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Please explain difference between Presbyterian, Episcopal, and Baptist churches

Discussion in 'Non-denominational' started by Anti-Fear, Oct 21, 2003.

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  1. Anti-Fear

    Anti-Fear Repent Now

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    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.
     
  2. Bayhawks83

    Bayhawks83 Guest

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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?
     
  3. Bayhawks83

    Bayhawks83 Guest

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  4. Cary.Melvin

    Cary.Melvin Roman Orthodox

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    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.
     
  5. Lanakila

    Lanakila Not responsible for the changes here.

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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.
     
  6. Knee V

    Knee V It's phonetic.

    +667
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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.
     
  7. Foundthelight

    Foundthelight St. Peter's R.C. Church, Delhi, NY Supporter

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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.
     
  8. Ken

    Ken Well-Known Member

    +45
    Calvinist
    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:
    "[size=+0][size=+0]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
    [/size][/size]
     
  9. Foundthelight

    Foundthelight St. Peter's R.C. Church, Delhi, NY Supporter

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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.
     
  10. Grace_Alone4gives

    Grace_Alone4gives Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  11. Foundthelight

    Foundthelight St. Peter's R.C. Church, Delhi, NY Supporter

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    Although I was raised a Presbyterian and baptised as an infant, the Holy Spirit moved me as an adult to be re-baptised.

    If you are interested in wading through some convoluted theological arguments, I suggest you read Calvins "Defense of Infant Baptism"
     
  12. eldermike

    eldermike Pray Supporter

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    I am an elder in an elder led Southern Baptist Church. It's not that unusual as SB are first indenpendant, and second Southern Baptist. I have also served as a deacon in a more traditional SB church that used the democratic committee structure as suggested in the Southern Baptist faith and mission statement.
     
  13. Knee V

    Knee V It's phonetic.

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    A great site is www.graceonlinelibrary.org It is a reformed baptist site. I keep it in my favorites list. I do not attend a reformed baptist church, but I am reformed nonetheless. It has many wonderful articles about the reformed faith. I highly recommend it. Hope it helps somebody.
     
  14. Ken

    Ken Well-Known Member

    +45
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  15. Filia Mariae

    Filia Mariae Senior Contributor

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    This is incorrect.

    Catholics can and do confess their sins directly to God. We are encouraged to do a daily examination of conscience and confess our sins to God, praying an act of contrition. We confess them to God as a group at the beginning of every Mass as well.

    We do not pray to saints. We ask saints to pray for US.

    I am not going to elaborate here because I am in a Protestant forum, but I will ask that in the future you refrain from talking about Catholics if you don't have a clue about what we believe and do.

    In Christ,
    Carly
     
  16. Foundthelight

    Foundthelight St. Peter's R.C. Church, Delhi, NY Supporter

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    Thank you Carly.

    One question while you are here. Are you allowed to take communion if you have not seen a priest for confession?
     
  17. Filia Mariae

    Filia Mariae Senior Contributor

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    One does not have to go to confession before receiving Communion unless you are in a state of mortal sin. As I said, we pray for God's forgiveness together at the beginning of Mass.

    If in a state of mortal sin, one needs to go to confession first UNLESS it is an emergency type situation and no opportunity for sacramental confession exists. In that case, one may simply pray a prayer of contrition before receiving.

    In Christ,
    Carly
     
  18. Fiskare

    Fiskare Well-Known Member

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    Christian
    Well, considering that the emphasis and beliefs of the episcopal church have only been very lightly touched on, I'd like to direct the curious and seekers to some links about our tradition. (We are properly called "Anglican", that is, the English Church)

    It needs to be noted that although generally speaking Anglicanism is a very braod spectrum, where one could find one's own style of churchmanship somewhere in the communion, there are generally four types of Anglicans. Some Anglicans are in full communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury in England, and others are not, but all are Anglicans who have their heritage from the Church of England.

    a) Broad Church Anglicans. Generally a little liberal, not too Catholic, not too Protestant, but the typical middle way (via media) between the two. Liturgical service but not too much emphasis on it.

    b) Low Church Anglicans. Generally very protestant, usually referred to as "evangelicals", who hold to inerrency of scripture etc. Not too much emphasis on liturgy but it is still there. Conservative theologically. Hold strongly to the "Solas" of the reformation.

    c) High Church Anglicans. Beliefs similar to the broad Church Anglicans, but a heavy emphasis on worship and liturgy. Most cathedrals are run by High-Churchmen.

    d) Anglo-Catholic Anglicans. Beliefs similar to the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches, with emphasis on the inerrency of scripture and a higher emphasis on apostolic succession and liturgy than protestants, and see themselves as part of the ancient, continuing church.

    (Then again, a lot of Anglicans are a mix of all of the above!)

    http://www.acahome.org/submenu/docs/Anglicans.htm]The Anglicans - Who are they? What is their faith?[/font]

    What do Anglicans-Episcopalians believe?
     
  19. Knee V

    Knee V It's phonetic.

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    Thank you for the sites, Ken. I especially like "The Quiet Place" and "The Reformed Reader".
     
  20. Acceptance

    Acceptance sugar and spice

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    Let's just make sure (so as to avoid confusion;) ) that when you say Anglican, Catholic, and Orthodox churches are 'episcopal', we emphasize that you spelled it with a small 'e'.
     
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