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unworthy

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PostSubject: from Wisdom   Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:54 am

ishmael81 wrote:
unworthy wrote:
ishmael81 wrote:
unworthy wrote:
brokentulsa wrote:
If
all the churches and Christians could learn to love the way scriptures
says we should we could finally do away with division and denominations
in the church and be one church as Christ intended.

don't agree.

Are you being serious or ironic?

serious.

Do you care to share why you don't agree? I'm not trying to put you on the spot - just curious.

1. I don't believe that love is all we need. Though I suppose this could be classified under a "semantic" issue because "love the way the Scripture says" is death to self and concern for others above self.

2. I think "division and denominations" in the church are not merely there because we don't "love" enough or correctly. There are much deeper issues at stake and I think it trivializes the issues to simply say that we need to "love" and then they will become meaningless. In other words I think some of the theological issues are important and I don't think they would simply dissappear if we all lived up to the biblical standard of behavior toward our fellow men.

3. I think denominations are important. The reason denominations were created was to preserve the truth. It is man who used them to divide. When used in a godly manner they are meant to keep out false theologies, ideas, and man made doctrines. Just because they have not lived up to this righteous call does not mean they should be dissolved or be seen as the "bad guy" who is dividing the body of Christ. I don't think to "do away with denominations" is really an ideal we should strive for this side of heaven. If there were no denominations then there would be no division between bad theology and good theology. This is why the concept of "non denominational churches" is so scary to me; there is no way to know whether they are speaking truth or not! Truth is best divined by groups and not merely personal study.

4. I believe what Paul says divides us.. our sinful natures at war. It is our prejudices, stereotypes, etc, which divide the church. It is on us to reach beyond the lines that have been drawn. Denomination is only meant to say "this is what I believe" and not "this is who I hang out with" or "this means I don't like anyone who disagrees" etc... etc.. I don't think seeking to tear down denominations is the answer.

5. When Christ returns there will be no more denominations because they will have fulfilled their calling of preserving truth until Christ returns.

6. I understand that there are MANY denominations that were created not by this ideal or for this reason. They are a different topic altogether. To place all denominations on that block and seek to chop them all away would do nothing but create confusion and obscure what a "christian" is and would do a lot more harm than good... Some of them, however, I agree with you that they need to go away because they are not accomplishing what they were intended to.

7. So in summary I disagree with the above statement because of the word "denominations" .. I agree with the statement as follows: "If
all the churches and Christians could learn to love the way scriptures
says we should we could finally do away with division in the church and be one church as Christ intended." (I don't believe "one church" means "one denomination")
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PostSubject: Re: from Wisdom   Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:37 pm

(Moderators..this thread belongs in the Bible study room...please move)
I would disagree with you on everything you said...some of it I even find somewhat bizarre but whatever.
I thought about going into this point by point response but decided instead to just make a general statement. In my view what separates "good theology" from "bad theology" is the Holy Spirit...not the agreement and stand of "groups" of people. The Mormon church is one of the largest groups of people who exist and they call themselves Christians...yet many of us would call them a cult of unbelievers. The difference between theological views and the interpretation given to us by the Holy Spirit rather than man (we are told to walk by the spirit) is what separates Good theology and bad theology and what created denominations. We are warned that false prophets will rise up and many people including some true believers will be led away by their "truthful sounding" lies. Just because a theological view has stood for hundreds of years does not make it right and truthful. For the sake of this discussion unworthy I will use you and me as the example. If we merely disagreed on small things like full immersion baptism vs. sprinkling or fasting vs. not fasting or Lent or no lent then that would be one thing...we would just disagree but it wouldn't effect us spiritually. You and I disagree on the very core of what salvation is and what it takes to get to heaven. We in most cases are exact opposites. When it gets to that point it does change things. It puts us in a situation where each of us would believe if "I" am right then he is wrong...wrong to the point that we wouldn't even accept those with the "wrong" belief as Christians. Surely we would all agree we each go to the church that teaches what we consider right and from a logical point of view if "we" are right and the issue dividing us is the core of what we call salvation...then everyone else is wrong.
True Christian love does not do that. True Christian love says only Christ matters. Loving God with all our heart and loving people as Christ does then becomes the simple theology and all this other stuff we fight about from predestination to free will become worthless and not even worth discussion. If that happened then denominations would have no purpose and Christ would then be the center.
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PostSubject: Re: from Wisdom   Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:50 pm

Thanks unworthy for clarifying. I agree with some of what you wrote but as someone who attends a non-denominational church, I disagree that "This is why the concept of "non denominational churches" is so scary to me; there is no way to know whether they are speaking truth or not! Truth is best divined by groups and not merely personal study."

