A Denomination is Division

Last week we learned from Webster's Dictionary that a denomination is, "a sect, class, or division" and a sect is, "a party dissenting from an established or parent church; a denomination." Is denominationalism, division, sectarianism sinful? What do the Scriptures teach?

The Scriptures warn us concerning division. Jesus said, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits" (Matthew 7:15-16). Jesus also said, "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it  were possible, they shall deceive the very elect" (Matthew 24:24). Jesus again said, "Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up" (Matthew 15:13). The Psalmist says, "Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it" (Psalms 127:1).

The apostle Paul said, "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them" (Acts 20:29-30). "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy" (I Timothy 4:1-2). "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God" (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). Now notice what Paul says this time, "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions, and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them" (Romans 16:17).

The apostle Peter said, "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of" (2 Peter 2:1-2). The apostle John said, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (I John 4:1).

Denominationalism is division and the Word of God teaches that division is sinful! It’s a work of the flesh. Notice what Paul says, "Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: ...dissensions, factions" (Galatians 5:19-20). Dissension is, "lit., a standing apart, hence a dissension, division, is translated "seditions" in Gal. 5:20, A.V." (W.E. Vine).  A faction is "a self-willed opinion, which is substituted for submission to the power of truth, and leads to division and the formation of sects, Gal. 5:20 (marg., "parties")" (W.E. Vine).

Are you a part of denominationalism? If you are, please understand that you are in sin. The Word of God says, "they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (Galatians 5:21). "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord" (2 Corinthians 6:17).