© Carlos Padilla – September 2022

The apostle Paul asked rhetorically if Christ was divided. In his first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 1, was teaching: “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

To this date, the Church of Christ is composed or divided in various branches and denominations, whether Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant. The matter that concerns us today, is, if this variety of worships, orders and ways of living Christianity is acceptable to our Lord Jesus Christ – Yahshua, who gave His life for His true Church, and if we can continue to be true disciples, even if we are part of any of them. Is there still an opportunity for Christian unity, or will it only take to an heretic ecumenism far away from true Christianity, like that of the first century with the Apostles? Keep reading…



The History of the Church takes us through a long journey since its foundation by our Lord Jesus Christ – Yahshua, with His apostles, going through the East and West Schism, the Monks Orders, the Councils, the Missions, the Protestant Reform, the Evangelical Awakenings, and the Messianic, to our days. In this long journey that Christianity has experienced, having survived to all the ages of history, since Christ, also a branching has taken place that those from Chloe already warned and informed the apostle Paul as we saw before. The incredible variety of forms of practising the Christian faith –really being that, more than a religion, it is a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Spirit– makes it difficult to understand if all who calls himself a Christian, is indeed.

To be sure that we are, that we are Christians, that we know God, that we have been saved by the redemptory work of the Son of God on the Cross of Calvary, and that in His return we will go to the Kingdom of God for eternity, we must face the same conversation that the Lord Himself had with Nicodemus, a erudite amongst the Jews to whom: “Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit… …“Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? John 3:3 and further. But there is even more.

Therefore, it is not for being part of this or that church or branch of the Christian faith, but for being born again of the Holy Spirit, for knowing Jesus personally, for knowing the Word of God which gives us the faith in the work of Christ on the Cross, and for living a life which emanates the Christian love and the good deeds, guided by the Holy Spirit, until His return. And to the words of Jesus to Nicodemus, the apostle Paul also says in 1 Corinthians 3:16: Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? This he said after Pentecost, which fulfilled the prophecy of Jesus that when He ascended to the throne of glory, at the right hand of the Father, He would not leave us orphans, but He would send the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the temple of God is each of one of us, who is born again, and all of us together as the Church of Christ, and not any institutions or place of worship, building, which also are, but only in part. Therefore what a marvel when many who are His temple gather to worship and bless God, and preach His Word, as well as serving the world with good deeds in His name.

Now, let us return to this short journey through the history of the branches of Christianity. You may read more about the history of the Church in this link:



The Church is usually divided in three large branches known as Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant. Within each of them there are different branches, orders and denominations. Although the Catholic Church denies having branches or denominations, it does accept the concept of orders, but we will see that there is more than just orders. The Orthodox Church has several rites. The Protestant Church accepts the evident large amount of denominations.

Before we go deeper into the branches, it is convenient to remember a part of the history, and how the churches have kept the holy places of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and how each has participated. Fruit of a common purpose which involves three branches of Christianity, is the custody and maintenance, on the one side of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, and on the other side the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, although we should mention other Holy Places, like the Garden of Olives, etc. The Greek Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church, through the Order of the Franciscans, and the Armenian Apostolic Church, guard these holy places, that according to investigations and traditions, are believed to be correct. An interesting detail is, that it is a Palestine Muslim from Jerusalem, called Adeeb Joudeh is who has the keys of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, and must open it each day; his family has inherited for centuries that privilege which was started to avoid disputes of the Christian branches over the Holy Place, sais, from the times of Saladin, by the crusaders in 1187, but the other version tells that Saladin himself, who built the Dome of the Rock, would want to have control over those places. The first includes the places of Golgotha or Calvary, where the crucifixion of Christ took place and the Holy Sepulchre, where His body was placed and where He raised. The second place is where Mary virgin, gave birth to Jesus. Constructions initiated in 326 A.D. by request of Saint Helen, mother of Emperor Constantine. The students and archaeologists, like Gordon, recently located the places in different locations. In any case Christian unity for common purposes glorifies God in Christ – Yahshua, and it is important to custody Christian faith history for the next generations in base of Biblical history, and where best than in Jerusalem, where the more relevant events of Jesus Christ have occurred, and will occur for the world.

