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Christianity: The world's largest religion.

Religions of the world

Christianity: The world's largest religion
From all viewpoints: There are many:
yours and a few thousand others

"Christianity started out in Palestine as a fellowship; it moved to Greece and became a philosophy; it moved to Italy and became an institution; it moved to Europe and became a culture; it came to America and became an enterprise." Variously attributed to Sam Pascoe, an American scholar and to Richard Halverson, former chaplain to the U.S. Senate. Pascoe is cited as the author more than ten times as often as Halverson on the Internet.
"Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words." -- Francis of Assisi.
"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Paul, Ephesians 3:16-19 (NIV)
"Christianity is not a religion; it is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ." Anonymous posting to a Christian mailing list.
"The world is equally shocked at hearing Christianity criticized and seeing it practiced." Elton Trueblood, (1900 - 1994), American author and theologian.
Many people think that the Bible is the authentic word of God and they worship the Bible, making it an idol..." Alan Watts, from "The Essence of Alan Watts series - GOD.

About Christianity:
The contents of this section might not be what you expect.

There are over a million religious web sites on the Internet. Almost all promote a single viewpoint -- that of the webmaster. This web site is different. Our goal is to help religious people understand the diversity of beliefs and practices within Christianity.

This web site has a lot more material on Christianity than on any other religion. That is because about 75% of American adults identify themselves as Christian. In comparison, the next largest religions are Islam and Judaism, whose memberships total only one or two percent of the U.S. population.

There are probably thousands of different definitions of the word "Christian." We have chosen the same inclusive definition as is used by public opinion pollsters and government census offices: A "Christian" includes any group or individual who seriously, devoutly, prayerfully describes themselves as Christian. Under this definition, Christianity includes: Roman Catholics, Southern Baptists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, United Church members, even a small minority of Unitarian Universalists, etc.

We try to explain the full diversity of Christian beliefs: from those held by very conservative to very liberal believers. Sometimes we also include the diversity of beliefs of the very early Christian movement from the 1st and 2nd century CE.

Many of our visitors are distressed because they find the material on our site which describes beliefs by Christians from other denominations. They regard these beliefs to be in gross error, unacceptable, and even blasphemous and un-Christian or anti-Christian. If you are distressed by these beliefs, please do not write us angry Emails. Please take up your complaints with the people who hold those beliefs. We are religious reporters, not theologians. However, if you find that we have incorrectly explained the beliefs of a Christian group, please do inform us.

Points of concern:
It is our policy to compare and contrast the beliefs and practices of very conservative with very liberal Christians. Most North American Christians belong to either a mainline denomination or the Roman Catholic Church. Their own faith group may teach some beliefs similar to the conservative wing of Christianity. Some beliefs are similar to that of the liberal wing. Some beliefs are intermediate between the two.

We feel that it is important for persons of all faith groups (Christian and non-Christian) to understand the great diversity of Christian beliefs -- both among denominations today and throughout history. Many Christians are aware of their own denomination's current beliefs, but are unfamiliar with the history of those beliefs, or of the teachings of other denominations. Whether you want to convert others or dialogue with them, it helps to know what they believe.

People in the U.S. and Canada are going to need religious understanding and tolerance in the future. These two countries are the most religiously diverse countries in the world -- and are becoming increasingly diverse. If current trends reported by the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) continue:

The percentage of adults in both countries who identify themselves as Christian will continue to drop by about 0.8 percentage points per year.
Some commentators predicted that adults in the Protestant denominations of Christianity probably became a minority sometime during 2006
Christians will become a minority in in Canada about 2023 and in the U.S. about the year 2042.

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My dear Friend, no offense intended -- but, you had to really scrape the bottom of the barrel to get this one. For many years, there has been an ecumenical movement among liberal churches and liberal leader to bring in the Ecumenical Church. What is this? It is a church where everyone, regardless of your religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs -- can all come together in one church, sanctuary, temple, or mosque -- and let everyone worship together. You would have Christians worshiping God; Muslims worshiping Allah; Buddhists worshiping any or all of their thousands of gods; Hindus worshiping their gods of nature, and all the other religions of the world, each worshiping his or her own set of gods -- side by side. And you would have the atheists in the basement worshiping at the altar of Darwin.

My Friend, that is the One World Church described in the Bible -- and it will one day happen. But, not for a while.

There is no way that you can have Christians worshiping God, in fellowship with others worshiping other gods, cows, Darwin, or rocks. The Bible tells us, in Deuteronomy 5:9, "You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God. . ."

