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Why Are There So Many Churches and Denominations?

Within Christianity, there are many different kinds of churches and denominations. In John 17:20-21, Jesus prayed that all Christians would be unified in Him and that by their unity, others would come to know God. Unfortunately, over the years this message has been lost among Christians. We have focused too much on our differences of interpreting the Bible and not as much on our similarities—namely, the gospel, that Christ came to earth to die for our sins. These differences have caused churches to start to identify themselves by denominations so that newcomers may easily know what each specific church believes.

Wherever there is a group of people who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection and have committed to follow His direction as expressed in the Word of God, that group is a church. Every authentic church has Jesus Christ as the Head. The church is like the body, which follows the leading of the head. There are many diversified parts of the body, yet the parts work together in unity to serve the head. The wide variety of churches around the world are actually parts of only one church from God’s point of view. No one can become a Christian simply by attending a church or observing church laws or being a good person. Church membership requires a relationship with Christ. Once a person becomes a Christian, there is great freedom in choosing what particular church he or she would like to attend.

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