As a Christian and Pastor in the Christian ministry, I have learned the importance of respecting
groups with different beliefs from mine. One of the churches that I find unique is the Non-
denominational church. Since many people are not aware of this church, I found the need to
share my insights with you. So, what is a non-denominational church?
In this article, I will discuss everything you should know regarding the non-denominational
church. Join me as we explore whether non-denominational churches are a protestant branch
of Christianity and what non-denominational churches believe in. You will also learn the
advantages and disadvantages of denomination churches and whether you should join a non-
denominational church. Keep reading to learn more!
Are non-denominational churches a protestant branch of Christianity?
Non-denominational churches fall under the Protestant branch of Christianity. However, these churches do not like to identify as part of the Protestant movement. They view themselves as Evangelicals, which is still part of Protestantism.
Also, most of the doctrines and teachings taught in the Non-denominational churches are similar to reformed doctrines and teachings established by the founders of the Protestant movement, John Calvin, Martin Luther, and Ulrich Zwingli, during the 16th century Protestant Reformation. The table below shows these similarities.
|Beliefs, Values, and Practices||Protestantism||Non-denominationalism|
|Nature of God||Protestants believe in God’s triune nature: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.||Non-denominational church adherents believe in God’s triune nature: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.|
|Day of Worship||Church services in Protestant churches are held on Sundays.||Church services in Non-denominational churches are also held on Sundays.|
|View about the Bible||The Bible is inspired and the final authority in the Church.||The Bible is inspired and the sole source of authority in the Church.|
|Sacraments||Protestant churches have two sacraments; the Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion) and Baptism.||Non-denomination churches also have two sacraments; Baptism and the Holy Communion.|
|Justification||Protestants believe that justification is by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone.||Non-denominational church adherents firmly believe that justification/salvation is through faith in Christ alone.|
|Holy Communion||Protestants believe that the Lord’s Supper is a continuation of a tradition that Jesus started.||Non-denominational Church adherents also believe that the Holy Communion is a continuation of a tradition that Jesus started.|
|Jesus Christ||Protestants believe that Jesus is the Son of God who was born by the Virgin Mary, suffered and died for the atonement of the sins of the human race, and was resurrected and ascended into Heaven.||Non-denominational adherents also believe that Jesus is the 2nd Person in the Holy Trinity, was born by Virgin Mary, suffered and died for the atonement of the sins of the human race, and was resurrected and ascended into Heaven.|
|Bible Used||Protestants use the Hebrew Bible. Martin Luther, the founder of the Protestantism movement, removed deuterocanonical books from the Bible because some doctrines found in the books contradicted the teachings of the other books in the Bible.||Non-denomination churches use the Hebrew Bible because they do not affirm the doctrines and teachings found in the deuterocanonical books.|
|Heaven||Protestants affirm the doctrine of Heaven. They believe all righteous people will be rewarded with the gift of eternal life in paradise (Heaven).||Non-denominational Church adherents also believe Heaven is reserved for righteous people after judgment day.|
|Hell||Protestants believe that hell is where all wicked people will be punished for eternity.||Non-denominational Church members also believe that hell exists and that it is where all wicked people will be punished for eternity.|
|Second Coming of Christ||Protestants believe Christ will return unannounced to judge the living and the dead.||Non-denominational churches affirm that Christ will return to the earth during the end of times to judge the living and the dead.|
The table shows that Protestantism and Non-denominationalism have similar beliefs, values, and practices. Non-denominationalism shares much in common with Protestantism because the former is part of the latter. Examples of Non-denominational churches include; Grace Church, Vineyard Church, Gateway Church, Cavalry Chapel, City Life Church, Church of the Highlands, and Hope Haven.
What do non-denominational churches believe in?
- Non-denominational church adherents believe in God’s triune nature: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- They also believe that the Bible is inspired and the sole source of authority in the Church.
- Non-denomination churches have two sacraments; Baptism and the Holy Communion.
- Non-denominational church adherents firmly believe that justification/salvation is through faith in Christ alone.
- Non-denominational Church adherents believe that the Holy Communion is a continuation of a tradition that Jesus started.
- Non-denominational adherents also believe that Jesus is the 2nd Person in the Holy Trinity, was born by Virgin Mary, suffered and died for the atonement of the sins of the human race, and was resurrected and ascended into Heaven.
- Non-denomination churches use the Hebrew Bible because they do not affirm the doctrines and teachings found in the deuterocanonical books.
- Non-denominational Church adherents also believe Heaven is reserved for righteous people after judgment day.
- Non-denominational Church members also believe that hell exists and that it is where all wicked people will be punished for eternity.
- Non-denominational churches affirm that Christ will return to the earth during the end of times to judge the living and the dead.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of denomination churches?
There are many advantages of having denominational churches;
Denominational churches have adequate access to influence and resources to expand in size through mission work and charity. These churches have sufficient access to finances, mentorship, support, and leadership.
Denominational churches rarely suffer from internal conflict that is known to cause division and separation. The conflict may arise due to the lack of well-established ways of doing things or leadership structures. Denominational churches have a well-established system of doings and leadership structures which reduces chances of confusion and conflict.
Denominational churches have proper oversight, which reduces the chances of deviation from the teachings of the Holy Scriptures and misleading adherents.
Denominational churches bring like-minded people together. Therefore, they can act as machines that bring people together on a large scale to effect needed societal changes. When appropriately coordinated, denominational churches can advocate for change in policy in a country, or region, help feed starving communities and the less fortunate in society, and finance the building of new churches locally or overseas (across the globe).
Below are the disadvantages of denominational churches;
Since denominational churches cannot set their practices, values, and beliefs, they find it hard to adapt to the fast-changing social environment.
Changes can only be made to the existing beliefs, values, and practices by first notifying those in authority.
It takes a lot of time and finances to change the existing beliefs, values, and practices because everyone has to agree with the proposed changes.
Should you join a non-denominational church?
Freedom of worship allows you to worship God in your way. For instance, if you strongly feel that none of the existing denominational churches sufficiently caters to your spiritual needs or you are in conflict with their beliefs, values, and practice, you are free to join a non-denominational church of your choice. Below are some of the reasons why you should join a non-denominational church;
- Non-denominational churches have an open-door policy; everyone is free to attend a non-denominational church.
- Non-denominational churches have an open-minded approach to various theological and social issues. This creates room for positive change in church values, doctrines, and teachings.
- Non-denominational churches are community-based, giving every church member an equal say in the Church’s decision-making process.
- Non-denominational churches adapt quickly to the rapidly changing social environment.
- Non-denominational churches have a flexible approach to worship. They allow contemporary worship making them attractive to the youth.
- Non-denominational churches are more casual and have unstructured church services. It reduces the boredom that comes with having a structured service.
- They also have programs that help youths to grow spiritually.
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.