I was born into a family that was pretty far from God, but once God got a hold of my family, we began participating in a non-denominational Christian church. I have deep appreciation for those roots, but I never really liked that description “non-denominational.” The description essentially meant that while our church hesitated to align itself with any of the mainline Christian denominations familiar in the U.S., we sought to be faithful to the story of Jesus as revealed in the Scriptures and through Christian tradition. My childhood church recognized that the reality of multiple denominations (“expressions”) of Christian faith testifies to long centuries of disagreement and division among Christ-followers, which is not always a winsome quality to those who are seeking a spiritual home.
Many people see denominationalism as a marred aspect of Christian history, reflecting division, exclusivism, and religious arrogance. Others believe that denominationalism has provided a helpful accountability to Christian interpretation of Scripture and life practice. Most likely, there is truth to both perspectives.
Personally, I think there is a lot of rich history and valuable insight available through the various denominations of our faith. So, in describing Platt Park Church, I usually tell people we are a multi-denominational church: we like to borrow from the best of the various denominations.
This Sunday we are kicking off a new series called “Streams: What We Can Learn from Various Christian Traditions.” We will examine the strengths of the following “streams” of Christian heritage:
8/4 – what we can learn from the Reformed stream
8/11 – what we can learn from the Anabaptists
8/18 – what we can learn from the Catholic stream
8/25 – what we can learn from the Pentecostal/Charismatic stream
9/1 – what we can learn from the Majority world church
I hope you’ll join us for this conversation & exploration of the various streams of our faith. My hope is that each of us will find our faith challenged, deepened, and refreshed by the wisdom sipped from each stream.