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 additions to the church. Many believers do not consent to being under the bondage of such hierarchy that Jesus Christ did not institute. Many others do not think about the influence of their church government, or consider how these governing bodies have claim to God-given liberties.
Even in the first century, Christians in Corinth endured divisions according to names among their congregation (1 Cor 1:10–13).
“What I mean is that each one of you says, ‘I follow Paul,’ or ‘I follow Apollos,’ or ‘I follow Cephas,’ or ‘I follow Christ.’ Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?”
While Paul, Apollos, and Cephas are faithful men, Paul is emphatic that Christians only identify themselves with the name of Christ for unity. While various church denominations associate to specific beliefs, should they use such names to set themselves apart from one another?
Paul noted that the Christians in Corinth were baptized in Jesus’s name (1 Cor 1:11–13; 6:11). 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 the one body of Christ (Eph 4:4–5; cf. Acts 2:41–47).
The Corinthian church divided by names, which the definition of denominating. Despite Paul addressing this church as “people of the flesh, as infants in Christ,” Paul also referred the congregation as “of Christ” (1 Cor 3:1, 23).
Paul against this division by names (1 Cor 1:10–13). Paul also address the churches of Galatia condemning the sin of division that will keep people from inheriting the kingdom of Heaven (Gal 5:19–21). Because of this, those who maintain sectarianism mislead others away into condemnation.
A Way to Heresy
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). However, 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). However, the leaders of denominations exalt their own names and titles that belong to God Himself who is the “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 denominating is disturbing, and Christians should abhor such evil and have no part in it.
Unity is Possible with Christ
All must turn to listen to Christ. On the night of His death, Jesus prayed that believers be one by His Word (John 17:20–21). This unity is possible and active now for all believers. Jesus commanded unity 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). Therefore, believers must refrain from dividing by names and unite as the church of Christ. Christ has no loyalty to a denomination. Christians need no hierarchies. Christ is the Head of His church (Eph 1:22–23).
Baptism in Christ or into a Denomination
Denominations altar the most basic teachings of Christ to lock people into their organization. If denominational position ever require any believer to do something that Christ did not command, then that is not the church of Jesus Christ.
How many have been baptized into a denomination rather than into the church (1 Cor 12:13)? The Lord adds to His church by baptism in Jesus’s name (Acts 2:38, 41, 47).
Christ’s Spirit says that believers are raised with Christ from baptism and are thus forgiven of all their trespasses (Rom 6:3–7; Col 2:12–13). By being raised with Christ, believers are saved by grace (Eph 2:4–6). That baptism in Jesus’s 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).
The Church of Christ
All believers must find the church of Christ. The church is recognized by their love for each other and for God, so that we observe all that Jesus’s commanded (Matt 28:20; John 13:35; 1 John 5:2–3). Elders pastor Christ’s church (1 Tim 3:1–7; Titus 1:6-9, 1 Pet 5:1-4). True worshipers form the church (John 4:23–24). Disciples of Christ partake of the Lord’s Supper in the assembly every first day of the week (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 11:17–34; cf. 16:1–2).
So are you saying we can’t have diversity in unity?
Not at all. However, we cannot compromise the Gospel and any of God’s commands. Christians can unite more. Denominations mostly hinder this.
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You should spend time in Romans 14 and see if what you’re doing here is in compliance with the message Paul was trying to convey.
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This is not good. Why spend your time finding fault with others? God will deal with them. The church of Christ has it’s own issues that should be dealt with instead of bashing denominationalism. They have alot of things right that you could learn from.
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This article isn’t “bashing”. It’s explaining what scripture says.
There are many gods, meaning important persons and as such Jesus may be a god, but that is not the same as The God. When somebody says “I am” that does not mean he or she is God, otherwise we would have many figures running in the word of whom can be claimed that they are God. Jesus is the beginning of the new creation, the continuation of the creation at the start of the universe in which the first Adam went wrong but the second Adam fulfilled the Plan of God. That Plan existed already from the beginning of the world and as soon as the first human beings went wrong God prepared a solution, the Messiah.