This is why the Protestant Reformation happened - Luther was tired of the church dictating his doctrine instead of him doing it himself.

While I understand your point, I think one problem with denominations is that people expect their church to tell them what to believe instead of researching it themselves.

But like I said, I understand what you're saying and agree with part of it.
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PostSubject: Re: from Wisdom   Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:29 pm

There really isn't any difference between a "Non Denominational" church and any other Protestant based church. All of the churches in the evangelical community critique and hold each other accountable (hopefully to the gospel and not some "man-made" set of rules).

In our region all the Non-denom churches have been started by the Southern Baptist Convention, and follow most of those guidelines and beliefs. The biggest reason they have the "Non-denom" label is in an effort to get people to attend who other-wise wouldn't go to a "Baptist" church.

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PostSubject: Re: from Wisdom   Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:09 am

Jon,
I have another question for you. For some reason, I'm stuck on this sentence:

"This is why the concept of "non denominational churches" is so scary to me; there is no way to know whether they are speaking truth or not! Truth is best divined by groups and not merely personal study."

My question now is - how do you know which denomination is speaking the truth? They all say they are, right? But without your own personal study, how do you decide which denomination is the "most Biblical" according to your standard?

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PostSubject: Re: from Wisdom   Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:17 pm

brokentulsa wrote:
In my view what separates "good theology" from "bad theology" is the Holy Spirit...not the agreement and stand of "groups" of people. The Mormon church is one of the largest groups of people who exist and they call themselves Christians...yet many of us would call them a cult of unbelievers.

I didn't say that the agreement of any group of people determine what is "good theology" or that the agreement of any group made it's theological stance one of "good theology." I mean it only in a general sense, and only as they are, submitted to God and illuminated by the Holy Spirit.

Paul said that if anyone preached any other gospel than he did that they should be accursed. Who does this put the burden on? God? No. It puts the burden on US.

God does not reach down from heaven and shout what is true, He uses His people. He speaks to His people and uses His people to preserve the integrity of the gospel on earth.

brokentulsa wrote:
The difference between theological views and the interpretation given to us by the Holy Spirit rather than man (we are told to walk by the spirit) is what separates Good theology and bad theology and what created denominations.

I'm not completely sure what you mean. Can you explain it to me?

brokentulsa wrote:
We are warned that false prophets will rise up and many people including some true believers will be led away by their "truthful sounding" lies. Just because a theological view has stood for hundreds of years does not make it right and truthful.

Your first statement seemed almost an argument against your second. I would think a theological view that has stood the test of time would be something worth depending on or, at least, not a "truthful sounding lie."

I didn't say time was the defining characteristic of good theology, either. However, I do believe that the traditions of historical Christianity are invaluable both in understanding of what it means and in shaping our beliefs. In other words "anyone dumb enough to not care about the past is doomed to repeat it" ... if you want to understand what something means then looking back at how Christians in the generations past will illuminate.

I think the Wesleyan quadrilateral sums up what I think makes a good foundation for theology and one of those corners is "tradition" and we have a very valuable source of insight into Scripture because we have a great cloud of witnesses who wrote things to illuminate and dissect Scripture so that we can understand it.

brokentulsa wrote:
For the sake of this discussion unworthy I will use you and me as the example. If we merely disagreed on small things like full immersion baptism vs. sprinkling or fasting vs. not fasting or Lent or no lent then that would be one thing...we would just disagree but it wouldn't effect us spiritually. You and I disagree on the very core of what salvation is and what it takes to get to heaven. We in most cases are exact opposites. When it gets to that point it does change things. It puts us in a situation where each of us would believe if "I" am right then he is wrong...wrong to the point that we wouldn't even accept those with the "wrong" belief as Christians. Surely we would all agree we each go to the church that teaches what we consider right and from a logical point of view if "we" are right and the issue dividing us is the core of what we call salvation...then everyone else is wrong.

well, I will say this. I think that you are, in some respects, misguided as you, in some respects, think I am as well. There's nothing we can do about that. I will sit here and expound and you will do the same and neither of us will change our minds. However, I think it an over exaggeration to say that salvation is an issue. I believe that there is a lot more that we agree on then we care to admit because I think a lot of what differentiates us is not the content of belief but semantics.

