bobbywk (bobby waters)
You wrote:we have a duty as christians to try and understand eachother and get rid of any dissagreements we may have.
I agree! You also wrote!
we as christians shoud not be seperated into “types of chritians” like baptist,methodist, church of Christ,etc.
I also agree but . . . .
Most Denominations seperated off partly because the truth they understood about certain doctrines conflicted with the practice of the majority of the Church at the time they split off. This made them feel that only among “like thinking” and “like acting” disciples could they live for God effectively. While this desire remains positive and Holy it is good, but when it becomes divisive and sectarian it is unhealthy. This is the impetus which places Holiness above fellowship and tolerance and usually fosters an enclave mentality or “Ark” view of what “Church” is. (i.e. the saved are in, the unsaved are [/b]out. The extreme end of such groups is degeneration into increasing communal paranoia with an us vs. them world view. Usually with us being “saved” and them being “damned”. The sadest thing is that such insular churches truly believe they and only they are preaching The Gospel.
Another reason in part for Denominations coming into existence is the intolerance, (of the Church they were once part of), for new ideas and practices, often brought about by the action of the Holy Spirit. Well established, might I even say “stodgy” “traditionalist” churches often “drive out” those who do not conform to the ideas and ways of the traditionalists. In this case it is the Mother church which suffers a kind of paranoia and us increasingly become “those who toe the party line, interpret scripture “correctly”, or whatever, and them are regarded as the wreckers and destroyers of tradition.
A true Church should have a strong sense of it’s identity within a locality, (but have also an afinity with believers worldwide), a strong loyalty to it’s Saviour, and a genuine desire to Follow the impetus of the Holy Spirit, wherever that might take it. I would hazzard a guess that this probably applies to many Denominations and even some sects.
There will always be Differences of opinion about interpretation of scripture and what is important or not. I could not be a Baptist, for instance, because I disagree with the way they interpret scripture with respect to the baptism of the infants of believers. The Baptists would disagree with me, of course. I must respect their opinion and respect the tradition of their Denomination. If I were ever invited to preach and explain myself to a Baptist congregation though, I would not hesitate to lovingly put my case and explain why I feel justified through scripture in baptising certain babes and infants. I already know the arguments they put forth against the idea of infants being eligible for baptism and still remain unconvinced that scripture supports their view.
We can still debate our various positions, love oneanother and respect the other’s view as having come about by sincere study of the available scriptural evidence, but short of a personal judgement by Jesus Christ himself we will not ever reach a situation where we can be “totally integrated and adopt the same practice” even on such a fundamental subject as the administration of Christian baptism.
And different denominations feel just as strongly about their particular Doctrinal Enlightenment.
I fear that Denominations are here to stay, at least until the Parousia but at bottom line we are all just servants of The Servant and service should be what we do.