To Seek Man-Made Labels, or Christ?
Out of all the fights a Christian can fight for, why do we push each other away by denominations?
The battles we push against each other are heartbreaking: we have Baptist against Catholics, Catholics against Lutherans, Lutherans against Anglicans, and so many more.
We have put a label on our religion and it has distilled the truth from the Word. Our heart’s desire is clouded by what we think is in the Bible. In Jeremiah 17:9 it brings on the point,”The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?”.
We have turned the Truth into a religion. We don’t need a denomination to define who we believe in; it doesn’t matter what tag we put on our religion, but what does matter is that we all put our faith in God, not the beliefs that we try to push in the Bible.
Do you know that from one Bible there are 1,800 denominations, and climbing?
Those are a lot of disagreements.
We have disagreed with each other 1,800 times,and we never even noticed the big picture we were missing. When we divide our Christianity, we divide ourselves from God and our brothers and sisters in Christ. The truth of the matter is, that we push ourselves away from our family in Christ when we make a new denomination as a result of a petty disagreement. Standing for principle is important, but there are other aspects to consider.
How can we evangelize people when we are splitting into factions from each other? How can we help each other when we are seeing whose religion is the best?
Sharpening each other with the Bible to make us wiser is good, but why do we have to make a new denomination to see who is right?
That is why we are divided by denominations.
In Proverbs 27:17 it says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” We are supposed to sharpen each other so we can be wiser in the word.
I, for one, do not believe in religion. I believe in the Truth of the Word, Jesus, and our Heavenly Father. I am of no denomination and I never will.
I am a Christian first, which means follower of Christ. And that is what I am—I am a follower in Christ. I do not need a denomination because they only cloud what I feel.
We can sharpen each other to keep us together in Christ, but we do not need to be separated denominations.We can’t spend our time trying to split when we should be spending time helping each other build a stronger foundation in Christ.
I know of two churches in Florida that were only thirteen inches from each other. They were once one church with one pastor, but when a minor disagreement came up, they decided to split from each other.
There were also two old men there. Each went to a different church,they would talk before they went in and would talk even more when they went out. One time a friend of mine asked them “What happened here?”. They all just laughed and said,”We have no idea, it’s been so long we have lost all of what happened.”
Do you see? They don’t know what happened. With just one disagreement, it made one church two.
It is crazy the ways we can join together and then in just a snap of a finger…we can separate just as quickly. How can just one difference, one argument, one disagreement set a whole church to split into two?
We can easily be united in Christ’s name. We can easily stand together stronger than any mountain, and louder than any chorus sung!
But it saddens me to see a Truth turn into a faction. God’s love is infinite, but God’s love does not split–it’s the same for every denomination, for every believer. Brothers andd sisters, believe it or not, God is in you! His love shines in the core of your heart and He wants you to share more!
Don’t let the ideas of a man, the shackles of denominations, be a hindrance from the truth of the Bible. It is time that we should stand tall, not hidden in the shadows of our own manly creations.
Non-Christian people can’t believes sometimes, because we won’t let them.
That seems a bit judgmental and harsh, but it is true.
When you wake up for Sunday church, what is your first instinct?
“Man, I gotta get my nice clothes on, my nice shoes, get my hair done, and I am out the door.”
When you wake up, you spend about an hour just working up to look your best, to show off your ‘Sunday Best’.
So I must ask…you spent an hour getting to look your greatest; now before you walked out of the house for Church, how many hours did you prepare yourself for the teaching to come? How long did you spend reading your Bible before going to Church?
Most of you would say “None”. Looking your best is fine; but what are your priorities?
A homeless person who walks into a Church seeking answers for eternity will see people staring at him, all in shining clothes that you believe are like pearls and diamonds!
They are bewildered by the ragged clothes you are wearing–some may even snicker at you–and then you are left with a decision: leave or stay?
If you were really put into that decision, what would you do? Most people are treated like that, and we don’t even know it!
God’s priorities are not for us to look rich. He wants us to know that we are rich when we choose Him!
God does not care if you wear the dirtiest of clothes, haven’t bathed, or haven’t combed your hair. Because God sees the true You. He can see your heart like a cell under a microscope and can see your true heart’s desire.
In the song, If We Are the Body, by Casting Crowns, there are lyrics I would love to share with you. “The weight of their judgmental glances tells him that his chance are better out on the road.”
When I described that scene of the homeless person, how did you feel?
If you were him, would you feel judged? God will not judge you by manly standards, including what you can or cannot afford to wear.
He will judge the intent of your heart!
Most people believe that getting into heaven is a series of trials and good deeds, but it isn’t that hard.
Jesus came to die for our sins, not to see his cross separated into pieces. He came as a holy sacrifice for us, so that no matter what we looked like,acted like,and talked like, we can all have a place in Heaven when we profess with our tongue that Jesus is King of Kings!
Another lyric is “It’s crowded in worship today. As she slips in trying to fade into the faces. The girl’s teasing laughter is carrying farther than they know.”
We are the body of Christ, we are here to heal and reach! But when we fight about denominations and choose legalism over Christ, we are not reaching as far as we could when we are all put into one body.
We don’t need to tease the brothers and sisters we love. Instead we need to reach, reach higher than the mountains, and farther than the stars in the sky. When we are united, instead of divided, we can move the mountains and we can sing God’s praise through every peak, every galaxy that glistens, every star that sparkles, and every crack in this world. We can push through anything as long as we remain humble and united in Christ.
Bananas and Mountains
A group of scientists placed five monkeys in a cage. In the middle of the cage, they placed a ladder with bananas on the top. Every time a monkey went up the ladder, the scientists soaked the rest of the monkeys with cold water.
After a while, every time a monkey attempted to climb the ladder, the others beat up the one on the ladder. After some time, no monkey dared to go up the ladder–regardless of the temptation.Scientists then decided to substitute one of the monkeys.
The first thing this new monkey did was to go up the ladder.
Immediately the other monkeys beat him up. After several beatings, the new member learned not to climb the ladder–even though he never knew why.
A second monkey was substituted. The same thing occurred, and in fact, the first monkey participated in the beating of the second monkey. A third monkey was changed and yet again, the beating ritual was repeated.
The fourth was substituted, and then the fifth: each time the beating was repeated. What was left was a group of five monkeys which although never having had a shower, continued to beat up any monkey who attempted to climb the ladder.
When I was talking about the church that was split into two,they had no idea why they weren’t a church they just continued being divided.
We are like the monkeys in this experiment: we are beating ourselves up because of something of which we know nothing. And do you know the difference between the monkeys and us?
We have the ability to change the cycle; we have the ability to put churches together, and sing God’s praises together! We don’t have to be monkeys, we can move mountains!
God gives us the power to sing his praise and be strong in worship. God has put a foundation of faith to our lives and it is up to us to either keep it and grow with it, or destroy it and lose it for good.
God gives us the strength to move mountains, and our summit never ceases until it is heard by the heavens.
God can hear the worship and loves to hear the praise of His own children. In order to be a mountain-mover you must drop your monkey business: do not be held by the label of denominations— be a Christian first. Be wary of man-made labels.
Labels can lead to division. Instead, be mountain-movers together. Be Christians.
God doesn’t look at denominations, or choose Baptists, Catholics, Protestants,Lutherans, or Anglicans over another; He loves Christians. He loves people who unite in His name instead of dividing without Him and choosing an earthly label over Christ.
God Bless and Godspeed. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
P.S. If you have input, comment below! I would love to hear your three cents.