Depending on what your meaning and context of the word “church” is, the answer is both yes and no. Yes, there is one true Church, but is it a specific denomination or religion, or the four walls that you attend on your particular sabbath? No, there is not.
There are many good and faithful churches, made up of good and faithful saints, that are a part of the true Church and make up the true Church, but they are not solely the true Church. Is that clear as mud? If not, we’ll break it down.
So what is the true Church? The true Church is made up of every believer who believes in Christ, who has repented and upholds and defends His laws and Word. The true Church’s head is Christ and not a particular pastor, teacher or prophet.
From personal experience in attending churches who taught they were the only one who had all the answers, this has confused and lead astray countless minds and hearts in search of truth and striving to live an upright life. Christians believe in the Word of God, or the Holy Bible, and if you will look to your Bible for guidance you will find and know that Jesus the Christ, the head of our Church, was born a Jew. Did He go about proselytizing to convert to Judaism? No. He called all Jews and Gentiles (non-Jewish) to repent of their sins and follow Him. Nowhere is it found in Scripture that the next step was to join the Jewish faith, the Catholic faith, or become Baptist, Methodist, etc. He simply directed those that made the decision to follow Him to sin no more and to uphold the commandments, and most of all to love thy neighbor as thyself.
So, that brings up the questions, where do all these religions come from? Who is right and who is wrong? Which one do I align myself with?
First we will answer, “Where do all these religions come from?” This answer was finally clarified in my mind while I was pondering this question myself just recently during a Bible study. I once read about a journalism class where the teacher had pre-arranged for someone to rush in and disrupt the class, and make a lot of commotion, and then rush out again. The students had no prior knowledge that this was going to happen. After the stranger left they were then instructed to write down everything they remembered about the person and what happened. Did all the stories match? Not hardly. Some remembered him wearing one color, another remembered him wearing something else. Everything differed because of viewpoints and what that student focused on seeing over other things before them. What was more important to them, or what happened to catch their eye the most, was what they focused on and was easier to remember.
The pastor at Bible study said something along the same lines when clarifying why there are some differences in the Gospels — because of the viewpoints. That’s when the above hit me.
As humans we are all wonderfully and uniquely made. We have many different interpretations of events and meanings due to individual viewpoints, emotions, and things that are of importance to us. THAT is where religions come from…man’s viewpoint and man’s interpretation.
So, “Who is right and who is wrong?” This has to be decided on a case by case basis ultimately. But there are some questions you can ask yourself to help in your decisions. Do they follow the Scriptures and God’s commandments? Do they follow Christ’s example by preaching salvation and love and forgiveness to your fellow man and the lost? Does its body of believers show compassion to their community and draw them in as Christ did?
“Which one do I align myself with?” This is where individual interpretations and viewpoints will come into play again. But you must contemplate and prayerfully decide on a personal basis. Use the Scriptures as guidance. Don’t go based on feelings at first but by what the Scriptures teach as core commands, then as you search within the realm of what you know is correct and visit congregations within it, then go where the Spirit of the Lord leads you. You will know when you find it.