Link: Copy link
I had not looked at this site for some time as most of the post don't do much to build me up.
However, Several things about this whole thing make me sad. I am saddened by the fact that some are discarding the Name "Church of Christ) from their designation (not just their building). I have always been proud of the designation "Church of Christ", However, I have not held that as the official "NAME". As far as I can determine Jesus never named His church. He just said it was His. The term "Church of Christ" is a possesive term, not a Name. It describes who the church belongs to. We must be honest and admit that for all praticaL purposes the term "Church of Christ" has been denominationalized. No one (unless it is a very small group of us) would even argue otherwise anymore. Yes, this is sad it had to come to this.
It is also very sad that a element has so conducted themselves and at the same time called themselves "Church of Christ" that the sinners around us have developed such a bad taste. This may not totally excuse their bad taste but the fact remains it has happened and there is enough blame to go around. If the figures you gave on Oak Hills is correct, it really is sad that the community around had such a bad taste that the changing of the Name would make such a difference. I am sure there are other things envolved.
I ppersonally have known those who left the church and will never return because of some of the fussing that we have been noted for. Yes, I know that may not be a good excuse; there is fussing in all churches to some degree.
Did not Jesus say, that offenses would come, but woe to the one that causes the offense?
I challenge us all, to take a honest look at ourselves and make sure we are not a part of the problem. If we are, may God have mercy on us.
Sorry, but I have now laid myself open for the wrath of WHO KNOWS WHO!!!!!!
I HEARD A BROTHER SAY ONETIME, "THE CHURCH OF CHRIST MUST BE THE TRUE CHURCH, IF IT WASN'T WE WOULD HAVE DESTROYED IT A LOMG TIME AGO, NOTHING ELSE COULD HAVE SURVIVED".
THINK ABOUT IT!!!!! RAY PIPPIN
I completely concur about "Bible only."
I don't agree with everything that is done, nor the way it is done, but, I don't have too....
As long as man is trying to do God's will there will be disagreements.
Mostly, though, they are trivial.
I have participated in both services at Madison.
Do I go to the first service and clap?...No, I don't.
Would I?...Probably not.
I have spent my entire life in "the church of christ".
I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly.
I've seen church splits, you name it, I've seen it.
I love congregational singing.
In fact, I have led it that way most of my life.
Do I love the "old" songs? Absolutely!
Do I love the new ones? Without question....
Are any of them sacred? No, they aren't.
Do I hold some of them closer to my heart than others.
Yes, without question.
I can be moved to tears by "Old Rugged Cross" just as easily as I can by "Above All."
However, I don't offer condemnation for doing it a particular way.
Going through the motions isn't worship,
Regardless of the style.
Frankly, there are aspects of a full-fledged drama
of which I am unsure, but, am I opposed?...No.
There are churches of christ that oppose supporting missionaries, sunday school, orphan homes, and the list goes on and on.
I don't find them listed anywhere on this web site.
Are they anymore or less faithful than you or I?
I further believe that much of what Max Lucado and
Rubel Shelley, and list goes on and on, are a victim of, is simply put; jealousy.
I'm not here to defend or prosecute anyone for their belief or worship style.
Estill, I don't take issue with anything you say.
I spend one sunday a month speaking at two of our senior citizen centers.
Its my duty as a christian to care for the widows,
and those who have gone before me.
They are a part of my family. I love them, not because I have anything to say to them, but, rather by being there with them.
Just like the Lord promises to be with me.
Madison is, by and large, a very positive place.
Are there problems?....Absolutely.
They are on a much grander scale, because its Madison.
It doesn't matter if you go to Poplar Bluff, Missouri
or Kingston, Jamacia, tomorrow christians will gather
in great numbers, and small, and remember, reflect,
and yes, even celebrate a risen savior.
In my mind, to some extent, you answer your own question.
Restoration isn't a one time thing.
Restoration or revival occurs in a churches life, as it does in an individuals life, perhaps a number of times.
Going back to Campbell and Stone, they fundamentally
disagreed over baptism.
In the spirit of unity, and what they saw as opportunity to redefine the christian faith, they chose to lay that and other differences aside.
I was at Madison yesterday morning, during the second service.
I must make a couple of observations about it.
As it began, I wasn't completely comfortable with it.
I have been in dramas, but never in a sunday morning
(The Easter crowd at Madison was the largest sunday morning number I have seen in the four yrs. my family has attended there.)
Every commanded aspect of worship as laid out in scripture was involved.
The message, (or sermon, if you will) was presented
As a result of the message, which was bible,
two gave their lives to the Lord.
What I guess I am trying to say is this.
I argued for years about the validity of softball teams, and basketball teams, etc....
What greater way to convert someone than to get to know them, and find common ground with them?
Our culture has changed since I was a boy.
I remember saturday evenings spent in conversation, under a tree, with neighbors after dinner.
