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Featured The Lord never intended for denominations

Discussion in 'Denomination Specific Theology' started by af2018af2018, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. af2018af2018

    af2018af2018 New Member

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    I never understood denominations. Its just something man-made to further separate us from one another.

    Was Jesus a Catholic? Did he ever say once to pray to his mother Mary? No.
    The golden plates of LDS focus our attention away from the Lord.

    I believe non-denominational is the closest we can get to what the Lord originally intended.

    All the pomp and glamor and fancy dress and focus on saints.. where did Jesus ever ONCE tell his disciples to do this? In fact, his entire life was on living a life separate from that stuff.
     
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  2. miamited

    miamited Ted Supporter

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    Hi af,

    I agree with you 100%.

    God bless,
    In Christ, ted
     
  3. W2L

    W2L Well-Known Member

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    People are raised to believe their denomination is the Church.
     
  4. A Shield of Turquoise

    A Shield of Turquoise New Member

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    So you ask, "Why are there denominations?", then list reasons you disagree with various sects, then name your preferred sect ("non-denominational", usually means some kind of Baptist) as the superior one.
     
  5. Phoebe Ann

    Phoebe Ann From Mormonism to Christ Supporter

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    47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

    I wasn't raised in any church.
     
  6. Servant of Yeshua

    Servant of Yeshua Member

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    I totally agree. In fact the only reason I put "Baptist" was to indicate that I believe in believer's baptism as everyone indicated in the bible first repented, believed and then was baptised. Acts 2:38

    A great read is "Letters to the Church" by Francis Chan. He left his large church and started a home church movement that is run by all volunteers. It is all with volunteers, so nobody is getting paid to lead and many many people are experiencing early church intimate studying and loving each other as the "church" is supposed to be. THe home church movement is called "Multiply". It is not a denomination, but a means to help organize bible study.

    But I am looking forward to that wonderful day when we are all together with Christ.

    Thanks for posting.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
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  7. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    But as has been said whenever a plea such as yours comes up around here...there is really no such thing as a non-denominational church/congregation. It is just a very small denomination.

    By that we mean that every church you can find has SOME doctrines. It virtually has to take a stand on at least the basic Christian beliefs. And so it becomes what every other denomination is, except of course for not being subject to any oversight from higher-ups in the organization.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
  8. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, welcome to Christian Forums :) God bless you :)

    I have been in various churches. In a number of places, the denominational or not denominational name tells you nothing about who is really there. The people there are what a church is or not.

    So, in case you are judging only by what a church's name is, it is possible you are being tricked, and this not by that church :)

    Predators and con artists can use any setting and label.

    And Christian people are able to use any setting for God's purposes.

    But it is good to find a church with mature leadership. And Hebrews 13:17 says to obey those whom God trusts to take care of us. If God trusts a leader, I would say we are wise to trust the person. And this, of course, does mean we need to be able to tell the difference so we aren't fooling ourselves into trusting a wrong person.

    And with Jesus we become able to be guided according to what He knows is true about each person and church group.

    So, in case any of us can't tell the difference, this means we can fool our own selves; and this is not being caused by any church group; with God we can make sure.

    Our Apostle Paul had people who labored with him. Ones of these were under his direction; so there was hierarchy. But people, often enough, personally knew Paul and these leaders with him. They were not trusting blindly. So, I would not blindly trust anyone you don't even know, just on the say-so of others you don't even know! :)

    In 1 Thessalonians 2:4-12 we have an example of how the Christians personally knew Paul and ones with him. They knew the personal example of these higher leaders. They were not just told what to do, but they could feed on the example of their leaders.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
  9. Kenny'sID

    Kenny'sID Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Though that sounds more like a directed rant (not judging either way) I would agree with the basics of what you're saying. Thing is, we simply can't have certain beliefs taught in in our churches so some are bound to go elsewhere or send us elsewhere..

    In a perfect world only.
     
  10. klutedavid

    klutedavid Well-Known Member

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    All Christians that leave denominational churches and start their own churches. Often and unavoidably over the course of time, end up generating a new denominational church, a new church movement with it's own doctrinal structure.

    That has been the history of the church down through the centuries to this present day.

    Even in these independent, new church movements, you will find all manner of doctrine and tradition that have been borrowed from the older established church movements.

    Church tradition usually smothers the Holy Spirit and I am not sure that this form of human behavior can be avoided.
     
  11. JustRachel

    JustRachel He welcomed me back! <3 Supporter

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    These days non-denominational often means total acceptance of even unrepentant sinners. One must be very careful and discerning.
     
  12. Tigger45

    Tigger45 St Francis Supporter

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    Lutherans are the 1st nondenominationals! :redcard:
     
  13. Radagast

    Radagast has left CF Supporter

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    Exactly.

    And, all too often, those "non-denominational congregations" deny fundamental Christian doctrines like the Trinity.
     
  14. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    I don't believe that what the Lord originally intended was for each local congregation to be isolated from the wider body of believers, though; which is the problem I have with any congregational polity, but particularly with non-denominational churches, which make each local congregation an island, with no relationship with or accountability to anyone else.

    I don't believe there's a perfect denomination or movement within Christianity, and ideally we wouldn't have any divisions at all; but since we do, I value being part of a denomination which is global in its relational network, and which thus provides checks and balances to local biases or idiosyncrasies.
     
  15. DeaconDean

    DeaconDean γέγονα χαλκὸς, κύμβαλον ἀλαλάζον

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    I'm not here to debate, but to give a different perspective.

    The goal is to unite all in the Body of Christ.

