Such a thing as Non denominational?????

Curious what everyones thoughts are about this. Is there really such a thing as non denominational? Non denominational bible studies? Non demoninational churches? Maybe some of you belong to such a church. I always figure that such a church would have some aggregate belief within therefore actually making it a denominational church? Just some deep thought I had about it recently Your input & help on it???

Thanks

Heard this on Catholic radio one time “the non-denominationals are the largest Protestant denomination.”

Non-D is simply a proper name of one of many denominiations.

Non-denominational means the pastor just makes up his own doctrine. So if his name is say, Rev. Jackson, then his flock are members of the Jacksonian Church, in my opinion.

I just means a Church that accepts anyone, as long as they believe pretty much what they believe. They also do not affiliate themselves with any one group, so in essence they make their own group.

Calvary Chapel
Vineyard
Generations
Living Word
Tabernacle
and the list goes on and on. Some are independant,some are part of their own big organization like Calvary Chapel.

Give up your own beliefs, since they all contradict and accept theirs seems to be the teaching of these churches.

Some are megachurches, some are tiny, the majority just lead by the founding pastors beliefs.

Non-D means they don’t want to affilated with any sort of religous name. All they want to be known as is followers of Christ. Most of them if not all of them teach stricly from the bible and bring a new exicting way of rejoicing for the Lord. They are a lot more layed back and non-traditional, accepting anyone who is willing to listen to the word of God.

Curious what everyones thoughts are about this. Is there really such a thing as non denominational? Non denominational bible studies? Non demoninational churches? Maybe some of you belong to such a church. I always figure that such a church would have some aggregate belief within therefore actually making it a denominational church? Just some deep thought I had about it recently Your input & help on it???

Non-denom churches refuse affiliation with any “mainline” denoms, while following the mission statement set forth by the pastor of that particular church, as one poster already pointed out.

It’s been my experience…and I’m sure others have had both similar and different experiences…that many non-denom churches are Assembly of God - ish.

[quote=BOANERGES21]Is there really such a thing as non denominational? Non denominational bible studies? Non demoninational churches?
[/quote]

Sure, if by non-denominational you mean there is not a chain or group of local congregations joined together in some way by overall leadership or structure. A lot of such churches do seem to grow and end up in a way that I would call a denomination or category.

They usually do have a particular doctrine or teaching associated with them. It could be anything for any particular one. It varies considerably. It can be very pastor centered. Generally they do not wish to be considered to have anything to do with older churches (like Lutheran or Catholic).

Non-denominational bible studies often have a theology that you must be comfortable with in order to be happy there. But so would a Catholic bible study be that way.

To me, non-denominational does not mean “anyone” is welcome. After all, anyone is welcome to come to a Catholic mass or a bible study held in a Catholic parish.

No there is no such thing as “non-denominational” all the “non-denominational” churches I know of are protestant … a denomination. All claim to go by the “bible alone”, sola scriptura is a Protestant denominational teaching. They all believe in “Gittin’ saved” without baptism or any of the other sacraments a denominational teaching.

They all baptise only adults by immersion only as a symbol only, that’s baptist teaching, baptists are a denomination.

Most of them practise pentecostal teaching, pentecostals are a denomination.

They are a combination of Baptist and Pentecostal practices and theology, and of course Baptists and Pentecostals are denominations.

Members of “Non denominational” denominations wish to be called Christians only while ignoring the fact that they are not the only Christians. Has anyone noticed how these people have highjacked the word “Christian”? Their “Christian” bookstores, schools, music, TV and radio stations are all really Evangelical Fundamentalist, not just “Christian”.

Non-D’s around here are usually Baptists who are trying to omit the name and lure in people who don’t like the Baptist church.

[quote=ONLYONECHRIST]Non-D means they don’t want to affilated with any sort of religous name. All they want to be known as is followers of Christ. Most of them if not all of them teach stricly from the bible and bring a new exicting way of rejoicing for the Lord. They are a lot more layed back and non-traditional, accepting anyone who is willing to listen to the word of God.
[/quote]

Listen to the word of God as filtered through whose biases/belief system? There’s no such thing as just listening to the word of God without someone bringing to it their own interpretation, even though doing so is forbidden by the Bible:

2 Peter 1:20a: 20 “Know this first of all, that there is no prophecy of scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation…”

bobbysbud,

Protestantism is not a denomination, as you Catholics never tire of pointing out (i.e., we aren’t united). Of course there is such a thing as non-denominational churches–that is, churches that aren’t affiliated with an organized group beyond the local church. They’re all over the place, and you gain nothing by trying to pretend they don’t exist. A theological orientation does not make a denomination. A denomination involves some kind of organization and bureaucracy.

Edwin

[quote=Contarini]bobbysbud,

Protestantism is not a denomination, as you Catholics never tire of pointing out (i.e., we aren’t united). Of course there is such a thing as non-denominational churches–that is, churches that aren’t affiliated with an organized group beyond the local church. They’re all over the place, and you gain nothing by trying to pretend they don’t exist. A theological orientation does not make a denomination. A denomination involves some kind of organization and bureaucracy.

