By Nana Yaw Aidoo

In the 1st eight verses of John 15, Jesus Christ taught the lesson of "the vine and the branches". Denominationalists have for years contended that Jesus was in these texts advocating denominationalism and that Christ is the vine and all denominations are the branches. We contend that this is an unfortunate wresting of the words of our Lord (2 Pet.3:16).

Our Lord said; "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for apart from me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned" (John 15:5-6).

Please notice if you would, the use of the words, "ye", "he", "him" and "a man". Are these words ever used in reference to churches? Can I say of the Church of Pentecost, "He is a large denomination?" Or if a person visits the Methodist Church, would that person say, "I visited him", with the "him" there referring to the Methodist Church? Would we ever refer to a church as "a man"? Do we use these words when speaking about churches? It is thus evident to the honest and sincere inquirer that Jesus Christ was speaking about individuals and not about organizations.

Some might contend that churches are made up of individuals. This we don't deny. However, the fact that churches are made up of individuals does not mean just one individual is a church. The bible teaches no such thing. In 1Timothy 5:16 Paul wrote; "If any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows". Paul clearly separates the "believing man or woman" from "the church". Thus, we see that just one individual isn't a church. Also, he wrote; "For in fact the body is not one member but many" (1 Cor.12:14). This is clear enough. The body is the church (Col.1:18) and so the church is not one member but many.

"But just suppose for a minute that the branches are churches. In what branch are you? You say that I am in the Baptist branch. Yes, but wait, Christ said abide in “me.” You should not abide in a branch but in the vine. If you are in a branch you ought to get out of it and get in the vine. Get out of the branch and get in the vine. “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” Abide in the vine or be burned. Do not abide in a branch. You cannot abide in a branch. A branch is a disciple or a Christian. Individuals are the branches and not denominations" (G.K. Wallace, "I Am The True Vine").

To claim that God set denominations in the vine is nothing but a perversion of the words of Christ in John 15. We wonder why God put denominations in the vine and then said absolutely nothing about them. The reason why no denomination can be found in the bible is because they came hundreds of years after the Lord's church began.

Denominationalism is evil and we urge all and sundry to seek nothing but pure and primitive New Testament Christianity.


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