Thursday, July 23, 2015


Do you hear through your eyes and smell through your hair? Denominationalism seems to say your body works different than mine.

Copyright 1999 / Leslie A Turvey

A servant of the only true and living God

Old timers will remember the kid’s song, “My dog is better than your dog.” It’s still sung today, but the words are, “My church is better than your church.”

Why do we have denominations? Why not just one world-wide church? The history of schisms within the church is too long to detail here. But it boils down to yet another version of the old song: “My doctrine’s better than your doctrine.”

Before I was introduced to the sabbath, the holy days, and the dietary laws, I was a Baptist. We had it all right. It was those Presbyterians who were wrong. And the Catholics: Well! They sprinkled babies. We baptized believers the bible’s way.

Oh yeah. Us Baptists had it all right. (Like Paul said in 2 Corinthians
11:23, “I speak as a fool”).

And what did the Catholics and the Presbyterians think? Those Baptists are sure out in left field.

The method of baptism, the day of worship, the frequency of the Lord’s supper, whether fermented wine or Welch’s grape juice should be served at communion, and a hundred other differences have divided congregations, and resulted in new denominations.

This isn’t something new. Paul wrote of it in 1 Corinthians 11:18, and described it well in chapter 12 where he observed there were differences of spiritual gifts – wisdom, knowledge of God’s word, the working of miracles, the gift of healing, and so on. But he points out these all come from one source, one Spirit.

Referring to the human body he wrote, “The body is not one member [part], but many. If the foot shall say, because I am not the hand I am not of the body, is it therefore not of the body (verses 14-15)?” He goes on to note the eyes, the ears, the nose all have their own work to do, but they are all part of the one body.

In verse 27 Paul associated the human body with the spiritual body of Jesus Christ. He wrote, “Now you are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” Unfortunately churches often use this verse to justify their denominations, but they compare apples and oranges.

My eyes do the same work as your eyes, don’t they? Doesn’t your right hand function the same as the next person’s. But the Baptists would have you believe their body is different than the Presbyterians or the Episcopalians or the Anglicans.

Where do they get this idea?

It all comes from ignoring a message from Peter. He wrote, “No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation (2 Peter 1:20).” Dr James Strong and my favourite dictionary agree that prophecy is inspired speaking. Therefore Peter was speaking of the entire bible, not just references to future events.

Divisions arise because, as one man often said, “Most people change the meaning of God’s Word to make it conform to their belief, rather than changing their belief to make it conform to God’s Word.”

As long as people interpret the bible for themselves, rather than searching the scriptures, there will be denominational differences. But when Jesus Christ returns there will be no more Baptists or Presbyterians, nor your church or mine, but one unified church all teaching the same thing. It will be called The Church of God.

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