Christian Fighting

3 Underground Reasons Why Christians Don’t Agree about Everything in the Bible

Peter Guirguis Apologetics 65 Comments

Every week, I get the privilege of speaking with atheists, agnostics, and people who are experiencing doubts in their faith.

One of the objections that I hear often is, “Dude, you guys (Christians) can’t even agree about the different interpretations of Christianity or the Bible!

“Look at all the different denominations you guys have and the different interpretations of what the Bible means. And you expect me to believe that Christianity is true?”

That’s just my paraphrase, but you get the gist.

So why are there different interpretations of the Bible?

How come Christians can’t all just get along and be unified in their communication?

That’s what I’m going to share with you in this blog post.

Why You Should Give a Hoot

So why should you care about any of this stuff anyways?

If you dismiss Christianity because of all the different interpretations that just don’t make sense to you, then you’ll be missing out on a spiritual system that has a lot to offer.

You don’t want to be one of those people who throw the baby out with the bathwater, right?

So check out this article and judge for yourself.

Here Are the 3 Underground Reasons Why Christians Don’t Agree about Everything in the Bible

1. Reason #1 – Beware of Chameleon Christians

Chameleons are a special species of lizards that can survive in many areas.

One of their distinct capabilities is their ability to change color.

This helps them to blend into their environment when there’s a predator.

Chameleons have the unique ability to change their skin color depending on their surroundings. Know any people like that?

Likewise, there are also chameleon Christians out there.

They change color depending on their environment.

Oh sure, they go to church, the have all the right words when they are hanging out with other Christians, and they have the outward appearance of a Christian in all the right environments.

But if you’d follow them with a secret camera into their home, work, or personal lives, then you’d discover an entirely different person.

Maybe you’d find someone with a foul mouth, a bitter heart, jealousy, envy, or many other negative qualities.

These chameleon Christians are not really Christians.

They merely change color depending on their environment.

Additionally, chameleon Christians often don’t have the correct interpretation of the Bible.

So they often misinterpret passages and pass along their wrong opinions as if they were facts.

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So the bottom line is beware of chameleon Christians who give you false information about what the Bible means.

You can identify them by looking for mismatches in their words and actions.

What they say often won’t line up with what they do, and that is a telltale sign.

Authentic Christians are those who have been born again.Click To Tweet

They’ve been given a new heart, and they have new desires.

They are marked with an authentic and consistent love towards God and people.

true markings of a true Christian

2. Reason #2 – God’s Teaching Methods Are Stranger Than Mr. Miyagi

Have you ever watched the movie, the Karate Kid?

It’s the story of Daniel Larusso, a teenager who gets picked on by others.

He enlists the help of a karate teacher by the name of Mr. Miyagi, a profound and highly skilled karate teacher.

Young Daniel shows up on the first day of his training with Mr. Miyagi expecting to learn how to do high kicks and all sorts of fancy moves.

But instead, Mr. Miyagi asks Daniel to wax his car in a very specific way.

“Wax on, wax off,” says Mr. Miyagi to Daniel, as he shows him how to wax the car.

Mr. Miyagi continues to have Daniel do some menial tasks around his house.

After some time, Daniel gets frustrated because he is not learning karate from his teacher, but is doing personal tasks for him instead.

In a profound scene, Mr. Miyagi begins to show Daniel why he has him doing all of those menial tasks, including the “wax on, wax off” exercise.

Here, check out this short scene for yourself (please forgive some of the foul language):

Can you see what an excellent teacher Mr. Miyagi is?

Can you see what the purposes of those menial tasks are now that you look back at them in hindsight?

Well, God’s teaching methods can sometimes be much stranger than that of Mr. Miyagi’s.

Honestly, there are times in my life when I don’t understand what God is doing.

I sit there, and I don’t understand why I’m going through a financial hardship, or why I’m going through a particular health issue.

But it isn’t until years down the road that I finally see that because of the financial hardship and because of those health problems, that they caused me to learn certain life lessons.

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These life lessons cause me to grow in ways that I can never dream of.

So then the question is, “Why doesn’t God stop all of those people who are misinterpreting the Bible from spreading falsehood?”

Why doesn’t God remove chameleon Christians from the church?

Why doesn’t God unify all Christians so that they all agree about the interpretation of everything in the Bible?

Personally, I believe it’s because somehow, these things accomplish God’s purposes.

We don’t always understand what God is doing, but He is the only One that knows the beginning from the end.

I suppose I could go on for days writing about this particular topic.

But you get the gist, right?

3. Reason #3 – The Bad Mr. Burgess’s of This World

When I was in 9th grade, I had a math teacher by the name of Mr. Burgess.

While he was a nice guy, Mr. Burgess was the worst math teacher that I ever had.

It’s not just me that thought so…

So did the other students and in fact, so did the other teachers as well.

Mr. Burgess would teach us wrong equations and improper solutions to math problems.

As a result, we were being taught wrong things.

Students and parents complained so much, that Mr. Burgess got demoted.

