Denominations

Author: Tradesecret ,

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  • Tradesecret
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    Sometimes the issue of denominations arises within the context of this forum.  Queries are generally along the lines of why do they exist - how many are there- and people often provide all kinds of fanciful reasons for why they subjectively believe it is the way it is. 

    My particular view is that for the most part denominations are a good thing and should be encouraged. For me, the greater variety of denominations is a strength for the Christian religion because it demonstrates that members and individuals are united by something greater than a simple belief. A greater variety of denominations also puts to death the notion that "they are all brainwashed". Brainwashed people would not have the capacity to leave and start something new. 

    Christianity at its heart is a decentralised religion - with a head, that is Christ. It is not intended to be centralised around one figure or leader except for Christ. Unfortunately, throughout history, the church and its leaders have, like the world around it, fallen prey to the notion they are somehow privy to information or leadership skills that others do not possess - or that they have been called to a higher calling than the rest of the church. In other words, people in the church, just like people in the world, crave power and authority. And sometimes these people also have the means of attempting to make that happen. 

    Hence, it is true to say that throughout history that most new churches are started by people or groups that are attracted to power.  Another aspect of this is the personality. People with personality - charismatic personality in the main - tend to attract people around them and who motivate that person to go further - to achieve power. Is it a wonder that people with personality - tend to go into politics? Is it a wonder that people who start new political parties are people with personality? It is a rare thing to see a person with no personality start a new church or start a new political party? 

    In my limited experience, when I see a new church start, it is for a couple of reasons. One, it is church plant from our congregation. One which sees a need and provides a service. So in our area, over the past 25 years, we have seen the growth of several new church congregations - all of our church's particular flavour and yet all distinctly different from each other. Some are quite conservative and others quite contemporary. Others a mixture of the ranges. Yet, all love each other and are able to worship together when it suits or is convenient.  They contain young families, professionals, including scientists, lawyers, doctors, engineers, and many tradies - electricians, plumbers, carpenters, and a wide variety of the demographics of our communities. Another reason I see people start new churches is because of differences in music. Our church has variety of music - but sometimes people prefer the old hymns, or the more contemporary sort.  Some like to have just an organ - others to have an entire band. Another reason I have seen people start their own church is because of personality. They were in leadership - but clashed with the current leadership - sometimes such people leave and go to another congregation - clash with that leadership and then move on - to another church and the same pattern continues on and on. Sometimes these people get sick of moving on - so they end up staying at home, then after a while starting a home church, normally watching something on tv - and then after a while thinking they can do better themselves.  Sometimes people start a new church because the type of church they are looking for does not exist in an area, and after a while of visiting other churches in the area, they get in contact with their own denomination and see if they can start a new one.  I can honestly say I have never seen a new one start up because of so called ambiguities of the bible. 

    But this is my limited experience. For the record I have worked in 4 different church congregations - and been involved within at least 6 different denominations. The churches I have worked in are Baptist and Presbyterian. I grew up in a church of Christ, my wife comes from a Pentecostal church, and I have engaged with Brethren, Anglican and Uniting Churches as well as a very small Presbyterian denomination and very small Methodist church. 

    Why I posted this topic - is I am interested in other people's experiences of new churches starting - why people think new ones start - and again from their experience - not just their opinion. And whether you can see benefits in it as well as negatives. 
  • DeusVult
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    --> @Tradesecret
    I believe your basic premise is in error.  Multiple denominations is the exact opposite of what Christianity is about.

    Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” - John 18:37

    If Jesus is the truth and his denominations all teach different things then there is no truth is having multiple denominations and they cannot be one in Christ.

    “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me..." - John 15:26

    So the Holy Spirit is the spirit of Truth that proceeds from the Father.  How can Truth be contradictory?  Another proof that multiple denominations is fundamentally un-Christian.

    “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me." - John 17:20-21

    So Jesus' prayer for the Church at the last supper was unity, not division.   Seems to be the nail in the coffin for multiple denominations being a Christian strength.


