Originally posted by JS357
Does the logic behind your position exclude only Mormonism due to certain of its beliefs/practices and if so which are they?
Or does the logic exclude all all but one denomination which is the one true Christian denomination and if so which one is it?
In the New Testament there is the word church
and there is also the word churches
. Since we see the word churches
we understand that there is more that there is a plurality to the concept of a church.
The next important question is then - How does the New Testament determine one church from another church ? If there are churches
then what discriminates one such church
from another such church
Is the distinction made by nationality?
is the distinction made by race?
Is the distinction made by street address?
Is the distinction made by a certain pastor?
Is the distinction made by a certain very useful servant of God?
Is the distinction made by a certain practice?
Is the distinction made by a certain formula of baptism or a certain spiritual gift or a certain interpretation of the second coming of Christ?
Is the distinction made by a country?
Is the distinction made by someone's home?
Except for one carefully examined caveat, the answer to all these questions is a resounding No
. That is if we are talking about what the Bible reveals.
If you want to talk about what man has done in his kind of traditions, that may be different. But in terms of what the Bible teaches there is one answer.
Churches [plural] were designated by geography - specifically by locality.
" I was in spirit on the Lord's Day and heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet,
Saying, What you see write in a scroll and send it to the seven churches:
to Ephesus and to Smryna and to Pergamos and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laocidea.
And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me; and when I turned, I saw seven golden lampstands." (Rev. 1:10-12)
That's seven localities and seven corresponding churches
That is seven cities each matched with one local church.
If those churches are normal they are not denominations, not divisions in the universal church. They are not divisions as works of the flesh. They are genuine God ordained local assemblies if they practice the universal oneness of, in principle, receiving all fellow Christians.
The caveat which I will not deal with here is that four places in the NT speak of the church in someone's house. Of course in the early days the local churches gather sometimes in someone's house.