Talk:Christianity/Archive 7

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3 divisions

I was just thinking that for accuracy, it should be mentioned that Anglicanism is not strictly a Protestant denomination in the sense of Lutheranism, for example, because it was not started by reformers over doctrinal issues, but by a king who claimed authority of the Roman Catholic Church in England. The differences of belief with Roman Catholicism came later. I agree Anglicanism/Episcopalianism should be broadly grouped as Protestant, but a word of elaboration would be helpful. Kevinbrowning 22:21, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Archive

I did some archiving (again). I hope I haven't broken up any ongoing conversations. Str1977 20:43, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Definition of Christianity

"Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament writings of his early followers."

this is the quote, however, i always thought Christianity bases itself on the whole of the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation?? Please enlighten me... thank you. --211.30.122.254 13:01, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

You are coming into the middle of a long and very detailed argument. In essence the simplest and most inclusive statement that would describe Christianity in a sentence was something like "... religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth". The remainder of the sentence ("as presented in the New Testament") was added on because of the various people who insist that the New Testament was written hundreds of years after Jesus and therefore doesn't reflect the actual teaching of Jesus. To substitute something like "based on the Bible" would be less accurate (and less inclusive) since several denominations allow sources of teaching other than the Bible. DJ Clayworth 22:35, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

This page has lumped Christianity with cults and non christian denominations. This needs to be fixed.

Though some say that the New Testament was written 100-300 years after Christ died, the truth is that it was written before the close of the first century by those who either knew Christ personally, had encountered him, or were under the direction of those who were His disciples.

If the Gospels were written from such close sources, with access to Mary the mother of Jesus then why are even the nativity accounts so different between them? For the gospels to have been broadly laid down before 70 A.D. there should be more consensus on the events they contain. The preceding unsigned comment was added by 86.137.164.37 (talk • contribs) 13:49, January 02, 2006.
Dear 86.137.164.37. Welcome to Wikipedia. Please sign your posts by typing ~~~~ at the end. That will automatically expand into your user name (in your case, your IP address, unless you register an account). It helps people who read this page later not to get confused. Also, if you are placing a comment in the middle of someone else's comment (not really recommended), please indent it by using one or more colons, so that it will stand out. Regarding the differences between the nativity accounts, there's no contradiction. If an angel appeared to Mary with one message, it doesn't mean that an angel didn't appear in a dream to Joseph with another message. If the shepherds came to the Child in the stable, on the night of His birth, that doesn't mean that wise men didn't come a few days later, when Joseph had managed to get the family into a house. Anyway, we're not meant to waste Wikipedia server space by arguing about whether or not the Bible is true, unless it's directly relevant to improving the article. If you have further comments, please place them at the bottom of the page, where people are more likely to see them. You can start a new section by clicking the + sign just to the right of "edit this page" at the top of any talk page. Cheers. AnnH (talk) 15:03, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Matthew, Mark, and Luke were all written before 70 A.D. the book of Acts was written by Luke. Luke fails to mention the destruction of Jerusalem in 79. A.D., nor does he mention the deaths of James (A.D. 62), Paul (A.D. 64), and Peter (A.D. 65). Since Acts is a historical document dealing with the church, we would naturally expect such important events to be recorded if Acts was written after the fact. Since Acts 1:1-2 mentions that it is the second writing of Luke, the gospel of Luke was written even earlier. Also, Jesus prophesied the destruction of the temple in the gospels: "As for these things which you are looking at, the days will come in which there will not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down," (Luke 21:5, see also Matt. 24:1; Mark 13:1). Undoubtedly, if Matthew, Mark, and Luke were written after the destruction of the Temple, they would have included the fulfillment of Christ's prophecy in them. Since they don't, it is very strong indication that they were written before 70 A.D. The gospel of John is supposed to have been written by John the apostle. It is written from the perspective of an eyewitness of the events of Christ's life. The John Rylands papyrus fragment 52 of John's gospel dated in the year 135 contains portions of John 18:31-33, 37-38. This fragment was found in Egypt and a considerable amount of time is needed for the circulation of the gospel before it reached Egypt. It is the last of the gospels and appears to have been written in the 80's to 90's.

Of important note is the lack of mention of the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 A.D. But this is understandable since John does not mention Jesus' prophecy of the destruction of the Temple. He was not focusing on historical events. Instead, he focused on the theological aspect of the person of Christ and listed His miracles and words that affirmed Christ's deity. This makes perfect sense since he already knew of the previously written gospels.

Furthermore, 1, 2, and 3 John all contain the same writing style as the gospel of John and the book of Revelation which is supposed to have been written in the late 80's or early 90's.

Paul's Writings Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 7 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon

    Paul the Apostle was a convert to Christianity.  The book of Acts speaks of his conversion in Acts 9.  Since Acts was written before 70 A.D. and Paul wrote the Pauline Epistles and we know that Paul died in 64 A.D., the Pauline Epistles were all written before that date.  Furthermore, in 1 Cor. 15:3-4 is an early creed of the Christian church where Paul mentions that Jesus had died and risen.  "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures," (1 Cor. 15:3-4).  Notice that he says he received this information.  From whom did he receive it?  Most probably the apostles since he had a lot of interaction with them.  This means that Paul received the gospel account from the eyewitnesses.  They were, of course contemporaries and since they all died before the turn of the century.  Therefore, their writings were completed within the lifetime of the apostles of Jesus.

Hebrews

    It is not known for sure who wrote the book of Hebrews.  Authorship has been proposed for Paul, Barnabas (Acts 4:36), Apollos (Acts 18:24), etc.  The only geographical area mentioned is Italy (Heb. 13:24).  The latest possible date for the writing of Hebrews is A.D. 95 but could have been written as early as A.D. 67.  The book of Hebrews speaks of the sacrifice by the High Priest in the present tense (Heb. 5:1-3; Heb. 7:27) possibly signifying that the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 A.D. had not yet happened.

James

   This epistles claims to have been written by James, "James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad, greetings," (James 1:1).  The question is, "Which James?"  Is it James, the son of Zebedee (Matt. 10:2-3); James, the son of Alphaeus (Matt. 10:2-3), or the most commonly and accepted James who was the brother of Jesus?  "Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56And His sisters, are they not all with us?" (Matt. 13:55).  Notice the context of the verses suggests immediate family since it mentions Jesus' Mother, brothers, and sisters.  Also, see Gal. 1:19 which says "Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days. 19But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord’s brother."  It is probable that James didn't believe in Jesus as the Messiah until Jesus appeared to him after His resurrection as is mentioned in 1 Cor. 15:7, "then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles."
    James was martyred by the order of the high priest  Ananus after the death of the "procurator Festus in A.D. 61 (Josephus, Ant. 20. 9)."  Therefore, the epistle of James was written before A.D. 61.1

1 and 2 Peter

    Both epistles clearly state that they were authored by Peter, an eyewitness of Jesus' life and post resurrection appearances.  Though there has been some who have doubted the authorship of these two epistles, the clear opening statements of each epistle tell us Peter was the author.  "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus...", (1 Pet. 1:1) and "Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours..." (2 Pet. 2:1).  It certainly seems most logical that Peter is indeed the author of the letters that bear his name.
    Peter died at Rome during Nero's persecution of Christians around 64 AD so the epistles were obviously written before that time.

1, 2, 3 John

    The writer of 1 John does not identify himself in the letter.  The writer of 2 and 3 John refers to himself as "the elder," (2 John 1; 3 John 1).  Regarding the first epistle, authorship can reasonably be determined to be that of John the Apostle. The opening of John is written from the perspective of someone who was there with Jesus (John 1:1-4).  Also, "Eusebius (Ecclesiastical History, 3.39) says of Papias, a hearer of John, and a friend of Polycarp, 'He used testimonies from the First Epistle of John.  Irenaeus, according to Eusebius (Ecclesiastical History, 5.8), often quoted this Epistle. So in his work Against Heresies (3.15; 5, 8) he quotes from John by name, 1 John 2:18...Clement of Alexandria (Miscellanies, 2.66, p. 464) refers to 1 Jn 5:16, as in John’s larger Epistle.'"2  "In the earliest canonical lists, dating from the end of the second century, 1 John already appears. Indeed, 1 John is quoted as authoritative by Bishop Polycarp of Smyrna [a disciple of John the apostle] before the middle of the second century. The attestation of 2 John is almost as good. There is no second-century reference to 3 John, but that is not surprising, since it deals with a specific, local issue."3  Furthermore, the style of the three epistles is very similar to that of the gospel of John.   1 John mentions the "word of life" (1 John 1:1) as does the gospel of John 1:1, etc.
    It appears that the epistles were written after the Gospel of John since the epistles seem to assume a knowledge of the gospel facts. 
    Date of writing varies from A.D. 60 to the early 90's.4

Jude

    Jude identifies himself as the brother of James (Jude 1).  It is most likely that Jude, in true Christian humility, does not want to equate himself as the brother of Jesus as he is traditionally held to be and seems to be supported by scripture:  "Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?" (Matt. 13:55).5  Instead, he mentions himself as a servant of Jesus, as James has also done. 
    The date of writing seems to be anywhere from A.D. 68 to the early 90's.  Remember that if Judas was a brother of Jesus, he was born around after Jesus which would mean the later the writing date, the older was Judas. There is no mention of the destruction of Jerusalem which could have been naturally included in the writing considering that Jude mentions judgments from God upon believers and unbelievers alike (Jude 5-12).  Nevertheless, it appears that Jude may have quoted from James.  Jude 17-18 says, "But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, 18that they were saying to you, "In the last time there shall be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts."  Compare this to 2 Pet. 3:3, "Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts."  If this is a quote, it would place the epistle after the writing of 2 Peter.6

Revelation

    The author of the Book of Revelation is John.  "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must shortly take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John," (Rev. 1:1). "Justin Martyr (Dialogue with Trypho, p. 308) (A.D.. 139–161) quotes from the Apocalypse, as John the apostle’s work."7
     Revelation was probably written at the end of John the Apostle's life.  Some hold to the 90's and it is the last book written in the New Testament.

Conclusion

   Though this information is basic, it supplies enough evidence to support the apostolic authorship of the New Testament documents.  The debate on the dating of the books may never be absolutely settled, but as scholarship and archaeology advance, confirmation of early authorship of the New Testament continues to be validated.

______________ 1. The New Bible Dictionary, (Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1962. 2. Jamieson, Robert; Fausset, A.R.; and Brown, David, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1998. 3. Achtemeier, Paul J., Th.D., Harper’s Bible Dictionary, (San Francisco: Harper and Row, Publishers, Inc.) 1985. 4. Walvoord, John F., and Zuck, Roy B., The Bible Knowledge Commentary, (Wheaton, Illinois: Scripture Press Publications, Inc.) 1983, 1985. 5. This is not Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus - "Judas (not Iscariot) *said to Him, "Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us, and not to the world?" (John 14:22). Also, Clement of Alexandria [Adumbrations, in Epistle of Jude, p. 1007] says, "Jude, through reverential awe, did not call himself brother, but servant, of Jesus Christ, and brother of James." Jamieson, Robert; Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. 6. Jamieson, Robert; Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. 7. ibid.

So Wikipedia space is about the official dominating view and anything else is a waste of space? My question about the lack of corroboration between the gospels is justified in an article explaining why they were written close to the events and are therefore very accurate. Sorry for the placing of the comment but as you guessed I am new. Looks like I'll need a thick skin and determination to survive in this community. I am very aware that this is a POV.

86.137.164.37 15:30, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Moved over opinion section

I moved this section over from the article. The user who posted the last bit seems to be right in my book. Str1977 14:45, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

Progressive Christianity -- Renewal A large number of Americans were shaken, after Bush's re-election on November 2, 2004, by the way the media has suddenly started to claim that Bush's mandate to govern was given to him by Christians based on some sort of Christian belief.

