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Down with Denominations

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posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 01:06 PM
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I do not believe the myriads of denominations that have arisen are what Christ had in mind. I believe the intention was that all true believers/disciples in a given area would meet together.

Obviously where a group teaches things that contradict the basic tenets (whether in word or deed) a need may arise to consider the options. However over the centuries so many divisions into new denominations have been the result of disputes over secondary or even minor issues, or even just the result of clashes in personality, and as such the tendency to split doesn't reflect Christ's Way, I believe.

There will always be debate over what constitutes the basic tenets, but there are, I believe, hundreds of denominations that could actually function well together. Reconciliation is the name of the game.

The Apostle Paul specifically condemned the attitude of '"I follow Paul" / "I follow Apollos"'. It is rampant in our day, and has been for too long.

I am not advocating ecumenism, which seeks to pretend there are no differences even when a different version of the Gospel is advocated or which sometimes even seeks to combine different religions into one. I believe such moves are ill-founded, being based on intellectual dishonesty. Respect for people with other beliefs is what is called for, not diluting one's own beliefs.

But when it comes to unity among Christian believers, there is nowhere near enough of it.




posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 02:59 PM
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reply to post by pause4thought
 


Jesus had something to say about this:

Matthew 15:12-14 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?
13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.
14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

Every "denomination" is defined by it's heresy.



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 03:33 PM
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reply to post by pause4thought
 


i agree to agree with what you are saying

but there will never be true unity until Jesus returns. I do agree with you on ecumenicalism its a diluting process.

each person needs a bible and the holy spirit for guidance. By hook or crook you will come to truth, Baalams ass and all that.

david



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 03:36 PM
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In the early days of the church, they just called themselves "Christians" (of Christ). Now they call themselves by (Martin) Luther or the Presbytery (elders) or any number of things other than Christ.

If a woman marries Mr. Smith should she now call herself Mrs. Jones because she likes something about Mr. Jones better? We are the bride of Christ, and as such, are Christians. That's quite enough of a title without any embellishment needed.



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 04:06 PM
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reply to post by whitewave
 


That was beautifully put.




There seems to be such agreement on this here. Should we be meeting (informally) with believers from other churches more / having more joint meetings etc.?

What else could we do to promote widespread unity?



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 08:27 PM
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We are defided because on earth we dont have our real leaders. All we really have is our bible and God's spirit. We got leader to claim they know the truth but they dont. We are defided cuz Jesus is not here with us.



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 08:53 PM
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I agree partly in what you're saying. I have seen firsthand how a leader of a church I thought was the closest man in the world to Jesus, went to sinning badly.
It hurt my feelings!
But, what about the 7 churches in Revelation?
God put us in categories.
I am mainly non-denominational.
I think a lot of churches are started in response to bad church doctrine!
Thank God for the Bible, or we would just go along guessing!



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 09:05 PM
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Thanks God for the bible.

The church decided the books that went into that bible. Catholic church which means universal. before scripture was put together centuries after Christ was on Earth the church still existed and was practicing the faith and communion.

before 1500 Only one universal Catholic church existed and everybody was Catholic in doctrine except the Orthodox because of the pope issue, but they still had communion which I believe was invalid.

If there are hypocrits in the church it doesn't make the church itself false. This is something people always need to realize.


peace.



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 10:17 PM
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reply to post by PreTribGuy
 


Jesus was speaking about the unbelieving Pharisees in that verse. The unbelievers, are the blind.

What the OP is saying is that there should be unity IN CHRIST, with Jesus Christ as the head of the church among believers.

Let's leave the unrepentant, Christ rejectors out of this, we all know they are blind. But I agree with the OP, there shouldn't be different denominations within the body of Christ.

That's why I found a non-denominational church, there are no boundaries, no walls of separation, we all join together weekly and focus solely on Jesus Christ ALONE, the Word of God alone. And I have never connected with a church before as I have with this one.



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 04:50 PM
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reply to post by pause4thought
 



Should we be meeting (informally) with believers from other churches more / having more joint meetings etc.?


