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  1. #1
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    Is there such a thing as a non-denominational church?

    I saw this quote, and found it quite interesting. I somewhat agree with it. If anyone has an opinion on this, I'd like to hear it, especially from those who have set their icon as non-denominational.

    "Non-Denominational. In my opinion, there is no such thing. All such groups constitute their own denomination. I suspect this is how the UN comes up with 27,000(+) groups. Having apparently grown frustrated with all of the denominational conflicts, they seem to want everyone to give up their current beliefs...and accept theirs. They seem to represent Christianity at its lowest common denominator, with their particular view depending much upon their pastor. They can be small groups or large mega-Churches. They appear to reject both Catholicism and historic Protestantism. Consequently, they might be termed a second Reformation. They can be some of the most anti-Catholic."
    -- Stephen P. Haws

  2. #2
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    Non-denominational churches do not come with an organized set of "practices, hierachy, etc." What makes us non-denominational is that we do not associate with any large organized group, say like the Methodists, Baptists, Angelicans, etc. Worship practices vary from church to church. About the only constant you will really find is a belief that Jesus Christ is our risen Lord and Savior and that the bible is the written word of God. Beliefs that bind all Christians.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  3. #3
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    While that may generally be the case, it's not entirely true. There are a number of self-labeled non-denominational churches that do have very organized sets of practices, doctrines, and leadership hierarchies, and even centralized church government.

  4. #4
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    I find the quote to be very accurate. I once attended a non-denominational mega-church while in religious education courses at my own church.

    It pretty much was just "basic" protestant christianity, trying to appeal to bunches of people. Flamboyant pastor, very contemporary church service with songs (karoake on big screens no doubt), etc. It almost looked like an elaborate money-making scheme. The pastor there has his own local TV show, he writes "books" like no tommorow, it just seemed more like a guy trying to appeal to all to get money.

    I dunno, I may be wrong about that, but that's almost what it looked like to me.
    ~Zealous

  5. #5
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    Do "non-denominational" churches get a protected status and not have to pay taxes break like other religions, I wonder?

  6. #6
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    After reading Scott Hahn's "Rome Sweet Home" I figured this, even though he didnt even mention the non-denominationals. I don't really consider non-denomination to be non-denominational either, since there is no set doctrine, the local "non-denominational" church preaches whatever the pastor(s) ideolog(ies) are, therefore he sets his agenda on why not to be officially protestant/mormon/catholic/orthodox/anglican ect ect.

    I'm friends with a girl (not to be confused with, girl-friend) who is a non-denom. and she basically chose that path because she is sick and tired of the umpteen thousand protestant denominations using twisted scripture to support their views, and tired of the catholic/orthodox so called "false dogma". I debated with her once when I was on my class trip in arizona, although it was brief since we didn't have any materials in front of us. She didn't seem too anti-catholic. I've seen worse from official protestants though.

  7. #7
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    I find the quote to be very accurate. I once attended a non-denominational mega-church while in religious education courses at my own church.

    It pretty much was just "basic" protestant christianity, trying to appeal to bunches of people. Flamboyant pastor, very contemporary church service with songs (karoake on big screens no doubt), etc. It almost looked like an elaborate money-making scheme. The pastor there has his own local TV show, he writes "books" like no tommorow, it just seemed more like a guy trying to appeal to all to get money.

    I dunno, I may be wrong about that, but that's almost what it looked like to me.
    There are a few like this, but most non-denominational churches are not. Growing up I attended a non-denominational church that was just the opposite: small, quiet and very focused on helping its members grow in Christ. Thats the whole point, non-denominational churches are those that dont fit the boundaries of the major Protestant churches.

    And most of them do not simply follow the teachings of their preachers. In fact the opposite is usually the case. Where many of the major denominations are stuck with whatever priest, pastor, bishops, etc that they have non-denominational usually select their pastors in a democratic fasion. I have known of instances where preachers have actually been fired do to some reason or another.

