|Don's Home Religion|
See also: Christian Fundamentalism
Protestants are divided into other categories (See: www.religioustolerance.org/chr_divi.htm) (there are many different ways of categorizing Christians, but this is one of the more common ones.) * Conservative wing: (e.g. Southern Baptists, Assemblies of God Presbyterian Church of America). They firmly believe in historical Christian doctrines, such as: -The inerrancy of the Bible (except for a few copying errors). -The Bible not only contains the Word of God, it is the Word of God; God inspired the individual authors to prevent them from error. - Creation science: that the universe was created by God less than 10,000 years ago. ... They emphasize God as a Lawgiver, Father, Judge, Creator & Redeemer. They take a literal interpretation of the Bible. Their social views tend to be conservative (e.g. pro-life) The Princeton Religion Research Center says: (See Divisions Within Protestant Christianity) "Religious conservatives are sometimes viewed negatively as overly strict on moral issues, close-minded, intolerant of other religious views, fanatical about their beliefs, too harsh, and placing too much emphasis on guilt or sin, too concerned about their own salvation, and too rigid and simplistic. * Liberal wing: (e.g. United Church of Christ). They see major parts of the Bible as reflecting God's will. But they generally reject other portions of the Bible as being no longer valid: - They see such stories as the Genesis creation sequence, and world-wide Noahic flood, etc. as myths: -They regard the Bible as errant, having been written by individuals without the direct inspiration of God, whose motivation was to promote their own theological and spiritual beliefs. ... They emphasize God as a Parent, Lover, Healer & Liberator. They view the Bible as Some literal, some symbolic; some as simple propaganda which should be ignored. Their social views tend to be liberal (e.g. pro-choice) The Princeton Religion Research Center (PRRC) says: "Liberals are sometimes viewed as substituting social concerns for the true Gospel, too compromising with the world, morally loose, having a shallow knowledge of the Bible and too much influenced by secular humanism." * Mainline wing: (e.g. Presbyterians (USA) and Methodists). As the name implies, these are faith groups whose beliefs, priorities and policies lie between the conservatives and liberals: - They look upon the Bible as containing the Word of God but do not necessarily view all passages being the inerrant word of God. - They are divided about belief in the origins of life and the universe. ... ____________________________________ D.R. Hodge & D.A. Roozen, Eds., "Understanding church growth and decline," Pilgrim Press (1979) , Page 185. Cited in B. Spilka, et al., "The Psychology of Relgion: An empirical approach," Prentice-Hall, (1985), Page 41 Assemblies of God (the most conservative) Seventh-Day Adventist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod Church of the Nazarene Southern Baptist Convention Churches of Christ Presbyterian Church in the United States (Southern)* American Baptist Churches in the USA Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) * United Methodist Church Episcopal Church United Church of Christ. (the most liberal) * The United presbyterian Church merged in 1983 to form the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)____________________________________
Forgetting about the atheist and agnostic views there are a whole range of views within the Christian community on how to interpret the Bible.
Some of the most popular resources representing each view are:
"Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism" by John Shelby Spong, an Episcopal Bishop
Spong argues that the Bible and Christianity are still relevant without a literal interpretation of the Bible. He points out some of the obvious inconsistencies in details which make it imposible to claim inerrancy. He argues that fundamentalists who make inerrancy claims are turning people away from Christianity.
The Institute for Creation Research (ICR.org) founded by Henry Morris
Survey on Beliefs of protestant Ministers
A survey completed by the sociologist Jeffrey Hadden. In this survey the beliefs
of ten thousand Protestant ministers were questioned in May 1982 (7,441 responded) Results were published in 1998 (1). Here they are :
1. Is the Bible the inspired, inerrant Word of God? Over 80% of ministers said "no." 67% of American Baptists said "No." 82% of Presbyterians said "No." 87% of Methodists said "No." 95% of Episcopalians said "No." 2. Was Jesus born of a virgin? Over 50% of ministers said "no." The following ministers do not believe in the virgin birth: (4) American Lutherans 19% American Baptists 34% Episcopalians 44% Presbyterians 49% Methodists 60% 3. Was Jesus the son of God? Over 80% of ministers said "no." 4. Do you believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus? Over 36% of the ministers said "no.""In a survey of students at 16 evangelical colleges and seminaries, "over 50% of those surveyed, for example, said the Bible should not be taken literally in matters of science and history.
Over 30% said that those who never had an opportunity to hear of Jesus Christ could nevertheless go to heaven."
In a 2013 article, Mainline Churches: Past, Present, Future in the Huffington Post, William B. Bradshaw talks about the decline in mainline churches and says,
Other surveys at:
The Christian Left Welcomes You
The Liberal Tradition - Fr. Richard Rohr, The Center for Action and Contemplation
Presbyterian Church USA Issues