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Different Denominations

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Different Denominations
Hey everyone!

So I have a question.

I'm a Christian. My parents are Christians.

My parents go to an Evangelic church, while I go to a Baptist church.

My parents seem to think that I am sinning and will not go to Heaven because I do not go to an Evangelic church.

My point of view is who cares what different denominations there are, we believe in the same God, we are Christians. We will still go to Heaven whether or not I go to a Baptist church, or Evangelic church.

What is the deal with denominations? We are all Christians, right?
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Re: Different Denominations In reply to
For the most part, you are right. The stipulation would be that the people are indeed Christians... not necessarily the churches. We assume that what are called Christian churches are then Christian and that the people that attend their services are Christians. But that is a little simplistic. I have known ministers that are not Christians.



The truth is that people are Christian if they have turned their life over to Jesus and asked forgiveness for their sins. It has nothing to do with what church they go to or even IF they go to church.
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Re: Different Denominations In reply to
Oh yeah.. thanks for bringing that up too, Sarah....

My parents think that if we don't go to church, we will go to Hell.

But hey, they aren't the judge of our lives.. God is the judge. And the Bible tells us not to judge. God knows our hearts, not my parents.

But, are they right? Do we HAVE to go to church?

I love going to church!! It's just that sometimes life happens, we are called in to work, or sick..

But otherwise, we love going!
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Re: Different Denominations In reply to
I think this is one of the most interesting and vital questions for Christians today. Should we go to church?



I am no Bible scholar, but I think that every mention of church in the Bible does not mean some institutional edifice of human making, whether it be physical like a building, or political as with any heirarchical human organisation. Even someone like Greg Boyd of Christus Victor Ministries, who has some sympathies for Christian Anarchism, is the senior pastor of Woodlands Hill Church in St Paul, Minnesota. Well, we all have to earn a living somehow!



I too enjoy going to church. I am overwhelmed by the magnificence of the architecture (even the smallest of church buildings), the quality of the music and singing, the liturgy (well, some of it anyway! - c. f. C. S. Lewis) and the occasional sermon (as long as it does not go on longer than about half an hour). I am uncomfortable with most of the congregation members, and the hypocrisy of the "shake hands with the person next to you" type of welcoming. Concerning funding (we - my wife and myself - do not think that tithing is Biblical) I would be quite happy to pay an entrance fee for a professionally delivered service, in the same way as we pay to see a good film or attend a spiritually moving concert.



The more discerning we become concerning the theology and the historical foundations of particular institutional churches (ICs in home church parlance) and denominations , the more my wife and myself stop at home. Spiritually we are comfortable with that, where two or more are gathered in My Name, says Jesus.



On my own I guess I could become a recluse! However, Jesus also instructs us to be in this world, but not part of it, and both my wife and myself have an inclination to be sociable. This has brought us to our interest in the home church movement, and we are currently experimenting with this form of communion. It too is fraught with difficulties, but the option to explore these difficulties abound on the World Wide Web (simply Google home churches!).



This brings me to my final point in this post. The Roman Catholic priest and scientist (a paleontologist) Pierre Teilhard de Chardin is considered by some to have anticipated the advent of the Internet with his evolutionary theories. He is now deceased and was never aware of our communication technology, but he said that the noosphere which he talked about will culminate in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.



The Internet is a force for evil as well as good, of course, but with God's guidance, and our faith in Jesus it may well be that my wife and myself will mostly stop at home, and commune only through the World Wide Web. God bless you all, and thank you for reading this.
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Re: Different Denominations In reply to
Hey, I DO agree with you... but I have not yet heard your parents' side. And PLEASE don't put ME in the middle of this!
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Re: Different Denominations In reply to
emptywomb (nancy witt) :



But, are they right? Do we HAVE to go to church?



Nothing in the teachings of Jesus Christ says we have to GO to Church.



I think however His teachings can be understood to clearly state that we MUST BE The Church. Indeed, the moment we become his disciples we become 'the church'. It is truly inescapable.



I take that to be self evident.



The relevant question then is



"how does one become one of 'the church of Jesus Christ'",



Answer : By becoming one of Jesus Christ's disciples



for there is no other way this side of heaven to serve Jesus Christ than as one of His Disciples on earth, neither can we ignore or shun His other followers on earth, our brothers and sisters 'in Christ', which are 'the church'.