    Additionally Christianity is not supposed to be decentralized.  The early church had Apostles who raised others to be leaders.  When they were unsure as to what to teach, they would ask back to the apostles.  The apostles met to discuss the need for circumcision so that there would be unity in the Church.  It was a Centralized organization right from the beginning.
  • Dr.Franklin
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    --> @Tradesecret
    denominations are bound to happen no matter the form of communication
  • EtrnlVw
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    --> @Tradesecret
    Denominations as well as different religions exist for the same reason cultures exist and all the variations between them. This topic sort of reminds me of this link below which is sort of the same idea.

    I'm not against varieties and flavors so I agree with most of what you said here. IMO beliefs are a dime a dozen and are mostly irrelevant as are peoples personal tastes and preferences, meaning a lot of them aren't even applicable they are just opinions about a certain doctrine they have no relevancy to a persons spiritual growth. It's the things that are actually applicable that make the most difference, a lot of things that are disputed in doctrinal issues aren't something that make or break a person they are trivial. In the end it won't be about what a person "believes" but what a person applied and actually did and so two people may have variations in what they think or believe but still qualify as a Christian according to how they act and live their life. As well not all believers are Christians, it works both ways because it's about application not beliefs.

  • EtrnlVw
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    --> @Dr.Franklin
    Yes I think so too. There's too many personality types and agendas, preferences and opinions that's just how humans are. It would be kind of weird if everybody went to the same church with the same exact beliefs lol. It wouldn't seem right. 
    Don't get me wrong, Christianity at its heart is about unity but unity can be achieved between two people with different opinions. Because there's unity of spirit, this works independent of what someone might think or believe. In other words there's a reality at play that exists independent of what someone may believe about a particular something. 
  • Dr.Franklin
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    --> @EtrnlVw
    yup.
  • Melcharaz
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    The reason there are multiple religions and denominations? They dont know God.
  • BrotherDThomas
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    --> @Tradesecret



    .
    Tradesecret,

    First off, to save yourself from further embarrassment I don’t expect you to respond to my post herein, like where you had to RUN AWAY from many of my posts directed to you in another thread that showed your continued Biblical ignorance. Enough said.

    In you agreeing with having many contradicting denominations, aka, divisions, in being  okay with you, precludes your ungodly notion of slapping Jesus in the face once again!  But, no less, what did I expect from you? Your predictability in this respect is always expected.

    A very simple premise, that you may understand at the onset, is the fact that what Jesus, as Yahweh God incarnate" SAID ONCE, He logically and most certainly didn't mean for His creation to take in many different and contradicting ways, understood? Yes? Maybe?  Therefore, when another division of Christianity is created it gives a bad name to the faith, as if the faith is still wallowing in contradictions to find its true way!  Get it? Huh?

    The irony is there are  a “plethora” of DIVISIONS of Christianity, which all contradict each other, otherwise, there would be only one true church, is the fact that they all can’t be correct in the eyes of Jesus at the same time!  This being said, it is sacrilege to have so many contradicting divisions of the faith as comically shown in the convoluted link below:



    Therefore, when you ungodly posit that many DIVISIONS of the faith is uplifting and correct in your ungodly way of thinking, is most certainly coming from the mouth of Satan Himself to discord Christianity even further!   Therefore, in the true Matthew 4:10 tradition,  BE GONE SATAN!


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  • CaptainSceptic
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    --> @Tradesecret
    Now I am very confused.  In my post about cherry-picking verses, you went through great effort to try to persuade me that (as a summary)  there really is only one true view, that all Christians believed in.    I gave a detailed response (#38), that you ignored.    Why are you ignoring me?

    So I will summarize the most applicable point to this topic.  Above you state that multiple denominations are a good thing.  Yet you stated in the other post that on must understand "this hermeneutic". 

    Here is the logic of what you said  --

    Understand this hermeneutic.  -- IF FALSE   "you take OT one way."  
                                                                        IF TRUE   then "the OT is not done away but rather fulfilled in Christ."  
                                                                        AND/OR  IF TRUE then you believe  "It is also a rule of thumb that the OT laws are perfect in substance - and that it is the spirit of the law we are to understand and apply - not necessarily the literal letter of the law."   

    You are tying the hermeneutic to a "rule of thumb".   Not a belief, or a perspective, but a rule.   And so you can't support multiple denominations if you, on the one hand, believe that all must follow your one hermeneutic, and rule of thumb, yet in the other believe multiple people can have multiple interpretations.

