non-denominational churchIn recent years, non-denominational churches have been on the rise in America. Instead of the majority of believers associating with a specific denomination such as Baptist or Catholic, more and more are joining non-denominational churches like the Universal Life Church. In fact, in America there are approximately 12 million people who associate with a non-denominational church. There are over 35,000 non-denominational churches in America and the number continues to rise. 88% of the counties in the United States contain at least one non-denominational church. In addition, non-denominational Christians make the top five list of largest religious groups in all but two states in America.

This has led some to question why more parishioners are starting to leave denominational churches and are starting to find their home in non-denominational churches.  When polled, many people have expressed several different reasons for why they have moved on from the denominational church. While these answers can vary, the majority left for one of the following reasons.

Negative Reputations

One of the reasons people leave denominational churches is because the denominations have a negative reputation. For example, many people dislike the Catholic religion because they feel some of the beliefs contradict with what the Bible preaches. The same could be said for those who consider themselves Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness. While many people who are of these religions would consider themselves Christians, other Christians may disagree about whether or not these religions truly fit into the Christian belief system.

Focuses on What They Are Against

Another thing about denominational religion is many people have noticed they often focus more on what they are against instead of focusing on what they believe in.  Seventh-Day Adventists, for example, have specific rules on things that seem unimportant to many non-denominational Christians. Many of them do not eat meat considered unclean in the Old Testament, and many do not believe they should wear makeup, nail polish, or jewelry.

Mormonism is another religion that often focuses more on the rules and what they are against than what they are supposed to stand for. Mormons are to abstain from alcohol, caffeine, and other substances that can alter a person’s behavior or thinking.

Fighting Within Denominations

Another problem some people find with denominational religions is all of the fighting that can take place within the denomination. There are many times when leaders inside of the church will fight and argue over interpretations of the religion or will spend time focusing on things that are not really all that relevant. The politics in denominational churches can wear on the church members, and even cause church members to fight amongst themselves.

Too Liberal

One of the surprising things about denominational religion is those who belong to non-denominational churches often find them too liberal. They find their thoughts on politics do line up with what they believe in, which can make them feel like they do not belong in that denomination. This may lead them to look for other options, which can lead to them finding a non-denominational church that is more lined up with their political beliefs.

Too Bureaucratic

non-denominational churchA lot of people who attend denominational churches find the church is more focused on policies and rules than they should be. They seem to care about whether or not their church goers are following the rules instead of caring about the people and what they need. This has been proven true in several cases recently in the news:

  • A 103-year-old woman was banned from her lifelong church for disagreeing with the preaching style of the pastor.
  • A 92-year-old woman was banned from her church for not tithing and not attending church regularly.

Both of these cases are examples of churches that care more about whether or not the person is doing what they are supposed to be doing instead of caring about the person. Not all denominational churches are created equally, but the fact that these stories are starting to come out is concerning.

Non-Denominational Churches Are Simpler

Belonging to a non-denominational church can be easier for church members than belonging to a church full of specific rules and regulations that aren’t necessarily backed up by the Bible. When a religion focuses on the rules instead of what the religion stands for, it can push people away. Non-denominational churches generally have a much simpler belief system, which means it isn’t hard for church goers to adhere to it.

The ULC asks its ministers to abide by all laws pertaining to the practice of their ministries and to always strive to do the right thing. Simple guidelines like this ensure that the message of the Universal Life Church or other non-denominational churches is never hidden behind a complex set of rules and regulations.


  1. Rick says:

    Holy crap… a post about something that actually has to do with this site!?!? A miracle has happened today and we should all give thanks…

    1. Rev. Dr. Marion Ceruti says:

      Let us all give thanks to God that we have seen something spiritual and our attention is drawn to God and not politics.

      1. DAVID W.LANKFORD says:


        1. John Owens says:

          I concur, David. Scripture is scripture and everything else is conjecture. God doesn’t change and everything else does. Without the writings of the prophets, Matthew thru Revelation would have nothing to verify it.

        2. Brother John says:

          David and John…. I encourage you to watch Dr. Bart Ehrman’s lectures and debates. Dr. Ehrman is one of the most respected New Testament scholars in the world. You would find his exceptional knowledge illuminating.

          1. Vicky Vaughan, Cleric & Mystic says:

            Absolutely! Learning about your own Biblical history is the most valuable thing you can do for the future of our world. I began by investigating Jewish tradition and discovered the Essene and other branches existing at the time of Jesus’s life. Dr. Bart D. Ehrman is one of a number of open-hearted scholars examining the historical lineage of our “Bible” and its many translations and interpretations. Thanks Brother John.

    2. Sage Drake says:

      I don’t understand all this church buisness. I’m a follower of christ. I read what christ says and I follow his word. The old testament is just a history book to me and a vision of how mankind has grown and developed. Jesus preaches the word of God. He is the one that speaks in true wisdom, turn the other cheek, But later says sell your cloak and buy a sword. This seems contradictiory but he made people think for themselves and figure it out. Avoid petty arguments and dumb fight and walk away, however it is our duty as followers of him, to take arms when an innocent life needs help. to protect the weak and the lame. not by way of death, you can simply diable someone if need be in a dire situation. Read the history of his childhood and his words as a man. I don’t define myself as anything but a follower of that wise man. I don’t ususaly go to church but I preach Gods word where I go. I don’t do well with denomonations. This whole, mary wasnt a virgin backround as oppsed to this, in all honesty, What does it matter?! Read what jesus says, think and just do it! Who cares about the unnessisay detales. Leave that to science and history.

      1. Judy Weismonger says:

        Which “version” of Christ do you follow? The bible has at least 12 versions of Jesus in the New Testament and was written by Roman Flavian forgers.

      2. Shelly says:

        I agree totally because Jesus isn’t coming back for denomination Jesus is coming bac for a people without spots or blemish a holy people

        1. Randy says:

          I disagree !
          we all have blemishes and as Jesus said we have all fallen short of the glory of God! Jesus is coming back for everyone the only difference is some will spend eternity with him and some will spend eternity in hell!
          As said by Jesus all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God ! our only way to get into heaven is to accept Jesus Christ as lord and savior so that his blood covers our blemishes and sin! God doesn’t expect us to be perfect he knows we will make mistake he expects us to know that when we do we should ask his forgiveness and his assistance and guidance so that we can grow . True repentance is turning away from the sin you commit but that isn’t always done In one day sometimes it’s a process by which he removes the rough edges and tests us in fire.
          his ultimate goal is for us to love him and to accept his love in acknowledging the fact that Jesus is his son and he gave his sons life so that we may be redeemed

      3. John Owens says:

        I really like some of the things you said, and agree with them, except for the part about the Old Testament.
        Even though the printed pages in the book we call the Bible SAY Old Testament and New Testament, and we used those terms as references for looking up verses, the Old Testament and New Testament are NOT books. Testament is a misnomer for Covenant. A covenant is not a book.
        We’ll say, “the New Testament Church,” but that is a misnomer also. The New COVENANT can first be found Jeremiah 31. It is reiterated in Ezekiel 37, just after the valley of dry bones, and repeated in Hebrews. It would really behoove someone who preaches and teaches to read the actual words of the promise and think about them.
        The prophecies concerning the Messiah, the Kingdom of God, the New Covenant are all from the Prophets. Without those prophetical writings, Matthew through Revelation would have little meaning.
        The whole book is one book, from Genesis to Revelation. The definition of sin is transgression of the Law of God. Paul, Timothy, James, John, Jude, and Peter knew this. The New Covenant will make it our nature to be obedient to the Law of God, and the knowledge of God will cover the Earth. I’ll be very happy to see that day.

