Many times I have had conversations with folks about the many denominations that claim to be Christian. Each time a statement is made along the lines of “Well, no church is perfect”; as if we shouldn’t worry about the state of things as they are. The underlying idea is that things should go along as they are until our Christ returns and He will sort things out then.
But is this true? Does Scripture bear this out as truth or is it a lie given to us by Satan to deceive us? Is it wrong to be the “doctrine police”?
If we first understand that the word church as it has been translated in the English Bible versions is the Greek word ekklesia. Strong’s Dictionary No. G1577 gives us the definition of this word as:
An assembly of called out people.
And what are we called out of? Isn’t it the world? To not follow the ways of the world?
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Mat. 5:13-16)
If we who are of Christ are to be the salt of the earth and a light to the world, then aren’t we supposed to stand in His truth? If we don’t stand in His truth, who will?
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” (John 3:16-21)
He who does the truth comes to the light. Amen Glory and Halleluja! So then if our Christ has spoken in this manner is it not yet clear that it matters how we come together in His name? If you further study I Corinthians and II Corinthians, the apostle Paul wrote extensively how to come together in His name. I would challenge you to study and prove out those books.
Furthermore, let’s look at more Scripture that calls us to follow truth.
48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.(Mat. 5:48)
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)
10 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. 11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name. 16 Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other. 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. (ICor. 1:14-17)
So then let us go forward in the perfection of Christ without division in grace and mercy towards one another. Exhorting each another in His perfection and not our own by the blood of Christ Jesus. Pray and ask Him for a heart of truth so that you will not be decieved in this last hour and fall away into darkness.
27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
(I Cor. 11:27-32)
Folks, your very eternity counts on knowing and following the one you claim to follow. Hell fire awaits those who are not of His fold.
11 O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. 12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections. 13 Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open.
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”
“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
18 “I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.” (II Cor. 6:11-18)