Jesus said that there would be one flock and one Shepherd (John 10:16). Jesus said that He would build His Church (Matt 16:18). He bought only one Church with His blood (Acts 20:28). He prayed for all His believers to be one on the night of His betrayal (John 17:20-21).
What happened?! Should we be disturbed by how there are so many different churches?
Many among denominations find themselves under the influence of a man-made addition to the church, They do not consent to being under the bondage of its hierarchy that were not instituted by Jesus Christ. Many others do not think about the teachings of their church government, or consider how these governing bodies have claim to the local properties and charities.
Even in the first century, Christians in Corinth endured denominations, named divisions, among their congregation (1 Cor 1:10-13). Yet, they did not all consent.
These believers were baptized in Jesus’ name (1 Cor 1:11-13, 6:11), and thus they were added to the one body, the Church of Jesus Christ (1 Cor 12:13). This one baptism was and continues to be essential to be in the one body (Eph 4:4-5, Acts 2:41-47).
These believers were added to the Church of Christ and yet some were subjected to forms of denominationalism then. They have my sympathy and prayers since they lack the blessings of Christ that are under the church government and charitable spirit that His Spirit established for His Church.
The Corinthian church denominated into erring factions. Some of their members were babes, immature, and even spiritually dead (1 Cor 3:1, 11:27-30), and yet the congregation was referred to as “of Christ” (1 Cor 3:23). There are among the denominations and unscriptural church governments those who do not want to be there.
Christ instructed the church of Asia to repent (Rev 2-3). Yet, there were some among them who were not guilty of what the others in the congregation were doing. Christ desires their repentance as well. Therefore, there were imperfect congregations in the first century.
Those under denominational hierarchies are not all willingly practicing denominationalism. These are immature, babes, and unaware. Yet, these denominations are so far separated from Christ that they are no longer of the church of Christ.
Those supporting and practicing denominationalism are practicing sin that will keep them from inheriting the kingdom of Heaven (Gal 5:19-21). Because of this, those who maintain sectarianism mislead others away into condemnation.
Today, with so many great errors, let us all return to the simplicity of the words of Christ confirmed by Christ’s Apostles and prophets. Only those believers who are immersed in water in Jesus’ name for the forgiveness of sins are to added the Church. If these will consent to denominationalism, maintaining heretical errors, and parting from Christ’s guidance and instruction. Denominational teachers, preachers, and leaders can read their Bibles and learn to better follow the One, whom they assert as their Savior.
When considering the list of denominations now who support homosexuality and abortion, Christians cannot consent at all that somehow these sects are following Christ (i.e. “The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice”). This is disturbing. Their public statements are posted for all to see. What these churches are doing is evil and they will be judged by God for corrupting the purity of Christ’s teachings. Those among them are endangering their souls.
Reconsider Christ. Consider that on the night of His death, He prayed that we be one by His Word (John 17:20-21). Believe this unity is possible and that all believers can observe all that Jesus commanded despite our imperfections (Matt 28:20). Christ is fully capable in communicating the Word of God, so that His imperfect people can understand Him (John 10:27, Eph 3:3-5).
All Christians are able and commanded to speak the same thing, have the same mind, and have the same judgment (1 Cor 1:10). Jesus’s followers have the same mind as Him (Phil 2:5). Jesus made Himself unequal with God becoming a man, a bond-servant of no reputation (Phil 2:6-7), and yet in the denominations, men make themselves like God by teaching traditions of men as though commands of God (Matt 15:7-9).
Jesus humbled Himself unto death and God exalted His name above every name (Phil 2:8-11), and yet the leaders of denominations exalt their own names and titles that belong to God Himself being called “reverend father” (Matt 6:9), “chief pastor” (1 Pet 5:4), and “archbishop” (1 Pet 2:25). Christ is the president and head of the Church (Eph. 1:22-23). These practices of denominationalism is disgusting, and Christians abhor such evil and will have no part in it.
Therefore, let us be separate. Let us truly be a part of the church of Christ and have no loyalty to a denomination. Christians need no hierarchies. Christ is the Head of His church (Eph 1:22-23). Let us be added by the Lord to His Church by baptism in Jesus’ name (Acts 2:38, 41, 47).
That baptism in Jesus’ name is baptism in water (Acts 10:47-48). That baptism only has power in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For “baptism now saves you […] through the resurrection” (1 Pet 3:21), and it is “through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” that believers are born again (1 Pet 1:3).
No wonder that Christ’s Spirit says that believers are raised with Christ from baptism and are thus forgiven of all their trespasses (Col 2:12-13, Rom 6:3-7). By being raised with Christ, we are saved by grace (Eph. 2:4-6).
Let all true believers continue in the church of Christ led by elders (1 Tim 3:1-7, Titus 1:6-9, 1 Pet 5:1-4). True worshipers form the church who partake of the Lord’s Supper in the assembly every first day of the week (John 4:23-24, 1 Cor 11:17-34, 16:1-2, Acts 20:7). Let all be recognized by our love for each other and for God, so that we observe all that Jesus’ commanded (John 13:35, 1 John 5:2-3, Matt 28:20).