There are tens of thousands of Christian denominations. Most of these will agree on the major points of doctrine, but the reason there are so many denominations is because they don’t all agree on precisely how the Christian religion should be carried out. Some are against musical instruments being used in worship service, others believe only men should teach the Bible, still others say that only the King James Bible is authoritative. The list of differences between denominations is, of course, as long as the list of denominations. So how do we know which religion to follow?
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27 (NIV)
One simple sentence in the book of James has diluted the entire debate down to its pure essence. God wants us to serve Him by serving others and stay away from the evil distractions found in this world. That’s what our religion needs to look like.
For decades the Rolls Royce was considered to be the finest car made, and perhaps to some it still is today. These cars are hand made with the finest materials and essentially cost ten times more than other cars. Many would say that the price of a Rolls Royce is generated largely from its prestigious reputation and not by the actual quality of the vehicle. In other words, people are willing to pay more for a Rolls Royce in order to be associated with what they believe to be a higher class of people.
Indeed, there are those who believe their particular denomination puts them in a higher class of believers. Some believe their denomination is the Rolls Royce of religion; however, if we look at God’s definition of religion we discover a more basic form of transportation is far superior.
“But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3 (NIV)
Pure devotion to Christ is our basic form of transportation. As Christians, our religion is to following the teaching of Jesus. Nothing is to be added to that simple equation. When we stand before Jesus at the end of our days, He will not ask us which denomination we belong too, or who our pastor was, or which Bible translation we studied; He’s going to look into our heart and discover who we truly are. The evidence of a true believer is found in their actions, not in the name on the building where they go to church.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34 (NIV)
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