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Doctrines and Teachings of different Religions

Basic Teachings of the Baha’i Faith

by Jeremy Butler

The following is a basic outline of the beliefs and teachings of the Baha’i faith.  For reference to a particular belief, please reference our articles dealing with specific beliefs within the Baha’i faith.

  1. God
    1. There is one God, no Trinity.
    2. God created the world.
    3. Even though individuals of different religions pray to God by different names, they are still praying to the same God even though they are using different names.
    4. Baha’u’llah taught that human beings cannot understand God completely or have a clear picture of Him in our minds. This is because God is too great and too subtle for this to happen.
  2. Creation
    1. God has complete control over His creation.
    2. God has complete and perfect knowledge of His creation.
  3. Knowledge of God
    1. The knowledge that we have of God are of His attributes and qualities, but not of His essence.
    2. No one can actually see God because He does not have a body.  This would imply that Jesus was not God in the flesh.
    3. What one learns about God is through prayer, meditation, and the study and application of the various sacred scriptures of the prophets of God.
  4. Revelation by Prophets
    1. God chose different revelations throughout history to show His will to the world.  He used different manifestations or prophets to accomplish this process.  These prophets include the founders of the great religions of the world, including but are not limited to Moses, Abraham, Jesus, Muhammad, and Buddha. Their goal is to bring humankind into full spiritual and moral maturity.
    2. Baha’u’llah is the latest of the prophets or manifestations of God to humanity.
    3. None of the manifestations of God are superior or inferior to any other manifestations.  So Jesus is no better or worse than Moses, or Jesus is not better or worse than Buddha, etc.
    4. The differences in the various religions are not because of any fault of the various founders of the world religions.  It is because of the different requirements during the times in which these religions were founded.
    5. The different religions set up by the different Manifestations of God are part of one single plan by God.
    6. There is only one religion in the world, which is seen as the Baha’i faith.  This is the religion that has been progressively revealed throughout history by all of the major prophets of the previous religions.
    7. The revelation of God unto humankind will continue into the future. The implication of this is that there might be future prophets or Manifestations of God.
  5. Unification of Humankind
    1. That the unification of the human race and building a peaceful and loving global society is possible.  The means through to make this goal possible include:
      1. Full equality of women with men.
      2. Taking away all forms of prejudice.
      3. Oneness of religion/a universal religion.
      4. Taking away extreme poverty and wealth
      5. Universal education.
      6. Individual’s seeking religious truth for themselves.
      7. Forming a commonwealth of nations.
      8. The recognition that true religion and reason/scientific knowledge are in harmony.
  6. The Afterlife
    1. Heaven and Hell are not seen as literal places where people go after death.  They are seen as being descriptions of an individual’s spiritual journey towards the light of God.  After death, the soul makes a journey throughout different worlds that takes the individual towards God.  Whatever place the soul goes is because of one’s efforts.
  7. The Nature of Mankind
    1. The physical desires of humans are not evil or bad.  Everything that God created is seen as good.
  8. Sacred Writings
    1. Baha’u’llah writings, which would be equal to over 100 volumes worth of work.
    2. The writings of the Bab, the forerunner of Baha’u’llah.
    3. The writings Baha’u’llah’s son, Abdu’l-Baha.
    4. The Bible, Quran and the various other sacred writings of the revealed religions.

http://carm.org/basic-teachings-of-the-bahai-faith

The doctrines of Islam

muslim man and quranNote:  All references are to the Quran (Koran) where applicable.

God

  1. There is only one God (5:73; 112:1-4).
  2. God is called Allah by Muslims (5:73)
  3. Allah sees all things (40:20), is present everywhere (2:115; 7:7).
  4. Allah is the sole creator and sustainer of the universe (3:191).
  5. Allah is not a Trinity, but is one (5:73).
  6. Allah is all-knowing (2:268; 10:61) and all-powerful (6:61-62).
  7. Allah created the heaven and earth (2:29; 6:1, 73; 25:61-62; 36:81; 46:33).

Salvation and Judgment

  1. Allah will judge all people on the day of judgment (3:30; 35:33-37; 99:6-8).
  2. If your good deeds exceed your bad deeds, and you believe in Allah, and sincerely repent of sins, you may go to heaven (3:135; 7:8-9; 21:47; 49:14; 66:8-9).
  3. There is an eternal hell for those who are not Muslims, not practicing Islam, and not of the truth faith (3:77).
  4. Hell is a place of unlimited capacity (50:30) eternal torment (2:39; 14:17; 25:65; 39:26), fire (9:63; 11:16; 25:11-12; 104:6-7), with boiling water (38:55-58; 55:43-44), where skin is burned and renewed (4:56), for unbelievers (3:13; 19:49) and Jinn (11:119), with faces covered with fire (14:49-50).
  5. There is a tree in hell, named Tree of Zaqqum, from which bad fruit is given and the damned are forced to eat (37:62-67; 44:43-48; 56:52-55).
  6. Heaven (Paradise), a Garden (79:41) of bliss and fruit (69:21-24), has rivers (3:198), with maidens pure and holy (4:57), and carpets and cushions, (88:8-16).
  7. There will be a physical resurrection of all people (19:93-95) on the day of judgment (3:77; 15:25; 16:38; 42:29).
  8. Judgment is based on a person’s sincere repentance (66:8-9) and righteous deeds (5:9; 24:26; 45:21-22; 64:7).

