I Corinthians 1:11-13 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by
them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you,
12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
Already in the Early Apostolic Church there were those who were trying to form denominations. And Paul didn’t waste time in denouncing it. The Church is the Body of Christ (Colossians 1:18), and it is not the will of God for it to be divided. God’s plan for the Church involves oneness. True ministers of God do not bring division to the Church, but they minister a “unity of faith,” bringing the Body of Christ “unto a perfect man” (Ephesians 4:13). How can any Christian familiar with the Scriptures be a supporter of that which divides God’s people? That is the ultimate of deception!
Nevertheless, the bulk of Christianity is sectarian. Some say, “I’m of Martin Luther”; some, “I’m of John and Charles Wesley”; or, “I’m of John Knox,” etc., etc. And then there are those extra-spiritual, nondenominational, independent churches. What deception! There are no independent members in the Body of Christ. The Body of Christ is fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part (Ephesians 4:16). The members of the Body of Christ are dependent upon one another! The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is not divided!
Knowing that “a house divided cannot stand” (Matthew 12:25), Satan works very hard, and has been quite successful, in bringing division to God’s people. In the Old West, cowboys would cut out the calves from the herd and brand them. Satan does the same thing: once a group of people has been cut out and branded, they are no longer a part of the true Church. A brand denotes ownership. God’s people are under many different owners (lords). Churches that are independent or denominational are not under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. They have their own lords. They will not continue, though. God is bringing judgment upon them. He is calling his people out (Revelation 18:4). Many of them will come out, and when they do, they will say, O Lord our God, other lords besides Thee have had dominion over us; but by Thee only will we make mention of Thy name (Isaiah 26:13).
I Corinthians 1:14-16 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and
15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptize any other.
It is common practice for denominational churches to baptize their members in their own name. Now that doesn’t mean that they do not say the words “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost” or “in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ” or “in the name of Jesus” (and there are some who will argue about which phrase should be used or whether you should sprinkle or immerse). Water baptism to them is like a rite of passage. You are baptize into the Baptist Church, Methodist Church, or whatever denomination it is; that is, you are baptized in the name of the church organization. Paul said, “I thank God that I baptized none of you” (verse 14). In other words, “You can’t blame me for your division. And don’t say, ‘I’m of Paul.’ Paul wasn’t crucified for you” (verse 13).
I Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
Notice what Paul is saying: Speak the same thing…let there be no divisions among you…be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. That cannot be accomplished among denominations! They do not speak the same thing. They are divided and are not perfectly joined together. They are not of the same mind and judgment.
Recently, a judge from a nearby city spoke at a local school. She spoke of the gang problem in the inner cities: gang wars, teenagers killing each other, and random ride-by shootings. It is a growing concern in many cities today. She spoke of their attitude and the fact that many of them saw nothing wrong with their way of life. Killing someone meant nothing to them. She said that many of them that appeared in her court had no awareness of what they had done as being wrong. No one had told them it was wrong!
Denominationalism is well respected in our society. Divisions among God’s people are accepted as though they were divinely instituted. Yet it is responsible for the lethargy, lukewarmness, and spiritual immaturity in the church world. Denominationalism causes spiritual deaths; it draws people away from the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It is spiritual adultery, and it is wrong! It is time for someone to stand up, and say, “It’s wrong!” Division among God’s people is wrong! God is not pleased with it! Denominationalism is a tool of Satan! It is Wrong!
Copyright © 1997 by Henry DuBose