To what?

To head of janitorial services.

Weird, right?

Shouldn’t he have gotten fired instead?

Well, the powers-at-be decided that they would hold on to Mr. Burgess until the school year ended.

After that, I don’t know if he quit, or if the school let him go.

But there are many Mr. Burgess’s out there when it comes to the Bible.

They are blindsided by the wrong information that they have been taught, and they teach it to others as if it was gospel truth.

If I were in God’s shoes, I would fire those Mr. Burgess’s  immediately from life altogether.

But if you go back to points #1 and #2 in this article, God is a merciful God who has ways that are much higher than ours.

So Now, Over To You

What is one reason why you think Christians don’t agree with everything in the Bible?

 

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Comments 65

  1. Hey Peter,

    My first question would be – which denomination, sect, scholar, person, etc can give the definitive answer of what other denomination, sect, scholar, person, etc has been “blindsided by the wrong information that they have been taught, and they teach it to others as if it was gospel truth”? In other words, who can we rely on to identify the other Mr. Burgess’s of the world?

    This would be helpful to know before I give my own opinions on the matter.

    Thanks!

    R

  2. Hi R, what a fantastic question! You bring up a REALLY good point because in this instance, everybody thinks they are right.

    In my opinion, I think that it’s going to be up to everybody to make up their own mind about which denomination or non-denomination is the right one.

    Additionally, R, since you have a Christian background, then you also know that just because there are many denominations and they don’t all agree, then it doesn’t mean that only some of them are going to heaven and others aren’t. That’s where the “essential” and “non-essential” doctrines come into play.

    For example, essential doctrines are seen as things like Jesus’s divinity or salvation through Christ alone by faith alone. Nonessential doctrines are things like when the rapture of the church happens, or the interpretation of future events as outlined in the Bible.

    So where do we get essential doctrines and nonessential doctrines from? Some might say from the Council of Nicaea. Others might say by God’s revelation through the Holy Spirit. I’m sure there are a bunch of different answers. It’ll be interesting to hear what the rest of the Not Ashamed of the Gospel community thinks.

    Your thoughts?

    1. Peter –

      I think your reply perfectly illustrates the problem with religion (ANY religion) – there is no reliable mechanism or process to know if any of them are true.

      Making up your own mind, doctrines, councils, revelations, etc have never confirmed or even hinted at actual truth. There are as many flavors of religion as there are people, which leads me to believe that all religious or supernatural claims come from human imagination.

      We, as humans, have done a wonderful job of justifying, codifying and propping up our belief systems over countless centuries. Its interesting that the same reasons Christians give for not believing doctrines of other religions (or even other Christian denominations) are the exact same reasons other religions dismiss Christianity.

      In my very humble opinion – if ALL religions cannot be true, then they ALL have to be false.

      I’ll bet you’re right about one thing for sure – It’ll be interesting to hear what the rest of the Not Ashamed of the Gospel community thinks on the subject! I’m guessing my thoughts won’t be popular….

      Peace my friend,

      R

      1. There is one more thing that came to mind, R, after I read your comment. This probably is not going to apply to you but I’m going to put it out there anyways, especially since you do have a Christian background.

        In John 16:13, Jesus says, “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth.” So born-again Christians who have the Holy Spirit living inside of them should be able to tell, with the help of the Holy Spirit, if there is wrong doctrine or theology that’s being taught.

        However, not everybody who says they are Christian is really one like I pointed out in reason number one of my article. Additionally, some people just choose to ignore the voice of the Holy Spirit. And then there is a third group of people who are Christians but who have not yet learned how to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit and so they are still in training.

        1. Peter –

          I’ll stick to asking the same question – Where, who, what is the litmus test to prove:

          – Who is really a Christian?
          – Who is just choosing to ignore the voice of the Holy Spirit?
          – Who are the Christians that have not yet learned how to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit and so are still in training?
          – Which denomination has it right?

          Peter you’re absolutely right about my Christian background, which is why I’m confident I won’t get a sound answer to this question. So far in your article and subsequent replies I’ve seen faith, revelation, free will, the Holy Spirit, discernment, the mystery of God, apologetic after apologetic……. used as both actual explanations for why Christians don’t agree about everything in the Bible and as pathways to truth. How can these things be both the problem and the solution???

          I can’t come up with a valid explanation for varying interpretations of scripture other than the entire construct is man made, distinctly human in every way possible. (This applies to every other religion and holy book as well.) The bottom line is that if something this important to the fate of human kind is true, then there would be zero questions about its accuracy or meaning. No “interpretation” necessary. Otherwise the entity that built this puzzle is a monster who only reveals real truth to a select, chosen few. This makes entirely NO sense. And to worship such an entity would be madness.

          I plead for your readers to think critically about the title of your article “Why Christians Don’t Agree about Everything in the Bible” and put themselves in the shoes of another denomination – or even take it a step further and think for a moment as if they were in another religion all together. Then sincerely view their faith position with the same skepticism they apply to other positions.

