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  1. #161
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Stereotypically, ex-Episcopalians just become Orthodox and chant Scriptures.

    Really? I never knew....

    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    I regularly attend non-denominational, Lutheran, Catholic, Older style Catholic (where they still do the whole thing in Latin), Protestant, and Baptist services.. I honestly see a huge difference in the style in which they present the material, but the only thing that unites them at all is the Bible itself. They all agree on that book, if nothing else, which is why it is so easy to attend any Christian church and get the same core information out of it.

    They only focus on 1-2 quotes and principles at a time and go in depth because people are stupid. No offense to the world, or anything. They don't really have long attention spans, and if they were interested in the reading the material in length they'd probably do it themselves on their own time and terms. They want to learn juuust a little bit, in a childish manner that they can grasp and hold onto. So one or two quotes that resemble the same materials given in a flashy and catchy speech (however your definition of flashy and catchy is) is part of what Priests and ministers do for the people of the church. They teach the people, and cater their teachings to the people. It isn't that they don't bust the whole book out because they don't want to--its typically because the people don't really want them to and they comply with that.

    All you need to start a church is The Bible and people willing to listen to it. That's it. Yet, powerpoint, projectors, choirs, ministers, and all the other bells and whistles are there anyways. Sure, you don't NEED a new appliance, but if it works better why not get it? A Minister knows more than the average joe-shmoe, and he can translate the words in the Bible much better than a Mr. Normal Guy. You get more out of it when you have a proper teacher. And when you have lessons broken up over time. That's typical of all lessons in life..
    Oh. People are flocking to this new non-denominational church in droves, where the preacher speaks for a good 45 mins? and I can't help but think it's because they are hungry for the word of God. I think people just don't know what alternative there is since many, like me, go to the same church from their childhood.

    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    The 'non-denominational' churches are a new sort of church in this day and age, and they're each probably pretty different in application and interpretation of the Bible. I think one thing they have in common is they tend to be more 'flashy', with more modern music styles (they are all trying to appeal to a younger generation) and also I think a lot more appeal to peoples' emotions. Some of the really large ones seem more like corporations, imo, which is... something I won't comment on here.

    I was raised ELCA lutheran, and also I have attended a few catholic and episcopal churches in the past. I agree many of these services are more rote, and tend to be pretty uninspirational for children. But, even as you cite your experience with 5-10 minute sermons being inapplicable, as with all churches and pastors out there, it's highly dependent on the church and the pastor as to the sermons preached. Although I am not a Christian any longer, I can think of many pastors whose sermons were very applicable and full of wisdom; and, other pastors who just didn't reach me/ I didn't care for (although they probably reached a different set of personalities).

    Having attended these, as well as non-denominational churches for a few years many years ago, if I were to ever attend church again in the future, I'd without question go back to the protestant churches and I would not even set foot in a non-denominational. The 'danger' of the non-denominationals is that while as you say, they tend to lean much more heavily on the Bible in their services , for that very reason many go the direction of taking the Bible so literally and out of context that they become so narrowly focused so as to obliterate everything else but their narrow interpretation (as, with every non-denom interpreting the Bible in their own light, you could go to any number of non-denoms and be given a slightly different twist on what the Bible's saying and what the Word of God actually is, and some non-denoms will have people throwing themselves onto the floor in 'rapture' and others are more, well, normal).

    otoh, regarding the piece I underlined, I'm not certain in reality how accurate that impression is: I almost think the same amount of bible verses are utilized in a typical service in each type of church, but the manner of interpretation, as well as non-denoms in many cases being more apt to also lean on books of the bible that are viewed in a more metaphorical sense by ELCA, Catholics, etc, and thus not focused on in these more established churches (i.e. Revelations as one), may be the main difference.
    I kind of see this in the non-denominational church where I go now, and in the bible studies I like to do. The pastor is a bit more docrinally anal than I think is warranted, due to his literal interpretation of the bible. Same with Beth Moore, whose bible studies I do. I just find myself weeding out the stuff that seems too hardcore for me, whether this is 'right' or 'wrong' I don't know, it's just what happens. I like to think I get God's word and that it's all good. But I can see that some might get led astray, but people will always be led astray, and I guess there are worse ways than with following the bible literally.

