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Brotherly love is a commandment: 1 John 4:20,21 …and this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

Brotherly love is a Christian trademark: John 13:35 By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

The early church coexisted predominantly in harmony while under great threat of physical harm: Throughout the book of Acts (1:14; 2:1; 2:46; 4:24; 5:12; 7:57; 8:6; 12:20; 15:25; 18:12; 19:29) the early Church is said to be in “one accord”. Paul in Romans 15:6 admonishes his followers: “That ye may with one mind [and] one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”.

There was a oneness of “Spirit”: 1Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. Also see: (1Corinthians 4:12; Ephesians 2:8; Ephesians 4:4; Philippians 2:2)

Today there are some 41,000 Christian Denominations in the World according to: http://christianity.about.com/od/denominations/p/christiantoday.htm.

Has their ever been any significant historical movements within Christianity to reverse the splintering?

Modern Christians seem to accept that a oneness of Spirit is an impossibility, are there any current movements within Christianity towards reconciliation and a common accord?

Most Christians await the return of Jesus Christ, are there any denominations that are concerned about His reaction to what He finds?

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I think this topic is about the ecumenical councils that united together to formulate the creeds that we have today, or at least, I think they will help in providing results. Then, there is the Catholic church, which is supposed to symbolize oneness or universality, even though many churches like to call themselves "catholic". Your last question is primarily concerned with denominations that believe in the literal second coming of Jesus Christ. –  Anonymous Aug 8 '13 at 18:26
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@CharlesAlsobrook, Thank you for sharing! Certainly it is encouraging. –  Rick Aug 9 '13 at 15:23

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

It is obviously the will of Jesus Christ, the builder of the Church, that Christians should live in one accord. However, if we can belief that everything is controlled and monitored by God, then I do not think we should take our present splintering situation negatively. This might be the will of God, who knows?

There are some reasons why new denominations are born.

  1. The mother church goes off the right track.
  2. Disagreement in political or management inside the church.
  3. Commotion among the members.
  4. Disagreement in specific doctrines. etc.

When the mother church is clearly in the wrong and is not in a position to repent, there is no choice but to form a new group. Sometimes, political disagreement is the will of God to extend His kingdom as in the case of Paul and Barnabas, who splitted party which in fact was God's plan to reach out to Gentiles in Macedonia, for a greater ministry. It is also the work of Satan to divide the church by stirring the members to fight among themselves. Disagreement in doctrine is a serious issue where the power of Satan is usually at work. Satan brings confusion and doubt to the truth.

There is no doubt that some denominations are planted by the Devil as we see in the parable of the Weeds. But God allow the true and false church to grow together.

Matthew 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

Everything is in God's hand. We must trust in Him.

There are some preachers who try bring denominations together and deliver good sermons towards unity in Christianity. Also, these days we have many non-denominational christians, who takes less interest in denominations but focus more on ministry and unification.

Actually, we are not that different from each other. Each of us are but a single organ in the Body of Christ and Christ is the Head of us all.

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The parable of the wheat and tares is a spiritual truth revealed by the Holy Spirit to man. It is about loving those who have been influenced by the enemies of the cross. We are commanded to give them (infinite) time to grow into the Faith - until the end of the world, at which event God will take any remaining unbelievers in hand and purify their souls by fire. We are called not to judge any man, and this applies until the end of the world. God has not told us to convert the tares into wheat - an impossibility for man, only God can do this. Leave them in God's care. –  Waeshael Aug 10 '13 at 5:31
    
@Mawia, "Actually, we are not that different from each other. Each of us are but a single organ in the Body of Christ and Christ is the Head of us all." This is true with laity but I don't believe it is true with the Church Fathers. –  Rick Aug 15 '13 at 11:58
    
Cont. To many "single organs" succumb to a Church Father's doctrine which disenfranchises fellowship. I am not aware of any attempts by Church Fathers to bridge these schisms. –  Rick Aug 15 '13 at 12:00
    
Cont. My comments are directed to the Protestants in particular and I wonder why we Protestant "single cells" tag onto, so readily, the divisive arguments of the Church Fathers ? –  Rick Aug 15 '13 at 12:22

This is from an ACC perspective: Brotherly love is essential to be called a disciple of The Lord. That is: brethren of The Lord, are to love one another as He has loved them. And The Master defines His Brethren as those who do the will of my Father

So, we are called to love those who do the Will of the Father - who are consequently like-minded.

Protestant denominations are devisive. There has been no real progress in bringing them together. Too many "rice bowls" would have to be broken.

The splintering of the Episcopal Church since the 70's until today is an example of how new denominations are created - a difference of opinion on which text to be used in the liturgy, and of the spiritual meaning of the text. There is no central authority to interpret the text in the Episcopal Church, just as there is none in Protestant organizations. Everyone seems to be free to interpret God's Word as they see fit - even to change God's Word to fit their cause.

Among the Catholic Churches, East and West, Roman, Orthodox and Anglican, there have been and are ongoing discussion to heal the loss of Communion between them. We see some progress in agreements between the Latin and Greek theology but still no agreement on Holy Orders (credentialing of clergy,) with a few exceptions. Mostly the divisions are caused by misunderstanding of each other's language. The Latin theological terms are not easy to translate into Greek theological terms. The English clergy always have been trained in theological Latin, and the disagreements here are rather about Church hierarchy (who is in charge,) celibacy of clergy, and the infallibility of the Church to interpret scripture. The English Church split with the Roman Church on these issues while retaining the Apostolic traditions and the doctrine of the Church up to the 6th. cent. or so.

Of course Protestant churches, for the main, have ignored the teaching of the Church Fathers, discarded tradition, and rejected any central authority for the interpretation of scripture. Do you see a connection between these decisions and the fragmentation of the churches?

The Son of God knows what is happening always, there will be no surprise.

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I'm not sure your last paragraph is really appropriate in this context. Could it be edited to be a bit more...neutral? It's kind of belittling of an entire group of Christians –  wax eagle Aug 8 '13 at 16:56
    
I agree, it was a bit much. Edited, hope this is sufficient. –  Waeshael Aug 8 '13 at 18:36

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