A True Church (Darwin Fish)

A highly exclusive religious group that denounces mainstream Christianity as apostate.

Religion: Christianity
Denomination: Fundamentalist
Founder: Darwin Fish
Founded: 1992
Location: United States

A True Church, founded by Darwin Fish in the early 1990s in the United States, represents a fundamentalist Christian denomination distinct for its critical stance against mainstream Christianity, which it deems apostate. Central to its doctrine is the inerrancy of the Bible, the necessity of adhering strictly to its commandments, and the imminent return of Jesus Christ. This group is characterized by a literal interpretation of the Bible, focusing significantly on themes of sin, repentance, and salvation.

The origins of A True Church trace back to Darwin Fish’s departure from conventional Christian denominations, establishing a new religious movement aiming to adhere more closely to what Fish considers the true teachings of the Bible. This departure was not just theological but also led to the creation of a community with distinct practices and beliefs, centered around the conviction that most, if not all, other Christian churches have strayed from the path of true Biblical teachings​​.

The church’s practices are austere and uncompromising, evident in their simple worship services devoid of traditional Christian rituals and symbols. This extends to the lifestyle of its members, who are encouraged to live piously and separate from societal influences considered worldly. Their meetings typically involve Bible study, prayer, and preaching, reflecting their dedication to a purist interpretation of Christian doctrine​​.

A True Church is particularly noted for its evangelistic efforts, predominantly through the internet and literature distribution, aimed at warning others of the perceived widespread apostasy within mainstream Christianity. The group openly critiques other religious leaders and denominations, leading to significant controversy and allegations of extremism due to their uncompromising and exclusionary interpretations of Christianity​​.

A True Church remains a small, closely-knit community, primarily composed of Fish’s family and a select number of followers. Its insular nature and stringent adherence to doctrinal purity have limited its appeal to a broader audience, with membership estimated at around 50 individuals. The church has been critiqued for its harsh judgmental stance on nearly all who do not align precisely with their scriptural interpretations, leading to further isolation from the larger Christian community​​​​.

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