    You also stated "the hermeneutic approach of Christians will lead you along one stream of thought - and not applying the same one - will lead you elsewhere. "   

    This is a singular approach.  You are saying all Christians have the same hermeneutic approach, so how can there be thousands of denominations that are all "connected by something greater than a simple belief. "

    Can you reconcile why you are saying two very different things at the same time?  Either all Christians have the same approach and same rule of thumb, or they all don't and are connected by "something greater". whatever that means.

    Perhaps you will ignore this post as well and just start a new forum topic somewhere else about another conflicting topic.

    I am a guy who has enough knowledge to ask questions, yet when I try to have a conversation I am showered in conflicting, illogic, absurdities, with a side order of ad hominem attacks.

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  • BrotherDThomas
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    --> @CaptainSceptic


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    CaptainSceptic,

    As shown ad infinitum within this forum, TRADESECRET is vying to be the number one RUNAWAY from Biblical axioms and conflicting topics regarding Christianity, as we have experienced in other threads.  He comes on strong, but when confronted with the facts as you have shown, and my godly biblical axioms, TRADESECRET immediately deflates and then RUNS and hides where he hopes that other pseudo-christians will forget about his Satanic tactic.

    I can't count the pseudo-christians that I have BIBLE SLAPPED SILLY®️ within this forum, whereas I almost had to get a secretary to help me keep track of these BURGER KING CHRISTIANS®️ where they want their Bible their way instead of Jesus' way!  

    As a TRUE Christian, I can gain solace in knowing that this pseudo-christian ilk within this forum will pay upon Judgment Day for sure, praise Jesus' revenge upon them!

    “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)


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  • BrotherDThomas
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    MELCHARAZ steps in the proverbial poo once again! :(

    MELCHARAZ QUOTE NOT SPECIFYING WHICH GOD HE IS TALKING ABOUT:  "The reason there are multiple religions and denominations? They dont know God."

    This is a religion forum where many different Gods are talked about weekly. Therefore, it is only respectful to your God in question that you worship, is to actually mention their NAME instead of their TITLE!  When Melcharaz states; "they don't know God," then which one of the many Bronze, Iron, and Middle Age Gods is he truly talking about. or which of three Gods remaining today of the aforementioned Ages of Man is he referring too?  

    It is a slap to the God that Melcharaz worships in not mentioning their name. It's like he is too embarrassed to do so, or possibly he erroneously thinks that his God is the only true God in existence where others be damned!  







  • CaptainSceptic
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    --> @BrotherDThomas
    I am starting to see that.

    It is very depressing for me.  I just want genuine dialogue.

    Your post reminds me of a quote that has resonated with me by Richard Halverson.  He was the US Senate Chaplain.

    In the beginning, the church was a fellowship of men and women centering on the living Christ.
    Then the church moved to Greece where it became a philosophy.
    Then it moved to Rome where it became an institution.
    Next, it moved to Europe, where it became a culture
    It then moved to America where it became an enterprise.
    It finally moved to DART where it has become a center of Holy Rollers and Soup-Takers.

    Well, I added that last bit.

  • BrotherDThomas
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    --> @CaptainSceptic


    .
    CaptainSceptic,

    OMG!!!  After reading your post #12, it was like Jesus spoke through you to enlighten the flock on Christian reality!  I fell to the ground trembling as if I was in the presence of Jesus the Christ, where I truly think that He spoke through you to let the insidious TRADESECRETS of this forum know that there will be no RUNNING AWAY from biblical axioms and logic101. Jesus gave the attribute of logic 101 to each and every person of His creation to actually use, instead of just sitting on it as TRADESECRET continually does at his laughable expense,  period!

    Thank you Captain, I will now go and try and calm down with a few shots of 104 rye, because of what I experienced within your godly post, that Jesus was present with you at the time of you posting your godly statements, praise the act of miracles! PRAISE OUR SERIAL KILLER JESUS!


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  • Tradesecret
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    --> @DeusVult
    I believe your basic premise is in error.  Multiple denominations is the exact opposite of what Christianity is about.

    Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” - John 18:37

    If Jesus is the truth and his denominations all teach different things then there is no truth is having multiple denominations and they cannot be one in Christ.
    Actually DeusVult, your assumption there is that God does not allow for diversity within his church. All the different denominations agree on the things that matter - those things which are primary, but when it comes to secondary matters, there is diversity.  Most denominations exist because of the secondary things not the primary things. 

