It’s no secret that America is increasingly divided in the political realm. Pew Research said as much in a study that showed “the gap between the political values of Democrats and Republicans is now larger than at any point in Pew Research Center surveys dating back to 1994, a continuation of a steep increase in the ideological divisions between the two parties over more than a decade.”
Unfortunately, the church has its own share of infighting and division, as evidenced by the scores of evangelical denominations in the U.S. alone. As in the political sphere, each Christian can tend to look at his own denomination as being morally and theologically correct, while seeing other denominations as inferior or in error.
But are denominations necessarily bad? Dr. Michael Horton tackled that pertinent question on a recent Core Christianity radio program and also in an article published at CoreChristianity.com. He explains,
The denominations themselves are not the church. But here’s the thing: you have clearly in the New Testament an emphasis on churches being connected to each other. No church is an island.
Churches should be connected to each other, just as the one body of Christ. Denominations help serve that. I know we often think of denominations as dividing the church, splitting it up into vanilla, strawberry, cherry and so forth, different flavors. That is true, but it’s better than having no grouping of churches at all that are connected to each other. I really think that denominations are not the ideal. What would be the ideal is that all the particular churches spread throughout the world were united simply under one organizational institutional banner, that of Jesus Christ.
True unity won’t take place until Jesus returns and gathers His Church for all eternity. What a day that will be! Until then, Mike’s reminder that we Christians need to be connected through our churches is a good one. Participation in a good local church is a blessing and a foretaste of things to come. To read Mike’s entire article, click here and be sure to check out the daily Core Christianity radio page for the most recent broadcasts.