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Why are there s many churches?

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Feb 5, 2019
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Ok, here comes another question. I was raised a Roman Catholic and went through all of the requirements that come with that denomination. While I lost my faith in my early 20s, I have attended various churches of various denominations and have found them all interesting. Now, as I regain my faith, I am working towards a better understanding of what is it that I need to understand.

So, why are there so many denominations? One article I read notes that there are over 40,000 churches and that has always confused me.

Now, from what I have been reading, it appears that Jesus founded the first church (The Church of Christ), as described in the New Testament, and that He paid for that with His blood (Matthew 16:10, Acts 2:38-47). All other churches are considered “man-made,” to include the Catholic Church, which was structured similar to the Roman empire.

In a YouTube presentation I watched (Shank, M. (2011). Why are there so many Churches?), the following were the requirements listed, to be a member of the original Church of Christ.


Meet on the 1st day of the week (Acts 20;7)
Sing a Capella (Eph 5;19, Col 3;16)
Pray and study the Bible together (Acts 2;42)
Help the church each week (1 Cor 16:12)
Christ is the only head (Eph 5:33-23)
Churches composed of elders, deacons, evangelists and members (Phil 1:1)
Abide only in the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9)
Casting away man-made doctrine and creeds (Mar 7:7.1 and Cor 16:1-2)
We are Christians only (Acts 11:26)


So, based on my interpretation (subject to mortification my people way smarted than me on these issues), belonging to a non-denominational church is the right answer to the question I did not ask.


Looking forward to guidance


rtm3039

Note: This is a re-post, as I believe I might have posted my original comments in the wrong place. Sorry.
 
Jul 5, 2011
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Greetings;

Think of color hues:free wills make great rainbows.Mother nature sends down a few and gets back many.

bye
 
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Feb 5, 2019
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Greetings;

Think of color hues:free wills make great rainbows.Mother nature sends down a few and gets back many.

bye
krossquad:

Hi. Yes, I get that, but still . . . While I recall that I walked away from my faith in my late teens, I really cannot recall why. As a young man, I must admit that I was fascinated by religion and once even gave thought to becoming a priest. I also recall attending churches for many denominations, as well as different religions. At the end of the day, I guess I just fell victim to the wants of the flesh. I was young, joined the Army, and, by 19, lived in a foreign land and was independent. Those were promiscuous times and I freely took part in anything I wanted.

After I married my first wife, I started attending Baptism church, out of respect for my former wife’s family. It was then, where I saw what I considered hypocrisy at its best. Witnessed “Sunday Christianity” and not much of it Monday through Saturday. Later on in life, I attended church for other denomination, but, oddly enough, not Catholic church (which I found odd, as I was born and raised a Catholic). If I give it great thought, I think part of my reason for not having faith was based on my confusion of why there were so many denominations and why most of them believed one thing or the other.

Prior to regaining my faith, I had justified by salvation by claiming that, while I was not a believed, I led a life that was mostly good and along the lines of what I thought a “good Christian” should be. Little did I know then that what I was actually saying was that I wanted to belong to the Church of Christ and not part of an otherwise “man-made” religion that was not consistent with the New Testament. I still have so many questions but am farther along than I was several months ago.

Today I woke up early (5 am), prayed to give thanks, read Luke chapters 1 through 7 (well, my App read it for me), and am getting ready to attend church (Christ Fellowship). This is not a bad way to start a Sunday. This will be my first time attending this church and, sadly enough, my first time attending any church in at least a couple of years. Now I need to ponder the idea of getting baptized (I was as a child in the Catholic church).

Anyway, sorry for the long post. Thank you for your comments. Yes, life does come in many shades, but your comments are similar to the idea that we are all headed to the same location but taking different roads. My question then is: Is it possible to approach Faith through such differing beliefs (alcohol, dance, confession, purgatory, etc), when it comes to being a Christian?

Have a great Sunday

rtm3039
 
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Jan 3, 2015
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You are absolutely right when you say that all religions are man made. The only one that is real is the one that He starts in you. Many of the churches are very fine fellowships but that wont keep you on that day.
Sounds like you have Him working on you and you can be thankful for that.
He will find you...
God Bless
 
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aha

Nov 18, 2011
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Why are there s many churches?

