Non-Denoiminationl Rant

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  • Non-Denoiminationl Rant

    Moderation: Was clipped after derailing the thread in What is the Orthodox Presbyterian Church?

    Some denominations have had so so many divisions and splits within them since they begun. The spirit of derision scares me away. It reminds me something of the tact of the hopeless evolutionist. Instead of following objective scientific methods which mandate abandoning a theory and starting all over with square one when just one aspect is disproved they incorporate ultra-subjective methods to proceed with fallacies inherent in the foundational scope and employ subjective blinders to discovery and "adjust" the theory to fit their preconceived notions and shape their investigations to only search for what they want to find. .

  • #2
    Hi Jim,

    I definitely recommend reading the history of the Presbyterian church in the above accompanying attachments. I would think that if you're serious about finding a good church that there would not be too much information on the church. The Presbyterian church's history goes back to the Reformation, and doctrine back to Scripture.

    Foundational to the Reformation are the Five Solas which are five Latin phrases (or slogans) that emerged from the Protestant Reformation intended to summarize the Reformers' basic theological principles in contrast to certain teachings of the Roman Catholic Church of the day. "Sola" is Latin meaning "alone" or "only" and the corresponding phrases are:
    • Sola Fide, by faith alone.
    • Sola Scriptura, by Scripture alone.
    • Solus Christus, through Christ alone.
    • Sola Gratia, by grace alone.
    • Soli Deo Gloria, glory to God alone.

    Wish you the best in finding a church.

    God bless,
    William
    Comment>

    • #3
      Originally posted by William View Post
      Hi Jim,

      I definitely recommend reading the history of the Presbyterian church in the above accompanying attachments. I would think that if you're serious about finding a good church that there would not be too much information on the church. The Presbyterian church's history goes back to the Reformation, and doctrine back to Scripture.

      Foundational to the Reformation are the Five Solas which are five Latin phrases (or slogans) that emerged from the Protestant Reformation intended to summarize the Reformers' basic theological principles in contrast to certain teachings of the Roman Catholic Church of the day. "Sola" is Latin meaning "alone" or "only" and the corresponding phrases are:
      • Sola Fide, by faith alone.
      • Sola Scriptura, by Scripture alone.
      • Solus Christus, through Christ alone.
      • Sola Gratia, by grace alone.
      • Soli Deo Gloria, glory to God alone.


      Wish you the best in finding a church.

      God bless,
      William
      Willian, I can't make sense out of your second sentence above. Did you leave a word or phrase out? I do this a lot thinking I have already typed it. Also, remember that I have an expressed bias against denominationalism in general, To me such deviant grouping divides the body (divide and conquer) of Christ which is intended to be a universal group. Secondly, and most importantly, it spits Jesus in the face regarding His prayer for all believers in John ch17 as He took time to pray for all of His followers before proceeding across the valley to His traitor's kiss and on to the atrocities of injustice and torture and onto a torturous death for each one of us. He REPEATEDLY expressed a strong desire for all believers to be UNIFIED. And lastly, for now, denominationalism violates the intent/scope of the Apostle Paul in Ro ch14 and 1st few verses of ch15.

      That having been said, I have succumbed to the realization that most humans, including we Christians, are unable to disocciate from the propensity to form cliques in order to protect/secure our self, identity, future, success, etc. lacking sufficient faith in the One's promise to do just that and His instructions to leave that to Him alone. Additionally, as I have shared, I have seen, at least when non-deniominational churches are a small minority and esp the independent ones, how one can become a breeding ground for corruption.

      Why, for example, do we need Calvin or Luther or the Pope or Cephas, when we have the writings of Paul, the disciples, prophets, and other great men of God already in place and the Holy Spirit working in us to guide and interpret Scripture as God's Word informs us w/o anyone from the Age of Reformation/Birth of Protestantism to point this out?
      Comment>

      • #4
        Originally posted by Jim2:8-9 View Post
        I have an expressed bias against denominationalism in general
        There may be times when our only options are to attend a denominational church or not to attend church at all. To reject all denominations and insist of attending only a nondenominational church could result from the same mindset that puts emphasis on a denomination.

