Sunday Devotional: A house divided against itself cannot stand

Mark 3:23-25, 33-35

Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables,
“. . . If a kingdom is divided against itself,
that kingdom cannot stand.
And if a house is divided against itself,
that house will not be able to stand . . . .
Who are my mother and my brothers?”
And looking around at those seated in the circle he said,
“Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of God
is my brother and sister and mother.”

From ReligionFacts:

For the first thousand years of Christianity, there were no denominations within Christianity as there are today. Various offshoot groups certainly existed, but most were small and quickly snuffed out as “heresies.”

The first major division within Christendom came in 1054, with the Great Schism between the Western Church and the Eastern Church. From that point forward, there were two large branches of Christianity, which came to be known as the Catholic Church (in the West) and the Orthodox Church (in the East).

The next major division was the Protestant Reformation, sparked in 1517 by Martin Luther’s publication of 95 Theses against certain Catholic practices. By 1529, German princes were demanding the right to choose between Lutheranism and Catholicism in their territories. (These demands were published in a document titled Protestation, giving the Protestant movement its name.)

Meanwhile, “Reformed” Christianity developed in Switzerland based on the teachings of Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin. When it spread to Scotland under John Knox, the Reformed faith became Presbyterianism. Switzerland was also the birthplace of the Anabaptists, spiritual ancestors of today’s Amish, Mennonites, Quakers, and Baptists.

Anglicanism was established in 1534 when England’s King Henry VIII broke from the authority of the Pope. Anglicanism is often regarded as a “Middle Way” between Catholicism and Protestantism , while others categorize it as Protestant. Anglicanism became Episcopalianism in the United States. Methodism, based on the teachings of John Wesley, also has its roots in Anglicanism.

Those who remained within the fold of Roman Catholicism during the Reformation argued that central regulation of doctrine is necessary to prevent confusion and division within the church and corruption of beliefs. Protestants, on the other hand, insisted that it was precisely this policy of control that had already led to corruption of the true faith. They demanded that believers be allowed to read the Scriptures for themselves (it was previously available only in Latin) and act in accordance with their conscience. This issue of religious authority continues to be a fundamental difference in perspective between Catholic and Orthodox Christians on one hand, and Protestant Christians on the other.

With its emphasis on individual interpretation of scripture and a measure of religious freedom, the Reformation marked not only a break between Protestantism and Catholicism, but the beginning of Christian denominationalism and sectarianism as we know it today. And perhaps not surprisingly, some of the most interesting developments in Christianity have occurred in the United States, where individual freedom in all things is intensely valued. Christian Science, Mormonism, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses are just a few of the major religious movements that have developed in this context.

Today, Christianity encompasses an astounding variety of denominations, sects, and churches. Relationships between these groups range from mutual respect and cooperation to denial that the other group is really “Christian.” Many Christian groups would also refuse the label of “Christian denomination,” considering themselves the only true form of Christianity, not one among many.

Below is a dizzying but still incomplete list of Christian denominations today (Wikipedia):

  1. Catholicism:
    1. Latin (Western Catholic) Church
    2. Eastern Catholic Churches
    3. Independent Catholicism
  2. Eastern Orthodoxy:
    1. Eastern Orthodox Church
    2. Independent Eastern Orthodoxy
    3. Syncretic Eastern Orthodoxy
  3. Oriental Orthodoxy:
    1. Reformed Oriental Orthodoxy
    2. Independent Oriental Orthodoxy
    3. Syncretic Oriental Orthodoxy
  4. Church of the East:
    1. Original Church (prior to 1552)
    2. Successors (post 1552)
  5. Protestantism:
    1. Lutheranism
    2. Anabaptism
    3. Anglicanism
    4. Catholic Apostolic Churches and Irvingism
    5. Pietism
    6. Methodism
    7. The Reformed Tradition (Calvinist):
      1. Continental Reformed churches
      2. Presbyterianism
      3. Congregationalism
    8. Baptists:
      1. Holiness Baptists
      2. Spiritual Baptist Movement
    9. African initiated churches
    10. Quakers:
      1. Shakers
    11. Millerism
    12. Evangelicalism:
      1. Pentecostalism
      2. Uniting/United Churches Movement
      3. Nondenominational Evangelical church movement
      4. Nondenominational Evangelical multisite churches
        1. Internet churches
    13. Other Protestant Christian churches and movements
  6. Messianic Judaism
  7. Nontrinitarianism:
    1. Oneness Pentecostalism
    2. Latter Day Saint movement
    3. Unitarian and Universalist
    4. Bible Student groups
    5. Swedenborgianism
    6. Christian Science
    7. Other nontrinitarian churches
  8. Other Christian groups:
    1. Southcottism
    2. British Israelism
    3. Hebrew Roots
    4. Black Hebrew Israelites
    5. Christian Identity
    6. Positive Christianity
    7. Esoteric Christianity (Gnosticism)
    8. Miscellaneous
  9. Denominationally unaffiliated parachurch organizations
  10. Christian-related movements:
    1. New Thought
    2. Syncretic religions incorporating elements of Christianity

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all my brothers and sisters in Christ,

~Eowyn

18 responses to “Sunday Devotional: A house divided against itself cannot stand

  1. Reblogged this on kommonsentsjane and commented:

    Reblogged on kommonsentsjane/blogkommonsents.

