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This is why we have so many denominations: its not the truth, unless everyone sees it differently

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Gottservant, May 22, 2021.

  1. Gottservant

    Gottservant God loves your words, may men love them also Supporter

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    Hi there,

    So a foundational truth:
    This is why we have so many denominations of Churches, we are all trying to express the truth, more and more differently - that is, for the sake of the truth.

    In reality, there could be more and more differences, different names for Churches at different times of the year or day.

    The only thing that stops people from embracing the truth, is that the enormity of the choices in the truth, are too much for their ego to accept - is still in the Word of God.

    But God is faithful, He has a word for every angle on the truth and shares them with us, via the Holy Spirit (the One who makes all those choices make sense).

    Pause for a moment, and ask yourself:
    Sometimes its not necessary to acknowledge, the truth... also true.
     
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  2. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    Where does your first quote come from?
     
  3. adderbolt

    adderbolt Active Member

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    Because people don't have faith in the true power of Christ's atoning work on the cross. And thus these same people think that they have to buy their way into Heaven with works. And most of the thousands of Christian denominations have different rules or ways (works) to get your heavenly ticket punched. My denomination rules that the Lord's Supper can only be offered from a properly covered (with cloth) table. Truly silly (satanic) nonsense and an insult to our Lord Jesus Christ.
     
  4. Gottservant

    Gottservant God loves your words, may men love them also Supporter

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    I use "quote" rather than put it all in italics - just because (its a quote of mine, but is an adjunct to the message of the text).
     
  5. GirdYourLoins

    GirdYourLoins Well-Known Member

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    My own personal thoughts on denominations is that god can use them to place people in the right church to match their personality. From happy clappy to the more ritualistic high churches.
     
  6. martymonster

    martymonster Veteran

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    I prefer the analogy of the 3 blind men with the elephant.
    One has the tail. On has the ear and the other has trunk.
    It's not that they all have a different perspective, it's that they are all blind.
     
  7. Daniel9v9

    Daniel9v9

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    Well, there aren't that many denominations if you consider their theological system. We can say that there are many church bodies if by that we mean individual organisations, but not many different theological frameworks.

    And how we understand something is shaped by the framework — how it fits together by everything else, and what our authority for interpretation is, whether that is Bible alone, Bible and reason, Bible and Church etc. So, for example, a non-denominational and a Roman Catholic can both say that they are saved by grace, but what they mean by it is quite different because the word "grace" holds different meanings and positions in their theological frameworks. But this does not mean that both are equally true, or that is one truth in different flavours.

    However, we can take comfort in knowing that it is Christ who unites us and keeps us one, and not our understanding or our own efforts. We should of course still strive for love, unity, and purity of doctrine.
     
  8. Albion

    Albion Factchecker

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    Even though the different denominations often teach contrary doctrines?

    That would be the surest way for God to become a god of confusion, which we as Christians know is not true.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2021
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  9. fhansen

    fhansen Oldbie

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    The primary reason for the many differences in opinions regarding truth are differences in biblical interpretations. And virtually every interpreter will claim to have the Holy Spirit as their guide, regardless of how widely their interpretation may differ from the next Spirit-led interpreter.
     
  10. Albion

    Albion Factchecker

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    True or not, the question concerns denominations, not individuals, making decisions on a range of doctrines. This is what faces the individual who seeks a local congregation to join, and it's essential the same whether the choices are Catholic or Protestant.
     
  11. fhansen

    fhansen Oldbie

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    Not really seeing the difference I guess. Denominational differences are more often than not based on differing interpretations by individual humans, especially where Scripture is held to be the sole rule of faith. Obviously others must come into agreement on whatever tenets are arrived at in order for that denomination to take root and grow.
     
  12. Albion

    Albion Factchecker

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    The difference is that talking as though every individual is on his own to decide what Christianity is take us off topic here as well as being flatly untrue. On the contrary, most people who are convinced about the Savior seek the right church, a religious home, in which to learn, fellowship, and etc.

    But even more to the point, that is what the Original Post asked us about--choosing between the denominations.

    Okay, if you want to put it that way, EVERY institutional church, whether Roman Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox Eastern, or Reformed takes its stand and the result naturally involves theologians who are individual humans.
     
  13. fhansen

    fhansen Oldbie

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    Aright-yes, there's an individual subjective element to any decision we make concerning the faith. Some will read scripture and decide that this denomination is better or more doctrinally correct than that one, some will also look to the history of the church, ECFs, etc. Others may not think they need to bother researching much if anything at all-they just like the church they're at because it feels comfortable while others just remain in whatever church they were born into more for cultural reasons.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2021
  14. Hvizsgyak

    Hvizsgyak Member

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    I am happy to say, I totally disagree with you! I truly believe the devil is the one who allowed all these denominations. The devil has whispered in the person's ear "You have the truth" and that person ignoring what has been passed down thru the centuries, starts their own version of what they think God gave the Apostles thru the Holy Spirit.

