Why So Many Denominations …

Some book I skimmed through in the library was making much of this issue. I want to state a few things in passing.

Not all denominations exist on account of doctrinal infighting or something like that. There are other reasons.

1. Some denominations arose when people migrated to other countries, say America. There they converted to Christianity – perhaps they read the Gideon’s Bible in a hotel. Upon conversion rather than join a pre-existing church they founded their own. Why? Because language and culture were issues. For example Chinese converts started their own churches/denominations in the US, because they did not speak English well and lived in Chinese enclaves (e.g. the Chinatown). Moreover they wanted to meet with others of their own native culture.

It had nothing to do with doctrinal disputes or some kind of hatred going on among Christians.

2. In other situations people had access to Bibles, but not Christians. These folks simply read the Bible and became converted. Then they pushed forward and brought their families, villages to the faith. The end result was that a new denomination had been born. And again the source of this was not some kind of denominational battle nor doctrinal dispute.

3. A third reason for denominations forming has to do with persecution. When the atheistic powers in charge in communist China persecuted religious people, these religious folks had to go underground. Many Christians in particular went into hiding and lost contact with other Christians. Later on when these underground Christians were able to covertly discover one another, they formed groups and started regularly meeting. The result was that denominations were born.

Similar stories could be multiplied… the point is that you cannot assume that the presence of different denominations is always a bad thing or has its origins in something bad.

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