Non denominational - Can it be real?


#1

I stood under a guy who claims to be a non denominational christian. He told me that on his church, it doesn’t matter what christian denomination you belong in.
I doubted of course because I know there are lots of differences when it comes to doctrines and practices but maybe i am wrong. I would like to ask your opinion about this.
Don’t get me wrong. I maybe a straight catholic but I do love all people, catholics or non-catholics.

He showed me this video:
www youtube com/watch?v=gQeG6iwDhD0

BUT MY QUeSTIOn Is: How can a non denominational church operates it’s preaching in their mass?
We all know that we have a difference in baptism “INFANT” and “BELIEVERS” baptism.
For me, it’s like serving 2 or more masters at the same time.
Or are they simply going to preach only that has similarities.

The website of his church is www donclipperministries com

Even trinity is different in other denominations. Some believe and some don’t.

I’m barely confused but I love the concept of have them all one together as one christian family.

Hope to hear your comments so that I will be enlightened!


#2

It’s moral relativism. They don’t believe in absolute truth.


#3

In my experience, non-denominational is nothing more than a name for someone who believes in the basic Christian faith of the Bible. My husband went to a non-denom church for a while before he converted.

A lot of them are very touchy-feely…lots of singing and praising and hand raising. That’s never been my cup of tea but I know that most people who go to these churches are good Christians. They mean well and love the Lord. I think they’re a little too heavy handed on the emotions though.


#4

What is an aglipay Catholic?
Are you from the Philippines?


#5

I would not listen or go down that road and I say that from experience of going down that road. There are many “churches” that claim to be non-denominational. It is their way of pulling away from mainstream Christianity. For the most part they all have different beliefs and their view on what non-demoninational can vary greatly also.

It is very important to love all people but you don’t have to believe what all people say or believe in what all people believe in.

Many non-denominational churches beliefs are so way out of line from the teachings Christ gave the Church that it will pull you away because it is, even if they do not come out and say it, anti-Catholic.


#6

There is one non-denominational Church - The Catholic Church.
There are no Protestant groups/orrganization who are non-denominational. The idea goes against logic.


#7

Nondenominational (or non-denominational ) Christianity consists of churches which typically distance themselves from the confessionalism or creedalism of other Christian communities[1] by calling themselves non-denominational. Often founded by individual pastors, they have little affiliation with historic denominations, but typically adhere to evangelical Protestantism

From Wikipedia.

So even though individual non-denominational churches will ultimately end up being their own “denominations”, the point of the idea is to distance themselves from established confessions and creeds for the sake of a sort of “mere Christianity.”

But of course, that begs the question as to what really is essential Christianity, in the first place.

I will grant them this: To me, it’s the only meaningful or consistent alternative to the Catholic Church [or other apostolic churches like the Orthodox]. For other Protestant denominations claim visible continuity with an established faith, yet these do not go back to the first century. So there is not full consistency with the claim of being “Church” in their own definition.

But non-denomonational Christians usually don’t have an ecclesiology framed in this manner, to begin with. For them, church is less visible ---- not so much bishops and sacraments — as it is invisible (e.g., gather together to pray and read scripture, nothing else is important, etc.)


#8

yes, that seems to be true. I think at first it feels nice for people looking for fellowship, but after a while it becomes very dull…there is no substance, no mystery, nothing like that. ( It’s also why I dont’ like Christian rock music…very superficial and with a certain reliance on emotions…but I digress.)


#9

Yeah! I find it really curious. I just can NOT get into that scene — the non-denominational services with their rock and praise music. I think part of it is due to personality. Because I wouldn’t dare say that these Christians aren’t genuinely worshiping God. It just seems so far removed from my taste.

But it feels odd when so many of my peers (I graduated college a year ago) favor these kind of churches. Thankfully, these kinds of churches get them to church. But it seems to be the only presence around here for people my age. hmmmm.

But I think there can be a way to have a genuinely Catholic approach with this kind of style as well.


#10

But there is Christ. That would be enough for anyone to respect a gathering of his followers.


#11

In my experience, “non-denominational” churches are usually indistinguishable from Baptist or Pentecostal churches.


#12

They call themselves a non-denominational church but in the end this church would be considered Donclipperan. :wink:

Basically, it’s his ministry and whatever he says goes. Yeah like the video says he doesn’t care what faith background you come from all are welcome to come follow him. Sure he might say follow Jesus but in the end what he means is follow his teachings on Jesus.