My favorite verse to exemplify, biblically, Christian difference in point of view or say practices is Apostle Paul both accepted: those who eat meat and those who do not: both does so to the Lord.

Romans 14

“Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.


Given the question: I would propose a deduction on social behavior or community psychology.. haha, joke :) am not a sociologist that this is not a researched dissertation..

This just a proposal, applying a practical concept that like-minded people prefer each other: imagine one eats meat and the Pastor repeatedly preaching on being a vegetarian, of course: one will prefer to attend a service where the Pastor preaches it is fine to eat meat… so there goes the many Churches…

Another verse on Romans 14: both does so the Lord.:

One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord.
 
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aha

Nov 18, 2011
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So, based on my interpretation (subject to mortification my people way smarted than me on these issues), belonging to a non-denominational church is the right answer to the question I did not ask.
Non-denominational, am not sure if that term is exact for me.
my background is Catholic as well, if am in my hometown, and people will ask me: I would say I am a Catholic.

if a Christian will ask, I will say am a Baptist.
if am caught in between: I would say am both. :)

I can attend small Church and big Churches. I see it as freedom, Christian liberty to attend both big and small Churches..

A Bible verse to support:

When Paul was ask: he say he IS a Pharisee.

ACTS 23:6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.

that can be another discussion, or it may be controversial of different interpretation that Paul says "i am" and not " I was"...

I think, I see the "identification" more on what practice, formality one follows, rather the substance: ie: concept of substance over form:
 
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krossquad:

Hi. Yes, I get that, but still . . . While I recall that I walked away from my faith in my late teens, I really cannot recall why. As a young man, I must admit that I was fascinated by religion and once even gave thought to becoming a priest. I also recall attending churches for many denominations, as well as different religions. At the end of the day, I guess I just fell victim to the wants of the flesh. I was young, joined the Army, and, by 19, lived in a foreign land and was independent. Those were promiscuous times and I freely took part in anything I wanted.

After I married my first wife, I started attending Baptism church, out of respect for my former wife’s family. It was then, where I saw what I considered hypocrisy at its best. Witnessed “Sunday Christianity” and not much of it Monday through Saturday. Later on in life, I attended church for other denomination, but, oddly enough, not Catholic church (which I found odd, as I was born and raised a Catholic). If I give it great thought, I think part of my reason for not having faith was based on my confusion of why there were so many denominations and why most of them believed one thing or the other.

Prior to regaining my faith, I had justified by salvation by claiming that, while I was not a believed, I led a life that was mostly good and along the lines of what I thought a “good Christian” should be. Little did I know then that what I was actually saying was that I wanted to belong to the Church of Christ and not part of an otherwise “man-made” religion that was not consistent with the New Testament. I still have so many questions but am farther along than I was several months ago.

Today I woke up early (5 am), prayed to give thanks, read Luke chapters 1 through 7 (well, my App read it for me), and am getting ready to attend church (Christ Fellowship). This is not a bad way to start a Sunday. This will be my first time attending this church and, sadly enough, my first time attending any church in at least a couple of years. Now I need to ponder the idea of getting baptized (I was as a child in the Catholic church).

Anyway, sorry for the long post. Thank you for your comments. Yes, life does come in many shades, but your comments are similar to the idea that we are all headed to the same location but taking different roads. My question then is: Is it possible to approach Faith through such differing beliefs (alcohol, dance, confession, purgatory, etc), when it comes to being a Christian?

Have a great Sunday

rtm3039
I have no idea why you walked away from the Catholic church but my 1st thought was not about faith but instead it may have been that you learned more about the RCC and realized that it was not correct with Bible theology.

That is NOT about losing anything but instead it is about Growth and knowledge AND "Conviction".

As for Denominations, to answer your question correctly, , we must first differentiate between denominations within the body of Christ and non-Christian cults and false religions who claim to be something that they are not.

Presbyterians and Lutherans and Baptists are examples of Christian denominations. Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses are examples of cults (groups claiming to be Christian but denying one or more of the essentials of the Christian faith).