        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.”
        (1 Corinthians 1:12 ESV)


        This discussion has made me think of the Churches of Christ. They claim that they are not a denomination but a group that rejects denominations and tries to go back to the practices of the New Testament, but they seem to me to be like the last group mentioned above. They have turned their rejection of denominations into a denomination. You need to be careful not to fall into that error.
        Clyde Herrin's Blog
        Comment>

        • #5
          Well said. Very true. This is why I am probably in a flux as I am; I go to a churches site, regardless of denomin, and go straight to its statements of faith or doctrine and such for the first qualification then onto avail programs and opportunities to serve. I try to discern the working of the Spirit by what is made available. If these pass we go for several weeks to months. Then as I see the cliquishness coming out and realize I am not in a position or have a "right" to attempt to critique in their house; however tactful, I move on rather than be a supporting member of it with my tithes and offerings while yet a non-member. I am trying to find a church who accepts and practices the scope and intent of Ro Ch 14 and at least recognizes and honors Jesus' intent of John ch 17 in that they at least do not forward their position/understanding of the Scriptures as superior or better "than theirs." The social behavioral term is ethnocentrism. In the secular world it is unavoidable, even predicated; but in following Christ there is NO place for it. The foundation for such behavior is SELF-centeredness which is diametrically opposed to following Christ; denying self.

          Make no mistake about it, I am NOT saying that I am so holy and perfect and reproachable. Not at all. I struggle with sin as everyone else. It is just that I (and my wife) have been victims of such behavior in a much greater degree than most and are sensitive to it and I sense a mission to try to help eradicate such behavior from the house/body of God.. As my wife says, "The church is good at killing its injured."
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          • #6
            Originally posted by theophilus View Post
            This discussion has made me think of the Churches of Christ. They claim that they are not a denomination but a group that rejects denominations and tries to go back to the practices of the New Testament, but they seem to me to be like the last group mentioned above. They have turned their rejection of denominations into a denomination. You need to be careful not to fall into that error.
            Hello Theo,

            I agree wholeheartedly with you. From my experience and observation most non-denominational churches are either ignorant in doctrine (soteriology) or they're quite inconsistent in it, example, 3-4 point Calvinist or full blown Arminian. Secondly, and to your point, one which makes an argument or takes a different position placing emphasis on doctrine has indeed created a doctrine for themselves. In turn, they usually have rejected hundreds of years or thousands of years of fine tuning an apologetic, and ultimately missed many great debates within the church throughout history pertaining to any given doctrine.

            Originally posted by Jim2:8-9 View Post
            Why, for example, do we need Calvin or Luther or the Pope or Cephas, when we have the writings of Paul, the disciples, prophets, and other great men of God already in place and the Holy Spirit working in us to guide and interpret Scripture as God's Word informs us w/o anyone from the Age of Reformation/Birth of Protestantism to point this out?
            Jim,

            I am a Calvinist not because I follow John Calvin, but because I believe John Calvin's method of sharing the gospel through the T.U.L.I.P is the most accurate hermeneutical approach to the gospel. Once you decide to interpret the Scriptures or share soteriology, then you will be making doctrine unto yourself or sharing a hermeneutical method. Most denominational churches adhere to creeds, confessions, and canons. It is easy to focus on what they disagree, but one must remember these are denominations because they believe the central truths that make them Christian, example, the Nicene Creed. Creeds, Confessions, and Canons have kept the church's congregation from swaying, especially with cultural influence. The OPC is Orthodox, orthodoxy is defined as true or correct doctrine, and took upon its name when liberalism entered the Presbyterian denomination. The PCUSA then rejected the creeds, confessions, and canons, which lead to apostasy, all the while they began to discipline reformers that attempted to bring the church back to orthodoxy. Thus the OPC was created in the 1940s. These behaviors are often too found in non-denominational churches, and to the say the very least, some non-denominational or independent churches have a pope unto themselves. A main interpreter within a hierarchy structure or government.

