Optional page text here. The Beast's Lair: We Still Need Denominations Part II

Thursday, December 15, 2005

We Still Need Denominations Part II

In my last post, I discussed the myth that non-denominational churches do not have their own set of beliefs or creed that they follow, just like any other denomination. I mentioned how most even have a membership class where you are taught the teachings and beliefs of the church before you can join. What frustrated me is the number of people who think that the non-denominational thing is just worship, period, without the clarification of a belief structure. Those people call other denominations "crap" and don't realize they are doing the same thing.

The story has grown even more absurd, as a local pastor of a friend of mine is pushing his congregation heavily (and apparently rather rudely) into dropping their current denominational association and going "strictly non-denominational." Now, here is the kicker. The board of elders, church members, other staff and concerned parties are attempting to engage the pastor in dialogue as to how they will define themselves and their beliefs. They are not necessarily shooting down the idea, but they just want discussion on how the church will write out who they are and what they believe. To my amazement, this pastor does not want anything written. He wants to live and die by the 5 purposes of Rick Warren. To preach, fellowship, disciple, serve and worship. Period. That's it. Not another word written about anything. Nothing written about how the church understands salvation. Nothing about how the church views the condition of humankind.

So, what was once just a frustration of mine that the so called non-denominational movement needed to be seen for what it was, I am witnessing first hand the possibility of it turning into our worst nightmare. That a church be so focused on looking like our prevailing culture that we fail to offer a viable alternative from it. By simply saying, "we just want to worship with no guidelines, no beliefs," a church is giving a nod to the post-Christian, post-modern relativism that is knocking louder and louder on our doors. What are the common quotes from relativism? "All paths lead to God." "That may be true for you, but it's not necessarily true for me." And my personal favorite, "All religions are equal." When a church is so determined to avoid any statement of faith, they are embracing every one of the previous quotes, even if their intentions are noble.

If there was ever a time in history when our churches need to boldly and clearly define who we are, it is this day. With church attendance on the decline and new age thinking on the march, a clear line must be drawn so that the church not be confused with an "open" gospel message. All paths don't lead to God. It's a lie. And in the church's concern of hurting someone's feelings because of a culture that says all paths are truth, we are collectively allowing the door to hell open a little wider.


Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

Wow! That is unbelieveable. I used to always go for the non denominational church, but have now joined a presb. church. I was raised a catholic, and jumped around to all different types of churches, thinking that it'd be better to be non-denominational. But these non denoms. dont' have the same flavor as a chruch with some history behind it.

December 15, 2005 9:27 PM  
Blogger The Light Fantastic said...

But the whole idea of people assembling to worship God came from the New Testament. So you can say that the true church of the Lord's guideline is the New Testament!

December 15, 2005 11:56 PM  
Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

Welcome to the Cubisphere, you are now entitled to all the perks that being a Cube Head entails.

December 16, 2005 2:41 PM  
Blogger The Beast said...


thanks for the comments and for the add. Merry Christmas to you!

December 16, 2005 4:18 PM  
Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

Thanks bro, much appreciation. It's good to meet someone I can talk horror movies with and not feel like a heathen.

December 16, 2005 4:19 PM  
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March 17, 2007 1:31 AM  

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