By Nana Yaw Aidoo
Most religious people have been fed the popular falsehood that, "one church is as good as another", so much that to speak against this idea is to step on a landmine. I have always struggled to understand how those who profess Christianity could be so woefully divided, even though each of these denominational bodies, claims allegiance to the bible.
One cannot honestly read the scriptures and see denominations in it. The bible's teaching on unity, is so clear that it baffles the mind how people could be satisfied with denominationalism. The bible teaches "one flock and one Shepherd" (John 10:16). Christ prayed that all who would believe in Him through the word, "may be one" (John 17:20-21). In view of these, how can anyone read different bodies, teaching different and contradictory doctrines into the bible? Is this the way of unity?
The more I speak with denominationalists, the more I'm convinced that denominationalism is sinful and useless. Just ask anyone in a denomination, and they'd tell you that you don't have to be in the churches they're members of in order to be saved. Hence, "one church is as good as another". That means that I can be saved without being in the Baptist church, the Methodist church, the Pentecostal church or any denomination whatsoever. If so, then what is the purpose of denominations? Just to assemble and take monies from people?
In denominationalism, people glory in organized division (1 Cor.1:10-13; 3:3-4), and human choices are exalted above obedience to God, since with so many churches around, everyone gets to choose the church that suits him or her. The church of Christ (Matt.16:18; Acts 20:28; Rom.16:16), which is the church of Jesus' own choice is put aside for the churches of men and of men's own choices.
I submit that denominationalism would die in an instant, if all who profess Christianity would stand firmly in that which is the only and perfect grounds of unity, the New Testament. "Unity in diversity" so-called does not work (Amos 3:3). By standing firmly in the New Testament, we will all be reconciled "to God in one body" (Eph.2:16), not "many bodies" but "one", the body, which is the church of our Lord (Col.1:18).
In order to have the Seventh Day Adventist denomination, Ellen G. White had to go beyond the bible into "heaven" as she claimed. In order to have the Mormon denomination, Joe Smith Jr. had to go beyond the bible to an "angel" as he claimed. In order to have the Baptist denomination, one needs to go beyond the bible to the Hiscox Baptist manual. The same can be said of all denominations. It always takes something in addition to the word of God to make a denomination. This is so because all of these denominations cannot be substantiated with the bible and the bible alone.
The bible only made Christians only (Acts 11:26) and the only Christians in the first century. If it is incorruptible seed like it claims (Luke 8:11), (and it is), then it won't bring forth anything other than Christians only today when sown. It won't bring forth things it didn't bring forth when it was sown in apostolic times and the honest soul would readily admit that it didn't bring forth "parties" and "sects" like the Baptists, the Methodists, the Catholics, the Presbyterians, etc. In fact it made nothing but a Christian and a Christian alone. If we think otherwise, we might as well call God a liar for He ordained that every seed must bring forth after its own kind (Gen.1:11; Gal.6:7).
If we would throw away all human creeds, manuals, catechisms, speculations and opinions, we would go a long way to fulfilling that which is on the heart of our Lord. Denominationalism is sinful and will lead many to the destruction of their souls (Matt.7:21-23; 15:13).