          Anyone out there up for this challenge?

          R

          1. R, you have missed the point when you ask questions that are essentially philosophical but addresses none of the concerns God has for His people. The knowledge you hope to gain or bring to light as to answering the question of this article is of little bearing to the greatest concern mankind should have: how to receive eternal life and be delivered from this world of sin.

            God has laid down clearly what is needed for salvation of mankind: faith in Jesus Christ as His divine only begotten Son and what He accomplished on the Cross, being born again, repentance from sin and a life of obedience to Christ’s commandments. There are NO interpretations needed for these “essentials” and any attempt to do so is a trick of the devil to corrupt the simplicity of the Gospel. The first generation Christians (many who would be considered uneducated and unlearned in modern Christian theology) had no need for complicated “Christian” jargons and terms like the modern churches do because they understood plainly what was preached to them. It is the devil who tries to elevate a simple truth into a complicated theology of beliefs and arguments that serve no purpose but to divide the church and turn people away from Christ. These theologies and complicated interpretations are distractions, not aids in your journey to heaven.

            God has not revealed the truth of salvation to a select group like you falsely claim, He has sent His servants to preach the Gospel to everyone and proclaimed that this salvation is for everyone – every single Bible version has the verses proving this. As for interpretations about things not pertaining to salvation, why do they matter to you when the devil is ever seeking to devour your soul in this current age? Your priorities are misaligned when you are so eager to become knowledgeable about things that don’t matter for your salvation. Adam and Eve fell for this enticement from the devil, they wanted knowledge (of good and evil) before they even learned what is essential for their life. They took the fruit from that forbidden tree in disobedience to God for the sake of knowledge, you would be falling into the same error if you focus on philosophical arguments that seem to build upon your knowledge but bring you no closer to salvation and faith in Jesus.

            Watch out on where your priorities are, this world is ever growing in “knowledge” but yet none the wiser as to what will save them from self destruction. Are your philosophical arguments on which interpretation of scriptures are manmade etc etc more important than whether you have your name written in the book of life?

      2. I have been guided by the principle, if I’m not getting answers to my questions, I’m either not asking the right question or I’m not asking the right person. Usually I’m not asking the right person. I know, along with every other human on earth, not one person knows the answer to every question. Peter is great at answering questions, so I’m not cutting on Peter. I’m here to help.
        In the NT it clearly states anyone talking about the Lord is better than not. The problem is not religion it is the ones who follow them incorrectly. And whoever judges and says who goes to heaven or hell is the truest definition of the word vain. Its worthless. That’s God’s job and doesn’t matter what anyone says or thinks. I don’t follow preachers or teachers who reject others, example. “God hates Gays, ect.” And whoever said different religions can’t co-inhabit heaven? Another bible verse says a father thinks more highly of the son who says he won’t work in the field, but then does. Then the son who says he will work then don’t. Why would God keep a person out of heaven when they behaved more like a Christian than anyone ever born in America just because he/she they said or thought they were a Buddhist? Stay away from the people that reject the idea that anything is possible. That is what everyone did when Jesus was a human except his followers. The best way is the easiest way. I think the easiest way to heaven is via Jesus. I identify as a Christian, but I walk the walk as best I can. I don’t just say I am one. I try whole heartedly to spread Jesus’s teachings of love and inclusion. Even Hindu believe in a God that is above all other gods. I feel the command don’t worship false idols has many layers with one being don’t bother praying to low level management, pray to the CEO. God knows we are gonna make mistakes but a true heart is a true heart. In Proverbs is encourages us to above all else protect the heart. I love God and Jesus. Jesus is my friend. I would take a bullet to the brain instead of saying I wasn’t a follower of the ways of Jesus.

        I hope this helps you and Peter don’t think I’m in the wrong because I value his point of view.

        BTW: I rarely cite scripture by giving the book, chapter, and verse because when you seek you shall find. I say the book, NT, or OT for the New and Old Testaments.

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  3. Scripture revealed by Holy Spirit is our standard of truth.

    Are there different interpretations on some things; sure but if the Scripture says it, it is true period and foundational doctrines are repeated again and again.

    Indeed it appears that logically it cannot be true as certain doctrines seem to contradict; like one God three persons and God is sovereign and we have free will but both are true.

    1. Rick, what do you make of different people who interpret the Scriptures in a different way?

      Like for example, some Christians will say that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone. But other groups of Christians will say that faith without works is dead so you must have good works to be saved.

    2. Rick –

      Your comment sparked a couple of questions in my head:

      – Does the Holy Spirit reveal different interpretations of scripture to different people?
      – Did the Holy Spirit also reveal scriptures of the Quran to Muhammad?

      Btw, I certainly agree with you that contradicting scriptures appear illogical, but I don’t see how you reached the conclusion that regardless of contradictions they are true. I’d like to know the premises behind that statement.

      Thanks!

