Here is an interesting fact. By 400 AD the bible was translated into 500 languages and then by 500 AD there was only one official language, Latin. Christians were persecuted for their belief for hundreds of years under the Romans until Constantine made it the religion of the empire and included many pagan rites to appease those that would fight against it. Then under Roman rule Christianity went from a persecuted belief to a persecuting religion that killed thousands and hundreds of thousands in the name of God. Find out more get the video "The Forbidden Book"
The plague of paganism has so infiltrated the Christian walk that it is undeniable to those that are watching and the history of the church gives no good excuse for the actions of the past. Breaking away from The Roman Catholic church was not enough. For that was only the beginning of our problems and the sin of denominational divergence. Consider that the Christian walk is plainly stated in 2 Peter 1:3-11 and if that route is taking and absorbed in the believer that he would as the scripture states. "Be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ". So I challenge you that stating facts about denominational divergence is not criticizing if given in the right attitude. An attitude of love for those that hear you.
Was Jesus criticizing when he prayed for all believers to be one as He and the Father are one in John 17?
Here is another fact this time in Ephesians 6; "We fight not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places". If we look back at Ephesians 2 we find that we are saved through faith, a gift from God not of ourselves or works so that none could boast. Denominational divergence has the spirit of exclusivity and sectarianism at its heart. And the battle for unity has been raging since the belief of Christianity was first usurped by the Roman Empire and turned into a religion. Also consider that in 2 Peter 1:5 that it is assumed that faith is already there by saying "for this very reason giving all diligence add to your faith".
Along with the spirit of exclusivity and sectarianism comes the spirit of pride, being proud of denomination. If you choose to overlook this as not sin that is your prerogative. It is the sin of pride that caused Satan to fall and causes man to think they are better than other men because they belong to a certain denomination. Mans original sin is based in judgment of God in the garden of Eden when man decided through the deception of Satan that "The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil" was good for food, was pleasant to the eyes and desirable to make one wise. The problem has existed since the beginning and his been pointed out by Columba, Wiclif, Bonhoeffer, Spurgeon, Calvin, Wesley, Luther and others.
Consider that in Christianity, that 90% of believers fail to share their faith with another throughout their whole lifetime. This fact crosses denominational boundaries and includes the autonomous non-denominational as well. It's no wonder when people choose church for comfy seats, music, socio-economic position and other non-eternal reasons. Think I'm making this up? I truly wish I was wrong and that none of what I stated was true.
The church is the real mission field and although the workers are few, those of us that claim to know the truth as revealed in scripture must at least attempt to show unity by cutting through the hyperbole of history and popular opinion. My motivation is based at the judgment seat of Christ were Jesus said;
"Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ "
Sounds like He is talking about church folk here and not unbelievers but those who say they are believers and practice their doctrine.
The Lord bless and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
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