Other

  1. There is an afterlife (2:154;75:12).
  2. There are such things as angels, created by Allah, that are created from light. Angels are obedient slaves incapable of refusing to do Allahï’s will. The angel Gabriel brought the revelation of the Koran to Muhammad (2:97).
  3. The Holy Spiritis the angel Gabriel (2:97; 16:102).
    1. There is no actual verse where the Holy Spirit is said to be Gabriel or is identified as Gabriel. These verses show that both the Holy Spirit and Gabriel brought down the revelation.
  4. Jinn are unseen beings, created (51:56) from fire (15:27; 55:15), but are not angels.  They have communities.  There are good and bad Jinn.
  5. The Devil, called Iblis, (2:34) is a bad Jinn.
  6. Jesus was a great prophet but not the son of God (9:30), is not divine (5:17, 75), was not crucified (4:157).
  7. Muhammad is Allah’s greatest and last prophet and his message supercedes all other past prophets including Jesus.
  8. The Koran is Allah’s word. He literally spoke it to Gabriel who gave it to Muhammad.
  9. There are other holy writings but they are superceded by the Koran.
    1. The other works are
      1. Torah – the First Five books of Moses
      2. Injeel – the message that Jesus gave, written down, but no longer exists.  The writings have been altered by scholars.  Whatever agrees with the Koran is true.
      3. Zaboor – the Psalms1
  10. Pre-ordainment (Qadar) is the teaching that all things, good and bad, are preordained to occur.
  11. Fasting is to be observed during the month of Ramadan (2:185).
  12. Drinking alcohol is forbidden (2:219; 4;43; 5:93-94; 16:67)
  13. Gambling is forbidden (2:219; 5:90-94).
  14. Man is made from the dust of the earth (23:12).
  15. There is no last minute repentance (4:18).

Jehovah’s Witness’ Beliefs

by Matt Slick

  1. There is one God in one person, Make Sure of All Things, p 188.
  2. There is no Trinity, Let God be True, p. 100-101; Make Sure of All Things, p.386.
  3. The Holy Spirit is a force, not alive, Reasoning from the Scriptures, 1985, p.
    406-407.
  4. The Holy Spirit is God’s impersonal active force, The Watchtower, June 1, 1952,
    p. 24.
  5. Jehovah’s first creation was his ‘only-begotten Son’. . . was used by Jehovah in
    creating all other things”, Aid to Bible Understanding, p. 390-391.
  6. Jesus was Michael the archangel who became a man, The Watchtower, May 15,
    1963, p. 307; The New World, 284.
  7. Jesus was only a perfect man, not God in flesh, Reasoning from the Scriptures,
    1985, p. 306.
  8. Jesus did not rise from the dead in his physical body, Awake! July 22, 1973, p. 4.
  9. Jesus was raised “not a human creature, but a spirit.” Let God be True, p. 276.
  10. Jesus was born again, The Watchtower, Nov. 15, 1954, p. 682.
  11. Jesus did not die on a cross but on a stake, Reasoning from the Scriptures, 1985,
    p. 89-90.
  12. Jesus began his invisible rule over the earth in 1914, The Truth Shall Make You Free,
    p. 300.
  13. Jesus’ ransom sacrifice did not include Adam, Let God be True, p.  119.
  14. Their church is the self-proclaimed prophet of God, The Watchtower, April 1,
    1972, p. 197.
  15. They claim to be the only channel of God’s truth, The Watchtower, Feb. 15,
    1981, p. 19.
  16. Only their church members will be saved, The Watchtower, Feb, 15, 1979, p. 30.
  17. Good works are necessary for salvation, Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 1,
    p. 150, 152.
  18. The soul ceases to exist after death, Let God be True, p. 59, 60, 67.
  19. There is no hell of fire where the wicked are punished, Let God be True, p. 79, 80.
  20. Only 144,000 Jehovah’s Witness go to heaven, Reasoning from the Scriptures,
    1985, pp. 166-167, 361; Let God be True, p. 121.
  21. Only the 144,000 Jehovah’s Witness are born again. Reasoning from the
    Scriptures
    , 1985, p. 76.; Watchtower 11/15/54, p. 681.
  22. Only the 144,000 may take communion.
  23. Blood transfusions are a sin, Reasoning from the Scriptures, 1985, pp. 72-73.
  24. The Cross is a pagan symbol and should not be used, Reasoning from the
    Scriptures
    , 1985, p. 90-92.
  25. Salvation is by faith and what you do, Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 1, p.
    150,152.
  26. It is possible to lose your salvation, Reasoning from the Scriptures, 1985, p.
    358-359.
  27. The universe is billions of years old, Your will Be Done on Earth, p. 43.
  28. Each of the 6 creative days of God in Genesis 1, was 7000 years long.
    Therefore, Man was created toward the end of 42,000 years of earth’s
    preparation, Let God be True, p. 168.
  29. They also refuse to vote, salute the flag, sing the “Star Spangled Banner,” or
    celebrate Christmas or birthdays. They are not allowed to serve in the armed
    forces.
  30. Satan was entrusted with the obligation and charged with the duty of
    overseeing the creation of the earth, Children, p. 55.