      R

  4. It’s not about religion. It’s about Jesus. Jesus is not a religion He is our Saviour. It’s knowing He died for us and He took all our sins on that cross and accepting this as a free gift and repenting.
    We will all, everyone of us, Christian or not receive everlasting life.
    The question is, where will you live it in heaven or hell.
    Jesus is the way the truth and life. Only through Him can we be saved from a living hell.

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  5. All Christians are saved whatever be the denomination or so call Inter-denomination they belong to. Jesus died that we may be saved. No strings attached. I am not interested in all these denomination jargons.

  6. “What is one reason why you think that Christians don’t agree with everything in the Bible?” Because there’s so much that’s disagreeable in the Bible!

    I have a Facebook friend from a church group long ago who posts pictures of pages she has colored in her “Inspire Bible”–a Bible with wide margins featuring adult coloring book flowers and paisleys and artistic swirly renderings of familiar verses–happy ones, of course!–pleasant platitudes, and wonderful words, like REJOICE and PEACE. If you look past all the pretty decorations, and read the content, there is some pretty horrific stuff on most pages. If you look past the cute pairs of animals on Noah’s Ark, and the charming Sunday school wisdom that, “God cares for his Creation,” you realize that God allegedly had Noah build the Ark to save 8 people and a few animals, and obliterated the rest of his Creation…which immediately started “sinning” all over again, just as omniscient God knew they would.

    I’ve read devotionals and heard prayer requests that we “have faith like Abraham”…who was willing to murder his son because he believed God knew best? Because he believed God must want his son in heaven that badly (I’m sure glad it’s not a popular teaching that we all prove our desire for heaven!) Does the story show that Abe had faith that a god worthy of worship would demand child sacrifice to prove a human’s loyalty? I was told that the tale proves YHVH’s goodness, and how different he is from local deities his contemporaries worshipped, who would’ve had Abe follow through with the obedience test and kill his son…are you KIDDING?

    1. I understand where you’re coming from Sandra. Several years ago, I would have made the same arguments. So would you say that you no longer believe in God? Are you an atheist?

  7. Sandra,

    read the story for yourself in the Bible, as well as any other story you feel irritated by. A good friend once gave me the advice: Before you listen to online sermons on a book in the Bible on YouTube, read this book for 10-20 times at least. A challenge, no?

    For a long time, after I decided to follow Jesus and was baptised in the Holy spirit, I was reading the Bible only thematically, depending on what I was interested in and what I needed for myself or others. Now that I’m in a Bible club, in which we actually read every book through and I have people sitting there who can quote you basically anything from anywhere in the Bible, I see how much I was missing out. There are many many things written in the Bible, which you’ll probably never hear on a Sunday sermon. Not because all pastors are bad :), but because they aren’t, strictly speaking, needed for salvation. So if a pastor assumes to have guests on a Sunday service, he’s good to preach the gospel of Jesus and not stories of Samson or Kaleb.

    BUT: If you want to learn about why God gave Moses such a, for us, weird law, give it a try and read it. And then read Paul’s explanations to it in Romans, 1. Corinthians, Galatians, etc. You think these new Christians back then didn’t have similar questions about the law? In basically every letter Paul is writing about why it was given and why it doesn’t concern us anymore^^.

    I specifically don’t want to give you specific quotes and explanations/interpretations to it now, because I don’t want you to make the same mistake I did and hope you’ll be reading the context. Don’t simply type into Google: “Why did God allow/commanded these terrible things?” Instead, pray to the Holy Spirit to help you understand and then start reading 😉

    And if you THEN have questions, shoot me an email at: dykas.aleksandra@gmail.com

    R,

    This is why you can’t find God “in a human-reasoning-way”:

    18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:
    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
    20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
    (1. Cor)

    Things that seem to contradict, don’t contradict for God. Things that we don’t understand (yet), are completely understandable to God. Many people died for a few minutes and are witnessing to us about Angels, heaven and hell. People who never heard the gospel are among them. Many people have visions and dreams, especially in the Middle-Eastern world right now (“Once an Arafat man” book, YouTube, messianic Jewish pastor of Christ Church in Jerusalem which I know personally). Peter, can you paste a link to the video of this Buddhist monk who died and resurrected?

    Do they all lie? Why should they? Most of them live in countries where their family and societies hate and persecute them after their conversions. They are called mentally insane. Why would they invent such things, especially if they never had “Christian education” prior?

    The Holy Spirit interprets the Bible in only one way: Through the perspective of an everlasting, all-knowing, all-powerful, loving, merciful and just God. Depending on the culture and life experiences a person made before converting and suddenly hearing all these revelations, s/he will apply them differently to their life (=interpret them). A person from country X hears: “Love your neighbor” and goes with a cake and some good words over to his house. Person from country B hears the same, knocks at his house and hugs and kisses his on his cheeks immediately. Cultures are different, thus our good fruits NEED to be different too. It’s all about our heart and our intentions. A simple one interpretation would destroy that all, which is why it’s good there isn’t one.

