Denominations: O.K. For Money, But What About Religion? –Notes/Study Sheet

(I Cor. 1:10-13)

 

1. Introduction: Denominations

   * “Denominate” means “to give a name to, to designate.”

   * Flaws of denominationalism:

      - result of division

      - allows for various “churches” w/wide doctrinal differences

      - focuses more on tradition than scripture

      - promotes rivalry, not cooperation

      - encourages freedom to differ as healthy

 

2. Division

   * Unity is good and pleasant (Ps. 133).

   * Jeroboam’s sin – his “denomination” (I Kings 12:33 & 14:16).

   * Jesus prayed for unity (Jn. 17:20-21).

   * Paul condemned division (I Cor. 1:10-16; Rom. 16:17; Gal. 5:19 & following).

   * Phil 2:2 -

 

3. Multiple Bodies (nonexistent)

   * Coming of Christ’s kingdom prophesied

      - Isa. 2:2-4 –

      - Ezek. 37:22 -                                                       Ezek. 34:23 -

      - Dan. 2:44 –

   * “House,” “kingdom,” and “nation” all singular!

   * Caiaphas – Jn. 11:52 –

   * Early church was one (Acts 4:32)

   * Church at Ephesus – One body (4:4)

   * Christ head of the body (Eph. 1:22-23; 5:22 & following; Col. 1:18)

  

4. Tradition – “instruction that has been handed down.”

   * May be of divine origin (I Cor. 11:2; II Thes. 2:15)

 

   * May be of human origin. When added to/replaces scripture, we are sinning (Mt. 15:3; Col. 2:8; II Cor. 4:6 II Jn. 9)

  

 

5. Rivalry or cooperation?

   * Members of the same body don’t compete, they cooperate (I Cor. 12:12 & following).

   * Concept is seen in Acts (Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-35; 5:12-16).

   * Romans 15 -

 

 

 

6. Freedom to differ.

   * “If God is truth and Father of Christianity, then why so many contradictory doctrines?” Good question! Answer: God

            is responsible for only one and is not the author of confusion (I Cor. 14:33).

   * We may differ only in matters of opinion and preference (Acts 15:36 & following), not in doctrinal matters.

   * Col. 2:14 -

 

7. Conclusion

   * More and more once-solid congregations are beginning to drift into sinful denominationalism.

   * Church is not a democracy, it’s a kingdom subject to Christ’s law (I Cor. 9:21; Gal. 6:2).

  

Salvation is at stake! Throw off the chains of manmade denominations and become a member of the Lord’s church today.

 

                                                                                                                                    R.W. McAlister  2/1/09 a.m.