In the Bible, we are told of King Solomon, with God given wisdom which made him the wisest man in the known world. Yet, he tried a version of Ecumenism with his many wives -- and angered God. We read about this in 1 Kings.

1 Kings 11:1-3, "Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the sons of Israel, 'You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.' Solomon held fast to these in love. He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away."

1 Kings 11:4-8, "For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians and after Milcom the detestable idol of the Ammonites. Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not follow the LORD fully, as David his father had done. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable idol of Moab, on the mountain which is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the detestable idol of the sons of Ammon. Thus also he did for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods."

1 Kings 11:9-11, "Now the LORD was angry with Solomon because his heart was turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not observe what the LORD had commanded. So the LORD said to Solomon, 'Because you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant.'"

God does not mean for us to worship with those of other religions; God does not mean for us to be in fellowship with those of other religions -- and God certainly does not want us acknowledge the gods of those other religions by having joint worship services.

By the way, America is today worshiping "Molech the detestable idol of the sons of Ammon" -- for this is the god where worshipers would take their infant babies and lay them on the red hot metal arms of Molech, burning that child to a horrible death.

Today, our Molech is named Abortion -- and the worst of the Molech/Abortion gods is one called Partial Birth Abortion; where the doctor takes a child ready to be born, actually in the birth channel -- pulls the child around so that its legs are hanging out and its head is still in the birth channel. Then the abortionist takes a sharp instrument, scissors or scalpel, and pokes a hole in the head of the baby. Then the abortionist puts a suction cup into that hole and suctions out the brains of this infant -- who until its head was punctured, was very much alive. At this point, the abortionist can truthfully declare that the child is brain dead (personally, so is the abortionist) and can discard the dead body in a trash bin. Yes, many Americans today worship at the alter of Molech/Abortion -- and the results are that since 1973, Americans have been sacrificing 1.6 MILLION babies EACH YEAR in America. Out grand total to date: OVER 48 MILLION DEAD BABIES. I believe this can qualify to be called INFANTICIDE; the mass murder of small humans.

PBA, I visited the web site you recommended:

This organization, Religious Tolerance, is a Far Left Liberal organization which is pushing Ecumenism and a form of Universalism, where everyone is good, everyone will be saved -- God will not allow anyone to go to eternal hell. In Universalism, no matter what you do, God will find a way to allow you to enter into heaven.

My Friend, that is not true. The Universalists teach a false hope and we are warned against this in 1 John 4:1-4 "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world."

Is the actual Antichrist in the world now? We do not know; but, if the Rapture occurs in the next few years, we will know that he is alive and well -- and waiting for his master, Satan, to activate him. In the meantime, false teachers such as the Universalists and Ecumenist are laying the groundwork, getting folks ready for "the spirit of the antichrist" -- and for his One World Government and One World Church.

What does the Bible say about universal salvation, i.e., that ALL people will be saved?

1 Timothy 2:3-4, "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."

2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance."

God, being a God of perfect love, does want everyone to be saved. Yet, He has established guidelines for how a person is to be saved, as we are told in John 3:3, "Jesus answered and said to him, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.'"

Finally, Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:13-14, "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it."

So, my Friend, this Utopian Unviversalist/Ecumenical teaching that all are good, all will be saved -- is a lie; a lie perpetrated to deceive and mislead many people away from God.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill Gray

Alabama bred,
California fed,
Blessed by God to be a Christian American!

To be added to my Friends Ministry mail list please e-mail me at

Bill & Dory's Ministry Web Site:

To read my recent articles published in The Conservative Voice, click on this URL:

I owe you an apology. After posting my previous message, I reread it -- and found that the opening statement, "My dear Friend, no offense intended -- but, you had to really scrape the bottom of the barrel to get this one" might seem to be offensive.

PBA, I assure you that I was not trying to be smart-mouth or offensive to you. If I could repost; I would remove the first sentence. But, since I do not have that capability -- please accept my apology if this sounds offensive to you.

It was not intended to be in any way.

Thank you and God bless,

Bill Gray
Hi Micah, Joy, What4, and the other Christian believers on the Forum,

There is an old proverb attributed to the Englishman, John Heywood, in 1546 -- and used by Jonathan Swift in 1738, and in America by Thomas Chalkey in 1713, which says, "There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know."

