United In Confusion

There are many Christians of all denominations that are seemingly united in a state of confusion. They all cry for unity as Christians et al, but don’t quite understand unity or how to practice what they preach.

In the call for unity, it is commonly said “denominations need to stop attacking each other”, “smaller denominations should join larger ones” or the similar “smaller churches should join larger churches or a denomination”, or from many Catholics “you all need to come back to the Catholic Church, we’re right and you’re all wrong”. Unfortunately, all these statements have flaws; and the Catholics (Roman) seem to forget that Roman Catholicism isn’t the only Catholic Church. There are 6 major Catholic Churches, Roman Catholicism being one; the other 5 are spread across Russia, the Mideast, and Africa.

Whereas it would be nice to have a single denomination with set of doctrines, it must be understood that that hasn’t been since the early Church, nor will it ever be. There has always been, and always will be, multiple denominations with their own doctrines. What holds the different denominations united as a single Church is not doctrines and dogmas, but the Christian worldview. Any true Christian church or ministry, despite it’s own doctrines, shares the Christian worldview as taught by Christ. Any church that diverges from the Christian worldview taught by Christ is not part of the larger Church.

Now, let’s take the statements many Christians falsely state in a sense of unity and explain how they are false or how the Christians using them are misunderstanding the concept of unity:

“Denominations need to stop attacking each other”
When Christians attack another denomination, it is not an attack of the individuals who follow the teachings of the denomination. It is an attack on the dogmas and doctrines that counter the Christian worldview and those of the denomination who knowingly teach the denominations followers falsehoods. It is not a personal attack on the followers. It is a Christians job to look out for our brethren and help them stay on the right path.

“Smaller denominations should join larger ones” or the similar “smaller churches should join larger churches or a denomination”
Smaller denominations joining larger ones or smaller churches merging with larger churches or a denomination is counterproductive in the long run. If a smaller church or denomination shares the same doctrines and dogmas as each other or a denomination, then it may be beneficial for a merger. However, if doctrines and dogmas don’t line up, leaving just the Christian worldview in common, a merger would only likely create confusion within the now joined fellowships, and lead to a split. Likewise, you may have members of merging churches that don’t agree with the merger over the differences in doctrine, and end up creating another (yet smaller) church.

“You all need to come back to the Catholic Church, we’re right and you’re all wrong”
The Roman Catholic Church is not the only Catholic Church. There are 5 other major Catholic denominations. There are also many small Catholic denominations and independant Catholic churches. Likewise, the Roman Catholic Church is not the original Church. Before the Roman Catholics, there existed many churches. Most of these churches were persecuted and annihilated by the Roman Catholic Church. Few of these pre-Roman Catholic churches exist to this day. Not only do many pre-Roman Catholic churches still exist today, but many newer denominations broke from these other churches and denominations. Mainly, only the Protestant denominations in the West had broke from the Roman Catholic Church. There are also churches that organically grow, not birthed from any other denomination.

In the call for unity within the Church, every Christian must first understand the history of the Church, and how the early Church was united despite each churches/denominations differences. By suggesting Christians cannot (or should not) correct one another, state the truth about doctrines and dogmas that are counter to the Christian worldview, etc., you must ask yourself if you yourself are even a Christian or understand what it means to be Christian.

Many Christians state the paraphrased statements above in fear of losing new converts due to a seemingly constant civil war amongst Christians or the repercussions that may be experienced by speaking truth. How far are we to go before our own silence and fear destroys the Christian worldview? How watered-down are we to allow the core Christian message to become? How many falsehoods are we going to allow into the larger Church?

Whereas many outsiders may be confused by inter-denominational arguments, if each denomination shares the Christian worldview and the arguments are a difference in the lesser doctrines and dogmas, that shouldn’t be an issue for a possible convert. The issue that will turn converts away is the manner in which these arguments take place. If the argument is over a percieved anti-Christian doctrine or dogma, and the argument is taking place respectfully, this is a non-issue. But if both parties are getting vile and nasty, including name-calling and possibly profanities, especially if the parties involved can’t respect each others differences while staying strong in a Christian worldview, this is what will turn converts away.

If a denomination is proven to be teaching (knowingly or otherwise) doctrines that are clearly counter to the larger Christian worldview, any respectable Christian will call the denomination out on it. Attempt to explain the fallacies and get them back on the right path. If they refuse, than the Christian will try to get the denominations followers to see the falsehoods and either join a true Christian church or to force the leaders of the denomination to return to a strictly Christian worldview. No respectable Christian will sit idly by while their brethren are being misled and taught fallacies.

Christians, your call for unity is a wonderful thing to see. I am glad we are finally united across denominational lines in our want for unity. Before you attack another for calling out a denomination on its fallacies, or take the calling out of the denomination as a personal attack, understand what the Christian doing the calling out is saying. Look up the true meaning of unity. And, most importantly, research and understand the early Church and the many denominations. Only when you truly understand the Church history and their unity despite their differences, will you understand the “attacks” on denominations and mega-churches, and be able to insert an intelligent, well-researched, comment or opinion into the debate.

Another common thought amongst Christians, is that you shouldn’t leave your church or denomination just because you don’t agree with what they teach. Quite frankly, that is one of the most absurd views I see many Christians stating.

Many feel only the leadership has the right answers since they went to seminary and have degrees and therefore God holds them in a special light and only communicates with them. Where do you think this education came from? Why did they seek it? It was largely because God called them into ministry. Before seminary, they were just an ordinary person like you. For those who self-educated, they were just an ordinary person before doing so. After the calling from God, these individuals either self-educated themselves, went to seminary, or both in order to better be equipped to fulfill their calling. If God is communicating with them prior to furthering their education and becoming leaders, why would He not also communicate with you?

It’s perfectly ok to disagree with a doctrine or dogma your church teaches and to join one that you agree with. Especially if you feel the particular doctrine or dogma goes against the Christian worldview. Christ does not want any of us to be led astray or stay in a church we know are feeding us lies. To stay in a church you disagree with, or know is teaching fallacies, is ignorance at its finest. It doesn’t matter if your family has been members of the same church for generations, when that church begins to go astray it is time to find a church that is still in the bounds of a Christian worldview.

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About Rev. Dr. Red
I'm the Founder and Sr. Pastor of Spiritual Messiah Ministries, Health Enthusiast, Fisherman, and Small Business Owner. I'm passionate about helping others any way I can. I hope to help as many as I can lead a happier, healthier, fulfilling life. This began with my ministry, and has since expanded into a complete wellness movement.

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