    By definition of the Bible a Christian is someone who loves God with all his heart, soul and mind and his neighbor as himself. This also means you believe in Jesus Christ and want to actually follow him after in all he wants you to do. How do you find that out? Read the Bible and ask the Holy Spirit. He is faithful and will show it to you. But there needs to be this WILL to follow Christ. We cannot ever discern who’s a “real” Christian, not even among our best friends at Bible class. We can only learn from the Bible, what it means to follow Jesus and educate our fellow human beings about it. Foremost, we should thus ONLY look at ourselves and whom we follow after. God though knows our hearts and can our missing/existing faith in him, which is also why he’s the only one who is a righteous judge. He, who never lied and showed us his standards in his son.

    1. Aleks –

      Thanks for the reply! I can tell you are very passionate about your beliefs and also very caring. I would totally agree that God/gods can’t be found in a “human-reasoning-way”. Unfortunately, that’s the only way I have to come to reasonable thoughts and conclusions.

      R

  8. I have a totally different view on why there is so much division in the church. I feel like the biggest reason is demon. They are everywhere and love to turn people against each other by planting seeds of pride and lies. Your definition of a Chameleon Christian is basically a sinner. I am a Christian and struggle with all kinds of negativity but I am still a believer and have a relationship with Christ. False prophets, posers, and wolf in sheep’s clothing are everywhere but it’s not our place to judge. I have personally found a lot of peace by just avoiding the church altogether. Where people are so are demon and at least for me I would rather just love my brothers and sisters from afar and let the Lord be the judge. Heaven will be the place for all the true believers!

    1. Hey Corinne –

      I’m right there with you on one thing sister – I find more inner peace by avoiding church as well!!

      R

    2. Corinne, my definition of a chameleon Christian is more like what the Bible calls “tares among the wheat”. In other words, they are false converts. They are false Christians and on the day of judgment, God will say to them, “Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.”

  9. God in His wisdom knows we all need something different. He has provided us with different options. In our own families we don’t even get on with everyone (different denominations) but each is needed to get the full story. In our seeking we learn more about God. CS Lewis tells the story of his 2 friends and how when the one died he lost that part of the other friend that the dead friend brought out. (Not sure if that makes sense out there) but we need different view points of God and each other. That is also why God has made community and Paul tells us to not give up meeting together. Because we are all different we can search for a place we are comfortable (and I don’t mean that one must compromise the gospel in any way to find a spiritual home).

  10. The responsibility of spreading the word of the Living GOD belongs to God Himself, God uses His faithful people to carry out the task of bringing souls in His house.

    All human beings are basically hard core sinners, if they truthfully believe in JESUS their sins are not only forgiven but also hidden by the blood of Jesus which was shed on the cross of Calvary but all human beings remain sinners, the forgiveness of sins is a free gift given by the POWER of the Almighty GOD.

    Now the sinful nature of man keep creating the confusion using the word of God, all those people who claim to be the man of God keep involving and mixing their wested interest with the work of GOD.

    Remember please spreading the word of God belongs to JESUS and His Holy Spirit alone, no one can stop it, just imagine HIS work started 2017 years ago, at that time there was no print media, no electronic media but there were human beings all of them sinners forgiven or not forgiven and they were used by God to take the word of God in every remote corner of the world.

    Dear brothers all the answers are imbedded in the Bible itself but you cannot satisfy all the sinners because many of them are not looking for answers but they are looking for bitter arguments to satisfy there crooked and sinful or so called scientific mind set. We are only a tool of the Highly Organized and Highly Complicated GOD SYSTEM.

  11. Hi Peter,
    I am a steadfast believer of Christ and I strongly believe that everyone is saved those who confess and accept Jesus as our only saviour.
    As far as the denominations are concerned I don’t have a theology or any such related degree and hence cannot comment academically. However, as a devoted Christian my humble opinion would be as follows,
    First, nowhere in Scripture is there a mandate for denominationalism; to the contrary the mandate is for unity. Thus, the history tells us that denominationalism is the result of or caused by conflict and confrontation which leads to division and separation.
    Second, it may be purely of self-interest and an urge for power and dominion over others.
    Third, it may be because of ego clash between parties which creates division.
    Fourth, denominations are based mostly on disagreements over the interpretation of Scripture because it is mostly taken personally.
    Even though the above reasons may not be exhaustive in any way it does sheds some lights why there exist denominations.
    Now the million dollar question is which denomination is the right one? Personally for me, it does not matter as long as that denomination is preaching Christ and spreading the gospel and glorifying God. Not some prosperity jumbo jumbo!
    There is certain doctrines that all true believers must adhere to; the way we choose to serve and worship does not matter much. In fact having diversity in worshipping may in fact be good as it allows one to connect at individual level. Denominations not deviating from the basic beliefs but having differences in the way we worship may in fact be more boon than a bane.
    I may have deviated from the point, but these are my humble opinions.

