Does God sanction the religious division found among those who profess Christianity?

Consider the following as we seek a Biblical answer to this question. The mystery of how all mankind could be saved was not fully understood by the Old Testament prophets who spoke by inspiration concerning the suffering of Christ and the glory that should follow. Even angels were mystified about the scope of redemption (1 Peter 1:9-12). It was not fully made known until the first century A. D. when the Holy Spirit revealed it to the apostles and also to the prophets of the New Testament era (Ephesians 3:1-7). This passage and Ephesians 2:12-22 explain that redemption through Christ reconciles mankind in one body. When the Apostle Peter came to fully realize this truth, he explained, “…Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him” (Acts 10:34-35). Keep in mind that the Apostle Paul declared that redemption for all mankind was in one body. But, what is this one body? Paul explains that the church is the body, and that the body is the church (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18). So we can more clearly understand that “…the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47). Also, at Ephesians 5:23, “…he is the savior of the body.”

There is much confusion because there are so many different religious faiths. But God is not the author of that confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). Our Savior was so concerned about those who believed on Him becoming divided that He prayed, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (John 17:20-21).

Since its obvious from these and many other scriptures that the Godhead is not pleased with the religious division among those who believe in Christ, what should we do? How can we correct this division that turns many away from Christianity? The answer is not found in such concepts as to “agree to disagree.” Religious unity that is pleasing and acceptable unto the Lord MUST be based upon the inspired written Word of God. The creeds of men will not bring unity in Christ (Matthew 15:9). The ONLY acceptable criteria is the New Testament. And at Ephesians 4:3-6 is revealed the seven basic truths that sets the standard for the unity in which Christ prayed. None of these seven truths can be left out in achieving the unity that would be pleasing and acceptable unto the Lord. To compromise by leaving out any of these seven pillars of unity in order to unite religiously with others is condemned in the scripture.

--Dub Mowery

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