Is denominationalism an obviously bad thing according to (most) Protestants?


#62

No…not really, but specifically my reply was about the sermon at non-denominational churches. Poster made it sound like sermons in ND churches were all about making you feel good with little depth.

I was saying that my (our) experience is quite different. We often leave the wife’s parish wondering what the homily was even about, or “did he really go there”? Where sermons at my church we always walkaway with something to think about, talk about and apply to daily life.


#63

I can’t refute your personal, subjective experiences of sermons / homilies…but I am surprised that a Protestant would reply “no, not really” to my question of taking discussion topics from the Scripture readings, collects, and antiphons of the day…I thought Protestants were all about studying and reflecting on the Bible? The Mass is 90% Scripture…the readings always give me something to think about.

I was raised Evangelical Protestant. I’ve heard hundreds and hundreds of sermons from dozens of pastors. While most Protestant pastors are very good speakers (as that is “the emphasis” of their role, at least on Sundays), I find that they tend to go on too long…at 30-60 minutes, you tend to get a lot of repetition. I fully admit that many Catholic priests struggle as homilists…but when you get a priest who is a skilled homilist, I will take a solid 10-15 minute homily over the 45 minute sermons of my youth any day. The focus of Mass is not the homily; the homily is commentary on the readings of the day. The Mass is, first and foremost, an encounter with Christ…first through the Word and then in the Eucharist.


#64

I think most Protestants believe that you can be from a different denomination and still go to heaven, although they usually think their denomination’s beliefs and interpretations of scripture are the most correct. Personally, I am bothered by the proliferation of Christian denominations and think it hurts the heart of Jesus because I don’t think He meant or wanted Christianity to be divided like it is.

With that said, I think certain denominations have certain strengths that, if combined with those of others, would really be awesome for the cause of Christ. For example, I remember the sense of reverence I felt as a child in the sanctuary of the Presbyterian church of my parents. I think Baptists in general do a great job of teaching children how to memorize scripture and learn Bible stories – some of these kids are like human Bible encyclopedias. I think Pentecostal and non-denominational congregations are very welcoming and stress the work of the Holy Spirit in a charismatic sense. Many Methodist, Lutheran, and Episcopal churches combine liturgy with an evangelical zeal that is quite commendable. Catholicism, of course, has all the sacraments and can legitimately argue that they were the original Christians that can trace their spiritual lineage directly back to Christ and the disciples.

However, I think certain theological differences are divisive – some major and some minor. For example, some believe communion is really the body of Christ, most others believe it to be symbolic. Some believe in infant baptism while others believe a person should have a spiritual awakening and profess faith in Christ before being baptized. Of course, the abortion issue is a major divisive issue within Protestant groups – the more conservative ones lean pro-Life whereas the more liberal lean Pro-Choice. The list goes on and on.

In summary, I think the answer depends on who you talk to. In my view, the existence of so many denominations confuses non-Christians and may cause them to hesitate before considering Christianity as a faith option due to the lack of unity.


#65

I agree with most of this, but I’m not aware of any protestant churches that are pro-choice, except when the life of the mother is at serious risk.


#66

God bless you for your observation.

When that conviction, and that knowledge are united, in all Christians, the Day of the Lord will have arrived. Praise God!


#67

There are mainline Protestant churches where extreme views of abortion are tolerated, even among the clergy. Not too long ago, there was a president of an Episcopal seminary who caused controversy because she went around saying that “abortion is a blessing.” Note: She did not say “abortion is a necessary evil” or “sometimes abortion is tragically necessary to save the life of the mother.” She said, “abortion is a blessing” even when it is totally elective.

"When a woman wants a child but can’t afford one because she hasn’t the education necessary for a sustainable job, or access to health care, or day care, or adequate food, it is the abysmal priorities of our nation, the lack of social supports, the absence of justice that are the tragedies; the abortion is a blessing.

"And when a woman becomes pregnant within a loving, supportive, respectful relationship; has every option open to her; decides she does not wish to bear a child; and has access to a safe, affordable abortion - there is not a tragedy in sight – only blessing. The ability to enjoy God’s good gift of sexuality without compromising one’s education, life’s work, or ability to put to use God’s gifts and call is simply blessing.


#68

Well thank you. Not sure it is an observation but really what a born again Christian has always been, the Spirit bearing witness. Not sure you can be a Christian otherwise, today or at His coming…gotta have the oil in your lamp, fire in your belly now, else He say depart from Him on the day of His coming, that He never knew us.