    Thanks for your post, Cascade. (btw, I love your shaved head and wish I had the cajones to do that too)

    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    My background is (Trinity) Pentecostal and Independent Baptist. I've also attended Nondenominational and Wesleyan churches. They usually call eucharist communion. My denomination considers it and water baptism (by dunking) to be the only two sacraments. We actually used to be racially integrated, but supposedly we split over whether or not foot washing should be considered a sacrament. The White denomination became the Assemblies of God and the Black denomination became the Church of God in Christ. Pretty silly, IMO. Probably the White people didn't want to wash Black people's feet or something.

    Anyway, my church and most of the churches I've attended usually do communion on the first Sunday of the month. I was planning on skipping those Sundays, but the pastor (my brother) tricked me last time by holding communion on the last Sunday of November.


    Oh yeah!! I was trying to remember the name of the holy rollers the other day! My step-siblings were that religion. It was kinda......interesting. But they were nice people. There was the time the young mother had to throw the butcher knife in the backyard because she was afraid what she might do to the children with it, but you could find that with any religion.

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  2. #162
    Senior Member Pseudo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    The 'non-denominational' churches are a new sort of church in this day and age, and they're each probably pretty different in application and interpretation of the Bible. I think one thing they have in common is they tend to be more 'flashy', with more modern music styles (they are all trying to appeal to a younger generation) and also I think a lot more appeal to peoples' emotions. Some of the really large ones seem more like corporations, imo, which is... something I won't comment on here.

    I was raised ELCA lutheran, and also I have attended a few catholic and episcopal churches in the past. I agree many of these services are more rote, and tend to be pretty uninspirational for children. But, even as you cite your experience with 5-10 minute sermons being inapplicable, as with all churches and pastors out there, it's highly dependent on the church and the pastor as to the sermons preached. Although I am not a Christian any longer, I can think of many pastors whose sermons were very applicable and full of wisdom; and, other pastors who just didn't reach me/ I didn't care for (although they probably reached a different set of personalities).

    Having attended these, as well as non-denominational churches for a few years many years ago, if I were to ever attend church again in the future, I'd without question go back to the protestant churches and I would not even set foot in a non-denominational. The 'danger' of the non-denominationals is that while as you say, they tend to lean much more heavily on the Bible in their services , for that very reason many go the direction of taking the Bible so literally and out of context that they become so narrowly focused so as to obliterate everything else but their narrow interpretation (as, with every non-denom interpreting the Bible in their own light, you could go to any number of non-denoms and be given a slightly different twist on what the Bible's saying and what the Word of God actually is, and some non-denoms will have people throwing themselves onto the floor in 'rapture' and others are more, well, normal).

    otoh, regarding the piece I underlined, I'm not certain in reality how accurate that impression is: I almost think the same amount of bible verses are utilized in a typical service in each type of church, but the manner of interpretation, as well as non-denoms in many cases being more apt to also lean on books of the bible that are viewed in a more metaphorical sense by ELCA, Catholics, etc, and thus not focused on in these more established churches (i.e. Revelations as one), may be the main difference.



    I feel like you are confusing non-denominational with mega church. I go to a small (maybe 75 persons including kids) non-denominational church. I like that they don't feel the need to integrate into a conference of churches and everything is very intimate. There is sort of a break out session where you can do communion or pray with others or write things. I like being able to be a bit self directed rather than just sitting an listening. It's anything but corporate. I have experience what your describing at another non-denominational and it did leave me less than satisfied. But I really like my church. I also sometimes attend a Greek Orthodox Church and enjoy that. I think church should be beautiful and the symbolism (not magic) is very moving to me.

