Dear Protestants, can you help me to understand something?

Dear Protestants, can you help me to understand something?

You all agree that 1 verse can’t be taken out of context right for an “objective interpretation” of God’s Word right? So what about 2 verses, can they be taken out of context? What is the smallest number of verses that can be taken out of context to get an objective interpretation? And what about chapters? Can a chapter be fully understood in isolation from all the other chapters? If not these things, then how can all the individual chapters and all the individual verses all together be taken out of context either?

In other words how do Protestants know that their own sinfulness is not deceiving them into following unclean spirits whom, in their sinfulness, they mistake for God? How do they know they aren’t projecting their own evil desires onto whomever they wish God to be?

(I don’t ask this as Catholic or Orthodox, but as a Christian seeker taking the question of which church to join very seriously.)

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Go talk to your priest and he'll sort out everything for you

I already know the Catholic position is that the Church is the context of the Bible. I’m just wondering the Protestant justification for taking the entire Bible out of context if they’re against taking n number of verses out of context, n=1,2,3,…


It seems to me that that’s precisely what someone is doing when they read the Bible in isolation from the Magisterium?

Maybe all things are not exactly as they seem to you and your feelings

I’m willing to hear why I might be wrong… I made this thread to be proven wrong.

FYI you aren't going to get an actual Protestant answer here because they've been driven out.

Couldn't you have posted in any one of the other 2 dozen "which church should I join" threads?

Not entirely, but we don’t bother talking since the mods won’t bother to remove false-flag posts.

Nope. Do you not think the question being asked is novel enough to deserve its own thread? If the answer is so obvious, why have 10 replies been posted and we still have no answer, not even a single attempt at an answer?

Protestant orthodox catholic here (lowercase o, lowercase c.)
The Word is Living and Active. Its not good to worry about verses and chapters, since they were simply added later for reference; they're not inspired, and they often add unnatural divisions and unnatural breaks.
You could think in terms of literary sections, and sub-sections. The internal order of the written passage will tell you what this is. If you find a good "reader's bible" it will help delineate that, without chapters and verses.
Just read the new testament, and note how Christ and the Apostles quote the Law and Prophets (and that they sometimes change a word to add a new meaning.) It is okay to quote a short quote or phrase: they did it. Their usage, especially that of the Apostle Paul, illustrates proper quotation/citation of prior scripture.

There are no easy rulebooks that will make hermeneutics safe. Every word of Scripture is God-breathed, but hermeneutics performed everyday, from the scholar to the layman is a battleground. Pray to God for wisdom as you read Scripture, and He will lead you over time as you grow in knowledge and understanding.

How do you know that your version of what the Word means is correct? If 10 people read a book, even if it’s the Bible, there will be 10 interpretations of God, even though there is obviously only one God. Is this is a contradiction?

This leads to the second part, namely, how do Protestants know that their own sinfulness is not deceiving them into following unclean spirits whom, in their sinfulness, they mistake for God? How do they know they aren’t projecting their own evil desires onto whomever they wish God to be?

Thanks for your answer.

How do you know the catholic chruch is not telling you the wrong thing? Like when they burned women at the stake and did a million other sinful things?

Well, don’t you think that all other things being equal, apostolic churches would be more likely to have the truth?

No I don't think that. They have tortured and murdered innocent people many times over the centuries, among other evils. Why would I think someone sitting on a throne sitting under a gold plated roof would know about humility and being humble and not burning people at the stake?

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You’re taking the sins of Catholics into account, and it’s easy to point fingers. I’m asking whether apostolicity is would make a church more desirable and pleasing to God, all other things being equal.

no I don't think that. I think that, I don't know what you mean by "all things being equal" does that mean you ignore everything they have done and all their behavior?

I guess if that's the case then "all things being equal" and ignoring the past O.J. Simpson would be the best person to have as an ex husband, right?

Ceteris paribus, a sinful church is inferior to a sinless church. I think everyone can agree on that. But there is no such thing as a sinless church, so how is that an argument?

You are asking loaded questions, you are asking me "don't you agree with me": "Don't you think I am right when I say this church is better"

No I don't think that. The argument I would make is the catholic church has demonstrated many times over the last 1000+ years that they often do not interpret the bible in the right way which has led to many things being done in their name not limited to horrific murder and wars.