I am assuming that you are aware that Islam and Buddhism are entirely separate religions.

So then WHY so many?????

The rise of denominations within the Christian faith can be traced back directly to the Protestant Reformation, the movement to “reform” the Roman Catholic Church during the 16th century, out of which four major divisions or traditions of Protestantism would emerge:
1). Lutheran,
2) Reformed,
3) Anabaptist, and
4). Anglican.

From these four, other denominations grew over the centuries each one depending on certain theological interpretations.

The Lutheran denomination was named after Martin Luther and was based on his teachings.

The Methodists got their name because their founder, John Wesley, was famous for coming up with “methods” for spiritual growth.

Presbyterians are named for their view on church leadership—the Greek word for elder is presbyteros.

Baptists got their name because they have always emphasized the importance of baptism.

Each denomination has a slightly different doctrine or emphasis from the others, such as the method of baptism; the availability of the Lord’s Supper to all or just to those whose testimonies can be verified by church leaders; the sovereignty of God vs. free will in the matter of salvation; the future of Israel and the church; pre-tribulation vs. post-tribulation rapture; the existence of the “sign” gifts in the modern era, and so on. The point of these divisions is never Christ as Lord and Savior, but rather honest differences of opinion by godly, albeit flawed, people seeking to honor God and retain doctrinal purity according to their consciences and their understanding of His Word.

There seems to be at least two major problems with denominationalism.

First, nowhere in Scripture is there a mandate for denominationalism; to the contrary the mandate is for union and connectivity.

Thus, the second problem is that history tells us that denominationalism is the result of, or caused by, conflict and confrontation which leads to division and separation.

What is a believer to do? Should we ignore denominations, should we just not go to church and worship on our own at home? The answer to both questions is no. What we should be seeking is a body of believers where the Gospel of Christ is preached, where you as an individual can have a personal relationship with the Lord, where you can join in biblical ministries that are spreading the Gospel and glorifying God.
 

bobinfaith

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So, why are there so many denominations? One article I read notes that there are over 40,000 churches and that has always confused me. So, belonging to a non-denominational church is the right answer to the question I did not ask. Looking forward to guidance rtm3039
What is a believer to do? Should we ignore denominations, should we just not go to church and worship on our own at home? The answer to both questions is no. What we should be seeking is a body of believers where the Gospel of Christ is preached, where you as an individual can have a personal relationship with the Lord, where you can join in biblical ministries that are spreading the Gospel and glorifying God.
Hello rtm3039;

These are good posts by others to your question. I'd like to share as well and offer any guidance.

Why are there so many churches? The Roman Catholic church may be the oldest, organized Christian religion but after the Reformation, Protestantism became the church that expanded to the various denominations that exist today, thus so many churches.

The Baptist church alone is 40,000 plus, and there are thousands more of other denominations in America alone. Why? One of the biggest reasons has been differences, and major differences in interpretation of the Scripture. That alone would cause a church to split and form another with its own doctrine, again attempting to be as close to the Scriptures.

Ray, should God lead you to attend a non-denominational church, then its good. The early churches were mostly non-denominational. Non-denominational churches are automonous in the way they are governed, and led by their own spiritual leadership.

If you are seeking a church to worship and serve, please ask God what He says, first. He will lead you where you will serve Him. He will lead you to your shepherd who will be entrusted by God to preach and teach you the absolute truth in Scripture. Your shepherd will guide you in recognizing and growing your faith walk, skills and abilities when serving in your family, church, community and future job.


Years ago my wife and I prayed where God would lead us to the church He wanted us to worship and serve Him. That first day we attended we were first greeted by the usher! He made us feel loved, welcomed, safe and filled us with the spirit to worship. He was a deacon and he and his wife mentored my wife and me, taught the Bible to us and took us out often to dinner or walks by the lake, etc...Our pastor grounded us in preparation for our ministries where we serve today.

Acts 2:42-47,
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Are you saved, Ray? If your conversion as a Christian of Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior, please consider these areas in your faith;

If your new belief is dependent on others, restricted only in specific areas (quit smoking, drugs, vices), social (new way of treating others), please pray to God and ask Him to make your conversion comprehensive, a total conversion for Christ Jesus.

