Denominationalism - John 17:20-21

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With the amazing number of denominations in the world today, it may cause some to wonder why there is so much disagreement on religious matters. Often, I have heard individuals say that they choose not to believe in organized religion because there is so much of this disagreement. Does it have to be this way? Should it be this way? Absolutely not, let me show you why.


First, we need to define what a denomination is. Webster defines denomination as; "a general name for a category... a religious organization uniting local congregations in a single legal and administrative body."  Therefore, when I refer to denominations in this article, I am referring to those religious organizations that have divided themselves into categories and that have united under one administrative body.


The question that we must ask ourselves is:

"Is it Scriptural for 'Christians' to divide themselves into different groups with different beliefs?"


Let us look at John 17:20-21; "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."  In a nutshell, denominations agree to disagree. This goes against Jesus' prayer. He desired that all who believe in Him would be one as He and God are one. The Father and Jesus did not agree to disagree on certain things. Neither should believers.


Notice this verse; "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." (1 Corinthians 1:10). Paul, being an inspired apostle, told the Corinthians that they should not divide themselves. This is exactly what Denominationalism does.


Denominationalism is also wrong because there is only one church and not many. "And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." (Ephesians 1:22-23). Also, "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;" (Ephesians 4:4). The first passage tells us that the body of Christ is the church. The second passage tells us that there is only one church. Denominationalism teaches that there are many.


If denominationalism is wrong (and it is), how does one identify the correct church? The only Scriptural church in the world is the one that does everything that it does by God's authority. "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." (Colossians 3:17).


If you're a member of a denomination, why not start looking for a church that does this?

I believe that you'll find what you're looking for in the church of Christ!


-- Ralph Price --


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