That is a demonstration in fact that they do not have a perfect or even great record on handing out interpretations of the message of Jesus Christ. It is a valid reason for a person not to go to them by default when wanting to make sure parts of the bible or the bible in whole is not "taken out of context" as described in the OP.

How are my questions loaded? Do you not think apostolicity is a good thing ceteris paribus? Obviously it is.
How do you know?

You’re right that I can’t “know” either if the Catholic Church is telling me the wrong thing. Everything in life requires faith. What I do know though is that Jesus forgives sinners who are loyal to Him and condemns righteous people who reject Him, and that does seem relevant here does it not?

You just asked and answered your own loaded question after asking me how your questions are loaded, nice

I am pretty sure Jesus would not have been "Pro executing women by burning them at the stake" but yeah i might be wrong! maybe the catholic church was right about that! herp derp

So your answer is just to blindly do whatever they say, if they pope told you some random virgin teenage girl was a witch and you should burn her at the stake, would you?

just have faith and don't question anything because the church told you to do it, is that what you get from reading the bible? if so why?

If the apostles hands touching a guy who then touched another guy ad infinitum mattered, then your church never would have acted so murderously to its brothers throughout the past millennium.

First of all, I don’t know what a “loaded question” means... Do you think apostolicity is a bad thing ceteris paribus then?
How can a Protestant rightly say this as long as they also believe that Jesus believes that everyone is a sinner deserving of Hell?
Would you not do whatever God told you to do? Would you not genocide a wicked an idolatrous tribe of the Lord commanded you to do it? Or would you not sacrifice your firstborn like Abraham?

It means you are assuming something, and not asking an open question. Such as if I say your cat is not pretty then you say as a response "don't you think my cat is the prettiest cat in the world all things being equal?". It shows you are not honestly listening to me and just want to talk over me and make your assertion over and over again

I’m really not assuming anything, I’m just asking if you agree with these ideas I have been thinking of as a Christian thinker.

No man is God, "the chruch" is not god. No I would never kill or genocide anyone because someone told me to on the authority of some title he held in some organization. Jesus was CAREFUL to warn us about this and to say we would know who was to speak for him. He told us many people would come and claim to speak for him and we must never do what you are saying and just go out and kill because someone told ust they were speaking for jesus

read the bible, read what jesus said to you

Matthew 24:3-8

And I am saying "no I do not agree with the idea of following someone blindly who claims to speak for jesus for the reason jesus told us not to do that and we must look at 'the fruit' or what the person is saying and not do the thing they are telling us if the fruit is bad" 7:15-20&version=NKJV

Novel enough? No. It doesn't matter how it's been dressed up. The question is literally, "Which church should I join?" Same as many other threads. Putting a tomato on the sandwich doesn't change the meat.

Yeah but the Bible isn’t God either. So my basic question is how can we know God and also how can we know that we know God and know that we aren’t worshipping a false Christ? And if this isn’t possible, what steps we can take to optimize our chances? In this respect, don’t you think apostolicity is a step in the right direction?
So if you were an Israelite you wouldn’t obey Moses because he wasn’t the Lord Himself? You wouldn’t obey the prophets or any of the heads and leaders of Israel because they’re not God?

An important question you skipped over: How can a Protestant rightly say that torturing heretics is bad as long as they also believe that Jesus believes that everyone is a sinner deserving of Hell? So in a real sense, Jesus is someone who tortures heretics?

What kind of fruit is the Church producing today? Charity and hospitals and encouraging people to come to Christ, right?

It’s not “which church to join” it’s “how can Protestants know they have God.”

Prot. (o) (c) here again, thank you for the further reply. I will try to sleep on this and answer at greater length, if you're willing to check on this board again tomorrow.

Just a couple scriptural exhortations to all of us, regarding a common temptation on these boards:


"But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment."

Does this include "speaking" on the chans?

Assuming I am not bothering to address any trolls here, the temptation for us to break these commands is a strong one, because of the nature of these boards, the tech we are using, and the fact that the tech shields us from the living presence of the other contributors. It would be wise to keep in mind that we are fellowshipping with other immortal images of God, when this electronic medium can cause us to forget that.

The gracious thing to do is to assume that, unless an user is an obvious troll, we are believers who have been granted salvation in Christ. That is the assumption I work from when posting. Attacking particular errors or atrocities of another brother's Church tradition will simply become a game of rock/paper/scissors, because a different historical instance can always be found and wielded.

I think the OP's question is fair, and a good one.
I have the weakness of skepticism myself, and can identify.

I would like to try to be slow to speak here, and pray and sleep on a more lengthy response to post tomorrow.

The topic of hermeneutics is perhaps one of the most significant battlegrounds of our day, due to the democratization and availability of information, and the fractures of the various branches of the church. Doubts and fears about Christ via hermeneutics are an attack of the Enemy. But God gave us Thomas as an example because He is gracious.

But Christ also "wondered at their (disciples') unbelief." ):

I appreciate your questions, and I believe they are sincere. I will need time to answer in a more orderly fashion, but before then, a couple observations:

Its becoming obvious on this thread that a couple other topics are important, and interrelated:

-The histories of the various branches of the church and how one interprets the sins and errors of a particular branch as having a bearing on the authority of their hermeneutics.

-The eschatological view of each believer has great bearing on this, and on how we interpret "the history of church errors" of all branches of Christ's body. By this I mean, not just the "end times" beliefs we hold, but what story is God telling us through church history so far, to what ultimate teleological story ending/purpose of Man?

I have to get to bed, but just something to meditate on:

-If we slow down and MEDITATE on the word, does it provide us with directions on these difficult questions? (for example, Christ and the Apostles' use of the OT quotations)

-This is a question of semiotics, which has perhaps emerged as the key philosophical question since the (dis)enlightenment. I will try to expand on this tomorrow after I get off work, but just a note: the disagreement over the semiotics of the Eucharist was a key element of the break in the Reformation, as well as in the hermeneutic break in the Reformation. It is not an insignificant topic.

Just some things to pray about and consider. I look forward to discussing more with you brothers tomorrow.

One more topic for OP to consider: it would help if you have particular instances of the most important interpretations over which Protestants disagree. Hope I can provide some insight. Most of the English and United States denominational divisions are not even for valid reasons, I will readily admit. (Valid reasons, though, are separations based on fundamental liberal corruptions, etc.)

Good talking with you brothers, have a great evening.


How can anyone know that? blind faith in an organization of men with an at best questionable history does not help

Take as much time as you need.
It’s hardly a weakness, indeed we are called by Christ to be skeptical.
A false prophet can be either the Pope or an anti-Pope Protestant depending on your view. Hence why
Simple logic therefore indicates that the majority of “Christians” literally worship false Christs, and the chance of an average Christian worshipping the true Christ is almost nil. Let that sink in. I’m not saying that no Protestants can know Christ, but they do need to do more to defend their views given that they don’t have the benefit of fellowship with the historic body of believers.

Why wouldn’t it be? Is it not self-evidently a good thing, ceteris paribus?

Maybe not “know,” but we can make reasoned guesses by looking at the big picture and by thinking about as much as possible. E.g. “Church X has committed too many sins” is not a valid reason per se given that we know that all men are sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God.

Explain to me how it is "self evidently" a good thing to ignore what Jesus told us about people coming to say they speak for god and telling us to do evil things and go with an organization that has told people do do evil things vs. doing what jesus said and deciding for ourselves who bears "good fruit".

explain why jesus was wrong and should be disregarded on this topic

Ignoring Jesus is surely not a good thing, but that was hardly the question, right?
On the other hand, this is self-evidently a risky thing, given that if we know one thing, it’s that we are sinners living in an evil world in which both our sinful perspectives and the sinful perceptions around us are untrustworthy.

It's exactly the question, you previously asked me if I would kill or commit genocide because someone told me to, the answer is no. Jesus said to watch out for people who bear bad fruit, the Catholic Church has gone through long periods of time bearing bad fruit and condoning torture and murder. That is why I look at any man who is telling me to do things on behalf of god with my own sense of reason. Because Jesus told me to and I follow Jesus

Except it’s really not. The question is if apostolicity (i.e. fellowship with the historic body of believers) is not self-evidently a good thing (ceteris paribus).
How do you deal with the “10 reads of the Bible lead to 10 different interpretations and 10 different Christs, even though in reality there is only one Christ, so that simple logic indicates that the majority of “Christians” literally worship false Christs” argument?

well of course it's easy to use "the bad fruit" argument and be a non-denominational christian and just "follow jesus" because your church hasn't existed in history before, and can't be called into judgement if it existed.

