Most “Christians” are idiots – 39,000 Denominations can’t be wrong

Posted: January 30th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: My Thoughts, Spirituality | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Most Christians I meet are idiots, and I would probably put myself in that group a large percentage of the time. Why? Because we think we have all the answers and that no one else does. I have the privilege of working for a small company of mostly Christians, and we love to argue, I mean discuss, the Bible and assorted theology.

First let me say, none of us are in possession of any theological degree or other paper that qualifies us as an “authority” on the Bible, but a few of us have a small grasp of its contents. I amazes me at how passionately we can defend our views, whether on the apocalypse, six days of creation, judgment, law versus grace, tithe, or an endless list of other topics that have come up over the years. At the end of the day, no one ever really changes their mind. We just walk away thinking, “Why doesn’t Billy Bob get it? It’s so obvious!”

According to the Gordon-Conwell Theological Society, there are currently over 39,000 Christian denominations worldwide. They predict that by the year 2025 there will be 55,000 different denominations.

Those number are crazy. That means that there are almost 40,000 groups of people who cannot come to an agreement on some portion of the Bible, yet all claim to have the correct doctrine. Why do we even try sometimes? Where do we get off telling everyone to love each other, when a percentage of denominations won’t even recognize the opinions of the other denominations?

This isn’t a Christian bashing, post, as I fall in the Christian category, but maybe a wake up call for us to get over ourselves; to start think higher of others than we do ourselves. Maybe for one moment admit to the world that we don’t have all of the answers; and that heck, some of our answers may even be wrong. We need to get back to loving others more than ourselves, and not argue whether a rapture will occur before or after a “great tribulation”. Last time I checked, arguing over it won’t change it. However taking a minute out of your day to help your elderly neighbor rake his leaves, or carrying someone’s groceries, or buying some shingles and fixing their roof that has been leaking will say more to a person than empty words ever will.

We need to stop being idiots. We need open our eyes and see just how ridiculous we look to the rest of the world. Only Jesus has perfect theology, so get over it already. We need to get off our high horse and instead of telling the world we love them, show them.

- chris mooney


  • http://www.jasonclement.com Jason Clement

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Confirming your headline, is this recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120061470848399079.html

    Are you kidding me? This is the image of Christ we portray to the lost world.

  • http://quickbeamoffangorn.wordpress.com/ quickbeamoffangorn

    Once one gets pass the Creedal statements it gets very difficult to maintain any form of unity btwn Christian denominations. This is IMO a result of the doctrine of congregationalism and the political frame work of the birth of the United States.

    Note from your source that there were 500 denominations in 1800 around the birth of the country. I would venture that the increase fracturing in this would be mainly found in the States, not globially.

    Is it possible that the political concept of individual rights and freedoms addressed in the founding documents, mearged or so infuenced the doctrinal theory of congregationalism that drove the #’s up and continues to do so today? IOW individual freedom to believe as one wishes always trumps the individuals obligation to seek unity within the body of Christ, which esentially voids any obligation for the individual to submit too? They simply start or join another church that agrees with them at that point in time.

  • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

    “…Instead of telling the world we love them, show them.”

    Just thought that should be reprinted again. ;)

    CH

  • http://adamriggins.com adam

    like the song says,
    “it comes down to a man, dyin’ on a cross, saving the world
    rising from the dead, doing what He said He would do”.

    Let’s remember that and keep it at the center.

  • Jay Rodgers

    Isn’t the divisive church sectarianism at it’s core. Doesn’t Jesus warn against it? In fact I think he calls it wrong. All the denominational boundaries and separation seem to render us a somewhat anemic body.

    P.s. I work with Chris and I would like to say of the many debates we have had in the office I have left with changed ideas and a better understanding than I had previously. So to address your quote “At the end of the day, no one ever really changes their mind. We just walk away thinking, Why doesn’t Billy Bob get it? It’s so obvious!” I would have to say that that is not always true and those discussions have strengthened me and helped me grow. But I see your point.

    In brotherly embrace
    Jay

  • http://tsdi.wordpress.com/ baddogmooney

    Jake – Thanks for the link, it’s a great article. We don’t have all of the details of the different cases they bring up, but I think some are pretty silly. Gossip? I guess to paraphrase a very wise Man, “Let they guy whose never sinned throw the first stone.”

    quickbeamoffangorn - you make a great point on a possible origination of splitting denominations, but it was going on for quite some time before anyone jumped the pond to America. There were several “denominations” starting in the New testament. Some followed Paul, some Apollos, some Cephas, and others Christ (I Corinth. 1:12)

    Hopper – right on!

    adam – agreed, if you can’t keep your focus on the goal, quit playing the game.

    jay – still right till the end.

    thanks for your thoughts everyone!

