What does non-denominational Christian church mean anyway? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 10-28-2007, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was raised in non-denominational Christian churches and have never thought to question what that means until now. A certain basic set of beliefs makes you a Christian, but where does the non-denominational part come in? It's so confusing that sometime I think "non-denominational" just equals another denomination, you know?

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#2 of 13 Old 10-28-2007, 03:17 PM
 
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Honestly, I tend to call ND churches "Neo-Baptist-Slash-Wesleyans".

It seems to be a very specific sort of "non-denomination" whenever that word is used, KWIM?

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#3 of 13 Old 10-28-2007, 03:49 PM
 
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it really just means that they are not tied in with a denomination. they usually have very little oversight and little athourity structure. Although they can generally be grouped into one of several specific types of churches.

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#4 of 13 Old 10-28-2007, 04:08 PM
 
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It means they are self governing and do not affiliate with any other denomination or church government/creed. However, I think many non-denominational churches have established their own denominations as they have created their own tenets and have planted churches with the same views elsewhere. (i.e. Church of Christ, The Vineyard, Calvary Chapel, etc.)
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#5 of 13 Old 10-29-2007, 12:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think of a non-denominational Christian as being someone who believes the basic tenets of Christianity while also allowing that there are many expressions of the Christian faith, and that one denomination doesn't have a monopoly on the truth. I also assume that non-denominational Christian churches want to set themselves apart from the arguments and division that have led to so many denominations within the Protestant faith.

I hadn't ever thought about authority and being part of a larger organization as a part of the definition. And the "creating their own tenets" and "specific form of non-denomination" is exactly what I was talking about. It starts seeming denominational-y at that point.

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#6 of 13 Old 10-29-2007, 12:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Cyneburh View Post
It means that the church is not a member of a denomination and doesn't have the oversight/rules of a denomination hanging over it. In a denomination, there is a board or some version of higherups. Think bishops and such though Baptists don't use that terminology.

My church is non-denom. We are a member of a fellowship of churches but there isn't a board saying, "teach this" or "do this" or anything like that. It does help out with pulpit supply if the pastor is on vacation or something, and offers pastor's conferences and such. But it's not a governing body over our individual church.
Is there established doctrine for your individual church or no? I always wondered that

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#7 of 13 Old 10-29-2007, 11:54 AM
 
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some non-denominationalk churches have extensive doctrinal statements that cover everything you never knew you wanted addressed. Some pride themselves on drawing no doctrinal lines anywhere. most stick to a very bare bones statement of faith and consider the rest "non-salvation issues open to interpretation"

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#8 of 13 Old 10-29-2007, 06:14 PM
 
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I think of a non-denominational Christian as being someone who believes the basic tenets of Christianity while also allowing that there are many expressions of the Christian faith, and that one denomination doesn't have a monopoly on the truth.
Well, this pretty much describes me, except that I am a very denominational Lutheran.
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#9 of 13 Old 10-29-2007, 06:26 PM
 
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I like that the doctrinal statement is set up in a format where a statement is made that starts with "we believe..." and then there are verses right after it so that you can look it up and see if that's really what the bible says or not. And then you can decide if you want to be in a church that teaches that.
Yes, the Catholic Church actually has that too. It's the Catechism.

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#10 of 13 Old 10-29-2007, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, this pretty much describes me, except that I am a very denominational Lutheran.
How would you define a "very denominational Lutheran"? (It's seems that my beliefs most closely correspond to those of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.) Perhaps that's a result of growing up non-denominational Christian and then being Catholic for 11 years?

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#11 of 13 Old 10-30-2007, 11:16 AM
 
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I was raised non-denominational. Meaning my parents said there was a God and Jesus and everything, but we didn't attend church regularly, and when we did, any random protestant church would do.
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#12 of 13 Old 10-30-2007, 06:44 PM
 
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How would you define a "very denominational Lutheran"? (It's seems that my beliefs most closely correspond to those of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.) Perhaps that's a result of growing up non-denominational Christian and then being Catholic for 11 years?
Oh, I just meant that I am about the opposite of non-denominational because I'm pretty strongly Lutheran in my theology. I have explored and studied many denominations, and have settled firmly in the Lutheran church. If I were to change churches, I would be seeking another Lutheran church. That's what I meant by "very denominational". Your definition of non-denominational Christian describes my worldview, though. While I have chosen the Lutheran expression of faith for myself, I also recognize that what is best for me may not be for someone else, and that's fine. I think humans are a lot more hung up on theology than God is.
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#13 of 13 Old 10-30-2007, 09:51 PM
 
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Aren't most of these "Mega Churches" considered non-denom? I have a heavy suspicion of churches labled "non-denom". When I was in college I was tricked into going to one... run by a private person who was an ordained minister and preached his own thing... was always asking for money, etc... around where I live most of the well-to-do American-born people go to a big mega church here and they are always fundraising for something... it is a big competition among the families to give the most, etc... and a lot of the pro athletes that live in our area go there.

I just get really uncomfortable about the lack of affiliation and the money thing. I think these churches can be used in ways that are bad to take money from people who are looking for a good church... i just get really suspicious.

oh and in baltimore these were EVERYWHERE! It was strange... so many small churches and for some reason the pastors always seemed to be mortgage brokers, too... I don't know if it was a coincidence or not.

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