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A summary of Protestant views on homosexuality should be started on the new page discussing Religion and homosexuality.


What's the best way to mention the oft-heard usage, "Catholics and Christians" whereby Christians refers to Protestants or some supposedly authentic subgroup, and Catholics wind up sounding non-Christian? --Ed Poor



English seems to lack a word for Christian denominations which have never been a part of the Roman Catholic Church, such as some of the Syrian churches, the Saint Thomas Christians of India, and the Ti-Ping movement. These are often called Protestant but the useage is not correct because they did not protest against and leave the Roman Catholic Church in the first place, but formed separately.

Most of these present no problem - they are either Catholic, Eastern Orhodox, or Oriental Orthodox. The Syrian churches are either members of Eastern Orthodoxy (The Syrian Orthodox Church), the Catholic Church (the Melkite Catholic Church), or are part of Oriental Orthodoxy. None of those are single words, but they are in general usage in English to describe them. The Thomas Christians are called Malabar Christians or Thomas Christians, who for a very long time had Syrian bishops and were in communion with the Oriental Orthodox. I don't know about the Ti-Ping movement. --MichaelTinkler

I like classifying things into categories when possible. It makes them easier to remember and refer to. Here are some ideas, many of which are probably wrong (or worse, useless):

  • Protestant vs. Catholic
  • Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox. (supposed to comprise the totality of Christianity. Ha.)
  • Christian vs. Heathen
  • Christian vs. Catholic (do Catholics employ this division too?)

Here are some labels, which may or not be useful:

  • Fundamentalist
  • Heretic
  • Cult

Note that many Christian groups do not consider themselves "denominations" although that's a handy way to describe them. --Ed Poor


*Christian vs. Catholic (do Catholics employ this division too?) No, Ed, the narrow-minded among Catholics refer to 'Catholics and non-Christians'. It might be better, rather than making lists, to write entries explaining why people think a 'vs.' is useful. --MichaelTinkler


What we're currently listing as denominations are really categories, types or groups of denominations, not the denominations themselves. The actual number of distinct Protestant denominations runs into the tens of thousands. I'd like to suggest that we call the list here something like "Categories of Denominations" and pretty much leave the list, except maybe delete Free Methodist; it's actually specific. If someone wants to list or create an entry for an actual, specific denomination, it can be listed on the Baptist or Methodist page. If it fits in more than one category, perhaps Baptist and Calvinist, there's no harm in listing both. I just don't think we want the list on this page to risk growing into dozens or hundreds.

So, any strong feelings about what to rename the list? --Wesley


Wesley: I agree, but instead of the terms "categories" or "groups", I'd prefer to say "families of denominations" or "Protestant traditions", or something like that. (Just think it sounds nicer.) -- SJK


"Families of denominations" sounds good to me. I wasn't really comfortable with any of my suggestions, and I'm glad you thought of something better. -- Wesley