Most Christians believe that Christ taught about social justice and care for the poor; many Christians feel that Bush's policies are such an affront to their basic moral values that their religion compels them to fight his policies and work for a major political and social changes in the way America treats the poor.

At the moment, there are dozens of small grass-roots groups that have assembled throughout the US to read Jim Wallis and talk about how to organize. At the moment they're completely uncoordinated: Episcopalians don't talk to Methodists; New Yorkers don't talk to Bostonians. After two decades of local soup-kitchen activism, most progressive Christians entirely lack the larger social networks that help movements to talk to each other. Nor have progressive Christians been so keen on amassing the power built up in political institutions like think tanks, PACs, and other political lobbies, which have been so useful to Religious Right.

At the instar, the single largest force holding together progressive Christians was a webring, http://pcbn.smartcampaigns.com -- The Progressive Christian Bloggers Network. At the same time, dozens of online chat-rooms proliferate, where Progressive Christians find each other by denomination, by locality, or by online network.

http://www.CrossLeft.org -- CrossLeft, the first nationwide campaign for a united movement, is trying to find them, organize them, introduce them to each other's events. CrossLeft maintains a shared calendar and an aggregated RSS feed that joins headlines from hundreds of progressive Christian bloggers, news sources, and columnists.

CrossLeft joined with Via Media and Reclaim the Blessing in October 2005 to stage a major conference, Path to Action, at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. Among the speakers were E. J. Dionne, Richard Parker, Jim Wallis, Senator Danforth, and David Hollinger.

Edit: This section constitutes more opinion than fact and an attempt to persuade and advertise. It is surely not in the spirit of Wikipedia.

Practices/lifestyle

Their concept of Christian practice is more likely to include acts of personal piety such as prayer, Bible reading, and attempting to live a moral lifestyle.

This sentence from the Practices section may be somewhat objectionable; specifically, the phrase "attempting to lead a moral lifestyle," may be considered inaccurate, in that adherents who have accepted Christ are believed to receive spiritual grace to live in a holy manner. --Dpr 08:23, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

However no serious Christian would claim that they live a perfect life, so 'attempting' is perfectly appropriate. I guess the wording could be changed to indicate that they do, mainly and to some extent, succeed. DJ Clayworth 22:28, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
Agreed--the problem is not so much the word "attempting", but the overal verbal picture that is painted (as you state). It is likely to be believed by many Christian adherents that this phraseology greatly dumbs-down, distorts, or minimizes the spiritual nature of their practice, transforming it into merely habits, actions, or "another" lifestyle. --Dpr 08:25, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

Either vandalism or just plain peculiar

I do notice that Christianity in the Roman Empire, The Great Schism, The Medieval West, The Reformation did have information and text with them, but now they have gone? I believe that it's vandalism and I will be keeping an eye on this article from now on. If I see this happen again, I shall call for a lock on the Christianity page.

Which one was yours? I mean, where can I find the text you put up? (I hope I didn't do it by accident...)
I think the "history section" needs to be seriously pruned--most of the material in it is too technical and belongs in the "History of Christianity" entry. (I'm speaking of the material after "Enlightenment", not your stuff. Maybe a timeline would be a good way to express Xtian history succinctly...? --Dawud The preceding unsigned comment was added by 210.60.55.8 (talk • contribs) .
I was a little disappointed to read this and find no background information on the social and economic lives of the early Christians. The Jews living in Palestine under poor social and economic conditions were treated abhorrently by the Romans. These conditions from what I have read were highly condusive to the rise of Christianity as a belief that there was a better life if their Roman oppressors could be overthrown. Whilst the Christians believed this would be done by the coming of a messiah, or if you like a revolutionary leader, the Zealots believed it was to be done through physical action/violence, which often led to the deaths of many of them during uprisings against the Romans. Surely this aspect of the day to day lives of those early Christians had a huge bearing on their beliefs and actions and should be worthy of discussion? Or is this a little bit taboo?
It is certainly worthy of exploration, but it is worthwhile to note the differences between ancient Palestinian messianism and early Christianity. That is to say, although many both inside and outside the earliest Christian community were looking for a political messiah (e.g., Acts 1:6: "So when they had come together, they asked him, 'Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?'"), Jesus himself and the eventual leaders of the early community did not preach sedition or revolt, but repentence and holiness. While it is tempting to draw parallels with other contemporary messianic movements, one should be careful about going to far down that road. JHCC (talk) 17:18, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Article length

I cut the timeline and the history section, as they have their own articles, linked here. The article is exceedingly lengthy now and needs some trim work. KHM03 11:24, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for your hard work. I can see you've been working quietly in the background. I took a study break recently, and when I came back, I started trying to contribute to a bigger number of articles. I find it's healthier, as you can get too personally involved when you're only interested in one or two, but it meant that I didn't have so much time for the articles I had been contributing more to. I'll try to have a good look at this article in the next few days. Ann Heneghan (talk) 11:43, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Vizcarra deletions

Vizcarra deleted some things from the article, as can be seen here:

[1]

My edit was not adding sth new, but simply reverting his deletions. He calls it "blind revert" and says the restored information were inaccurate or absolutely incorrect. He calls on me to "provide sources to support, otherwise" without doing the same himself.

Anyway, here are the points I want to make:

  • "Christianity ... as presented in the New Testament writings of his early followers.
Though this can be understood in a problematic way (see talk above), I can also relate to jayjg's comment. And the NT is certainly central for Christianity.
  • "This leaves 158 million Independents (unaffiliated with the major streams of Christianity), as well as 31.7 million belonging to other groups with less clear status (including Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons). (Source: Adherents.com [2])"
Why delete this entire paragraph? Are the figures wrong or is the passage superfluous?
  • "These groups, although historically founded many centuries after the death of Jesus, claim direct theological descent from the original Church portrayed in the New Testament or claim a complete restoration directly from Christ of the origninal Church.
The words in bold were deleted. Is this information untrue?
  • "Examples would include ..."
I don't care much whether to include the would or not. I'll leave that to native speakers.
  • "These groups are considered heretical or even "non-Christian" by many of the mainstream Christian groups ..."
V., you're right about the wrong link. It should be to heresy. I'll change that.
"non-christian" is put in quotes to indicate that this is what they say and not what WP says.
V replaced "many" with "some". IMHO, many is far more accurate.
I'm not keen on including this very detailed information. I am not sure the Mormon bit is accurate, but it was put in by a Mormon, and he might complain about removing this. If it's deleted, the LDS should be included somehow in the sentence right before this one.
  • "Mormons" or "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" - depends on whether the full name has been used before and on whether the other groups in that paragraph are named by their full name.
  • The same goes for the last disputed edit.

So, V. I cannot see an error in the information. There might be errors in the "adherence" figures or in the description of the Mormon doctrine of the trinity, but the rest seems fairly obvious to me.

Please reply. Str1977 21:26, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

I have asked the users who are including this information. Customarily, after being challenged, people either justify the information in question instead of blind reverting. Re-introducing information that is being challenged is serious, because information that may be incorrect is being presented for casual viewers to see, and if incorrect they will receive wrong data. In this case, being the challenger I will provide reasoning that argues the inaccuracy of the information being presented. --Vizcarra 21:24, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Please, Vizcarra, take into account that you deleted or changed these edits first, without giving real justifications. Please reply to my points. Str1977 21:30, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

After re-introducing three times what I was challenged, you asked me to justify my reverts. And I have... below. Answer my justifications there not here. --Vizcarra 22:25, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Turn around is fair play, Vizcarra. You called for justification without justifying yourself. I was only reverting to what you changed without justification (no matter, whether that was better or worse). Str1977 22:58, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
It was not a "turn around". And retaliation is not the best option to solve any problem.
I did justify my deletion of the information as: "Reverted to last version by KHM03. Maybe because it is inaccurate/controversial. Other information (not included in the edit summary) is incorrect." However, you reverted me with no explanation or justification by instead just typing "rv back to jayjg". A "turn around" which would be "fair play" (even though this is not a competition) would have been challenging my calling the information incorrect, instead you chose to revert providing no justification for your revert and encouraging edit wars. --Vizcarra 00:58, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
Str1977, In regards to using the full name of the church vs. using the word Mormons. I guess it depends on the context of the sentence which is more comfortable. It seems that some people are highly resistent to using the words Jesus Christ when in comes to Mormons. True, I may be a little hyper-sensitive, but I have looked at this for many years and I have seen the backflips people go to to avoid using Jesus Christ when referring to Mormons. It is often referred to The Church of Latter-day Saints or Mormons.
A good rule of thumb is when referring to the church use the whole name, the LDS church, or The Church of Jesus Christ, and when referring to members it is acceptable to use Mormon or LDS. You mention that when referring to others the whole name of the church is not used and therefore should not be used for the LDS church. I am not sure I buy the argument; for most churches proper names are not used. If we are not using them, and those churches feel offended by the terms used, let's correct our language and be respectful.
Please note, I did not state this but rather asked in regard to the others to ensure consistency. You may also agree that your church has a rather long name, so a short form would be good after the full name has been used the first time. No disrespect intended. Str1977 22:05, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
As far as the doctrine of the LDS church in regards the Godhead or God, the definition used is accurate. If you would like references for it, I would be happy to supply them. Please feel free to write me on my page if you have a different understanding of LDS doctrine and I would be happy to talk further on the topic. I am a little uncomfortable in getting into too much doctrine for any church in this article.
I was only asking because V. so boldly reverted it. V. referred to "informaton is inaccurate or absolutely incorrect" and since I could exclude other edits from being erroneous, I thought the error must lie either with the "mormon trinity" or the "adherents" figures. Str1977 22:05, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
V, I think Str1977 is correct in his revert. The vast majority of your changes were not improvements to the article. It might be helpful to just discuss your proposed changes here before making further changes. Though you will not always get your way, I promise you that you will be heard and people will discuss their reasoning. User:Storm Rider 21:52, 9 November 2005
Thankfully, there is no need for "rule of thumbs", there is a whole naming convention for LDS related articles. It is preferred to use LDS to "mormons". The word "mormon" was used once already and there is no need to keep using it in the rest of the article, and it is in fact against the naming convention. --Vizcarra 22:15, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
Nonetheless, there's a problem with the length of the name. Don't say "bad luck" since I could insist on calling the RCC the "Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church". But I'm open to any solutions, Str1977 22:48, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
Vizcarra, there is a naming convention for the LDS church; however, I find most people will not spend the time to review it. I appreciate your concern, but rules of thumb are meant to simplify; when working with such a diverse group as we have on WIKI, rules of thumb work well. I am comfortable referring to the RCC as the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. It really depends on what Catholics want the name of the church to be called. I think I already stated what the preference of be when referring to the LDS church. btw, I agree with you using the full name of the church every time can be time consuming. Please just try to look at context and treat the name of the church as you would want the name of your church to be respected. Storm Rider 23:49, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

There is nothing illegal about a "blind revert" if an editor feels the previous information was more accurate or worded more appropriately. I don't see any inaccuracies in Str1977's edits; it could be that Vizcarra prefers a different wording (which is OK, too)...we need to see Vizcarra's rationale for his "blind counter-reverts". KHM03 21:54, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

I am going to assume good faith and consider that your labeling my edits as "blind counter-reverts" is positive to this discussion. Even though common-sense would indicate the contrary and is inaccurate. --Vizcarra 22:18, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
You are right, Vizcarra, in doing so as you were the first to use this term, Str1977 22:48, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree mostly with Str1977. I especially consider the as presented in the New Testament writings of his early followers in the introduction to be essential. The finer points and disagreements regarding Christology should better be put in Christology. --Pjacobi 21:58, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

