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** These are the two major soteriological streams in Protestantism. There are others: Luther had his own soteriology, roughly halfway between the Calvinist and Arminian (although it ''predates'' the Arminian, Luther having been dead for about ten years by the time Arminius was born), which only the Lutherans really buy. Then there's Universalism, which is, simply put, "[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin everyone is saved]]"; a few churches have bought into that over time. And then there's the aforementioned (semi)-Pelagianism, in which being saved is a choice you make; this doctrine would be more or less not worth mentioning, except that Mormonism (whose place in the Christian tradition is peculiar and a bit uncomfortable) has been described by a (somewhat eccentric) Mormon theologian as having a "completely Pelagian" soteriology (most Mormons who care about the subject would insist that they are, if anything, Arminians, but it's still a point of contention).

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** These are the two major soteriological streams in Protestantism. There are others: Luther had his own soteriology, roughly halfway between the Calvinist and Arminian (although it ''predates'' the Arminian, Luther having been dead for about ten years by the time Arminius was born), which only the Lutherans really buy. Then there's Universalism, which is, simply put, "[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin everyone is saved]]"; a few churches have bought into that over time. And then there's the aforementioned (semi)-Pelagianism, in which being saved is a choice you make; this doctrine would be more or less not worth mentioning, except that Mormonism (whose place in the Christian tradition is peculiar and a bit uncomfortable) has been described by a (somewhat eccentric) Mormon theologian as having a "completely Pelagian" soteriology (most Mormons who care about the subject would insist that they are, if anything, Arminians, but it's still a point of contention). \n Also of interest to tropers, some modern mythographers have begun associating the Christianity of Myth/KingArthur with Pelagianism.


* Do we have to follow the Jewish dietary laws, or no? If consumption of blood is forbidden, does that extend to transfusions? What purpose do/did those laws serve, anyway?

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* Do we have to follow the Jewish dietary laws, or no? What about the other laws, such as ones concerning ritual hygiene, or how Ancient Israelite society was to function? If consumption of blood is forbidden, does that extend to transfusions? What purpose do/did those laws serve, anyway? Were they ''really'' handed down from {{God}}, or are they human inventions? Are any of them relevant today, or are they only relevant to a particular society at a particular point in history?


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* If a Christian professional is asked to do something that's contrary to their beliefs or forbidden by their faith, can they (or should they) refuse to do it? (For example, a cake baker who's asked to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, or a doctor who's asked to perform an abortion.) Or should they leave their personal beliefs at the door and do the job? Are there, or should there be, certain professions that Christians shouldn't do? If this professional happens to be the owner of a business with employees, should the owner's religion have any bearing on benefits that are provided?
* Mental health: Is that a medical sickness, or something along the lines of DemonicPossession, or a sign of lacking faith? Can Christians receive therapy and/or take medications such as antidepressants or tranquilizers?




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\n* '''The Iglesia Ni Cristo'''(Filipino, for "Church of Christ"): an independent Christian group based in the Philippines, known for its Unitarianism, its neo-gothic architecture, and especially its practice of "bloc voting" during elections.



* Christianity is an expansion on or replacement of the covenant established between God and [[UsefulNotes/{{Judaism}} the Jewish people]] in the Old Testament. Key to this is the concept of blood sacrifice -- when sin transpires, blood must be spilled in its atonement. Whereas the ancient Jews fulfilled this necessity with intermittent animal sacrifices, Christ offered His own blood as a substitute, permanently, by dying on the Cross. Hence the sobriquet "Lamb of God"; whereas lambs were the preferred animal for sacrifice in the temple, Jesus became the lamb for the entire world.