    Having different denominations is not about having truth or not having truth - it is about the way we worship God. This is why I started this topic - some people - it seems you included - think denominations exist due to truth - I think that misses the point.  mostly, it is to do with culture - the way we worship - and how our culture impacts upon us and the way we worship. The Jews started of in a covenantal context- America is now a very individualistic culture - and the East very community minded.  Each of these impact upon worship styles - America is the home of most denominations - why? every one is individual. Baptistic approach. In China - there are very few denominations - why? Because they prefer to be one family.  This is also reflected in church government - Italy is the home of the pope = but also the paternalistic mafia groups. The catholic church is more reflective of the roman empire than the Eastern churches? Why because the Orthodox community is still covenantally based. 


    “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me..." - John 15:26

    So the Holy Spirit is the spirit of Truth that proceeds from the Father.  How can Truth be contradictory?  Another proof that multiple denominations is fundamentally un-Christian.
    No - you are saying that everything about culture is truth. Yet this clearly not the case. Denominations reflect culture not truth. 


    “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me." - John 17:20-21

    So Jesus' prayer for the Church at the last supper was unity, not division.   Seems to be the nail in the coffin for multiple denominations being a Christian strength.
    Christians are unified in truth. The truthes that define the church - just look at the umbrella organisation - the world wide council of churches - it has its own creed. 

    Additionally Christianity is not supposed to be decentralized.  The early church had Apostles who raised others to be leaders.  When they were unsure as to what to teach, they would ask back to the apostles.  The apostles met to discuss the need for circumcision so that there would be unity in the Church.  It was a Centralized organization right from the beginning.
    Jesus taught leadership as servant leadership - not as top down power. He who serves is the leader amongst you. 
  • zedvictor4
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    --> @CaptainSceptic
    Genuine dialogue on Dart, especially when it comes to religion is a rare thing... That is to say that fixed ideas are what they are and intolerance  therefore abounds. 

    Given the hypothetical nature and consequent uncertainties associated with  religion and the god principle, one might expect greater flexibility of thought amongst supposed rational debaters, but that is rarely the case.

    I would therefore suggest that a conditioned brain is just that....Primarily a rigid operating system that we become reliant on and reluctant to stray away from despite our ability to understand and manipulate new  or contentious data input.

    If this isn't the case, then why are we not all sceptics?

    Unfortunately scepticism is somewhat de rigueur here on Dart at the moment.

    Be over contentious and you will be  banned and refuse to thump the bible and you will be dismissed.
  • CaptainSceptic
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    --> @Tradesecret
    You say

     All the different denominations agree on the things that matter -

    Then you say

    Most denominations exist because of the secondary things not the primary things. 

    Which is it,   All or most?

    Who decides "the things the matter?"


  • RoderickSpode
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    --> @CaptainSceptic

    Which is it,   All or most?
    I think I know what TradeSecret means, but I'll leave this for him to answer.




    Who decides "the things the matter?"

    And this as well. But in the meantime, something to chew on.

    What most denominations have in common is the belief in the pure simple Gospel of Jesus Christ. John 3:16 is one of the catalyst verses that God seems to use in bringing people to Him. The simple belief that Jesus is the Son of the Living God. What will require you to have an open mind about this is to consider the idea that God actually does respond to individuals when they acknowledge/receive the simple message of salvation. If you can consider the possibility that God actually does cause an awareness of His existence to an individual, then the question of what actually matters might be more clear. Basically, it's all about Jesus. One of Billy Graham's testimonies was that when he was in Bible college with students from multiple denominations, he was intrigued by how much they all really had in common. The basic belief in the simple Gospel message, and absolute love for Jesus.

    When believers begin to study the Bible, most of the rest of scripture requires attentive study. And inevitably, there will be differences of opinion between genuine believers. There are doctrines that Christians may never come to a universal agreement on. This may be due to lack of study among individual believers, or lack of available historic information, or maybe God simply hides certain things. In fact that's why I think some believers get into trouble trying to make prophetic predictions that don't come true, like Jesus' second coming. They may try to figure things out mathematically things that are not revealed or hidden from us. Things that God doesn't feel is ultimately important. For instance, it might be more important that Christians are unified, like-minded, in spite of having differences.

