was very "Calvinistic", his name was Charles Spurgeon, another was John Bunyan, another was John Gill, etc etc...

At any rate, one could visit Founders Ministries, which is calling Southern Baptists back to their theological origins, namely Calvinistic principles in regard to salvation, their site is http://www.founders.org/
a portion of their page reads:
"Within the Southern Baptist Convention over the last 15-20 years, an undeniable resurgence of interest has taken place in what is commonly termed the "Doctrines of Grace," the belief that salvation is sovereignly and graciously given by God to sinners. A conviction arose among many that the energy generated by this divine renewal should be conserved and guided."

I point this out because all too often the fact that many many Baptists are closer to John Calvin in their doctrines of salvation, is overlooked, or misunderstood, or ignored.....

Blessings
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  #9  
Unread 21st October 2003, 02:29 PM
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And I would like to add that many if not the majority of Presbyterians believe in Free Will. Or perhaps something in between.
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  #10  
Unread 21st October 2003, 02:33 PM
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I agree - many Baptists are Calvinistic in sence - especially the Reformed baptist.



Despite Free Will vs Predestination disagreements between Presby and Baptist - the essentials are pretty much the same. The large difference between these two denominations is baptism. Baptist baptise believers only, whereas Presby's baptise babies. Whereas Reformed Baptists and Presby;'s agree that baptism is a sign and seal of entering the N.Covenent - they disagree with the above regarding who is able to recive baptism.

As far as other Baptist denominations, most believe baptism to be symbolic only.



HTH.
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