Friday, September 15, 2006

Denominationalism and the Sabbath

Once again the Young Adult Seventh Day Baptists site discusses an interesting topic: Does the Sabbath belief, the only belief that differentiates us from other Baptists, justify a separate denomination? Excerpted from one of the posts:
Is a church or the Church splitting off or dividing over an issue a bad thing? Especially when that split leads to different ministry that could not have taken place when the group was a whole. I think specifically of Peter to the Jews and Paul to the Gentiles. That seems to me what denominations are—split over ideas leading to new ministry.

While the splits may not occur in ideal fashion, God may still use them. Especially since it seems when a new group is formed, there is a renewed vigor for their mission—even if this energy stems from spite. I am thinking here of what Paul said in Philippians:

"Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of partisanship, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in that I rejoice." (1:15-18)

My short point is this: Denominations are good. Each denomination services a different niche (to put it in marketing terms). I praise God for denominations, and I think we should pray for other denominations, because there is a diversity which allows for greater outreach to different people.
The discussion also has good things to say about the significance and importance of Sabbath observance.

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