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Author Topic: Church of Christ impact on society  (Read 6335 times)

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Offline s1n4m1n

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Church of Christ impact on society
« on: January 02, 2004, 09:53:09 AM »
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: January 02, 2004, 09:53:09 AM »

Offline ellisadam

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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2004, 10:09:07 AM »
My initial reaction is \"ouch\".  I'll have to think about this a little more before I give a final response.

AE
Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail.  But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.
Ac 5:38-39

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Church of Christ impact on society
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2004, 10:09:07 AM »

boringoldguy

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Church of Christ impact on society
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2004, 10:38:53 AM »
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: January 02, 2004, 10:44:50 AM »
This is a really interesting question and I will follow it closely.
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Church of Christ impact on society
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2004, 10:44:50 AM »

Offline s1n4m1n

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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2004, 11:11:33 AM »
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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Church of Christ impact on society
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2004, 11:11:33 AM »



boringoldguy

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Church of Christ impact on society
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2004, 11:25:14 AM »
[!--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: January 02, 2004, 11:35:09 AM »
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: January 02, 2004, 12:07:52 PM »
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: January 02, 2004, 12:12:19 PM »
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: January 02, 2004, 12:17:01 PM »
[!--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: January 02, 2004, 12:53:00 PM »
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

boringoldguy

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« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2004, 01:03:23 PM »
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.

boringoldguy

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« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2004, 01:23:51 PM »
[!--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: January 02, 2004, 01:24:32 PM »
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: January 02, 2004, 01:28:58 PM »
[!--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.