Friday, 8 August 2014

The Question of Denominations

This question has come up several times, and I often see this mentioned by atheists as being one of many reasons why they cannot believe in God. Even within denominations individuals have their various distinctly different opinions about what the Bible says, means, and how these things should be applied, so the question for these atheists is: "Why doesn't God get it right for people? Why doesn't He lay it out plainly for everyone so there wouldn't be all these splintered factions and groups within groups all opposing each other, sometimes giving opposite meanings to the same verses/passage in the Bible. God is supposed to not be the author of confusion and yet it appears that He is just that."

I personally find that the fact that we are each unique with individual ideas, aspirations, ways of expressing ourselves, etc., to be one of the most wonderful aspects of God's creation. Even flowers and plants, when I look at them in my garden, there are similar ones, however no two are exactly alike.

When God created Adam and Eve and they began having children, their individuality and differences already even then showed up in the choices they made, and how they each desired to display a life of sacrifice to God; a right way and the wrong way. Instead of getting humbled by the understanding of his wrong way, Cain did not submit to the truth about the error of his way but instead wanted everything including God to submit to his way. God had it wrong, not Cain...according to Cain that is. His wrong attitude and His defiance against God led him to murdering his brother in his envy and anger that Abel was acceptable and he himself was rejected. Many vegetarians today would probably agree with Cain saying that the sacrificing of his best fruits of his own labors should have been the better sacrifice than the shedding of blood. In most people's eyes any kind of murder, the murder of the innocent, animals are just innocent creatures after wrong.

I agree. It is wrong. (with this for clarification: sin is terrible and very serious and therefore the antidote likewise must be very severe as a consequence...and "sacrificing fruits and vegetables" instead of  a prize sweetest adorable lamb is NOT the price God has set as an adequate sacrifice which pointed to the real ransom, Jesus, THE Lamb of God: God in the flesh)

It is the only way that our Creator has in place for our redemption.

God allows within His true way for various people to express themselves in their own unique ways, but there are boundaries that we are not to cross...there are specific rules, commandments, laws that do not hinder any of us in uniquely expressing our devotion to God in our personal lives. When the rules are not obeyed there are consequences...... and there is also forgiveness, a time to turn around, repent, admit error.

In the book of Revelation there are 7 churches mentioned that were active in the time of John "the revelator". Each church was distinct, with distinct strengths and weaknesses. Each church was told what it did right and how and why it needed to change. Those strengths and deficiencies are still noticeable today in churches which claim to be of the body of Christ. Each individual who looks to Christ truly, knows where they fail and seeks God for the strength to do what is right in the sight of God. That won't change them into "cookie-cutter Christians", because that isn't God's way. The Apostle Paul and the other apostles each had unique lives and ministries, and God used them each in separate ways within the body of the Church. They were not "cookie-cutter" in any way, yet they all worshiped God in the way He wants to be worshiped. They were same and yet not the same.

 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.  
For by one Spirit 
are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.   
For the body is not one member, but many.  
 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 
  And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  
If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? 
If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?  
But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. 
And if they were all one member, where were the body?   
But now are they many members, yet but one body.  
And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.  
Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:  
And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 

For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:  That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.  And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.   
And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  
Are all apostles? 
are all prophets? 
are all teachers? 
are all workers of miracles?   
Have all the gifts of healing? 
do all speak with tongues? 
do all interpret?   
But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

1Corinthians 12:12-31 (KJV)

The last questions in that passage are meant to be rhetorical with the obvious answer to each being "no".

The fact that God has made such an incredible world with so many unique and distinct qualities everywhere abounding, beautiful birds, flowers, trees, fish, and all kinds of four-footed beasts, and then men and women with unique reasoning skills, voices, gifts all differing from each other, is for me one of the best evidences of a wonderful Creator. The fact that He has provided ONE WAY for redemption out of a creation that got damaged is not evidence for a hateful and inconsistent God, but for a very wise and loving God who loves His creation and doesn't just give up on it and scrap the whole thing for the garbage in it. He is willing to clean up the garbage, but clean it up His way in His time. That is reasonable, isn't it?

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