Ecumenism: The principle or aim of promoting unity among the world's Christian churches. I’ll start this off first by saying that I do not wish to offend anyone with this thread. It is more meant to express a personal belief of mine and hopefully cause some thoughtful discussion. I’ll also start by saying I have had a somewhat diverse Christian upbringing. As a kid, I always believed in God, and reached out to him occasionally, but I was far from being strong in my faith until about a year or 2 ago. I was baptized as a baby in a LCMS Lutheran church, received my first communion in an ELCA Lutheran church, was confirmed in a PCUSA Presbyterian church, and have been attending a Catholic church for the last 5 years since I’ve been married (my wife was raised Catholic) in order to share my Christian faith and experience with her. So, I’ve seen a variety of different types of Christian faith. And frankly, I don’t see the point in any of them in regards to the distinctions they’ve made from one another. I will FREELY admit that, while I’ve been passionate about the topic I’m going to discuss in this thread for a while and have done a fair amount of research b/c of it, I’m sure I’m still woefully ignorant on some of the finer details than someone who has been heavily involved with the Christian faith for a long period of time (priest/pastor/chaplain, deacon, etc). However, I am not a fan of the denominationization (is that a word? lol) of the Christian faith, whether that be types of Catholic or Protestant faiths… and have even at times found the concept of the division frustrating (although I’m past that now). I mean, Lutheranism has SIX major denominations alone… and the total number of denominations of Christianity is enormous. And they’ve all derived and divided from the same bible (ignoring for the moment the slight variances from the Catholic and King James bibles). IMO, man has screwed up the Christian religion so much. IMO, Jesus created Christianity, and man created denominations. Some denominations were created in with good intentions, and some for self-serving reasons. I mean Martin Luther, who is generally looked upon as starting the Protestant movement, I believe still considered himself Catholic when on his deathbed. I don’t think he had any intention of starting a new branch of the religion, but what rightfully trying to reform the Catholic church from some of the nonsense and corruption they were up to at the time. Other movements, such as the English Reformation… King Henry VIII broke England off from the Roman Catholic Church and declared himself head of the church in England all so he could get a divorce. I don’t personally believe God had any intention or desire for his religion to be broken up and divided as it has been (and then you have people even fighting and killing for centuries b/c they believe their denomination is the correct version over another which is absolutely insane… but that is a whole different discussion). IMO, people that are super focused on a singular denomination to the point of not being accepting or open to others, condemning others, or looking down on others… are focusing on the words and not the message. The message is the same across all of Christianity. So why divide it up… which has only fueled non-Christian actions and feelings such as anger and hate? I mean, just in the faiths I’ve been involved in… communion or the Eucharist has such silly differences that MAN has created. Some denominations believe that it is simply symbolic in nature. Others, like Presbyterian, believe that it isn’t the body and blood of Christ, but that Christ is present in the bread and wine in spirit. Lutherans believe that it is the body and blood of Christ, but only during communion and that afterwards what remains returns back to being bread and wine. And Catholics also believe that it is the body and blood of Christ, but that afterwards what is unconsumed remains the body and blood of Christ. I mean, Lutherans and Catholics have decided to disagree on the LEFTOVERS. Really? That’s what’s important? Jesus instructed us to “take this, do this in memory of me”. All of the above are doing just that. So why quarrel and fight over the details? Again, it’s focusing on the words and not the message IMO. There are some chapters in the bible that I’ve come across that have really strengthened my belief in this concept. In Galatians chapter 3, it says: In 1st Corinthians chapter 12, it says: And in John chapter 17, Jesus in prayer before his death says: IMO, to me anyway, those all speak out that God intended us and wanted us to be one in his faith. Not broken up a hundred different ways, and CERTAINLY not fighting amongst ourselves “in his name”. So, is it ever possible that we may all be united as one again under Christ? Faith IMO is a very personal thing, and God talks to all of us differently for different reasons and purposes. Is it possible that personal beliefs of individualized faith could be embraced with the focus turned towards the message itself and not the words? Ex. - being able to worship together while it being ok if one person believes they’re taking actually consuming the body and blood of Christ while the next believing it is simply a symbolic gesture to do in memory of Jesus? To where no one cares who is “right” or who was “first” regarding the fine details but only cares that we each are striving to have a better relationship with God? Again, I hope this topic does not offend anyone, and I apologize if I've mis-spoken on any of my understandings of particular beliefs among certain denominations. My entire belief isn’t to condemn anyone who has an attachment to a particular denomination. I’m happy for anyone who has found God and that has found a faith that speaks to them that they can embrace to develop a strong relationship with God. I just don’t seen the point in why our religion has repeatedly divided itself and seemingly strayed away to focus on details that are unimportant to the overall message?