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What denomination are you?
By Jerry Blount

“If {anyone suffers} as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.” I Peter 4:16

We are simply Christians, no more, no less. That’s what Jesus wants us to be. Wouldn’t you agree? Have you noticed that churches seem to have a hard time deciding to be content to be just churches? Christians need to be content to be Christians and churches need to be content to be churches. What does the Bible actually teach us?

Most are unaware that the modern series of divisions that we call denominationalism is actually addressed (in principle) by the Bible. “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.” I Corinthians 1:10

Look up the word “denomination” in any good dictionary or encyclopedia! The Wikipedia encyclopedia entry begins with… “Christianity is composed of four major divisions of Churches: Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Protestant. Denomination typically refers to one of the many Christian churches.”

Now compare “denomination” to the word “division” of the bible verse above I Cor.1:10. It comes from the word schisma in the Greek. Do you recognize it? We get our word schism from it. It means a tear or a division. It shows up two more times in the Corinthian letter.

I Corinthians 11:18 “For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part, I believe it.”

I Corinthians 12:25 ” that there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.”

Not once, but three times, Paul admonishes that fracturing church to allow no schisms or denominations to develop. But that was “just Paul’s opinion” right? Actually no! Many are familiar with Jesus’ brokenhearted prayer of Gethsemane. Not my will, but Thy will be done! Almost none are familiar with the prayer that preceded it. Are you aware that Jesus prayed first for the apostles, then for us, BEFORE He prayed for Himself! Do you know what He prayed?

"I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, {are} in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17:20-21

We should owe our allegiance to no manmade creed, no manmade denomination. Our loyalty must be to no one other than the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, "I am of Paul," and "I of Apollos," and "I of Cephas," and "I of Christ. Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” I Corinthians 1:12-13

Many through history have recognized this very principle. None other than Martin Luther said, “"I pray you leave my name alone, and call not yourselves Lutherans, but Christians. Who is Luther? My doctrine is not mine. I have not been crucified for anyone. St. Paul would not let any call themselves after Paul, nor of Peter, but only of Christ. How then, does it befit me, a miserable bag of dust and ashes, to give my name to the children of God? Cease, my dear friends, to cling to these party names and distinctions; away with all; and let us call ourselves Christians after Him from whom our doctrine comes." (The Life of Luther, by Stork p.289)

Isn’t it interesting that in the 1500’s Martin Luther actually quoted the same passage, and used it in the same way as we have been? Then he begged his followers to call themselves Christians rather than Lutherans. They waited till he died, then did as they pleased… calling themselves Lutherans against Luther’s will!

We are neither Catholic nor protestant nor Jew. We aren’t protestant or protesting anything…We simply choose to be Christians.

“God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, So that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:10-11

Do you believe that the name of Jesus is to be exalted above every other name? God does!

Will you bow before the name of Jesus?

"And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12

Want to be “just” a Christian?

We cannot claim to believe in Jesus, if we do not also follow what He said.

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