Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Opus 39, Why Do We Have Denominations?

Methodists.  Baptists.  Roman Catholics.  Eastern Orthodox.  Church of Christ.  The list goes on.  Why are there so many denominations?  This does not bother me, but some people seem stressed over it.  I remember having a conversation with someone I would not hesitate calling a brother in Christ.  He was doing some cold-turkey, door to door, evangelism and saw me as raw meat.  He was a Calvinist, I am Arminian.  We had what I thought was a great conversation, but even I run out of words after a time.  As we were parting I said something to the effect that it would be interesting when we got to heaven and found out who was right.  A look of sorrow came over his face.  He sadly shook his head and said that since the Holy Spirit was not the author of confusion, and I disagree with him; "he did not expect to see me in heaven.”  He said it in the most humble attitude you could imagine.  He was sincere.  He was loving.  He was gentle.  He was condemning me to Hell.

The Bible is the word of God.  It generates strong feelings and beliefs.  There are many that are consistent in all Christians.  I will discuss those in my articles labeled Basic Beliefs.  There are others that people have disagreed on since Paul and Barnabas split up on their missionary journeys.  Do you baptize by sprinkling, pouring or immersion?  Do you use wine or grape juice in communion?  How often do you take communion?  Is sanctification a process, a crisis, or both?  I could go on but I hope you get the idea.

The reason we have denominations is the same reason we have political parties.  Although some people won’t accept it, you can be a Democrat and a loyal American.  The same could be said of Republicans, Peace and Freedom and American Independent.  I am not sure about the Greens.  I know that you cannot be a member of the Communist Party and be a loyal American.  One of the goals of the Communist Party is to destroy America as a free and independent country.  They won’t admit it.  People don’t see it.  It is there.

In the same way you can be a member of almost any denomination and be a follower of Jesus.  We will never agree on how to worship or what translation of the Bible to use, but we are committed to love and obey Jesus.  When you move to the cults and heretical sects, that changes.  You cannot be a member of a group that denies the divinity of Christ and call yourself Christian.  You cannot have other books that trump the Bible and call yourself Christian.  You may be nice people.  You might make good neighbors.  I might even vote for you for president, but you are not a Christian.

Denominations give us the flexibility to be individuals as we seek to follow Jesus.  Don’t knock them.

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Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.