Independent Luthern Church???

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Pete Richert, Sep 4, 2003.

  1. Pete Richert

    Pete Richert
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    For all believers here who are either presbyerian, lutheran, or methodist, do you guys have any indepdent churches that are not submitted to some higher authority?

    In other words, is the concept of the indepedent church exclusive to the Baptist "denomination"?

    I guess a lot of independent churches are non-denominational so it is not only the baptists, though I usually find non-denom are baptist for all intended purposes, so I will ask another question.

    Does any body here attend a non-denom, or community, or Bible Church whose theology is closer to say a Lutheran or Presbyterian church then a Baptist one.
     
  2. Pete Richert

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    You know what, just as I sent that I thought of an example myself. College Church in Wheaton Il, is a large independent church that is Reformed in theology and for all practical purposes in Presbyterian. Indeed, College Church split from Wheaton Bible Church (literarlly three blocks away) in the 40s over whether the church would join one of the Presbyterian denomoinations of they day (The membors that did not want to became Wheaton Bible Church which is more distinctivly baptist to this day).
     
  3. Johnv

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    Presbyerian, Lutheran, Methodist, and similar churches all operate under the authority of a denominational umbrella.

    However, there are some denominations that allow individual autonomy. For example, the Calvary Chapel churches, while they are similar in belief, are autonomous to the point where they refuse to be referred to as a denomination.
     
  4. Johnv

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    I could be wrong, but I think it's affiliated with the Reformed Church in America (aka, the Dutch Reformed Church), which is a sister denom to the Presbyterians. (Presby and Dutch Reformed were both founded by John Calvin)
     
  5. Pete Richert

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    Really? I got to check into that. Anyway, your right about Calvery, as I actually attended one before joining the church I am in now.

    I want to narrow my question now that I have thought it out.

    Are there any churches that are completely independant that baptize infants?

    That is what I was really aiming at.
     
  6. Pete Richert

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    No, I think college church is independent. This was taken from there web page.

    BTW, how are you familiar with College Church? Did you attend Wheaton College?
     
  7. Johnv

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    This ain't exactly answering your question, but I thought it interesting that Calvary Chapels don't require baptism of anyone at any time. Like communion, it's considered to be a voluntary sacrament that's done at the discretion of the participant. They don't require baptism as a prerequisite for membership.
     
  8. John Gilmore

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    There are many independent Lutheran churches. These independent churches may or may not elect to join a voluntary organization called a synod (e.g., LCMS, WELS, ELS, etc.). Synods are very similar to Baptist conventions, such as the SBC. Most synods require an unconditional subscription to the Lutheran Confessions.

    There are also Lutheran churches that are not independent. They fall under a more hierarchical arrangement (i.e., ELCA). The congregation usually has no ownership rights to the church property.

    BTW, the ELCA does not subscribe unconditionally to the Lutheran Confessions. It has become quite liberal and is in fellowship with the ultra liberal ECUSA and other reform church-bodies. The congregations who leave often must forfeit all their property.
     
  9. Chrift

    Chrift
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    John Gilmore beat me to it. What he said. [​IMG]
     
  10. Smoky

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    Presbyterian churches are not independent because they are ruled by a board of elders (presbyters) at several different levels. The local church "session", the "presbytery", the "synod" and the "general assembly" at the top. It may be of interest,though, that there are other conservative Presbyterian denominations beside the highly liberal "Presbyterian church USA". The Presbyterian church in America and the Evanjelical Presbyterian churches for example. Also of interest is the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, a non-calvinistic body, which withdrew from the main body over that issue during the "Second Great Awakening" of the early 1800s. It may be surprising to some that there is a Presbyterian Church that isn't calvinistic!
     
  11. John Gilmore

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    Smoky,

    Could a local presbyterian church somehow vote to transfer to another "general assembly"? If so, would they lose their property?

    BTW, the liberal PCUSA is in fellowship with the liberal ELCA which is in fellowship with the liberal ECUSA. I think we are seeing the beginnings of a mega-Protestant denomination where the historical differences become blurred due to doctrinal indifference.
     
  12. Smoky

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    I know of one instance where a PCA voted to leave that denomination and join the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and kept their property. I'm not sure whether its possible to lose the property or not if one denomination wanted to press the issue. I'd like to know that myself. The issue that caused the above change is rather ammusing. The PCA church was permitting women to make announcments and speeches before the congregation and the denomination didn't think it was right for "women to speek at all in the church". The new denomination thought it was OK for women to make speeches before the congregation as long as they didn't become elders. I think that's pretty conservative because I don't know of any Southern Baptist churches that won't at least let women speek before the congregation.
     
  13. Ben W

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    In the founding of Australia in many German settled towns there were often two Lutheran churches, one the High Church and the other the Low Church. In cases they didnt recognise marriges solemised in the other church!
     
  14. tragic_pizza

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  15. FriendofSpurgeon

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    As far as I know, all PCA churches (which was formed out of the PCUSA many years ago) were able to keep their church property when the PCA was formed. How difficult that was, I do not know.

    There are several Presbyterian denominations other than the PCUSA - The OPC (Orthodox Presbyterian), PCA (Presbyterian Church in America) and EPCA (Evangelical Presbyterian Church) - all of which are more conservative than the PCUSA. (Note: there are many good local PCUSA churches out there despite the liberal tilt of the denomination.)

    In any event, it is indeed an oxymoron to discuss an "independent" Presbyterian church. The church government is representative in nature and there is a strong relationship in doctrines, mission, goals, direction, cooperation, etc. between the churches.

    Having said that, there is the Independent Presbyterian Church in Savannah, GA (there's always an exception, isn't there?). Their web site is www.ipcsav.org. There may be more exceptions too.

    Hope all this is helpful
     
  16. tragic_pizza

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    Wow, that is a find.

    There's an Independent Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama as well, but it's "Independent" only in name. At some point in history it broke off from whatever flavor of Presbyterian it was with, or a group of folks left other churches to form this one, or something. In any case, it's solidly PC(USA) now.
     

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