Thank God for Denominations

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JamOn

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Jun 10, 2019
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#41
No not necessarily many churches often hire on experience. But like you said you dont need a degree but in reality in our culture it does give you some authority which is helpful.
I personally don’t believe bible credentials gives anyone authority, imo that’s a deluded cultural conception
 

Roughsoul1991

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Sep 17, 2016
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#42
I personally don’t believe bible credentials gives anyone authority, imo that’s a deluded cultural conception
Doesn't matter I agree but in our culture we push degrees when at one time experience was held higher. Also if you look at the early church example in Acts and so on. Not everyone was allowed to teach and preach but there was a standard needed in order for these people to have their positions. Their degree was discipleship under a teacher who was known to have authority like Paul to Timothy then Timothy to whomever and so on. That was their degree in discipleship and experience in following their ways.
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
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#43
Without the possibility of denominations we would be looking at either 1 a theocracy or 2 a state religion.
How can a theocracy be "dangerous" since God would be ruling directly over men?

There is nothing in Scripture which says that denominations are a good thing. Therefore it is nothing to thank God for.

The Catholics mock Protestants by saying that there are 300,000 denominations (or some such absurd figure) as a result of the Reformation. There are no more than about 30 denominations in Christendom. The only reason they exist is because false doctrines entered into the churches and brought division. First the Orthodox split off from the Catholics, then the Reformers split off from the Catholics, then the non-Reformed churches split off from the Reformed churches, and finally the cults split off from other Christians.
 

Roughsoul1991

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Sep 17, 2016
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#44
How can a theocracy be "dangerous" since God would be ruling directly over men?

There is nothing in Scripture which says that denominations are a good thing. Therefore it is nothing to thank God for.

The Catholics mock Protestants by saying that there are 300,000 denominations (or some such absurd figure) as a result of the Reformation. There are no more than about 30 denominations in Christendom. The only reason they exist is because false doctrines entered into the churches and brought division. First the Orthodox split off from the Catholics, then the Reformers split off from the Catholics, then the non-Reformed churches split off from the Reformed churches, and finally the cults split off from other Christians.

Answer me this does every Christian agree with your beliefs in theology? Do you believe your view is absolutely correct in all areas?

So my next question would be which view would a theocracy run under? You can say God or the Bible but how would you do this if people dont fully agree on every part of scripture.

Under a theocracy it's one view or the individual suffers whatever consequences for not converting their view. You would need a location where your in control and can strictly limit who comes in so that they do risk affecting the culture in a secular way. A theocracy must have strict control over its people. The freedom to choose couldn't be allowed due to the risk nonbelievers would have on society over generations.

Theocracy+ human nature+ corruption has never ended well just look at all the Kings who ruled over Israel or Judah. The majority was corrupted with only a handful who did right but only for the next generation to lead to corruption.

I truly believe our current system is part of the will of God and God is working through it to do many great things at home and around the world.
 

Nehemiah6

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Jul 18, 2017
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#45
...just look at all the Kings who ruled over Israel or Judah.
That's exactly my point. The minute human kings started ruling over Israel, the theocracy of God ended: I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath. (Hosea 13:11)

Theocracy -- by definition -- is God's rule over man without any intermediaries such as kings. The true theocracy will be when Christ rules over all nations.
 

p_rehbein

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Sep 4, 2013
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#46
So which group is the church of God. If you want a universal church then which one is completely accurate? Or are you the only one completely accurate? Knowing the human heart isnt a universal church a dangerous idea?
So, what denomination are you?
It isn't about what I want, or about a "universal church." It's about what the Bible says. You know, the Word of God?

Every Congregation can determine for themselves how best to govern their Congregation without some State/National Board telling them what them must believe/teach/preach. Who can be a member of their congregation/denomination and who can't. Voting them in, demanding proof of their financial status, voting them out and all the other stupid stuff MAN came up with that has not one single thing to do with the Gospel of Christ, or the Church that He established. Jesus gave us His Gospel, and Paul and the others established His Church, and that is what the Word says. Man, however, realized that there was no profit to be made doing things the way Christ and the Apostles taught, so they invented denominations, and, in that way, they became the Controlling Power of the Church and NOT CHRIST!

I'd say Jesus/God knows the human heart better than any of you denominationalists ever will, and what did He teach?

You tell me......which is more dangerous? Teaching the Gospel of Christ, or teaching the ideologies of denominations?

