‘Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined and every city or household divided against itself will not stand’ (Mt 12:25).
Dr. Josue Okoth
Today we have over 41,000 Christian denominations, sects, and cults in the world, and this number is steadily increasing. All these Churches claim to be the truthful Church.
This has resulted into ‘lukewarm and spiritually comfortable' Christians. Christians are lost, moving from Church to Church looking for the right one.
‘Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined and every city or household divided against itself will not stand' (Mt 12:25). Otherwise, Christianity will not be different from the story of the ‘Animal Farm' by George Orwell, a fairy story where animals rose up against the farmer Jones.
In the 16th century, the world witnessed major splits in the Christian Church led by Martin Luther (1483-1546) and John Calvin (1509-1564). King Henry VIII of England (1491-1547) took up the new teaching and English Parliament passed Acts of Supremacy in 1534 making him the head of the Church of England, which later evolved into the Anglican Communion.
The Reformation Study Bible (English Standard Version, 2015) states "that the Reformers were sovereignly raised up by God". However, one million dollar question is, ‘Did Jesus authorize the reformation? Where is the evidence?' Without evidence, reformation will remain in human creation.
In Matthew 16: 17-19 he assured St. Peter that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church he was to build. In John 17 he prayed to the Father to protect his disciples and all his believers to be one ‘just as you are in me and I am in you'.
In John 14: 26 he promised the Counselor, the Holy Spirit to ‘teach them everything' and in John 16: 13 he said ‘when the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth'.
These are strong assurances by Jesus and any change authorized by him cannot go unnoticed. In the early Church, in 1 Cor 1:10-17, we see how St. Paul bitterly criticized the Corinthians for division, saying, ‘Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?...'
Jesus taught by miracles; he said, "Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders, you will never believe" (Jn 4:48). A miraculous sign was necessary in this regard of division in the Church.
Take for instance, how he converted Saul (Paul), a key person in Christianity. In the Act 9:1-9, at Damascus on his journey to persecute Christians, suddenly light from heaven flashed around him and he fell down when a voice came, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?
And Saul answered, ‘Who are you, Lord? And he said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.' St. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians 4: 4-6 said, ‘There is one body and one Spirit… one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.' This should be the identity of Christianity.
Dr. Okoth is a Concerned Christian and Citizen