I don't go to a church that I 100% agree with; I never will. I go to the church I go to because that's where God told me to go. He is the one I submit to, not to the theological governing of any man. I don't use "absolute correct theology in my opinion" as a guide as to where I will go, what I will do, and who I will be. God is the authority and not my opinions.

The reason I submit myself to the denomination under which I sit is because God put me under their authority. We are all under authority. I think we all should be.

brokentulsa wrote:
True Christian love does not do that. True Christian love says only Christ matters. Loving God with all our heart and loving people as Christ does then becomes the simple theology and all this other stuff we fight about from predestination to free will become worthless and not even worth discussion. If that happened then denominations would have no purpose and Christ would then be the center.

well, as much as that sounds good, I'm going to have to disagree. You see I believe that theology precludes everything about what it means to say "Christ matters." In fact theology is Who you believe "Christ" is! Without that, what content could a phrase have? If you take the meaning of it out it becomes a purposeless phrase...

I think in practical terms, yes, I would agree. When we all obey the commands to love than denominations would not mean some of what they mean now because of what we make them to be. However, to say that if we all just "love each other" that all the content and heart of what we believe would suddenly become meaningless... I don't agree. I love because of my theology not in spite thereof.
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PostSubject: Re: from Wisdom   Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:23 pm

ishmael81 wrote:
Jon,
I have another question for you. For some reason, I'm stuck on this sentence:

"This is why the concept of "non denominational churches" is so scary to me; there is no way to know whether they are speaking truth or not! Truth is best divined by groups and not merely personal study."

My question now is - how do you know which denomination is speaking the truth? They all say they are, right? But without your own personal study, how do you decide which denomination is the "most Biblical" according to your standard?


1. "my standard?" who cares about "my standard?" Much less my opinion. I thought we were seeking what's REALLY true, not what we think, feel, or say is true. Smile

2. I don't think there is any denomination that speaks "THE truth" because no one has it right in every respect. I think they all have their purpose and their place in the body of Christ just like us, as people who disagree, have our place within each church and that church has a place within each denomination. I think that denominations are supposed to work together for the glory of God not fight about which is greater or has it right.

3. I don't like nondenominational churches by definition because a lack of accountability beyond the members. This means that the members have no subjected themselves under any godly authority whatsoever and any number of errors, sin, etc, can find it's way in the door.

4. The key is submission and obedience unto God. That's what it's all about...
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PostSubject: Re: from Wisdom   Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:29 pm

Quote :
In our region all the Non-denom churches have been started by the Southern Baptist Convention, and follow most of those guidelines and beliefs. The biggest reason they have the "Non-denom" label is in an effort to get people to attend who other-wise wouldn't go to a "Baptist" church.




For the most part, that's the way it is here. As comedian Tim Hawkins says, a non-denominational church is just a Southern Baptist church with a coffee house and a cooler website.

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PostSubject: Re: from Wisdom   Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:39 pm

alldatndensum wrote:
Quote :
In our region all the Non-denom churches have been started by the Southern Baptist Convention, and follow most of those guidelines and beliefs. The biggest reason they have the "Non-denom" label is in an effort to get people to attend who other-wise wouldn't go to a "Baptist" church.




For the most part, that's the way it is here. As comedian Tim Hawkins says, a non-denominational church is just a Southern Baptist church with a coffee house and a cooler website.

I know this thread isn't supposed to be funny, but that's just hilarious!

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PostSubject: Re: from Wisdom   Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:08 am

unworthy wrote:
ishmael81 wrote:
Jon,
I have another question for you. For some reason, I'm stuck on this sentence:

"This is why the concept of "non denominational churches" is so scary to me; there is no way to know whether they are speaking truth or not! Truth is best divined by groups and not merely personal study."

