AP Photo/Dave Martin
Every city has its share of churches. If a person wants to worship with “like-minded” individuals, he or she would not have far to go to find some. Some would say this is a strength of the Church, others would say it’s a weakness. Critics of the Christian church rail against the rampant denominationalism, claiming its proof that Christianity is a collection of man-made beliefs. Supporters claim the variety of denominations shows that the Church ministers to a variety of people while maintaining its core beliefs. Trevin Wax put it this way in a March 2008 posting at ChristianityToday.com:
Many laypeople hope to listen to a preacher who every week will tell them what's wrong — with everybody else.
The congregation of teetotalers wants a pastor who, week after week, condemns alcohol from the pulpit.
The anti-war congregation hopes to hear a rousing sermon against those warmongering conservatives.
The congregation of staunch Republicans smiles as their pastor rails against "the gays" and "the liberals."
The Calvinist congregation wants to hear a theologian/pastor who will preach against the errors of those Arminians.
The congregation of door-to-door soul-winners hires a pastor who will mock the namby-pamby "lifestyle" conversations that pass for evangelism in this day.
The charismatic congregation loves when its pastor tears into the dry, ritualistic worship of their liturgical neighbors.
And the liturgical congregation nods approvingly at critiques of their neighbors who manufacture emotionalism.
Can you hear the hearty "Amens" coming from the pews?
One day all true believers in Jesus Christ will be together in heaven. We’ll have no reason to separate, no issue to take a stand over. That unifying gathering will be a tribute to the grace of Jesus Christ, not a triumph of one denomination over another. If that is our future, what’s so wrong about making it our present?
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