Friday, May 21, 2010

One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One Body

Have you ever thought about why there are so many Christian denominations?

In an attempt to answer this question some folks point to our various nations, cultures and languages as the reason we split into delineated groups. Others point out the obvious history of Luther, the Protestant Reformation, and the logical developments of that event. A few denominations actually declare they have the only correct biblical interpretation, which is above all others, and therefore are the only ones who are the “true” Church. A handful more declare they are the Remnant Church spoken of as the end time Church and are therefore the only “true” Church.

It’s enough to make one’s head spin!

My own take on this is that we Christians too often forget that our beloved Church has been described throughout the Bible as; coming out of it’s innocent infancy and growing up to become a great Whore, a Babylon of confusion. Our Church, except for a small Remnant, will ultimately be destroyed and torn apart! [Rev. 17:16] Most of our Christian denominations are simply the prostitute daughters of the great mother whore; an “image” of the great beast. Whether we like it or not, this is how the Bible describes our Church. Our Church is the actual persecutor of the Saints (true Christians). [Rev. 19:2]

I’ve also noticed that most people confuse the words; “Church”, and “denomination”. Look again at my intro statements. See how I could use the words “Church” and “denomination” interchangeably?

The only sources of truth we Christians have are the Holy Spirit and the Holy Bible; the Eternal being the source of all truth. Jesus has already laid out a plan to repair this damage to His Church. We Christians know it ultimately as the Second Coming, or Second Advent. The "repair process" is laid out throughout history and unfolds in like manner, until the climatic end time events.

I argue, that His Church, which is refined throughout history into the beautiful, innocent Bride of Christ, and then rescued; is, in part, a paring down of all our denominations throughout history.

But first, let’s look at one way the Bible describes the Church.

Mark 12:29 says;

And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is; Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

Eph. 4:5 states emphatically that there is;

One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

Rom 12:5 says;

So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

1Co 12:12 states;

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

So, am I saying denominations are useless entities? No, I’m saying that our man-made mechanism of denominations is not what Jesus intended, but is useful for His purposes in paring down His true Bride. I am suggesting that we must be careful of denominations that claim to have the absolute truth, above all others; but, because the Bible calls for corporate worship we should attend church somewhere, at some local church – which necessarily means we attend a church which is part of a denomination of some flavor.

Even so-called, non-denominational churches, have a doctrine of some sort, which may differ with others, and therefore add to the confusion of Babylon. No “church” is completely free of man’s corrupting influence. That's why we must have a true Remnant (Bride) near the "end". I believe that Remnant is (will be) made up of people from all the various denominations who have ignored the doctrines of men. [Matt 15:9]

Matthew 7:14 says the “way” or “path” (to God and His Kingdom) is narrow. It may be more narrow than we realize! I certainly believe their will be a time we must, “come out of her” [Rev. 18:4] and form the Remnant, in a literal sense. In fact, I believe it's happening now! Will that Remnant be a denomination? I say no! It will be a movement, a movement out of the false churches. I think the Remnant will reconstitute itself into corporate worship (not necessarily a denomination) but will be attacked and persecuted because they will refuse the "mark of the beast" and will follow the commandments of God, i.e., Sabbath worship. Does this mean that I think the denominations that already claim to be the Remnant are evil? No, of course not. They are simply trying to help - in our human, clumsy, man-made denominational way. What they are doing is paving the way for the true Remnant and educating the Saints!

As I've declared before, for my corporate worship I attend a local Seventh Day Adventist church. The SDA church doctrine states it is the Remnant church. It also states that other Saints, within the various denominations, are part of the Remnant church. SDA was once a movement only and not a denomination. I believe it was a mistake for it to organize into a denomination, but at least it does a great job in educating the Saints!

If you haven't noticed, many more churches and denominations are worshipping on the true Sabbath and ridding themselves of the pagan influences of the beast, it's image, and man's doctrine. The Remnant is forming, whether you believe in it or not! The Christian world, the end time Israel, is being put on notice. It had better wake up! You and I had better wake up!

The Observer