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Different denominations within Christianity


Why are there so many different denominations within Christianity?



The Lord never intended for His church to be divided up into hundreds of competing groups teaching vastly different doctrines. The Lord is not the Lord of confusion. It is man that has changed His doctrine and turned it into a mass of confusion and division. Much of this has be for filty lucre (1 Peter 5:2) and in Ephesians 4:5, Paul tells us that there is “One Lord, one faith,one baptism,” not many Lords, many faiths and many different forms of baptism.
Christ set up His church while on earth and appointed Peter as the lead Apostle over his church. After Christ’s death, Peter was to receive guidance from Christ to direct the church through a process called revelation. Christ established a particular leadership structure in His church, and this structure was to help unify the people within the church and to help avoid confusion on who was responsible for what components of the various roles within the church. In Apostle Paul’s instructions to the Ephesian members of Christ’s church, who were called Saints, he told them what the structure of the church should be. Christ’s church was set up with apostles, prophets, evangelists (missionaries), pastors (bishops), and teachers and this structure was to help perfect the saints. Paul also told the members that this church leadership structure was to be the structure until there was unity in the faith and until the members were perfected [which would not be until the Second Coming of Christ ]. This leadership structure was designed to keep the saints from being confused about which doctrines were correct.
The reason there are so many different churches today is because the church Christ established was changed by men into a church that men wanted and the followers have become confused as to which doctrine is correct and where to find a church that teaches correct doctrine. We do know one thing and that is that Christ’s church will have 12 apostles (the number in the original church), a prophet, a strong missionary component, and pastors (also called bishops) and teachers. If a church is missing these key leadership components, then it is not structured after the church that was originally established by Christ and described by the Apostle Paul as cited in Ephesians 4:11-14 below (KJV).
Ephesians Chapter 4 verses 11-14
11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
In addition to the answers below, many splinter groups sprung up almost at the start of the church back in the 1st – 4th centuries. However, the universal church (the ‘catholic’ church in the correct sense of the word) condemned these heresies, and rightly so (although the church treated some of the heretics with utmost contempt and cruelty e.g. the Cathars and those tortured and executed by the Inquisition ). Sadly, the ‘true’ church itself also became corrupt – adding doctrines that were not Biblical and rather against the Gospel message – including purgatory, limbo, selling of ‘indulgences’, over-adulation of the Virgin Mary, infallibility of the Pope (who was also corrupt during e.g.the reign of the Borgias) and so on. Over the years factions of the church disagreed ( and rightly so) with many of these newheresies and split off: the Orthodox church, the Protestant movement including the Lutherans, the Church of England, and so on. Thus we have a large number of denominations today. HOWEVER….. the vast majority of these denominations believe in the same basics of Christianity: the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Resurrection, the Virgin Birth etc as outlined in the statement of belief agreed at the Council of Nicaea in the 4th Century – known as the Nicene Creed. Despite all the differences between the denominations, these things are all very minor when you can share the major profound beliefs of the church through the Creed which unites us all acoss the world. If one is to single out a truly Christian church from a sect, then most sects like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons would not be able to suscribe to the Creed, and, as a result, although on face value seeming Christian, are anything but.
A recent tabulation concluded that there are 10 main religions and some 10,000 sects. Of these, some 6,000 exist in Africa, 1,200 in the United States, and hundreds in other lands.
Many factors have contributed to the development of new religious groups. Some have said that the various religions all represent different ways of presenting religious truth. But a comparison of their teachings and practices with the Bible indicates, rather, that the diversity of religions is because people have become followers of men instead of listening to God. It is noteworthy that, to a large extent, teachings they hold in common, but that differ from the Bible, originated in ancient Babylon.
Who is the instigator of such religious confusion? The Bible identifies Satan the Devil as “the god of this system of things.” (2 Corinthians 4:4) It warns us that “the things which the nations sacrifice they sacrifice to demons, and not to God.” (1 Corinthians 10:20) How vitally important, then, to make sure that we really are worshiping the true God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and that our worship is pleasing to him!
Because people like to tailor their beliefs to suit their own desires and convenience. No two people will ever agree exactly on religion, that’s the main reason there is so much conflict in the world (that, and overpopulation/lack of resources). Christianity is not the only faith that has experienced these disagreements and when it comes down to it, the Bible says one God, one faith and one baptism yet we are still not religiously unified. In the Holy Bible, God says don’t debate my word or my anointed ones for in doing so you hinder your blessing’s so why question God’s word and it may be harder to accept the truth because in this day and time we have too many different translations
Because someone rebels against their church’s doctrine and makes a new one, that gets popular, people are indoctrinated into that church’s doctrine, then someone rebels against that doctrine and it repeats, and again.The real question is why are there denominations at all. The answer is the concepts of orthodoxy and heresy from the dark ages. Up until a few scant generations ago you could still be whipped publicly (in the American colonies) for refusing to go to church. Before that the punishments get even worse.

