YOUR DENOMINATION IS NOT THE CHURCH
By George Card
How can I say that your denomination is not the church, very simple, your denomination did not exist when the church begun almost 2,000 years ago. It is kind of strange that most people think of their denomination as the church when it is not so. I wish all Christians would realize that their denomination is not the church. I seriously doubt any denomination can say that they are the church with actual proof.
Your denomination is an organization -a group of like-minded ministers and believers who have come together so that they can do more for God in numbers than alone. Everything that they stand for, they feel that it is for the good of the saints involved.
The early Christians did not have denominations, they were all Christians. Does that mean that they all believed the same thing? Nope, actually they had lots of divisions and arguments within themselves, yet they stuck together as the body of Christ.
Denominations are man made; they are creations of men. They created divisive barriers that say to the Christian world, we are separate from you. The main thing about denominations is that everyone in there must believe certain doctrines in order to be considered a member of such denomination. Some even require their members t sign some statement of belief before they can even be considered as members of the denomination. That is an artificial barrier to prevent frank discussions and arguments about doctrines and beliefs. It is a way to keep strife to a minimum.
Yet there is a price to pay for the isolation of denominations. The price is a stifling of the church members, and a belief that their organization is the church, that anyone outside their church is not really saved. The belief is created that God can only work with and for the members of their denomination and anyone who is outside their denominational wall at best could be considered as almost a Christian, but not there yet.
The more rules and commandments the denomination has, the more this spirit of exclusivity exists. Until there comes a time that anyone who is outside the denomination is considered as not saved at all, even if they believe the same doctrines. The only way for anyone to be considered saved is for the person to become a member of such denomination. Otherwise he is looked upon as just another heathen or pagan.
The artificial walls of denominationalism are a perversity of the modern church. These denominational walls must fall down. If your church believes in global flood, it should accept local flood believers. If your church is Armenian, it should open its doors wide open to Calvinists. If your church is pre-rapture it should get post rapturists into the choir.
Won't this create chaos? Yes, and it will be beautiful to behold. This will force people in the church from each side to confront the issues head on and to actually study their bible to defend their beliefs. It will be a wonderful anarchy.
When people ask what denomination I am, I tell them the truth, I have no denomination, for denominations are man made, and they prevent the exchange of ideas among Christians. (I have no membership in any denomination) After listening to my doctrines some will attempt to pigeonhole me and say that I am this or that, but by then we will have already exchanged many ideas of what we each believe. It will be an exchange of ideas without the barriers of denominationalism standing in the way.
Someone will say that I call myself sometimes an Apostolic Christian, and yes once in a while I do. The reason that I call myself that, is because although I have no membership in any Apostolic denomination or organization, I follow the teachings of the Apostles, therefore I call myself an Apostolic Christian.