Question:

I just read article about why you left the Nazarene denomination. On the latter point of baptism, I will not comment now, but I think your first listed reason is a rational mistake.

You said "yet the Nazarene Church exists, as does any denomination, because man disregards the prayerful wishes of Christ." This idea that denominations are inherently bad and divisive is both logically impossible and spiritually divisive. The Nazarene Church was formed as a coming together of separate churches, which is a step closer to the unity God has planned for us in heaven. However, a non-denominational or independent church stands alone, separate from the rest of the body, and further from the unity Christ desires.

To go further and claim that all denominations are in the wrong, is further divisive. All believers in Christ share one body and one Spirit - just as you were called to one hope when you were called - one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:3-5) Do not build a further division! They are united, though imperfectly. Is it you who stands alone?


Answer:

"Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple" (Romans 16:17-18).

"Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (I Corinthians 1:10).

"Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you" (I Corinthians 11:17-19).

"Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others" (Philippians 2: 1-4).

You cite Ephesians 4:3-4, "endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were 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". Paul is not talking about compromising with other denominations or differing beliefs here. He is speaking of walking in the unity of the saints in Jesus' church.

Denomination means division. Jesus' church is not comprised of division, as the verses quoted from Paul state clearly. Your claim that the church that Jesus established on Pentecoast is divisive is wrong and without merit. You should read what the Bible actually says before making baseless accusations.

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables" (II Timothy 4:3-4).

Jamie Johnson