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What does the Bible say about denominations?

Discussion in 'Bible Chat' started by _aaron, Jan 11, 2013.

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  1. I have been going to church since I was 7 or 8 years old (19 now). I've spent my entire life at a non-denominational christian church. (Community Bible Church)

    But I have recently been going to the Church of Nazareth. They are a denomination obviously. I've been going for a couple of months now -- everybody is really nice, I have a strong relationship with the reverend, and it is also the first time in my life going to church without my parents. (Big churches aren't my thing.)

    Does the Bible say anything about denominations? The reverend has explained what denominations are to me -- but being the first time on my own, I'm just a little, nervous, I suppose you could say.

    Appreciate any input.

    All the best and God bless!

    - Aaron
  2. Yes in Rev. 14:6-12, tells of what Gods people will be preaching at this time of the end.
  3. #3 SpiritLedEd, Jan 11, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
    The Bible doesn't mention denominations because they didn't exist when it was written; the division that produced denominations developed in the Middle Ages, they were never part of God's original plan. Here's a link that might help you with this issue: Ask Questions about Life and God. You can also try

    Spirit Led Ed (SLE)
  4. Sorry Spiritleded i have to disagree. In John 4, when Jesus spoke to the Samaritan, He plain out said "salvation is of the Jews". I believe He called the Jews a denom. simply because you see the Samaritan lady and her people were worshipping God too. It said in the same chpt that she believed in Jacob (they were talking there on Jacobs well) but Jesus flat oit and told her "you people do not know what u worship"
    i truly believe He seperate the Jews from these people, which actually then He pretty much called the Jews a denomination.

    Anyway Aaron denoms. did come about during and after the Reformation when people started protesting against the Catholic Church. See they were called the Dark Ages, when the Roman Catholics ruled, cause not only were millions of God fearing Christians martyred for their faith. See the Catholics made it impossible for people to get a hold of the Bible, they pretty much only had the Bibles chained to the front of churches. Where only the priests can interpret the words of God. Hence the 1280 yrs of reign the Popery had a lock down on the Word of God. But anyway then Reformers started coming out or you can call them Protestants. Wycleff, Huss, Luther, Zwingli,etc.
    At the same time these people did not have ALL the truth. Its like coming let say you were in a dark, dark room for a week then all of a sudden you walk out to a bright sunny noon day, you will not be able to open your eyes at all. See God was giving them some light, enough to Protest. What ended up happenning is people started making denoms out of the light that was shown at that time. Like Luther=Lutherans, Anabaptists=Baptist, John Wesley=Methodists, etc.
    Theres a great book out there called the Great Controversy that dives deep into this Reformation and History.
    So u see Gods intent is for Him to have a people who will stand to truths, but as I said He does show what His people will habe to be doing at this time OF THE END!
  5. #5 jiggyfly, Jan 13, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
    Yes, but it is in a negative way. The word denomination comes from the Latin word denominatio meaning to name or nominate and in this sense a religious sect or class.

    Paul referred to this act in his first letter to the Corinthians.

    1 Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in the Christian life. 2 I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready,3 for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world?4 When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world?
    1 Cor 3:1-4 (NLT)

    and again here

    17 But in the following instructions, I cannot praise you. For it sounds as if more harm than good is done when you meet together.18 First, I hear that there are divisions among you when you meet as a church, and to some extent I believe it.19 But, of course, there must be divisions among you so that you who have God’s approval will be recognized!
    1 Cor 11:17-19 (NLT)

    Paul states that this kind of action is purely carnal and so it is with all denominations a thing of man and not of God.
  6. Jiggyfly you beat me to it!
    I would also add 1 Cor 1
    v10. Now I beseech you brethren by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that you are perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
    v11. For it has been declared unto me of you my brethren by them who are of the house of Chloe that there are contentions among you.
    v12. Now this I say, that everyone of you says, I am of Apollos, or I am of Cephas, or I of Christ, (or I of Methodist, or I of Nazareth or I of Southern Baptist, or I of Calvin, or I of Arminius, or I of Presbyterian, etc.)
    v13. Is Christ divided, was Paul crucified for you..............etc. etc.

    Most certainly denominations have always been around since the beginning of Spiritual life. Men have always desired to follow men rather than follow the Lord.
  7. Denominations are not inherently evil. I grew up in a Free Will Baptist church, where I found the doctrine to be biblical and in line with many other denominations. However, I did and do see that denomination can cause division. Although the words may or may not be formed, many feel that their denomination is the only "right" one.