That is why there was one main church (the “holy church”/Vatican) for so long, it is only when they lost their hold on Christendom that other groups began to form, and now they have little real power, so these groups flourish.

The interesting thing is that today catholicism almost doesn’t even exist. A study was done some years ago asking American Catholics 10 simple, basic questions like “is the devil a real being or a symbol for evil”, etc, and only 7% answered all ten questions in-line with the catholic doctrine.

So only 7% of American catholics are actually Catholic, they just don’t realize it.

I think in the future there will be no denominations, if Christianity even exists anymore eventually.

Another reason
Different people have different stylistic preferences. For example, one group may appreciate symbolic rituals and trappings, while others consider those distracting. One group may prefer contemporary music, while another may have trouble with the volume or the unfamiliarity with the tunes. People who came from a background where rock music meant drugs and free sex may not be comfortable with contemporary Christian rock music. Some people like the Charismatic style of worship, while others may have bad memories of bad churches that emulate Charismatic styles.
Different denominations wind up with different minor emphases in their services for these and other reasons. One person called them “house rules.” This can work out well, as long as those separate “house rules” aren’t used to build walls of self-righteousness against other Christians.
Selfishness is why there is so many denominations. If everyone reads the Bible the way it was intended to be read then we wouldn’t have so much different opinions, traditions, rituals, etc. Through the whole Bible, ( Old Testament) God asks us to stick together, and be together.(New Testament) Jesus asks us to be of one mind and one accord. How can we be one if everyone has different interpretations. Someone is wpong. That’s why GOD said beware of false teachers because people will teach the Bible the wrong way. Everyone can’t be one if there minds are separate. No denomination is above another, but theres a denomination or group or someone that’s teaching the truth instead of the opinion of man. Read what God said and apply it. Don’t add or take away from the Bible itself or the meaning of the words in it.Because the Bible is made up of many books written by different people at different times, in languages that are not currently spoken as they were then, therefore we read translations. There are passages which are difficult to understand, some which contradict others in other parts of the bible. So every time people cannot agree on what something means, they form a new church to follow that way.
And the Final Answer is…
Jesus said “go and teach all nations”. He did not say, sit down and write a book. Jesus started his Church when he said to Peter “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build MY Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” We see in Acts that Peter has taken the leadership role of the disciples. He is the one whom Jesus entrusted his power here on Earth. We then see numerous times when Paul mentions the Church in his writings. Now, from this time on, we have a written record of successors to Peter as the Head of Christs Church. We refer to that person as the Pope. The term “Catholic” means “Universal” and was used to describe the Church as early as 46AD by one of Johns disciple, St Polycarp. The Catholic Church spread to all corners of the earth and was “One body” until 1517 AD when Martin Luther broker away. Shortly after that, John Calvin started his own religious following and these two events are referred to as the “Protestant Reform”. The Catholic Church put the first bible together in 325, long after the Church had been established, but Martin Luther had the idea that “solu scripturo” was the way to go. Meaning, by Scripture Alone. If you think about it, Jesus said “go forth and teach all nations”. He did not say, sit down and write a book. So if you are going to believe in the bible alone, you are missing a lot of what Jesus taught. The bible is by far the greatest book ever written, but Jesus did not found his Church on the bible as most have today. You can research history and discover that the Catholic Church is the Church started by Jesus himself and over 1 billion Catholics worldwide celebrate the exact same Mass with each other following the teachings of Jesus throughout the bible as well as the traditions past down from generation to generation.

