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Ask The Pastor

July 19, 2001

Hi Friend,

You asked the following:

> First: What is the difference between the (non-denominational)
> Christian Church and the Protestant Denominations i.e. Lutheran,
> Anglican, Methodists, etc. Aren't they basicly the same, except that
> denominations are affiliated with certain Countries and follow certain
> people's writings i.e. Martin Luther, Thomas Cranmer, John Calvin and
> the Wesley brothers.

Non-denominational simply means that a Church is not affiliated with a particular denomination. These are independent Churches. Most non-denominational Churches would be considered Protestant, or evangelical in doctrine. Many are charismatic Churches.

I may have missed your question entirely. There is a 'Christian Church' that speaks of being non-denominational. This is a grouping of Churches who hold similar beliefs. They simply do not have a overseeing government in place that can speak for the group collectively. Each Church is sovereign. Sort of like the Southern Baptist. There are several Christian groups who consider themselves nondenominational.

> Why do denominations break away from the general Christian Church?

Actually there never has been a general Christian Church. Not in an organizational sense. The Church has always had branches. The reason is that the Church was never designed to be an earthly ecclesiastical organization. Jesus Christ is the head of the Church. Neither He nor the apostles left a pattern for Churches other than the local Church assembly. In the Scriptures each local assembly of believers is self-governing. Organizations was a later development.

> Second: My second question is regarding your opinion on the Church of
> England or Episcopal Church (in America). Do you think the common story
> is true that Henry VIII created the Church because of the Pope's refusal
> to grant him divorce. And what does your Church think about Thomas
> Cranmer's writings?

I haven't given much thought to the Church of England or the Episcopal Church in America. It is my opinion the true Church of Jesus Christ is never found in a single denomination. It is made up of true believers from every sector of Christendom. God's true Church is a mystical union of all who hold to the true faith in Jesus.

As for Henry VIII creating the Church over the divorce issue, all I know is what I've read in history. That was a factor. But there is another issue that has to be considered. The early English Church was not originally Roman Catholic. It became part of the Roman system through the missionary efforts of the Roman priests.

As for the Roman Catholic Church, it should be understood that that term would have been unknown to early Christians. The papal system developed over time.

Hope this helps.

Bro. Buddy Martin - Ask the Pastor

Lawrence "Buddy" Martin

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