About the incorrect information being presented

I have asked the users who are including this information. Customarily, after being challenged, people either justify the information in question instead of blind reverting. Re-introducing information that is being challenged is serious, because information that may be incorrect is being presented for casual viewers to see, and if incorrect they will receive wrong data. In this case, being the challenger I will provide reasoning that argues the inaccuracy of the information being presented. --Vizcarra 21:24, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

  • "[Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus] as presented in the New Testament writings of his early followers"
Challenges:
  1. If this was true, there would be one Christian church. However, there are hundreds of christian churches.
  2. The Christian church was founded by Jesus, the NT was not written until decades after his death.
Note that it says "Christianity is ... based on the life and teachings of Jesus". "as presented ..." is an addition to "life and teachings" to contrast this to other (untrue in my opinion both as a historian and a Christian) views about Jesus, e.g. Gnosticism, Manichaeism, Islam etc. It does not say "Christianiy is based on the NT", hence your second # is irrelevant.
IMHO, there is one Christian Church (you can guess which one), though there's trouble in the family between one half and the other. And there are countless other groups, as they are free to misinterpret. I know this is just my POV and I'm intending no offense, but this is the reply to your argument. Str1977 22:36, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
  • "to contrast this to other... views about Jesus"
No, this is not contrasting. To contrast view you have to include them all and explain the differences. That is exactly my problem with the statement, in an introduction you cannot dwell into such complicated subjects without a POV.--Vizcarra 01:03, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
We don't need to contrast them, as this article is called "Christianity" - but if some Muslim reads this, he is immediately told that Christianity is not what the Quran claims about Jesus, but what the NT says. Str1977 01:10, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
Exactly so, which is what I clearly explained when I restored it to the introduction, after it was anonymously deleted. I note that it has been in the introduction in more or less this form for many months, possibly years. Jayjg (talk) 16:31, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
  • "This leaves 158 million Independents (unaffiliated with the major streams of Christianity), as well as 31.7 million belonging to other groups with less clear status (including Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons). (Source: Adherents.com [3])"
Challenges:
  1. Number of times "158 million" is mentioned in the article... 0
  2. The article clearly says: "The following material is not intended to provide descriptions or summaries of these religions" however, the inclusion claim's JW and Mormons are "independents" when the article clains otherwise.
  3. "The article also says that: For statistical purposes: Groups which self-identify as part of Christianity include:... Mormon's... Jehova's Witnessess"
That should be verifiable. Str1977 22:36, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
  • But it isn't, and until then, don't include it.--Vizcarra 01:04, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
  • "although historically"
  1. "[A]lthough" is POV.
  2. "[H]istorically" as opposed to what? We're talking about "centuries after the death of Jesu"
No, although is not POV but a normal grammatical construction. If it is good enough for Storm Rider, it should be ok.
"Historically" means looking on it as a historian. Str1977 22:36, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
  • "If it is good enough for Storm Rider, it should be ok"
Excuse me, but this is no a justification to include the comment.
  • <<"Historically" means looking on it as a historian.>>
Like I've said, as opposed to what? "although ... founded many centuries after the death of Jesus", especially added with "although" it provides a POV that the information provides a source for a contradition. --Vizcarra 01:08, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
Yes, this implies contradiction, because there is a contradiction between being founded in 1830 and claiming to be Christ's true Church. At least, when looked upon historically. And since Storm Rider, who is a Mormon, did not object, the passage seems uncontroversial to me. Str1977 01:14, 10 November 2005 (UTC)


  • "[[orthodoxy|heretical]]"
Challenges:
  1. I thought this was obvious but I guess it is not. Heretical should point to heresy.
And hence it is fixed. Str1977 22:36, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
  • The problem was fixed but after your re-introduction here with no justification.
  • After re-introducing it a second time here and claiming it is "valid information".
  • After a second introduction here claiming you saw no error. --Vizcarra 01:13, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
If you are so upset about this link, we didn't you fix it? You simply deleted it. The link to Orthodoxy was not wrong, though it was less than perfect. Str1977 01:17, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
  • "non-Christian"
Challenges:
  1. No need for the quotes, unless it is a direct quote, any sources?
See point made by KHM03 below. Str1977 22:36, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
I see his point, but, as above: You re-introduced it three times. Do you have a justification for it? --Vizcarra 01:15, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
If you see his point, you see the justification. Str1977 01:29, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
  • "[Examples] would [include]"
Challenges:
  1. "[w]ould"? under which conditions would it include such?
As I said, native speakers to the front.
So, basically, you re-introduced it three times with no justification for it? --Vizcarra 01:16, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
Basically you never gave a justification for any of your edits. I was reverting the whole package, as many things IMHO justified this. That doesn't mean that all of your changes were wrong or equally wrong. Str1977 01:22, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
I did justify my edits, in fact the first one was "it is wrong", you, on the other hand, did not, but instead just typed "reverted to Jayjg". --Vizcarra 01:32, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
Challenge:
  1. This is introduced as being beliefs within the LDS church, however these are mainstream Christian beliefs.
No, the Mormon beliefs are quite different from mainstream Christianity. If this unclear from the current wording, it should be made clearer. But U think the "distinct bodies" passage is quite clear. This is not mainstream Christianity, where only Jesus has a body.
  • I'm not talking about Mormon beliefs in general, but about this particular belief.
  • Therefore, you have no objections about this statement as being part of mainstream Christianity: "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proclaim there is one God or Godhead, but there are three personages: God the Father, his Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit" and you included it in a passage contrasting the views of the LDS with main Christianity, three times?--Vizcarra 01:21, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
  • "where only Jesus has a body" any sources that show that mainstream Christianity thinks otherwise? Even after Jacob's (physically) wrestling with God in Genesis 32:22-32? After Adam (a physical man) being created in the image of God? After contrasting the third person as a "spirit", as opposed to what? --Vizcarra 01:21, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
Of course this is not compatible with mainstream Christianity, as neither God the Father nor the Holy Spirit have a body (and Jacob's wrestling doesn't change that, come on, stay serious), and the Mormon doctrine implies three Gods and not one (setting aside the idea that God once was a man, which leads to no God at all). Str1977 01:29, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
  • And how am I being not serious? Read the passage. Can you provide sources of which churches do not believe that God the Father does not have a body? I provided three arguments to support my argument, please do so too. AFAIK, non-denominational Christians believe this as well.
  • If you notice the argument was "LDS proclaim there is one God or Godhead, but there are three personages (sic):", one God, three personages which is Catholic and non-denominational view. --Vizcarra 19:28, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
Agreed again; belief that God has a physical body is not compatible with mainstream Christianity. Regarding Jacob's wrestling, he wrestled with an angel, as Hosea 12:2-4 states explicitly. Regarding Jacob stating he had seen "God" "face to face", compare Judges 13:21-22, where Manoah sees an angel, and also states that he has seen "God". Jayjg (talk) 16:55, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
Challenge:
  1. According to the wikipedia article this group is controversial. Controversial sources should not be included as reliable sources of information.
  2. This is arguably not a Christian church.
  3. According to the wikipedia article. Followers of such group SMM consider him to be a Messiah, not that "Christ" (Jesus) "has returned in the person" of him.
Re "controversial": the entire section is made up of controversial groups.
Re "not a Christian church": We could have the same problem with the Mormons or even with JWs, but we include them anyway. I won't state my position again, as I have done so at length (see archives) and don't want to reopen the debate with Storm Rider.
Re "Messiah": if this is true it should be corrected. Str1977 22:36, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
  • "we could have the same problem with the Mormons"
No, Mormons are included in the Category:Christian denominations. The Unification Church is not, and it is also described in wikipedia as:
  1. "among the more controversial religious organizations in the United States and other nations"
  2. "it has attracted a number of opponents who denounce it as a money-laundering cult." --Vizcarra 01:28, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
  • "[by the] Mormons"
Challenge:
  1. see Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Mormonism)
No challenge? --Vizcarra 01:28, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
  • "[some groups (]Mormons"
Challenge:
  1. See above.

--Vizcarra 22:01, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

The subject of the article is "Christianity", a school of thought which is indeed based upon the NT, regardless of when Jesus lived or how many sub-movements there are in the "big" movement, so that's the easiest correction to make regarding your concerns. The "non-Christian" in quotes was meant to be NPOV, I believe, by implying that although mainstream denominations don't consider those groups Christian, WP is not making that claim. Much of the LDS material was placed there to deal with NPOV issues, by User:Storm Rider, I think (himself a professed LDS). Hope this all helps. KHM03 22:06, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

My "concern" was not focused on the "sub-movements". The one Christian church was founded before there was an NT. The quotes around "non-Christian" is unnecessary since they apply to claims of groups. If you are not going to provide a special deffinition for non-Christian then don't use quotes. --Vizcarra 22:22, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

I have an issue with your statement about the Trinity. The LDS states "personages" not "distant persons" as what would be sited by Mainstream denom such as the Southern Baptists or Mainstream Evangelical churches. The use of "personages" doesn't convey the sense of the mainstream definition of "Trinity", plus in mainstream circles, the Holy Spirit is also a person.

from Dallas Theological Seminary website:

"We believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—and that these three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections, and worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence, and obedience (Matt. 28:18–19; Mark 12:29; John 1:14; Acts 5:3–4; 2 Cor. 13:14; Heb. 1:1–3; Rev. 1:4–6)."

This would be arguablely be the mainstream definition of the Trinity. The use of personages and lack of description of who the Holy Spirit is an LDS characteristic in their doctrinal statements. --LifeStar 22:15, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

LifeStar, I am not sure what you want us to do with your statement. Do you disagree with the way LDS doctrine abou the Godhead is presented or are you making a critique that the Holy Spirit is not described in more detail? Storm Rider 22:23, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

It was intended as a counterpoint to V's challenge that the LDS statement on the Trinity is the same as mainstream. It is to make sure that the info that is stated does not changed b/c of a misrepresentation. --LifeStar 22:25, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Str1977

Str1977, since you ignored and keep deleting my comments from your page ([4], [5]), I will respond to you here.

Even though I do not agree with people deleting non-personal attacks from their talk page. I absolutely oppose of your deleting my comments from this page ([6]) or changing the titles of my comments ([7]). Please stop. --Vizcarra 22:52, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

You have also placed a comment of yours within the comments of another user ([8]) and now his comments are unsigned and it may appear they are your comments, or that his comments are yours.

Even though you kept reverting and re-introducing incorrect information after I asked you to abstain from it I am still assuming good faith.

Even though I asked you to provide justification for your additions, and you did not, and instead asked me for justification which you have ignored and focused on responding to other comments, I am still assuming good intentions. --Vizcarra 22:52, 9 November 2005 (UTC) --Vizcarra 22:52, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Vizcarra, please reconsider your language. You are yelling for no reason.

  • Wikilegally, I can do whatever I like with comments posted on my personal talk page. And I think my rule is fairly reasonable. I move what is of long-term interest to the sections above (or to the archives), I keep at the bottom jobs that still need to be done, but I'll delete any post that is merely saying "Look there!" That's not disrespecting you.
  • I did not delete any of your comments. I deleted the headline of the parallel section only to merge them into one section. There's no need for two sections on the same topic.
  • I have placed a comment between another one's, which happens quite frequently on WP. I also signed not only my whole post but each "inserted part" in order to avoid confusion.
  • I provided the justification for which you asked me before you did.
  • I also responded to your points (or some of them) line for line between your comments. To others I responded by edits in the article (heresy link).

