|image from web|
You know like
1/2 or 2/3
The top number is called the numerator, or the part taken out of the number at the bottom. The bottom number, the one which is divided is the denominator.
For some reason, this idea of fractions, and the denominator always come to mind when I think of the word denomination. Why are there so many? Why are we divided?
For the sake of fairness, I tested putting denominations in both parts of the fraction.
The first would look like this:
On the other hand if we put Jesus as the bottom number, then we are a fraction of Jesus. However, wouldn't this mean we are now dividing Christ?
And Christ is not divided. Indeed his entire state of being, his very existence is rooted in the bible truth that He is one. John 10:30. Further, the deeper question could be, are we dividing from Christ (I.E. Denomination out of Christ)? Now, there is scripture to support that Christ is the head of the church and we are the body of Christ, yet this "division" is not a division at all. Rather, it is a picture of the church being united with Christ- not the other way around.
For the sake of argument, with Christ as the head, let's say that the various denominations ( Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, Etc) are ( as an entire denominational organization) separate parts of the body of Christ? In other words, one denomination is a hand, another is a foot, another still is an eye, and so on and so forth.The issue we face then is rampant discord in the body. The body of Christ is to be unified (John 17:21-23).
If I may gracefully yet frankly declare, the truth is not limited to one assembly, one local gathering, or one organization. One is not in truth because of the name of the church group of which you are a member. The truth is in the WORD of God- only. The organization we choose to associate ourselves does not guarantee one's salvation. Obedience to the Word of God guarantees your salvation.
However, let's be honest- if a label is associated with specific practices and one does not agree with those practices, why take on the label, and by default their association? Why, for example, declare oneself a vegetarian if one really want to be vegan, or vice versa? Labels are symptomatic. In other words, labels would not exist if there were no specifics to which the label refers.
Why, do you think, they were called Christians first in Antioch? Acts 11:23-26.
They were labeled as Christ followers because they followed the teachings of Christ as taught through the apostles. They were distinct from those who were not Christians. There were specifics that set them apart, way before a label did. But the label, specified a name for their distinction- CHRISTIANS.
They were Christians in Antioch, and in Jerusalem. They were Christians in Rome, in Ephesus, and in Asia. They were Christ-followers in Samaria, Collose, and in Galatia. They were Christ-followers in Crete, and Laodecia. And you know what? Because they became Christians, they were neither considered Jew or gentile- they were Christians. Period.
Doctrinal divisions then are man-made and rooted in pride. Brothers refusing to submit to brother as the Lord commanded, results in discord, and separation.
Isn't there only one truth? J
Yes. Jesus is the way the truth and the life. John 14:6. So how can there be doctrinal divides when the Word does not change?
Note: scripture records when Paul and Barnabas had a disagreement, and separated. However they did not separate in mission nor in doctrine. While they didn't agree on who to bring along on the mission, they spoke the same thing. 1 Corinthians 1:10
Why can we not speak the same thing?
The only thing that can unite us is the HOLY Spirit and submission to it. Receiving the Holy Spirit according to the scriptures is essential to confidently knowing the power of God is present within us. Acts 2:4 Acts 19:6
In conclusion, the following passage needs no interpretation or translation nor does it need to be read-between-the-lines. Pray sincerely for a heart to receive what this Word is speaking.
Lowliness, meekness, unity, and growth are what will rid us of the doctrinal divides. Heaven and earth may pass away, but God's WORD will not- EVER. Mark 13:31. If you want to discuss or pray for the Holy Spirit, who alone gives understanding of the scriptures, please send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Unity of the Spirit|