The Sin of Denominationalism
Have we ever “woken up on the wrong side of the bed?” Does this not just adversely affect our whole day? Better yet, have we ever tried to button a shirt, only to get to the last button and realize that our buttons and their corresponding holes are off track? Therefore, we have to unbutton every one and start all over. In like fashion, it is sad that many religions and churches have started out on the wrong foot.
In First Timothy 4:1-2, Paul said, “…in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy…. ” Notice the correlation of “ the faith ” from First Timothy 4:1 and “ lies ” in First Timothy 4:2. The fact of the matter is that all denominations base themselves on lies. Denominationalism is a tool of the devil that is masquerading as the truth. There is no authority in the Bible for any denominational church—they are not from the Bible, as I will plainly show.
In Matthew 16:18, Jesus promised to build His church. Of which church do we read in the Bible? We read of the church of Christ. Paul says, “ Salute one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you ” (Rom. 16:16).
In Acts 2:47, we see that God added the saved to the church of our Lord. This completely complies with what Paul pens in Ephesians 5:23: “ …Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body .” Mark the fact that “ he is the saviour of the body .” Nevertheless, what is His body? Earlier in this book, Paul plainly proclaims, “ 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 ” (1:22-23). Therefore, the church of Christ is the body of Christ, and the church of our Lord is the church that He established, to which God adds the saved. I am afraid many are substituting this church by their different denominations.
One reason that denominationalism is sinful is because they cannot agree on anything. Jesus said, “ Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand ” (Matt. 12:25). Denominationalism equals division, which Paul clearly condemns (1 Cor. 1:10).
Therefore, how do we establish the one true church today? We are to do as Paul was able to do—teach the same thing in every church (1 Cor. 4:17). We are to resolve to be a part of the “ one faith ” (Eph. 4:5) by being sure that we “ teach no other doctrine ” (1 Tim. 1:3). Yet, we have thousands of different doctrines today.
Jesus said that His word is truth by which we are sanctified (John 17:17). Because God hates false doctrine (Ps. 119:104), one such false doctrine is that one can be saved in a denomination. I invite all readers to join me in examining our religion in the light of the word of God—are we participating in a false church masquerading for the truth?