Why Being Non-Denominational Is Not Good Enough

Church steeple

In the past, more emphasis was placed upon one’s denominational affiliation. But for many today, this is less important. This shift in mindset has given rise to the number of “non-denominational” churches we see in the religious world.

For years, faithful brethren have rightly condemned denominationalism. So is the trend toward non-denominationalism a good thing? Maybe not. Why not? Simply being non-denominational is not good enough.

The church in Sardis was a dead church, though they had a reputation that they were alive. Jesus said to them, “I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead” (Revelation 3:1). This shows us that a church can seem to be good in the eyes of men, but in the eyes of the Lord, their status is completely different. In the eyes of many, “non-denominational” churches look appealing. But like the church in Sardis, many of these churches simply do not measure up to the Lord’s standard.
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Reading Denominational Authors

Reading

With the rise of social media in our modern age, it is easy to share information with others. The information we share often includes what books and articles we have read. I have observed that, in general, brethren read a lot that is written by denominational authors on spiritual topics – possibly more than they read the writings of other brethren.

It is not necessarily wrong for brethren to read the writings of denominational authors. In some cases it can even be helpful. However, we need to be careful. Let me offer the following considerations.
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The Problem with Denominations

Church building

Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it’” (Matthew 16:16-18).

In the first century, there were no denominations – only the Lord’s church (Matthew 16:18). Paul said there is just “one body” (Ephesians 4:4), and that body is the church (Ephesians 1:22-23).

But today, unlike the first century, there are thousands of denominations. Is this a problem? Many will say “no.” They have been taught to “join the church of your choice” because “one church is as good as another.” But the Scriptures teach that this is a problem. Why? In this article we will notice four reasons why denominationalism is a problem.
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How Long Will You Hesitate Between Two Opinions?

Fork in the Road

Just before Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, he issued a challenge to the people of Israel who had gathered to witness the event.

Elijah came near to all the people and said, ‘How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.’ But the people did not answer him a word” (1 Kings 18:21).

The people were presented with a choice between two options – follow God or follow Baal. Similarly, we have choices to make about our personal conduct and religion. Many people like to think that they have a multitude of options from which to choose. But when you break down every decision, there are really just two options – follow God or not.
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Making Wise Investments (Part 3): The Pearl of Great Value

Making Wise Investments (Part 3): The Pearl of Great Value

In the previous lesson, we considered the value of the truth – the word of God – and why we should buy it and not sell it. In this lesson, we will consider something so valuable that Jesus talked about the wisdom in one selling everything that he owned in order to buy it. The thing which He said was so valuable was the kingdom.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Matthew 13:45-46).

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"We Will Be Downright Christians"

James O’Kelly (1738-1826) was one of the early voices of restoration in this country. Though he may not have been baptized into Christ, he was able to influence a great number of people as he sought to distance himself from the Methodist church in an effort to simply be a Christian.
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He is Hated by All the Denominations

The following is a quote from J.D. Tant (1861-1941):

J.D. TantBrother W. M. McIntyre has done more preaching and baptizing than any other preacher in the county, and is hated by all the denominations, and is never called upon to help in their union meetings. This causes me to think he is a man of God, sound in the faith” (Published in Gospel Advocate, April 29, 1897; Quoted from J. D. Tant – Texas Preacher, p. 177-178).

Why would Tant say that one being “hated by all the denominations” was an indication of his being “sound in the faith”? Notice that he mentions Brother McIntyre doing two things: preaching and baptizing.
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