“why are there so many churches?”
Was it when you started taking obedience to Jesus Christ seriously, but were confused about which church to attend?
Or maybe, just maybe, you were looking for a reason not to worship Jesus Christ? ‘Too many churches’ is the most common reason people give when explaining why they don’t become Christians.
If that’s you, I beg your patience, and I acknowledge you are right. Well, partly right.
I too drive the streets and see all the competing churches and storefront religion. Christianity is marked by division.
What makes it worse is how we Christians often pretend it away. Yet our Lord, Jesus Christ, prayed to the Father, “that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” He was praying for a unity that people like you could see, and having seen, believe in Him for salvation (John 17:21).
My own story fits the first group above. I had just believed on Jesus Christ as God’s savior from my sin and was overjoyed in my new faith and the things happening inside me. And I was looking around at all the churches and was filled with love for all those in them. I started saying “how I love the Methodists!,” “how I love the Presbyterians!,” how I love the Baptists!,” and I ran through all the denominations and Christian churches I knew. I was filled with intense love for anyone who loved Jesus Christ – any and all – and it didn’t matter what church they went to.
Thankfully that same love resides in me all these years later, only now, as a pastor, I desire to love all who love Christ more keenly and with a bit more discernment. It doesn’t matter what church you go to, honest. If you love the Lord Jesus Christ with an incorruptible love then that is all that matters to me (Eph. 6:24). You are my eternal brother or sister in the glorious Triune God. We are forever family. My love for you is what this website is about.
The Bible clearly and abundantly teaches that all those who love Jesus Christ come and worship together on Sunday. We are compared to body parts that are visibly attached to each other. We aren’t a leg over at one church and an arm at another and a foot at another. God saves a body, and for that reason, we sin by being separated into different churches. We who love the Lord Jesus Christ need to be together as one body every Sunday for our own health and maturity.
We also need to provide a visible and relevant witness against those who pretend to love Christ and His body, but are actually opposed to His kingdom. That witness, I believe, is visible obedience the New Testament writings, what the apostle Paul called The Church’s One Foundation (Eph. 2:20-21). As for those who don’t love Jesus Christ – let them build as many churches in their own image as they want. It won’t help them in the coming Day. But let’s not give them an excuse by adding our own disobedience to theirs.