Written by Jason L. Petersen
Christianity is the profession of belief in the propositional revelation of the 66 books of the Bible.
Christianity is a profession of faith. Notice that in the definition, I said, “Christianity is the profession of belief in the propositional revelation of the 66 books of the Bible.[ref]” This helps us with the question of denominations and doctrinal disagreements because all Christian denominations profess belief in the Bible. If they do not profess belief in the Bible, they are not a Christian denomination.
Some may ask, “What about cults such as Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses? Do they not both profess belief in the Bible?” Remember, Christianity is a profession of faith. A profession in faith is not simply verbal or written, but it is also expressed in action. Christianity isn’t just a set of propositions (though it is), it is a lifestyle. Mormons believe the Bible was corrupted (despite the Bible saying that God preserves his Word (Psalm 12:6-7, Deuteronomy 4:1-2, Proverbs 30:5-6, Mark 13:31), thus, they are not a Christian denomination.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are a little trickier because they do not believe the Bible was corrupted, but rather, that many have misunderstood it. In order to correct what they perceived as errors, they made their own translation of the Bible that communicates ideas and concepts that are very different from what the Bible manuscripts teach. Thus, though they say they believe in the Bible, the propositions that their Bible (The New World Translation) affirms are very different from what the manuscripts we have teaches. Therefore, their supposed profession of the Bible is an example of the fallacy of equivocation, and they cannot be rightly considered Christianity.
What about Messianic Judaism?
Like Christianity, there are a wide variety of people who identify with Messianic Judaism, and not all of them are in line with the Bible. I view Christianity and Messianic Judaism as interchangeable. In other words, Christians and Messianics, though they go by different names, are of one body in Christ. I personally go both to a Messianic Synagogue and a church. I identify as both Messianic and Christian. I tend to use the word ‘Christian’ in my articles because the term is more SEO friendly.
Implications on Salvation
All one must do in order to be redeemed is to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, died on the cross for our sins, and rose again. Thus, even some people who may be misguided may be saved. Thus, we should not judge someone’s salvation on the basis of if they have perfect theology, but we should judge them by what they teach and their fruits (1 John 4:1, Matthew 7:15-16). The doctrine we should use to discern if someone is redeemed is their view on salvation and who Jesus is. In addition, we should look at the fruit of all teachers and see if they are living out their faith. All believers should affirm Jesus as the Messiah and should seek to do the will of God (Matthew 7:21). Wanting to do the Will of God is a consequence of being born again. Though people are not perfect by their works, there should be a consistent desire to do the will of God.
This article is meant to lay out a definition for Christianity (and Messianic Judaism). Such an article is necessary so that those who come to this website will have some sort of reference of what religion I will be teaching on and defending.
- The Bible is defined as the propositional revelation of the 66 books of the Protestant Canon.