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Church Idols – Denominations

November 7, 2013

Our denominations have become our idols. There, I said it. Without doubt we have allowed the power, doctrine, and influence of our denomination bodies take hold of the churches and make themselves into idols. We saw this happen earlier this year with the Southern Baptist Convention’s decision about Boy Scouts being allowed to use their member’s churches. This is not a new thing, and I doubt it will end anytime soon.

I grew up in the Roman Catholic Church. When I left the Catholic Church, I became a member of one of the Free Church traditions. It was quite a change for me. I had watched people idolize Rome, the Pope, Priests, Nuns, and the Church Saints for years. They followed the words from Rome without question. It did not make a whole lot of sense to me since the Pope is a man who puts on his pants just like I do – one leg at a time. What took me off guard was the same type of loyalty and denominational support exists in the Free Church traditions with their congregational associations and conventions.

Denominations exist because of differences in the theology of the body of believers. No problem there. The associations and conventions which govern these denominations are there for good reason. They provide mutual support and encouragement. They become our idols when we choose to blindly follow their decrees without question. We must learn that it is acceptable to research and reflect on the teachings coming down from on-high and compare them to the teachings in the Bible. To continue, it is then more than acceptable to question these policies and directives when they conflict with the teachings of the Bible. This must be done with respect, but it must be done. This is how we keep our denominations and associations from becoming idols in our life and in our church life.

While this is short, it is difficult. For many of us following the teachings from on-high is second nature. But just as was with the case of making teachers and pastors idols, we must stop this brain-dead lamb mentality and use our minds in conjunction with the Word of God and think for ourselves as we are all part of the priesthood of the believers. We will be held accountable when we make our golden calves. Step out in boldness and courage.

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