I may have to enter the witness protection program after this series.
Oh well, as they say, truth hurts.
Iâ€™ve learned you can critique football, family members, politics, schools and a whole lot of other things, but say anything about denominations and overnight youâ€™re about as popular as Salman Rushdie at an Iranian soccer game!
But letâ€™s think about this for a moment, shall we?
But before we doâ€¦MEN OF SOUTHBROOK?! Go read this post right now and respond accordingly. Women, you can keep right on reading, pass go, collect your $200â€¦the whole bit, but men, donâ€™t you dare skip yesterdayâ€™s post if youâ€™re serious about being a godly man!
Now, where was Iâ€¦oh yeah, DEEE â€“ NOM â€“ I â€“ NAAA â€“ TIONS.
Why do I feel like Sponge Bob every time I say that word?
Anyway, I have only a couple important things to say in todayâ€™s exercise in futility (remember, this will be at least a 6 part series with posts of varying lengths so donâ€™t feel too short changed on this one).
It Was a Good Idea At One Point in Time.
The reformation was essentially the first appearance of a denomination. Martin Luther had seen so many theological gymnastics done to Godâ€™s Word over time that he finally broke. His desire was to return the church to the unaltered, unsuppressed, infallible Word of God (The Bible) as its North Star and final authority rather than what any religious institution had to sayâ€”basically the idea was to listen to what God said about Himself rather than to what man said God was saying about Himself. Which is not to say that we shouldnâ€™t listen to pastors and teachers and so forth. I wouldnâ€™t be doing what Iâ€™m doing with my life if I believed that. But I am saying that we should always interpret scripture in light of other scriptures rather than whatever cultural wave happens to be hitting the spiritual shores at the time, rather than what Benny Hinn says he heard God say, rather than taking Joel Olsteenâ€™s smiling word for it. For that matter, I hope the people of Southbrook donâ€™t just take my Word for it, but rather, check what I say in Godâ€™s Holy book!
If we disagree, Iâ€™m wrong.
And thatâ€™s what happened far too much for Martin Luther. He found the Bible in opposition to what church leaders were saying over and over again. And when the two disagreed, the Bible lost every time. That didnâ€™t sit well with his righteous soul, and it should never sit well with any Christ follower.
Presto â€“ Chang-o, the Lutheran denomination was born.
But it wasnâ€™t perfect.
Far from it.
So godly men responded.
and on and on it went. Now, I hope you all realize that it wasnâ€™t that simple. I mean, there are over 300 denominations just within the baptist camp aloneâ€”thousands all together. Some have minor differences. Others are major.
But after a while one could clearly see these schisms and factions arising more out of personal preference than theological essentials.
And when that happens itâ€™s time to call it a day.
Today the world doesnâ€™t need even one more denomination (we need a couple thousand less if you ask me). We simply need the truth of Godâ€™s Word to be proclaimed. In doing this there can (and should) be different stylesâ€”traditional, contemporary, postmodern, emergent, underwater basket weaving theologians, whatever, as long as Godâ€™s Word is the final authority I donâ€™t think God cares the least bit what style you use.
Anything else is just an exercise in futility.