Definition of a Non-Denominational Church: Looking at the Differences from Denominational Churches
The easiest way to define a non-denominational church is that one that doesn’t consider itself part of a bigger denomination. The term given to this kind of church is obviously intended to distinguish or separate it from the traditional way most people see churches – as being an organization made up of several local churches. For those having trouble understanding what a denomination exactly means, the best way to describe it is by thinking of names like Methodist, Episcopal, Southern Baptist, and Wesleyan.
If there are two major attributes that separate a non-denominational church to that of others, these are the fact that they have a church name that’s completely unique to other churches and that they have an utmost commitment to a wide range of beliefs.
Though majority of the churches in history are referred to as denominational, the newer and modern ones are choosing to become non-denominational. Now the most obvious question to ask is why do many churches want to be called non-denominational? It is obvious but arguable that the primary reason is because churches are beginning to understand and recognize the need for more freedom in managing their affairs without the control of a higher authority.
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Nevertheless, the fact that one church calls itself as non-denominational doesn’t always correspond to it having zero contact or connection with other churches. Anyway, it can’t be denied as well that there are quite a few that choose to be isolated; but sooner or later they eventually will need to communicate with others. In fact, even the book of Acts and New Testament explicitly mentioned about churches making it a point to communicate with each other regularly. Based on Act 18:27, when Paul and his companions were heading to their missionary journeys, the believers were seen to hand out letters to other churches and they also received the same from other churches.
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The New Testament even said that some churches in their times that defined themselves as self-governing and independent did in fact connected with other churches by way of fellowship and cooperative ministry.
But the thing is the way to actually measure a church’s dedication to following the teachings of God isn’t done through the issue of it being either a member of a denomination or not.
It also isn’t about how it was organized or what its name suggests. Whether a church belongs to a particular denomination or it is non-denominational, there’s no hiding the fact that all churches today were in one way or another created by someone; by an individual who have committed a sin or error at least once in his or her life.
Now going back to the modern sense of non-denominational churches, it is worthy to know that what really makes them different is that they try to be a bit more liberal as well as accommodating when it comes to rules and undertakings within them, which means that also will lean towards accepting a broader set of spiritual concepts.