Did you know that there are 38,000 Christian denominations in the world?

@Pose123 (21660)
Canada
October 26, 2010 10:56am CST
Can You even imagine that number of denominations all based on teachings from the same book? I once read that there were nearly forty thousand, but most experts put it at around thirty-eight thousand. How can people read the Bible so differently? The first break occurred in 1054 when the Eastern Orthodox churches broke away from the Catholic church. Than Martin Luther declared his intolerance for the Roman Church’s corruption on Halloween in 1517, by nailing his 95 Theses of Contention to the Wittenberg Church door. Around the same time came John Calvin and a few years later King Henry VIII of England declared the church in that country to be free from Rome and ordered The Archbishop of Canterbury and other bishops to set up a new church. There were only a few at the beginning but the vast majority seem to have come up in the last one hundred and fifty years.Surely many people must wonder where all the different ideas come from. Why do you think that there are so many different interpretations of the Bible?
15 responses
@bellis716 (4802)
• United States
29 Oct 10
There are so many denominations because people either add their own ideas or ignore the parts of the bible that they don't like instead of just trying to follow only what the bible says. Some of them are trying to follow parts of the Old Testament because they do not understand that those laws were for the Jews only. The old law was nailed to the cross.
2 people like this
@Pose123 (21660)
• Canada
29 Oct 10
Hi bellis, Thank you for responding and you make a good point as some do pay a lot of attention to the old testament. Blessings.
• United States
26 Oct 10
The Church has lost its way. Religion has become a tool of Satan. Churchs need to reunite, love thy neighbor, stop judging, and get back to Word. The modern Church is in serious trouble. It's time to go back to the basics. Jesus himself was persucuted by Religion. Love is the answer. The word love is mentioned more times than any other in the Bible. The shorest verse, "God is Love". Christians need to come together. Satan uses confusion to separate God's children. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. We need to stop judging other denominations. For we are not the judge. If Christians would love and stop judging each other, we could focus on the basic principals of the Word and stop being distracted by the differences.
2 people like this
@Pose123 (21660)
• Canada
27 Oct 10
Hi zadkiel, Thank you for commenting and I agree that the church was meant to be one and love is the answer. The chances are very slim that it will happen anytime in the near future however as like the Jewish leaders in the time of Jesus, they focus too much on the letter of the law. Blessings.
@II2aTee (2559)
• United States
26 Oct 10
That is the question I like to ponder as well. It really makes you think how anyone can claim that their religion... their path is the one true path? I remember back in High School Art class, my teacher posed this question to us: What is art? Everyone in the class had different answers. My teacher then went on to explain that is because art is different for everyone. Some people will claim art only exists in nature. Others will insist that anything created by human hands is art. Some will say art is everything you can sense with taste touch smell sight or sound. Others will say that only self portraits painted during the daylight hours of July 17th 1805 could be considered as art, and all other forms are imposters. The plain fact of the matter is that art, and religion, mean something different to everyone. I wish more people would realize this. It would make every holy war, and every religious conflict obsolete.
1 person likes this
@urbandekay (18306)
26 Oct 10
Your teacher is just wrong; we may not be able to precisely define art but to say art is different for everyone or that art can be whatever you want is just wrong; that is to make a false god of art. Art is a human activity, animals do not make art, Nature is not art. all the best urban
@II2aTee (2559)
• United States
26 Oct 10
You missed the point, in search of a point to argue about... how typicaly Urbandecay. You always seem to be of the opinion that just because you say it, it becomes true. Therefore there is no point trying to debate with you. Thank you for your opinion though. Certainly no more or less valid than any other opinions on the tpoic. Certainly goes to help prove my point that there are many different views of art... and religion... and although many claim to be the solution, the plain truth is that there are many answers to the same questions. It is up to us as humans to decide what to believe and what not.
