Okay, prepare yourself for my opinion. Typically, I can’t stand it when people constantly share their opinions on everything. And now I’m gonna be that person for a few minutes.
Here’s the thing: I’m not a fan of non-denominational churches. In fact, they can be outright dangerous. The premise of non-denominational church is that believers will be free from the restrictions of a denomination and from the hierarchy of leaders telling them what to do. Here are my objections:
1) Members of non-denom churches do not know specifically what their dogma is. They don’t know what beliefs connect them to the other members of the church. While the members may all believe in Christ as their Savior, other areas of theology never get discussed. What is your church’s belief about how to read an interpret the Bible? About how to raise children? About sacraments? About why people suffer? About prayer? If a person cannot answer these questions, a red flag should go up.
2) Non-denom churches may not be connected to the larger historical church. Churches must agree with the doctrines of the Nicene Creed, which set out the beliefs for Christianity in the 300s. While many evangelical Protestant churches don’t recite this creed in church, often they will have a statement of agreement with it in their manuals, or their doctrine will align with the elements of the creed. (That is not to say that in lesser matters all denominations will agree; they will not, but the should at least agree on the important matters outlined in the Creed.)
3) Non-denom churches do not have accountability. If a church is not collected to a larger governing body, what happens if a pastor or church member does something wrong? Who will hold that person accountable? Who will serve as a mentor and guide for the pastor? No one.
4) Non-denom churches encourage a consumer spirit in believers. Instead of sticking with a church that may be going through difficulties, often people “church shop” for a church that is “more comfortable.” This is not to say that there is NEVER a reason to leave a church. However, that consumer spirit is a product of the American capitalist economy, not of any spiritual truth.
5) Non-denom churches encourage a self-centered user-friendliness. Again, these churches often offer a laid back environment, encouraging members to wear jeans and having a worship style similar to a rock concert. The idea is to make it look and feel more like the everyday world, which will make it easy for people to come and attend services. Personal comfort is a high priority. My argument is if the church looks just like the world, it ceases to be the church. The church is not a place for ME to feel comfortable; it is a place for GOD to be worshiped. It is not about if I get fed or if I like the music or if I get to wear jeans. The question is does the church teach me how to rightly worship God?
Okay, I think I’ll step off my soapbox now. I am interested in responses as I have several friends who attend non-denominational churches. Give me a good argument in return.