Denomination Differences

Three-Self Patriotic Movement vs. Oriental Orthodox Beliefs

Three-Self Patriotic MovementOriental Orthodox
a.k.a.Chinese Patriotic
  • Miaphysite
  • Coptic
Number of Members20,000,000[1]52,000,000[2]
How does one get saved?Sola fide: Repent of your sins and believe in Jesus Christ's death and resurrection alone to save you.[3]Repent of your sins, believe in Jesus Christ's death and resurrection, and be baptized.[4][5][6]
Who gets saved?Anyone who chooses by his own free will to believe and accept God's gift of grace will be saved.
Can one lose his salvation?Yes, a Christian can lose his salvation by apostasy.
Who gets baptized and why?Saved people get baptized as a public demonstration of their new lives.[7][8]The believing but unsaved get baptized as part of their salvation.
How should baptism be done?Baptism should be by sprinkling or immersion.[7]Baptism should be by triple immersion.
When does one receive the Holy Spirit?The Holy Spirit is received at baptism.
What is the trinity?The Trinity is God existing as one god in three equal, eternal, cosubstantial persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit.[9]The Trinity is God existing as one god in three equal, eternal, cosubstantial persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit.
What is the human nature?Human nature is corrupt and naturally inclined to evil.[10]
Are we guilty of Adam's original sin?No, we are not guilty of Adam's sin, but we did inherit the consequences and a corrupt human nature from him, causing us all to sin.[10][11]
Are Christians required to keep the Old Testament ceremonial laws?No, the ceremonial laws of Judaism were fulfilled and done away with by Jesus.Yes, all Old Testament laws are binding on Christians.
Can Christians become sinless in this earthly life?Yes, Christian perfection is possible.
Do the elements of communion become the body and blood of Christ?No, the elements merely symbolically represent the body and blood of Christ.[7]Yes, the bread and the wine change into the body and blood of Christ in an unknown way.[12][13]
Can one be baptized of behalf of someone who has died?No, the dead cannot be baptized.No, the dead cannot be baptized.
What happens if a saved person dies without being perfect?Once Christians leave their sinful bodies, nothing else is needed to receive glorified, sinless bodies.[14]
Did Mary ever sin?Mary was prone to sin like anyone else, but no, through her own free will she still never did.
How many church ordinances/​sacraments are there?The church has two ordinances: Baptism and Holy Communion.[7]The church has seven sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, Holy Eucharist, Unction of the Sick, Matrimony, and Priesthood.[15][16][17]
To whom do Christians need to confess their sins?Confession should be made directly to God, but confession to another believer is beneficial for some sins.[3]Sins must be privately confessed to a priest within 40 days.[18][19][20][21]
How should a church be structured?Every church congregation should be governed by its members and the Chinese Communist Party.Episcopal: Churches should be governed by the bishop in that eparchy, who in turn is governed by a patriarch of an autocephalous church.
What day of the week should Christians worship?Christians worship on Sunday.[22]Christians worship on Sunday, although the Sabbath should be observed on Saturday.
How does God's revelation come to us today?Sola scriptura: The Bible is the only infallible source of God's revelation, sufficient for all faith and practice.[23]Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition have equal authority and comprise one finished deposit of faith.[24]
How many books are in the Bible?There are 66 canonical books of the Bible: 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books.[23]Varies widely
What is marriage?Marriage is a covenant before God between one man and one woman.[25]Marriage is a covenant before God between one man and one woman.[26][27][28]
Is sex permissible outside marriage?No, sex outside of marriage is not permissible.[25]No, sex outside of marriage is not permissible.
When is divorce permissible?Divorce is seldomly permissible upon investigation by a clergical committee, usually instigated by infidelity.[29]
May a Christian remarry while his former spouse is still alive?The innocent party to the adultery may remarry.[30]
When does a fetus become human?Ranges from humanity beginning at fertilization to 40 days after conception[31][32][33][34]
Is contraception permissible?Varies widely[33][35][36][37]
Are blood transfusions permissible?Yes, blood transfusions are permissible.Yes, blood transfusions are permissible.[38][39]
Should Christians drink alcohol?No, alcohol should be totally avoided aside from Eucharist.[40]
Should Christians fight in wars?Yes, Christians should fight in just wars.Yes, Christians can fight in just wars.[41]
Whom does the Holy Spirit come from?The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone.[42]
Where does a Christian's soul go after death?After death, souls sit conscious in an Intermediate State, with Christians being with Christ.[43]