You’ve probably experienced blank stares when trying to explain the nondenominational aspect of the gospel to someone. To them, the language of Scripture and the denominational world all seems the same. Of course, there’s a difference, and the following points illustrate this in a unique way:
- I am a disciple of Christ; I seek to learn from Him and follow Him. But I am not a Disciple of Christ.
- I am a methodist; I try to follow the biblical method. But I am not a Methodist.
- I am a baptist; I have been immersed in water for the forgiveness of my sins. But I am not a Baptist.
- I am catholic; Christ added me to His universal church. But I am not a Catholic.
- I am part of an assembly of God; we assemble each Lord’s day. But I am not of the Assemblies of God.
- I am presbyterian; my congregation is shepherded by elders (presbuteroi in the Greek). But I am not a Presbyterian.
- I am episcopalian; my congregation is overseen by bishops (episcopoi in the Greek). But I am not an Episcopalian.
- I am a member of the church of God; He purposed it before the world began. But I am not Church of God.
- I am a member of the church of Christ; He built it and purchased it with His blood. But I am not Church of Christ.
- I am a member of a congregation which is Christian and independent. But I am not of the Independent Christian Church.
I am a Christian. And although the language of the Bible coincides with the language of denominations, there is a clear-cut difference between them. I hope you can use this to help someone see the true point Jesus was making about “pure and undefiled religion” (James 1:27).
Adapted from Cecil May, Jr.