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* Christianity is an expansion on or replacement of the covenant established between God and [[UsefulNotes/{{Judaism}} the Jewish people]] in the Old Testament. Key to this is the concept of blood sacrifice -- when sin transpires, blood must be spilled in its atonement. Whereas the ancient Jews fulfilled this necessity with intermittent animal sacrifices, sacrifices,[[note]]Modern Judaism no longer practices animal sacrifice, as the destruction of the Second Temple made the necessary rituals impractical. Some branches of Orthodox Judaism anticipate a future date at which the Temple will be rebuilt and sacrifices can be resumed, whereas others consider it to be abolished permanently.[[/note]] Christ offered His own blood as a substitute, permanently, by dying on the Cross. Hence the sobriquet "Lamb of God"; whereas lambs were the preferred animal for sacrifice in the temple, Jesus became the lamb for the entire world.


* FireAndBrimstoneHell: Also depending on the sect, Hell may or may be depicted as a firey place of pitchforks and Inquisition style torture.
* FluffyCloudHeaven: This is a MemeticMutation of Christian doctrine and both Christian and pre-Christian folklore. EasterBunny (same), SantaClaus (same)



* FireAndBrimstoneHell: Also depending on the sect, Hell may or may be depicted as a firey place of pitchforks and Inquisition style torture.
* FluffyCloudHeaven: This is a MemeticMutation of Christian doctrine and both Christian and pre-Christian folklore. EasterBunny (same), SantaClaus (same)


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* HolyPipeOrgan: TropeMaker. Many Christian churches feature impressive pipe organs that are played during religious services, creating the association between organ music and religion.


* Christianity is a monotheistic religion from the perspective of modern adherents. The most prevalent view is that the one {{God}} subsists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost. Needless to say, a ''lot'' of philosophy and theology has been devoted to understanding this, and it's still a MindScrew for many. Some sects do away with it entirely, [[VoodooShark probably for that reason]].

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* Christianity is a monotheistic religion from the perspective of modern adherents. The most prevalent view is that the one {{God}} subsists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost. This is generally known as the Holy Trinity or just the Trinity, though that specific term is not found in the Bible and is merely descriptive of the concept. Needless to say, a ''lot'' of philosophy and theology has been devoted to understanding this, and it's still a MindScrew for many. Some sects do away with it entirely, [[VoodooShark probably for that reason]].


'''[[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement This section is not a test. These are rhetorical questions. Answering them is not something a wise person would do.]]'''

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'''[[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement '''[[Administrivia/RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment This section is not a test. These are rhetorical questions. Answering them is not something a wise person would do.]]'''


* Will our pets be able to join us in Heaven? Are animals accountable to God for the way they live? Do they have souls? Can they be considered sentient? If so, does that mean [[MeatVersusVeggies eating meat is a bad thing]]?

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* Will our pets be able to join us in Heaven? Are animals accountable to God for the way they live? Do they have souls? Can they be considered sentient? If so, does that mean [[MeatVersusVeggies eating meat is a bad thing]]? thing?


** ''Congregational'' polity: Not to be confused with the Congregationalist denomination. This denomination runs on the theory that each congregation is its own church and can do what it likes. As in a presbyterian congregation, a board or some such body of congregation members is elected to run the affairs of the congregation. However, there is no higher authority than that board. Congregational churches can and do enter into networks with other congregations with whom they agree, but they do not need to do so, are not bound by decisions taken by the governing bodies of those networks, and may change their affiliation or abandon all affiliations at any time.

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** ''Congregational'' polity: [[RuleOfThree Not to be confused with the Congregationalist denomination. denomination.]] This denomination runs on the theory that each congregation is its own church and can do what it likes. As in a presbyterian congregation, a board or some such body of congregation members is elected to run the affairs of the congregation. However, there is no higher authority than that board. Congregational churches can and do enter into networks with other congregations with whom they agree, but they do not need to do so, are not bound by decisions taken by the governing bodies of those networks, and may change their affiliation or abandon all affiliations at any time.



