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Offline Rocketman

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« on: Tue Nov 12, 2002 - 08:05:12 »
I agree with Julie's comments.  There should be autonomy but to me what affects this the most is the people who feel they must write up others in their journal.   I think some of these folks will have some answers to give one day.

I recently went to hear a speaker with an elder from the congregation I work with and the speaker was very good and bibilical in his talk.  This guy was part of a church plant that has grown from 35 members to now around a 1,000.  And in growth I mean true growth not just people leaving other churches to come to this church.  They reach out to many outcasts, prostitutes, drug users, alcholics etc.  People that need to know Jesus.  And they are making a great impact on God's kingdom.  As we were driving home, the elder asked, "I wonder if they are considered a sound congregation by the other churches in  ."   My reply was, "who cares what the other churches think, they are doing God's work."  I brought up the congregational autonomy issue.  To me this is a major problem with leadership in many cofcs today.  We need to do what God wants, not what the "brethern" may or may not agree with.

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« on: Tue Nov 12, 2002 - 08:05:12 »

Offline Arkstfan

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« Reply #1 on: Tue Nov 12, 2002 - 14:09:38 »
When I use the term mainstream I am speaking of the mass that lies between the NI and the wild-eyed liberals.

The mean of NI congregations use the hermenutic of command, example and a very light dusting of inference. Silence is prohibition.

The mean of the wild-eyed liberals use command, example, a light dusting of inference and silence is liberty to act.

The mean of the mainstream use command, example, and rely heavily upon inference. Silence generally equals prohibition or at least treading lightly but they are far more likely to work up an inference to cover whatever they wish to undertake. We tend to not see them as being quite as legalistic as the NI but from a theory of hermenutics standpoint they are the most legalistic of our brotherhood because much of their theology is descended from the principles of rabbinical interpretation.

There may be no one else here who sees the "mainstream" that way but it is what I mean when I speak of them.

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« Reply #1 on: Tue Nov 12, 2002 - 14:09:38 »

Offline WileyClarkson

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« Reply #2 on: Sat Nov 16, 2002 - 10:24:00 »
Rocketman,

[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote [/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--] I think it's highly likely that there will be yet another great division among cofcs.[/quote]

I don't think it's just highly likely---I think it's already happening!  It's really just a matter of time until it becomes solidified and openly recognized.  The interesting thing is that it seems to be more a pulling away by the more "conservative/traditional/zealot" from the "liberal/non-traditional/open", many of whom don't wish to loose the CoC identity.  An even larger question is where the present day Mainline (middle of the road) churches will fall (churches that share common views of each, are very satisfied with where they are, and have no desire to join in the wrangelings) when it does occur officially.  

I'm no prophet but I think whatever is going to happen will solidify within ten years or so, if not sooner.

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« Reply #2 on: Sat Nov 16, 2002 - 10:24:00 »

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« Reply #3 on: Sun Nov 17, 2002 - 23:26:06 »
I can't say I agree.  If this happens, families will be torn apart.  Division will increase.  Unity will suffer another blow.

While I can't force anyone to fellowship with me, I also can't see taking steps that will sever whatever fellowship exists.  If he takes the steps, I can't prevent it.  If I take the steps, however, I will bear some of the responsibility.

I'm not talking about changing signs per se.  I have no problem with that (believe it or not, our wavering little congregation has even toyed around with the "family of God" label at times).  What I am talking about is saying that I will change the name not to become more open to the community and to open up fellowship with churches of different persuasions, but in order to form a separate identity which then becomes, in essence, a separate denomination.

I think we give the "brotherhood papers" too much credit. I honestly don't believe they have the clout among the general members of the Church of Christ they get credit for having.  I believe their goal is to force a split (thus the mass mailings and the demand that everyone choose sides).  I don't believe that this would serve the cause of unity.

The winds of change have been blowing for only a short time.  Change is not a fast, seismic event.  It is often glacial, even. At whatever speed change moves, it is a painful event.  I believe that God is working to change the Churches of Christ.  If those who are open to his voice leave, who will be left to effect the change?

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« Reply #3 on: Sun Nov 17, 2002 - 23:26:06 »

Offline janine

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« Reply #4 on: Tue Nov 19, 2002 - 08:53:50 »
P.S. Kanham:

There is a test.

The problem is, most of the time we human Christians get caught up in studying the wrong notes.

