The story behind the unbiblical Christian denominations

 

Ever since the world was created and throughout all generations, arose men who, seeking renown and fame, worked extensively hard to mark history and make a name for themselves. The Bible, being the only true and most accurate historical and archaeological source relating how the world began, portrays Nimrod (meaning rebel)  as the first ever world leader. In Genesis 10, he is described as a mighty one, whose kingdom began at Babel, in the land of Schinar. There, in Genesis 11, men disobeyed God and started to build the Tower of Babel, symbol of their rebellion, as illustrated by their words in Genesis 11:4 : “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” 

Nowadays and since the time of the Early Church, many church leaders followed suit and embraced Nimrod’s quest for greatness. As a result, the Church of Jesus Christ, filled with holiness and love in the time of the apostles, changed over time and became more and more influenced by man-made doctrines which, later led to many disagreements and divisions within Christianity.

Nowadays, the number of churches has grown exponentially, and there are just too many denominations – i.e. Catholicism; Protestantism; Baptism; Pentecostalism; Mormonism; Evangelicalism; Methodism – all using the Bible and claiming to be Christian but yet holding on to different doctrines and interpretations. Consequently, people sincerely looking for God do not know where to go and face the challenge of finding the right Church amidst all this confusion.

History talks of spiritual awakenings that started many genuine and scriptural movements, often used by God as a tool to deliver his people. However, it is clear that the proliferation of Christian denominations remains utterly unbiblical.  

What would have hardly crossed the mind of the first century Christians finally occurred. But, was Jesus divided in Himself? Or did He speak of different doors all leading up to heaven? No.So, what is it, then, that we are witnessing? Are all denominations the same? What is the story behind them?   Is there one that can be trusted? What do Scriptures teach about divisions among the Church? Let us analyse this phenomenon in the light of History and Scriptures.

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FROM THE EARLY CHURCH TO THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH

The teachings of the apostles have almost always been misused and twisted by people, wanting to spread their own understanding of the Scriptures.

For example, the Judaizers – a group of Jewish Christians who upheld the law- taught that Gentile believers should observe Moses law. They refuted the essential principle of salvation by grace alone, and we see Paul, the apostle, while in Galatia, Corinth and Colossae confronting their doctrine.

In the late first century, Gnosticism infused Christian belief with Hellenistic philosophy rejecting the God of the Old Testament. And as he did with the Judaizers, Paul warned against such trickery (Colossians 2:8). However, this did not stop its spreading. Around the year 140-144, Marcion of Sinope (85-160) followed the same trend and also rejected the God of the Old Testament describing Him as contradictory and inhumane. This is how Marcionism was born.

Later down the years, several other groups and denominations were created such as the Manichaeism, the Nestorianism or the Pelagianism but were not as influential and quickly disappeared.

ConstantineIn the IVth century, the emperor Constantine (272-337) had a vision and “converted” to Christianity, and this was a historical turning point which ended the persecution of the Church. He was a high priest of paganism and legislated a mixture of the Christian faith with pagan principles. He supported the Church financially, built the first church buildings and reinforced his dominion by transforming the Church into a religious and political system.

On February 27, 380 AD, Catholicism was made the official state church of the Roman Empire. A decree issued by Theodosius I (347-395), one of Constantine’s successors, declared that any group of people who does not share the Catholic faith should be branded as heretics and should not presume to give the name of “church” to their gatherings.

The term “catholic” is derived from the Greek word “catholikismos” meaning “universal” and was first used in the 2nd century by some early believers who, claiming to possess the whole truth, wanted to distinguish themselves from other Christians.

The Catholic Church teaches that it is the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ. Its bishops are considered as taking over from the apostles and the Pope (its leader) is said to be “the only legitimate successor of  Saint Peter.”

Its doctrine is mainly characterized by:

  • the Holy Trinity (the belief that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are three divine persons who are one divine being)
  • the use of sacred images and candles during worship
  • the veneration of the saints and Mary  – considered to be the “Mother of God”
  • the praying for the dead ritual
  • the purgatory
  • the seven sacraments i.e.  Baptism; Confirmation; Eucharist; Penance (or Confession); Extreme Unction (or Anointing of the Sick); Holy Orders and Holy Matrimony (or Marriage).

