Sunday, July 2, 2017

Are So-Called “Non-Denominational Churches” Really “Non-Denoms?”

From Patheos-

There it was again. The same has happened to me numerous times over the past several years. Someone told me about a great new church in an affluent suburb of a major American metropolis. It is attracting thousands to its services and programs. And among its attractions is that it is “non-denominational.”

This time I said what I thought: “I’ll bet it’s not really ‘non-denominational;’ at least not in the way you think. Let me look at its web site and I’ll bet I can tell you what denomination it affiliates with.” The answer was more or less the usual: “No, no, it’s truly non-denominational; it has no denominational affiliation.”

I always think to myself “Why is that important? What is it about ‘denomination’ that people run away from? And why do churches that are really denominational—in some sense—so anxious to hide their affiliation with other churches or groups?”

I am the editor of the forthcoming fourteenth edition of the Handbook of Denominations in the United States—a reference work that has been published approximately every five to ten years by Abingdon Press (The United Methodist Publishing House) for many decades. I have spoken out publicly, here and in public talks, in defense of denominations. I admit to being completely nonplussed by this trend of churches claiming to be non-denominational even when they do have some denominational affiliation.

More here-

No comments: