why do Christian churches teach so differently from one another?

Jill - posted on 07/22/2010 ( 15 moms have responded )

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my mother, sister and I are all born again and attend different churches in different areas of our state. What my mother believes to be true my sister believes to be not true and what i believe to be true my mother believes to be untrue... How can one bible be interpreted so many different ways and what way is right? I find it hard to have a conversation with my mother or sister because we are taught differently..and i find it even harder to witness to my non christian other sister when we all don't agree on certain biblical teachings. Does anyone else feel this way ?

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Linda - posted on 08/03/2010

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Vereena,
Yes, Jesus was a Jew and so were all the disciples. However, problems arose almost immediately in the new church when Greeks (or non-Jews) became Christians. Some of the Jewish believers wanted the Greek Christians to become Jews in order to follow Christ; others didn't think that was necessary. Finally, the church elders came to a decision that they did not have to obey the whole Jewish law. (See Acts 15)

This is an area where we need to be careful not to let our preferences divide us as Christians. While it can be meaningful and insightful to study and celebrate the Jewish feasts, it is not required of non-Jews. We are not under the law but under grace!

Linda - posted on 08/02/2010

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If you agree on essentials (Bible is the Word of God, Jesus is the only Son of God, the only way to heaven, salvation is by faith alone) then I would just agree to disagree on what I consider non-essentials (things like speaking in tongues, drinking, predestination, etc). If you have questions, then study the Bible for yourself. Acts 17:11 says that the Bereans searched the scripture daily to see if what Paul said was true. This should be our practice as well. Don't accept what any one says, even your own pastor, without lining it up against the Word of God.

My sisters and I all grew up in the same Christian home, but we have many different beliefs about things such as the baptism of the holy spirit, baptism, and drinking alcohol. Satan loves to divide, but dwell on what unites. When we get to heaven, I don't think any of us will hold the corner on complete truth. We will all find out we were wrong on some issues. The main point is to get there!!!! Agree with your mother and sister to witness to your non-Christian sister on the basics....so she'll be there too!

Tyneisha - posted on 07/30/2010

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The Bible teaches of division in the church.That is why there are so many denominations. I say pray that the Lord gives you understanding and he will. Study the word for yourself, if you don't understand, ask the Lord to open up your understanding. i just say pray. Prayer works for it all. Pray before you witness so that the Lord gives you what to say, how to say, when to say etc. Instead of sharing all the small details when you witness, share the meat. Jesus is Lord. He is God. He came to earth through a virgin, died for the sins of the world, rose again three days after his death. He offers the free gift of salvation by grace through faith. He is the only way to Heaven. Keep it simple and share God's love for them. Every christian should agree on these facts.

Rebekah - posted on 07/30/2010

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Christian churches all teach differently because "we" as humans interpret the Bible differently. For example everyone of us on here could read one verse in the Bible and each and everyone of us would have a different perception of that verse - why? Because God speaks to us in the exact moment and time that is right for where we are. Pastors teach according to what God is ready to shepherd the church in... some churches are slow to embrace change, those churches have harder time with accepting radical moves of God; some churches are hard set in religious law and follow strict rules, these types of churches still live under the old law and have a hard time accepting and understanding the "new covenant" that Jesus gave to us through His death, burial and resurrection... etc.

Just because we may see things "differently" we have to realize that the Bible is a LOVE story. The greatest thing is LOVE! If we can learn to do JUST that, we'll make an impact. Jesus came to live out the law, because the old law lead to death, no one could fulfill it, so Jesus died for us to make the way - and it is all through LOVE! I think we as Christians need to learn more about the word "love" and what that truly means, and give up trying to decipher what the Bible means... and the reason I say this is because if we walk in love and read our Bibles, God will give us the meaning if we open to hearing it. But many times we like to put our own interpretation in there...

But at the same time, I also truly believe we do believe the SAME way, we just aren't relaying it correctly. The reason I say that is because what you say to a person is not always how it's received by the person, people have filters, and yes, we all have filters. Proven psychologically we filter things, the only ones that really don't are young kids, that's why they are sponges. If we as people would learn active listening, we'd find that we are saying the same things most of the time. :)

But you also have to realize too that God deals with us on certain issues when He knows we are ready to move to the next level. :)

Carla - posted on 07/30/2010

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When in doubt, I go to Paul's teachings. As Gentile believers, that is what we are to follow. I have read Acts-Rev. probably 30+ times, and pattern my life accordingly.

That being said, there was a posting just lately where a woman felt she was following Paul's teachings by dressing very conservatively. There was a flurry of comments, both pro and con. When all is said and done, we have to follow what our spirits tell us. Paul said if someone tells you you can do something that you aren't fully convinced you are supposed to do, and you do it, that is sin. Some people don't feel Christians are supposed to drink at all, while others think a little drink isn't going to hurt you. If you can back it up with Scripture, and I'm not talking about picking out one verse here and one verse there, but in context back it up, then you are fully persuaded, and it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.

Ultimately, it's our Christian walk, not our talk, that will persuade the world that we have something they don't. Your sister will see, through your entire family's lives, who has 'the real thing', and who doesn't.

I pray peace for you, Jill, that you won't be tricked into hiding your light under a bushel for fear of coming off like your relatives. In the end, people know.

God bless

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Vereena - posted on 08/03/2010

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The problem is personal biases have been introduced into the different sects of Christianity. If a person goes back to the original languages of the Bible (Greek and Hebrew) you will find that the modern Bibles have a great number of mistranslated words. I was also surprised to find out disturbing news surrounding certain versions of the Bible.

The biggest thing that most Christians forget, is that Jesus the Christ was not "a Christian"; he was what people today call an Orthodox Jew. The same is true for the disciples, they did not stop practicing Judaism and no where in the Bible does it say to stop celebrating Jewish Holy Days.

Carla - posted on 08/01/2010

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This is for Christina Cornell-sweetie, I have been looking for the Scripture you were asking for all afternoon! Didn't even look in the Gospels, cuz I thought Paul said it, but Jesus did, out of His own lips, so it will add a little more weight: Matthew 17:15-17: 'If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.'



This, I think, would be especially proper, as you were talking about confronting your pastor about his teachings. But, make sure you pray, pray, pray first, for love, for grace, for understanding.



In the beginning, men that took the office of pastor had specific guidelines they had to adhere to before they were put in (See the Timothy's and Titus) which tell about the guidelines for pastor, elder or deacon. Sadly, those have been thrown by the wayside, and too many ministers look at the ministry as a business, and not a God-appointed privilege.



Walk lightly, speak gently, in love, and God bless.

Cheryl - posted on 07/29/2010

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While I agree with Christie that there IS actual truth, I don't agree that you will always find it this side of heaven. By all means- seek, pray, read!!! But these denominational differences have been arround for centuries. Your mom, sister and you are not going to solve what theologians have been debating for hundreds of years before us. There comes a point sometimes that we have to accept- it is not foundational to our salvation and if you remember- ask God in heaven ;-)

P.S. My husband and I went through the same struggle at a previous church reguarding chosen/election vs free will. We did not leave becuase of it but it was a very difficult time for us and was almost releaved when a job took us away.

Currently, I have learned to avoid the topic of eternal security with certain friends. They are awesome sisters in the Lord but we disagree. It seems so important... but I have to let it go or risk the great friendships we have!!

Jill - posted on 07/29/2010

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thank you Christie.... i think the confusing part is just when i thought i knew something.... my sister or my mother say differently..... i think i have to keep things to my self when it comes to other Christians and just witness to the unsaved

Christine - posted on 07/29/2010

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Jill, I totally agree with Kristina and Alisha on the idea that we need to stick to the basics, however, I would also say that we as Christians need to work towards a more healthy attitude towards diversity in our beliefs in the faith.

For example, my husband and I tend to fall into a reformed form of theology (we believe that God must choose someone before they can be saved) and my family and ALL our friends tend to fall into an arminian form of theology (they believe everyone has an equal chance and ability to choose God for salvation).

So...while my husband and I will have healthy debate with them, once it starts to be apparent that someone's feelings are getting hurt, or if we begin re-hashing all the same old stuff we stop.

I think there is GREAT value in discussing opposite points of view as long as we don't allow it to cause a rift in our relationships.

I would encourage you to take a Bible Study Course like "Living by the Book" and use it as your guide to study the Bible and gain your own opinions.

Remember that there IS an actual truth and most of the time we can find it if we dig for it, but there is also a LOT of room for variation. I think that's why Paul tells us to "work out our OWN salvation with fear and trembling."

Good luck to you!!

Christie

Kandice - posted on 07/23/2010

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Pray and ask God to reveal the truth to you. As long as you believe that Jesus died for us and with him there is eternal life... Then keep on believe and witness to everyone you can. I'll keep you and your family in my prayers. God Bless you and your family.

Jill - posted on 07/23/2010

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to Kristina and Alisha.. thanks for your imput.... thankfully we all agree on who Jesus was and what he did for us on the cross....and thank you Alisha ./..the rest is just details..... that really put it into perspective.... i guess just want to know the truth and not what someone thinks is the truth...

Alisha - posted on 07/22/2010

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Ahh Satan is extremely pleased with situations like that. Any way he can get Christians against each other and make the Bible look like a bunch of contradictions he will do it. If everyone agrees on the main point of the Bible which is Christ being God and that he was thinking about each one of us while he was taking our punishment on the cross so that we can have eternal live with Him in heaven since he came back to life and went there to prepare a place for us then the rest is just small details. The bible even talks about divisions within the church (meaning all believers in general) and it warns against that. Read 1 Corinthians 1:10-17 for starters. Pray for ways of dealing with differences of beliefs in a loving way (how Jesus would) and don't let it get between you and other believers because then Satan will have won. Pray for discernment so that you would know what is truth and what is lies. Never believe what someone tells you, even a pastor, until you have read it for yourself in the bible. And with some things that Christians disagree on, I don't even get into them, it's just not worth it. The more you are in your bible reading it, the more protection you will have of God's word. Just be careful with it. Always double check the bible with anything you hear because that is the only source of complete truth straight from God.

Kristina - posted on 07/22/2010

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I have been struggling with this for the last couple years. A couple years ago I had a "falling out" with a church and it got me thinking. I started wondering who a pastor or anyone else is to tell me what the Bible says. How one person interprets or understands the Bible might be different to how I interpret or understand it. So who are they to tell me my belief/interpretation is wrong or vise versa. With that said, I think somewhere in the Bible it is stated that if we don't agree with what is being taught we are to confront the 'teacher' and state our belief or understanding. What I'm shaky on is what exactly is suppose to happen if there is still a disagreement.

While I was posting this I tried looking up some verses. In 1 Cor. 14:26-40 it discusses some on interpreting. I'll have to look into it more but it might help you some.

The only thing I can really leave you with is although you may not all agree on beliefs you must trust that you all agree the Father sent His son to die on the cross and save the sins of the world. Trust and believe that God has His hand over your family and that you will be together again one day with Him in heaven and pray for them. I think for now that is all you can really do..

I hope this was of some help I'm sorry if it wasn't!

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