159. Why are there so many different Christian churches around the world?

The large number of different Christian churches can be explained by the different historical developments, differences in the interpretation of Scripture, the culture and language, structures and customs, and the variety of gifts and tasks of the Church of Christ.

160. Should these differences be allowed to cause division between the members of the body of Christ?

No, the love of Christ unites the members of the body of Christ into a true community of saints despite all the earthly differences and divisions. The love of the members for one another is the unmistakable mark of the disciples of Jesus.

  • Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ephesians 4:3-6)
  • There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)
  • Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus. (1 Peter 5:14)
  • When James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do. (Galatians 2:9-10)
  • John said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side.” (Luke 9:49-50)
  • By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:35)