Until the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church was the only legally recognised church. Anyone not belonging to its institutions was not considered to be a Christian and leaving the local church was seen as losing its salvation. However, the monopoly of the Universal Church did not last forever.

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WHEN THE ILLUSION OF A UNIFIED CHURCH ENDED

The first great division witnessed in Christendom took place in 1054 with the “Great Schism” between the Western Church and the Eastern Church. Ecclesiastical differences and theological disputes between both parties were frequent and later resulted in a historical division. From that point forward, two large branches of Christianity, known as the Roman Catholic Church (in the West) and the Orthodox Catholic Church (in the East), emerged.

great-schism-map

The Eastern Orthodox Church did not go through major changes after the 11th century, but the Roman Catholic Church faced continuous divisions and schisms.

In fact, around 1175, Peter Waldo (1140-1218), a wealthy French merchant – seeing that the Catholic Church did not intend to make the Bible accessible to the people of his time – commissioned a priest to translate the New Testament from Latin to French. He sold all of his properties to help the needy and preached “voluntary poverty” as well as strict adherence to the Bible while highly criticising the Catholic Church doctrines. As a result, he and his followers – called the poor men of Lyon and later the Waldensians- became subject to a severe persecution that lasted until the 14th century.

During the same period, Catharism – a dualist Christian movement developed in Southern Europe – arose against Rome. The idea of two Gods, one being good and the other evil, was central to them. The Cathars denounced the unbiblical practices of the Catholic Church which they considered to be “the Church of Satan”. They refused the Catholic Sacrament of the Eucharist saying that it could not possibly be the body of Christ.

Following that, the Catholic Church was accused of corruption by members of the Lollardism, a political and religious movement that existed from the mid-14th century to the English Reformation. They were disciples of John Wycliffe (1320-1384) – who translated the Bible into vernacular English – and taught that the invisible Church was the community of the faithful and not the visible Catholic Church.

This succession of schismatic events created such a thirst for the truth that more and more people stood up against papal authority. In fact, in 1415, Jan Hus (1369-1415), a Czech priest and philosopher, was burned at the stake for heresy by the Catholic Church which felt directly challenged by his doctrines, which can be summarized as follows:

  • Freedom to preach the Word of God,
  • Right for all to partake of the Lord’s table (celebration of the Communion under both kinds),
  • No secular power to clergy
  • Equal punishment for sins without considering the social position of the criminal.

Hus’ teachings had a strong influence on the states of Europe, and he was a key predecessor to the Protestant movement of the sixteenth century.

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THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION AND THE EXPLOSION OF CHRISTIAN DENOMINATIONS

The next major division observed in Christianity occurred in the 16th century with the Protestant Reformation.

martin lutherThe Reformation was famously sparked in 1517, when Martin Luther (1483-1546), a German Catholic priest, criticised the Roman Catholic Church and denounced its practices, posting 95 theses on the doors of “All Saints” Church in Wittenberg.

After a deep study of the Scriptures, he realized the power of justification by faith alone and began to teach that redemption is a gift of God’s grace. He disagreed with the practice of indulgences made by the Universal Church, then was excommunicated by the Pope in 1521.

This led to the creation of a new Christian branch known as Protestantism. The term refers to the “letter of protestation” written by Lutheran princes in 1529 and was often used to allude to Western Christianity that was not subject to papal authority. This is how Lutheran and Reformed churches were established in Europe by Luther’s followers and other reformers such as John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, and John Knox.

Awareness of the astounding revelations brought out by these schisms grew more and more throughout the continent and encouraged many to break ties with the papacy in England. Thus, King Henry VIII – wanting the annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon – jumped on the opportunity and created the Church of England in 1534 to distance himself from Rome.

The Protestant Reformation opened the door to a huge number of denominations and sects, all holding the Bible as the only authority and all believing in the doctrine of justification by faith alone. However, they do not share the same understanding of scripture regarding baptism, spiritual gifts, miracles, food, holy days celebrations, discipleship, priesthood, the divinity of Christ and many others.

