The Evangelical Universalist Forum

What Good is Denomination?

I was thinking about my recent thread, “Mennonite Me” and the online quiz I had posted there. Yes, I know the quiz is unfounded and unscientific, but it did strike me as interesting that we were all sorted into different categories.

Many here—myself included—consider these forums their “virtual church” of sorts. I do not have a denominational home. Ironically, I find myself most comfortable in this interdenominational setting –

Which leads me to my question: What good is denomination?

Does the communal church benefit from the division of churches? Should we ideally identify as Calvinist, Armenian, Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, etc.? Many here identify as something. Is this and inevitable folly or an ideal division?

If I remember correctly, Robin Parry is staunchly against establishing an official Christian Universalist denomination. After giving it some thought, so am I. It seems the idea of claiming a new denomination goes against the very name Christian Universalist.

That’s all I got. Talk amongst yourselves.:slight_smile:


Put simply, Kate - none. Which is why I have for some time now stopped identifying myself denominationally. Being English I share a lot with Anglicans. The church I - irregularly - attend is an evangelical free church. But I am not an evangelical. I am not an Anglican. To be honest, if I had to pick one denomination or die I’d probably go for the American Episcopalian church.

But I have rejected all these labels. I do not even self-identify as a Christian, except as a useful shorthand. Rather, if pressed, I call myself a follower of Christ - or somebody who, in his best moments, tries to be a follower of Christ :slight_smile: .



I think it’s interesting to note that “The disciples *were called *Christians first at Antioch” (Acts 11:26). That is, the disciples did not use the name for themselves. It was apparently the outsider’s way to describe a religious group new to Antioch.

I think you do quite a good job at that during most moments, Johnny.:slight_smile:

~ Kate

Kate, you is too kind. Bless you and thank you :slight_smile: .

Strictly speaking, there’s no such thing as a “Christian denomination”. Money coins are divided into denominations: coppers, nickels, dimes, quarters, half-dollars, and dollars. But the very expression “Christian denomination” assumes that the one and only Church which Christ founded is divided into denominations. However, there is only one Church, and it is not divided. What man calls “denominations” are actually sects and not expressions of the Church of Christ. Here are some characteristics of sects:

  1. Sects are clubs. They have membership roles. You need to join the club by getting your name on the membership role, or you do not have complete privileges. Expressions of the one-and-only Church does NOT have membership roles. “The Lord added to the church daily such as were being saved.” (Acts 2:47) Members of Christ’s Church are RECOGNIZED, and therefore have full privileges on this basis.

  2. They are also clearly clubs in that they have a set of rules and/or beliefs to which the member is required to subscribe. Such is absent from Christ’s Church. What’s unites disciples of Christ is their submission to Christ and their fervent desire to please him.

  3. Like clubs they have some members who hold elitist positions and have special powers which regular members do not possess. In Christ’s church everyone is on the same basis, and all minister to one another (although in God’s economy, some have been set as overseers and others as deacons.)

  4. Some sects are democracies, and settle issues through voting. Christ’s church is a theocracy, and issues are settled through corporate prayer, which usually results in unanimity.

There is a Lutheran denomination that holds to UR, the General Lutheran Church.