I have Christian friends from different denominations and even though the basic precept is the same(followers of Christ, as our Lord and Saviour and Son of God) there are also some many vast differences I realized.Interestingly, they can be startling. They are from the Roman Catholic(RC) faith, Jehovah’s Witnesses(JW), Latter-Day Saints(or Mormons) (LDS) and Evangelicals.Despite what they DO have in common I’ll point out some variations and differences:
Hallowe’en: JW do NOT celebrate it(due to it’s occult nature and don’t celebrate ANY pagan-based holidays, and this incl. Christmas and birthdays as well as others that even just have pagan origins)RC and LDS aren’t banned from it but I know several individuals/families who don’t celebrate it(incl. us) for the same reason: glorifying Satan and the demons, and Evangelicals also shun it as well for the same reason.
Homeschooling: Most evengelicals do it as a general rule, many RC do and a handful of LDS but few JW do.
Christmas: All but the JW do, however, I know of some evangelicals who do NOT put up Christmas TREES,as they see this as a form of idol worship and traced back to pagan origins.I think they should do what they believe their conscience is telling them is right.
Birthdays: all but the JW do; they don’t as they say it’s prideful, like “worshipping” the celebrant, tied to ancient pagan rituals and that your birth isn’t what matters, but one’s death that is important.
Post-secondary education: most LDS really strive for this, as do many RC and Evangelicals but JW discourage as they think it makes one too “worldly” and corrupted at university.(I agree there is a lot of truth to this)They prefer just to graduate highschool and then get menial jobs and concentrate on their “field service” preaching work.(interesting note: the Amish only school until grade 8)
Alcohol, smoking and gambling: Sadly and embarrassingly RC DO allow these sins(although our family personally does not) but JW just allow the alcohol(in moderation) but both LDS and Evangelicals forbid it.
Jesus as God and as God’s Son: variations here: RC and Evangelicals believe He is BOTH(God incarnate; the Trinity; Father, Son and Holy Spirit) but JW and LDS both believe Jesus IS God’s Son but NOT God Himself; but rather that they are 2 separate Beings.
Birth-control and abortion: Proudly RC forbid both, and although LDS encourage large families birth-control itself is not banned, yet JW DO allow it but evengelicals do not. All of them realize the sin of abortion as murder and do not allow it yet in some cases LDS do allow it.
Head coverings: I personally know some Evangelicals that think women must have their heads covered in public. Years ago(before Vatican II) RC did as well, but only in Church.The odd time I still DO see some women “veiled”(usually old ladies or the Italian widows) and I respect it as their choice.
Modest dress: they all, to some degree, agree on this; no slutty or revealing clothing such as min skirts, low-cut or belly-baring tops, tight or see-thru clothing etc. but LDS take it a step further: no sleeveless clothes as well and some Evangelicals also say arms and legs must be covered; wear long-sleeved shirts and pants and women can’t wear pants but just skirts or dresses.
Make-up: Some Evangelicals forbid it and as well insist that womens’ hair must be long.The others have no official standards on it.
Military: RC leave it up to the individual but condemn “unjust wars” and capital punishment, LDS seem quite PRO-military, JW are very ANTI-war and anti-military and it varies among Evangelicals but I know quite a few to be very PRO-war and pro-military,esp. the Americans and very pro-gun as well.
So, in a nutshell, this explains some of the curious differences I have observed in my friends of different faiths; similar yet also different.What about our family? Well, we don’t celebrate Hallowe’en but do Christmas(and have the tree), celebrate birthdays, aim for post-secondary education(now, in fact, our 2 oldest are away at university) but realize as well it may NOT be for everyone,we don’t agree with smoking,drinking or gambling,we believe Jesus is BOTH God and the Son,don’t believe in birth-control or abortion,don’t personally use head-coverings(although I did when in Muslim countries, out of respect for THEIR culture) dress modestly, wear make-up but not excessively,and I am only for peace; NOT war and don’t support military and their killing and oppressing other nations. I guess that’s it!