Why Are There So Many Disputes Between Bible Believers?

I want to highlight the problem of the huge differences between Evangelical Christians who believe the Bible is God's Word [The question concerning who or what is an Evangelical is vague, even though they have convened lectureships to help decide who or what is one]. I mean, come on, here are Christian people who claim to believe the Bible is divine guidance for all of life, ethics, and salvation. They claim atheists do not have such a standard and that theirs is firm as a rock. With such a standard you’d actually think that Christians all over the world would see things fairly uniformly, whether it’s the Russian Orthodox Church, or the Black Southern Churches; whether it’s the Lutheran Church of Germany, or Roman Catholics of Italy; whether it’s the Episcopal Church in England, or the Amish in Northern Indiana. There are Methodists, Disciples of Christ/Church of Christ Churches, Reformed Churches, Presbyterians, Mennonites, Assemblies of God, and a host of smaller groups including many groups that some others would call cults, like the Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Moonies.

But let me just stick to Evangelical Christianity here in America. After all, they claim to believe in the inspired, infallible and even inerrant Word of God, and they live in the same country. How goes the unity that Jesus prayed for them (John 17:21), or that Paul demanded (I Corinthians 1:10)?

There are several major dividing denominational issues, which cause splits in the local churches. Some of these issues include, the role of women in the church, the nature of charismatic gifts, the nature of the Bible, the issue of soteriology and sanctification, Calvinistic predestination/election, eschatology, church polity, and of course many ethical, political and social issues, like the war in Iraq, capital punishment, the separation of church and state, euthanasia, and even abortion and cloning. So what do you make of this phenomena among Evangelicals who have the only sure revelation from God? What's wrong with this picture?

How can the Christian explain this situation, since he or she believes in the Holy Spirit's guidance? Where's that guidance?

First posted 2/13/06