The mantra “One Church is as good as another” has been around for many years. Like all effective lies there is a kernel of truth in it which makes it seductive. To illustrate the horrific untruth it contains, consider this matter using four questions asked in a first century setting:
Question # 1: Is it true that one idol is as good as another idol? Yes, because “we know that an idol is nothing in the world” (1 Corinthians 8:4). Therefore, the Canaanite god of fertility—Baal—is just as good as the Ephesian goddess of fertility—Diana/Artemis—and is just as good as the Corinthian goddess of fertility—Aphrodite.
Question # 2: Is it true that an idol is as good as Jehovah, the one true and living God? Certainly Not! “we know…that there is no other God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live” (1 Corinthians 8:4-6). Therefore, neither Baal, nor Diana, nor Aphrodite, nor any other god, nor the entire pantheon of the Greeks, Romans, Canaanites and/or Egyptians is as good as Jehovah.
Question # 3: Is it true that one idol’s temple is as good as another idol’s temple? Yes. There may be features about Corinth’s temple to Aphrodite that you prefer over Ephesus’ temple to Diana, or vice versa, but the issue is determined by personal preference, nothing more.
Question # 4: Is it true that an idol’s temple is as good as Jesus’ temple? Certainly not. Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians is a colossal waste of time otherwise.
Like the fundamental and clear differences between a plastic fruit arrangement and a fruit salad made with fresh fruit, there is no comparison between an idol’s temple and Jesus’ temple (i.e., the church).
Fast forward these questions to the 21st century and update the language to reflect the times, and the answers remain the same.
Is one denomination just as good as another? Absolutely.
Is any denomination just as good as the church Jesus built? Certainly not!