In the USA, competition within a particular sector or industry is generally viewed as a good thing.
When the auto industry was young, the consumer had limited choice in color and model if they wanted to buy a car. For example, a black Ford Edsel was the main option for a time.
Now, there are multiple carmakers and all possible vehicle sizes, shapes, and color choices to choose from. There is seemingly a car for every home and budget.
Mail and Package delivery:
At one point in time, the Government-run Postal Service was the main way to send letters and packages. Now, there is email, UPS, Federal Express, and other options.
For a time, McDonald’s was the only burger place in my town when I was growing up… Now, Burger King, Wendy’'s, and multiple hamburger establishments afford a wide variety of choices when it comes to what kind of burger you may want to order.
American, United, Delta, Southwest, and many other airlines serve different cities and countries. Chance are there is an airline that flies to or near where you live or where you want to go.
One could argue that competition has benefited the ordinary citizen and society as a whole in terms of choice, quality, and cost. There are very few monopolies in any industry.
In Western Europe, for much of Christian history the Roman Catholic Church was the only option in Christianity. With the Protestant Reformation, other religious options became available. Nowadays, there are lots of different Christian denominations.
Has religious competition helped or hurt Christianity in general?
Is the Catholic Church stronger or weaker due to this competition?
I’ve decided to pose to CAF what I’ve been mulling over in the mind for the past few days.
Forgive me if it is a dumb topic, but I wanted to hear what others have to say about it.
Part of me thinks that competition by other Christian denominations has helped the Catholic Church stay true to its religious calling and historic mission and stay out of politics, like when it divided up South America between Spain and Portugal in the late 1490’s. .
However, Jesus in John 17:20-23 talks about the need for Christian unity, so part of me sees all the Christian denominations as troublesome, also.