    1. Hi Paul! Your explanation reminds me of a Sunday school or Awana Club lesson I came up with long ago, called Doctrine Is the Crust, in which I suggested that choosing Christianity would be like selecting pizza from among food choices, with basic doctrine making the crust supporting all true Christian churches, and worship and teaching styles simply the toppings of personal preference. The foundational doctrines I illustrated as 6 slices of pizza, then elaborated on each…only some of which I remember!
      Trinity–a wreath of 3 braided ribbons, the eternally coexistent Father, Son and Holy Spirit
      Virgin birth–1 in 8 billion poster, of all the people who’ve ever lived, only Jesus was fully God and fully man
      Salvation by grace–“Admit one” ticket, with PAID stamped in red
      Inerrancy of Bible
      God as Creator

      Boy, it’s been a while…can’t think of any more…

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  12. Hello Peter,

    Reading your first argument, it says: “But if you’d follow them with a secret camera into their home, work, or personal lives, then you’d discover an entirely different person.Maybe you’d find someone with a foul mouth, a bitter heart, jealousy, envy, or many other negative qualities.”… it makes it seem as if a born again christian is instantly delivered from all those characteristics.. the sanctification process is a life-long process… the Holy Spirit points us at things that need change along the way… one person might be delivered instantly of pornography addiction but have more difficulties with bitterness or envy… while another person might have no struggles anymore with the latter and still have struggles with pornography.. right ? We all have certain wounds and hurts and we can have a longing to get rid of certain negative qualities, but I know of no born again christians who never struggle with any of these.

    Blessings, Pascal

    1. Pascal, the key to identifying chameleon Christians is going to be a hypocritical life. So while yes, born-again Christians do have struggles, but they are not going to act as if they are righteous when really they are broken. Or else, they would be acting just like the Pharisees.

      I do agree with you that the sanctification process takes time. Born-again Christians do have struggles but they always depend on the Lord for help.

      1. Peter –

        Something is striking me as odd about this article and subsequent discussions. You spend a lot of time and effort in the post identifying why Christians don’t see eye to eye and splinter into denominations and sects, then you and your readers go on to actually demonstrate the reasons why there are so many factions among believers in your replies.

        From what I can see in the above replies, finding 2 Christians who believe the same thing from A-Z is near impossible. What are the implications of this quandary?? How can an outsider ever hope to get a clear picture of what your religion believes or practices? Why would anyone on the inside ever feel comfortable that they have chosen the correct doctrine to invest in?

        Every one of you guys believes sincerely you have it right. How is it possible that no one is incorrect?

        More questions I have:
        Do you consider it arrogant to point out who is and isn’t a sincere, actual Christian?
        Is Evangelicalism the definitive stance Christians should embrace?
        If God and his message are unchanging (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8, Matthew 5:18), why is Christianity in a constant state of evolving?

        That’s probably waaayy more thinking about religion on a Monday morning than I have time for but it was gnawing at me after reading the last few replies.

        Looking forward to replies.

        R

        1. Hey R, as far as the comments section goes, I’m only responding to people who are commenting on the post. So as far as the common thread goes on this article, it’s just merely a reaction to how the community is responding but I don’t control it.

          As far as not being able to find to Christians who believe the same thing from A-Z and that it would be impossible to find any, my personal opinion is that it is possible. I have quite a number of friends and family members in which we are completely aligned doctrinally and theologically. I would also say that inside of denominations or church, you can find large groups of Christians who do believe in everything from A-Z.

          And here are the answers to the rest of your questions:

          1. Do I consider it arrogant to point that who is and isn’t a sincere actual Christian?

          This is the way I look at it. Is it arrogant for a teacher in the classroom to give some students A’s, B’s, C’s etc.? The answer is probably no because each one of those students earned their grade in that teacher’s class.

          I’m not a teacher but the Bible is the teacher. I encourage everyone to seek the Bible as a teacher and to give themselves a grade as to how they’re doing. Usually, we end up giving ourselves a better grade than we deserve.

          2. Is Evangelicalism the definitive stance Christians should embrace?

          As opposed to what? Can you be more specific?

          3. If God and His message are unchanging (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8, Matthew 5:18), why is Christianity in a constant state of evolving?

          Christianity, in my opinion, is not in the constant state of evolving. It is supposed “Christians” that are evolving. There is only one true Christianity and it is based on what’s written on the Bible.

          Anything that is doctrinally or theologically opposed to Christianity and claims to be Christian is heresy. But then the problem becomes that there are different factions that call each other heretics.

          This is to be expected as the Bible addresses this issue. Since you have a Christian background, this is the whole concept of the tares among the wheat. The master in the Biblical story does not want to pull out the tares and he instructs his servants to let them both grow until the time of the harvest. At that time, the tares will be burned but the wheat will go into the master’s barn.

          Here is the passage for reference: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+13%3A24-30&version=NKJV

  13. Sandra, It is indeed a very creative and innovative way of explaining complex subjects. It would be nice if this is shared in its fullest​.

