Anti-denominational followers of Jesus

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ChristianTonyB

Guest
#1
Are there any other members of CC that believe divisions/sects/denominations or independent churches that hold formalised religious services, are not in the best interest of the Lord Jesus?

Dividing Jesus' body up into different belief systems can't be good, and repetitive religious observances seem to hark back to the superseded, old testament and ritualistic system, that we've been freed from.

Wouldn't it be great if we were all just simply known as followers of Christ, or Christians, with no other labels. No theological complexities, a common front to those on the outside, and putting our efforts only into developing behaviour that emulates Jesus'.

Some have said that even though they fellowship with a denominational church, they have no specific allegiance to it. But aren't they doing that by association, and in effect supporting division?
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
17,880
5,958
113
#2
maybe they just have to call the church something rather than church 1 and church 2.
I just go to one with the name of my town on it. but thats because I live there....
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
17,880
5,958
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#3
I think CCers get along fine because we are non- denominational not anti-denominational

other christians forums have a lot of subforums of all the different denoms which is way too confusing
 
S

Seeking-Christ

Guest
#4
I remember back when I was a kid, I felt like my denomination had things right, yet I didn't know anything about the other denominations. After my parents left that Church they decided to hide us in another Church from another denomination. Most of what they did, we agreed with. Finally one time we decided to try joining it. The very first thing on the list, you must believe in once saved always saved. We didn't join. Later on, after they go a new pastor. The new pastor came out and said, "if you can't be used in this Church then get out". That was when we tried another Church. Which wasn't successful either.

It seems to me that Christians don't know how to discussion our differences, in civil manner. So we divide up into social clubs that we call "Church". That way we don't haft to have to face our doctrine differences. In other words it's the easy way of staying out of issues.

This divided up thing, played a part in the reason why I've been dechurched. Every Church makes you affirm things that you may or may not think are correct interpretations of scripture. None of these Churches are open to changing their views, even if it could be proven to them that they got the wrong ideas about something.

I wish that Christians would learn how to have a civil conversation over our differences. I wish more of us had an open mind to change.
 

Aerials1978

Well-known member
Dec 10, 2019
1,682
966
113
#5
The church is the body of believers with Christ as head over all, and that can incorporate people in different denominations. I’m not saying all organizations that call themselves Christians are a part of the body.
 

Amanuensis

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2021
1,455
454
83
#6
Real believers are led by the Holy Spirit to meet with others and live the Christian life together while spreading the Gospel. It's what the Holy Spirit tells them to do. They form sufficient organization to get the job done and to help one another like they did in Acts.

Many churches working together in a non legalistic lose, voluntary, cooperative way to pool resources together to help spread the Gospel is book of Acts as well.

Being anti organizational is not a fruit of the Spirit.

The Spirit leads believers to avoid dead formalism with no life. Those kinds of churches and denominations are dying and have been for decades.

But I know that God is passionate about his Church and the local assemblies that band together to fulfill the great commission is still his method and plan.

I have deep concerns about the spiritual health of anyone who does not find a good local church to attend and get involved in.
I believe it is a sign of backsliding. On fire saints see the local church as the most important thing in their life this side of heaven.

Being anti-denominational needs clarification. Just to be against something is nothing special. We can be against something for the wrong reasons. We need to define denomination. I can fellowship with brothers and sisters that attend denominational local fellowships so to say I was anti-denominational might come across as saying that I can't fellowship with them so I would not use that phrase.
 

Willow

Well-known member
Oct 10, 2021
435
391
63
ohio
#7
Are there any other members of CC that believe divisions/sects/denominations or independent churches that hold formalised religious services, are not in the best interest of the Lord Jesus?

Dividing Jesus' body up into different belief systems can't be good, and repetitive religious observances seem to hark back to the superseded, old testament and ritualistic system, that we've been freed from.

Wouldn't it be great if we were all just simply known as followers of Christ, or Christians, with no other labels. No theological complexities, a common front to those on the outside, and putting our efforts only into developing behaviour that emulates Jesus'.

Some have said that even though they fellowship with a denominational church, they have no specific allegiance to it. But aren't they doing that by association, and in effect supporting division?
I don't personally claim any denomination. But someone put a label on me as being non-denominational. There are so many labels put on people by the church they attend. So I am agreeable that for lack of a better sentence "Death by association ". I am going to a pentecostal (full gospel) church atm. But I do not claim to be one. So sick of labels. Division is caused by being closed minded and looking past the denomination of the church. But too many are looking to judge you, instead of embracing you or myself as a brother or sister in the Lord.I have been blessed to talk to many of all different denominations and sit down and enjoy talking about the Lord and the word of God. Wish more could just look into peoples heart and sometimes to agree to disagree and move on.
 
