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 properties and organizations of local churches.
Denominations as Divisions
Even in the first century, Christians in Corinth endured denominations, named divisions, among their congregation (1 Cor 1:10–13). These believers were
baptized in Jesus’s 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).
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). However, the congregation was referred to as “of Christ” (1 Cor 3:23).
Those supporting and practicing denominationalism are practicing the sin of division 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, Christians need to 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’s name for the forgiveness of sins are to added the Church (Acts 2:42, 47). Denominational teachers, preachers, and leaders can read their Bibles and learn to better follow the One whom they assert as their Savior. If these will consent to denominationalism, maintaining heretical errors, and parting from Christ’s guidance and instruction, what will be their end?
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).
While many denominations now who reject Christ’s words about marriage and loving little children, Christians cannot consent at all that somehow these sects are following Christ (i.e. “The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice”). 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 bodies eternally.
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 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 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 separate from denominations 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. 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).