    I think the reference to most denominations allows for the fact that there are fringe groups that may be considered denominations due to having biblical themes in their
    statement of faith, but deviate from the simple Gospel of salvation. We would call them cults, even though they may be considered a denomination statistically speaking.

    I've done this test before, and something you might try. Go to websites of churches from different denominations and read their statements of faith. I've found that most of them are remarkably similar. Even between Baptists and Pentecostals who traditionally seem to be the most opposite in doctrinal beliefs.

  • CaptainSceptic
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    Thank you for your note.

    I am troubled with some of the logic, and hopefully, you can shed light on it.  I am not trying to pick a fight, so please see my questions the same as a 4-year-old asking why.  The more I learn about Christianity over the last 40 years, the less I know. 

    You say 

    John 3:16 is one of the catalyst verses
    There are 23,145 verses in the Old Testament, 7,957 verses in the New Testament.    I am confused by the notion of catalyst.  Why would one verse be so reverted above others, and others being ignored, or minimized.   Are you inadvertently suggesting Christianity is selective worship of the NT?     

    You also say that

    Basically, it's all about Jesus.
    and

    absolute love for Jesus.

    Here I see the foundation of  Christian belief is not based on philosophy or spirituality, but "love" for JC.  So as long as you claim to love JC, you can do whatever you want.   You can have a different opinion   What happens to the rest of the bible?  Does that get ignored?  Is that why  WWJD is so often cited?  So your denomination can do or say whatever it wants provided that you love Jesus.  Clearly that is not right, so what am I missing.

    You then said:

    from the simple Gospel of salvation. We would call them cults
    So is the Gospel of salvation then your "love of Jesus"?  So Judaism would be a cult?






  • RoderickSpode
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    --> @CaptainSceptic
    Thank you for your note.

    I am troubled with some of the logic, and hopefully, you can shed light on it.  I am not trying to pick a fight, so please see my questions the same as a 4-year-old asking why.  The more I learn about Christianity over the last 40 years, the less I know. 
     
    Thank you. And you don't come across as one looking for a fight.

    There are 23,145 verses in the Old Testament, 7,957 verses in the New Testament.    I am confused by the notion of catalyst.  Why would one verse be so reverted above others, and others being ignored, or minimized.   Are you inadvertently suggesting Christianity is selective worship of the NT?     


    What I mean by catalyst is that it seems to be a common verse that introduces the Gospel message to one who is not a believer yet. It's not at all that it's more important than any other of the multiple verses. And I don't mean to say it's the only verse used by God in bringing one to belief. People become believers in different ways. For instance, a Messianic Jew would know far more about the Bible than the 21 year old American who never stepped foot in a church service (the age I was when I became a believer). Some believers in the western world can't say when they first believed because of being brought up in the faith, and believed as a child growing up. Since it's God who reveals Himself to an individual, someone could become a believer after reading the Book of Numbers. But the starting point seems to usually to be embracing the simple Gospel message.



    Here I see the foundation of  Christian belief is not based on philosophy or spirituality, but "love" for JC.  So as long as you claim to love JC, you can do whatever you want.   You can have a different opinion   What happens to the rest of the bible?  Does that get ignored?  Is that why  WWJD is so often cited?  So your denomination can do or say whatever it wants provided that you love Jesus.  Clearly that is not right, so what am I missing.


    If someone says they love Jesus, it might mean a number of things. Like some people might claim to love everybody. And if they consider Jesus' role in history as a human being, they will say they love Jesus because he would be a part of the human race. A part of everybody. Or, they watched Jesus Christ Superstar, thought the character is cool, and loves Jesus as a part of pop-culture. Or, they love all the renown men of wisdom, and see Jesus as one of the great teachers, philosophers, spiritual guides, etc. Someone might love Gandhi. But they don't really know Gandhi, because they never met him. To love Jesus because one knows Jesus is a different matter. And doing what one wants is actually a huge problem for a believer even if they are miles away from any church, or fellow believers. I know because I've done my share of backsliding. It's very painful. The church clergy are not the real spiritual police force keeping believers in check. It's the indwelling Holy Spirit.