For this to have existed, and the fact that the Holy Land has been guarded until its delivery to Israel in 1948 to the UN, after the Holocaust, it is thanks to the jointed conquest between protestant English and the Jewish legion, after WWI, and protestant English and Arab legions after WWII until the reunification after the Six Day War which Israel won, when it was attached by the coalition of Egypt, Syria and Jordan, as the capital of the Estate of Israel. Since then, the custody churches and the travel to the Holy Land are possible and a privilege to live the Biblical places, where Jesus with His apostles, where the miracles took place, where He died and raised, and where He will return. An above all this, all Christianity of Biblical base is united, one way or another. The great travels of the Evangelical churches to the Holy Land to teach the Biblical history with base on the Scriptures, and the committed support of the US and specially of its Evangelical churches, to the Jews and to Israel, as well as the growing branch of Christianity of the Messianic Jews, are prophetical links in fulfilment regarding the Text of the letter of the apostle Paul to the Romans, chapter 11. The Church started in Jerusalem with the Jews, and there the Lord Jesus Christ will return, the Messiah of all, to fulfil the prophecy of a new world where justice and the love of God will reign, and where there will be a New Jerusalem: Revelation, chapters 21 and 22.


Branches of Catholicism and orders:

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church 917, in the Catholic Church, there are different vocations, what they compare with a tree with different branches, but they call them ways of consecrated life for God, whether through chastity and celibacy, poverty and obedience, and some do it in monastic or convent closure. Of these there are four branches: the monastic, the mendicants, the regular canonicals and regular clerics.

The “Holy” Inquisition, in the XVI century, has dedicated, under order of the Vatican to annihilate, kill and destroy all the people, women, children and believers that wanted to read the Bible and know the truth of the Word of God, and Jesus Christ, because it was a danger that the people would know the truth. After the Protestant Reformation, this evil inquisition camouflaged in the Counter Reformation to affirm itself in its traditions against the Biblical truth of the Gospel and maintain the power over the kingdoms of the world. Today is not functioning and the Gospel is proclaimed inside the bosom of Catholicism, encouraging its reading by everyone, although they maintain a contradiction by teaching and practicing traditions against the Gospel of Christ.

Jesuits of Society of Jesus founded in the XVI century, when there were already events of the Protestant Reformation. Missionaries, priests or laics. Opus Dei, or work of God, founded at the beginning of the XX century by a Spanish priest. Movement of Charismatic Renovation approved by Pope Paul VI in 1975, originated in the US and similar to the Pentecostal Evangelical.

In the US there are several Catholic Churches, some are independent form Rome, which does not recognize them, but the rite is practically the same, although they differ en the doctrines and in the way of live and marriage, like the Reformed Catholic Church, or the American Catholic Church, the Catholic of oriental rite, or the Ecumenical Catholic. There is no need to mention with this list, not exhaustive, that the Catholic Church has branches, orders and denominations, whether recognized or not.


Orthodox Branches and rites:

We could say that the origin of the separation of the Church in two great branches, began to forge in the 320 A.D. when Constantine I moved the capital of the empire, from Rome to Constantinople. The councils of the Church would take place in their majority there, or in the Oriental region, leaving Rome in a second place. The Oriental culture was based in the Greek, and not in the Latin. After centuries took place the great Schism of East and West, in 1054 A.D. but already the churches of Russia and Bulgaria, as well as others where Orthodox churches. From there, there were disputes between the pope of Rome and the patriarch of Constantinople, then the crusades; the rest of the history is well known, like the Catholic Schism of the West that got to produce two popes who excommunicate each other. Today there are also situations where patriarchs of different rites excommunicate each other, inside the Orthodox Church. Almost all the Orthodox Church is in countries of the east of Europe, Greece, Russia, and other countries of the east. The rites and beliefs do not differ much from the Catholic Church. Instead of images of sculpture, they use icons.


Protestant and Evangelical Denominations:

The Lutheran Church. The Calvinist Church. The Anglican Church shares rite with the similar Catholic, but it is considered Protestant for separating from Rome, and for having as head the monarch instead as the bishop of Rome. Everyone can place it where they consider it better.