Again thank you , blessings


#69

Sorry to let you down…there’s so many times we walk out and ask each other…“what was he talking about” or “did he really say that”…really takes an empasis for us; especially when said homily was basically just a commercial for their school or it puts down non-Catholics or Catholic/non-Catholic marriage.

I’d say that 18-22 min is the normal “wheelhouse” for my minister back home. Some may be longer…but nowhere near 45 min, let alone 60.

My wife was a member at one parish where the homily was anywhere from 2-4 min…we’re pretty sure his goal was to keep Mass in the 40-45 min range, and I laid out above what we usually hear now.

So ya…we prefer the sermon from my ND minister back home. It’s always something that applies to everyday life that really gives us something to think about, to the point where my wife has brought up some of his sermons with her parents…at her parish not so much (as laid out above). I guess YMMV depending on the priest/minister… ¯_(ツ)_/¯, which was my point when poster above said that ND ministers are “feel good” and no substance, which isn’t our experience at my home church.


#70

I think alot of Protestant denominations think it’s fine and normal for their churches to be broken up into so many denominations. It’s not uncommon for some Protestants to decide to create their own independent or nondenominational church someplace based on their own authority.

The main objection I see to this model is that the early Church in the 1st century had a much more organized model with regions being organized under bishops.


#71

Not necessarily. What the book of Acts and history seems to indicate is that the Church spread either purposefully as your say through the sending of missionaries to establish bases from which the gospel was proclaimed, or unintentionally as persecution caused the dispersion of Christians throughout the Roman world. In the latter case Churches often formed in new cities and areas, elders from the various Churches in a region would then begin meeting to discuss issues and eventually appoint an overseer or bishop. You see both models throughout Church history running concurrently. Additionally, we plant Churches not on our own authority, but through the command of Christ.


#72

I think you just confirmed what I was saying. Sure, I could imagine cases where first-second century Christians dispersed and set up local churches, and then the Churches appointed a bishop/“overseer”. Even in that case, the overall model is still to have regions under bishops. This is different from the model that many low church nondenominational or independent Protestant groups use when they set up churches in regions where there are already Catholic and Protestant bishops and yet don’t want to be under bishops.


#73

I think it depends on the ecclesiology of the body that is planting a church. While, not all Protestants hold to an episcopal polity, most do have a structure that either maintains some hierarchy to theoretically hold the teaching and preaching of their member churches accountable to scripture (theoretically). The charismatic and non-denominational church bodies unfortunately do have a view of polity that the local church is self-contained and accountable to no one above the parish pastor. I think this is a sad thing. But that being said, I think history demonstrates that holding to an episcopal polity is not a guarantee of orthodoxy. Bishops are just as liable to play fast and loose with doctrine or to turn a blind eye to their supervisory roles as the parish priest or pastor is.


#74

Thanks. Again, I don’t see anything in what you have written as factually contradicting what I wrote:


#75

Well, what you wrote was contradictory to begin with. The conversation was about denominations, a fair question. You somehow turned that into a question of which is the correct polity in church planting. Two completely separate issues.


#76

Denominationalism Is the nature of THEM. … Endless divisions.


#77

Luther saw the consequences to his actions quickly. He was excommunicated. Then came all the others after him.


#78

Ianman87,

Re: ERROR

Q:

Does either tradition or scripture teach that

one can be in heresy, and after being given the knowledge of truth , they remain in heresy, they still will be saved?


#79

Do we trust our knowledge for salvation? Do we trust our own understandings? If we do then our trust is in ourselves and our ability to be “religious” and not in Christ.

I try to be a good person but I don’t trust in my goodness for my salvation. I try to understand the scriptures and God’s will and call for my life but I don’t trust in my understanding. I try to live a life of faithfulness and love but I don’t trust my ability to be faithful and loving for my salvation. Instead of trusting myself and my abilities to do any of those things, I trust in Christ alone. I rest on His Grace and Mercy and Love.

My cry to the Lord is simple. “Lord have mercy on me a sinner”.

God will decide if I’m a heretic or not. It will not be you and it will not be the Catholic church.


#80

You have a faith made up (composed) by you. I’m asking for specifics (evidence) in what I asked.


#81

What is “heresy” to you? I have a feeling our definitions are different.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.