Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Irrelevancy of Denominations

Denominations are something that has existed with Christianity for a while now.. With the breaking off of the Catholic church by the Lutherans and the Protestant reformation that followed, it seems like the last twenty years has seen a introduction of a new branch of Christianity custom tailored for your viewpoints. But lately, something has beginning to happen, and it was interesting to see it unfold: Angelicans are talking with Catholics, even holding services together sometimes, United is coming together with Methodists and Presprebtrain, and Bapists and Evanglicals are.. well, I'm not sure about that department.. but you get the hint. Part of this harkens ( sorry about that, I just wanted an excuse to use the word harkens ) back to the day, in which we thought that the end times would come with the merging of churches as one (Rev ? Still looking into this) body of Christ.

Personally, as a Christian, I have come to see Denominations much in the same way I see name brands like: Levis, McDonalds, Wal-Mart, Roots, etc because it has less to do with Christ's intentions (personally I think he's just happy we're good Christians), and more to do with marketing and branding. When we start to treat our values like commodities on a open market, something is terribly wrong. I think this is why people have been moving towards this interdenominational churches which are little more than some halls with people praying. People want to get back to the value part of Christianity, and away from the political/economical aspect of it. Church shouldn't be some fancy shirt you wear because you're cool.

Another reason why I think interdenominations are catching on is obvious: people really aren't that caught up in the details, and don't care if Joe sitting beside them thinks that no meat other than fish should be eaten on Friday. They're there to pray, to meet other people who believe in God, and find common ground, not to look for what is differant.

Finally, I find most interdenominational churches are informal. Which is a nice change of pace. Sometimes it's nice to have structure, and that's why I will go to an Angelican or a Catholic service. But other times, it's nice just to hear somebody say like they see it. Kinda like Christ did.

6 comments:

Secret Rapture said...

My inaugural address at the Great White Throne Judgment of the Dead, after I have raptured out billions!
Read My Inaugural Address
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Blaisteach said...

That's quite a speech. It certainly rivals the Gettysburg Address, or King's "I Have a Dream."

The irreverent Seraph said...

I somehow don't beleive that King's speech was I have a LSD induced religious epiphany. Timothy Leary would be proud

The Sheepcat said...

Hey Shawn,
I dropped in from the Canadian Blog Awards to see who was in the running in this category (I wasn't so much as nominated, boo hoo, and you know what James 3:16 says about envy and selfish ambition).

I thought a lot about denominations last year when I considered joining the Catholic Church, and what struck me very forcefully was that the New Testament continually calls believers to unity. On the one hand, yes, these interdenominational connections help to both illustrate and bring about a deeper unity among all Christians. But there's also a risk of indifferentism. After all, we're dealing with objective theological truths, which can sometimes be difficult to discover but they're still "out there." As I'm fond of saying, Calvinists and Methodists can't both be right about whether salvation, once gained, can ever be lost.

I'm not about to make a big deal of fish on Friday with my non-Catholic friends; from what I understand, that's only a matter of Church discipline in any case, rather than doctrine. But I'd encourage you to look more deeply at the foundations of the Church. Otherwise you risk being carried away with every fad of modern culture.

Shawn Rennebohm said...

Sheepcat,

That is a valid point, and probably the biggest reason why we still have the divided/many denominations that we do. Calvinists and Methodists, and even other groups arrive at differant reasons for finding and sustaining thier faith. I'm sorry to hear that you weren't nominated. It was by pleasent accident that I found out we were. I hope next year is kinder to you.

Shawn

Secret Rapture said...

Thank you for the complements on my address. The Secret Rapture soon! Within months, if not years, by my hand, we will be in the post apocalyptic world of 'Jericho' on TV! Stay tuned!