Almost every Christian denomination has at least one of these two components in common. “Word” and “sacrament” are the characteristics in question. In this usage, “word” refers to Bible readings and sermons. When a group meets to call themselves “church,” they do so around a Bible, where they read and reflect on the text together.

“Sacrament” is the second most common element of most churches. A sacrament is defined as “visible manifestations of an unseen grace” by Augustine. [1] In the Christian faith, sacraments—such as baptism and communion—are seen as concrete experiences of God’s compassion and mercy that are received by both individuals and groups of people in faith.

For millennia, Christians have been debating the same concerns regarding what constitutes “orthodox” church doctrine, even though the church’s formal doctrines have been in place for generations.