God cannot die but Jesus really did. People also can not see god and live, but many saw Jesus and continued to live and heard the Father also say “this is my beloved son” (and God does not lie.).
On the person of God we do differ, but on the salvation in the man Jesus we agree.
Do you believe that Jesus is a god below the God? Is He not God above all others and is one with the Father?
Why did God call Christ “God” (Psalm 45:6, Heb. 1:8-9)? Why then is Jesus the Almighty, the Alpha and the Omega, the fullness of God, and God who shed His blood?
Do we not see the Father when we see Christ (John 14:6-9)?
I hope you will strongly reconsider your reasoning. Jesus said, “I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am you will die in your sins” (John 8:24).
first off there are many incorrect observations here, God seeing that man was going to need more than (animal blood) to absolve us of our sin and bless us with Grace and Mercy, not to mention SALVATON, took the WORD, which was in the beginning with HIM, wrapped that word in flesh and called his name JESUS, this is why jesus can say that HE has always been, even before the foundation of the world, this is also why he can say when you’ve seen me/you’ve seen the FATHER because he is GODS spoken word, so ye HE IS GOD, in the beginning was the word and the word was with GOD and the word WAS GOD, the same was in the beginning wit GOD , and all things were made by HIM, and the WORD was made flesh and dwelt among us, my question is this, how can we walk together if we don’t agree, with CHRIST FIRST, and then with those who say they believe ? the scripture is true, JESUS said I AM the way, the truth and the life, no man, no man , cometh to the FATHER but by ME, what does that mean? jesus in essence told us that no one can get to the FATHER except through the word of GOD and by the word of GOD, of which HE IS IN THE FLESH
Jesus came to liberate people but by time many became bounded again by denominations. As you say many of these denominations are so far separated from Christ that they should no longer be part of the Church of Christ. Christ Jesus was the Jewish Nazarene who never claimed to be God. His Father in heaven also said about this man that he was His beloved son. Though many Christians did not want to take the Words of God nor the words of Jesus to be the full truth and wanted to make a god of Jesus and a goddess of his mother Mary (Maria/Miriam)
As Christ prayed to his Father we also should pray to his Father, the only One God. Christ was mad higher than humans and angels (who where before higher than him) and sits now at the right hand of his Father to be the mediator between God and man. Let us be part of his world and look forward to the Kingdom of God.
I am glad to see our unity for Christ against denominationalism.
Yet, I plead with you to reconsider Jesus Christ. Jesus did say that He is the “I am” before Abraham (John 8:24, 58). Christ was theos (God) in the flesh (John 1:1, 14). John 1:1 does say that the Word was theos, and that the Word became flesh being Jesus. All things were created by, through, and for Christ (Col. 1:15-17) before He came in the flesh becoming a man, and yet Genesis 1:1 says that God created all. “For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” (Col. 1:19). He was not a created being like an angel (Heb. 1-2). Who was Jesus?
How did God purchase the Church with His own blood (Acts 20:28)? How then can the Lord speak to the Lord in Psalm 110 (cf. Psa. 102:25-27), and God calls Jesus “God” in Psalm 45:6 (Heb. 1:8-9)? How can God say that the LORD God sent Him and His Spirit (Isa. 48:16)? Why is “the child” born called “Mighty God” (Isa. 9:6)? Why do all the angels worship the Christ (Heb. 1:6, Psa. 97:7)? How does Jesus say in Revelation 1:8, “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,’ says the Lord, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.'” (cf. Rev. 1:17-18) and God is the first and the last according to Isaiah 41:4, 44:6, and 48:12?
I am convinced that Jesus is God. I think that we can agree that is a critical point regarding one’s salvation (John 8:24). May God bless you in the study of His words.