Why Are There So Many Christian Denominations?
The Bible’s answer
People have used the teachings of Jesus Christ to form a variety of “Christian” denominations. However, the Bible indicates that there is only one true form of Christianity. Consider just three reasons for reaching this conclusion.
Jesus said that he taught “the truth,” and early Christians referred to their religion as “the truth.” (John 8:32; 2 Peter 2:2; 2 John 4; 3 John 3) These expressions show that those who promote doctrines that conflict with Jesus’ teachings are not practicing a true form of Christianity.
The Bible teaches that Christians “should all speak in agreement.” (1 Corinthians 1:10) However, many Christian denominations disagree on teachings as basic as what it means to be a Christian. Such denominations cannot all be right.—1 Peter 2:21.
Jesus prophesied that many would claim to be Christian yet fail to obey his commands and that he would reject such ones. (Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 6:46) Some people would be misled by religious leaders who corrupt true worship to further their own interests. (Matthew 7:15) However, other people would actually prefer imitation Christianity because it would tell them what they want to hear rather than the truth from the Bible.—2 Timothy 4:3, 4.
In his illustration of the wheat and the weeds, Jesus foretold a great rebellion (apostasy) against true Christianity. (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43) For a long period of time, true Christians and false Christians would be indistinguishable. Just as Jesus foretold, the apostasy flourished after the apostles died. (Acts 20:29, 30) While apostate teachings may vary, the various forms of imitation Christianity have all “deviated from the truth.”—2 Timothy 2:18.
Jesus also predicted that the distinction between true and false Christianity would eventually become clear. This has happened in our time, during the “conclusion of a system of things.”—Matthew 13:30, 39.