    Now the secular world, who truly need our prayers and evangelizing but instead are laughing at our numerous divisions and multiple different messages, don't even look to us for any kind of advice. They started their own food banks, family counseling groups, family development groups, crisis centers without involving Christians.

    How can anybody turn their back on what Christ said in the Gospel of John Ch 17:20-26. Jesus wanted us to stay as one but yet there are many of you who think contrary. It blows my mind. We should first and foremost pull the planks out of our own eyes and make a strong effort for our God to reconcile our differences and become one again. Then we can take the specks out of our secular friends eyes. And they will listen to us because they truly see Jesus in us all.
     
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  15. Albion

    Albion Factchecker

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    Alas, almost all Christians reject denominationalism in principle, but most of them also think the cause is very evident and the solution very easy--

    Other Christians should do the right thing and join the true or correct church, which is, of course, whichever one the speaker belongs to. :doh:
     
  16. GirdYourLoins

    GirdYourLoins Well-Known Member

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    At the end of the day a lot of what is taught is man made or mans fallible interpretation of the Bible. I also believe that a lot of what is taught is based more on tradition than solid biblical truth. I take the view that all doctrine should be able to be convincingly proved using the bible. If its not biiblical or contrary to the bible then I reject it. I now others believe that church tradition is as foundational as the bible.
     
  17. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    In addition to what you are saying, not only will the world respond to the evidence of God's Glory in the unity of believers but also the evidence of Jesus Love.

    However, the advent of denominations need not be a hindrance to evangelism as each can celebrate the gospel with their own flavour. It is the need for unity within denominations that cry's out and severely limits the outreach.

    And remember that John 17 specifically states that the unity is to be visible to the world - a visible community of love and unity. This is a neglected requirement and our Christian witness is greatly hindered as a result.

    Demonstrating how Christians can share their lives together is relegated to the too hard basket.
     
  18. FaithWillDo

    FaithWillDo Active Member

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    Dear Gottservant,

    Here is the scriptural answer to why very few understand the truth of God:

    Isa 28: 10-12 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 11 For with stammering lips and ANOTHER TONGUE will He speak to this people. 12 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

    Psa 119:160 The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.


    Ecc 3:11 He (God) has made everything fitting in its season; However, He has put obscurity in their heart so that the man may NOT find out His work, that which God does, that which God does from the beginning to the end.

    Truth is taught in bits and pieces - a little here and a little there and those pieces are inserted into scripture in ways that have nothing to do with context. Because of this, the pieces must be assembled much like a jigsaw puzzle before one can come away with a correct understanding.

    God's truth is written this way so that mankind CANNOT understand the truth of God.

    Then to make it even more difficult to understand, the Word of God is written in "another tongue" (spiritual language). Scripture is written in Christ's spiritual language.

    John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are SPIRIT, and they are life.

    All this is done so that God's truth remains hidden from everyone except those whom Christ chooses to reveal it.

    Christ said His words were for those with "ears that can hear" or "eyes that can see". These are "spiritual" eyes and ears that Christ gives His chosen Elect. Once a person receives these "eyes and ears", their Christian paradigm changes and scripture opens up. When this happens, context is not that important.

    Even Paul taught in this manner.

    1Cor 2:6-7 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect (the Elect): yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a MYSTERY, even the HIDDEN wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

    1Cor 2:13-14 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    Here is an example:

    The context of the verse below is when Judas came and kissed Christ in order for Christ to be taken. When Peter saw what was happening, Peter drew his sword and struck one of the servants of the high priest.

    Then Christ said this to Peter:

    Mat 26:52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

    Did Christ really mean that if you use a sword to kill others, you will likewise be killed with a sword? Literally, that is what He is saying. So if we are to understand it literally, then that statement can easily be proven to be FALSE. There are countless examples of people who have used violence to kill others but then do not die from that same type of violence - it almost goes without saying. So is Christ mistaken or is His message something else?

    Since His “words are spirit”, His message must be spiritually understood. Christ’s spiritual message is quite different from what He is literally saying.

    In Matt 26:52, Christ is using a “symbol” or “type” to give us His spiritual message. Here Christ uses the symbol of a Sword. To understand what that symbol means, we must look at how it is used elsewhere in scripture.

    Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

    Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword...

    Rev 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword...

    From these examples, it is easy to understand that a Sword represents the Word of God. So Christ’s hidden spiritual point He is making in Mat 26:52 is that all who live (those being “born again”) by the Word of God, must perish (death of the carnal nature) by the Word of God.

    Here the symbol of the Sword represents the Word of God and the Word of God is Christ. Christ is teaching on salvation - when Christ comes to us, He destroys our Old Man (carnal nature) and then gives life to a New Man in Christ.

    Water baptism is another symbol which sends the same spiritual message as Matt 26:52. When an individual is baptized in water, the immersion represents the death of our carnal nature (Old Man). The ascension out of the water represents our new birth in Christ in the Kingdom of Heaven. This great work of salvation is accomplished by the Word of God (Christ, Sword).

