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Why Denominations?. Warnings against Man-Made Religions. Israel and the golden calf, Exo. 32:1, 8-10 Jeroboam , 1 Kgs. 12:26-33 (“this thing became a sin”, 12:30 ) Perversions of the gospel, Gal. 1:8-9; 2 Jno. 9; Rev. 22:18-19. Denominational Loyalty in Decline.

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warnings against man made religions
Warnings against Man-Made Religions
  • Israel and the golden calf, Exo. 32:1, 8-10
  • Jeroboam, 1 Kgs. 12:26-33 (“this thing became a sin”, 12:30)
  • Perversions of the gospel, Gal. 1:8-9; 2 Jno. 9; Rev. 22:18-19
denominational loyalty in decline
Denominational Loyalty in Decline

“For millions of Americans, your denomination is your family. Maybe you know the rhyme, “Baptist born, Baptist bred, and when I die I’ll be Baptist dead.”

“And yet, these days, denominational loyalty is on life-support. I may be late to the game, but for nearly twenty years I have been heavily invested in Southern Baptist life. Nonetheless, lacking a compelling vision for being Southern Baptist, my generation and the generations to follow are less inclined to participate in, give to, and even affiliate with the Southern Baptist Convention.” -Aaron MenikoffSouthern Baptists, Evangelicals, and the Future of Denominationalism

why denominations exist
Why Denominations Exist
  • The will of men, cf. Matt. 21:23-25
  • “We take the raison d’etre (Fr., “reason for existence”) of our denominations for granted – those of us who belong to them. I wonder, though, to what extent they are able to be defended as an expression of biblical Christianity.”

Louis Kinsey

A Church of Scotland Blog

http://bit.ly/Hy5BaP

slide5

Developed as result of division, not unity

  • Gradual ecumenical acceptance
  • Generally viewed by most as acceptable, honorable and pleasing to God

Jno. 17:21

Eph. 4:3

slide6

the church

of christ

  • Divine ownership, Matt. 16:16-18
  • Composed of individuals (Christians, the saved ones), Acts 2:47
  • One body under one head, Eph. 1:22-23; 4:3-4
  • Blood-bought and saved, Acts 20:28; Eph. 5:23

Not a denomination!

slide7

the church

of christ

  • No universal organization, Heb. 12:22-23
  • Local churches of Christ, Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 1:2
    • Sufficient to do their work

Not a denomination!

“Independent congregations are not free from controversy and confrontation, I am sure, but they are surely spared the sort of intra-denominational strife and warfare that currently plagues western Protestant denominations, where congregations are bound by constitutional and financial ties to structures that force congregations and church leaders into conflict with one another when independent church leaders would be free simply to turn away and get on with the kingdom business at hand.” (Kinsey)

there are many ways to god
“There are many ways to God.”

Why have denominations?

  • Scripture: Only one way to God, Jno. 14:6; Matt. 7:13-14
    • The path of truth, Jer. 6:16; Psa. 119:30
    • Without deviation, Josh. 1:7-8
    • Ways that seem right to men (based on our wisdom, experiences and design) are wrong! Prov. 14:12
they allow you to express yourself
“They allow you to express yourself.”

Why have denominations?

  • Culturally, organizationally, liturgically, spiritually, etc.
  • Scripture: Sacrifice yourself, Luke 9:23; Gal. 2:20
    • “Find the church of your choice”
    • No, find (using the gospel) the church Jesus built and bought with His blood…and obey Him to be added to His church!
the only realistic unity that can exist
“The only realistic unity that can exist.”

Why have denominations?

  • “Unity in diversity”
  • “Christian first – Denomination second” 1 Pet. 4:11
  • Martin Luther:

“I pray you to leave my name alone, and call not yourselves ‘Lutherans,’ but ‘Christians.”

the only realistic unity that can exist1
“The only realistic unity that can exist.”

Why have denominations?

  • John Wesley:

“Would to God that all party names and unscriptural phrases and forms which have divided the Christian world were forgot…”

the only realistic unity that can exist2
“The only realistic unity that can exist.”

Why have denominations?

  • Dr. Charles H. Spurgeon:

“I look forward with pleasure to the day when there will not be a Baptist living. I hope they will soon be gone. I hope the “Baptist” name will soon perish, but let Christ’s name last forever.”

the only realistic unity that can exist3
“The only realistic unity that can exist.”

Why have denominations?

  • Unity in oneness, Eph. 4:3; 1 Cor. 1:10, 12-13
    • One body (one church)
    • One Spirit, Lord and Father (God)
    • One hope of our calling
    • One faith
    • One baptism
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Jesus and His apostles taught unity without denominations, Jno. 17:20-21; 1 Cor. 1:10; Eph. 4:3

  • Why have them, since Jesus and His apostles did not command, endorse or encourage them?
  • When their highest authority for existing are the councils and creeds of men? Matt. 28:18-20
  • We pray for the death of denominationalism!

the church

of christ

Not a denomination!