Have Denominations outlived Their Usefulness?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Hardsheller, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
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    We live in a rapidly changing world, so my question is related to the need for Denominations in today's world.

    What I'm seeing is a new connectivity with likeminded Christians and Churches made possible by the internet which is sort of taking the place of a lot of the denominational connections that we used to depend on.

    The Local Association of Baptist Churches is more relevant than the State Convention to our local church mainly because it provides for interpersonal fellowship and local cooperative ministry.

    Beyond the local association we are experiencing less dependence on the state and national denominational organization simply because we have more choices for partnership,resources and networking than ever before made possible by the internet.

    Anyone else experiencing this trend or am I imagining things?
     
  2. just-want-peace

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    Never really thought much about this, but off hand I'd tend to take the opposite approach. May change my mind after reading more arguments.

    However, I see the modern trend to allegorizing/spiritualizing, and taking the non-literal redering of scripture to make people like me look for a church that is rooted in the old timey interpretations of His word.

    I do see your point though, cause sometimes "denominations" tend to stifle any challenge to the "accepted" rules THEY have determined; not the biblical principles mind you, but the man-made DOCTRINES. IE KJVO, no pants on females, no make-up for women, no instruments in church etc, etc, ad infinitum!

    Interesting thoughts though.

    Incidentally, my son-in-law is a pastor for a small non-den. church, & that church is VERY Christ centered and holds to all the critical doctrines of scripture. They are also very demanding of their members. Unlike most churches, you must commit to some type of service as a condition of membership, after salvation, of course.
     
  3. gb93433

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    Not too long ago SWBTS surveyed its theology students and found only 1/3 wanted to be pastors. The other 2/3 wanted to go into ministry with parachurch organizations or start a parachruch organizations.

    When I was in seminary an older professor told us when he was a kid that the attitude was if someone wanted Jesus they would come to the church much like a person who wanted a drink would go to a bar. Obviously today people know different. I think today's Christians will have to be tougher and know their Bible because the world will not come to church. The people cannot leave it up to the pastor to do evnagelism. There are denominational churches today that still think it is the pastor's job to do all the evangelism. However those churches are not growing.
     
  4. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    In my opinion, denominationalism is being minimalized by many in the next generation (which is probably a good thing).
     
  5. Hardsheller

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    For those of you who are Southern Baptists:

    What should a State Convention do for me and my church?
     
  6. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill
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    When any denominational doctrine overides Bible Doctrine the denomination has to take a back seat and make the adjustment.
    All denominations think they are Biblical but people who read and know God's Word know better, which is why Bible Churches are flourishing.
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    Bill, if a denomination is NOT "biblical", I would bail out. Can two walk together unless they are agreed?

    I DO appreciate the solid doctrinal "confessions of faith" that have been used over the centuries to clarify the scriptures. Some piously said "We'll just use the Bible", but we all know that such an open view allows ANY doctrine.

    I'm a London Baptist Confession 1689 kinda guy. But could sign agreement to Philadelphia, New Hampshire or BFM2000.
     
  8. gb93433

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    Dr. Bob;

    I would disagree. There have been some sound and some rather poor confessions of faith over the centuries. Maybe I am wrong but I am not aware of any confessions of faith outside of the scriptures that the NT church used. The scripture is inspired by God and no other document is. Our endeavor should always be to know what scripture teaches. If we follow a confession then we have alllowe others to dictate to us what they think the Bible teaches. The RCC has done that. I have found in the SBC churches I pastored that they knew what Baptists believed and what the BF&M was but did not know their Bible near as well.
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    In 1922 as the Northern Baptist Convention was taken into the full grip of modernism, the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship DESPERATELY sought some way to bring the denomination back to its mooring.

    They met before the Convention, then on the floor introduced the New Hampshire Confession of Faith, long held by NBC in New England. For the body to adopt this would give DEFINITE GUIDELINES for the otherwise "vague" concept of "we believe the Bible".

    Liberals had been using the "we believe the Bible" as our only statement of faith to introduce heinous error and heresy. This had to be stopped with some general yet concrete statement that served as a "framework" for the myth of "we believe the Bible".

    Sadly, the NBC's liberals made an amendment to replace the motion - that the "Bible is the only statement of faith we need". And it passed.

    SBC observers went back to the SBC Convention and hammered out (and passed) the BF&M of 1925 lest their denomination be ripped from its moorings, too.

    What has the LACK of firm outline of doctrinal belief led to?

    Look at the Northern Baptist (now American Baptist) one of the most wretched, liberal, Bible-dishonoring, and rudderless groups I've ever seen. Our ABC church here in Casper wouldn't know the Gospel if you hit them, don't require baptism for membership, and have a woman pastor!

    And they still have in their by laws that "the bible is the only statement of faith we need". Sad.
     
  10. gb93433

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    Dr. Bob:

    I think that is all over and it doesn't seem to be just by denomination. I know of some Presbyterian churches that immerse. I know of a GARBC church where I lived that was much like the ABC churches you mentioned. However the ABC church had a pastor from DTS. It seems like you can't go so much by the denomination any more but by the particular church.
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    Maybe the artificial labels within "baptist" circles mean little. Each church is so individual that it is hard to judge just by the association.

    That is NOT denominations, though. Baptists are still distinguished from Lutheran, Methodist, Catholic.

    If I see, though, that a church is "BBF" I immediately think "hylesish, bus, 1-2-3-pray-after-me-easy-believism, legalism" and would steer clear. Some are not, but enough hold to that stereotype that I would reject them by association.

    Same with "ABC" as very liberal, even though a few ABC churches (many in the northwest) may not be as liberal. In Wisconsin, where I pastored most of my life, I never met an ABC church or pastor that would be even "evangelical", much less as Baptist as I was.

    I still think labels ARE useful in a general sense.
     
  12. Plain Old Bill

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    Labels are'nt bad, especially for identification puposes like Dr. Bob says.
    I'm not the political type.My Brother-in-law was a big deal up here on the coast.Anyhow I helped plant a couple of churches (not as pastor except at one).I was helping one young man plant a church at my brother-in-laws request until he started having his wife teaching the men in the church.I left quietly.He sicked my brother-in-law on me who came over to the house and talked to me about it.I explained my actions and my brother-in-law sided with the young man.When politics overtake biblical principles I step out.I've never made a big deal out of it with my brother-in-law but he lost my respect right then and there.Even worse now I find out he is a KJVO guy too.
    Anyhow a label does'nt hurt if your biblical.People know what you stand for and that is good.I'm not against fellowships or denominations I just say let God be true and every man a liar.
     
  13. RayBap

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    Hardsheller, it all depends on what one expects from a denomination. The local church should what is central. All Baptist churches, traditionally and historically have been solely independent but CHOOSE to associate with other churches of like faith and order. There used to be a time when many churches trusted each other to give financial support together which formed the Cooperative Program among Southern Baptists, but now since trust has been severed, Baptists have become more selective in whom they support. I would not solely rely on the Assn or the state convention for leadership or direction. That should always come from the local church and if the Assn or Convention doesn't meet your expectations, then don't support them.
    I believe that ALL denominations are having identity problems and much of that they brought on themselves.
     

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