      4. Randy says:

        as someone who served in our military let me tell you something it’s not always possible to just disable a person. We as Christians must be willing to stand In the gap between the innocent and this that would cause them harm. the translation to English on the commandment says thy shall not kill but as I’ve been told by Hebrew scholars they believe that translation is wrong and would be closer to the word murder. David killed Goliath . I will always answer the call I Am Here if someone is in distress and if someone is trying to harm them physically I will do all I can to protect them if the assialant dies so be it.

    3. Jennifer Donovan says:

      I was brought up Catholic. As a young girl from an Irish family, it was upsetting to me to learn that Catholics and Protestants were murdering each other in Ireland over details I couldn’t understand. When I did learn about these “details”, I was shocked because they seemed so ridiculously insignificant in the context of killing people. I finally came to the conclusion they just happened to have different church names.

      At church, the Priests acted like everything was fine, read us the bible, and reminded us not to steal our neighbors goat. They never really talked about all those car bombings except for maybe a moment of silence for a bad one. As a teenager, I told my parents I didn’t want to go to church anymore. I wasn’t learning anything and if God was everywhere, going to church seemed to serve no purpose.

      Twenty years went by. It was the issue of same-sex marriage and reading about the ULC’s work to ensure blacks and whites had the right to that sacrament that drew me back to any organized religion.

      I believe any separation in general, whether based on religion, sex, or race causes discrimination and not accepting others is the biggest immorality we face in the world today. The Nazis killed a lot of people- and for what?

      People who believe in God need to stand together as one and not only disregard the fact people have different beliefs or cultures- we need to embrace the diversity. Priority should be working towards equality and human dignity. Non-denominational churches or those that work with other churches should serve as an example of how the world should function in peace someday.

      John Lennon almost got it right in the song Imagine. But, I don’t imagine no religion, I want one that includes all people worshiping in the way that works for them and for the world. Imagine that!

      1. Randy says:

        here’s why going to church is important Jesus said “do not forsake the gathering of yourselves together .”
        he also said when two or more gather in my name I am there.
        what he’s telling us is that by gathering together as people of like mind and body( the body of Christ in the mind of perusing a relationship with him) we strengthen ourselves.whe. we come together we reinforce each other’s beliefs and we are able to seek guidance from others like us who may be going through the same things. we are his children and just as its natural for you to go to your parents home to spend time with them as a family it should also be natural to go to his home to spend time with your Christian family,
        God is everywhere but just like you can call your mom or dad it’s just not the same as going to their house the one in which you was raised to be with them and the same can be said in your relationship with Christ. yes you can talk to him anywhere just like you can use your cell to call your parents but just like when you go see them that difference you feel should be the same as the one you feel when you walk into his house. if not you need to find a different congregation to go to

    4. Stalky Lehman says:

      We all start with assumption; belief without proof. Our most basic assumption is that our senses correspond to something that is out side of us. Belief writ large we call “faith’. This is true for “believers” and “non-believers” alike. When we make an assumption, when we hold to a belief we are saying, most often unconsciously, “I will act as if… true”. Recognizing this doesn’t demolish our beliefs value but should be remembered when another follows a different “as if” assumption.

    5. Judy Weismonger says:

      Leaving “orthodoxy” is a process toward Atheism. I suggest Atheists & Agnostics or those on the way to demanding proof of any gods find or create suitable and enriching nondenominational or dogmatic wedding and funeral ceremonial scripts to meet the need of ever increasing “agnosticism” and those on the way moving into Atheism.

      One of the worst, most offensive things a preacher or minister can do is be obnoxious and use his or her bully pulpit to “preach” his or her version of god and dogma. There are 30,000 versions of Christianity, and its not only ridiculous to promote just one’s personal version of god but to “speak for god.” How exactly people speak “for” god is beyond my comprehension.

      1. Brother John says:

        Your questioning how anyone can speak for god is understandable, Judy. But insisting that the Bible is the word of God means just that. The OT was supposedly written by men who claimed to be “inspired” by God, not by God, and often through dreams and visions. They are called prophets. There are many people alive today who claim to be able to heal other through the power of God, but no evidence to support their claims, quite to the contrary. But there are millions of “believers” who are convinced this is real. I simply don’t think that believing anything that isn’t true is wise or good for your mental health, even if it does make you feel “happy”.

        The Gospels are at the heart of Christianity. They are supposed to recount the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. They were all written decades after the events they chronicle. There are no eyewitness accounts of the messianic Jesus. There are no original NT manuscripts. All of the existing Greek manuscripts (most are mere fragments) are copies (of copies, of copies, of copies…). There are tens of thousands of textural variations, contradictions and errors when compared to one another. Many biblical scholars, such as Dr. Bart Ehrman, have access to these manuscripts, can read them, and have spent decades studying them.

        If people want to believe without proof or evidence, that’s their choice. But it’s not OK to proselytize to others, particularly impressionable children and the uneducated.

        For those Christians who are baffled as to why anyone would reject their religious beliefs, in addition to the above, one need look no farther than the plethora of televangelists that regularly fill huge buildings with “believers”.

    6. Yanel Jay Laroche says:

      Archbishop Rev.Dr. Yanel Jay Laroche ( R.D. ) The Rock Doctor and Priscilla the Chastity –

      We were always applying the Holy Bible regarding churches that should be spiritual. I, Priscilla the Chastity, do not understand why they do not apply the Holy Scriptures in demand to stand holy in a church on land. Amen.
      I, Archbishop Rev.Dr. Yanel Jay Laroche ( R.D.)The Rock Doctor, believe to be The Rock Doctor and The Reverend of Rock forever through Universal Life Church Monastery with power.Do apply the Holy Bible whenever you are wondering if something is okay or questionable in U.S.A..-(2 Timothy 3:16,17)

    7. Rev. Kevin J. Campbell DMA says:

      I have a song that sums it all up. “Everyday People” by Sly and the Family Stone

  2. sue nicholai says:

    denominations came about because of man’s wanting to be more than another then honestly asking what did Jesus want to with this, Jesus (God’s) vision for relationship if far different than what churches teach. More people are wanting a true relationship with the creator not just a system for keeping out of hell

    1. Rev W Phillips says:

      As people seek enlightenment and believe in the principle of God they seek a pathway toward that goal. For a long while, the church, any denomination, provided the guidance and established a direction through guidance, instruction and training to reach that goal. Somewhere along the way organized churches began making the journey more about the process and rules of the church and often forgot about the message and their role to be a spiritual guide to the members.

      Now people still believe, still seek enlightenment but along the way the particulars of the church’s rules to reach understanding and union with God has become less important – the individual is seeking enlightenment by helping each other along the pathway and are discovering a more personal, up lifting and richer experience. Also, as each person studies and is exposed to more religious diversity we area coming to the realization of a single origin of all religious beliefs by finding more commonality than differences.

      The pathway was always personal, the church was just a method to show us the way and point us in the right direction – now, we find that direction is available to us directly.

      There are more believers that you think.

  3. Hoagie says:

    Sue, the only thing that can stop you from having a true relationship with the Creator is yourself. Jesus has already established the “system” or rather direction for keeping out of hell. Churches can help establish and maintain Fellowship among persons who have similar beliefs. Churches have traditionally in the U.S. been fundamental in providing help for the poor, the sick, the elderly and establishing homes for abused women and orphaned children. Churches are the very heart of American charity, not the government which wastes more than it administers. Christian churches are under attack today for their fundamental beliefs and the result will be to undermine and ultimately end the charitable efforts of these Christians because they refuse to accept secular political indoctrination which goes against their traditional Christian teaching. That would be a shame, a big mistake and it would leave the poor, needy, sick and alone at the mercy of the state. Would you like to be at the mercy of the state? Neither would I.