  14. Thanks, Paul, glad you liked it. I developed a few lessons that I was able to use often…and published a children’s book as well, believing as Elic does, that Almighty God was depending on ME to tell of hell and save sinners’ souls. Elic is in awe of how far and wide the Word has spread in 2017 years…but I was startled when I realized how far it HASN’T spread: BILLIONS of people have never heard of Jesus, yet it’s up to Jesus himself to empower evangelists and keep the light shining on the world God so loved…he desires that none should perish, yet thousands of copies of evangelistic books go unsold because their authors lose faith, and Christian publishers and bookstore chains go out of business because they can’t compete with secular interests or other faiths?

    I was curious which slice of foundational crust I’d forgotten…Resurrection! Illustrated by an empty Cross, of course.
    “Bible is God’s Word” is illustrated with a “Pro-Testamentum” graphic, since Protestants are FOR the Word of God, not protesting something.

    When I spent a huge fortune publishing and marketing my book, I tried to advertise it on Twitter, and faced challenges to my faith I’d never considered in my life. I saw quite clearly that I’d lived in an echo chamber, and I see others repeating the same themes when I check social media or listen to Christian radio. I spent months defending what I knew to be true–or parroting what I’d heard. I remember the sensation when my faith failed, and I haven’t been interested in pursuing it since, tho I’d have insisted I lived to love the Lord previously.

    Happy to chat, as always! @WiserThanIWasB4

    1. Hey Sandra, I have a question for you. It’s going to take some imagination on your part, so stick with me here 😊.

      I want you to imagine that you have a superpower. That superpower is that you have the ability to tell the future with 100% accuracy. Now, I want you to imagine that you are throwing a party at your house. It’s going to be a pretty cool party, its going to have all sorts of delicious food, and people are just going to have a jolly good time.

      Since you have the superpower of being able to predict the future with 100% accuracy, are you obliged to give an invitation to those people that you know for sure will not accept your invitation to your part?

      1. So all these folks planning to enjoy the jolly good time I’m offering are operating under the premise that I actually am inviting everyone else, right, because I’ve declared that I am, and I’m 100% trustworthy. What’s more, I’ve allowed them to be convinced that going out and making disciples and training up their kids in the way they should go is their life’s work, and spending their precious lives in fear and frustration is the way to save others’s souls…from hellfire and damnation, if my most ardent admirers are to be believed…

        1. Sandra, I don’t see that you answered the question that I posed to you in my previous comment. Once again, the question is if you have 100% certainty that if you give an invitation to your party to somebody that they are going to say “no”, are you obliged to invite them?

          A simple yes or no will do.

          1. Peter –

            Before I answer the hypothetical question, can I ask what happens to the people who don’t accept the party invite? Is there a consequence of some sort incurred by not attending?

            R

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                Good answer, R, and I agree with your response.

                Yet even though God isn’t obliged to invite everyone since He knows with 100% certainty how each person will respond, He still does invite every single person to go to heaven.

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                Here is my answer, R, but I don’t expect it to make much sense to you. I know with 100% certainty that what I believe is true because I’ve been having a friendship with God over the past 11 years and my experience so far has been identical to what the Bible tells me.

                Now if I’m being fully transparent, I can’t say that that was always the case. When I converted from atheism to Christianity back in 2006, if you had asked me the same question, I would’ve said that I had 10% faith and 90% doubts. But then as time passed by and I grew in my friendship with God, that 10% became 20%, and the 20% became 30%. And through the years, it’s finally gotten to 100%.

              3. Peter –

                Yes sir, it doesn’t make much sense to me. But I guess everyone has their own path. Mine just happens to be the exact opposite of yours!

                R

          2. No.

            But I had to waste a good comment section, and all the associated notifications, so I’ll ask you what happens when we die, and how we know. I got an email from Bible Study Tools Weekly declaring that we know what happens when we die because the Bible’s right and every other religion, culture, and personal experience is wrong. Do you agree that this is presuppositional, and relates entirely to this thread?

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              Yes, I can see how it relates to this thread. And I can see why you have a problem with the Bible Study Tools’s response based upon your position. So what would convince you that there is life after death?

              1. Peter,
                I’ve honestly been asking that very question (what it would take to convince me of an afterlife again) for over 3 years now, and still have no answer. I seek info and insights, and respond to threads like this because I want to know what others know, and how I could overcome objections if someone succeeding in overcoming mine. But I try not to waste energy being frustrated by it–or the many tangential questions and lame, unsatisfying answers I’ve received and read in others’ timelines or posts. As someone eloquently stated,

                “I don’t what it would take to convince me your God is real, but if he is, he does, and he’s not providing it.”

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                Okay Sandra, fair enough. Well, if you ever do ever have an answer to my question, then please post the answer here so we can continue the discussion 😊.

  15. Peter –

    What I’m getting at is that Christians only agree inside their own, as Sandra put it, “echo chamber”. It’s pretty easy to get along with those who constantly reinforce what you already believe. The challenge comes when you look at the big picture of why there’s disagreement over doctrine and theology at the denomination level. I’ll stand by my statement that not everyone can be correct.