What Does Mormonism Teach?

The doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) are very interesting. Most of the ‘odd’ ones are not initially taught to potential converts. But they should be. Instead, “they are revealed later as one matures and gains the ability to accept them.”  The LDS Church tries to make its official doctrines appear Christian but what underlies those Christian sounding terms is far from Christian in meaning.

Following are the teachings of its officials throughout the years.  Please note that these teachings are documented from Mormon writers, not anti-Mormon writers.

Finally, many Mormons respond that most of the citations below are not from official Mormon writings, as if that disproves the doctrines they teach.  If they are not official, fine.  But, if not, then why have the Mormon apostles and high officials taught them, written them, and why are their books sold in Mormon bookstores?  The truth is, the following is what Mormons are taught.

  1. Atonement
    1. “Jesus paid for all our sins when He suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane,” (Laurel Rohlfing, “Sharing Time: The Atonement,” Friend, Mar. 1989, p. 39.).
    2. “We accept Christ’s atonement by repenting of our sins, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and obeying all of the commandments,” (Gospel Principles, Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1979, p. 68.).
  2. Baptism
    1. Baptism for the dead, (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. II, p. 141). This is a practice of baptizing each other in place of non-Mormons who are now dead. Their belief is that in the afterlife, the “newly baptized” person will be able to enter into a higher level of Mormon heaven.
  3. Bible
    1. “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. . .” (8th Article of Faith of the Mormon Church).
    2. “Wherefore, thou seest that after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God,” (1 Nephi 13:28).
  4. Book of Mormon
    1. The book of Mormon is more correct than the Bible, (History of the Church, 4:461).
  5. Devil, the
    1. The Devil was born as a spirit after Jesus “in the morning of pre-existence,” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 192).
    2. Jesus and Satan are spirit brothers and we were all born as siblings in heaven to them both, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 163).
    3. A plan of salvation was needed for the people of earth so Jesus offered a plan to the Father and Satan offered a plan to the father but Jesus’ plan was accepted. In effect the Devil wanted to be the Savior of all Mankind and to “deny men their agency and to dethrone god,” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 193; Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 8).
  6. God
    1. God used to be a man on another planet, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 321; Joseph Smith, Times and Seasons, vol. 5, p. 613-614; Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 345; Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 333).
    2. “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s…” (D&C 130:22).
    3. God is in the form of a man, (Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 3).
    4. “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!!! . . . We have imagined that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea and take away the veil, so that you may see,” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345).
    5. God the Father had a Father, (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 476; Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, vol. 5, p. 19; Milton Hunter, First Council of the Seventy, Gospel through the Ages, p. 104-105).
    6. God resides near a star called Kolob, (Pearl of Great Price, p. 34-35; Mormon Doctrine, p. 428).
    7. God had sexual relations with Mary to make the body of Jesus, (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, 1857, p. 218; vol. 8, p. 115). – This one is disputed among many Mormons and not always ‘officially’ taught and believed.  Nevertheless, Young, the 2nd prophet of the Mormon church taught it.
    8. “Therefore we know that both the Father and the Son are in form and stature perfect men; each of them possesses a tangible body . . . of flesh and bones.” (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 38).
  7. God, becoming a god
    1. After you become a good Mormon, you have the potential of becoming a god, (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345-347, 354.)
    2. “Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them,” (D&C 132:20).
  8. God, many gods
    1. There are many gods, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 163).
    2. “And they (the Gods) said: Let there be light: and there was light,” (Book of Abraham 4:3).
  9. God, mother goddess
    1. There is a mother god, (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 443).
    2. God is married to his goddess wife and has spirit children, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 516).
  10. God, Trinity
    1. The trinity is three separate Gods: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. “That these three are separate individuals, physically distinct from each other, is demonstrated by the accepted records of divine dealings with man,” (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 35).
  11. Gospel, the
    1. The true gospel was lost from the earth. Mormonism is its restoration, (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 182-185.)
    2. Consists of laws and ordinances: “As these sins are the result of individual acts it is just that forgiveness for them should be conditioned on individual compliance with prescribed requirements — ‘obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel,'” (Articles of Faith, p. 79)
  12. Heaven
    1. There are three levels of heaven: telestial, terrestrial, and celestial, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 348).
  13. Holy Ghost, the
    1. The Holy Ghost is a male personage, A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, (Le Grand Richards, Salt Lake City, 1956, p. 118; Journal of Discourses, vol. 5, p. 179).
  14. Jesus
    1. The first spirit to be born in heaven was Jesus, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 129).
    2. Jesus and Satan are spirit brothers and we were all born as siblings in heaven to them both, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 163; Gospel Through the Ages, p. 15).
    3. Jesus’ sacrifice was not able to cleanse us from all our sins, (murder and repeated adultery are exceptions), (Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, 1856, p. 247).
    4. “Therefore we know that both the Father and the Son are in form and stature perfect men; each of them possesses a tangible body . . . of flesh and bones,” (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 38).
    5. “The birth of the Saviour was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood – was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers,” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115).
    6. “Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers,” (Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce McConkie, p. 547).
    7. “Christ Not Begotten of Holy Ghost …Christ was begotten of God. He was not born without the aid of Man, and that Man was God!” (Doctrines of Salvation, by Joseph Fielding Smith, 1954, 1:18).
    8. “Elohim is literally the Father of the spirit of Jesus Christ and also of the body in which Jesus Christ performed His mission in the flesh…” (First Presidency and Council of the Twelve, 1916, “God the Father,” compiled by Gordon Allred, p. 150).
  15. Joseph Smith
    1. If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation.  There is no salvation [the context is the full gospel including exaltation to Godhood] outside the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 670).
  16. Pre-existence
    1. We were first begotten as spirit children in heaven and then born naturally on earth, (Journal of Discourse, vol. 4, p. 218).
    2. The first spirit to be born in heaven was Jesus, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 129).
    3. The Devil was born as a spirit after Jesus “in the morning of pre-existence,” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 192).
  17. Prophets
    1. We need prophets today, the same as in the Old Testament, (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 444-445).
  18. Salvation
    1. “One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation,” (Miracle of Forgiveness, Spencer W. Kimball, p. 206).
    2. A plan of salvation was needed for the people of earth so Jesus offered a plan to the Father and Satan offered a plan to the father but Jesus’ plan was accepted. In effect the Devil wanted to be the Savior of all Mankind and to “deny men their agency and to dethrone god,” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 193; Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 8).
    3. Jesus’ sacrifice was not able to cleanse us from all our sins, (murder and repeated adultery are exceptions), (Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, 1856, p. 247).
    4. Good works are necessary for salvation (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 92).
    5. There is no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith as a prophet of God (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, p. 188).
    6. “The first effect [of the atonement] is to secure to all mankind alike, exemption from the penalty of the fall, thus providing a plan of General Salvation. The second effect is to open a way for Individual Salvation whereby mankind may secure remission of personal sins (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 78-79).
    7. “As these sins are the result of individual acts it is just that forgiveness for them should be conditioned on individual compliance with prescribed requirements — ‘obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel,'” (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 79).
    8. “This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts,” (LDS Bible Dictionary, p. 697).
    9. “We know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do,” (2 Nephi 25:23).
  19. Trinity, the
    1. The trinity is three separate Gods: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. “That these three are separate individuals, physically distinct from each other, is demonstrated by the accepted records of divine dealings with man,” (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 35.).
    2. “Many men say there is one God; the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are only one God. I say that is a strange God [anyhow]–three in one and one in three. . .It is curious organization… All are crammed into one God according to sectarianism (Christian faith). It would make the biggest God in all the world. He would be a wonderfully big God–he would be a giant or a monster,” (Joseph Smith, Teachings, p. 372).

