An objective, honest study of God’s word reveals denominations are contrary to His will. As such, they are sinful. Therefore, men should not be part of any denominations or support them in any way. We ask you to consider the following points sincerely; reflect on them as you open the Bible and test these statements.
Will you take this challenge seriously or dismiss it in prejudice and anger?
#1 Denominations Are Not In The Bible
You can read from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 and never find a denomination. There is no Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Seventh Day Adventist, Pentecostal, Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, or any other denomination. What confidence can one have that being part of a denomination is pleasing to God if it cannot be found in His word?
Another way to put this is, there is no authority in God’s word for denominations. There is no direct statement, approved example, or necessary inference to authorize a denomination. Why does this matter? Because we are told to do all in the name of Jesus, that is, by His authority (Col. 3:17).
Why would I want to be a part of something I cannot read about in the Bible? Denominations are not even close in several areas (look for a future article on this).
#2 Denominations Derive Authority From Men
Jesus recognized two basic sources of authority, heaven and men (Matt. 21:23-27). His challenge to the Jews was to state whether or not they believed God authorized John’s teaching or if he simply preached what he wanted. The Jews refused to answer either way. The correct answer was John’s authority was from heaven. His teaching was binding on the people.
Further, the understanding Jesus and the Jews had was that authority from men is insufficient. If you need to, reread the account in Matthew 21:23-27. The Jews would not say John’s authority was from men because all the people counted him as a prophet. If the Jews said his authority was from man, they would have been accusing him of false teaching. The people might have stoned them for doing such.
So, again, authority is from heaven or men. We noted above denominations are not in the Bible, the place we find God’s authority. Thus, their authority comes from men; they are not authorized by heaven.
What it comes down to is a group of men dictating to God what He should and should not accept.
#3 Denominations Teach A Divided Kingdom
The nature of denominationalism is division; it is inherent. The view of denominations is that each is part of the whole Kingdom of God. The Baptist Church might make up 20%, the Methodist Church 12%, and so on. They are all in the Kingdom, but not in fellowship with each other.
Denominations do have some cooperation, but not true fellowship. If they were in full fellowship, they would not exist. In other words, full fellowship would require the lines and walls of denominations to be dissolved. The reality is, Baptists believe Methodists are wrong and Methodists believe Episcopalians are wrong. They reject each others names, organizations, teachings, and practices.
Denominations teach this diversity and division is good. Jesus disagreed. He said,
I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me (John 17:20-23).
He prayed for unity among all believers. When one man calls himself a Baptist and another a Presbyterian, there is no unity.
Paul told the Corinthians to be united in speech, mind, and judgment (1 Cor. 1:10). They were denominating themselves, some claiming to be of Paul, others Apollos, and some Cephas (Peter) (1 Cor. 1:12). He strongly rebuked this behavior calling it carnal (1 Cor. 3:1-4). Thus, Paul condemned Christians for denominating themselves.
Today men praise the idea of having the church of your choice. Their cry is, “I am of Calvin,” or “I am of Luther,” or “I am of Wesley.” Or, more commonly, they say, “I am a Baptist-Christian” or “Methodist-Christian” or “Presbyterian-Christian” and so on. It is all carnal division; it is sinful.
#4 Denominations Teach A Perverted Gospel
Teaching a perverted gospel is sinful. Paul said some in his day were preaching a perverted gospel (Gal. 1:6-9). These men were religious, devout, zealous. They did not deny the deity of Christ or reject His sacrificial death. They were not immoral men or abuse their fellow man. They taught one doctrine that was not part of the Spirit’s revelation.
Every denomination teaches something not found in God’s word; at least one, but usually many. Many of their names are extra-biblical, as noted in point #1 above. Too, their teachings on salvation are erroneous.
Get your Bible and read Acts 22:16.
What does that passage teach regarding the remission of sins?
In that passage you will recall Paul is telling others about his conversion to Christ. You can go back to Acts 9 and confirm the following as Paul declared.
- He saw the Lord on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:3-5).
- He acknowledge Jesus as Lord; Paul believed (Acts 9:6).
- He went into Damascus (Acts 9:8).
- He was penitent (Acts 9:9).
- He prayed (Acts 9:11).
- He was baptized (Acts 9:18).
Now, read again Acts 22:16 and find out the reason he was baptized. Note Paul was not saved on the road to Damascus. If he was, why did Ananias tell him to arise and be baptized and wash away his sins? Paul was not saved by faith alone. He was not saved by faith and repentance and confession and prayer. He was saved, his sins were washed away, in baptism – based on his faith in Christ as Lord.
We submit this to you: Any church that does not teach this plan of salvation teaches error and is therefore sinful.
There are other specific reasons denominations are sinful. The above are given as basic, broad facts that show denominationalism is contrary to God’s will, without Bible authority, and damning to the souls of men. We urge you to investigate sincerely with a mind to do God’s will.
When you study the New Testament, you will see the universal body of Christ that consists of all Christians (Col. 1:18) and local congregations (Gal. 1:2; Rom. 16:16; 1 Thes. 1:1). And there is only one universal body (Eph. 4:4).