[“Church Without…” is a series of think-pieces designed to slowly deconstruct what we think is essential to having church and to call attention to the hidden barriers we’ve erected between ourselves and the Great Commission.]
I’m not much of an ecumenical in practice. I am certified as a minister of the Gospel by the Assemblies of God of the USA, and I preach in a church that has belonged to the Assemblies since its inception. However, I have been blessed by the words of many writers, ministers, and theologians of other Christians denominations, so I definitely see the value in being conversant across the denominational aisle.
Now, when I was younger, non-denominational churches seemed to be all the rage. It seemed like every new church that popped up in our area was a non-denominational church. At the time, I didn’t like this trend, as I felt that non-denominational churches didn’t take strong enough positions on some issues that I felt, through my own denominational lens, were obvious.
But now I wonder…what if we were to take a hyper-threaded approach, and built, not a catechism, but a wiki-chism or a cate-wiki? I’ll leave the naming to people more clever than I.
What if we built a core of doctrine that we could all unite around, a simple, essential Christian doctrine—our closed hand doctrines—and we agree to leave our denominational, open hand doctrines at home?
What if we built a core of unchanging, unshakeable doctrine and then allowed smaller groups to simultaneously build upon that, wiki-style, forming thousands of splinter groups, small groups, and micro-denominations, but all still united by that core?
What if we allowed our divisions to instead reflect our diversity and chose to agree louder than we disagree?