Because there are so many ways to interpret the bible, not all denominations agree upon everything said.
To answer this question, you must first ask: “What is Christianity? ” Orthodox Christianity means the beliefs held by the majority of Christians since the church began in the first century. These basic beliefs, as taught in the Bible, are:
1. God became incarnate (flesh) in the man Jesus.
2. Christ atoned (paid for) man’s sin through His death on the cross.
3. Christ rose in bodily form from the grave, conquering death and proving He is God.
4. The Bible is the inspired, authoritative Word of God.
These are the absolute basics of Christian belief. No non-christian religion, cult, or sect in the world agrees with orthodox Christianity at all on all these points. Unfortunately, not all so-called Christian churches follow them either, and some purport to follow them but do not obey them. These 4 points are straight-forward – you either believe them or you don’t, and then you may go off and start your own church.
Beliefs are important, but it is so easy to say you believe something and not actually mean it. Even when we are doing the right thing, the intent of our heart is more important than the actual deed itself:-

Mat 7:16 You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?
Mat 7:17 Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit.
Mat 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruits, nor can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Mat 7:19 Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Mat 7:20 Therefore by their fruits you shall know them.
Mat 7:21 Not everyone who says to Me, Lord! Lord! shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to Me in that day, Lord! Lord! Did we not prophesy in Your name, and through Your name throw out demons, and through Your name do many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then I will say to them I never knew you! Depart from Me, those working lawlessness!

To avoid taking things out of context, I have included the entire section where Jesus said very plainly that obeying God was more important than following the traditions of men :-

Mat 15:1 Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying,
Mat 15:2 Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.
Mat 15:3 But He answered and said to them, Why do you also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
Mat 15:4 For God commanded, saying, “Honor your father and mother”; and, “He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him die by death.”
Mat 15:5 But you say, Whoever says to his father or mother, Whatever you would gain from me, It is a gift to God;
Mat 15:6 and in no way he honors his father or his mother. And you voided the commandment of God by your tradition.
Mat 15:7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying,
Mat 15:8 “This people draws near to Me with their mouth, and honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.
Mat 15:9 But in vain they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
Mat 15:10 And He called the crowd and said to them, Hear and understand.
Mat 15:11 Not that which goes into the mouth defiles a man; but that which comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.
Mat 15:12 Then His disciples came and said to Him, Do You know that thePharisees were offended when they heard this saying?
Mat 15:13 But He answered and said, Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted shall be rooted up.
Mat 15:14 Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

There is nothing wrong with tradition so long as it does not become ritualistic, and does not conflict in any way with the spiritual intent of Christ:-

Col 2:8 Beware lest anyone rob you through philosophy and vain deceit,according to the tradition of men, according to the elements of the world, andnot according to Christ.

The sticking-point for many is the 4th and last point: that the Bible is the inspired, authoritative Word of God.

2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Scripture includes Paul’s writings, as Peter said they were part of the Scriptures:-

2Pe 3:15 And think of the long-suffering of our Lord as salvation (as our beloved brother Paul also has written to you according to the wisdom given to him
2Pe 3:16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things; in which aresome things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable pervert, as also they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction).

(By the time Peter wrote this in about 68AD, Paul already dead, beheaded by Nero about a year previously.)
God takes the Scriptures (which are His Words) very seriously and warns against changing them:-

Deu 4:2 You shall not add to the Word which I command you, neither shall youtake away from it, so that you may keep the commands of the LORD your God which I command you.
Deu 12:32 All the things I command you, be careful to do it. You shall not add to it, nor take away from it.
Rev 22:18 For I testify together to everyone who hears the Words of the prophecy of this Book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add on him the plagues that have been written in this Book.
Rev 22:19 And if anyone takes away from the Words of the Book of this prophecy, God will take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which have been written in this Book.

Any church that denies or does not teach all four of these points is not a Christian church and is therefore by definition heretical. This includes churches like the Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Christadelphians, Roman Catholic ( the ‘Magisterium’ takes precedence over Scriptures), and Scientology. However, just as a Christian church will have non-christians in it, so it is possible for a non-christian church have Christians in it.


The two basic reasons for the names of different denominations in churches are convenience and disagreements, (where a person will leave that congregation and start another church with his adherents.) Other reasons are:-
1. Different locations
eg Churches of Smyrna, England, Creek St,
2. Differentiating beliefs
eg Baptist Church, Orthodox, Seventh-day Adventist
3. Named after people
eg Luther, Wesley, St Therese,
4. Type of teaching
eg Method(ism)
5. Type of structure
eg Congregational, Presbyterian
6. Distinguishing attribute
eg Grace, Bible-believing, True, United, Loyal, Evangelical
7. Splits and divisions among a church congregation
eg Baptist (Baptist & United Baptist), United (Methodist & Presbyterian),

There are so many because the devil is alive and well and his goal is to have us so convoluted and ridiculous until the truth is no longer visible which pushes on to the path of destruction!

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