Ah, an autonomous, congregational faith sprung from, I believe, the Swedish Lutherans. I studied most branches of Christianity during my pursuit of my BTh a few years ago.
No, not at all. In fact, I believe that the better we know one another, the less likely we are to be hostile to one another. Even posting a photo would help.
Another Lutheran-based faith. Good. Luther was a good man.
Weeeelllll---I wish I shared your optimism on that front! Fact of the matter is, religion is always going to be a subject of contention, no matter what.
Luther was a good man in many ways---in others, unfortunately perhaps not so much. There's no doubt that he had a TREMENDOUS influence on the history of the Christian church. Oh, no doubt the Roman Catholic church would have splintered in time; that was just the way the wind was blowing. But he helped the process along considerably.
The Lutherans are an interesting bunch (of course I would say that, wouldn't I...) There is no world-wide Lutheran church, similar in structure to the Roman Catholic or Anglican churches (for instance). The Lutheran church is pretty much autonomous in every country in which it has a presence. And in the case of some countries (like the US), there are several autonomous branches of the Lutheran church.
All branches share some core beliefs, of course. However, the ELCA (of which I am a member) realises that there are many different viewpoints regarding scripture, and so does permit a certain amount of leeway for individual interpretation.
New Church (Swedenborgian.) There aren't enough to actually have too many church congregations, so a small group of us get together a few times a year. The rest of the time I attend the United Church of Christ but only on the condition that I get to call it the Congregational.
St. Lawrence in Felton, CA.
Under the Greek Patriarchate, but we're 99% converts. Our music is more Russian-based.
Dandy, FYI, First Congregational in Santa Cruz is the venue for all sorts of concerts, meetings, etc.
The locals call it "Primo Congo".
The Swedenborgians have some terrific ideas with regards to new thought within their faith. I guess that's why the name.
The Orthodox are a beautiful, rich faith. And old - going all the way back to the Eastern/Western split of 1054.
That's interesting, Dandelion---I confess I had never even heard of that religious group before you posted! So, I looked the church up on-line to get a sense of where you're coming from.
A good friend asked today if I was Christian. Well, we are not supposed to judge ourselves or others spiritually, but I know what I believe, so I said, "I was brought up that way, yes."
Where do you get that idea, dandelion? You can judge other Christians. Not throwing the book at them, but with kindess and great mercy draw them back from the wrong ways. But you are not to judge non-Christians. This is scriptural. But this idea about yourself? Not scriptural.
Read: 1st Corinthians, verses 28-32.
or judging flase prophets: Galatians 1, verse 8
Well, that's a related idea...defining Christianity by actions, not just beliefs. The New Church is opposite to the attitude of "Okay, I'm saved, now I don't have to worry about how I act." In fact, they rate actions and intentions higher than beliefs.
So do I.
Hmm! Oh Yummy! Just the kind of conversation I like. Not ignoring the book of James, then, dandelion, how do you recon with the book of Ephesians, Chapter 2, verses 8 thru 10.
Which reads in part: "God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can't take credit for this: it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. etc."
Raised a Roman Catholic, I travel occasionally between Baptist, Evangelical and Roman Catholic services.
Many passages in the Bible which seem contradictory aren't, depending on interpretation.
dandelion: That doesn't answer my question. I was asking your understanding of scripture in terms of salvation. Is it by actions or belief?
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