It is demonstrably not always a good thing, what more do you want? WWII is not a long time ago, but you can use that time to see there were priests and large parts of the church that were willing to go with Hitler and some that were not. You can't just go with the church to decide what is good and bad fruit. You are asking how protestants can know what is and not in context. The answer is "by using my brain like jesus said" I would rather be judged when I die and say "I did what I thought was right" and be sentenced for that vs. "well the priests told me nazism was OK so I just did that" and be judged for following evil

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It depends on who those people are, whether they are guided into all truth by God or whether they are unsaved and lost. All the unsaved and lost people are going to be coming up with private interpretations, that's because they haven't chosen to believe Jesus nor are they receiving God's help by access to him through his Spirit. But that's not everyone because some are saved. If we receive the same help, we will get the same teaching from the same and the only God. And that's the only way to tell whether someone is privately interpreting.
If someone is lost and not getting God's teaching then they have no way to tell. The first thing they have to do is get saved by believing his word, get right with God and pray for his guidance, knowing that with God all things become possible.

If someone chose not to believe this, they might start looking for groups of men with which to search for agreement, to have it revealed to them from flesh and blood, but that search never ends. And it would only be because they didn't believe the record that God gave of his Son, as it says in 1 John 5:9-10, when it was presented to them. It would be because they were determined to place belief in something lesser, on some shifting changing sands and tried to build something for themselves from that.

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friendly reminder that Protestants aren't the only ones that find the "bad fruits" argument compelling.

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Being alive is demonstrably not always a good thing (Matthew 26:24) but that doesn’t mean that life isn’t good ceteris paribus.
There were many in the Church that opposed Nazism and risked their own lives in Germany to help its victims. How much more righteous are those that “use their brain” to improve the Church rather than using their brain to judge and condemn the most conspicuous representation of Christ on earth (the Church) as wicked?
You’d rather be judged for following your own sinful desires?

Are you denying that when 10 Protestants read the Bible they walk away with 10 different interpretations and therefore 10 different Christs?

what are you talking about? now you are being dishonest.

The Catholic chruch with the nazis did exactly what they always do, played both sides so that no matter the outcome they would come out OK. They courted the nazi high command and if hitler had won the church would have continued on just fine. Had you been in the parish of the nazi priests and gone to them looking for advice they would not have told you to reject the nazis.


i am done here

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? Why are you offended? Do you think your desires are not sinful, and that you are a good judge of right and wrong? Do you think that you don’t project your own sinfulness onto whomever you desire Christ to be?

You clearly didn't understand a single part of my post. I'm not attempting to defend protestantism, I'm actually a baptist, and the point I have been trying to make here is that any unsaved person will not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as described in John 14:16-17.

This also doesn't take into account the fact that many people don't even read the Bible, but mere imitations. So then the ten people you are thinking of may not even be reading it in the first place as you suppose. That's why the word has to get out to the world in order for them to either accept or reject it.
But why would you ask me the kind of question as you have, when you know your definition of "protestant" isn't even correct (because it doesn't include me) nor is this relevant to what I've said? You said "ten people" and now you've shifted it to talking about protestants for some reason? If there are ten unsaved protestants then they likely don't read much less understand the Bible. But I'm not here to judge whether some type of person is certainly going to hell or not, which is the trap you're trying to set now with the change you've made in your own question. You originally asked about ten "people" and that's what I responded to. I'm glad to answer your question but How could I be denying from my post something you didn't even ask? It's like the most bad faith kind of argument I've dealt with in a while.

Bro you asked how Protestants can not follow the church and have been provided with examples from burning women at the stake to hanging out with nazis and you still don't get why people don't want to follow the chruch? really?

yeah ill just go to the church that saluted the nazis so i don't let my "sinful desires" cloud my judgement

First of all, I’m interested in the Baptist faith as well. I don’t know a lot about it other than it traces it’s history to Europe. But I guess a lot of my questions about Protestants apply to Baptists even though Baptists don’t seem to love that label (why not?).