Until the beginning of the 20th century, the existing denominations could still be numbered. However, in the last 100 years, a real “church boom” phenomenon has been noticed. Churches are starting almost every day around the globe with eye-catching names such as Living Stones Christian Church; The Redeemed Christian Assembly of God; Christ Holy Tabernacle; International House of Prosperity; Christian Fellowship Church, Mountain of fire and miracle ministry

Today, it is very common for churches sharing the same doctrines to federate under the same label. That is why more and more groups are created such as the “Evangelical Pentecostal Church of the Redeemed “ or the “Evangelical Baptist Protestant Church of London” etc.

Although several leaders among them received genuine revelations from God, the proliferation of Christian denominations has never been the perfect will of God. The Bible does not teach about denominations and Jesus never established any. On the contrary, divisions in the Church are firmly rebuked by the Scriptures.

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WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT DIVISIONS IN THE BODY OF CHRIST?

Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.”  Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? (1 Corinthians 1:10-13)

divisionPaul clearly explained that disciples of Christ should have one mind, one language, one Spirit and should not be divided. Indeed, Christ alone should be our reference as He died for us and provided for our salvation. Paulan apostle mightily used by God highlighted that he did not die on the cross for anyone and that his name was of no help. So exalting the name of a ministry or denomination rather than the name of Jesus Christ is like fighting the work of the Holy Spirit.

The Lord said through Paul: There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:4-6). There should, therefore, be no division and rebellion among Christians although, some might say: “we have our own interpretation of the Scriptures”.

For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.  (1 Corinthians 12:12-13)

The human body has several members with different parts all working in complementarity under the authority of a single head. The same applies to the Church. Though being composed of people from all nations, it is one and indivisible with Jesus Christ as chief.

God gives His Holy Spirit to all willing to turn to Him irrespective of origin or social class, for according to Acts 10:34, He shows no partiality. The same Spirit teaches everyone (John 14:26). And in spite of cultural differences and opinions that might influence the way the scriptures are handled, all should agree regarding sound doctrine. There is only one foundation: that laid by the apostles and prophets of which Jesus Christ is the cornerstone (Ephesians 2:19-22).

Therefore, true Christians cannot be divided or confused by denominations. All are one in Jesus Christ, the only name given to the Church.

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THE ONLY NAME GIVEN TO THE CHURCH

In the New Testament, the epistles were addressed to saints attending different local churches usually bearing the name of the city in which they were established – i.e. Rome; Corinth; Galatia; Ephesus, etc.  In the Book of Revelation, the same can be observed. The seven churches were designated by the names of their respective cities (Ephesus; Pergamum; Thyatira; Sardis…). The early Christians knew that the Church was the assembly of the saints gathered together in the name of their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who always dwelled in their midst (Matthew 18:20).

jesus

The name “Jesus” comes from the Hebrew “Yehoshua” and literally means “YHWH is Saviour”; the word “Christ” comes from the Hebrew word “Mashiach” and is translated by “anointed one”. The combination of both words symbolizes His finished work of the cross fulfilling God’s plan of redemption, salvation and victory over sin and death.

This name is the only source of salvation as stated in Acts 4:12:“For there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

“God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth.”  (Philippians 2:9-10)

It is the name before which all creation shall bow; the most authoritative name at the sound of which many wonders, signs and miracles happen.

As the bride of the Lamb, the Church should delight in the wonderful name of her bridegroom for it is her banner and glory. The name of Jesus Christ is the only name given to the Church and in whom Christians should boast and trust.

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END TIME WARNING

Jesus Christ is at the door, and rapture is imminent. He will neither take a denomination nor a church building but anyone who holds and honours His name. Therefore, let us come out of denominations to realize and experiment the power of the name of Jesus Christ.

