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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JesusFan, Sep 14, 2011.
Are denominational churches viewed as being non biblical/non Christian. or what?
1. It depends on how you define a denomination... If you define it as being a group of churches that work together for some educational and missions endeavors, I don't know of any Baptist church that would oppose them. Even "Independent" baptist churches often form associations and groups of "independent" baptist churches.
2. If you are referring to denominations that exert control over the individual churches, then that would be in contrast to LOCAL CHURCH AUTONOMY, which is one of the primary Baptist distinctives. Most Baptists would say that Presbyterians and Methodists are still true Christians if they hold to the gospel, but we would say we disagree with their polity. (Now if that methodist church decides to reject the bible and promote homosexual marraige, then that would be a different issue, unrelated to the denominational structure.
Baptists--Southern Baptists, at least--get lumped in with the Methodists, Presbyterians,etc., but the SBC is not truly a denomination in the strictest sense.
For one thing, in the SBC, power flows upward from the local churches, not downward to them. Thus, the Convention exercises no power over any local church.
The Convention is a cooperative venture involving local churches, who freely and voluntarily pool resources for evangelism and other ministries.
Technically, the Southern Baptist Convention exists for only three or so days a year--when it convenes local church messengers in one place.
So would churches like Assemblies of God, Evangelical Free Church eyc be classified by us as being denominations?
As they have a central group that meets every other year for a convention, but have local church autonomy!
It's rather clear that there is no mention of denominations in the Bible.
My church is the one up the top end of Exmouth, UK and we welcome all Christians, regardless of denomination.
However, we try to follow the Bible rather closely and therefore practise only Believers' Baptism. If anyone doesn't like that, well, there's another church just down the road that doesn't do either of those things.
The Baptist Union in the UK (the one Spurgeon left) has a few good churches left in it, but most are liberal to some extent. We therefore seek fellowship with any Bible-believing church, regardless of denomination. What we won't do is give any special recognition to their bishops, presbyters etc.
Jesus didn't start any particular denomination (despite what some believe); He just started a "Church" of believers. Calling ourselves by a particular name is man's work and not found in scripture. Satan has influenced mankind to start MANY different denominations in order to confuse people into not knowing WHAT to believe, and it's working quite well. Many people see no difference between one denomination and another--be it a cult or true Christianity.