Those same talks that were held in lawn chairs, in the yard, are now done via the internet or a cell phone.
I do not say that things have changed for the better.
I do say it is more difficult to cut through all of the
options available today.
When I was a teen, proms, swimming, high school dances,
rock music, shorts at camp, those were all battle grounds in the church.
Even women wearing slacks were a subject of debate.
We fiddled while Rome was burning.
Young people left the church in droves.
Church membership dwindled. Those that were baptized in the 70's and 80's were generally just kids of faithful members.
The church of christ grew only two years in those two decades.
We didn't have any good news to share with anyone.
We chose to give them the "turn or burn" sermons.
Even church of christ colleges were defined as liberal or conservative.
Lipscomb was for heatherns, Freed-Hardemann for bible bangers.
Conservatives gave to FHU, liberals to DLU.
And so it went.
We could not imagine why people wouldn't listen.
Didn't they know we were the church of the Lord?
Of course, they saw right through us.
In our arrogance to be right, we ran more off, than we converted.
The seeds of division in the church go back to the sixties.
This reformation had to occur.
The plumbline had to snap.
The redifining of faithfulness would see to that.
Now its worship styles.
Maybe what you and I are talking about is simply put
just a difference in presentation.
If I understand what you are saying,
you see it as a man in a pulpit, presenting God's word.
Certainly, that way is biblical.
I saw the drama yesterday, as God's word coming to life, through others.
Is it bible based?
In my opinion, yes it is.
Is it the way we have always done it?
Those two souls were converted to a risen Saviour yesterday.
It just so happens, it was a little more literal than we are used to.
So Estill, if you want to call it an arguement for it, i guess thats what I would say.
It's not my intent to argue at all though.
Rather, just give you an honest opinion.
I appreciate yours as well.
For the sake of those who may not be aware of the differences [as you declared] between Campbell and Stone with regard to baptism, would you please: (1) clarify or be more specific as to the differences between their beliefs; (2) provide reliable sources so it can be validated that they indeed had differing views; and (3) identify for us as to whose [Campbells or Stones] particular belief prevailed for decades and decades until Max Lucado came up with his own? Do you really know what Max Lucado is teaching about baptism? Does Maxs view of baptism differ with either Campbells or Stones? Do you agree with Maxs doctrine?
Robin, Im wondering about how everyone else reacted to the interactive Easter drama worship this past Sunday. By your admission, you werent completely comfortable with it at the beginning. At what point, then, in the drama worship service did you begin to feel completely comfortable? Did you reach that comfort level as soon as you knew that [at least] a couple of elders actively participated in the drama performance? (Of course, you may have known all along about these elders performingwould this be a valid assumption?) May I ask what your feelings would be, for example, if suddenly the Madison elders decided to include a televangelistic-like charismatic divine [miraculous] healing service during the worship period? Would you, perhaps, go through the same kind of experience, i.e., from being a little comfortable with it at first to being completely comfortable at some point later on? Or, would you not have any objection to performing miracles [in the sense of as in apostolic times] at all and anywayperiod?
You said that the Easter crowd at Madison was the largest Sunday morning number I have seen in the four yrs. my family has attended there. I believe you did accurately state that considering this is now 2004. However, it can also be accurately stated that prior to four years ago and the upheaval during which time you and your family had just become members, this recent Easter crowd would not have even compared with the least attended non-Easter gathering then.
Please dont get me wrong about this oneI was really happy to witness the two baptisms this past Sunday. But weve seen that happen just as well throughout the other 51 weeks of the year when the Easter Festival is not celebrated and in past years as well. Are you saying that they came forward because of the drama performance? I hope not. Also, I think everyone realizes that the drama artists quoted passages especially direct statements made by the real Bible characters. In your estimation how much of the story had to be fabricated to extend the performance beyond the length of time it would take to read the story directly from the Bible?
Robin, with all due respect, the arguments regarding sport events, gymnasiums, church buses and kitchens, songbooks, one-cup, etc., are really getting old. We dont even bring these up because these are non-essentialsthey can be decided by and within the local congregation. And churches of Christ have survived for many generations with these minor differences. I think tracing the history of the church back to only the last few decades to prove your point is quite limited and narrow I would say. Reality is that what divided the church about a century ago had something to do principally with musical instrumentation in worship. Im afraid it is true that history repeats itself. The church is in much more perilous times and circumstances because there has been a movement to restructure and transform the church. That is the BIG picture! The expression worship style is nothing more than a cover up of the serious intent and agenda that the change agents want to achieve. Worship in spirit and in truth is the style that should remain as a constantit is not a variable. When worship in spirit and in truth (just to let everyone know that spirit does not mean charismaticOK?) changes into something else, then, worship CONTENT changes. Thats when problems occur and become magnified. No believer should be opposed to changes or to change methodologies so long as the truth is unaltered. Wouldnt you agree that Gods scheme of redemption is adaptable to each culture? Therefore, using cultural changes as the reason for transforming the unchangeable kingdom of Christ equates to belittling and demeaning Gods intelligence in designing whats best for his creation.
