Of course many (if not most) denominations believe that what they teach and believe as doctrine critical to salvation is, in fact, critical to salvation. Most denominations also teach and believe many doctrines that they will admit as being 'secondary' and debatable or uncertain. Often a doctrine critical in one denomination is secondary in another.

In my experience most official members of particular denominations, while not asserting that only they are completely correct, would be comfortable as classifying their denomination as 'the most correct'. Most folks would not assert that only their denomination can attain salvation however, since theirs is most correct, they would be comfortable asserting that, when all come to face to face with God, they will all come 'round to that most correct view.

My question is: Are there denominations that officially teach that God will have respect toward one denomination over another such that one denomination gets a 'blanket pass' based upon membership whereas others might undergo individual evaluation?

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    This question isn't really about God "respecting" denominations, but simply whether any denominations teach that official membership is all that's required to be saved, implying no standards for faith or repentance.
    – curiousdannii
    Feb 9 at 22:56
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    @curiousdannii Official membership usually requires assent to whatever is considered doctrine critical to salvation, which also usually involves standards for faith and repentance, I think. Feb 10 at 17:42
  • Are you referring to the White Throne being the "final judgement"? What makes you think that believers who are "in Christ" (Rom 4:24), "sealed unto the day of redemption" (Eph 4:30) would be in attendance at an event for unbelievers? If by God's grace we are saved through faith (Eph 2:8) until the day of redemption, no denomination, as long as they are not adding works for salvation or doctrines of man into the equation of saving faith (Eph 2:9, Col 2:22), would ever need to fear God's final judgement of unbelievers. Even if believers are in this event, they are ultimately safe (1 Cor 3:15). Feb 12 at 16:50

2 Answers 2


There are quite a few denominations that like to hedge their bets when it comes to declaring their view on the basis of the final judgment, and any link to active membership of their own denomination. On one hand, they will publicly repeat what the Bible says about that so that they appear to agree with mainstream Christian doctrine. On the other hand, they will so instruct their baptized members that there is no doubt in their minds that to leave that denomination, or drift into inactivity so that they are not doing what the denomination requires by the time of the Day of Judgment will see Jesus cast them aside.

The problem is getting them to openly admit to the general public that they have this stance. Any attempt on a public forum like this to name them could result in censure, either of the people answering, or of the site itself. One site was thus closed down a few years ago because it allowed freedom to "name and shame" and to argue on-line. In today's Western society there is far less freedom to say what one thinks, especially when it comes to religion and morals. But perhaps you live in a country where the slow stranglehold over freedom of speech has not yet become a noticeable grip (to those who disagree with the anonymous proponents of modern morality and views, that is.)

To answer this question, I just want to give a quotation. This one is specific, without naming any particular group but is clear enough to show that more than just one denomination fits the bill. It comes from a previous century yet is totally up-to-date still.

"Sacerdotalism would make salvation to be found only in the Church and by means of its sacraments administered by its priests. At this time... the doctrine has been applied to ...many other systems. Nothing is taught more clearly and insistently by the Lord and the Apostles than that the sinner’s salvation is by faith in the Son of God, in His atoning death and resurrection. A church or circle which claims that in it alone salvation is to be found; men who arrogate to themselves the power of admission to or exclusion from the Kingdom of God; sacraments or forms that are made into necessary means of salvation, give rise to tyrannies that bring untold miseries on mankind and obscure the true way of salvation that Christ has opened to all men through faith in Him” The Pilgrim Church, p30-32, E.H. Broadbent (Pickering Classic, 1985 edition)

That quotation can be seen to apply to some mainstream groups. The point of it is this - the minute anything additional to faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ is tacked on to a religious system claiming to lead people in the way of salvation, the leaders are effectively claiming that you need to be led by them to receive the benefits of salvation. The logic seems to be, "As only Jesus can save you, and we are representatives appointed by Christ, you must follow us and receive from us all that is necessary to your salvation." And there is the link made to that denomination (their leaders, that is) and salvation.

