Most of us who claim to be Christians are part of Christ and also part of a denomination, that is a specific brand of Christianity. We are known and identified as being Catholic, Baptist, Methodist or Church of Christ.
But, did you know that “For the first thousand years of Christian history, there were no ‘denominations’ within the Christian church as there are today. (Read a brief overview here.)
Paul wrote, “Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose” ( 1 Cor. 1:10). This is why I don’t want to be a denominational Christian.
I don’t want a brand of Christianity.
I don’t want a denomination of Christianity. I don’t want written or unwritten creeds of man. I want “pure and undefiled religion” (Jm. 1:27).
Maybe I am a naive idealist, but I think, even 2000 years later, it is still possible to have pure and undefiled religion.
I want to determine my own faith.
I want to “work out [my] own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12). I don’t want anyone else to do that for me. I don’t want to fall in line with the status quo. I want to read the bible and do it without the constraints of what the Pope says or what my grandpa did.
I want to strive for unbiased bible study.
I believe I have a grave responsibility to give the scriptures an honest examination. I don’t want to examine the bible through 100 or 1000 year old traditions. I want to keep moving toward a real, true biblical perspective.
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).
I want the right gospel.
“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8).
Wow! The stakes are high. If another gospel is preached, no matter who preaches it or blogs it, he will be cursed. I want to make sure what I am taught and what I teach is not a contrary gospel to the first one preached.
I don’t want to be deceived.
I don’t want to drink the kool-aid. I don’t want to go along with it just because a guy behind a pulpit say so. There’s was already false religion during the writing of the New Testament. There is a lot more out there today. I don’t want to be part of it.
“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ” (Col. 2:8).
I don’t want to be pigeonholed.
No matter how fair and unbiased I have ever try to present myself, the moment the label goes on so do a lot of wrong, preconceived ideas. Paul said, “Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some” (1 Cor. 9:22). I much rather start with common ground rather than all the disagreements I have with someone.
I want radical religion.
A lot of what I observe is a passive, spectator, preacher driven religion. One day a week people show up to consume. I want a passionate, discipling,Christ driven every day of the week, turn the world upside down religion.
“They dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, ‘These men who have turned the world upside down…'” (Acts 17:6).
This is not my dogma. This is not a debate. This is just me. I am simply a Christian.