What Leaders In Religion Have Said About Denominationalism
Consider carefully the implications of the following quotations from those who are very familiar with the name and practice of the religion of which they are a part.
“I pray you leave my name alone, and call not yourselves ‘Lutherans,’ but ‘Christians.’ Who is Luther? My doctrine is not mine. I have not been crucified for anyone. St. Paul would not permit that any should call themselves of Paul, nor Peter but of Christ. How then, does it befit me, a miserable bag of dust and ashes, to give my name to the children of Christ?” (Martin Luther, reformer and founder of the LUtheran church, Life of Luther, Stork, p. 289)
“I look forward with pleasure to the day when there will not be a Baptist living. I hope they will soon be gone. I hope the ‘Baptist’ name will soon perish, but let Christ’s name last forever.” (Dr. Charles Spurgeon, regarded by some to be the greatest Baptist preacher of all time, Spurgeon Memorial Library, Vol. 1, p. 168)
“Would to God that all party names and unscriptural phrases and forms which have divided the Christian world were forgot; that we might all agree to sit down together as humble, loving disciples at the feet of a common Master, to hear his world, to imbibe his Spirit, and to transcribe his life into our own.” (John Wesley, founder of the Methodist church, Hardeman’s Tabernacle Sermons, Vol. V, p. 60)
“The existence of sects, and denominations, and contentions may be traced to the following causes: (1) The love of power, and they who have control of the consciences of men and of their religious feelings and opinions can control them altogether. (2) Showing more respect to religious teachers than to Christ. (3) The multiplication of tests, and enlargement of creeds and confessions of faith. The consequence is that every doctrine that is incorporated into a creed give cause for those to separate who cannot accord with it. (4) The passions of men - their pride, and ambitions, and bigotry, and unenlightened zeal. Christ evidently meant that his church should be one, and that all who are true followers should be admitted to her communion and acknowledged everywhere as his true friends.” (Albert Barnes, Presbyterian, commentator)
“Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. In whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses. The Lord knoweth them that are his. And let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ. For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. So then ye are no more strangers and sojouners, but ye are fellow-citizens...the household of God...a holy temple in the Lord. For Christ is the head of the church, being himself the savior of the body. The churches of Christ salute you.” (Paul, Apostle of Jesus Christ, 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Corinthians 3:11; 2 Timothy 2:19; Galatians 3:27; Ephesians 1:7; 2:19-21; 5:23; Romans 16:16)