Why there are so many churches with different ways of worship in the world, who all declare that they are on their way to heaven?
It is surely a heartbreaking fact that there are so many churches. If we read our Bible carefully, we learn the following truths about the church:
1. It is God's intention that there be only one church on earth. Read: John 17:21; John 10:16 and 1 Corinthians 12:21-31. It is quite
clear that God wants His church to be one.
2. Sin came into the world and spoiled everything that God made beautiful. So sin tries to spoil the beautiful creation of God as well. The beautiful human being that God created, was made ugly by sin. Even the church, which was intended to be a beautiful body of God, is being spoilt by people breaking it up in pieces. Then you have
the different churches.
3. Only Christ can bring unity again where there is partition (Ephesians 2:14).
4. But it is also our responsibility, as Christians of all denominations and churches of which you speak, to try and work in the direction of the unification
of the church. We must work towards the oneness of the church of Jesus (Ephesians 4:3; 1 Peter 3:8).
The diversity of churches have many reasons.
1. Sometimes it is because the different churches started in different countries. So we find the Church of England,
the Dutch Reformed Church, the Paris Evangelical Mission (France) and the Lutheran Church (Germany) all working in South Africa and planting their own churches.
2. Sometimes it is because people cannot agree on church doctrine. So we find that the Baptist Church baptises only believing adults, while the Roman Catholic and Presbyterian Church baptise the children of believers
as well. The Pentecostal Churches lay much stress on the work of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues, while other churches rarely speak about it.
3. Sometimes separate churches come from different cultures. The people of Africa love to sing and dance and beat the drums when they worship God, while the Christians of European descent usually prefer to worship God in a quiet
and dignified way.
4. Mostly church splits come from leaders who do not agree with each other and then split the church and take some of the members with them to start a new church. This is really sad.
But, as Pauls says: "What does it matter? The
important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice" (Philippians 1:15-18).