Some Thoughts About Denominations

Ravi Zacharias once stated that it is not the similarities among religions that is important but the difference: the differences make all the difference.

I would suggest that the same is not true about denominations. This brief blurb will be about Protestant denomination: the differences (heresies/errors) between the tree branches of Christianity would take two long for the purposes of these thoughts.

I have experience many sermons where 1 Corinthians is quoted to say that denominations are an evil, wicked things that harm the kingdom and cause strife among believers.

And they are right, if they emphasize what makes them a denomination and not what makes them Christianity.

The ultimate difference between denominations isn’t disagreements on whether or not there is a God, if Scripture reveals Jesus Christ to us, if the Holy Spirit is within the believer, if the Bible is the primary source of The Body’s Doctrine and Dogma; rather, it’s about hermeneutics.

Hermeneutics is the sole dividing line between denominations.

The difference between heresy and error is that error is still found in the church: denominations see other denominations to be in error. Heresy on the other hand rejects foundational Biblical teachings and hermeneutics.

I disagree with how Baptists interpret such and such passage. And Presbyterians. And Methodists. And Lutherans. And Episcopal. And Pentecostals. And so on.

However, there is not much that I would call heresy. There is some, and most of that comes from a misrepresentation from my own tribe on what the other tribe believes.

It may very well be that denominations are a sin; however, if that is the case, then we should be repenting for being apart of not some other church. Which would be ridiculous and unhealthy.

Additionally, we tend to demonize those we disagree with. This is more harmful than anything else the Church does to herself. Explain the difference; call out errors; demand hermeneutical accuracy and integrity; but never demonize the opposition (especially if the opposition are your Christian neighbors who believe in the same God you do, albeit expressing it differently) – they will do that all on their own if their hermeneutic is off.

So yes, Paul didn’t baptize in his name, or his church’s name: I suggest we do same.

 

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