Why Are There So Many Christian Denominations?

Hello brothers and sisters of Spiritual Q&A,

All over the whole world, the believers in Jesus have been divided into many denominations. In mainland China alone, there is the Justification by Faith, the Charismatic Church, the Shouters, the Great Praise Church, the Three Grades of Servants Church, the True Jesus Church, and so on. I can’t understand it. Since we all believe in the Lord Jesus and read the same Bible, why do so many denominations appear? Can we gain the Lord’s approval by believing in the Lord this way?

Li Meng

Christian church

Hello Sister Li Meng,

Your questions touch on very practical issues. Most brothers and sisters are also confused about this. With regard to this aspect of truth, we’d like to first fellowship how the various denominations come into being.

Different denominations arise because of people’s one-sided understanding of the Bible and their arrogant nature.

We believers in the Lord all know Christianity came into being as a result of the work of the Lord Jesus, and originally was personally led and shepherded by Him. At that time, the followers wouldn’t deviate from the right way and thus there were no divisions. But after the Lord Jesus ascended to heaven and His disciples and apostles passed away, different denominations gradually appeared. Why did these denominations form? Let’s look at what God’s words say and we’ll understand. God says: “People have studied the Bible for all these years, they have come up with so many explanations, and put in so much work; they also have many differences of opinion about the Bible, which they debate endlessly, such that over two thousand different denominations have been formed today.

From God’s words we can see that the main reason for different denominations being formed is because the people who believe in the Lord have their own one-sided understanding of the Bible. We all know that the Lord Jesus left whenHe finished the work of crucifixion, and then the followers of the Lord Jesus began to spread His gospel. Because the followers of God don’t have a pure understanding of the teachings in the Bible, many of them take their one-sided understanding of the Bible as doctrines for establishing a church, and hold on tight to them. For example, some people took the words of Paul: “For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation” (Rom 10:10), then they created the Justification by Faith; some people adhere to the words of the Lord Jesus: “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mat: 4:17), and they think the “Repentance Denomination” is what is most in line with the Lord’s will. Every denomination has its own one-sided understanding of the Bible. Furthermore, people have the satanic dispositions of arrogance, conceit, self-rightness, self-importance etc. They think that they have gifts and erudition, that their understanding of the Bible is the purest, and that only they are right. Therefore, they strongly deny or judge others’ opinions, and show off by explaining the Bible’s teachings. They draw a group of people around themselves and set up a denomination for themselves. This is how denominations arise. For two thousand years, because of different doctrines Christians have debated endlessly and formed new denominations; they attack, despise, argue with and exclude each other, and can never be united as one. This is how one church developed into over two thousand denominations. From this we can see that the establishment of denominations comes from humans. It is not what the Lord Jesus requires, nor is it in accordance with God’s will at all.

People in organized religions who believe in God will be entrapped by people, will worship and follow people, and will never understand the truth or know God.

From the cause of the formation of the different denominations, we can see that religious leaders all rely on their own understanding of the Bible to do work and preach, rather than following the Lord’s teachings to serve God. Then what’s the substance of their work? What will be the consequences if we join such denominations to believe in God? God’s words say: “Pastors and leaders in the religious world, for example, rely on their gifts and positions to do their work. People who follow them for a long time will be infected by their gifts and be influenced by some of what they are. They focus on people’s gifts, abilities and knowledge, and they pay attention to some supernatural things and many profound unrealistic doctrines (of course, these profound doctrines are unattainable). They do not focus on changes to people’s disposition, but rather they focus on training people’s preaching and working abilities, improving people’s knowledge and rich religious doctrines. They do not focus on how much people’s disposition is changed or how much people understand the truth. They do not concern themselves with the substance of people, much less try to know people’s normal and abnormal states. They do not counter people’s notions or reveal their notions, much less mend their deficiencies or corruptions. Most of the people who follow them serve by their natural gifts, and what they express is knowledge and vague religious truth, which are out of touch with reality and are completely unable to confer people with life.

From God’s words we know that religious leaders and pastors all rely on theological knowledge and doctrines to do work and preach. They don’t resolve the believers’ various improper views about belief in God or their corruptions. For example, in the midst of the attacks and arguments among different denominations, the pastors all insist that their opinions are right and others’ are wrong. They never reflect on their own deviations or errors, nor do they know that they are revealing their arrogant disposition. And they certainly don’t communicate God’s will to help believers know God. Instead, they always avoid practical issues and just talk about empty theories. Their fellowshiping has nothing to do with getting rid of the bondage of sin; they just want to display their talent and how blessed they are, and show off their theological knowledge and theories. Once the believers have listened to the pastors for a long while, they are inevitably affected and influenced by them. They adore the pastors’ talent and how blessed they are, admire them for being eloquent and good at talking, wish that they could also have rich biblical knowledge, and be good at talking, preaching and spreading the gospel like the pastors so that they can also win the envy and admiration of others. As a result, they no longer pay attention to putting God’s words into practice or trying to figure out God’s intentions, but just follow the ceremonies and regulations. As such, religious believers are just like the people who believed in God in the temple at the end of the Age of Law, unable to enjoy the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Thus, no matter how many years they have believed in God, they cannot understand the truth or know God, and their disposition doesn’t change. So, the substance of believing in God in a religious context is merely worshiping and following human leaders but not truly following God.

Leave religion, keep pace with God’s work, and return before God.

It is recorded in the Bible that: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of Jehovah’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it” (Isa 2:2).

God’s words say: “Bring … people throughout every religion and denomination, under the dominion of one God. Regardless of what religion you belong to, ultimately you will all submit under the dominion of God. Only God Himself can carry out this work; it cannot be done by any religious head. There are several major religions in the world, and each has its own head, or leader, and the followers are spread across different countries and regions all over the world; every country, be it large or small, has different religions within it. However, regardless of how many religions there are across the world, all people within the universe ultimately exist under the guidance of one God…. All things are in the hands of the Creator, and in the end they will all return to the hands of the Creator. Mankind was originally made by God, and regardless of the religion, every person will return under the dominion of God—this is inevitable.

From God’s words we can see that in the late period of the last days, all religions will become one and all peoples will return to the house of God. In the last days, God needs to undertake a stage of work of saving mankind so that all those who truly yearn for the appearance of God can hear God’s voice, leave their denominations and return before God. This work cannot be done by anyone but God Himself. God can create us, lead us, and moreover, bring us to a glorious destination—this is the symbol of God’s authority, as well as the symbol of His unique disposition, which cannot be replaced by any religious figure or leader. There are over two thousand denominations in the world, but they were all established by humans. The sheep of God will finally walk away from the denominations and return under the dominion of the Creator, and it is thus that all denominations will become one. This is the work that God intends to accomplish in the last days. No matter how much status the pastors and elders have, they are all people corrupted by Satan. They can’t even save themselves, so how can they save others? Only the one true God who rules over all things can save us from the affliction of Satan and guide us to come before Him. Now is the time of the last days, and many people are testifying that the Lord Jesus has returned. We should let go of our notions, leave religion, and search for God’s work and words of the last days. This is the choice of a wise person.

That’s a bit of our understanding. We hope it can bring you some help. If you have any other questions, you are welcome to write to us again.

Sincerely yours,

Spiritual Q&A

Spiritual Q&A

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