@urbandekay (18306)
26 Oct 10
On the contrary, if I say there is a chair in the room, and there is, then that is a matter of fact not opinion. Likewise if you say art is other than a products of human activity, then sorry but you are not speaking English. It is not a matter of opinion but an intrasubjective truth that in the English language the term 'art' refers only to products of human activity. all the best urban
• India
1 Nov 10
Different interpretations is one reason but the non-feasibility to come together is also another reason. For example, one group in the US may be the same pattern with another group in the UK, but because they cannot get together they may be listed as two different groups. In fact, few decades back the Baptists, Anglican, Presbyterian, etc came together in India and form a common group. These groups have different practices here and there, but the actual reason that separated them all these years was lack of initiatives to come together. I also think the split is 1054 was not Eastern Orthodox breaking away from Catholic church. It's a split of equals, not one group breaking from another one.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21660)
• Canada
2 Nov 10
Hi headhunter, I think you may be right about the split in 1054, someone else also mentioned that. It's interesting to see the Baptists, Anglicans and Presbyterians coming together as at least the Anglicans and Baptists have very different ways of worship. I once visited as Anglican church that was very much like the Pentecostal, including speaking in tongues and an altar call after the sermon. That was a real eye opener for me. The fact remains however that there are far too many denominations. Thank you for your response. Blessings.
• India
3 Nov 10
The thing is that Baptist have both charismatic Baptist and Fundamental Baptist and they are miles apart in many practices and belief. And both of them are Baptist. I agree that there are too many groups. I wish that more groups will come together and form one group after certain period.
@ElicBxn (61189)
• United States
1 Nov 10
Actually... the Roman church broke with the Eastern churches...
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21660)
• Canada
2 Nov 10
Hi ElicBxn, Thanks for sharing that and you may well be correct, I just know that there was a division. Blessings.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (61189)
• United States
2 Nov 10
the Pope in Rome thought he should be the head of all the churches, and the Popes and Patriarchs in other major sections of the Christian world at the time said - "we all come from Apostles... what makes YOU so special?" or words to that effect...
@gjabaigar (2200)
• Philippines
28 Oct 10
That's the power of Christianity. The freedom of choice accordingly and dedicated truly in the name of Jesus Christ with the power of the Holy Spirit. To be a truly servant and follower of God. All of These minds, voices and deeds are all part of God. It is all said on Bible Book of John Chapter 14 (the vine and the branches) and 15. Then Chapter 17 (the Lord's prayer for all of His disciples).
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21660)
• Canada
28 Oct 10
Hi giabaigar, Thank you for commenting but I'm not sure that I get your meaning. I'm familiar with the chapters you are referring to, chapter 15 is the vine and the branches. I know too that in Chapter 17, Jesus prays for his followers that they may be one and Chapter 14 is where Jesus comforts his disciples. Are you saying that the power of Christianity lies in the power of choice? Does this mean that many denominations is a good thing? Blessings
@gjabaigar (2200)
• Philippines
28 Oct 10
God Bless you also Pose123.... Yes! It is the most powerful choices way of life. Within the Name of Jesus Christ is the only way of life to be with God. Whoever started a new branch within the the branch or Name of Jesus Christ are all good things. But if they are not, they are highly condemned both by human and by God. But God only has all the final judgements amongst everyone of us, and we should not preempts of every what God's judgement to everyone of us. God is God and the only God, we are not all god or we should not always be in the place of a god. ............ OOpss. Its my mistake and confusion.... forgive me .... hahahahaha.... You are right thanks for the corrections..... Chapter 15 is about the Vine and the Branches... and also with Chapter 17.... ............ John Chapter 14 is where you find the words by Jesus "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6).... These words on John 14 are one of the most powerful words of life in the Bible of being in a way of life into the boundaries of Christianity. Whoever knows everyone his own self on Christianity, can knows all the truths about God, himself, and all that surrounds of himself or being as a multidimensional being without any doubts and fears of his past, present and future.
