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.