Why Don't Churches Agree?

Why Don't Churches Agree?

 

Imagine that you just heard about Jesus for the first time.

Something about him intrigues you, and you think you might want to look into Christianity. And yet in the phonebook you discover that there are hundreds of churches in the Columbia area, some belonging to a particular denomination and some seemingly on their own.

And not only are there a lot of different churches, but they also seem to have many contradictory beliefs. If two particular churches disagree on a matter of doctrine or morals, they can't both be right, can they? How can you be sure without a doubt, that a particular church is teaching you the truth about Jesus, when the church down the street bases its beliefs on the Bible, too, but teaches something completely different? 

Here in the South, we are so used to this division among churches that we take it for granted. But is this how Jesus meant for it to be? Did he intend his followers to be fragmented into so many competing, disagreeing factions? Is this really the most effective way of proclaiming the gospel to all nations? 
 
It was not originally like this when Christianity began. For example, the apostle Peter did not go off to start his own church on one side of Jerusalem, while John went to the other side of the city and started a rival community! The apostles did not have conflicting teachings about Jesus and Christian life. Rather, the early Christians spread throughout the known world, courageously proclaiming "one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all." (Eph 4:5)
 
Jesus meant for his followers to be gathered into one family, which he called his Church. Through this family, the gifts of salvation would be offered throughout the world and throughout the centuries. This worldwide family is not an invisible union of fellow believers, but a visible union that one can see. To use the Lord's own words, we are meant to be "the light of the world, a city set on a hill that cannot be hidden." (Matt 5:14)
 
We are Catholics because we believe that the Catholic Church is the very same church that Jesus began nearly two thousand years ago. When we worship on Sundays, we worship with hundreds of millions of fellow Catholics throughout the world. When we profess our faith, we profess beliefs that go all the way back to Jesus and the apostles.
 
For answers to common questions about the Catholic faith, visit www.CatholicBridge.com. And if you are searching, we would like to help welcome you home. 
 
(To see or print the original ad, click here.)
 
 

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