2/14/2017 11:04:46 AM
Why So Many Denominations?
If the Holy Spirit has sealed every believer at moment of belief, how can people of different denominations all read the same Bible but interpret it so differently? Since we have the same spirit should we not have same conclusion?
Jesus founded one church, not many denominations. In fact, He prayed for His people to be united in the truth of His Word (John 17). Paul urged believers to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace because there is one body and one Spirit (Eph. 4:3-4). In fact he rebuked the division that was forming in the Corinthian church when some were following Paul and others following Apollos (1 Cor. 4:3). It was not until the Protestant Reformation that four major denominations emerged. The Lutheran, Reformed, Anabaptist, and Anglican denominations all shared a common faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ but held to different teachings on baptism, the Lord’s Supper, the sovereignty of God in salvation; the future of Israel; eschatology, and gifts of the Spirit. These doctrinal differences were based on flawed understandings of the whole counsel of God’s Word.
Every born again Christian is sealed with the Spirit of Truth, however there are factors that may prevent us from a clear understanding of God’s Word. Some have a flawed understanding of theology because they do not study diligently. Jesus said, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God” (Matthew 22:29). Others are misled because they embrace teachers who are blinded by unbiblical religious traditions. Jesus said, ”In vain they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9). Still others twist the meaning of Scripture for their own personal agendas, religious pride or the power and presence of sin. Tragically, the lack of unity can destroy the witness of the Lord’s church. The unbelieving world sees denominational differences as a reason to reject Christ because Christians cannot agree on what the Bible teaches. There are some denominations today that are being led into apostasy because they no longer submit to the supreme authority of God’s Word.