RELIGIOUS DIVISION

Garden City, Michigan church of Christ Bulletin

 

Our religious world is indeed in a sad situation today.There is division on every hand and things are no getting better, but worse.Every year seems to bring a new religious movement of some kind and the churches that already exist continue to divide and re-divide.

Why are there so many churches and why so much division?Division flourishes today because many so-called religious people endorse it and even rejoice in it.One man told me that it is good to have many churches because one has the opportunity to choose the church which best fits his personality.He seems to have forgotten Godís choice in the matter.What about the church of Godís choice?

The preacher, Billy Graham, on one of his television programs likened the many churches to that of a woman buying a hat.He said that when a woman buys a hat she likes to have many different ones to choose from and likewise it is good to have many churches from which to choose.However, nowhere in the Bible does God indicate that itís good to have such a choice.

At times denominational preachers in their prayers and preaching thank and praise God for all the churches.The Lord prayed for unity (John 17:20-21) and the apostles pleaded for unity (Ephesians 4:3-5, 1 Corinthians 1:10), and some denominational preachers are thankful for division!

Religious division gives people a false hope.People today actually believe that all churches are good and think they can be saved in any of them. Men like Billy Graham and other denominational preachers are guilty of producing this false hope in the hearts of people today.Jesus said ďEvery plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted upĒ (Matthew 15:13).Jesus spoke these words in view of the sect of the Pharisees, but the principle is equally applicable to religious bodies today. The Psalmist said, ďExcept the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vainĒ (Psalm 127:1).Thus, though they are working intensely to build, and even though they have constructed a visible organization, all their labors are vain because they Lord is not the builder thereof.

A church is built by the Lord when it is built according to the Lordís pattern (Hebrews 8:5) having the same requirements for membership, the same name, the same organization, and the same worship as the church in the New Testament.In other words, it must be identical in every detail to the church built by the Lord. Jesus said, ďMany will say to me in that day. Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquityĒ (Matthew 7:22-23). Consequently, many good religious people who think they will be saved will be rejected because they have a false hope that is founded upon the works of men rather than the law of God.