This is an excerpted response from a conversation I am having with an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist.
I’ve been considering this for the past couple of days. I’m just trying to understand the reasoning. I do understand you want to be independent and able to separate from the denomination when it suits you. But then are you really upholding a denomination to draw people to your church or standing for Christ? If we look at Scripture there obviously were no denominations in the beginning. Denominations came about because men planted flags on certain doctrines promoted by certain men throughout history. Even Paul warned against this in his letter to the Corinthians. See Chapter 3 in the first letter. If we say we are of this denomination or that one, Paul says we are being carnal and not spiritual. If this is so, then shouldn’t we drop these things? If we are being carnal, then are we not sinning against the Lord? I say these things because far too long men have held on to these traditions, when Christ showed us in the Gospels that the traditions of men are nothing to be followed. He told the Pharisees outright that it was their traditions that were in direct conflict with the laws of God. So it is today. Not that all people in denominations are pharisees, but we have all trusted the traditions of our fathers for far too long. We are called to walk in the Spirit right? If we are walking in the Spirit, then we are not walking in worldly ways in the form and function of our assemblies. Let us consider the form and function that has been handed down to us since the Reformation began. Yes what men did to challenge the Catholic church was God’s work, but men stepped in and institutionalized what they did in to denominations. Paul tells the Corinthians how they ought to run their assemblies. We get other clues from Jesus as well. First no one lords over anyone. That includes pastors. No one is to have official titles. Consider what Jesus told the apostles, that they were not to Lord over each other as the Gentiles do or use official titles. See Matt. 23. Yes there are elders. But aren’t the elders there to teach and nurture? To raise up others who will walk and be as mature or more mature than they? But in this one pastor system we have today, there is weakness in Spirit because everyone looks to pastor, like Israel did with Moses. They are asking the pastor to be their mediator with Christ, when Christ wants to speak with us individually. He is our mediator with the Father. He said I am the Way the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except by me. Shouldn’t then the pastor be teaching that everyone can hear from the Lord. That they don’t need to depend on a man to hear from God? If there is to be unity, we must unite in the Spirit. We must look to Christ corporately, and wait for Him to speak through anyone of us. Regardless of maturity. Don’t get the idea I’m speaking directly at you, but to all believers who seek after Christ. These things have been weighing heavy on me for the past couple of weeks. I don’t think we have to be modeled after what the assembly in Jerusalem was exactly, we just have to be open to the Lord and how He would speak and command us at His pleasure, for His will. We need to drop many of our preconceived notions of what worship and service to God are and re-examine these things. Let’s not talk anymore about we think. Let us now humble ourselves before our Lord and pray. Let us wait on Him and see how He would speak. Is He not our Head, that He should direct the legs and feet to walk at the appropriate time? That He should direct the arms to yield the Sword of the Spirit. That He should direct the mouth to speak and prophecy His Gospel? This is what the Lord has been telling me. Isn’t it time?