Currently the majority of Anglicans worldwide are members of the '''Anglican Communion''' a group of autonomous churches which trace their shared history and theological outlook back to the Church of England. The Church of England acts as a mother church to the communion while its leader, the Archbishop of Canterbury, acts as *primus inter pares* or first among equals to the rest of the Communion. He is regarded as a spiritual head but has no authority over the other churches. Most if not all of these churches have their own version of ''The Book of Common Prayer'', which is a collection of all the rites, prayers and ceremonies of that particular church. Likewise, it also specifies set readings from the Old and New Testaments as well as Psalms used for each Sunday service and the Daily Office. First created in the Church of England by Thomas Cranmer, ''The Book of Common Prayer'' is often regarded as a cornerstone of Anglican practice and identity.\\

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Currently the majority of Anglicans worldwide are members of the '''Anglican Communion''' a group of autonomous churches which trace their shared history and theological outlook back to the Church of England. The Church of England acts as a mother church to the communion while its leader, the Archbishop of Canterbury, acts as *primus ''primus inter pares* pares'' or first among equals to the rest of the Communion. He is regarded as a spiritual head but has no authority over the other churches. Most if not all of these churches have their own version of ''The Book of Common Prayer'', which is a collection of all the rites, prayers and ceremonies of that particular church. Likewise, it also specifies set readings from the Old and New Testaments as well as Psalms used for each Sunday service and the Daily Office. First created in the Church of England by Thomas Cranmer, ''The Book of Common Prayer'' is often regarded as a cornerstone of Anglican practice and identity.\\



* '''Fundamentalism''' -- A movement within conservative Christianity unique to America beginning in the early 20th century as a response to modernity and theological liberalism. It has a heavy focus on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dispensationalism Dispensational Premillennialism]] (a belief in an [[{{CaughtUpInTheRapture}} imminent rapture]], the rapid decline of the world, the belief that [[UsefulNotes/{{Judaism}} ethnic Jews]] remain God's favored and Chosen people, and that national Israel -- rather than the Church -- is God's primary focus in history). Dispensationalism is a doctrine developed in the 1830s by Anglican theologian John Nelson Darby, and popularized by the widespread circulation of the Scofield Reference Bible (1909 - rev. 1917). This theology was woven into the fabric of fundamentalism and remains a key feature of much of evangelicalism to this day. Both Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism are highly Arminian.

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* ** '''Fundamentalism''' -- A movement within conservative Christianity unique to America beginning in the early 20th century as a response to modernity and theological liberalism. It has a heavy focus on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dispensationalism Dispensational Premillennialism]] (a belief in an [[{{CaughtUpInTheRapture}} imminent rapture]], the rapid decline of the world, the belief that [[UsefulNotes/{{Judaism}} ethnic Jews]] remain God's favored and Chosen people, and that national Israel -- rather than the Church -- is God's primary focus in history). Dispensationalism is a doctrine developed in the 1830s by Anglican theologian John Nelson Darby, and popularized by the widespread circulation of the Scofield Reference Bible (1909 - rev. 1917). This theology was woven into the fabric of fundamentalism and remains a key feature of much of evangelicalism to this day. Both Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism are highly Arminian.


(although one of them promptly got himself re-excommunicated when it emerged that he had suggested the number of victims of the Holocaust was exaggerated).

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(although one of them promptly got himself re-excommunicated when it emerged that he had suggested the number of victims of the Holocaust was exaggerated).exaggerated and when he ordered a bishop without permission of the Pope in order to preserve the SSPX Resistance).


* Monasticism (a religious way of life in which one renounces worldly pursuits to devote oneself fully to spiritual work) plays an important role in Christianity. This is in contrast with Judaism where it only plays a marginal role and with Islam which forbids it.

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* Monasticism (a religious way of life in which one renounces worldly pursuits to devote oneself fully to spiritual work) plays an important role in many branches of Christianity. This is in contrast with Judaism where it only plays a marginal role and with Islam which forbids it.


* Judaism has Biblical Hebrew and Islam has Classical Arabic but Christianity has no single "sacred language" due to its founding in an empire where people spoke multiple languages. Ecclesiastical Latin is the most famous because of the ChristianityIsCatholic stereotype.

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* Judaism has Biblical Hebrew and Islam has Classical Arabic but Christianity has no single "sacred language" language"[[note]]as such, though the New Testament was originally written in Greek[[/note]] due to its founding in an empire where people spoke multiple languages. Ecclesiastical Latin is the most famous because of the ChristianityIsCatholic stereotype.