    I no longer belong to any denomination, I belong to Christ. I worship and serve with many denominations.

    Jesus said "on this rock I will build MY church" He did not say the Baptist, Lutherin, Methodist, Penticostal,

    I believe that if you are in a church where the Word is the doctrine, regardless of the denominational name, stay and learn, grow, worship and serve.

    If you have truly accepted Christ, regardless of your denomination, you are a child of God.

    When people ask what are you (refering to denomination) I tell them I am a blood bought, born again, child of God.
  8. Really God has always given man, effectively, only two choices, Him or something else, God or mammon:

    "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15

    We could easily, in the above OT verse use for the word "Amorites" any one of the following: Catholic Church, or Mormons, or Jehovah's Witnesses, or Assembly of God, or United Pentecostal Church, or Baptist Church, etc., and any one of the names of the secular nations to which we may owe allegiance would also fit. All of these and more can be the mammon of which Jesus spoke.

    A denomination is not evil in and of itself. It is like money! Used properly it can be a "good" thing.

    "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." I Tim 6:10

    Notice that it is not "money" itself that is the root of all evil, but rather the "love of money". When we put anything first in front of God, even for a moment, we are asking for trouble.

    Yes, scripture does speak of denominations! It speaks of everything, if we can see it.
    HAllyson likes this.
  9. Good point.....many put denomination before God..........I have talked to some who seem to worship and serve their denomination
  10. Yes, no matter how good our particular group or church or denomination or assembly is doing, looking to it for every answer will almost certainly result in some wrong answers. If we always look to God, He makes no mistakes.
  11. 1 Cor 1:11 For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe's people, that there are quarrels among you.
    1 Cor 1:12 Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, "I am of Paul," and "I of Apollos," and "I of Cephas," and "I of Christ."
    1 Cor 1:13 Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

    1 Cor 3:3 for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?
    1 Cor 3:4 For when one says, "I am of Paul," and another, "I am of Apollos," are you not mere men?
    1 Cor 3:5 What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.
    1 Cor 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.
    1 Cor 3:7 So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.

    Are you going to a specific church because you are following a specific leader/pastor or because you are following God?
  12. AMEN! Keep your eyes on HIM
  13. #13 B-A-C, Jan 19, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
    The seven churches in Asia.
    The church at Ephesus is the only one that we have (some of) Pauls letters to.
    Many believe all the (Christian) churches of the world to be represented by one of these churches.

    Rev 1:11 saying, "Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea."
    Rev 1:20 "As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

    Rev 2:1 "To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this:
    Rev 2:2 'I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false;
    Rev 2:3 and you have perseverance and have endured for My name's sake, and have not grown weary.
    Rev 2:4 'But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
    Rev 2:5 'Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place--unless you repent.
    Rev 2:6 'Yet this you do have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

    Who were the Nicolaitans? We don't know for sure. It seems this church has a lot going for it.
    There are 5 positive things mentioned above, and only one negative thing. You left your first love.
    Yet because iof this one negative thing they are told to repent or else their lampstand will be removed.

    Rev 2:8 "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this:
    Rev 2:9 'I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
    Rev 2:10 'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

    This is one of the two churches that he doesn't have anything against. But it sounds like will be going through some serious trials. Amazingly some people think a church going through struggles is not a church they want to be a part of.

    Rev 2:12 "And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this:
    Rev 2:13 'I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
    Rev 2:14 'But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality.
    Rev 2:15 'So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.
    Rev 2:16 'Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth.

    This church has 2 positive things, and 2 negative things (those pesky Nicolaitans).
    Balaam and Balak are mentioned in Numbers 22-24. Also Numbers 31:6.
    Balaam is mentioned quite a few places. Num 31:8; Deut 23:4-5; Jos 13:22; Jos 24:9-10; Neh 13:2; Mic 6:5; 2 Pet 2:15; Jude 1:11
    Again, this church is told to repent, or else...

    Rev 2:18 "And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this:
    Rev 2:19 'I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first.
    Rev 2:20 'But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
    Rev 2:21 'I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality.
    Rev 2:22 'Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds.

