Episode 310: I’m Talkin. . .Denomination

I’m Talkin’, episode 310, for March 24th, 2024.

This is Joel from the I’m Talkin’ microcast, where I share my thoughts on a topic that has piqued my interest this past week.

This week, we’re talking denomination.

One could challenge my thought that denomination is actually a church word.

It is a word that has other uses, obviously, but the first definition given in the dictionary, at least the one that I looked up, is a recognized autonomous branch of the Christian church.

So in that definition, I guess it is a church word.

However, people may be more familiar with the second definition, which is the face value of a banknote.

And that’s what you learn as you grow up, I guess, because kids don’t use denomination.

They say, oh, this is a $1 bill, or this is a $5 bill, or this is a nickel.

But you know, that’s what happens.

You grow up, you get to use a little bit bigger vocabulary.

And as far as the definition of the autonomous branch of the Christian church, interesting that they throw the word Christian in the definition, because that’s the way I would look at it as well.

And then I thought, how many are there?

And I didn’t bother to look it up.

I know there are many, many.

I’m not even going to attempt to come up with my own list.

But therein lies the challenge for those of us who call ourselves Christians.

There’s nothing wrong with tying your belief to a denomination.

But that has to come second to the personal relationship that we have with Jesus Christ.

The denomination happens to be a personal choice, as does following Jesus.

But the more important of the two is obviously accepting Jesus as God’s Son, accepting what he did for us on the cross, and believing that he rose again.

The other thing that we have to recognize is that when we decide to tie our beliefs to a denomination, to a church group, then that becomes a classification for us.

They say, oh, you’re a, and then whatever denomination.

I am most often in a Southern Baptist church.

Many have chosen to call themselves community churches or something like that to break free from some of the stigmatism of denomination.

But the fact is that the classification of our denomination comes after our classification as a Christian.

The last thing I’d like to say about that, of tying ourselves to a denomination, sorry, is that it’s a choice, and it’s a choice versus choice.

It’s like, there are things about denominations that we might like, maybe not everything, but we like how they share financial stability through groups around the world, or at least through the United States.

Maybe we like how they have a common ground of faith.

Lots of reasons why you might tie yourself to a given denomination.

When I say tie yourself, it’s not permanent, but it is something that you might look for when you move.

It might be something that you’re familiar with, you understand the workings.

Because there are aspects of the church that are similar to businesses.

It’s not trying to make a profit or something like that, but you’ve got leaders, you’ve got people that serve, and those kind of things, and just how the church operates and what their structure looks like maybe is more comfortable for us in one denomination or another.

Before I close for today, I want to make sure we understand the importance of choosing a church, which is often tied to a denomination.

The first thing that I think of is that the church needs to be Bible teaching.

The pastor needs to teach from the Bible.

The Bible needs to be open.

He needs to be expounding on the Word of God, and the Bible must be central to the teaching of the church.

The other is that the Bible must be followed.

Not just some of it, but all of it.

We have to recognize that God’s Word is true, not what we want to be true.

All of it is true.

And so the church that we choose, the denomination that we choose, must be Bible following.

And the third thing I thought of is the denomination we choose has to have truth at the center of what they stand for.

They can’t be swayed by society.

They can’t be swayed by people thinking the Bible is old-fashioned.

There has to be truth in our life for us to follow Jesus Christ.

And it’s not going to be popular, and it’s not going to be what society wants from us, and we may be called names because of it, but together, we as a denomination that follows the Bible, that teaches the Bible, that stands on its truth, can rest assured that God is pleased with that denomination.

Until next week, this is Joel from the I’m Talking Microcast.