Which Denomination?

For the discussion of the distinctives of the various mainstream Christian denominations
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Paidion
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Re: Which Denomination?

Post by Paidion » Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:05 pm

Hi Bart,

If there are no non-denominational churches in your city, and you feel that it is important to be non-denominational, why not meet in the name of Christ alone with a few other like-minded people? Jesus said, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."

Actually the only true churches are non-denominational. They are local expressions of the one and only Church (or should I say "Assembly") which Messiah Jesus founded. That one True Church is not divided into denominations. In my opinion, denominations are a set of clubs. The chief mark of a club, is that it has a membership role, and one must join the club in order to enjoy full privileges. Isn't that the case with every "denominational" church? But one cannot join the Church which Christ founded. The Lord alone can make you a member.

...And the Lord added to the Church daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:47 NKJV)

No one could join that apostolic Church which Christ founded. It was only when a person was being saved that the Lord added him to the Church.
I have met with three different expressions of the true Church. None of them had a membership role. All three recognized persons who were already members of the true Church, and when such persons were recognized, they enjoyed full privileges. Each of the three shared the eucharist or communion every Sunday. In some respects, the theology of the three groups differed, but there was harmony with respect to recognizing and loving fellow brothers and sisters, and in serving Christ as one's Lord.

I think the main characteristic of a club, as opposed to a true expression of the Church, is that the club has a formal membership role, and that membership is required in order to fully share in all activities and privileges.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

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Jepne
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Re: Which Denomination?

Post by Jepne » Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:07 pm

In my 40 years as a Christian, I was discipled by Art Katz and Randy Shankle and got ruined for anything less than a living breathing Body of Christ, followers of Jesus Christ.

I never went to a church that had a membership role until in the last seven years. When my husband was away for a time, I went to a Baptist church because it was nearby and I had friends there, but it ended with them asking me to leave, pretty much. Recently, we have gone to one with our neighbors on alternate Sundays. We never 'joined' but seemed to have been received by them - we ate together and prayed together - until one day, my husband got there [I was home, sick] and spent the morning on the sidelines, because he was not an official member, watching them take communion. We still love them, and they us, but there is a barrier that breaks God's heart that we did not put up.

When I read Jesus' prayer for his church in the Gospel of John, and particularly, when I see it portrayed so well in the movie (2003), I just feel like I won't stop crying. He is so very worthy to have a people for his name!

Are we willing to pay the price and step out in faith to be that people?
"Anything you think you know about God that you can't find in the person of Jesus, you have reason to question.” - anonymous

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psimmond
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Re: Which Denomination?

Post by psimmond » Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:55 pm

Paidion, do nondenominational churches not do membership classes and membership voting?

I've visited nondenominational churches but the churches that I have attended regularly have all belonged to different denominations. (Well, now that I think of it, the charismatic church I attended from '99-'01 was probably nondenominational.) I don't believe I've ever been an official member of a church. The church my wife and I attended for the longest period of time was a Nazarene church in Michigan. We liked it a lot and probably would have become members if it weren't for the alcohol clause. (What's funny is I didn't even drink, but as a matter of principal, I couldn't agree to what I viewed as a pharisaical rule.)

Here is something you might find interesting: The time I felt most comfortable attending church, was when the Nazarene church outgrew their little building and met in a school gymnasium for a few years. The setup and tear down was a bit of a hassle every Sunday, but I loved the atmosphere!
Let me boldly state the obvious. If you are not sure whether you heard directly from God, you didn’t.
~Garry Friesen

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Paidion
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Re: Which Denomination?

Post by Paidion » Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:53 pm

Paidion, do nondenominational churches not do membership classes and membership voting?
None of the ones I attended did either. For what would be the purpose of membership classes if the local church has no membership role? And why would the people vote on an issue? Voting indicates what the majority wants, but does it indicate WHAT GOD WANTS? The majority is often wrong.

Decisions concerning the local church were made by the elders after much prayer, sometimes in the presence of the wider fellowship whose input was sought. But either way, the Lord's mind was sought so that his will might be done. After prayer and a bit of discussion, everyone was in agreement as to what the Lord wanted. Not a single voice of dissension.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 83.

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psimmond
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Re: Which Denomination?

Post by psimmond » Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:50 pm

Paidion wrote:Decisions concerning the local church were made by the elders after much prayer, sometimes in the presence of the wider fellowship whose input was sought. But either way, the Lord's mind was sought so that his will might be done. After prayer and a bit of discussion, everyone was in agreement as to what the Lord wanted. Not a single voice of dissension.
I'd be afraid to attend a church like that and ruin their streak of no dissension :lol:
Let me boldly state the obvious. If you are not sure whether you heard directly from God, you didn’t.
~Garry Friesen

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