Str1977 23:10, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

  • "Vizcarra, please reconsider your language. You are yelling for no reason."
I am not yelling. In Internet "THIS IS CONSIDERED YELLING" or "this!!!!".
Then I was mistaken.
  • "Wikilegally, I can do whatever I like with comments posted on my personal talk page."
Like I've said, I agree but not replying and deleting the message may be considered rude. You did not reply in your user talk page, nor my user talk page or the article's talk page.
I did respond (or start to respond) even before I read you first post on my talk page.
  • "think my rule is fairly reasonable"
There is no mention or description of such rule, is there?
No, it is my internal rule, which I never felt obliged to tell anyone. But since you wondered, now you know.
  • "There's no need for two sections on the same topic."
They weren't the same topic and if there was, your edit summary did not indicate your intentions. One of them was my response to the objections. The other one was your response to the objections. Either way, respect the titles, especially when I fixed it and you still changed it a second time.
They were the two sides of a single dispute.
I will let you have your own section, but I still think it circumstantial.
"I have placed a comment between another one's"
That is exactly what I said.
I'm not denying that it is. But there's no problem.
"each "inserted part" in order to avoid confusion."
Since the other user's comments were mixed with yours, there was still be confusion as far as the owner of the other user's comments. However, thanks for fixing the problem.
They were not mixed, but are clearly distinguishable.
  • "I provided the justification for which you asked me before you did."
I don't understand what this is referring to.
I posted my justification (the very top of the section V. deletions) before you posted your section.
  • I also responded to your points (or some of them) line for line between your comments. To others I responded by edits in the article (heresy link).
You did after my pointing it out. --Vizcarra 00:50, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
Yes, so did you after my pointing out. You could have also posted justification for your original changes. Not that you're obliged to, but please use a single standard for both of us. Str1977 01:01, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
See above, I did provide a justification for my revert "It is inaccurate/wrong", you did not provide a justification, you only said "reverted". --Vizcarra 01:30, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, but do you honestly think "it is wrong" is a justification? And just exactly what is wrong? Appearently "other information", while other things just "might be" wrong. Str1977 01:33, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I do:
  • Action: Revert.
  • Explanation: Because "it is wrong"
However your response to my justification was "rv back to jayjg" with no explanation. --Vizcarra 01:48, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

Can we both please stop this nonsensical discussion about who did not give justifications and when? My as well as your behaviour was less than perfect, can we concetrate on real issues. Str1977 02:06, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

And now you call this discussion "nonsensical". In that case what is the point of discussing anything? I am responding to your questions, in this case <<Sorry, but do you honestly think "it is wrong" is a justification?>>.
A problem exists here, that I reverted information that was either controversial or incorrect, or both. You, reverted it with no justification, just a blind revert. This is not the best approach, and I do not see any clue that this will not happen in the future. Are we supposed to justify every change when we see information that is controversial? Pay attention to the edit history, this hardly ever happens.
In fact, there was this edit of yours on 6 November 2005 "correct text of creed to resemble singular of original - English official liturgical version is wrong + deuterocanonical". You typed "version is wrong". Did you provide any explanation for it? No, you did not, your next edit to the talk page happened three days later on 9 November and was related to this last incident.
However, you think it is "odd" that I did exactly the same thing. Not only did you think it was "odd", but you did not check the information I reverted, you just reverted it because I did (according to your own confesion), and provided no explanation for your counter-revert, no justification, no challenge to my statements. I did have a justification, I did not explain it... yes but was not blind reverting. Am I to expect that this situation will ever change? Or will I expect to be the only editor in this article that must provide extensive explanation for every edit. Because you seem to have made an exception for yourself for this "rule". --Vizcarra 03:25, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
Vizcarra: First...it seems to me that Str1977 has apologized and endeavored to move on. No need to keep up the griping.
Second...several users (myself included) explained why Str1977's were "in bounds". If you feel a sentence is incorrect or POV, then, by all means, edit it. But others may come and revert or change your own edit, as is their right. Just because you feel it's an improvement doesn't mean others will agree. That's OK...that's the nature of Wikipedia.
Change what you want to change, but don't be upset if others do the same (and watch the 3RR, which seemed to be in jeopardy earlier). Let's all try and get along. KHM03 03:59, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
First:If there had been an apology, you are correct there would not be any need to keep "griping". Can you show me where it is?
Second:his what were in bounds? I am not asking people to agree with my edits. I welcome challenge I have not "griped" or critized others for disagreeing with my edits. Have I? However the first revert had no challenge whatsoever, it was a blind revert with no explanation for it, and from his own explanation of the situation, he did not revert it because he disagreed with them, but instead because I reverted. Can you tell me how this is acceptable behavior?
Like I have said above, I am not "upset" because others edited what I edited but because of the blind revert. An edit claiming "this is wrong" is acceptable, isn't it? See above, where very recently he did the same thing. Do you explain every single change you have made? I don't think so. If someone does not agree with a change, they can challenge it, not just revert it. But then, again, he did not revert because he disagreed with them, in fact he agreed with at least one of my edits, and he still reverted it. He had no opinion about others and he still reverted them. --Vizcarra 04:20, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
Dear Vizcarra, please read my apology below. From my "lost" replies I must however reinclude this: I did not revert your edits because they were your edits. I saw the whole package (without a real explanation) and considered some of the changes to be wrong or problematic and reverted it all. Sorry, I should have explained this and should have "discriminated" among your edits. After this, I will heed Storm Rider's call and shut up. Str1977 10:27, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

Okay guys, enough. No further comments are needed from either of you two most involved. Vizcarra does have a point that should be respected...that of simply reverting without explanation. Unless there is vandalism, let's all shy away from just reverting when we don't like something. If there is an issue, take it to the discussion page. Having said that, Viz, if you are going to make several changes that you think might cause others problems take it more slowly rather than make it all at once. Religion articles make people very territorial and conflicts happen much too often. Str1977, I think you will agree that you are highly opinionated. You are needed and wanted on this page, but you need to allow that this article is more generic than you might prefer. Christianity is a much larger umbrella than many recognize. We seem to have worked out a workable relationship though we have divergent opinions. I hope you will use that same tolerance with others. Let's move on and quit squabbling. Viz, the ball is in your court to either make some changes or discussion a direction for the article you would like to see. Storm Rider 06:19, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

My explanations were somehow lost in the saving process and I don't have the energy now to repost them. Anyway, I think the part of the discussion nonsensical that deals with who posted what, when and with what explanation (as opposed to the real issues of content and wording). I think we both could have done better. I for my part do ask your pardon for my failures. Str1977 09:53, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

Featured Article

WP:FA was moved into the Wikipedia namespace on April 4, 2002. This article was already listed. At that time, the article looked like this. I'm pointing this out not as a standard for the current article to strive towards, but with the hope that the contributors here might be inspired to simply continue its improvement as an encyclopedia article. Jkelly 04:37, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

Adherents figures

I move this paragraph to the talk page:

"This leaves 158 million Independents (unaffiliated with the major streams of Christianity), as well as 31.7 million belonging to other groups with less clear status (including Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons). (Source: Adherents.com [9])"

Vizcarra is right in saying that the link doesn't provide this content. Let him who included this reply. Str1977 10:20, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

I've replaced it with this text: This leaves close to 300 million "Others" who belong to churches which self-identify as Christian, but which are not usually included any of the aforementioned groups.[10]. Simple math gives the figure of close to 300 million, as does the linked source. Jayjg (talk) 16:28, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
I do not like the word "usually", as in, I do not agree with it. There is no non-religious publication that would not consider such groups as Christian. So, as a matter of fact, these groups are "usually" included with other Christian churches. These churches "always" consider themselves Christian.
In fact, the label in the new link provided is "other Christians", not "other" (as opposed to Catholic, Protestant, etc. not as opposed to Christian). --Vizcarra 19:35, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
The wording does not imply that they are not Christian, but simply that they are not usually included in Catholic, Protestant, or Orthodox groupings. And indeed, they are not, but rather listed under "other" or "independent" etc. Jayjg (talk) 23:05, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
Vizcarra, Christianity is usually divided into three main groupings, Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox. They are grouped that way because each of the denominations in the grouping have things in common with each other. "Other" is not a typical grouping - the only thing the groups in it have in common is that they are not part of the three typical groupings. Jayjg (talk) 23:58, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

I think Viscarra has an excellent point. The article starts by saying "Since the Reformation, Christianity is usually represented as being divided into three main branches" and then proceeds to break in down into the three groups. The problem is that you have 300 million additional Christians that are not in these 3 groups. Why don't we just list four groups? We already have a graphic display that shows all of the groups and this would more fairly discuss the other groups. This article is not about defining which church or doctrine is true, but about what is Christianity today. I would like to hear other comments, but if nothing significant counters this thought I will make the change. Storm Rider 08:36, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

The only problem is, that the fourth group isn't really a positively defined group. This makes the formulation somewhat complicated, but generally speaking you have a point. And on another point, even before Reformation, Christianity was divided into three groups, as Oriental Orthodocy and Byzantine Orthodoxy can't be lumped together and were even more divided in the past. --Pjacobi 08:43, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree with Storm Rider that the "since the reformation" is a bit ambiguous and misleading. Maybe "today" or "in the present" would be better.

I also concurr with Pjacobi. I've always felt uneasy about the lumping together of "Eastern Orthodox" and "Old Oriental Churches" (sorry, I still dislike the term "Oriental Orthodoxy", as the words basically mean the same as "Eastern Orthodox").

Also, the fourth group Storm Rider suggests is a mere umbrella category (e.g. rest) - in other words: there is not forth branch, just 300 million outside of the three branches.

Storm Rider, this is not about truth or NPOV but about the best way of presenting the reality here within the confines of Wikipedia. Str1977 10:26, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

Str, I will have to agree with you. It is not a clear defined branch, but rather a catch-all grouping for everything else with many significant doctrinal differences among them. However, the Prostest branch has some significant differences amongst them also. That brings up a second point, what is the purpose of defining groups by their membership except for Protestants? Protestants are not a cohesive group and if we are going to quantify each church's membership then each Protestant church must be quantified; if not delete all the numbers. I am not sure I undstand their value to the article unless we are trying to minimize smaller groups. Can we just delete the church quantification all-together?
Another issue, it is distressing to be lumped with comments as the article currently does, "Not infrequently, a leader of some mainstream community will raise eyebrows by denying such things as the Resurrection of Christ, his Virgin Birth, or some other doctrine considered to be essential." When writtin like this it appears the the LDS church does not believe in the resurrection of Christ or his virgin birth, which is patently not the doctrine of the LDS church. Let's try to be more careful about how we write some of this stuff and which groups we group together. 18:46, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

The point is, I think, that dissent from "mainstream" doctrine is sometimes found within the mainstream Churches themselves, especially "mainline" Protestant groups and the RCC: dissent "from the left," if you will, as opposed to "dissent from the right," as might be the case with groups such as the LDS and the JW's (yes, I know the "left-right" analogy is far from perfect.) Perhaps there is a way to clarify that? --Midnite Critic 18:56, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

Response to Storm Rider

I think Storm Rider is the one who keeps putting up this?

Conversely, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proclaim there is one God or Godhead, but there are three distinct "personages" or personal beings: God the Father, his Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, with the Father and Jesus having distinct, perfected, physical bodies of flesh and bone. Taken together, these groups are considered heretical or even "non-Christian" by many of the mainstream Christian groups, on account of their deviation from tenets considered basic to mainstream Christianity, especially the doctrine of the Trinity.

And I keep taking it out. Why? First, because it interrupts the logic of this paragraph. Originally, I had credited Mormonism with polytheism, which would certainly be unusual, and fits with the theme of the paragraph--namely the great diversity of Christianity. If Mormons turn out to believe something close to other Christians, then there's no point in citing them here. (And if the distinction is hopelessly subtle, I wouldn't use it either.) Remember, at this point in the text we have not yet introduced what the Trinity is, so why go to all the trouble of naming each of its persons?

