In the church, there are many differences. Differences of doctrine and belief and differences of procedure in the order of service and other things related to our worship of God and His Son, Jesus the Messiah. But…why are there such drastic differences? We are all worshiping the same risen Lord, we mostly share the same Bible, so why are there so many things which are different between churches? This is something which I have wondered about for most of my life and now that I have been a pastor for most of the last decade, I still can’t see a reason for them.
Yes, there are doctrinal differences between Baptists and Methodists and all of the variations of those two denominations. There are differences between Lutheran and Episcopal and Catholic churches as well as differences between Presbyterian and Church of God and ……, the list could go on for a long, long while. My point is this: Why exactly are we so different?
In my opinion, it is because of Satan. He has gotten into church administration business meetings and sown seeds of dissent and anger and strife to the point of splitting churches because of small things which could be resolved but usually aren’t. These little splinters grow into huge logs which split the church into another doctrine or discipline and the church is weakened because of it.
Remember, at first the church had all things in common. Their belief and their doctrine were that which was taught to the disciples and then to the churches and this carried on for a couple of centuries and then the church began splitting off because of disagreements and ideas about how the church should be run. Of course, it is too late to reorganize the Body of Christ into a cohesive whole today but it was never supposed to be split up like it is now.
That is why there are so many “non-denominational” churches today. These people just want to worship God and learn from His Word and put away all of the bickering and petty squabbles which split the unity of the church. We are supposed to be sharing our life with Christ and with each other and our congregations who are unified as believers in Jesus our Savior. Why are we still divided in our worship practices today?
I don’t think an answer that will be satisfactory for the church will be found until Jesus comes back and begins His reign on Earth. This is a sad reflection on our unity as a church but it is likely that we cannot put our differences aside until Jesus is King.