    Religious services tend to be more modernized with new technology and songs when compared to other denominations. This is because, other than a few specific things (such as communion) the bible does not specify any exact worship practices or ceremonies. So most non-denominationals worship in their own manners, some by more traditional hymns, others with the aid of modern technology and new music.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning
    I saw this quote, and found it quite interesting. I somewhat agree with it. If anyone has an opinion on this, I'd like to hear it, especially from those who have set their icon as non-denominational.

    "Non-Denominational. In my opinion, there is no such thing.
    Many of these "non-denominational" preachers in effect declare themselves prophets. Since they have no apostolic tradition, many claim that God speaks to them directly and tells them how to interpret things. They also pick and choose Christ's teachings in the Gospels...focusing greatly on some aspects and ignoring others. I also find that many of these types also focus a great deal on the Old Testament.

    I have to come to classify these Churches as being in the "I'm OK, you're OK and gee don't don't we get a warm fuzzy together" In my opinion these Chucrhes are not focused on God, worship or even Jesus. They sure seem focused on the preacher and the people attending the service.

    I travlel through many parts of the US on business...through a lot of rural and suburban areas. I have not done an scientific census but I have noticed in some towns the number of these so-called "non-denominational" churches corresponds almost two to one with the number of Bail bondsmen operating the town.

  9. #9
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    With regards to this discussion of "non-denominational" one factor seems to be left out. There are those who simply are Christians only. They have no headquarters, no conventions, no creed book other than the Bible. They simply pattern themselves after the original church that was established in Jerusalem on the first pentecost after the resurrection of Christ. The Book of Acts is their pattern for converting people. They work with other congregations that hold to the same pattern but each is independent of the other in that their "shepherds" (elders) have only the oversight of the one congregation they shepherd. They have no power over any other congregation.
    While they may choose not to fellowship another congregation because of doctrinal differences, they have no authority to tell another congregation what to teach or how to conduct their affairs. This group is neither Catholic, Protestant or Jew. They are non-denominational in that they claim to be the true church and always stand ready to defend that position. I am a part of that group. To call us "another denomination among other denominations" does not make us so. We existed long before the Catholic Church ever began. When God cast off Israel He established His church, purchased by the blood of His Son. We are not self-righteous, narrow minded, or hateful toward anyone. Yet truth will never change by our refusing to believe it. Love demands telling the truth no matter the cost. Jesus is the perfect example of that.

    Prosecutor

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartacus
    Many of these "non-denominational" preachers in effect declare themselves prophets. Since they have no apostolic tradition, many claim that God speaks to them directly and tells them how to interpret things. They also pick and choose Christ's teachings in the Gospels...focusing greatly on some aspects and ignoring others. I also find that many of these types also focus a great deal on the Old Testament.
    I've been involved in numerous non-denom churches my entire theist life. I've never once found this to be the case (as you claim above).

    I have to come to classify these Churches as being in the "I'm OK, you're OK and gee don't don't we get a warm fuzzy together" In my opinion these Chucrhes are not focused on God, worship or even Jesus. They sure seem focused on the preacher and the people attending the service.
    Again, NONE of the churches I've attended (which vary in size, culture, economic status, etc...) fall into this "label".

    I travlel through many parts of the US on business...through a lot of rural and suburban areas. I have not done an scientific census but I have noticed in some towns the number of these so-called "non-denominational" churches corresponds almost two to one with the number of Bail bondsmen operating the town.
    Again, NONE that I'm aware of do this.

    Me thinketh thou protesteth "too loudly" here. Much ado about nothing.

    Prosecutor, good post, but you mislabeled your religion to be "Other-Religion" in your USER CP it appears.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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  11. #11
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    I am curious as to how many of you have visited a "non-denominational" church and if you have, how many?

    Spartacus you have made some very broad claims regarding non-denominational churchs. I have attended many such churchs from several different states (Iowa, Illinois, California) and have never once encountered the type of claims you have made. In non-denominational churchs the preacher does not rule, but is decided upon by the elders and congregation and I have yet to meet a congregation that blindly follows their preacher. As I have posted earlier it is not uncommon to hear of preachers being fired for some issue or another. I view this in contrast to the major denominations where the church hierachy seems to rule over the people.

    prosecutor if you are a "non-denominational" why do you have the "other" religious icon?
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Godlesspagan
    Do "non-denominational" churches get a protected status and not have to pay taxes break like other religions, I wonder?
    Non-Denom churches are churches like every other church.