Secondly, I think the business about heresy and the Trinity has already received enough emphasis. --Dawud

Thanks for finally giving some explanation for your repeated deletions. First, it does not interrupt the logic, but adds further differentiation. Hoe does one interrupt logic when further explanation is provided? Second, the paragraph in question begins to discuss the "enormous diversity" in beliefs among Christians. This enormous diversity is explained by one single sentence naming three groups that reject the Trinity? Does that sound logcially to you? Does it sound like it explains diversity of thought?
LDS doctrine does not support the Trinity, but there are significant similarities. As can be seen with the copious information explaning the Trinity in the article's following paragraphs, I don't think it inappropirate to give some explainations from other Christian groups? If anything the insert should be returned and an expansion upon other concepts God/Trinity/Godhead should be added. Without the insert or any further expansion we are left with an article on Christianity that is limited to Trinity that historical Christianity prescribes and virtuatlly bereft of diversity of thought. Christiantiy is broader than that image.
Lastly, I agree with you that there is already a disclaimer on these groups being viewed as non-Christian or heretical and additional comments seem redundant. However, I have particiapted on this article for some time and our fellow editors find greater comfort with the language being repeated. If they will concurr I have no problem dropping it.
What are your thoughts now? Storm Rider 09:12, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
The trouble is that the LDS are just one among many dissident groups. If we allow a couple of sentences explaining their particular viewpoint in this article then why shouldn't there be two sentences in the intro for JWs, 7th day adventists, Christadelphians, Unitarians, Oneness pentecostals, Igliesia ni Cristo, .... well you get the picture. If people want more information on this particular doctrine they can go to Trinity. And if they want more information about what LDS think about this they can go to the LDS articles. It's not as if Wikipedia is short of article about LDS subjects. DJ Clayworth 14:41, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
Good comment; LDS language should be shortened, but you still have not explained how the current two sentences provides how we have a enormous diversity. Why shouldn't we give some explaination of the diversity of beliefs within Christianity? Currently the article is an adverstisement for one belief, not an enormous diversity. Storm Rider 17:37, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

Once upon a time this paragrah was worded so that it gave very brief, one or two word explanations of the views of these groups regarding the trinity. I never liked the description of the LDS view as "non standard trinity", but the rest was pretty good. How about reviving this wording?

Str1977 17:32, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

All right, guys, I have dug it up again:

"These groups are considered heretical or even "non-Christian" by many of the mainstream Christian groups, on account of their deviation from tenets considered basic by mainstream Christianity, such as the doctrine of the Trinity. Many, if not all, of these groups are nontrinitarian. Such groups would include the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (also called Mormons (who believe in a non-standard form of trinitarianism), the Church of the New Jerusalem (non-standard trinitarianism combined with a "Jesus only" unitarianism), Jehovah's Witnesses (who believe in a form of unitarianism), the 7th day Church of God groups (who generally believe in a form of binitarianism), the Christadelphians (who believe in a form of unitarianism), and the "Jesus only" Pentecostals (who believe in a form of unitarianism)."

Judge for yourself which of these groups are notable enough to be incuded (IMHO: Mormons, JWs, 7day, Christadelphians, JOPentacostals). Str1977 17:44, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

I would support any language that demonstrates that there is a diversity of beliefs within Christianity. I am not too concerned about which group's beliefs are included, the concept is simply providing information that explains diversity of beliefs. I would think that it is beyond question that there is a diversity of beliefs, so let's provide the information. Storm Rider 17:51, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

I have restructered the beliefs section, so that it doesn't start with dissent from something that comes only afterwards. I think, it's better to move from the centre to the fringes (No value judgments intended). I included Storm Rider's passage first and than deleted it again (as it was before my move), so that this discussion can continue, only in a new place.

Storm Rider, can you think of a wording better than "non standard trinity" but still more concise than your recent version?

Str1977 18:00, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

It does seem better to present the center first; excellent point and even better edit. I also agree with you on the wording of non standard trinity, but there really is not a significantly better alternative. The LDS people don't use that descriptor, but would not be uncomfortable with it. I have heard many groups outside the LDS attempt to explain it, but their definitions always fall short. I guess it was for that reason that I had earlier stated the belief allowing readers to judge for themselves. It seems that people feel that was too much verbage/attention paid to one group and is thus unsatisfactory. Given the amount of "language" we devote to an explanation about such an import topic in Christianity, it seems appropriate to provide more information on some of the different ideas concerning the Trinity that exist, rather than less. This has been a hot topic for 1800 years. Storm Rider 19:14, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

What's the deal with polytheism, anyway? Is this a Mormon folk belief that isn't officially endorsed, like the Adam/God thing? Are there three Gods (for the Trinity), or many more than that? Because that would be really, really cool to include if there was anything to it.

I do think the Mormons are significant enough to receive mention here and there. God(s) know(s) there are more of them than Quakers or Swedenborgians... It's a tough balancing act, I know.

The Trinity has its own entry, and is really really murky and complicated, so I'd shy away from doing much more than name its members here. (Jung says the devil is the hidden fourth member!) --Dawud

Mormons are often accused of being polytheistic or that they worship more than one God. This is a misrepresentation of Mormon belief. LDS scripture is clear that there is one God or Godhead. The Godhead or God is represented in three beings: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are separate and distinct, Father and Son having glorified, physical bodies and the Holy Spirit or the Second Comforter is only a being of spirit. These three are God/Godhead. The differences with the Trinity or Triune God some may consider as subtle at first review, but they are significant. In the Trinity there are three manifestations of one God, they are distinct, but yet one. Jesus is the only being of the Trinity with a physical body. Granted this is not a full explanation of the Trinity, but I think it suffices for this topic.
Polytheism comes into play because Mormons believe that humans are children of God and may be joint heirs with Christ...all that Christ will inherit may be ours through His atonement. We interpret that to mean we may become like God. I would never say we will ever be equal to God, because He will eternally be our God, but as children grow to be adults, so we may grow to be like our Father. This belief causes many to assume we believe in many gods. We acknowledge that other gods may exist, but we worship only one God. I have never considered myself to be anything but a monotheist. Hope this helps. Storm Rider 19:52, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
Thanks Storm Rider! Does Mormonism teach that there are exactly three physical iterations of the Godhead, or could there be more? (I know folk Mormonism teaches that God and Jesus are married. To their wives, I mean, not to each other!)
I understood that the Heavenly Father is the father of our spirits, not our bodies (which come from our human parents). I guess that's not contradictory, but it kind of spoils the neatness...
The Orthodox Church teaches that people can and should become divinized (theosis in Greek). However, whereas God is divine in his essence, we can only become "gods" by his grace.
By the way, Swedenborg had this weird and interesting belief that husbands' and wives' souls become joined together in the afterlife, in the body of one angel. Does Mormonism have anything like that, by any chance?--Dawud
I am not sure I understand your meaning of iterations. 1) The Godhead, God, the trinity (which is not a term LDS use often) is limited to three beings: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. We will never worship/acknowledge any other. 2) Yes, we believe in a pre-existence where all spirits dwelled. The war in heaven when Lucifer was cast out was a war fought by all of us as directed by Jehovah and Michael. All were spirit children of our Father. We know of no time when a "mother" in heaven has interacted with us. Her existence is only intimated; although it is logical that She exist. However, she is neither prayed to or acknowledged. If God had wanted that to occur, more would have been revealed. God has been silent upon the matter and so we are typically silent on the matter. 3) The summation you give of the Orthodox Church would be one that I feel is true. Our soul, the union of body and spirit, must be "acted upon" before we may become like God. It is impossible to achieve without His Grace. It has long been a puzzle when others attempt to define the purpose of this life and of the resurrection. God certainly does not need us to praise Him to be God for eternity; so us being in a choir of angels forever seems futile and falls too far short of His plan for us. 4) I know of no similar teaching as to the Swedenborgs. Each spirit is distinct and separate. Though a man and a woman can be sealed on earth and thus sealed in heaven, they remain two beings eternally. I hope this helps explain some LDS doctrine.
Dawud, I am not sure if you have registered or not. If you have registered with the name Dawud, just use four "~" and your entry will automatically be timed and your handle will be listed on your entry. It is a lot easier and will make entry more easily recognized rather than as an ANON. Storm Rider 02:16, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

Given that it is such a complicated subject (and that this is already a long article) we should try to direct people to more detailed articles on the subject. I think what we have right now is pretty good. I'll quote it, since it will probably change in a few hours: Obviously, not all Christians have accepted all of these articles of faith, or else such a creed would never have been written. In fact its lines frequently target certain opposing beliefs of other early Christians, which the creed regards as heretical. Examples would include Ebionite groups which denied Jesus's divinity, a well as Docetist groups which denied that Christ was a human being, or Arians, who disputed that the Father and the Son were "of one being"..

Later I suggest the replacement of one sentence: For example Unitarians, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Oneness Pentecostals reject the Trinity. with Many of these disagreements centre on the Trinity and the divinity or not of Jesus. This is a case where examples are bad, because once you include one example everyone will want their group listed (along with a decription of the exact nature of their beliefs). We need to make sure there is a link to Trinity in both these sections. DJ Clayworth 14:48, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Groups that don't belong under Christianity

"

 Christadelphianism
 "Christian" Family Fellowship Ministry
 "Christian" Identity Movement (British Israelism)
 "Christian" Science
 International Church of Christ / Boston
 Eckankar
 Farm, The 
 How to have perfect faith:  The Apostle Eric
 Islam
 Jehovah's Witnesses
 Mormonism 
 New Age Movement
 Oneness Pentecostal
 Raelians, the
 Roman Catholicism
 Shepherd's Chapel
 Seventh Day Adventism
 Swedenborgianism
 Theosophy
 Unification Church, The Moonies
 Unity School of Christianity
 Universalism
 Way International 
 The Weigh Down Diet and founder
 Rastafarianism

Christianity is a religion based upon the teachings and miracles of Jesus. Jesus is the Christ. The word "christ" means anointed one. Christ is not Jesus' last name. Jesus is the anointed one from God the Father who came to this world, fulfilled the Old Testament laws and prophecies, died on the cross, and rose from the dead physically. He performed many miracles which were recorded in the Gospels by the eyewitnesses. He is divine in nature as well as human. Thus, He has two natures and is worthy of worship and prayer.

Christianity teaches that there is only one God in all existence, that God made the universe, the Earth, and created Adam and Eve. God created man in His image. This does not mean that God has a body of flesh and bones. Image means the likeness of God's character, rationality, etc. Because we are made in the image of God, every person is worthy of respect and honor. Furthermore, this means that we did not evolve through random processes from a single celled organism into rational, emotion beings.

God created Adam and Eve and put them in the Garden of Eden and gave them the freedom to choose between right and wrong. They chose to sin. Sin is doing that which is contrary to the nature and will of God. For example, God cannot lie; therefore, lying is sin. The sin of disobeying God that Adam and Eve committed resulted in them being expelled from the Garden of Eden as well as suffering the effect of death.

As a result of their sin, their children and all of us inherited a sinful nature. In other words, our offspring are not perfect in nature -- we don't have to teach children to be selfish. They know it naturally. That which is sinful cannot produce that which is not sinful.

Christianity teaches that God is a Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, not three Gods), that Jesus Christ is second person of the Trinity, that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead physically, that all people are under the righteous judgment of God because all people have sinned against God. It teaches that Jesus is the only way be saved from the coming judgment of God and that salvation is received by faith in the work of Christ on the cross and not by anything that we can do to please God.

Where all other religions in the world teach that we must do some sort of good in cooperation with God in order to achieve the right to be in God's presence, Christianity is the only religion that teaches salvation by grace. This means that we are not made right before God by our efforts, sincerity, or works. Instead, we are made right before God by faith in what Christ did on the cross.

