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Archive for the ‘R: Denominationalism’ Category

Why So Many Denominations and Why People Leave Them

Ron Halbrook
West Columbia, Texas

The following question came in the mail, "Why are there so many denominations?" Diverse religions, churches, and doctrines did not come from Jesus Christ. He promised, "I will build my church," referring to God's plan to save sinners. This salvation comes through Jesus of Nazareth, "the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt. 16:16-18), When Jesus died in order that men might have "the remission of sins," he "purchased with his own blood" the church (Matt. 26:28; Acts 20:28). Those who are saved in the church are like a body with Jesus the Savior as the head. "There is one body," and Christ is "head over all things to the church, which is his body" (Eph. 1:22-23; 4:4).

The Apostles of Christ preached the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus as the only hope of mankind for salvation. Sinners were told, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins," and, "Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 2:38; 22:16). "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved," and the body of the saved "continued steadfastly" in the teaching of the Apostles and in the pattern God gave for the true church of Christ (Acts 2:42,47).

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Fellowship With Denominations

By Mike Willis

The subject of Christian fellowship has been an important issue for the twentieth century. The ecumenical movement of Protestant denominationalism changed those churches; instead of being denominations at war with one another, they accepted one another as Christians with different denominational heritages. The influence of this movement spilled over into the restoration heritage. The Murch-Witty discussion of the 1930s was a “unity-in-diversity” movement.

The conversion of Carl Ketcherside and Leroy Garrett from sectarians who would not fellowship anyone except those baptized believers who opposed located preachers and colleges in which the Bible is taught was the beginning of a “unity-in-diversity” movement among the churches of Christ. That movement spilled over to influence the non-institutional churches in the early 1970s, taking about 100 younger preachers with it.

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The Establishment of Denominations

Mike Willis
Dayton, Ohio

In our previous article, I wrote regarding the establishment of the Lord's church. In that article, I presented evidence to demonstrate that the Lord's church was established on the first Pentecost following the resurrection of the Lord. Those who have any knowledge whatsoever of the New Testament know that the Lord only established one church (Eph. 4:4); any other religious body stands condemned of God. Reconciliation of man to God occurs in this one body (Eph. 2:16).

Where did all of the denominations of the world come from? The answer to this question lies in the annals of human history. The religious reference books relate the establishment of the various denominations. I propose in this article to mention the date and circumstances of the establishment of several of the major denominations in America today. The historical circumstances in which they were born will demonstrate that they cannot be the Lord's church because of the differences in time in their establishment and that of the Lord's church.

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