|Written by Kate Sanderson|
|Friday, 20 May 2011 16:39|
We live in a post-denominational age. In some ways this is a good and healthy development. However, denominations do not inherently violate the Bible. As well, there is much good in having denominations and we should pray for their flourishing.
We live in a post-denominational age in the sense that people often dislike denominations or ignore them. Many people now just look for a good church, they do not necessarily look for a church of a particular denominations. Looking for a good church is great, disliking denominations or ignoring them is problematic.
All Christians should be committed to the unity of the church and of all true Christians. We need to develop attitudes that support this. We need to work with Christians of other churches and denominations. We need to pray for greater visible and lived unity among true Christians.
However, unity does not necessarily mean organizational unity. Our unity can be deep and real without all Christians only being in one institution. So denominations are not bad per se — in fact they are often very important. Each local church needs to have some wider body to which it is accountable and in which it lives out the type of inter-dependence that should characterize the church. Because we are all different, it can be valid to have a denomination which expresses particular passions and practices and habits. There are streams of authentic Christian spirituality, and if so, there is nothing wrong with embodying that stream in some institutional arrangements — such as a denomination. If we think our stream is the only one, or the most Christian — then there is a problem. If we resolutely refuse to work with others who are in authentic streams of Christian spirituality, then we have a problem.
I was a Baptist. I attended a Salvation Army church for several years. I am grateful for both. For over 31 years now I have been on the Anglican Way. It is not the only Christian way and not everyone will find it helpful. But I love it — it helps me to follow Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.
|Last Updated on Friday, 20 May 2011 16:41|