The great men of the Restoration Movement were united because of their willingness to abandon denominationalism from which they cameyou know that. Those men detested it. The church has resisted it for generations. Why resort to it ever again? As Estill has very well stated: what better principles are there for the New Testament church in the 21st century! Certainly, compromising the truth is not the solutionit is the problem.
About all the names issue...Tom,
I didnt quite complete my response to Robin Guidicy earlier. But I think his closing remarks were somewhat related to yours in that he said that those who have removed Church of Christ from their signs reached a point of honesty which is not what we want to hear. [He sounded somewhat poetic near the end there.]
Just a little background about me I did not grow up in the same kind of religious environment as you did. The neighborhood was 90% Catholic and my family went from faith to faiththat sounds ironic because Romans 1:17 statesFor therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith. But Ive been exposed to almost all kinds of religious beliefs and practices under the sunBaptist, Methodist, Seventh Day Adventist, Christian and Missionary Alliance, United Church of Christ, Church of God (Pentecostal), Assemblies of God, etc., etc.
So, from all the varied experiences in religion, Ive been able to compare and contrast church creeds and doctrines. And I must unequivocally state that based on what I know about the truth thats revealed in the New Testament, the little known churches of Christ spoken of in Romans 16:16 are the closest to the truth when compared with any of the religious groups established by humankind.
I know fully well, and I agree with you, that the church of our Lord is identified in various ways in the New Testament [key words: New Testament]. There are references to: all the churches of the Gentiles the churches of God all churches of the saints the churches of Galatia the churches of Asia the churches of Macedonia the churches of Judaea which were in Christ the seven churches which were in Asia. The church is also known as the family of God the household of faith the household of God, the kingdom, etc.
But that was during the New Testament period. There were no denominational churches with human founders then. So, a congregation in Rome or Ephesus or Galatia mentioned in the New Testament would certainly be a church that belonged to Christit would not be a Mormon Church or Seventh Day Adventist or Christian Science, would it?
In this day and time, the New Testament church must be identified regardless of the preconceived notions or negative impressions by those who are already affiliated with certain religious persuasions. The likelihood is that it would take much more than a friendly visit with your congregation for someone to be converted from another religion. Besides, as far as conversion goes, there is so much to do out there in the mission fields than within the church confineswhich reminds me of the mission of the change agents and the Community churches, i.e., to have a conglomerate of believers coming together from various already-established churches in a locality or region or neighborhood. I would like to put the mission statements of Community Churches to the test out there in real mission fields where the gospel of Christ is unheard of. I would like to see how the scheme of converting the converted works in a Buddhist country. I would like to see the change agents subvert the Roman Catholic Church for a change.
The probability is that when, for example, Oak Hills Church of Christ changed its name to Oak Hills Church [side noteit would not surprise me if appending the word Community was strongly under consideration] that twisting of the New Testament truth, such as in Maxs version of the purpose of baptism, had been involved in the scheme of things. Otherwise, what the Oak Hills Church of Christ bunch was all about to begin with would remain unchanged in the minds of those with preconceived notions of that church. Do you see my point?
I still believe that given the circumstances that many people in Christianity generally believe that one church is just as good as another, it is in accordance with New Testament teachings that the Lords church is uniquely identifiable. For example, I think that this would make an excellent church sign because it is a statement of truth: The church of Christ at Madison meets here. It is less offensive [if you insist] but it identifies with the name of Christ being its head and founder.
Let me know if Im misunderstanding you. But I gather from you, Tom, that church identification is of little or no significance to you. If this happens to be the case, i.e., if you feel that with you affiliating with and becoming a member of Fairview Church which has changed its name from Fairview Charismatic Fellowship Church (with or without you knowing it) does not matter, what can I say? Do you see my point?
Believe me, I understand all the misrepresentations about the church. But dropping the name of Christ for the purpose of political correctness or socio-cultural accommodations is not the way to proclaim the truth about the church that the New Testament speaks of.
I, too, was searching "Church of Christ" links, and came upon this site. It matters not what my intentions were with my searches. If I was to search for "Satan" it would not make me a believer or a follower, so there is no need to jump to conclusions. I will pray for all members of your congregation, your families and your friends. I will pray that you find the Way, the Truth and the Light. I will pray that your in-fighting will be replaced by truth, that your proof texts are better understood, and that your intolerance is replaced with the love of Jesus.i was just surfing around for church of christ news or happenings and somehow ended up here!!!!! i'm sorry i did i'm not sure what you all are disagreeing about???? but just keep in mind we have but one judge sometimes silence and prayer are better!!!! i wish you all luck. you do not seem to be representing the church of christ very good here guys!!