Edwin
[/quote]

Right - non denom means no organization or bureaucracy, so you must agree with the previous post that said the pastor gets to make it all up himself? Until of course the elders boot him out becaue they disagree with him. In which case, he takes 1/2 the congregation with him and starts his own non denom church up the road. :wink:

I

Yes, that is a problem with the nondenoms. On the other hand, the people are usually well-trained in the Bible and he can’t just pass anything off as dogma (when the system works). No form of church is perfect. At its best the nondenom churches keep pastors on their toes and produce a very vibrant, engaged, active form of Christianity. I don’t think their virtues even begin to make up for the intrinsic arrogance and disrespect for Tradition endemic in most nondenom churches. But I think people on this board beat up on them a bit too glibly, without recognizing how much Catholics can learn from them. After all, many Catholics leave and join such churches, and contrary to what someone said on another thread, nondenom evangelical churches in some ways demand a lot more of people than Catholicism does. Nondenom evangelical churches (or evangelical churches of any sort) offer people a very high-intensity faith that at least claims to transform their lives radically. Catholics (and Episcopalians, and “mainliners” generally) would be well-advised to avoid cheap shots and ask what these people are doing right.

In Christ,

Edwin

Contrarini, to me in order to be truly “non-denominational” a “nondenomination” would have to be completely void of sectarian doctrine or practices.

You are correct about Protestantism having different beliefs in different denominations, and Episcopalians and Lutherans are very different from say Southern Baptists.

But as I have already stated so called “nondenominations” do teach speciffically sectarian doctrine, Baptist and Pentecostal doctrine. “Nondenominations” have specically sectarian practices such as baptising adult beleivers only by immersion only, as symbolic, not sacramental only. They participate in their “Lord’s Supper” rarely, and it is regarded as a memory picture only, not a sacrament of the Body and Blood of Jesus. Ever seen a “nondenomination” with a written liturgy, and that allows every member to actually participate in the prayers vocally, they don’t exist. True “nondenominations” would not have sectarian doctrines and practices.

Don’t you agree that Roman Catholics and Anglicans have much more in common, than Anglicans have in common with "nondenominations?

Frankly it disturbs me deeply to hear Evangelical Fundamentalists refer to their schools, bookstores, media outlets etc, as Christian only when they are not the only Christians. There are plenty of other Christians who were in existence for centuries before the “nondenominations” were thought of.

boppysbud,

The problem here is that there are two different meanings to “nondenominational.” The plain, simple meaning of the term is “not belonging to a larger organization.” You’re right that many nondenoms think that by not belonging to a denomination they have somehow freed themselves from any kind of sectarian tradition and have become “just Christians.” I completely agree with you that this claim is bogus. But a “denomination” is different from a theological tradition. It has a fairly clear, agreed-upon meaning (though fuzzy round the edges–there are “nondenominational denominations” like the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, which do have some kind of organized fellowship but no centralized bureaucracy and hence claim not to be a denomination). It simply doesn’t serve the purpose of clear and respectful discourse to redefine “denomination” to mean “a set of particular traditions and ways of interpreting Scripture.” We have other words for that, like “tradition” or “movement.” A denomination is an organized group. (That’s why Presbyterians, Lutherans, even Anglicans are not denominations–PCUSA, PCA, OPC, ELCA, LCMS, ECUSA, REC, CEC, ACC–these are denominations within those broader traditions. One could actually make a case that while the Catholic Church is not a denomination, the various sui juris churches–such as the RCC strictly considered–are). I know how maddening it is to hear nondenoms claim to be “just Christian” and thereby assume some kind of superiority over those of us who are frank about our traditions. (Though there are Catholic equivalents–the popular list “who founded your denomination” is a particularly silly example.) But the fact is that a theological/liturgical tradition functions differently than a denominational bureaucracy. Nondenominational churches are subject to the former (as all churches are) but not to the latter. The best way of deflating their pretensions is to distinguish between these two things and help them see that throwing off the latter doesn’t necessarily free them from the former (as if that were a good thing in the first place–their phobia of tradition reminds me of Chesterton’s warning against freeing triangles from the prison of their three sides). And meanwhile, as I said, the rest of us can learn a lot from them.

In Christ,

Edwin

Great responses. Essentially a ND not associated with any other form of religion at least by any sort of doctrine. Of course they will probably resemble some current form of religious practice. I do believe most people use the term incorrectly, either intentionally or not, when trying to open the doors to other religious people to attend. From what I have learned from ND bible studies it is usually to bring people in to convert or to show them Christ. As a Catholic I show up with Catholic on my sleave so to speak. I can’t come as an ND and cannot pretend to not represent my beliefs and I hope that other Catholics, Baptists, Lutherans, etc, would do the same if they feel as strongly. Of course be respectful. I don’t show up just to put people in their place. I remember seeing someone’s ‘signiture’ in a forum here that quoted a bishop (this is not verbatim!) which essentially said that as Catholics we cannot say we are not out to impose our beliefs on society. That it would be an immoral injustice to say such a thing. I want to impose my beliefs because I do feel strongly about what I feel is a gift. Bottom line I use caution when I hear the term ND.

I have some friends who are non’-denom. They also church hop extensively whenever one of the churches starts teaching what they don’t like. I felt it was like going to church without any real commitment to any beliefs.

Such a thing as Non denominational?

No there isn’t.

The term Non-denominational is such a marketing term people use to try and make there church sound “politically correct.” They say things like ‘oh im not with this group or that group im Non-denominational.’ If anything the Catholic Church is Non-denominational because we were the first Chruch that set the bar to what it means to be Christian by establishing the first Church.

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