    Sunday Devotional.

    kommonsentsjane

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just reading that list is enough to cause an individual to grow weary.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Rejoice! For Christ Himself has said: “There shall be one fold and one shepherd.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow!
    Dr. Eowyn, a very thorough and succinct, history/list of Christian denominations.
    “if a house is divided against itself,
    that house will not be able to stand”
    -those words are truth plainly put by our Lord and Savior.
    Jesus even said the same about satan. But who can
    cause satan to rise against himself and be divided? God.
    I don’t believe the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit loves one person or denomination more than another. God loves us all.
    Jesus said it best:
    “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
    Our love, trust, respect, and faith for Jesus unites us, and if we lose sight of Him and focus instead on differences instead of love, then we will not stand.
    We are Christians first and foremost and it is the Word that holds us true.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. “Our love, trust, respect, and faith for Jesus unites us, and if we lose sight of Him and focus instead on differences instead of love, then we will not stand”
    Well said Mom. Jesus looks at our hearts thankfully. As someone who has tasted both Protestant and Catholic worlds, my experience is that each of them have certain things the others don’t have. I love the sacraments and think they are so important, and yet there is nothing like knowing Scripture. You have to give everyday Protestants credit for really knowing scripture.Recently I found a teaching ministry online that has really helped me understand scripture in a way that I never did before. It is changing my life.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. And now, thanks to the diabolical actions of Frankenpope in China, we may yet see another split, given that the Chinese communist government demanded a say in the appointment of bishops and cardinals—as Frankenpope agreed!
    We do not know how this all winds up. But it would seem to me that God actually can use even the Devil as His Instrument: The “one-world” religion is coming; Perhaps God can steer that back into the Traditional Latin Rite. It seems impossible now, and, humanly or naturally, it is. But it very well may take the Apocalypse and Armageddon to make it happen.

    It’s funny in a strange way: Protestants have always regarding the Pope as “being in the way” in that such a man would interfere with one’s personal conscience. It would seem to me that Francis is actually doing everything he can to make that so! But, Hey, what’s one more disaster?!?!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Followers of the Apostles’ or Nicene Creed need unity in prayer against the major enemy of God and ourselves. That enemy has many creeds as well, may they be divided.

    Like

  8. I’m very content just being a Christian, a lover and follower of our Lord Jesus Christ ❤
    So many splits and denominations of a religion is rather unfortunate. As Aunt Lulu said, that list is dizzying!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. If Adrian Rogers were still alive and the pastor of a church near me, I would regularly attend his Sunday services.

    But since he isn’t, and the way things are today (with so many so-called “Christian” churches infiltrated by the devil’s minions), I am perfectly content to stick with my daily Bible reading and meditation sessions.

    Many years ago, I asked Christ Yeshua to lead me to the church of His choosing. He has never led me to any church. From that, I can safely figure that the inner church I have become accustomed to is the one He wants me attending.

    I refer to myself as a “Maverick Christian”. I guess that means I’m a member of the Maverick denomination and a proponent of Maverickism. 🙂

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents ‘Battle Of The Bands’

    Liked by 1 person

  10. God Leads Us Along

    Some through the water
    Some through the flood
    Some through the fire
    But all through the blood.

    Some through great sorrow
    But God gives a song
    In the night season
    And all the day long.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. After leaving the Roman Catholic Church at 14yrs old, having been Baptised, First Holy Communion,Confirmed and partaking in Confession,then living about the next 50 years as a heathen and drunken/drugged pagan,agnostic, atheist, and nilhilist, at different times, the last several years I have come back to the Church. I saw too much and barely survived the lifestyle. It literally scared me back to Jesus. I have been convinced there is no other way. The more I see how the world is disintegrating, the stronger my faith becomes.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. God bless you Carl (and all the rest here). I too went through some changes on my way to geezerhood. I am safely here (but by the grace of God).
    “Speaking the truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act.” Geo. Orwell

    Liked by 3 people

  13. The Lord is my shepherd. I am a simple Christian, who doesn’t seek a denominational translation through any man.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. traildustfotm

    Yes, this is very troubling, but it’s the mess we inherited when we were born in this age. It has been my experience that there often seems to be a higher unity among believers that transcends the battles of their warring denominations. I feel it often, for instance, on this blog. PS: my current denomination refuses to acknowledge itself as a denomination, which to me seems the height of arrogance.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this comprehensive and insightful post, especially the way you signed off-my sentiments exactly. I love my Catholic Faith and the fact that I can enter my Parish anytime and kneel before the Blessed Sacrament, the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, I am truly blessed in every way; Our Lord, Jesus, made Himself accessible to us. St. Thomas More died for the Catholic Faith and stated right before he was to be beheaded by the orders of Henry VIII, “Tell the King I was his good servant, but I am God’s first.” Praise and honor to the Church Triumphant, united and holy before the Most Holy Trinity.

    Liked by 1 person

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