Sunday, June 17, 2007

Denomination vs. Local Church

A great article/commentary on the Internet Monk blog about local church vs. denominations. Here is a little extract:

The local Church that you belong to is not the local denominational congregation that you attend, important though that congregation is. Biblically speaking, the local Church that you belong to is defined more by geographical than denominational or confessional lines. The local denominational congregation that you attend might be more closely analogous to a Gentile Christian group in Antioch in the first century. Such a group is part of the local Church, but it is not the local Church. The local Church includes Jews and Greeks, male and female, slave and free. In our situations, the local Church will probably include Catholics and Protestants, Presbyterians and Baptists, Methodists and Pentecostals.

In light of this, we should beware of giving too much loyalty to denominations. The work of God in our areas far exceeds the work that He is doing through our particular denomination. We need to become more concerned about the progress of this larger work than we are about the progress of the cause of our denominations. We need to become more committed to the larger cause of God in our area than we are to preserving our particular denomination’s identity.

SOURCE: Internet Monk: Riffs: 06:16:07: Alastair Roberts on “The Denominational Church”: 16 JUNE 2007

Read the entire article, it's worth it.

<>< TM


Tim said...

Denominationalism is way more divisive than unifying. People seem to have a need to define and then denfend themselves based on some kind of grouping. Splitting the faith into little pieces splinters the body. If there is power in unity as the Bible says, then Satan HAD to find a way to keep us from coming together lest WE are able to over come him.

My first trip to Russia, with beliefvers from every denomination I ever heard of, and a few I have not, was a beautiful thing. We all came together, no talk of what you beleive, or what I beleive, just people letting Jesus shine out of them. We were there to show the kids love, and it didnt matter if we were young, or old, male or female, wage slave or wealthy, and it didnt matter if you were a Catholic, Methodist, presbyterian, or Lutheran. It wasnt about us. it wasnt about our home brick and mortar church, and it wasnt about our specific breed of Christianity. It was a bout Jesus. And because of that, it was a fabulous trip and many, many people got to see the love of our Lord.

A friend of mine once said that we are supposed to stand on the rock, not throw pieces of that rock at one another!

God Bless,

theodicy said...

Hey Tim,

Thanks so much for your comments, I can related to EVERYTHING you point out.

I started going to my first non-denominational fellowship back in 1988, and have never wanted to attend any other sort of church. The lack of denominational politics is particularly refreshing. In some churches, especially the Catholic church, it seems there is more emphasis on the structure than there is God.

No doubt many people are tired of denominations, for the very reasons you mention.

As for me, I want to be just a "Christian", without having to include qualifiers as to "Baptist", "Methodist" or even Protestant or Catholic.

One of these days we are going to have to get together, and I'll share with you all the wild & wacky things that have been happening since we've talked last.

<>< TM