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 four 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. This includes those who worship the trinity(+1,2,3,4,5,6,7), the cross, saints, Mary, Hell(+1), immortal soul(+1,2), apostolic succession and many other false doctrines not found in the Bible.
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.
- Many self proclaimed Christians go to war, often for oil and riches for their government under the hollow pretext of fighting for freedom. When the government years later admit it was a sham and the invaded countries were innocent, millions upon millions are dead and even more yet dying, the very same christians ignore it and often sign up for even more war. But what do the Bible say about war?
Obedience to God. The Bible says that God’s servants would “beat their swords into plowshares” and not “learn war anymore.”—Isaiah 2:4.
Obedience to Jesus. The apostle Peter was told by Jesus: “Return your sword to its place, for all those who take the sword will perish by the sword.” (Matthew 26:52) Jesus thus showed that his followers would not take up weapons of warfare.
Jesus’ disciples obey his command to be “no part of the world” by remaining strictly neutral in political matters. (John 17:16) They do not protest against military actions or interfere with those who choose to serve in the armed forces.
Love for others. Jesus commanded his disciples to “love one another.” (John 13:34, 35) They would thus form an international brotherhood in which no member would ever wage war against his brother or sister.—1 John 3:10-12.
- Do not kill. God refused to listen to Israelites who were guilty of murder. Ask yourself; Are you a soldier? Do you engaged in war or are you ready to do so, even against other christians? God does not listen to those who are determined to offend him by their actions. For example, God told those who claimed to serve him but acted rebelliously: “
Even though you make many prayers, I am not listening; with bloodshed your very hands have become filled.” (Isaiah 1:15)
The example of early Christians. The Encyclopedia of Religion and War states: “The earliest followers of Jesus rejected war and military service,” recognizing those practices as “incompatible with the love ethic of Jesus and the injunction to love one’s enemies.” Likewise, German theologian Peter Meinhold said of those early disciples of Jesus: “Being a Christian and a soldier was considered irreconcilable.” How many Christians do you know today, that would rather go to jail, or even die, than accept military service?
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.
And I will certainly magnify myself and sanctify myself and make myself known before the eyes of many nations; and they will have to know that I am Jehovah.’