On July 6th, the Presbyterian Church met for their biannual convention in Pittsburgh. One matter on which they voted, was on whether or not to change the definition of marriage in their church’s constitution.
In the end, the Assembly narrowly voted (338 to 308) against changing their definition of marriage from a union between “a man and a woman” to a union between “two people.” Thus, for the time being, prohibiting gay marriage within their denomination. Although their decision may have been right, the means by which that decision was reached was far from biblical.
I hate to pick on one group, such as the Presbyterians, because every denomination has the same problem. One of the reasons it is clear that these groups are not the Lord’s church is that they have a constitution, which is constantly being amended. Why does any group, claiming to be “Christian” need any document other than Scripture to define what it believes and practices?
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
For instance, why would a religious group need to get together to debate and decide upon something God has already defined so clearly? God defines marriage as one man and one woman, joined together for life (Matthew 19:3-9). The issue does not need discussion, debate, or decision. God has spoken.
This illustrates perfectly why we have so many denominations in the world today. All these little groups, deciding amongst themselves, what they will believe, teach, and practice; all the while, calling themselves “Christians.”
Christians are disciples of Christ (Acts 11:26). Disciples are those who “observe all that [Christ] commanded” (Matthew 28:18-20) and who devote themselves to the inspired teaching of the apostles (Acts 2:42). When we form little splinter groups, elect representatives, write a constitution, and vote on our doctrines, we cease to be disciples of Christ.
I challenge you to abandon denominationalism and cling to a “sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3)!
I love you and God loves you,
P.S. Besides conventions, assemblies, and constitutions, what other biblical problems exist in denominationalism?