Denominational fanaticism       

Helloooooo, welcome back😃

First of all, definition of terms 😎.

Denomination: a recognized autonomous branch of the Christian Church.

Fanatic: a person whose enthusiasm or zeal for something is extreme or beyond normal limits.

Fanaticism: Fanaticism occurs when someone is unwilling or unable to accept a differing point of view.

Fanaticism comes from the Latin word fanaticus, a word with a meaning that includes the word mad— in both senses. If you’re mad, you might be angry — or you might be insane. Fanaticism involves both kinds of madness. Anger at those who disagree with you, taken so far that there’s a desire to stop or even harm the dissenters? That’s madness — and also fanaticism.

Now, I would say that Denominational fanaticism is the unwillingness of some church denominations to recognize and respect differences in opinions or beliefs of other church denominations.

During my NYSC, I spent a weekend with my mother’s friend who lived in the state where I served. (You might want to see my previous post on how I commenced my NYSC Umunna Bende). Because I was spending the weekend with her, I visited her church, church A on the Sunday of that weekend. Sunday school topic was Prejudice and I learnt some important things, service was generally long, less of praise and band which I am used to, more of keyboard and hymns which I really enjoyed because I love hymns especially when it is projected on a screen for the congregation to sing along. The sermon was on Spiritual Nakedness, the minister took time to emphasize on the trend of transparent see-through clothes and its hazards. Time for communion, the male ushers came serving the bread in shiny silver trays and just as it was about to get to me, the minister announced from the pulpit that non members of the church were not to participate in the communion, so I withdrew my hand when the tray came to me. Finally the service came to an end and this is the gist I really want to gist. 👇

As I waited for my mother’s friend to round up with a meeting, a brother approached me.

Bro: Hello fine sister, have you been here before?

Me: No😊…

Bro: (excitedly) where have you been?

Me: I’m just visiting, I’m with the xyz family.

Bro: Wow! That’s good, welcome, so you’re not a member of Church A?

Me: oh, yes.

Bro: So where do you worship?

Me: Church B.

Bro: (gives me a sorry look, then comes closer to take a seat…) I need to talk to you.

Me: (I already know where he is heading to and I am like ‘dear lord not now’🤦) okay I’m listening.

Bro: I’m not trying to say that Church B is not a good church but you know you should study the bible for yourself so that you would know which church to go to.

(Bro looks at me for a response, but I have none, so I just stare back at him, and he continues)

Bro: Christ is the owner of this church, who is the owner of your church?… (Bro looks at me for a response again but I’m just smiling because I’m too hungry for argument…)

Bro continues , he takes my Bible and openes to 1Corinthians 1:10-13(NIV) “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11. My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you, 12. What I mean is this: one of you says ‘I follow Paul’; another,’I follow Apollos’; another, ‘I follow Cephas’, still another, ‘ I follow Christ’. 13. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of paul?.” . Bro closes the Bible and gives me a victorious look)

Bro: you see, there is one church named after Christ, church A, you don’t just go and start a church and name it after you or anyhow…

Me: so what do you now want me to do?

Bro: I’m just saying…( mummy’s friend comes to announce our departure, and I’m relieved to be rescued from the foolish and unprofitable argument with bro because at that point, I was just going to logically use the same scriptures he quoted to me with a sprinkle of scriptures and a pinch of philosophy to show him that he had been called to a ministry of reconciliation and not to a ministry of stealing the flock)

Bro: kai! …. We would continue next Sunday, hope you’ll be here?

Me: no Sir, I’m going to my church B next Sunday.

On another occasion in 2016 when I visited a church for a program, the minister spent quality time of the sermon talking about a man of God of another church in what I would call a derogatory manner, in fact that was the sermon, I felt sick.

On yet another occasion, very recently, during my mum of blessed memory’s funeral planning, an old family friend visited. She asked which church would be handling the funeral and we told her, our church. Then turning up her nose, she said to my dad, “Is that one a church, you people should try and look for a true church, not all these new organizations that are doing whatever they like”. She went ahead to list the few true churches, I didn’t get annoyed, because over time I’ve had to learn how to handle such situations. 😊🤐

Why is denominational fanaticism so much more important to some Christians when there is more serious work to be done? We are in the last days hours whether we like it or not, I believe that what should be our priority as Christians right now is ensuring that the gospel of Jesus gets to every soul, and not trying to prove that our church is better than others.

I’m interested in this topic because I think that it shouldn’t even exist among the church and christians. The church denominations are not rivals in a competition, we are members of one body, the body of Christ, we are one.

I know that some church denominations do not allow inter marriage with other church denominations. Some church denominations beleive that they alone are qualified for heaven. Some church denominations ostracize and talk down other church denominations. As if tribalism is not enough, denominational fanatics are now springing up and creating confusion in the body of Christ sometimes even persecuting fellow Christians through words and actions. Though we are many, we are supposed to be one body in Christ. We ought to see our brothers and sisters in the Lord the way God sees them, not as rivals. We shaa would all meet in heaven, church A or B. What’s important is not to loose personal fellowship with God and the assignment he has left to us while in the pursuit of denominational vanities.

Okay dear reader, now that I’ve poured this and my mind is a little cool, how is your day going?❤️…

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