Understanding the damage of denominationalism but not the cause

On my way to worship I listened to a preacher on the radio from a neighboring county talk about the damage denominationalism has done to the church. He was very emphatic with his words and I am convinced he truly believed what he was saying…especially because he was preaching in a very plain way to/at his own denomination (his own words). And because of the things he was saying about fellowship, I am also convinced he understood the damage denominationalism has done to the church when it comes to the unity that God desires (John 17:20-21).

But despite the fact I believe he understands the damage of denominationalism, I don’t believe he understands the cause.

Why is that? Because of one thing he said. Now I wasn’t able to write it down when he said it, but what I am about to give him credit for is close enough that I know I am not doing any damage to the point he was making; nor am I worried about twisting it in any way to make my point seem valid.

The preacher on the radio said, “If people put as much energy into finding reasons that we should not fellowship with others as they did into evangelizing the lost together, then this country would be on fire for God.”

When I heard what he said, I immediately thought two things:

  1. He’s right about the damage that denominationalism does to evangelism!
  2. How can we evangelize together if the person being “evangelized” is given two different answers to the single question of, “What must I do to be saved?” (Mark 16:16, Acts 2:37-38, Acts 10:43-48, Acts 16:29-33, Acts 22:16)

If only he had asked himself the same question I asked myself, then he would have understood the cause of the damage done to gospel of Christ that he does not deny.

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.” (1 Corinthians 1:10 NKJV)

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV)

These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” (Acts 17:11)