    So is the Gospel of salvation then your "love of Jesus"?  So Judaism would be a cult?

    I try to be careful with the term cult because it may have different definitions. And while in Christianity the term has a negative connotation,
    it's obviously not always negative (cult movies, cult bands, etc.). I consider Judaism a religion as opposed to a cult. I think the Christian view of the term centers on individuals, often originating from a Gospel church, who leave the church (and faith) and bring a group of followers with them. Like Jim Jones.

    But I think what you're getting at is why would we assume practitioners of Judaism do not know the real God? And to that I would say I can't assume that. For one, there are the Messianic Jews I mentioned earlier. And let's say for the sake of argument, we both acknowledge that God exists. Who God actually is will not be based on what or who Jewish people, you, or I think He is. I believe God reveals Himself to individuals, and makes it clear as to who He is. I can't claim Jesus is a combination of Buddha, Vishnu, Thor, Horus, etc., anymore than I can claim CaptainSkeptic is a combination of TradeSecret, EtrnlVw, Stephen, RoderickSpode, etc.


    The Bible makes a very bold claim. If anyone believes that He's the Son of the Living God, they will be saved. And if someone seeks Him, they will find him. I believe that if you find God, there won't be any question as to who He is. He will reveal Himself to you as being who He really is.



  • Melcharaz
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    --> @BrotherDThomas
    Dont talk to me or mention me or ill have an RO against you. You have been warned
  • DeusVult
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    --> @Tradesecret
    Actually I believe that there is great ability for diversity within complete unity of belief. 

     All the different denominations agree on the things that matter - those things which are primary, but when it comes to secondary matters, there is diversity.  Most denominations exist because of the secondary things not the primary things. 
    I would greatly disagree. There is no basic unity.

    Is the Eucharist truly the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ - or is it only a symbol?
    Once saved always saved?  Or can you lose your salvation?
    Do you normatively need water baptism?
    Is divorce permissible?
    Is abortion permissible?
    Is contraception permissible?
    and on and on and on...

    The denomination cannot even agree on the major elements necessary for salvation, never mind the minor ones.

     it is to do with culture - the way we worship - and how our culture impacts upon us and the way we worship.
    Actually, I think you have it backwards.

    lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi - the way you pray, is the way you believe, is the way you live.  Culture is downstream of the way you pray, not the other way around.  All you've shown is that the there is an error in the way Americans live.

    No - you are saying that everything about culture is truth. Yet this clearly not the case. Denominations reflect culture not truth. 
    Yes culture is about truth.  What the culture determines to be true will affect how they live.  Denominations are about what is considered to be true, which in turn causes those people to live a certain way - which forms the culture.

    Jesus taught leadership as servant leadership - not as top down power. He who serves is the leader amongst you. 
    Didn't he?  The Apostles must have gotten in wrong right from the beginning then because the Apostles all seemed to be leaders in the early Church passing on the Gospel and correcting people.  Sounds like they had a top down authority.  Now they were there to serve and not be served.

    Jesus had authority, and he sent them as he was sent, so it seems they were given authority to speak on his behalf.
  • Tradesecret
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    --> @DeusVult
    Actually I believe that there is great ability for diversity within complete unity of belief. 
    LOL! That is how the Christian church - religion works. Denominations pan this out further. 


     All the different denominations agree on the things that matter - those things which are primary, but when it comes to secondary matters, there is diversity.  Most denominations exist because of the secondary things not the primary things. 
    I would greatly disagree. There is no basic unity.

    Is the Eucharist truly the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ - or is it only a symbol?
    Once saved always saved?  Or can you lose your salvation?
    Do you normatively need water baptism?
    Is divorce permissible?
    Is abortion permissible?
    Is contraception permissible?
    and on and on and on...

    The denomination cannot even agree on the major elements necessary for salvation, never mind the minor ones.
    None of the issues raised by you are primary issues. They are all secondary issues.  

    TO be continued in the next post. 