James 1:6, 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.

2 Corinthians 5:17, 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Since there are so many churches, there are so many behaviors. Many believers behave as if they know more about the church family and leadership where they attend better than God. God knows whats going on, which are His churches and which are false. We must be careful where we serve not to criticize the church leadership behind their backs. Instead, always pray for them. On the flip side, it angers God when the church leadership grumble toward church individuals or the whole church family. Instead, the church leadership must also pray for the sheep.

We're praying for you, Ray. I enjoy your topics and hope everyone's posts and mine help you with some guidance.

God bless you and your family.
 
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Feb 5, 2019
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Hello rtm3039;

These are good posts by others to your question. I'd like to share as well and offer any guidance.

Why are there so many churches? The Roman Catholic church may be the oldest, organized Christian religion but after the Reformation, Protestantism became the church that expanded to the various denominations that exist today, thus so many churches.

The Baptist church alone is 40,000 plus, and there are thousands more of other denominations in America alone. Why? One of the biggest reasons has been differences, and major differences in interpretation of the Scripture. That alone would cause a church to split and form another with its own doctrine, again attempting to be as close to the Scriptures.

Ray, should God lead you to attend a non-denominational church, then its good. The early churches were mostly non-denominational. Non-denominational churches are automonous in the way they are governed, and led by their own spiritual leadership.

If you are seeking a church to worship and serve, please ask God what He says, first. He will lead you where you will serve Him. He will lead you to your shepherd who will be entrusted by God to preach and teach you the absolute truth in Scripture. Your shepherd will guide you in recognizing and growing your faith walk, skills and abilities when serving in your family, church, community and future job.


Years ago my wife and I prayed where God would lead us to the church He wanted us to worship and serve Him. That first day we attended we were first greeted by the usher! He made us feel loved, welcomed, safe and filled us with the spirit to worship. He was a deacon and he and his wife mentored my wife and me, taught the Bible to us and took us out often to dinner or walks by the lake, etc...Our pastor grounded us in preparation for our ministries where we serve today.

Acts 2:42-47,
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Are you saved, Ray? If your conversion as a Christian of Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior, please consider these areas in your faith;

If your new belief is dependent on others, restricted only in specific areas (quit smoking, drugs, vices), social (new way of treating others), please pray to God and ask Him to make your conversion comprehensive, a total conversion for Christ Jesus.

James 1:6, 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.

2 Corinthians 5:17, 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Since there are so many churches, there are so many behaviors. Many believers behave as if they know more about the church family and leadership where they attend better than God. God knows whats going on, which are His churches and which are false. We must be careful where we serve not to criticize the church leadership behind their backs. Instead, always pray for them. On the flip side, it angers God when the church leadership grumble toward church individuals or the whole church family. Instead, the church leadership must also pray for the sheep.

We're praying for you, Ray. I enjoy your topics and hope everyone's posts and mine help you with some guidance.

God bless you and your family.
Very nice, Bobinfaith

You said a great deal and I appreciate that.

Most of my questions are out of curiosity. I spent way too many years believing in nothing, so I guess I am trying to catch up.

I did ask God to lead me to my church and he did. It is a large church, with "campuses" in several areas of Miami. The funny thing is that, while it is large in size, it is small and friendly in attitude. The church (Christ Fellowship) is well known for their work with schools and charities. My wife is a teacher and she has worked with them many times.

Am I saved? Well I'd like to think I am well on my way. It is taking me a little time to embrace my re-discovered faith in its totality. I had a conversation with one of the pastors and want to be re-Baptized. I was Baptized, as an infant, in a Catholic church, but I want to do it as the Bible says. At the end of our conversation, the pastor asked that we pray together. As an adult, this is the FIRST time someone has asked this of me. For some reason, and keep this to yourself, I started to cry from the emotional high that this gave me. In fact, just sitting here typing this has got me a bit choked-up. Not sure why, but it does get to me on a deep emotional level.

I still have much to ask and learn. For the moment, I am comfortable in my direction and enjoy praying to God often. At first, it was a little rocky, but now it's more like a conversation with my best friend.

