The reason that there are so many different kinds of church today is because everyone is wrong but mine.
At least, that's the perception, or what we would like to believe. That is certainly the platform from which many denominations promote themselves.
But, the answer, if we are willing to think biblically, may not be quite that simple.
Tragically, our culture today demands conformity. Independent thinking is suppressed. Agreement and consensus is demanded.
Don't believe me?
Look around at the different churches in your community and think about why they are different.
There are of 34,000 denominations of Christianity. There are over 300 distinctive variations of Baptist, alone. Every single division is based upon a theological disagreement: you believe one way, I believe another, therefore we can have no, or very limited, fellowship together (even though we agree on most points of doctrine).
What is more, we not only isolate ourselves from those who see things differently, we typically invalidate them. We postulate, "If they don't believe the way that I believe, then they must be stupid." I've heard Methodists describe themselves as, "Baptists who can read." Pentacostals have suggested that they are the ones that believe that God hasn't confined Himself to the cold pages of a Book. And Baptists, well, they don't believe that other denominations are even worth talking about.
But, Jesus said, "
The Torah (the first five books of the Bible) describe a perfect order: a representation of God's ideal society. It is demonstrated through His covenant relationship with a distinct people, the nation of Israel, and all those who are willing to stand with them in unity.
A common misconception (even among Jews today) is that the Law of Moses was given only to, and for, ethnic descendants of Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham. This concept is argued most vehemently against by Paul throughout his New Testament epistles. In Romans 3:19, he declares, "Now we know that whatever the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law, so that EVERY mouth may be stopped, and ALL THE WORLD may stand guilty before God." While many believe that faith in the Messiah invalidates the authority of the Law of Moses, Paul doesn't leave the option for ethnic distinction. But, within Torah, there is a fairly broad range of commitment, acceptance and participation.
Within the Torah, there are believing Jews, non-believing Jews, Strangers, Foreigners, and Resident Aliens. Each of these people groups are allowed to exist in the community of Israel, participating in society according to the station or position that they are comfortable. Religious observance, belief, acceptance or participation is never demanded: only that, if you are going to participate, you must do so in a manner that is according to God's definition (not making things up in a way that suits your own ideas- or creating a new denomination). God never asks anyone to sign the contract and we'll figure out the details later. He allows us to grow in our relationship with Him from where we are, meeting us there, and offering us new levels of intimacy to explore at our own pace of understanding and acceptance.
I think that's why there are so many different kinds of church. It is not because He is so diverse and distinctive; but because we are. And while some people can never accept hard, deep truths of theology, God still provides a place for them where they can worship and grow.
The problem is that, where ever we are, we tend to think "this is it." Every one who is in a different kind of church is either playing in the kiddie pool or gone off the deep end. And while that is, in many ways, true; that doesn't make my own congregation any more valid or necessary than anyone else's.
Does that mean that we are all right in the way that we believe the Bible?
No, it actually means exactly the opposite. Whenever you have people interpreting the Word of God, you have limitations and blind spots. But, some of my blind spots can be best seen from the kiddie pool, and others from the other side of the cliff. Where we fail, in our own walk, is in recognizing the value of the perspective of others (even in their own limited vantage or understanding).
So, that doesn't mean that we should accept everything that someone else is trying to teach us. It just means that we need to consider that there are other ways of seeing things than just our own. And, it doesn't mean we need to convince others of the errors that we see in their lives: often, circumventing the truths that God is trying to teach them where they are.
Really, what it means is God is God even over the confusion that we see in religion today. And if you're seeking Him, you'll find Him. He show you the way from where you are, not just lead you to the one true Church amidst all the charlatans. And if you're not seeking God, well, there's plenty there for you to find whatever it is you're looking for.