Different denominations that do not practice sacerdotalism can find other reasons to present to their members why they must loyally do what the leaders require them to do, to be sure of (eventual) salvation. That usually includes accepting unquestioningly their interpretations of the Bible, and the regulations they place on members if they are not to be put out. (For, to be put out before the Day of Judgment will result in Jesus casting them aside as 'goats'). A key point to look out for is any group insisting that members must keep on doing what is required of them (by the leaders, who always claim that's based on the Bible) as salvation can be 'lost' or never be assured until they've passed some final loyalty or 'works' test.

It's often only when a member tries to leave a denomination fitting the description you ask about that they discover it is, indeed, fitting that bill. For sure, "Most things in life are easier to get into than out of." Never more-so than with this matter.


The only Christian denomination I found that believes all will ultimately be redeemed and saved (regardless of their denomination) is Universalism:

In 1793, Universalism emerged as a distinct denomination of Christianity in the United States, eventually called the Universalist Church of America. Each Universalist church is free to choose its own form of worship. Simple non-liturgical services are most common, with great emphasis put on the sermon. From the beginning, Universalists have differed widely in matters of belief. Early American advocates of universal salvation taught that all souls would achieve salvation, sometimes after a period resembling purgatory. Christian universalism denies the doctrine of everlasting damnation, and proclaims belief in an entirely loving God who will ultimately redeem all human beings. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unitarian_Universalism#

I found a tenuous link between Unitarian Universalism (which grew out of the Protestant Reformation) and Omnism, which is not Christian. The following article says they practice Omnist beliefs:

Omnism is the respect of or belief in all religion. The Oxford English Dictionary elaborates that an omnist believes "in a single transcendent purpose or cause uniting all things or people". Omnists interpret this to mean that all religions contain varying elements of a common truth, that omnists are open to potential truths from all religions... Other notable interfaith organizations include the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples and The Parliament of the World's Religions was the first organization with the goal to unite all religions. [One World Religion anyone?] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omnism#

Another religion which is not Christian but is accepting of any and all religions is the Baháʼí Faith:

It is a universal religion founded in the 19th century that teaches the essential worth of all religions and the unity of all people. Established by Baháʼu'lláh, it initially developed in Iran and parts of the Middle East, where it has faced ongoing persecution since its inception. Although it has some similarities with Christianity, it's not a type of Christianity. The Baha'i Faith teaches that all religions come from the same source and that all people are equal, regardless of their race, gender, or nationality. It's a peaceful and inclusive religion that promotes unity and diversity. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bah%C3%A1%CA%BC%C3%AD_Faith

To conclude, I leave you this link (which is copyright protected) and which asks the question "Are there saved Christians in your denomination?" There is a common perception amongst a lot of people (including Christians) that it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you are sincere, and we are all going to the same place anyway. Interesting stuff!

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    But Universalists believe (I think) that all people will 'get there' regardless of denomination whereas this question asks if any denominations consider themselves as 'all getting there' as opposed to others. Thus, in the final judgement, it is not particular respect for a denomination that gives entrance but the mere fact of humanity: It is more like a complete ignoring of denomination that Universalist's espouse. Is there a way I can clarify the question somehow? Feb 11 at 13:36
  • Allow me to get back to you later, Mike. I've obviously misunderstood, but I won't be able to respond for a few hours.
    – Lesley
    Feb 11 at 14:10
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    There are perhaps one or two Christian denominations who believe only they have the true religion (restorationists) but if I name them here I will probably be shot down in flames. One believes only they will survive Armageddon but after that, virtually everybody else will be resurrected and get 1,000 years in which to pass the "final test". That means they must be faithful and obedient to God's earthly representatives, but salvation is never a certainty. The other point is they don't even want to go to heaven. That is reserved for only 144,000 people who will rule over earth with Christ Jesus.
    – Lesley
    Feb 12 at 11:24
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    The other group also believe only they have the true religion (restorationists) and the Christian creeds are an abomination to God. Both groups self-identify as Christians. This group do baptisms for the dead to enable them to progress to godhood. They believe that very few people will "not get there", wherever "there" is, but one gets the impression you have to submit to their ordinances and belong to their religion to be "exalted". They certainly think everyone in their group will finally be judged positively, but I don't know what they believe about "the final judgment".
    – Lesley
    Feb 12 at 11:31
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    There isn't anything in what I've quoted about the beliefs of Universalist denominations that is likely to upset them.
    – Lesley
    Feb 13 at 16:36

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