Originally posted by vivify
It seems that most of the religious people on this forum are Christian. That being the case, why do you choose to be in the particular branch of Christianity that you're in? If you're Protestant, why not Catholic? If Catholic, why not Protestant? Or if you're a Mormon, Jehova's Witness or whatever offshoot of Christianity, why do you follow that particular form of the Christian religion?
My parents and grand parents were members of the Protestant Christian Churches. That is, Church of Christ, Baptist, Methodist, etc. At the time I decided to believe in God and Christ, I was attending a Southern Baptist Church and I was 12 years old when I was Baptize as a member of that Church. So at that time, I was only choosing belief in God and Christ and not choosing a denomination. It was not until later, after I became grown and joined the US Army, that I discovered that there were different denominations.
Then is when I began visiting and studying Christianity with other denominations and reading about the history of Christianity. I had thought Catholic referred to the Roman Catholic Church based in Rome, Italy with the Pope as it's leader. However, I found out there were other Churches, such as the Creek Orthodox Church that were also considered Catholic and that Catholic actually means Universal and refers to the one Universal Church of early Christianity, before there was a split, due to disagreement about the importance of various rituals, practices, and beliefs within the Church.
Roman Catholicism is the largest denomination of the Christian religion. Roman Catholics, claiming the Pope as their spiritual leader, call him the Vicar of Christ. Other Christians recognize no man by that title. Greek Orthodox Catholics do not attribute any spiritual authority to the Pope in Rome. The Roman Catholic church has an exalted view of Mary that attributes titles to her such as "Mother of God" and "Queen of Heaven" and places her in a role of mediator between the believers and God. Eastern Orthodox Catholics hold her in high esteem as well without going to these extra-biblical extremes.
The following link gives a list of all the denominational groups that claim to be Christians. But not all are universally recognized as having truly Christian beliefs or being real Christians by each other. It is not likely that anyone would check out all these denominations in choosing a particular denomination to join.
My wife is a member of the United Methodist Church at present, but she was raised in another Protestant Church. So we are both more confortable with the major beliefs and religious practices of these Protestant Churches, even though we may have minor differences in what we believe.