You tell me......which denomination do YOU think will be the ONE to inherit eternal life? Since they all differ in their beliefs........ALL of them can't right? I guess it's the one YOU belong to huh?
 

Roughsoul1991

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Sep 17, 2016
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#47
So, what denomination are you?
It isn't about what I want, or about a "universal church." It's about what the Bible says. You know, the Word of God?

Every Congregation can determine for themselves how best to govern their Congregation without some State/National Board telling them what them must believe/teach/preach. Who can be a member of their congregation/denomination and who can't. Voting them in, demanding proof of their financial status, voting them out and all the other stupid stuff MAN came up with that has not one single thing to do with the Gospel of Christ, or the Church that He established. Jesus gave us His Gospel, and Paul and the others established His Church, and that is what the Word says. Man, however, realized that there was no profit to be made doing things the way Christ and the Apostles taught, so they invented denominations, and, in that way, they became the Controlling Power of the Church and NOT CHRIST!

I'd say Jesus/God knows the human heart better than any of you denominationalists ever will, and what did He teach?

You tell me......which is more dangerous? Teaching the Gospel of Christ, or teaching the ideologies of denominations?

You tell me......which denomination do YOU think will be the ONE to inherit eternal life? Since they all differ in their beliefs........ALL of them can't right? I guess it's the one YOU belong to huh?
This has nothing to do with which denomination we belong to. My views may differ from other denominations but in less it is core Christian beliefs then I have no problem with others or working with others.

You say Word of God which is the same Word a Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, etc. all read the same Bible.

Even the nondenominational or solo Christian will still find themselves debating each other over scripture.

So either your view of scripture is absolute without error or possibly differing beliefs come from as we mature or have differing life experiences.

The Bible if course is without error but us as humans are often in error.

You made the comment. What your talking about would be a universal church. So defend your belief how do we realistically make this happen?

How do you realistically do this without a theocracy where you force your view of scripture on the masses?

How do we reach anything better than what we have. It of course has flaws but any human ran system will have flaws.
 

SoulWeaver

Senior Member
Oct 25, 2014
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#48
Mark 9
38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.
40 For he that is not against us is on our part.
41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.
 

Roughsoul1991

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Sep 17, 2016
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#49
That's exactly my point. The minute human kings started ruling over Israel, the theocracy of God ended: I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath. (Hosea 13:11)

Theocracy -- by definition -- is God's rule over man without any intermediaries such as kings. The true theocracy will be when Christ rules over all nations.
Nope a theocracy was never possible due to sin. The first form of government was given under Moses. He established a form of republicanism then arose monarchical government.

The theocracy failed in the Garden and from then on governments was established

Romans 13:1

Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.

Job 12:23-25
23 He makes nations great, and he destroys them;
he enlarges nations, and leads them away.
24 He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth
and makes them wander in a trackless waste.
25 They grope in the dark without light,
and he makes them stagger like a drunken man.

What we have is established by God according to His will to either make the nation great, weak or leads them in a way to bring about His will.

If theocracy was God's will he would of established it. But so far it has been through out history his will that Christians have lived among the best and worst of governments as they bring their influence all over the world.
 

Whispered

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#50
Without the possibility of denominations we would be looking at either 1 a theocracy or 2 a state religion. Each are dangerous due to the human heart and corruption that usually follows after generations of Christians who get too comfortable and doesn't see the creeping darkness of corruption.

In history already beginning in Acts of the Bible we see the known threat of corruption already at work.

Acts 20:28-30 niv
28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.

Thankfully and evidently from studying the 1000s of manuscripts and early church's writings we see the truth of scripture was protected for atleast the first thousand years of Christianity, and there were no denominations within Christianity as there are today. Various offshoot groups certainly existed, but most were small and quickly snuffed out as "heresies."

Then came to rise of the theocratic governments like the Catholic Pope's and the Christian Crusades or like the State ran religion like in the 1500s England broke away from the Roman Catholic Church and formed its own church called the Church of England. The same Church of England that the Puritans and Pilgrims fled from.

The first major division within Christendom came in 1054, with the Great Schism between the Western Church and the Eastern Church. From that point forward, there were two large branches of Christianity, which came to be known as the Catholic Church (in the West) and the Orthodox Church (in the East).
The next major division was the Protestant Reformation, sparked in 1517 by Martin Luther's publication of 95 Theses against certain Catholic practices.

This began the reality of denominations. A new era that God was leading the Church and a reminder at how important basic human rights are like the right to conscience....

