Question Tuesday: Denominations

Every Tuesday we gather at Speak What We Feel to posit and discuss questions about life and faith in order to grow together in biblical perspective. Today’s question is:

What is it about your faith tradition (denomination) that speaks to your heart, mind, and soul?

In other words: Why are you a Baptist, Anglican, Independent, Lutheran, Presbyterian…?

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9 Responses to Question Tuesday: Denominations

  1. Adam Jones says:

    This is an obvious question. We need denominations because there must be different sizes of bills to pay varying amounts of charges. Sometimes you need a $1 bill, and sometimes a $5. One denomination just won’t work. Although, the rise of electronic funds has diminished this need for some people.

    • reneamac says:

      Dork. 😉

      • MelissaN says:

        That’s also hard, because I love different aspects of each denomination.
        I like the liturgy of the anglican churches
        I like the choice of adult baptism of Baptist churches
        I like the importance of communican in the catholic/anglican churches
        I like the importance of education and music of the Methodist churches
        I like the freedom and the music bands of the non-denominational churches
        I like the choirs of the more traditional churches
        I like the non-judgmentalism of the unitarian churches
        I like the importance of art and creative thinking in the post-modernistic churches

        I have yet to find all these things in One church, however. 😉

  2. I’m a mutt: Lutheran, Bible, Baptist, Southern Baptist, Assemblies of God, and now I’m a Presbyterian. Does this mean I’m flippant and I don’t know what I believe? I think having the experience of all these denominations has allowed me to discover WHAT I actually believe. Rather than just accepting one pastor’s view, I’ve had the opportunity to question, to study, and to know my Bible in a very deep way. I don’t know that I would recommend the same journey to anyone else, but I can honestly say that I don’t feel strongly about denominations. I place importance on the fact that the gospel is preached from the pulpit, that communion is given reverently, that baptism is practiced, that the body of Christ serves and loves the greater community. I hold to the Apostle’s Creed, God’s Word in it’s entirity, and only attend a church that also holds to the same. I’m not following John Calvin, Martin Luther, John Wesley, Max Lucado or whomever else you want to throw in the bunch. I love and treasure their writings and thoughts. I explore their studies, but I’m clinging to the cross, not a denomination. Donald Miller once said: “Church denominations exist because so many scholars have stomped off the playground with the ball.”

  3. Brian says:

    I’m a Presbyterian because in the place I live, with the doctrines I believe best represent the BIble’s teachings, the PCA church in town is the best fit.

    As a note to Ginger: I agree with about 90% of what you said. It’s so important to keep the essentials close to us, and not unnecessarily fight about differences on non-essentials. Denominations should not define who we are. Jesus should.

    However, that does not warrant the sort of thing that Donald Miller says. It’s true: sometimes denominations come into being because “scholars” or people angry about drums stomp off the playground. But sometimes, denominations come into being because people genuinely believe that their current church is unbiblical (Protestant Reformation), or because something they hold dearly is banned or preached against at their current church (covenant baptism vs. believers baptism).

    So, for example, I am not necessarily committed to Presbyterianism as the only true church, but because I believe in covenant baptism (that all who believe in Jesus should be baptized, them AND their children), I necessarily cannot be part of a Baptist church, which would never allow me to baptize my children. This is not me stomping off the playground with the ball; it’s me making the best of the situation I’m in.

    Do you agree?

    • Brian – I do agree with you. Choosing your denomination based on a core belief isn’t a flight of childish anger. I had deleted the final sentences of my post right before hitting publish: “Miller’s thought makes me wince and chuckle. Perhaps I have become hardened by denominational warring.”

  4. Val says:

    Hey Renea! Great topic. To me, a denomination provides theological accountability and aims toward a consistent Biblical hermeneutic. They also are resources… they develop schools, send out missionaries, and support pastors. I also think there are socio-cultural aspects that come into play that denominations can preserve in their traditions, for good and for ill. They are a bit of a mixed bag!

    I feel that I’m “culturally” Anglican, having grown up in an Anglican tradition (Baptized, Confirmed, and married!). The rhythms practiced in the lectionary have formed the way I interpret the seasons in their time. I love the colors, symbolism, and the high perspective of the Eucharist. But I don’t consider those things to be uniquely Anglican… many other Protestant traditions hold similar perspectives. I’m not wild about Anglican forms of government, or certain things in the 39 Articles.

    Rhett and I are in a “non-denominational leaning toward Presbyterian” phase right now. As people who are called to full-time, vocational church ministry, we feel a stronger sense of urgency in “figuring out” where best to land. It’s a fun journey, and an interesting one. We’ll see where we land!

  5. may our Father continue to transform our hearts and minds and souls as we walk with Christ in step with the Spirit no matter where we find our community of believers! I am so thankful for a community around me that loves and supports me…family is a great thing and I thank God for giveing us family at our church!!

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