“Take up your cross and follow me,” Jesus Christ said to the young man who asked what he should do. Later, at the Last Supper, Christ said to his disciples: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
At the time Jesus Christ began his mission upon the earth, the term “Christian” was applied to his followers. It was often a derisive term and in many times throughout history it has been extremely dangerous to be called a Christian.
The Romans crucified Christians and set them on fire. And many eras of bloodshed and danger were yet to come for the followers of Christ. Historians estimate only ten thousand Christians existed in the world at the end of the first century A.D. Now there are more than one billion Christians around the world and 126 million in the United States. They have taken up their cross and followed the living example of Jesus Christ. Throughout the centuries they have endeavored to go forth into all the lands preaching the Christ, His life and message.
There are eighty-five main Christian denominations. These denominations make a distinction between Catholic Christians and Protestant Christians. What is the second largest Christian denomination in the United States? Next in numbers are the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church.
Christian denominations are many and diverse. Some churches proclaim Christianity is the only true religion. Other churches emphasize that only their own denomination — or, perhaps, denominations closely affiliated with them — practice true Christianity. However, many denominations hold that all other Christian churches, in addition to their own, are also valid. Further, many Christians today state their recognition that religions outside of Christianity are also God-given and true.
Beauty and Truth of Diversity
According to Dr. Fred Register, a minister of the Southern California Conference of the United Church of Christ:
“The United Church of Christ affirms, and always has, the beauty and truth of diversity. Traditionally this has been seen as a wide range of diversity of belief and practice within the Christian context. However, as we are now in a time when many of us are more aware and appreciative of the great religious traditions of the world, we affirm the validity of these many great paths which may be ventured on in the journey of spiritual development.”
Enjoy these chapters! First, the Baptists — the largest Protestant is denomination in the U.S. And, then, Roman Catholicism. Catholics are by far the largest church in America, and in the world.
We ask you to commit two hours a week to selfless service. This service can be anything you choose ranging from helping a family member or neighbor to volunteering at a nonprofit organization.
This commitment is solely between you and your inner self.
NOTE: We will not share your information with third parties.