Is One Denomination as Good as Another?

Since the question is worded this way, I am going to say “yes.” If the question would have read, “Is one church as good as another?” then my answer would have quite different.

By definition, a denomination is a religious sect that was founded usually around the teachings of one man. For example, the Baptist’s doctrine was formed around the beliefs of John Smith and Roger Williams; the Lutheran’s doctrine from Martin Luther; the Presbyterian’s doctrine from John Calvin; the Episcopal’s doctrine from Henry VIII; and the Methodist’s doctrine from John Wesley. The teachings of Martin Luther and John Calvin have greatly influenced most of these denominations.

Jesus said, “I will build My church” (Matthew 16:18). If Ephesians 4:4 is correct, then all the religious plurality today must be wrong. In this passage, Paul was not talking about one church in the first century which would eventually fall away and create all these denominations.

In 2 Thessalonians 2:3-9, Paul did talk about apostasy. The coming of the Lord would not happen until the church fell away. Paul’s description of these events explain what did happen. If all denominations are the eventual result of this apostasy and if their doctrines do not match what is in the Bible, then they are wrong. If they are wrong, then one denomination is as good as another.

In all fairness, denominations were the outgrowth of the Reformation which sought to correct the doctrinal problems of the Catholic Church. The problem is that they did not go far enough in their reformation. They brought with them doctrines derived from the Catholic Church or doctrines which were at the extreme opposite end of Catholic Church doctrine. I can appreciate the effort to change doctrines which are wrong, but one needs to come all the way back to the truth that is revealed in the scriptures.

Kyle Campbell

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