Other Christian chruches

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by JonC δοῦλος, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. JonC

    JonC
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    I think that we all are fairly certain that our beliefs and doctrines are correct because if we thought them in error we'd change our view and then they'd be correct again (yes, I learned that one from MacArthur).

    That said, from discussions on this forum it is apparent that most of us believe that there are churches that differ in secondary doctrine, yet still hold to the gospel of Christ (that there are legitimate churches out there who hold different theologies). I believe that the Church is united in Christ, therefore true gospel believing churches should feel a sense of unity in Christ with one another while still holding firm to their distinctive beliefs (until such time as they determine it is error). I wonder how many of us would feel comfortable to worship with other denominations that we believe to be brothers in Christ and what, if any, those denominations would be.

    What church denominations outside of your own would you consider visiting to worship alongside? What denominations would you consider to be Christian and yet not entertain setting foot in their door, and why?
     
  2. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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    I do not recognize denominations. There is a fine Anglican church a few miles away where I visit from time to time, but Anglican churches in general are rubbish and I do not recognize all the paraphernalia of the Church of England (Archbishops , Deans, Archdeacons, Prebendries and whatnot).. The same applies to other denominations' churches. I take each church on its own merits. Does it believe and preach the Gospel? If so, the people there are my brothers in Christ.
     
  3. Martin Marprelate

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    I will just add one thing more.
    I would be very cautious about having anything to do with a church whose leader described himself as an Apostle. Eek
     
  4. annsni

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    In our county, we have a pastor's fellowship that meets once a month. It's called an evangelical fellowship so each of the churches (and some parachurches are involved as well) are to be evangelical in beliefs but the pastors get together once a month for prayer, fellowship, teaching and, of course, food. :) My husband has been greatly blessed to get to know the other pastors in the area and as such, can even pray during the pastoral prayer for the needs of these other churches and show the solidarity we have with them to our congregation. We have one goal - the glory of God and the building of His kingdom by spreading the Gospel to all in our area and discipling those within our individual churches. I think understanding that we are not alone in this work is important.
     
  5. HAMel

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    Jon C, you asked, "What church denominations outside of your own would you consider visiting to worship alongside?"

    What is worship? How does one worship? A simple definition of "worship" is the act of showing respect and love (for a god) especially by praying with others who believe in the same god. The act of worshipping God or a god.
     
  6. JonC

    JonC
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    Both you and Martin highlight a good point that I did not consider. I have not defined what I mean by a “denomination” nor what I mean by “worship.” That’s what I love about the BB – I know someone’s going to come back with something I had not considered.

    The English word “worship” is derived, literally, from “worth-ship.” I am using the word to denote corporate worship within an assembly of believers as they gather to ascribe to God the worth of which He is worthy. While I realize that all we do is worship (and should be the worship of the one true God….i.e., glorifying God for who He is and what Has done), I am asking specifically of a corporate worship service. I am not including worship in terms of in-depth discipleship (I think that this falls under the purpose of the local assembly to which a member belongs).

    By denomination, Brother Martin, I mean congregations that affirm a common doctrine or creed that differs from your own but which would also affirm the gospel of Christ. For example, I am a Southern Baptist. I can expect a SBC to contribute to the corporate program (our churches give in support of our respective state convention and the SBC missions and ministries), and to affirm our statement of faith. There are other local churches who affirm the gospel of Jesus Christ but are not Southern Baptists. So I am speaking specifically of affirmed and stated doctrine. A denomination reflects, IMHO, on accepted Christian belief within a group of local churches. I agree we shouldn’t treat denominations as a local church, but I believe that they do provide good information about what an association of local churches hold as correct doctrine on secondary issues. If doctrine departs on issues primary to the gospel (if they teach another gospel) then they are not Christian and therefore not a denomination at all.
     
  7. JonC

    JonC
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    We also have fellowship meetings across denominational lines. At Easter (Resurrection Sunday O O ) the Methodist Church hosts multi-denominational services during the week (pastors from the community preach a service each day of that week). I am apprehensive about this to a degree, but I do believe that the Church should be united in Christ regardless of differences in doctrines that would separate them as congregations or denominations. It may simply be a matter of looking at the differences in doctrines these Christian churches hold and determining if that is enough to withdraw fellowship based on error. I'm not sure that it is always clear where that line is drawn (or where we draw our own lines in terms of recognizing what is a matter of interpretation within our theology).
     
