Pastors Who Operate Independently But Are Part Of A Denomination

I wish it were possible or preachers/priests everywhere to be candid about how they make their specific church work. They have to navigate between their local governing board, the denomination’s “laws” and the variety of people in their congregation.

I read an interview with a liberal rabbi who is doing just that. She explains that her slice of liberal religion has as much visibility as the home office. She says the problem is that few clergy are able to break away from conservative centers and go their own way. The result is that the denominations are losing ground they could hold on to.

Many religious denominations have hundreds of churches and many thousands of members. Probably those preaching out in the hustings get feedback that doesn’t make it to the home office or governing boards. Large denominations have churches in liberal university cities where relatively young people attend as well as in rural areas with elderly members. Pastors in each case navigate as necessary.

The link author is Jewish and, of course, deals only with the Old Testament. I don’t know theology well enough to understand how a large portion of Jews find liberal views and secularism so attractive when they were raise on Old Testament lessons. Perhaps it is easier to separate from literal OT reading than from the New Testament’s walking on water and rising from the dead.

The link author believes the Judaeo/Christian faiths should go for the long game. That means dumping the ancient myths and absurd rules in favor of contemporary values.

3 Responses

  1. Juan Ruiz

    It should be remembered that as a rabbi of Reform Judaism, which teaches that the Law is not fixed and not binding, she has a good deal of freedom to go her own way.

  2. Cancyman

    Hi Jon! I really can’t imagine your sincere, genuine, concern,for the topic listed above? Unless, of course, you had a divine encounter with the Holy One of Israel???

  3. Catcher

    “denomination” stated simply means; “name”. Even “Nondenominational” is a name.

    I believe what Jon is getting at is; what is a synod and what is an association.
    Synod, (Greek; Synhodos) meaning; moving together in agreement, while “association” means a loose relationship with non demanded similarities.
    Example, Many if not most post reformed “denominations” ie. Baptists and others (there are more than 25 groups of Baptists) refuse the term synod, but use the term “association”. Each particular church has the freedom to choose particular theologies and ecclesiastics, yet remain in an association with others. Each particular church is radically independent in their beliefs and practices. Each of those churches, and others have a “statement of beliefs. Example; Westboro Baptist Church, vs. others While I doubt WBC is in association with others.

    While those of the Jewish faith may not use the same terms, the concept remains.

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