There are Methodist, Episcopal, Baptist, Amish, Catholic, Mennonite, Lutheran, Assemblies of God, and et el. I believe I could fill this entire page with just names of different "religions", or as they are officially classified – denominations. Each are convinced they have the answer – the correct path of this thing we call worshiping God. Many, in fact, most are simple a factional split from one of the others. There are so many it makes one wonder – why? More importantly – as I am asked repeatedly, which is the right church to attend?
Truthfully, – without counting any of the cataloged cultural denominations – there are only three basic churches that center themselves in the Person of Jesus the Christ. There is the Protestant, Catholic, and we must include the Judaism, because like it or not, they are tied to the Christ, though they deny Him at this time. To make thing more confusing for many is advancing foreign religions like Islam, in America have Islam, Buddha, and a dozen others. However, we excuse these because they have no attachment in the Christ. They do not necessarily deny Him, but neither is he relevant to them. Again, for most in America, at this time, previously mentioned three are our concern.
The defining factor between the three all have to do with the Christ. (By the way, Christ is not Jesus' last name it is His title. The fundamental difference with the Christ is Judaism is that they are still looking for Him to appear. There is no period, for them, where Christ comes to earth, dies on a Cross-, and ascends for an era. In their belief system, the Christ comes once, sets up His Throne and restores Israel to its former glory as in the days of David and Solomon. At this day, they (believing Jews) still live under the Law of Moses, and not the Law of Grace.
The difference between Catholicism and Protestantism is complicated, but the two deeply diving factors between them lies in the position of a Pope who rules over all the Church, and their exalting of Mary the physical mother of Jesus. Obviously, it goes much deeper than that, but this is not thesis, just a simple article. They do indeed believe in the rational Christ and His eternal return to set up His Kingdom here on earth. Their worship is quite ritualistic, and it can be beautiful.
Protestants, on the other hand, are the rebels in this cause. They began liking things simple, with the preaching of salvation for all, and a desire to conform everyone to their concept of Christianity. They are Christ centered, and while they generally have some kind of President staying over their conviction for a period of them, the Pastor of the local church is generally the head. Before the glass cathedrals, and the mega-churches, (these are more corporations than they are a traditional church), the primary thrust of the Protestantism was simplicity so as not to usurp the kingship of Jesus the Christ.
Therefore, that leaves us with the original question, of which one of these is the true church of Jesus Christ. That can not be answers through condemnation or buildings. The heart of an individual can only answer that. Read this entire sentence, please: the true church is the heart of a person, but that does not mean that I advocate the absence or denial of the social setting of a "church." Does God command us to go to church? The correct answer is no, contrary to what Pastors will tell you that according to Hebrews 10:25 it is a hard command. Doctrine (religious law) is always set (according to Scripture) but two or more witnesses (statements). You will not find the attending church statement a second time in the New Testament.
I know someone will say, "We have the third Command in Exodus 20: 8 that says" Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy "(KJV). we also discover that nine of the ten Laws are repeated somewhere in the New Testament. The missing tenth Law is the Sabbath Law. to be holy. The Sabbath, by the way is Saturday, not Sunday.
Okay, we still have not answered the original question of which church is the true Church. The answer is simple; it is the church of your heart. Listen to the word of Jesus who set this right. He asked a strange woman simply for a drink of water, and the conversation grew into one the most important statements we have on record. We find this in the Gospel of John, and … "The woman said to Him," Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men bought to worship. "Jesus said to her," Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when either in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth "(Jn 4: 19-24 ~ NASB)
You, child of God, are the true church in this world, and as the world looks at you (and me), they see the Church of Jesus Christ. When a group of us comes together on a Sunday, or Monday, or Saturday, the world is actually witnessing a conglomeration of churches. Within each Christian God Himself resides right there in our spirit by the means of the Holy Spirit. If the world does not think much of the Church, then that means they do not think much of us, because that building we like to go to on Sunday is NOT the Church – we are.
The true denomination is not Baptist, Catholic, or Mennonite, it us the individual Christian, and trust me, one is no better than the other is. One may question the role of Pastors and Teachers. They are people who, be the will of God, have been singled out to work at learning the scripture, praying over it, seeking the face of God, so that they can pass along in a flood, which has trickled into them from their labor . We need pastors and we need teachers. I love to teach, however, the position is a heavy one, as Scripture warns that those individuals will carry a greater judgment. We are supposed to know better, is what that means.
In whatever church you choose, do not look for programs, look for God, and if He is there, then your in the right church.