Denominational or 'Division'
by, 03.11.2009 at 10.33 PM (689 Views)
Denominational or 'Division'
Some definitions of Denomination include: classification, allocation, designation, and "division."
I was raised Roman Catholic, walked down the aisle after hearing an altar call as an adult in a S. Baptist Church/water 're-baptized' that night, attended some denominational churches (Assy of God, etc.), and inter/non-denominational churches over the years. After I started 'seriously' reading the Bible, I wanted to know which of the 'Denominations' had it right! I went to the local library (B4 the Inet) and researched how all the Christian denominations came about. I found that they all had the basic premises of: Jesus as Savior, sins are forgiven after repentance, water baptism (of some type), etc. In fact, B4 the written word of the Bible, the early church has 'The Apostle's Creed', a verbal confession of common faith for unity of the Church.
It has received this title because of its great antiquity; it dates from very early times in the Church, a half century or so from the last writings of the New Testament:
'The Apostle's Creed'
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He arose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy **catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.
** The meaning of the word 'catholic' is "universal"
1. broad or wide-ranging in tastes, interests, or the like; having sympathies with all;
2. universal in extent; involving all; of interest to all.
3. pertaining to the whole Christian body or church.
This common creed of belief occurs unaltered in the:
1) the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod writings, a major Lutheran religious denomination.
2) The Presbyterian Church also uses the same text as is in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.
3) The United Methodists commonly incorporate the Apostles' Creed into their worship services. The version which is most often used is located at #881 in the United Methodist Hymnal.
* The only word changed from the original creed in the above is that 'Christian' was substituted for 'catholic!'
So what happened to cause all these 'divisions' within the Christian church community??? Answer: 'men got involved with God's business!'
The problem of following 'men' and the personalities & doctrines of men has been around since the Apostles per the scripture:
1 Cor 1: 11 My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas [Peter]"; still another, "I follow Christ." 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?
What I have discovered during my many years of walking this walk, is that I dont put my eyes on man, but stay focused on Christ thru the Word! Scripture says that "Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind." So the only title that I will 'let someone put on me' is Christian!! Given to the early believers in Antioch meaning 'little Christs.' That is what we are and suppose to be in this world!! So I look for 'unity of faith' and of the Spirit, not to be divisive in my dealings with other believers.......
And...I want to add that for those who would judge other's state of salvation, who espouse the Apostle's Creed statement of faith, remember the scripture of "Do not judge lest you be judged,' and dont try to play at being God!!!