Some Mormons may disagree with a few of the points listed on this page, but all of what is stated here is from Mormon authors in good standing of the Mormon church.

Roman Catholicism

There is so much about the Catholic Church that is fascinating. They teach many orthodox things, and then they teach so many non orthodox doctrines.

  1. Baptism saves
    1. “. . Baptism is the first and chief sacrament of forgiveness of sins because it unites us with Christ, who died for our sins and rose for our justification, so that ‘we too might walk in newness of life,'” (Catechism of the Catholic Church par. 977).
    2. “Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ. It is granted us through Baptism. It conforms us to the righteousness of God, who justifies us. It has for its goal the glory of God and of Christ, and the gift of eternal life. It is the most excellent work of God’s mercy,” (CCC, par. 2020).
    3. But the Bible says:
      1. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast,” (Eph. 2:8-9).
      2. “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” (Rom. 5:1).
  2. Catechism of the Catholic Church
    1. Become a god:  CCC 460, The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature”: “For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.” “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.”
      1. Paste:  Become a god:  CCC 460, “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.”
      2. Article:  The CCC paragraph 460 and becoming gods.
    2. Merit Grace unto Eternal Life:  CCC 2010, “…Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life.”
    3. Merit Grace unto Eternal Life:  CCC 2027, “Moved by the Holy Spirit, we can merit for ourselves and for others all the graces needed to attain eternal life, as well as necessary temporal goods.”
    4. Observe the Commandments to attain Salvation:  CCC 2068, “The Council of Trent teaches that the Ten Commandments are obligatory for Christians and that the justified man is still bound to keep them; the Second Vatican Council confirms: “The bishops, successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord . . . the mission of teaching all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments.”
      1. Paste:  Observe the Commandments to attain salvation:  CCC 2068, “the mission of teaching all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments.”
      2. Counter Verses:
        1. “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law,” (Rom. 3:28).
        2. “For what does the scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness,” (Rom. 4:3).
        3. “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,” (Rom. 4:5).
  3. Grace
    1. “Sanctifying grace is the gratuitous gift of his life that God makes to us; it is infused by the Holy Spirit into the soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it” (CCC, par. 2023).
    2. “…Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life,” (CCC 2010).
    3. “Moved by the Holy Spirit, we can merit for ourselves and for others all the graces needed to attain eternal life, as well as necessary temporal goods,” (CCC 2027).
  4. Interpretation
    1. “…no one, relying on his own skill, shall,–in matters of faith, and of morals pertaining to the edification of Christian doctrine, — wresting the sacred Scripture to his own senses, presume to interpret the said sacred Scripture contrary to that sense which holy mother Church,–whose it is to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the holy Scriptures,–hath held and doth hold,” (Trent, Session 4, “Decree Concerning the Edition, and the Use, of the Sacred Books”)
  5. Islam
    1. The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.” (CCC, par. 841)
  6. Justification
    1. “Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ. It is granted us through Baptism. It conforms us to the righteousness of God, who justifies us. It has for its goal the glory of God and of Christ, and the gift of eternal life. It is the most excellent work of God’s mercy,” (CCC, par. 2020).
    2. “If any one saith, that it is an imposture to celebrate masses in honour of the saints, and for obtaining their intercession with God, as the Church intends; let him be anathema. (Council of Trent, Canons on Justification, Canon 5)
    3. “If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema” (Council of Trent, Canons on Justification, Canon 9).
    4. “If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema.” (Canon 14).
    5. Verses on Justification to counter the RC position
      1. “being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus,”(Rom. 3:24).
      2. “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law,”(Rom. 3:28).
      3. “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness,” (Rom. 4:3).
      4. “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,” (Rom. 4:5).
      5. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” (Rom. 5:1).
      6. “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him,” (Rom. 5:9).
      7. “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved,” (Rom. 10:9).
      8. “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace,” (Rom. 11:6).
      9. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God,” (Eph. 2:8).
    6. Trent anathematized anyone who claimed assurance of salvation (Canon 14 on Justification), contrary to the Bible (1 John 5:13). In Roman Catholic salvation initial justification is granted to you via baptism (Catechism of the Catholic Church par 2020; 1247), successive sacred rites (CCC 1248), not by faith alone (CCC 1815), but with service (CCC 1816).
    7. Justification can be lost by sinning. To regain the grace of justification you must participate in the sacraments and perform penance (CCC, par. 1446; Council of Trent (Sess. XIV, c. i).
    8. Natural Law
      1. CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, PAR. 2010, ”THE SPECIFIC PRECEPTS OF THE NATURAL LAW, BECAUSE THEIR OBSERVANCE, DEMANDED BY THE CREATOR, IS NECESSARY FOR SALVATION.”  CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, PAR. 2080
        “THE DECALOGUE CONTAINS A PRIVILEGED EXPRESSION OF THE NATURAL LAW. IT IS MADE KNOWN TO US BY DIVINE REVELATION AND BY HUMAN REASON.”