Secondly, I absolutely did not change the word “people” to “Protestant” intentionally. But since you’re a Baptist, why don’t I use that word? Because you still haven’t addressed the question, so here it is again: Are you denying that when 10 Baptists read the Bible they walk away with 10 different interpretations and therefore 10 different Christs?
How does a Baptist such as yourself know that whatever he perceives to be of God is actually of God and not of the evil one pretending to be God?

Even if the Catholic Church is as wicked as you say, how do you know you don’t follow a Christ made in your own sinful image?

Just wait until we start hearing polemics contra the "Constantine paedo-baptism state churches with a million denominations"

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I cannot tell if you are being willfully dishonest or cannot follow a simple conversation. Nobody can be 100% sure of anything, but having faith in what Jesus said about using your own judgement to decide who is bearing good and bad fruit is the choice some have made. The Catholic Church does not have a great record of deciding good from evil. You need to accept that as an answer.

Jesus told us to be aware of false prophets, which is logical and obvious. He didn’t say to apostatize the minute an influential person in the church which you belong to has an opinion that you disagree with…

And again, yes it’s true that everything in life requires faith, including Christianity. It doesn’t mean we can’t apply reason. We know that Jesus forgives sinners who are loyal to Him and condemns righteous people who reject Him — that does seem relevant here does it not? We also know that some churches have physical, historical ties to Christ through the apostles. Is that not a treasure in itself?

And then there is the numerical argument. Which faith is more likely to be true, a community which is unified or a religious wilderness which is splintered into a million tiny pieces?

The original point of my first post is to say that the only thing that matters here is whether or not they are saved. If all of the people are unsaved then they will always end up with a private interpretation, whether they claim to be agreeing with someone else or not. If all are saved then there is one God who teaches them all alike. Obviously since the truth is only a certain way all of these people will arrive at the same doctrines if they are actually reading the Bible.

And this is a big point also because hardly anyone, probably around 1% of people, even reads the Bible at all. If they are ignorant about what it really says then there's also no way they can learn doctrine. Many more claim to read the word than actually do, so there's that to consider as well. One of the biggest problems facing this generation is the lack of any study even for just a little bit.

So with all of that in mind, yes there are unsaved people who claim to be any number of things, baptist included. If all of them are unbelievers, then all of them will walk away with private interpretations, whether theirs or someone else's, since they are not being taught correctly. Only God is able to teach his word. Meanwhile, If all of them are believers and therefore they are all receiving the same teaching and they are all receiving the Bible (which God delivered to us) then it is possible to co-arrive at the one truth. And the truth isn't determined by majority vote nor is it determined by might makes right.

As the prophecy writes, "Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts." - Zechariah 4:6

All I am able to explain is that God helps us through his word, that his sayings contained in them is real, and the Spirit is real. That's why I'm thanking him and doing these things knowing based on the promises that it serves a higher purpose. All I know how to do is ask and believe, and it will be done according to the will of Christ.

It seems that your whole argument is that “anyone saved will converge on the one truth, and anyone not saved will have their own private truth.” That’s true by definition, since by definition all saved people converge on the one truth, or else they wouldn’t be saved. The problem is why you believe that your version of salvation is the real one and not your own private distortion, a mirror image of your own sinful nature. Christ warned that people will believe that they are saved even though they are not, hence the weeping and the gnashing of teeth — what assurance do you have that that’s not you other than what you tell yourself about who Christ is in private?
If that is true then why teach, or why do anything for that matter? God wills everything.
Even the demons know that!

So then the question is answered. That is why there is no contradiction. None of those people is relying on the word of any other of those people, so the existence of various nonbelievers that come away with false ideas can't interfere with the truth. In fact by acquiring the truth, this enables him who receives the word to see clearly where the error is. That's how the apostle John can reaffirm to you- "We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error."
– 1 John 4:6

I don't have a version of Scripture, just the one and only New Testament. The existence of the word of God stands by itself, unchanged and certainly not by me. That's how I can confidently tell people to read it and hear it, knowing that he will be here to allow those who worship him to believe and hear those things. As he opens their understandings, according to Luke 24:45.