May God bless you and your family as well.
 
Jan 31, 2019
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Bradford County, PA
...

So, why are there so many denominations? One article I read notes that there are over 40,000 churches and that has always confused me.

...
The short answer is SIN.

NOTHING we can do, or think, or feel can be righteous before God unless it is made as white as snow by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This includes every human endeavor (including this post and including this Forum) but especially any "religious" activities such as church (small c).

To me, the amazing thing is what our Lord can do with our "mustard seed" of Faith. But that is how he has always shown his Magnificence, by taking broken, weak, sinners and accomplishing great things. Like if I had a miraculous gas additive to advertise that would make any vehicle win the Indy 500, would I put it in a Formula 1 race car or in rusted out Pinto? Either way would win the race, but which would be better advertising? Hmmmm? :)

Let me take a moment and applaud the Moderators of this Forum for keeping the more divisive religious subjects off limits.

It makes me ill to see the attitude that when you walk into a church on Sunday morning, somehow you are in a no-sin zone, and somehow anything said from the pulpit must be sin-free, too. And by going regularly you will become sinless! If anyone reading this just thought to themselves "Oh, but you haven't been to MY church!" then this was especially meant for you.

Religious sin must be the worst of all. It is what crucified Christ. The picture I chose for my icon is called "Forgiven". Notice what is in the guy's hands showing what he has done. That guy is you, me, and every single church that has or will exist. But Christ can do the miraculous with all of us. :)

Hey, don't worry about how many churches there are or where you should go. Be a follower of Christ's teachings, that is what he asks. Everything else will fall into place because it will then be the Lord's doing.

4140
 
Feb 5, 2019
145
143
43
Miami, FL
The short answer is SIN.

NOTHING we can do, or think, or feel can be righteous before God unless it is made as white as snow by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This includes every human endeavor (including this post and including this Forum) but especially any "religious" activities such as church (small c).

To me, the amazing thing is what our Lord can do with our "mustard seed" of Faith. But that is how he has always shown his Magnificence, by taking broken, weak, sinners and accomplishing great things. Like if I had a miraculous gas additive to advertise that would make any vehicle win the Indy 500, would I put it in a Formula 1 race car or in rusted out Pinto? Either way would win the race, but which would be better advertising? Hmmmm? :)

Let me take a moment and applaud the Moderators of this Forum for keeping the more divisive religious subjects off limits.

It makes me ill to see the attitude that when you walk into a church on Sunday morning, somehow you are in a no-sin zone, and somehow anything said from the pulpit must be sin-free, too. And by going regularly you will become sinless! If anyone reading this just thought to themselves "Oh, but you haven't been to MY church!" then this was especially meant for you.

Religious sin must be the worst of all. It is what crucified Christ. The picture I chose for my icon is called "Forgiven". Notice what is in the guy's hands showing what he has done. That guy is you, me, and every single church that has or will exist. But Christ can do the miraculous with all of us. :)

Hey, don't worry about how many churches there are or where you should go. Be a follower of Christ's teachings, that is what he asks. Everything else will fall into place because it will then be the Lord's doing.

View attachment 4140
TwoBlocked, you have a very interesting writing style. Very to the point and well structured.

One of the “things” that originally “turned me off” religion was the very conduct you mentioned. I saw people who were good Christians on Sunday and back to their old selves Monday morning. After over 40 years of calling myself an agnostic, I have re-evaluated my beliefs and have accepted the Lord as my savior. I have grown tired of the evil and cruelty that we not almost consider “normal,” and want to be on the other side of that coin. I have a long road to travel, which is why I keep asking questions.

I can’t imagine anyone claiming that they are without sin. I mean, it’s a nice idea, but I am just unsure how you pull that off. Faith is just one of these things where you have to walk the walk and talk the talk.

I can’t even begin to tell you how different I see the world now. I feel a sense of belonging and a sense that I am part of a special family of people who, despite being imperfect, are doing their best to follow the Divine guidance. I know this is not going to be easy, but I am eagerly embracing this new life.

