A "nondenominational evangelist?"

I was stopped in my tracks today reading the Times when I saw a fellow in a story referred to as


[knock knock]

“Hello, ma’am, do you belong to a religion, and if so, would you like to try another one? I’ve got Mormonism, Buddhism, Islam . . . we’re having a two-for-one special today on Orthodox Judaism and Wicca, if you’d like to try our Sampler Pack!”

Perhaps it means he’s not recruiting to any particular Protestant church, just, you know, all of them.

Sort of: “Repent your sins, accept the lord Jesus christ as your Saviour and be born again! Then go and join whichever Bible-thumping church happens to be nearest to your house, God won’t care!”

Usually this is a very religious person affiliated with a specific nondemoninational church or religious origination, like Koresh’s Branch Davidians or Rev. Ike’s United Christ church. You get lots of these “holiness” churches in the South (not in the Catholic sense). So it may not be Protestant at all and it’s probably got its own belief system

I grew up in a non-denominational evangelical church – it meant that we weren’t part of any Protestant denomination, like Lutheran or Presbyterian or anything. Most, I think, are pretty run-of-the-mill; they’re not cults, they just don’t quite mesh with any of the established denominations. They may take a page from many denominations’ playbooks (er, prayerbooks). Some of it may also have to do with how the church came into existence – the church that I grew up in started as a Bible study on a college campus, and grew and grew. Churches that are associated with a particular denomination are usually “planted” by an established church, I believe, either because the parent church has gotten too big, or as a mission/outreach thing.

I sometimes wish there were better ways of categorizing non-denominational churches, because they can really run the gamut on a wide range of subjects/opinions. You never know, walking into one, what you’re going to get. You could get extreme fundies or you could get liberals, or anywhere in between. :slight_smile:

Have you accepted Jesus, or someone like him, as your personal savior and/or guidance councillor?

Don’t crush that seraphim, hand me the pliers!

There are also those who label their sect as the “Christian Church”, such as the Christian Church of North America – implying, to my mind, that all those other guys, like Catholics, Orthodox, Expiscopalians, Baptist, Presbyterian, etc., are not really “Christian”, and their church is not really just a sect or denomination, but the whole shebang.

“What sort of fanatic will you be?”

“Oh, I don’t know…I think just some sort of wishy-washy fanatic.”

I also was raised in a non-denom church. All it means is that it’s a church that is not connected to any denomination, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t part of a church or a theology.

The church my family goes to is part of a fellowship of around 20 churches in Ohio. They get together for things like running a summer camp, supporting missionaries etc. It’s not a denomination in the sense that there is no ruling body that dictates what each church believes or does. (though they tend to be very similiar anyway)

"Our church isn’t partial to any particular denomination – we take $1 bills, fives, tens, twenties… "

My old high-school boyfriend belonged to a church like this. It started as a ‘house church,’ where members originally met in a non-church building. It was started by a bible-school student who basically wanted to go his own way, religion-wise (this was in a time when evangelicals were not at all common in our area - it was, and still remains, heavily Catholic). He called his twice-weekly meetings The Rap, and it appealed to a lot of young people at the time. They eventually grew to the point where they could afford their own church, which is known as The Gospel House.

I think that’s pretty much how new denominations start - if there’s enough people who want to follow a particular doctrine, it grows from one church to a bunch.

But despite all your highly rational comments, doesn’t it bring to mind the following?

“OK, I’m not really all that sure what you’re actually supposed to believe, but whatever it is, you have to believe it literally and absolutely, or you will be damned to hell for all eternity! Check back with me in a week or two, I might have an answer then!”

Not sure who that’s directed to, but I’ll answer anyway.

No, it doesn’t bring that to mind at all. Just because you do not belong to a denomination doesn’t mean you don’t know what you believe. As I said before, it simply means that you and your church are not connected to an established denomination.

Well… yeah, the term “nondenominational evangelist” strikes me as a little funny – I know they meant “nondenominational evangelical pastor” or whatever, but I can see the humor in it. I just don’t think it would have caught my eye they way it did Eve’s. :slight_smile:

Oh, good heavens, why do you have to bring reasonableness into it? I find it much more entertaining to see the potential humor! Your explanation was, in fact, the first thing I thought of when I read the OP, but I still get a kick out of my posted scenario, and I thought others might too.

The phrase struck me as funny, too, but since stargazer and I are apparently alone in this, I’ll have the thread closed.

Oops, Oy! was also amused. Oh, well, close anyway.

Closed at the request of the OP.