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Offline s1n4m1n

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Church of Christ impact on society
« on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 10:53:09 »
Hi all,

I was wondering what ya'll thought about the churches' of Christ impact on society. I guess we can think of just American society (U.S.) for this. Have churches of Christ truly been \"a city set on a hill\" or \"seasoning salt\"? In other words, what would be different about our society if the Restoration Movement never happened?

I can see American culture being different if, for example, there were no Baptist churches (especially in the South).


Ken

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Church of Christ impact on society
« on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 10:53:09 »

Offline ellisadam

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« Reply #1 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 11:09:07 »
My initial reaction is \"ouch\".  I'll have to think about this a little more before I give a final response.

AE

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« Reply #1 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 11:09:07 »

boringoldguy

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« Reply #2 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 11:38:53 »
Ken,

Tough one.   I think it would be difficult to point to any big national impact because of our geographic concentration.   Lee Freeman might correct me but I think one of A Campbell's most concrete legacies was advances in education for women.

I don't know where you're from.   I grew up on the staked plains in west Texas, almost to New Mexico.  In those parts, I think there's been a big impact on education, at least in western Texas, eastern New Mexico, parts of Oklahoma.    I'm not an ACU fan, but when it was started, I believe it was the first college that far west.  Over the years, they turned out lots of school teachers who went to teach in lots of places other people wouldn't have been too eager to go to.    I couldn't begin to list how many of my school teachers were ACU grads, but many were.   I won't say that there wouldn't have been schools on the plains without the Restoration movement, but they wouldn't have been as good.   That's really odd because nowadays, we have a fellowship where true learning is held in very low esteem by nearly everyone.

If you read through a cook book, there are lots of recipes that call for a little salt.    When you eat the food, you don't notice the salt is there;  but you'd notice if it were missing.
I'd say that where I grew up, the Church of Christ had that kind of influence.

And we can look outside the U.S.   I could show you places in Mexico where life is radically different than it would otherwise be because of the Restoration movement.

Offline Booty

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« Reply #3 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 11:44:50 »
This is a really interesting question and I will follow it closely.

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« Reply #3 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 11:44:50 »

Offline s1n4m1n

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« Reply #4 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 12:11:33 »
BOG,

I live in Alabama. I think Texas, Alabama, and Tennesse have the highest concentration of churches of Christ. So I would expect the greatest impact of churches of Christ would be in those areas.

I come from a non-institutional background so a church's impact on its surrounding area really can only be measured by an individual Christian's impact. Our church wouldn't be known, as a group, for being helpful to those in need simply because, as a group, we only help other \"brethren\" and not just anyone in need.


Based on what you wrote could I say \"Because of churches of Christ (or the Restoration Movement) society values education more than it would have otherwise.\"

Ken

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« Reply #4 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 12:11:33 »



boringoldguy

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« Reply #5 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 12:25:14 »
[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote [/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]Based on what you wrote could I say \"Because of churches of Christ (or the Restoration Movement) society values education more than it would have otherwise.\"[/quote]
I don't know.

But I could say  \"Because of Churhces of Christ, I got a better education than I would have otherwise.\"  

And I wasn't a member of a Church of Christ when it was happening.

I will say that in the area I live in now, the children's home supported by the Churches of Christ is the only institution providing any care for abandoned or orphaned children in a metroplitan area with over a million people.   That's some kind of impact.

edited by BOG 1/2/04

Offline James Rondon

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« Reply #6 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 12:35:09 »
I don't think that this is something you can really measure, due to the fact that many believers make an impact regardless of the \"Church of Christ\" entity with whom they're affiliated. Thus, impact can still be felt, but not necessarily entity assigned.

Offline Bon Voyage

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« Reply #7 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 13:07:52 »
In the northern midwest, where I live, most have never heard of the Church of Christ.  I had no clue either, until I met my wife and found these boards.

Offline charlie

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« Reply #8 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 13:12:19 »
My short answer: negligible.

A little bit longer: Churches of Christ have been responsible for a lot of good throughout their history. Lives have been touched and improved, people have been educated, the needy have been provided for. However, we weren't doing anything of any lasting or notable good that other groups weren't also doing. If there had been no restoration movement, other groups would have picked up the slack. Let's not be discouraged because \"Church of Christ\" is not a nationally recognized household word. Instead, let's humbly and diligently keep up the good work and trim the fat as needed.

Offline Talulah

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« Reply #9 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 13:17:01 »
[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote [/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]I will say that in the area I live in now, the children's home supported by the Churches of Christ is the only institution providing any care for abandoned or orphaned children in a metroplitan area with over a million people.[/quote]

I would assume the state also does something for the children, like foster or group homes?

If it were in the African bush, it would be a little more significant if it were the only home for orphans.

I think the Church of Christs influence is felt only on a personal level.  It may be felt in the community in those places the major CoC colleges are but even that influence wouldn't be significant. So, I think the world itself would be just the same if the Restoration had never occured, though my world would be much much different.

Offline s1n4m1n

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« Reply #10 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 13:53:00 »
Just so everybody will know, my thinking is closest to Charlie's reply. Also I don't want to point fingers at any group without letting people know my own personal failure at having an \"impact\" on the people and society around me. When I think of the good I could have done but haven't, the time wasted on my own selfish ends (entertainment, etc.),and my poor prayer life I shudder at my own spiritual immaturity.

Getting back to the subject at hand. I think the Restoration Movement had a greater impact on society in the 19th century than in the 20th century. James Rondon is right about how difficult this impact could be measured. However, I got the sneaking suspicion that if the Restoration Movement didn't exist that society wouldn't be worse off. In fact, it may actually be better off in that there would be that much less division amongst Christians.

Ken

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« Reply #11 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 14:03:23 »
The state doesn't support any group homes.   There is foster care, but I'm pretty sure that what the Church of Christ home provides is superior to that, at least most of the time.

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« Reply #12 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 14:23:51 »
[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote (charlie @ Jan. 02 2004,1:12)[/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]However, we weren't doing anything of any lasting or notable good that other groups weren't also doing. If there had been no restoration movement, other groups would have picked up the slack.[/quote]
I'm unsure that's true.

Going back to children's homes - nobody else in our area is doing it.    I'm not sure, but I think that state wide, there are more kids in Church of Christ affiliated homes than there are in homes run by any other group.  

And another thng -

I will disagree with nearly everyone here about the value of the impact, but without Churches of Christ, there'd be no Max Lucado.    A few months ago, I got an earful about what a positive impact he had made on society.

Offline charlie

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« Reply #13 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 14:24:32 »
I know this comment will be pages ahead of being noticed, and probably should have its own thread, but here goes...

How has society impacted the Church of Christ? We can speculate on what degree the Restoration Movement was simply the result of a general societal dissatisfaction with religious fragmentalism and failure to adequately conform to scripture (much the way community churches do today, and of course house churches, right James Rondon?) and we can speculate on how the thoughts of people like John Locke and Adam Smith affected the philosophy of the church from its inception. We can speculate on the degree to which members of the churches of Christ differ those outside it, in dress and choice of entertainment, in worldview and values. We've talked ad nauseum about the proponderance of Republicans within the Church of Christ. How about racial segregation? If we're so Republican, then why are so many \"black\" congregations comprised and led by blue-dog Democrats? Are we all not a product of our culture and society?

A little exercise. Imagine in your mind a perfect society. The people are the same. Your neighbors still live right where they do now. But society is perfect. Just the right things on TV and the radio. Just the right things in the newspapers. The right things taught in schools, the right amount of unemployment, drug use, vandalism, general procociousness of youth, church unity and service to help the needy who come to our society 'cause it's so dang perfect. Now, how can we as a CHURCH get there? Any ideas? Or is that question doomed from the start? Are Churches (congregations or faith-groups) inefficient or ineffective tools to shape and perfect society? If you were God and you wanted to make the world better, would you use a Church, or something else?

Offline charlie

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« Reply #14 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 14:28:58 »
[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote [/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]I will disagree with nearly everyone here about the value of the impact, but without Churches of Christ, there'd be no Max Lucado.    A few months ago, I got an earful about what a positive impact he had made on society.[/quote]

Yeah, but if there were no Restoration Movement, he'd be Baptist. He said so himself. That was my point. If we didn't do something, someone else would have. It's not that we are unneccessary. Rather, the Holy Spirit will use somebody. He just will. The only question is, will I be one of his tools? I don't belong to the Church of Christ so much as I belong to God. Same with Max. He's not 'ours' he's God's.

Offline Cliftyman

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« Reply #15 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 14:32:48 »
#1, I don't think the church of Christ denomination has done anything to influence society postively (hang in here with me for a minute) .... I do however think God has worked through faithful believers in him to bring about change, no matter what movement or denomination they have been part of.

I grew up in the COC, but if I was going to sit here and take credit for anything I or anyone else in the organization has done than my heresy wouldn't be any less than that of the Pharisees.....

..... now that that is out of the way


The church of Christ has done many great things (with the Spirit of the Lord working within it)

Lipscomb University was founded...

Harding University was founded...

ACLU was founded...

Freed-Hardeman University was formed...

Potters Children's Home...

congregations have been put in place all through the south from Kentucky down into Florida (the heaviest concentrations) and many more in Texas, AZ etc...

Many people have become scholars of the bible...

Many people have learned to use their voices in beautiful Spirit filled ways....

----------------------------

But like I said, if I simply attributed this to the churches of Christ (denomination) I would be a fool.  Anything that has been good and powerful in Christianity in this country has been God's work, and that cannot be contributed to anything other than the Holy Spirit.

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« Reply #16 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 14:40:39 »
Charlie,

None of know what he'd be if he hadn't first been in the Church of Christ;  all we can say is that he would have been different than what he is now.   I know he said he'd be a Baptist, but he only said that after he had been in the Church of Christ and been the focus of controversy.

\"What if\" is a difficult game to play, and one that really good historians try to avoid.    There's no way to be sure what changing any variable will do.    And while I know that God ultimately controls everything, I'm not such a fatalist as to think my actions don't make a difference.    I gave that up with Presbyterianism.

Offline Lee Freeman

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« Reply #17 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 14:59:37 »
Charlie, you raised a good point earlier. I posted some stuff on that topic on another thread a few months ago, only I don't remember which one.

What I posted was from Richard Hughes Reviving the Ancient Faith; he says that the Church of Christ went from a countercultural sect in the early 19th century to a respectable denomination by the mid-20th century. He says this was accomplished, in part, when the church of Christ became respectable; we began building nice buildings; founded colleges and universities; sponsored workshops and lectureships; we abandoned our anti-government, pacifist, apocalyptic, premillennial views, etc.. All things that other denominations had been doing all along. This is ironic, he says, because churches of Christ protested so vehemently that we weren't a denomination.

Pax vobiscum.

Offline s1n4m1n

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« Reply #18 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 15:29:12 »
I will admit that a lot of this could be \"vain\" speculation. I don't want to dump on churches of Christ. I'm glad that orphans and other children are being taken care of by special homes run by churches of Christ. Of course, the part of the fellowship I'm from thinks that is unauthorized. But whether it is unauthorized or not its still a good work that can have a positive impact on society.

I also think that changing society is not the main focus of the church, i.e. the original \"Social Gospel\" movement. Although any group that claims to be the \"one true church\" ought to have something to show for its efforts (with respect to general society). My thoughts turn to the early church with the eventual destruction of paganism.

Ken

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« Reply #19 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 15:44:19 »
Ken,

It's interesting that you in particular bring this up in light of the Christianization of the classical world.

You've pointed out that in your NI background, help was provided only to Christians.   It's probably pretty obvious I don't share the NI perspective.    However, back in the grim days when the Roman empire was being slowly nibbled away by various barbarians,  whenever a city was sacked and the population carried away into captivity, the Church was always able, somehow, to ransom the Christian captives.  Pagans were usually held as slaves.    When food was scarce, Christians managed to feed other Christians, and when social services collapsed, the Church took care of her own.    And none of that went unnoticed among the pagans.

Offline s1n4m1n

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« Reply #20 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 16:02:57 »
BOG,

I'm no expert in history. I don't have a problem with Christians helping Christians. I always thought to some degree the Church (in an \"official\" sense) even helped those who were not Christians. I would think this varied over the years.

Whatever was done in the first few centuries had an impact on that society. Has something comparible happened with regards to the RM? Of course, some would say that the Church gave in to paganism an that is why it was so successful.


Ken

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« Reply #21 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 17:28:23 »
[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote (s1n4m1n @ Jan. 02 2004,4:02)[/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]Whatever was done in the first few centuries had an impact on that society. Has something comparible happened with regards to the RM?[/quote]
Ken,

You're moving the goal post.  You started out comparing us to the Baptists.  I'll take them on any day.   Now you're comparing us the Church of the first few centuries.  That's more intimidating.

Offline s1n4m1n

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« Reply #22 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 17:37:56 »
Well, how about the Baptists and believer's baptism only, something practically unheard of for over a thousand years.

More recently, I can think about a \"personal relationship with Jesus.\"

Ken

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« Reply #23 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 18:05:44 »
[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote (s1n4m1n @ Jan. 02 2004,5:37)[/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]Well, how about the Baptists and believer's baptism only, something practically unheard of for over a thousand years.

More recently, I can think about a \"personal relationship with Jesus.\"

Ken[/quote]
Is believer's baptism specifically a \"Baptist\" doctrine?   I thought it appeared first among the Anabaptists, who were precursors to the Mennonites of today.

Anyway, obviously Churches of Christ can't take credit for that.   As far as the \"personal relationship with Jesus\", what do you mean?   I've always thought of that as little more than a slogan.   We have plenty of those, none of which I consider a cultural contribution worth mentioning.

Anyway, outside the South and Southwest, I doubt if there is any cultural practice that could be identified as specifically Church of Christ.  Part of that is because the Restoration Movement occurred in a society that was already at least partially Christianized.   Nonetheless, I think that in some areas, the Church of Christ has had a huge impact, even though it's hard to define.


On another point, Charlie asked the question, how was the Restoration Movement impacted by the society it grew up in?   I think the most important way was in the total hostility to any kind of authority that was common in the mountain South in those times.   If you're interested in that, there's a book called \"Albion's Seed\" that, for a Church of Christ person, is like looking at an old, old photograph of a relative you never met and seeing yourself.    The mixed bag of Scots, Welshman, Irish and English borderers who ended up in Appalachia in the late 1700's/early 1800's were completely unruly and wouldn't accept any authority from outside.  That's the real root of our destructive \"autonomy\", not anything you can find in the Bible.  

By denying that there is any authority other than the Bible, and then saying that every Christian can read the Bible and find out what it says independently, we have in fact placed ourselves in authority over our \"authority.\"  

This is bigger than many might think, because it's the seed of the bumptious, contentious \"editor/bishops\" who have plagued our movement.     Whether we like it or not (and Lee Freeman will hate this) any movement has to have some kind of authority to prevent total chaos.   If there isn't any, the movement will lose its identity.   Our opinionated friends (and I think that the folks like Rubel Shelly fit into this tradition just as much as Buster Dobbs does) know this, and think they are the ones to express those teachings.   But because we don't recognize any authority, these guys end up competing with each other for influence.   That's when the fun starts.

Just my two cents.

So it's my opinion that our society's biggest impact on the Church has been to cause us to reject any kind of outside authority, and that has had some very serious consequences.

Offline Serenity432001

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« Reply #24 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 18:32:49 »
I grew up in the church of Christ and was a preacher's kid and went k-12 to a church of Christ school but had to go to another organization to find out about how to have a personal relationship with God and how important that was so this is a tough question for me.  I go to a church of Christ now that I feel is trying to right this wrong and for that I am truely grateful!!

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« Reply #25 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 19:09:48 »
The thread's advanced a bit beyond this now, but I do want to say that even if the marks we're making on society are small, local ones, this is not a negative.  These small, person-on-person situations are where God is glorified (whoever helps one of these in my name. . . ).

When many here lost their homes in the flooding a month or two ago, the local Church of Christ became the place to go for those who needed help. The Red Cross set up headquarters in their building, and later Church of Christ Disaster Relief moved in.  I've seen this happen in several places in this area.

And I think God is also glorified in small encounters every day when churches reach out to those in their community in the name of Jesus.

I don't know if we've made a big impact on society as a whole.  I also wonder whether, in our current society, the small ways that God works through us don't, in the long run, mean much more. :bowsmiley:

Offline Richard

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« Reply #26 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 19:23:55 »
It was a couple of folks from a Church of Christ who showed up in my life just as it was about to disappear down the drain.  I had no where to go, no hope, and they had absolutely no reason to give a fig about me and my family.
But they did.  They reached out their hand.  They lifted us up.  They cared about us.
And they introduced us to a loving, powerful and gracious Savior.
I don't know if you can call that an impact on society, but it sure made a big impact on my life.  My 10 year-old daughter now has hope for a bright future.  Four years ago she didn't stand a chance and she didn't have a prayer, literally.

Richard

Offline s1n4m1n

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« Reply #27 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 19:59:49 »
I guess this ends up being a stupid question to ask!

Ken

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« Reply #28 on: Fri Jan 02, 2004 - 22:09:35 »
no, baby, it was worth asking

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« Reply #29 on: Sat Jan 03, 2004 - 05:32:58 »
ken,
I'm not sure why you would say that.  I know my answer didn't help much, but I think it is a great question.

I think the Restoration Movement has forced a lot of folks to examine what they believe and why they believe.
Even if folks end up in disagreement with you, that examination is a good and healthy thing.
And sometimes, every once in awhile, all sides learn something from the discussion.

Peace,

Richard

Offline Bon Voyage

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« Reply #30 on: Sat Jan 03, 2004 - 09:14:48 »
The question might be include which Church of Christ you are talking about.

Is it the spiritual sword crowd?

Is it the \"non-institutional\" folks?

Is it the grace centered people?

Is it the middle of the road people?

The no building, no paid pulpit minister folks?

I think there is too much variation in these groups to classify them as the same group because they use the same wording on their sign in front of the building.  Kinda like Baptists.

Offline gbShorty

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« Reply #31 on: Sat Jan 03, 2004 - 09:53:17 »
[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote (s1n4m1n @ Jan. 02 2004,4:02)[/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]Whatever was done in the first few centuries had an impact on that society. Has something comparible happened with regards to the RM? Of course, some would say that the Church gave in to paganism an that is why it was so successful.[/quote]
Ken:  I'm still befuddled over those first few centuries and whether we got rid of paganism, incorporated some of it, or some other scenario.  I'm not sure it's that significant since  Christianity was flourishing before Constantine.  However, the answer could change how I perceive our current religious practices.  Then again, maybe it shouldn't.  
Befuddled,
Shorty

Offline s1n4m1n

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« Reply #32 on: Sat Jan 03, 2004 - 11:57:59 »
The only reason why I said it was a stupid question is becuase it is very hard (and maybe impossible) to answer.

Probably a better question is has the Restoration Movement achieved its goals? My guess is that the goals have changed over the years. Originally I think the goals for Alexander Campbell was 1)unity among Christians by restoring NT worship to 2)usher in the millenium.

Ken

Offline Lee Freeman

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Church of Christ impact on society
« Reply #33 on: Sat Jan 03, 2004 - 15:08:16 »
[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote [/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]On another point, Charlie asked the question, how was the Restoration Movement impacted by the society it grew up in?   I think the most important way was in the total hostility to any kind of authority that was common in the mountain South in those times.   If you're interested in that, there's a book called \"Albion's Seed\" that, for a Church of Christ person, is like looking at an old, old photograph of a relative you never met and seeing yourself.    The mixed bag of Scots, Welshman, Irish and English borderers who ended up in Appalachia in the late 1700's/early 1800's were completely unruly and wouldn't accept any authority from outside.  That's the real root of our destructive \"autonomy\", not anything you can find in the Bible.  

By denying that there is any authority other than the Bible, and then saying that every Christian can read the Bible and find out what it says independently, we have in fact placed ourselves in authority over our \"authority.\"  

This is bigger than many might think, because it's the seed of the bumptious, contentious \"editor/bishops\" who have plagued our movement.     Whether we like it or not (and Lee Freeman will hate this) any movement has to have some kind of authority to prevent total chaos.   If there isn't any, the movement will lose its identity.   Our opinionated friends (and I think that the folks like Rubel Shelly fit into this tradition just as much as Buster Dobbs does) know this, and think they are the ones to express those teachings.   But because we don't recognize any authority, these guys end up competing with each other for influence.   That's when the fun starts.

Just my two cents.

So it's my opinion that our society's biggest impact on the Church has been to cause us to reject any kind of outside authority, and that has had some very serious consequences.[/quote]
The Stone-Campbell Movement's views with regard to authority might have been impacted by the Scots-Irish heritage of many of its members, but this dioesn't explain all of it. Campbell was more influenced by the American ideal of democracy and individual freedom, only recently set in place after the American Revolution.

Campbell was also mistrustful of denominational hierarchies, because both he and his father had witnessed the abuse of clerical authority in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and America; Thomas himself fell victim to it.

They also worried that America might possibly at some point decide to establish a state church, whose negative effects they'd witnessed first-hand in the Old Country.

They weren't against authority per se, only it's abuse.

Their insistence on the individual's right to private interpretation only pertained to lesser, nonessential, non-salvation doctrinal issues; on what they viewed as essential to the faith, everyone should agree. But even this private right of interpretation was not an \"anything goes\" freedom to make the text say whatever we want. Campbell reiterated the need for commentaries, lexicons, etc. in order to make sound interpretations.

Would we really want someone interpreting scripture for us? The Campbells and Stone didn't. That was the problem they saw with creeds and confessions of faith-it was basically one group's interpretation of scripture which evryone was required to agree with before they could be saved. Credal churches were basicallly telling their parishoners what to believe, not only on essential doctrines, but on peripheral matters as well.

In this dogmatism, they were abusing their authority.

But the Church of Christ eventually grew to be just as dogmatic and unbending as the credal churches we preached against.

Campbell, Stone, Richardson, Larimore, Shelly, Lucado, Anderson, etc., all believe in authority-the authority and Lordship of Jesus Christ first and most importantly. Secondly, they all teach and affirm the necessity of shepherds/elders to guide the flock. But if Jesus is in control, that's all that really matters.

Having met Rubel personally on a couple of occasions, I can say that there's not a more humble servant anywwhere.

Pax vobiscum.

Offline James Rondon

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Church of Christ impact on society
« Reply #34 on: Sat Jan 03, 2004 - 15:17:30 »
[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote [/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]marc wrote:
The thread's advanced a bit beyond this now, but I do want to say that even if the marks we're making on society are small, local ones, this is not a negative.  These small, person-on-person situations are where God is glorified (whoever helps one of these in my name. . . ).

When many here lost their homes in the flooding a month or two ago, the local Church of Christ became the place to go for those who needed help. The Red Cross set up headquarters in their building, and later Church of Christ Disaster Relief moved in.  I've seen this happen in several places in this area.

And I think God is also glorified in small encounters every day when churches reach out to those in their community in the name of Jesus.

I don't know if we've made a big impact on society as a whole.  I also wonder whether, in our current society, the small ways that God works through us don't, in the long run, mean much more.[/quote]
  :amen: