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Featured So Many Denominations.

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by BrotherD, May 26, 2019.

  1. BrotherD

    BrotherD Thus Saith The Lord

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    As i study God's Word, i can't help but notice that the early church did everything together as one, and where told to be likeminded.

    Philippians 2:2 KJV — Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

    Acts 2:44,46
    44 And all that believed were together, and had all things in common; 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart.

    Acts 15:25 KJV — It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,

    Romans 15:5 KJV — Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:

    Acts 4:32
    And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of these things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things in common.

    We are pretty much commanded to be of the same mind. Here is what Apostle Paul wrote on the matter.

    1 Corithians 1:10-13
    10 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.
    11 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.
    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.
    13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

    Is Christ divided?

    Mark 3:24-25
    24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
    25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

    The only purpose for these different denominations, to me, is confusion, and scriptures state:

    1 Corinthians 14:33 KJV — For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

    I personally long for the way the church operated in the Book of the Acts. The only way that is possible is for everyone to go back to the source, that is the Word of God. Remember:

    2 Timothy 3:16 KJV — All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    Isaiah 48:17 KJV — Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.

    With Love, In Christ
     
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  2. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother?

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    When the events of the book of Acts took place, there was no NT canon. "Go[ing] back to the source" wasn't possible for them. The Church's unity was not premised upon Sacred Scripture in the first century or at any other time.
     
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  3. JacobKStarkey

    JacobKStarkey Well-Known Member

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    There was no biblical word during the church of Acts.
     
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  4. R. Genevieve

    R. Genevieve Member

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    Arguably, while we disagree on varying elements of our practices, the Church is likeminded where it counts (i. e., the Creeds).

    And honestly, there's a lot of inter-branch and inter-denominational discourse that I don't see the point of. For example, I really don't care that much if someone thinks Mary was a perpetual virgin or not, and I don't see why some Protestants get hung up on Catholics thinking she was, or vice versa. (I'm not trying to start an argument about that. It's just an example.)
     
  5. BrotherD

    BrotherD Thus Saith The Lord

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    That is what makes their unity so amazing. They didn't have the new testament scriptures as we do, and they still had the same mindset and worked through problems as one. We have both the old and new in hand and still find a way to be different.
     
  6. BrotherD

    BrotherD Thus Saith The Lord

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    I think we have confused something that is supposed to be simple. I believe if everyone stuck to the scriptures and didn't deviate we wouldn't have these issues. There is only one truth. Jesus is that truth, and if we would just follow him we wouldn't have these splits.
     
  7. BrotherD

    BrotherD Thus Saith The Lord

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    Huh? I don't understand could you please explain?
     
  8. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    It is pointless thinking about going back to the church of Acts. That would mean going back and adopting First Century cultural values, worshiping in Jewish synagogues, and in homes, preaching in market places, being thrown into prison for your faith, prohibiting women having any type of ministry. An example of a First Century church is the Corinthian church. Look at all the problems they had - arguing who was the best leader, doubting the resurrection, misusing prophecy and tongues, having a member committing incest, getting drunk and stuff their faces at the Lord's table. That was what was going on in that First Century church. What about the Galatian churches? Invaded by Judaists teaching Law and circumcision where Paul had to tell them off for being bewitched and deceived. The Thessalonian church - suffering horrible persecution and suffering for their faith. And the seven churches of Asia that Jesus spoke about in Revelation. They all had serious faults, with Jezebel prophetess deceiving people in one, Jesus telling another that they thought they were alive but actually dead; and another one riddled with Nicolatian false doctrine. Also the First Century church was riddled with Gnosticism and Arianism. In other words, it was just as much of a mess as many of our current churches and denominations!

    I think we have enough problems in our 21st Century churches to try and sort out before we go back to the First Century and be drowned in their problems and issues!
     
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  9. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother?

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    Yeah, really. It's almost like Sacred Scripture shouldn't be understood as the basis of our unity. Why, if I didn't know better, I just might think the Early Church's unity was premised on something else.
     
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  10. BrotherD

    BrotherD Thus Saith The Lord

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    In the beginning of Acts they were as one, yes they had problems but this mess today is on another level. They actually worked things out for the most part. All the epistles that were written was for us today. They were working out the kinks and showing us how things should be done in those letters. It had everything from church function to how you should act in your everyday life.
     
  11. BrotherD

    BrotherD Thus Saith The Lord

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    They had a deep love for God, and for their fellow man. You would think we would be in better shape today because we are reading what they were going through, and we can see what they did wrong and avoid it.
     
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  12. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    If you read Acts and the letters carefully, you will see that in may cases, they didn't have things worked out. Paul wrote his letters to deal with issues and problems in the churches from reports from those churches that were having difficulties and needing help and advice.

    We look at the letter to the Ephesians and thinking what a great church that was, but when Jesus described that church in Revelation, He says that they have gone cold, lost their first love. So, that church didn't have it all together at all, neither did the other six that Jesus spoke about. What about the Corinthian, Thessalonian and Philippian churches? Jesus doesn't mention them at all. Were they still there in the later half of the First Century?

    The churches of Acts were infant, missionary churches with believers often just out of pure paganism. All they had were the Old Testament Scriptures, because the gospels and Paul's letters weren't circulated to the latter half of the First Century and these were churches that had been in place for at least 20 years and still had serious problems that Paul had to sort out.

    Therefore, given the demominational state of our present churches, it would be totally pointless and unrealistic to try and get back to the First Century church. All that would be achieved is just another denomination called "The First Century Church".
     