        1. Are you keeping enough of the law, the natural law (which includes the 10 Commandments) in order to be saved?  Gal. 3:10 says, ” For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.”
        2. CCC 2010 says that you are required to keep the natural law in order to be saved (it is “necessary for salvation”).  The Natural Law is the 10 Commandments (CCC 2080).  Are you keeping the Natural Law?  If you go to confession, then that is an admission that you are not.  Therefore, you are lost.
        3. James 2:10, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.”  If are supposed to keep the natural law (because it is necessary for salvation CCC 2010), then you’re not allowed to stumble and even one point otherwise you are guilty of breaking all of the law.
        4. 1 Cor. 2:14, “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”
      2. Love is the fulfillment of the Law
        1. The Catholics say that you must keep the Law of Love.  Okay, Jesus said that the greatest commandment was to love God (Matt. 22:37-38).  The 2nd greatest is to love your neighbor (Matt. 22:39).  He said that the Law and Prophets were fulfilled in these two Laws.  Therefore, to keep the Law of love, you must keep the commandments.  You are still teaching being saved by keeping the Law — even if you say it is faith, working in love, that keeps the Law.
  7. Mary per Catholicism
    1. Entrust our cares to Mary:  “Holy Mary, Mother of God…we can entrust all our cares and petitions to her: she prays for us as she prayed for herself: ‘Let it be to me according to your word.’ [Lk 1:38] By entrusting ourselves to her prayer, we abandon ourselves to the will of God together with her: ‘Thy will be done,’ (CCC 2677).
    2. Ask Mary to pray for us:  “By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the ‘Mother of Mercy,’ the All-Holy One. We give ourselves over to her now, in the Today of our lives. And our trust broadens further, already at the present moment, to surrender ‘the hour of our death’ wholly to her care.” (CCC 2677).
    3. Mary is Advocate, Helper, Mediatrix:  [Mary] “Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation …. Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.'” (CCC, par. 969)
    4. Mary brings us the gifts of eternal salvation:  Mary is “The mother of the members of Christ,” (CCC par. 963). She was “Preserved free from all stain of original sin,” (CCC, par. 966). She is “Queen over all things” (par. 966).
    5. Mary Delievers our souls:  By Mary’s prayers, she delivers souls from death (CCC par. 966).
    6. Mary brings us the gifts of Eternal Life:  Mary, “…by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation…. (CCC par. 969)
    7. Marian prayer is epitome of the gospel:  “The Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix” (CCC par. 969).
    8. Marian Prayer:   “The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, are an epitome of the whole Gospel,” (par. 971).
    9. Pray to Mary:  “Mary is the perfect Orans (pray-er), a figure of the Church. When we pray to her, we are adhering with her to the plan of the Father.” (CCC 2679)
    10. Mary taken into heaven:  Mary, “…when the course of her earthly life was completed, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven…” (par. 974).
    11. Mary is worshipped:  “…when she [Mary] is the subject of preaching and worship she prompts the faithful to come to her Son…” (Vatican Council II, p. 420). See quote in Context
    12. Mary is 2nd only to Jesus:  “Mary has by grace been exalted above all angels and men to a place second only to her Son” (Vatican Council II, p. 421). “This mother…is waiting and preparing your home for you,” (Handbook for Todays Catholic, p.31).
  8. Mary compare to God
    1. “so no man goeth to Christ but by His Mother.” (Vatican Website:  Encyclical of Pope Leo 13th on the Rosary, Octobri Mense, Pope Leo 13th, 1903-1914)
    2. Mary made atonement for the sins of man:  “Christ alone truly offered the sacrifice of atonement on the Cross…In the power of the grace of Redemption merited by Christ, Mary, by her spiritual entering into the sacrifice of her divine son for men, made atonement for the sins of man and (de congruon) merited the application of the redemptive grace of Christ.  In this manner she cooperates in the subjective redemption of mankind.”  (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma4, Ott, page 213).
      1. PasteMary made atonement for the sins of man “…Mary, by her spiritual entering into the sacrifice of her divine son for men, made atonement for the sins of man and (de congruon) merited the application of the redemptive grace of Christ.  In this manner she cooperates in the subjective redemption of mankind.”  (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Ott, page 213).
    3. Mary not subject to corruption:  “She, by an entirely unique privilege, completely overcame sin by her Immaculate Conception, and as a result she was not subject to the law of remaining in the corruption of the grave, and she did not have to wait until the end of time for the redemption of her body” (Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus, # 5); “her sacred body had never been subject to the corruption of the tomb,” (Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus, # 14)
      1. Paste:  Mary not subject to corruption:  “..she was not subject to the law of remaining in the corruption of the grave, and she did not have to wait until the end of time for the redemption of her body” (Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus, # 5); “her sacred body had never been subject to the corruption of the tomb,” (Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus, # 14)