    Again, 2 positive notes, and 1 negative. The woman Jezebel, 1. calls herself a prophetess, 2. leads others astray teaching them to do acts of immorality, 3. Teaches them to eat things sacrificed to idols.
    This is likely the teachings of Jezebel (the wife of King Ahab) mentioned in 1 Kings 16:31; 1 Kings 18; 1 Kings 19; 1 Kings 21 and 2 Kings 9. One of the more particularly evil people in the Bible.

    Rev 3:1 "To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: 'I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.
    Rev 3:2 'Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.
    Rev 3:3 'So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.
    Rev 3:4 'But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.

    This church is dead, or at least almost dead and is told to wake up. Again they are told to repent.

    Rev 3:7 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says this:
    Rev 3:8 'I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name.
    Rev 3:9 'Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie--I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you.
    Rev 3:10 'Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
    Rev 3:11 'I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.

    This is the second of the two churches that he doesn't have anything against.

    Rev 3:14 "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:
    Rev 3:15 'I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.
    Rev 3:16 'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.
    Rev 3:17 'Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,
    Rev 3:18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.
    Rev 3:19 'Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.

    It sounds like this church has just become complacent, not really bad, but not really that good either.
    God tells them to 'be zealous' and repent. Be zealous, be on fire for God. Have a heart for the poor, naked, blind and miserable.

    I think I know some of these churches, and although I've never been to Asia, I'm pretty sure I have been in some of these churches. Which one is your church?

    Another note here, although all of these churches started out good, five of them started getting away from what they were originally supposed to do. 5 out of 7 , that's almost 75%.

    Now it may be that the blood and grace of Jesus cover all our sins, I won't argue that point, but it certainly seems from all the above statements that say "repent" that he is saying "believers still sin, even after they are believers". They might be forgiven for those sins, but that's a little different from saying they aren't sinning at all. Rev 3:19 says God disciplines those he loves.
  14. I wonder if denominations could be the same as divisions? 1 cor 3:1-9) But for many, who belong to such,it does not mean they themselves are divided. The Lord may have called a person into this body for a certain purpose!! To undivide the body!Not in words, but rather in deeds. For we indeed know of many good Churches,but yet there is only ONE Church, made up of many such believers from many different areas thoughtout this world. You may belong to a body which does not believe in all of the gifts for example,but that does not mean you are not to believe in them.

    But how we present the whole truth to others, is not to condemn them for what they may not believe,but rather show through the LOVE of Jesus,that they may wish to consider in there own life more of his most wonderful promises! ( 2 cor 1:20-24!!) To stand firm in your belief is not to condemn others in theres. But rather through the very power of Holy Spirit in us show others what all of the promises truly are given by our most wonderful Lord!

    When you go to the church the Lord has called you into,you do not go unprepared, you go expecting God to move both through you,and others. You are the fresh wood needed to keep the fire of God always burning, burning bright!a GREAT LIGHT!( matt 5:14-16!!) While all parts of the body lack in some area,we come together for the very reason of causing all parts to work, both in us,and for others! To form ONE,ONE in both mind, and spirit to the GLORY of our Lord Jesus! And in this all grace and mercy are also bestowed to all in that body!

    You are there to build,not to tear down,you are there to become established in Christ Jesus yourself,and to look to further establish others!( Col 2:6-7) YOU good brother or sister are there to become sealed up in, and by our Jesus! For this is how all parts become established in the first place. ( eph 1:11-14) May this help you in your quest to understand both how one becomes established in Christ, and how to encourage others to do the very same,all to the GLORY of our Lord both in us,and in others!
  15. If anyone in any church group or denomination is right enough with God to be growing toward God, he will be moving closer to other members of the Body of Christ (or those who are becoming members) no matter what their earthly affiliations may be. Being in such a group is not in and of itself necessarily a cause for further division unless we make it so. Following the lead of Holy Ghost will make the difference as whether we are saying yea or nay to God and His Son!
  16. #16 lawrenceb, Mar 27, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
    The purpose in this post is two-fold: First, to show that it is the denial of the scripture's absolute authority, and not its difficulty of interpretation, that has resulted in the various divisions of Christ's congregation. The Gospel is simple, it’s just that men make it complicated.

