Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Frustrations of a Non Denominational...

I recently met a new friend, and it was wonderful. We got along right away, and I wish I had had more time to spend with her! She is a somewhat recent relocated Northerner, now in the Bible Belt. And one of the things we touched on during our short time together, was how frustrating it is to be "Non Denominational."

She said that when people started asking her what she believed/what religion she was, and she answered with, "Oh, I'm non denom," some of the people just could not accept that as an answer. They wanted something concrete. She's a Baptist, Episcopalian, Pentecostal, Methodist, Presbyterian, Anglican, anything they could easily define and analyze.

I've had similar experiences. Whenever anyone finds out you're a Christian, they almost immediately ask, "Which kind?" And I have always hated that question. For one, I do not have an easy answer.

I could easily go off about how I don't have a religion, I have a relationship, and start spewing Christianese at them. Or I could simply tell them my churches name, and let them draw their own conclusions based off of news reports that don't really represent the church I grew up in at all. I could try to explain to them that I believe what the Bible says, that Jesus came down to save us, not only when we die, but also in our life here on earth. That He is part of my everything, not just my Sundays. I could explain that I believe in the prosperity message, not the one that gets bashed by everyone, but the message that says God wants us to be whole, spirit, soul, and body, and that the financial aspect is the smallest part of it, and looks different for everyone. That I believe in God's healing power, in His Grace and Love. I could tell them the actual miracles that I have seen and witnessed with my own eyes, and told them how my life was never the same. But usually they're just looking for the short answer, and so I tell them I'm non denominational, and they roll their eyes and move on to something else.

The second reason I hate that question, is the fact that even the World sees us as divided. We're supposed to be the Church! Not the fighting families! Are we all going to agree on everything? Good Lord, no! Where would be the fun in that?!  We need each other and our disagreements to grow and stretch us. I know for a fact that there are many things that I do not have down, that another part of the body is excelling at. And I have knowledge of things that will help them! God's revealed parts of Himself to all of us, given us gifts, talents, and callings that only we can walk in, and if we are constantly putting each other down, we're going to miss out on those blessings.

Now, I am not saying that not all doctrine is important. You cannot convince me that healing is not for today, that speaking in tongues was for Acts alone, that we serve a God who is not filled with Mercy, Grace, and Love for us. You just can't. But does that mean that if we disagree, I have the right to put down your church and your faith? NO! While your church may not have the same beliefs as I do, that doesn't mean that your church doesn't have a place in the body of Christ, and that it cannot minister to others, and myself. And I have no idea what my bashing of that church could do to deter someone else from the Message God has for them.

No, this constant bickering back and forth must stop. God called us a BODY for a reason. We need to be united, to support and uplift one another. Because you know when I hear Baptist, Episcopalian, Pentecostal, Methodist, Presbyterian, Anglican, and all the other ones there are, I don't hear my enemies. I hear the names of my brothers and sisters. And if I'm being a 100% honest, I do not really see what we're all fighting about. Because when I read the Wiki's on you guys, I find myself saying, "Hey, I believe that! I believe that too! Hmm, I've never thought of it that way. Now that I might disagree with, but does it really matter if when God created the earth, it was actually 7 days or the 1000 years to a day? Either way it happened. OH, I believe that too!"

So, can you guys join up with me? Can we support one another in the areas that God has called each of us too, despite our differences? Because I have a feeling we'll get so much more accomplished than we could even begin to imagine.

Thanks for reading you guys! I'm in awe every time I see someone read. Thank you.


  1. I love this & especially the part about I hear the names of brothers & sisters! It is only TOGETHER that we will become the body He intended us to be!

  2. Loved this! I've been in the same boat many a time and leave frustrated at a person's refusal to accept "non-denominational" as an answer. And it is often hard not to pull out all of the "Christianese" that we are so often accustomed to speaking. In the end, we are all a family and body of Christ loving those far from Him and shining His Light.
    Thanks again for sharing!

  3. I found this through a mutual friend and wow...amen. There is so much division in the church, it's ridiculous. I moved from a Baptist church to an Assemblies of God church and everyone from the Baptist church basically told me I was a part of a cult now. I agree, we are ALL the body of Christ. The enemy loves denominations because the division causes us to not be able to go after God with as much power as we could if we were all united. Thank you so much for writing this.

  4. This made me smile for I remember that conversation well.

    I'd much rather be known for loving Jesus than for giving money to the Baptist church, becoming a confirmed Anglican, or singing in the Methodist choir.

    There are certain things that each denomination can bring to the table, none of them having a complete monopoly on truth. They need each other to get a bigger view of God. It's being the BODY of Christ. United.

    But for me...I just love Jesus. ;)

  5. I have always thought this same thing. As long as the "essentials" of Christianity are believed (ie: There is only one true God and He sent his only son Jesus to die for our sins and to help us have the most extraordinary life possible. And that without Him we would be nothing" then why should the other slight differences matter. Iron does sharpen iron so we are to challenge one another on things, but not fight and cause strife and discord. I agree with you completely. :)