I will meet with as many Brethren as I can for as long as I can. The problem is...they are all but impossible to find. I cannot be "Brothers" with anyone who doesn't believe the Bible.

They may SAY they believe the Bible, but when it is discussed, they clearly show me that they really don't believe what Jesus said at all.

This happens to me ALL THE TIME around town. I suppose the common complaint (about me) could be, "You take the Bible TOO serious".

If I found a fellow Saint here in our city, I suppose we'd spend as much time together as possible...DAILY if possible.


What else could we do to promote widespread unity?


Simple: Add more leaven!

1 Cor 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

The Church Age ends in Apostasy (while some will call it 'unity'...it is the same thing..."nothing REALLY mattered, anyway"):

2 Thess 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away (APOSTASY) first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 06:34 PM
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reply to post by NOTurTypical
 



Jesus was speaking about the unbelieving Pharisees in that verse.


No, it was a general statement about ALL unbelievers who profess religion. "EVERY plant..."

Make no mistake, Jesus was CLEARLY talking about religious leaders AND their followers who are blind. This statement is JUST AS TRUE TODAY. ( Atheists don't have church meetings together. )


The unbelievers, are the blind.


Again, the 'unbelievers' are not 'atheists'. Jesus was specific about this. The Pharisees clearly 'believed' in God. The 'blind' are those who do not believe what JESUS says.


What the OP is saying is that there should be unity IN CHRIST, with Jesus Christ as the head of the church among believers.


I don't think the OP originally (as in "made this up for the first time") said this , I believe this principle is stated quite clearly in the Bible. He is quite correct: I ADORE my Brethren!


Let's leave the unrepentant, Christ rejectors out of this,


(Sorry for the split quote, but I needed to split it up)

The verses I quoted are exactly about this. The OP seems to imply that Christians are all around him/her/you/me/everyone and I've found that THAT just isn't so.

The professing 'Christians' I've met usually end up not liking me very much. OH, they will be friendly and 'upstanding citizens' of (seemingly) impeccable secular morals, but they don't seem to take the Bible very serious. When they get to the "hard sayings of Jesus", they seem to take delight in explaining away any obligation to obey THAT verse.

But the hard sayings of Jesus SCARE me! I can't just explain them away until they mean nothing at all...

Example:
Matt 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

When Roman Catholics get finished explaining away this verse...it means NOTHING anymore.

I can have very little fellowship with a Roman Catholic who calls his 'priest' FATHER. I may try to SHOW him this verse, but when he is finished with it, and 'explains it to me'...it means nothing anymore. He just goes on DISOBEYING what Jesus said to do as though it didn't REALLY matter.

Example #2
1 Tim 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

The very fact that no-one "got up to leave the meeting" when a woman starts teaching in front of a mixed audience is proof enough for me that they don't REALLY believe the Bible. They SAY..."HEY!, times have CHANGED man...get with it...we're all equal here!"

Again, you won't find any "women teachers of the Bible" within MY Brethren. (Or supporters of these women teachers).

I have PLENTY more examples, but the above is enough to offend about 75% of professing Christiandom...and they won't be seeking time with me anytime soon.


...we all know they are blind.


Who is "we" and who are "they"? I can't say "yes" to this last part without definition.


But I agree with the OP, there shouldn't be different denominations within the body of Christ.


There ARE no "different denominations within the body of Christ":

1 John 2:18-19 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

AND

1 John 4:6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

I could attend a Catholic 'mass' and be able to take the truth and throw out the rest, but there is NO WAY I would ever become a "member" of that church. Their heresies prevent that. Same with the Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, (most) Baptists, Lutherans, Evangelicals, etc.

I prefer the title (or name): CHRISTIAN.

If I meet someone who calls them self a Christian, of course I'm curious. I long for Christian Brothers and Sisters close to me (geographically), but sadly, they aren't around.


That's why I found a non-denominational church, there are no boundaries, no walls of separation, we all join together weekly and focus solely on Jesus Christ ALONE, the Word of God alone. And I have never connected with a church before as I have with this one.


I wonder what this group would think of me?
Would they "like me"? (The below is rhetorical.)

Would me saying, "There aren't any women teachers in my Bible" offend them?

Would my lighter hanging from my pants (I smoke cigarettes...and I ENJOY THEM) make them feel a little "uneasy"?

Would they 'allow' me to smoke in THEIR house? AT the meeting?

Would they WAVE AT ME at the local liquor store and wonder when THEY could come over for a few beers and smokes and FELLOWSHIP?

Would they MOCK the "diets" we see on TV (and science, falsely so-called) as I do?

Again, the above questions are rhetorical. I suspect the answers are (mostly) negative.

I'd be quite surprised if they weren't.

Unless one asks questions like these, one will never find true fellowship in the Lord.

I suppose I prefer "non-denominational" and small groups.

My Elder once said to me, "Go where you are FED".

I agree.



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 11:51 PM
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PreTribGuy:




No, it was a general statement about ALL unbelievers who profess religion. "EVERY plant..."

Make no mistake, Jesus was CLEARLY talking about religious leaders AND their followers who are blind. This statement is JUST AS TRUE TODAY.


I said 'unbelievers' as those who do not believe in Jesus Christ, who reject Him as the Messiah, reject Him as God's only begotten Son, reject His deity, and those who reject His relationship with the Father.

That is the "spirit of the antichrist" which was alive during that time, and still exists to this day. That is precisely what I mean by that verse was for 'unbelievers', those people then and now, who DO NOT believe in Jesus Christ.




Again, the 'unbelievers' are not 'atheists'. Jesus was specific about this. The Pharisees clearly 'believed' in God. The 'blind' are those who do not believe what JESUS says.


Unbelievers ARE Atheists, however the title of 'unbeliever' is NOT limited to just Atheists. Buddhists, Hindus, Gnostics, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, et cetra deny the deity of Christ, and deny His relationship to the Father.

Secondly, what do you and I know about someone who "believes in God"? We BOTH know for a fact that the demons do to and shudder in fear.

Thirdly, there are MANY people who believe what Jesus has to say, yet they do not accept the fact that He is God in the flesh, that's actually a moot point. Jesus called those people blind who couldn't "see" that He was God in the flesh, the prophesied Messiah.




The verses I quoted are exactly about this. The OP seems to imply that Christians are all around him/her/you/me/everyone and I've found that THAT just isn't so.

The professing 'Christians' I've met usually end up not liking me very much. OH, they will be friendly and 'upstanding citizens' of (seemingly) impeccable secular morals, but they don't seem to take the Bible very serious. When they get to the "hard sayings of Jesus", they seem to take delight in explaining away any obligation to obey THAT verse.


But "Christian" is a title someone gives THEMSELF. Only God knows the heart, someone can appear to be a Bible-believing, baptized, born-again, Christ-loving Christian, yet could be a wolf in sheep's clothing.

And if a Christian doesn't like you very much, that should be reason for concern for them. I remember fondly a verse that says if a brother causes another brother to stumble in his faith 'it would be better that a milstone is hung around his neck and he cast into a sea'. (paraphrase)

You're also forgetting the verse that says there is a reward for bringing a brother back who is off the narrow way, you should ALWAYS have the love of Christ within you, especially towards those who openly profess Christ, yet are in error in a certain doctrine. If Paul followed your way with Christians teaching a false doctrine, then he would have turned his back on Peter.




But the hard sayings of Jesus SCARE me! I can't just explain them away until they mean nothing at all...


They shouldn't "scare" you, your salvation isn't in danger, that just means you are working out your salvation with fear and trembling, just as Paul said in Philippians. Salvation is simple, ask the thief on the cross, or the Ethiopian eunuch. However, earning or losing rewards from our Lord is the tricky area.




Who is "we" and who are "they"? I can't say "yes" to this last part without definition.




I think it's clarified above, if I'm in err I'll try to reword it a different way. The "we" is you and I.




Would they WAVE AT ME at the local liquor store and wonder when THEY could come over for a few beers and smokes and FELLOWSHIP?


