Saturday, December 29, 2012

Denominations

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Over the years, folks have often asked why there are so many different denominations. The simple answer is: sin. Those who read the Bible know that there was sin within the church itself from its very earliest days. The overwhelming sin of the 16th century Catholic Church brought on the Protestant Reformation. The Protestants, being just as human as the Catholics (and therefore just as sinful), soon started pointing fingers at one another, finding sin in everyone but the guy in the mirror. Today, division has gone so far that not only is there a large handful of differing sects among Catholics themselves, but over 30,000 Protestant denominations as well.

It’s an interesting quirk of human nature that Jesus speaks of the church, yet we turn it into many. Most Bible scholars understand that in reality there is still only one church; unfortunately, many Christians still want to insist that only their branch is the real McCoy. As a result, a ridiculous number of sermons on Sunday mornings are concerned with defending the “rightness” of the denomination rather than proclaiming the righteousness of God. Still, some strange beliefs by certain sects, or their political or financial arrangements, guarantee that ecumenicalism will never work without accepting the attitude that “anything goes.” Few serious churches can swallow that, either.

And so, the followers of Jesus struggle onward, well intentioned, but unnecessarily divided due to their belief that everyone must think alike. Few realize that by requiring perfect understanding of the scriptures (which they think they have), they turn their religion into a works doctrine, the antithesis of what the scriptures teach us. Still, in spite of self-righteousness, Christianity has found enough true righteousness along the way that it has changed the face of the globe over the centuries, and more importantly, has changed the hearts and minds of millions of people. © 2012
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10 comments:

Sixbears said...

If only actions were as good as the many fine words said in churches around the world. What a wonderful world it would be.

JaneofVirginia said...

Finding a good church as far out in the country as we are, has been tougher than finding a decent primary doctor. One Christian church has all elders who are living together, and we felt that we didn't fit as a married couple. Another church disliked homeschoolers because we should be "trying to collide with the wrong doers in school and reforming them". So, we gather with friends and other homeschoolers and support one another, pray, and do the sermons ourselves. It's tough work being made to participate ! LOL

JMD said...

One thing that we know from the Bible is that the disciples all agreed on doctrine. Though Peter and Paul were not in total agreement regarding how Peter treated the Jews from the Gentiles it was not fundamental to walking in faith and following Jesus.

Unfortunately we cannot say that with all the divisions we now have that the same is true.

Isserfiq said...

I am told my paternal lineage can be traced directly to an Aeneas Silvius, AKA Picolomini Romano.(Silvius being my last name) A great orator (read charlatan) and writer of lewd poetry who during the catholic schism, by the gift of gab and collecting favors owed by both papal seats in Rome and France rose to be elected as Pope Pius the II. And in his short 7 yr reign before his untimely death became the man responsible for the re-unification of the catholic church. Who know what sort of dirty politics he played to make that one happen. From what I have read about him Pius was the last thing he was. Michael

Gorges Smythe said...

Agreed, Sixbears.

You know, Jane, I used to think that it would be the heathenish folks "falling away from the church" in the latter days. I swear, though, I think the righteous are leaving in droves, as well, for reasons like you just mentioned.

Sad but true, JMD.

We've all got a few stinkers in our ancestry, Isserfiq, though not all are as powerful as yours.

Linda said...

Very good post, Gorges. All the denominations today has caused nothing but division and confusion. Thank you so much for sharing.

Gorges Smythe said...

Thanks, Linda.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

You were headed in the right direction, but the absolute truth of the matter is still that all who are truly in Christ should be of the same mind--His mind, to be exact. Therefore, instead of just shrugging our collective shoulders and conceding that this is an impossibility, we should be more determined than ever to find out what is really going on. That is, unless we are willing to accept that there are some things that our Heavenly Father cannot do. Now, it is not that all of the confusion that still exists concerning our Heavenly Father and all of His most awesome ways is entirely our fault. For it is in accordance to His will to leave room for doubts, which leaves room for faith, but in far too many cases, it is only because of not wanting to know and understand what He wants them to that far too many do not know and understand more than they do.

Gorges Smythe said...

I think there are probably a few folks in every church who are in "THE" church, Jerry. I worry, though, that many are just part of a social club.

Catherine said...

Friend speaks my mind.