Warning Against Denominationalism

The True Church of the Bible

When Paul wrote to the church in Corinth he denounced them for numerous errors. In the context of dealing with their problems relative to the Lord’s supper, for example, Paul spoke of the “divisions” among them (1 Corinthians 11:18), and said that such “heresies” (vs 19 – KJV, “factions” – NKJV) “must” be in order to allow for the recognition of those who are approved. The term “heresies” in verse 19 is the same term translated as “sect” in the passages cited above in Acts.

Heresies, or sectarian doctrines and practices (the denominational concept if you will), are thus condemned by Paul. Furthermore, note the use of the word “divisions” in verse 18. This term comes from the Greek term “schisma” (i.e., schism), which Paul seems to use as parallel and/or synonymous with the term “heresies” or “factions” (Gr. – hairesis) in 1 Corinthians 11:19. It is the same term found in 1 Corinthians 1:10 where Paul condemns “divisions” (Gr. – schisma) and encourages unanimity in mind, judgment and speech (cf. Galatians 5:20).

Paul uses the same term in 1 Corinthians 12:25 where he discusses the controversy over spiritual gifts and where he said, “that there should be no schism in the body.” Paul, in Galatians 5:20, and Peter, in 2 Peter 2:1, also condemn “heresies” (Gr. – hairesis): first, as one of the works of the flesh (cf. Galatians 5:19), and second, in warning the churches about false teachers. It is obvious from these passages that the New Testament denounces anything and everything that is remotely related to the ideas inherent in denominational, or sectarian, practice and teaching.

The above post is an excerpt from the book, The True Church of the Bible: Examining the Error of Denominationalism by Carey W. Scott. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

Share Button