Talk:Congregationalist polity

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I'm curious about how this article might be expanded to include the sort of Congregationalism that was characteristic of German Lutheranism and German Lutheran bodies in the United States. In German Lutheran style congregationalism, there seems to be the independence of the local church characteristic of English Puritan style congregationalism, but without necessarily the same theological rationale. Also, German Lutheran style congregationalism was/is much more clergy-centric than Puritan style congregationalism.

I don't know all the details necessarily to write this material myself, but think it might be a good rounding out of this article--it is still a form of congregationalist church governance, but somewhat different from that described already. Emerymat 22:03, 13 January 2006 (UTC)


Who on earth wrote this article? The understanding of Congregationalism is so very very wrong, it sure would be nice if the authors learned something about their subject and corrected it. You could start here: You could also look here: Nkb —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Further comments[edit]

I came to this article because I need to link to it to explain the polity of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the polity of the Unitarian Universalist Association. I find several things lacking: 1. A mention of the congregationalist theory of ministerial ordination. It is the congregation who ordains the minister, not the presbytry or the bishop. This is one of the most important hallmarks of congregationalism, no? 2. A mention of the non-Christian churches that are congregationalist in their governance...specifically the Unitarian Universalist churches, congregations and fellowships, and the association that they have formed. There is the UUA in the USA, and then there are the Canadian UUs, and so on... The Christian assumptions and explanations need to be moderated and qualified because of this fact. Emyth 01:11, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

This article had, at one time, citations from the New Testament supporting and / or rejecting the conception of congregational polity. In subsequent edits, these have all been removed. In fact, almost nothing in this article has citations on it. It's not enough to try to base this discussion only on Calvin's theological and ecclesiological positions because congregationalist ideas predate Calvin. I think we should explore having the New Testament references reinstated, since this is an article about Christianity, and we also need to indicate that almost nothing that is included here is properly cited. Dmwarren10 07:22, 29 June 2007 (UTC)dmwarren10

Distinctions between Presbyterian and Congregational polity[edit]

As a Catholic who has studied Calvin's ecclesiology but who is not familiar with the development and practice of it historically, I am unclear about the differences between Congregational and Presbyterian polities. The concept of the local congregation being the full expression of the Church and the founding covenant are clearly from him.

It would be helpful to myself and the average reader to have a "compare amd contrast" paragraph. Also, the supporting scriptures for this "primitive" form of the church would also be instructive.

Thanks, --Vaquero100 13:56, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

(1) every local church is a full realization in miniature of the entire Church of Jesus Christ; and (2) the unity of the Church, while on earth, besides the local church, is primarily invisible and ideal.
Presbyterianism also affirms (1), but denies (2). — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 03:57, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

An Observation and some questions.[edit]

  • Observation: As it stands, this article seems to attempt to do two things: 1. Give a definition and description of the congregational form of church governance. and 2. Give a history on the Congrationalist Churches. There are basically three styles of church governance: 1. Episcopal; 2. Presbyterian; and 3. Congregational. While there are churches that use those terms in their names, there are also unrelated Churches that use the polity.
  • Question 1. Wouldn't it make sense to split this article and define Congregational poity in one of the split pages and do the history stuff in another?
  • Question 2. Is there already an article somewhere about the Congregatioanlist churches of New England and their Journey into the United Church of Christ? Wouldn't the history fit there much better?
  • Question 3. Why not a section with the definition article identifying Denominations and groups that use the congregational form of polity with internal links to them, rather than getting into details of those conregations here.
  • Question 4. Can we distinguish between "Congregational" and "Congregationalist" and "Congregationalism?" I think the title of this article should be changed to "Congregational Polity." and all this history of Congregationism be moved elsewhere, if it is not already better expressed Elsewhere?

John Park (talk) 05:27, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

One of the links is Congregational Church. There appear to be several others. John Park (talk) 05:42, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Unitarianism and Christianity[edit]

The article in places implies Unitarians are not Christians. While certainly some Christian denominations feel this way, Universalists generally and certainly historically view and viewed themselves as Christians. Relying on the views of other denominations is suspect as for instance some evangelical Christians don't view Catholics as Christian. The implications that Unitarians are not Christians should be removed from the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:01, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Dubious statement putting the Baptists and churches of Christ mainly in the U.S.[edit]

I've flagged the statement "Contrary to the congregationalism to which the above-mentioned churches adhere, congregationalism obtains in two large fundamentalist groups mainly found in the Southern U.S." as dubious. The churches of Christ are generally quite conservative theologically, but they don't consider themselves as "fundamentalist." While there are more CoC congregations in the south than there are, for instance, in New England, there are congregations in every U.S. state. What's more, as with many other groups that originated in the U.S., there are now more members outside the U.S. than inside the U.S. (much less than in Southern U.S.). EastTN (talk) 18:22, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Bold Edits to Focus on Congregationalist polity rather than Congregationalist church[edit]

I've reworked the article to focus it on the congregationalist form of church organization, rather than the group of denominations known as "Congregationists". I believe this is consistent with prior discussions on this page, and will make the article clearer and easier to understand. More work is needed, but I may let it sit for a while to let other editors chime in on whether or not this is taking it in the right direction. EastTN (talk) 15:59, 7 February 2010 (UTC)