    I asked the question about arrogance to point out that once again, depending on your interpretation (wow that word sure gets brought up a LOT when discussing religion) of the Bible, you can justify labeling anyone as an insincere or fake Christian. IMO its incredibly arrogant for anyone relying on their faith position to judge someone else’s faith position.

    I’m curious how you picked Evangelicalism over a more Orthodox denomination like Catholicism. Now you know I don’t buy into either one of them, but I’d still like to get your perspective on why one is a better version of Christianity than the other.

    And brother, if you don’t think Christianity has evolved and is still evolving…… then we have a lot of history to discuss!

    Peace.

    R

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        Sorry about that, R, I must have missed your comment. So why did I pick Evangelicalism over Catholicism? Good question.

        I deeply respect my Catholic brothers and sisters. I have some of them that are excellent friends of mine and they have shown that they do have a true faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

        Personally, the reason why I don’t believe in Catholicism is because I believe that they have extra biblical teachings that are contradictory to what the Bible teaches.

        1. Peter –

          Had you been indoctrinated into Catholicism rather than Evangelicalism, would you feel differently? Do Catholic teachings affirm your 3 underground reasons why Christians don’t agree about the Bible?

          By what method do we know which stance is correct??

          R

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            Hi R, if I had been indoctrinated into Catholicism rather than evangelicalism, would I feel differently? I don’t think so. That’s because I was indoctrinated into a denomination known as Coptic Orthodoxy. It has some similarities to Catholicism but it also has its differences. Yet I left that denomination and moved over to Protestantism.

            Do Catholic teachings affirm my 3 underground reasons why Christians don’t agree about the Bible? I’m not really sure. Can you just picture the Pope agreeing with point number two about God’s teaching methods being more awesome than Mr. Miyagi? LOL, 😀

            1. Peter –

              Pretty cool that you switched streams (denominations)! I assume this was based on information you discovered as you gained knowledge, self reflected, etc. This gives me hope that the trend of people moving away from religion altogether will continue!

              R

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                Thanks R, I appreciate your comment. This may come as a surprise to you, but I’m actually not a religious person. I’m not a fan of religion at all. But I would consider myself a spiritual person. And the reason why I left that the denomination is because I didn’t feel God’s presence in the church.

  16. Just a few thoughts:

    Who can see all truth at once? If you gave a human a million years, would he have all understanding? Now, what if that human didn’t actually want the truth but wanted to use Truth for self advantage? How hard would it be then to see the Truth?

    We know in part and we see in part and we all are in varying stages of our walk in life and with Life and that walk changes on a moment by moment basis throughout every day we live as we grow in understanding.

    Also, there is a big difference between knowing and believing.

    Example:

    One might be told a burner is hot and choose to believe the report and even tell others it is hot to remind himself of his new concept, but touch it while its hot and you will know it is hot and you will speak with greater conviction and find yourself free from the inner struggle of ‘reminding’.

    Most religions are simply theories about life and existence; theories that individuals are using or not using depending on conviction. Have you noticed that angry religious people have misinformed theories? Theories that do not really work but are being held to fervently create much anger and frustration and hate which results in violence, arguing, and cruelty.

  17. Whew~! Truly enjoy reading everyone’s comments, Peter!
    “What is one reason why you think Christians don’t agree with everything in the Bible?” – Many of the commentators I agree with. Mainly though, in my humble opinion, I think the denominations of churches cause much confusion when it comes to God’s Word, the Bible.
    Having left the Catholic Church at age 15 (‘Thank You, Sweet Jesus!), back then we were discouraged from reading the Bible, but to ask a priest or nun any spiritual questions. Their answers frustrated me, even angered me.
    I believe Jesus’ Holy Spirit helps one to fully comprehend what our Father is teaching us kids through His Holy Word. (And we all “grow” spiritually at different paces. To argue, debate on the Bible is senseless when it takes away the GOOD NEWS of the Gospels: Confessing our sins, repenting, and receiving Jesus (Yeshua) as our Lord, Savior, and King. Yes?)

    God’s wonderful blessings & His sustaining graces be showered upon EACH of you, my precious siblings in Christ Jesus!! ~ Patty

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      Thanks Patty, I do agree with you that the Holy Spirit helps one to fully comprehend what our heavenly Father is teaching us through the Bible. There was another gentleman who had a question about Catholicism. So can you please briefly share, Patty, about why you left Catholicism?

  18. Hi Peter, I have just come to know your blog through google. I just want to say I admire very much the grace you extend to all people and willingness to engage with people who are seeking. Your writing is easy to understand and your tone is very gracious. It has encouraged me a lot. May the Lord strengthen you and continue to use you everyday :-).

    1. Thank you so much, Keri, for your kind words. Your comments made my day. If if I can help with answering any kind of spiritual questions you might have, then please let me know.

      God bless you always 😊

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