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« Reply #4 on: Tue Nov 19, 2002 - 08:53:50 »



Offline nerdneh

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« Reply #5 on: Tue Nov 19, 2002 - 23:02:49 »
Years ago when I was in Erie, Pa. there was a "mainline" church in the area that went to great pains not to be confused with any other group, so someone told me (cannot verify) that they took out an ad in the Yellow Pages that read something like this:
  CHURCH OF CHRIST
  Vocal music only
  Supports Herald of Truth and Orphan Homes
  Multiple cups at communion
  Sunday School available

Let's see, did they leave anything important out?

For Janine, be open to the Holy Spirit. He is the director and will not violate His own Word. By the way, are you near Lake Verret (ck sp). I remember fishing there many moons ago and it was a great spot.

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« Reply #5 on: Tue Nov 19, 2002 - 23:02:49 »

Offline janine

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« Reply #6 on: Thu Dec 05, 2002 - 11:41:04 »
I see the Susie-point and the Fate-point both.

Maybe there needs to be much moe emphasis on the reaching-the-lost and a lot less on notifying-the-found... but there's use for both angles.

Offline ellisadam

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« Reply #7 on: Thu Dec 05, 2002 - 14:32:36 »
As a fellow member of the C of C who has read "Why I Am A Member of the Church of Christ" several times in my life, I have come to an epiphany.  There were no signs outside of first century churches.  Everything we have called a "biblical name" in scripture was simply meant to be discriptive.  The word "church" was what they referred to themselves as.  I think that God must throw up his hands in disbelief that we actually argue over this stuff.

In HIM,
AE

Offline nerdneh

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« Reply #8 on: Mon Nov 11, 2002 - 20:06:05 »
As I posted several weeks ago, an interesting confrontation is ongoing in Florence, AL. It all started with a story in the Religion Section of the Florence Times Daily when a local church of Christ (the biggest in town) announced plans to build a mega campus with ball fields, a gym, etc. (but no McDonalds) right here in Florence.

The next week, a minister for a non-institutional church took out a rather large ad in the Religion Section of the paper and denounced and lambasted the first church and even went so far as to say he wished they would change their name from church of Christ to something else, since they had forfeited the right to be called Christians any more. I will have to admit though that this preacher is an equal opportunity lambaster, as he has creamed about everyone in town, Roman Catholics, "liberal" churches of Christ, etc. almost every group except the Non Institutional church.

OK, next level is that an editor of the paper wrote an article calling attention to the then ongoing "Light the Fire" campaign among some churches of Christ in town and asking "What kind of a church are we trying to revive?" He wanted to know if churches of Christ were going to revive a biblical church or one that spent all their energy vigorously attacking others, as in the present case.

Next level; a local minister of the churches of Christ writes a letter of protest to the editor and informs everyone that the two churches described, the one with the mega dream and the one attacking it, were "not in the mainstream anyway." So, we were encouraged to look at what the mainstream churches were doing, and not look at these two fringe groups.

Now, my question for you board posters is; "What is a mainstream church of Christ and who sets the parameters for this identification?"

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« Reply #8 on: Mon Nov 11, 2002 - 20:06:05 »

Offline Emily

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« Reply #9 on: Tue Nov 12, 2002 - 08:28:35 »
Bob....now I remember why I left Florence twenty years ago...
em
:(

[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote [/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]As I posted several weeks ago, an interesting confrontation is ongoing in Florence, AL. It all started with a story in the Religion Section of the Florence Times Daily when a local church of Christ (the biggest in town) announced plans to build a mega campus with ball fields, a gym, etc. (but no McDonalds) right here in Florence.

The next week, a minister for a non-institutional church took out a rather large ad in the Religion Section of the paper and denounced and lambasted the first church and even went so far as to say he wished they would change their name from church of Christ to something else, since they had forfeited the right to be called Christians any more. I will have to admit though that this preacher is an equal opportunity lambaster, as he has creamed about everyone in town, Roman Catholics, "liberal" churches of Christ, etc. almost every group except the Non Institutional church.

OK, next level is that an editor of the paper wrote an article calling attention to the then ongoing "Light the Fire" campaign among some churches of Christ in town and asking "What kind of a church are we trying to revive?" He wanted to know if churches of Christ were going to revive a biblical church or one that spent all their energy vigorously attacking others, as in the present case.

Next level; a local minister of the churches of Christ writes a letter of protest to the editor and informs everyone that the two churches described, the one with the mega dream and the one attacking it, were "not in the mainstream anyway." So, we were encouraged to look at what the mainstream churches were doing, and not look at these two fringe groups.

Now, my question for you board posters is; "What is a mainstream church of Christ and who sets the parameters for this identification?" [/quote]

Offline Skip

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« Reply #10 on: Tue Nov 12, 2002 - 12:56:43 »
Fascinating question, one that intrigues me.

