You asked: HERE IN AFRICA ( COUNTRY ZAMBIA ) WE PENTECOSTAL
CHURCH MEMBERS BELIEVES IN WORSHIPPING GOD BUT MY QUESTION IS - WHY DO
WE HAVE DIFFERENT TYPES OF PENTECOSTAL CHURCHES . WHY NOT ASSEMBLING AS
ONE PENTECOSTAL CHURCH UNDER ONE DENOMINATION.
As you probably know, there are probably hundreds of Christian
congregations throughout the world. Some of them are Pentecostal, like
yours in Zambia (and there are many Pentecostal churches in the US,
too), and some are other traditional kinds of Christian churches - the
Baptists, the Catholics, the Methodists, the Episcopalians, the
Mormons...the list goes on and on.
What all Christian churches have in common is the worship of God and
the worship of Jesus. And I guess you could say that all of these
churches are all under one umbrella that we could call "Christianity."
Maybe you have noticed that everyone who knows Jesus, who knows God,
has their own unique way to look at their religion and their
understanding of God. There are as many ideas about God as there are
people. It is just the way humans are - each one unique. Here's
something to consider:
"In reality, every human being defines religion in the terms of
his own experiential interpretation of the divine impulses emanating
from the God spirit that indwells him, and therefore must such an
interpretation be unique and wholly different from the religious
philosophy of all other human beings." The Urantia Book, (1129.8)
Organizing believers into churches or congregations has been
happening for centuries and after Jesus came here to our world that
process became very intense as people tried to make sense of Jesus and
what his visitation here really meant. Thus, many churches sprang up,
trying to bring all believers into one fold. As we see, that has not
worked very well. Like you, many wonder why there are so many churches;
many wonder which church is the "true church?" And so, we find one we
like and we attend services, but down the street, there is another
church who also claims to be the true church.
You do not mention whether you have discovered The
Urantia Book (which is the focus of our website), but I hope that
you have, or that you are willing to give it a look. In The Urantia
Book, we discover a great deal of information about
Christianity ... how it began, how it was unified in its early
days, and how it became split into denomonations and sects over the
centuries since Jesus. Much of this was due to the shocking nature of
Jesus death, and a misunderstanding about what Jesus really wanted us
to do after he went back to the Father.
In spite of the many, many Christian churches in the world, when we
read the Life and Teachings of Jesus in the Urantia
Book, we discover that Jesus was not a Christian, nor did he come
here to earth to establish a church full of rules and dogma. Jesus came
instead, to establish the
kingdom of Heaven in the hearts of mankind. Once a believer has
entered this spiritual kingdom, that person then is guided with the
highest kind of authority for deciding right from wrong, and good from
evil. And that is the authority of God himself, who
indwells the minds of every human being. Since
Pentecost, no longer is the membership in any particular church
required to activiate the believer's personal relationsip with God, or
the believer's fellowship with Jesus' promised Comforter.
Whe Jesus was here, he himself practiced a particular religion. He
was raised as a Jewish boy, but his mission to our world was to
demonstrate this personal connection of man with God in daily life, and
his religion was characterized by personal spiritual experience with God - not by
attendance at church or by the intercession of a priest or a minister.
With the religion of Jesus, mankind is delivered from the need of any
person who stands between the believer and God. And this is the
religion OF Jesus, not the religion ABOUT Jesus.
However, churches ARE good...different religions are good if they
help bring man to God, but it is easy to see that they are not unified.
Nonetheless, there is a unifying experience that CAN bring all churches
together and that is Jesus' religion of personal
spiritual experience. Once the world becomes aware of this religion, a
church can become a place of spiritual fellowship and divine worship
that is born of this unity of experience - not from church dogma or a
set of rules to live by.
It may be quite a long time before our world becomes able to have a
common experience of God that is shared in different churches. Until
then, it's a good thing to go to a church that appeals to your Spirit,
to meet with other believers, to share the experiences we have with
God, and to love and serve one another as the Master taught us to do.