Sunday, July 25, 2010

Division in the Church

Paul wrote his letter we label “The Book of Romans” to the Christians in Rome. It was written in approximately A.D. 57 while Paul was on his third missionary journey; he was in either Corinth or Cenchrea at the time. The main recipients of the letter were Gentiles, although there were some Jews in Rome who may have read it also. Evidently there were people in Rome who claimed to be Christians, but were spreading false doctrine, causing division in the church and putting obstacles in the way of true believers (Ro. 16:17).

This problem of people causing division in the church wasn’t only happening in Rome, Paul also wrote to the church in Galatia; to Titus; and to Timothy, so that he could speak to the Ephesians as well. It seemed that almost from the very start of the church age, people would try to lead others away from the truth. Jesus knew it would happen, so He warned Christians in Luke 21:8, “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.”

Today, there are approximately 38,000 Christian denominations; why is that? It is because of people expressing ideas different than those of what the apostles laid out in the New Testament as Christianity grew and time passed. People split from each other because of major differences as well as small differences. It took only 2000 years for 38,000 different Christian groups to form--that’s an average of 19 newly formed and organized groups per year! And every one of them believes that they are the right one! Logic tells us that although everyone can be wrong, not everyone can be right.

Why can’t people accept the Bible for what it says? The Bible clearly says that homosexuality is an abomination, so why ordain homosexuals? The Bible clearly says that women can’t teach or take authority over men in the church, so why ordain women? The Bible clearly says that Jesus will return with a shout and with trumpets blowing as His takes His people to Himself, so why believe in a “secret” rapture?

We are told why in Jeremiah 8:8-9, “How can you say, “We are wise, for we have the law of the Lord,” when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely? The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped. Since they have rejected the word of the Lord, what kind of wisdom do they have?”

False denominations will one day be found out, and many will, although too late, see the light. We all need to get back to the Word and follow it. We need to do what it says and stop putting our evil desires into it.

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