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Why are there so many different denominations?

There are many different Christian denominations in the world today, and there are several reasons for this.

The most significant divisions in the church have occurred because of concern that a doctrine was being ignored, or that error was being promoted. We all settle into a way of doing things and we can (and do) promote some doctrines whilst ignoring others. We become also comfortable with beliefs and traditions which are not from God, and new denominations may be born to correct such errors. However there are no perfect people in the world, and no perfect Christian denominations either.

We must also remember that the worldwide church of Christ is composed of many different people with very different backgrounds, living in every country across the world. We speak different languages, think in different ways, enjoy different worship styles, wear different clothes, eat different foods and we learn very differently. It would be almost impossible for a single denomination to include such a wide variety of members within it. So, there must be different denominations with different customs, so that people from every tribe and nation are able to feel a genuine part of Jesus church.

However, the vast majority of Christian denominations would agree that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He came to earth as a man to teach us what God is like, and to be a living example of how we should live our lives. Jesus also came to earth to die on a cross – not because of His own sin - but because of our own sin! When Jesus died on that cross 2,000 years ago, He stood in our place, and accepted the punishment for all the bad things that we have done! God loved us so much, that He sent his only Son to earth to die for our sins so that we might live. Most denominations would agree about this.

You may be interested in another answer on this site entitled "Why are there differences between Christian Groups", which examines this question from a different viewpoint.