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  2. I want to clarify what I said above. I have done all of the required studies and passed the ACBC (Association of Christian BIblical Counselors) Counselor's Exam in all subjects. I have completed 70% of the required supervised counseling, but I did not complete the remaining 30% and the time limit for completion has passed, so I am NOT ACBC certified, just ACBC trained. Perhaps the most helpful book during my trials was The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace. The book includes chapters of: A Wife's Understanding of God, Sin, Relationships, Marriage and Her Role; A Wife's Responsibility- Christ, Home, Love, Respect, Intimacy and Submission; A Wife's Submission-Biblical Submission, God's Provision, Honoring Christ, Communication and Conflict;and A Wife's Special Concerns-Anger, Fear,Loneliness and Sorrow. I highly recommend it for an married Christian woman. Martha is an ACBC counselor, meaning she uses the Bible to explain and offer advice, not psychology. This book is an excellent read for engaged women as well.
  3. Through God's good plan for my life, I married a Christian man who brought a nasty sin into the marriage, unbeknownst to me. There were some very, very difficult years in my 19 years of marriage and subsequent divorce. God carried me through those hard years and through the divorce and the aftermath of it. I want to share my struggles and victories with other believers who do not know where to turn with their deepest problems in their marriage. It's not a topic that is preached from many pulpits, even in very conservative churches. Some churches handle it well, while others totally botch it. I've been in both kinds. After many years of biblical counseling, and more years training to be ACBC certified, I stand before you, a sinner saved by grace. I have been ministered to by many, hurt by many and healed by our gracious and good God. Maybe what I have suffered through will encourage you to trust God in your pain. I pray so. Lydia
  4. While it’s hard to estimate just how many Pentecostals are in the world or even the United States, a Pew Research Center study found that of the roughly two billion Christians in the world, about a quarter of that identifies as Pentecostal. After the Azusa revival, the handful of early Pentecostals swelled to more than 50,000 in just a few years. According to the New York Times, some four million Americans belong to classical Pentecostalism. Pentecostalism has long been considered one of the fastest and largest growing forms of Christianity. christianity.com
  5. Worship is not just limited to music. Along with speaking in tongues, Pentecostals allow dancing, shouting and praying out loud during worship. Worship services are sometimes elaborate, even including props. Singing is also not limited to the end of the song--if the congregation or worship leaders feel led by the spirit, they may extend the time of praise. Many believe in lively worship because of the influence of the Holy Spirit. There is praying aloud, clapping and shouting, and sometimes anointments with oil in "giving thanks, proclaiming the Lord’s excellence, expressing love for God .. and to commune with the Almighty.” christianity.com
  6. Some groups of Pentecostals strictly adhere to set rules, such as modest dress among women and hair guidelines for men and women. Some even forbid movies and sports and “mixed” swimming. In some divisions of Pentecostalism, women are not allowed to wear slacks, taking direction from 1 Timothy 2:9, which says that women are to dress with modesty, decency and propriety. In the United Pentecostal Church, makeup, tight clothing and most jewelry is not recommended. The UPC is one of the more conservative divisions of the Pentecostal church. christianity.com
  7. As divine gifts are welcomed in the church, the belief stems from a literal interpretation of the Bible. One of those cited verses is Mark 16:17-18, which says that those who believe will be able to cast out demons, heal and speak in tongues. Some divisions do not hold strictly to this viewpoint, but another study from Pew Research found that some 68 percent read the Bible literally. One Apostolic church says that biblical literalism is necessary “in our fast-paced, highly education, technology-driven word.” “The Truth—and how it is lived out— is more applicable now than ever,” the church’s doctrine says. christianity.com
  8. In many Pentecostal churches, women are given the opportunity to serve as preachers, missionaries and some cases as the pastors. Most cite Joel 2 as their reasoning, which says, “Your sons and your daughters will .” Female roles in the church extend to the movement’s beginning. Charles Fox Parham (whose student Agnes was first to speak in tongues) trained women for ministry. He also commissioned women to establish church plants. Seymour (who headed the Azusa Street Revival) also allowed both men and women to preach and be sent out as pastors and missionaries. While each sect of modern Pentecostalism differs on how the approach women in leadership positions, many churches ordain women or even place them in roles to lead congregations. christianity.com
