Are There Christians in the Denominations
This article will offend some people. That is not our intent. However, it happens whenever people love the darkness of error more than the light of truth (John 3:19-21).
Denominations are not from God. Jesus built one church, which is His one body, “the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 1:22-23; 4:4). The gospel of Christ condemns religious division: Christ is not divided (John 17:20-21; 1 Cor. 1:10-13). One is not following Jesus Christ when he practices what Jesus opposes. If God approves of denominations, we would find clear and convincing Scriptures approving them. We do not.
Christians are disciples of Jesus Christ (Acts 11:26). A disciple learns and follows the will of His Master – Jesus (Lk. 6:40). Since Jesus never taught, endorsed or encouraged denominationalism, one is not following Jesus when he engages in it; he is sinning (Col. 3:17).
Jesus adds saved people to His church, not to denominations (Acts 2:47). Christ does not count among the saved those who teach and
practice the errors of denominationalism; the Lord knows those who are His (2 Tim. 2:16-19).
If there are saved people – Christians – in the denominations, then these conclusions follow:
1) Denominations make the gospel plan of salvation unnecessary. Denominations do not preach and practice the Bible plan of salvation (believe, confess faith, repent and be baptized, Mk. 16:15-16; Acts 2:37-38; 8:5, 12, 36-38; Rom. 10:9-10). If there are Christians in denominations then people can be saved without obeying the gospel (which is false, Matt. 7:21-23).
2) Denominations make the church of Christ unnecessary. The New Testament teaches the church is essential to God’s eternal purpose of redemption (Eph. 3:10-11). God is glorified “in the church by Christ Jesus” (Eph. 3:21). Yet, the denominations say one can be saved without being a member of their denomination. True enough. Therefore, denominations admit they are not essential. When one is saved, the Lord adds him to His church, the blood-bought body of the redeemed (Acts 2:47; Eph. 5:23). The church of Christ is necessary.
3) Denominations make contending for the faith futile and factious. If Christians are in denominations, should we not embrace them as brethren instead of contending against their error (Jude 3-4)? The error of “Christians in the denominations” silences the Bible call to contend for the faith, and to hold fast the pattern of sound words. Instead, we are told there are many faiths and God accepts them all (2 Tim. 1:13; Eph. 4:5).
4) Denominations make fellowship with error acceptable. The New Testament teaches Christians not to have fellowship with error (Eph. 5:11). To suggest that false churches practicing error contain saved people (Christians), is a denial of the verses that warn against having fellowship with error (2 John 9-11; Gal. 1:6-10; 2 Cor. 6:14-18).
Are there Christians in the denominations of men? No. But, the gospel of Christ will save them (Rom. 1:16-17; Col. 2:8).