Why are there many denominations? Shouldn’t they unite?


By BibleAsk Team

One Body/Church

Some ask the question: Why are there many denominations? Shouldn’t there be efforts to unite. The Bible teaches that: “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling” (Ephesians 4:4). There are many believers, but one body (1 Corinthians 12:12–14). The believer is not an isolated child of God; he belongs to the earthly family of God. The church becomes his second family. It is the place where he is fed the word of God, instructed and encouraged by the fellowship of other faithful members.

Why the Many Denominations?

There are different denominations today because people are not strictly adhering to the word of God. Jesus says, “And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Mark 7:7). The religious leaders at Jesus’ time were guilty of this sin. They upheld their traditions above the revealed truths of God and taught the people to do likewise. Jesus rebuked them,you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.” Thus, “making the word of God of no effect through your tradition” (verse 8,13).

Unite Over the Truth

Just before His crucifixion, Jesus earnestly prayed for the unity of His disciples. He said, “Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are” (John 17:11). But He added that such unity must be based on His truth, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). The Word of God is declared to be “truth.” We become new creatures by making the truths of the Word of God a part of our lives. Therefore, the Word should be the only unifying standard to the many Christian denominations.

Today, there is an ecumenical movement around the world aiming at uniting the many Christian denominations. But this unity should take place without compromising the principles found in the Scriptures. In other words, there can never be true unity when truth is mixed with error. The prophet Isaiah affirms this truth: “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20).

And in the New Testament, the apostle Paul declares that the Word of God is His sword for fighting and overcoming the enemy: “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). Also, it is the Word of God that helps the believer to find his way through life. David writes, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).

The End-Time Church

Jesus declares, “Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold” (John 10:16). Of His sheep outside His fold (church), He adds, “Them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd”; “My sheep hear my voice, … and they follow me” (John 10:16, 27) where ever I go.

The word “church” is translated from the Greek word “ekklesia” which means “called-out ones.” Today, Jesus calls His people out of the world and Babylon into His true church of which He is the head. Christians in the different denominations need to pray and work fervently to fulfill Christ’s prayer. They need to unite over His Word that they may be empowered by the “Latter Rain” to spread the gospel to all the world before His glorious second coming.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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