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Denominations are bad mmmmkay?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by ViaCrucis, Jul 15, 2015.

  1. AnticipateHisComing

    AnticipateHisComing Newbie Supporter

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    How are your concerns over recent history, the last 200 years any different than the reformation with Martin Luther? The same could be said of him and the others in his time.

    It kills me that a strong church tightly controlled "true doctrine" over an illiterate church body for over a thousand years. Along comes Luther, teaches Sola scriptura, and brings the Bible to the masses, but now Lutherans behave the same as the RCC by saying things like you can't just read the Bible, you need to be taught it, 'by someone trained in the truth in a seminary'.

    All churches that denominate themselves with a fixed set of doctrine behave the same as those that the OP seems to critique. Somehow the truth is developed into a set of doctrine that defines the church. After that initial "reformation", the truth can be little argued. The result when people read the Bible and find something lacking in the church's doctrine, they must split off, because churches today preach supremacy of doctrine in the unifying of a congregation.

    The reason why there are so many denominations today is that everyone can read the Bible, which is a good thing. The tight control over the "true" doctrine is obviously lacking in that it has only resulted in more denominations and some might say less unified church. Many here on CF GT have been promoting the supremacy of a "unified" church to one denomination. I do not place much importance on such an agenda. I feel if one denomination did have a completely true understanding of scripture, they would be able to defend what they say with scripture with convincing arguments and many would be won over to it. I don't think any church is there yet.

    Thank God that there will be a very easy doctrine test to get to heaven.

    Do you believe that Jesus is God and your savior?

    All other doctrines are superfluous.
     
  2. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Just a tiny note about that ^. Methodists are famous for having done this. Anglicans in America did hardly any of it, which is why you almost never find an Episcopal Church in a rural area today, whereas there are huge areas of the Midwest where one can expect to see a Methodist church at nearly every crossroads. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
  3. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Mystery Worshipper Supporter

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    That's only part of the story. Luther claimed the right of interpreting Scriptures because he had a doctorate in theology and it was his right to do so, to add to the glosses of interpretation, under the Church norms of his day.

    And what Luther taught in his doctrine of Scriptures was different from what the average non-denominational pastor teaches now days.

    People are sinful, and resist the truth. Even if a doctrine could theoretically be grounded infallibly in Scriptures, it doesn't mean people would want to believe it. The history of Christianity is people abusing religion, including the Bible, for their own ends.
     
  4. Standing Up

    Standing Up On and on

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    Do you mean last 2000 years?

    Are you advocating everyone to join those so-called apostolic denominations like RC or OO or EO? If not, what's your point?
     
  5. ChristsSoldier115

    ChristsSoldier115 Mabaho na Kuya

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    I think that people who reject current doctrines of existing denominations just don't understand the history or reasoning behind it. It is easier to reject something you don't understand and create something that suits you right? Your own personal Jesus.
     
  6. bbbbbbb

    bbbbbbb Well-Known Member

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    The southern colonies were famous for establishing chapels of ease of the Anglican church in rural areas so that the planters with their families and slaves would not need to travel all the way into towns such as Charleston in order to worship. The Carolinas and Virginia still retain many of these church buildings.

    upload_2015-7-17_11-10-7.jpeg
     
  7. AnticipateHisComing

    AnticipateHisComing Newbie Supporter

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    The OP attacks those that dissent from "denominations" under the premise of following scripture. To qualify Luther's dissents as being valid because of XYZ but current dissenting thoughts are not valid is hypocritical. Luther's dissents were from reading scripture and inspiration from the Holy Spirit, not through what he was taught in his doctorate. God's word is the ultimate authority. To say that only people trained in the church seminary are allowed to read scripture and introduce dissenting "glosses of interpretation" is an elitist concept used to protect the domain of a religious institution. God's word may be just as effective in any that seriously reads the Bible. Now it must be serious, and most do not devote the time to read all of scripture repeatedly, but then again most pastors do not read and study the whole Bible in their seminary training.
    The OP was not about any faults in any specific non-denominational pastor or the required training or knowledge of scripture that he would have. It just ridicules the premise that one may dissent from established denominations with the line "Bible alone, the Holy Spirit will lead me". You defend the hypocrisy of a Lutheran saying such.
    Exactly the reason why people should always read scripture for themselves and trust scripture over what their church teaches when they think they disagree. Blind faith leads to blindness. Blindness leads to being abused. Scripture teaches that we should grow up and not drink milk forever.
     
  8. AnticipateHisComing

    AnticipateHisComing Newbie Supporter

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    You plainly note the hypocrisy of the OP. It was OK for Luther to dissent 500 years ago, but now you can't.
     
  9. Standing Up

    Standing Up On and on

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    lol My one true dissenter is more oner and more truer than your one true dissenter. I know this because because because because because of the wonderful things he does. We're off ...
     
  10. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Not quite the same thing, though, it is?
     
  11. Tzaousios

    Tzaousios Αυγουστινιανικός Χριστιανός

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    It would appear to me that this part of your post fundamentally misunderstands how Luther conceived of the project of reform before and after the disaster of the Peasants War. He really did not conceptualize it as one grand, sweeping break with the Catholic Church.