* '''Oriental Orthodox''' -- Not to be confused with Eastern Orthodox, this is a collection of national churches structured similar to the Eastern Orthodox Church which did not accept the Council of Chalcedon (451). The Coptic (i.e. Egyptian), Ethiopian, Syrian, Indian, and Armenian Churches are examples. Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestants sometimes label them as Eutychians (who believe that the human nature of Christ was united with and overwhelmed by the divine nature), but they define themselves as miaphysites (who believe in one ("mia") united nature ("physis") in which the human attributes are not overwhelmed). They consider the dyophysitism of Chalcedonian Christians to be at best crypto-Nestorian. (If you didn't understand any of that, don't worry, you've got something in common with 99% of us Christians).\\

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* '''Oriental Orthodox''' -- Not to be confused with Eastern Orthodox, this is a collection of national churches structured similar to the Eastern Orthodox Church which did not accept the Council of Chalcedon (451). The Coptic (i.e. Egyptian), Ethiopian, Syrian, Indian, and Armenian Churches are examples. Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestants sometimes label them as Eutychians (who believe that the human nature of Christ was united with and overwhelmed by the divine nature), but they define themselves as miaphysites (who believe in one ("mia") united nature ("physis") in which the human attributes are not overwhelmed). They consider the dyophysitism of Chalcedonian Christians to be at best crypto-Nestorian. (If you didn't understand any of that, don't worry, you've got something in common with 99% of us Christians). \\


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Politically speaking, these churches arose in the eastern parts of the Eastern Roman Empire, partly for historical reasons and partly because the doctrinal dispute was a good cover for criticism of the Imperial regime in Constantinople. They did not break cleanly with the main Chalcedonian Church; Chalcedonians and "monophysites" (of various persuasions not relevant to our purposes) lived uncomfortably with each other in the same hierarchies for centuries. What crystallized these doctrinal differences into separate church structures was the conquest of the Byzantine East by the Muslim Arabs, who did not care about the interminable debates about Christology, leaving Chalcedonians and monophysites/miaphysites to form their own churches, while the Chalcedonian hierarchy in Constantinople squelched competing Christologies within the Empire in the name of Christian unity.\\
\\


They teach that Christ was not nailed to a "cross" but a stake, which was the common method of execution for criminals then, and which the Romans referred to as a ''stauros'' (upright stake) or ''crux simplex'' in Latin. They also believe that only 144,000 persons will reside in Heaven while the rest of the faithful will remain on earth to live forever in peace, and the wicked will be destroyed (i.e. and not spend the rest of eternity getting tortured, a view not shared by most of Christendom). Focus on individual study of the Bible, the holiness of blood (they are not OK with blood transfusions,[[note]]Which has led to some interesting applications in medicine involving [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autotransfusion autotransfusion/"cell saver"]] technology, as transfusions of your own blood ''are'' OK. This incidentally has led to a rare intersection of medical malpractice and the First Amendment in lawsuits involving American Jehovah's Witness patients seeking treatment in hospitals specializing in "bloodless" surgery catering to their religious wishes; Drexel University Hospital in UsefulNotes/{{Philadelphia}} has been a particularly interesting case study.[[/note]] but don't go to the lengths Jews go to to remove blood from meat--unlike Jews, Muslims and most other religions with taboos concerning blood, saving of a life does not trump the taboo, and [=JWs=] would rather die than receive a transfusion), and disbelief in the ability of earthly human governments to solve the world's problems (they obey the laws of the land in which they reside and pay taxes, but refuse to serve in the military[[note]]Which is one of the main reasons UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower was rather fuzzy about his religious beliefs until shortly before he took office, when he was formally baptized as Presbyterian: Eisenhower's parents were Witnesses, but he never really bought the doctrine, making a permanent break with it when he went to West Point--but he never picked another religion to replace it.[[/note]] or salute the flag). They are most known for their door to door preaching work, or "witnessing" which has both changed many lives and annoyed many others. FYI: Although the late Music/MichaelJackson used to preach door to door, he had left Jehovah's Witnesses soon after the release of ''Thriller''. (In his immediate family, only his mother is an active member.) By contrast, his contemporary and rival Music/{{Prince}} converted to the faith in 2001, and spent his remaining years a serious (if troubled) Witness.