I smoke cigarettes, I'm trying to stop and I'll tell you why I myself choose to:

1. It's destroys the Temple (My body).
2. There is a demon of "addiction", when we are addicted to anything whatsoever, that is a foothold for the devil.
3. It gives the wrong impression to an unbeliever. I want them to seek me out by my behavior, not think to themselves "This dude claims to be a Christian, but he's smoking cigarettes", and they might not approach me based on that alone, I never know.
4. I want to prolong my life on Earth in the Lord's service, smoking takes years off the life.

Now, for drinking, we are to try as best to follow our Lord Jesus Christ. He told the disciples at the last supper that he would not drink of the fruit of the vine until the marriage supper of the lamb in heaven, if that's what my Lord said, that's what I will do as well. Secondly, Paul instructed us to be "sober minded at all times". And thirdly, I don't want to give my money to the companies that ruin so many lives around the world with their alcohol.

But that's my personal reasons, and no, absolutely not would I not fellowship with you, nor would I ever refrain from calling you my brother in Christ because of your stances on those minor aspects of Christian living. If you profess the Lord Jesus Christ with your mouth, and you have fruits evident in your walk with the Lord, then you are welcome to be my brother, and friend.



posted on Oct, 3 2008 @ 04:54 PM
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acts 17:[11] These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

they didnt just accept whatever the apostles told them. they made sure it was in harmony with the scriptures.

a person can claim to be christian, but if what they believe is not in harmony with the bible, then they are not pure in their worship. it really is as simple as that.

so why are there so many opinions about the bible? several reasons...

- people dont dig into the bible deep enough. they look into it maybe but dont truly search. so scriptures are misinterpreted.

- they believe what they want to believe, changing their lifestyle would inconvenience them or would be too difficult. sometimes it means changing something you may have believed for many years.

- or they are wolves with full intention of misleading sheep (whether because of pride, or vendetta or whatever)



posted on Oct, 3 2008 @ 11:32 PM
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reply to post by miriam0566
 





so why are there so many opinions about the bible? several reasons...



You forgot about the biggest reason:

Perverted Bible translations.

Here is a site documenting the gross errors in modern translations and the false doctrines that are born from these verses.

Bible Doctrines Affected By Modern Versions



posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 01:53 PM
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hello

i think there is a number of reasons for the denominations

a major one, IMHO is that someone that does not have a calling from God, teaches the Bible.

Each and everyone of us are at a different stage in our walk with Christ.

For the sake of simplicity. lets take a ten the first ten years as a Child of God

God may reveal a truth to someone in the 2nd year and reveal it to someone else in the 5th year something to someone.

the problem is human ego and Charisma, people like people and attach themselves to each other, someone may stand up and say you are wrong, walk out and take a load of people with them.

this person however has been given no calling from God to lead or to teach the Bible so goes it alone and on we go until someone who has been given a calling does the same thing to the breakaway group and round and round it goes.

People disagree they always will, The fact that one person disagrees from another shouldn't be reason to split.

I may believe in predestination and others may not but if we all follow Christs words in our daily life then we will all be together anyway



posted on Oct, 6 2008 @ 04:06 PM
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reply to post by NOTurTypical
 



You're also forgetting the verse that says there is a reward for bringing a brother back who is off the narrow way, you should ALWAYS have the love of Christ within you, especially towards those who openly profess Christ, yet are in error in a certain doctrine. If Paul followed your way with Christians teaching a false doctrine, then he would have turned his back on Peter.


Which verse (in particular) are you talking about? (In the first part of the above paragraph?)

I DO talk with them privately and they just say they were "taught" something different. They don't HAVE any verses to support their position, they (finally) just dismiss me as being argumentative (concerning the Bible).

It doesn't matter how much Biblical proof I offer, they don't even CARE what the Bible says about the issue: they only care what the WORLD (science and/or their 'pastor') says about it.

Example:

Matt 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

and (parenthesis mine)

Matt 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (financial security).

I am not only called FOOLISH, but irresponsible for NOT having a retirement account for my wife and I and 4 kids...

