The Trap called “Church Denominations”.
If you are a keen observer of the way the church has carried on over the years, you would realize that church people don’t love the Truth, they love their denominations . They are not committed to God, rather they are committed to their various denomiations.
Denominationalism connotes a devotion to the principles and interest of a church denomination, even when they are half-truths, untruths or outright at variance with the truth or move of God at any given point in time. As a matter of fact, a denominational apologist will oppose God, thinking he’s doing God a favor.
The Pharisees and sadducees in the Bible readily came to mind here. Did you know how they came about? The same spirit of denominationalism. Historical theology holds that both sects reportedly emerged in Israel about 160 years BC. They had vowed to keep the law of God and temple worship that had been desecrated through many years of disobedience and exiles experienced by their fathers. They seemed to profess the same allegiance to the law but they wouldn’t see eye to eye on some issues. That’s typical denominationalism. That’s sectarianism.
When Jesus showed up in the scene, they opposed him to His grave. They opposed the Truth personified and incited the masses against him. When Pilate presented Barabas to be crucified in place of Jesus, they rejected Jesus and chose a murderer in Barabas. This is the extent to which religious and “denominationalised” people can go to oppose the truth. All the while they had thought they were doing God a favor. Denominationalism is simply a blinder!
Again, When some of them acknowledged the truth, they were afraid to identify with it openly. Nicodemus was a highly respected Pharisee who went to Jesus under the cover of night. He knew the truth but he was ashamed to identify with it openly. He thought identifying with the truth openly would make him lose the image of a “respected Pharisee”. He was trapped by sectarianism. Trapped by denominationalism. So dear friend, do you know the truth? Are you afraid to identify with the truth openly? That is rhetoric.
Today I see many “Nicodemuses” who are trapped in their denominations. Their devotion is to the interest of their church denomination, not to Christ. They have their allegiance to their “Spiritual papas and mamas”, not to Christ. They know the truth like Nicodemus, but they are too ashamed to identify with it openly. They are afraid to lose a respected image they have crafted for themselves, even when such was crafted on lies. They are ashamed to admit that they had been wrong all the while. They have been brainwashed not to question or criticize the principles and interests of their denominations. They have been told to abstain from anything that’s different from the tenets of their denominations.
These people seem to be oblivious of the fact that their much valued denominations are not known in heaven. Let me burst your bubble a little. There’s no House on the Rock or Rhema church in heaven. There’s no Redeemed church in heaven. No Dunamis church, Nothing like Catholic or Anglican Church in heaven. No Winners Chapel, No Daystar in heaven. The only church in heaven is the “church of the Firstborn”.
Again, there are no Bishops in heaven. No Apostles, no Prophets, no Reverend Doctors, no Shepherd or whatever name you choose to call yourself on earth, in heaven. There are only saints…..”the spirits of just men made perfect”. Heaven is a leveler, friends. Be humble!
I need you to know that denominationalism is a serious trap of the mind. There are no chains in your hands, but there are, in your minds. More often than not, a man trapped in the mind is not even aware that, it is a trap. Rather, he falls in love with the trap, protects the trap and fights off anyone trying to deliver him from the trap.
The trap of denominationalism could start as early as when you are introduced to denominational ideologies in the name of “believers foundation class”. Yes, you heard me sir. I have no problems if it is centred on Christ. But more often, Christ is just added to the program in order to give it some credibility.
Come to think of it, If it was centred on Christ, you should not need to take another foundation class when you move from one church to another. After all there’s only one fold , one Shepherd, one God, one Spirit, one calling and only one mediator between God and man. But every denomination seeks to stamp on your impressionable minds their own perspectives of God. They are presented as tenets and principles to follow. They are presented as sacrosanct and cast in gold, without acknowledging that they only “know in part”. When you hold a different view, you are considered a rebel. Short of brainwashing, the foundation of denominationalism is laid in people’s minds.
Now, meet a denominationally trapped Christian. He cannot see the truth beyond what his “papa” or church preaches. His acid test for truth is not the infallible truth as contained in the Bible, but tenets and principles of his church. He’d chose his church over the truth of God’s word any day.
When he chooses to read the Bible, he reads through the lens of his denominational beliefs, reminiscent of what Paul said in one of his letters, “even now, when Moses is read, a veil is in their hearts”. This veil of denominations wouldn’t allow him to see the truth. He has been in faith for upwards of 10 years, but all he could offer for the defense of his faith are phrases like ” my pastor said”, “my daddy said”, “in our own church” etc.
And this is the story of Nigeria. An average Nigerian Christian is a lover of his denomination, not a lover of truth. That’s why our streets are littered with church denominations yet there’s no culture of truth and honesty in the land. Christ didn’t send us to go build Churches but to go and disciple nations. About half of Nigerian population go to church on sundays and some every day of the week and sit under a pastor yet corruption is pervasive. My personal take on this? People are being introduced to denominations and their operators, not to God. Definitely not to the gospel of the kingdom.
And here’s the part that beats me. Many Christians who know the erroneous practices of their church are afraid to take a stand against it. They fear they might lose a so-called “prophetic covering”. They have left the “covering” of the Almighty for the covering of a mere mortal. They have missed the forest for the trees. A man that could barely “cover” himself has become their shield in the name of “prophetic covering”. They have despised the words of the psalmist in psalms 91:4. “He shall cover thee with his feathers……his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.Psalms 91:4 KJV.
Friends, beware of any person that keeps harping on, and present himself as a “prophetic covering” . It is either born out of ignorance or a desire to control your life and keep you trapped. They quote scriptures like “by a Prophet He brought them out and by a prophet He brought them in”. But they forget to let you know that in this dispensation of Grace,, it is no longer “by a prophet” it is by Jesus.
Hear me out please. Hebrews 1:1 reads “God who in time past and in diverse manners spoke to our fathers through the prophets, has in this last days spoken to us through His son”. It therefore stands to reason that there has been a paradigm shift. It is no longer “by a prophet”, it’s by now by His SON, Jesus! He authored your faith and finished it! He is the prophetic covering over all that came to him. You shall know the truth, (not a prophet) and it shall set you free. Jesus, the way, the truth and life. And to think that you don’t need any mediator between you and Jesus! There’s a reason why the veil in the temple was torn in two when Jesus hung on a cross. It is to give you a direct access. You now have a direct access to that covering. Stop going under strange “covers” in the name of prophetic covering.
Be free to know God by yourself. God is not synonymous with your denomination. Stop seeing God through the veil of your denomination, or you won’t see Him the way He is. It is written, “We all with “open face” (unveiled face) beholding the glory of the Lord as in a mirror are being transformed into the same image, from glory to glory , even by the spirit of the Lord”.
Free yourself my friend. Free your mind from denominationalism. Nobody is coming to the rescue. You are your own rescue. Jesus has already done His part. He didn’t die on the cross to give us denominations. Denominations are creations of men. Check your Bible, the first church was not fraught with denominations. Time to Free yourself from the trap of denominationalism that has hitherto ruled your mind. Take off the veil. Take off the limits of denominationalism. Be free. Be bold. Be fearless! God has got your back.
You shall know the truth, the truth shall make you free, but it may piss you off first…