    Secondly, once an absolute standard has been abandoned, there is no logic for determining right from wrong other than human logic. Whenever a congregation abandons the absolute standard of Scripture, the outcome of all religious and moral decisions is left in the hands of men. And whether these decisions are rendered by clergy, scholars, theologians, courts, synods, or membership votes, if the decisions do not come from Scripture, then they must come from people of society, and sooner or later those decisions will inevitably be influenced by society.
    <CENTER>The Holy Scripture is Sufficient</CENTER>
    It is not reasonable to maintain that God continues to speak "through the Church" or through prophets or angels or in any way other than His Holy Scriptures. Why not? Consider what the scripture itself says in this matter:

    Galatians 1:8–9 "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."
    Now if the apostles wrote down what they taught, and these writings were collected and preserved in what we now call the scripture, and then if someone else (even an angel) adds something to what the apostles wrote, aren't they teaching something "other than" what the apostles taught? You see, anyone can claim to speak for God. Anyone can say that God speaks through the Church, or through the priests or through a board of elders or even through a preacher or individual members of a congregation. But in reality, one person's claims are as good as another’s, and one congregation's opinions are as good as another's. If, however, the scripture is God's unerring word, then the one who teaches from it does not teach his opinions, but teaches the truth of God. The entire context of Galatians 1:1-16 shows how denominations are of men, and are a different gospel, and how Paul stayed away from such.

    <CENTER>Scripture condemns Denominations</CENTER>

    Religious denominations actually go contrary to scripture, because they divide Christ (1 Corinthians 1:10-17; 3:3). A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand (Matthew 12:25, Mark 3:24-25, Luke 11:17). In scripture, God's people are called
    the Christ's assembly (note: the Greek word ekklesia is translated as 'church' in most bibles, but it actually refers to a group of people, and not to a physical building. Therefore, the literal translation is either 'assembly' or 'congregation'). For example, "the assembly of God" (Acts 20:28, 1 Corinthians 1:2; 10:32; 11:22; 15:9, 2 Corinthians 1:1, Galatians 1:13, 1 Timothy 3:5), or "the assembles of God" (1 Cor.11:16; 1 Thess.2:14; 2 Thess.1:4), or "the assembles of Christ" (Romans 16:16). To call the assembly (church) of God by a different name, is to replace the name of God's assembly (church) with a man-made name. God considers "naming the name of Christ" to be iniquity (2 Timothy 2:19). All denominations create a man-made name to place on their man-made Church. Where is their authority for doing this?

    1 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?"
    The above verse clearly condemns denominations. The reason for denominations is because those in the assembly (church) did not "speak the same thing", and that caused "divisions among them"
    , and were no longer "joined together." Therefore, they formed different ‘Churches’ because of all the ‘contentions among them’. Just like how, in the above verses, those in the first century divided themselves and said they were of the assembly of "Chloe, Paul, Apollos, Cephas, etc.", denominations today divide themselves and say they are of the Church of the "Baptists, Catholics, Protestants, Lutherans, Evangelical, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh day Adventists, Mormons, Orthodox, Quakers, Methodist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Calvinism, Arminianism, etc." But, as Paul asks above, "Is Christ divided?" If not, then how can these divided Churches be of Christ?

    Another example of an attempt to ‘divide’ God into separate ‘Churches’ is at the transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-13, Mark 9:2-13, Luke 9:28-36). After Peter saw Moses, Elijah, and Jesus, he wanted to build a tabernacle (Church) for each one of them. But the Father himself descended in a cloud and said, "This is my beloved Son: hear him." In other words, we are to submit to Jesus only, and preach what he says. This attitude is reflected in the last recorded words of the mother of Jesus, Mary, when she said,

    "Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it"
    (John 2:5). We are not to build temples after other men, or upon other men’s teachings, but we are to do what Jesus told us to do.

    Psalms 133:1, "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" 1 John 3:14, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death."
    It is not possible to "dwell together in unity," or to "love the brethren" when denominations are too busy fighting with each other and disagreeing with each other.

    Amos 3:3, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?"
    Other References

    : "The system and ideology founded on the division of the religious population into numerous ecclesiastical bodies, each stressing particular values or traditions and each competing with the other in the same community under substantial conditions of freedom. Thus denominationalism has usually been associated with religious pluralism, voluntaryism, mutual respect and recognition, and neutrality on the part of the state." Westminster Dictionary of Church History (1971), pages 262-263.
    As you can see, the very definition of ‘denominationalism’ goes against the very heart of scripture. If you take the five words in bold above, for example, and compare these words with what scripture says about them, it is all negative: Division (1 Corinthians 1:10-17; 3:3). Traditions (Matthew 15:3,6, Mark 7:8,9,13. Colossians 2:8). Competing (2 Corinthians 10:12). Religious pluralism (Galatians 1:8,9). Respect (James 2:9, Leviticus 19:15, Deuteronomy 10:17, 2 Chronicles 19:7).

