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Why Are There So Many Christian Denominations

Why are there so many Christian church denominations? How do you know which type of Christianity is one with Christ? You asked, the Bible answers.


Am I In A Denomination?

How many and why are there so many different denominations under


Ann Pham

San Diego, California

Brother Bob Pellien: Thank you, Ann, for your question. It’s an excellent one. First of all, dear friends, it’s important to realize that, well, the word “denomination” is not a biblical word. 

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The word “denomination” is not in the Bible.

Brother Bob: It’s a word created by man. It’s a principle created by man. It’s a religious teaching—man-made—and it has no place in what the Bible teaches as true Christianity. 

 “Denomination” is a term that implies separation and division, lack of unity among Christian-professing religions. People ask the question, “Are you in a denomination?” It allows for [the] grouping of congregations or denominations to become autonomous or separated completely from other groups under the umbrella of Christianity and separated in name, separated in beliefs, separated in faith, separated in worship practices. And we can see that in the different Protestant denominations, whose root word, by the way, comes from “protest.” They protested against Catholicism. They protested the beliefs of the Catholic Church and created then different religious denominations: Anglicans, for example, Baptists, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and all of those so-called denominations.

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Denominations and divisions are in fact the opposite of how the Bible describes about true Christianity.

Brother Bob: So, denominations, divisions, are in fact the opposite of what the Bible actually describes about true Christianity. So, Ann, thank you for your question. Dear friends, today we will study the proof from the most credible source of all in the world, which is, of course, the Bible. So, Ann, it’s important to understand how does the Bible teach true Christianity because, unfortunately, it’s gotten all twisted up in the false teachings of Christian-professing denominations, and so many people have just then blindly followed and believed in them. So let’s take a look at what the Bible really teaches.

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Question: How does the Bible describe Christianity?

Brother Bob: How does the Bible really describe true Christianity? Can anyone just claim to truly be Christian just because they are a member of a Christian-professing denomination? Let’s turn to the Holy Scriptures for the answer. Apostle John in 1 John 2:4 says:

Someone may say, “I am a Christian; I am on my way to heaven; I belong to Christ.” But if he doesn’t do what Christ tells him to, he is a liar.

[1 John 2:4 The Living Bible]

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Question: Can one just preach his own doctrine, give a group a denominational name and call it Christian?

Brother Bob: So dear friends, can anyone just preach their own doctrine, give the group denominational name and then automatically consider and call it Christian? No, it’s not like that.

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Question: How many Churches did Jesus build?

Brother Bob: In fact, how many Churches did our Lord Jesus Christ actually build? Was it a multitude? Matthew 16: 18. Let’s let Jesus Himself give the answer and He does so here like this:

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

[Matthew 16:18 New King James Version]

Brother Bob: So, dear friends, clearly in our study we know that Christ built only one. He said it profoundly here, “I will build My church.” He did not say, “I’m going to build a whole bunch of different denominations and they’re going to have a whole bunch of different names, and different practices, and different formats of worship, different faiths, different baptisms.” No. He said, “I will build My church.” Singular. By the way, what was its name? What did the first century Apostles, Christians, know the true Church to be called?

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Question: What was its name?

Brother Bob: In Acts 20:28, we turn once again to the Bible for its answer and it reads this way:

Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.

[Acts 20:28 George Lamsa Translation]

Brother Bob: They knew it to be one Church, the Church Of Christ. When Jesus said, “I will build My Church,” the Apostles believed in it and they called it the Church Of Christ. What is the nature of this one true Church Of Christ?

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Question: Does it consist of separate groups with different beliefs and practices?

Brother Bob: Does it consist of denominations, little separate groups with different beliefs and practices all autonomous or uniquely their own? And then just by their words, they will say, “Well, we’re all under the umbrella of Christianity.” Is that the true Christian Church Of Christ that Jesus built? How is that described in the Bible? Ephesians, chapter 4, where Apostle Paul wrote of this very point beginning in verse 4:

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

[Ephesians 4:4-6 New King James Version]

Brother Bob: This is the description of the one true Church Of Christ recorded in the Bible. It’s the exact opposite of the whole concept of popular denominational Christianity and the evidence is here. That’s in the Bible. One faith. One doctrine. One baptism. They all were absolutely singular and united; not autonomous and separated from one another, everyone able to go ahead and establish their own name, establish their own doctrinal practices. There’s no such thing like that in the true biblical Church Of Christ. 

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Question: Is there salvation for anyone part of a Christian-professing organization that doesn’t bear the name of Christ?