Only in Spain, in FEREDE, the Federation that represents the majority of the denominations which are majority, and there are more than twenty, apart from those that are not part:

Anabaptists, Mennonites and Brothers in Christ of Spain. Christian Assembly. Assemblies of God of Spain. Assemblies of Brothers. Anglican Communion: Episcopal Reformed Spanish Church (IERE), and Anglican Federation (Spanish Section of the European Diocesis). Federación de Iglesias Apostólicas y Pentecostales de España (FIAPE). Betania Churches Federation. (FIBE). Federation of Churches of God of Spain (FIDE). Federation of Independent Evangelical Churches of Spain (FIEIDE). Federation of Evangelical Pentecostal Churches of (FIEPE). Body of Christ Church. Spanish Evangelical Church (IEE). Foursquare Gospel. Philadelphia Evangelical Church. Good News Church. Churches of Christ. Churches of the Open Bible. Baptist Evangelical Spanish Union (UEBE). Seventh Day Adventist Christian Churches (UICASDE).

Between Baptists, Brothers and Pentecostals which agglutinate almost all these denominations, there is not so much difference in service and beliefs. However there members do not share service.  Where shall a new believer go to hear the Word of God? The usual thing is that the person who has preached will invite him to his church of congregation, but it is not easy to feel located amongst so many denominations. The Bible is our common book for all Christians, where we all must converge like the rivers in the sea.



Would Christian unity of all branches, denominations and rites be possible? Is this a utopia that will only take to an heretic ecumenism, or would all the branches be willing to create a common basic creed, a common part of the rite or preaching, in such a way that a Christian can say that is only a “Christian” without adding any branch, order or denomination?

To answer this we would need to do a list of all the practices, traditions and doctrines that have departed from the Biblical truth, to eliminate them from the life and practice of the Christian of each branch. Would their leaders and members accept it? A universal council would need to be created where all the leaders of all the branches participate without discrimination, and accept that the result would be the base to call oneself a Christian.

But if we conclude that only the Bible, only the Word of God, only its interpretation from the New Testament is enough for the Christian to find the true that he must follow without depending nor excluding any branch, we have concluded this journey in search of Christian unity for the glory of God. How to glorify Christ, being from whichever branch of the Church that one belongs? Must we understand and be able to see that God does His work in all of them, in a more or less way, depending on the different cultures and limitations of each faith and doctrine?

The true Christian must live his Christian life following the guide of the Holy Spirit, and must transmit true Christianity in this difficult time, and in the midst of each Christian group, because the differences we men have created, but the Church has been created by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, centre and common place of all the Christians disciples from His Gospel for all the nations: Matthew 28:16-20.



How can we make all Christianity see that the work of the Holy Spirit in Pentecost (50 days) after the resurrection, after the ascension of Jesus making the Church, is the way of living Christianity in community, without branches nor denominations? The same as in Jerusalem, where we saw that three branches of Christianity, and the travels, and the promotion of the history of the place with a base on the Bible by Evangelical churches, provide a vision of unity over the Bible and Jerusalem, it should also be the same with regards to doctrine, the teaching, the practice and the Christian life.

At the beginning of the XX century the World Council of Churches was in a phase in search of Christian unity. Several movements, not only in the west, but in the east, and not only in the north, but also in the south of America and Africa, or in India, and up to Jerusalem participated with hope. The two World Wars affected in part, but did not destroy the spirit of unity in the same cause of glorifying Jesus Christ – Yahshua, while waiting for His return. Today, a century later, although the world in part confronted with secularism in the west, the missionaries of the last places evangelized on earth those who now return bringing the Word of God, together with the Messianic Jews that preach Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, the Messiah Yeshua or Yahshua before His coming.

But it is not about the unity per se, it is about the glory of God, that our Lord Jesus Christ is preached for salvation of the listeners for eternal life, known personally, and longed for in His second coming, which is nearer than ever. Christian unity is based in bridges of peace and of communication, does not admit heresies, and looks to ecumenism with caution, but does love his neighbour, especially if it is Christian, as the great preacher Billy Graham would say. I would like to close with some words of our Lord Jesus: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35. Amen!