I have one question that concerns me: There are many Christian denominations or groups such as: Orthodox, Protestantism, Catholic, Baptist, etc. Each one of those denominations or churches has its own practices and symbols. Ones who have the cross without Jesus, ones who have the cross with Jesus, ones who believe in Saints, ones who don't believe in Saints, ones who do confession in the Church to a priest, one who don't do this kind of confession, ones who do communion that represents the body and blood of Christ, ones who don't do this communion, and so many other differences in the symbols and practices. However, I am sure that all of them believe in the One and Only Savior Jesus Christ regardless of the differences in their practices.
I am Maronite. Maronites are basically a part of the Catholic Church. I personally believe in the One and Only Savior Jesus Christ and the Bible is my Law. My question is since I didn't choose to be born in a Maronite family, and no one chose to be born in any denomination, and no one will ever know which denomination is the most accurate, isn't it the most important then to be judged according to your belief rather than a certain denomination or practices? Adding to that, all the denominations praise the same Jesus in their masses.
I pray directly to Jesus and I confess to Him and I ask His forgiveness and I still confess in front of a priest but ask Jesus forgiveness, because sometimes telling your sins to someone else makes you feel more comfortable.
Thanks and Regards
"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" (Ephesians 4:4-6).
"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).
God never asked people to follow the religion they were born into. He has told people what they must do to worship Him. "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him" (Colossians 3:17). Paul didn't mean we can do whatever we want, so long as we claim that what we want belongs to Jesus. Paul said that we have to have Jesus' approval (his name) on everything we do. That is why we will be judged by Jesus' words and not by some man-made denomination's take on matters. "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him -- the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day" (John 12:48).
Thus, I must disagree. It isn't that people don't know what God wants, it is that people prefer to modify what God said. "These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men" (Matthew 15:8-9).
You listed out numerous things which people disagree about, but the conclusion is not that it doesn't matter. The question to be examined is: What does God want?
- Where in the scriptures do you find God telling people to use religious symbols or icons for worship, such as crosses or figures of Jesus?
- Is there a separate class of people called "saints" or are all Christians saints?
- Is there a separate class of people called "priests" or are all Christians priests?
- To whom did James tell us to confess our faults in James 5:16?
- What does I Corinthians 11:23-26 say about the communion? Is there an indication it is optional?
You seem to indicate that God doesn't care so long as it is vaguely directed toward Jesus. Contrast this to what Jesus said:
"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. ... Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'" (Matthew 7:13-14, 21-23).
One isn't following Jesus when they are going their own way. "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46).
Instead of trying to justify the divisions of the denominations, the drive should be to return to the simplicity of Christ's Law in the New Testament.