    1. Rick says:

      I would much rather that than live at the mercy of the church. If I needed food, they would give me scripture, if I was gay I would be turned away. It’s so scary to think that so many people mistakenly believe that the only way to do good in this world is to needlessly package it with a bunch of dogma about talking snakes or flying dead people. There are plenty of people doing good both in and out of the church and likewise plenty doing harm both in and out of it. That means we know for sure that all the extra baggage about having to believe in a magical god that hates a lot of people is not at all required in order to be charitable.

      1. Hoagie says:

        The only reply to a person who would rather be at the mercy of a government is that you’re a fool. You would rather be oppressed than free? Then move to North Korea. You state “If I needed food, they would give me scripture, if I was gay I would be turned away”. Who told you that, your leftist “professor”? When have you been denied food by a Christian or turned away because you’re gay? Stop making up hypotheticals or repeating the lies of anti Christian sociopaths. Think for yourself, boy. I wonder why you’re here at all except that perhaps you are the one who “hates a lot of people” because God sure doesn’t or you wouldn’t be breathing.

        1. Gary says:

          I know that this will entail a ton of abuse but I have a gay friend who was married to his husband for years. The husband passed from a heart attack. The local church, a Methodist one, turned him away from their grief counseling group solely because he was gay. They said there was no place for him as a gay man in that group. I know of many churches that are openly hostile to gays so please, don’t tell Rick that he is making up hypotheticals. As for denying food, how many want public assistance denied and cut back even further. I think Jesus would be pretty disappointed.

          1. Rev. Jo-An Josephine says:

            Thank you Gary, I agree with you 100% and almost all of what Rick posted. The Best and only part that I agree with in Hoagie’s post is the first sentence “the only thing that can stop you from having a true relationship with the Creator is yourself.”

            So yes people “think for yourselves.” Holay macaroni what’s this world coming to!!

          2. Judy Weismonger says:

            Disgusting–examples such as this is EXACTLY why Christianity is being “attacked” for its discrimination if not out right “hate” of those who are “different” or non believers.

            Eighty percent of Atheists are “former Christians” and Christians should ask “why?” Atheism is growing at an exponentially fast rate because when Christians show what is behind the “mask” we find out that Christians are really ugly and mean.

      2. axelbushing says:

        There is a non-denominational church in Toronto whose congregation is made up of young couples just getting established, widows and other single mums on reduced income and the elderly on pensions. Their pastor flies from his $1,000,000.00 home in the suburbs in his personal helicopter, paid for with the tithes and widow’s mites if his extremely loyal congregation. His grown sons live in Florida in palatial homes also paid for by the congregation, ostensibly to establish a school. There is no guarantee that a non-denominational church will be careful in the spending of the offerings. There are other examples, mostly in the “Prosperity Ministry”, pastors vehemently defending their purchase of personal corporate jets with congregational contributions.
        I am proud to be identified as a Christian when a church openly defies a stupid bylaw preventing the feeding of homeless people, or when a local mosque pairs resources with the United Church to sponsor refugees.
        I am getting old enough to be invisible to most church leaders, who, on the look-out for healthy youngsters to sing and enthusiastically exhort the congregation to drop the cares of the week at the door. Eventually, for that reason and because our former church adopted as their statement of faith something that is scientifically impossible, we stopped attending and no-one noticed or commented, after thirty years of attending, not even an e-mail inquiring about our tithe. So, one must find a congregation where one will not be vilified for having reasoned beliefs based on observation, where one will not vanish into that veil of blue&grey hair, where the money goes to ministry and not to helicopters and humongous homes .It MIGHT BE the Church of England, or the little store-front church in the strip mall. Or, like me, it will be in the hearts and minds of like thinkers who visit me and pray for my family.

      3. Brother John says:

        Agreed Rick! Doing what is right does not require any religion, and as you say, dogma can and does result in doing “bad” sometimes, as evidenced by Gary’s experience below. The need to believe is something that’s always puzzled me. I have been striving to find truth for most of my life and have no problem accepting “I don’t know” as the answer to some questions. We humans aren’t nearly as smart and evolved as we might believe.

    2. Judy Weismonger says:

      Christians are not “under attack”…Christians are being asked to “prove” their claims. And if they cannot prove their claims, then oh well….no respect or automatic belief is to be granted for one’s personal opinion regarding god or Jesus.

      It is no longer acceptable in the 21st century to demand belief of any version of god or Jesus…just because “you” said so.

      1. Brother John says:

        Bravo Judy! And those making extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

  4. Dark Gray says:

    Hmm. I didn’t think ULC was a Christian organization, which I think is what “non-denominational” implies. ULC is more of a free-for-all. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. That’s kind of why I became a ULC minister in the first place. 🙂

    So let me advocate for the devil for a moment to keep the conversation interesting:

    Most of the large (Christian) non-denominational congregations I’ve seen don’t seem to have a consistent message that they stand for. They’re mostly driven by a reasonably charismatic preacher, and when s/he leaves, it’s questionable as to whether the congregation will even survive. (Is the Crystal Cathedral even around any more? What about the PTL Club?) Sure, a lot of them preach “the Bible”, but anyone who’s had any experience with Christianity will tell you that “the Bible” is wide open to interpretation.

    Denominations, by contrast, are able to set a consistent tone and doctrine across their organizations. They are able to set up seminaries where would-be clergy can learn their jobs — preaching, teaching, counseling, caring for their congregants and others. (And training is generally A Good Thing; feeling “called by the Spirit” doesn’t necessarily enable you to put together a coherent sermon, comfort grieving relatives, or help a husband and wife put a marriage back together.)

    Denominations are able to support organizations to feed the poor and clothe the hungry outside their own communities (e.g., Catholic Charities). And if your congregation’s pastor leaves, you can find a replacement through the denomination and be fairly sure that the church will go on more-or-less the same.

    If you want to see an example of the good things a denominational organization can do, google “elca national youth gathering 2015” to see the amazing things that tens of thousands of Lutheran high-schoolers were able to do for the city of Detroit this past summer.

    Anyway, that’s my two cents. Feel free to agree or disagree. 🙂

    1. mark says:

      I would argue that interpretation does not come because what is in the bible, but what is left out or not discussed. Take Romans 1 :18 – end. How would you incorporate that in a sermon?

      Any truth that is uncomfortable or interfere with my self interest is not going to be easily accepted. God should accept me the way I am?

      Then there is this passage in Luke 13 that again is probably explained away more than interpreted in most churches.

      The Narrow Door
      22 He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem. 23 And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ 26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’ 28 In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out. 29 And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God. 30 And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

    2. Bruce Smith says:

      Four baptists meet at the grocery store. They get into an argument and next week there is a new Baptist Church in town. I am a ULC ordinate so that I can legally marry and bury folk. I am a United Methodist so that I can be a part of a church that has global reach. As a Lay Preacher, I have assignments made for me, and a continuing education curriculum that is well thought out and supportedby . Our local rural congregation is able to minister to our local, regional, state, national, and global arenas.
      Bruce Smith

    3. Judy Weismonger says:

      Far too often, when Christians engage in charity, there is a “cost” to those being served. The “cost” is the needy will not be served or helped until they hear an hour of preaching…all the while starving for food or medicine. Ridiculous.

      Christians should be silent and engage in TRUE charity of the heart. And if someone wants to listen to what Christians want to say…then, that is the opening to “preach” and explain what you believe.

      1. Brother John says:

        Well said Judy.