    To correctly understand scripture, it must be understood spiritually. For this type of understanding to occur, we must first understand that the words used in scripture do not carry the same meaning as taught by man’s wisdom (1Cor 2:13). Christ’s words are spirit and we are told to understand their spiritual meaning by comparing them with the same spiritual words used elsewhere in scripture. We must compare spiritual with spiritual. We are to also keep in mind that “the sum of God’s Word is truth”. Trying to literally understand a single verse of scripture within its own context will only produce confusion. Have you ever wondered why there are so many different denominational churches in the world? This is one of the reasons why.

    So "when" does a believer receive these spiritual "eyes" so that they can understand truth? We don’t have to wonder because Christ gives us the answer in scripture. The only problem is that His answer is in spiritual language and only those who have spiritual eyes can understand and accept the answer. It is a kind of "catch 22".

    Here is the answer to when:

    Mark 8:15-21 And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod. 16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread. 17 And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? 18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? 19 When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. 20 And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven. 21 And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?

    In these verses above, Christ is giving His disciples a lesson on spiritual language - His language. At this point in time (before Pentecost), the disciples have not received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and were spiritually blind. They simply could not understand what Christ was teaching them. After Christ’s short lesson, He ends it by asking them this question: “How is it that ye do not understand”? No response is recorded in scripture, however, Christ answers His own question in the very next 4 verses.

    Mark 8:22-25 And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. 23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. 24 And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. 25 After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.

    Since Christ Himself is the Word of God, Christ teaches us not only through the words He speaks BUT also by the things that He did. In answering the question that He proposed to the disciples in verse 21, He goes to Bethsaida and gives us His answer through the type and shadow of His healing of a blind man.

    In these verses, Christ leads a blind man out of the city. Once outside the city, Christ places spit on his eyes and touches him with His hands. These actions occur as the blind man is looking down which symbolizes that the blind man remains carnally minded. The “spit” (water) symbolizes the blind man receiving the Early Rain of the Spirit with its accompanying vision (eyes, understanding). After Christ asks him what he could see, the blind man looks up and says that he could see men walking as trees. "Walking as trees" is a symbol for Called Out believers of which the blind man is now one. The man’s blindness was not total any longer but he was still very near-sighted. This “first healing” of the blind man reflects our spiritual condition when we first enter the Church. At that time, we are left carnally minded and spiritually near-sighted. Peter says this condition is the same as being blind:

    2Pet 4:19 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

    In the final verse of the story, Christ lays His hands upon the man’s eyes again but this time, Christ has the man “look up”. This second healing represents the Latter Rain of the Spirit (second coming of Christ) when true spiritual vision is given to the believer. The man’s upward gaze represents this heavenly aspect of the healing in contrast to the carnal aspect when the blind man was looking down. From that moment onward, we know that the blind man is a Called and Chosen believer. We can now know that the blind man is one of Christ’s Elect, a First Fruit of the harvest of mankind.

    James said it this way:

    Jam 5:7-8 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. 8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

    Summary:
    When an unbeliever is "called out" (Early Rain) from the world, they are left spiritually blind. Because of this blindness, Christ remains hidden from them. They will remain in this blind state until Christ comes to them a second time (Latter Rain). However, in this age, Christ is only appearing to His chosen Elect, the Firstfruits of His harvest of mankind. All other "called out" believers will die without knowing the true Christ and because of such, they will remain lost. But if the "called out" believer is also "chosen", Christ will come to them a second time.

    Matt 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

    It is at this visitation that they will see Him for who He truly is. This is their moment of conversion (salvation) and when their spiritual blindness is healed.

    Heb 9:28 So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

    The Latter Rain is the baptism that the Apostles received in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost and it is the baptism that Paul received after being in Damascus for three days. This is the second coming of Christ that is taught in scripture.

    Joe
     
  19. Hvizsgyak

    Hvizsgyak Member

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    This is funny (to some degree) but sadly so true :amen::

    Demonstrating how Christians can share their lives together is relegated to the too hard basket.

    I like the need for different forms of evangelization but our message needs to be similar and not contradicting. As an example, there are some Christian denominations who believe the Earth is flat. There are some Christian denominations who say its okay to marry gay couples. Many more examples and with that the secular public and news media pick us off. I feel this is leading us to something none of us really want it to come down to and that's martyrdom. I pray we can come together and evangelize like the Apostles where we can have a formal discussions with our secular friends and show them the love of Christ and then off to martyrdom instead of just being fed to the lions and pitied by society.
     
  20. Albion

    Albion Factchecker

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    Every observer is entitled to think that way, but it doesn't do anything to help sort out the conflicts. That's because every proponent of every version of the truth has a reason to offer other people as to why it's Scriptural, historic, or whatever would make it the right belief.

    But you know that, aside from the Catholic and Orthodox churches, the other thousand or so denominations, being Protestant, say just what you said here, i.e. "it's the Bible that settles the issue."

    That being so, it doesn't make choosing between them much easier.
     
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