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whats the difference between churches?
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Hi All

I have always been interested in core beliefs of different churches; the one thing that has always interested me is what different churches believe in.

This is my question

What is the difference between charismatic and evangelical?

What is the difference between Anglican and Pentecostal?

What is the difference between Baptist and Methodist?

Why do Pentecostals, charismatic’s, and evangelicals, think they are something special.

Why is the Catholic Church so linked to the Anglican Church?

I would love to hear from anyone who can teach me about this kind of thing.

It would be great for me to humble myself and learn from others who know something about this kind of thing.

It might help me to grow in this area.

OK..... broad brush definitions......

FULLY open to corrections!

Charismatics are big on the works of the Holy Spirit. Tongues, prayer ministry, slain in the spirit etc

evangelicals are big on getting folks SAVED, and sometimes don't do much about post saving growth.....

Pentecostal is a denomination with Charismatic outlook

Anglicans (episcopalians) all have access to Cranmers 1600s prayer book. SOME stick rigidly to it and can look very similar to REoman Catholic services. some very "HIGH CHURCH" anglicans refer to themselves as anglocatholic. several hundred have recently transferred to the RC church over the woman bishop discussions.

"Why do Pentecostals, charismatic’s, and evangelicals, think they are something special?"

because they ARE!!

in their eyes they think that they are going the best way about worship etc.

and it's not just those folks, pretty much any denomination or movement can feel that way

some Anglicans ARE pentecostal....... well, charismatic anyway.......

around here, the pentecostals seem to be more fundamental, stricter on rules, more legalistic, very keen on wearing "sunday best" carrying HUGE bibles, and sticking with traditional hymns etc rather than more contemporary music and instrumentation.

I stress the "round here"

the Anglican Church grew out of the RC church. some services are VERY similar.

but then the Methodists grew out of the Anglican church, and in several places are reuniting. our church for instance

Baptists and Methodists?

I could be wrong on this, but Baptists are a fairly loose assembly of churches who are pretty autonomous. Methodists are a tighter bunch warranged into local groupings with an area overseer, like a Bishop in Anglican/RC

Baptists are keen on believers baptism rather than infant like most of the more traditional denominations.

I'm bound to be wrong on some of these!!

thanks Martin

for giving me some insight into church history, it really is very helpful. the only reason i didnt mention roman catholics is because thats where i came from.

yet 12 years ago this year in 1999 aged 30 i became a christian, so yes mass, confessions, saints, idols, hail mary.
i grew up with all that catholic boarding schools etc.

Martin sounds about right there.

Anglican churches can also be Evangelical and/or Charismatic, and so can other churches... it's rarely black-and-white, but mainly describes the theological standpoint of the church in question. The Church of England in itself can range incredibly widely in how individual churches do things, as I've discovered!

In my experience, evangelical churches tend to be more Gospel-focussed, but can also be just as good as other churches in post-conversion support. The churches I've known that have called themselves as being 'evangelical' (no matter what their 'official' denomination) tend to be quite sound and Bible-focussed.

Feel free to ask more questions, I'm sure people here will be more than happy to answer them!

Would it be right to say that historically speaking, the differences can be traced back to their departure point from a core Church which was directly connected by culture and succession of leaders?

The difference between these denominations really stem from that point in time when they leave the apostolic church and form another branch under a new name by which they would rather be defined. So all protestant churches can be traced family tree style to the Catholic Church (the original universal church instituted by Christ). And of course, if we go further back that spiritual body itself has its human roots in the Jewish traditions in which Jesus himself grew up in and practised, so that ultimately we all have 'ancestors' towards Abraham and Adam - those one-to-one personal encounters with God the Father.

I'm interested to learn about how different denominations feel about admitting their shared heritage - I believe that God desires unity, not division - but that something must be at work in the many branches which have split out from the original vine (Jn 17).


In Christ,


Cras, hodie, semperque.

