This thread is especially for those religiously inclined, more so those who profess or hold some sort of Christian beliefs. All are welcome to participate though.
I was reading a pdf of an article set to release in a couple of months entitled, What Are The Marks Of True Christianity?
The article started by bringing out that there were reportedly over 2 billion professed "Christians" worldwide in 2010. However, this 2 billion was divided into something like 41,000 different denominations. You would think to yourself, why so many different denominations? Aren't they all supposed to be following The [one] Christ? Can they all be worshiping in an acceptable manner?
There are some groups we might consider extremists, others that are much lesser known. Some denominations take up a large following whereas others might be considered "cults" and "sects" by some.
So why so many? Which one(s) is/are doing it right? If these following words from Jesus in the Bible mean anything, then obviously not all "Christians" are actual Christians.
Matthew 7: 21-23 which says:
In addition, the apostle Paul wrote these words to the first century Christians (the first Christians) about being "one." So originally, there was supposed to be (and there was) one set of Christians. One way, one set of beliefs, one practice, one group. They were united and it was encouraged. For example:“Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will. Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?’ And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew YOU! Get away from me, YOU workers of lawlessness.
Ephesisans 4:1-6 -It wasn't until after the apostles had all died that new ideas and deviations from the original form of Christianity started to really spread (which was foretold in many instances).I, therefore, the prisoner in [the] Lord, entreat YOU to walk worthily of the calling with which YOU were called, 2*with complete lowliness of mind and mildness, with long-suffering, putting up with one another in love, 3*earnestly endeavoring to observe the oneness of the spirit in the uniting bond of peace. 4*One body there is, and one spirit, even as YOU were called in the one hope to which YOU were called; 5*one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6*one God and Father of all [persons], who is over all and through all and in all.
For instance Acts 20: 29, 30 -So we do not have to go by what the article said, but it was a good reference for me in formulating an idea and making this thread. Question overall is then: When it comes both to a group and an individual - What do you feel makes a Christian, Christian (qualities, actions, beliefs, etc.)? Do you feel there is "True Christianity"?*I know that after my going away oppressive wolves will enter in among YOU and will not treat the flock with tenderness,*and from among YOU yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves.