Tell Us Why You Left the Church of Christ

Tell Us Why You Left the Church of Christ

Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

March 13th, 2005, 3:46 am #1

This thread invites former members of the Church of Christ to tell us exactly why you left this faith. We are always being told that the Church of Christ is a vanishing sect, so we would like you to tell us why. What made the Church of Christ odious to you? Was our doctrine too strict? Was there too little love? Did you prefer instrumental music over a cappella singing? Did you want more programs and interactive features with group participation? Were the sermons too long or too theological? Spill your guts! Unload your heart! What drove you away? Usually, something most significant compels people to leave their faith entirely and embrace another, or none at all, so we’re here to learn from you, not condemn you for leaving. If you respond, please include as much of the following information as possible:

1. The exact reasons why you left. Please be very specific. Please refrain from generic responses like, “I hated the Church of Christ.”

2. If you left and then later returned to the Church of Christ, what specifically brought you back?

3. What, if anything, would you have the Church of Christ do so that people would not leave? In other words, what changes, if any, would you need to see before you would ever be willing to return to the Church of Christ?

If by responding, your intention is merely to bash and criticize the Church of Christ, there are plenty of other threads at this site which will allow you the opportunity to vent. In like manner, taking issue with those who respond will serve no purpose in this thread. Take it elsewhere.
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Anonymous
Anonymous

March 13th, 2005, 5:44 am #2

Way too much emphasis placed on money, the building, and who owns it.
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Anonymous
Anonymous

March 14th, 2005, 2:25 pm #3

Read too much into scripture. They are not silent where silent. Much of the coc teaching is garnish. The no IM music thing is so thin, if it were ice on a pond, you would fall through! Pious elders, teachers, preachers. think they are the only christians and the only ones going to heaven. Make up doctrine from a few proof texts taken so far out of context it boggles the mind! Can't dance, can't drink wine, when it was clearly done in the NT. The flimsy reasons the coc give? Some baloney about the appearence of evil or causing someone to stumble! Get over yourselves!
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

March 14th, 2005, 2:57 pm #4

Way too much emphasis placed on money, the building, and who owns it.
I was raised in the Church of Christ but somewhere along the line, I got sidetracked. I started going to my sister's Southern Baptist Church and was invited to play the organ there on Sunday nights when the month had five Sundays. That church had a "Fifth Sunday Sing," more like a talent night of sorts instead of a formal worship service. Various members of the congregation would "perform," most of whom sang religious pieces. I played organ pieces. Afterwards, I noted everyone slapping each other on the back and telling each other how good their performances were, including me. It was like we had gone to a self-serving, tell-me-I'm-a great-act show. When an organist post became available there, I was invited to fill it, and I did. At the time, I had rather uncertain convictions about instrumental music and the Bible's take on it.

After a time, the church drifted away from "traditional" music and turned more to rock and contemporary styles with a heavy beat and a rock band. While organ music was still used occasionally, the emphasis was more on "show" music. The membership even had several semi-professional singing groups just itching to make it big in Christian music, and they often appeared for Sunday AM performances, all to thunderous applause, like everyone was in a concert, not a worship service. Folks often would jump to their feet with their ovations, especially if the music was loud, fast, or packed with intense emotion.

There was an ongoing feud between the traditionalists and the contemporaries there, for the pastor insisted on having "blended" services, which really stressed the contemporary and threw a few bones to the old traditionalists. In short, while the drums crashed and the praise band screeched, the old folks grit their teeth and held their hands over their ears. And while the old, softer hymns were played, the teens and other youth squirmed in their seats and rolled their eyes because there was no rock-and-roll. So no one was really pleased, except the pastor, who ruled with an iron fist.

Finally after nearly four years I got fed up with it all and resigned as organist, having seen what instrumental music and performers could do in a church with people's feelings and egos. Perhaps this was just a bad experience and perhaps I would have fared better in another setting. But I never really felt totally at ease playing there (old Church of Christ principles haunting me all the time).

Now I believe it was my subconscious telling me that what I was doing was just plain wrong. After further biblical study, I became firm in my conviction that the purest worship is that with the least distractions, and by distractions I mean choirs, soloists, instruments, drama, and all forms of entertainers. Worship must be an active process, not passive as when a congregation sits back and watches passively as someone supposedly "brings them into the presence of God" with a musical number. No one can worship for you. You must do it yourself, whether it be in your closet or together with a congregation. By having musical instrumetns and musical performers, we run the risk too often of being caught up in the "talent" of the performers and lose sight of Him Whom we worship. It's much safer to remove all potential obstacles.

So I have returned to the "old paths" of the Church of Christ, and I have not played for a church since that time. I love organ music, but new convictions now prevent me from returning to that kind of worship.
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Anonymous
Anonymous

March 14th, 2005, 6:49 pm #5

thanks for the story, but it's old. I've read that out here from you numerous times before.
If you left the baptists over IM, your as legalistic as the people in my old coc were. And old paths? The web site by the same title has some old sermons preached from about 1950. Dry as dust! You wonder why you loose members, its because your sermons use 50 proof text and do nothing to relate to modern times. not aure how many sermons ive heard on marriage, divorce, etc, where the old coc preacher, with slicked back hair with enough palmade to grease a tractor, talked about how women of isreal were betrothed and something about harlots and such! Nobody cares! make those old dry, boring sermons actually apply to our lives today, and maybe, just maybe, you might get some visitors. I know ill never be back!
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chuck sonn
chuck sonn

March 14th, 2005, 7:10 pm #6

I was raised in the Church of Christ but somewhere along the line, I got sidetracked. I started going to my sister's Southern Baptist Church and was invited to play the organ there on Sunday nights when the month had five Sundays. That church had a "Fifth Sunday Sing," more like a talent night of sorts instead of a formal worship service. Various members of the congregation would "perform," most of whom sang religious pieces. I played organ pieces. Afterwards, I noted everyone slapping each other on the back and telling each other how good their performances were, including me. It was like we had gone to a self-serving, tell-me-I'm-a great-act show. When an organist post became available there, I was invited to fill it, and I did. At the time, I had rather uncertain convictions about instrumental music and the Bible's take on it.

After a time, the church drifted away from "traditional" music and turned more to rock and contemporary styles with a heavy beat and a rock band. While organ music was still used occasionally, the emphasis was more on "show" music. The membership even had several semi-professional singing groups just itching to make it big in Christian music, and they often appeared for Sunday AM performances, all to thunderous applause, like everyone was in a concert, not a worship service. Folks often would jump to their feet with their ovations, especially if the music was loud, fast, or packed with intense emotion.

There was an ongoing feud between the traditionalists and the contemporaries there, for the pastor insisted on having "blended" services, which really stressed the contemporary and threw a few bones to the old traditionalists. In short, while the drums crashed and the praise band screeched, the old folks grit their teeth and held their hands over their ears. And while the old, softer hymns were played, the teens and other youth squirmed in their seats and rolled their eyes because there was no rock-and-roll. So no one was really pleased, except the pastor, who ruled with an iron fist.

Finally after nearly four years I got fed up with it all and resigned as organist, having seen what instrumental music and performers could do in a church with people's feelings and egos. Perhaps this was just a bad experience and perhaps I would have fared better in another setting. But I never really felt totally at ease playing there (old Church of Christ principles haunting me all the time).

Now I believe it was my subconscious telling me that what I was doing was just plain wrong. After further biblical study, I became firm in my conviction that the purest worship is that with the least distractions, and by distractions I mean choirs, soloists, instruments, drama, and all forms of entertainers. Worship must be an active process, not passive as when a congregation sits back and watches passively as someone supposedly "brings them into the presence of God" with a musical number. No one can worship for you. You must do it yourself, whether it be in your closet or together with a congregation. By having musical instrumetns and musical performers, we run the risk too often of being caught up in the "talent" of the performers and lose sight of Him Whom we worship. It's much safer to remove all potential obstacles.

So I have returned to the "old paths" of the Church of Christ, and I have not played for a church since that time. I love organ music, but new convictions now prevent me from returning to that kind of worship.
"No one can worship for you. You must do it yourself, whether it be in your closet or together with a congregation."

I agree!

"So I have returned to the "old paths" of the Church of Christ..."

Bill, did you visit many congregations before making a decision to place membership? Did you choose because of geographic location? What lead to to worship and serve where you are now? Have you ever visited Madison? Either years ago or in recent years? Would you be interested in visiting to experience for yourself what worship is like? I say these things in sincerity and honesty from a humble heart. I assure you there are no rock bands or upbeat music as you shared in your testimony. Some things we can't really judge without personal experience. Worship and fellowship are definitely in that category

blessings
chuck
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Don Owen
Don Owen

March 15th, 2005, 4:55 am #7

This thread invites former members of the Church of Christ to tell us exactly why you left this faith. We are always being told that the Church of Christ is a vanishing sect, so we would like you to tell us why. What made the Church of Christ odious to you? Was our doctrine too strict? Was there too little love? Did you prefer instrumental music over a cappella singing? Did you want more programs and interactive features with group participation? Were the sermons too long or too theological? Spill your guts! Unload your heart! What drove you away? Usually, something most significant compels people to leave their faith entirely and embrace another, or none at all, so we’re here to learn from you, not condemn you for leaving. If you respond, please include as much of the following information as possible:

1. The exact reasons why you left. Please be very specific. Please refrain from generic responses like, “I hated the Church of Christ.”

2. If you left and then later returned to the Church of Christ, what specifically brought you back?

3. What, if anything, would you have the Church of Christ do so that people would not leave? In other words, what changes, if any, would you need to see before you would ever be willing to return to the Church of Christ?

If by responding, your intention is merely to bash and criticize the Church of Christ, there are plenty of other threads at this site which will allow you the opportunity to vent. In like manner, taking issue with those who respond will serve no purpose in this thread. Take it elsewhere.
First of all I left the CHURCH OF CHRIST not the church of Christ. The aim of the CHURCH OF CHRIST is not to be a Denomination but has become one. We say that we are silent on issues but we speak on them and we have spoken where thew bible is silent. I do currently attend a CHURCH OF CHRIST but I am a member of the church of christ not the CHURCH OF CHRIST. I grew up at the Madison church of Christ but its people like Ken Sublett that’s making Madison a CHURCH OF CHRIST in the Denomination meaning now.its not the worship or the traditional or praise team that tear Madison apart. But it’s the lack of love, and trying to hold on to the old because it makes you feel better. Worship is stepping out of yourself and give it all to God and you think you can do that with a big frown on your face you are wrong and I pray for you. Since I have moved to another state where I am currently a theatre director( not much oppurintry in Nashville for that) I have attend community churches that stick closer to the bible than the traditional CHURCH OF CHRIST and church of christ that stick closer to the bible than community churches. I will attend the Congregations where the bible is being followed not by the name on a side of the building. And I will always be a member of the church of christ.
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

March 15th, 2005, 3:59 pm #8

Just so there's no misunderstanding, we are looking for responses from people who decided to leave the traditional Church of Christ for ANY OTHER kind of church. These would include, but would not be limited to, denominations such as Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Lutheran, etc. Also non-denominational churches or "community" churches.
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Gary Cole
Gary Cole

March 22nd, 2005, 2:12 am #9

"No one can worship for you. You must do it yourself, whether it be in your closet or together with a congregation."

I agree!

"So I have returned to the "old paths" of the Church of Christ..."

Bill, did you visit many congregations before making a decision to place membership? Did you choose because of geographic location? What lead to to worship and serve where you are now? Have you ever visited Madison? Either years ago or in recent years? Would you be interested in visiting to experience for yourself what worship is like? I say these things in sincerity and honesty from a humble heart. I assure you there are no rock bands or upbeat music as you shared in your testimony. Some things we can't really judge without personal experience. Worship and fellowship are definitely in that category

blessings
chuck
Now I believe it was my subconscious telling me that what I was doing was just plain wrong. After further biblical study, I became firm in my conviction that the purest worship is that with the least distractions, and by distractions I mean choirs, soloists, instruments, drama, and all forms of entertainers. Worship must be an active process, not passive as when a congregation sits back and watches passively as someone supposedly "brings them into the presence of God" with a musical number. No one can worship for you. You must do it yourself, whether it be in your closet or together with a congregation. By having musical instrumetns and musical performers, we run the risk too often of being caught up in the "talent" of the performers and lose sight of Him Whom we worship. It's much safer to remove all potential obstacles.

Bill,

I was raised in Jerusalem (That's Nashville to you COC members). Being a product of a Church of Christ education from elementary to college and learning piano in college I was a bit confused about learning to play songs of worship at David Lipscomb but not being able to worship with the instrument.

I am still holding on as a member and I hope to create some changes Not Apostacy.

The real problem for many members of the COC is they would never dream of worshiping in another church and because of what we believe concerning baptism there is a little bit of an attitude. I've allowed my children to experience Presb, Method, Bapt, Christian, etc... and we have had great discussions about the differences. Like no baptistry! That really freaked them out.

Worship is an active process but unfortunately the only ones really acting in it at churches where the music is so great are mostly the "Worship Teams". I'm not against some of the new praise teams but I'm not crazy about the drama and the music so loud I can't hear the voices of my brothers and sisters let alone my kids. There needs to be a place where this can be resolved. If you have a band it should probably be off to the side and there really is no need for solo's, choirs, or lots of drama. It doesn't need to be boring but it most certainly shouldn't be entertaining and a minister could occassionally wear a coat and tie without appearing stuffy.

It is amazing how many people would dress for a formal dinner with the President but not for GOD.

Things need to remain in a decently orderly fashion but that can be changed around if there is a point to it. All in all I prefer no instruments unless it is in a rural Church of Christ where the thunderous sound is the performing preacher and the overly loud is the Song Leader belting out the melody. The true issue is that many of the COC members truly believe that what others are doing is not scriptural and it will affect their salvation. Its the usual Legalistic OT "Strang Fire" teaching.

GC




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Anonymous
Anonymous

March 29th, 2005, 1:43 am #10

Just so there's no misunderstanding, we are looking for responses from people who decided to leave the traditional Church of Christ for ANY OTHER kind of church. These would include, but would not be limited to, denominations such as Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Lutheran, etc. Also non-denominational churches or "community" churches.
I left the Church of Christ because there was too much condemning, particularly for music, clapping, hand raising, etc. If anyone could show me a verse in the Bible where it condemns musical instruments, please show me? I have heard the argument "The Bible doesn't say TO use instruments, thus we should stay away" many times, so I did my own Bible research. Please read the first few verses of Psalms 33, where David instructs us to sing AND use musical instruments. Also, nowhere in the Bible does it say to build church buildings to worship in. Something to think about.
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