We Should All Love Jesus In Our Own Way

At least that is what I was told by somebody I know. But I think that if we claim that Christian denominations exist first and foremost as a diversity of worshiping and loving God in different ways, we fool ourselves. If the only difference between a Catholic and a Baptist were that we sang different songs or were in different poses as we pray, I doubt my aunt would have sent me a letter saying that she was disappointed in my decision to be Catholic. If the only difference between a Catholic and an Evangelical were the prayers we uttered, there wouldn’t be so much hostility between my Cru friends and myself. There are much deeper differences, disagreements in what the truth actually is. You actually don’t have to leave the Catholic Church to find people loving Jesus in their own way, while still holding the truths of the Catholic Church. You have many different orders of sisters and brothers who devote time or service or prayer to God, whatever it is that that group is called to do. You have contemporary Masses and traditional Masses, that are different in the music, but still hold the same liturgical worship, and reverence for the Eucharist. The Catholic Church has the diversity, that some will claim denominationalism is.

Denominations do not simply expand the way we love Jesus, but actually redefine the truth. Catholics believe in the Real Presence of the Eucharist, Protestants do not. That is more than loving Jesus differently, but is actually a redefinition of the truth that Jesus taught, and it is no small thing. Catholics believe that Christ gave us a teaching authority to infallibly interpret infallible Scripture, Protestants do not. Again that is no small thing, and in fact has worked out quite poorly for Protestants.

The point I’m trying to make is that yes, there are differences in worship styles of different denominations, but that is not why they are a separate denomination. At some point in time, they disagreed with some teaching of the group they were with and so they left, redefined that point and established a new church. That is what denominations are all about.

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One thought on “We Should All Love Jesus In Our Own Way

  1. Excellent commentary. I agree that differences in denominations go deeper than worship styles. Evangelicals, in particular, have more of a life focus (spreading the Gospel) than some other Protestants do. But even within the Catholic church, you have those who focus on mission work (Jesuits) and those who are more charity work in their local communities, so even within the Catholic church you can find a diversity of focuses.

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