Are Denominations Dividing the Church?
How did today’s church get so divided – Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Mennonites, Orthodox, Mormons, to list just a few? Is it an abomination before the Lord? How do we figure out which group is following God’s truth?
BY: Rob Kerby, Senior Editor
Worldwide, the largest group of Christians, the Roman Catholic Church is headquartered in Vatican City – right in the middle of Rome, Italy – and disdains any notion that they are a denomination. Everybody else is, they teach. They, on the other hand, are the original church. However, several groups also teach that – insisting they are “non-denominational,” while everybody else is “denominational.”
To the outsider, Greek, Ethiopian, Syrian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Egyptian, Russian and other Orthodox groups don’t seem that different from each other or Roman Catholics – however, most are rich in rituals and traditions that have developed over the centuries and which are held dear by the faithful.
Mormons, a large and growing group, believe that their founder in the 1800s was visited by an angel who lead him to a manuscript of the Book of Mormon, which the church teaches is “another Gospel of Jesus Christ” – which is repudiated as heresy by fundamentalists. Similarly, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Scientists and Seventh-Day Adventists have their own unique teachings passed down by their founders, but rarely accepted by anybody else.
So, is all this division a good thing?