            I speak non-favorably of non-denominational churches because of my experience with 7-8 years in two non-denominational churches. I appreciate the rich history and sound doctrine of Presbyterianism. And I also appreciate the strict discipline within membership.

            If you have a sincere interest and are looking for information pertaining to this specific denomination then this forum category is correct. If you wish to debate or argue against it then the non-denominational category section would be best suited for sharing your interest in it. This category is for members of this particular denomination to discuss within themselves their own doctrine.

            God bless,
            William
            Comment>

            • #7
              William, I am not debating anything. At least that is not my intention. The only reason I reminded you that I was non-denominational was because you recommended to me on my introduction post to try your church denom, above titled, out. I came here to try to find out more info and in the process of dialogue I felt it necessary to remind you of my already expressed to you bias against denoms and explained the reason here for the bias. The nature of my response was apologetic; not debating. I may have climbed up on my soap box during it and again I apologize for that, but I most certainly was not debating with you. A person is privileged and entitled to believe whatever they want to believe in our country. Debating goes nowhere. When I was younger I thought differently but I know better now.

              From what I have been able to derive here I am too insufficient, ignorant, and dumb to be "privileged" to be an Orthodox Presby. I'll move on.



              Comment>

              • #8
                Originally posted by Jim2:8-9 View Post
                William, I am not debating anything. At least that is not my intention. The only reason I reminded you that I was non-denominational was because you recommended to me on my introduction post to try your church denom, above titled, out. I came here to try to find out more info and in the process of dialogue I felt it necessary to remind you of my already expressed to you bias against denoms and explained the reason here for the bias. The nature of my response was apologetic; not debating. I may have climbed up on my soap box during it and again I apologize for that, but I most certainly was not debating with you. A person is privileged and entitled to believe whatever they want to believe in our country. Debating goes nowhere. When I was younger I thought differently but I know better now.

                From what I have been able to derive here I am too insufficient, ignorant, and dumb to be "privileged" to be an Orthodox Presby. I'll move on.
                Noted Jim, I apologize to you too if I called you ignorant or insufficient. I never said, " insufficient, ignorant, and dumb to be "privileged" to be an Orthodox Presby". Only you can acknowledge whether you have studied soteriology or even covenant theology through your non denominational church. If you haven't or this is something that your church hasn't taken the time to address I only meant without knowledge or not enough knowledge when referring to ignorance or insufficient understanding. In my six years within one non denominational church soteriology was never discussed. And the pastor seemingly bounced from both sides of Calvinism and Arminianism. This made me conclude that either the bible is full of contradictions, or my pastor was contradicting himself on these topics.

                My advice to you, if you care for it is to seek a church that is most aligned with specific doctrine. If soteriology is most important to you then go with that. If dispensationalism or covenant theology is most important then go with that. If eschatology is most important go with that. If cessationalism is most important, or even padeo or credo baptism and so on. It is difficult for "most" people to come to grasp with a church that is well rounded. However, I'm sure we both agree right worship should be the ultimate purpose in congregating with other believers, and partaking in the sacraments that we are to come together for.

                Originally posted by Jim2:8-9 View Post
                A person is privileged and entitled to believe whatever they want to believe in our country.
                A person may believe what they want, and maybe even delusional in what they believe. Truth is truth, and though we are fallible interpreters we should move closer to the truth. I think we both agree that some interpretations are more plausible than others, therefore not all perspectives are equal. I believe the Scriptures have the final say in these matters of truth. This is why I posted the Five Sola above with emphasis on Sola Scriptura.

                Originally posted by Jim2:8-9 View Post
                Debating goes nowhere.
                Proverbs 27:17 -
                Iron sharpens iron,
                and one man sharpens another.

