Are Denominations Ordained by God?

Discussions on ecclesiology such as the nature, constitution and functions of the church.
xpresstruth
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Are Denominations Ordained by God?

#1

Post by xpresstruth » Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:56 pm

No one I've come across with this question has given me a straight answer. Did God start denominations? If he didn't, then should any true follower of Jesus be a part of any denomination?

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Re: Are Denominations Ordained by God?

#2

Post by cslewislover » Thu Jan 01, 2009 10:08 pm

Denominations developed over time, and since believers carry out the will of God, then you can believe that it was God's will that they were formed (if indeed true believers formed them). What do you think happened with the early house churches? Since they were scattered about in different areas and cultures, no doubt they differed in a number of things, just like denominations do. We aren't supposed to neglect fellowship or corporate worship. There are nondenominational christian churches you could attend if you feel more comfortable with that. I myself do not like some of the traditions of certain denominations, or their current liberal positions, so I tend to favor nondenominational churches.

Oh, and welcome to the board! :wave:
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Re: Are Denominations Ordained by God?

#3

Post by Kurieuo » Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:39 am

xpresstruth wrote:No one I've come across with this question has given me a straight answer. Did God start denominations? If he didn't, then should any true follower of Jesus be a part of any denomination?
Christian denominations just represent theological beliefs on particular issue/s. There are many main beliefs held in common across the many denominations. These main beliefs are what are essential to Christianity, and are what would make a particular denomination "Christian".

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Re: Are Denominations Ordained by God?

#4

Post by JCSx2 » Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:04 am

xpresstruth wrote:No one I've come across with this question has given me a straight answer. Did God start denominations? If he didn't, then should any true follower of Jesus be a part of any denomination?

Here is a link for A Brief History of Christian Denominations. Hope it helps you to understand.

My view is that God through Jesus gave us a guideline to follow, and we being human screwed it up to a degree. I am not saying all the demonization's of Christianity are wrong, but they are not entirely correct either. I am Lutheran, ( i call us Catholic lite) My wife is Catholic, over Christmas we were invited to our friends Church (Baptist) we enjoyed the sermon allot, other parts of the service we did not like so much.

I am pasting something I said earlier in this forum that I feel is very relevant to this.


"I personally feel that the biggest downfall of Christians is that we argue amongst ourselves and fight amongst ourselves over nothing. (we feel it is something but in the scheme of things it is nothing)

We need forget our differences and concentrate on what makes us Christians and make that a priority. We are Family we will be together forever after this world.

The real church is the Church of Jesus Christ. Study the Bible, don't add stuff to it, don't confuse it with crazy made up stuff. We all are Christians that should be enough.

We have different denominations due to different Ideas and cultures, is this wrong? Not really, what I feel is wrong is one Christian Church pointing fingers at another Christian Church and saying YOU ARE WRONG!!

We should be Pointing fingers and say YOU ARE A FELLOW CHRISTIAN SEE YOU IN HEAVEN!!!!"
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Re: Are Denominations Ordained by God?

#5

Post by madscientist » Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:52 am

JCSx2 wrote:"I personally feel that the biggest downfall of Christians is that we argue amongst ourselves and fight amongst ourselves over nothing. (we feel it is something but in the scheme of things it is nothing)
Yes exactly JCSx2 well put :) :clap: well many may disagree tho. Honestly, over the past few months i been struggling with idea of denominations. when i came to this forum first i thought its all catholics christians WHATEVER makes no difference. but then i seen the differences and i got scared. Yes it is happening and it is SAD that christians fight each other and argue over denominations. Religions fight betwen themselves but equally bad christians fight due to their denominations. there are apparently some extreme ones such as "my denomination says if u are different one then u go to hell" no offense thats NOT openminded at all. Religions are criticized for being so; now if a denomination states that then bad!

Traditions is one thing but another major is views such as contraception, transubstantiation, Holy Communion, confessions etc. E.g. catholics we say "we have confessions you dont how do you want God to forgive you?!" but then others say "well God knows my sin then why go thru priest?". Now i am a catholic; i been doing what i been told from birth then later i questioned it. Does not going to confessions mean i am more evil or less likely to be saved? Dont know.

Another big issue - Catholics we believe committing mortal sin and dying unconfessed (unrepented) = hell. Well big issue!! Not small ones. traditions dont matter but this is serious. We believe that OSAS is not true since if u can sin mortally and dying, living 90 yrs of good godly life and at 91 killing and saying "cant be bothered whatever" and dying from heart attack for example from being murdered by someone who was defending the guy we killed (extreme example!) means hell as the person had no time to confess and repent. Also, we believe that when someone is to die then we are to call in priest, who gives confession and HC and then he dies in peace. that if one dies unconfessed he goes thru purgatory and so dying confessed is ESSENTIAL or at least very important.

