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Clearly the example in the earliest New Testament church (Biblically) was the church in the city. Paul wrote to one church in Ephesus. They may have met in small gatherings throughout the city, but the church was one and his letters were passed around. However, Paul writes about factions beginning already within the church at Corinth (1 Cor. 1, chapters 1 and 3.)
I would imagine factions would be found starting in the time of the ante nicene fathers. I have not scoured their writings, but I would imagine you would find disagreements about teachings and schisms developing from those. Clearly by the time of the Nicene council there were factions.
In my personal experience I see 1 Corinthians chapters 1 and 3 playing out so often in the body of Christ. We tend to focus on a man and his unique take on doctrines. If you read the first three chapters of 1 Corinthians carefully you will see this playing out. Paul talks about the carnality and immaturity of following a man, and contrasts that with his own spiritual ministry.
We have a tendency to latch onto a way of seeing things, often because a man we respected saw it that way, and then we attempt to defend our unique view to the death. It divides us into camps, and it is all due to the carnality of man. Born again men are being led around by the flesh (their own minds, wills, and emotions) rather than being led by the Spirit of God.
I am encouraged though by people I meet from different denominations that are blurring the lines because they have a genuine heart after God and are seeking to know Him in truth at the expense of their tradition. If a man is humble and desires only to know God and His word in truth, that man will be wiling to forsake the traditions of his denominations in whatever areas they are found to fall short of or conflict with the word of God. He will listen to the Holy Spirit, and will be taught of God rather than men.
I am not suggesting that people flee denominational churches and go rogue so to speak or band together as one more disillusioned group claiming to be a remnant. Far from that. I am suggesting that the heart after God's own heart will spend time in His presence, allowing Him to shape their hearts and minds. I find when I meet these people, no matter what denominational church they fellowship in, they are growing in truth and in many cases having the effect of bringing a sweet savor into their churches. I really believe that as we see Christ's return nearing, we will also see the true church emerge with many different "names" on their billboards, but one heart and truth burning on the inside. Others will reject Christ for the sake of tradition and fall away.
Just my perspective.
| 2019/11/18 15:57||Profile|
| Re: |
I found it shocking when the Holy Spirit(This is not a regular everyday occurence)pointed out to me years ago now that the only time unity is mentioned from Acts on is in connection to the gifts.Their are two obvious lists and another not so obvious mention of the gifts and on all three occasions unity is mentioned in one form or the other.
What I took from the study I did at the time is that the gifts are very important when it comes to unity.
I dont want to get away from your post to much.It is important to note that denominations no matter where they came from or how they were formed ,no matter what their background or history is exist and one denomination differs from another because of various emphasis on differing doctrines.Denominations are not a division or structure from God although God uses them because God uses all things for the Good for those in Christ Jesus.
It important to note also denominations exist at this point in history and we cannot and probably should not do anything about it.
When God chooses to do change the existing arrangement he will use proper doctrine to achieve this.Correct doctrine is the antidote to incorrect doctrine.
Can I be boring and give one example:
The Sadducees in their wisdom came to Jesus and asked whose wife would it be in the ressurection if a woman married 7 brothers and one brother died after another.They asked this because the doctrine of ressurection divided them from the Pharisees as the Sadducees didnt believe correctly about the ressurection. Jesus addressed their wrong doctrine by clearly giving the correct teaching i.e their is no marriage in heaven and more importantly their is a ressurection.
So by correcting their doctrine in effect Jesus was saying "their is now no reason for the Sadducees to even exist".
This is how a denomination will be dealt with in the future,urs staff
| 2019/11/18 18:07||Profile|
| Re: |
Thank you, Brother Travis,
I see that now,... yes, the Churches were already beginning to have problems early on in Paul’s time.
“¶ Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
Yes Paul was calling them into ‘unity’,... the unity that we have in Christ, in that ‘one’ mind,.. and unity w/ each other in the Church.,... in the truth that Paul and the others that had been taught by God. I.e. the truth of the gospel.
,,, yes, They were already having problems in the church of God.
Glad you brought that up.,...
.....now in our time, ... in the denomination’s, are they preaching the same thing that these men preached, ...having the same mind,.. guarding the truth of the gospel ?...and so on and so forth ?
Please, I am in a thought process,... a waking up,.. a time to consider, for us, all... a time for prayerfull study and thought.
A time of drawing closer to God in Truth.
(Not that many are not,... forgive me, but I just have this desire to encourage)
I am doing this out of ‘pure care’ and concern,.. nothing else.
The Word in Rev. Says that Satan deceiveth the whole world.
The Word says for us to WATCH.
Satan has his devises for deception .
| 2019/11/18 20:59||Profile|
| Re: |
Re: Travis writes:
“Paul writes about factions beginning already within the church at Corinth (1 Cor. 1, chapters 1 and 3.)”
And Yes , I certainly agree, Travis, and I appreciate your time and interest in pointing this out. And the (2) Words you pointed out, ‘factions’ and ‘schism’ ,
And so I ask, is this , would you say when denomination’s got started ?
