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Author Topic: Dropping church of Christ from our title?  (Read 10292 times)

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Offline James Rondon

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Dropping church of Christ from our title?
« Reply #45 on: February 10, 2004, 11:16:53 AM »
Good points, Wendy. I think that those who support institutions making such administrative requirements should really think twice about supporting them... Especially if they are a university. It is one thing for them to ask, out of conviction from their understanding of Scripture, if a person believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and if they have been baptized in his name, for the remission of sins... It is quite another to require them to be a member of a church with a sign-out-front reading \"Church of Christ\". The former seems born of Scriptural conviction, the latter sectarianism.

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Dropping church of Christ from our title?
« Reply #45 on: February 10, 2004, 11:16:53 AM »

Offline winky

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« Reply #46 on: February 10, 2004, 12:24:16 PM »
I don't know that I would advocate not supporting institutions that do that; that might be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  There's never going to be an institution that does everything exactly the way I think is best. There are lots of worthwhile, yet imperfect, Christian institutions.

However, I do think this is an area that might need some re-thinking and perhaps we can encourage and spark change in policy in this area. Can anyone share a downside to being based on certain theological principles rather than on a certain \"brand\" of church?

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Dropping church of Christ from our title?
« Reply #46 on: February 10, 2004, 12:24:16 PM »

Offline Cliftyman

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« Reply #47 on: February 10, 2004, 01:18:37 PM »
Requiring people in certain job positions to wear the name of a \"church\" organization or have a \"membership\" at a certain congregation.

That to me is worthless.  Our names mean nothing.  Our actions in our lives mean everything.  Just because someone calls someone a sinner doesn't mean they are, likewise just because someone calls someone a Christian doesn't mean they are......

It is notable to try and form your ranks with Christians, there is nothing wrong with that, but to think thats the absolute path to perfection is a fallacy.....

I don't know why I thought about it but this reminded me of something.....

We were discussing attending \"The Passion\" on the 25th when it comes out, in our men's bible study group.  One of the group said that a certain congregation had rented out the theater so that \"only Christians\" or their friends could be there so there \"wouldn't be any heckling\".

To me that was utterly pathetic.  I would welcome some persecution nowadays, and if our goal is to escape it we may be possibly escaping our duties as Christians......

To me wearing a name as the utmost descriptive as who we are is the same to me.  Someone asks you where you go, \"I go to this \"church\"\", someone asks you what you believe, \"we believe\", \"our church believes\"\"

Friends if we don't escape this fallacy in our thinking we will never be together as Christians.  Christ preached unity, Christ prayed for unity, so why is it we cannot convince ourselves that it is important?

boringoldguy

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Dropping church of Christ from our title?
« Reply #48 on: February 10, 2004, 02:19:54 PM »
[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote (winky @ Feb. 10 2004,11:57)[/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]Although I'm not entirely clear on the definition of legalism, judging a person's doctrinal soundness by the SOF sounds like it could fall into that category.[/quote]
I'm talking about maintaining the doctrinal soundness of the institution, and although the requirement that certain posistions be filled by members of a Church of Christ is not terribly effective, that is the reason that institutions adopted those requirements.    It's a way of maintaining faith with the founders and supporters who expect the institution to take a particular doctrinal stand.

Since you have named Oak Hills as a case in point, I'll discuss them.  The statement about baptism on their website departs from traditional CofC thought on the subject;  the use of instrumental music in worship departs from traditional CofC practice, and they have made a public announcement that they are no longer to be called a \"Church of Christ.\"   If these statements and practices reflect the beliefs of the members, then there has been a doctrinal change.  

If in fact these folks have changed their doctrine, then why would they want a \"loophole\" that lets them be counted as a Church of Christ?   Apparantly, so they can continue to enjoy some benefit that comes from being associated with the Churches of Christ.  But wait!  They said the name kept them from fulfilling their mission.

Things just get curiouser and curiouser.

Kidding aside -it seems to me that if you knew you got your position based in part upon adherence to a particular view and then you changed your view, resignation would be the honorable course.   But perhaps others don't see things that way.

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« Reply #48 on: February 10, 2004, 02:19:54 PM »

Offline coachk

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« Reply #49 on: February 10, 2004, 02:55:19 PM »
[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote [/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]Kidding aside -it seems to me that if you knew you got your position based in part upon adherence to a particular view and then you changed your view, resignation would be the honorable course. [/quote]

I had a friend lose her job at a Christian high school because she left the mainstream CoC and went to a Bible church with almost identical beliefs (with the exception of a few \"major\" issues).  She didn't try to hide, though.  She went to the administration and told them.  So they fired her.  This was, if I remember correctly, in the middle of the school year, just before or after Christmas.

Two others at the same school who were given an ultimatum - either leave your (very progressive CoC) church, or find a new job next school year.  For some they might just walk away.  These 2 happened to be married, so this was their entire income - they couldn't really afford to both lose their jobs at the same time.  They ended up leaving their church to keep their jobs.  