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They teach that Christ was not nailed to a "cross" but a stake, which was the common method of execution for criminals then, and which the Romans referred to as a ''stauros'' (upright stake) or ''crux simplex'' in Latin. They also believe that only 144,000 persons will reside in Heaven while the rest of the faithful will remain on earth to live forever in peace, and the wicked will be destroyed (i.e. and not spend the rest of eternity getting tortured, a view not shared by most of Christendom). Focus on individual study of the Bible, the holiness of blood (they are not OK with blood transfusions,[[note]]Which has led to some interesting applications in medicine involving [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autotransfusion autotransfusion/"cell saver"]] technology, as transfusions of your own blood ''are'' OK. This incidentally has led to a rare intersection of medical malpractice and the First Amendment in lawsuits involving American Jehovah's Witness patients seeking treatment in hospitals specializing in "bloodless" surgery catering to their religious wishes; Drexel University Hospital in UsefulNotes/{{Philadelphia}} has been a particularly interesting case study.[[/note]] but don't go to the lengths Jews go to to remove blood from meat--unlike Jews, Muslims and most other religions with taboos concerning blood, saving of a life does not trump the taboo, and [=JWs=] would rather die than receive a transfusion), and disbelief in the ability of earthly human governments to solve the world's problems (they obey the laws of the land in which they reside and pay taxes, but refuse to serve in the military[[note]]Which is one of the main reasons UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower was rather fuzzy about his religious beliefs until shortly before he took office, when he was formally baptized as Presbyterian: Eisenhower's parents were Witnesses, but he never really bought the doctrine, making a permanent break with it when he went to West Point--but he never picked another religion to replace it.[[/note]] or salute the flag). They are most known for their door to door preaching work, or "witnessing" which has both changed many lives and annoyed many others.others (the latter to the point that in some places you can buy signs saying "No Jehovahs" for your door alongside more typical ones like "No Trespassers"). FYI: Although the late Music/MichaelJackson used to preach door to door, he had left Jehovah's Witnesses soon after the release of ''Thriller''. (In his immediate family, only his mother is an active member.) By contrast, his contemporary and rival Music/{{Prince}} converted to the faith in 2001, and spent his remaining years a serious (if troubled) Witness.


Along with ClassicalMythology, Literature/TheBible, the volume which contains all of Christianity's holy texts, is considered the ''bedrock'' of Western literature so reading it and having a good understanding of Christianity is essential to understanding the Western canon. Christianity has had a huge impact on world history and Judeo-Christian faith later inspired a new religion known as Islam founded by Muhammad. The Christian world in the Middle East fell to Islamic rule and the presence of Christianity there had greatly diminished even though it had been there the longest. The continued dominance of Christianity in Europe while other areas were [[JoinOrDie forced to convert]] is why people view Christianity as a "Western religion" [[{{Irony}} despite its Eastern roots]]. While Christianity shares many of the same principles with Judaism and Islam, it is also very different because of influence from the Church Fathers and Roman culture:

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Along with ClassicalMythology, Myth/ClassicalMythology, Literature/TheBible, the volume which contains all of Christianity's holy texts, is considered the ''bedrock'' of Western literature so reading it and having a good understanding of Christianity is essential to understanding the Western canon. Christianity has had a huge impact on world history and Judeo-Christian faith later inspired a new religion known as Islam founded by Muhammad. The Christian world in the Middle East fell to Islamic rule and the presence of Christianity there had greatly diminished even though it had been there the longest. The continued dominance of Christianity in Europe while other areas were [[JoinOrDie forced to convert]] is why people view Christianity as a "Western religion" [[{{Irony}} despite its Eastern roots]]. While Christianity shares many of the same principles with Judaism and Islam, it is also very different because of influence from the Church Fathers and Roman culture:

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