Then transubstantion. what an issue! i personally see no point in the argument. symbolic or not; it is HOLY and makes u change ur life. It is a sacrement; but i persoannly believe we shud want to be like JC then we'll be so and not acording to how many times we took HC. It is supposed tio help us grow in faith etc but does it matter whether it is a change in substance or not? I dont think so. Tho, catholics put lot of pressure on it - we must be confessed (then sacrilege results); also one must believe in TS before he can take it etc. Protestants are more open and say its symbolic. However, probably if i argue with strong catholics they gonna say i cant take it etc so i better believe in it. :o

Did God specifically say how to take it? DOnt know. Another issue - saved by works or faith? Well, i been to baptist service twice in my life last time they talked about what it means in their terms. yes; faith saves u BUT if u dont do works then means u have no faith. fair enough; catholics believe u have faith but its dead so same thing i think. Or not? Then we sort of believe there are "levels" of heaven and that the better we were, the more good we did the happier we will be, same with hell.
I believe salvation is free gift from God BUT one must also be willing to cooperate; it is also down to US.

Another thing is going to church. Ironically, while catholics' missing sunday is a deadly sin, protestants see it as not so bad but lost something they could've gained. Yes, catholics missing church (mass) is considered bad and very necessary. hence, why go to church? because we dont want to sin, or because we loev God? Good tricky question. Irony is that once we catholics have gone for morning service, we sort of "have done it" and dont bother going again (we got rid of sin of not going so why go again??" :pound: ) but i know baptist people here they go on both! looks like the attitude of it matters regarding to whether we do it not to sin outta obligation or showing we love God.
So, as if to say that when we do something out of love we are more likely to do it than out of fear of sin and punishment. (intersting tho... do we obey God because we love Him OR out of fear?) I dont know how harshly God will look whether we been to mass or not. As i am catholic i just MUST go; there is no option. missing mass is a sin we confess of. Then, if theres one God and He comes to judge us what then??

ALso baptism... catholics we do it after birth; we are criticized saying it's invalid then we argue with others saying it is ESSENTIAL for salvation. Then we have Holy COmmunion, confession, Confirmation etc and believe these are sacrements which help us grow and "free gifts". Then those arguing against say "christianism is a religion of how much GOD HAS DONE FOR US; NOT WHAT WE NEED TO DO TO EARN GOD'S GRACE". SOme say these are works and lists of do's and donts' rather than thanking God simply for giving us free gift of salvation. Non-Catholicism just seems simpler to me... do less things; say it's all from God all we do accept JC we are saved all comes automatically (good works) and if they dont then we never believed truly. Catholics more complex and are rather unsure of salvation (certain but unsure - we may get angry do mortal sin forget God die and then... :cry: ).
Contraception - catholics we against it others why not wrong? Bible cant say anything on it since 1000s yrs ago it didnt exist. same as some drugs etc.

Sex outside marriage... i believe Bible speaks against it; i am arguing with one strong non-believer and who argues that if they both consent "no harm is done" then its not sinful; thats its a mere convention set up... Any proofs againt it? :D

Catholics are criticized for having Virgin Mary as someone who's meaningful; others say it's bad because we are to pray to JC only. And many other things... honestly, i think these arguments are ridiculous and make christians weaker rather than a strong FAMILY as JCSx2 out it ;)
Then arguments on this forum are not what one believes but rather what his denomination believes. If one were to hold purely personal beliefs so much less struggle!

Then, do we have to belong to denominations? As u put it u prefer nondenominations. Fair enough :) but then what one follows? reads the Bible and makes out something out of it? Thing is, there are arguments over what is literal, what is symbolic (such as TS catholics vs protestants - besically arguing over 1 or few verses whether JC meant it literally or metaphorically) then can one truly know what's right?
Heard some ppl say "I hate the idea of religions; but i am a christian". Some hate the traditions and the doctrines; hence they make up their own sets of ideas. ANything wrong with that?
Does God judge us acording to how we obeyed our denomination or how much we loved Him?

ANyway this was rather long but felt like had to write it down. Denominations make us blind and close-minded. Not to say all are like that; but some people can ONLY see blindlu what they been said and then arguing with them is of no point since they each believe "my denomination is right and u are wrong"...
Lately i been quite skeptical of my denomination - i believe in it follow it - but am not necessarily someone blind who believes something just because denomination says so. Yes, overhere there are more denominations and religions than at home (either catholic or atheist) and often views conflict. I even heard if im catholic then going to baptist mass doesnt count! Well, does GOD mind??!
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Re: Are Denominations Ordained by God?

