The Segregated Segregation of Believers..."Denominationalism".

"The churches of Christ Greet You" recorded in Romans 16:16 does not mean different named-tag denominated churches...It refers to gatherings of the same belief in Jesus people in different locations in a area, or city, province, country or the world for that matter.

The religious Babylonian church is a counterfeit that has swallowed up the people of God and is accepted as the True Church. The genuine has been substituted for the counterfeit, the true substituted for the false, the pure substituted for the impure because the religions of the world has believed spirits that are not of God.

In the midst of a myriad of denominations the saying "It doesn't matter which Church you go to" needs to be examined for its validity. Where did denominationalism, come from? Are they revelations of God, or are they fabrications of man? Are they God sanctioned, or are they man sanctioned? Are they the True Church or are they a counterfeit for the true Church?

John 17:20 - 23. "Neither pray I for these along, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word: That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me."

In these verses, with much love, the Son of God prayed not for unity by the segregation of His followers into different belief systems united by denominational beliefs, but for the unity of His followers through relationship and be united as He and the Father are united.

The deception of division that exists today among those who claim to worship the very One who prayed, "that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us" is pathetic. The many different denominations is a mockery to Jesus' prayer for unity in His Body.

Segregated denominations make Christ a contradictory Lord, by He calling one denomination to deny what He has called another to believe, both claiming the bible to be the basis their beliefs. These different denominations make God out to be a hypocrite, if He has given scripture to guide us in such a way that it means "different strokes for different folks".

The unity for which Jesus prayed does not exist in the denominational world. The modern religious world is divided into hundreds of different name tagged denominations, different creeds, different practices, different organizations, different worship, and different rituals. In truth, denominationalism is the direct opposite of unity. These two views, denominationalism and the systems that grow out of them on one hand and unity on the other, are diametrically opposed to one another.

The unity for which Jesus prayed is not for brethren to "agree to disagree" or to "agree to agree on the essentials and disagree on the non-essentials"...it presupposes oneness of spirit, purpose, speech, and action. Is this not what Paul meant when he wrote in First Corinthians 1:10-13, "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul: and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?"

Paul gave us direction for unity the Lord's way in Ephesians 4:1-6. He wrote, "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."

Until all aspects of the one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, and one God and Father of all is manifested in the world by Jesus Believers, the segregation will continue and the Lord's prayer for unity will go on being ridiculed. The unbelievers will continue to look at the divided state of segregated denominations whose people claim to worship Christ and continue being unbelievers.

Denominationalism, in itself and by its very nature, implies division. According to Webster's Dictionary of Synonyms, the term "denomination strictly applies to a body of people holding common and distinctive beliefs, and called by a particular name so as to distinguish them from a more inclusive body."

The unity that our Lord prayed for can only be had if all who claim to worship Jesus are willing to forfeit our man-made opinions in favor of God's desire and His Grace revelation given by Jesus to Paul. Constitutions, Catechisms, Creeds and y-Laws and Denominations and the are going to have to destroyed division will continue. Unification cannot unite upon the very things that have divided Believers in the first place...human creeds, man-made doctrines, traditions and denominational segregation.

Jesus said in Matthew 15:8-9, "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Earlier in that same chapter, Jesus said to the scribes and Pharisees, "Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your traditions?" (vs. 3.) And again in verse 6 He said, "Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition."

In the early days of Church there were no denominations existing. The early followers Jesus were simply Believers (Acts 11:26), and belonged to "the church that Jesus is building."

The apostles, Peter, Paul, John and the others, were not Catholic or Protestant...they were just "Christ followers" making up community of the redeemed. The apostles did not approve of those in their day that tried to create division within the church which would have resulted in denominations.

Paul had strong condemnation for those who claimed "I am of Paul, I of Apollos, and I of Cephas"? His exhortation was that there "be no divisions among you, but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment"? (1 Cor. 1:10-13.) Indeed, their remedy for such a thing is found in Romans 16:17, where Paul wrote, "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them." Denominationalism is the epitome of religious division.

In Philippians 3:16 we find, "Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing." Out allegiance as Believers is to be to Christ and Christ alone. We are to be Jesus Believers, not Baptist Believers, Pentecostal Believers, Catholic Believers, Methodist Believers, Lutheran Believers, or any other hyphenated Believers...we are simply believers in Jesus who is our Head.

If we follow Jesus Christ as they did, we too, can be just Believers of "like precious faith" (2 Peter 1:1). We then will be free from the error, confusion, and complexity of denominational deception and segregation ir breeds. We will be united in fulfillment of our Lord's unification prayer.

Let's end the segregation hour for the unification power of living in Christ in our daily living.

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