Do Human Creeds or the Bible Produce Denominations? – James P. Needham

James P. Needham

The above is a good question, and deserves serious consideration by all. No one denies that there are approximately more than 300 denominations in the religious world. These are the results of planting some kind of seed, either the doctrines of men, or the word of God. Our purpose in this article is to determine which.

The principle involved in this investigation can be understood better from a simple illustration from the physical world. We might ask, what produces corn, wheat seed or corn seed? Everyone knows the answer! It’s just that simple, isn’t it? Well, it’s just that simple in the spiritual realm too. No one would think of trying to grow wheat from corn seed, or corn from wheat seed! He would be fighting a losing battle; it would be an absolute impossibility! This is true because of an unalterable law of God found in Genesis 1:11-12, namely, that “every seed brings forth after its kind.”

Just as surely as the above law holds true in the physical world, it holds true in the spiritual. As God has seed in the physical world which brings forth after its kind, He has seed in the spiritual realm that does the same. There cannot be a single exception, and God be true. The spiritual seed of which we speak is the word of God. Jesus in giving the beautiful parable of the sower, stated this significant fact. At the request of his inquiring disciples he explained the parable and said, “Now the parable is this, the seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11).

We certainly know what the seed is, since Christ himself tells us—we do not have to guess about it, do we? We next need to know what it will produce; and again we are not left to our own imagination. As a result of the preached word (the sowing of the spiritual seed) in the New Testament Christians were made (Acts 11:26; 26:28). Christians, then, are the products of the spiritual seed, nothing else. We have found that the word of God is the seed, and Christians the product of it, let us study further.

This question naturally comes next to our minds: are you what you are as a result of the spiritual seed’s having been planted in your heart? We will say that you are a Baptist; what made you such? Was it the word of God, the spiritual seed? Are Baptists the products of the spiritual seed? If so, remember, the seed always “brings forth after its kind,” which means that everyone who pleases God is a member of the Baptist church. Nothing else can be true, and God be true. But our Baptist friends wouldn’t want to be guilty of saying that, would they? They believe that the Methodists are saved, and are going to heaven. They think their Methodist neighbors follow the Bible too, but if they do, just remember that we have two kinds from one seed, and God missed it when he said, “every seed brings forth after its kind.” It begins to look like the Bible, the spiritual seed, doesn’t make Baptists, doesn’t it?

If you still contend that you were made a Baptist by the pure word of God, the spiritual seed, it seems that you should be able to produce at least one instance where a Baptist in the modern sense resulted from the planting of the seed. Can you read in your Bible where the spiritual seed ever produced Baptists, or a Baptist. We challenge you to find such a case, many have tried but all have failed. I certainly know that you can find the term the Baptist, but never Baptists, or the Baptist church or churches. This proves that only one Baptist ever lived, and he was not a Baptist but The Baptist. And he was not The Baptist in the modern sense! He was never a member of the Baptist church, and couldn’t have been since the Baptist church never existed until about 1600 years after he died.

Just what makes a Baptist then, if it isn’t the word of God? Our answer is the Baptist creed or doctrine, and not the word of God. The Baptist church has what they call their church manual, it contains the Baptist seed. Planting this seed in the hearts of men will produce Baptists, not Christians. Planting Baptist seed never did produce Christians, just like planting the spiritual seed never did produce Baptists.

These same principles will apply with equal force to the Methodist church; and all other human denominations. Are you a Methodist? What made you such? If you answer, the word of God; then I ask why didn’t the word of God produce Methodists in New Testament times? If the spiritual seed produces Methodists, then all who have received the spiritual seed would be Methodists. But no modern Methodist would want to say that. They think one church is as good as another; they think all churches are in existence as a result of sowing the spiritual seed. They believe the Baptists sow the same seed as do they even though it doesn’t produce the same result! (Was God right when he said, “every seed brings forth after its kind?”). The truth is that the Baptist was made such as a result of sowing different seed from that which made the Methodist: and neither was made by sowing the Word of God. God’s law must be true! No human denomination in the world came about as a result of sowing the spiritual seed, the word of God.

If the Methodist was made such by the spiritual seed, why didn’t the seed produce after its kind in New Testament times? The apostles sowed the spiritual seed for approximately one hundred years, and it didn’t produce a Methodist, Baptist, or any other denominationalist a single time—that’s strange if Methodist doctrine is the spiritual seed! There is not anything that even favors the name Methodist in the Bible, and Methodist authorities admit that. I quote from a tract published by the “Board of Education of the Methodist Church”, an authoritative work, in which this revealing and shocking admission is made: “The name—Methodist church—is not found in the Bible. No intelligent, informed person makes such a claim. Neither is the name of any other denomination found in the Bible” (Cullen T. Carter, p. 4). That is exactly what we have been contending. If the Methodist church, and all other denominational names are absent from the Bible, they are not the products of the spiritual seed. If the spiritual seed produces them, why do they all have other seed, human creeds? The mistake of the denominations is mutual, they are trying to produce Christians with the wrong seed, just like a fellow who tries to produce corn with wheat seed!

If one asks a Methodist what he is religiously, he usually replies, “I’m a Methodist.” If one were to reply, “Well, why aren’t you a Christian” he would likely hear something about like this: “I am a Christian, a Methodist Christian.” Another would say, “I am a Christian, a Baptist Christian.” Strange varieties these! Why do we not read about them in the New Testament? Seems that someone has been mixing the seed. This will not please the Lord. (Gal. 1:8, 9.) How can one seed produce more than one variety?

We must admit that God’s word is true, or become infidels; surely no one wants to do that. The Bible says, “Let God be true, and every man a liar.” This I am willing to do, are you? When the pure word of God is preached, unperverted by human seeds, it will make Christians only. The New Testament only, makes Christians only, one must obey something else, to become anything else. Will you make an honest investigation into this matter? It concerns your eternal destiny. We hope to lead you to the truth of the word of God. That is our only desire.

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