1 Timothy 1:19 niv
19 holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith.

Or the right to choose what you believe as seen in

Joshua 24:15 niv
15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

The importance of a system of checks and balances as each denomination can debate others, call out others, and have a system to freely break away once the denomination becomes too corrupt. The verse below shows us the importance of power balances.

Isaiah 33:22 states, “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; it is he who will save us.” Notice the implication of judicial, legislative, and executive powers of God. This verse is one of the inspirations behind America’s three branches of government—commonly known as a system of “checks and balances.”

In these denominations we began to practice these checks and balances in further detail.

Another way to disperse power is through a concept known as “republicanism.” Exodus 18:21 instructs us, “But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.”

In which this example slowed and made difficult the way of corruption to infiltrate the Church. Today we have seen how the mainstream Christian denominations have come together throughout history to do great good within the Kingdom of God. But unfortunately over time even the best Biblical example of a system is still flawed with the fallen world of humanity. Our mainstream denominations have been debating over homosexual issues, gender identity, and many different political issues.

This freedom to correct, refine, or if need be to separate is very important. Religious freedom protects this response. Denominations was created from the oppression and tyranny of theocratic tyranny or Secular Governmental tyranny.

The Bible has a lot to say about tyranny which can be found in any great organization including the Church.

The same Bible that the Pilgrims brought with them on the Mayflower was the Geneva Bible.

A few warnings from those who was escaping tyranny and oppression.

James 2:6 1599 Geneva Bible
6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not the rich oppress you by tyranny, and do they not draw you before the judgment seats?

Psalm 12:5 GNV

5 Now for the oppression of the needy, and for the sighs of the poor, I will up, saith the Lord, and will set at liberty him, whom the wicked hath [snared].

Psalm 12:5 NIV
5 “Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the Lord.
“I will protect them from those who malign them.”

Exodus 3:8-9 GNV
8 Therefore I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them out of that land into a good land and a large, into a land that floweth with milk and honey, even into the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.

9 And now lo, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me, and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.

There in history always comes a time when separation is a must in order for the body of Christ to follow the will of God. John reminds us to not love anything of the world and the Apostles remind us we obey God and not the corruption of man.

1 John 2:15 niv
15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.

Acts 5:28-29 niv
28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”
29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!

Conclusion:
Denominations are a product of religious freedom and religious freedom is the product of those who resist tyranny and choose to say we must obey God rather than human beings.

A recent example of this was during the 2019 special General Conference over the churches response to LGBTQ issues. Thank God people like this man below spoke up and largely affected the vote within America and resulted in the keeping of Biblical accuracy.

By. Jerry P. Kulah is the Dean of the Gbarnga School of Theology, United Methodist University, in Liberia.

"And then please hear me when I say as graciously as I can: we Africans are not children in need of western enlightenment when it comes to the church’s sexual ethics. We do not need to hear a progressive U.S. bishop lecture us about our need to “grow up.” No!"

"Unfortunately, some United Methodists in the U.S. have the very faulty assumption that all Africans are concerned about is U.S. financial support. Well, I am sure, being sinners like all of you, some Africans are fixated on money.
But with all due respect, a fixation on money seems more of an American problem than an African one. We get by on far less than most Americans do; we know how to do it. I’m not so sure you do. So, if anyone is so naïve or condescending as to think we would sell our birth right in Jesus Christ for American dollars, then they simply do not know us. Because, we know how to live on much, how to live on little, and how to live on nothing. Amen!"

If your interested in the whole speech I'll post it below.

https://goodnewsmag.org/2019/03/the-faith-found-in-africa
Wow, that's a long post. :) No worries, I'm long-posty from time to time myself.
May I ask you to clarify the first part? If there were no denominations how then would that lead to a secular theocracy? Or a state religion? Are you referring to the United States when you make that observation?

Also, are there denominations ascribed in God's word?
When I recall the word I recall there is much talk against divisions among us. I would think those passages forewarn against denominations rather than support or sustain their invention.

Thank you for helping me to better understand your remarks.
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
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#51
...a secular theocracy...
That's an oxymoron. Theocracy means God's rule, not man's. And secular means God and religion are excluded.

As to praising God for denominations, that would be like praising God for family squabbles.
 

Roughsoul1991

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2016
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#52
That's an oxymoron. Theocracy means God's rule, not man's. And secular means God and religion are excluded.

As to praising God for denominations, that would be like praising God for family squabbles.
What's wrong with family squabbles? Or I prefer the word debate.

