Is it true that non-denominational churches are really Southern Baptist?

Yes.Picture 79516

Non-denominational churches define themselves from what they are against…traditional religion. That’s fine. No problem there. If you don’t like tradional religion that is your prerogitive.

But then, what is it that defines who you are?  What do you believe in?

Non-denominational churches (for the most part) are’free will’ ‘decision theology’ biblical fundamentalists. Their theology is Southern Baptist.

So if their theology is Southern Baptist, then why not call yourselves Southern Baptists? Back to square one. They don’t like tradional religion and do not want to be identified with such even though their beliefs and practices almost mirror their ‘mother denonimation’.

In this day and age where folks don’t like “church”, they remake their image into something that is more palatable to the culture. No vestments, no candles, no altar, sometimes no crosses, often times no traditional church buildings.

Instead, there is often a ‘stage’, with stage lighting and rock band instruments. A casually attired pastor, big screens and awesome sound systems.

Yeah, so what? What’s the problem?

No problem.  Just a little information. Many people that attend worship services at non-denominatiol churches do not realize that they are practicing a Southern Baptist theology, so I just thought I’d fill them in.

Do you think it’s wrong for me to do so? What is there to gain by letting these folks know from where they get their understanding of the Christian life?  What is there to lose?


     – Steve Martin

24 Responses

  1. Being “cool” strokes man’s ego.

  2. Magdalene,

    I think you’re right on that one.
    I’m so far past ‘cool’ that I think I’m ‘cold’.

    – Steve:D

  3. haha,

    Wouldn’t it be funny if there was a “non-denominational” church that held to the Lutheran confessions and was of the “high church/liturgical status”. I’d love to see the look on the faces of “non-denominationalists” who would go in to that church.

  4. Cat95,

    That would be great fun!
    They’d blow a fuse! I would love to see that happen. We ought to start one up.

    Nice work over at the Confessing Evangelical.
    Not an easy topic (third use). You did a nice job. I need work.

    Take care Cat95, and God bless!

    – Steve

  5. I wonder why it is that people feel more happy about having a stage than a pulpit, a band than a pianist/organist, a ‘seeker friendly’ approach to faith than a liturgy than exposes our need for God and His immediacy in the word and the sacraments? I’m not knocking anything – songs or messages – that actually open truth to us, but does the present trappings actually place people in the wrong mode of thought and action to really draw close to God? It certainly needs consideration.

    • Well, frankly, I’m struggling to believe you really do not know the answer to your own questions. Why do some congregations prefer a band to an organ player? … Why do some people prefer dogs to cats? It is obviously their taste. This is no mystery; nor is the evolution of worship and preaching, the tools used and the methods practiced, as the times change. Change, in those regards (as you know) are not inherently negative. Same message, different way of delivering it – and for those who like the old way, there’s plenty of that too. It’s magnificent!

      To your last question, I have to say no. Why is it, that candles and sashes, velvet pews and a choir in robe is considered the datum while a more contemporary decor and feel is possibly putting people in the wrong “mode of thought”? The only difference between them, is the time in which they originated, no other special consideration can be afforded to either solely based on the aesthetics, acoustics, or architecture.

      If something is distracting people from worshiping Jesus and from receiving the holy spirit, than I assure you it lies, not in those things, but in the fundamental workings of that specific church.

      • I also just realized this thread is seven years old, haha! What’s cool now might be causing you to prostate yourself in ashes! Jk, all in fun. Excuse my wayward coma towards the end of my comment above.

  6. Any thing that takes focus away from God and draws attention to man is dangerous. Trouble begins when God’s Word and Sacraments are not enough.

  7. Howard,

    Good thoughts Howard.

    People want to be comfortable and none of us wants to die. I guess the seeker-friendly models make it a bit easier to hang on to the handholds we’ve created for ourselves.

    It is amamzing, though, the reaction I get from my friends when I bring up the fact of their Southern Baptist roots in respect to their theology. They are shocked, they’ve never heard it before and they don’t believe it to be true.

    They think of themselves as cutting edge with respect to Christianity, and hate to find out that they are just old time American religion, repackaged.

    You have to be careful with whom you bring this up to. We don’t want to just steamroll people. That isn’t really profitable for anyone.