  9. One of the most publicized features of the Pentecostalism movement is the church’s belief in speaking in tongues and in divine gifts, such as healing. Speaking in tongues is thought to be an outcome of baptism through the Holy Spirit. The church believes in the gift of speaking in tongues, both glossolalia (speech in an unknown language) and xenoglossy (speech in a language known but not to speaker). A Pew Research Center study found that globally, most countries with Pentecostalism say their church services include speaking in tongues, prophecy and divine healing. The same study found that 62 percent of U.S. Pentecostals say they have witnessed divine healing. christianity.com
  10. Again, because there are so many different sects of Pentecostals, beliefs tend to differ in some ways. However, most of the churches share the same core beliefs that salvation is through Jesus, healing is possible through Him and He is returning again. Among the core tenants of Pentecostalism are: Most Pentecostals believe in medicine and doctors, but also strongly believe in divine healing. Most believe that baptism in the Holy Spirit begins when the person begins speaking in tongues. Many also believe in the practice of foot washing. christianity.com
  11. There are a number of churches and groups that call themselves “Pentecostal.” There are “Classical Pentecostals,” who came out of the first revival in the early 1900s; “Charismatics,” who arose in the 1960s; and Neo-Charismatics, which is considered the third wave of the growth of Pentecostalism. Many denominations share similar beliefs, but differ on other issues. For example, the Apostolic Pentecostal movement differs on the belief of the Trinity than other Pentecostals, saying that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three titles for Jesus. Other denominations include Assemblies of God and Open Bible Churches. christianity.com
  12. The church name comes from the Book of Acts and the event of Pentecost, where early Christians received the gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as prophecy and healing. Acts 2 says, “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.” The first Pentecost is considered the start of the church’s mission to spread the gospel to the world. The first Pentecost took place 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus Christ and fulfilled prophecies by both Jesus and John the Baptist, where both said the people would be baptized by the Holy Spirit. christianity.com
  13. It’s largely believed that the Azusa Street revival in 1906 marked the birth of modern Pentecostalism. At the revival, evangelist William J. Seymour preached about baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gift of speaking in tongues. However, others have said that speaking in tongues may have started as early as 1896 and 1901, when the Apostolic Faith movement began. Widely considered the first person to speak in tongues, in 1901, Bible school student Agnes Ozman spoke in tongues in Kansas. Evangelist Charles Parham called it “Bible evidence” for baptism in the Holy Spirit. christianity.com
  14. There are reportedly 8.3 million Jehovah's Witnesses around the world and nearly 120,000 congregations. They are also known for their evangelical work going door-to-door attempting to make converts. christianity.com
  15. Jehovah's Witnesses hold the controversial view of rejecting blood transfusions, even in life or death situations. Recently, Russia banned Jehovah's Witnesses and this issue was one of the reasons stated for their doing so. "Some treatments conflict with Bible principles, though, and we reject these. For example, we don’t accept blood transfusions because the Bible forbids taking in blood to sustain the body. (Acts 15:20) Likewise, the Bible prohibits health treatments or procedures that include occult practices.—Galatians 5:19-21," explains JW.org. christianity.com
  16. Jehovah's Witnesses try to remain politically neutral. They don't believe in serving in politics or in the military, mainly as another way for them to distance themselves from the culture. Instead, they emphasize citizenship in God's heavenly kingdom. "Jehovah’s Witnesses remain politically neutral for religious reasons, based on what the Bible teaches. We do not lobby, vote for political parties or candidates, run for government office, or participate in any action to change governments. We believe that the Bible gives solid reasons for following this course," states JW.org. christianity.com
  17. Jehovah's Witnesses don't celebrate Christmas or Easter, which makes sense when you remember that they don't believe Jesus is equal to God. They also don't celebrate other national holidays or birthdays in an attempt to remain separate from the world. christianity.com