Know them by their fruits.



As Sarah has also hinted in her first post, I think you will find disciples of Jesus Christ in all walks of life, in all nations both in and out of formal religion. Deeds speak louder than words and whenever those deeds are in accordance with the words of Jesus Christ you can recognise His true disciples.



Regards Chris.
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Re: Different Denominations In reply to
HEY CHRIS

YOU BETTER CHECK WHAT PAUL WROTE TO THE HEBREWS ABOUT ASSEMBLING AND NOT FORSAKE IT.
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Re: Different Denominations In reply to
m7th :



YOU BETTER CHECK WHAT PAUL WROTE



I don't remember saying anywhere that we should not go to A church.



Where else would we be more likely to meet and fellowship with other disciples of Christ Jesus?



Those who neglect fellowship with fellow believers may soon cool off and drift away from their original commitment to the teahing of Jesus.



But Jesus never said we must go to church. He said :go and make disciples, teaching them all that I have taught.



Regards Chris.
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Re: Different Denominations In reply to
Chris... Does the Bible say ANYTHING about A church? I know it talks about THE church... which is, of course, the people.

A CHURCH is simply a building, a convenient meeting place because most houses are too small.

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Re: Different Denominations In reply to
m7th, I assemble with other saints most often in homes over dinner. Often I do so in restaurants. I have done so in gyms, swimming pools, at the beauty salon, some of us even assembled at a massage place one time. Oh, and don't forget bars. Done that too! Church?
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Re: Different Denominations In reply to
Hi Sarah:

Quote:"Does the Bible say ANYTHING about A church? I know it talks about THE church... which is, of course, the people.

A CHURCH is simply a building, a convenient meeting place because most houses are too small."


Well put. The 'church'...or...the....'ekklesia' is a gathering of the 'called-out ones'.



It is just as much 'THE church'....when.....like yesterday, I met with a dear brother (prodigal2) and while we were both drooling over all the new motorcycles at the annual Motorcycle Show....we took time out to sit for an hour....and fellowship and share together over a coffee.



JESUS said..."When two or three are 'gathered together' (assembled).....He did NOT say...go to that building on the other side of town...and I'll meet you THERE.



Unfortunately....when one reads the Gospels....the Epistles....one sees little to compare favourably....with what has come to pass for 'Churchianity' in 19th/20th century North America, for example.



Thus....the growing disaffection amongst believers in Christ....one of the fastest growing demographics....is the spreading pool of people who still believe in...put their faith in....follow...CHRIST....but who have distanced themselves from 'organizational religion' of any stripe...as in ....'Churchianity'....rather than CHRISTianity.



So long as such individuals are NOT 'forsaking' meeting with other fellow believers for fellowship/support/etc....they are NOT violating Jesus'....OR...Paul's injunctions.



When Jesus' Disciples found some....who were NOT part of 'their group'.....repeating Jesus' message...they rebuked and tried to silence them.....only to be rebuked in turn by Jesus Himself. What Jesus DID NOT DO...is order those 'outsiders'....to immediately cease...and instead...join HIM in HIS GROUP...right?



Just some thoughts to add to the mix....



Blessings,



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Re: Different Denominations In reply to
Sarah:

Quote;"I assemble with other saints most often in homes over dinner. Often I do so in restaurants. I have done so in gyms, swimming pools, at the beauty salon, some of us even assembled at a massage place one time. Oh, and don't forget bars. Done that too! Church?"


Well said! I too...most often 'assemble' with others....in the street....in coffee shops....and, yes...in bars too on occasion....in rest areas during a 'pit-stop' on a motorcycle ride....and....even online...or through Skype or 'chat' online.



Thinking one MUST be a 'joiner'....as in an ekklesiastical organization...in a building somewhere....be it HUGE or small....according to the dictates of men long dead....simply does not reflect the simplicity of the 'church' gatherings of saints....exemplified in the NT...or the early writings.



Blessings,

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Re: Different Denominations In reply to
Hi all :



On the subject of Church . . . .



The Priest, (Vicar, pastor, whatever) of a church I attended most of my life as a choir member and parisioner once introduced his sermon thus . . . . .