        Matthew 6:1
        “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

      2. pastor Randy says:

        that comment is pure stupidity . hearing the word before being fed or helped isn’t a cost . first off before you eat you should feed your soul and be given then opportunity to get right with God. here’s a what if: a sinner comes in for a meal sits down to eat and chokes to death on his food or has an allergic reaction to something and dies. you attempted to feed his body but now his soul will pay the price in hell for eternity. Those who come for help have the opportunity to receive even more than the pitence you offer in a meal they have the possibility of receiving salvation or if already saved of feeding the soul and drinking of the water of life. I’m sorry but if your hungry a few min or a hour makes no difference but that sermon may make all the difference

  5. Rev says:

    Denomination, this is just a word, a label. Like your name is xxxx and mine is xxxx but at the end of the day, there is only one God, we all worship one God. I am so fed up of hearing when I go overseas, this is MY church not your church and MY church is better than your church. I have heard this sadly, in India. The church is the house of God, we are all the same so really, does it matter what this denomination is, what the name is. Yes, some might do things a little different to another but that is all. I respect everyone’s belief, I might not agree with other’s opinions but I keep that to myself. I listen and just say, well, I have different belief’s to yours but thanks for sharing. I personally like the non denomination for it means, we can get down to what Christianity is all about, worshipping God. He did not have a brick built church, He does not need one. The only rules we should be following are the Ten Commandments, what else do you need?

    1. Minister Rob says:

      Not all believers in something follow the Ten Commandments. You’re projecting Abrahamic religion on others.

      1. Rev says:

        Well yes, true, they don’t all follow the Ten Commandments but if everyone did, what a peaceful planet we would have. Abrahamic it may be but any true Christian would follow it anyway.

        1. C.J. Conley says:

          Well said sir

        2. Rev. Jo-An Josephine says:

          I’m sorry but you’re contradicting yourself at every turn. First of all, not every one who is a minister or reverend here on this site believes that there is only ONE god. You say that you respect everyone’s belief, but go on to say that we SHOULD all follow the 10 commandments….well that sir is not respecting everyone’s beliefs, that is projecting your beliefs unto another. You speak about how fed up you are that other church goers, especially oversees, talk about “my “church, and “it’s better than yours” Well colour me purple, is that not what you are doing by talking about Christianity is about worshipping God, coupled with every thing else I posted above? I am NOT Christian, I am NOT Catholic or Protestant or anything else….I believe in the Creator, I believe the in the ancient ways, I believe that everything is living and everything has a soul, I believe that everyone has the RIGHT to believe what they want to believe in. But most of all, I believe in only ONE commandment…”HARM NONE” That one simple little phrase covers absolutely EVERYTHING in YOUR 10 commandments. But I will judge you NOT by your belief, so please exercise some decorum when posting. Blessed Be!!!

          1. Rev. Randall Dowling says:

            Inspirational words. Thank you!

      2. Judy Weismonger says:

        What the Ten Commandments left out is…which Atheists often point out is:
        1. do not rape children
        2. do not beat children
        3. do not beat your wife
        4. do not tell lies about your religion making false claims without proof
        5. reject slavery, which is approved of by god, Jesus, and Paul (Luke 19:27-Jesus said: Slaves obey your masters)
        6. do not engage in mass murder even if commanded by god
        7. do not take money from others making false promises such as “prayer cures sickness”
        8. do not hide those who break moral and common law, such as Warren Jeffs and 20,000 pedophile priests being hidden from prosecution
        This list can continue of what “god” forgot to include…or maybe god didn’t forget, this version of god thought it was all OK to beat your wife or rape kids.

        1. Brother John says:

          Your comments are awesome Judy!! Some I just scroll past, but yours are always refreshing, honest and rational. Thank You!

    2. Brother John says:

      There’s no need for the 10 commandments, Rev. Most religions have a version of the Golden Rule in their teachings. The rest is unnecessary dogma and mythological detrius that often results in divisiveness and conflict.

      1. Brother John says:

        I’d dump the entire O/T, including the 10 commandments, the condoning of slavery, stoning people to death for minor offences, genocide and the hundreds of other “laws” it contains. I find it curious that so many CHRISTians regularly quote the OT instead of the NT teachings of Jesus. Most of the objection to, and rejection of, Christianity is based on the barbarity of the OT. As a contemporary example, what did Jesus say about homosexuality? Demonizing it based on the OT validates all of the other “laws”, some of which would result in a long prison term (or execution) for a true believer.

    3. Brother John says:

      There are over 600 other rules, laws or commandments in the OT besides the 10 commandments. What gives Christians the right to pick and choose which to obey and which to disregard?

    4. Brother John says:

      Which Ten Commandments, Rev? The ones commonly quoted from Exodus 20, or the ones that were written on stone tablets by “the finger of God” in Exodus 34:14-26 and confirmed as the real Ten Commandments in Exodus 34:28?

  6. Tom Jaynes says:

    We are all children of the same Universe.

    1. Minister Rob says:


    2. Reverend M says:

      Simply and well stated!

  7. Richard Willis says:

    Rev. R L. Jesus gave us the greatest commandment ” love one another as we love ourselves “.

    1. William Wilson says:

      In that I am with you and that nothing is a bar to following Christ. I do not mean being a Christian here…. I am talking about what Jesus himself taught….. no matter the religion we are ALL sons of God. I was a brother in the church once but left because I seen the hypocrisy within my own church deriding the poor and down and outs and rather than go out there way to help they started quoting scripture. To me this is not a spiritual person but one brought up in dogma and religious control. I have read all holy books and go by the maxim that we are there for all humanity no matter the religion.

    2. Brother John says:

      Variations of the Golden Rule had been around long before Jesus and forms the basis of many world religions… This is the single most important message from any “holy book”, and is often overshadowed by nonsensical details.

  8. Rev Ray Slaven says:


    The word of God Is one as he . Its great to take the Lord to THOUSE that most dont see . Sterio typeing is not my style .
    To show that anybody can an does preach the word of God . Like us on face book
    Share your views . Thank you

  9. Minister Rob says:

    Whether you’re Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Taoist, Buddhist, Wiccan, Hindu, Antitheist, Scientologist, etc…. God exists. If only in one being’s imagination…God exists.

    For many, God is even more.

    For many, that is all that God is.

    Whether you follow Tao rather than Bible, Talmud rather than Koran, Veda rather than intuition…God exists as long as one being still conceptualizes/imagines.

  10. Jason Oswalt says:

    All I am going to say is in my humble opinion, religion is what ruins Christianity.
    I personally believe in Jesus Christ, but not in any set denominations.

    1. Pastor Pete says:

      Hear hear!

  11. The Rev says:

    Anyone who has loved, has experienced God. Love should be the foundation of all teaching. My belief is that organized religion divides and separates. The true nature of reality is that we are all One, which gives validity to the “do unto others as you would have done to you,” teaching, among others. I literally do to myself, what I do to others, because we are all connected.

    We need to remind people that at the core of who we really are, is Love.

    1. Bruce Smith says:

      We should remember that to love others s we love ourselves, we must first love ourselves. Many people spend their lives loathing themselves, and therefore have, no reference from which to love others. The first person we need to forgive and excuse is ourselves. We must love ourselves and love others in the same way. Only then can we accept and appreciate the differences and benefits of other people and their beliefs.
      Bruce Smith

  12. The Rev says:

    Anyone who has loved, has experienced God. Love should be the foundation of all teaching. My belief is that organized religion divides and separates. The true nature of reality is that we are all One, which gives validity to the “do unto others as you would have done to you,” teaching, among others. I literally do to myself, what I do to others, because we are all connected.

    We need to remind people that at the core of who we really are, is Love.

    1. Pastor Pete says:

      Absolutely! When the thief turned to Jesus on the cross and asked to be remembered, the master didn’t ask him to go on a bible course or follow a bunch of dogmatic nonsense, he said “this day you will be on my father’s house.” If you ask me, Jesus hated religion, stupid dogma is what crucified him, goodbye dogma, hello faith, hello love, hello fellowship, love one another!

