Why are there so many religions?
Jesus last prayer for His followers is very touching and includes the following:
John 17:11-12 “Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name-the name you gave me-so that they may be one as we are one.”
John 17:20-23 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
Isn’t it interesting that in His final prayer, Jesus prayed about the unification of all of His followers throughout the ages? Are all his followers united in these last days? No. In fact I get dizzy looking at all the different Christian denominations that exist nowadays. Why are there so many different churches? Isn’t there only one Bible? Isn’t the truth one person? John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” If the truth is found only in Jesus, how come there is no unification among believers? If the truth is only to be found in the Bible, why are there so many denominations?
Jesus gives the answer in the verses mentioned above:
– – John 17:11-12 “Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name-the name you gave me-so that they may be one as we are one.”
To be protected we need to be unified. But what do we need protection from? Good question.
1 Peter 5:8-9: “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
We need protection from the evil one! This makes sense. One of the best ways to conquer an enemy is to confuse him! And one of Satan’s best weapons against us is confusion. What better confusion can there be than to make everyone believe they belong to the true church of God, and others do not? We hang on to one or several Bible doctrines as Biblical truth, and we forget that truth can only be found in a person, Jesus Christ, and Him alone!
Is there another reason why there are so many denominations? Yes, again it is mentioned in Jesus’ prayer for His followers.
– – John 17:20-23 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
The devil likes to disunite us so that our witnessing capabilities are weakened. How can someone believe what those Christians proclaim as the truth if they can’t even be united with one another? “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
Based on Jesus’ prayer, I can only conclude that there are so many denominations because we let the devil into our churches. We live in confusion, not even recognizing truth. We need to refocus our attention on Jesus, and on Him alone. We need to lift up His Word and follow It.
The fact that there are so many denominations creates confusion in our world and weakens our testimony. After all, why should the world believe us when we can’t even agree with one another?
This takes us back to last week’s Bible question about the 144,000 and who those are who are sealed of God. I would encourage you to reread this response! And most importantly, I would like to encourage all of you Christians to be united under the banner of Christ and to proclaim His gospel, the gospel of salvation, to the world. Don’t just blindly follow your church. Follow Jesus and His Word only. Verify for yourselves what the Bible teaches! John 8:32: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Lets fulfill Jesus’ prayer and become united under the banner of Christ. Will you join me today?
From a biblical point of view there are only two religions in the world. The ‘true’ religion of God, and the ‘false’ religion of Satan. In every age God has preserved in the world a group of true believers, despite all efforts of Satan to prevent this.
I suspect however that the asker of the question is referring to the multitude of Christian denominations within the world. A study of the history of the church will reveal that when the Apostles were establishing churches in various locations, the thing that separated them was geographical location. This is born out firstly in the letters of Paul to the various churches he had an interest in, and later in the book of Revelation with the letters to the seven churches in Asia. These letters are regarded as representing seven ‘types’ of church that existed in the world at that time and throughout history, all churches would fit into one or more of these descriptions. The letters in order also are regarded as representing the dominant church of period of history. It is regarded that we are presently living in the age of the church of Laodecia, the last of them.
As can be seen from a study of the letters to the seven churches, they were not all pure. Satan had succeeded in infiltrating some error into them. You may be sure that if he had been able to pollute the early church to such an extent that our modern denominations are even more polluted. The message to the church in Laodecia is that they will be spewed from the Savior’s mouth because they are ‘luke warm’.
So differences in denominations would be caused by geographical factors, cultural factors and varying degrees of pollution with the things of Satan. Then too, none of us are the same. Some people are attracted to a church that has a strong element of emotional display in their services while others are more comfortable in a serious bible study approach to worship. I am not saying that one is right or another is wrong, only that not all are the same in their approach. The advice that we are all a part of the body of Christ is relevant here. Much time and effort is wasted by people trying to exalt the virtues of one denomination over another. In this ministry, we endeavor to be ‘non denominational’, representing the Gospel message of salvation rather than doctrinal issues.
When the end time persecution takes place the differences will become less important and we will see a polarization of the people of God as being separate from the rest of the world. We have it on good authority that all world denominations are going to become fallen. (See the study on Isaiah 4:1 in the answered questions of the week section). When the mark of the beast is revealed and those who belong to God heed the warning to ‘Come out of her, my people’, the trappings of religion will be left behind and the refining process of persecution will produce the true church of God that will meet Him here, still living when He returns.
Those who presently hold with the belief that Jesus is the living Son of God and that He became flesh and offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sins, will be those who enter this refining process. To be a part of this group is a decision that each must make. I pray that all readers will make this most important decision, if you have not done so already.
We have so many religions because of the tower of Babel when we were made to have many kinds of languages, thus brining about other beliefs and doctrines from cultures. From what I can see anyway.
There are many religions and sects because people love to glorify themselves so they create these offspring’s for self. Their love is inward as opposed to outward. The true believer loves outward. First to God and then to his fellow man.
Because there are SO many different personal opinions!!!!…….Actually, James 1:27 says………Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. May All Be Blessed!
BLESSINGS TO YOU! DeeDee
I believe that there are so many different religions for the same reason there are so many different soft drinks; to appeal to everybody. The inventor of religions knows that there must be provided enough different religions so as to draw as many people as possible (he hopes all people) into them, thereby taking their eyes off of THE CREATOR. Those who don’t get into one of the obvious religions will fall into the catch basin for them; atheism. While those called to preach are a blessing to us we should recall that God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Pastor Steve. He wants a personal relationship with us ultimately. May God- Bless America- keep His hand on His own and- enlighten His enemies,
As we grow up, we learn all of the definitions of our words……
1. by example, seeing others use it
2. by verbal explanation when we ask….Mom what does…………Mean? and she gives a partial definition, or a wrong definition, or a different variation on that definition that is right, but just a different usage for the sentence……….