I checked out his website he says here…

Learn what it means to follow Him and walk in the authority, power and dominion with all the rights and privileges as a child of God.

Authority, power, and dominion isn’t something we can learn on our own and take on our own. It has to be given by the one with authority. Unless Don can prove he was first given this authority then he has no authority to give.

The thing is even Don doesn’t believe in this concept.

While we are out witnessing we distribute Bibles, tracks, Church flyers and more. With those tools we help connect the recipients to Jesus Christ and to a local Church or life giving group of like minded people in your area.

When he says like minded I would bet anything what he means is those that think like his mind.

In the end it does matter which one you belong to. It all comes down to authority. Like St. Paul says if your church can’t prove it’s authority you just might be running your race in vain.

Galatians 2 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. 2 I went up by revelation; and I laid before them (but privately before those who were of repute) the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, lest somehow I should be running or had run in vain.

Hope this helps,

God Bless


#13

But Baptist churches have a larger denominational structure, so there isn’t a comparison there. Pentecostal churches are usually independent, although not always. The Assemblies of God churches have a larger church structure also.

Are you speaking of worship style? Preaching? Organizational meetings? There are many things that go into defining a church community.


#14

That is the part that seems to stretch ones eyes.


#15

Non-denominational “churches” often want to avoid getting too specific on their beliefs apart from the Christian basics. They find that getting too specific on doctrine opens them up to criticism, division or theological debate. I don’t mean this to sound in any way insulting, but non- denominationalism can be a “dumbing down” of Protestantism for the greater good of universal appeal. Because they don’t have a well defined theology, ND church beliefs are VERY much like those of the pastor. The more true & healthy his beliefs are, the better the church is. Unfortunately the opposite is also true… The pastor functions as a defacto pope of his congregation. These pastors and their congregants do generally mean well…


#16

How could a pastor of a congregation function as ‘pope’? I don’t think that is the analogy you are meaning. Your pope does not define theology for all the congregations. Perhaps what you mean is that non denominational pastors are freer to preach their own interpretation of the Gospel than churches that have a more definitive doctrine and/or liturgical structure.

Just to make a point, however, I have gone into Catholic churches and heard VERY different sermons, very much reflecting the theology and personality of the priest. I have heard everything from Dorothy Day social ministry to Thomas Merton mysticism to rampages against Nancy Pelosi. It really does depend on who’s in the pulpit, doesn’t it?


#17

Non-denominational churches usually are heavily influenced by Pentecostal or Baptist doctrine and practice. Differences in doctrine tend to occur because as essentially an independent congregation they really don’t have a single seminary system, or an overarching body to help maintain uniformity of doctrine. Though they usually adhere to the core doctrines of Christianity, they usually vary broadly in their understanding of adiaphora (some things that aren’t a big deal, but others that are pretty important as well). It really depends on the pastor, which is a bit of a scary thing. Having served a significant amount of time in the army, I have been to a number of non-denominational services and general Protestant services. While I enjoyed my time with some of these types of congregations and found some things that I thought were refreshing and beneficial, I think they also lose some important aspects of doctrine/teaching and liturgical practice that I missed. For example, I missed the confession and absolution, confessing the creed, a formalized Lord’s Supper, etc. It has its ups and downs.


#18

Well, but non-denominational congregations tend not to be liturgical churches, so why would you expect them to have liturgical practices, such as creeds, Eucharist, etc. You’ll find those in Anglican, Lutheran, Orthodox churches, not Baptist, Church of Christ, or non denominational churches. That’s a matter of worship style.

And as I said earlier, Pentecostal churches are both independent as well as denominational. You cannot lump them into one group of churches.

Many Catholics tend to confuse aspects of Christianity that are not familiar. There is worship style - liturgical, non-liturgical, free form; there is theology; there is practice or piety; there is governance; there is authority structure; there is general belief. Christianity is a huge community of faith with many branches and beliefs. It’s easy to confuse it all.


#19

I don’t expect them to. As I said, I attended services in the military. You frequently don’t have many options.


#20

It does become dull and they realize that. I had attended a couple of evangelical non denominational churches prior to returning to the Catholic church and that is one of the things a pastor talked about at one point. He said it was very difficult to keep adults, especially those who have heard the Christian message before, to attend the same church for very long because they get bored. Where I live there are about 4 non denominational megachurches and they have what they call the church - hop. Attendees move around from church to church, looking “to be fed”. This is also why they have all the entertainment they have. They are trying very hard to keep people there.


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.