    Thanks my Friend!

    – Steve

  8. Like Pastor Anderson said the other day: man has to add to it… 😉

  9. Magdalene,

    “Trouble begins when God’s Word and Sacraments are not enough.”

    Well said! That’s the truth!

    – Steve

    PS- I don’t have an ‘option’ key on my Dell keyboard.

  10. Maybe a shift key or command key…. and the letter T

  11. Testing…T

  12. Nope…I’ll work on it a bit later. Gotta run. Thanks Magdalene!


    – Steve

  13. Catachismatic95,
    currently rumor has it that the LC-MS is sponsoring congregations who do not put Lutheran on their sign or show any outward affiliation with the LCMS, in an attempt to be that non-denominational church with Lutheran doctrine. Only thing is I somewhat doubt the theology in those congregations is Lutheran.
    Your situation would be funny though. This situation is sad.

  14. Howard:

    A lot of it as to do with trying to reach the culture that they are in.

  15. Funny… We go to a non-denom church and when I have to describe it I say it’s Baptist without the committees. Also we don’t sing 12 verses of “Just As I Am” or take the traditional Lottie Moon offering. But we are essentially Baptist in our theology.

  16. Brian,

    Thanks for stopping by the ‘old Adam.’ Home of the ‘hyper- Lutheran’.

    Brian, you are an informed and honest man.

    Some of my (non-denom) friends get upset when I tell them that their theogy is Baptist, as if it’s something to be ashamed of. In fact they don’t know anything of Church history, or very little, and theology is a dirty word to them.

    Thanks Brian!

    – Steve M.

  17. Brian,

    You’ve got a very interesting site ‘ A Small Faith’.
    I’m looking forward to doing some more perusing over there.
    Would you mind if I added a link to your site on ‘the old Adam’?

    Thanks for your consideration.

    – Steve

  18. Steve,

    It probably helps that I didn’t grow up Baptist. Makes me a little more objective, maybe….

    As far as linking to our site, sure, no problem. As long as all those Lutheran sites on your blogroll don’t pick on us. 🙂

  19. Brian,

    If anyone picks on you guys over there at ‘A Small Faith’, let me know and I’ll…and I’ll…well, I do know what I’ll do…but I’ll do somethin’!

    Take care, Brian!:D

  20. Well… it’s the theology that I’m concerned about.
    “Free will”, decision theology, which denies the presence of God in Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, is the issue.

    Both S. Baptists and so-called “non-denominational” Christians, believe in that errant theology.

    • Idk if you’re talking to me, since you replied to all, but I’m going to assume you are (since I’m the only one to comment in seven years).

      I wouldn’t be making generalizations about non denominational churches. They are, by definition, not associated with any one theological view as a whole… Each church defines its theology and doctrine. I’ve been ND for a while, pretty much all have been reformed theology… Never heard of any church “denying” the Lord’s presence in baptism or communion. That actually all, in my experience, believe God is omnipresent. Now, many churches don’t subscribe to the physical presence of Jesus in the bread and wine. The church body is so divided on that point, and there’s so little scripture to base it on, that A. The disagreement is without consequence and B. It requires an interpretation either way. Why this concerns you so, is my concern.

      • “God is omnipresent” – Yes, but is he for you? There is a difference between the hidden God (omnipresent) and the revealed God (specific and gracious); the silent God and the God who speaks to you. If God is in fact omnipresent in everything then He is in fact present in the bread and wine. The question becomes then is He for you? When God’s Word of forgiveness of sins are added to the physical elements then God is for you and is actually present there and is giving you His grace.

        “There is so little scripture to base it on” Uh, wrong. Try “This is my body……This is my blood.” Quite clear and understandable. However, this is essentially the problem for self-righteous sinners. If Christ is really present in the world forgiving sins and making people righteous simply by speak His creative Words of grace and promise, what would be left for you to do? You and your works would not mean anything and God’s Word and works would. That’s the rub. That’s why sinners like us Crucified Christ to begin with – He went around freely doing the Father’s will of forgiving sin and that we could not abide because that would mean death to self and our cherished dream of being equal to God in our choosing and doing. Unfortunately, when we deny the real presence of Christ in Word and Sacrament we go about crucifying Him all over again.

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