    However, look at the history of the primitive church and you'll get your answer.

    I refer to Acts 15 in particular.

    Let me quote from the TDNT.

    "Now we come to a most difficult area which brought conflict nearly two millennia ago, and one which still brings conflict today. The conflict concerning the Law and its relevance to Christians then and now. There is no clear cut definitive picture of just what the understanding of the Law was in the primitive community. But it is a certainty that they did in fact keep the Law, but as to the extent of the keeping of the Law it is not certain from the account in Acts because no distinctive can be discerned in this record. So what we can do, however, is to look at what records we do have concerning the conflict which are found in the book of Galatians and in Acts 15.

    The question of the Law first became an issue when the Apostles began their missionary journeys. When they moved out to the Gentile world, more specifically the Gentile nations, there was so much conflict that the first Apostolic Council is recorded. With regards to this meeting, and the decision they came to, we can work best work out what the fundamental understanding of the Law was in the primitive community.

    A problem that had existed from the Day of Pentecost was how to integrate Gentile believers into the church. Apparently, Paul taught his Gentile converts that they did not need to submit to the Law in order to be members in good standing, a point which not all agreed on. Paul’s first missionary journey took him from Jerusalem to Antioch to Galatia and back to Jerusalem which led to the first Apostolic Council meeting. AS in Paul’s day, there were a group of people who are commonly called “legalists.” Of whom believed that not only was a belief in God required, but also a strict observance to the Law of Moses was required."

    WE see then that according to the First Apostolic Council, there came out two separate "demoninations" (for lack of a better word). One that adhered to some parts of the Law, and one that very little of the Law applied to.

    While I agree there is a lot we "Christians" can learn from the book of Hebrews, some fail to realize to whom the book was originally addressed to.

    "Nevertheless, its first sentence enables us to identify at once those to whom the Epistle was originally sent: see Hebrews 1:1,2. They to whom God spake through the prophets were the children of Israel, and it was also unto them He had spoken through His Son. In Hebrews 3:1, we find a word which, however, narrows the circle to which this Epistle was first sent. It was not the Jewish nation at large which was addressed, but the “holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling” among them.

    Clear confirmation of this is supplied in the Epistles of Peter. His first was addressed, locally, to “the elect sojourners of the Dispersion ( Hebrews 1:1 — Gk., “eklektois parepidenois diasporas”). His second Epistle (see Hebrews 3:1) was addressed, locally and immediately, to the same company. Now in 2 Peter 3:15 the apostle makes specific reference to “our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you.” Thus all doubt is removed as to whom our Epistle was first sent.
    The Epistle itself contains further details which serve to identify the addressees. That it was written to saints who were by no means young in the faith is clear from Hebrews 5:12. That it was sent to those who had suffered severe persecutions (cf. Acts 8:1) is plain from what we read in Hebrews 10:32. That it was addressed to a Christian community of considerable size is evident from Hebrews 13:24. From this last reference we are inclined to conclude that this Epistle was first delivered to the church in Jerusalem ( Acts 11:22), or to the churches in Judea ( Acts 9:31), copies of which would be made and forwarded to Jewish Christians in foreign lands. Thus, our Epistle was first addressed to those descendants of Abraham who, by grace, had believed on their Savior- Messiah."

    A.W. Pink, An Exposition of Hebrews, Introduction.

    To a certain degree, that is still playing out today. One group says that if you don't believe such-and-such, your not a Christian. If you don't submit to such-and-such your wrong. And the list goes on.

    I am a Baptist because I believe they teach correct in that I am baptized "because of" (eis) the forgiveness of sins, and not "in order to" (eis) have forgiveness of sins.

    So, there have at least two "denominations" for the last 1985 years.

    One "denomination" of Jewish Christians.

    One "denomination" of Gentile Christians.

    God Bless

    Till all are one.
     
  16. Radagast

    Radagast has left CF Supporter

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    It's possible to have a unified body of believers with a congregational polity; Baptists and the Churches of Christ have that.

    You may feel that an episcopal polity works better; that's a different issue.

    Indeed. Denominations are a formal of partial unity that approaches the ideal God intended; so are interdenominational collaborations, "sister denominations," and other such initiatives.
     
  17. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    But by definition, non-denoms do not.

    (Having had some up-close encounters with Churches of Christ I'd argue that they aren't so unified anyway; but that is a side issue).

    Even if we leave aside the question of an episcopal structure, there are other ways to "do" church at a level higher than the local congregation. The Uniting Church do so, for example. (Their approach seems very bureaucracy-heavy, but it's just an example).

    Sure... but by definition, none of these things apply to non-denoms, who deliberately eschew such structures.
     
  18. Radagast

    Radagast has left CF Supporter

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    Agreed.

    Indeed; I'm Presbyterian myself.

    But my main point (which I think you would agree with) is that unity is a spectrum, with "each man is an island" on one side and complete unity on the other.

    "Nondenominational" groups are way over on the un-unified side. Often they deny fundamental cross-denominational creeds like the Nicene Creed.

    Denominations are way over on the unified side. It is in fact their high degree of internal unity that makes further unification (with other denominations) difficult.
     
  19. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    Yes... My point was that unity is a good thing; and therefore the idea that non-denominationalism is some sort of Christian ideal is something to be critiqued, at least.

    Your last sentence is interesting and I'm not sure about that. The Church of South India might provide a counter-example. But I think it's more complex than just internal unity pulling against bonds with other groups; there are other real and significant issues in play.
     
  20. Radagast

    Radagast has left CF Supporter

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    We are in complete agreement on that.
     
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