  8. HAMel

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    Thanks for your response Jon C. When it comes to "worship" there are some out there who can "worship" their rebuilt 1957 Chevy, Belair Convertible. As we motivate around town we often can see a church marquee that's inviting folks to "Come Worship With Us". Nothing wrong with this but folks show up and it's business as usual. Well, nothing wrong with this either as all churches need to be structured. How then do you truly "worship"?

    To me, worship is personal. It's between me and "my" Lord and the acceptance of Jesus as Savior. Everything thing else (outside of the structured) process is but mere nonsense.

    For those who wait in the shadow's only to "pounce" on another regarding any theological position or belief are responding to the urge of satan. Stating one's position which is contrary to another's position is one thing but to attack...? That's stupid and reflects their ignorance.
     
  9. JonC

    JonC
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    “Is not religion all deeds and all reflection, and that which is neither deed nor reflection, but a wonder and a surprise ever springing into the soul, even while the hands hew the stone or tend the loom?

    Who can separate his faith from his actions, or his belief from his occupations? Who can spread his hours before him, saying, ‘This for God and this for myself; This for my soul and this other for my body?’

    All your hours are wings that beat though space from self to self. He who wears his morality but as his best garment were better naked.”


    Now, before someone remarks let me be clear that I am not looking at Gibran's words as Christian, but I think he makes a good point here. All that we do is worship to someone or something. Our lives express worship and form our religion. So I agree with you that we worship individually. But we also worship corporately. I think that Acts 2:42-47 is a good example of corporate worship and individuals functioning within the local assembly. We are not saved for the sake of our own salvation, but to glorify God in our salvation.

    So I am not asking that an assault on certain doctrines or people may occur, but I am wondering what differences would prevent you from worshiping with other congregations. In truth, I think that these differences in secondary doctrine are often good things. For one they help us through debate to refine our positions.

    Here is an example where I would find it difficult to worship with another church: We have a several churches that have what I would consider a charismatic type of worship. I don't think their doctrine varies much from my own, but their worship style is different from mine. But I would not chose to attend a service there because I know my weaknesses. I would view their expression of faith as superficial based on my own nature. This is because I am reserved. If you see me in a worship service clapping and swaying, then it is a facade....or someone has spiked the grape juice. O O
     
    #9 JonC, Feb 6, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
  10. HAMel

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    Jon C..., what would "prevent" me from...

    Those who handle snakes; those who preach speaking in tongues as the only way; those who pray the rosary; those who jump pews, run the isle, shashay or do-se-do to the rock band behind the pulpit; those places where the speakers are bigger than VW beetles; those who preach that no matter what you do or how you do it..., it's just not enough; those who believe women should NEVER cut their hair. The list is endless.

    To me, part of worship(ing) is that of showing reverence to God. As for corporate worship I have no problem(s) with that and as you indicated the practice is encouraged.
     
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  11. InTheLight

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    Interesting question. Based on personal experience I could worship with:
    Evangelical Free churches.
    Most Assembly of God churches.

    If I were traveling and wanted to attend a Sunday service I could go to:
    Most conservative Lutheran churches that preach the new birth, i.e. Wisconsin Synod, Lutheran Brethren, some Missouri Synod, but definitely no other types of Lutherans. I would probably not take communion, though.

    Based on what I know about their theology I could likely attend a service with:
    Mennonites
    Conservative Methodists
    Conservative Presbyterians

    As a one time event I would be curious to attend a service at a:
    Conservative Episcopalian church

    Other than funerals of friends and possibly baptisms of friend's children, I would never attend:
    Catholic church of any theological stance
    Liberal anything church
     
  12. kyredneck

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    We were active in a Bible church headed by a group of retired missionaries with Mennonite affiliation many years ago. Although not KJV only, they used KJV Bibles for group reading aloud (kids and all) of scripture to open each meeting with emphasis on scripture memorization, which IMO is a profound method of 'corporate worship' that gave lasting benefits to all involved. Simple but effective way to have the word of Christ dwell in you richly.
     
    #12 kyredneck, Feb 6, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
  13. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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    In Britain there is an organization called 'Churches Together,' and member churches hold various events together. The problem is that the only basis of faith is a vague Trinitarianism. The Church of Rome, Quakers and churches that deny the resurrection and other key doctrines are all in together with professing evangelicals. they all pray together and call each other 'brother.' My church will not join such a grouping, but we will cooperate and have fellowship with churches that are evangelical, even if their denominations are apostate (this, alas, applies to the Baptist Union. There are some fine B.U. churches, but the denomination itself is totally mired in liberalism).
     

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