"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." – 1 John 5:13

Ephesians 2:10, God has foreordained works.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. – Ephesians 2:10

No they don't. It says in James chapter 2 that devils believe that there is one God. Which is true because pharisees believed that.
But they also deny the Son. "Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also." – 1 John 2:23
And it's not possible for the synagogue of the adversary to receive the Spirit of Truth. "and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost." – 1 Corinthians 12:3

My overarching point in this thread is simply that sinful humans inevitably use the Bible to create sinful (and therefore false) Christs, made in their own image. Is anyone prepared to disagree with that?

I guess no sinful human has ever had a position in your church right?

OP, please consider visiting /christianity/ for a fuller discussion without the threat of mod intervention.

That is definitely true. Pics related.

user never said that or even implied that and you know it very well. You should genuinely feel ashamed for attacking a strawman. Where did user imply "no sinful human ever had a position" in his church?

Shame on you. You clearly feel no shame whatsoever in being dishonest. Take a step back and re-evaluate what you're doing.

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I'm new to Zig Forums and I am absolutely flabbergasted at the amount of deleted posts I see in every single thread. What is going on?!?

Where did he say that? Quote the words.

Would that be the same Church that selected and preserved the books that would later constitute the Bible?

What happened to the post I was replying to…?

Dear Protestants, if you tell me why you believe what you do I will still just ask you over and over again "But don't you think another church is better?" and pretend not to understand

your friend;


Hey, brothers, Prot. (o) (c) here, just got off work, excited to be back!

Hi, OP, I think it might be worth going back to your original post to actually answer your questions before going further afield!

You all agree that 1 verse can’t be taken out of context right for an “objective interpretation” of God’s Word right?

No, not all of us, especially in the nightmare of U.S. protestantism, do agree. The more astute scholars of Biblical, orthodox denominations tend to agree on hermeneutics principles, with the basic fault lines of the Reformation remaining unresolved among RC, EO, and Prots. But among the Prots, I'm sorry to be insulting, but there ARE more astute traditions, and some Protestant denominations are theologically completely unprofitable. This does not mean their members are worthless or damned, God is often more concerned with everyday obedience and sanctification of the lay members. But the more you work your way up the church leadership food chain, the denominational distinctives are often just protected by careerist wolves who know they would lose their narcissistic "Big Fish, Small Pond" status.

The truth is, there is no easy set rule, other than how God describes His Word to us himself.
"The Word is Living and Active…" "for the Scriptures cannot be broken…" "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation."

(Rereading the way you wrote this makes we wonder if you are trolling, OP, or if you are perhaps just severely frustrated, and wanting to vent to Prots., or just nuke us. I totally understand, either way, I've been there, and have seriously considered attending RC or EO, but it would be with serious reservations, and non-official membership.)

It's not a matter of verses and chapter divisions, since those aren't inspired, but of : word> phrase> sentence> paragraph> literary section> book, etc.
From the micro to the macro, all can be either in or out of context.
Sometimes, in more difficult cases, it does depend on the education and accumulated wisdom of the hearer to judge the truth of the quotation.
But usually, in simpler cases the layman can check back to the original context, and the "literary section" is enough to tell if the quotation is valid or not.
Also: Christ and the Apostles typically made use of very short (what we would consider single phrase or verse) quotations. So length is not the problem.

Rather than refer to it as "TAKEN' out of context, it might help to think of the problem as Scripture "PUT INTO false context".

Scripture is a set of patterns that interact and grow more complex in our minds and lives as we grow in the knowledge of God…like DNA replication. The problem is when the mis-use of Scripture BREAKS THE PATTERN. The quote can jump up and down levels of Universality and Specificity and not break Biblical pattern. However, having more complete knowledge of the original textual context of the quote, as well of the entire Bible, will deepen the understanding of THE ORIGINAL SPECIFICITIES OF THE SOURCE QUOTE.
Some mis-uses will only be detected by more well-versed scholars/teachers, because they are more subtle.

Easy example: "God is love" can be used in hyper-specific expository preaching in the direct context of I John, or it can be used in potentially infinite, more or less general ways that do not break pattern, and are therefore valid.