My question now is - how do you know which denomination is speaking the truth? They all say they are, right? But without your own personal study, how do you decide which denomination is the "most Biblical" according to your standard?


1. "my standard?" who cares about "my standard?" Much less my opinion. I thought we were seeking what's REALLY true, not what we think, feel, or say is true. Smile

2. I don't think there is any denomination that speaks "THE truth" because no one has it right in every respect. I think they all have their purpose and their place in the body of Christ just like us, as people who disagree, have our place within each church and that church has a place within each denomination. I think that denominations are supposed to work together for the glory of God not fight about which is greater or has it right.

3. I don't like nondenominational churches by definition because a lack of accountability beyond the members. This means that the members have no subjected themselves under any godly authority whatsoever and any number of errors, sin, etc, can find it's way in the door.

4. The key is submission and obedience unto God. That's what it's all about...

I see where you're coming from now. However, I disagree with number 3. As I stated, my family and I attend a non-denom. church and we have accountability as we are part of a group (which I suppose makes us very similiar to a denomination) of churches that don't identify with a mainline denom. There are bishops and people in authority that we (meaning our pastoral staff) answer to. As far as the errors and sin that can enter the door, that's any church or denomination, isn't it? Search "pastor scandal" in Google or Wikipedia and they aren't limited to non-denominational churches.
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PostSubject: Re: from Wisdom   Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:20 pm

ishmael81 wrote:
unworthy wrote:
ishmael81 wrote:
Jon,
I have another question for you. For some reason, I'm stuck on this sentence:

"This is why the concept of "non denominational churches" is so scary to me; there is no way to know whether they are speaking truth or not! Truth is best divined by groups and not merely personal study."

My question now is - how do you know which denomination is speaking the truth? They all say they are, right? But without your own personal study, how do you decide which denomination is the "most Biblical" according to your standard?


1. "my standard?" who cares about "my standard?" Much less my opinion. I thought we were seeking what's REALLY true, not what we think, feel, or say is true. Smile

2. I don't think there is any denomination that speaks "THE truth" because no one has it right in every respect. I think they all have their purpose and their place in the body of Christ just like us, as people who disagree, have our place within each church and that church has a place within each denomination. I think that denominations are supposed to work together for the glory of God not fight about which is greater or has it right.

3. I don't like nondenominational churches by definition because a lack of accountability beyond the members. This means that the members have no subjected themselves under any godly authority whatsoever and any number of errors, sin, etc, can find it's way in the door.

4. The key is submission and obedience unto God. That's what it's all about...

I see where you're coming from now. However, I disagree with number 3. As I stated, my family and I attend a non-denom. church and we have accountability as we are part of a group (which I suppose makes us very similiar to a denomination) of churches that don't identify with a mainline denom. There are bishops and people in authority that we (meaning our pastoral staff) answer to. As far as the errors and sin that can enter the door, that's any church or denomination, isn't it? Search "pastor scandal" in Google or Wikipedia and they aren't limited to non-denominational churches.

1. I'm not trying to lift denominations on a platform and say they are the ideal situation. The ideal situation will be when we get to heaven under God's rule and will understand all that we don't atm. However, when compared to the alternatives, they are highly effective and have been shown the capacity to provide unity, preserve truth, and keep out error.

2. They also have proven the capacity to do the opposite because they are run by people. Though I would not point my finger at the denomination itself but the people who either cling to outdated methods (which are not part of the gospel - ie: the way we do things), allow themselves to become legalistic in their mindset, or allow outside (or even internal) forces to deter them from fulfilling their God given call of doing the work of God. The denomination, in and of itself, is a great tool.

3. I also didn't say that denominations are error free or sin free. They are run by people and people are prone to such things. To me throwing out denominations is like throwing out the baby with the bath water.

4. Who, though, apart from God, is the pastoral staff at a non-denominational church accountable to? The people of the church who determine whether they have a job or not! Therefore the people hold the power in that church and the pastor is accountable to the people. (The problem is not necessarily that, it's the problems that can lead to!)