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“His name shall endure forever; His name shall continue as long as the sun. And men shall be blessed in Him; All nations shall call Him blessed.” Psalm 72:17

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Tatiana & Nirina

15 Comments on The story behind the unbiblical Christian denominations

  1. I think you will struggle to reconcile your ecclesiology with that of the earliest Fathers… Irenaeus, Ignatius of Antioch, Clement of Rome, etc… You have even in Scripture the distinction between deacon, priest, and bishop, with men as stewards of “the pillar and bulwark of the truth.” You have them choosing successors in Scripture. You have these leaders consciously acting as authorities for the entire Christian world in Scripture (Council of Jerusalem… which was led by Peter, of course).

    There were divisions among the Twelve… while Jesus was standing among them. It should be unsurprising that divisions continue, even as people continue to claim they are following Christ. Following Him means something more than simply claiming His name.

    Like

    • Hello,

      Sorry for the late reply.
      I admit that I will struggle to reconcile both as I don’t recognize Ignatius of Antioch and Clement of Rome as the Church Fathers. They are the Fathers of the Catholic Church but not of the true Church, the Church Jesus built. Paul said that we have “been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20). However, the Catholic Church has its own teachings and doctrines that are, for many, in contradiction with Scriptures. It is true that there is a clear distinction between deacon, priest, bishop, each one having a specific service to perform; but the whole Church is described as ‘the pillar and ground of the truth’.

      When Jesus was still among his disciples, the Church was not born yet, the twelve had not received the Spirit. That is why we can notice in the gospel some disagreements between them. However, divisions in the Church were firmly condemned by Paul:
      “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.”(Romans 16:17-18)
      “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” (1 Corinthians 1:10)
      “These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.” (Jude 19)

      What you call ‘Council of Jerusalem’ was a meeting needed at the first days of the Church to clarify some points, especially regarding the Gentiles converting to Christ. It is important to remember that it was a transition time, they did not have the New Testament.
      After that meeting, things were crystal clear for the apostles and Paul could confidently say to the church of Ephesus in Acts 20:27 that he declared them the “whole counsel of God”. This same counsel can be found in the Bible, as it is stated in 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

      Some people would ask, “How could we understand if there is no one to explain it to us?”
      The good news is that the Holy Spirit was sent to teach us the truth, remind us the words of Jesus and help us to abide in Him (John 14:28, 1 John 2:27).

      Of course, the ministers listed in Ephesians 4:11 are still relevant but all teachers of the Word, as well as all disciples of Christ, should be filled with the Holy Spirit and be able to discern the voice of the Master.

      The sad truth is that too many people labelling themselves Christians are neither filled nor led by the Holy Spirit of God.

      Finally, I totally agree with you when you say, “Following Him means something more than simply claiming His name”. Indeed, following Him also means bearing His cross every day and forsaking all that we have (Luke 14:27, 33).

      May the Lord help all of us to honour His Name every day!

      His Name is called THE WORD OF GOD (Revelation 19:13)

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      • Edit to my second comment… Ignatius was a direct disciple of John. I was getting mixed up with Irenaeus I suppose. In any case, you will not find many Christian voices in those days (nor until rather recently) speaking as dismissively as you are of these men.

        Peace…

        Like

      • It is really disappointing to see people standing for men more than for God’s word. Ignatius of Antioch could have been a disciple of John. But the real questions are: Was he a disciple of Jesus Christ? Did he have a personal revelation of God? Did he receive the Holy Spirit?
        Ignatius was the first to exalt one bishop at the head of the church to “preside in the place of God”. He was also one of the firsts to use the word ‘Catholic’ to talk about the only recognized Church. In other words, he was one of the precursors of the Catholic religion. His message was against the gospel of Christ, even though he was with John for a while. Please meditate on those verses:

        “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:6-9)

        “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.” (1 John 2:18-19)

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      • Go and read him for yourself. Then decide if he was Christian. He didn’t dare call himself a disciple, he exalted that title so much, while we silly ninnies throw that word around like a football. He predicated taking that name for himself upon earning it through martyrdom – which he got, after hours of gruesome torture for the sake of the Name. No, he would not agree with you at all on ecclesiology – but neither would hardly anyone before the 20th century. If you really want unity, you must desire continuity. What you are describing is actually a rupture. The Word became flesh, not more words… He gave authority to men, who wrote and taught about Him with the same authority, and passed on that authority. So men can speak on God’s behalf, under certain conditions. This was the universal understanding until the 16th century. I invite you to consider an in-depth study of church history. You will find nothing but contradictions to the spirit of what you write, throughout all ages and places in which the Gospel was preached prior to the Reformation. Start with the problem of who gets to say which books go in the Bible. We receive the Faith, we don’t create it.