Until you can give a better system and explain how that could work then your acting like a politician talking about climate change but with no realistic idea how to solve it.

If you say theocracy then you will have to show me how theocracy in reality was a success in history.
 

Roughsoul1991

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2016
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#53
Wow, that's a long post. :) No worries, I'm long-posty from time to time myself.
May I ask you to clarify the first part? If there were no denominations how then would that lead to a secular theocracy? Or a state religion? Are you referring to the United States when you make that observation?

Also, are there denominations ascribed in God's word?
When I recall the word I recall there is much talk against divisions among us. I would think those passages forewarn against denominations rather than support or sustain their invention.

Thank you for helping me to better understand your remarks.
I will gladly clarify.

"Without the possibility of denominations we would be looking at either 1 a theocracy or 2 a state religion. Each are dangerous due to the human heart and corruption that usually follows after generations of Christians who get too comfortable and doesn't see the creeping darkness of corruption."

A theocracy is strictly God ruled. A state religion is what ever version of religion the government (usually secular) will allow.

I am a realist so I'm looking at what does reality tell me. Reality will mimic God where we understand what is real and what isnt. But that is more philosophical.

I'll try to be simple. If you study history you never really see a theocracy work in a governing body of people. If God ruled in the Garden and two people couldn't follow God without corruption then what makes us think a theocracy is God's design for any kind of organization that acts as a governing body.

Now realistically today we have mainline Christian denominations all over the world who all agree on the core messages of Christianity but debate over traditions and doctrines that doesn't affect soul salvation or the core messages of Christianity like Jesus Christ the Savior Messiah and through faith we can have salvation.

So without denominations the only options is 1 a theocracy where 1 group, denomination, etc forces their view on the masses. So for example the Baptist take control and forces the Methodist to convert or be labeled a heretic, be excluded in order to protect the sanctity of group, etc.

Or in the opposite direction without denominations a theocracy just as any organization is still influenced by corruption. Over time what once was God ruled will slip into man ruled. Just as we saw the times leading up to the bloody French revolution. Eventually it will be mankind or government telling you what, who and how to worship.

Denominations began out of tyranny and are a example of religious freedom. Of course they have flaws, they are ran by humans, of course the church isnt perfect, they are filled with sinners trying to sin-less. But over all, the mainline denominations have done great good together all over the world. Revival has saved millions as believers from each denomination put into practice exactly what you mentioned. To unite as we lay down the small indifferences and focus on the Kingdom. In reality people disagree. Nothing we can do about it. One person says their way is the true Word of God while another says their way is the true word of God.

Paul explains the right to conscience in
Romans 14:22-23 New International Version (NIV)
22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

For example:
So dealing with the non soul salvation issues another person may doubt or feel sinful if they eat something that in their mind is condemning. If it doesn't affect the core beliefs then Paul says both individuals should keep it to themselves because both are acting in faith.

Denominations protect the conscience but was never meant to put each group in opposition to each other. If others would understand this we could do even greater good around the world.

So in less you violate the individuals conscious by a theocracy or state church then denominations are the only safe way to actually allow free will and choice. As explained in my first post the ability to debate each other, and have systems of checks and balances is the only earthly way to slow the corruption of mankind from organizations. Otherwise your only 2 options to fix corruption is to restart and overthrow the corrupt system or fight to hold the checks and balances to defeat corruption before people must break away.
 

Whispered

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2019
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#54
I will gladly clarify.

"Without the possibility of denominations we would be looking at either 1 a theocracy or 2 a state religion. Each are dangerous due to the human heart and corruption that usually follows after generations of Christians who get too comfortable and doesn't see the creeping darkness of corruption."

A theocracy is strictly God ruled. A state religion is what ever version of religion the government (usually secular) will allow.

I am a realist so I'm looking at what does reality tell me. Reality will mimic God where we understand what is real and what isnt. But that is more philosophical.

I'll try to be simple. If you study history you never really see a theocracy work in a governing body of people. If God ruled in the Garden and two people couldn't follow God without corruption then what makes us think a theocracy is God's design for any kind of organization that acts as a governing body.

Now realistically today we have mainline Christian denominations all over the world who all agree on the core messages of Christianity but debate over traditions and doctrines that doesn't affect soul salvation or the core messages of Christianity like Jesus Christ the Savior Messiah and through faith we can have salvation.

So without denominations the only options is 1 a theocracy where 1 group, denomination, etc forces their view on the masses. So for example the Baptist take control and forces the Methodist to convert or be labeled a heretic, be excluded in order to protect the sanctity of group, etc.

