Why Are There Different Christian Denominations? Which Is The Better Denomination?


The reason there are different denominations within Christianity is because the Bible allows for us to have differences of opinions. Within Christianity there are very few essential doctrines that define what it means to be a Christian, as enumerated below.

The core essential doctrines of Christianity are:
  • Jesus is both God and man (John 1:1, 14; 8:24; Col. 2:9; 1 John 4:1-4).
  • Jesus rose from the dead physically (John 2:19-21; 1 Cor. 15:14).
  • Salvation is by grace through faith (Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:8-9; Gal. 3:1-2).
  • The gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Gal. 1:8-9).
  • There is only one God (Exodus 20:3; Isaiah 43:10; 44:6,8).
  • God exists as a Trinity of persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (See Trinity).
  • Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary (nature of incarnation).
As long as a church believes in these essential doctrines, then it is Christian. However, there are many things in the scriptures that have been interpreted in different ways. For example, on what day of the week should we worship, Saturday or Sunday? Should we baptize by sprinkling or baptize by immersion? Do we take communion every Sunday, once a month, or once a year? The answers to these questions do not affect whether or not someone is a Christian. It is in these issues, and others like them, that denominations are formed. It does not mean that one denomination contradicts another. It means that though they agree in the essentials, they differ in some nonessentials. This is permitted in Scripture:
"Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. One man has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. Let not him who eats regard with contempt him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and stand he will, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One man regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind," (Rom. 14:1-5).

Sadly, there is another reason for denominational differences and that is the failure of Christians to live according to the will of God. The truth is that we are all sinners and we do not see things eye-to-eye. It is an unfortunate truth that denominational differences are due to our shortsightedness and lack of love. But, the good thing is that God loves us so much that He puts up with our failures. There waits for us, in spite of our differences, a great reward in Heaven. Neither salvation nor damnation is dependent upon our differences. Our salvation is based on our relationship with Christ.

Also read: Who is Jesus Christ? Understanding Who He Is


  1. Good piece I have not viewed it this way. But I will do some research and comment latter. Keep it up.

    1. Jude, we are always keen to welcome and hear from brethren who have a different insight into what we share on www.backtosonship.com; therefore we encourage you to research and share your findings with us. Remember Acts 17:11:

      "Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true."

      Following this great example, we encourage everyone to be like the Berean Jews. Cheers!


Post a Comment