Where is the line be drawn?  If someone no longer believes that instrumental music is a sin, will they lose their job?  Or do they have to attend a church that uses IM before they are shown the door?  What is the list of accepted (or unaccepted) beliefs at these schools?  And are they all made known ahead of time?  

As I said, one couple was attending a CoC, but just not one the administration accepted as \"faithful\", I suppose.

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Dropping church of Christ from our title?
« Reply #49 on: February 10, 2004, 02:55:19 PM »



Offline Skip

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« Reply #50 on: February 10, 2004, 03:06:17 PM »
Ironic that this conversation should come full-circle like this. I made observations similar to BOG's back on page three of the thread, noting that churches drop or minimize the coC name on the front, but position themselves in the coC section of the phone book and, apparently, leave the coC name in the legal papers.

Such fence-straddling is difficult to explain in \"nice\" terms. On the one hand, it is obviously a slap in the face of the traditional coC. And while the name “coC

Offline winky

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« Reply #51 on: February 10, 2004, 03:13:44 PM »
[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote (boringoldguy @ Feb. 10 2004,3:19)[/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--][!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote [/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]Although I'm not entirely clear on the definition of legalism, judging a person's doctrinal soundness by the SOF sounds like it could fall into that category.[/quote]
I'm talking about maintaining the doctrinal soundness of the institution, and although the requirement that certain posistions be filled by members of a Church of Christ is not terribly effective, that is the reason that institutions adopted those requirements.    It's a way of maintaining faith with the founders and supporters who expect the institution to take a particular doctrinal stand.

Since you have named Oak Hills as a case in point, I'll discuss them.  The statement about baptism on their website departs from traditional CofC thought on the subject;  the use of instrumental music in worship departs from traditional CofC practice, and they have made a public announcement that they are no longer to be called a \"Church of Christ.\"   If these statements and practices reflect the beliefs of the members, then there has been a doctrinal change.  

If in fact these folks have changed their doctrine, then why would they want a \"loophole\" that lets them be counted as a Church of Christ?   Apparantly, so they can continue to enjoy some benefit that comes from being associated with the Churches of Christ.  But wait!  They said the name kept them from fulfilling their mission.

Things just get curiouser and curiouser.

Kidding aside -it seems to me that if you knew you got your position based in part upon adherence to a particular view and then you changed your view, resignation would be the honorable course.   But perhaps others don't see things that way.[/quote]
But my point is that they should investigate doctrinal soundness separate from the name of the church.

Apparently, many members of Oak Hills still consider their church to be similar to or in some ways affiliated with Churches of Christ, even if they have a different name. Otherwise, this whole thing wouldn't be an issue. Please remember that Oak Hills never said \"We are now renouncing our affiliation with the CoC\". They said that they were changing the name. What I believe it now says on their sign is \"Oak Hills Church\" and then underneath \"A Christ-centered family\". So really the words church and Christ are all there, just rearranged!

Now, if you want to assert that they have broken off with the CoC because of their teachings/doctrine fine. But you'd have to assert the same thing about many churches that do have CoC on their sign as well, so that's a separate issue. I'm just saying that an institution would do well to base their decisions on that, rather than the name. Because otherwise, they may be excluding people who are very similar to their beliefs and including people who are widely divergent.  

Besides, who decides what's the traditional teachings?  Since CoCs have always been autonomous, there's always been variations on almost every point of doctrine. And what \"most\" churches do varies from time period to time period and in geographic regions.

Wendy

Offline winky

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« Reply #52 on: February 10, 2004, 03:18:33 PM »
[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote [/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]And while the name ?coC? supposedly undermines their mission while on the sign out front, it apparently does not undermine on the legal papers and in the phone book?! [/quote]

Yes! That seems logical to me! They said the name CoC undermines their credibility with the lost, with seekers, etc. But I didn't get the impression they WANTED to offend or break away from the CoC itself (although they may have known that might be an unfortunate side effect. still, not their main purpose). So, where do most seekers/non-churched run into their church? Driving by it and seeing the sign! But where do most already-Christian CoC people who are visiting or moved to the area look for a church? In the phone book under CoC! And obviously, unbelievers aren't going to go look up their legal name. So if it helps keep them still in connection with the CoC in a positive way, why not leave it?

boringoldguy

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« Reply #53 on: February 10, 2004, 04:39:25 PM »
I guess it depends upon what all those lost and seekers who would have been put off by the name Church of Christ will think when they find out, somewhere down the road, that they joined a Church of Christ.

Offline James Rondon

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« Reply #54 on: February 10, 2004, 05:38:45 PM »
Correct me if I'm wrong... But from reading this discussion, and following its recent evolution, it doesn't appear that anyone on this thread would make the case that the \"Church of Christ\" is not a denomination.