I can think of no better description of our atheist Friends on the TimesDaily Forum -- for they would stand looking at the sun and question whether it was really there or not. And, the sad part is that there is no way to open their eyes to the real truth; for they have bought into the lies of the world.

There is a Biblical base for this proverb, in both the Old Testament and the New Testament:

In the New Testament, Matthew 13:10 tells us, "And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?'"

In Matthew 13:13, Jesus explains to His disciples, "Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand."

What better description can we find for our atheist Friends than this -- that they are so blinded by the secular world, they cannot see the Truth of the Gospel when the entire universe declares the glory of God?

And, in the Old Testament, God through the prophet Jeremiah (5:21-24) tells of those judged because of their stubbornness, "Now hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see; who have ears but do not hear."

"'Do you not fear Me?' declares the LORD. 'Do you not tremble in My presence? For I have placed the sand as a boundary for the sea, an eternal decree, so it cannot cross over it. Though the waves toss, yet they cannot prevail; though they roar, yet they cannot cross over it.'"

"But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart; they have turned aside and departed. They do not say in their heart, 'Let us now fear the LORD our God, Who gives rain in its season, both the autumn rain and the spring rain, Who keeps for us the appointed weeks of the harvest.'"

In Isaiah chapter 6, God instructs the prophet Isaiah to declare the purposes of God, even though the people would reject his ministry -- much as our atheist Friends reject anything we tell them about God. In verses 9-10, we read, "He said, 'Go, and tell this people: "Keep on listening, but do not perceive; keep on looking, but do not understand. Render the hearts of this people insensitive, their ears dull, and their eyes dim, otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and return and be healed."'"

In the Scripture passage above, the Israelite people are just like our atheist Friends and like Pharaoh, whom God allowed to harden his heart, and then used Pharaoh's heart condition to glorify Himself, God, among the Israelite people, His people.

My Christian Friends, trying to reason with those who have hardened their hearts and swear allegiance to the evolution religion of Charles Darwin -- at some point becomes a fruitless endeavor. As Jesus tells His disciples in Luke 9:5, when He was sending them out to preach the Gospel, "And as for those who do not receive you, as you go out from that city, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them."

This is what we need to do with our atheist Friends, shake the dust of their remarks from our feet -- quit responding to their barbs and caustic comments. Let them talk to one another -- but, we Christians should be addressing those who might be sincere seekers, those who have not closed their ears to the possibility of the Truth found in the Bible, in the Gospel -- and to those who are not believers, yet are still open to being our Friends. There is no need to reply to the atheist's degrading remarks; when gas is passed, if you ignore it, it will soon float away. So, too, with cutting atheistic remarks from those whose only purpose on the Forum is to argue.

Let us use this Forum to share the Word of God, to glorify Him -- and to reach out to those who might be open. While there are maybe 10, 15, 20 who actively post and respond to post on the Forum -- there must be hundreds, possibly thousands, who read the Forum discussions, absorb what is written; both by we Christians and by the atheists -- and, yet, do not post comments or questions themselves. I truly believe that the audience God wants us to be addressing are these dear folks. He wants us to be shining the light of the Gospel so brightly on this Forum; that the darkness of secular atheism will be overcome.

I will leave you with one thought. If you enter a room that is totally in darkness -- then, light one small match -- that light overcomes the darkness. Let each one of us be that single light, that match, which ignites the light of the Gospel to our Muscle Shoals area Friends and Family.

In The Guideposts Treasury of Faith, Ralph L. Woods, wrote the story, "A Genuine Christian." It reads: John Ruskin (1819-1900), was an artist, scientist, poet, environmentalist, philosopher, and the pre-eminent art critic of his time in England. One evening during the latter part of his life in the late 1800s, he sat at a window in his home watching a lamplighter, with torch in hand, ignite the street lamps on a distant hill. Since it was dark the lamplighter himself could not be seen, but his progress up the hill could be observed as successive lamps were lighted.

After a few minutes Ruskin turned to a friend and said, "That illustrates what I mean by a genuine Christian. You may not know him or ever see him, but his way has been marked by the lights he leaves burning."

My Christian Friends, that is why God has us in the TimesDaily Forum -- to be that lamplighter who, though often not seen, still leaves the light of the Gospel burning wherever we walk. I proudly walk with you.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill Gray

Alabama bred,
California fed,
Blessed by God to be a Christian American!

To be added to my Friends Ministry mail list please e-mail me at

Bill & Dory's Ministry Web Site:

To read my recent articles published in The Conservative Voice, click on this URL:

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