`1 Corinthians1:10-13 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
Visiting different churches as a child and as a young adult was partially confusing for me and rewarding. It was confusing because I didn’t know too much about different denominations and the doctrines associated with them. Depending on the denomination of the church some suggested that if I wasn’t baptized in Jesus Name I hadn’t officially been baptized (though I was baptized in the Father, the Son, and The Holy Spirit). Another church I attended suggested that if I didn’t speak in tounges then I wasn’t filled with the Holy Ghost. Yet and still another church washed feet concluding that it was all apart of the Primitive Baptist Church way.
By the time I got done sorting through all theses rules associated with these denominations I was left well deflated. Could it be that I just wanted to fellowship with God as my heart lead? Was it possible that maybe just maybe I wanted to sit in a silent intimate prayer with God versus parading around the church speaking in tounges? Did I have to follow all these denomination rules in order to follow Christ?
I began to imagine what it must have been like when different denominations were formed. Can you picture for a moment a group of people sitting at a table discussing doctrine when in the blink of an eye one of the men at the table stands up declaring he doesn’t agree with the way things are being done and things will be done a different way. Collecting his things he heads for the door. Someone else stands up, they disagree with the group, but also with the man that booked it for the door. He concludes that he wants to start his own denomination as well, gathers his things and leaves. This continued to occur until there was only one man left at the table.
Now 41,000 denominations and various organizations later according to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity, no wonder people are so confused. God help us! If God’s last and final commandment to the disciples was drop everything and follow me why are we so bent out of shape in regards to which denomination is the right one to follow? It would appear that while these denominations caused division, God wants the exact opposite and framed Jesus Christ to bridge the gap.
Religious people will think that this is a call to be disobedient to God. No, in actuality it’s a desperate cry for us to get back to what really matters; the heart of the matter, Christ. Baptism, being filled with the Holy Spirit, communion etc are all by-products of our Savior. As we grow in Him, we will find that our loyalty is to God than any one single denomination. We’ll find that we can worship at a Baptist Church without the guilt of not following a Pentecostal Church. We can commune at an Apostolic Church without fear of judgment from the Seventh-day Adventist. It becomes less about rules and ALL ABOUT GOD. Lets turn the tables on denominations ruled by religion. After all it’s the relationship with God that’s most important.
“Father God thank you for the gift of Jesus Christ. Lord we as that you forgive us on this day for getting caught up in denominations and doctrines. We know that everything starts and finishes with you. Give us the confident assurance to follow you even if that means a denomination doesn’t agree. God we stand firm obedient to you first. We bless your name on this day. For you are worthy to be praised. We love you in Jesus Name we pray. Amen.”