@speakeasy (4215)
• United States
26 Oct 10
Actually, there are two reasons for this. The first is that people have a tendancy to take what they want from religion and ignore the rest. Then, when they are told their "version" is not acceptable by the rest of the group; they break off and form their own group. The second is that some of them are headed up by conartists who are taking advantage of their followers and are using the Bible to do it. But, if they can get enough "followers" they qualify as a denomination.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21660)
• Canada
27 Oct 10
Hi speakeasy, I sometimes wonder if their are not con-artists heading up most denominations? I've always had a problem with Christians who depended on someone else to to explain the Bible to them. There are some who admit that they never read the Bible at all, just go to church and depend on the Pastor to tell them what the Bible says as well as what it means. Clearly Jesus did not want division among his followers, but sadly no one understood him. Certainly, it is ridiculous for any one denomination to claim that they alone are right. Blessings.
@speakeasy (4215)
• United States
27 Oct 10
I don't think the majority of them are currently headed up by con-artists simply because a lot of them have survived past the lifetime of the founder of the denomination. Many of them have deluded themselves and actually believe they and the teachings of their denomination are correct. Others used religion as a means of legitimizing other agendas - example: the king of England creating the "Church of England" so he could further his own marriage agendas and legitimize his divorces. But, the Church of England survives to this day. When it comes to reading the Bible, it really wasn't that long ago that very few people were literate and able to read the Bible. The pattern/tradition of going to church and having the Pastor tell them what was in the Bible was ingrained from early childhood and is a tradition that is still passed down today. Also, the legitimacy of the Bible is still being called into question. It has been translated and retranslated many times; and, errors do happen. Also, many "books" have intentionally been left out because they did not meet the prejudices and agendas of the time. A few surviving copies of original "Bibles" (from the 200's and 300's) have shown that even the books which are currently in the Bible have had things added or left out of them. So, who really knows what should be in the Bible and what is simply the agenda of early religious leaders.
@nangisha (3498)
• Indonesia
27 Oct 10
Hi Pose123!. I never think its will be thats much . I think its happen because I church can not handle development in their people. I think church need to grow with they member so they can facilitate all aspect of their spirituality. I don't really care how we worship GOD as long we keep our life to what a bible said. So its up to them if they wanna worship Him by crying out loud, dancing as long their have personal relation with God, every thing will be OK.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21660)
• Canada
27 Oct 10
Hi nangisha, Thank you for your comment. Blessings.
• India
27 Oct 10
Yes christianity has a large number of denominations.Over centuries it happened. But beyond this denominations they all believe the same.They all believe that there is only one god and Jesus Christ is his only Son.All these denominations agreed and respect and believe the fundamentals ,Bible and The Trinity. So Its "UNITY IN DIVERSITY".Christians whether they are catholic,orthodox,protestants,etc are all the same. The difference is only in the name or in the way but they are all the same.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21660)
• Canada
27 Oct 10
Hi prasanthwills, It's good to find someone with such an open mind as you have. I have to correct you in one thing though, all denominations don't believe in the trinity. There are also some other big differences but many are only for people with small minds. Thank you for responding. Blessings.
• Philippines
27 Oct 10
I know there are different Christian denominations in the world but I don’t know the exact figures. 38,000 is indeed a big number. Anyways, regardless the numbers, what is important is our personal relationship with God. We may have different interpretation of the bible,different practices and beliefs, but for me, what counts most is your relationship with God alone.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21660)
• Canada
27 Oct 10
Hi bev, Thank you for your response and I agree that 38,000 is a lot of denominations. Blessings.
