A House Divided

Uploaded by TheThinkingAtheist on Dec 2, 2009

Abraham Lincoln famously said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” And
what example of unity could be greater than the church…the literal house of God.
The largest “house” in the world today is the Roman Catholic Church, which believes
in the intercession on our behalf by saints, purgatory, sacraments, praying to Jesus’
mom, and to vacuum-seal their supreme pontiff in a Pope-mobile to maintain maximum freshness.
Catholicism comes in really handy when people want to live however they want, and just reboot
with a few “Hail Marys” every few weeks.
However, Martin Luther, the german monk of the 1500s, disagreed on much of Catholicism.
He believed man was saved by grace and faith in Jesus Christ himself. So he “divided”
himself from the Catholic church and, naturally, was excommunicated and endured threats on
his life while founding the Lutherans. Today, American Lutherans are “divided” into
several major church bodies, the largest being the ELCA and they spend significant amounts
of time arguing whether it’s ok to allow homosexuals to join.
Of course, these arguments aren’t a problem with another protestant denomination, the
Baptists, who apparently came out of the Anabaptists, who were spiritual ancestors of the Mennonites
and Amish.
You might have heard of the Amish. They’re the ones who make delicious meals from scratch,
churn butter by hand, scorn the invention of the zipper, and believe natural gas is
holy while electricity is not.
The Baptists have no such qualms, thank goodness. They love electricity, especially when it
comes time to turn the heaters on in the baptismal pool. The protestant church is “divided”
on the method for a good baptism. Where the Catholics might dab and the Methodists might
sprinkle, Baptists won’t be satisfied until you’re holding your breath. Baptists also
frown on gambling, alcohol and tobacco, but they’re “divided” with stricter churches
who forbid television and movies. And, despite the promotion of dance throughout the Old
Testament. Baptists are certainly not allowed to dance unless they call it something harmless…like
“Liturgical Movement.”
Methodists, traced back to Reverend John Wesley who came out of the Anglican church in the
1700s, love to dance. Steeped in tradition, Methodists remember the Saints, put their
ministers on sides of the stage (apparently to make more room for God), and are themselves
“divided” into many doctrinal groups: Weslean Methodists…United Methodists…Free
Methodists… and so on.
Not to be outdone, American Baptists really got into the “division” thing, splitting
into Southern Baptists, Free Will Baptists, Full Gospel Baptists, Evangelical Free Baptists,
Reformed Baptists, Seventh Day Baptists, United Baptists, Independent Baptists and many more.
Of course, one thing the Baptists can agree on is that they’re “divided” with the
Assemblies of God, the world’s largest Pentecostal denomination. Oh sure…the A.O.G. folks baptize
by immersion, but they also embrace the phenomenon of “Speaking in Tongues” and are also
“divided” with the Baptists on whether or not you receive the Holy Spirit at the
moment of salvation. Baptists say it happens in one serving. Pentecostals require a second
Try this experiment. Get a bunch of Protestants into the same room and see how divided they
are on almost any biblical topic. Is the bible literal or metaphor? Which bible translation
is most accurate…the KJV, NKJV, NIV, NAS, New Living Translation, the Amplified Bible
and a host of others? Is sickness due to sin, or just part of life? Are Christians allowed
to be rich, or obligated to live meagerly? Is there an unforgivable sin? Can man be demon
possessed? Can you lose your salvation, or are all believers “safe forever” Will
we rise to an actual Heaven, or will the earth one day become Heaven? Are you Pre-Trib, A-Trib
or Post-Trib? Is Hell a fiery pit, or just a separation from God. Will it last forever,
or is it temporary? You see what we’re talking about….right?
These are the basics. Fundamental tenants of the faith. And yet the church can often
only unify on the idea that it’s absolutely “divided” on just about everything. How
else do you explain over 33 thousand denominations of Christianity alone?
Perhaps that’s why Abraham Lincoln himself once said, “The Bible is not my book nor
Christianity my profession. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements
of Christian dogma."
Here at The Thinking Atheist….THAT’S something we can agree on.