  • http://www.hitland.net Brad Walker

    Fishers of Men or
    Keepers of the Aquarium
    By Dr. Brad Walker – August 20, 2003

    The first two books of the New Testament recount a story of Jesus walking on the shore of Galilee. He was beginning his ministry and was looking for a select group that would follow him and learn from his teaching. He came upon two fishermen named Peter and Andrew and told them to follow him; He would make them fishers of men! These disciples were called out from the population and were set apart from all others that would seek and follow after the wisdom and miracles that Jesus offered.

    Jesus prepared his disciples to be both leaders and servants all at once. He taught them the importance of discernment and compassion. They responded with devotion and commitment that would model a form of brotherly relationship that transcended even natural family ties.

    All of this was designed to launch a movement that would reach the world one life at a time. These disciples were later instructed to go out into every nation and tell this story of hope and help to all men. (Mathew 28:19-20)

    Somewhere between then and now, this directive has been diluted. Many who profess to be disciples of Jesus have not only neglected this “Go-ye” call, but have never shared their own faith or discovery of Jesus to one single soul. Those outside of church circles may even beg for help or rescue by telegraphing an “S.O.S.”, but few “Saints” are prepared to hear their cries let alone render life-giving aid.

    What has happened? While many of us sit inside the firehouse polishing the truck or planning for the next potluck, right outside our front door an alarm sounds. We concern ourselves with the responsibilities of ministry. We spend our time and money building programs to reach the “lost”, and never venture far enough beyond our own walls to actually meet any lost. We may be prepared to care for the injured, if they stumble into our view, but this is the exact opposite of going out and finding them.

    Growing up in the church, I spent week-in and week-out receiving excellent teaching and instruction for self-improvement. I went to family camp in the summer and learned the skills necessary to maintain a healthy home environment. I traveled with several Christian musical groups that went into many churches and ministered the gospel of Jesus to every one. I taught Sunday school, bible studies, and prepared many, many sermons for the edification of the “body”. I’ve traveled to foreign countries and helped construct new buildings for other churches that could not provide a meeting place for themselves.

    I look back fondly on my Christian upbringing and am truly thankful for the investment so many have made in my life. As I review the effort made, and consider the programs from which I have graduated, I am still left with several pressing questions.

    Was I instructed to seek passionately after Jesus and fulfill his command to go into the world and preach the gospel to all men? Was I trained to focus my days on the study of who he was… rather than who I must become, because of Him.

    Have I been more interested in just going to school to perfect myself as a student and not becoming a teacher, doctor, or minister myself?

    I started to recognize, several years ago, that the largest organized group of volunteers in the world is the Christian church. They have recruitment centers on every corner, in most parts of the world, and yet more than 90% of the world has no idea what Christianity has to offer. They have vast financial potential, facilities, and trained compassionate people. This powerful entity is divided however. We have allowed, even encouraged, this division. We have developed an insidious tool called denominationalism. We have organized religion into a list of divided, separatist rules: overseen by divided separatist rulers, all in the name of Jesus. Jesus himself said in Luke 11:17, “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined…” He even went on to say…”If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand?” Satan’s kingdom is growing everyday.

    It is time that we re-evaluate the condition of the “Modern Congregational System” (M.C.S.) we call church. We may have concentrated more attention on the business of church than on the business Jesus instructed the church to perform.

    Hitland Ministries is committed to helping break down the walls that separate Christians, and finding solutions for meeting the needs of a broken world. We offer training, resource, prayer, volunteers, and enthusiasm to help release what we believe is the most empowered and capable army on earth. Now is the time to take what we have been given by God, and reach our world.

    I have never seen a fish jump into an aquarium… but a well-prepared fisherman never comes home empty handed!

  • http://www.hitland.net Brad Walker

    Denominate actually means “to separate”. It is a mathematical term. It is the bottom number of a fraction and it declares the term of separation. We boast (as Christians) of our separation and Jesus instructed us to unify under his headship. He represents the “numerator”. Everything in His Kingdom is in order….we have stepped out of his will to exercise our own individuality. This is a pitfall of the human nature. That is why we must “transform by the renewing of our minds” and become “new creatures” in Hm. We have had it all wrong from the apples and have separated ever since!

