Shopping in the Schism Store. Be careful!

We see shallow closets in older homes and marvel at how few clothes those in previous generations had. Most stores were small. There wasn’t much variety. Henry Ford summed up the spirit of that recent age: “They can have any color of car they want, as long as it’s black.”

In recent generations, automated production has combined with cheap overseas labor. Now, uncountable varieties of goods are produced at incredibly low costs. This has resulted in amazing varieties of everything.

Variety helps to show the ability and intelligence of buyers. Those who waste money on useless varieties of things end up poorer than those who spend wisely. Purple snakeskin boots separate their wearers from those who prefer conservative cordovans.

More importantly, variety provides the illusion of freedom. “I can buy this blouse in both dark and darker brown.” “I can buy a white pick-up with four wheel drive and red running lights.” “I can be me!”

The process of making largely useless selections provides the illusion of freedom. In fact, most of what we buy is determined by manipulative marketers and manufacturers united in seeking more monopoly. For them, variety exists only to get money that is always green.

Now, there is far more variety in religion. At the turn of the last century, there was the Catholic Church and about 1,600 identifiable schisms.

The Catholic Church is still here. Its peaceful serenity is now surrounded by the clamoring of 40,000 identifiable schisms. All are claiming “Our schism is your Ladder to Heaven”. Implied, of course, “Helping us to help you is not free.”

Some schisms have sunk into lunacy. New, semi-Christian groups run the gamut from Pro-Life to its opposite. Some believe in free will. Others, determinism. Some belief in monogamy. Other, polygamy. Some, believe in marriage between a man and a woman. Others think “It would be wrong to be so specific.”

The differences between the schisms are about as significant as the difference between blouses with purple or mauve polka-dots. There are some similarities. All their beliefs are flexible. Each is, to some degree, anti-Catholic. Nearly all their clergy are married.

So, why would God allow so many, many, many useless variations in denominations? What good do they do? A lot! In every age, they separate sheep from goats.

Jesus was clear: “If you obey My Commands, you are My friends.” So, He left the “Separating Commands” for those who chose to obey and be among His friends. John 6:3 was clear, if bizarre: “If you do not eat My Body and drink My Blood, you do not have life in you.” That was followed by Mt. 16: 18-20m “Thou art Peter and on this rock I build My Church. . .” The Last Supper made it as clear as it needs to be that His clergy can turn bread and wine into His Body and Blood. The Last Supper brings the humbly obedient back to “If you obey My Commands, you are My friends.”

Shopping in the Schism Store. Be careful! We must exercise the greatest care of which we are capable. Making the wrong selection while shopping in the Schism Store may be very, very dangerous to our health. We may be out of style for a long, long time.