Why are there so many different denominations of what is called "Christianity" around the world today?
Have you ever considered that question? It should be one that is uppermost in your mind if you consider yourself to be a "Christian."
If you adhere to the doctrines of or attend any one of the Protestant or Independent groups who advertise that they follow scripture and are therefore a truly "Christian" group, you would be well advised to take a look at scripture for yourself to see what the conditions are to be a true follower of Yahushua haMashiach (the Christ or Anointed) and if your group is in fact following and meeting those conditions.
Everywhere you look in scripture you will see that unity is the key ingredient of the assembly of our Savior. No Baptists, no Methodists, no Episcopalians, etc. Everybody in the assembly, which is the body of our Savior, are Christians ONLY with no other qualifying term or name attached to them, and they all got to that condition in the exact same way. The Oneness of the Son with the Father Yahuwah, the Oneness of the followers with the Son, and the Oneness of the followers with each other are the prime ingredient of the assembly that Yahushua is building. So either you are a Christian or you are not a Christian. There are no middle lanes in this issue.
So why are there so many different denominations? Why did the Protestant Reformation that started all of the Protestant denominations happen? All because somebody saw something that they could not agree with in the practices and doctrines of the "church" of which they were a part. In some cases, such as Martin Luther and the start of the Reformation, these people were correct. The problem arises when they break off, start a new group, and fail to establish that group on a scriptural foundation in returning to the doctrines and practices of the first century apostolic assembly.
Many times the discontent and breaking off is because what the old group was teaching didnít "feel right" to the individual. They wanted something that "satisfied" their "feelings" whether it was in scripture or not, so they started a group that met their conditions.
One of the most apparent in that group is the Methodist. Read the history of the Methodist founders, the Wesley brothers, and you will see that their group is actually based on the feelings of their mother, Susanna Wesley, that she taught them as children.
Another one that is very obvious is the group called Episcopalian. That group in fact is the representative of the Anglican Church (Church of England) in America. That group was founded by Henry the Eighth by splitting off from the Roman Catholic Church because he wanted to divorce his current wife and remarry. The "pope" refused to give him permission to do so. Because he "felt" that what he wanted to do was right, he therefore broke away from the Roman Catholic Church and became the "pope" of his own "church." The resulting Anglican Church, and therefore the Episcopalian, kept the vast majority of the pagan doctrines that are found in the Romish variety too.
The Seventh Day Adventist group started off as a so-called "Church of Christ," which in those days was closer to Baptist in polity than anything else. A group of people in this denomination discovered that all the Protestant faiths were in violation of scripture in keeping the day called Sunday as the shabbath of the Creator instead of the seventh day as stated in scripture. This led to a schism from which devolved several new denominations, of which the best known is the Seventh Day Adventists and a lesser known being the Seventh Day Baptists. Some of the other resulting new denominations are still around today too. All of these people split from the old group because of disagreement about doctrines of scripture, but they then developed their new denominationís doctrines based on the "feelings" of their leaders instead of on scripture. So they traded one error for another and did not gain anything.
In the case of the Seventh Day Adventists, that leader was a woman named Ellen G. White. She actually claimed to be and was accepted as a "prophet of God" by the Seventh Day Adventists. Her writings are today viewed by that group as on a par with scripture.
Every Protestant or Independent group will have something like the above in their history. Some of the things will be very obvious, like the Methodists and Episcopalians, and others will be less obvious, like the Seventh Day Adventists and Seventh Day Baptists, but all of them have it in there somewhere.
In many cases the problem that some dissidents had with their old group was not based on any scripture that they could easily point out. It was often based on a "feeling" that they had about some subject or other. Sometimes they did not like what the preacher was saying because it hit them where it hurt, right in the heart. They wanted "smooth words" preached to them and did not get them, or they wanted the truth preached to them and didnít get that either. Something they failed to realize is that it is not the duty of some hired employee called the Pastor, Preacher, or some such, to tell them what the truth is. They are duty bound to search that out for themselves if they truly want to know. That can only be done by getting into the scripture on a personal and daily basis and studying it with an open mind and a prayer in their heart for guidance.
Those that split off because of a scriptural point of disagreement often started out correctly but then again veered off the scriptural path because of "feelings."
Take an honest look around you at the denominations and you will see what I am talking about. NONE of them follow scripture. NONE of them are the true assembly. ALL of them are apostate in one form or another and refuse to open their eyes to their error but will defend it to the death. Death is exactly where those errors are leading them too.
All of these problems of apostasy come from one thing. Lack of knowledge. Lack of knowledge inevitably leads to a far greater problem, lack of understanding. From this lack stems the so-called Christian Sabbath which falls on dies solis, or the day of the Sun, the pagan "god" of so many. Also from this lack of knowledge and understanding comes the doctrine of the "Holy Trinity" which is nothing more than pagan polytheism thinly disguised as "Christian" doctrine. From this lack comes so much error that it would take many books to describe it all.
By working from feelings instead of scripture based knowledge, all the ills of this world have come upon mankind. By using feelings, or "whatever was right in their own eyes" as scripture says, mankind has refused the doctrines of our Creator for the doctrines of Satan.
Look at Judges 17:6 and 21:25 for the clear evidence plainly spoken about people "doing what was right in their own eyes." These two verses state it in no uncertain terms that cannot be construed to mean anything else. There are many other passages of scripture where this same point is made also, such as 2 Chronicles 28:1
But some people have the ability to turn the words to their own meanings. Read all around these verses to see what was going on, and then read further to see the ultimate results of this action. You will see that the people who followed their feelings ran into the wall. Their actions based on their "feelings" were not in accordance with the will of Yahuwah and therefore led to great trouble for them.
The below listed verses show that those who do what is right in the eyes of Yahuwah reap the appropriate rewards for their faithfulness, just as those who disobey reap the just rewards of their actions. The difference is in the type of reward they receive. Remember to read all around the verse to ensure that you have the true context and meaning of what is written.
- 1 Kings 14:8; 15:5, 11; 22:43
- 2 Kings 12:2; 14:3; 15:3, 34; 16:2; 18:3; 22:2
- 2 Chronicles 20:32; 24:2; 25:2; 26:4; 27:2; 29:2; 34:2;
- YirmeYahuw (Jeremiah) 34:15
If we fail to learn, understand, and follow the commandments of Yahuwah, we will not see paradise. Our Savior had these plain words to say about that.
MattithYahuw (Matthew) 15:7-9 (RNS) Hypocrites! Well did YashaYahuw prophesy about you saying, 8 ĎThese people draw near to Me with their mouth and honor Me with lips, but their heart is far from Me. 9 And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.í
He also said:
MattithYahuw (Matthew) 7:21-23 (RNS) 21 Not everyone who says to Me 'Master! Master!' shall enter the kingdom of the sky but he who does the will of My Father in the sky. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, 'Master! Master! Have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you. Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
If you have read the referenced scripture you will know that Yahuwah has time and time again told the people to walk in His ways and follow His commandments, laws, and statutes. When they did, they were successful in their endeavors. When they did not, but followed their feelings which always leads to idolatrous worship of that which is not Eloah, He troubled them greatly.
You will also realize that He has ALWAYS made His expectations and conditions for fellowship with Him very clear, with the rewards for compliance and punishments for noncompliance just as clear.
He has said obedience brings fellowship with Him and disobedience brings separation from Him.
So the matter should be very plain. The choice is yours. Learn His requirements, meet His conditions, obey Him, and live. Quit trying to cope with this world by following your feelings. Learn the truth and obey it! Disobey Him and die.
This is free will.