Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
I have certainly asked myself this question in the past, and even gone as far as attending different denominations for extended periods of time. In each case I have met individuals who oozed out the love of God, and were sincere in their beliefs. On the other hand I have also seen the hypocrisy in almost every denomination I attended stating that their view is the only absolute truth. The scriptures tell all believers to "speak the same thing": 1Co_1:10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. Php_2:2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Php_3:16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. and to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling". Jesus gave us the key to truth: Joh_16:13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. It is imperative to listen to the voice of God, to be led by His Spirit, and to weigh every word of man against the Word of God. Denominations are man made, but mostly with good intentions. We as Christians need to constantly remind ourselves that Jesus gives us freedom and abundant life. If a doctrine, pastor, or religion stifles any of these areas, you can bet that truth is far from them. Neh_8:10 "... Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."
I have come to the conclusion that ALL "denominations" (beginning with what is now called the Catholic church) are the result of either adding to, or taking away from, the Scriptures. There are matters "hard to be understood" in the Scriptures. Satan is adept at getting believers to try to explain the unexplainable. When you do that, you add to the Scriptures. Arminianism vs Calvinism is a classic example. NOBODY understands the relationship between God's sovereignty and man's response. But many keep trying to explain it. The result? Well, look what the Scripture says: "But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels." (2Ti 2:23 NAU) How to tell the truth. Go to the Scriptures. Read them. Get familiar with them. Dr Walter Martin used to relate how they trained people to recognize counterfeit currency: they would spend weeks handling only...the real thing. Then, when they picked up a counterfeit, they instantly knew it was fake. Same with the Bible. IT is the REAL thing! Read it. Then again. And again. And again. And you know what? You will be able to recognize someone (or even a whole movement) that either adds to or takes away from the Scriptures. And, big #1: ask God to guide you. It may or may not be His will for you to be healthy, or lay hands on the sick and see them healed--but it is DEFINITELY his will that you know and believe the truth of His word! "In doctrine showing uncorruptness". Be prepared to feel lonely, but be prepared to be used by the Lord to bring truth to whatever fellowship He leads you to. And pray that God our Father will bring a mighty move of His Holy Spirit, that will unite all his born-again children in ALL the truth. No man can do this. But God not only CAN, but, "is able to do exceedingly abundantly above al that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us."
This is a critically important question, for on it hangs your salvation. "You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free" John 8:32. So, what is truth? 1. Jesus is Truth - John 14:6 2. The Torah (the reflection of God's character) is truth - Psalm 119:160; Psalm 119:43, So when you see any denomination which defends 'pruning' the truth - the Torah, then flee for your life. Bless.
My short and to the point answer is this: "Read His Word! Study His Word! "Meditate on His Word". God gave us the very best approach or direct methodology's for His children to "Know His Truth": His written Word, the Bible. Listening to the many, many voices in and of this world that can be misleading or even guided by "the enemy" if we are not vigilant in our efforts "to seek ye first the Lord daily in all that we do, say or think" while we allow Him "to direct our every pathway that leads to His righteousness". All in all, the teachings of The New Testament--the Gospel of our Lord and Savior-- is to be our guide and source of Truth along with reading of the Old Testament in its written form as the very foundation of our Faith! Major point is this: Allow God to "guide you into all Truth". Your church affiliation and fellowship needs to be one of pure pursuit of learning, understanding and contribution in each person's efforts to "serving our Lord Jesus Christ." If for any reason, that congregation doesn't pass the tests of "God's Truth" then find elsewhere to worship and "to be led by His Holy Spirit of Truth". --Andy--
Within Christianity there is a division of Sola Fida or Faith and works. Eph 2:8,9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Any denomination that teaches that both are necessary for salvation, is anti-Biblical. A really easy way to identify cults is to watch for denominations that add church teachings--as in the Magisterium, Book of Mormon, Watchtower tracts, etc--to Scripture, which is wrong.. These are clearly cultic, as the Scriptures say in Rev 22:18, 19: I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. Now we are down to main line Protestant religions. Like Andy said, it is the Scriptural integrity that is crucial. Personally, I prefer non-denominational evangelical churches. The Baptist denomination seems to me to be the most Biblically literal. However there are some true Christian churches that vary on beliefs. The Presbyterian church practices baby Baptisms. As long as they are truly "Born Again" I don't think this is a major problem. As Luther said..."Sola Fida, Solus Christus, Sola Scriptura..." (Faith alone, in Christ alone, through the Scriptures alone) is the answer. Do watch out for the wolves in sheep's clothing. The renegade churches, like the Westboro "Baptist" church are out there. You can tell a tree by it's fruit, and their fruit is rotten. Maranatha
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.