What Does the Bible Say About Non-Denominational Churches?

The scriptures don’t mention religious sects. Indeed, the initial Christian assembly, otherwise referred to as the early church, was essentially non-denominational. It was established purely based on the divine revelations in God’s Word and adhering to the Great Commission.

The subject of the church always raises lots of questions like “Do you have to go to church to be a Christian?” And if you do, which one is the right one? With over 200 variants of denominations out there, the Non-Denominational Church stands out. What do they believe? Is it Biblical? Are there dangers? Let’s learn more about non-denominational churches and what the Bible says about them. 

What is a Non-Denominational Church?

The Non-Denominational Church isn’t connected to any of the main branches of Christianity, like Baptist or Methodist. Instead, they strive to be solely governed by and accountable to the Bible alone.

Other Protestant denominations differ from the Non-Denominational church in that while they still view God’s Word as superior and the ultimate authority, some do include additional readings, different takes on the ordinances, and historical traditions in their services. They are also affiliated with or grouped with other churches that hold to the same beliefs and practices.

non denominational church

What Does the Bible Say About Non-Denominal Churches?

The Bible doesn’t mention different denominations, but it does speak about the Christian life and what makes a healthy church body. Let’s take a look at some key verses that highlight the standards that a church, grounded in God’s Word, should hold to.

The Bible is Sufficient

Paul, in his second letter to Timothy, summarized a key truth for us in the Bible and that is that the Bible is sufficient, it is from God, and it explains salvation and how to live a life that honors Him.

2 Timothy 3:14-17 (ESV) But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Accountability Matters

The Bible also models a pattern of accountability surrounding churches—we see this in the different letters sent amongst the churches in the New Testament to encourage and rebuke. The churches were not isolated from each other but in contact and intimately aware of the struggles each was facing. 

Individual members are also to be held accountable to the Bible and confronted when they stray from the truth of the gospel. 

Gal 6:1 (ESV)  Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

And various congregations are to be addressed when they fail to love one another or when they introduce false doctrine through false teachers. 

Colossians 2:8 (ESV) See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

Pros of the Non-Denominational Church

There are distinct positives to being a member of a Non-Denominational church.

  • The Non-Denominational church has no affiliations that can influence its teaching and so it is less moved by outside influences.
  • There are no man-made additions to the church services like historical traditions, or additional readings that can distract from the teaching of the Bible alone. 
  • The church only incorporates ordinances that are found in the Bible—like the believer’s baptism by submersion and celebrating Christ’s death through communion.
  • With a less formal structure, members are more likely to get involved in the ministries of the church which encourages the biblical act of service amidst the group of believers.

Cons of the Non-Denominational Church

Unfortunately, the Non-Denominational church has got its downsides.

  • Non-Denominational churches are usually not associated with or connected to other churches which can make them more vulnerable to being slowly shifted or swayed by a poor teacher or sinful (unbiblical) patterns in modern society. There is a strength and rigidity that comes with being associated with a particular organization or group of churches.
  • Each congregation can interpret the scriptures slightly differently. So when you move from one Non-Denominational church to another, you might find noticeable differences in what is taught and how the services are run.
  • At times, being independent can make the church vulnerable. If the main pastor or leader falls ill, or the church runs into financial difficulty, it is helpful to have the support and accountability of connected churches.

Is the Non-Denominational Church Right for Me?

Finding a good church is not always easy, but there are a few things that can help you make a decision. First of all, pray and ask God to make it clear to you. Find out what doctrine the church holds to and measure it against the Bible yourself—each church usually has a statement of faith available for newcomers. 

Key questions to ask include:

  • What does this church believe about who God is?
  • What does this church believe about the Bible?
  • What does this church believe about who Jesus is and why Jesus had to die?
  • What does this church believe about salvation?

Your personality might also affect your choice. Maybe you prefer a more lively worship program? Or maybe, a more conservative service suits you better. If the core beliefs of the church are biblical and the gospel is proclaimed clearly, you’ll likely feel right at home.

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