Christianity is a simple yet sometimes confusing belief system. If you do not believe that, consider the following. How many different Christian churches are there in your neighborhood? To be clear, I am speaking about churches and neighborhoods in the United States, but some of what I have to say may apply to other countries as well.
Keep in mind. I am not talking about the First Baptist Church, Second Baptist Church, or some other iteration of Baptist church in a southern town. I’m talking about how many different denominations or traditions you can see going from home to the grocery store in many cases.
In my case, I was quickly able to identify more than thirty churches within a two-mile radius of my home. By quickly, I mean within a few minutes online. And just to be clear, that is the number of churches with a high enough profile to be located quickly in an internet search. Within that area, there are other churches without such a profile.
Those thirty-plus churches represent at least ten major faith groups, as well as smaller less high-profile denominations. Also, this search did not include traditions found in greater numbers in other parts of the country. Are you beginning to understand the title’s meaning and my point in the first paragraph?
To confuse matters even further, consider the following. Have you ever wondered how many different variations of Christianity exist? Here’s something to consider. Depending on the source consulted, there are somewhere between 200 and 1,200 Christian denominations or traditions in the United States. Worldwide, the estimate is between 30,000 to 45,000.
You may be wondering, “How in the world could that many different versions of one faith system exist?” If you are, I completely understand, and I wish I could give you a simple answer. Sadly, there is no such answer, simple that is. The only simple part of it is human nature and our tendency to decide what is right and wrong individually.
That is the bad news. The good news is almost all of those thousands of splintered beliefs have one common thread, Jesus Christ. Yes, some will argue over specific issues with Scripture concerning Jesus. Still, the vast majority believe He is the Son of God, a part of the Holy Trinity, and was sent to earth to die for our sins, and those who believe in Him will have everlasting life.
And that, my friends, brings me to another question. What is our job as believers? While we have many responsibilities as believers, a recent discussion during a Men’s Bible Study brought up a point of contention that deserves a bit of discussion. Stay tuned for that bit of analysis and see what you think.
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