But it can also break pattern in such an obvious way, that a person who is not even Christian, who just has "natural revelation" can detect it has been PUT INTO FALSE CONTEXT:

False "Priestess" pronounces two gay men "husband and husband":
Pozzed audience cheers.
"Priestess" gives false benediction: "God is Love!"
Pattern broken. False context.

(Just a side-note: I have to be honest here: to visitors from another era, it would look like we are living in a nightmare wilderness of interpretation, semiotics, and skepticism in our day-to-day lives. I don't think any generation before us has had to deal with cognitive dissonance in this level of detail, and it's ALL of reality, not just theology and ecclesiology and hermeneutics… It really is a grievous task, but let's pray that Christ gives us strength to glorify Him in these particular battles he has ordained for us…)

Some do, and some don't know. Lay members who grow up in a particular church stream and stay there are not really culpable. I don't think God requires all men to rethink everything. Our responsibilities are LOCAL, first and foremost.
However, church leaders at ground zero of a given church division are often more culpable, both demon-deceived, and self-deceiving, yes.

Some false beliefs are ignorance, some are more culpable.
Peter and the circumcision party in Acts is the case in point. Even an apostle, the rock upon which the church was built, can be deceived.
Okay, so some quick answers here:
Not just protestants, but the divisions within and among RC and orthodox: yes, I believe (cannot prove in every case, but I tend to assume) that ALL Church division is based on Doctrines of Demons (not necessarily always "unclean" spirits, who may have more to do with physical lusts, but, yes, deceptive Powers and Principalities more generally.) The bigger and more fundamental the Church division, the more powerful the demon.

Second, and also of some importance, many church divisions did not come about through the demons merely manipulating the logic of the interpretation of Scripture, although in the historic, high-level heresies, concerning the doctrine of Christ, the Trinity, etc., that DID often happen. In many cases, esp. WITHIN a church branch (different RC monastic orders, different Orthodox national churches, different Protestants of the same general branch separating from each other) the demonic cause is the use of mere political, financial, ego, or sexual motivation (unclean spirits active in these cases), with a genuine theological "point" or "doctrine" magnified into a totalizing false pretext for division.

Okay, so here I think we need to look at OP's questions with greater precision. This is tied up with what he asked earlier about

Well , that absolutizes the hermeneutics problem in a way that causes some confusion, I think.
Not all misinterpretation creates the guilt of creating a false God or false Christ. That's too totalizing. That CAN and HAS happened: but it has to be false teaching directly affecting God's character, identity, nature, and attributes as revealed in Scripture., i.e. a denomination that rejects the Trinity, or a cult that says Christ did not have a body, etc.
Peter didn't create a false God or false Christ, but he would have split the Church had Paul not opposed him. He knew exactly who Christ was, better than we do, with actual physical interaction, but he erred in ways that betrayed Him. A great example of warning –and MERCY!– to all of us!

Other interpretations causing denominational division, though still demonic in origin, do not qualify as worshipping a false god or false christ. They DO count as misunderstanding what God HAS SAID.

Even beyond that, I have visited pentecostal "oneness" denominations. Many of the lay people there are true believers: they have thegood fruit and true, simple faith in Christ for their salvation. Remember: God did not tell us that greatly precise doctrinal knowledge was required for saving faith: hence, the thief on the cross.

It seems that your whole argument is that “anyone saved will converge on the one truth, and anyone not saved will have their own private truth.” That’s true by definition, since by definition all saved people converge on the one truth, or else they wouldn’t be saved.

It's NOT really true by definition… anyone saved will converge on faith in Christ, the OBJECT of saving faith, and their good fruit will show the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, over time. Other differences in doctrine are not necessarily damning, but they are the result of confusion and/or sin.

Who are you to claim you know the mind of The Lord and what he is concerned with?

The Bible tells us to judge a tree by its fruit. Find a church with good fruits, and you'll know that they preach the true gospel and have the Holy Spirit guiding them.

Yep, and the only Church that fits that criteria is the Catholic Church

That is just your opinion

Except it isn't. It's the truth, and the truth will set you free, prot.

I know you're probably tired of hearing this, but you're telling me that the church with pedophile priests is the only one that fits my description? The very same church whose pope says things like pic related? And don't give me the whole

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His creation