We Need a Standard of Authority
One of the main reasons for division or denominationalism today is that the religious world does not recognize a standard of authority. The use of man's ideals in the place of God's ideals has divided us. God said, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord." (Isaiah 55:8). Jesus said, "But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Matthew 15:9).
Is it really all that important to have a standard of authority in religion? Just look at the world we live in - are there any standards used? If the standard of measurement, 12 inches equals one foot, is ignored by builders and some of the crew use 18 inches equals one foot, and others 9 inches equals a foot, would they have any problems building a house? Would you want them to build your house? What if there was no standard of time? Everyone decides to just go by any time they want. Would there be any confusion in getting to work, school, doctor’s appointments on time?
I believe we can plainly see the real importance of having standards. Why should it be any different in religion? The fact is, it's not! Jesus prayed that we all be one (John 17:20-21). Would God ask us to do something and not give us a standard to go by? The Bible teaches that we can all be one, united together in "the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:3). If we all use the same standard of authority in religion, we will be united!
Jesus said, "I am the way" (John 14:6). Notice He said "the way" not "ways". Which way do we go? "Oh, it doesn't make any difference what you believe, we're all going to heaven, just on different roads." My friend, can't you see that it does make a difference which "way" we go? Because so many are going the "ways of men" rather than the "way" of God we are divided! And this my friend is SINFUL!
Jesus said, "Come unto me" (Matthew 11:28). How do we "come" to Christ? Some say "just believe" while others say "you don't have to do anything, God will just save you". "Oh, just accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and He'll save you". "Just say, Jesus, Jesus, and He'll save you". My friend, can you not see we are indeed divided? Jesus said, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me DRAW him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all TAUGHT of God. Every man therefore that hath HEARD, and hath LEARNED of the Father, cometh unto me" (John 6:44-45, emp LS).
Jesus said, "be ye therefore perfect" (Matthew 5:48). How can I be perfect, which simply means complete? Do I follow the doctrines of men or do I follow the standard, the Word of God? Paul said, "All scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable....That the man of God may be PERFECT (complete, emp LS), throughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Did Jesus ask us to do all these things and many more without giving us a standard by which ALL MEN might be united and thus be saved? Did Jesus just leave us hanging and allow us to do whatever we want to in matters of religion? My friend, can't you see the importance of having a standard of authority in religion?