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    Slide 1:Are We Truly Non-Denominational?

    Slide 2:The Trend to be Non-Denominational

    In a report on mega-churches, the Hartford Seminary Research Institute explained that many mega-churches are nondenominational and most others often act as such, but that the vast majority does belong to a denomination. Weekly Standard, June 19, 2006

    Slide 3:Why the trend to be non-denom.?

    Many want something different, new, more modern, and casual. Many seek to be non-traditional and reject the denominational church of their youth. Many seek to escape the need for authority, doctrine, leadership, and organization.

    Slide 4:Do we really understand what it means to be non-denominational?

    Slide 5:What is a Denomination?

    1. A large group of religious congregations united under a common faith and name and organized under a single administrative and legal hierarchy. 2. One of a series of kinds, values, or sizes, as in a system of currency or weights: Cash registers have compartments for bills of different denominations 3. A name or designation, especially for a class or group. The American Heritage Dictionary

    Slide 6:What is a Denomination?

    4. a religious organization whose congregations are united in their adherence to its beliefs and practices - Merriam-Webster Online

    Slide 7:A group of churches that has chosen a specific name to identify themselves.

    A designated name to separate themselves from other religious groups There is nothing wrong with choosing a specific name in order to make a distinction from other religious groups, provided the name is a name given by God in the Scriptures (e.g., Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 1:2; 1 Tim. 3:15; etc.).

    Slide 8:A Denomination Therefore is

    A group of churches (two or more) that follow a specific tradition, teaching, and practice (which is often based on man-made creeds, not the Bible alone). A group of churches under the authority of an administrative body. A group of churches united to accomplish a work that was meant to be fulfilled by the local church or individual Christians.

    Slide 9:Where did all of the denominations come from?

    Only by sowing the right kind of seed (Gods word) will Christians be the result (Luke 8:11; cf. Rom. 1:16). Not being content with the teachings of Scripture, men went beyond Scripture (1 Cor. 4:6; 2 John 9) and added to and took away from Gods word (Rev. 22:18-19). Whenever the wrong seed is used, the teaching of men instead of Gods word, a denomination is formed (Gal. 6:7-8).

    Slide 10:Galatians 6:7 (NASB)

    Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

    Slide 11:WRONG SEED = DENOMINATION

    One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church (120 AD) Oriental Orthodox Church (451 AD) Roman Catholics (1054 AD) Lutheran Church (1520) The Church of England: Established (1535) Presbyterian Church (1550) The Baptist Churches: (1607-1611ff.). The Congregational church (1608) Episcopal Church (1609) The Methodist Church: (1729). The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints: (1830) Seventh Day Adventism: (1846). Christian Science (1875) The Jehovahs Witnesses: (1884). Pentecostal Churches: The Church of God (1880-1914ff.)

    Slide 12: Denominationalism is the worlds concept of Christianity.

    The world defines the worldwide church of Christ not as strictly Christians only, but as various denominational churches.

    Denominationalism Gods People (The Saved) Adventist Nazarene Presb. Ch. Of God Baptist Methodist Church of Christ Catholic THE WORLD Chart by Donnie Rader

    Slide 14:Whats wrong with Denominationalism?

    Denominational Christianity is foreign and contrary to the New Testament. Denominations are sinful, simply by the fact that there is no authority by Christ in His Word for them to exist.

    Slide 15:Whats wrong with Denominationalism?

    Denominational Christianity is foreign and contrary to the New Testament. Denominations promote division.

    Slide 16:1 Corinthians 1:10 (NASB)

    Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree, and there be no divisions among you, but you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. cf. Gal. 5:20

    Slide 17:Denominationalism goes against the desire of Jesus.

    John 17:17, 20-21 (NASB) 17 Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth 20 "I do not ask in behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me.

    Slide 18:Whats wrong with Denominationalism?

    Denominational Christianity is foreign and contrary to the New Testament. Denominations promote division. Denominations lead to the establishment of man-made creeds.

    Slide 19:What is a Creed?

    CREED (a confession or rule of faith), is an authoritative statement in a precise written or oral form that formally and publicly declares the beliefs and doctrines of a religious group.

