One verse answer (Error of Denominationalism)

Settling every Bible based question or studying every Bible based topic can hardly be resolved with a single verse every time, but there are times when a single verse is so clear and concise in what is being said, the point cannot be missed by any honest Bible student.

For example, take the question and topic of denominationalism and whether or not God approves of such behavior. If we’re looking for a straight answer the Bible provides one! It doesn’t matter how we feel about the restoration movement, the reformation effort, the evangelical community church push, or any other small or large-scale religious body … if you think there is godly wisdom in being able to “choose the church of your choice” think again. Denominationalism is against the will of the Father, the Son and the Spirit! Such a truth is too plain to deny according to the desire and prayer of Jesus before his betrayal, trial and crucifixion. While praying for the apostles, Jesus mentioned those who would believe on him through the teaching and preaching of the apostles by saying, “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.” (John 17:21 NKJV)

Denominationalism goes directly against the prayer of Jesus. Denominationalism goes directly against the mission of the church. Denominationalism goes directly against the unity the apostles preached (1 Corinthians 1:10). The error of denominationalism is more serious than what many consider it to be, and all it takes is one verse to prove it.

#christian-unity, #errors-of-denominationalism, #one-verse-answer

May 2017 Issue of Christian Worker (Noble Character of Philippians)

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics you will find:

  • Philippians: An Introduction (Bill Burk)
  • The Progress of the Gospel (Cody Westbrook)
  • Joy in Philippians (Bruce Ligon)
  • Unity in Philippians (Todd Clippard)
  • Peace in Philippians (Kevin Cauley)
  • Spiritual Maturity in Philippians (Trent Kennedy)

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions.

Copyright © 2017 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#character, #christian-peace, #christian-unity, #christian-worker, #joy, #pauls-epistles, #philippians, #spiritual-maturity

Randomly Ordered Thoughts

On my way home I noticed the wording on the road-sign for the Church of God. For some in the religious world, the sign made a pretty bold statement. It said, “God’s grace demands right living.” According to the scriptures that statement is doctrinally sound (Titus 2:11-12, Colossians 3:15). See how easy it would be to settle the overwhelming number of divisions that denominationalism has caused if only we would go by the right standard? If it’s true it’s not new!

From the mouth of babes…I asked my five-year-old daughter yesterday if her ear was sore. She confidently said, “No.” About five seconds later she said, “I don’t even know what sore means.” Ignorance by itself doesn’t get us into trouble as much as ignorance that wants to remain that way (John 9:39-41).

Men from Mars are chauvinistic. Women from Venus are feminist. Men and women made of the Earth know each are made in the image of God, and God’s image carries with it responsibilities that will outlast fickle times that believe changing the culture equates to changing the truth (Genesis 1:26-27, Ephesians 5:33). Continue reading

#christian-unity, #culture, #forgiveness, #random-thoughts

Tossed To and Fro

I’m not a poet. I don’t even play one on the Internet. But here are a few words that just so happen to (mostly) rhyme while describing heaven’s desire for unity in Ephesians 4:11-16.

Tossed To and Fro

Tossed to and fro

for what

who knows

but ah yes there is an answer


Tossed to and fro

by those

who know

how to hide the answer


Tossed to and fro

this is not

the will of God

for life upon the sea Continue reading

#christian-unity, #ephesians-4, #poetry

A Wild Proposal

hugh’s news & Views — For over fifty years I have been a preacher of the gospel. During all these years I have believed in, preached, and urged the unity of all believers in Christ upon the basis of the Bible alone. I read in my New Testament where Jesus prayed for His followers “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 have sent Me” (John 17:21).

I further read where the inspired apostle Paul said to the divided church in Corinth: “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 judgment” (I Corinthians 1:10).

I also read where the apostle said: “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:4-6).

Three chapters earlier I had read that the one body is the church (1:22-23).

Down through the centuries, as Christianity ebbed and waned, it became divided into many factions. Today, according to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, there are approximately 41,000 denominations in the world. This statistic takes into consideration cultural distinctions of denominations in different countries, so there is overlapping of many denominations. How can all of these different denominations be restored to the unity for which Christ prayed? How can there again be just one body/one church as there was in the New Testament era of Christianity? Following is my wild proposal for such.

Let all denominational hierarchies—Catholic and Protestant—be dismantled and every local church/congregation of any kind be returned to the control of the members who comprise it. Let the Pope be permanently retired. Let the old gentleman be treated with respect and dignity, and let him be given the best of care throughout the remaining days of his earthly life, but let the papacy be dissolved. Let the College of the Cardinals be disbanded. Let the Archbishops and Bishops go home and find membership in a local congregation. Let the Vatican return its vast wealth to the local churches for the relief of the poor and the preaching of the pure gospel of Christ. Let the Episcopal Church, the Lutheran Church, the Presbyterian, the Baptist, the Methodist, the Pentecostal, the Disciples of Christ, the Mormon and every other church of every stripe and kind also dismantle its denominational machinery, dispose of its creed, catechism, or church manual, and do away with its distinctive, identifying name. Let each local church resolve to be just that—the church! Continue reading

#christian-unity, #denominationalism, #hughfulford, #religious-division

Re: Together

Ron, your post reminds me that a brother who used to be a part of the fellowship here often commented that, without Christ, we’d never have been brought together, both from our points of origin as well as our diverse backgrounds. How true that is!

As much as I love my physical family, I see in the saints here (here being SJCampos and Taubaté) how important the spiritual family of God is. For some, the church is pretty much all they’ve got. For others, there’s a physical family that isn’t supportive or is hostile to faith. Some of us are blessed in that much or most of our physical family is also spiritual family, but even at that, what heightens and informs our love and intimacy is the bond of the Spirit.

What blessings in our godly unity!
We have a single Lord, a single mind;
Among us love, acceptance, liberty,
With old and hard opinions left behind. —JRM

#christian-poetry, #christian-unity, #church, #spiritual-family

End your divisions

Today’s Bible reading schedule starts 1 Corinthians 1. If you don’t have a habit of reading the Bible every day, why not start this one with us, since we’re starting a new book today.

The Portuguese devotional used 1 Cor. 1:10 for the text today. I like the NET Bible on this verse: “I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to agree together, to end your divisions, and to be united by the same mind and purpose.”

“End your divisions.” Doesn’t get much clearer than that, does it? Yet how many in the religious world cling to the traditions and doctrines of men and perpetuate disunity?

#christian-unity, #disunity, #religious-division