[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote [/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]Sylvia,
Is this Sylvia the guy using his momma's name for the board or Sylvia the gal whose name is actually Sylvia? :noworries:
I'll try to answer your questions...
When you speak of disunity are your referring to disunity within a given sect or disunity between the different sects, or denominations, if you prefer?
In scripture there is only one church (Eph. 4:4). The Lord's intention and plea for that one church is oneness (John 17:21). When I say disunity I mean the mere fact that in "Christendom" there are several churches is scripturally problematic. You have to do a lot of maneuvering and gerrymandering (sp?) to get scripture to teach more than one church. When I speak of disunity I am referring to disunity within a given sect and disunity between the different sects, or denominations, or anybody else.
Yes I believe there is only one true church of Christ. I don't believe we in the churches of Christ today have the right though to tell God who is in and who is out. Jesus is lord. She's His church. He is Head.We are members.
My comment was a response to the apparent "high-horse" I see among some people here who are not coC. Many seem to want to take this as an opportunity to show their "superiority" without really understanding our movement at all. I don't know if that was your intent, but I have seen similar things over and over and felt a need to at least speak up.
When you speaking of a willingness to be ecumenical what do you mean?
Ecumenicalism is a movement toward putting everyone under one house religiously (from the greek oikos). The present ecumenical movement has some good and bad points. What I mean is that some are willing to broaden fellowship to anyone who claims to be Christian regardless of teaching for the sake of Ecumenicalism. I am not. Now I'm not as narrow as that sounds. But there are certain foundational principles that I believe in, and I'm not willing to disregard them for the sake of "getting along". Please don't misread that statement. I'm not saying only people who see it "my way" are in God's church. I'm saying that there are many false prophets gone out into the world and we need to tery the spirits whether they are of God.
I think a major difference between my sect and the Coc is that we are not of the opinion that we have the only correct view of scripture.
I have no problem with that. But I do believe there is truth out there somewhere. I believe Jesus is absolutely true. I believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God. I believe in salvation by Grace through faith. I believe without obedience there is no faith. I believe in repentance and baptism for the remission of sins as an act of faith not a saving work.
And even more than all that I believe Jesus is Lord. When He said and "ye shall know the truth..." I don't bnelieve He lied to me or tricked me or gave me a lifelong quest of frustrating non-attainability. I believe His truth can be known.
Hope this helps...[/quote]
I can understand you being defensive about the "high horse" attitude of people like me, as I am an outsider. Perhaps you misconstrue what I am trying to say. It isn't my intent to be judgemental or critical but to offer my view as to why CoC people have a degree of disunity within their own sect that simply doesn't exist in my sect. The mere fact that my sect, the UMC, has a common doctrine that is observed by all congreagations minimizes the petty quarrels I see in the
CoC movement. Hey, we are either all right or we are all wrong, but at least we are in agreement on the major points.
As to disunity between sects, it is my belief that, for the
most part, that is, in the mainstream Protestant sects, such as UMC, Evangelical Lutheran, Presbyterian and Roman Catholic, just to name a few of the larger denominations, we have unity of agreement on the basic tenets of Christianity, the very ones you have listed in you post. True, there may be slight differences in the methods or rituals, but those aren't divine principles, or salvation issues as some CoC pundits say.
In American political thinking there are two main viewpoints as represented by the two major parties, and there are a number of small groups or parties who hold some unique views that are not mainstream. Does that mean these folks are un-American? Certainly not. Should these people be jailed or tarred and feathered just because their views don't conform to the majority views? Nope.
The same can be said of the small sects of Christianity. I have no ill feelings towards Pentecostals, Mormons, or the small independents as long as they stay out of my face. It's not my place to judge them for what they believe although I do find some of their beliefs and practices to be rather peculiar.
Guess what, the same general view is held of the CoC as is held of other small faith groups, so who's being high minded or self-righteous?
To my way of thinking there is only one church, the universal church, the entire body of believers. Did Christ specify what it should look like or what it should believe right down to the last detail? I don't think so. He was not in the habit of micromanaging his flock and I think he saw the futility of doing so. I think your problem lies in thinking there should be only one POV in Christianity, the CoC POV. Sorry, but it isn't going to happen in your lifetime, so get used to it.
Your attitude that there can be only one way, the CoC way, is at odds with your desire for unity. As one lady said, we can have unity without conformity, and she was a CoC person.If you want unity in the universal church it helps to be an example or a role model, and you folks just aren't there yet. Get your own house in order before you start on mine.
Rather than closing your mind to suggestions and observations from outsiders try opening you mind to the fact that there may be merit in their viewpoints. Frankly I couldn't care less if you folks get your act together or not, especially if you persist on resisting any advice just because it's not of your own sect. It's the old NIH syndrome and you need to be aware of that.
Must we wait for the absolute truth to be revealed before we can get on with serving the Lord? Look at it this way. There may be only one absolute truth of scripture but there are jillions of ways to serve the Lord. So why sit an cry over some idealistic state of perfection not being at hand when we can make a difference simply by going with what we got?
I think of ecumenicalism as spreading the word of Christ to the entire world as opposed to restricting it to a select group, which is in effect what you are doing with your narrow viewpoints. You may be right as can be, but if it doesn't sell then what have you accomplished, relatively speaking? Is the Lord's mission one of being exclusive or perfect in viewpoint?
I don't think so. As long as folks can master the basic tenets of Christianity their chance of going to Heaven are as good as the next guy's are, and there's plenty of room for all of us.
Might you be a little paranoid about the false prophet issue?
Sure there's false teaching out there but give folks credit for having half a brain. In time they will see a falsehood for what it is and will reject it. Have a little faith in humanity for a change, because that's all there is to work with, mortal beings with hopes and dreams and failings.
Remember the song "Looking for love in all the wrong places"?
We can't be looking for saints on the planet because they live in Heaven. If we were perfect then we wouldn't need divine guidance.