3 Steps to Overcoming Denominationalism

The culture of religion in America is inundated with sectarianism and division. And while Jesus’ people are called to be set apart from the world (1 Peter 2:9), what I’m talking about is a sickness in the hearts and souls of many today.

So many are more enamored with following their religious traditions or teachings than seeking to be like Jesus in their lives and praise Him in their worship. Therefore, I have three steps that will help someone overcome denominationalism in their lives so that we can look for the pure religion of Jesus Christ.

Realize Denominations Are Sinful

I recently wrote on how humility produces unity within God’s people. In that post we looked at a number of passages in which until is commanded by God (cf. Ephesians 4:3, Ephesians 4:13, Acts 2:46, Acts 8:6, Acts 15:25, 1 Corinthians 1:10, Colossians 3:13-14) but let’s look specifically at a few of those passages to see that denominations are, in fact, contrary to God’s Will and Word.

“…till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” – Ephesians 4:13

So, the miracles (Ephesians 4:7) were given so that man could be brought to a special time in which we would be able to stand together in common practice and doctrine and reject the deceitful teachings of man (Ephesians 4:14). Therefore, if after receiving that ability (through the completion of God’s Word – 1 Corinthians 13:10) we allow ourselves to be swept away from Christ’s teachings by the teachings of men (Paul’s words, not mine) we are guilty of two things. 1) Not holding to Christ’s Law and 2) not being unified as He wants.

“Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” – 1 Corinthians 1:10

Not only are we to be united in speaking the Truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) but we are to stand together in doing so. Let me ask a simple question, how can two people stand together, united in purpose, practice and position against sin (judgement) and have absolutely no divisions between them when they do not believe the same things? Sure, some will argue that the “general principles” are true, in that they both believe in Jesus Christ, that He was raised from the dead, that He gave us instructions for live, etc. but the fact is that Paul wasn’t speaking of generalities in these passages. He wanted God’s people to stand together on all fronts and not be separated by the waters of sin like a canyon! That means that denominations (divisions of “Christianity” meant to unify those believing the same things and wishing to practice the same things) are contrary to God’s Will and are therefore sinful.

Look For Divinely Inspired Religion

But, there is hope! Just because our world is covered with denominations and division doesn’t mean there isn’t an answer to that problem. The amazing thing about God is that He is willing and able to give us a way of escape from troubles such as these. And He has done just that, in pure Christianity.

“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is…to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” – James 1:27

If we wish to follow pure religion (i.e. the actions based upon our beliefs in God which are to be united – James 1:21-27, Ephesians 4:13) we need to look to His way.

Let me encourage those who have been overtaken by denominationalism and swept away by man’s teachings to look for that religion. He has not only given us the way to access it but He has given us a book to learn of it and follow it (cf. 2 Peter 1:3).

I can honestly say that it is freeing knowing that I do not follow man but God. That I have been able to look to God for the answers I so desperately needed (like how to be saved, how to live a faithful life and how to worship Him in spirit and in truth). That I have the ability to show other people that freedom!

Make the Decision to Forever Leave Man’s Way

Once you have realized the sinful nature of divisions and therefore denominationalism and you have sought out that form of doctrine which is pure and undefiled (Romans 6:17) then there is one more thing you need to do to overcome denominationalism. Like the person that is lactose intolerant or the person who has been addicted to some intoxicant, you have to fight, your entire life, to stay away from the thing that caused the division (I know I just likened getting a stomach ache from dairy and heroin addiction but only in that one way, I understand they are drastically different).

Jesus, by the hand of John, told His followers to be faithful until the point of death (Revelation 2:10) and while not many will face physical death for denying denominationalism, the Christian life is a life of denying lusts and fighting to remain faithful to God’s Word instead of the ways of man (Titus 2:11-14, cf. Ephesians 4:13-15).

Let me encourage everyone to stay faithful to His ways. Reject denominationalism simply because it stands int he way of unity and look for His pure religion that is able to free us from the ways of man. I promise, you will not regret your decision!

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