    Also, in terms of method, Sola scriptura was not thought of as strictly using the Bible and nothing else. That is Solo scriptura, a method that Karlstadt and later "radical" reformers like Müntzer and Zwingli developed in opposition to Luther's "Catholic-lite" ways. Luther did not believe in discarding church tradition, patristics, or the sacraments as aids in interpreting and understanding Scripture.
     
  12. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Mystery Worshipper Supporter

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    Not true. Luther, throughout his career, emphasized his academic credentials in his right to interpret Scriptures. You are trying to put some kind of Enthusiast or Pietist spin on Luther, that Luther himself would not recognize. In fact he was quite hostile to those that claimed some novel doctrine through the Holy Spirit.

    The whole problem with American evangelicals is this egalitarian individualism. It's your cultural prejudice, it is not shared by all Christians or even by the biblical authors.

    God didn't give us the Bible to fracture the Church and created sects, which is what has happened in the past 200 years with almost every restorationist movement.

    I'm not at all into blind faith. I actually take a stand concerning a certain teaching on sexual morality that would probably get me censured here due to the American "Evangelical" bias of most of these forums (where dissent is not allowed lest one be dubbed "un-Christian") - but on the core dogmas of the Christian faith, I submit to the Church in its teaching, because I see no reason to assume I understand those matters better than others.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
  13. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Mystery Worshipper Supporter

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    Yup. There's nothing new under the sun, unless of course you are too uneducated to know that.

    Half the stuff I see on the fringes of the evangelical world was branded some of the worst heresies in the early church a long time ago. Nestorianism and Judaizing abound. The Jehovah's Wittnesses is really just a resurrection of Arianism. But when you think the Bible is a religion construction set, that's what happens.
     
  14. AnticipateHisComing

    AnticipateHisComing Newbie Supporter

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    Read my words that you quoted. They say nothing about Luther's intentions or strategy in the reformation. My mention of Luther is that he had obvious disagreements with the established church. He formulated them on his study of scripture. He was not taught to believe a different doctrine than what the established church taught.

    My issue with the OP is with the mocking remarks towards those of recent times that dissent with established denominations based on their understanding of scripture. Luther did the same, but somehow it was OK for him to dissent 500 years ago but now dissent is ridiculed. Seeing that the OP author is unabashedly Lutheran, I find it a little hypocritical.

    I am not in the nondenominational camp, but I do not believe any denomination has everything correct. So what is better, to cling to one denomination, lying, professing belief in something that has parts you don't agree with or go the easy route and be in a nondenominational church that does not make people profess anything? I guess the even easier route would be to not read the Bible and just believe what your pastor tells you.
     
  15. Tangible

    Tangible Decision Theology = Ex Opere Operato

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    Every Christian should regularly read and study scripture, and you should test what your pastor teaches for conformity to the scriptures and for conformity to the historical teaching of the church catholic.

    But if your pastor is a man of character and integrity who has applied himself to the study of scripture, in a properly credentialed and supervised course of study, within the framework of the historical church catholic, who is capable of understanding and studying the scriptures in the original languages, and who has received a proper call to the ministry of word and sacrament - why shouldn't you "just believe what your pastor tells you to"?

    This flies in the face of American individualism, that's why. We want to be the ones in control of what we believe, and we do not trust even legitimate authority. And that's our problem, not the pastor's or scripture's problem.
     
  16. bbbbbbb

    bbbbbbb Well-Known Member

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    Not quite, but it does prove my point that, at least in the southern United States where Anglicanism was the established church there were rural churches. They were following the ecclesiastical model from England.
     
  17. bbbbbbb

    bbbbbbb Well-Known Member

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    This reminds me of a friend of mine who was married to the greatest theologian of all time, Nancy. Nancy was truly amazing. She could do everything better than anyone in the world, including theology. For a time they attended a Lutheran church where they were fawned upon because my friend was a transplant surgeon with a generous heart. Unfortunately, the Sunday came when the pastor unknowingly taught error. Nancy took it upon herself to straighten out the man's theology for him and dropped into the church office the next morning. Oddly enough, he did not see the light. In fact, he was so arrogant as to tell Nancy that she was mistaken. As a result, Nancy and her husband left that church and decided to nurture a ladies' Bible study she led into her own church.
     
  18. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Chapels of Ease, as I understand it, are not separate parish churches.
     
  19. bbbbbbb

    bbbbbbb Well-Known Member

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    You are correct. Frequently they become parishes of their own when the number of communicants are sufficient to support a priest. Sometimes they remain chapels of ease because the membership remains isolated and small.
     
  20. Tangible

    Tangible Decision Theology = Ex Opere Operato

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    Nice story. Sounds like it was told from the point of view of "Nancy" without bothering to investigate the pastor's side of the story.

    It would be interesting to know certain fundamental facts, though, such as what exactly was the doctrine in question, what were the basis for her objections, and exactly how the issue was addressed. It seems pretty obvious to me that she was not too interested in maintaining biblical doctrine since she was willing to assume that she was qualified for the office of pastor, and to fall even deeper into error by starting up a church built around her and her own interpretations. Did you mention arrogance?

    This "Nancy" wasn't Joyce Meyer was it? She has a very similar story, and was raised LCMS Lutheran.
     
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