I heard a statement today that made me stop and think more deeply about whether it was true or not, meaning whether it was biblical or not. The statement was, “The existence of denominations shows how immature Christians are today. Because most Christians do not allow other Christians to have the freedom to differ in their doctrinal beliefs, denominations are nothing more than the factions Paul railed against in Corinth, i.e. I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, etc. Rather than allowing professing believers in Christ the freedom to differ in their beliefs of what the Bible says, denominations restrict this freedom and say that their beliefs are right and others are wrong. This shows how immature Christians today really are. Rather than standing with those who profess Christ as Savior and surrendering to His Lordship, they separate from others because the others’ beliefs are not exactly like theirs. How sad a witness this is to the world!”
At first I wanted to push back against this statement, but the more I thought about it the more I believe it is true (biblical). Denominations were not around in the early church. The seemingly only requirement to be a part of the early church was professed belief in the Gospel (the facts that Jesus died and rose again conquering death in the process. I know this summarizes the Gospel, though the actual Good News is not but a few words longer than this. There was no showing forth works for a period of time (for instance, six months or a year of doing good works, attending church, etc. before being baptized). And, after looking back over my 22 years as a believer, I stand in agreement with the statement. Separation has only led to an ineffective witness of Christ to the world that He came to seek and save. It has divided brother against brother and family against family. It fosters an “us against them” mentality that is disgusting to God and the work of the cross of Christ. It shows a lack of love for the brethren that John says the true believer will show.
I pray for the abolishing of denominations for the glory of God and Christ our Lord!
What is your impression or thoughts about the statement that denominations show Christian immaturity? Am I wrong? How so? Please add your input that the body of Christ may be edified. Blessings to you as you contemplate this situation.
Love in Christ,