#6

Post by Canuckster1127 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:54 pm

xpresstruth wrote:No one I've come across with this question has given me a straight answer. Did God start denominations? If he didn't, then should any true follower of Jesus be a part of any denomination?
No. I don't believe God started denominations. They are an expression of human organization and institutionalism.

If he didn't then whether any "true" follower of Jesus should be a part is something that to me falls under our freedom in Christ. God didn't start Starbucks, but I don't think it's an issue where we get coffee. If a particular Church or Denomination is helpful by virtue of its proximity, doctrinal teaching etc. etc. then that's great. That said, if it's not, go elsewhere.

That's my opinion anyway.
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Re: Are Denominations Ordained by God?

#7

Post by cslewislover » Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:19 pm

Canuckster1127 wrote: If he didn't then whether any "true" follower of Jesus should be a part is something that to me falls under our freedom in Christ. God didn't start Starbucks, but I don't think it's an issue where we get coffee. If a particular Church or Denomination is helpful by virtue of its proximity, doctrinal teaching etc. etc. then that's great. That said, if it's not, go elsewhere.
cslewislover wrote:Denominations developed over time, and since believers carry out the will of God, then you can believe that it was God's will that they were formed (if indeed true believers formed them).
Canuckster, you probably weren't responding to what I said, but I still thought I'd clarify what I meant. By true believers, I meant those who didn't start heretical sects or cults.

Madscientist, I understand your frustration. For years after I became a Christian, this issue bothered me quite a lot. I couldn't understand the divisions, especially in the light of Christ's prayer in John 17, especially vv 20-26. I still don't understand why there is the amount of division that exists. Jesus prays for us to be united as a witness of him to the world in vv 21b - 23a: "May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me . . ."

I go to a nondenominational church because of Jesus' prayer (I was not raised a Christian, so I had no traditional background to feel obligated to), because I am allowed to pray for and with anyone, and any Christian who visits my church can partake in communion - they don't need to be a member of the church. Instead of having to become a member of some denominations in order to do these things (or become more restricted, like not being allowed to pray with others), it seems like saying the Apostle's Creed should be good enough. If it was good enough for the early church (it is from the 300s or earlier) it seems like it should be good enough for us.
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Re: Are Denominations Ordained by God?

#8

Post by madscientist » Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:03 am

Sorry cslewislover i took long :P well anyway i been here and didnt answer :P now came to forum... (i'll reply to ur email soon too! :))
Yes it's frustrating. The uniting from JC - when's that to happen? Are we sure it refers to denominations? Maybe he meant unified in heaven or so. And when did all this dividing start?
It's easier for you as u sort of chose it yourself; for me i been raised catholic from birth and am around catholics (my town = catholic or atheist that's it!) so it's very limited. USA or Scotland here at uni it's more liberal people also come from non-denom churches. funny enough WE have christian union there's few catholics there most are baptist/protestant. YEt, i somehow see that they exprress their faith an that it's not worse to us catholics! They are the ones who share testimonies and pray very freely (we meet in circle pray etc) and so it's sort of informal... Now if i left my denomination i'd feel a traitor to my church AND to my people and also maybe to God... (tho, i do question it! and am more "hmm does it HAVE TO BE SO?"-oriented rather than "it's the 100% truth").
For example, last talk (catholic) was on baptism that it is essential for salvation. So, unless one is truly baptized by water (or by blood - martyr or he desires it) then he can't be saved - he hasn't received the HS. Now, others may say differently... Do many people here feel they are in fellowship with JC even tho they're NOT baptized? :roll:

What exactly is Apostle's Creed?
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Re: Are Denominations Ordained by God?

#9

Post by cslewislover » Sun Feb 15, 2009 1:42 pm

madscientist wrote:For example, last talk (catholic) was on baptism that it is essential for salvation. So, unless one is truly baptized by water (or by blood - martyr or he desires it) then he can't be saved - he hasn't received the HS. Now, others may say differently... Do many people here feel they are in fellowship with JC even tho they're NOT baptized? :roll:

What exactly is Apostle's Creed?
Hi MS. It's OK. The saved man on the cross next to Jesus never was baptized, and I'm sure quite a few people with death bed confessions of faith were not baptized. Here is the Apostles' Creed, but with numbered lines. They weren't originally numbered, I just copied this from an online source. Catholic in there means the church universal, it doesn't mean the Roman Catholic church of today. :esmile:


Apostles' Creed

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:

2. And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:

3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:

4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell:

5. The third day he rose again from the dead:

6. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:

7. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:

8. I believe in the Holy Ghost:

9. I believe in the holy catholic church: the communion of saints:

10. The forgiveness of sins:

1l. The resurrection of the body:

12. And the life everlasting. Amen.
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Re: Are Denominations Ordained by God?

