Attention Denominational flag waver! Are Church denominations of God?

By the Mad Preacher, Rod Davis

Someone told me one time that church im-rightdenominations are from God. I responded by exclaiming, “Man, you’re crazy! What an idiot! What an asinine statement, ‘Church denominations are from God’!” But out loud I said, “Really?” and left it at that. I’ve learned a long time ago to choose your battles. Don’t choose one that you cannot win.

 

That ridiculous statement goes totally against desires of Jesus’ heart.

John 17:20-26 (NIV)[1]

Jesus begins his pray by for his disciples, and then he switches gears and begins to pray for us.

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory [the honor] that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

I was trying to share the good news about Jesus with this guy some years ago when he interrupted me. “You Christians are a bunch of hypocrites!  All you do is act like you’re better than everyone else and then fight with each other all the time over who’s right and who’s wrong about stuff in the Bible. And you think I want to be a part of that?!”

I was staggered and quickly searched my heart for an answer. He was right. I couldn’t argue with him. I had no answer that would placate him. Most of us are a bunch of hypocrites—me included! Let me clue you into two things. The Church is full of people. People are flawed. We’re just human and with that comes all of our weaknesses and screwed-up ways of thinking.

Again, Jesus said to the Father, “I have given them the honor that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity.  Then the world will know that you sent me and that you love them.” That is, if we become completely unified. I know what you’re thinking, “You’re crazy Rod! No wonder you’re called The Mad Preacher! There’s all these denomination that constantly cross swords over different Biblical points of view. How in the world can we be brought to complete unity?!”

The Church will most likely never come together corporately under one roof until Jesus finally calls us home. What a grand day that will be. All differences, theological and otherwise, will be left behind as the Bride of Christ, for the first time since the 1st century, becomes completely united in mind and spirit.

Then what did the Lord mean by that statement, “so that they may be brought to complete unity.”? I believe the answer to that question is found in Philippians 2:1-4. Paul writes:

1 If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal.

And how do we accomplish that? Verse 3 tells us.

3 Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (HSCB)[2]

This  comes from my book entitled The Wrong Skirt:

Saul [Paul] spent a major portion of his life studying the law until he knew it like he knew the back of his hand. Saul knew the law; he just didn’t know the Law Giver. Saul was like so many contemporary church members. He dedicated his life to becoming conformed to his religious ideology rather than to God’s character. And therein lies the rub.

This attitude so reflects that of the church in America. We’ve gotten our little religious ducks all in a row. We wave our denominational banners in each other’s faces and shout at others in the body of Christ, “Weeearrree rii-ght! Yourrr-rr raaw-ing! Neh, neh, neh, neh-neh… neh!”

Each sect thinks that they have exclusive possession of the truth. The problem one faces when adopting such an elitist attitude is that it always interferes with one’s relationship with God. It always stifles change and, therefore, impedes growth. This happens because it demands conformity ─ not to the image of God’s son but, rather, to the guidelines of their particular belief system [church denomination].[3]

Again, Paul said, “fulfill my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal.” Denominational flag waving stinks to high heaven! God hates and so should every liberated, spirit-filled follower of Christ.

[1] Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture references are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® All rights reserved worldwide. The “NIV” and “New International Version” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.

[2] Holman Christian Standard Bible® Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers.
Used with permission by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved.

[3] The Wrong Skirt  by Rod Davis https://www.amazon.com/WRONG-SKIRT-Quest-Avoid-Choices/dp/1935434551

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