People have often asked why there are so many Christian denominations. The simple answer is: sin. Those who read the Bible know that there was sin within the church from its 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, 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, but over 30,000 Protestant denominations as well.
Jesus speaks of the church (singular), yet we turn it into many. Bible scholars understand that there is still only one church; unfortunately, many Christians 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. © 2017