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  • Also sometimes referred to as traditionalist, orthodox, fundamentalist, or evangelical. This is an umbrella term for Protestant denominations, or churches within denominations, which are Bible-centered, viewing the Holy Bible as the final and only authority, the inerrant Word of God, interpreted literally as law. There are more than 2,000 Protestant denominations offering a wide range of beliefs, from extremely liberal to mainline to ultra-conservative, and those that include characteristics on both ends. Examples include some churches within Pentecostal, Southern Baptist, fundamentalist, evangelical, Lutheran, etc. Anglican/Episcopalian is often regarded as a "bridge" denomination between Roman Catholic and Protestant.

    Belief in Deity
    Most Conservative Protestants believe God is incorporeal, omnipresent spirit--a Trinity of the Father (God), the Son (Christ), and the Holy Spirit that comprises one God Almighty.

    Jesus Christ is God's only incarnation. He is the Son of God and God, both fully divine and fully human, part of the Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, which comprises one God Almighty.

    Origin of Universe and Life
    The biblical book of Genesis is inerrant. God created the universe and all life forms from nothing in less than 7 days, less than 10,000 years ago--not as revealed by modern science. Many resolve the conflict between scientific evidence and the book of Genesis with the contention that God created the appearance of evolution (perhaps as a test of faith), or that scientific evidence is faulty.

    After Death
    Saved souls experience the bliss of heaven and unsaved souls the torture of hell. On Judgment Day, Jesus Christ will resurrect the dead, reunite body and soul, and judge each for eternity in heaven, or on a restored, paradisiacal earth, or in hell. Some believe the souls of the dead will remain "asleep" until the resurrection and final judgment.

    Why Evil?
    The original sin of Adam and Eve caused all to inherit sinfulness. Some Conservative Protestants believe that only relatively few people will be saved. The work and influence of Satan prevail among the unsaved and/or those who lack complete faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

    Salvation is granted by the grace of God alone, through faith in Jesus Christ alone as Lord and Savior--not through "works" such as moral behavior, good deeds, and generally not through sacraments. Some believe that once saved, or born again, always saved. Many Conservative Protestants regard baptism, when performed, as a practice for adult believers, rather than infants/children, as it is not considered a sacrament for salvation but an act of commitment to the fellowship. However, some churches do regard certain sacraments as very important components on the path to salvation (e.g. Evangelical Lutheran Church of America), including infant baptism, regarding baptism as a miracle from God that creates faith in the heart. Some Protestants regard baptism as a washing away of sin, which may be repeated. Among most, confession/repentance is considered personal, between the individual and God, unless a public sin is involved, and confession to a pastor, when offered, is optional. Some use exorcism to remove indwelling evil spirits. Pentecostalists believe that speaking in tongues is a gift from God as evidence of having been born again, and some regard it as the only evidence of having been born again. Preaching the gospel, the Word of God, is often regarded as a means for building faith in Christ.

    Undeserved Suffering
    Some suffering is caused by the inheritance of mortality originating from Adam and Eve's disobedience to God, which includes vulnerability to illness and disease. Also, Satan rules the earth, causing pain and suffering. Many believe that suffering is God's design to test, teach, or strengthen belief in Him; the greater the suffering of innocent believers, the greater will be their reward after life.

    Contemporary Issues
    Abortion is considered murder. Positions among denominations on divorce vary from unacceptability of divorce and remarriage to acceptance of divorce in certain situations and remarriage.

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