• India
27 Oct 10
The trouble began after they had built the tower of Babel and there was a confusion of tongues. Ever since Bible was translated from Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic languages there has been at leas 50 versions. All the translations does not convey the same idea. Besides, not every version contains the same number of books. It is a small wonder that there are so many denominations. I am not sure if the denominations are 38,000 as you say, the number hardly matters. The truth is that there are so many denominations. One small consolation is that all the versions are right. The reason is that the theme of the Bible has not changed. The theme is 'Word of God'. Then again some believe disseminating everything written in the bible is the word of God and some think God's word is his promise. The promise he fulfilled through Jesus.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21660)
• Canada
27 Oct 10
Hi achilles, I find it strange that you go back to the tower of Babel, long before the time of Jesus. Among the early Christian, there were divisions but eventually one group won out and there was only one church until 1054 when the first division occurred. Later came the reformation and there soon were a dozen or more denominations. In the last two hundred or so years everything has gone haywire and churches split up over the smallest things. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Blessings.
@Mirita (2668)
• United States
26 Oct 10
I believe that this is why everything is so relative based on the fact that everyone always has a different interpretation in regards to their beliefs. Some people are more flexible than others when it comes to God.
@Pose123 (21660)
• Canada
27 Oct 10
Hi Mirita, I agree that some people are very flexible but others, like the Jewish leaders of old, stick to the letter of the law. Many churches have little that divide them except misunderstanding. Does God really care if a person is baptised or not? Of course not, surely God is bigger than that. Yet these denominations even believe that it matters how the baptism is done. I ask you, How small is their God? Having a sabbath,a day of rest, was of course for practical purposes and it doesn't matter which you choose, but we all need at least one day of rest. Yet Christians think that God really cares about it being the right day. Everyone should read and follow what we have of the teachings of Christ. If someone will take the four gospels, read,mark, learn and inwardly digest, they will see and know that the Christian church has strayed far from his teachings. Blessings.
• Mexico
26 Oct 10
Hi Pose: tHnka sfor sharing with us this information. I think that there are too many Christian denominations. For me, I think that it must be impossible that all of these denominations would be created because of a different interpretation of the bible between two churches. I have known people from other Christian denominations and, what I can say is that, most of them are good people. So for me, what should matter is that we beleive in Christ and that we should practice his teachings that could be summarize in one word: love. Thanks for starting this thread. Have a nice day. ALVARO
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21660)
• Canada
27 Oct 10
Hi starlover, Thank you for your comment and you are right. The teachings of some denominations are so close that they could be one. If Christians followed the teachings of Christ himself, the world would be a better place today. Blessings.
@urbandekay (18306)
26 Oct 10
Actually, it was the Roman Church that split from the Orthodox, the then Bishop of Rome declaring himself pope. Prior to this authority lay in the council of Bishops, the Bishop of Rome being first amongst equals. The self declared pope decided this, which he had previously agreed with, was heresy. (Making him a former heretic!) Even prior to the Orthodox Church was the Celtic Church, founded by those that walked the earth whilst Jesus lived and destroyed by the Roman Church at the Synod of Whitby. The large number of denominations is, perhaps, a symptom of an authoritarian approach, if only all Churches did as Baptists do, where authority resides in the Church members at a Church meeting. all the best urban
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21660)
• Canada
27 Oct 10
Hi urban, There was indeed more than one group of Christians in the early church, very different beliefs too about the teachings of Jesus, but I didn't go back that far. The Orthodox were the first big break with the church of Rome. I believe there have been groups that broke away from the Baptists as well. Of course, no one church is right and the number of denominations prove how little the church have grown spiritually since the time of Jesus. Blessings.
@nangisha (3498)
• Indonesia
27 Oct 10
Hi Pose123!. I never think its will be thats much . I think its happen because I church can not handle development in their people. I think church need to grow with they member so they can facilitate all aspect of their spirituality. I don't really care how we worship GOD as long we keep our life to what a bible said. So its up to them if they wanna worship Him by crying out loud, dancing and silent as long their have personal relation with God, every thing will be OK. How many of us claimed we are Cristian but never really reads a bible from Genesis until Revelation. We only hear from what our priest said and we act from that.
1 person likes this