3. Word associations, but which are actually wrong get the idea……..
4. ………..actually our life’s experiences on these definitions, are what shape our lives and minds and viewpoints….and opinions………
So, when we use these definitions in life, or in our studies, we get different viewpoints and opinions, as well as different side effects……..as we use them……….
When we read the original Truth of the Bible, then our definitions shape our opinion and viewpoint of what we are reading……….
With so many viewpoints on our definitions, as well as partial data, and wrong data, on those definitions…………then we get various ideas off of that data or information and think life should be like this………..or life should be like that……….
When we have a different idea, and we sometimes feel strongly about that idea, then we form groups with those that will listen to our viewpoint, or also with others that got the same or similar idea off of the same readings…………….
As the groups grow, they can become large enough to intimidate others to “BELIEVE” the same thing they do………such as the Catholics did during the Inquisitions……….where they tortured others that had scientific knowledge, or had read ancient documents, that had different viewpoints than what they wanted others to be aware of………or they killed off races that had higher knowledge than they did………..or killed Celtic Women who rejected the priests who were aware that the priests were “weak men” (homosexuals) and they would not listen to them and dismissed them as nonsense, and would not convert to the religion, so the priest conspired with their husbands to kill them so they would not have to be controlled by the women…………and the men would be converted……..
Of Course there are so many reasons for different religions, as there are religions…. but these are just a few………..:)
I think there are many religions because people interpreted the Bible in many ways. What one text says may have two different meanings for two different people. And their interpretation also depends on their culture and their experiences. For example, the story about how Abraham drives Hagar and Ishmael away would be very cruel for those who experienced being left by their mother or father. They would pity Hagar and they would think that Abraham was so rude and cruel to do such thing. They would never acknowledge Abraham as the Father of Faith. And they may also choose not to believe in God anymore. I don’t know if that’s correct but that’s what I’m thinking right now. J
Rod Rutherford Truth For The World, GA
There are literally thousands of different religious organizations in the world today which claim to believe in Jesus Christ. The number of these organizations increases daily. It is not surprising that sincere seekers after truth are confused. Our Lord prayed for the unity of all who would believe in Him. In John, chapter 17, verses 20 and 21, Jesus spoke to the Father these words: “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”
Many turn away from Christ in confusion because of the many different churches which claim to be following Him today. There are thousands of different churches in the world, but the Bible knows only one. Hear the inspired Apostle Paul: “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:4-6). Please notice that “there is one body.” That one body is the church. Please note that God “gave Him (Christ) to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all” (Ephesians 1:22,23).
If the church is the body and there is one body, that means there is only one church which is approved by God. If there is but one church, then no man has any right to start another one. In fact, none of the churches founded by men have the approval of God. Our Lord Jesus Christ said: “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Matthew 15:14). While our Lord Jesus Christ lived on this earth, He responded to Peter’s confession, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” by saying: “Upon this rock I will build my church” (Matthew 16:16-18).
Please notice that Jesus used the singular. He did not say, “I will build my churches!” Nor did He promise to build many churches. He built only one! Because He is the Christ, the Son of the living God, He has the right to build the church. No one else can truthfully make the same claim. Therefore, no one else has the right to start a church or religious organization different from that one which Jesus built. The church that Jesus built, the church of Christ, began on the first Pentecost following the resurrection and ascension of our Lord.
We can read about its beginning in Acts, chapter 2. Why not be content to become a member of Christ’s church? Follow the perfect pattern given for the church in the New Testament. Obey the same gospel which was preached on Pentecost day in the same way it was obeyed then and the same Lord will add you to the same church, the church of Christ! You must believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Mark 16:16; John 8:24). Repent of all your past sins (Acts 2:38; 17:30,31). Confess your faith in Christ (Romans 10:9-10; Acts 8:37). Be buried with Christ in baptism for the remission of your sins (Mark 16:16; Romans 6:4; Acts 2:38). You will thereby be added by the Lord to His one true church “. . .And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47).
Truth for the World is a mission work of the churches of Christ. It is a total approach to world evangelism involving radio and television programs, literature and campaign follow-up.
Bailey Gertrude E NSSC
In my heart I believe that over the years many people pulled out and started new variations of the Church of England. Some believed one way about certain church traditions and others believed differently. Also, there are so many, many people at various levels of learning in the walk to follow Christ. Some are babes in Christ and attend churches and faiths that only teach certain things—things they can easily accept–without changing their lifestyles or family traditions. Others, as they grow, change their denominations, to suit their level of growth.
Some choose to attend charismatic churches, others the ordered ones and ritualistic ones. It all seems to depend on the level of spirituality the person is on. Some worship nature…thus the Unitarians, some reject the speaking of tongues and thus attend non-charismatic services. Some have followed their family traditions for years and choose not to, or fear to, leave the faith of their fathers. If one looks back through history, there were many, many denominations including those started by John Wesley, and Martin Luther even then. These are just facts presented. The true reason, I believe there are so many various religions is that not any one religion presents all the proponents needed to keep everyone content. Everyone is searching….some desire deeper walks and others don’t. The important part is that everyone sets their sights on Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit and attempt to get as close to them as possible….regardless of their religious choice.
Gail M. Wilkins