      1. Brother John says:

        Here’s a simple exercise everyone can do, Pastor Pete. You’ve quoted Jesus from one of the Gospels, which are the heart of Christianity. Read and compare the accounts of the crucifixion in all four gospels in detail, including the walk there, the exchange with the thieves, the last words of Jesus on the cross and what happened at the tomb. I expect these to be very important to Christians, but you’ll find that there is no consensus between the four Gospels. This is because there are no eyewitness accounts of these momentous event, including the Gospels, which were written decades after the events. If the accounts of the crucifixion and resurrection weren’t written accurately, how would anyone know with certainty what Jesus said or did? This applies most importantly to those who claim the Bible is without error or contradiction, and can be done without anything other than a Bible and a couple of hours to do an accurate comparison.

    2. Reverend M says:

      Completely and totally without doubt, you are correct.

  13. Rob says:

    We have the same problem in The UK . The Church of England is for the so called upper class, The chapels are for the working class. And most of the others i call Bible nuts and they think they are the only ones that are right. I tell these people to try and live there lives like Jesus and and have a good look at there actions. If we can live our lives with God in our hearts and follow the way our lord lived is life love all fellow man the world would be a better place.

  14. Jeff dawson says:

    We need to stop warring about religion and do what bible says putting God first

  15. Paul says:

    In my few years on this earth, I’ve come to realize that religion is BAD for humans. I am a spiritual Sovereign Being, multi-dimentional who exhibits Source’s attributes. I create much as it does. No religious nincompoop can change that. It shows as religion is slowly going away from humanity and all the control and lies are being exposed. God is not outside in a Jesus person but already inside and part of me. That takes all their control away and gives it to me as it should. BTW, I am a minister here.

    1. Rev. Jo-An Josephine says:

      Very well said. I truly admire your thinking on this one. Many believe that God created man in his image…well if that’s true then shouldn’t they also believe that GOD is within them? I as well, am a spiritual sovereign being. And I too believe that organized religion is what’s hurting humanity. We can believe, and we can achieve, without a paying homage to any religion in particular. And yes, I too AM a reverend.

      1. Brother John says:

        I applaud your comments Paul and Jo-Ann. I believe it’s correct to say man created God in his image, not the other way around. I also believe it’s better to accept that we simply don’t know all the answers, rather than accepting questionable beliefs and myths, particularly those from the Bronze Age

  16. Rob says:

    yes you are certainly right,and i am in full agreement with you.

  17. Kyaza says:

    It makes me sad to think there are churches out there who will turn out 92 and 103 year old women because they don’t strictly adhere to the bureaucratic rules of the organization.

    If we could all just respect that everyone has the right to believe and worship as they wish, the world would be a much more peaceful place.

  18. Kathryn C. Okun says:

    Is it necessary to have any religion set down a list of rules that must be maintained in order for a member to be in good standing? Isn’t this really just a club? Being a gracious person and trying to live life nobly is a philosophy, unencumbered by threats and fear (religion). We are not children that need to be punished for errors(sins), be they real or manufactured by those in power. Logically speaking, as we reached the age of reason and relegated Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy to myth, why has something as irrational as ‘God’ flourished? Perhaps we are still frightened children wanting someone ‘to make it all better’, tell us ‘it will be okay as long as we….(fill in the blank)’, that no matter how bad you or circumstances are, there is something that will hand you a Get Out Of Jail Free card. There’s no denying this offers great comfort, but is it worth creating the organizations that have been responsible for most of the wars and and bloodshed throughout history? No, it isn’t.
    Putting so much time and energy into arguing, debating and fighting about something that doesn’t exist except in imagination, is beyond wasteful. It is tragic.

    1. Brother John says:

      Well written and bang on, Kathryn! Some “religions” are in reality, very wealthy and prosperous businesses.

  19. marionpatterson says:

    On my way to church, I pass dozens of men and women, children, couples, singles, young families, middle aged folks, and elders smiling and chatting as they flock to The Doubletree Hotel downtown for a non-denominational service. At 9:00 less! And for the later service. Across the river devout and mostly older Roman Catholics solemnly exiting a classic, historic, renovated church and others equally stern faced entering for the next service. At the church I attend, a few younger families have joined the older congregants in a traditional setting.

    On the way home, I drive through the newly renovated Social District which is teeming with life of young folks at the Market and coffee shops socializing, connecting, laughing, exploring ideas.

    Perhaps the “new church” is located more in these places. Yet the “divide” continues: “traditional” and “non-traditional” ways of expressing “faith.”

  20. Mary says:

    My husband and I have not gone to church for thirty years except if a family member visits we do go with them.
    We believe God is everywhere not just in a building. We honor Him wherever we are and live in gratitude for what we have. Both of us were raised Catholic and I saw too much over my life to ever believe it is a necessary thing to go to church. Some people need to go, and I certainly do not judge them. If it’s what they need, that’s fine.
    Having attended parochial schools for twelve years I saw first hand what the nuns and priests were like on a daily basis. We attended Mass every day before school. So I went six days a week to church. Now that I am in my 60’s I feel very content to honor God in our home and in our surroundings. I finally found that I do not need a priest as a go-between for God and I. I found my own power and realized over time how much I had been controlled and taught to be so fearful so much of my life. God doesn’t want us to be fearful. It’s the opposite.
    He wants us to love ourselves and come to live in love. That fear we learn is the exact opposite of love.

  21. Big Jim says:

    Denomination hierarchy strive for consistency throughout all “its” churches. To do that, traditions are followed. Those traditions are born through readily accepted rules, techniques, styles, and methods. Many rules come in response to an outcry by the congregations about a subject or crisis that is real or percieved. Many rules fade away without fanfare through time due to difficulty or disinterest by the churches. Those rules are irrelevant. They get headlines, but do not define the denomination. The “traditions” do that. Those traditions are what draw people together as one. It in these churches that you have dedicated, devoted, long time members. Those members, sometimes referred to as elders, deacons, lay leaders, etc. Are the backbone of each church and the denomination as a whole. The danger of a nondenominational church is they seem to be less intimate, usually larger or a mega church, making it quite difficult to develop the intimacy one gets in the denominational church. Additionally, although I strongly believe each person’s relationship with God is personal, we come together as church members to support and join in on each others worship. When you worship with others, something Jesus Christmas urged us to do, we enhance each other’s worship. The rules and traditions are a way to get like minded Christians to enjoy worship together. When the rules become more important than the faith, churches fail to meet the need of its parishoners. Political differences have a place, but not really in worship. Remembering that Jesus taught us that the only real sin is being selfish, many of the rediculous rules and spats that go on in churches or in denominations, many of these disagreements would dissolve. I don’t want to have to sit with my lawyer in church, so I remember not to be selfish and let the little things go.

    Anyway, that’s how I do it….

  22. C.J. Conley says:

    I believe that the bible tells us the people are the church, not a building, or a man made denomination. I believe these things have done nothing except seperate the Christian people, and create misunderstandings between us. The bottom line is that the nondenominational churches are bringing Christians back together because they are preaching what the Bible tells us God has said, instead of preaching to us about what a man made doctrine says. I believe this will bring Christians closer to each other, and closer to God.

  23. Nanette nazario Ordained Minister says:

    God/Jesus is the Way and the Truth and the Life! God Will supply All your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:19 Trust in the Lord in the Lord with All your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways ACKNOWLEDGE HIM, and HE will make your PAths straight! Proverbs 3:5-6

  24. Rev. Dr. Valerie A Ward says:

    As a Metaphysician, and in my humble opinion, the reason people are leaving their family/main stream religions is very simple. They are over the dogma that is constantly preached. They are over the ‘my God (religion) is better than your God (religion). All beings are evolving and are realizing there is something else out in the world. The religions (churches) rule by fear. They have been scaring people for eons about the fires of hell is they break the rules; the man made rules. God does NOT have a religion. The only rules anyone needs to observe is, love others as you love yourself and do what you wish harming NO-ONE, including yourself. Our world is in such a mess because of the fundamental mentality that your particular group is right and everyone else is wrong. Thank you.