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ChristianTonyB

Guest
#9
maybe they just have to call the church something rather than church 1 and church 2.
I just go to one with the name of my town on it. but thats because I live there....
That would help stop some confusion in the minds of unbelievers, and those seeking knowledge about Jesus and the Christian way.

The most powerful of churches seems to have been the early church whose members had everything in common, and a fairly simple faith in Jesus. The apostles got up in arms when some members tried to bring into the church some of the old rituals and traditions.
 
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ChristianTonyB

Guest
#10
I think CCers get along fine because we are non- denominational not anti-denominational

other christians forums have a lot of subforums of all the different denoms which is way too confusing
I dunno about that L, some of the most fertile (or feral 😒) discussions between people have been on issues of dogma that are often rooted in partisan theology.
 

Amanuensis

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2021
1,455
454
83
#11
Wouldn't it be great if we were all just simply known as followers of Christ, or Christians, with no other labels. No theological complexities, a common front to those on the outside, and putting our efforts only into developing behaviour that emulates Jesus'.
Ironically that is what a cooperative voluntary organization like the Assemblies of God does.

They are not technically a denomination. They are individual local fellowship of believers just believing what the Bible says and trying to win the lost. By contributing resources together they are able to accomplish much more for world evangelism than one local church can do alone.

The bible requires a belief system. There is no way around that.

The idea that one can avoid contributing to the division by not fellowshipping with any Christians at all would be an unbiblical idea.

The idea that a bunch of Christians can come together and meet and live the Christian life together and mix up the order of days that they meet, when they sing and worship, when they hear the teaching of the Word, or methods and activities they engage in when they meet, or how and when they pray together would some how make them not a denomination or somehow make them more acceptable as how God intended Christians to meet is in itself just another division, and group, and denomination.
 

Amanuensis

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2021
1,455
454
83
#12
That would help stop some confusion in the minds of unbelievers, and those seeking knowledge about Jesus and the Christian way.

The most powerful of churches seems to have been the early church whose members had everything in common, and a fairly simple faith in Jesus. The apostles got up in arms when some members tried to bring into the church some of the old rituals and traditions.
There are lots of churches that are nondenominational and don't observe traditions or things not supported by NT scripture. They are the majority of new churches now days.

Calling them "The Church at XYZ Town" might sound biblical but it can also sound like you are saying we are the only Christians in town which is not nice or can confuse people that you are a cult.
 
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ChristianTonyB

Guest
#13
I remember back when I was a kid, I felt like my denomination had things right, yet I didn't know anything about the other denominations. After my parents left that Church they decided to hide us in another Church from another denomination. Most of what they did, we agreed with. Finally one time we decided to try joining it. The very first thing on the list, you must believe in once saved always saved. We didn't join. Later on, after they go a new pastor. The new pastor came out and said, "if you can't be used in this Church then get out". That was when we tried another Church. Which wasn't successful either.

It seems to me that Christians don't know how to discussion our differences, in civil manner. So we divide up into social clubs that we call "Church". That way we don't haft to have to face our doctrine differences. In other words it's the easy way of staying out of issues.

This divided up thing, played a part in the reason why I've been dechurched. Every Church makes you affirm things that you may or may not think are correct interpretations of scripture. None of these Churches are open to changing their views, even if it could be proven to them that they got the wrong ideas about something.

I wish that Christians would learn how to have a civil conversation over our differences. I wish more of us had an open mind to change.
I empathise with you here. The apostle indicates it's not wrong for us to have differences of opinion. He seems to imply that it's through open and civil discussion the truth will be made known, particularly if we are all trying to listen to the Holy Spirit rather than our own opinions.

Sometimes, the topic can be so divisive that it can bring out the competitive animal in most of us, yet the topic itself can be insignificant in respect of our personal salvation.
 
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ChristianTonyB

Guest
#14
There are lots of churches that are nondenominational and don't observe traditions or things not supported by NT scripture. They are the majority of new churches now days.

Calling them "The Church at XYZ Town" might sound biblical but it can also sound like you are saying we are the only Christians in town which is not nice or can confuse people that you are a cult.
Maybe. But I suspect their counter-argument might be that they feel that way about denominations???

Wouldn't it be best if we were known simply as followers of Christ or Christians. Where we live or fellowship is left to geographical location purely as a convenience so we know where to find each other, and communicate and meet?
 

