Maybe this isn't a very important question, but I've always wondered where all the different churches and denominations came from. I know some people say they only differ in minor details, but why don't they agree on everything? — S.G.
One reason there are so many different churches and denominations in our nation is because we live in a country that practices religious freedom.
This wasn't true several hundred years ago in many countries; then only one church was tolerated in most nations. But when people immigrated here from other countries they were free to bring their own religious practices with them, and they did. Many of our major denominations trace their beginnings back to their European roots—Lutherans from Scandinavia, for example, or Presbyterians from Scotland.
Other churches came into existence because of some minor disagreement over doctrine, or to meet the needs of a particular group of people. Sadly, occasionally churches have been started for less noble reasons—a conflict between members, for example. When that happens, Satan must rejoice; one of the things the Bible says God hates is "a man who stirs up dissension among brothers" (Proverbs 6:19).
In spite of this, all Christian churches agree on the central truths of the Gospel: We are sinners in need of God's forgiveness; Jesus Christ came down from Heaven to save us from our sins by His death on the cross; by His resurrection we can have eternal life. He alone is our hope, and He alone is the foundation of His people. Have you committed your life to Him?