        Peace…
        -CRM

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      • I will never raise a man over God, even a man sent by God. Some Israelites made this mistake by exalting Moses and their fathers’ traditions more than God. Consequently, they set aside the commands of God and they did not recognise the Messiah when He came on earth.
        Likewise, millions of people are deceived by the Catholic Church who did not persevere in the teaching of Jesus but actually brought a rupture.
        Indeed, God gave authority to men to speak on his behalf. However, contradictions started with men such as Ignatus of Antioch who taught false doctrines in the name of God.
        The Catholic doctrine was almost the universal understanding until people started to read the bible.
        But I can see that you are more interested in History and in the Fathers’ traditions.
        We want unity with Christ and His word, not with the crowd. This blog is dedicated to the defense of the sound doctrine, so we only study History and analyse facts in the light of Scriptures. The bible is our supreme authority.
        Concerning the books that go in the bible, the early Christians already gave authority to the apostles’ writings. The conciles only confirmed existing lists. The fact that the bible was hidden by Catholic leaders during centuries reveals a problem…

        “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

        Finally, I would say that an in-depth study of church history is good but in-depth medidation of God’s word is better.

        “I will never forget Your precepts,
        For by them You have given me life.” (Psalm 119:93)

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      • So a bunch of people just decided that other people’s writing was inspired by God? Is that all?

        You say you won’t put a man above God, but that’s not what I suggested you do. I suggested that God actually gives flesh and blood people real authority to teach in His Name, and that this was done in an organized fashion. That organ produced the Bible… I wonder, how many books are in your Bible?

        There’s no unity from a book. You seem to be doing something worse than raising a man above God – you seem to be raising a book over Him… “The Bible is our supreme authority.” The Church came first, before the Bible. Men were given real authority by God. They directed this process which was informed by the sensus fidei. It is not at all clear – or necessary – that everything in the NT that on its face was written by an Apostle really was, and actually Paul’s letters seem to indicate input from others, like Sosthenes, for instance.

        OH. AND LUKE. NOT AN APOSTLE.

        Food for thought. You are dealing with a problem of a circular argument… Faith ultimately comes down to putting trust in some authority, but where that authority has its SECONDARY source is the issue. The primary one is God, but after that? Who are we to trust about what God has said, and WHY?

        Peace…
        -CRM

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      • Oh, and Mark was not an Apostle either. Yes, his Gospel is notes on Peter’s Roman sermons or something similar, but… it is not written by Peter. Could someone else’s notes be just as inspired? No? Says who? It is all about authority… who gets to speak for God, who gets to interpret His will and His words, etc. A book can’t do that – the text must itself be compiled and interpreted.

        Also, you have a bit of a myth-conception on the RCC “hiding” the Bible. If by “hide” you mean “not invent the printing press,” that’s true… it was harder to get a copy, because it had to be transcribed by hand, which made them expensive, etc. But it was not THAT hard, and it was certainly not “hidden”. This is simply a myth. Let me recommend again an in-depth study of Church history…

        With this, I bid you adieu. I realize I will probably not convince you here, but hopefully I’ve given you some things to think about.

        Peace…
        -CRM

        Like

      • I did not mean that only apostles could be inspired by God. There is a unity in the books of the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation there is a harmony in the message given by the different authors (who were all inspired by God). No one can say he is inspired by God if his message contradicts the Scriptures, the foundation laid by the prophets and the apostles (Ephesians 2:20).
        I do not put a book above God. God is One with His Word. Jesus is called the Word of God in the book of Revelation. If we are Christians, we should delight in the Word of God and search its understanding with all our heart.
        You will not convince me indeed,this is the work of the Holy Spirit that you seem to neglect in your spiritual journey.