  • Tradesecret
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    --> @DeusVult

     it is to do with culture - the way we worship - and how our culture impacts upon us and the way we worship.
    Actually, I think you have it backwards.

    lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi - the way you pray, is the way you believe, is the way you live.  Culture is downstream of the way you pray, not the other way around.  All you've shown is that the there is an error in the way Americans live.
    That is an opinion. The latin word Cultis - from which the word culture is derived means to worship. Multi-cultural really is polytheistic theology. Nevertheless, my point stands that denominations are a reflection of culture not the other way around. Denominations are not a reflection of theology or difference of theology.  Denominations did not arise until when? Until the Reformation - which itself arose due to the renaissance. Prior to that time there was one religion - called Christianity even if it was divided into several different camps.  The orthodox, the Roman Catholics, the far Eastern churches, the Anglican church (itself which was noted as existing in AD 43 and recognised at several of the early church councils. 

    the Reformation was never really meant to be a start of another church - nor even of denomination. It started in essence because the Roman church was being top down in authority and refusing other legitimate rights to worship God in the Christian tradition. the Anglican churches - existed well into history. 


    Jesus taught leadership as servant leadership - not as top down power. He who serves is the leader amongst you. 
    Didn't he?  The Apostles must have gotten in wrong right from the beginning then because the Apostles all seemed to be leaders in the early Church passing on the Gospel and correcting people.  Sounds like they had a top down authority.  Now they were there to serve and not be served.

    Jesus had authority, and he sent them as he was sent, so it seems they were given authority to speak on his behalf.
    Yes, Jesus clearly taught that leaders in the church needed to be servants. This was his clear teaching with the washing of their feet - and many other comments. It is the way of the world - to lead from the top, demanding and riding rough over everyone else.  Authority is not mutually exclusive from servant teaching. the Catholic church gives lip service to this teaching - it used to be much more part of what they did. In many churches around the world - it is a problem. But this is the teaching of Jesus. 
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    --> @CaptainSceptic
    You say

     All the different denominations agree on the things that matter -

    Then you say

    Most denominations exist because of the secondary things not the primary things. 

    Which is it,   All or most?

    Who decides "the things the matter?"
    the Christian religion - as understood by Christians unite on the essence of doctrine relating to Jesus Christ. To be a member of the Christian Church, your church doctrine must teach that Jesus is God. Now it is true that many persons within the church may not believe this - but when they sign up to be a member they declare they do. 

    The LDS and the JWs do not believe Jesus is God.  Hence why they are labelled as cults and not part of the church by those within the church. A church does not need to believe that the bible is God's word to be a church. It does not need to believe that sprinkling or full submersion is the only form of baptism to be a church. Nor does it require the belief that communion contains the host or not. Each of those are secondary matters - just like the question of salvation always or losing salvation. 

    Yet it is the historic church which determines which are the essential or non-essential doctrines and it has done this by meeting at church councils with the bible as their source of revelation. And throughout history - despite there being many differences at times in opinion - consensus has been reached. 

    It is true that the West / East divided over a question in relation to a creed. not to point of scripture. the creed was added to by the West which led to the East declaring the West heretical. Yet this division was mostly over "who is the boss"? did the Roman bishop have superiority over the other bishops or not? It really was not to do with whether the Roman bishop was right or not. It was over who was the boss? Interestingly, I agree with the East in relation to who is the boss and I agree with the West in their understanding of the doctrine. Yet the East at that time was still - all bishops were equal - whereas the Roman bishop had deviated to pontiff. The other extraordinary thing at this particular council was that Constantine the Emperor was usurping the right of the church to be free from the state by imposing his own authority over and above the clergy in the church. Interestingly, I agree with the result in relation to teaching - yet, the end did not justify the means of making it happen. Both Constantine and the West caused a division within the church by means of illegitimate authority and possibly for good reasons - keeping the empire united against the coming hordes. 

    While humans live in this world, they will make mistakes - including the church. Yet, the denominations enable great diversity amongst a common unity of belief. We don't see Christians leaving the church because they disagree with the doctrines in another denomination which would be the result if your conclusions were correct. 


  • CaptainSceptic
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    --> @Tradesecret
    So the only common element for Christianity is ....?

    "that Jesus is God'
    Do you mean the Holy Trinity?

    It seems a little thin to be the only thing connecting everyone.

    What about born to a virgin mother?
    What about miracles?
    What about dying on the cross?
    What about the resurrection?
    What about the concept of salvation?
    What about the concept of hell?
    What about having to "love" Jesus