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The Lies of Denominationalism by John Stultz
I Corinthians 14:33clearly states that God is not the author of “confusion”. In the original Greek, the word ‘confusion’ comes from the root word meaning ‘disarray’. If God were such an author, humanity would never be able to clearly understand God’s Word, by which we all are to live. We have all encountered individuals in our lives who, speaking on one subject or another, would say one thing to one group of people and something different to another. Finally, we all just stop believing them completely.
This is the EXACT reason why so many people believe God does not exist. They look at the mess that “Christianity” has become by the hands of men and they say to themselves “what kind of Supreme Being could possibly be behind all of this?” And the answer to that is clear: NONE! Since denominationalism is utterly confusing and contradictory, with one group teaching one thing, another group teaching something utterly different, and yet another teaching something in between, AND, since scripture clearly teaches that God is not the author of such confusion, then who IS behind all of this? There is only one possible response. Satan is behind it. He IS the father of lies – John 8:44. In addition to this, in Matthew 16:18, following Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Christ, Jesus said that upon the foundation of Peter’s confession that Jesus was, and IS, the Christ, that He would build His church, SINGULAR, not churches, plural.Jesus only built one church - HIS church. And, because of this, there is no such thing as being a “hyphenated” Christian – a Baptist-Christian, Methodist-Christian, or, Lutheran-Christian, etc.In addition, the apostle Paul was VERY clear, when he said, speaking of religious unity, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, AND that there be NO divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement”– I Cor, 1:10. How, “in the world” (no pun intended) does denominationalism follow this verse??Obviously, they do not.
Denominations have built their different doctrines on yet another lie, namely, that all scripture is open to one’s own private interpretation. This false belief says that we are free to interpret God’s inspired Word any way we please, AND that this interpretation will perfectly acceptable to our Heavenly Father. According to this line of thought, if we feel a passage applies to us, we will decide to go by it. But, if we do not particularly like it, or, if we believe that it no longer applies, such as baptism for the remission of sins, or following the New Testament examples left for us, then, we can just ignore it,or explain it away by saying, “well, I know what it ‘says’, or APPEARS to say, but, we just don’t believe that way”. In response to this, I would ask our denominational friends one important thing: Where is the verse, or verses, that tell us that such “picking and choosing” is acceptable to God? And, what right does ANYONE have to say to God that something important enough for Him to include it in His inspired Word just is not worthy of our obedience to it? Think about this - no one can change or rescind an order in the military unless he/she is of equal or greater rank to the one who originally gave it. Just who, here on earth, fulfills this? Also, Peter, in II Peter 1:3, states that we have been given all things that pertain to life and Godliness. Are the teachings found in the New Testament mere “suggestions” for us to follow? No! Why not? God knew that if He gave us a choice of obeying or not obeying His word, that we would ALWAYS choose not to do so, wanting, instead, to do what WE wanted to do, or what doing what WE thought was best.
This raises the question of how so many people can believe that this is OK with God? How can we ignore plain passages on how we are to live and how God wants to be worshipped,and then do whatsoever WE want to do with no doubts and no guilt? In II Peter 1:20 God, thru Peter, states that no prophecy came to us by the prophets own private interpretation. Now, if the prophets were not free to “interpret” scripture as they gave it to us, through the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, essentially saying what they THOUGHT God wanted said, kore what He meant by it, then, how can WE, who are not inspired, POSSIBLY think we have the right to do these things?Again, there is one simple reason. The devil has deceived US just as he deceived Eve in the Garden. There, he told Eve “Oh, it’s OK, go ahead and eat! You know you won’t die! God just doesn’t want you becoming like Him, that’s all!” Today, he is telling us – “go ahead and change that passage, or, ignore the verses you don’t particularly want to follow. It’s OK! You ‘won’t surely die!! After all, you are still obeying MOST of what He says, aren’t you?” And, just as in the garden, when lightning bolts from heaven do not rain down upon us, we reason that it must be OK with God. And, so we would not really notice what was happening, satanm otivated us to change just one little thing at a time. The first change began with the leadership. He influenced one elder to begin asserting influence over his fellow elders. When they allowed it, he asserted more and more influence, until he assumed complete control of the whole church. This idea moved from one church to another until each church had one elder – the ‘pastor’.It then continued with this one assertive man taking control of several churches, until he became the ‘bishop’ of many churches. Then, satan influenced these leaders to change more, and more, and more, just to suit the feelings of themselves and others, until the New Testament church disappeared altogether, being changed into the Catholic church.
What was the ultimate result of this process? The simplicity of the New Testament teachings morphed into the confusing mess that it is today as many, who disagreed with the teaching of the Catholic church, then split off and started their own church, which was the birth of the first 1st denomination. After that split, then, when opinions differed, they also split off, then others split off from those churches, and so on, and so on, until we come down to today with well over 600 denominations, and who knows how many more smaller ‘splinter’ groups have been estabished. And since we still have not witnessed God’s wrath coming down upon the false teachers here on earth, we feel that these hundreds and hundreds of denominations, all with their own collection of doctrines, MUST be acceptable to God, right?
Unfortunately, we must give satan the credit he is due. He is VERY good at getting millions and millions of people to believe his lies and to make those who do succumb to them to feel perfectly justified in doing so!After all, “we human beings DO have our rights, don’t we?”And, because of OUR exercising these ‘rights’, we are losing hundreds and hundreds of formally faithful congregations of the Lord’s church to these horrid lies as leadership after leadership just doesn’t see any difference between the truth of the Bible and the lies that the devil and his servants are continually spreading among us. John 8:32 plainly states “Ye shall know the TRUTH, and the truth shall make you free.” Note: this plain inspired verse does not say “Ye shall know the ‘truths’, or, your personal version of the truth that appeals to you” and that these beliefs will be OK with God, regardless of what they are.”
Some may STILL ask “what’s the big deal? They still teach SOME of the truth, and they DO believe Jesus is the Christ.” To answer this, please consider this. One brother here that I spoke with about this agreed with my illustration of God’s word. Namely, it is like a high mesa located out west. It is completely flat on top, with a vertical drop-off all around. Staying within the boundaries of its flat surface provides safety. But, if we go beyond the boundaries of its surface, whether by one step, or by a huge leap, it would bring certain death. It would not matter how close or how far we went over the edge.When we hit bottom, we would be just as dead.When we “go beyond” God’s word, either adding to or taking away from its truths, when we pass from this life and stand before God in judgment, the result resulting condemnation will be the same.
Brethren, we must gird ourselves with the truths of God’s word and we must all be willing to enter the battlefield where the most important war of all time is currently being waged and is being LOST.. What are the “spoils” of this war? The spoils are the souls of all of the people who are being duped by the evil one, which, unfortunately, includes many formerly faithful brethren who have fallen prey to satan’s lies. Their salvation is literally hanging in the balance.
One final word must be said. In Ezekiel 3:18-19 God tells us that if we warn those who practice iniquity of God’s judgement and their need to come back to God, If they do not listen, they WILL die in their sins, but we will have saved ourselves. However, if we do not warn them,yes, they will still die in their sins, butk,lwe will suffer the same eternal consequences. Remember, we must ALWAYS be doing God’s will. Matt. 7:30 states that if we are not gathering others for Jesus then, we are actually scattering them abroad.
True Christians everywhere must realize that what is now going on, both in our brotherhood and in the denominational world IS OUR BUSINESS. We must always stand for the truth and do our best to warn those around us of their impending doom when they do not abidein the truth of God’s word. Many will never listen, brethren. But, we ALL MUST TRY.And, God willing, WE WILL SAVE SOME – I Cor. 9:22.