Why Christians Do Not Belong To Denominations
Denominations are the result of carnality.
Denominational names are lower names.
Denominational churches are today's idols.
Denominational churches are without Biblical instruction.
Denominational churches are contrary to Christ and unity.
Denominational churches are to be avoided.
Denominational churches are unequal yokes.
CHRISTIANS, "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of God and YE ARE NOT YOUR OWN? For YE ARE BOUGHT WITH A PRICE: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, WHICH ARE GOD'S." I Cor. 6:19-20.
Though you may have officially become a member of some denomination, YOU BELONG TO GOD, not to the denomination. Christians should never be guilty of saying, "I belong to the Baptist Church" or "I belong to the Methodist Church," etc. Since we are NOT OUR OWN, we have no right to make God's possession a member of anything according to our choosing.
"Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? GOD FORBID. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two saith He, shall be one flesh. "But he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit." I Cor. 6:15-17.
Man-to-wife relationship can not be adulterous because they belong to each other. Man-to-harlot relationship is adulterous because they do not belong to each other. Judge for yourself. Is a Christian less guilty before God when committing spiritual adultery ? ? ?
Notice the solemn warning that the apostle Paul gave those carnal Corinthian brethren who were denominating (naming apart) themselves from one another. I Cor. 1:10, "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 (denominations) among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement."
Man says, "But that is impossible!" The Bible says, "Let God be true, but every man a liar..." Rom. 3:4.
Paul describes the character of their contentions beginning with I Cor. 1: 12, "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I am of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were you baptized in the name of Paul?"
Dear Christian friend,
do you realize that this condition was the beginning of some denominational
division among those Christians? The same condition in the advanced stage is
prevalent on every hand today. Instead of saying, "I am of Paul, Apollos,
Luther, or Wesley" - thus naming themselves after some man, we now hear such
things as "I am a Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, etc.," - thus naming
themselves apart by the system they have joined, which name originated with
a man. Let the Apostle Paul ask you, "Is Christ divided?" To paraphrase the
words of Paul: "Was Martin Luther crucified for you?" or were you baptized
in the name of the Lutherans?"
DENOMINATIONS ARE THE RESULT OF CARNALITY
Your father or mother may have been the member of some denomination, or you may have heard the gospel and received everlasting life at one of their meetings. You may be having some Christian fellowship and hearing God's Word taught through denominational gatherings even as those who said "I am of Paul," but none of these facts restrained Paul from rebuking them for their carnality.
"For YE ARE YET CARNAL: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor. For ye are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. " I Cor. 3:3-9.
"Therefore let no man
glory in men. For all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or
Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to
come; all are yours; and yea are Christ's; and Christ is
God's." I Cor. 3:21-23. (Even those that said, "I am of Christ," in an
effort to exclude some of their brethren, were also carnal.)
DENOMINATIONAL NAMES ARE LOWER NAMES
Paul writing to the church in Colossi, gave these instructions: "Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." Col. 3:17 (See I Cor. 10:31). What a dishonor! - Christians doing good deeds under other names instead of the name that is "above every other name. " Phil. 2:9; Eph. 1:20-21; Acts 4:12.
Christians, why do you choose lower names according to your own choosing, to identify your Christian work? Christ said, "I am come in my Father's name, and ye received me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?" John 5:43-44.
"Behold, what manner of
love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons
of God: . . . " I John 3: 1. Had you rather be called Baptist,
Methodist, etc.? God forbid! "Where an I in the midst of them," Christ said
(Matt. 18:20). Those who gather in other names do not have the
DENOMINATIONAL CHURCHES ARE TODAY'S IDOLS
We find in Exodus 32 that, even before Moses had come down from Mount Sinai, the people said to Aaron, "Up, make us Gods." Aaron hearkened unto their voice and made a molten calf and they said, "These be thy Gods, 0 Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. " Those people knew that this claim was a lie; nevertheless, they made the claim. "And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord. And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play". Exo. 32:5.
Now let me ask two questions: Were these sacrifices offered to the Lord God of Israel? and Were the people truly worshipping the LORD as the proclamation had seemed to indicate?
The Lord answers these questions in verse 8 of Exo. 32 saying - "They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf and have worshipped IT and have sacrificed there unto..."
In former days, the devil, working through men, had his counterfeit programs and he has them in our day also, all of which are in competition to God's program. Christ said that he would build HIS CHURCH (Matt. 16:18), but carnal and adulterous men have turned their backs on Christ's church and have made THEIR OWN CHURCHES. They work hard and sacrifice much to their idol, and rejoice in the works of THEIR OWN HANDS, just as did Israel when they turned to their idols. (Acts 7:41-43).