        An article about the importance of the Word of God will be published soon.

        Shalom

        Like

    • As a layman who was reading both the article and the comments.. any argument should be given facts to prove and I see when ‘thedokimos’ is supplying enough evidences from The Bible itself, none of your comments are based on any particular Scripture. So my question is do you believe in the Word of God – The Bible? if so please provide scriptures that substantiate your arguments. Just an elaborate description on some men who lived in the early centuries is not enough to prove your points.

      Like

      • Hi CDW, off the top of my head, there is 2 Thessalonians 2:15.

        On the other hand, Peter talks about the value of Scripture, etc… But he didn’t have the Bible in mind because it didn’t exist yet! How could Thomas the Apostle establish a church in India without the Bible? And who gets to interpret Scripture authoritatively? Etc. So there is more to it than the Bible… The Word became flesh, not just more words.

        The issue is not whether one believes in the authority of Scripture (which I do) but rather why one believes that these particular texts are inspired while others are not. For example, how many books are there in your Bible? Why? Email me if you want to continue… Check out the contact info on my site!

        Like

  2. Brad Sexson // June 14, 2016 at 8:37 pm // Reply

    where do Seventh day Adventist fall in your train of thought?

    Like

    • The purpose of this article is not to talk about every single Christian denomination, but to analyse this phenomenon in the light of History and Scriptures. We decided to write about this topic because Christian denominations are a source of division and confusion. Through this article, we invite every child of God to come out of this unbiblical system and focus on the Name of Jesus, the only Name we should praise, exalt, worship and glorify.

      “And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.” (Revelation 18:4)

      “All nations whom You have made
      Shall come and worship before You, O Lord,
      And shall glorify Your name.
      For You are great, and do wondrous things;
      You alone are God.
      Teach me Your way, O Lord;
      I will walk in Your truth;
      Unite my heart to fear Your name.
      I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
      And I will glorify Your name forevermore.
      For great is Your mercy toward me,
      And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.” (Psalm 86:9-14)

      Like

  3. Thanks for your contribution.
    It is totally true that the (visible) Church is divided because of sin and denominations appeared because of apostasy. The Protestant Reformation was a necessary movement to revive the Church. However, we can not talk about a ‘body of truth fundamental to Christianity’ because there is not. Even if different denominations use the name of Jesus Christ and pretend to follow the Bible, there are too many disagreements about fundamental doctrines from one Church to another. For example, the divinity of Christ, baptism, salvation and holiness are central topics, but they are the object of too many different interpretations.
    When Jesus said, in Matthew 18:20, that He is wherever two or three gather in His name, we should understand that He is where we gather in agreement with His word. For His name is the Word of God (Revelation 19:13). Jesus Christ is the Only Truth we need to know, and we will know the Truth through His word and not man-made doctrines.
    Knowing the Lord personally, abiding in His word, being continually purified by His word: This will guarantee a place in Heaven (John 15:9-10; John 17:17; Ephesians 5:26-27; Revelation 22:11). We should constantly pursue the knowledge of the Lord, for lack of knowledge will send many – even some who called themselves Christian – to hell (Hosea 4:6; Matthew 7:21-23).
    Finally, the true Church, the Church that only God knows, is already One in Christ (2 Timothy 2:19; Ephesians 4:1-4).

    Shalom.

    Like

  4. Ultimately the Church is divided because of sin. If there was no sin we would be one Church. Yet there are important points to bear in mind. Denominations arose because of apostasy. The Catholic Church, for example, was the early Christian Church fell away from the simplicity of the Christian Faith with various man made doctrines and the elevation of the Papacy. Protestantism wax the revival of early New Testament Christianity, and was a necessary separation. A true Christian Denomination does not claim to be the true Church with a monopoly on truth. The Church in an invisible body transcending denominational boundaries. There is a body of truth which is fundamental to Christianity and which can enable denominations to fellowship and therefore manifest their oneness in Christ. Denominations hace become a feature of Christianity but in heaven we will be one, when no doubt that all of our errors will be corrected.

    Like

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