Although the Word of God can be difficult to read sometimes to your average person, the main theme is crystal clear: Jesus Christ. We learn that He is our Savior if we confess our sins and believe He shed His blood for our sins. This is the foundation. Some religious leaders today do not arrive at all the same conclusions. Most maintain this foundation but they have somehow become divided over other tenets of the Word. This is not what God wanted. After Jesus rose again to heaven, there was ONE church: The Early Church. Facilitated by the apostles, the early church was a united force that spread the gospel all over the world. Over time there has been division after a division because religious leaders added their spin to the doctrine. Think of the Word as a tree and the religious leaders as vines attached to it using its resources to push their own agenda. Of course this is a tool by the evil one to divide the body of Christ. Let’s look at how denominations have fractured the unity that God intended.
The apostle Paul was the single greatest force of the early church. Like the Lord Himself, Paul was against division amongst the church. Take for example the church in Corinth:
1 Corinthians 1:10-15 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,[a] in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas[b]”; still another, “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so no one can say that you were baptized in my name.
Now look at what he told the Galatians:
Galatians 1:6-9 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!
Like the Galatians, many other churches did not listen to Paul. They will receive their judgments accordingly for pursuing their own gospels. The criticisms I list are not leveled against followers in certain denominations but against their authors. Specific beliefs in many denominational churches are unbiblical.
As I have mentioned before, the Catholic church has its problems: the endorsement of the Apocrypha, praying to Mary, faith plus works, etc. Protestants are not free of guilt either. Some believe that people are saved by the ritual of baptism. Some think that Christianity is just one of many ways to God.
Next we have non-Pentecostal evangelicals. Some have created lists of actions of the flesh that they say are sinful such as drinking, smoking, dancing, watching movies or TV, or even listening to certain Christian music. Some do not even allow musical instruments in church but these same churches ignore actions of the flesh like gluttony, gossip, and judging everyone as sinners who have the greater faith to believe that God does not abide by their list of man-made forbidden activities.
Now for the Pentecostals. Some say the ritual of water baptism by immersion with a preacher saying the words “I baptize you into the name of Jesus Christ” is required for salvation and say all those baptized by sprinkling or baptized into the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not saved. Some teach name it and claim it and positive confession — “if you believe it you will receive it. Some add to “salvation by faith” the false doctrine of “being saved by works of obedience.”
These are just a few examples I have. You can get into the cultic insanity of Mormons and Jehovah’s witnesses as well. The point is that with all of this division, evil has been forged. You see Christians showing distaste for people of this denomination or that denomination when it shouldn’t be like that. If we have the same FOUNDATION in Christ, there should be no quarreling. But yet, it persists. That is where there has been a massive migration of believers to non-denominational churches. Don’t misunderstand me that there could not be issues within non-denominational churches as well. Evil knows no boundaries. But the institutionalized division is no longer present in a church like this. The foundation is Christ and everything built upon it is strictly through the Word. If you are dissatisfied with your church life, consider a non-denominational church you like. I encourage all of my viewers again to visit coastalchurch.tv and see how my church represents what God intended and Paul pleaded for.