  13. BrotherD

    BrotherD Thus Saith The Lord

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    This is true, but we can learn from their mistakes. The point i am making is we need to let God's Word be our focal point. He showed us the faults of the early church so we wouldn't repeat those mistakes and somehow we have still gotten worse. As stated in the OP they were likeminded, if we could at least get back to the likeminded stage we can iron out the differences and agree as one.
     
  14. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    That is true. While I had my hands in the sink doing the dishes, I thought that the best way is to find a group of like-minded believers, be with them and just enjoy the fellowship, preaching, and pastoral care; and not worry about what other churches and denominations are up to.
     
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  15. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother?

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    Isn't the entire Controversial Theology section an unwitting acknowledgement that people don't want to be unified? Seems like every other thread in this section was written by somebody convinced that he's the first person in all of history to read scripture and TRULY understand it.

    And let's not kid ourselves, this isn't a new problem. Even back in ancient times, the Church had to put down all manner of heresies.
     
  16. JacobKStarkey

    JacobKStarkey Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all for contributing superbly to this discussion.

    Much wisdom, imo, can be found if one will think calmly and ponder prayerfully that various comments.
     
  17. LoveGodsWord

    LoveGodsWord Well-Known Member

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    Hello Brother D nice to see you.

    This is something to pray about as JESUS says in the last days there will be many that depart from God's WORD. Who does Gods' WORD say are his people? You can find the answer to your question in a prayerful study of God's WORD asking JESUS to be your guide and teacher.

    Even though God's WORD clearly defines who his true people are (Church). I believe God's WORD also teaches God's true people are in EVERY CHURCH. They are all those who have not rejected His Word and who are living up to all the KNOWLEDGE that God has revealed to them.

    The time is coming and now is however that the true worshippers will worship God in Spirit and in truth according to His Word. God is calling His people out wherever they may be back to the Word of God and out from following the teachings and traditions of men that break the commandments of God.

    There is no unity between Churches because unity is only ever found in the truth of God's WORD. Does that mean there is no truth? Of course not. JESUS (the Word) is the truth and we can only find him as we seek him through His Word as He guides us through His Spirit.

    May God bless you as you prayerfully seek him through his Word.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
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  18. R. Genevieve

    R. Genevieve Member

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    Even as someone who loves theology a lot, I agree. There's a lot that's just speculation. Well-founded speculation, but speculation nonetheless.

    As for sticking to Scripture, I agree with you there too. Unfortunately a lot of people choose to interpret the Bible (or, at least, their English translation of the Bible) through the lens of a modern person living in the Western World. There's a lot of things in the Bible that make more sense or become more powerful when viewed in the context of the culture.

    The Book of Acts takes place before the New Testament was finished. A lot of it was still being written at the time the book is set. Technically, they did have the biblical word, but it was just the Old Testament.
    For an idea on the timeframe, Paul the Apostle died around 65 AD. It took until roughly 100 AD for all of the New Testament to be finished.
     
  19. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    I have only recently learned to distinguish between exegesis and hermeneutics. Both involve the 'science" of interpreting the Bible, but they are not the same as each other.
    Exegesis is involved is discovering the intention of the author, the historical, cultural, social structure, and mind-set of the people of the time the passage was written in order to ascertain how they would have understood it. For example to do exegesis in 1 Corinthians, one has to find out the society, culture and mind-set of the Corinthians, where the city was located, what type of city it was and who were living there at the time. Then we have to find out how the society and culture of the city affected the church members; also what were the problems that were reported to Paul to get him to write the letter.

    Unfortunately there are those who don't see the need for that, and try to apply the literal wording of the passage directly to themselves, causing all sorts of problems and difficulties through faulty interpretation.

    Hermeneutics is interpreting the passage according to our society, culture, mind-set and religious orientation. With Exegesis, there can be only one valid and accurate interpretation if the proper contextual research is done. But the variance of opinion is in the area of hermeneutics because there have to be "educational" guesses made as to how the passage is to be interpreted for our current times.

    So, using 1 Corinthians again, we have to decide whether some things that Paul has said are cultural-limited to the First Century mind-set, and therefore meaningless to 21st Century culture and mind-set, such as eating food sacrificed to idols for a church in rural America where there are no pagan temples within hundreds of miles; or women having their heads covered while praying or prophesying in a church where women are to be silent, or the gifts of the Spirit ceased at the end of the Apostolic period, making that verse meaningless to them. It would be the same as washing each other's feet. This would be quite foreign to most westerners, except as a religious ritual, but in First Century Israel where the streets were dusty and people wore open sandals, foot washing was a common social practice, usually done by servants. It may still be the social norm in countries where there is dust and open sandals worn. We can't go around killing false prophets of Baal, because there are none in our western cultures, although there are false prophets; but we can't stone them like was instructed to the Israelites. So, in order to use hermeneutics correctly we must be aware of the different social, cultural and religious contexts between the time the passage was written and our modern day.

    I find this quite fascinating, and it makes studying God's Word so much more interesting and stimulating. It's much better than limiting study of God's Word to "Judas went out and hanged himself", "Go and do thou likewise". :)
     
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  20. BrotherD

    BrotherD Thus Saith The Lord

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    True. As you stated also this isn't a new problem, but it is a problem. It really is a simple fix, in my opinion. We have to fall in love with the word of God again. His truth is the only way to correct this situation.
     
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