    Slide 20:Whenever a denomination is formed, men feel the need to establish an official consensus or agreement in what is believed by their members and thus has turned to creeds.

    Slide 21:The problems with creeds are abundant!

    They are not inspired (2 Tim 3:16) and thus are imperfect, grossly insufficient, and always needing to be revised. Creeds cannot build genuine saving faith, only Gods word can (Rom 10:17) Creeds often add mans wisdom, traditions, and philosophies (Col. 2:8) and take away from Gods word (Rev. 22:18-19).

    Slide 22:The problems with creeds are abundant!

    Creeds have been used as divisive instruments, teaching people how others are wrong and how they are right discouraging Bible study with those who differ.

    Slide 23:Whats wrong with Denominationalism?

    Denominational Christianity is foreign and contrary to the New Testament. Denominations promote division. Denominations lead to the establishment of man-made creeds. Denominations create followers of men, not Disciples of Christ.

    Slide 24:1 Corinthians 1:11-13 (NASB)

    11 For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe's people, that there are quarrels among you. 12 Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, "I am of Paul," and "I of Apollos," and "I of Cephas," and "I of Christ." 13 Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

    Slide 25:Whats wrong with Denominationalism?

    Foreign and contrary to the N.T. Promote division. Lead to the establishment of creeds Create followers of men Destroys the autonomy (self-govern) and independence of local churches

    Slide 26:Church Autonomy

    The New Testament teaches that each local church must be independent and autonomous from one another. This is not to say they cannot help each other when in need (e.g., Benevolence Acts 11:27-30; 2 Cor. 8)

    Slide 27:1 Peter 5:1-3 (NASB)

    1Therefore, I exhort the elders (i.e. pastors, overseers ML) among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, 2 shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; 3 nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. cf. Acts 20:28

    Slide 28:Denominational leaders unlawfully extending their rule over many congregations.

    EXAMPLE: Methodists are governed primarily through a series of conferences ranging from the General Conference which meets every four years and which is described as The one lawmaking body, through Jurisdictional, Annual, District, Quarterly, and Church Conferences. Methodists have bishops elected by the Jurisdictional Conference which oversee work in a broad geographic area. They appoint District Superintendents to assist with the work in each district. from Church History by John D. Cox

    Slide 29:Not even the apostles ruled in this way!

    2 Corinthians 1:24 (NASB) Not that we lord it over your faith, but are workers with you for your joy; for in your faith you are standing firm.

    Slide 30:Denominational churches often sacrifice their independence and free will to think and stand on their own for the Lord and His word!

    Slide 31:Autonomous churches safeguard against widespread destruction (e.g., false doctrine):

    A stone thrown at this window would only break one pane. Without each window in sections, just one stone could destroy it all!

    Slide 32:The One Church of Christ is Comprised of Christians, not Churches.

    There is only one Body or Church. There are not many bodies as taught by denominationalism.

    Denominational View of Christ as Head of Many Bodies Christ John 15!?! Many Bodies One Head Chart from Andy Alexander

    Slide 34:John 15:5 (NASB)

    I am the vine, you (My disciples ML) are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.

    Christ is Head of One Body Christ One Body - Eph. 4:4; 2:16; 3:6; 5:23; cf. Rom. 12:4-5; 1 Cor. 12:12-13, 20 ONE BODY / ONE CHURCH There is one body (Eph. 4:4) Body = Church (Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18) Therefore, ONE CHURCH ONE CHURCH

    Slide 37:John 10:16 (NASB)

    And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they shall hear My voice; and they shall become one flock with one shepherd. cf. 1 Pet. 2:25

    Slide 38:Matthew 16:18 (NASB)

    And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.

    Slide 39:There was just ONE church purposed (Eph. 3:10-11), prophesied (Dan. 2:44-45; Heb. 12:23, 28), and promised by God (Mat. 16:18).

    Slide 40:The One Church of Christ is Comprised of Christians, not Churches.

    There is only one Body or Church. Every person who is saved (becomes a Christian) is added to His church.

    Slide 41:Acts 2:41, 47b (NKJV)

    41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 47 And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

    Slide 42:1 Corinthians 12:13 (NASB)

    For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. cf. Col. 1:18; Heb. 12:23

    The Church is comprised of Christians, not local churches or denominations. THE WORLD = One Christian ONE CHURCH

    Slide 44:The One Church of Christ is Comprised of Christians, not Churches.