Brother Greg said, that there are over 42,000 denominations worldwide now. Oh my !
You also said,
“The main driving force of some people to start house churches is the strong belief that the entire Church, by and large, apostatized shortly after or during the life of the Apostle John.”
To that , I was wondering , and then we can readily see it ,in Paul’s time to?
Looking back to Paul,...
..on the ‘unity’ when he first began ... as a whole, as Paul so desperately tried to work out the on-going problems in the Church,.. now working it out, is it all but lost...and so,... is this when the denomination’s began and continues even until this day,... by many well meaning men,... by studied men,...?
But , I believe , one MUST be taught by The Spirit teaching or taught and guided along, as did Paul to Timothy.
So, can we look at the life of the Disciples,and Paul, that was directing,the Church in his day
The Disciples that walked w/ Jesus, here on this earth,and was taught by Him,..
and instructed to go out and preach the ‘gospel of the kingdom of God’,... didn’t he ?... Their accounts and teachings we have in the New Testament.
And Paul came later, after Pentecost, ...after The Holy Spirit is sent down,and The Lord taught him THE SAME, (gospel,doctrine) (the gospel of the kingdom,... things pertaining to, and concerning the kingdom of God,....yes !
The same as the Disciples that were taught by Jesus.,(they had the unity that Jesus talked about,and had prayed that they would have,..the same Word, and gospel) No new doctrine that I can see, except being sent to the Gentiles,..
The same Gospel of the kingdom of God, that Jesus instructed them to preach,... then we read what Jesus says, the kingdom of God must be preached throughout the whole world, and then shall the end of the world be,...(paraphrased)
It was not too long before Paul, was writing letters, and going to these different churches ie. gathers of the Church, Paul was laboring to keep the ‘unity’ and The truth that was laid down to them of The Word of God.... that,..which makes us ‘one’ w/ Him.
UNITY: the same Word that made Jesus and His Father ONE,.. same Word that Jesus taught His Disciples,.. then taught Paul by The Spirit of God,..and will / does
for us,....true unity. ...
* Referring to Jesus’ prayer for them and for us on unity.,.. “Father make them one, as we are one.”
Lot’s to consider,
| 2019/11/21 20:17||Profile|
| Re: nonsense |
There are not 42000 denominations in the world anymore than I have $42,000.00 in my pocket.
off the top of your head the vast majority of us will not recognize more than about 20 and if you're really in the know you might get 30.
The details of course are always left unsaid, namely;
What is the definition of a denomination that is being applied here?
Since no definition is being defined, just vague assumptions that can have another 42000 variances of definition.
By the way...as anyone bothered to ask these 42000 so-called denominations if they even consider themselves a 'denomination' that stands over against another Christian group?
If someone actually did any homework on the subject, they might find a percentage of that so-called 42000 denominations actually consider themselves aligned with the top 20 denominations to begin with. Therefore nullifying a true denominational boundary.
the only way to get 42,000 or in the past (literally just a few years ago it was 25000) is to count every independent church or a church that has a 501(C)3 status with the US government.
Once you take the big 20 out of the picture you are left with the independents and/or parachurch ministries.
But, after all that supposed denominational division the orthodox believers are all subscribing to the basic 7 to 10 main tenants of the faith...which unites them as Christians.
This response is not directed at Greg because he used that figure, it's directed to the readers as a whole to question such statements and to think for themselves how denominations are defined and why the huge disparity between what we can all claim as a denomination...about 30 and the other 41,970 that seem to have no store front?
Edit to add:
Someone might say..."Marv you are all wet, I did my research and found 1972 denominations...that truly exist!
My response: Thanks for proving my point, that leaves 40,028 bogus denominations and proof that such a large number is a horrid exaggeration.
| 2019/11/22 11:54||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| Re: |
According to a report published by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, in mid-2014 there were over 45,000 Christian denominations worldwide.
"These 33,000 are subdivided into "6 major ecclesiastico-cultural mega-blocs", and ordering them by denomination size we have (I am rounding up or down slightly for convenience, using year 2000 figures) :
Independents (about 22000)
Protestants (about 9000)
"Marginals" (about 1600)
Roman Catholics (242)
So the 33,000 number is from the total of these 6 mega-blocs:
22000 + 9000 + 1600 + 781 + 242 + 168 = 33,000+
That's where the 33,000 figure comes from. If you count the "mega-bloc" of "Protestants" only it is 9000 / 33000 or 27% of the total. However, if you combine Protestants with Independents and Anglicans ( [22000 + 9000 + 168] / 33000) it is 94% of the total or 31,000+ . We will see below that most (about 97%) of the "Independent" churches are indeed Protestants. "
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2019/11/22 12:41||Profile|
| Re: |
I have never seen a man or woman who was truly walking after the Spirit of God that was factious or divisive (had what some call a denominational spirit). I have seen men and women who are walking after the Spirit who did not know if they agreed or disagreed about non-essential parts of scripture such as eschatological perspective or the exact wording to be used in a baptismal service and etc.. But I have never seen spiritual men break the unity of the Spirit that exists between them over issues such as these.