    Despite what a few have claimed here...Protestantism is merely the grouping of denominations of Christians who disagree w/ the Roman Catholic Church, in otherwords, they are non-Catholics. The term comes from "protest", which was resultant of the Reformation. It originally was used to described those who protested against the RC Church...today, it has been expanded to include just about any western religious group that is not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson




  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galendir
    While that may generally be the case, it's not entirely true. There are a number of self-labeled non-denominational churches that do have very organized sets of practices, doctrines, and leadership hierarchies, and even centralized church government.
    All churches have a set of practices. Doctrines come from the Bible only (non-denom are anti-tradition), and all churches have some form of hierarchy (Paster/Minister - Elders or Church Board, etc...).

    Having been to non-denom's all of my theist life, I've never been to any church that doesn't have the above. Non-denom was correctly described by Chad.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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  14. #14
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    First of all I would like ask everyone whom I might have offended with my last post to forgive me.

    We had a death in our family very recently and the resulting "non-denominational" service was very sad and disturbing on many levels from my family's perspective. Although in my post I stated what I think, my take on it, I think was influenced by my emotions concerning our loss and the "spiritual" aspects of our realatives dying chosen by our relative's spouse to reflect her own faith or lack thereof.

    So please forgive me if you were offended. None was meant.

    I think anything that brings people closer to Christ is great...

  15. #15
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    Having tried to set things right please let me explain....


    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis
    I've been involved in numerous non-denom churches my entire theist life. I've never once found this to be the case (as you claim above).
    Apok, I did an overnight drive the other week from Chicago to Toronto and on the Radio every hour on the hour there was a commercial from a preacher in Chicago who claims he had talked to God and "Gold told (him)...yadayada.." and telling people if they want learn more come to his Church on Sunday. Are you saying that claims of God speaking to indivuals and God inparting to them specific interpretations of specific earthly things are unheard of among non-denominational Christians?

    Does anyone recall Pat Robertson's message about God having a shield surrounding the United States and how God was disappointed with the United States and 9/11 was the result? If these are not the actions of someone who thinks himself a prophet can you explain why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokolupsis
    Again, NONE of the churches I've attended (which vary in size, culture, economic status, etc...) fall into this "label".
    Well now that's where "non-denominational" becomes a slippery slope now doesn't it? Non-denominational can mean anything. I once attended "something" billed as a non-denominational service that I think was probably best categorized as a motivational seminar...Oh there was a cross and mentions of Jesus as well as Mohamed, Moses, Bhudda, etc. People were told to draw upon the power from within...that intangible essence in every human being that puts them in tune with the higher power...I walked out.

    I have also attended many non-denominational services while serving in the Army...when sometimes one takes what is available in the spiritual sense. SOme of these services were actually some of the most spiritually moving for me given the circumstances...but that was on a personal level only. Read on and I will explain more....

    I do not say that these services or beliefs hold no truth or that they are wrong or anything like that.

    There is nothing I can state here that will make anyone understand my perspective. All I can say is that once one has particpated in Orthodox Liturgy services...and had some things explained...nothing else comes even close to being called worship. Sure I've gone to other "services". I've heard some very good, knowledgeable and no doubt faithful speakers. I've heard some good music and I've heard some bad music at these services.

    But for me, when I go to worship God, I am not going there for me to be entertained. I am not going there to hear a good speaker or music. I am not going so that I can leave with a warm fuzzy feeling.

    I am going to worship God, to pray, meditate and ask for mercy and forgiveness for myself and others who are living and dead.

    If I want music I'll go to a concert. If I want a great speaker I'll go hear that speaker on my own time.

    If I attend Liturgy and hear a great speaker that is a plus. If after worship we share or discuss with others of the same belief that too is also a plus. If I feel good when I leave that too is also a plus...but it is not the reason I attend Liturgy.

    In the Scriptures it is made abundantly clear that God demands to be worshipped. From my perspective, what I see others doing just does not seem like worship to me. I see people focusing on a preacher. I see people focusing on music with instruments like organs, drums and electric guitars....I see people going to service to feel good about themselves....I see preachers driving and even being driven in luxury cars.