I still stumble over myself, when I pray, and almost sound like an idiot. I do ask the Lord’s forgiveness, daily, as I know what we are all sinners (even if we try to avoid it). I am thankful for all the blessings my life has had, even when there are times, I feel overwhelmed by circumstances and life is not going according to my foolish attempt to plan everything out. This new life has allowed me to re-evaluate everything. I’ve made peace with people I was at war with and have felt sincere sorrow for the wrongs I have committed. I will be the new “kid op the block” for a while, but I have learned that being a good Christian is all about your relationship with God and not your relationship with man-made structures.

Now I need to tackle the Bible. I must admit that parts are difficult to understand; however, I plan on joining one of the small groups at my church and seek to learn. Oh yes, I also plan on continuing to ask questions here, as everyone appears to be much wiser than I.

Rtm3039
 
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bobinfaith

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After over 40 years of calling myself an agnostic, I have re-evaluated my beliefs and have accepted the Lord as my savior. I have a long road to travel, which is why I keep asking questions. Now I need to tackle the Bible. I must admit that parts are difficult to understand; however, I plan on joining one of the small groups at my church and seek to learn. Oh yes, I also plan on continuing to ask questions here, as everyone appears to be much wiser than I.
Rtm3039
Hello rtm3039;

In this whole topic, Why are there so many churches? I am overjoyed to read the most important testimony (in blue) of your post, accepting the Lord as your Savior! Praise His Wonderful Name!

We'll continue to pray for you and anyone who is searching for a relationship with Jesus Christ. I'm also encouraged that you have zeal to study the Bible.

Please continue to fellowship at CFS with our brothers and sisters and ask your questions. We have been blessed with good teachers of the Gospel that will help us apply our faith walk daily.

God bless you, Ray, and your family.
 
Feb 5, 2019
145
143
43
Miami, FL
Hello rtm3039;

In this whole topic, Why are there so many churches? I am overjoyed to read the most important testimony (in blue) of your post, accepting the Lord as your Savior! Praise His Wonderful Name!

We'll continue to pray for you and anyone who is searching for a relationship with Jesus Christ. I'm also encouraged that you have zeal to study the Bible.

Please continue to fellowship at CFS with our brothers and sisters and ask your questions. We have been blessed with good teachers of the Gospel that will help us apply our faith walk daily.

God bless you, Ray, and your family.
Thank you. I must admit that I really enjoy my interactions with you (and others) and have no plans on leaving the CFS.

Bless you back and thanks - I can use all the help I can get.

rtm3039
 
Feb 10, 2015
767
934
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Maryland
Just to add a couple of observations:

The last part of my career, I traveled a lot. I was supporting a program for the FAA and had to go to various Air Traffic Control Centers, as well as the developers and test facilities.

When I had to spend the weekend, I would find a local church to attend. Usually, I would choose one of a similar denomination to what I attend at home. Sometimes I would attend another to get a another viewpoint.

I appreciated knowing whether the church was a Church of God, Baptist, Presbyterian, etc. Not because I thought one was any more correct, but sometimes I wanted a challenge, sometimes I just wanted familiar style of worship.

As another observation:

Years ago, I attended a church of a non-charismatic denomination. Some charismatic churches in the area were holding revival meetings. That caused some grumbling in our congregation.

During the sermon the next Sunday, the pastor took time out to mention the situation, then say that one meaning of blasphemy was to attribute the works of the Lord to the enemy. He then struck a stern pose and glared around his congregation. The meaning was plain.
 
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Feb 5, 2019
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Just to add a couple of observations:

The last part of my career, I traveled a lot. I was supporting a program for the FAA and had to go to various Air Traffic Control Centers, as well as the developers and test facilities.

When I had to spend the weekend, I would find a local church to attend. Usually, I would choose one of a similar denomination to what I attend at home. Sometimes I would attend another to get a another viewpoint.

I appreciated knowing whether the church was a Church of God, Baptist, Presbyterian, etc. Not because I thought one was any more correct, but sometimes I wanted a challenge, sometimes I just wanted familiar style of worship.

As another observation:

Years ago, I attended a church of a non-charismatic denomination. Some charismatic churches in the area were holding revival meetings. That caused some grumbling in our congregation.

