The Christian Church is not one united community

Christian Missionaries often try to give the impression that there single Christian church. All you have to do is join this Church to be saved. In fact there are many denominations, each one seeing itself as the “true church”. Many Christians would claim that by following one group of missionaries you are not saved, you should join their church instead, they are the true Christians.

The two largest Christian denomination are the Catholic Church and the Anglican Church. The Catholic church will only give sacrament to Anglicans under extreme circumstances. The leaflet “conditions allowing non-Catholics to receive sacrament from a Catholic Minister” lays down strict conditions under which sacrament can be given. Catholics are also forbidden from receiving sacraments from other Christian denominations. Most churches within the Anglican church have an “open communion, allowing other Christians (though not those of other faiths) to receive communion.

In parts of the world there is conflict between the Catholic and Anglican Churches, particularly in Northern Ireland. In Scotland there is also hostility between these churches. It has to be said that neither church supports this type of open hostility.

The disagreement between the two major denominations is nothing compared to that between minor churches. Many of these are evangelical churches who support conversion at any cost. The CARM site has a whole section saying why catholicism is incorrect. There are sites claiming that “catholicism is a sure road to hell“, reflecting another common Christian belief, that not only do you have to be a Christian to avoid hell, but in the group of “real Christians”. A Scottish Church excommunicated (expelled) a member for attending a funeral of close friends:

Perhaps best remembered for an incident when Mackay, who was an elder of the Free Church, had attended the funeral masses for two close Roman Catholic friends. This was considered a ‘crime’ by the Free Church authorities and he was excommunicated, bringing about a split and the formation of Associated Presbyterian Church (1989).

At the extreme, some Christian denominations rejoice in their belief that others are destined for hell. One site says:

The Amish children from Pennsylvania are even now in hell. Stop spreading the lie that they were innocent. They were just as degenerate and deserving of hell as the pervert who killed them.

This site, referring to a brutal murder is not typical of Christians by any means. Most Christians would disagree with the site.

There are also liberal Christians, who believe that there are many paths to God, and that Jesus is just one of them. Of course they are not the ones sending out the missionaries.


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