Why are there so many Christian Churches?

The history behind the religions of the world is told differently according to what side you listen to. The problem is… there aren’t just two sides. There are many different outlooks on why there are so many Christian religions when there is only one Christ. I will give you my understanding and how I was taught.

As I have said before, I am Eastern Orthodox and have been a practicing Antiochian Orthodox Christian for most of my life. Because of that I have an Orthodox understanding of how the separate religions came into being.

In the beginning there was God and from God came the church of Jesus Christ. This church had no name because there was no need of a name. It was simply the church and those that followed Jesus followed his name. This is how he meant it to be and like good humans we went and fucked it all up.

The Church evolved into a church that expanded over Rome and the holy land. The problem is that we never fully controlled the holy land and this fact would become important later in history. The Church at this time was run by a counsel and at the head of that counsel sat the Pope in Rome. Equal to him in power, but still acknowledging his position as first among equals, was a counsel of Patriarchs. This is the part where history becomes fuzzy and it definitely depends on who you speak to as to what version you will hear.

The Orthodox believe that the Pope wanted more focus and power on Rome and he split from the counsel of Patriarchs because of this. Their refusal to see Rome as the head of the church is what caused the Great Schism of our churches and regardless who was at fault… we as humans are fully at fault for destroying the image of the church that God meant. It is “all of our” fault because of those few. The Orthodox also believe that the Roman Catholics changed the wording of the creed at the time by a singular word. They removed the word “with” in reference to the Trinity and instead structured the creed to mean the Holy Spirit was below the Father and the Son. This gave the trinity a hierarchy which fits in with the Roman Catholic line of thought.

There was never any time for the two halves to reconcile due to the Ottoman invasion and the fall of Byzantine. With those events a true schism was created, one that comes about when two faiths are separated by a wall. That “wall” of religion is the reason why Orthodoxy is considered an Eastern faith and Catholicism is considered a Western one.

Many people will debate this part, but the true reason why there are so many more Christian faiths after this is due to the selling of indulgences by the Papal state. This practice was fraudulent and was basically the selling of forgiveness, an act that is repulsive considering it puts a monetary value on your salvation. The rich paid for these though because the wealthy will always pay for their sins. It is easier than forgiveness, particularly when those that would need to forgive you are starving peasants that never would.

The selling of indulgences angered many good Catholics and is the reason why Martin Luther lead his rebellion against the church. With his break came the formation of the Lutheran Church and John Calvin quickly followed suite with his own movement. While these revolts were warranted in a righteous sense, they were the wrong move if one was really seeking to heal the church. Many people would later criticize these moves as further splitting the apple instead of trying to get to the core of the issue. This was just the start of setting the trend that “splitting” was the way to reform.

The Church of England was next to follow and from there you have countless other splits as Protestant religions formed from cells of other cells. This is why we have so many Christian religions and America is a hotbed for Protestant faiths due to who settled this land. That is also another reason many here have never heard of Orthodoxy or the Orthodox religion.

That is my understanding of why we have so many Christian churches.

Jason C. Cushman

-Opinionated Man

@smokendust

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39 thoughts on “Why are there so many Christian Churches?

  1. This makes sense but I think no one could arrive at an absolute deduction regarding this matter. Thank you for this blog post! This statement struck me, “Many people would later criticize these moves as further splitting the apple instead of trying to get to the core of the issue. This was just the start of setting the trend that “splitting” was the way to reform.” I think this is a exhortation to all of us to bear the failures and flaws of other people instead of writing them off because they differ from us. Thanks again!🙂

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  2. I did a little studying on the different denominations at one point. I thought that baptist was just another protestant split. What I found out was that it predated catholicism. My first thought was that this may just be the name for the original church. Then I figured out that in reality, it’s the original split from the Real Church! I makes sense as it is very legalistic and strict (no freedom there!)

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  3. Catholicism did not begin until the 4th Century and perhaps a little later on, perhaps early 5th Century.

    Peter was never a so-called pope, and in fact NEVER went to Rome.
    I have come to the conclusion that arguing over history with a catholic is a total waste of time, as they end up writing twaddle and poppy-cock.

    I just stick to the KJV Bible and let everybody else argue over stuff.
    Even when it comes to a provable historical fact you will get Catholics denying it or putting their own twisted variation of it forward.

    Talking to Catholics is like talking to a brain dead flee but I persevere in the vain hope that they will wake up and smell the coffee.
    Catholics are generally totally brainwashed.

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      • Jesus christ is the head of the TRUE church, Peter was very fallible as you know, if you have read about him in Scripture.
        he denied Jesus three times, and was rebuked by Jesus in very strong terms. Paul later was to rebuke Peter for his Hypocrisy / double standards.

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      • I know of only one organization that claims Peter as its head, perhaps Orthodox boffins also do this.
        I just know what the Scripture teaches [ Not perfectly of course ].
        And so I just stick to the bible KJV, I am on safer ground then.
        Sorry if I read a bit abrasive, I get a bit tired of Catholics mainly, asking me a four word question, and then I spend a lot of time answering only to get the answer kicked back in my face and of course this wastes a lot of time.
        I made no assumptions about whether you’re a Catholic or not, because I do not know.

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  4. Actually, there is only one Christian church, and it is definitely NOT roman catholic.
    There are different fellowships with all sorts of different names & affiliations etc, but they are Christian.

    (Ephesians 4:4-6)
    “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
    {5} One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
    {6} One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

    Roman Catholicism,Jehovahs witnesses,Mormons,Buddhists,Jainism,Islam,
    Voodoo[Which is Catholic anyway ], are not part of the body of Christ, and will end up in Hell.
    There are too many Cults to list, but all of them are designed to deceive people into following their lies. The largest and most evil and abusive cult is of course catholicism.

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  5. I believe a person’s relationship with God should always be personal and never depend on someone or something else to represent them to God. Of course this is my opinion. Rest assured, I’m not going to start another Christian church. I also loved the analogy of the elephant in the comments. This is a deep subject for a Tuesday morning. Thanks for the thought provoking read.

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      • You have no idea (or maybe you do). I have a friend who was a Presbyterian minister, his church split twice. Once when the organ broke and a third of the church felt it was not Biblical to have an instrument (don’t they know David played the flute and harp?). Second time was when he baptized a quadriplegic by pouring the water over his head instead of submerging; as he said, at the time, there were only steps going down, and there wasn’t anyone strong enough to lift him, and safely carry him down the steps. They finally booted him out when he co-officiated at a wedding between a member of his church and (God forbid) a Catholic.

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  6. That jives with all that I’ve learned too. The crazy crazy thing is they are still selling indulgences in some parts. What in the world does money have to do with spirituality? It doesn’t, especially not in buying the right to sin. That kind of mess flies in the face of all that Jesus stood for and taught. Drives me nuts.

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  7. Well, then you need a Bible. KJV.
    Catholicism is so obviously not of God and is certainly NOT Christian.
    There are so many religions existing today because satan has been busy starting/creating them for a long time.

    Satans finest work is the Catholic so-called church.

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  8. I’m reminded of the story of “The Blind Men and the Elephant.” None of them had seen or touched an elephant before. Each blind man touched a different part of the elephant and so each described the elephant differently. They were all correct. I think that’s why so many religions continue to exist. We perceive God from different perspectives.

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