    4. Mary crushed the head of the serpent:  “All our hope do we repose in the most Blessed Virgin—in the all fair and immaculate one who has crushed the poisonous head of the most cruel serpent and brought salvation to the world,” (Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus).
    5. Mary delivers souls from death:  “…You [Mary] conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.” (CCC 966)
    6. Devotion to Mary:  “The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an “epitome of the whole Gospel,” express this devotion to the Virgin Mary,” (CCC. 971).
    7. Mary is full of grace:  “The Holy Spirit prepared Mary by his grace. It was fitting that the mother of him in whom “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” should herself be “full of grace.” (CCC 722)
    8. Mary is the all holy one:  “By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the ‘Mother of Mercy,’ the All-Holy One.” (CCC 2677)
    9. Mary brings the gifts of eternal salvation:  “…by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation….” (CCC par. 969)
    10. Look to Mary:  “After speaking of the Church, her origin, mission, and destiny, we can find no better way to conclude than by looking to Mary,” (CCC 972).
    11. Mary is Mediatrix:  “Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.'” (CCC, par. 969)
    12. Mary is the 2nd Eve:  It was she, the second Eve, who, free from all sin, original or personal, and always more intimately united with her Son, offered Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father for all the children of Adam,” (Mystici Corpois Christ, par. 110)
    13. Prayer to Mary:  “Mary is the perfect Orans (pray-er), a figure of the Church. When we pray to her, we are adhering with her to the plan of the Father.” (CCC 2679)
    14. Mary hears your prayers:  “May the Blessed Virgin hear your every prayer.” (Message of John Paul II, read by H. E. Msgr. Francesco Marchisano, Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes in the Vatican Gardens, Saturday, 31 May 2003)
    15. Mary is preparing a home for you:  “This mother…is waiting and preparing your home for you” (Handbook for Today’s Catholic, p. 31).
    16. Entrusting ourselves to Mary’s prayer:  “By entrusting ourselves to her prayer, we abandon ourselves to the will of God together with her: ‘Thy will be done,’ (CCC 2677).
  9. Mary per the Bible
    1. Mary, the very blessed woman, lost her virginity. “And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took her as his wife, 25 and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus,” (Matt. 1:24-25).
    2. Mary the very blessed woman, needed a savior. Only sinners need saviors: “And Mary said: ‘My soul exalts the Lord, 47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior,'” (Luke 1:46-47).
  10. Merit
    1. “…Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life,” (CCC 2010).
    2. “Moved by the Holy Spirit, we can merit for ourselves and for others all the graces needed to attain eternal life, as well as necessary temporal goods,” (CCC 2027).
  11. Jesus’ brothers
    1. There are many arguments pro and con concerning Jesus siblings. But the issue cannot be settled without examining Psalm 69, a Messianic Psalm. Jesus quotes Psalm 69:4 in John 15:25, “But they have done this in order that the word may be fulfilled that is written in their Law, They hated Me without a cause.”
    2. Clearly, Psalm 69 is a Messianic Psalm since Jesus quoted it in reference to Himself two times. The reason this is important is because of what is written between the verses that Jesus quoted.
  12. Penance
    1. “Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification…” (CCC, par. 1446).
    2. “By Christ’s will, the Church possesses the power to forgive the sins of the baptized and exercises it through bishops and priests normally in the sacrament of penance ,” (CCC par. 986).
    3. “As a means of regaining grace and justice, penance was at all times necessary for those who had defiled their souls with any mortal sin. . . .The Council of Trent (Sess. XIV, c. i).
  13. Purgatory
    1. The 2nd Vatican Council, p. 63, “The truth has been divinely revealed that sins are followed by punishments. Gods holiness and justice inflict them. Sins must be expiated. This may be done on this earth through the sorrows, miseries and trials of this life and, above all, through death. Otherwise the expiation must be made in the next life through fire and torments or purifying punishments.”
  14. Salvation
    1. “We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will. In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere ‘to the end’ and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God’s eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ,” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 1821).
    2. “Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification,” (CCC, par. 2010).
    3. “The Council of Trent teaches that the Ten Commandments are obligatory for Christians and that the justified man is still bound to keep them;28 the Second Vatican Council confirms: “The bishops, successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord . . . the mission of teaching all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments,” (CCC, par 2068,  http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p3s2.htm)
    4. Questions
      1. Do you believe that going to heaven, which is salvation, is your reward for the good works that you do?  “In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere ‘to the end’ and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God’s eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ,” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 1821).
