Given that the world is in the state of corruption following the “fall”, so that people’s thinking is a mish mash of thoughts and all kinds of ideas, it is amazing that the gospel has managed to maintain its position within Christian organisations to the degree that it has.
Denominations are born when someone (other than Eve) has a bright idea about theology and then proceeds to influence others into believing that this is a better way of thinking about it.
We then end up with myriads of Christian organisations who don’t agree with one another. This may not be much of a problem providing the basic tenant of Christianity is adhered to, but where the new difference extends into that basic premise and changes its core position, then there is trouble.
The difference between normal theology and one which changes the core issue, we call a sect or cult. The core issue of course is that Jesus dealt with man’s corruption problem, and released him into the promise of eternal life, of living forever. His displayed body on the cross conveys to the world that this has happened, that the problem of sin and death has been solved.
Denominations are for the most part, OK. It is the sects and cults, those who alter the central message that Jesus bore our sin on the cross, thus liberating us from its recriminations and penalties, that in so doing, destroy the very intention and purpose of what the cross has done for us, and by so doing, retain death. It is they who deserve to be addressed in corrective ways. (these religions are of the flesh, not the Spirit).
Anglican, Baptist, Salvation Army, Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Assemblies of God, and many others all teach freedom from sin because Jesus took it into and upon himself. Then there are Mormons, Jehovah’s witnesses, Christadelphians, World Wide Church of God, and others who have strayed from the accepted standard of Christian cross theology, or have introduced elements connected with it that severely hamper the accuracy of the message.
All these organisations have emerged because initially somebody introduced a variation to whatever the accepted “norm” was of the time.
We could start with LUTHER, perhaps, who disagreed with the Catholic position and started the protestant religion from which many variants spread. And all these variations result in an incursion into the surrounding corruption, the darkness into which the gospel came to shed its light, because variation means variation from truth.
Then we could introduce MARY BAKER EDDY (Christian Science).
Then ELLEN WHITE (Seventh Day Adventist).
Then ARMSTRONG (World Wide Church of God)
Then CAMPBELL?, THOMAS, ROBERTS. (Christadelphian).
You see, when we comprehend that God has taken the responsibility for us, for our sin and death and our life, then we can call him “Father”. But before that, we can only call him “God”. We certainly could not call him “ABBA”. [Some errant groups want him to be called by other names].
Common to these groups is that they say they are the only ones with the truth, and so remain exclusive from all “normal” Christians. Even though they may be only small groups, or perhaps because of it, they claim to be the only ones who will “go to heaven” or “be in the kingdom”, or however they wish to express their version of eternal life. They would probably claim that their small numbers are proof that they are the ones entering by the “narrow gate”.
So all those who have introduced variation to the Gospel have in some way drawn on the corruption of the failed Adamic world, to produce a “denomination”, but some have exceeded themselves and destroyed the gospel by their more severe excursion into the world of “flesh”.
There are many references on the web to see what these groups believe. To be honest, some of the “normal” doctrines DO deserve examination. But it is the ones who demand keeping of laws, certain days, special names for God and Jesus, and those claiming exclusivity and who isolate themselves from the rest of us, who stand out as obviously in error. Some error is tolerable, but not that which effects the meaning of the cross, and what that sacrifice achieved.
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