Christianity further teaches that once a person is "born again" (becomes saved) that the Holy Spirit lives in that person and the person is changed: "Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come," (2 Cor. 5:17). This means that God actually lives in the person and the Christian then experiences a true and living relationship with God.

Therefore, "What is Christianity?" is best answered by saying that it is a relationship with the true and living God through the person of Jesus Christ by whom we are forgiven of our sins and escape the righteous judgment of God.

The reason there are different denominations within Christianity is because the Bible allows for us to have differences of opinions. Within Christianity there are very few essential doctrines that make someone any Christian. These essential doctrines are,

Jesus is both God and man (John 1:1,14; 8:24; Col. 2:9; 1 John 4:1-4). Jesus rose from the dead physically (John 2:19-21; 1 Cor. 15:14). Salvation is by grace through faith (Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:8-9; Gal. 3:1-2; 5:1-4). The gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Gal. 1:8-9). There is only one God (Exodus 20:3; Isaiah 43:10; 44:6,8) God exists as a Trinity of persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (See Trinity) Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary (nature of incarnation)

As long as a church believes in these essential doctrines, then it is Christian. However, there are many things in the scriptures that have been interpreted in different ways. For example, what day of the week should be worship on, Saturday or Sunday? Should we baptized by sprinkling or baptized by immersion? Do we take communion every Sunday, once a month, or once a year? The answers to these questions do not affect whether or not someone is a Christian or not. It is in these issues, and others like them, that denominations are formed. It does not mean that one denomination contradicts another. It means that though they agree in the essentials, they differ in some nonessentials. This is permitted in Scripture:

"Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. 2 One man has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. 3 Let not him who eats regard with contempt him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats, for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and stand he will, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5 One man regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind," (Rom. 14:1-5).

Sadly, there is another reason for denominational differences and that is the failure of Christians to live according to the will of God. The truth is that we are all sinners and we do not see things eye to eye. It is an unfortunate truth that denominational differences are due to our shortsightedness and lack of love. But, the good thing is that God loves us so much that He puts up with our failures. There waits for us, in spite of our differences, a great reward in heaven. Neither salvation nor damnation is dependent upon our differences. Our salvation is based on our relationship with Christ."-matt slick

These are the facts. It doesnt matter what your opinion is, or your interpretation is, or what you want to be true, this is empiracly factual, there is no debating this. This article needs clean up to present Christianity in its true form, not what you think Christianity is, or what you've been told, but TRUE Christianity should be the only article in this site.

Matt Slick, or ANON 24.158.75.178, you have said a mouthful. I can appreciate your rock solid belief in what you define as a Christian. However there are a few points you should consider. This article is not a Christian tract, but rather a WIKI article that is reporting on the Christianity in the world today. As such, we attempt to provide no judgement about all of the respecive religions. Much of what you said would be held true by a great majority of us, but no where in the scriptures does Christ say, if you would be a Christian you must believe these things. So however you might want it to be so, you have an opinion of what is true; guess what everyone else has also?
Another thing to consider, please do some reading about the early church fathers and early saints. I find it iimpossible to believe for anyone to study their lives and come to any other point than that they were each true Christians. By their fruits you shall know them. As a LDS, I am more than just a little committed to my religion; not because of what others say, but becuase of what the Holy Spirit has revealed to me. More than anything, I am contented with the words of Jesus, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Those are the words of Jesus, one does not argue about them. Storm Rider 19:21, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Hypocritcal

I don't have anything against Christiaity (I kinda consider myself one), but it seems that many Christain groups are hypocritical. They say respect every body, but they hate gays and anyone who isn't christian. I know the bible trashes homosexuals (sodom and gomorraha), and I don't like them ethier, but that's real hypocritical. The Republican 02:42, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Christians should not hate homosexuals (or anyone). In the UMC, we believe that "all persons are of sacred worth", although since homosexual behavior is declared in our Book of Discipline to be "incompatible with Christian teaching", there are certain things that practicing homosexuals are not permitted to do (such as serve in the ordained ministry...incidentally, I hope that all UM Conferences & Bishops take the same position regarding any sexual behavior outside of marriage...heterosexual included...or else we are being hypocritical...but I digress...). The story of Sodom & Gomorrah, also, is about a lot more than homosexual behavior. There's a whole lot going on in that story. At any rate, all persons should be respected, even if we don't agree with some of their choices, and judging should be dominated by love and grace ("all have sinned and fall short of God's glory"..."let the one without sin cast the first stone"). Hope I've helped. KHM03 12:11, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
May I perform an ecumenical act and say that I, as a Catholic, and the Catholic Church agree with what KHM03 has said. All Christians should. Str1977 18:17, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
I think all Christians struggle with this...loving the sinner, but rejecting the sin. Christ set a perfect example where he treated all equally with love. That does not mean he condoned the sinner's actions. His counsel was to go and sin no more.
I have heard several gay men reject the statement, "love the sinner, but reject the sin". For them it is incomprehensible that one could love them individually and yet reject something that they feel is so much a part of their identity. This is a complex issue that is best handled with love. Each of us is in God's hands and we must be willing to accept His Will for our lives. Though His will has many similarities for each of us, there is a degree of uniqueness.
Another thought, to paint all Christians as hypocritical because of the actions of a few "Christians" is inappropriate. We all are striving to follow Christ and some are have further to go than others. Those people we see that protest against gay people stating that God hates Gay people should be treated with compassion and pity. They misunderstand Christ's teachings and err in their actions. Given time they will come to a better understanding. Storm Rider 23:26, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
At first I resisted giving my input here, as the query doesn't specifically relate to the article. But, I feel compelled to say something (I always feel compelled to say something, but that's jus t a character flaw on my part - no need to get into it). As above, love the sinner; reject the sin. Every person is entitled to dignity and respect. On the other hand, many (I won't go the most route) Christians believe, as we are told, that the act of homosexuality is a sin.
I think your question deals with the larger question of a Christian's response to sin. In my opinion, it is not only hypocritical, but sinful, to deny the dignity and respect to any person for their sins. In the end, we're all sinners. And we all deserve the dignity, respect and love of others. That doesn't change the reality that our actions may be sinful, though. --Elliskev 00:39, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
To the best of my understanding, the Eastern Orthodox Church also follows the principle of "love the sinner, but reject the sin" as we each struggle to reject sin of whatever kind in our own lives. I know that homosexuals are welcomed as members. There is more information on this topic in the Homosexuality and Christianity article, though it looks like at the moment that article has been flagged as needing some work. Regarding hypocrisy in general, I don't know anyone who believes they've fully lived up to their own standards; falling short of our own standards is not the same thing as deliberately disregarding or contradicting them, although it can be easy to confuse the two. Wesley 17:45, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

About the massive re-edit by KHM03

I don't plan on editing much in this article, but after looking at the difference between KHM03's edits and the previous version, the things I saw taken out are debately important to the Christian religion it would seem. I can understand why the divergent or off-branch groups were taken out, but things like baptism and the afterlife seem to be important within Christianity as they have a different reasoning and symbolism compared to other religions. Anyhows, those are my 2 cents. I agree that the article shouldn't be lengthy but I think a better analysis needs to be done on what is appriopiate and not appriopiate. I'm also curious as to the details in wiki laid out on the other world religions and whether they are just as long. --LifeStar 18:23, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

I didn't mean to eliminate mention of "divergent" groups, but I didn't think we needed any great explanations here; that can be done on the articles for those groups. Also, baptism and the afterlife should certainly be linked, but, since they have several articles devoted to them, it's best to mention them and refer readers to those articles. I don't intend to be authoritarian about these cuts, but hopefully we can add sections after reaching some kind of consensus; the article was becoming a lengthy mess. KHM03 21:00, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Worship and Practices edit

After unsuccessfully trying to figure out how to integrate it, I cut the following. My reasoning is given below the paragraph:

  • "Some of Christian's main beliefs about morals are found in the following verses of the Bible: Hebrews 12:1 says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." And Titus 3:5 says, "He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit." Many Christians believe these mean that Christians should strive not to sin.
  • "They also believe that this is possible because Jesus died for their sins on a cross, taking the place of the penalty of death that was due them because of God's justice and freeing them from their sin so they may be blameless before God and have a relationship with him."

Two reasons: I don't necessarily disagree with first part as being a statement which is reflective of "mainstream" Christianity, including Evangelicalism. The problem is, unpacking the relationship between these verses (especially the second one) and a Christian's attempt to avoid sin and grow spiritually is really outside the scope of an overview article.

I have more of a problem with the second section above being in this article. It assumes that one view of the atonement, that of Anselm, is the only correct or "orthodox" view when, in fact, it was not the original view, and while it is often considered axiomatic in the West, especially in Evangelical and other "conservative" circles, Eastern Christianity has significant problems with it. (See, for example: [11]) Thus, it cannot be said to in any way reflect the beliefs of Christianity as a whole, and I think that most that can be said, SHOULD be said, about soteriology is what was said above, in the creed section, with a reference to the soteriology article. Comments? Questions? Discussion? --Midnite Critic 18:46, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree wholeheartedly with your edits. Methodism does not generally affirm "Anselmian" atonement theory (the "satisfaction" view), preferring Grotius' model (the "governmental" view). There is no one authoritative interpretation of how the atonement works, just the shared affirmation that it does (thank God!). The Atonement article has room for further discussion of these issues. KHM03 19:37, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
Midnite Critic and KHM03,
I have tried to de-anselmize the passage, as I thought you both requested that, by posting:
They believe by sharing in Christ's life, death and resurrection, they can die with him to sin and be resurrected with him to new life.
However, now I realize that Midnite Critic retained the anselmized text in his last edit. Anyway, tell me what you think.
PS. I don't object to Anselm's theory, having breathed a bit of evangelical air myself, but his is not the only concept of atonement. There are also: imitation of Christ, Christ as sacrifice on the cross ... and the forth one I can never remember. Can you help me out, KHM03? All four have truth to them, but they shouldn't be insisted on to the exclusion of the other three.
Str1977 21:38, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
Your edits look OK to me. The four major atonement theories, accoring to John Miley, are: Ransom (Origen, Early Church), Moral influence (Abelard, Liberalism), Satisfaction (Anselm, Calvin), and Governmental (Grotius, Wesley, Finney, KHM03). Of course, there are many derivations of these, but most other theories are simply "re-tellings" of one of the "big 4". At least, that's how Miley felt (and I tend to agree, for what it's worth!). KHM03 21:52, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Thanks, guys. Str1977, thanks especially for that last edit. I THINK the section you changed was added after I was done, but it doesn't show up in the "History." --Midnite Critic 22:06, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
    • Okay, it looks like somebody (who is anonymous, of course), slipped it back in between edits. Thanks again for taking care of it. --Midnite Critic 22:09, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Your welcome, guys. KHM, I will read the articles you linked (I discovered the Atonemnet link only after I had posted.) But which of these is the "sacrifice" version (the one I adhere to primarily - not excluding the others), if you can give a short hint? Str1977 22:12, 30 November 2005 (UTC) PS: Appearently, these four are not exactly the four (or rather three) I know.

