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Arguments for Denominationalism What Does The Bible Teach?

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Presentation on theme: "Arguments for Denominationalism What Does The Bible Teach?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Arguments for Denominationalism What Does The Bible Teach?

2 Argument #1 It is true that denominationalism represents a multiplicity of religious bodies; but since they all recognize just one head, Jesus Christ, they exist with divine approval.

3 Bible Response Acts 4:12 (NKJV) "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." The name under heaven by which we must be saved is Jesus Christ. No other name worn by denominations can save. Ephesians 4:4 (NKJV) There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; There is only one body recognized by God. All others are false. The only thing left to be determined is which body to participate in.

4 Bible Response Colossians 1:18 (NKJV) And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. Jesus Christ is the head of His one body, the church. The church of the New Testament. And being the Head, He makes the rules. Ephesians 5:23 (NKJV) For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. The affirmation that Jesus Christ is the head of more than one religious body has the same evil connotation to it as the accusation that a certain man possesses more than one wife. Denominationalism would make of the spotless Lamb of God an adulterer, having not just one spiritual wife but literally hundreds of them.

5 Argument #2 Jesus Christ authorized the denominations by His teaching on the subject of the vine and branches in John 15. The vine represents the true church, and the branches represent the denominations.

6 Bible Response John 15:4 (NKJV) "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. John 15:5 (NKJV) "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:6 (NKJV) "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 2 John 1:9 (NASB) Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; The one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.

7 Bible Response We must understand a context of a scripture or we could be guilty of taking it out of context. The whole subject mentioned here is found in the context which actually starts in chapter 13 of John and continues through chapter 16. Jesus after the last supper was talking to His disciples. Jesus was the vine and the apostles were the branches. By extension anyone who practiced the true doctrine of the apostles would in effect also be a branch of the vine. Certain conditions exist which make this so. One must abide in Christ and His Doctrine in order to be a part of Christ. One really has to stretch and pervert the truth to make this mean the denominations.

8 Argument #3 On the ranches of the west, cattle are given different brands, but they are still the same thing--- just cattle. In like manner, the members of the various denominations have different designations, but they are still the same thing--just Christians.

9 Bible Response The fact that cattle are branded differently indicates that they have different owners. Each owner brands the cattle he possesses with his own particular and peculiar brand. And so, the fact that members of the denominations are branded differently indicates that they do not belong to the same owner. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NKJV) Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? {20} For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. The Lord has purchased us, and has the right to place His particular brand on us. 1 Peter 1:18-19 (NKJV) knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, {19} but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

10 Bible Response Acts 20:28 (NKJV) "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. What is the brand that Christ places on us? Something that denotes the rightful ownership of the individual. As a brand will declare to everyone who the owner is, so our names will declare who our owner is. Acts 11:26 (NKJV) And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. We can be certain that no responsible rancher would place different brands on his cattle, so Jesus does not brand His true followers with different religious names. Those who wear such brands of different names are claiming ownership by someone other than Christ. Someone else is their leader.

11 Argument #4 4. The sincere, upright members of all the denominations are going to the same heaven, but they are just travelling by different roads.

12 Bible Response It may be true that many roads may lead to certain towns and places, but in the Bible we find that there is only one way to get to heaven. How do we find that way? John 14:4-6 (NKJV) "And where I go you know, and the way you know." Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Jesus said the He was the way to heaven. It is through His sacrifice, His grace, and His obedience. The way is through our obedience to His example and His teachings. Only by doing His will His way, can we hope to get to heaven.

13 Bible Response Matthew 7:14 (NKJV) "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Jesus said this way was difficult and narrow, but not impossible. There is only one way to get there. The Bible is the roadmap. The Word is the light that shows the way. The Scriptures teach us how to stay on the correct path. The Law explains us how to conduct ourselves on this path.

14 Argument #5 5. It is true that the denominations disagree regarding certain doctrines and practices, but these are unessential matters. Concerning the essentials, such as belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, acceptance of the moral precepts of the Bible, etc., the denominations are united. This is based upon a false concept of the unity of the denominations. There is in fact, nothing God has revealed through Jesus Christ and the New Testament that is not essential. Why would God burden us down with non-essential matters?

15 Bible Response 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV) All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, {17} that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. "All Scripture" is able to make a man of God complete and ready to do God's will. 2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV) Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. We must study to show ourselves approved to God. We must know how to handle the Word and how to make a proper application in our lives and doctrines that we teach and practice.

16 Bible Response 2 Peter 1:3-4 (NKJV) as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. God has given us His Word. This is all that we need concerning salvation and the rules that would please God. Matthew 28:20 (NKJV) "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen. When Jesus gave "The Great Commission", He said to teach the believers all things He had commanded. He did not say teach some or most, but all.

17 Bible Response 2 Timothy 2:2 (NKJV) And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Paul said that all of his teaching and practices were to be taught to others who would teach others who would teach others.......etc,etc. 1 John 4:6 (NKJV) We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. John said that those who hear and accept his teachings would be acceptable to God. That is how we know right from wrong. By following and keeping his teachings, which were the teachings of the Holy Spirit, which were the teachings from God.

18 Bible Response Luke 6:46 (NKJV) "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say? No one can be loyal to Christ and God and at the same time be dis-loyal to the Bible. 1 Corinthians 4:6 (NKJV) Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other. This argument being discussed here is definite admission by those in the denominations that theirs is a failure to follow God's word, by going beyond His law. What they are saying is that they know their teaching is different from the Word of God, but by claiming that it is non-essential or unimportant justifies their right to practice or teach it. If any part of God's Word is unimportant or nonessential, then we can easily dismiss that any of it is important or essential. Are you willing to concede that the Bible is not the Word of God? That it has no authority?

19 Argument #6 6. It does not matter what one believes and practices in religion, just as long as he is sincere. The loyal members of the denominations sincerely believe that they are doing good, and that is all that really counts.

20 Bible Response Were sincerity alone sufficient to justify men religiously, why does the Bible give us the example of Saul of Tarsus. Acts 26:9 (NKJV) "Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Acts 23:1 (NKJV) Then Paul, looking earnestly at the council, said, "Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day." Paul's sincerity did not make him right.

21 Bible Response Anyone can have sincerity, but still be wrong. Someone can sincerely do something and still be hurt. Example. I sincerely believe that the electricity is turned off. I don't believe someone would poison me. As the leper Naaman declared, "...behold, I thought". One can be sincerely wrong, and they are still wrong. Sincerely accepting a false doctrine cannot lead one to a right relationship with God.

22 Argument #7 7. Denominations exist, with their differences in doctrine and practice, because it is impossible for all people to see the Bible alike. If it is impossible for people to see the Bible alike, as so many thoughtlessly assert, then why was the Bible given as a revelation to convey the thoughts of God to the minds of men? Paul said that we are to understand what the will of God is. God is not so cruel that He would make us do something that was impossible.

23 Response Disagreement is always based upon the failure to understand what is revealed. In answer to a question as to why there are many divisions, one person said this. "Because they belong to different sects and have different systems, and they rather make the Bible bow to their own systems, than make their systems bow to the Bible. In other words, each person views the Bible from their own perspective or doctrine.

24 An Illustration The story of the blind men and the elephant illustrate this idea. When asked to describe an elephant these blind men said that they could not unless they were allowed to touch it. Upon careful examination we find that the elephant to the one who touched the tail, said that an elephant is like a rope. Different blind men who touched different parts of the elephant got different perspectives. An elephant is like a tree. An elephant is smooth. An elephant is light as a feather. An elephant has bad breath. A man walking by saw and heard what was happening and told them they were all wrong. Each blind man walked away firmly convinced that his description was right and neither could convince the other to change their beliefs. People must be willing to get all the facts concerning a subject before making a determination.

25 Conclusion Are you a member of a denomination? Do you realize that by your membership in such an organization, you are lending your aid to the support of religious division, in disobedience to the will of Christ? We implore anyone to consider their spiritual condition in the light of God's word and then forth-rightly depart from the practice of division by submission to divine authority. Come to Christ in obedience, and be added to the one true church.

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