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This topic came up today in Sunday School while we were studying Ezekiel. How has the development of Christians denominations hindered the spread of the Gospel? How has it helped spread the Gospel? Try to answer both questions.

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I know this doesn't answer both questions, but spearding the word can be done in many ways I think. As a practicing Roman Catholic I for one do not feel comfortable going door to door to spread the word. I choose to spread the word through my actions or stewardship.

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How has the development of Christians denominations hindered the spread of the Gospel? Denominations are based on disagreements over the interpretation of Scripture. An example would be the meaning and purpose of baptism. Is baptism a requirement for salvation or is it symbolic of the salvation process? There are denominations on both sides of this issue and have used the issue to separate and form denominations. Given the number of missionaries there are in the world spreading the gospel, and number of Bibles that have been translated into hundreds of languages, it would not seem that denominations have really been all that detrimental to spreading the gospel.

How has it helped spread the Gospel? When I look at the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, each of the gospels were designed for a different audience. Each Gospel has a targeted audience that spreads the gospel message to people that may not have been reached otherwise. There are millions of people who do not interpret the bible the way I do just as the various denominations present the gospel differently. As believers, there are certain basic doctrines that we must believe, but beyond that there is latitude on how we can serve and worship; it is this latitude that is a good reason for denominations. This is diversity and not disunity. The first allows us to be individuals in Christ, the latter divides and destroys. We should be seeking a body of believers where the Gospel of Christ is preached, where you as an individual can have a personal relationship with the Lord, where you can join in Biblical ministries that are spreading the Gospel and glorifying God. Church is important and all believers need to belong to a body that fits the above criteria. We need relationships that can only be found in the body of believers, we need the support that only the church can offer, and we need to serve God in community as well as individually.

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Harmed. The willingness to nit-pick over small stuff to the point where folks have done the youth baseball thing and said, "I don't like your rules. I'm starting my own league," has made it to where there are 15 dozen different stripes of Baptists, at least as many Church of God-types, and many branches of Methodism, Presbyterianism, Apostolicism, and a litany of non-denominationals, to the point where it seems just as mysterious as the many sects of Islam and Judaism. Catholics aren't exempt from this fractionalism either, as much as they'd like to think otherwise. You still have the many Eastern Orthodox sects, in addition to the fact that in many American towns, one parish was for Irish, one was for Germans, the other was for Italians. Now, many of those same begrudgingly accepted that they had to hold Spanish-language masses to survive. Oh, that doesn't even touch on the many hardcore righty churches that have broken off and pursued a pre-Vatican II philosophy, writing newer, more outlandish dogma in the process to cater to some whacked-out ideology.

 

It really makes those folks who claim to interpret the Bible literally, as "God-Breathed," look silly. Through whose lens was it, then?

 

I believe in God, and his Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. That doesn't mean I want your local version of such shoved down my throat, or imposed upon me through stupid local laws. Those who put a religious test upon their politicians deserve Mormons, and liberation theology Baptists, and Irish Catholics, and Sikhs, and Apostolics, and Shakers, and Sunnis, and Jains, and Presbyterians (Missouri Synod), and a whole buncha other mess.

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Jim, I hope you don't take this the wrong way because I truely am speaking from the heart and I like you a great deal. I want you to know that I pray for you and I will continue to do so. You often come across as miserable because you are so cynical, argumentative and downright bitter towards anything and everything that differs from your way of thinking. Satan will use something like this to block your path if you let him. I am not being arrogant, and I certainly don't have all the answers. I need prayers for myself and welcome any that will pray for me.

 

We don't need all this division, one of the messages of the new testament church was for unity. We have one God, one Savior, one salvation. We are all members of the same body. We are all branches of the same vine. So why must we try and tear each other down? Regardless of individuals, where they worship, or what they believe don't lose sight of the fact that Jesus Christ died for you. He gave his life's blood as atonement for your sins. He was buried and he rose from the dead victorious so that you and I can live eternally in Heaven with him. I pray you put your faith in him and work towards being his child so that one day he will welcome you home.

 

If you believe in God, Christ and the Holy Spirit, then consider what Jesus said was the two greatest commandments in Matthew 22. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love you neighbor as yourself."

 

I try my best to keep these, but I often find myself struggling with the second one. I'm not sure exactly how to love other people as I love myself. If I do that, then I must be able to show them that love, forgive them for their wrong steps, overlook their imperfections, and just love them and work together with them in unity in our daily walk. Not easy to do, but where does it leave us if we don't even try? Or worse, if we do just the opposite?

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Harmed. The willingness to nit-pick over small stuff to the point where folks have done the youth baseball thing and said, "I don't like your rules. I'm starting my own league," has made it to where there are 15 dozen different stripes of Baptists, at least as many Church of God-types, and many branches of Methodism, Presbyterianism, Apostolicism, and a litany of non-denominationals, to the point where it seems just as mysterious as the many sects of Islam and Judaism. Catholics aren't exempt from this fractionalism either, as much as they'd like to think otherwise. You still have the many Eastern Orthodox sects, in addition to the fact that in many American towns, one parish was for Irish, one was for Germans, the other was for Italians. Now, many of those same begrudgingly accepted that they had to hold Spanish-language masses to survive. Oh, that doesn't even touch on the many hardcore righty churches that have broken off and pursued a pre-Vatican II philosophy, writing newer, more outlandish dogma in the process to cater to some whacked-out ideology.

 

It really makes those folks who claim to interpret the Bible literally, as "God-Breathed," look silly. Through whose lens was it, then?

 

I believe in God, and his Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. That doesn't mean I want your local version of such shoved down my throat, or imposed upon me through stupid local laws. Those who put a religious test upon their politicians deserve Mormons, and liberation theology Baptists, and Irish Catholics, and Sikhs, and Apostolics, and Shakers, and Sunnis, and Jains, and Presbyterians (Missouri Synod), and a whole buncha other mess.

You are right that there is way too much division among Christians. Some folks prefer to point fingers and take a holier than thou attitude. No question that is a hindrance to the spread of the Gospel.

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So, you live in a dry town and it's religion being shoved down your throat?

 

I've never seen any other reason for a town/county to be dry other than via mob rules acting on behalf of whatever the dominant local denomination is (and it's almost always Baptist). In almost all cases, prohibition of alcohol was used by the dominant local denomination to make life uncomfortable for whatever minority was within their midst (usually Italians, Irish, Mexicans or Germans, all generally Catholic).

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I've never seen any other reason for a town/county to be dry other than via mob rules acting on behalf of whatever the dominant local denomination is (and it's almost always Baptist). In almost all cases, prohibition of alcohol was used by the dominant local denomination to make life uncomfortable for whatever minority was within their midst (usually Italians, Irish, Mexicans or Germans, all generally Catholic).

 

What do you base that statement on?

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Is it not the religious folks and churches who usually are out in force to keep the places dry?

Wow, for the BGP open minded king, that's a total shock coming from you. Either someone stole your account, or that's about as stereotypical and hypocritical a post as I've seen from you.

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Wow, for the BGP open minded king, that's a total shock coming from you. Either someone stole your account, or that's about as stereotypical and hypocritical a post as I've seen from you.

 

I am surprised that anyone is surprised that one thinks the #1 reason for a dry county is the local religious factor. What else could it be?

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