    "The Bible in no way envisages the organization of the church into denominations. It instead assumes the opposite, that all Christians, except those being disciplined, will be in full fellowship with all others. Any tendencies to the contrary were roundly denounced (1 Cor.1:10-13). Paul could write a letter to the Christians meeting in various places in Rome or Galatian with every assurance that all would receive its message. Today, for any city or country, he would have to place the letter as an advertisement in the secular media and hope." Elwell’s Evangelistic Dictionary of Theology, (1984), page 310.

    "Articles, Creeds, and Confessions of Faith alike fail to give us this full knowledge of God which is so essential to our faith and walk. They are only man’s impressions, inferences, and conclusions drawn from Scripture; and have themselves to be judged by Scripture. Whatever of truth there may be in them, or however useful, they can never take the place of the Word of God. Only in the "person" of the Living Word, and in the pages of the written Word, can we get to know God." E.W. Bullinger, The Knowledge of God, (1920), page 3.
    "We do not use any non-scriptural words or expressions. These are the things which divide the members of the One Body, instead of uniting them. These introduce the seeds of strife and contention. These have been the causes of controversies and martyrdom’s". E.W.Bullinger, The Knowledge of God, (1920), page 3.
    On the 26th of May, 1786, James Madison, who subsequently became president of the United States, said in a sermon he delivered before the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of Virginia, "I earnestly recommend to our Christians to reject every system as the fallible production of human contrivance, which shall dictate the articles of faith; and adopt the Gospel alone as their guide. Those Christian societies will ever be found to have formed their union upon principles, the wisest and the best, which makes the scriptures alone, and not human articles, a confession of belief, the sole rule of faith and conduct." W.D. Frazie "Reminiscences and Sermons"(1896. page 63).

    James Madison also said, "We have staked the whole future of the American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future...upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves, according to the Ten Commandments of God."
    <CENTER>Heresy literally means Denominations</CENTER>
    In the New Testament, the English word "heresy" is from an untranslated Greek word (word #139). It's used nine times; four times it is left untranslated, but the other five times it is translated. This word is translated as "sect" (i.e., denomination) in Acts 5:17; 15:5; 24:5; 26:5 and 28:22. However, it is left untranslated in Acts 24:14, 1 Corinthians 11:19, Galatians 5:20 and 2 Peter 2:1. Why would it be left untranslated? Well, let's see what some of these verses would say if it was translated.1 Corinthians 11:18-19, "For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies [sects, denominations] among you..." Because it shows that denominations cause divisions! What else does scripture say about sects?

    Galatians 5:19-21, "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies (sects, denominations), Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."
    Denominations are defined as a work of the flesh! We are told that they who partake of these things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Why not? Because denominations cause divisions, and Christ is not divided. Therefore, denominations are not of Christ!

    2 Peter 2:1, "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies (sects, denominations), even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."
    This passage says false prophets and false teachers will bring in denominations, and they will deny the Lord. Denominations do deny the Lord by dividing the Lord.
    When you start getting into re-definitions and re-statements of the Truth, you’re no longer in the Truth, you’re an image of the Truth. A sect or denomination is not the real thing, it is not the Truth; it is only an interpretation of the Truth, it is only a perception of the Truth. The works of men (creeds, confessions, or articles of faith) quicken no one and save no souls.

    John 6:63, "It is the spirit [*not creeds, confessions, or articles of faith] that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."

    Hosea 8:6, "…the workman made it [*creeds, confessions, or articles of faith]; therefore it is not God:"

    Isaiah 17:7-8, "At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel. And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made [*creeds, confessions, or articles of faith]..."
    When people say they are a "New Testament Church", they separate themselves, because they’re saying they popped up at some point 2,000 years ago, whereas God's "church" is from the beginning (Gen.1:1, Psalms 119:160, Pro.8:23, Isa.40:21; 41:4,26; 46:10; 48:5, Jer.17:12, Mark 10:6, Acts 15:18, Col.1:18, 1 John 2:7; 3:11, 2 John 1:5,6, Rev.21:6; 22:13). The "New Covenant Church," for example, is an imperfect church like all other denominations, because it is made up of imperfect people.