    1. Rev. Jo-An Josephine says:

      Here, here!!! Exceptionally well said!!!

      Blessed Be!!

  25. Rob says:

    You are so right.

  26. Luis says:

    as a civilization predominantly ruled by man/males we see the divide between religion as we see the divide between conquering cultures and other conflicting cultures. the difference between opinion and ideology between races cultures and ethnic divide also pour over into a spiritual and faith-based realm. while we all seek for some form of higher power or inter piece we tend to put a label on what we decide is right for us, selfishly thinking without focusing on the true purpose of the general collective as we are all children of the universe.

  27. Dan Lewis says:

    I’m a former Protestant, now free of the mind-forged chains of religion.
    As you might imagine, I’m hypersensitive to people quoting or going by the bible.
    I do verbal battle on this matter periodically online.
    I point out to god believers how childish their view is.
    I ask them how they can possibly worship a murderous attention-whore of a god.
    I ask them how they could love a ‘father’ that would subject them to eternal hell for simply not believing or loving said god.
    Love a god that would murder ALL the first born of an entire nation?? What a sick sick monster!!

    Religion comforts…and cripples.
    History is clear on this.

    1. Brother John says:

      I understand how you feel, Dan. Two analogies….. God pushes everyone into the pool then offers the life preserver of belief only to those who will accept and love him.

      The Mafia boss comes into a business and tells the owner, “Nice place you’ve got here… it would be a shame if it burned to the ground. Pay me $100 a week and nothing bad will happen.”

    2. pastor Randy says:

      you are an idiot!
      God has murdered no one!
      and you are subject to hell of your own accord by sinking and breaking the rules of the father and are forgiven by grace . that said the only way to be forgiven is to repent and until you love God more than you love the pleasures of the flesh you will not repent!

  28. Karen Rouse-deane says:

    I am a church of england christian in UK. My church had a change of vicar and at his interview with the PCC he promised to work with the congregation to raise funds to repair the Grade 2 listed building. A huge grant had been secured for £460, 000 to repair the full spire. Others to follow once English Heritage saw the need to preserve the building as it is the last church with a full spire in the north of england. Within 3 months of him being licenced the new vicar cancelled the grant and then told the congregation that our church was to close. The closure happened very quickly. I have not set foot inside a church since. I drive by the church every other day and i wish i could win a lottery to save my church from disappearing off the cityscape.
    I am determined to be a better minister than this so called ordained vicar who could stand in a church and lie.

    1. pastor says:

      you forget he doesn’t have the authority to close a church it has to come by order of the Vatican

  29. Howard Stone says:

    It isn’t about religions. Christ himself exposed the falsehood of the religious rulers of his time. He showed the importance of having the true knowledge of his word. He exposed the ignorance of the religious rulers of his time, through the use of his word in answering their accusations. I believe it is important that the truths of God’s word be taught to the people. The love of God. The will of God. The plan of God and where you as a believer fit into that plan and will of God. It shouldn’t be about the numbers or the money like many of the churches of today seem to be governed by. If they truly believe in God and His word, they would know that God promised to meet their needs, if they are teaching the truth. God doesn’t want churches to beg for money, He wants them to exercise their faith in believing and trusting in His words. Knowing that He keeps his promises and delivers on those promises.

  30. Craig says:

    I believe the shift away from traditional religious institutions and denominations is because they have not changed with the times. The ancient writings were meant as a guideline to behavior and morality. The known world was a much smaller place then and did not have the same framework we have to day with the same issues in our daily lives.

    And no, I do not buy the argument that the original teachings transcend time. The world is vastly different from Jesus’ and Muhammad’s and Buddha’s worlds. We have different technology, different living circumstances–heck we’re not even surviving day to day in the same way. I do believe there are certain basic moralities such as “thou shalt not kill” and so on that we should live by, but you have to bring it into the 21st century or people can’t relate it to their lives.

    Religious institutions exist to provide guidance and support. When the denominations don’t do that, people look for other institutions that do.


  31. Rev Deborah Dunkle (Raven Wolf Song) says:

    I am more Earth Centered with a strong Christian background as well. I feel that our Mother is this holy Earth and the God be he the Christian God of creation or any name you wish to ascribe is a part of all creation.
    My beleifs are feed by my expereinces in life and through my profoud passionate love of all things.

    Yes many organised religions have lost thier way. They have forgotten the teachings of their elders and saviors, siats etc. All religions have at their basis Love of one another and all things. How many can hold onto that basic tennant without straying aside to some archaic custom taking away from this activity or that person or thing? How many remember that the earth planets and everything was created equally? Yet we exploit everything and go forth to make our lives aboout proft, what we can get for ourselves and in the end who profits?What is gained? So much is lost every day though our goal of going forward isn’t it?
    I don’t have answers. None of us does. But, isn’t it time to start asknig some questions???

  32. Sharon says:

    Keep it simple with love, forgiveness and do good!!!

  33. Rev W Phillips says:

    As people seek enlightenment and believe in the principle of God they seek a pathway toward that goal. For a long while, the church, any denomination, provided the guidance and established a direction through guidance, instruction and training to reach that goal. Somewhere along the way organized churches began making the journey more about the process and rules of the church and often forgot about the message and their role to be a spiritual guide to the members.

    Now people still believe, still seek enlightenment but along the way the particulars of the church’s rules to reach understanding and union with God has become less important – the individual is seeking enlightenment by helping each other along the pathway and are discovering a more personal, up lifting and richer experience. Also, as each person studies and is exposed to more religious diversity we are coming to the realization of a single origin of all religious beliefs by finding more commonality than differences.

    It is a personal journey and to have that pathway highlighted by the flair of each one’s personal experiences makes the enlightenment all that much more full of meaning – there could be millions of churches as within each of us is a temple of divinity.

    The pathway was always personal, the church was just a method to show us the way and point us in the right direction – now, we find that direction is available to us directly.

    There are more believers that you think.


  34. Shayne says:

    Simple. Religion was created by man and for their own personal agenda. Non denominational churches, the ones I am familiar with, pursue the relationship with Jesus and leave all the other stuff alone. If you don’t think there is the desire for money and power in religion think again. Most Christian religions do not follow the teachings of Jesus and pick and choose verses to preach their agenda on.

  35. Alvin R Jones says:

    Study to show thyself approved! Then find and walk a path of righteousness according to the God of your understanding!

  36. Bruce Smith says:

    All of this denominationalism began in the second century with the efforts of various church leaders struggling to define the Christian message. Paul obviously saw Jesus as a Devine Person, but he never suggested that Christ the Lord was equal to God the Father. Trinitarianism was not in his world view, and he would have found it repugnant, I believe. Then of course there were the Gnostics. They had an entire cornucopia of mystical believes. But most of the discussion aside from Gnostic denunciations, involved christology. Arius was not the first person to deny the equality of Christ with the Father, as I have already examined with Paul, but ten creeds later and who knows how many heretics executed, the issue was still not settled, as many of those heresies are still taught today.
    I suggest that the things that are attracting people to the non-denominational churches are the openness of their theology, and the modern music and fluid form of worship. I think this is great as long as there is some sort of education performed in the path to membership that reviews ecumenical history and places that church body in that historical stream. Though ordained in the ULC, I practice as a Methodist. Since I am a Lay Preacher, and my ULC status alows me the ability to marry and bury, I am unemcumbered by the things I found so distasteful about the pastorate.
    Bruce Smith

  37. Elder L. Martin Jr. says:

    We all know that when Jesus visited his disciples for the final time, they all went in different directions. As they preach and teach the Holy Word of God and the Teachings of Jesus Christ, their ancestors continued the discipleship after the original disciples past. And they were the ones who decided where and how it should be done, and as time goes on, the ancestors decided what the religious church would be called or named after. And you know, ” IT DOES NOT MATTER!”, we are all the children of GOD, and we are all one family under Jesus Christ. SO WE ARE ALL ONE, NO ONE BETTER AND NO ONE WORSE. And if you don’t change you will face Jesus Christ when the Day of Judgement comes. I would like to see what explanation or excuse you going to give.