  • "moral influence" = imitation
  • "Satisfaction" = Anselm's theory
  • "Sacrifice of the cross" has no counterpart (it is a bit related to Anselm and Grotius)
  • Either "Ransom" or "Governmental" were the fourth one

Str1977 22:19, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

They are all "sacrificial," which begs the question of the exact meaning of sacrifice, both in this context and in general. BTW, "ransom" is really a sub-category of what is called the "classical" or "patristic" theory, which is known, in general terms, as "Christus Victor," the emphasis being on Christ conquering Satan, sin, death, all the enemies of creation and God, by his life, death, and resurrection. He does so by either "paying a ransom" to Satan or by submitting Himself to the consequences of sin (i.e., death which leads to more sin) which by rights should have no hold on him and thereby causing the destruction of these consequences. IOW, Satan overextends his dominion and thereby loses it. In living his life and dying, Christ offers perfect worship to God the Father and breaks down the barrier between God and humanity, which barrier, of course, was erected, not by God, but humanity itself (with a great deal of help from Satan). It's sort of a two-pronged notion by which the dominion of Satan is penetrated, sort of by a "Trojan Horse," and humanity is freed from Satan reconciled with the Father. KHM may disagree, but I see the "governmental" theory as a subset of Anselm's. In any event, the "moral influence" theory seems incomplete in and of itself, although both of the other two are easily capable of subsuming it and are almost required to do so, although, perhaps, Christus Victor may do so more easily.--Midnite Critic 22:35, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Thanks, MC, for your elucidations. I agree with you on the "moral influence" theory. For Satan overextending his dominion, there is a interesting (and also funny) story in the apocryphical Gospel of Nicodemus, where Satan and a personified Hades argue. Satan comes in triumphant, saying he has caught a really big fish and will deliver him shortly. Hades at first is quite pleased, but it turns out that it's Jesus descending. While the fahters rejoice and each prophet in his turn recites a prophecy once made in regard to the Messiah. Jesus comes, breaks the gates and free the fathers. And Hades showers Satan with complaints à la "You said you would bring something really big, but now you have emptied me. In this text, Satan is also bound right away by Christ.

Cheers, Str1977 23:04, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

While I think each of the atonement theories has some merit, I prefer the governmental theory; it fits quite nicely into the Wesleyan framework. Here is a good article elucidating how the governmental theory is not very "Anselmian". I also think that the governmental theory can utilize the best of the other theories...but many "satisfaction" folks (particularly our Calvinist brethren) disagree with the governmental view strongly.
Having said all that, here's a good quote:
"All theologians bring certain doctrinal presuppositions and biases to Scripture as they seek to construct from Scripture their theologies. The true Wesleyan admits this and does not make correct doctrine a condition for salvation. We understand that if our sins are forgiven at the time of our death, we will be taken to heaven, even if our theology is off base a thousand miles. We are Christians if God, for Christ's sake, forgives our sins. He is able to do this only because of the death and resurrection of the virgin-born God-man, Jesus Christ. But we do not need to believe in any given theory of the Incarnation or the Atonement in order to be forgiven through Christ." - J. Kenneth Grider
Peace! KHM03 00:52, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
This is an interesting quote that I think I will have to list as one of my favorites! KHM, does this mean that even those people you refer to as cults can be Christian if God forgives their sins? It never ceases to amaze the beauty of truth and how conflict is eliminated when we allow truth to guide our lives. Storm Rider 18:14, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
Not to answer for KHM, but for me, this goes to the heart of the discussion of what defines a "Christian." Is this a matter of belief and practice, or a matter of spiritual condition? I would argue the former, because in so doing, I can pursue the above line of thinking knowing that, while all salvation comes from and through Christ, not all who are saved are conscious Christians. (See, for example, Matthew 25:31-46: the "sheep" here seem to be ignorant of Christianity.) However, at the same time, it is much easier to know God if one has the best idea available as to Who God is, and what it takes to experience God. IOW, theology is a road map of sorts, a means to an end; it is not the experience itself, any more than a textbook of surgery is the procedure itself. So while one MAY, for example, get to San Francisco from New York by taking a stage coach and going via Atlanta, Dallas, and Phoenix, why would one want to when one can fly? (Not a perfect analogy, but there are none.) As far as "non-standard" Christian traditions go, the water just gets muddied further. In any event, whether you remain Mormon are not, I hope to see you in "the magic kingdom" as with everyone else! I am not a universalist, but I pray that all will be "saved," whether or not all "come to the knowledge of the truth" in this life. Or, as Simone Weil puts it, "Follow the truth wherever it leads you, and you will find yourself in the arms of Christ." For her, this was certainly the Christ of the historic Christian tradition. Peace! --Midnite Critic 18:46, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
I pretty much concur with Midnite Critic. The quote from Grider (an evangelical Nazarene and one of the translators of the NIV, incidentally) talks about who goes to heaven, really. If a Buddhist gets to heaven, or a Hindu, or a Muslim, or an atheist, or a Mormon, or a Catholic, or a Methodist...it's because God in Jesus Christ has forgiven their sins. It's because of Jesus, whether they recognize that or not. Now, I'll also say that orthodoxy matters and it does have a place, but far too often we've (in my view) placed it above orthopraxis, which is equally important (here's a "shout out" to my Catholic brethren, who have largely maintained that dichotomy, whereas we Protesatants have often done poorly).
At any rate, I'm not comfortable saying who is or is not a Christian, and am certainly not comfortable saying who is condemned; like Midnite Critic, I pray for the salvation of all, and leave the rest up to God. KHM03 19:22, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
And the Catholic around this block agrees too. Orthodoxy matters, first of all, because truth matters, and secondly, because our beliefs - even doctrine - affects our actions. In Catholic theology, there's a distinction between material heresy (you hold something that's untrue) and formal heresy (you haven chosen to hold something that's untrue). I also agree that I try to be as comprehensive as possible when counting someone as Christian. Hence my distinction between heretical and non-Christian. I know this distinction is not universal and in itself problematic (Why is Islam another religion and not a Christian heresy?) and I know that this got me into debates lately with another editor around here. Cheers, Str1977 23:16, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
I know this thread is off-topic, but I do appreciate your willingness to contribute your thoughts; I enjoy each of them. I guess I appreciate the quote because it takes the wind out of conflict between denominations. We have too often, as Christians, persecuted others, burned them at the stake, jailed them, murdered innocents, and been very cruel to others. We did this "because" we believed we had the truth and everyone else needed to believe it. I truly believe that God wants each of His children to know the truth. However, I don't believe for a moment that He wants us to kill each other to ensure that what we think is true is believed by others.
When I study the saints, the writings of John Paul II, other religions (both Christian and non-Christian) and their founders, I am invariably uplifted and feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. Though I am LDS, I am certain that all that accept Christ will be saved regardless of religion. Being saved for me means exaltation which will be open people from all religions and certainly not just Latter-day Saints.
I guess what I would ask of all of us is to not jump to conclusions too quickly about the spiritual condition of others regardless of their religion. If any of you has an understanding of Mormonism, it is easy to understand how some of our members in their zealous committment to the "truth" condemn others, their churches, and their beliefs. I notice the same zealous committment in all of us. Let us just be careful when we start drawing lines between who is Christian and who is not. Though LDSs can condemn others, not even the most foolhardy would easily label another as non-Christian.
In closing, I in no way believe that each of us should not seek the truth; truth is not relative. All will come to one truth in the end. I just believe that this is not the format for such a discussion. I value each of your religions and I believe that God is working His will through each of you and your respective churches. There is a battle between Light and Dark; those committed to the Light must stand together. When we lose respect for one another, we do the work of the evil one. Storm Rider 00:08, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Shlama amkhon! Peace to all of you! I certainly agree with the above quote. I have bookmarked the article you cite (farther) above and will get back to it as well as the other material on the site. In perusing the article briefly, I note three things which are problems for me: the first is that we are still dealing with juridical concepts, as the name of theory itself implies; the second is that GOD still requires SOMETHING from us in order to forgive us (IOW, the problem of sin is not centered where it in fact is: in us and in Satan); further (2-A), in a sense the question of "satisfaction" is simply moved from God to the need to satisfy "justice": but is not God the source of anything that could be called "justice" or anything else that is good? The third problem I have, related to the above, is that the "essence" of God is defined in terms of "holiness" (surely ethical holiness is implied?) and not in terms of "love." Hope I'm not coming across as being too polemical. That is not my intent. Mainly, I am using discussions such as these to clarify my own thoughts. --Midnite Critic 02:17, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

I think your observations are right on, particularly #3; Grider mentions his appreciation for Forsyth's work in this area, which certainly centers on "the holiness of the holy God". God's holiness and God's love, for me (in a Methodist context...my own POV), aren't mutually exclusive, but rather shades of the same divine qualities (which we might call "grace"). At any rate, hipe this all helps, whether you agree with it or not! KHM03 12:51, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
The problem I have with the governmental view as Grider explains is that because of the way it relies on God's "holiness" and "justice", Christ's death on the cross appears to be changing things for God, making it possible for God to forgive us, rather than changing things for mankind, which is where the real problem is. It is fallen humanity that stands in need of liberation from sin, death and the devil, and needs corrupted human nature to be healed, who needs to be freed from selfishness. This is what Christ accomplished in the Christus Victor theory which MidniteCritic described so well. The governmental view seems to say that mankind remains basically unchanged in these ways; our benefit is that the paperwork got completed so that God is able to forgive us and participate in a relationship with us now. This seems backwards. But more likely than not, I'm misconstruing it all horribly. Cheers, Wesley 17:39, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
In a talk given at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, the Orthodox writer Bishop Kallistos (Ware) posed four questions to be asked of any model of atonement:
  1. Does the model propose a change in God or in us? "If in God," he says, "then something has gone wrong. Saint Paul say 'God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself ' — not ' himself to the world.' God is always loving, always forgiving. It is we who need to be changed, not God."
  2. Does the model separate Christ from the Father? "Christ's work is God's work; we are to see Christ as God's messiah or annointed, as God's representative and ambassador, as God himself."
  3. Does the model see the Passion as separate from the Incarnation? "The Cross does not stand in isolation from the birth, death, resurrection, teaching and miracles of Christ, which are to be seen as one undivided action."
  4. Does the model proposed appeal primarily to our feelings and emotions, or has Christ wrought an effective change in our situation? "Obviously, we want to say the latter. Christ's saving work brings about an objective change in the human condition; Christ has done some thing."
He further says, regarding ransom (and noting the biblical citations Matthew 20:28 and Mark 10:45),
"Many authors have asked the question ' To whom is the ransom paid?', and the answers have gotten us into trouble. [Bp Kallistos's discussion of the ideas that the ransom is paid to either God the Father or to the Devil is too lengthy for inclusion here, and is ommitted. ed.]
"In fact, the New Testament does not ask this question, and I think that we should not either. The central point, it seems to me, is this: previously, we were enslaved to sin; now we are liberated. But this act of liberation is immensely costly. The payment is nothing less than Christ's life, paid through his death on the cross. Don't ask, ' To whom is the ransom paid?' Stick to the essential point: Christ has set me free!"
The entire lecture is available on tape from SVS Press: [12]. Good stuff. JHCC (talk) 19:55, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

JHCC: Thanks for posting that! As is usually the case, Vladyka Kallistos gets right to the heart of the matter! --Midnite Critic 18:01, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

call for help

Would editors knowledgable about the Judeo-Christian ethic or tradition see my comment here: [13]? Thanks, Slrubenstein | Talk 01:04, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Ethics in the Bible

Here's a related article that may need looked at for balance. Thanks. KHM03 01:58, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Religion

Please comment: Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Religion#interreligious --Striver 05:14, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Baha'i self-promotion

Would whoever has been adding prominent links to "Baha'i Faith" to other religious sites, please stop? For instance, somebody keeps adding "...and most recently, the Baha'i Faith" to the list of Abrahamic religions in the first paragraph of Christianity. First of all, nobody except Baha'is do that. Neither Christians, Jews, nor Muslims as a group have much interest in your relationship with them. Second, it's only half true. Think about it--according to your theology, Muhammad is the "seal" of the Semitic line of prophets, which Abraham started. The Bab and Baha'u'llah are outside this.Dawud 12:23, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree with you; this is an article about Christianity, and there's no reason to mention Baha'i (will all due respect). KHM03 12:54, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't disagree with Dawud, about the inclusion of the Baha'i Faith mention in this article. I don't really care. But I want to clear up a misconception which Dawud is stating in his edit. Baha'is view Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad among others as messengers from God, and that they are divine. The term "Seal of the Prophets" designated to Muhammad Baha'is believe refers to the seal of the "cycle of prophecy" and that Muhammad is the last messenger from God who is prophesizing about the time when symbolic heaven will appear on earth. The Bab and Baha'u'llah, two messengers of God, that the Baha'is believe in, have started the "cycle of fulfillment." Baha'u'llah also claims to be a decendent of Abraham. Thus Dawud is incorrect. According to Baha'i theology, the Bab and Baha'u'llah are in the Abrahamic religions. Now I totally agree this has nothing to do with Christianity, and I respect Christian's belief against this theology, as it is to everyone to respect eachother's belief. I just wanted to clear up a misconception. -- Jeff3000 23:44, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Persecution

I hope no one minds, but I am adding and indeed editing a bit of the Persecution section of the article, as it seems to be the best Wikipedia article to do so. It currently (pre my edit) seems to be a bit slm on the persecution section, given that Christianity and certainly Christians are responsible for the largest campaign of execution, torture and disrespect for people of other or no rligious beliefs, in recorded history. However, this is probably due to the extensive following of Christianity, rather than any aspect of Christianity promoting such behaviour itself.

