Ever wonder why there are so many denominations of Christianity?
According to a quick Google search, there appears to be over 38,000 different Christian denominations. Most, I would imagine, differ along doctrinal grounds. They also differ based on race, ethnicity and language. But there is one thing they all have in common. Can you guess what that is?
If you guessed the divinity of Jesus, you’d be wrong! Sorry, close but not quite.
In fact, the simple factor that all denominations have in common is that they all believe themselves to be the true Christianity.
Now to be honest, this is a bit of a red herring. I certainly don’t begrudge people or groups of people believing themselves to be right. I would venture to say that everyone believes they are right, or else why would they believe what they believe?
When dealing with something as nebulous as Christianity it can start to get confusing. What justification do members of denomination A have for their beliefs? Are those justifications any better than those of the members of denominations B and C?
I make no claim of expertise in Christianity. But in my limited experience the only justifications I’ve come across have been particular Bible verses. And when dealing with the Big Book of Multiple Choice (aka, The Bible) things get confusing really fast.
The Old Testament says to handle snakes, so one denomination does that. The New Testament says that we shouldn’t listen to the Old Testament, so another denomination thinks the snake handlers are crazy. Another denomination points out that Jesus said not a jot or tittle of the law would be changed, and so says homosexuals shouldn’t be tolerated. And yet another says that Jesus never says anything about homosexuals one way or the other, and so ignores Paul and the Old Testament.
I’ve found myself involved in quite a lot of arguments and debates about ‘true Christianity’ as of late. And those debates are entertaining. But ultimately they’re pointless.
It doesn’t matter which Christianity is true. Not to me. Not to an atheist.
Because whether or not one group of people has stumbled upon the exact intentions of the founders of Christianity is secondary to whether or not the supernatural claims made by the religion is true.
By all means though, keep debating. What the majority of Christians believe their religion to mean does matter in that it effects how our society will progress…or regress. But it doesn’t matter a bit to the nature of the real world.