Many believers and unbelievers make the same wrong assumption, that Christianity is a religion:
Christianity is not a religion but rather a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
When humans attempt to structure this relationship into an organization, it becomes defiled by human ideas and manmade traditions.
Jesus told the Pharisees that this was their problem:
For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do. (Mark 7:8)
The Apostle Paul also pointed out this problem:
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8)
That doesn’t mean that Christians aren’t supposed to congregate:
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
The purpose of congregating is not to build a congregation but rather to stir up love and good works as well as exhorting (encouraging) one another.
James (Jesus’brother and head of the church in Jerusalem) reiterated this focus:
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27)
But the moment different groups formed, divisions and competition resulted, as the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church:
Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. (1Corinthians 11:17-18)
For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal? (1Corinthians 3:3-4)
Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (1Corinthians 1:10)
That’s why we have so many different denominations today. While gathering together in separate groups is necessary due to location and logistics, Jesus still calls on us to be one:
Jesus prayed “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (John 17:21)
One of the primary reasons many in today’s world don’t believe in Jesus is that they see all these denominations and divisions among Christians.
Instead of operating in unity and one accord, we are sending a mixed message of confusion and dissension – no wonder so many reject Christianity as a religion – without understanding that organized religion is what has diluted the message of establishing a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul gave us the prescription for oneness in Christ:
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ephesians 4:1-6)
Who are True Christians? Click on the down arrow next to True Christianity and then click on True Christians