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Why Are There So Many Churches?

The Answer Lies in Private Interpretation of the Bible
 
 

 
. Today there are so many Protestant churches because there is so much different interpretation of the Bible; there is so much different interpretation of the Bible because there is so much wrong interpretation of the Bible.  And there is so much wrong interpretation because the system of interpreting it is radically wrong.  You cannot have one fold and one shepherd, one faith and one baptism by letting every man and every woman distort and pervert the Scriptures to suit their own pet theories. 
    In our day, there is no whim, fad or fancy that someone does not claim to prove from the Bible.  Almost any man or woman is conceited enough to claim the role of a competent interpreter of the word of God.  These men or women want it thoroughly understood that for 1500 to 1900 years, the Christian world was in inky darkness.  With them, however, light has come into the world.

Various Instances

Some, like the early heretics, will prove from the Bible that in the New Law Christ is only God and not man.  Others, like modern Unitarians, will prove from the Bible that Christ is only man and not God. 

Some denominations will prove from the Bible that in the new Law, Christ shared his priesthood with no one.  Others will prove from the Bible that in the New Law, even the women are priests; hence the Presbyters or priests, from which “Presbyterian” is derived. 

Campbellites prove from the Bible that baptism is unnecessary for children, but necessary for adults.  Others prove from the Bible that the whole thing is a ceremony, an initiation like when one joins a lodge. 

Others prove from the Bible that one must be totally immersed in water.  Others prove from the Bible that the whole thing is a superstition and ought to be abandoned. 

Certain fanatical groups prove from the Bible that there is going to be a millenium, a thousand years when everyone will get a second trial.  Calvinists prove from the Bible that a large part of mankind do not even get a first trial, but are predestined to damnation irrespective of their merits. 

Bible Is Maltreated

Some prove from the Bible that eternal punishment is going to be meted out to nearly everyone.  Only the little handful of their particular sect is going to escape.  But others prove from the Bible that everyone is going to be saved.  That even to murderers, adulterers, and those who rob widows and orphans – and never repent – will Christ hold out His arms and say: “Come, blessed of my Father, and possess the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” 
    Reduced to practice their theory means this: Read the Bible and believe as you like; if you like Martin Luther’s theory, follow it; if you prefer John Calvin’s Christianity, embrace it.  If you think that Campbell or Dowie or Mrs. Eddy, or Pastor Russell have “discovered” the truth, have succeeded in doing what Christ must have failed to do, then take them as your guide.  If no one of their theories suits you, make up on yourself.

Recent Fallacies

Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy will prove from the Bible that man is all soul, the body is practically a delusion, and does not really exist.  “Bible students” will prove from the Bible that the soul is all a delusion, you really have none.  When you die, your knows not anything; the soul which God gave Adam was only air and nothing more. 

In the Bible, we are told to serve the Lord in fear and trembling, and so we have the shakers, and the weepers.  Again in the Bible we are told to “rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice.”  And so we have the jumpers and the rollers.  Surely you would think that there is a sufficient variety to suit everyone, but it seems no, for new sects are springing up constantly. 

All these claim to prove their version of Christianity from the Bible; all these are willing to swear that their little handful are the only ones who are right and that everyone else is wrong.  Christ’s Church for 1900 years was a complete failure, but fortunately they have finally come to set it aright.  Meanwhile the Bible warns us: 

    There shall come a time when men will not endure sound doctrine, but as with itching ears, will run after their own desires. 

    As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they tat are unlearned and unstable wrest as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.  (2 Peter 3, 16).

Christ’s Truths Changeless

For whosoever preaches any other but the accepted Christian faith of past centuries, by that very fact proves himself to be a false teacher, a false prophet, who as Christ says, “Comes in the garb of a shepherd, but inwardly is a ravening wolf.”  The true faith must be and necessarily has been believed, as St. Augustine puts it: “Semper et ubique”, i.e. “Always and all over” – by at least the vast majority of Christians.  Of that accepted Christian faith, therefore, we can say what St. Paul did of his own teachings: “Though an angel from heaven preach to you a different doctrine, let him be accursed.” 

Here are ten children.  Give them all the same simple problem in arithmetic.  Imagine that each give you a different answer.  Of those ten answers, you know that at least nine are wrong.  Perhaps also the tenth.  Here are 400 sects.  Ask them all to solve the problem, “what does the Bible teach?”  Each gives you a different answer.  Meanwhile, two and two are always four.  There are a thousand wrong answers to every problem, but only one correct reply. 



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