Brother Bob: Here’s a question for you, dear viewers and listeners. Is there salvation for anyone who’s part of a Christian-professing organization, or denomination that doesn’t bear that name of Christ? Is there salvation in any other name? Because maybe someone will be saying, “Well this is no big deal, anyway. I’m still Christian even though I’m not in the Church built by Christ that bears His name, Church Of Christ. Is it important that I’m really in the Church that bears His name that He built, that He gave its teachings to? Can’t I be in the church that’s under a different name? Won’t that still be okay as long as I’ll call it “Christian”? Oh, no. Listen to the answer of the Bible, dear friends. In the book of Acts 4:10,12:

let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

[Acts 4:10,12 New King James Version]

Brother Bob: No other name. It is by that name of Christ whereby we must be saved. So we can’t remove the name of Christ and call it, well, we’re going to call it Lutheran Church now. Remove the name of Christ, let’s call it Presbyterian Church. Remove the name of Christ, let’s call it the Holy Roman Catholic Apostolic Church. Remove the name of Christ, let’s call it Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Let’s call it the name of the town that we live in and call it the Community Township Church. Remove the name of Christ. You can’t do that. Why not? Because the Bible said there is salvation in no other. 

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Question: What was the prayer of Jesus regarding the unity of His people?

Brother Bob: In John 17 it records a prayer of Jesus to the Father. What was the prayer of Christ concerning the absolute unity of His people? Did He pray that the Father would approve denominations? Did He pray that it would be okay to be separated, divided, different names, practices, doctrines, and such things as that? Let’s take a look, dear friends. We turn to that prayer of the Lord Jesus recorded here in the book of John chapter 17, and let’s begin this prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ in verse 21:

that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that you sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

[John 17:21-23 New King James Version]

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“Be one”

Brother Bob: “Be one,” said Jesus. In fact, He said it so many times in that prayer to the Father. He said, “be one,” not in denominations, separated, and multiplied in different ways and formats. No. Well, what if some would say though, “Well, what’s the harm if we follow a denominational preacher instead of a preacher sent by God inside the one true Church Of Christ? We’re listening to a preacher anyway,” they might say. The answer of the Bible. Is it okay if we will listen to all these different denominational preachers preaching in all the different doctrines and formats and ways and giving their denominations different names and titles and such things as which is very different than what Jesus built? II Peter 3:16:

as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.

[2 Peter 3:16 New King James Version]

Brother Bob: Dear friends, is it okay? It’s not okay because when they twist the Scriptures it’s to their own destruction. If you don’t want to be destroyed you can’t go along and follow along with them to their destruction. But one may ask, “Well, what do you mean? How do they twist the truth which brings about their destruction? Let’s take a look and read the very same verse, 2 Peter 3:16. Let’s read it in another rendition of the Scriptures; God’s Word translation of the Bible. It’s worded this way, I quote:

He talks about this subject in all his letters. Some things in his letters are hard to understand. Ignorant people and people who aren’t sure of what they believe distort what Paul says in his letters the same way they distort the rest of the Scriptures. These people will be destroyed.

[2 Peter 3:16 God’s Word]

Brother Bob: The Bible describes that they will be destroyed. Why? Because they’re distorting it. They’re twisting. They’re making it distorted. They’re not preaching the truth and that would lead them and their followers to destruction. So, you know, in any situation in life, for that matter, who wants to follow a leader who will twist the truth, or, as Apostle Peter even used the terminology, considered ignorant. And what more dear friends if we’re going to put our spiritual well-being in their hands? That’s what leaders of denominations preach. Are they true preachers? No way and, to put it plainly, they are liars.

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Denominations or division or separation under Christianity is not a teaching of the Bible.

Brother Bob: Denominations, or division, or separation under the so-called umbrella of Christianity are not the teachings of the Bible. The truth of the matter is, Christ established only one true Church, a Church that is unified in faith, unified in doctrine, unified in worship practices, unified under one Church Administration governing all congregations of the Church around the world. That’s how it’s described in the Scriptures. And why is this the truth? Because that’s in the Bible.

Dear friends, when you’re ready to learn more about these fundamental truths, the teachings found inside the Church Of Christ, please visit

Brother Bob: There you’re going to find various series of programs all dedicated to answering your spiritual questions. You can also follow our Facebook pages at Iglesia Ni Cristo News and Updates and Iglesia Ni Cristo Media.

Brother Bob: There you can view more of our shows and see how the Church gets involved and interacts with the communities wherein our congregations can be found. And to visit a house of worship please visit to find the one closest to you.

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Brother Bob: Thank you all for joining us. We’ll see you again next time on That’s in the Bible.

**Please feel free to email your questions to Make sure to like and subscribe to this podcast, That’s In The Bible, and turn on your notifications for new episodes. I’m Bro. Bob Pellien, and we hope you join us next time for more programming of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, Church Of Christ. To watch episodes of That’s In The Bible, go to incmedia.orgo. Thanks again for listening. God bless.


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Why Are There So Many Christian Denominations