Late night random thought

Emily and I went for a terrific walk this evening with Abigail after celebrating her second birthday; and while we were walking, we were discussing (as always) church matters. In our conversation, we were discussing denominational divides, and how for many, it is unthinkable for, say, a Pentecostal to go to a Baptist church, or a Baptist to go to a Methodist church, and so on. Some background on this: we’d had a conversation with a person at our church about feeling some specific convictions about our role in our immediate community, and had visited a church near our home. The first question he asked in response was, “Is this a  [name of our church’s denomination] church?”

Now, I understand the very real need to be guarding the gates against bad doctrine; but I have to wonder, if that is what motivates denominational division like in the above example?

What do you think motivates these questions?

If you have some time, post your thoughts in the comments section. I’m interested to see what you think.

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  • Amber Van Schooneveld

    I’ve gone through a lot of this in the past. And, honestly, I think some of it just has to do with not getting out enough. It’s easy to think those “crazy” Pentecostals or those “stodgy” Baptists if you don’t actually know any. Many churches are a bit too much of an island. It would do a lot of us good to get to know other types of Christians–which would make us pause to consider before we subconsciously judge. It’s much harder to judge someone you know rather than an abstract collective.

  • anna

    i think for the most part denominational divisions are an attempt to guard against bad doctrine. but i also think that denominations can give us a false reason to boast. you think you have it right and others don’t. we all do it, and i guess only we know how much of a role judgment and works righteousness play in the motivation…

    • Aaron

      These are great points, Amber and Anna – thanks for commenting.