Sounds about right to me. Things like the Protestant church came also from wanting a change in how church was done because they felt that the way it was being done at the time was not in accordance with the Bible (NB - I think Luther, one of the big figures in the Reformation, as it was called, actually didn't want a split, but just wanted the church as a whole to change its ways)

Agreed Kathryn.. as I understand it, he didn't even stand up and say "this is wrong" as such, he just started debating the structures and how things had got so different from how they were in the NT church.

as to the family tree idea.....

well its a LITTLE more complex as there are denominations and styles and the two overlap a lot.

for instance, as has already been said there are huge variations within the anglican church. we go from High church, a lot of which leans past the most Catholic of RC churches and is almost knocking on the door of the Greek Orthodox with the insence, and tight adherence to the liturgy, to WAY don the other end of the spectrum where the clergy don't robe, or even wear a collar, the music is contemporary, and the service is evangelical and charismatic.

I suppose it IS a bit like a family tree....

I'm my fathers son, but my worship style is very different to what he's still involved with in his traditional Presbyterian church......

thank you guys im learning so much here, it is great to know about church history and why we have so many different denominations who vary in their styles of worship and services.

Here we go...

"What is the difference between charismatic and evangelical?"

Both terms are quite hard to define. Neither are denominations - so you can have a Charismatic Catholic and an Evangelical Anglican.

The Charismatic movement began in the 1970s (ish) when more mainstream denominations (Anglican, C of S, etc) began embracing the idea of God's spirit manifesting supernaturally in a way that had been understood by Pentecostals (and other braches of Evangelicalism over the last couple of hundred years). Key players would be John Wimber in the USA, Sandy Miller in the UK and the Vinyard movement. Intimacy in worship is seen as key, with gathered worship being accompanied by manifestations of the Spirit.

Evangelicalism began in the mid-1800s by the Wesleys and George Whitefield. It was a reaction against national religion that was the result of the reformation, if you went to church and said a particular confession of faith you were a Christian. One of the main ideas of Evangelicalism was that faith had to be a personal experience of God's saving love. Generally the four main aspects of Evangelicalism are: a high view of the Bible, a particular emphasis on the cross of Christ, a belief that faith changes lives for the better, and active, public expression of faith.

"What is the difference between Anglican and Pentecostal?"

Anglicanism began in the 1540s when Henry VIII decided that England should leave the Catholic church so he could get divorced (strange but unfortunately true!). It's reformed in theology (salvation by faith, no transubstantiation, etc) , but Catholic in structure (it's kept bishops and liturgy for instance). Now, theologically, it ranges from the very liberal, to the very "high" (almost Catholic),to charismatic and evangelical (like HTB).

Pentecostalism began in he early 1900s in LA and was marked by an understanding that a "baptism by the spirit" (meaning supernatural manifestations, particularly tongues) was a key part of what it meant to be a Christian. It's the fastest growing denomination in the world - mosting in Africa, S Americ and Asia. It's never been quite so popular in the UK.

"What is the difference between Baptist and Methodist?"

They're both denominations in the independant Evangelical tradition that appeared in the 18th century.

Methodism was started by the Wesleys, who were members of the Church of England. They are classically Arminian and not Calvinist in their theology (if you look at Charles Wesley's hymn lyrics you'll see that come through.)

Baptists are more typically Calvinist, and are defined by their views on adult baptism and often the separation of church and state.

"Why do Pentecostals, charismatic’s, and evangelicals, think they are something special."

All Christian denomination think they are the most "right"! Add a dose of pride and you can easily end up thinking everyone else is "wrong". Some pentecostal (or charismatic) traditions will base whether you are a "real Christian" on whether you have had a certain experience (for instance speaking in tongues).

"Why is the Catholic Church so linked to the Anglican Church?"

Because in terms of church governance they are the most similar. They are both goverened by Bishops. And both can claim to trace their line of bishops back to Peter.


thank you for that i only knew a little bit of this history, i didnt know most of it. thank you for your input its very beneficial.

i have learned so much from this post.

Ditto, Paul, it's nice to have some potted history, thanks!