I would say (to them) that I am attempting to obey Jesus. THEY would say I'm being foolish.

To THEM, verse 19 above means nothing...and I'M the one who is 'sinning' by "NOT laying up my treasures upon earth..."

As for Paul and Peter? Peter sinned publicly and needed to be rebuked publicly. The people (and doctrine) I'm talking about are mostly private issues.



posted on Oct, 6 2008 @ 05:50 PM
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Originally posted by PreTribGuy
It doesn't matter how much Biblical proof I offer, they don't even CARE what the Bible says about the issue: they only care what the WORLD (science and/or their 'pastor') says about it.


ive seen this so much myself. people (christians in general im talking about) come up with some wild reasoning to keep doing exactly what they were doing, keep believing what is not biblical because it suits them.

then they will say ¨we´ll, we are all the same brotherhood, we are all followers of christ. we should be united not divided.¨

when the bible says we should be united, it doesnt mean that we simply ignore the fact that we disagree. the bible is suppose to dictate doctrine, not the other way around.

ancient isrealites sometimes had the same attitude, and while god was willing to forgive them, he certainly wasnt happy when they ¨did their own thing¨.

king jeroboam set up is own version of worship that involved golden calfs. he appointed priests from tribes other than levi. he himself offered sacrifice. do you think at any point god thought, ¨well he´s trying his best so ill let this slide.¨

pure worship is important to god, period. the bible time after time testifies to this.

i forgot who it was mentioned that just because the church has done things that are wrong, it is the people to blame and not the institution itself. it is true that god´s organization will not be perfect. any organization made up of imperfect individuals will be ¨imperfect¨

however, the church teaches doctrine that is not biblical. they add pagan ceremonies and traditions and even adapt beliefs that directly contradict the bible. to put this in perspective, would god approve of the isrealite´s worship if the priest told the people to do something that is not in the law? if the god of the isrealites wouldnt allow it, then why would that same god allow tainted christian worship?



posted on Oct, 6 2008 @ 06:17 PM
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Good question!!!

Denominations, huh?

Before I get started…I just want to say it is great getting to know you all virtually, that is…each of you bring wise, needed counsel…to a listening (reading) world.

I’m a simple man…and I see denominations, as a double-edged sword…both in their inception and in their application.

On the negative side, many are started because of the selfishness of men…who mistakenly ‘major’ on a ‘minor’ issue---see the 2nd. line on my signature for more details on that. Not always, though…some have started for serious biblical/foundational beliefs..and I think this is positive.

Also negative is the fact that an observing world looks at Christians and say, “if they can’t get along, forget it!” I know they shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water…but it happens.

I’ve seen or experienced 4 or 5 “church splits”…a sad thing, for sure! This is often a catalyst for the denomination factor.

My simplicity rears its head again…if WE (the church) loved ONE ANOTHER (other followers of Jesus) as HE loves us….the world would see we are true followers of him! John 13:34, 35….and be drawn to him…

If you strongly disagree, please U2U me and let’s discuss privately…I’m all for a unified front, ok?

OT



posted on Oct, 6 2008 @ 06:44 PM
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reply to post by pause4thought
 


The reason why there are so many different denominations is because the bible is not fully clear and prone to many interpretations. Churches split on what they think are the correct interpretations.
I used to have big debates with calvinists. They have shown me verses after verses supporting their doctrine. The non-calvinists have shown verses after verses supporting their positions. It was very interesting to see that because they both seem to be right. There's so much ambiguity in the bible.
I'll agree on one thing: we do need unity.



posted on Oct, 6 2008 @ 06:48 PM
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reply to post by PreTribGuy
 




Peter was teaching a false doctrine, that once a gentile was born again and baptized, he needed to be circumcised.

Peter was teaching legalism until Paul rebuked him, my point remains, should Paul have turned his back on Peter for preaching false doctrine????

I most certainly don't agree.

And here is your verse:

James 5:19-20

" Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."

[edit on 6-10-2008 by NOTurTypical]

[edit on 7-10-2008 by NOTurTypical]




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