Factions or schisms in the body always come from carnality...always...no exceptions. You cannot be walking according to the Spirit of God, have His heart, and be led of the Holy Spirit and not be in unity with others who have the same heart of God. You cannot walk in the Spirit and be factious. It simply cannot happen.
So the real key here is to seek to have the heart of God through surrender to Him and communion with Him. I have found that when men seek God above all and allow Him to transform their lives in every aspect, the unity of 1 Cor. 1 and 3 naturally happens. They begin to all speak the same thing and be of the same mind and judgment. And, 1 Cor. 2 begins to happen in their midst because now they have God's heart and mind. The Holy Spirit always speaks the same thing. He is internally, eternally, and universally consistent. He is the teacher, and when this is true in our lives, we will come into true unity.
I don't think this is so far removed from the realm of possibility as some might think. I am excited to be seeing this among many believers that I run across and fellowship with, from many different "denominations". The lines are blurring for those who are seeking Him above all else.
| 2019/11/22 12:48||Profile|
| Re: |
The definition of ‘denomination’ as I would say, just in thinking
about what that word would mean,...
Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Pentecostal,Lutheran,
...so forth and so on,...
And then their many, many, many, branch-off’s.
.....that were actually started by some man,and grew and grew, until this day.
These are all branch-off of the original.
The original, we know, was the one in the beginning, ‘The Church of God’ (I am not talking about the denomination,) ,I am talking about the Church of God, that originated from Jesus’ teachings,...the one He called the church of God,.. . where His teachings were about the ‘gospel of the kingdom of God’ .
That we, through The Spirit are born into that kingdom, (we received His Name,which is The Holy Spirit,.. His Name is in us,.. The Word of God in us. (Him)
This, He taught His Disciples, ( learners), and then sent them out, (Apostles),to teach,.... and was then taught by The Spirit unto Paul,... same, .. no difference,.. totally unified w/Jesus’s teachings,...a continuum of that gospel in that time.
**The True / Truth Church
Brother Marvin, I looked up the definition of the word ‘Denomination’
and this is what I found,...
* “A recognized branch of the Christian Church “
* “A group or branch of any religion.”
•• seems like the key word here is,’branching’
Hope I am speaking w/clairity,... not sure that I always do that tho.
Thank you for your interest and response,.. I appreciate it.
| 2019/11/22 14:41||Profile|
| Re: |
The faction , and schism were in the Church in Paul’s time, and do we not believe it is still here, even until now ? We know that is why he kept having to try to bring it back the church back to ‘the truth of the gospel’ .
Some, it seemed knew the right way,which was and is since Jesus’ death and resurrection, it is by The Spirit now, ... but men were trying to teach and go back to the law.
Paul was not into Ecumenicalism,... it was not of just everybody mixed together,.. so we can have ‘unity’,... NO
The people of God are a peculiar people.... consecrated,.. separate,...
Now, please don’t miss understand me. Jesus communicated with sinners,.. and even ate w/ them, but he did not compromise His teachings that His Father, God gave Him, ...that He gives to the whole world. ...
The Bread from heaven.
Jesus, and His people are a peculiar people,.. the world couldnot and cannot understand,,.. they hated and killed Him because of what came out of His mouth.
He loved everyone, but stood only for God,His Farther.
Brother Travis, is that what you are saying, or am I miss reading you ?
| 2019/11/22 16:03||Profile|
| Re: |
I always appreciate validation even when it's not intended.
Hello Ms. Brown,
Thank you for your inquiry. I can assure you that the figure of 39,000 is in no way inflated. This number represents our most current, up-to-date data. As we are constantly updating this figure, it is not published in print form. The figure of 33,800 from the year 2000 was printed in our book World Christian Trends, (Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 2001). Part 12 of World Christian Trends (WCT), Table 12-1 gives figures of denominational totals for all 238 countries of the world. These figures are also represented graphically in WCT on page 917, Global Map 14. The definition for denominations used in WCT, and also in our publication World Christian Encyclopedia (Oxford, 2001) is as follows:
"Any agency consisting of a number of congregations or churches voluntarily aligning themselves with it. As a statistical unit in this survey, a 'denomination' always refers to one single country. Thus the Roman Catholic Church, although a single organization, is described here as consisting of 236 denominations in the world's 238 countries."
This above quote has the catholics comprising of 236 denominations...simply because of geography.
That in my opinion inflates the denominational number 236 times what is true.
Thanks Greg for the homework, appreciated.
The whole idea behind inflating denominations...is simply to exaggerate the schismatic divisions that exist in Christianity. In short, I am to believe the whole church is simply one huge human-schism that believes so differently there is really no unity at all.
exaggeration is a lie plain and simple. These folks supplied their version of denominations and now we have well meaning folks using those numbers to perpetuate a lie about the Church.
the above definition provides you with Charismatics...then says it's a denomination if its in another country, therefore if Charismatics are in 200 countries there are 200 more Charismatic denominations. Pure and simple exaggeration...a lie.
Thanks again for those who read what I write even though it calls into question the supposed facts.
| 2019/11/22 16:10||Profile|