      2. Jesus said in Matt. 7:22-23, “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”  Jesus condemned them to damnation, why?  Because they appealed to their faith AND works to be in heaven.
      3. Do you really believe you can merit (earn) God’s grace?  “we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification,” (CCC, par. 2010).
      4. Are you keeping the commandments enough to attain your salvation?  “…so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments,” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, par 2068)
      5. Are you being good enough in all that you do to be saved?
      6. James 2:10, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”
      7. Gal. 3:10, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.”
  15. Terms
    1. Assumption – the taking of the body and soul of Mary, by god, into glory. Catholic doctrine, apparently, does not state whether or not Mary died, but tradition holds that she died and was immediately afterward assumed into heaven both body and soul.
    2. Mass – a reenactment of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross in a ceremony performed by a priest. This ceremony is symbolically carried out by the priest and involves
    3. Mortal Sin – a serious and willful transgression of God’s Law. It involves full knowledge and intent of the will to commit the sin. If left unrepentant, can damn someone to eternal hell. ‘
    4. Purgatory – a place of temporary punishment where the Christian is cleansed from sin before they can enter into heaven.
    5. Rosary – A string of beads containing five sets with ten small beads. Each set of ten is separated by another bead. It also contains a crucifix. It is used in saying special prayers, usually to Mary where the rosary is used to count the prayers.
    6. Transubstantiation – The teaching that the bread and wine in the communion supper become the body and blood of the Lord Jesus at the Consecration during the Mass.
    7. Venial Sin – A sin but not as bad as Mortal Sin. It lessens the grace of God within a person’s soul.
  16. Tradition
    1. “. . .the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence’.” (CCC, par. 82.)
    2. Verses dealing with Tradition
      1. Matt. 15:4-6, Jesus said, “For God said, Honor your father and mother, and, He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death 5But you say, Whoever shall say to his father or mother, Anything of mine you might have been helped by has been given to God, 6he is not to honor his father or his mother. And thus you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition.”
      2. Mark 7:8-9, “Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men. 9He was also saying to them, You nicely set aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.”
      3. Col. 2:8, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”
    3. Refuting Tradition
      1. “But without any dispute the lesser is blessed by the greater,” (Heb. 7:7). The context deals with Melchizedek blessing Abraham, but the principle that the lesser is blessed by the greater is still true. If the Catholic appeals to scripture to validate tradition, then he is appealing to scripture as the superior source in order to validate his tradition, the lesser being tradition.
  17. Transubstantiation
    1. Verses they use to support it.
      1. Matt. 26:28, “for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.”
      2. John 6:52-53, “The Jews therefore began to argue with one another, saying, How can this man give us His flesh to eat? 53 Jesus therefore said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.'”
        • Yet, Jesus said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life,” (John 6:63).
      3. 1 Cor. 11:27, “Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.”
    2. Re: Transubstantiation: 1st, the Supper was instituted before Jesus’ crucifixion; hence, how could it be a re-sacrifice since it hadn’t happened when Jesus instituted it? 2nd, transub. violates Levitical law forbidding drinking of blood (Lev. 17:14). 3rd, it violates the incarnation – for a man (Jesus) cannot be physically omnipresent as transub. would physically require.
  18. Eucharist
    1. How is it possible for the Eucharist to be the body and blood of Christ? Isn’t a man only in one place at one time as Jesus was in the incarnation? He is still a man (1 Tim. 2:5). Therefore, the incarnation means that the man Jesus is only at one place at a time. Therefore, the Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist violates the doctrine of the incarnation of Christ.
    2. The Eucharist is the broken body and shed blood of Christ, right? When Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper he said it was his body and blood, but how can that be since he was sitting right there? Was he sitting there and also physically in the bread and wine, too?
    3. The Eucharist is the broken body and shed blood of Christ, right? When Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper he said it was his body and blood, but he hadn’t yet been crucified, so how could it be his shed blood and broken body?
  19. Questions for Catholics
    1. What rituals must you perform in order to obtain the grace of God?
      1. “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace,” (Rom. 11:6).
    2. Are you being good enough to keep yourself saved?
    3. If your salvation is dependent, in part, upon your ability to repent of your sins, what do you do with those since you have not repented of because you don’t know about them?

