sean4554

Is Universal Life Church A Denomination?

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I was discussing the ULC with a friend and he asked if the Church is an actual denomination. My reply was the ULC is a liberal religious organization, and I am not sure if 'denomination' applies here as it isn't exactly a Christian religious organization (like the Methodists, Presbyterians, etc.) - although many members/ministers are Christian, many are not.

Are there any official statements on this, or...?

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Denominations usually have a common belief. The ULC opens its doors to all beliefs and does not stipulate a creed. It leaves that up to each individual. So I would go with the ULC is a Universal Church and not a denomination but some of its members may also be members of other differing denominations of their choosing.

PS/ Welcome to the forum Sean4554 :grin:

Edited by Pete

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I believe it falls under the category of an Interfaith Organization.

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According to our provincial government it is not a denomination. At least not one that they recognize.

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The term denomination is not restricted to Christianity.

Le Wiki she say...

A religious denomination is a subgroup within a religion that operates under a common name, tradition, and identity.

(my emphasis) They give examples from within Islam and Hinduism.

Since we draw from several religions, I would agree with the previous replies - we are not a denomination. Possibly an "association" or as Fawzo says an Interfaith Organization, although either term suggests to me we are not one Church. I don't think we quite fit the standard model!

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I vote with Kirby (and BpCorey) I say we are a denomination and our Creed is "Do that which is right"

A denomination (subgroup) of what?? of RELIGION.

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I vote with Kirby (and BpCorey) I say we are a denomination and our Creed is "Do that which is right"

A denomination (subgroup) of what?? of RELIGION.

I am not sure Hex. I still do not think we are a denomination as some of our members have no religion and they still have equal status to the rest of us. I thought of the religion of "Universal Life" but then some who have certain religions would not agree that others are of the same religion as them unless they sign up to their beliefs.

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A denomination is a named group in this case religious. So, the ULC qualifies as a denomination.

It is also a meta-religion and a super-religion, probably the only functioning one because of its simple agreeable premise.

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Not just a named group, but specifically a named subgroup within a religion.

As I said, I don't think we fit the standard model, but IMHO it would be more of a stretch to call us a denomination than to call us a religion. As Pete pointed out though, some of us would not agree that they were religious.

I don't think we'll find a totally satisfactory term, and I don't think it's important. Too much time is wasted trying to tie people down with labels as it is.

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If "Atheism" can be someone's religion (and some atheists claim that it is),

I don't see why Universal Life can't be "another religion", and therefore a religious "denomination".

Ask yourself this: Is Scientology a "denomination" ???
(many Scientologist say "yes, it is")... and it certainly is NOT a subset of Christianity.
If Scientology can be a "denomination" (and/or a Religion... even though it posits no "God" as such), why can't we ???

If anyone is uncomfortable saying that their denomination is "Universal Life", why not just say that you are

a Unitarian, or a Universalist (U-U), which is a RECOGNIZED denomination, and one with which ULC is a "perfect fit" ?

Just say that you are a Unitarian, unaffiliated with any U-U congregation !

Edited by Bro. Hex

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It maybe that I personally would have little issue being told I am a member of a UU type church but those among us of a more conservative outlook may not see it that way as they would not support UU views on things and yet they are members with the same status as me. I therefore still cannot see how we are all a denomination of a single religion unless that religion is being human.

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A denomination is just a named thing or group of things. If you care too bet, the denomination I would prefer to be paid off in is Benjamins.

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I just want to understand how the ULC could be seen as a religious denomination having many traditions and no common faith.

"A religious denomination is a subgroup within a religion that operates under a common name, tradition, and identity."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_denomination

1. A large group of religious congregations united under a common faith and name and organized under a single administrative and legal hierarchy.

2. One of a series of kinds, values, or sizes, as in a system of currency or weights: Cash registers have compartments for bills of different denominations. The stamps come in 25¢ and 45¢ denominations.

3. A name or designation, especially for a class or group.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/denomination

All I am saying is I just do not understand how one can make such a claim.

Edited by Pete

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A denomination can be a subgroup of religion as a whole, not just a subgroup of an existing religion.

The ULC is on the order of Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism, not Lutheran, Shiite, or Zen.

Christianity as a whole is also a religious denomination, or a named group.

In fact, the ULC may be considered in an order above other religions or philosophies,

as they may all be members of the ULC, but no other religion or philosophy contain all members of the ULC.

The genius of Hensley was not to create another subgroup or to blend existing groups together into a new group,

but to create a super-group above all other groups which contains all other groups.

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A denomination can be a subgroup of religion as a whole, not just a subgroup of an existing religion.

The ULC is on the order of Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism, not Lutheran, Shiite, or Zen.

Christianity as a whole is also a religious denomination, or a named group.

In fact, the ULC may be considered in an order above other religions or philosophies,

as they may all be members of the ULC, but no other religion or philosophy contain all members of the ULC.

The genius of Hensley was not to create another subgroup or to blend existing groups together into a new group,

but to create a super-group above all other groups which contains all other groups.

I still struggle with this. Super group, Umbrella organisation, multi faith, Inter faith, I can relate to. Denomination I am still not sure about. However, I can live that uncertainty. Thanks Panpareil.

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Denomination I am still not sure about.

There's a scene in Dogma which expresses this concept nicely. I stumbled across it again this afternoon, and since I love me some good irony I'll quote the passage as if it were scriptural canon:

Bethany: "So if we're wrong, then what's the right religion?"

Serendipity: "When are you people going to learn? It's not about who's right or wrong. No denomination's nailed it yet, because they're all too self-righteous to realize that it doesn't matter what you have faith in, just that you have faith. Your hearts are in the right place, but your brains gotta wake up."

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