Contrary to simplistic understandings of Christianity
, there are major differences between the various Christian
faiths about a number of core beliefs such as . . .
. . . the meaning of the Eucharist in communion.
. . . the importance of faith vs. works in both Christian duties and in salvation.
. . . whether Scripture is inerrant OR fallible, and whether tradition functions as a source of spiritual truth.
. . . whether Original Sin is a literal spiritual tainting OR a metaphor for the loss of innocence.
. . . whether God is best understood as a Trinitarian deity OR as a Unitarian deity.
. . . whether saints should be venerated.
. . . infant baptism OR adult baptism.
. . . whether clergy must be men OR may be men and women, whether clergy must remain celibate, and whether clergy must all be heterosexual.
. . . the place of women in the church and home, and the place of gays in God's plan (damned? misled? a blessed sexual orientation of which Paul was ignorant?).
. . . the status of The Virgin Mary in her relationship to God through bearing Jesus Christ.
. . . whether one should relate to God as Lawgiver and Judge OR as Liberator and Lover.
. . . whether the Sacraments are the means of grace OR the symbols of grace.
. . . whether other religions can provide useful perspectives for understanding one's faith OR instead are threats, temptations, and/or abominations.
. . . whether conversion of the Jews is a Christian mandate OR is an abhorrent act of disrespect against a Great World Religion.
. . . whether Judaism is a great world religion OR the belief of a people abandoned by God for rejecting Jesus.
. . . whether there is Universal Salvation OR Select Salvation for an elite few who repent in accordance with certain invariable protocols involving Jesus Christ.
. . . whether Satan is a literal entity of evil OR a metaphor for human evil.
. . . whether Hell is a literal location OR a metaphoric place.
. . . whether God is a merciful God who eventually will redeem even those in Hell OR a lawful God who abandons the damned to eternal torment.
. . . whether one should follow a literal interpretation OR a figurative interpretation of The Christian Bible OR some combination thereof.
. . . whether ALL Scripture is useful OR some must be rejected as unethical, such as those passages advocating slavery or child abuse or leaving one's parents unburied.
. . . which is greater -- the Great Commission to evangelize OR the Great Commandment to love God and one's fellow humans.
. . . whether belief or disbelief in evolution bears any relevance to one's Christianity.
. . . whether the gathering of Scriptures into The Christian Bible was inerrantly inspired by God OR was a fallible act by human beings who could not completely avoid their ethnocentric biases.