Christian Interests > Theology Forum

"Letters of Disfellowship"

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Lee Freeman:

--- Quote ---
--- Quote ---
--- Quote ---This letter was sent out to other churches in at least two states, if you can believe it.
--- End quote ---
I can believe it. My church got disfellowshiped by people and churches we'd never had fellowship with and  some we'd never even heard of.
...
--- End quote ---
This just strikes me as a disconnect...

You make a big deal about \"never having fellowship\" with these \"disfellowship letter\" churches.
Yet you will, on the other hand, proclaim unity -- which implies \"fellowship\" -- with another group if they park their van in the lot and a group of nameless faces happen to walk in the same parade or sit on the bleachers of the same stadium listening to the same speaker.
Which way do you want it? You can't have it both ways...
 :confused:
Personally, I consider that when I walk into a coC in another city I have a very real bond of fellowship with those people. That has been confirmed over and over again.

Yet if they were a group with a coC SOF, but should be avoided for some reason, it may surprise you, but I actually would like to know rather than learn the hard way why I shouldn't be there. (I've had that unfortunate experience as well.)
--- End quote ---
I see your point-I think, but I don't see a problem. My own brethren rejected us and disfellowshipped us; churches 500 miles away in another state, that I'd never even heard of before, read a reprint of one newspaper article and from that one article concluded that we should be disfellowshipped. How can a church you've never actually been in fellowship with, withdraw it?

Unity has to start somewhere, it won't start off with all of us being in full fellowship right off the bat. Nor will it start unless I'm actually around those \"nameless faces,\" as you call them. Since that first March for Jesus many of them are friends now, rather than just \"nameless faces.\" Were we not united in purpose and sentiment when we marched together, all mixed up, Catholics and Protestants, Lutherans and Methodists, Church of Christ and Charismatics, Baptists and Presbyterians? Unity has to begin somewhere. I think those marches were a good start.

But you're extremely critical of these efforts; I've repeatedly asked you what you'd do, and you haven't responded. What would you do to bring about unity? Or do you think unity isn't important? Or is it something only God can do? What's the answer? Stop criticising and offer some solutions.

Pax.[/color]

Skip:
One using your logic might wonder how Paul went way past \"fellowship\" and presumed to write an authoritative letter to a church in Rome that he'd never even visited.

A church you've never heard of writes a \"letter of disfellowship\". How dare they? We were never in fellowship.
A church you've never heard of parks their van next to yours in the parking lot at the rally. Fellowship.
Sorry, but the truth of a statement is not determined by whether you like the result.
How 'bout this: A church you've never heard of writes a \"letter of fellowship\"... What then? Return to sender?

As for unity, I'm convinced of three things:
1) The Campbellian plea was, at its heart, one of Restoration
- Unity would be a natural result of the restoration
2) Any list of \"essentials\" is, by definition, sectarian
3) Jesus prayed for the Father to make his disciples \"one\" -- not to me or you or Ketcherside or Campbell

My solution is to quit playing God and let God answer the prayer of Jesus Christ.

Lee Freeman:

--- Quote ---My solution is to quit playing God and let God answer the prayer of Jesus Christ.
--- End quote ---
Paul was inspired, the churches who withdrew from us aren't. And Paul had very legitimate salvation-issues to adress. The Magnolia church of Christ meeting with a Methodist church doesn't rank as a salvation issue. Or does it?

I won't debate what Richard Hughes calls \"the myth of the singular Campbell\" again.

I have a hard time with the notion that we should all sit back in our segregated, separated and divided churches and just pray for unity, without taking any action. To me this is roughly akin to praying for God to stop crime, or drug use, but our doing nothing ourselves about it. Not even trying to bring about unity because we're afraid of creating more dis-unity or because we're afraid of failing to me is like the one-talent man who was so afraid of making a mistake or failing that he took no action at all. I believe we should all pray, but I also think God expects us to cooperate with his will.

But honestly, I don't think we really want unity badly enough; each different church seems to be quite satisfied with the status quo of them existing in their own little theological pond, as if their pond is the only one, blissfully unaware of all the other ponds out there. But that's just how I see it.

Pax.[/color]

Skip:

--- Quote ---
--- Quote ---My solution is to quit playing God and let God answer the prayer of Jesus Christ.
--- End quote ---
Paul was inspired, the churches who withdrew from us aren't.
...
--- End quote ---
\"Paul was inspired\"
Paul writes a letter to a church he's never visited
Therefore it follows that because Paul was inspired, we should not write letters to churches we've never visited.

What twisted logic. :doh:
[edit]
Wait!
I think I get it now!
We can conclude that Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, and others who wrote letters to churches were inspired!
 :party:[/color]

Lee Freeman:

--- Quote ---
--- Quote ---
--- Quote ---My solution is to quit playing God and let God answer the prayer of Jesus Christ.
--- End quote ---
Paul was inspired, the churches who withdrew from us aren't.
...
--- End quote ---
\"Paul was inspired\"
Paul writes a letter to a church he's never visited
Therefore it follows that because Paul was inspired, we should not write letters to churches we've never visited.

What twisted logic. :doh:
[edit]
Wait!
I think I get it now!
We can conclude that Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, and others who wrote letters to churches were inspired!
 :party:
--- End quote ---
My point was that Paul had a legitimate reason to write to Rome-which he did under inspiration. Did I say that Clement, Ignatius, and Polycarp were inspired in the same way? Nevertheless, under the episcopal system in place in the church at that time they were leaders of the churches they wrote to, hence expected to write such letters when tthe occasion demanded. But under church of Christ ploity, Glendale Church of Christ doesn't have any authority to speak for anybody other than Glendale Church of Christ. So what makes their pronouncement of withdrawal \"official?\"

Does East Florence Church of Christ have a right or a spiritual duty to write letters to Chisholm Hills Church of Christ criticising and rebuking Chisholm Hills for using their marquee to congratulate Mars Hill Bible School for winning the state play-offs?

Does any church have the right to send a letter to any other church for any reason?

Pax.[/color]

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