                Once again I apologize brother,
                God bless,
                William
                Comment>

                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jim2:8-9 View Post
                  I go to a churches site, regardless of denomin, and go straight to its statements of faith or doctrine and such for the first qualification then onto avail programs and opportunities to serve. I try to discern the working of the Spirit by what is made available. If these pass we go for several weeks to months. Then as I see the cliquishness coming out
                  When I was a Pentecostal, I favored large churches for a variety of reasons. But, when I decided to become a Presbyterian, after looking for a Bible-believing church, I didn’t have the option of a large church. For a number of reasons, including the small size, it’s the only church I’ve ever attended that really isn’t cliquish. And, I’ve had more opportunities there than at larger churches.

                  I like reading church statements of Faith. But, they’re far too short to tell you much about the church. Mostly, you just get unhelpful boilerplate (the Trinity, etc.). Pentecostal churches will let you know they’re Pentecostal. But, there’s not much beyond that. Popular cultic obsessions are often left out of statements of faith. Maybe most of the church members don’t know where the church stands on many things until the pastor pulls a position out of the air. But, for old denominations, their doctrines are very well mapped out, and created by men not influenced by modern doctrinal fads.
                  Comment>

                  • #10
                    I am glad for you that you have found a church family of which to belong.

                    I read the online statements of faith, doctrine, core values and such NOT to get a total composite idea but to make sure that they qualify for a visit. If they are not online or are and refuse to post this critical information I am forced to understand that theirs is a position of concealment and/or just not caring for others in an outreach scope. Time is way too short and people are way too deceiving to go in person for an initial assessment. It could take 6 mos to a yr or more (I know, I have had to do it) to find out the composite of information which can be derived from a church which discloses the abundance of info they have about themselves including providing pictures from multiple settings and times. I am not alone in having been hurt very painfully by church people and others may struggle with things like being unsaved or guilt. We are very hesitant/scared to step foot in a church. I know for a fact that God's house can be VERY corrupt and very threatening because of those who lurk within. Some churches are sensitive to this and possess such an outward, unselfish perspective that they spend the extra time and expense to provide very friendly and informative online sites (they prove their love instead of just saying were are a friendly church by showing it in vulnerability/exposure.) Everyone has had their own experiences and identical stimulus can have opposite results depending upon what (who) is introduced into the identical environment. I am sure that what you say about your particular church/denom someone will say about their Pentecostal (there are small ones in the country, too) or their independent non-denom Bible church, of which type I will never step foot in again. A medicine which will save one's life will kill another. There is only one number or a set of numbers which will satisfy the setting of a mathematical equation. No matter how hard one tries if the number doesn't belong to the set, it will never fit or belong. I am glad for you that you have found a church family to belong.
                    Comment>

                    • #11
                      William, Regarding your post#13: You dismiss the obvious scope and intent of Ro ch 14.

                      I don't know what you are talking about with all of those lofty terms and you know what, it doesn't matter to me. You don't intimidate me at all. In fact I am sorry for you that you have come to put so much significance upon intellectualism/(Gnosticism?) which carries no significance for a relationship with God; it is rather a SIMPLE, humbled and contrite heart bathed in the blood of God, the Son. The Apostle Paul, us "Greeks" forefather in the Lord, was highly educated but said he chose NOT to speak in the eloquent manner of which he was capable but rather he said he "did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom." The Apostle Paul went on to say, "My message and my preaching were not (NOT) with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but God's power."

                      For one to impose the requirement of intellectual aspiration and ability to be a member of a Christian group is incredible (spoken by one who has a 3.925 agpa at FSU (Ferris State Univ) in the science dept after over 105 credit hours, for what that is worth (not much, let me tell you.)

                      I don't belong here. In fact, as there has been not one mod checking the round about name calling William is so fluent with who also happens to be a staff member I am gone from the site. What you wanted, William? I shake the dust off my sandals. Bye
                      Comment>

                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jim2:8-9 View Post
                        William, Regarding your post#13: You dismiss the obvious scope and intent of Ro ch 14.