  38. Rev. Jo-An Josephine says:

    Do you know what I’m sick and tired of? I’m sick and tired of the antics on this site, this ministry is supposed to be “NON-DENOMINATIONAL” Yet, for the most part, all I ever read in the comments section is how Christianity is supreme being, God and church this and that. Well I am sorry, but the reason I don’t log on here too often is because I am sick of the self righteousness that most display here. What I read about those that are “holy-er than thou” goes against everything that I believe that ULC is about.

    I am NOT Christian, I am NOT Anglican, Or Protestant, or Muslim, or this or that….I am me…so please for the love of all that is humanity, STOP forcing YOUR religion down everybody’s throat. We don’t all believe the same thing, that is why ULC was created. Because we are all born to the same Universe. Again, we are ALL conceived the same, born the same, bleed the same and die the same….it is ONLY our beliefs that make us different, so stop sh*tting on each other!

    This is supposed to be a SAFE place for us to come to….but I feel prosecuted and persecuted when I read most of the comments. For those of you that scream Christianity the loudest, you sure don’t practice what you preach. FOR SHAME!!!

    Good Grief! Have a GREAT and BLESSED Day!!!

    1. Brother John says:

      This is a forum for people of a wide range of beliefs (and non-belief) and I agree that most of the LOUDEST COMMENTS are from evangelical Christians who feel compelled to preach “the only Truth” to all of us. As they choose to engage with those who don’t share their beliefs (often stated as facts), they should expect to the challenged, particularly when insisting that their’s is the ONLY TRUTH and their HOLY BOOK, the only source.

      Ambrose Bierce was an American satirist and author who’s quotations are amongst my favourites. Here are a couple of appropriate ones…

      “Scriptures, n. The sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based.”
      ― Ambrose Bierce, The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary

      “Redemption, n. Deliverance of sinners from the penalty of their sin through their murder of the deity against whom they sinned. The doctrine of Redemption is the fundamental mystery of our holy religions, and whoso believeth in it shall not perish, but have everlasting life in which to try to understand it.”
      ― Ambrose Bierce, The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary

      “Heathen, n. A benighted creature who has the folly to worship something he can see and feel.”
      ― Ambrose Bierce, The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary

      Religions are conclusions for which the facts of nature supply no major premises.
      — Ambrose Bierce, Collected Works (1912)

      “To be positive is to be mistaken at the top of one’s voice.”

      “Religion. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.”

      “Saint: A dead sinner revised and edited.”

      Evangelist, n. A bearer of good tidings, particularly (in a religious sense) such as assure us of our own salvation and the damnation of our neighbours.
      — Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary (1911)

  39. Jon says:

    Well, have not reviewed any of the other comments, but here goes… Non-denominational churches have problems, as well. I am now an elder and pastor (asst., very asst.) in a non-denominational church. It is built around the ministry and personality of the senior, founding pastor. Blessedly, he is someone who is not out to get anyone, who has forgiven actions which I have never seen anyone forgive, who seeks counsel, and is one of the most grace-filled people I know. However, if he were to die (which could happen due to serious health problems), his work would simply not outlast him, leaving the sheep wandering…again. One of my uncles pastors a non-denominational church, and is trying to bring his daughter on board as “lead” pastor. Not going well. I also pastored denominational churches for over 20 years (UMC and PCUSA) as an evangelical among mostly liberal other pastors. The was a struggle as well. Basically, denominational and non-denominational need to work a lot harder to overcome the negatives both groups have. One of the things that both groups can do is to fight an exclusivity that views other local groups of Christians as outside the fold, and to strive to create opps for common tasks and celebrations without creating modern shibboleths for anyone.

  40. Rev.Dr. Richard Davis says:

    We are all members of the family of Man created in the image of the One Living God.
    Since the beginning of time there has always been a disagreement on who the Creator is and in the eyes of some there is no room with the exception of what these people believe in.
    At the End Of Days everyone will come to pray to the One True God and then and only then will the Creator decide if the Human Race is worth saving.
    It is time for people to accept God into their Heart and Soul and pray that we all become Truly one voice .

  41. Rev. James Airey says:

    More and more people are leaving the church behind. And by that I mean the Old Ways of Church Going: bowing and scraping and kneeling and weeping. Those leaving are in search of something a lot less painful and a lot more joyful and fulfilling.

    But your article of those who are splitting off from their traditional church to something more “Christian Lite” makes me think of a comparison: A large pool of water sitting in sunlight, reflecting the scenery and being a thing of beauty to behold. Separate it into smaller bits, and then maybe even smaller bits, and the large pool will no longer keep it’s size and beauty. It starts to evaporate and section by section it disappears. Hmmmmm. What one has left is nothing at all.

    Is that where church and religion are headed? It seems so, to me at least.

  42. Dan O'Farrell says:

    It’s no wonder people are heading for non denominational churches, some people can’t stand not to have drama in their lives, then they want to bring it into church? It just amazes me why someone can’t just leave well enough alone! Stick with King James Version, go to church on Sunday and try and live your life as best you can according to what you study!, it seems simple right? Nope there’s always that person or little group that wants to go rogue and become radical with their own agendas. Why complicate what works huh?

  43. eyesopen117 says:

    It is sad and upsetting that every few people realize the history of why the “PROTEST ANTS” left the Catholic church. It is not what we are lead to believe, it was not a King wanting a divorce, it was the actions, interference, greed and lawlessness of the Catholic church. We “Protested”, and rightfully so.
    Those that are in the know, know of the current Popes involvement of the coup d etat of Argentina in 1976, which was under investigation when, what do you know, Building 7 was were the documents where kept that just happened to fall to the ground with out a plane crashing into it, and no bombs, oh wait, the commission didn’t look for that.
    The Catholics church has not changed, on the contrary it is moving forward with it’s plan to rule the world and I do not mean just the religious side of things. Jesuits, Knights Templar, and more are not societies or religious affiliations, they are an army. See what past presidents of the US has had to say about them.
    I believe, in the near future, these petty difference will need to be set aside as there will be an overwhelming need for us to stand together against tyranny.
    God be with us all.

  44. Steven McGhee says:

    Many of the “traditional” churches are bleeding membership because they depart from God’s word. Now I am all for worshiping anything or anybody you desire, that is your business. If you are going to classify yourself as a (whatever), then you should follow their rules. If you do not agree with them find someone who fits your belief system. Unfortunately that is not what is happening. People have been trying, successfully, to force churches to stray from scripture. You may not agree with the anti homosexual position of Christians, and that’s ok, it just means that you are not Christian. So leave the Christians to their beliefs and start your own religion. There have been several mainstream churches that have left Christianity and yet still call themselves Christians, the Lutherans and Presbyterians come to mind.

  45. Stalky Lehman says:

    We all start with assumption; belief without proof. Our most basic assumption is that our senses correspond to something that is out side of us. Belief writ large we call “faith’. This is true for “believers” and “non-believers” alike. When we make an assumption, when we hold to a belief we are saying, most often unconsciously, “I will act as if… true”. Recognizing this doesn’t demolish our beliefs value but should be remembered when another follows a different “as if” assumption.