During the sermon the next Sunday, the pastor took time out to mention the situation, then say that one meaning of blasphemy was to attribute the works of the Lord to the enemy. He then struck a stern pose and glared around his congregation. The meaning was plain.
This has always been one of my problems with organized religion. I know that only one interpretation can be right, but I am unsure of why there should be intolerance of views that differ from ours. While I am still the new guy on the block, I have come to appreciate and understand that we need to be members of the Church of Christ and not subject ourselves to beliefs that are clearly man-made.

Based on the many wonderful comments you brothers (and sisters) have added to my question, I get it. It matters more your relationship with God than where you go to worship on Sunday. We are to live a life in honor of the Lord and dedicated to loving one another as members of this community. I do not recall who said it, but I like the comment that: I am a Christian, not a Catholic. This might have actually been something I read and not part of this forum.

As most of you know, I became a born again Christian (not sure if this is the proper title) just this past January. After over 40 years, I finally received the gift of faith. As I look back on the many uninformed opinions I held, back when I claimed to be an agnostic, I totally understand why some people thought I was an idiot.

I am still stumbling all over myself, but I like where I am headed. Found a church I like, plan to start volunteering in the coming weeks, looking to join a small group for Bible study, and have already discussed my desire to be re-Baptized according to Biblical teachings and not man-made interpretation. Every time stress starts to get the upper hand, I take a moment to pray to our Lord and the stress goes back to its proper place.

At this point, my next question might be how much is too much? I find myself praying at least 10 (+/-) or so times a day. I have two times (morning and evening) that I am calling my “formal” praying. I find it a pleasure to do this outside, so I can be under the sky. As for the rest, I tend to do it when I find myself overwhelmed or in need of asking for Divine guidance. I call these “situational” praying. While my morning and evening prayers are mostly always to give thanks and humbly regret my part indiscretions, my other praying is to ask for guidance and help. Have to be honest with you all, on more than one occasion, God has provided some spot-on moments that has left me almost speechless.

God is great and I want to thank every one of you that has provided me some of your wisdom and guidance. You all are my family and always find myself thanking God for our relationship.

rtm3039
 
Feb 23, 2019
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Great question. (why are there so many denominations?)
Let me hope I can word this in a proper way so as to be understood. I think the answer is because humans being egocentric in our nature have demonstrated we still have to have our hand in even God's divine plan.
Some of us, like John Calvin and others, achieved mortal world immortality by structuring a doctrine that ended up either bearing their name outright, like Calvinism, or by influence, like Methodism and after its founder John Wesley.

When really we are all one in Christ. And the church are we the body of faithful alive in the body of Christ. But because of the fracturing denominationalism has achieved we're still not one in the sense of Jesus intended outcome. Maybe that is why the world is in the state it is today. Even though Christ's truth has been delivered to the world for over 2000 years.

I love this list shared in the OP and thank you so much rtm . Simple, basic truth and recollection of what Jesus intended for the body of faithful.
Meet on the 1st day of the week (Acts 20;7)
Sing a Capella (Eph 5;19, Col 3;16)
Pray and study the Bible together (Acts 2;42)
Help the church each week (1 Cor 16:12)
Christ is the only head (Eph 5:33-23)
Churches composed of elders, deacons, evangelists and members (Phil 1:1)
Abide only in the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9)
Casting away man-made doctrine and creeds (Mar 7:7.1 and Cor 16:1-2)
We are Christians only (Acts 11:26)
 
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Feb 5, 2019
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Great question. (why are there so many denominations?)
Let me hope I can word this in a proper way so as to be understood. I think the answer is because humans being egocentric in our nature have demonstrated we still have to have our hand in even God's divine plan.
Some of us, like John Calvin and others, achieved mortal world immortality by structuring a doctrine that ended up either bearing their name outright, like Calvinism, or by influence, like Methodism and after its founder John Wesley.

When really we are all one in Christ. And the church are we the body of faithful alive in the body of Christ. But because of the fracturing denominationalism has achieved we're still not one in the sense of Jesus intended outcome. Maybe that is why the world is in the state it is today. Even though Christ's truth has been delivered to the world for over 2000 years.

