Religious Division

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

I think that Scripture is twisted around in today’s “religious” community way too often. Every day I see examples of it. Note that Jesus DIDN’T say “No one comes to the Father except through the __________ (pick a denomination and fill in the blank)”. Wouldn’t it be easier if he did though? “No one comes to the Father except through the Southern Baptists” – would let us all know that the Southern Baptists were right and everyone else was wrong.

Columbus, Georgia is fairly big town, but we’re no Atlanta or LA by any stretch. We have a ton of church denominations to choose from here….

  • AME
  • AME Zion
  • Abundant Life
  • African Methodist Episcopal
  • Angelican
  • Apostolic
  • Assemblies of God
  • Baptist
  • Baptist – Free Will
  • Baptist – Full Gospel
  • Baptist – Grace Missionary
  • Baptist – Independent
  • Baptist – Missionary
  • Baptist – Primitive
  • Baptist – Southern
  • CME
  • Catholic
  • Charismatic
  • Christian
  • Christian Disciples of Christ
  • Christian Independent
  • Church of Christ
  • Church of God
  • Church of God in Christ
  • Church of God of Prophecy
  • Church of God Pentecostal
  • Episcopal
  • Evangelical
  • Four Square Gospel
  • Full Gospel
  • Greek Orthodox
  • Holiness
  • Lutheran
  • Mennonite
  • Methodist
  • Methodist – CME
  • Methodist – Episcopal
  • Methodist – Evangelical
  • Methodist – Free
  • Methodist – Independent
  • Methodist – United
  • Nazarene
  • Pentecostal
  • Pentecostal Church of God
  • Pentecostal Holiness
  • Pentecostal – United
  • Presbyterian
  • Presbyterian – PCA
  • Presbyterian – Reformed

Plus all of the “interdenominational” and “non-denominational” churches….

And these are just the Christian churches. We also have the churches that don’t consider themselves Christian, of course.

So who’s “right” by God’s standards?

  • If a woman wears pants, will she really go to hell like one person assured me I would?
  • If a woman preaches, will she be separated from God for eternity like the same person claimed?
  • If a Christian listens to Christian rock, or rap or even CCM, will they burn like some folks claim?
  • Will a tattoo really cause Jesus to say “I know you not” when you meet face to face?

Does the grace and salvation that Jesus offers us extend only to a select few? In my town alone there are about 400,000 people living here. With close to 50 different sub-denominations, how many of those will actually have a place in Heaven if only one is right?

Religious differences go back a long way. Paul spoke of it in 1 Corinthians. 1:12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 1:13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? (KJV)

3:3 for yet ye are fleshly, for where [there is] among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not fleshly, and in the manner of men do walk? 3:4 for when one may say, `I, indeed, am of Paul;’ and another, `I — of Apollos;’ are ye not fleshly? 3:5 Who, then, is Paul, and who Apollos, but ministrants through whom ye did believe, and to each as the Lord gave? (YLT)

We’ve been pointing fingers at others and proudly proclaiming our own ways of worship to be the only “right” way for a long time. We focus on our differences rather than our belief that Jesus, the son of God, died for our sins and was resurrected, beating death and sin for us. We get into nasty little battles over doctrine, politics and the like and then we wonder why non-Christians think we’re such a joke. We attack each other more often than people who don’t believe attack us.

Casting Crowns did a song about it called “If We Are the Body”. The chorus goes like this …

“Jesus paid much too high a price
For us to pick and choose who should come
And we are the body of Christ”

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 THROUGH ME …. remember that Scripture the next time someone attacks you because you worship differently than they do, or when you’re getting ready to attack someone yourself. Like our song says “The bottom line is Jesus.”

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