5. There really is no such thing as a "nondenominational" church.. at least in my experience.

6. Groups of "Non-Denominational churches" are, in essence, a denomination. If there is any level of true accountability between them.
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PostSubject: Re: from Wisdom   Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:10 pm

Quote :
In our region all the Non-denom churches have been started by the
Southern Baptist Convention, and follow most of those guidelines and
beliefs. The biggest reason they have the "Non-denom" label is in an
effort to get people to attend who other-wise wouldn't go to a "Baptist"
church.

Interesting...where I live most non-denominational churches are word of faith churches (the whole tbn thing) or independent churches that teach either free grace (like my church) or Independent Calvinist churches. When I lived in tulsa ok. there were lots of word of faith based independent churches as well. Most of the word of faith churches are mega-churches...one here in Lubbock has around 1500 people per service and in Tulsa is was more like 3000 people per services...the police had to direct traffic.
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PostSubject: Re: from Wisdom   Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:13 pm

unworthy wrote:
ishmael81 wrote:
unworthy wrote:
ishmael81 wrote:
Jon,
I have another question for you. For some reason, I'm stuck on this sentence:

"This is why the concept of "non denominational churches" is so scary to me; there is no way to know whether they are speaking truth or not! Truth is best divined by groups and not merely personal study."

My question now is - how do you know which denomination is speaking the truth? They all say they are, right? But without your own personal study, how do you decide which denomination is the "most Biblical" according to your standard?


1. "my standard?" who cares about "my standard?" Much less my opinion. I thought we were seeking what's REALLY true, not what we think, feel, or say is true. Smile

2. I don't think there is any denomination that speaks "THE truth" because no one has it right in every respect. I think they all have their purpose and their place in the body of Christ just like us, as people who disagree, have our place within each church and that church has a place within each denomination. I think that denominations are supposed to work together for the glory of God not fight about which is greater or has it right.

3. I don't like nondenominational churches by definition because a lack of accountability beyond the members. This means that the members have no subjected themselves under any godly authority whatsoever and any number of errors, sin, etc, can find it's way in the door.

4. The key is submission and obedience unto God. That's what it's all about...

I see where you're coming from now. However, I disagree with number 3. As I stated, my family and I attend a non-denom. church and we have accountability as we are part of a group (which I suppose makes us very similiar to a denomination) of churches that don't identify with a mainline denom. There are bishops and people in authority that we (meaning our pastoral staff) answer to. As far as the errors and sin that can enter the door, that's any church or denomination, isn't it? Search "pastor scandal" in Google or Wikipedia and they aren't limited to non-denominational churches.

1. I'm not trying to lift denominations on a platform and say they are the ideal situation. The ideal situation will be when we get to heaven under God's rule and will understand all that we don't atm. However, when compared to the alternatives, they are highly effective and have been shown the capacity to provide unity, preserve truth, and keep out error.

2. They also have proven the capacity to do the opposite because they are run by people. Though I would not point my finger at the denomination itself but the people who either cling to outdated methods (which are not part of the gospel - ie: the way we do things), allow themselves to become legalistic in their mindset, or allow outside (or even internal) forces to deter them from fulfilling their God given call of doing the work of God. The denomination, in and of itself, is a great tool.

3. I also didn't say that denominations are error free or sin free. They are run by people and people are prone to such things. To me throwing out denominations is like throwing out the baby with the bath water.

4. Who, though, apart from God, is the pastoral staff at a non-denominational church accountable to? The people of the church who determine whether they have a job or not! Therefore the people hold the power in that church and the pastor is accountable to the people. (The problem is not necessarily that, it's the problems that can lead to!)

5. There really is no such thing as a "nondenominational" church.. at least in my experience.

6. Groups of "Non-Denominational churches" are, in essence, a denomination. If there is any level of true accountability between them.

1. I agree. I did however feel that you were putting denominations on a little bit of a pedestal Smile Glad to see you weren't.
2. I agree again. But don't you think the same goes for non-denom. churches? It's not the church itself but rather the people in it responsible?
3. I hear you. I wouldn't throw them out but I would love to see more unity between the denominations than what currently exists.
4. I can't speak for others but like I said our church has a bishop that our pastors answer to. We also have something called Pastor's Council that is similiar to an elected board of deacons that advise our pastors and they are accountable to them.