    There is only one Body or Church. Every person who is saved (becomes a Christian) is added to His church. Individual Christians (who already belong to the Lords church), then have a duty to work and worship with other Christians, establishing local churches of Christ.

    Slide 45: Christians are authorized by Gods word to organize themselves into local churches of Christ to collectively worship God and carry out the work of the church.

    Slide 46:Romans 16:16 (NASB)

    Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.

    Slide 47:Are we Behaving as Non-denominational Christians Should?

    Do you have a non-denom. mindset? Do you refuse to speak in denominational ways of your faith? Do you lead people to Christ or merely to the local church of your choice (regarding the church like a denom. preference)? Do we expose or condone error of denom.? Dont confuse being non-denominational with being interdenominational.

    Slide 48:How Can a Local Church Be Non-Denominational?

    Indepedence and autonomy are essential, but not everything. Respect Christ as Head over the church by obeying His Word.

    Slide 49:Ephesians 1:22-23 (NASB)

    22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all. cf. Mat. 28:18; Col. 1:18; 3:17

    Slide 50:How Can a Local Church Be Non-Denominational?

    Indepedence and autonomy are essential, but not everything. Respect Christ as Head over the church by obeying His Word. The Faith is taught (Eph. 4:5; Jude 3; Acts 16:5), not something different.

    Slide 51:1 Corinthians 4:17 (NASB)

    For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church. cf. 1 Cor. 7:17; 16:1; 1 Pet. 4:11; Luke 22:20

    Slide 52:How Can a Local Church Be Non-Denominational?

    Indepedence and autonomy are essential, but not everything. Respect Christ as Head over the church by obeying His Word. The Faith is taught, not something different. Non-denominational does not mean not standing for anything!

    Slide 53:False!

    Members of non-denominational churches often consider themselves simply "Christians", and many feel at home when visiting any number of other denominational churches with compatible beliefs. Yet the acceptance of any particular doctrinal issue, for example accepting the doctrine of the Trinity, establishes a de facto denomination. - Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia

    Slide 54:1 Timothy 3:15 (NASB)

    but in case I am delayed, I write so that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.

    Slide 55:How Can a Local Church Be Non-Denominational?

    Indepedence and autonomy are essential, but not everything. Respect Christ as Head over the church by obeying His Word. The Faith is taught, not something different. Non-denominational does not mean not standing for anything! Let law be defined by the word of God, not by church leaders.

    Slide 56:James 4:12 (NASB)

    There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor? cf. John 12:48

    Slide 57:How Can a Local Church Be Non-Denominational?

    Indepedence and autonomy are essential, but not everything. Respect Christ as Head over the church. The Faith is taught, not something different. Non-denom. does not mean not standing for anything! Let law be defined by the word of God Practice the word of God just as the first century Christians did (Acts 2:42; cf. 1 Pet. 1:23-25; Heb. 4:12).

    Slide 58:How Can a Local Church Be Non-Denominational?

    By claiming not to be more than a local church.

    Slide 59:To visit the exhibit halls of ACU during their yearly lectures, one would certainly think the Lord's church to be a denomination. The booths in the exhibit halls advertising various "Church of Christ" homes for children, unwed mothers, the elderly, Churches of Christ For Scouting, etc. will state "This is a work of THE church of Christ." "Really?" I ask them, "Which one?" They cannot answer, as they believe it is the work of THE churches of Christ as a "whole" rather than of any local congregation

    Slide 60: The very wording shows they believe the denominational concept that the church of Christ is made up of all local congregations uniting around this project (like the Southern Baptists around the Southern Baptist Convention), thus seeking to enact the church universal. - Is the Church of Christ a Denomination? By Wayne Goforth

    Slide 61:A non-denominational church understands her God given purpose and respects the spiritual mission that the Lord has given her (Acts 2:42; Phil. 4:15-18; Eph. 4:16; Acts 11:27-30).

    Slide 62:Christians Can Truly be Non-Denominational When They Commit Themselves to being Only Christians Who Belong to the Church of Christ.