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Why So Many Denominations? How Did They Begin?

Why So Many Denominations? How Did They Begin?In the religious world today there are many different religious groups. Each has its own peculiar name, organization, doctrine, form of worship, and plan of salvation. Why are there so many religious groups?

Nearly all Bible students agree that in the New Testament there was only one church belonging to Jesus. Denominations did not exist. But today there are hundreds of churches all claiming to believe in God and most claiming to follow Jesus. Where did they all come from?

Could it be that people in all these churches are pleasing to God and are following Jesus? In 1 Corinthians 1:10 Paul rebuked the Corinthian church because there was division among the members there. If God condemned that division, why would He overlook the fact that far greater division exists today? In verse 13 Paul asked, "Is Christ divided?" The clear answer is: No, Christ is not divided! Jesus does not contradict Himself. He does not teach one thing to one person, and then teach the opposite to someone else. But the modern denominations do contradict one another. How then can they all be following Jesus? Jesus is not divided, so denominational division did not come from Jesus. Where then did it come from?

In Acts 20:29,30 the apostle Paul spoke to a group of bishops and made this prediction: "...after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves." After Paul left, there would be apostasy among God's people. Religious leaders in the church would pervert or change the gospel in order to get a following for themselves.

We urge you to consider the evidence that the existence of modern denominational division fulfills these prophecies. Modern denominational division came about over a period of hundreds of years because men departed from God's will.

For more information on this subject, please visit our Bible Instruction web site at /instruct/ and study our in-depth articles there about denominationalism, religious division and confusion, and how to identify Jesus' true church. 

(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2005;

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