Word Of The Week: Denomination

In a religious context, the word denomination is used to refer to a subgroup of Christianity. For example, the Methodist Church, the Baptist Church and the Presbyterian Church are “denominations” or subgroups within the larger body of Christendom.

The prevailing notion is that Christian denominations are essentially alike; their differences are minor or non-substantive. The slogan “we’re all going to heaven; we’re just taking different roads” epitomizes this outlook.

But the problem with the denominational model of Christianity is that it is unknown to Jesus, the apostles and all New Testament teaching. Inspired writers urge faithful Christians to be true to the doctrine of Christ (II John 9; Gal. 1:6-9).

Departures from that teaching are considered heresy. God’s word does not portray “varieties” of Christians or Christian groups, each following different doctrinal beliefs and practicing different forms of worship.

This denominational structure is a human invention, created by either adding to or deleting from God’s word. Our aim is to be nothing other than Christians, plain and simple. Together, true Christians comprise the one, global body of Christ, His church.