Most denominations have no problem worshiping with other denominations. Why? Not because they share the exact same doctrines, but because they share the notion that one church is as good as another. This lesson in part will deal with the false reasoning behind denominationalism.
Different Routes to heaven?
Some defend the multiplicity of religious bodies as merely being different routes to heaven. Jesus declares himself to be “the way” to the Father (Jno. 14:6). Every other “way” is a way unto death (Prov. 14:12). If men could devise successful ways to go to heaven, then Christ died for nothing at all (Gal. 2:21). If men could chart their own way to heaven, then Christ was never needed. God forbid. “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” (1 Cor 15:19).
All denominations teach some truth?
This claim is true. All denominations teach partial truth. The more truth a particular denomination teaches the more apt it is to fool people. The better the counterfeit, the more people that will be fooled by it. But “some truth” is not enough to save people. The Devil tells “some truth.” An atheist might declare “some truth.” But the Bible teaches that salvation requires the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27 f; Rom. 15:19). The least admixture of the doctrines of men will damn one’s soul and invalidate one’s worship (Gal. 1:8,9 f; Matt. 15:9). So “some truth” is not enough to save (Jno. 8:32). To say that denominationalism teaches “some truth” is to admit that it teaches “some error,” and error will damn. God is not offering mankind a partial heaven, so, why should we think for one moment God is asking us to partially obey Him? God told us the truth when he promised us eternal life, and expects us to obey the truth in order to obtain eternal life. Tit 1:2 f; Eph 1:13 We must obey the whole truth, for half truth and partial truth is no truth at all.
There are good people in all churches?
If one means that there are morally good men, or sincere people in all churches, this claim also is quickly admitted. However, if some good people in a denomination justify the denomination, then we reply that there also are good people who belong to no denomination, and even some are “good” atheists. Mere human goodness, without the Lord’s blood and the Lord’s church, cannot save. Cornelius and Saul of Tarsus are good examples that show that just being good and doing what one thinks is right are insufficient (Acts 10:1, 2, 22; Acts 23:1; 26:9; Phil. 3:6; 1 Tim. 1:15).
One church is a good as another?
This is perhaps the most successful lie that the Devil has ever put in circulation. It’s true that one denomination is as good as another denomination. However, no church denomination is as good as the Lord’s church (Eph. 3:8-11; Heb. 8:1,2). Denominations are not the church which Christ built, died for and paid for with his own blood (Mt 16:18 f; Acts 20:28). No copy or fake work of art, no matter how similar, can be as good as the original. If you want the original church, then it will contain the same head, the same gospel and the same doctrine as when it first began (Col 1:18 ff; Gal 1:6-9; 2 Jn 9).
Conclusion: Just as the word of man is not as good as the word of Christ, the churches of men are not as good as the church owned and built by Christ and over which He rules (Acts 20:28; Matt. 16:18; Eph. 1: 22, 23). The blood of Christ is in no other church (Acts 20:28; Eph. 5:25); reconciliation unto God is in no other church (Eph. 2:16); salvation is in no other church (Acts 2:38-41, 47); and Christ is the Savior of no other church (Eph. 5:23). It’s true that there are moral people in every church. It is true all denominations teach some truth. It is true that one denominational church is as good as another denominational church. However, there is only one path which leads to eternal life, and that path is strait and narrow (Mt 7:13). There is only one way, one truth, and one church, and that church is the church of Christ, which preaches the same gospel and the same doctrine of Christ which His apostles taught (Mk 16:16 ff; Acts 2:42; 2 Jn 9).