CHRISTIAN NEWS MAGAZINE FOR KERALA MALAYALEE CHRISTIANS FROM INDIA AROUND THE WORLD
AUGUST 2007 COVER MESSAGE
VOL:6 ISSUE:08

UNITY AMONG DIVERSE DENOMINATIONS
By Dr. K.C.NAINAN, ATLANTA, GEORGIA, U.S.A

In a recent article published in Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Nicole Winfield, Associated Press) it is stated ď Pope Benedict XV1 reaffirmed the universal Primacy of the Roman Catholic ChurchĒ. He also said that Orthodox Churches are defective and other Christian denominations are not true churches. It is a sad, deplorable and presumptuous attitude and statement! Moreover it is an insult to all other Christian believers all over the world. This is one of the problems of man-made hierarchy. Our Lord never approved nor established the so-called christian-heirarchy as practiced in various traditional denominations (Mathew 23:1-11, Mark 12:38-39, Luke 22:24-27, Mark 9:33-41).

In the early days of Christianity there was no Roman Catholic Church or a Pope as claimed or projected today. There were several Christian communities in Middle East, Asia Minor, and Europe and as far as India starting from Jerusalem. Apostles, evangelists and other believers began to carry out our Lordís last commission to preach the Good News (Mathew 28:16-20, Mark 16:14-20, Acts 1:6-9). In every community there were elders or pastors to help and lead the believers, and to take care of their the spiritual and social needs and problems.

Apostle Peter never claimed to be the supreme head of any particular Christian community according to the bible. He was an elder like other elders (1 Peter 5: 1-4). He never wrote one of the gospels. In the bible we only have two short letters of Peter. There are no biblical records to show that Apostle Peter ever visited Rome or died over there. On the contrary Apostle Paul was the great missionary to Europe, Asia Minor and other places, and in the end he was a prisoner in Rome. In Jerusalem, James, the Lordís brother seemed to be the head and the elder of the church. Once Apostle Paul opposed Apostle Peter about a social issue related to gentile Christians (Galatians 2:11-14). During the fourth and fifth century centuries, the elder (bishop) of Rome with the help of political power and influence began to claim that he is the supreme leader among all Christian churches and thus that unchristian attitude continues even today!

All Christian denominations that believe and proclaim that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior constitute one and only church founded on Him. The Spirit of the Lord is the helper, councilor and sustainer of this church; our heavenly Fatherís Holy Name will be hallowed in this universal church. . Jesus is our Leader and the only Mediator at the right side of the Father. Every believer is a branch grafted in the divine Vine of Christ to live and to produce good fruits to glorify our true living God. There is no hierarchy among the Christians. All Christians are brothers and sisters. Leadership is assigned to pastors, elders, prophets, evangelists, and teachers to build up the churches. They are called to serve, not to be served.

All the differences we have today among various denominations are man-made. Our Lord prayed for our unity before He died on the cross (John 17: 11-23) Let us listen to Apostle Paulís warning. ď None of you should be proud of one person and despise another. Who made you superior to others? (1 Corinthians 4: 6-7) Let us not forget our Masterís new commandment to love one another as He loved us. We are all one in Christ though we are members of different denominations. Amen.

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