Churches in Indonesia: How do they differ, really?

“What are the differences between [Insert Church Name Here] and [Insert Another Church Name Here]?”

  1. Whether they belong to the Western or Eastern tradition of Christianity
  2. From which family of tradition they stem
  3. How the church is governed
  4. How they view the bible

1. Western or Eastern?

The East-West Schism of 1054 AD (Source: Encyclopaedia Britannica)

2. Which family within the West (or East)?

Gereja Katolik Santa Maria Tak Bercela (Source: Wikipedia)
HKBP Onan Runggu Distrik II Silindung (Source: Facebook HKBP Onan Runggu)
Gereja Kristus Yesus Makassar (Source: gkymakassar.org)
Jemaat Kristen Indonesia Mahanaim (Source: foursquare.com)
All Saints Anglican Church Jakarta (Source: allsaintsjakarta.org)
Gereja Baptis Cengkareng Indah (Source: Facebook Gereja Baptis Cengkareng Indah)
Gereja Methodist Immanuel Bandar Lampung (Source: Facebook GMI Bandar Lampung)
Gereja Sidang-sidang Jemaat Allah Eben Haezer Surabaya (Source: gsja-ebenhaezer.org)
Gereja Kristus Di Indonesia Jakarta (Source: gkdi.org)
Gereja Masehi Advent Hari Ketujuh Hang Tuah (Source: djitz.com)
Gereja Orthodox St. Thomas Jakarta (Source: Facebook Gereja Orthodox St. Thomas Jakarta)

3. Who governs the church?

Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Jakarta (Source: kaj.org)

4. What is the bible to them?

Poster for a seminar held by GBIA Graphe (Source: Facebook GBIA Graphe)
Poster for a KKR held by Rev. Stephen Tong (Source: gkiibethel.com)
Flyer for a seminar about LGBT held by GKI SW Jateng (Source: gkiswjateng.org)

Quiz

  1. Jakarta Praise Community Church (JPCC)
  2. Gereja Bethel Indonesia (GBI)
  3. Gereja Protestan Indonesia bagian Barat (GPIB)

Key takeaways

  • Christianity in Indonesia retains heavy influence from the West
  • Even churches in doctrinal agreement can be organizationally separate
  • As much as Christians try to build a divider between religion and politics, the reciprocal influence between the two is still visible

[Answer]

  1. Western, Protestant — Anabaptist, Congregationalist, Sola scriptura — Evangelical
  2. Western, Protestant — Pentecostal, Congregationalist, Prima scriptura — Evangelical
  3. Western, Protestant — Calvinist, Presbyterian, Sola scriptura — Liberal

I read twice as much as I talk and I talk thrice as much as I write.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

DAILY WORD 6/9/20

College Students

I came to your Twitter feed to see if this article was truly from you or if it was a false…

How to Accept the Truth of Death

Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, by Timothy Keller

My first introduction to worldly music

The Smell of Victory

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Jonathan Kent

Jonathan Kent

I read twice as much as I talk and I talk thrice as much as I write.

More from Medium

The Collection of Thomas and Doris Ammann | Christie’s May 2022

What’s on Jim’s Mind (Issue #52)

Finding lightness by stepping into silence

Circe — Book Review