  46. Michael Donovan says:

    I personally believe that being a christian has very little to do with religion, the religions through the ages have much to answer for. This is why people are leaving the conventional religions, they believe in being a good person in their own eyes rather than being told that they will burn in hell or whatever and that this is the only way to enter the kingdom of God and please remember these stories are man made.

  47. James Pace says:

    I think the time is here for people to decide for themselves what they believe instead of being given a prepackaged doctrine….nondenominational congregations give people that freedom.

  48. John Owens says:

    “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;” (2Tim 4:3) This day is this prophecy fulfilled.

    1. Minister Benjamin says:

      Read first Corinthians 1:10, the problem with creating sects of Christianity began in Corinth after christ’s death as the church of god’s original disciples disbanded from the region to minister on other continents. Same issues now as before, only a powerful man of God or woman of God can return the church of God to it’s body as a whole. Just my opinion, one true church of God on earth, Christ will always be the high priest, the church is his wife, scripture teaches us much of these things. All men have different sides, the bible shows us those sides, we should all remember, 1990 year old text is incomplete and yet still we search for pieces of the puzzle today. I feel it will take all people who cherish these pieces of ancient text coming together and being forthcoming with their pieces of paper to truly amass the full message of the New Testament, in turn, we as Christians could then become educated in all facets of Christ’s teachings, until that day arrives when the knowledge is shared and agreed upon, we will not have the full picture in front of us. One last point, amongst the regional dialects and decay of hand written text on paper or whatever else, we lose site of the truth, time ages all artifacts of godly works, men and women alike must seek to network properly to decipher the real words. If you want, throw it out the window and live by 10 commandments and christ’s own, that we love each other as he loves us. How much simpler could we make it to become one ministry again, start where it starts, god’s laws, end where it ends, christ’s words. Hope some of you see eye to eye with me, peace be with you, and have a blessed day 🙂

    2. Michael Donovan says:

      John I am not sure what you mean?

  49. Ember Jones says:

    I like what was said about focusing more on what you believe rather than what you are against. I personally feel like focusing on positive things really helps the quality of my life. I’ll definitely have to see if there are any non-denominational churches in my area.

  50. Kathy Trusdell says:

    Roman Catholic was my foundation. I draw from the goodness as I think of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
    I, too, left the church, didn’t go anywhere for several years. I have been a member of an Interfaith Community for about five years now. Am grateful to be with like-minded people and feel like I’m at an ice cream parlor trying a different flavor each week. Hinduism, Buddhism, Shamanism, Quaker, Taoism, Bahai, Islam, Judaism, Jainism, native Spirituality, Christianity, etc. I try to draw the best out of each.
    It seems so much easier to treat others as one would like to be treated. Love – is the most powerful weapon.
    There is only one truth and it will come to the surface. There will be many surprised people when Christ comes again.

    1. Brother John says:

      Love your ice cream parlour analogy, Kathy. There is truth in most belief systems, but much of it has been buried in dogma, ceremony and sometimes bigotry. You’re what the ULC is all about!

  51. Minister Dennis Gordon says:

    In my opinion organized religion is not Gods plan nor has any effect on our personal salvation. You would have to be blind not to see the implications and atrocities that organized religion has had on the human race[ that”s right folks one race, the human race] in the name of God in which ever version of God that religion believes in.
    Look around close your eyes when you open them wherever you look whatever you smell or feel is in the presence of God, he made everything for us. Talk to Him wherever and however you please, that is your personal relationship that you alone are going to account for when the time comes to have His final judgement on you, you don’t need a middleman to negotiate for you, you are responsible for your own soul!
    When we look for comfort with like minded people to help us with our salvation we will surely be disappointed, we are all sinners who have no right to guide anyone but ourselves, but if we are doing well with our relationship and respect for God people around us will notice and lets face it today everyone wants to be respected.
    Think of how you would like to be treated and treat others in that way. I do not agree that respect needs to be earned but learned by example.
    If we start to look at the ways we are alike instead of our difference and realize we are all the same which is human and stop separating ourselves from others that look or speak differently than us imagine what can be accomplished!

    1. Danny OFarrell says:

      I agree with you, I have a brand new denomination though! Haha…..MINE! King James Bible, me and Jesus and God get along just fine with out putting a label on what faith I follow!

  52. Dr. Curdy Dortch says:

    Dr. Curdy to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. The end is near for the worst is yet to come. God is my safety in the world and beyond l trust in god not in man. God bless you the time to get a stronger beleaf and have faith in god.

  53. Brother John says:

    Many people, myself included, consider Carl Sagan to be one of the most profound free thinkers of all times. I’ve linked a video of Dr. Sagan explaining the Fourth Dimension. If it’s not viewable for any reason, just search “Sagan Fourth Dimension” and you should find it.

    We humans live within the constraints of a 3 dimensional reality. Dr. Sagan’s explanation using the “flatlanders” of the two dimensional world makes an understanding of the third dimension as clear as it can be. It also makes it clear why we are unable to imagine dimensions beyond our three. He is speaking of space in this case…. width, depth and height and is convinced that there are dimensions beyond those we can perceive, possibly an endless number of them, just there are sounds, smells and light waves that exist but are beyond our perception. When I first watched this explanation, it crossed my mind that perhaps there are 12 dimensions, as this number comes up often in esoteric writings… 12 disciples, 12 brotherhoods, 12 signs of the Zodiac and more.

    But there’s also the matter of the three dimensions of Time…. Past, Present and Future. Everything in our human reality is contained within these three. Everything that’s ever happened is in the Past. Everything that is going to happen is in the Future. But the only actual reality is the tiny nano-slice of Now. The words you just read are already in “the Past”. Just as the Flatlanders in Sagan’s explanation can only perceive the razor thin presence of the three dimensional apple, with no understanding of a third dimension, so are we unable to perceive the reality of the fourth dimension or beyond trapped in our three dimensional reality of Time. It’s been said that Time is Nature’s Way of keeping everything from happening all at once.

    Could this not be the source of the many esoteric representations that humans have created in a futile attempt to explain the unexplainable? God, YHWH, Zeus, Allah, the Annunaki, etc. etc?

    1. Brother John says:

      Here’s a better video without the Time Machine bit and including Sagan’s attempt to illustrate a fourth dimensional structure….

  54. Harry says:

    “Seventh-Day Adventists, for example, have specific rules on things that seem unimportant to many non-denominational Christians.”
    The chief reason for rejecting Seventh-day Adventism is their denominational teaching that Jesus, the Christ is not the coeternal God but is a created being, the archangel Michael. Any system that teaches a different Christ from the One presented in the Bible is not part of Christianity, being beyond the pale.
    SdAs seem like just an odd variety of Baptists in many ways except for conducting the central worship assembly on Saturday (Spanish speakers call it Sabado, that is, Sabbath) instead of on the first day of the week. The denomination is trying to be accepted as just another Protestant denomination but has had little success.

  55. Brother John says:

    With so many people searching for meaning in life and so many groups offering their version of it, wouldn’t it be interesting to set up Faith Fairs, just like vendors regularly use trade shows to market their products?

    Every group would have a booth, a banner, some promotional literature and a few of their believers manning the booth…. maybe some SWAG to give away. Seekers of truth could browse the various vendors who would have around 30 seconds to convince them that theirs was the best religion or set of beliefs.

    The Christians could choose to hold their own Faith Fair as there are thousands of different denominations to choose from, or it could be all inclusive and include Muslims, Druids, Mormons, Buddhists, Scientologists, and many more.

Leave a Comment