There are several different sets of beliefs operating in God's church, of which we will be talking about, and being taught to God's children, but they're not all God's beliefs and they're not all teaching God's people how to walk in their purpose.
God had a purpose for sending Jesus Christ into this world to draw us to Him and make believers of us, as Jesus had a purpose, and still does, in fulfilling that purpose. But the one thing that is still shady within the body of Christ and among many believers today is what our purpose is to be as a believer. Why is this? Let's talk about this, and with God's help see if we can shine some Light where satan has brought some darkness to.
Chapter 1 "Churches and Denominations" Where they fit into our walk with the Lord. What influences them and how they influence us. What we need to be aware of concerning our churches.
One thing that is very clear and evident in the body of Christ and to an outside observer is that we as Christians have differing thoughts and beliefs as to, "what it means to be a Christian." All one needs to do to verify this point is to go and visit several Christian churches of different denominations and see how they conduct their services and what they emphasize in their teachings and you will get a good sense of what I mean.
If you were to talk to a representative from each denomination and ask them such questions as, "By what process does a person acquire salvation?", "What is expected of us as a Christian?", "Are the gifts of the Holy Spirit here today and can every child of God use them?", "Is satan real and can he affect us?". By the responses you would receive to these and whatever other questions you may have you would soon realize that there is a very diverse and differing set of beliefs operating in the body of Christ.
This revelation alone should be of great concern for every person who desires to live in obedience to God and to know what God decrees is the truth for our every situation, but there are other concerns as well we will be addressing.
All under the same roof of Christianity we have several groups of Christians, denominations, representing Christianity. Each group holds Jesus Christ and His teachings central to their belief system, but each differing one from another on several points and in several ways. They each whole- heartedly believe what the bible says, but it is what they believe the bible is saying is where we find contention.
Over the course of many years and through the process of many transitions each denomination has come to individualize for themselves (without collaborating agreement from the others) a set of beliefs and procedures by which to structure themselves by. A structure that identifies them by what they believe and by which they govern themselves.
In doing so each group in essence has determined (again without collaborating agreement from the others) what they feel is every Christian's identity and how each Christian should be governed, what they feel should be taught, how and by what methods, what God is wanting for His people, what His truth's are and how a Christian should live by those truths etc. No wonder each Christian denomination differs so much, one from another and why the body of Christ differs on what a Christian's purpose is.
Many a minister sees the importance for unity in the body of Christ and teach on this message, but this is something we as Christians still struggle with today in the body of Christ, to have unity one with the other in body, soul, spirit and beliefs. Some denominations can be quick to come into agreement with another on some points, or issues but be just as quick to come into contention and contradiction with them on other issues.
Why do we have so many different denominations in the body of Christ anyways? That is a good question. This is where our churches have evolved to. Shouldn't we want to be identified as a Christian and not by the denomination we belong to? You would think.
When someone is asked if they are Christian, I hear many respond by telling the enquirer what denomination they are. "Yes I am Anglican", or "Yes I am a born again Pentecostal." The question was if they were Christian. By identifying our Christianity with our denomination gives the person asking a sense that our denomination holds some sort of importance. But it also shows the mind set of the Christian who identifies their Christianity to the denomination they belong to. This Christian may be trying to express that they are sold out to Jesus Christ, but to me it comes across more that they are sold out to their church, or denomination.
So why are there different denominations? In the history of our church as a new problem would arise, or there were new suggestions being made as to what direction the church should go in there was a lack of knowledge, or lack of agreement to rectify the situation. In the deadlock to know how to resolve the problem amiably, strife arose, sides were taken, a breakaway occurred and a new denomination was born.
To me, the deepest underlying problem we as Christians suffer in bringing the body of Christ into unity is our struggle to truly understand Jesus Christ's purpose. Why God sent Jesus to us and why we had so desperately needed Him., What Jesus was trying to get us to understand for every teaching He taught, every word He spoke, every example He gave, how He ministered to people, etc. If a Christian, or church does not fully understand what God's Son was trying to teach and show us by His example then how will we truly know who we are in Christ, what our purpose is and how we are to mentor and teach others according to God's truths?
As we had said, throughout the history of the church as a problem would arise such as in what direction the church should go, or how a problem should be resolved, if unity and resolve couldn't be found then disagreement and division was. We shouldn't be overly surprised though that this sort of contention could arise in our churches (dividing over the gospel of Jesus Christ), for whenever the Truth of God is being spoken not everybody is going to be in agreement to that truth. Surprisingly not even Christians.
Another revelation we as a Christian need to realize and which fits into the equation of what has been distorting our Christian purpose is that not everyone in the body of Christ is working toward the goal of finding that purpose, but are more apart of hiding, or distorting it.
Many people who become a Christian will not fully realize how much their life is going to change and be affected by this decision, ministers included, until they come to find out for themselves what that walk will involve first hand and how it will involve them and so for some, it would be undetermined what they will do and how they will respond once they realize that part of their life needs to change in order to live under the compliance of what is of God, until they come to that bridge to cross.
Just as we will find many zealous Christians among us who are willing to surrender all of what they have unto the Lord in that they may live totally for Him we will find many who aren't, or won't. Some Christians can go along with the do's and don'ts of Christianity as long as they themselves are not the focus of much change by them.
Some Christians once they find out that they are living in sin would rather hide that sin, or twist the scriptures to justify themselves rather than to change their ways, come out of that sin, or leave Christianity.
Matthew 25:18 NIV 18 But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.
They would rather try to change Christianity than to let Christianity change them. Jesus Christ Himself recognized that His ministry and the truth of what He taught was going to cause conflict and division between people, friends, family and even His followers, and He said so.
Matthew 10:34-39 NIV 34 "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn "'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law- 36 a man's enemies will be the members of his own house hold.' 37 "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
The body of Christ is no different than a household of people who are trying to live and grow by the rules that have been laid out for that house. Some people when it comes to rules will more naturally want to kick against them than to want to embrace them and so in knowing this we will find some of our Christians (even though they may not show it) struggling to accept some of the rules, the do's and the don'ts and to live by them.
The reason I am writing on why more Christians are not walking in their purpose is because God is wanting us to realize (especially the newer Christian) that not every one who calls themself a Christian is, and not everyone who think they have God's truths do. This is a truth in itself. Not every church, or Christian is walking in the greater measure of God's truths, or is trying to and so therefore are not going to be able to effectively teach another person God's truths, or the freedom and the power that comes with those truths.
Matthew 7:21 NIV 21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
2 Peter 2:1 NIV 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.