                        I don't know what you are talking about with all of those lofty terms and you know what, it doesn't matter to me. You don't intimidate me at all. In fact I am sorry for you that you have come to put so much significance upon intellectualism/(Gnosticism?) which carries no significance for a relationship with God; it is rather a SIMPLE, humbled and contrite heart bathed in the blood of God, the Son. The Apostle Paul, us "Greeks" forefather in the Lord, was highly educated but said he chose NOT to speak in the eloquent manner of which he was capable but rather he said he "did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom." The Apostle Paul went on to say, "My message and my preaching were not (NOT) with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but God's power."

                        For one to impose the requirement of intellectual aspiration and ability to be a member of a Christian group is incredible (spoken by one who has a 3.925 agpa at FSU (Ferris State Univ) in the science dept after over 105 credit hours, for what that is worth (not much, let me tell you.)

                        I don't belong here. In fact, as there has been not one mod checking the round about name calling William is so fluent with who also happens to be a staff member I am gone from the site. What you wanted, William? I shake the dust off my sandals. Bye
                        Well you certainly have twisted my words and read into it what you want to believe.

                        Regarding Romans 14:1, "Paul passes down a precept necessary for the instruction of the Church, that they who have made the most progress in Christian doctrine should accommodate themselves to the more ignorant, and employ their own strength to sustain their weakness; for among the people of God there are some weaker than others, and who, except they are treated with great tenderness and kindness, will be discouraged, and become at length alienated from religion. And it is very probable that this happened especially at that time; for the Churches were formed of both Jews and Gentiles; some of whom, having been long accustomed to the rites of the Mosaic law, having been brought up in them from childhood, were not easily drawn away from them; and there were others who, having never learnt such things, refused a yoke to which they had not been accustomed." - John Calvin
                        Furthermore, I apologized to you a couple of times. Your criticisms here on this board are unmatched, I'm referring to doctrine and you keep pointing to me. Obviously, I have hit a nerve, and for that I apologize once again. I will agree with you that Presbyterianism tends to be more intellectual than others. It is what draws a certain type of person, but does it really deserve criticism when hearts and minds are opened and you're welcomed?

                        God bless,
                        William
                        Comment>

                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jim2:8-9 View Post
                          You don't intimidate me at all.
                          Why would you say such a thing? Are you intimidated by others through the internet, or are you puffing out your chest?

                          You're welcome to stay or leave.

                          God bless,
                          William
                          Comment>

                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jim2:8-9 View Post
                            Some denominations have had so so many divisions and splits within them since they begun. The spirit of derision scares me away.
                            Hello, and with all due respect, Jim:

                            No where is the spirit of division stronger than in a non-denominationalist. Every non-denominational church is started by someone splitting off from a denomination or another church. Every non-denominational church defines itself by its division from other churches. And, non-denominational churches split far, far more often than other churches (split as a result of discourse, not church planting).

                            On top of their extreme divisiveness and hypocrisy, non-denominational churches are full of other problems that result from their spirit of division, especially with their tendency to be cultish (heretical and personality-focused) and shallow (both in doctrine and culture). But, they probably do entertain their flocks, if that's what you think Church is for.







                            Comment>

                            • #15
                              Just a personal not here, ok? William you bring outstanding Biblical wisdom to your posts. Your sweet kind spirit is refreshing, I hope to learn from your better example.

                              here is where and my wife are struggling to find a church home. The church we have been attending has be nice and the Pastor has had good basic sermons. But today in the bulletin it said the community (includes our church) is participation with a combined community Vacation Bible School to be held at the Catholic Church. I find this inordinately offensive and un-biblical. We feel saddened this church is holding anything at a Chatolic, as we have serious issues and believe any born again believe would eventually have to leave because of their un-biblical beliefs.

                              We have seen several SBC churches in our area which just are not in line with the Five "Sola" points. A very disheartening sign of the times. So our search for a church home has begun again.


                              justme
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