#10

Post by JCSx2 » Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:22 pm

Our church has the creec saying Holy Christian Church with an astrick, then on bottom of page says *formerly Holy Catholic Church.
cslewislover wrote:
madscientist wrote:For example, last talk (catholic) was on baptism that it is essential for salvation. So, unless one is truly baptized by water (or by blood - martyr or he desires it) then he can't be saved - he hasn't received the HS. Now, others may say differently... Do many people here feel they are in fellowship with JC even tho they're NOT baptized? :roll:

What exactly is Apostle's Creed?
Hi MS. It's OK. The saved man on the cross next to Jesus never was baptized, and I'm sure quite a few people with death bed confessions of faith were not baptized. Here is the Apostles' Creed, but with numbered lines. They weren't originally numbered, I just copied this from an online source. Catholic in there means the church universal, it doesn't mean the Roman Catholic church of today. :esmile:


Apostles' Creed

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:

2. And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:

3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:

4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell:

5. The third day he rose again from the dead:

6. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:

7. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:

8. I believe in the Holy Ghost:

9. I believe in the holy catholic church: the communion of saints:

10. The forgiveness of sins:

1l. The resurrection of the body:

12. And the life everlasting. Amen.
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Re: Are Denominations Ordained by God?

#11

Post by cslewislover » Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:34 pm

JCSx2 wrote:Our church has the creec saying Holy Christian Church with an astrick, then on bottom of page says *formerly Holy Catholic Church.
This creed is probably from before the Catholic Church was formed.
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Re: Are Denominations Ordained by God?

#12

Post by zoegirl » Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:10 pm

cath⋅o⋅lic   /ˈkæθəlɪk, ˈkæθlɪk/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [kath-uh-lik, kath-lik] Show IPA Pronunciation

—adjective 1. broad or wide-ranging in tastes, interests, or the like; having sympathies with all; broad-minded; liberal.
2. universal in extent; involving all; of interest to all.
3. pertaining to the whole Christian body or church.

CAthoilic can refer to the Roman Catholic but in the Apostles creed it means universal or entire. We had to face this issue when we started saying tyhe creed in chapel with the lower-case catholic and started getting questions about confirming that we are indeed a non-denominational (although protestant in teaching) school :esurprised:
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Re: Are Denominations Ordained by God?

#13

Post by madscientist » Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:26 pm

Ah sorry i look dumb overhere - of course i know the prayer' it's just i dont know the english terminology for prayers and stuff so yeah :P tho then again i know some terms only in english ;)

That's interesting and ironic too. IF catholic means united... then why we say catholics are a denomination of christians? THEN are terms such as noncatholic christian valid? They are in what we understand them but not by the 1st meanin of words. Then, are we all "catholic" in the sense we are - or that we USED TO be one? i mean, how did catholicism and the divisions came around? Interesting. what were 1st christians? doubt there were denominations; they had a Pope - Peter. SO, then is it all the others which separated from catholicism? looks like by the definition. Then are catholics the ones who managed to retain the traditions while others separated? Now, catholics are just a small part of christians (dont know any stats) and are often criticized for being unbiblical etc. So, is it that catholicism changed so others separated OR that from beginning of christianism the church was something what resembled catholicism (so baptism of children, praying to Virgin Mary, confessions, Holy Communion) and then others separated? Or, was the church being progressively built upon new things? There been many doctrines changed such as council of Trent...
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Re: Are Denominations Ordained by God?

#14

Post by cslewislover » Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:52 pm

I'll try to get some history up here, if find a good link. The Roman Catholic church was formed in the 300s, and the Orthodox Church was the first split, in 1054. Protestantism (the Reformation) started in the late medieval period (1500s) because of corruptions in the Catholic church. Here's one link with a concise history, but lots of follow-up links:

http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.c ... ristianity
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Re: Are Denominations Ordained by God?

#15

Post by Furstentum Liechtenstein » Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:58 pm

madscientist wrote: IF catholic means united... then why we say catholics are a denomination of christians? THEN are terms such as noncatholic christian valid?
catholic - small c - means universal. Catholic - capital C - refers to the Roman Catholic Church (RCC), a denomination of Christianity.
madscientist wrote: Interesting. what were 1st christians?
They were Jews. The first Christians were Jews.
madscientist wrote:they had a Pope - Peter.
No, not in the sense you understand the word «Pope.» However, this would be correct according to RCC history.
madscientist wrote:then is it all the others which separated from catholicism?
Once RCC was established: Yes, with the exception of the Jewish believers.
madscientist wrote: Now, catholics are just a small part of christians (dont know any stats) and are often criticized for being unbiblical
The RCC is the largest part of Christendom, by far. Orthodox, Protestant (incl. so-called non-denominational) and Messianic Jews make up the rest. The most powerful of anything always gets criticized. Don't worry about it.

Read the link cslewislover gave you. It will answer some of your other questions.

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