If we were to evaluate evangelical Christian denominations as we do currency, it’s quite interesting to see the value that would be placed on many denominational bodies if the criteria for judging is the authority of Scripture and the proclamation of the Gospel. Being a reformed, conservative Presbyterian, I would naturally look at denominations such as the PCA, OPC and ARP as say, $100.00 bills. Next, I would see Reformed Baptists as a little less currency wise (and I’m quite certain they would invert this), because of what I see as particular faults in their theology. But, they are genuine currency nonetheless. And the list could go on. But, the list would be in the form of cash value in regards to a particular denominations proclamation, adherence and understanding of the Scriptures and its authority.
However, the question must be asked as to the currency value of groups such as the PC(USA), the ELCA, much of the Episcopal church and much of the Methodist church? What kind of Christian value do these denominations have when their beliefs are placed up and against the authority of Scripture? I would have to say, none, and in this sense, I ponder if these organizations should even be called “church” bodies. If we consider a true church in light of the its understanding and proclamation of the Gospel, as defined by the Scriptures, then I wonder why one would consider the denominations listed below (see the links) as churches of Christ? Meaning, there is no currency value to their theology. It’s a different God, a different way of salvation, a different authority, a different love and different appetites in these “church” bodies. So, I just wonder why we so often in the church speak of what we see below as Christian denominations. And when one considers that their theology is in reality damning on many levels, are we as the true church not bound to proclaim that these organizations are not entities within the body of Christ, even though they retain an outward appearance as such? This is noted in the Westminster Confession of Faith, chapter 25, section 5 where it states, “The purest Churches under heaven are subject both to mixture and error; and some have so degenerated, as to become no Churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan. Nevertheless, there shall be always a Church on earth to worship God according to His will” (See also the London Baptist Confession of Faith, 26:3).
In short, it is my belief that these organizations have “degenerated” to such a degree that they are no longer identified as true Christian bodies, and it is my hope that more people will come to this realization as the Gospel and name of our Triune God continues to be adulterated by these groups.