    Again I am not saying these things are wrong or bad. Rather I do something that I think is more Good -- and it can not be found in a non-denominatinal anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokolupsus
    Me thinketh thou protesteth "too loudly" here. Much ado about nothing.
    Apok do you still think this now?

  16. #16
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    Apok, I did an overnight drive the other week from Chicago to Toronto and on the Radio every hour on the hour there was a commercial from a preacher in Chicago who claims he had talked to God and "Gold told (him)...yadayada.." and telling people if they want learn more come to his Church on Sunday. Are you saying that claims of God speaking to indivuals and God inparting to them specific interpretations of specific earthly things are unheard of among non-denominational Christians?

    Does anyone recall Pat Robertson's message about God having a shield surrounding the United States and how God was disappointed with the United States and 9/11 was the result? If these are not the actions of someone who thinks himself a prophet can you explain why?
    You can find freaks like this in every denomination and religion. It is not fair to classify non-denominationals by the actions of a few nut jobs.

    In the Scriptures it is made abundantly clear that God demands to be worshipped. From my perspective, what I see others doing just does not seem like worship to me. I see people focusing on a preacher. I see people focusing on music with instruments like organs, drums and electric guitars....
    The bible does not specify how we must worship him. IMO it is best for a person to worship God how they are best able.

    Music is a perfectly acceptable form of worship. Look at all of the psalms that were composed by David. Meditation and deep prayer work for some, but many feel that they express their love for God best through song.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737
    Music is a perfectly acceptable form of worship. Look at all of the psalms that were composed by David. Meditation and deep prayer work for some, but many feel that they express their love for God best through song.

    I could not agree more......

    LOLOLOLOOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOOL. :D :D :D :D :D :D

    I do not think there is a more musical form of worship than Orthodox Liturgy. The entire service is sung and chanted. We even chant the readings of scripture. Psalms are an integral part of this...we chant and sing them in ancient tones unchanged little since the very beginning of Christianity.

    I have no problem with music. But from my perspective when one incorpartes an instrument into their worship they are putting that instrument between them and God. The instrument, the musician, the playing.... it distracts.

    I find it intriguing that you wrote what you did...I am still chuckling. If you ever experience an Orthodox Liturgy you will know of what I write.

    Yes I agree freaks, apostates and false prophets arise in all faiths. In Orthodoxy though we quickly disassociate such "preachers". The same is certainly not true of non-denominationals. I gave Pat Robertson as an exampe. Do you classify him as a freak? How does Pat Robertson differ from David Koresh in this regard of saying he speaks to God and indeed speaks for God?
    Last edited by Spartacus; April 8th, 2004 at 10:02 PM.

  18. #18
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    Thanks for all the feedback. I am certainly not anti-non-denominational. I just found a quote that interested me, and that I agreed with a few parts of. I think there are some non-denom churches that are all about modern music and no tradition and a charismatic pastor, but I'm sure there are others that are simply groups of Christians who believe in the Bible but don't agree with much else in organized formal denominations. I'm a very open-minded Christian (or I try to be), and I will never claim that my denomination/church is absolutely correct. I am completely honest when I say I'm Anglican because that's how I was brought up. I enjoy going to different services and churches/temples/synagogues. I have been to Catholic, many denominations of protestant, and Jewish services. I recently went to a Pentacostal church, which is probably very similar in service to many non-denoms. I actually enjoyed it (although I will admit it felt more like an informal gathering than "church" as I am used to it.) My intention is to go to an Orthodox temple, an Islamic mosque and the remaining protestant churches I haven't visited as soon as possible. A big thank you for the feedback to all my non-denominational and other friends.

  19. #19
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    I have no problem with music. But from my perspective when one incorpartes an instrument into their worship they are putting that instrument between them and God. The instrument, the musician, the playing.... it distracts.
    Im begining to understand your viewpoint, however, David was a famed harpist and song his psalms with the harp.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737
    Im begining to understand your viewpoint, however, David was a famed harpist and song his psalms with the harp.
    Strange, I have never seen a harp at any Synagogue I have been in.

 

 
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