Do We Need Soo Many Christian Church Denominations?
Apparently there are over 33,000 denominations in the world. Why oh why do we have so many denominations in the christian church? Can we really have that many differences that we needed to spawn in this many denominations. What can we have such disagreement with that we feel our salvation is at stake. Why do we need to create yet another denomination? This is a very frustrating thought for me.
I have no problem with people developing different beliefs and understandings. As long as these new ideas are founded through scripture, we should all be open to them. If we are truly following after Jesus, we should constantly be striving to learn and develop our relationship at all times. Commitment to any doctrine, over the word of God, limits our ability to follow the path designated for me by the Christ Jesus.
Christianity and Denominations
So am I saying that if you are part of a denomination, you can not be a true Christian? By no means! I have attended different denominational and non denominational churches over the years (currently I am attending a Presbyterian church). As I avoid denominational influence, I do not judge any individual church based of their denomination but by God’s presence with them and their hearts for Jesus. Through experience, I have found that those who truly have their hearts set on Jesus tend to accept and follow his word openly. They will do so even though it may challenge the standard teaching and doctrine of their denomination.
So Why Are Denominations A Problem?
Because we are supposed to be just Christians and all part of the body of Christ united and following after our Lord and Savior. It causes us to be divided as a body and in conflict with each other rather than being united. As members of a denomination, we tend to follow and believe the doctrine that authorizes the churches teaching rather than follow the path Christ sets for each of us.
“If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” ~ Mark 3:25
Thus we create an unhealthy body of Christ if we are his divided and fractured Christian church that will continue to fracture. Every church makes a new doctrine of beliefs that then somebody will then disagree with and create a new doctrine that somebody will disagree with…and on and on and on… So it goes.
One last issue I have with how many denominations have started. It is often out of our own pride. A need to be right rather than in servitude to God. Churches have refused to accept a change in opinion or interpretation no matter how valid the interpretation is supported by scripture. So out of pride they refuse to grow and accept a new understanding and choose not to follow Christ.
What Are We To Do Then?
I realize all these denominations will never go away. That is fine, we just need to work on the core cause. What we need to do is again focus on the core of Christianity:
- Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God,
- He sacrificed himself for all of us because of our many sins.
- He rose from the dead and grants us eternal life in his name
After that we should follow Jesus wherever he leads us and not rely on our own ways our of pride. Notice that I said Jesus and not the church. Do not let doctrine be your guide, especially out of pride. Do not let pride separate you from God.
We need to stop letting petty disagreements and interpretations continue to divide us. Instead we need to embrace our different perspectives and openly listen to each other and grow the Christian church together as we all follow after our Lord.
What We Won’t Do
Do not judge anyone or their church based off their denomination. Judgement comes out of pride. If we all have the same core beliefs of Christianity, they everything else should be open for discussion. If that is not the case, we have to be uncertain if they are truly following the path laid out by Christ for them. But only God truly knows what is on their hearts and he will judge us by our own standards accordingly.
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” ~ Matthew 7:1-2
Growing The Body Of Christ
Always remember our ultimate goal is to follow Jesus and to strengthen the Body of Christ, his church. Despite all the fracturing into an excessive amount of denominations, Christianity has the strong rock foundation of the Gospels:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.” ~ Matthew 7:24
So follow Jesus wherever he may lead you. Let go of your pride and do not judge others with different view. Let us all unite under our core Christian beliefs. If all Christians do this, we will heal his fractured church and create a healthy Body of Christ.