Monday, March 9, 2009

Dirty Denominationalism

Something that has been on my mind a lot lately has been religion. By religion, I'm talking about the "denomination" or "religious following" that we practice, in contrast to the faith values we hold to and live out in our daily lives. I think believers, especially the younger generation, today find themselves experiencing a paradigm shift in how we view our practices. We are coming to realize that the practice of religion isn't always all it's cracked up to be.

Growing up, I remember being taught in church that other denominations hold faulty beliefs, that we need to be at church every week or we were in danger of falling away from the faith, that we need to fully adhere to the "tenants of our faith," and that it is bad to "pick and choose" different things from different denominations; sound familiar? I think when congregational leaders tell us these things, they have the best of intentions, however these things couldn't be farther from the truth. Even new believers shouldn't blindly follow...they should work out the beliefs they hold to be true by studying for themselves.

When Jesus wanted to be nearer to God, He went out alone. If He wanted to spend time with the Father, He would separate Himself from the crowds, and oftentimes even from His closest disciples, to pray. After His baptism, He spent 40 days in the wilderness, alone. My times of greatest growth have been when I have separated from the institution of church. These are the times when we are able to shift our focus from "church participation" to true fellowship. Now don't get me wrong, it is indeed a wonderful thing to be able to commune with other believers, however, we are called to fellowship with our Father first and foremost. He alone is our true source of strength and sanctification. Shouldn't "church" be just about that? Fellowship with other believers together with our Father...a means of worshipping God as a group? When did it become a podium (or pulpit) for teaching others what they should think about what the Bible says? Why do we have to make a separate set of rules that each must follow in order to be part of each fellowship? I believe all these things are done to try to protect us from falling into sin, but in the end, our own ignorance has caused that very thing.

Our faith-walk really has nothing to do with what denomination we choose. Each has it's strengths and it's weaknesses...we really should all be united in the Source of our faith. This is the weakness of mankind and it plagues every one of the worlds largest religions. Every form of the Judeo/Christian faith believes that it alone is the correct one. That is precisely why the Pharisees wanted to destroy Jesus...He was bringing unity under Himself where man wanted division.

The first believers in Jesus were Jewish and non-Jew alike. They were hungry for His teaching and, no matter their background, just wanted to be with Him. Once they recognized Him as the Messiah, they were taught, in a nutshell, to learn to love--God's way. It was that simple. After Messiah's ascention, the dissentions among those first believers arose very quickly because of their own notions of how things should work or be done or because of their lack of repentance and love. Religious disagreement is much of what crucified Christ! Our Messiah died because we can't just all get along and love God and our brother. Didn't we learn the first time?

Jesus said it all when He taught us to "Love the Lord our God" and to "Love our neighbor as ourselves." On these two--very basic--things hinge all the law and the prophets. After all, it isn't about religion or denomination, it's about relationship with our Creator.


  1. I like the Honesty in your Blog.I just want to include one thing.In your reasoning all sounds balance.It is Very obvious that you seek peace and unity in "Religions".Jesus said i have come to bring a sword not peace suggesting that his purpose was in Contrast to the "Religious" practice of the day . Take not of this one thing that i did hear in your contribution about religion.Not that you are in error far from it. The one Thing, The Adversary is missing.

    Remember Jesus said my Kingdom is not of this world.Then Jesus mention others things like "Love not the world nor the things of the world". In my fathers house there are many mansion if it were not so i would of told you.These are but a few things He said that suggest to us that maybe He was on a rescue mission.Maybe what we are going through here on earth has a timeline and that timeline has an end.
    I often wonder the same .Why don't we all get along.

    Then i remember The adversary,the mystery of iniquity (satan).
    When i look further i realize what he has done.
    1.He seeks to misrepresent God.
    2.He seeks to deceive us humans.
    3.He seeks to have us distracted and waring against each other when the battle is really with him for the greatest prize,The Human Heart.

    One way he has seek to distract,decieve and misrepresent God simultatneously is to have us believe there are many religions.
    Truth is There are two ways,only two.

    1.Those Who obey and submit to the Sovereign all powerful merciful ,all loving God via his Law of Liberty & protection the 10 commandments all 10 of them.

    2. And the other way in which the Devil has so masterfully entwined truth with error as he normally does(Thou shall not surely die).This way he has infiltrate The Church The pure (Bride)that God set up with the apostles a pure church a true representative if Himself on earth .This form of "Religion" The adversary has tarnished to a form of godliness a false church Revelation descrive it as a harlot one who has turn to other gods.

    All of mankind have the choice to accept the pure unadulterated "Religion" the one Jesus exemplify or the false religion false (church) live mixtures of the pagan customs.
    The many churches or religions we see are daughters of one system.The pagan Roman systems who.Even Rome publicly states all her daughters must come home.God has always had represented on Earth his True faithful bride. Abraham was part of it,Job,David,in his time the apostles,Those who followed thus saith the lord was his.Those who compromise weren't his.

    There is only one truth.Though it might be progressive to us . It is constant with God.
    Truth does not change. John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    you have made great observations keep serving the lord and keep your head in His HOLY WORD KJV he leads us all to the fullness of Truth even i am searching daily.
    He maid a promise
    :Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him : for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
    God Bless you and your Family as you seek to serve him
    I hope to see u in his Kingdom

  2. thank you for your comments, royalblood! very true, the adversary seeks to destroy us with disunity. may we all fight against this by faith and continuous study in search of the truth. the Bible teaches us that if we seek, we will find! blessings to you!

  3. Hi Trishia,

    You're correct the closer we draw to God, the more peace we will have with others, God and ourselves. Perhaps if we can learn how to fight the enemy of this world by trying to be kind to others, and living the Golden Rule we wouldn't have so many denominations. It's been said the Christianity is the only religion in the world that kills it's wounded. There is much spiritual abuse in the church.
    I agree w/ you, when I pulled from church I drew even more near to God, I had more time for Him, in turn I had more charity/love to give to others by doing good to those who really needed. Sitting at His feet allows me to be refreshed to do the work He has called me to do.