+6 votes
Should all Presbyerians be included in that single category?  I have a number of direct relatives that were Cumberland Presbyterians.

asked in Policy and Style by Robert Branham G2G6 (6.8k points)
retagged by Dorothy Barry

4 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer
I don't think that would be a useful way to use the category of Protestants since there are hundreds of Protestant denominations.  When religion researchers divide religion, they make elaborate denomination trees showing how denominations are related to each other and when they arose.  For example, here is a tree on the ARDA website that attempts to do this:  http://www.thearda.com/denoms/families/trees/familytree_christian.asp  If you made a similar tree for just the denomination that I attended as a child, which ARDA shows as an offshoot of Presbyterians, you end up with a complex web of denominations (e.g.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restoration_Movement)  So in my opinion, Protestant is too large a category.  Your profiles would belong in a subcategory of Presbyterians. Probably.
answered by J. Crook G2G6 Pilot (154k points)
selected by Brad Foley
+4 votes
J makes some valid points.  The Presbyterian Church originated in Switzerland through the efforts of John Calvin.  John Knox took it to Scotland where it became the Church of Scotland.  During the time of Henry VIII and Edward VI they tried to change the doctrines of the Church of England, but the work was for naught after Catholic Queen Mary and Church of England Queen Elizabeth each had their turns at them.  The Scots took Presbyterianism to Ulster, Ireland, and then to the colonies in America.

The English Reformation created a number of different denominations hoping to change the Church of England or separate themselves from it.  It was much later than the Reformation on the continent.  I see no reason to lump them altogether into one category. Even though their histories are intertwined, two definitive categories are Presbyterianism and the Anglican Communion.  There should be several more 'protestant" categories.  Anglicanism never completely shed its catholic roots, but each of the larrger categories will probably have many subcategories.
answered by David Hughey G2G6 Pilot (284k points)
+2 votes
Hi -- I've been reviewing all the categories under Religions.  While Presbyterians are Protestants and therefore you could say it's "correct" to categorize a Presbyterian as "Protestant" my feeling is the larger the group you categorize someone under, the less value it has.  

From that perspective, the best religion category to place on any person's profile is the specific faith community -- or faith communities -- they were involved with.  So it would be [[Category: Oakdale Cumberland Presbyterian Church]] which would be subcategorized under Cumberland Presbyterian Church, which would be subcategorized under Presbyterian Denominations, which would be subcategorized under Protestant Churches which would be subcategorized under Christianity, and that under Religions.

This also has the best genealogical value, because people tend to be involved in faith communities as families.  Where an individual attended, probably a wife, child, uncles, aunts, cousins, attended.  So once you are looking at the specific church -- I made up "Oakdale Cumberland Presbyterian Church" -- if you can find records or even other references to it with a google search -- you may find other relatives you were looking for.

I would use Category: Protestants only for someone that all I knew about them was that they were a Christian but not Catholic or Orthodox!
answered by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (243k points)
+1 vote
These categories are real difficult to structure given the many variables. Here are a few that I haven't noticed as part of the discussion:

1. Some keep their Sabbath on Saturday others on Sunday. There are even groups whose Sabbaths are determined by phases of the moon and can be on various days of the week.

2. There are Messianic groups that have come out of many different denominations.

3. There are others that choose to worship without being in a group.
answered by Pat Credit G2G6 Mach 5 (54.8k points)
edited by Pat Credit
Pat, one of the most important benefit of religion categories is associating a profile with a local church or synagogue, because that is where you will often find important genealogical information like births, baptisms, marriages, deaths, burials, as well as the names of immediate family and even cousins.  So if you know what local church someone participated in, it's important to create a category for that church if it doesn't already exist.

Then that local church can be categorized both by the denomination and secular geography.  

If you focus first on the group that the profiled person is associated with, you don't have to solve all the complex issues related to what denomination or group came from where.  If someone worshiped at a church called Cornerstone Messianic Church, then that's what the category should be.  And if all you know about the church is that it is in Dallas Texas, then nest Cornerstone under the geographic category for Dallas, Texas.  

As I mentioned above, Category: Protestants should only be used when you know they were a Christian religious observer who is not Catholic and not Orthodox, but you don't know anything else about their faith practice.

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