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Old 09-07-2016, 05:53 AM   #61
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,978
Default Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Originally Posted by DistantStar View Post
To put it simply, do you believe that the LC (or whatever you call yourselves) is a denomination? If not, why not?
No, because it does not fit the description of a denomination, one of which can be found here (better to open the link because the formatting is messed up here):

B. The Denominational Concept of the Church
Modern denominations include many local congregations, and they claim there is one universal church composed of all "saved" people. But they add something new - the denominations. All these "saved" people in all these local churches are now divided into denominations.
The concept of a denomination, as commonly believed today, involves all the following elements:
* Each denomination is an affiliation or confederation consisting of a number of local churches.
* Each denomination has its own peculiar name, doctrine, organization, plan of worship, etc., which distinguishes it from other denominations.
* Each denomination claims it is composed of Christians, but it does not claim to contain all faithful Christians. Each denomination believes there are faithful children of God in other denominations. "There are saved people in all the denominations." "We're all going to heaven, just by different routes." "One church is as good as another." It's just a matter of personal preference, like different kinds of cars, colors of clothes, etc. So "join the church of your choice."
Ask any informed denominationalist, and he will confirm what we have said. Ask: "Are there saved Christians in your denomination?" He will say, "Yes." Ask: "Are there Christians in other denominations, who will go to heaven?" He will say, "Yes." Ask: "Does one have to be a member of your denomination to go to heaven?" He will say, "No." So each denomination claims to consist of some Christians, but not all Christians.
A denominational preacher once said the following in a letter to me:
"There is only one 'holy Christian Church,' of which Christ is the Head, but it is now made up of many denominations ... But faith in Christ is the first criterion of membership in the holy Christian Church, and we feel that such believers can be found in all Christian denominations."

Apart from all the other signs of a denomination such as organization, a big one for me is this one:
"Each denomination claims it is composed of Christians, but it does not claim to contain all faithful Christians"

That is, a denomination thinks that some Christians are in it and other Christians are in another denomination. To denominate is to see divisions, to not denominate is to see the whole as God sees it and try and practice that.

They do not consider that all believers are in the same church in their locality, whether they are in a denomination or not.

To consider ourself different from another believer in our locality is to denominate ourself. Because the Bible teaches we are all the same (one Father, one Savior, one baptism, one Spirit etc).

The local church considers all believers to be in it as soon as they believe in Christ.

It's really just a matter of how we view ourselves and how we view other Christians.

If we consider other Christians to be not part of us for whatever reason, then we have already denominated ourselves. If the Lord's Recovery has gone this way then I suppose it is more accurate to call it a denomination.

But you must understand that each church in each locality is autonomous, so some churches may be like this and others may not be. There is no regional or top-down hierarchy and control. It depends on the path that the elders and church have taken. Have they stayed true to the teaching of Nee/Lee or have they diverged.

So it may not be correct to say that ALL local churches have become or are a denomination. I have not seen much evidence of this in mine.

In some countries and regions such as South East Asia, the local churches are mostly a scattering of people meeting in houses. In others it may look much more like any other denomination.
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