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Location: Greensboro, NC, United States

Friday, July 13, 2012

There's No Such Thing As "Non-Denominationalism"

A Facebook comment, that I thought summed up the issue nicely:

In reality, every little church that isn't part of a larger group is still a "denomination" of the larger church. And when they don't join with other churches formally, they're still part of the larger church. Plus, when they don't join a larger body, they just remain a denomination unto themselves. This is especially true with the big independent megachurches. You have twenty elders, eight pastors, three services, and a huge staff. You can call yourself "nondenominational", but you really aren't. You just have all your denomination worshiping in the same place every week. And beyond this, while a church may call itself "nondenominational", they'll never be able to disconnect themselves from the larger church tradition. They got their doctrine and practice from somewhere, and they had some sort of influences that led them to become what they are. Of course, most of them are Independent Baptist, though they refuse the title. But when these churches refuse the title, what's actually going on is a failure to engage in honesty in advertising. Rather than being up front in using the name of the church to let people know what doctrine they hold to, they hide it to look like just another generic "church" - though no such animal really exists, unless you are so vacuous in your beliefs that you don't really teach much at all. Why not just be up front in your name, and let people know where you stand? And if you don't teach deep enough doctrine that it merits noting your distinctives by your name, why bother being a church at all? What the heck are you doing each week?

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