Denominationalism

Screenshot 2019-03-06 at 10.41.29 AMIf you don’t know about the recent special session of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church, the issues at hand nor the potential for that denomination to split, I’m going to assume it’s because you have been trying to avoid hearing about it. I’m not even going into it here. I suspect you either know all you want to and more or you are really trying hard not to find out.

I only bring it up because one of my friends posted a link to Facebook last week and one his friends, that I do not know, went off on a tangent about denominations. He first denounced the Methodist Church for even having a vote on such an issue then denounced all denominations across the board referring to the practice of denominationalism. What does he even mean by that? Continue reading

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More Alike Than Different

apostles_creedIf your neighborhood is anything like mine, there is a church on every corner. The population of the county I live in is a little less than 56,000 and I would not be surprised if there were 150 churches. Without getting into church splits and all the baggage that entails, let’s ask this question instead: Are there really that many theological and doctrinal issues that divide us? While there are some real distinctives, such as between Protestants and Catholics, the truth is most Christians are more alike than we are different. To define the differences between Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians we really have to get kind of nit-picky. The basic tenants of the Christian faith – in other words the things that really matter – are shared by all Christians everywhere.

Please read this post from the original Internet Monk. The discussions and debates can be a distraction to those of us inside the church and a stumbling block to those on the outside, but at the end of the day we are more alike than we are different.

What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.”  Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 1 Corinthians 1:12-13

Does That Mean Denominations?

Screenshot 2013-04-08 at 8.41.09 AMBear with me for a moment. I have not consulted the biblical commentaries nor even my ESV Study Bible notes, and I haven’t searched the Christian blogosphere for other opinions. I’m going to toss this out there and see what comes back. In John 9 Jesus was talking about the least and greatest, and then…

John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.” (Luke 9:49-50, ESV) Continue reading

Catholics, Protestants, and 400 denominations

When you meet a person on the street and say that you are a Christian, what you mean by that and what a stranger thinks may be galaxies apart from each other.  Bill Maher has commented on how ridiculous it is to believe that a cracker turns into the body of a guy that’s been dead for 2,000 years, and your salvation depends on eating it.  That’s one way in which the outside world views Christianity.  And when other people hear that, that’s what they think of all Christians.  The reference is to the Roman Catholic teaching of transubstantiation, and most Protestants find it ridiculous also; yet they break the bread and take the cup.  That’s just one example of thousands where Christians disagree.

I wrote an article in April called Roman Catholic Christians  in which I listed several things that Baptists and Catholics agree on, all having to do with the work and divinity of Jesus Christ.  Recently there have been some new comments, and I’ve responded to those, but that’s so far back I decided to bring it up again.  Continue reading