It is interesting when you survey members of the Church of Christ to hear their answers in regards to denominationalism being sinful. It is even more interesting to ask that question to those who proclaim to be Gospel Preachers. I asked a man who has been preaching for many years if denominationalism was sinful. He answered in the affirmative. Yet, when you start discussing some factions of denominations, such as the Christian Church, he opinionated the subject. You see the Bible condemns us wearing other names and we can see that clearly through what Paul wrote to the Church at Corinth. (I Corinthians 1:10-13) “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” No opinion needed, God said it and it IS!
The fear of calling denominationalism sinful comes from a lack of confidence in the ONE Church spoken of in the Bible (Ephesians 4:4, 1:22-23, Matthew 16:18). Many of our “brethren” like to denominate themselves by going beyond the pattern of the New Testament. Some men try to make themselves superior in their proclamation of the Gospel by formatting “new” views of biblical topics. They never do realize that the Church is an institution that is almost 2,000 years old. There is no “new”. These “brethren” realize that calling denominations sinful would contradict some of their very own practices.
Then of course we have those that want to fellowship everyone that claims to have “found Christ”. They blatantly ignore the commands to keep from this fellowship (Ephesians 5:11, II John 9-11, and Romans 16:17). Maybe it is a fear of telling the truth. Maybe it is a fear of a lack of numbers. Maybe it is a popularity thing. There is one thing that it most assuredly is, it is wrong! Our brethren need to grow backbones and start preaching the “oneness” of the Church. We need to realize that the Church was purchased with a price. (Acts 20:28) “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” As for me, I am not afraid! I want to defend the Church of my Lord (Jude v. 3). The fact is that there are a lot of buildings bearing the ownership of the Lord, yet the building does not make the Church (Colossians 1:18). There will be NO denominations entering into Heaven. The response may occur something like this. (Matthew 7:21-23) “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
The Bible tells us of ONE Church. That Church is The Church of Christ. When many who claim to be teachers of truth start reminding themselves of this simple fact and start telling the world about it, then the Church will once again proclaim a victory. Until then, those of us who realize the importance of the truth need to tell it to the world (Mark 16:15-16)!
Copyright 2000 by Brian
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