I’m aware that the title of my reflections – “Do Denominations Matter?” – is likely to evoke a range of responses. For some,
the topic may feel like a waste of time: Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, who
cares? What does it matter? You grew up Presbyterian, I’m a Catholic; you worship
your way, I worship my way. In the end, we’re all Christians; denominational
differences shouldn’t get in the way. Let’s just focus on Jesus and get on with more
Until, one day, you discover that denominations do matter. Perhaps your child
or grandchild starts dating someone from a different religious tradition – say,
a Christian Scientist who believes that sickness is a problem of the mind rather
than the body, or a Seventh Day Adventist who worships on Saturday rather
than Sunday or someone with very clear views about home schooling and “male
headship” – and suddenly you ask yourself why do they believe these things? How
is this going to affect my child? What does this mean for our family gatherings?
Suddenly, you realize that denominations do matter.