    I went to a Methodist mega church as a kid. It was not beautiful or self directed. The pastor left ministry to be a political radio talk show host. >

  3. #163
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pseudo View Post
    I feel like you are confusing non-denominational with mega church. I go to a small (maybe 75 persons including kids) non-denominational church. I like that they don't feel the need to integrate into a conference of churches and everything is very intimate. There is sort of a break out session where you can do communion or pray with others or write things. I like being able to be a bit self directed rather than just sitting an listening. It's anything but corporate. I have experience what your describing at another non-denominational and it did leave me less than satisfied. But I really like my church. I also sometimes attend a Greek Orthodox Church and enjoy that. I think church should be beautiful and the symbolism (not magic) is very moving to me.

    I went to a Methodist mega church as a kid. It was not beautiful or self directed. The pastor left ministry to be a political radio talk show host. >
    Didn't mean to conflate the two; I just know that many of the mega-churches that I noticed in my former state of Minnesota would self-proclaim themselves as non-denominational. Agree though that there can be more intimate and far-from-corporate ones.
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  4. #164
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    I guess you're right, we don't use the Bible too much. Except for the Epistle readings, the Gospel reading, the Lord's Prayer, the Eucharist, the last gospel; but yeah other than that, we don't use the Bible at all.


    Edit: Just to be clear, this facepalm was for the idea that Catholics/Anglicans don't read the bible at church, not for you, Peguy.

  5. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    Really? I never knew....
    Indeed, many prominent Orthodox figures in the English-speaking world are ex-Anglicans/Episcopalians. Archbishop Kallistos Ware being probably the most prominent of all. He discusses this issue in this interview:


    Interestingly he addresses the issue of "Charismatics" which feature prominently among Evangelicals and non-denominational churches(or at least has that style often). I agree with his reservations of the "over-emphasis" often found in such churches, even though of course our faith is about experiencing the charisma of the Holy Spirit within us. Of course we also have to avoid the other extreme of stale ritualism. Rituals and liturgy are important, I see a certain rediscovery of that insight among many Christians.

  6. #166
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Orthodox has the best beards.

  7. #167
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Indeed, many prominent Orthodox figures in the English-speaking world are ex-Anglicans/Episcopalians. Archbishop Kallistos Ware being probably the most prominent of all. He discusses this issue in this interview:


    Interestingly he addresses the issue of "Charismatics" which feature prominently among Evangelicals and non-denominational churches(or at least has that style often). I agree with his reservations of the "over-emphasis" often found in such churches, even though of course our faith is about experiencing the charisma of the Holy Spirit within us. Of course we also have to avoid the other extreme of stale ritualism. Rituals and liturgy are important, I see a certain rediscovery of that insight among many Christians.

    That would explain my large rosary.



    Liturgical was the word I was seeking to differentiate the two types of churches. (i thought it was, but wasn't quite sure). Thank you.
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  8. #168
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Interestingly he addresses the issue of "Charismatics" which feature prominently among Evangelicals and non-denominational churches(or at least has that style often). I agree with his reservations of the "over-emphasis" often found in such churches, even though of course our faith is about experiencing the charisma of the Holy Spirit within us. Of course we also have to avoid the other extreme of stale ritualism. Rituals and liturgy are important, I see a certain rediscovery of that insight among many Christians.
    If nothing else they are comforting in times when I can't think of what to say or do or pray. As a Quaker and Anglican I can see both sides of this particular coin.

  9. #169
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    If nothing else they are comforting in times when I can't think of what to say or do or pray. As a Quaker and Anglican I can see both sides of this particular coin.
    Indeed they are comforting, when done right can often send you into another world, or give you the sense of the transcendent beauty of God's kingdom. Now praise worship when done right can convey the deep emotional sense of God's presence in your life and your heart, and that has value too. Unfortunately praise worship can degenerate into a trivializing of God's word into a bunch of sappy love longs that mention Jesus. I am intrigued by what the Lutherans call "blend worship" where traditional hymns and modern praise music are integrated together, so much so at times I often can't tell the difference other than the former uses the organ whilst the latter uses the piano.

    Although I'm more traditional in my preferences, I don't have anything against genuine reverence for God's word found in other forms of worship.

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