Wording of this Handout:
One of the criticisms aimed at the whole Church is "Why are there so many denominations - I though you were all the same?" and I think it is a fair point. the Early Church was never know by denomination. It was simply "the church, or gathering, which meets at so-and-so's house."
But gradually, over the years, some Christians decided that certain Bible teachings were more important than others, so they started a following which emphasized that teaching more than others.
So we got the Baptists, the Episcopalians, the Methodists and the Calvinists, the Lutherans and the Presbyterians, the Anglicans and so on. All originally Christians, but unfortunately, from the outside, it looks like divisions and infighting and confusion.
So what should all Christians have in common? Simply this: starting with the gospel and moving out from there, they should believe and trust the whole Bible to be the perfect Word of God, totally reliable and accurate in every detail. Any personal interpretations, and denominational tags, should be set aside, and all Christians should show love for one anther.
The Bible says "All of us can praise the Lord together with one voice, giving glory to God, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
(Romans 15:6 The Living Bible paraphrase)