Or in the opposite direction without denominations a theocracy just as any organization is still influenced by corruption. Over time what once was God ruled will slip into man ruled. Just as we saw the times leading up to the bloody French revolution. Eventually it will be mankind or government telling you what, who and how to worship.

Denominations began out of tyranny and are a example of religious freedom. Of course they have flaws, they are ran by humans, of course the church isnt perfect, they are filled with sinners trying to sin-less. But over all, the mainline denominations have done great good together all over the world. Revival has saved millions as believers from each denomination put into practice exactly what you mentioned. To unite as we lay down the small indifferences and focus on the Kingdom. In reality people disagree. Nothing we can do about it. One person says their way is the true Word of God while another says their way is the true word of God.

Paul explains the right to conscience in
Romans 14:22-23 New International Version (NIV)
22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

For example:
So dealing with the non soul salvation issues another person may doubt or feel sinful if they eat something that in their mind is condemning. If it doesn't affect the core beliefs then Paul says both individuals should keep it to themselves because both are acting in faith.

Denominations protect the conscience but was never meant to put each group in opposition to each other. If others would understand this we could do even greater good around the world.

So in less you violate the individuals conscious by a theocracy or state church then denominations are the only safe way to actually allow free will and choice. As explained in my first post the ability to debate each other, and have systems of checks and balances is the only earthly way to slow the corruption of mankind from organizations. Otherwise your only 2 options to fix corruption is to restart and overthrow the corrupt system or fight to hold the checks and balances to defeat corruption before people must break away.
Well put and thank you for clarifying.
"Denominations protect the conscience but was never meant to put each group in opposition to each other. If others would understand this we could do even greater good around the world. " Amen.
I've had occasion to witness opposing denominationalists have at it a time or two. It can get very ugly. One group argues the trinity, the other not. One group says Jesus was God, the other says not. And on and on.
It is divisive. That is why I don't think what appear as denominational boundaries within the good news today is what Christ intended at all. But he did foresee it as those verses that warn about divisiveness within the faith tell us. It is all in the Holy Spirit power of the Father. It will work as he intends.
The only thing the individual Christian, as I see it anyway, can do is hold to the faith, study the word, and hearken unto the guidance from within. The Holy Spirit will never lead me wrong. Nor you.

May God bless and keep you all of your days.
 

Roughsoul1991

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Sep 17, 2016
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#55
Well put and thank you for clarifying.
"Denominations protect the conscience but was never meant to put each group in opposition to each other. If others would understand this we could do even greater good around the world. " Amen.
I've had occasion to witness opposing denominationalists have at it a time or two. It can get very ugly. One group argues the trinity, the other not. One group says Jesus was God, the other says not. And on and on.
It is divisive. That is why I don't think what appear as denominational boundaries within the good news today is what Christ intended at all. But he did foresee it as those verses that warn about divisiveness within the faith tell us. It is all in the Holy Spirit power of the Father. It will work as he intends.
The only thing the individual Christian, as I see it anyway, can do is hold to the faith, study the word, and hearken unto the guidance from within. The Holy Spirit will never lead me wrong. Nor you.

May God bless and keep you all of your days.
Yes God will, will be done. God is working through our current system for reasons only he knows. All we can do is just respond to the message we believe and pray for the Holy Spirit to guide us. Because beyond that we have bigger problems in the world. Dont misunderstand me though because we are to defend the core and truthfulness of scripture. I just say we should be very cautious what issues we decide to stand on, separate or agree to disagree and move on together.

Some groups should be spoke against while others we can agree to disagree and move on. Like I believe Baptist and Methodist agree on core issues but disagree on other small issues. They could work together. But cults like the Jehovah Witnesses are so far off the core truth of scripture they should be spoke out against.

I know easier said than done lol
 

Whispered

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#56
Yes God will, will be done. God is working through our current system for reasons only he knows. All we can do is just respond to the message we believe and pray for the Holy Spirit to guide us. Because beyond that we have bigger problems in the world. Dont misunderstand me though because we are to defend the core and truthfulness of scripture. I just say we should be very cautious what issues we decide to stand on, separate or agree to disagree and move on together.

Some groups should be spoke against while others we can agree to disagree and move on. Like I believe Baptist and Methodist agree on core issues but disagree on other small issues. They could work together. But cults like the Jehovah Witnesses are so far off the core truth of scripture they should be spoke out against.

I know easier said than done lol
:) Well said. "Pick your battles."