Amanuensis

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2021
1,455
454
83
#15
Maybe. But I suspect their counter-argument might be that they feel that way about denominations???

Wouldn't it be best if we were known simply as followers of Christ or Christians. Where we live or fellowship is left to geographical location purely as a convenience so we know where to find each other, and communicate and meet?
Would putting up a sign in front of a meeting place and calling it "Followers of Christ Meet Here" be any different than a sign that says "New Life Fellowship?" I doubt that it matters to most people.

Most people would think you were calling your church "Followers of Christ" as just another denomination. Or division. Or whatever you label an organized group of christians meeting at a building.

They all say they are just believers being believers and not a denomination.

But there are many churches that are just "Followers of Christ" meeting together and not part of a denomination. They have all kinds of names. New Life, Church on the Rock, Mayberry Church, and they are not part of any other church but that one fellowship.

Are you saying that these are also somehow denominational or divisive because they have a name at all?
 
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ChristianTonyB

Guest
#16
The church is the body of believers with Christ as head over all, and that can incorporate people in different denominations. I’m not saying all organizations that call themselves Christians are a part of the body.
Which raises the question, who is qualified to declare which are Christian, and which aren't? I wouldn't like to try to do that! How does an unbeliever or a new-born Christian seeking knowledge of Christianity know which ones are genuine churches of God, or which are counterfeit? You can't rely on advice or recommendations from the internet, because a lot of that will be of subjective/personal opinion.
 

Amanuensis

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2021
1,455
454
83
#17
Which raises the question, who is qualified to declare which are Christian, and which aren't? I wouldn't like to try to do that! How does an unbeliever or a new-born Christian seeking knowledge of Christianity know which ones are genuine churches of God, or which are counterfeit? You can't rely on advice or recommendations from the internet, because a lot of that will be of subjective/personal opinion.
They can pray, read the bible and start looking. The Holy Spirit will grow them quickly and show them. God is faithful to lead them to a healthy fellowship. And there really are a lot of healthy fellowships for believers to find. They don't have to be perfect to be the genuine local church.
 
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ChristianTonyB

Guest
#18
I don't personally claim any denomination. But someone put a label on me as being non-denominational. There are so many labels put on people by the church they attend. So I am agreeable that for lack of a better sentence "Death by association ". I am going to a pentecostal (full gospel) church atm. But I do not claim to be one. So sick of labels. Division is caused by being closed minded and looking past the denomination of the church. But too many are looking to judge you, instead of embracing you or myself as a brother or sister in the Lord.I have been blessed to talk to many of all different denominations and sit down and enjoy talking about the Lord and the word of God. Wish more could just look into peoples heart and sometimes to agree to disagree and move on.
I particularly agree with your last sentence.

Maybe I'm paranoid, but I refuse to be known by anything other than a Christ believer and follower. My goal is to mature and act as one of those in spirit and in truth, and that's a WIP. My fear is, if I label myself as belonging to a particular party, or have continuing and close association with it, I'll eventually be conditioned by its particular bias and become more unbalanced than I already am.
 
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ChristianTonyB

Guest
#19
I feel that the wheat and tares will happen no matter what. But for me, I can't go against Jesus prayer to the Father for unity amongst His disciples, and the encouragement from the apostles that we, Jesus' church, must stay unified. In my opinion we would be using an awfully long bow to suggest the church is unified. Since Jesus owns us, how can we tolerate divisions in His church?

I personally can't see how I am being loyal to Jesus if I join up to or associate with a denomination/division of the church.
 

Amanuensis

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2021
1,455
454
83
#20
I particularly agree with your last sentence.

Maybe I'm paranoid, but I refuse to be known by anything other than a Christ believer and follower. My goal is to mature and act as one of those in spirit and in truth, and that's a WIP. My fear is, if I label myself as belonging to a particular party, or have continuing and close association with it, I'll eventually be conditioned by its particular bias and become more unbalanced than I already am.
The goal should be to fellowship with a group of like mined believers. When you find that group that you feel is doing things and teaching things like what you think is biblical and you have a clear conscience supporting, then support it and grow the Kingdom of God together. What is not biblical is having no vision for the local church.

Personally I can't comprehend not having a passionate vision for the local church and wanting to be an active servant within it. I would think that anyone who isn't living and breathing participation in a local fellowship is going to feel like there is something wrong with them. And for good reason. I am not into denominations either, but I am all into the Church and being active in it.