And what's wrong with the people in the church being the ones with the power? Can we not think on our own? Do I have an inability to discern God's will or what the Bible says, merely because I'm not a pastor? Is not the pastor just another person? Unless I'm reading your sentiments wrong here, it feels as though you think the pastor should have all the power in the church. I can think of very few things that will ruin a church than a pastor on a power trip. I'd prefer to be part of my church rather than a subordinate to my pastor. Like I said, this is one major reason the Protestant Reformation happened.

5. I suppose I see what you mean. We're a denomination all our own.
6. Perhaps an issue of semantics, but who defines "true accountability"? And what's wrong with a small community in a non-denominational church being the only people who hold a pastor accountable?

Having grown up Baptist then later Assembly of God, I saw plenty of scandal. From affairs to embezzlement to pastors being unChristlike in ways people who aren't saved would never think of being. The people those pastors were responsible to were hours away and rarely visited.

But in my church now, the pastor's are accountable to members and the council - people who live in the same community and who are at the church every week. Please forgive my skepticism of denominations, I have nothing against them. I just think a church should be run like a church instead of a corporation.
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PostSubject: Re: from Wisdom   Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:15 pm

brokentulsa wrote:
Quote :
In our region all the Non-denom churches have been started by the
Southern Baptist Convention, and follow most of those guidelines and
beliefs. The biggest reason they have the "Non-denom" label is in an
effort to get people to attend who other-wise wouldn't go to a "Baptist"
church.

Interesting...where I live most non-denominational churches are word of faith churches (the whole tbn thing) or independent churches that teach either free grace (like my church) or Independent Calvinist churches. When I lived in tulsa ok. there were lots of word of faith based independent churches as well. Most of the word of faith churches are mega-churches...one here in Lubbock has around 1500 people per service and in Tulsa is was more like 3000 people per services...the police had to direct traffic.

That's interesting too BT. We have on Word of Faith church I know of, and aside from some Baptist and Presbyterian churches, no Reformed churches that I know of.

Ours is non-denom. but we aren't Calvinist/Reformed or Free Grace. And we definately aren't WoF... I guess that's why people get confused when I talk about what I believe and what my church teaches - it's not easy to label and put in a little box over in the corner.
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PostSubject: Re: from Wisdom   Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:28 pm

Quote :
Who, though, apart from God, is the pastoral
staff at a non-denominational church accountable to? The people of the
church who determine whether they have a job or not! Therefore the
people hold the power in that church and the pastor is accountable to
the people.

Our pastoral staff is accountable first to God, then to each other, then to their family and then to the people of the church. Members of the church are accountable first to God, then to family. As far as being accountable to the church pastor we are accountable to teach only what is taught by the church. We believe we teach what Paul says is truth and he said not to worship with those who teach or believe anything else. (alot of churches would escort those who challenge their beliefs to the door including denominations)

Quote :
If there is any level of true accountability between them
.

I would say non denominational's are not accountable to each other. In our church that would definitely ring true. We feel in the end each individual is accountable to God alone.

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I don't think there is any denomination that speaks "THE truth" because no one has it right in every respect.

I go where I am convinced it is 100% right. I cannot fathom the idea spiritually or logically that someone would go to a church they didn't think was right. I do not believe that Non-Denominational churches are a denomination.. As far as God telling someone to go to a certain church...I believe we have complete free will to come and go as we please and God isn't concerned with where we go or if we go to church...therefore if one chooses to go they should choose a church they feel is 100% correct. In the end it won't matter where or if you went but if you had faith alone in Christ alone.


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The key is submission and obedience unto God. That's what it's all about

I would completely disagree with this. Submission and Obedience have nothing to do with obtaining or maintaining Salvation. Faith alone is the key. Jesus plus nothing.




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PostSubject: Re: from Wisdom   Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:31 pm

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We have on Word of Faith church I know of,

Actually the dream center in downtown st. louis is a word of faith church run by Joyce Meyers ministries. Larry Rice also leans toward WOF theology at times. There are several others in st. louis as well.
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PostSubject: Re: from Wisdom   Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:04 pm

The Dream Center is the one I knew of. We actually work with their homeless ministry at my church despite our church's "official" position on WoF...
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