I don't belong to any denomination but get sick of people asking what Church I go to.
If you truly belong to God, then all you have to say is that you belong to Jesus Christ's Church called the Body of Christ. You can remind them of the true meaning of Church and perhaps let them know where you assemble (fellowship) in houses, in the hall down the road, where ever the Spirit leads...
Sometimes when people ask me what church I belong to in order to judge me based on my answer, I sometimes reply with the following question. "Do you follow Paul, Apollos or Cephas"? Of course if the person is well versed in the scriptures, they will know that I am referring to 1 Corinthians 1:10-13 which is all about divisions in the church. If they have no idea what I am talking about, then I can describe to them what this verse means, which gives me an opportunity shed some light.
10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.
11 My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.
12 What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas"; still another, "I follow Christ."
13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?
To some, this may seem like a cheeky or harsh answer, but I want you to consider that we should all be followers of Christ and do all in his name. We should never be divided over denomination, creed or church leader. Also consider the following reasons why we shouldn't judge a person based on the denomination they belong to, (or lack of membership to a denomination).
- God judges people, not from the outward appearance or a label, but from the heart. Judging from the outward appearance or by a label is the same sin as racism or sexism. John 7 24 says "Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment."
- It may be hard for people to see the heart of others, but to judge correctly, we need to judge by the fruit and the fruit is made evident by the words that a person speaks. See Matthew 12:34-37 or Luke 6:43 "No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks". Therefore to judge because a persons denomination is a very shallow and inaccurate way to ascertain a persons true character.
- Some people who say they are Christian or Catholic or Pentecostal or whatever, also are guilty of some pretty bad crimes. Look at the sex scandals in the Catholic Church for example. We should never judge a person based on the church organisation they belong to, as I can assure you that both good and bad belong to these organisations. If I was a Catholic and I asked a person What church he belonged to and he replied that he was a catholic, then that may give a sense of recognition and brotherhood, but the feeling is not to be trusted. This person could be a mass murderer for all we know.
- We are warned in scripture that wolves in sheeps clothing are amongst us. If I asked a wolf in sheeps clothing if he was a wolf or sheep, what do you think his answer would be. Therefore if I ask what church you go to, then the answer means very little as far as determining your character. See Matthew 7:15.
- If you ask me what church I go to and it is different to the church you go to, then straight away you have created a division. I have seen this happen many times and it is shameful, this is not the will of Christ. See John 17:21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. Also see 1 Corinthians 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.
- There really is only one universal church, the Body of Christ. There are many assemblies or gatherings, but in a scriptural sense these parts are geographical, not creed based. See the article Which church is the right church.
In conclusion, we who are believers must make every effort to keep the unity with one another, because this is the will of Christ. In fact this is what he prayed to his Father, just before he was arrested and hung on the cross. So it is not only his will, but one of the most important principles that he wants us to live by because our unity will result in the world believing that Jesus came from God.
Also, if we are true followers of Christ, then we should be seekers of truth, because Jesus is the Truth. Therefore we should not actively participate in the Apostasy (the great falling away from the truth). Rather we should speak the truth always and not perpetuate the ideas of man nor the doctrine of demons.
Now if you meet someone who claims to be a believer, then treat him as such. In time you will know him/her by their fruit. If it turns out that the fruit is bad, then you have a chance to convert this person to the way of righteousness. If the person doesn't repent, then depart from this person and tell it to the church.
- Start up a discussion based on this subject.