"What are you lot doing here this morning?" . . . He then went on to ask each of us in turn why we had turned up and what we hoped to get out of being there.



The main point he was leading up to was that fellowship together in gratitude to Jesus Christ the Son of God was the only legitimate reason for being in 'church' and that we were there on the church's day off, when we meet to be reassured of God's forgiveness, refreshed, inspired, encouraged, sustained and equipped for service to others throughout the rest of the week.



If that is not happening, then someone is not doing their job or fulfilling their vocation in that church.



Paradoxically, the 'Church', (as disciples), is at it's most active in the world when it is most absent from it's building.



Churches are not places to go to to get 'saved' in.



Churches are communities within which 'the saved' celebrate salvation.



That is why the main service should be The Eucharist.



Regards Chris.
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Re: Different Denominations In reply to
excellent

Chris
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Re: Different Denominations In reply to
probiblos (Probiblos):



In the churches I attend, the pulpit is central. The most important part of the service is the study of God's Word.



No argument on that from me Alan, exept that in The Eucharist first comes the preaching of The Word, (General Confession, absolution, OT lesson, NT Epistle, Gospel and Sermon). Then comes Creed, Offertory, Thanksgiving, Prayer of Consecration & finally Communion.



So yes, you do have the order correct, (i.e. word preceedes sacrament), but not necessarily the relative importance of each.



I see all as equally necessary and therefore equally important. Ministry of the word should come first though because it is through 'hearing of the word' that we are saved and 'hearing' prepares us for Communion which is the only service that Jesus Christ, (according to scripture) actually instituted and told us to do, 'as oft as we should eat or drink bread and wine'. All other forms of 'ceremony or meeting' are additional added extras to what Jesus laid down as being the fundamental 'coming together of the redeemed flock of Christ as memorial to His death, resurrection and anticipated return'.



Regards Chris.
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Re: Different Denominations In reply to
I am not so sure about the pulpit being the central feature of a church, probiblos, by which you mean the study of God's Word through a sermon delivered by a leader, I guess.The principle tenet of Christian Anarchism is that we do not have leaders, apart from Jesus Christ. Most home churches try to base their meetings on the early house meetings as described in Acts. I appreciate that these were often led by one of the apostles, but I think they would only appear as visitors, and help the group to understand the teachings of Jesus. They would then move on.



Browsing the Internet, it would seem that most home church meetings are held in sitting rooms, with adults seated comfortably and informally. Children may be present, but there is discussion on the website boards whether or not they might be better catered for in a separate play area. I think this scenario can be extended even to the large church buildings catering for geater numbers, if that is what people want. However, when it comes to teaching (Bible study, leading to a greater understanding of God's Word, and therefore bringing us all closer to God), there are many pedagogic techniques available to the professional teacher than just a delivery by one person from the front. No that this technique should be abandoned, but greater use should be made of alternatives, and styles of delivery if this traditional approach is used at every service.



In a 3 hour service, the Seventh Day Adventists (my wife and myself no longer attend) have roughly one hour for singing and prayers, a one hour Sabbath School, and a Divine Hour for the sermon. They publish a book for young pastors which says clearly that sermons should not go on longer than half an hour, yet I have attended many services where the pastor has gone on for longer than one hour! In their published booklet to be used as a guide for the Sabbath School, they recommend small group discussions, yet every school I have attended was led from the front by a leader delivering a mini-sermon. They do not even follow the guidance given in their own official publication!



One church I attended did have plastic garden chairs for pews (safety considerations were announced and understood), and therefore it was easy for the congregation to arrange themselves into smaller groups for discussion purposes. The Bible was studied, and participants were drawn to God's Word far more effectively that a long delivery from the pulpit.



As we move closer to God, the pulpit, often beautifully decorated in the large buildings, is of historical interest only, in the way we visit castles and admire fine antique furniture!



Home churches do hold communion services organised and administered according to the group. There may be a regular leader for this, one who is most conversant with the liturgy as you well describe, Chris. However, my wife and myself do not believe in the laying of hands to transfer priesthood as in the ICs, although we do respect authority gained through experience, study, commitment to prayer and, of course, their faith in Jesus. We try to understand what is meant by the priesthood of all believers. God bless.