Like most religions of the world, the Christian faith is divided into many different denominations and sects that are based off of their own interpretations of the sacred text that they follow. Because of the inconsistent interpretations of the text, the Church of today is left with no one true understanding of what it means to “go by the book”. This leads individual Christians to question their faith: its traditions, its declared moral character, and its perception of how one sees the god that they worship. Even though understanding the path set by the examples within the sacred text should be the foremost important thing in a faith that promotes love and unity through Christ Jesus, the Christian majority does not address these differences appropriately outside the walls of their own denominations, thus leaving the church in a theological war.
The Bible—the ancient and sacred text of the Christians—is full of many different and controversial grey areas, topics, and themes that are not completely understood by the Church. These include ideas such as: civil rights (oppression of woman & the nature of homosexuality), traditional anomalies (the relevance of baptism & communion), ways of practice (charismatic vs. conservatism & moral behavior), and the concept of who Jehovah God and Jesus Christ are. These hot topics within the faith can be interpreted in many different ways depending on how you look at the context that surrounds them.
One thing that is clear in the Bible is the unity that is to be had between the parishioners of the Church. The Bible describes the Church as a whole as a the body of Christ; some are the feet and some are the hands, but more often than not the body does not communicate very well on who is the head—or better said as who is right in there interpretations and practice. This has left the divided Church in a theological war that is rarely spoken about in a public and sensible debate.
For example, one might hear from the pulpit of a Southern Baptist pastor that the Catholics are wrong because of their practice of the Eucharist and the baptism of newborn babies; while in reverse, a Catholic priest would stress the importance of these rituals as vital to a secure walk with Christ. Though each authority figure from both denominations have the scholarly wisdom to back their claim, it is rarely addressed between the two of them that there is an inconsistency within the faith that subscribes to the same deity.
Another look at this denial of disagreement is seen between that of the charismatic denominations that practice the Gifts of the Spirit and the conservative denominations that do not. These gifts are associated with such phenomenon as: glossolalia and the interpreting of it; prophetic visions and dreams; and other forms of being filled with the Holy Spirit that are not limited to things like dancing, shouting, running around, and unprovoked laughter. In part these gifts are found in the book of Acts from the Bible, when on the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came down, and was finally made accessible to all humanity. The conservative view of this major event in Christian history is presented in a seemingly more practical view that accepts it as a miracle that happened once, while the charismatic sects of the faith see it as more supernatural moment that continues to take place today confirming the status of salvation. However, to find authorities between the two sects that agree on what exactly happened on that Holy day is rare.
This leads parishioners to have skewed view of who Jehovah God and his son Jesus of Nazareth are. Questions of the confused ring out asking: “What does the Lord expect of me?” and “How should I practice my faith correctly?” “Why would God leave me with no concrete answers?” And who wouldn’t ask questions about a matter that would determine where they spend the rest of their eternal existence, and how they stand in the eyes of their creator?
Each denominational view shows Jehovah God and Christ Jesus in an array of perceptions from the angry god set out to destroy humanity; the counting god, who keeps a register of all deeds; or the ultimate hippie god, who sits in campfire circles speaking of peace and love. With each different understanding of what kind of god it is that one worships, the behavior and moral character of said individual will vary; this leaves an inconsistency with how it is that Christians are to interact with each other and behave within society.
The final question that remains is: What is a Christian to do with their faith, and the overt disagreement between each denomination? Sadly, the answer is not easily found, and it could be said that the effect of these inconsistencies will not be resolved until the day that the Lord returns—as prophesied in the book of Revelations. One of the great leaders of the Christian faith, Paul, once said that parishioners are to work out their salvation with fear and trembling, so until the day of Christ Jesus’ return to establish his ownership over all creation, Christians should be more conscious of that fact that the disagreement amongst themselves could ironically keep them from the very thing that they are striving for.
In conclusion, the theological inconsistencies amongst Christian denominations and how they interpreted the Bible are keeping them divided; by this they are not able to be complete as the Body of Christ, and are not able to fully understand how it is Christians are to live for and perceive Jehovah God and Christ Jesus. Until these issues are laid to rest, and the war that wages between denominations subsides, Christians will continue to question how their faith is to be walked in.