Offline Rocketman

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« Reply #55 on: February 10, 2004, 07:21:53 PM »
I've followed this thread with interest.  I had weeks earlier followed the discussion on Oak Hills and the name change as well.  If I recall correctly there were some who argued that there was no evidence that the name cofc had any effect, it didnt matter.  I didnt agree with their thinking, but didnt have any specific experiences myself where it had mattered.

That all changed recently, we had a family who visited our mainstream cofc congregation for about 2 months.  They really enjoyed it and were/are a great family. However, during their Christmas travels when they told friends and family they were visiting a cofc, they got a lot of info about \"what the cofc believes.\"  Essentially, all the stereotypes of the far right harsh type.  They no longer attend our church after getting back from this trip.  Their thinking is, \"we know yall dont believe all those things, but we dont want to have to explain that to all our friends/family/people we meet that we arent like that.\"   My family is still friends with that family and will continue to be, but the whole experience really jolted me.  In fact it was quite devastating for a while to me because I cant change those things really.   They enjoyed a lot about us: Sunday school class, Sunday night small group, but we couldnt overcome the reputation of some of \"our own.\"

I dont know where this fits into this thread, but wanted to share one experience.  I'm sure the usual suspects will discount this with their tired old arguments while others will see the great sadness in this experience.
RM

Offline James Sterling

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« Reply #56 on: February 10, 2004, 07:35:52 PM »
We have CoC loud and clear on the sign in front of the congregation.  

But this causes tremendous grief in some circumstances.

Because of projection screens, a praise team, hand-raising, clapping, women speaking out, etc., etc., we have had a number of CoC visitors storm out of services - scratching their name out of the guest log on the way out.

Moreover, other CoC's in town publish a full page ad once a year called 'What to Expect When You Visit the Church of Christ.'  When we did not participate in the costs of the ad last year because we do not agree with everything written in it.  They stuck us in it anyway.  It caused more problems for some who read it and saw what we did differently.  

All said - CoC carries a specific denominational meaning with it now.  And if you are not towing the party line, you are asking for trouble if the sign says so.  Try putting a Baptist sign out front and worshiping like Pentecostals - people expect 'something' when they see a certain sign.

But it is regional - when we planted a congregation on the East Coast, people thought we were the 'Boston Movement' they had read about and seen on TV (all negative reviews). :(

Rocketman - we recently had visitors who moved in and formerly attended a Bible church.  They were very excited about what they saw and heard - that is until they did some web research on what the CoC stood for.  I can't get his words out of my head - 'it said you speak where the Bible speaks and are silent where the Bible is silent; and then it says Ephesians 5:19 condemns instrumental worship.  Isn't that hypocritical?'   :cry:

Offline Skip

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« Reply #57 on: February 11, 2004, 07:02:04 AM »
[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote [/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]Correct me if I'm wrong... But from reading this discussion, and following its recent evolution, it doesn't appear that anyone on this thread would make the case that the \"Church of Christ\" is not a denomination.[/quote]
Depends on your definition of \"denomination\" ;)

From M-W online, definition 4 (the only one referring to a \"religious\" body):
a religious organization uniting local congregations in a single legal and administrative body

By the dictionary definition the coC is not a denomination, since it has no uniting legal/adminstrative body, but rather is composed of autonomous congregations. In theory they're united by doctrine. In practice, they are rarely if ever united by administration. (An aside - that's another unusual thing about the Lucato \"satellite\" church idea, as they are then technically their own little denomination in the administrative sense!)

Otherwise congregations like Oak Hills and Woodmont Hills couldn't just up-and-change their sign; at least not without permission from the overall administration. Kind of like the US Episcopalian schism - the so-called 'conservatives' are loathe to openly split because their property belongs to the Church, not the congregation. And in my experience with the Catholic denomination, since the administration defines the worship practices, there are a finite set of things you'll find, while in the coC you can find a wide range of surprises.

But I usually find that in conversations like this there are many who are quite anxious to strip the \"non-denominational\" tag from the coC (no matter what the dictionary might say)!

Offline James Sterling

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« Reply #58 on: February 11, 2004, 07:19:25 AM »
According to Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Theology (which is the hallmark for these types of definitions among theologians) in the beginning of the second paragraph in the near one page definition of the word 'denomination' it is 'any group that distinguishes itself by a name.'  

That pretty much throws the door wide open I'd say.

Additionally, the vast majority of CoCers do have a form of governing hierarchies and conventions - show me what publications and lectureships a man reads and attends and I'll show you what administration he is under - unless he is particularly independent, even of his local leadership.

Offline Skip

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« Reply #59 on: February 11, 2004, 07:22:48 AM »
RM,
James S,

I grew up in an instrumental coC in the Midwest.
\"Church of Christ\" on the SOF.
Same name. Similar doctrine.
Are they part of the \"coC denomination\", or not?
Are they their own denomination?
If you have the coC name on the sign, does that make you a part of the \"denomination\"?
If not, what about the “legal loophole