I think one of the most interesting things about today’s discussions about the Greek Orthodox Church and the non denominational Christian churches is how vastly different they are. The Greek Orthodox Church -or really, all Eastern Orthodox Churches- are so very bent on structure. The way they do things is very much built around tradition and rituals; they are very much a liturgical church heavily reliant on a particular structured set of beliefs. In contrast, non-denominational churches are anything but structured; each church, for the lack of better words, does its own thing. There is no particular set of beliefs that all churches under that name follow as a whole, which was actually exemplified pretty well in the two non-denominational churches mentioned in class. One of them was extremely literal in their reading of the Bible and had rather conservative views on social issues; the other one was by far very progressive in its form. Which goes along with the idea of the non-denominational Christian church being ‘independent’ of institutions that would otherwise ‘box’ them in; perhaps there is no one set of rules because with rules comes control, and with control comes corruption, if you look at it from a certain point of view. Which is understandable, and goes in line with a lot of present-day cultural values (independence and individuality). However, taking that into account, it makes me wonder why churches like the Eastern Orthodox Church are gaining more attendance than churches like the non-denominational Christian church, which provides variety in its format, or the Episcopal church, which is actually losing church attendance. Maybe the people who are moving from the more “progressive” churches are going to the more conservative ones? I think that might be a factor. I don’t know, I find the numbers interesting, as much as I hate math.
Just my thoughts.