  • http://tsdi.wordpress.com/ baddogmooney

    “What has happened? While many of us sit inside the firehouse polishing the truck or planning for the next potluck, right outside our front door an alarm sounds. We concern ourselves with the responsibilities of ministry. We spend our time and money building programs to reach the “lost”, and never venture far enough beyond our own walls to actually meet any lost. We may be prepared to care for the injured, if they stumble into our view, but this is the exact opposite of going out and finding them.”

    Well said. Thanks Brad.

  • http://www.cathysanders.com Cathy Sanders

    yes I agree as well, I am sure I have fallen into the “Idiot” category more than once, especially when younger in the Lord and living in an extremely competative city where if you even went to another church for one service everyone feared that you were leaving your church. wow, what a witness we have been to the world (that is sarcastic of course) I hope I am better than then at least!

  • http://www.hitland.net Brad Walker

    If we all stay within our comfort zones…the world will never hear the Gospel. What chance would any of us have if someone stayed within their comfort zone instead of sharing the gospel with us? Jesus did not instruct us to “stay” in our little worlds and preach the Gospel…He told us to GO out into the world and tell his story. Where is the misunderstanding? Could it be that we have been so indoctrinated into this anti-Christ system that we have actually stopped exercising the directives of our master? Why are we so reluctant to share the hope within us when we stare into the lifeless eyes of the lost? Where is His compassion within us. The world is full of the dead and dyeing and we are content to “stay” within our comfort zone. We have deteriorated and the best we can do is to maintain the “status quo” (latin; this mess we are in)!

    We are called as ambassadors and soldiers. There is little use for either in our own country. We sit idly by as the enemy comes to us and we wonder why we are ineffective. We are content to wait for the world to come to us. Has anyone read the Barna reports? No-one is coming anymore. this system is failing miserably! We need to get up and bring Jesus to them. This is not rebellion against “church”: it is a revolution for the church. It is time to WAKE UP and get it done. No plan, no system, no condemnation…just boots to the pavement, authentic, compassion and love for the lost. They will know we are Christians by our love. we cannot love them if we are watching them and not telling them about the disaster coming for us all without the salvation of Christ.

    Thanks for the chance to vent.

  • krumple

    It is because the bible is a flawed document written by people who had very little understanding of how the world works. Christians ignore parts of the bible that are outdated or conflict with modern life standards. If the bible was an important message from god, why not make sure that it is translated correctly and is simple for people to understand? Why make it so vague and questionable about the authenticity?
    A being who would create such an existence is not worthy of being called or referred to as a god…

  • http://tsdi.wordpress.com/ baddogmooney

    Krumple – Thanks for your thoughts. I agree that there are large portions of the Bible where people have different interpretations of what the Bible is saying. To say that it is flawed, that is your opinion, one I believe to be incorrect. To say that the writers had little understanding of how the world works? That is naive. Many of the authors and subjects gave more for what they believe in than we even pretend to. Such fundamental concepts as faith, hope, and love are eternal and relevant no matter what you religious thoughts are, or what age you live in.

    “A being who would create such an existence is not worthy of being called or referred to as a god…” or He is greater than your understanding.

    - mooney

  • http://ReleasingChurches.org Doug Dees

    Good stuff!!!

  • Durkastan

    You guys seriously need to sit down for two hours and watch Zeitgeist.

  • http://www.control-z.com Craig Duckett

    The natural world, the physical world, the ‘real’ world has existed billions of years in the absence of language, but Christianity wouldn’t last one second without it since it is completely founded on mostly anonymously-composed words in books.

    If you want to discover whether something is real or not, there’s a very simple test. Can you experience it without relying on language? If you can, it’s real. If you can’t, it’s a mental construct and abstraction. “God” is only a word, fully defined into existence (as are ‘Heaven’, ‘Hell’, ‘Angels’, ‘Devils’, ‘The Soul’, ‘Life-After-Death’, ‘Eternal Life’, ‘Judgment Day’, et al).

    This is the reason there are 40,000 Christian sects/denominations/cults, because they keep going round and round the language, while the real world slowly passes them by.

    Of course this is also true of everything else found in our artificial human culture. We’ve become so indoctrinated to social inventions like religion, politics, ideology, and technology, we’re entrapped in compartmentalized counterfeit realms that have nothing to do with flesh and blood and bone of reality.

  • Charles Huff

    Man, I’m no Christian, but I really appreciate your take on it… I hope that one day you may also say (if you haven’t already) we who aren’t convinced by the evidence are also welcomed at your table… but I bet you’re already there aren’t you?

    You’re on of the Christians I will stand up for… you’re on good path no matter… I wish you well.