In a sermon, our pastor said every church he has gone to has been non-denominational. He mentioned non-denominational churches lack reminders of the long history of the church. Instead of saying, “Here’s why we are better...” he said, “Here’s something we lack."
Every church should speak of what they lack.
Being self-depreciating is one of the greatest qualities a person can have. It means we realize our weaknesses. It is a good quality for a church to have too. Without being too critical of our churches we should acknowledge their downfalls and blindspots. But instead of speaking of the shortcomings of our churches and denominations we often make them to be more than they are.
Maybe we think our affiliation with the Catholic church is our saving grace.
Maybe we think our Baptist heritage is paramount.
Maybe we think our Methodist ways are supreme.
Maybe we think our membership in the Lutheran church is of chief importance.
Maybe we think non-denominational churches are superior.
If we think that way it is natural to think those outside our circle are out or wrong. Not necessarily true. If we think that way it is also natural to think those in our circle are automatically in or right. Not necessarily true.
In His day, Jesus said many Israelites found their identity in their heritage to a fault. But, for an Israelite, being Jewish is not the strongest connection to God, Jesus is. Denominations are not inherently bad, but they are not our strongest connection to God, Jesus is.
*Painting is "The Mulberry Tree in Autumn," by Vincent Van Gogh