To their own idol they build temples and say, "This is the house of God."
They hold out their own hands and say, "Will a man rob God?"
They open their own doors and say, "Bring your tithes and offerings into God's storehouse."
They dedicate their own buildings and say, "Now this is a holy place" or "This is God's sanctuary."
They walk according to their own rules and say, "Come join us that you may serve God better."
They make and control their own churches and say, "Christ is the head of our church."
They work under the names of their own choice and say, "We do every thing in the name of the Lord."
They call their own preachers and say, "The Lord called him."
Each denominational church without consideration for their denominational differences, makes the same false claims about their own sect. They glory in their numbers, buildings, offerings, etc., ("supposing that GAIN is godliness" and whose god is their belly and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things." I Tim. 6:15; Philip. 3:17-19). Paul being a Jew, said these words: "For we are the circumcision which worship God in the SPIRIT, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh." Philip. 3:3. "He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord "
Christians, we can and should stop glorifying flesh and fleshly programs, for all glory is due Him. Read what God said as He pointed out Israel's idolatry (Isa. 44:9-20; Jer. 2:20-23; Ps. 106:19-39; 1 Kings 12:27-33; Dent. 11:16-18).
ARE WITHOUT BIBLICAL INSTRUCTION
Some one may say, "Our denominational church goes strictly by the Bible." Notice, therefore, that there are no instructions in all the Bible as to how a denominational church should be organized, how it's meetings should be conducted, who should teach, what should be taught, qualifications of bishops, deacons, or other officers, means of accepting members, etc.
All Biblical instructions for this church dispensation were given to "the church which is Christ's body." Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18; Eph. 4:4; 1 Cor. 12:1228. Denominational churches have no right to those instructions and can never become the church that CHRIST IS BUILDING, even though they may follow those instructions ever so closely, and teach them ever so carefully. Any church that is nearest to the true church is still not the true church.
Christ is building His church and He promised that He would (Matt. 16:18). His church is a GLORIOUS church and, Christian, you were put into it by the Lord Himself at the very moment you were saved. Open your Bible and read about His wonderful body of which you are a member, with the whole family of God. Read Acts 2:47 and I Cor. 12:13.
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be PERFECT, THROUGHLY FURNISHED unto ALL GOOD WORKS." 11 Tim. 3:16-17. In view of the foregoing verses, where do the scriptures furnish us to start denominational churches, join them, or promote them? If we are not furnished to do these things, ARE THEY GOOD WORKS?
DENOMINATIONAL CHURCHES ARE
CONTRARY TO CHRIST AND UNITY
A Bible example of unity: "And the multitude of them that believed were of ONE heart and of ONE heart and of ONE soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed with his own; but they had all things common." Acts 4:32.
Unity taught. "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. " Eph. 4:1-3.
Christ prayed for unity as a testimony to the world: "...that they may be ONE, as we are ... that they may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me..." John 17:11, 20-23. "By this shall men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one for another. " John 13:35.
condemned: "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 DIVISION
among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in
the same judgement." I Cor. 1:10. "For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there
is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk
as men?" I Cor. 3:3.
DENOMINATIONAL CHURCHES ARE TO BE AVOIDED
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but TRY the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." I John 4:1. "PROVE ALL THINGS; hold fast that which is good." I Thes. 5:21.
"Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an example. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is their destruction, whose God is their belly, whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things." Philip. 3:17-19. "Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." Eph. 5: 10-11.
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good works and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." Rom. 16:17-18.
Adherence to such
inspiration from God's Word will bring unity among God's people and separate
them from denominational divisions.
DENOMINATIONAL CHURCHES ARE UNEQUAL YOKES
Denominational church leaders admit that unsaved people can and do become members of their organizations and that this fact cannot be prevented because their membership is controlled by men who, of course, do not know the hearts of men!
In 11 Cor. 6:14-18; 7:1, Christians are instructed to avoid all unequal yokes and to "COME OUT" of them, as follows: "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with u n righteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with IDOLS; for YE ARE THE TEMPLE of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God; and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and tough not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
Dear Christian, you have the command of God to "COME OUT" and the promise of God that "HE WILL RECEIVE YOU." Obey God's Word in faith, trusting that he will keep his promise. Come out unto the LORD: THAT IS WHERE YOU BELONG!
Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach." Heb. 12:12, 13.
[Written by a Christian who has heard and answered God's call to "Come out," and therefore claiming membership in the ONE spiritual body of Christ, the church, or family of God of this age, and who is endeavoring with fellow Christians to keep the unity of the Spirit with all Christians everywhere, being directed by the Word of God.]
Milton Dunavant, P.O. Box 37122, Fort Worth, Texas, 76117, firstname.lastname@example.org
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