I love this list shared in the OP and thank you so much rtm . Simple, basic truth and recollection of what Jesus intended for the body of faithful.
Meet on the 1st day of the week (Acts 20;7)
Sing a Capella (Eph 5;19, Col 3;16)
Pray and study the Bible together (Acts 2;42)
Help the church each week (1 Cor 16:12)
Christ is the only head (Eph 5:33-23)
Churches composed of elders, deacons, evangelists and members (Phil 1:1)
Abide only in the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9)
Casting away man-made doctrine and creeds (Mar 7:7.1 and Cor 16:1-2)
We are Christians only (Acts 11:26)
Thank you, Quintessence:

These are serious times we live in. I am sometimes amazed at just how much evil is out there. I no longer enjoy watching the news, locally or nationally, because it just reaffirms how lost we have become. Personally, I find it hard to understand, but do believe that the decline in faith has something to do with it. For most of my adult life, I considered myself an agnostic. Even at that low point of my life, I still went out of my way to help people and have NEVER intentionally caused anyone harm.

We have almost grown accustomed to the “usual” crime of drugs, crime related shootings, and political corruption, but we still all too often see crimes that makes the aforementioned seem almost docile. One of the many “things” I thank God for is that my family has never been touched by such egregious hate, but it is something I, as a father and husband, think of often.

Here is something interesting. In an article in the on-line journal (Christianity Today), they report that a recent survey by the Pew Research Center noted that “Even in an era where more of the nation doesn’t ascribe to a higher power at all (10%) or believes in some sort of higher power or spiritual force (33%), a slim majority of Americans (56%) still believe in God “as described in the Bible.” The research provides insight into “. . . how people view God—and how they believe God interacts with them—shifts by religious affiliation, gender, and political party.” It’s an interesting read.

Shellnutt, K. (April 25, 2018). The Christianity Today: 80% of Americans Believe in God. Pew Found Out What the Mean.
 
Feb 5, 2019
145
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Miami, FL
Good day my brothers and sisters,

I just wanted to say something. For months, I have been asking for God's guidance. There is still some works to be done here, but I believe he has pointed me to the right direction as it pertains to where I want to attend church. I have been attending the Christ Fellowship and I am besides myself. As soon as service is done, I am already looking forward to next week. The people there are fantastic and it feels like such a clean and friendly environment. I am now looking into volunteering at the campus and becoming a member of one their small groups to study the Bible.

It's really a big church and their music program is nontraditional (it looks and sounds like a professional concert); however, they are so gifted. There was a young lady today that performed a number I found so moving I actually cried. This really is not me - I never cry. Thus far, since becoming a member of this fellowship, it's happened twice. I'm not all that sure why this is happening, but I am grateful and wanted to publicly thank the Lord for steering me in that direction.

Have a blessed week my family!

rtm3039
 
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Feb 10, 2015
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I would not worry about why all Christians do not worship in the same manner, nor have varied views of what is correct.

A great hammer would make a poor screwdriver. A hammer should be a hammer, while a screwdriver should be a screwdriver. We should not try to make one tool be every tool.

A congregation that concentrates on ministry to family may look different from one that ministers to a transient population (like students at college).

An effective christian is one who can be counted upon to do the particular service the Lord has laid out. Each of us has a unique service to perform. The proper church is the one that can strengthen its members for the tasks laid out.
 
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Feb 5, 2019
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I would not worry about why all Christians do not worship in the same manner, nor have varied views of what is correct.

A great hammer would make a poor screwdriver. A hammer should be a hammer, while a screwdriver should be a screwdriver. We should not try to make one tool be every tool.

A congregation that concentrates on ministry to family may look different from one that ministers to a transient population (like students at college).

An effective christian is one who can be counted upon to do the particular service the Lord has laid out. Each of us has a unique service to perform. The proper church is the one that can strengthen its members for the tasks laid out.
Hi Siloam, to be fair, I really was not worried. Mine was more of curiosity. It is about the relationship each of has with the Lord,not so much where we end up Sunday mornings.

"We should not try to make one tool be every tool.." Have you ever owned a Leatherman? :)

rtm3039
 
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