Denominations have fallen on hard times these days.  Many churches refuse to label themselves in one way or another.  Their motives in doing this are usually very admirable.  Sometimes a particular association brings unwanted baggage along with it.  For example, the word “Baptist” might evoke certain ideas in the mind of the person who hears it that don’t accurately reflect what really goes on in most Baptist churches.  Another reason why churches have moved away from identifying with a particular denomination is because they want to emphasize, first and foremost, that they are Christians (and not Nazarenes, or Pentecostals…etc).

While we certainly appreciate this kind of reasoning, we believe that being a part of a larger denomination can also be a very good thing.  As a church, we never want to act like we are an island.  A denomination can facilitate much greater fellowship and communication than often occurs among completely independent congregations.  Another thing to keep in mind is that just because a church may avoid specific denominational affiliation, it doesn’t mean that church is any less specific about what it actually believes and how it operates.  Non-denominational churches function just like denominational churches do in a lot of ways – they’re just not as explicit in the way they talk about it. 

Our denomination is called the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.  Unfortunately, this name can be easily misunderstood.  We are not orthodox in the same sense as “Greek Orthodox” or “Russian Orthodox.”  Orthodox simply means “true” or “well established.”  We believe in the historic Christian faith.  And then the word “Presbyterian” simply means “rule by elders.”  We believe in a plurality of leadership in the church in accordance with what the Bible teaches.  But ultimately, it’s not our view of leadership or our denominational affiliation that defines us a church.  We follow Christ.  Bottom line.  We exist for his glory and we seek to spread his gospel throughout the world. 

 

You can find out more about the OPC at opc.org.

 

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