  18. Similar to their view of Jesus, Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe the Holy Spirit is equal with the Father. The instead believe the Holy Spirit is a force applied by God. They claim that the Holy Spirit is "impersonal": "By referring to God’s spirit as his 'hands,' 'fingers,' or 'breath,' the Bible shows that the holy spirit is not a person. (Exodus 15:8, 10) A craftsman’s hands cannot function independent of his mind and body; likewise, God’s holy spirit operates only as he directs it. (Luke 11:13) The Bible also compares God’s spirit to water and associates it with such things as faith and knowledge. These comparisons all point to the impersonal nature of the holy spirit." christianity.com
  19. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus is not equal with God. They teach that Jesus was created by God and not coexistent wth Him. This, of course, is a major diversion from orthodox Christianity. JW.org explains, "[W]e take Jesus at his word when he said: 'The Father is greater than I am.' (John 14:28) So we do not worship Jesus, as we do not believe that he is Almighty God." christianity.com
  20. The answer to this is no. It is one of the more major ways in which Jehovah's Witnesses differ from various Christian denominations. See the next couple points for more details on this. Jehovah's Witnesses refer to the fact that the Bible never explicitly mentions the term "trinity." They claim this "doctrine developed gradually over several centuries and through many controversies." christianity.com
  21. Jehovah's Witnesses use a Bible translation called the New World Translation. Before this translation was released specifically by and for Jehovah's Witnesses, most relied on the King James Version. According to TowerWatch.com: "The New World Translation of the Bible is Jehovah's Witnesses own translation, no other religious group uses this Bible and Jehovah's Witnesses make very little use of other Bibles. The translators of The New World Translation were: Nathan Knorr, Albert Schroeder, George Gangas, Fred Franz, M. Henschel." christianity.com
  22. Jehovah's Witnesses focus on God the Father, so their name is taken from the Tetragrammaton, written as YHWH or JHVH and articulated either as Yahweh or Jehovah. The group was originally called the Watch Tower Society because founder Charles Taze Russell published a magazine called Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence. christianity.com
  23. Jehovah's Witnesses got their start in 1870 when a man named Charles Taze Russell started leading Bible studies in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Jehovah's Witnesses movement came out of the Bible Student movement, which was also founded by Taze. When Taze began disputing some of the traditional views within Christianity, the Jehovah's Witnesses were born. christianity.com
  24. With some 19 million members and 82,000 churches, Seventh Day Adventists follow a hierarchal network. The General Conference oversees the global ministry of the church. The General Conference is also responsible for the spiritual development of the church. It is headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland. The entire structure reflects a democratic process of election and formation. Under the General Conference is the union conference, which is made up of conferences and divisions by geographic location. Under union conferences are local conferences, which are made up of churches in a state or territory. Finally, the local church and its members are under local conferences. Each church elects their own church boards and officers, as do the other divisions. Worldwide, there are 13 divisions of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. christianity.com
  25. Adventists believe that hell is not an eternity of suffering and torture. They believe God is just but also merciful and it’s not in the nature of God to torture the unrighteous for eternity. Instead, sinners and unbelievers will ultimately die for eternity. Most Adventists believe some variant of annihilationism, which says that after final judgment, all unbelievers will be destroyed rather than suffering in hell. In this belief, the Old Testament and New Testament say that the final end for nonbelievers is total extinction. For example, in Romans, Paul describes hell as a final punishment, where the wicked die, perish or are destroyed. christianity.com
  26. Many Adventists ascribe to a vegetarian or plant-based diet. They take this direction from scripture, which says God gave nuts, grains, and herbs as nourishment. Because of this diet, many experts have said Seventh Day Adventists can live an average of 10 years longer than most Americans. In a study from Loma Linda University, scientists found that Adventists can die of cancer, stroke or heart disease, but the age at which those diseases and illnesses are diagnosed is much later because of their healthy lifestyle and resting on the Sabbath. In addition to a plant-based diet, many churches also forbid alcohol and tobacco. The doctrine reads: “Such health is a gift from a loving God who wants us to live life in its abundance. “ christianity.com
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