The Denominational Divide

 

     Now that I have been around Christendom for a little while I have found that there are a number of things that some count as Christian that are really far from Christ like. Take, for instance, the matter of denominations. There are about 39,000 “Christian” denominations worldwide. The problem is that there is no Scriptural context for denominations. Yes, it is certain that some believe that John the “Baptizer” was Baptist and that Peter was the first Pope. This further complicates an already complicated conundrum. But before I scrape the history of denominational divisions I think it only fair to lend some light to my worldview.

     First, I am a Christian, plain and simple. Nothing else comes even close to that declaration. But because this discussion on focused on denominationalism I must address my denominational preference. The fact is that I can be counted as “Catholic” because I am part of the universal church. And while being part of the universal church I lean towards “Holiness” because the Word of God clearly teaches that without holiness no man shall see God. Even more I am “Pentecostal” because the truths of what happened on the Day of Pentecost rings true even today. Yes, I can also be counted as “Baptist” because I believe that once repentance is made baptism is mandated. I am also “Apostolic” because I believe that the teachings of the Apostles were God-ordained.  As such some might say that I am interdenominational but I would rather count myself as nondenominational. My interests have little to do with denomination and everything to do with serving the True and Living God.

     Now that that is out of the way I can get to the heart of this message. I have heard some say that if you are not of this sect or that sect then you are not in Christ and that salvation has eluded you. Yet there are no evidences of such a divide in Scripture. I find nowhere in the text any discussion by Jesus that such a divide should exist. Even more Paul, in I Corinthians chapter three, bemoans division by reason of schisms. Paul’s rebuke was to prevent divides because of individuals rather than reliance on the Word of God. One might say that Paul sought to prevent denominational divides and showed that all that served the One and True God worked together rather than apart.

     It is for this reason that I urge all to lay aside idiosyncratic pontifications of irrelevant issues and return to the truths of the Word. If there is a simple reliance in God’s Word the denominational divide can be repaired. After all Jesus did not come to create a divided church rather He came for one body. Consider for a moment the Pauline discussion in I Corinthians 12. The fact is that denominational divides are doing harm to the church. Therefore we need to hang up our hang ups and let God be God and His Word stand for itself. In other words, let us come together and serve God!

     The fact is that denominations came about as a result of isms and schisms. Much of the fighting had little to do with the Word of God and much to do with selfish control. It is for this reason that I again urge all to lay aside denominational dogma and pick the Word. Careful and proper exegeses are in order so that we all speak and live the same thing so as to bring as many as possible to the foot of the cross.

14 thoughts on “The Denominational Divide

  1. Pingback: The Denominational Divide « preachercarter

  2. I have to agree with you 100%! And I love how you said you can be considered a little bit of everything! And I have to say I’m a little bit of all of that too! And wow there are 39,000 “Christian” denominations worldwide!!? That’s kinda sad that that many divisions exist. We need to seek a more unified body. Great Post!

  3. True indeed,, simple fact is if we have Christ within us, and chose to follow him in spirit and in truth, we cannot be ascociated with organizations of the world, which demand our loyalty. We iether follow Christ in spirit and in truth, or by default, we follow something other than Christ. Amen Brother, thanks for your post today.

    1. Thank you. Your statement points to the idea of holiness; that is being set apart for a specific purpose. We are to serve Christ according to His Word. All else is heresy. Thanks again.

  4. Our Lord and Savior clearly explained that there would be seven major divisions in the Church in His Letters to the Seven Churches, which can be found in the Book of Revelation, Chapters 2 and 3. Just as today, each Church had its strengths and weaknesses back then, and these are what has caused the many divisions in the Church today. But I think the biggest divider among them is in the field of Eschatology, which most Christians are woefully uneducated about. Most of the controversy centers around the dating and interpretation of the Book of Revelation. Some view it as pertaining only to the past (such as the Roman Catholic and Lutheran Church), while others view it as only pertaining to the future. Still others, like myself, view it as both a past and future prophecy.

    Another major area of differences comes from the definition of what constitutes Grace and Salvation. Some among the Church teach the Calvinistic concept of cheap Grace, where God’s Grace covers over our sins without our need to change our behavior to comply to God’s standards, and our salvation is purely based on our confession of belief in Christ, without defining what that belief entails, or if the Holy Spirit has been acquired through that belief, or of what role the Holy Spirit should play, and how it can expect to be manifested in a saved person’s life.

    But by far the most potent divider in the Church today comes from the errors of Replacement Theology, which teaches many in the Church that Christians have replaced the Jews as God’s Chosen People. Still others view only the Jews as God’s Chosen people, and see only them as entitled to the Promised Land, while others, like myself, sees the land of Israel as belonging to both houses of God’s People – the Church and saved or Messianic Jews – equally.

    This divide was caused by an incorrect view of Bible Prophecy, which clearly revolves around the ancient kingdom of Israel and Judah, and God’s promised reconciliation and forgiveness of the Jews through their belief in Christ that will happen in the Last Days. In other words, the land of Israel has come about in these last days so that the Jews can be reconciled back into the fold when they believe in their one and only Messiah that can be found in Christ.

    These spiritual inconsistencies and divisions have also caused the political divisions of Christians into Right-wing Conservatives and Left-wing Liberals in the West, and the subsequent moral chaos that has ensued in every Westernized nation, including Israel. What we are witnessing today is the fulfillment of the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, with the sheep and goats now clearly defined and separated in preparation for God’s Final Judgment of the World, and Christ’s Second Coming. It is my firm belief that these divisions will therefore never be repaired satisfactorily until Christ’s Return from Heaven in Glory on the Last Day.

  5. Thanks for responding. Your answer, or essay, calls for much study of the areas you have addressed. While I am familiar about those items discussed I dare trace the schisms to one source – Satan. As such we must learn his tactics and defeat him as one people.

  6. I have said for many years that I am a Biblicist before I am anything else. The church I attend I have chosen because I believe it teaches and preaches the pure truth of God’s Word. Having said that, I also want to say that I’m thankful there are so many choices. We have the freedom and liberty to attend where we choose, and that is a good thing. What is not good is our tendency to make a habit of denouncing everyone else.

  7. Pingback: The Denominational Divide – preachercarter

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