Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Different Denominations (and I'm Not Talking About Money)

Our church just began having a contemporary service in our Fellowship Hall on Sunday mornings in addition to our more traditional Sunday morning worship.   W.I.T.H  or Worship in the Hall wasn't a change in theology, but a different style of worshiping the same God.  It is an amazing worship service and it got me to thinking about different denominations and the different ways that people worship the One True God.

I think it's really neat that we as the body of Christ can choose how we worship and belong to the denomination of our choice.   It would be boring if everyone were alike.  Some prefer chocolate, some vanilla.  And so it is with worship, we have different preferences.

Sunday morning before last I turned on the television to hear a popular Atlanta pastor as usual before leaving for church.  I couldn't find him, so I settled for a different channel and different pastor.  I never did find our his name because I was listening from another room as I got ready to go to church.  But it was a very interesting explanation of denominations.

He surmised that  different denominations possibly existed in the Old Testament.  I know what you're thinking, probably the same thing I was; huh?   After the Egyptian Pharaoh released the Hebrews after 430 years of captivity, God gave Moses the Ten Commandments and other laws.  He later gave him detailed instructions on building a sanctuary or Tabernacle for Him so that He could dwell among the people. The Israelites  were divided into 12 tribes and each tribe set up camp around the Tabernacle, the position of each tribe's campsite had been determined by instructions from God to Moses. 

Each of the twelve tribes had different standards or banners that they flew over their tribe.  Even though they were all Jews and they had all been enslaved in Egypt there were differences in each tribe.  Every tribe had a set of values; personal values, traditional values and core values.  Personal values could be shaped by circumstances in their lives, their jobs, etc.  Traditional values were held by each tribe, and came from traditions that had been passed down from the families in the tribe from generation to generation, like what dishes they ate their Passover meal on, whether they watched the Passover football game, etc. (I'm just kidding.  But you get the drift.)  And core values are the values that they all held as God's chosen people.   These core values were absolutely non-negotiable.  "You shall have no other gods before me, You shall not make for yourself an idol, You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, Honor your father and your mother, You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not give false testimony, and You shall not covet".

We who are Believers have our own set of personal and traditional values.  Some of us are quiet in our worship, and some of us clap our hands.  Some of us like the old hymns and some of us like the new praise songs.  We are Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Catholics, and Lutherans to name a few.  But our core values are the same.  We are followers of Christ.  We believe that Jesus died once for all, taking on our sins and on the third day rose from the dead, giving us eternal life and preparing  us a place with Him in Heaven.


Cindy Sig 2


Leah @ Point Ministries said...

Hmmm, very interesting thoughts from that pastor. Never thought about it from that perspective before.


Cindy said...


I wish I knew who the pastor was. I would have liked to hear a little more. It was interesting and I had never thought about it like that before either.


Yolanda said...

What I so love about the Community Bible Study in our community; we welcome all ladies to come in to our church and study God's word; standing firm on backbone issues and not so much on the rib issues.


Anonymous said...

sounds like joel osteen to me if i was guessing

Irritable Mother said...

We recently hired a black senior pastor at our (previously) almost completely white church. We are getting more colorful, and I love it. And that also means changes in the worship style and responses during the service.
We have one God and in Him, we are one. This is good, and I think it's wonderful!

pam said...

Good stuff here. We recently began a search for a new church home. It was so interesting to hear every ones thoughts on different churches. We basically listened politely and then continued to follow God. I've been in so many different denominations over the years I rarely think about it. No church is perfect...each one we have visited has a bit of a skewed bent in some area of scripture...but where God leads there we will follow. He came to set us free....in all sorts of ways. We have found Him in so many different churches...it's so cool. I've also been part of larger city wide Bible study groups and LOVED it....keeps me on my toes on what I believe and challenges me in some new areas. Oh how good unity among His beloved is for all of us.