Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Oversight in keeping right doctrine

"Denominations are a good thing because they make sure that the Church adheres to right doctrine."

To that I say:  what is the Holy Spirit then, chop suey? Didn't God give apostles, evangelists, prophets, pastors and teachers to build the body of ministry?

If anyone is going to bear the responsibility in the Church for making sure that believers are living godly lives then it should be the recognized elders of the Church. You know, the godly men who are leading by a Christlike example and have a burden to oversee and guide the less spiritually mature in their lives. After all, actions are what constitute doctrines, not belief systems or theological talking points.  If were going to use biblical commands to defend right doctrine then we need to remain biblical in how we do so. Nowhere in the scriptures will you find a denomination (or any man or group of men) with God given authority over the Church. What we do see are mature believers who are given the task of helping others live in the power that God supplies by keeping their focus on Christ. Sorry, but this cannot be done effectively from a corner office in a fancy building on the streets of the capitol city. It must be done by people who know and love the local family that makes up the church.  The only way to properly and biblically oversee the spiritual health of the Body is to spend a lot of time together.

You may believe that it is best to have denominational oversight and a group of self proclaimed wise guys who package together nice neat little (or large) confessional statements and hand them down to the dumb-masses who cannot read, interpret and discern the truth of the Bible themselves but if you do you need a new flavor of Kool-Aid. The corporate body of the Church under the headship of Christ and indwelling of the Holy Spirit is fully equipped to handle the scriptures and one another's lives faithfully. It is much better to trust the humble folks who desire to lift one another up and come along side each other in search for truth than to trust the well dressed and geologically separated men on high who hand down truth as if only they have access to the manna from heaven.

So what do you think, are denominations really necessary and effective at keeping proper doctrines lived out in the lives of believers?


  1. I would say no. I keep thinking of the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians as the Corinthians begin separating themselves into groups ("I follow Apollos, I follow Cephas"...etc.). From chapters one through four he talks about these "denominations" and tries to unite them again with Christ as the head of all, not divided into different groups under those who first revealed Jesus as the Christ to them.

  2. That's a tough question to answer in the end. Ultimately we are responsible to God in the end at the judgement seat of Christ. There are too many denominational differences & doctrines even though I know several friends of different denominations it doesn't mean I can't be friends with them since we both believe in Christ we can unite on the essentials. Ultimately it comes down to a basic Disciplined understanding of scripture and applying it to every situation you come across

  3. Shane,

    the letter to Corinth always comes to mind when I think of denominations as well. If there is a correlation then those who embrace denoms and separate from one another according to pet doctrines have a lot to fear. The penalty for ddestroying the temple of the Holy Spirit is to be destroyed by God. Pretty heavy.

  4. Mitch,

    unity is an essential theme in Paul's writing. Denoms may promote unity among likeminded believers but they have a negative effect on unity among those from different doctrinal perspectives. Often our hopes to be united in Christ are dashed to peices because we have a hard time moving past or differences due partly to how important they are made out to be by denominational leaders.


As in a biblical church gathering, my word is not complete or final. Participation is allowed, encouraged and expected. Please, don't leave without adding something.