Heres what I added to the article: On the other hand, Christians themselves have been the biggest perpetrators of persecution in recorded history. Followers of Christianity have undertaken campaigns of torture, execution and dispossesion of land and wealth of other peoples. In ancient times,Christian mobs frequently molested pagans and destroyed their temples, sometimes with government support. The philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria was murdered by such a mob in the year 415. Jewish communities have periodically suffered violence, torture, murder and exile at Christian hands.

Christians have persecuted not only members of other religions, but also other Christians. Byzantium suppressed non-Chalcedonian churches while Crusader armies sacked Byzantium. Protestant and Catholics fought the Thirty Years' War. Witch hunts of early modern Europe constituted another example.

Often scientists whose views were out of line with Christian beliefs have been subjected to torture, execution, disposession or exile. In more recent times followers of Christianity have attacked only verbally, those who dont concur with traditional Christian values. As was the case recently when 40 Christians lead by the Rev. David Mc Ilveen, protested outside the United Kingdom's first Civil Partnership ceremony of Shannon Sickles and Grainne Close, in Belfast, on 19 December 2005. Dispite there being no specific reference to Lesbeinism in the Bible, Rev Mc Ilveen and his supporters chanted denunciations outside the ceremony, including references to Biblical prohibitions of sodomy, a practice not normally associated with the Lesbien population in general.

80.58.50.42Richard

History

My corrections to the graph in the history section are below. I don't understand why they are taken out as the events referred to are undisputed historically. History is written by the victors and never was this truer than when a dominating group is able to control it's own public image. Early Christianity was not a nice homogenous grey line as the graph suggests. There were many competing texts and viewpoints which were brought together by Constantine (325AD) at which time the authorized version of the Bible and the belief system (such as the divinity of Jesus) emerged. The Qumran and Nag Hammadi texts, whilst showing some Old Testament books to be very faithful copies of ancient texts, have shown the diversity of new testament age writings that have disappeared such as the Gnostic Gospels.

I am very interested to know how this violates NPOV - I have provided dates names and a reference.

Writing a comprehensive and objective history of Christianity is difficult. From the earliest days, and especially since it's adoption as the state religion by the Emperor Constantine in the fourth century AD, systematic attempts have been made to standardise Christianity's history and beliefs. The best known example of this is the Nicean Creed which came from the Council of Nicaea in 325AD. More recently the translations of the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in 1947 were carefully controlled incase documents confilcting with the official history were discovered (John Marco Allegro 1992).

86.137.164.37 15:47, 2 January 2006 (UTC)Deanna

Deanna (please consider signing up for a username), let me break down the difficulties of your addition:

  • "Writing a comprehensive and objective history of Christianity is difficult."
True, but that also goes for every other historical topic. In constrast to what you stated above, history is not always written by the victors. There's no denying that there was some variety in early Christianity (one must also consider a difficulties in communication). However, Constantine's role was not one of actively deciding, as you seem to say, but one of bringing together the bishops (most famously in the Nicean council). He wasn't dictating something he though right but took up what seemed the best basis for unity trhough listening to the church. He had absolutely nothing to do with the decisions on the biblical canon (the core had been around since at least 200, the edges were decided only after him around 400). The belief in the divinity of Jesus goes back to the first century and it was not so much the divinity as such but the proper way of theologically expressing this that was on the line in Nicea. But back to your addition:
  • "From the earliest days, and especially since it's adoption as the state religion by the Emperor Constantine in the fourth century AD, systematic attempts have been made to standardise Christianity's history and beliefs."
It is not entirely clear what that means. Yes, church historiography (and hence an effort to standardize) starts with Eusebius of Caesarea, who wrote the first edition of his history before Constantine's reign and later ones under Constantine. If "standardising belief" is supposed to mean defining beliefs, i.e. drawing up dogmata, than this also was around through the entire 3rd century. As your yourself said, Christianity was "not a nice homogenous grey line" before Constantine. It might have been less visible, but there were "heresies" and there was also the "procedure" to deal with these.
  • "The best known example of this is the Nicean Creed which came from the Council of Nicaea in 325AD."
It is an example of standardizing belief (if my reading above is correct) but not history.
  • "More recently the translations of the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in 1947 were carefully controlled incase documents confilcting with the official history were discovered (John Marco Allegro 1992)."
Allegro's views are hardly consensus and were popularized as conspiracy theories. Given the dating of the Dead Sea Scrolls, they cannot provide a different account of the origins of Christianity (though of course they are helpful in understanding the Jewish religion in Christ's time). Allegro's views might have a place in an article on the Dead Sea Scrolls, but not in the overall article on Christianity.

To sum up, your addition has added nothing substantial to the article except for inaccuracies (whether intentional or unintentional).

Goodnight, Str1977 23:39, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

(After edit conflict with Str1977)
Very hasty response, as I'm removing Wikipedia from my Internet Explorer Favorites until the middle of the month, and will not be checking in here any more until then. I've never seen a Wikipedia article stated that it was difficult to write on that subject. It sounds a little like a standard beginning from a student essay — perfectly legitimate, maybe even supplied by the teacher with a list of other sample beginnings, but a little out of style here. There are a couple of typos ("it's", "incase", "confilcting", and "Nicean", which while possible, is not normally used for "Nicene"); these could, of course, be edited out of the edit were left in place. But where's the verification for the claims that translations were carefully controlled, and that the reason was a fear that documents conflicting with the official history would be found? Yes, I know you've given a source, but you've still made the claim as a fact, and then put in brackets where you found that claim. The result of that is that the Wikipedia article asserts something, rather than merely reporting that John Marco Allegro says this. Also, what about these "systematic attempts" to standardize Christianity's history and beliefs? That doesn't sound very neutral? Is there a source? Who says this? Do you say it? Does some published writer say it? Should Wikipedia say it? Anyway, I have to leave this in the capable hands of others, as I shall not be here tomorrow! AnnH (talk) 23:42, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
Also Deanna, you seem to have reverted seven times! I'm not going to report it, but please read WP:3RR and be more careful in future. And partial reverts count as reverts, so even if you add something else at the same time, it's still a revert. And, I'd second Str1977 in suggesting that you sign up for a user name. It's free, doesn't require any personal information, and gives a lot of benefits. Cheers. AnnH (talk) 23:52, 2 January 2006 (UTC)


In defense of a difference of facts not POV.

The graph shows early Christianity as a unity of beliefs from which later splits occurred. This is not fact. It is an attempt to falsify the complex beginings of Christianity and give the impression of an original truth from which all later sects are derived. There is no historical justification for this as there were many different competing claims surrounding the divinity or otherwise of Jesus. Therefore the graph as it stands is a POV and not unbiased. Unless it is changed I will have reinsert my coments to alert readers to the inaccuracy.

Christian history is a particularly tricky area as once they had a power base through the Roman Empire they were able to systematically root out and destroy people and documents that did not conform to the state view. The number of new texts discovered in the Dead Sea area are evidence that certain writings were not on the approved list and therefore dissappeared (unless carefully hidden). Even until the 1960's the Catholic Church had a forbidden book list. History IS written by the victors. There is much controversy surrounding the Shakespearean view of the Tudors due to the fact he was writing in politically dangerous times and the same is true for Christian documents. Certainly during the middle ages any non approved writings would be destroyed along with the author (the Inquisition is a prime example). I am unaware of any other subject that has these problems so it may sound like a school text book but the qualifier is justified. No one would take a Cold War period history book from Russia and quote from it as fact.

As for the Allegro quote (I knew this one would rattle cages), it is always practise in a peer reviewed paper to quote the earliest example of a thesis. His is the earliest book that states the problems of secrecy surrounding the Scroll translations. He was not the only one as evidenced by the fact that the scrolls were published nearly 50 years after they were discovered by reconstructing facimiles outside the control of the (Christian) International Team.

Now for a real POV - I get the distinct feeling that this page is closely monitored by a few individuals who are making sure that their view dominates - I'm not a conspiricy theorist but it does somewhat prove my earlier point about what happens when you disagree with the established view. When you can prove that early Christianity was homogeneous (as opposed to one sect gaining dominance and declaring the others herecy) and that there have been no historical attempts by the dominant Christian Church to supress dissent by violence and distruction of texts then my qualifiers to the history section will no longer appear.

86.137.164.37 00:42, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Actually, the onus is yours to demonstrate your point, since you take issue with the dominant view of historians and scholars. I, for one, am more than happy to discuss options and ideas. KHM03 01:12, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Deanna, please register and use the four tildes to sign; it greatly simplifies comprehending conversations on WIKI. Further, we tend to give my credence to those editors who show a committment to WIKI by being a registered user. Your view point is valued and we want to see more of your edits.

You raise a number of points that have value and may enhance this article. Some of what you say is already said in the article, but may need to be rewritten. As a LDS, I am not too bothered by the graph. It is not exact, but it does serve a worthwhile purpose. If you have a more accurate one, please provide it. Early Christainity was not one line from Christ to Catholicism and there were competing "movements". I think the article does bring some of the major movements up and identifies them as heresies.

Is this article controlled by a few editors? Not really; we have a few editors that are very active on a weekly, if not daily, basis. Then we have a multitude of other editors that read and edit less often. There is an overriding drive to keep the article focused on the beliefs and thoughts of the majority of Christians. There is an ebb and flow to the article as some of the smaller groups gain and lose "play" in the article.

My advice to you: remain diligent, write well structured edits that are more often than not referenced. Do not take things personally. We have a good group of editors here that are committed to good articles. Do they (we) have personal agendas? Of course! But, remember and trust that they seek first a good article. Keep up the good work and don't give up. Cheers and good luck. Storm Rider 09:51, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm just here because I didn't take Wikipedia out of my browser "Favorites" last night (I'm doing so now). I note that Deanna at 06:36 reinserted that paragraph for I think the seventh, eighth, or ninth time (I've lost count) within a 24-hour period, after being warned of the 3RR rule, and without any attempt even to modify the typos that I mentioned (confilcting, it's, incase) [14] I said last night that I wasn't going to report the 3RR violation. I don't like biting newcomers; actually I don't like biting anyone. I'm not going to remove that edit, as I've already reverted three times, and even making three, while not forbidden, is frowned on. Deanna, please stop reverting, or someone else will report you, and you'll be blocked. Obviously you disagree with Str1977 and me about the content, but reinserting that whole paragraph with the typos that were drawn to your attention, and after being warned about 3RR isn't very productive. See you all on the fifteenth! AnnH (talk) 10:20, 3 January 2006 (UTC)