    --Brother Richard
  17. Hi brother, I would like to offer a few thoughts on the subject. Denominations are all different, and each (at least from my experience in multiple ones) one seem to focus on a different part or aspect of the Word of God. Each has a unique flavor, as I like to call it, and a different purpose. Some are evangelical in nature and focus on soul winning. Others seem to move in the gifts of the Spirit, and etc. Non-denominational churches (the ones I have attended) seem to have pretty much the same things going on- each moving in a different degree of light and maturity.
    God created the church in the Book of Acts, and man has divided the body ever since. Even in the days of the great Apostle Paul prideful division began to rear its head with some claiming allegiance to Apollos (another preacher, some to the Apostle Peter, and some to Paul. Here is what the Word of God said about that situation:

    1Co 1:12 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.
    1Co 1:13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

    1Co 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
    1Co 3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
    1Co 3:5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
    1Co 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
    1Co 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

    So while it is okay to meet in different places, have a different style, do things a little different. It is not okay to develop religious pride which separates that which God made as one. This applies to all denominations that preach the Word as well as the Non Denominational churches that manifest "non-denominational" pride.
    Sometimes this breaking away can be a great thing (the Reformation of the dark ages) as dead things, meaningless religious traditions, and etc, need to be left behind. Sometimes they are a bad thing spawning as or generating into dead works without the presence of the Living God. The church today has many faces, what matters is not minor (non salvation) issues of doctrine difference ( Jesus will work those out), but coming together in His Name to share His Word, and His Love.

    If you find God moving there you are in a good place. If not, pray and seek Him for direction.

    Have a blessed evening,
    your brother Larry.
  18. Much to the displeasure to Baptists and Catholics :laugh: there are no denomination listed in the Bible or found in heaven!
  19. Might this apply?
    Luke 9:49-50 (KJV)
    49 And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.
    50 And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.

    Although what Jesus' disciples saw wasn't named, as we name denominations, it's obvious it was OK with Jesus that believers of other ministries are acceptable as long as they
    glorify God with the truth of the gospel.

    John's disciples continued on with their ministry too, Paul finding some, updating them with the infilling of the Spirit.

    Charles Spurgeon, though a Calvinist Baptist, was a heavy influence on me in the 1970's, his writings of great interest to So. Baptists less the Calvinist parts. We studied him and of course many other giants of the faith, and were required to carry a Scofield Reference Bible to classes. Between them I've been at the rest of my life weighing many dubious thing, like the creation "gap theory" in Scofield commentary. That was a bad idea. But I've never found reason to dismiss Spurgeon's insistence Baptists go back to John the Baptist, though through the ages were heavily persecuted and prevented from organizing by the RCC. He made a strong case for that. Of course the RCC has come out strongly opposed, insisting they have always been the only legitimate Church, the baptist claims seen as a threat, and of course all Protestant claims outright called heresy even today. After the Reformation got underway the Anabaptist movement emerged in confidence, as well as many other denominations of the Church. Of the Baptists, many denominations of that came to exist today.

    Back to the OP. Many denominations exist due to many diversions of assemblies from plain Bible truth, though mostly in small things, many adhering to Bible fundamentals of faith in Christ. Just because one assembly doesn't do it "our" way is no reason to assume they are antichrist. Some of the denominations I have witnessed that complain the most about others are in the least of evangelizing new souls, many settled on self-serving activities, their congregations effectively closed off to mere seekers.

    Of the Protestant churches, the Nazarenes are a good choice if you are of a conservative denomination of the original Wesleyan foundation. They collected many denominations, but also have had many splits into new denominations. I've had best success teaming up with Nazarenes to go witnessing on the "street level", prisons, jails, shelters, without them proselytizing as a motive. A Methodist preacher was faithful too. All interested in that kind of ministry have been very well versed in the scriptures, able to reach the heathen who are usually totally clueless about the Bible.
  20. I'm disappointed that the local Nazarene church has taken up theistic evolution. There's probably a 50-50 chance you agree or disagree with that. It's another type of doctrine that would guide me if I were to want to move to another assembly. They have a lot to offer. The main thing to advise you is to get directly involved in helping them minister to your community.

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