How to Answer Someone who says “I am a Non-Denominational”

by Steve Ray on December 30, 2017

This was very clever. A friend posted it on my site.

“When someone tells me they are non-denominational — I tell them I am pre-denominational.”

For those who don’t get it:  pre-denomination means “before the Protestant Reformation (read: Rebellion).” The Protestants gave birth to the multiplying denominations. Before them there was the pre-denomination — the Catholic Church.

By the way, the term “denomination” derives originally from “taking a new name.”

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Tara January 20, 2012 at 10:40 PM

I tell them that the Catholic Church is NOT a denomination
We are the first and true church
You should get a load of that face
when I tell them bodly

Jacqueline Y. January 21, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Here’s a good definition of the word denomination, from the glossary of _A Brief Guide to Beliefs_ by the British Protestant academic Linda Edwards:

denomination. A sectarian branch of Protestant Christianity whose congregations are united by a single legal and administrative body: for example Baptist,s Methodists, Episcopalians, etc.

And yes, “predenominational” is spot on.

John Dias February 1, 2012 at 11:26 AM

I know when I pass away from this world, I will be facing judgement before a Holy God .. so “non-denominational” neither “pre-dominational” will be the “criteria” to enter heaven.

James April 12, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Well put, John. As part of the world-wide Catholic church, our efforts should be ecumenical as opposed to divisive with respect to other believers. After all, it has been affirmed by papal decree that there are other ways to salvation than through Catholicism. The splintering of denominations is a problem for all Christendom, not just Protestants.

PoorKnight September 27, 2012 at 12:24 PM

James I’d like to lovingly correct you. On the contrary to say that the Catholic Church teaches “that there are other ways to salvation than through Catholicism” she actually teaches that there is No Salvation Outside the Church. However, some clarification is needed. You don’t have to know you are cooperating with or part of the Catholic Church to be saved by her. Also you *may* be invicibly ignorant to the above fact and have the possibility to go to heaven, however, you must cooperate with the amount of understanding that you do have at a minimum.

So bottom line: there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church, with explaination needed.

God Bless, in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit

Lilly April 9, 2015 at 4:24 PM

Excellent explanation, Poor Knight! Thank you for your wisdom. :)

Joel April 11, 2015 at 12:51 AM

Or I could reply that “I’m non-denominational too! I never did believe in ‘denominations’. There is only One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.”

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