http://carm.org/cut-catholic

What does Oneness Pentecostal teach?

by Matt Slick

Oneness Pentecostal people are many and varied.  The two main groups that hold to Oneness theology are the United Pentecostal Church International (the largest) and the United Apostolic church.  There are others like the Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Bible Way Churches of Our Lord Jesus Christ as well as a host of independent Oneness churches scattered throughout the United States.

The following points of doctrine are generally held to by the Oneness Pentecostal groups.

Within Orthodoxy

  1. There is only one God in all existence.
  2. The Bible is God’s inerrant word.
  3. Jesus was born of a virgin.
  4. Jesus had two natures.
  5. Justification by faith.
  6. Baptism must be by immersion.1
  7. The elements of communion are bread and wine and are only for believers.
  8. Foot-washing (John 13:4-5), is a divine institution to be practiced by church members.2
  9. Abstain from joining secret societies (James 5:122 Cor. 6:14-18).
  10. There will be a future rapture of the Church where the Christians will be transformed (1 Thess. 4:13-171 Cor. 15:51-54Phil. 3:20-21).

Outside of Orthodoxy

  1. Denies the doctrine of the Trinity.
  2. Denies justification by faith alone by stating that baptism is also required for salvation.
  3. Jesus is God the Father.
  4. Jesus is the Holy Spirit.
  5. The name of God is “Jesus.”
  6. Baptism is necessary for salvation.
  7. Denies pre-existence of the Word as the Son. Teaches that the He existed as the Father.
  8. Being born again means repentance, baptism, and speaking in tongues.
  9. Baptism must be administered by an ordained Oneness minister to be valid.
  10. Baptism must be administered with the phrase, “In the name of Jesus” instead of the phrase, “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” (Matt. 28:19).
  11. Speaking in tongues is a necessary requirement to demonstrate that a person has been baptized in the Holy Spirit, and is, therefore, saved.  It is claimed to be the initial sign of the infilling of the Holy Ghost.
  12. Restitution of all things, though the devil and the angels will not be restored.
  13. Women may be pastors.3
  14. Only Oneness people will go to heaven.

http://carm.org/religious-movements/oneness-pentecostal/what-does-oneness-pentecostal-teach

What Do Jews Believe?

By 

When learning about a religion one of the first questions people ask is: What do members of that religion believe? Although it is difficult to capture the beliefs of every single member of a faith, usually there are overarching tenets that most members of the group adhere to in some fashion. The same can be said of Judaism. However, it is important to note that Judaism does not have an official credo that all Jews must accept in order to be Jewish. Judaism is not a religion of absolutes.

While individual Jews have different views about things like kashrut and halahkah, in general most Jews believe in some form of the following:

God

Judaism is a monotheistic faith, meaning that Jews believe there is only One God. Often this God is beyond our ability to comprehend, but God is nevertheless present in our everyday lives. How individual Jews choose to understand this manifestation of the divine varies. Some connect with God through prayer, others see the divine in the majesty of the natural world, others may not think about God on a daily basis. Each individual’s relationship with God is unique and personal.

Humankind Was Created In the Divine Image

Judaism teaches that every person (Jewish and non-Jewish) was created “b’tzelem Elohim,” which is Hebrew for “in the image of God.” For this reason every person is equally important and has an infinite potential to do good in the world. People have the freewill to make choices in their lives and each of us is responsible for the consequences of those choices.

Community

Judaism believes that Jews are uniquely connected with each other. Regardless of where we live in the world, all Jews are part of a global Jewish community.

Torah

The Torah is Judaism’s most important text. It contains stories and commandments that teach us about life and death. It contains the 10 Commandments as well as the 613 commandments (mitzvot). All Jews consider the 10 Commandments to be the most important commandments in the Torah, though not all Jews adhere to the 613 mitzvot (one of the main differences between the different branches of Judaism).

The Ten Commandments:

  1. I am the Lord your God
  2. You shall not recognize the gods of others in My presence
  3. You shall not take the Name of the Lord your God in vain
  4. Remember the day of shabbat to keep it holy
  5. Honor your father and your mother
  6. You shall not murder
  7. You shall not commit adultery
  8. You shall not steal
  9. Do not give false testimony against your neighbor
  10. You shall not covet your fellow’s possessions

The Land of Israel

The Torah tells us that the Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael) was part of the covenant made between God and the Jewish People at Mount Sinai. However, there is no one view of Israel among modern day Jews. Some strongly support Israel, while others feel conflicted by the politics of the region. The only thing that can be said across the board is that Israel is part of every Jew’s worldview, in one way or another.

Messiah

Judaism teaches that one day a Messiah (a person from God) will unite the world and bring peace to humanity. The concept of the Messiah is not a central part of every Jew’s belief system, but tradition does teach that the Messiah will be descended from the family of King David.

Judaism On One Foot – Summing Up Judaism

There is a story in the Talmud that is often told when someone is asked to summarize the essence of Judaism. During the first century B.C.E. a great rabbi named Hillel was asked to sum up Judaism while standing on one foot. He replied: “Certainly! What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the Torah. The rest is commentary, now go and study.” (Talmud Shabbat 31A.) Hence, at its core Judaism is concerned with the well-being of humanity. The particulars of every Jew’s individual belief system is the commentary.

http://judaism.about.com/od/judaismbasics/a/whatdojewsbelieve.htm

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