In my college days I was a Geography major (undergrad and grad), and we spent a good bit of time dealing with the question of what 'average' (or, in Bob's case, 'mainstream') really meant. We spent a lot of time analyzing census data and experimental data. And, for example, the 'average' household, which at the time had 2.4 children, didn't exist in reality.

If one accepts my notion that 'mainstream' is roughly equivalent to 'average', then...
Who wants to be 'average', anyway?
And what church is striving to be 'average'?

But I'm still pondering the idea of 'mainstream' or 'average'...

Offline Barb1957

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« Reply #11 on: Sat Nov 16, 2002 - 23:59:52 »
Lee, as a member of the West End church, I appreciate your posting that. Thanks! I LOVE my church family. They have been there for my family in so many ways, including helping us through the loss of a child. We've seen God's love shine through so often through the people there. We love David and Melony and their precious children. I'm blessed to know them.

The first Sunday of this year, immediately before Phil Kinzer preached his first sermon, officially, as our new pulpit minister, David led a prayer. Beautiful moment.

Did I mention that I love these people?  :)

- Barb

Offline Arkstfan

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« Reply #12 on: Sun Nov 17, 2002 - 23:09:00 »
Sadly the interest of unity may make the label split an important step.

There seems to be a growing trend of attacks by church leaders who are especially offended that some wild-eyed liberal churches are daring to use the name church of Christ on the sign out front.

If a sign change is needed to lower the temperature then its not that bad of an idea. The offended will likely still mutter about them but can feel vindicated that the apostate have taken the cofC sign down and admitted that they are no longer the same as them.

Offline janine

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« Reply #13 on: Tue Nov 19, 2002 - 08:52:11 »
We'd been thinking & praying about starting up a congregation "down the bayou" where there is almost no church at all, except for people clinging to their Grandma's Catholicism.

Then Isidore and Lilli hit.  The communities down the bayous toward the bays of the Gulf were inundated.  Some homes were irrepairable.

The church of Christ up here is still running a disaster relief warehouse.  We're following up on people who initially got help from us, checking on what more we can do for them, setting up Bible studies.

Healing  after a hurricane is where we got our foot in the door down the other main bayou below town.  Lord willing, we'll grow another plant this time, too.

If we get any help at all from our current congregation, though, there will be no question and no deviation allowed.  The main sign will say "Church of Christ".  Period.

Makes Mike wonder how it will all pan out.

We still want to move down there.  We'll be jacking our home up on telephone poles. :)

Unless the Lord has other ideas, that's what we plan on doing.

Offline janine

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« Reply #14 on: Wed Nov 20, 2002 - 08:00:08 »
Not far.  It's a decent trip to there if you want a fishing expedition.

Ah, Booty, "The Church" is good enough for me.

Maybe even "the Church meets here" on a sign and that's all.

Not a week goes by without Mike telling me to urge you & Sandi to come here if you must "bug out".  Frankly, he'd like every poster I've ever told him about to "come on down!"

Heh.  If I work up a retreat with fun South Louisiana things to do between devotional sessions, how many GCM posters could I get to attend?

Hhmm... "Blast From the Bayou"... "Holy Houma Festival"... "Oak & Moss Christian Retreat"...  y'all don't mind me, I'm brainstorming...

Offline Fate

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« Reply #15 on: Thu Dec 05, 2002 - 11:35:09 »
Susieface,

I agree with you mostly. But we also need to consider the impact the ICOC has had on our witness. I get so tired of saying to people, "No, we won't make your daughter live communally and forbid her from coming home for Christmas dinner!" :(

Offline Booty

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« Reply #16 on: Thu Dec 05, 2002 - 15:15:56 »
[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote [/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]I think that God must throw up his hands in disbelief that we actually argue over this stuff.[/quote]


AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Offline s1n4m1n

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« Reply #17 on: Mon Nov 11, 2002 - 20:24:47 »
Hi,

You know, it always seems the "ministers" or preachers cause most of the division in the Church of Christ. Frankly, I think they have too much time on their hands. 99% of their paid time ought to be spent evangelising the lost.


Ken

Offline nerdneh

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« Reply #18 on: Tue Nov 12, 2002 - 11:53:08 »
Wouldn't something be wrong with the congregation if it was in the "mainstream?" I do not see Jesus as being in "the mainstream." Seems to me like He lives on the cutting edge, always scandalizing "proper folks" and healing people on days you were not supposed to  heal on (cf. John 5 and John 9).

But when the Pharisees kicked out the formerly blind man (John 9), it was Jesus who was the first one there to identify with him and show him the Son of Man! Then followed the frightening statement directed to the leaders of the "mainstream": "Because you say, 'we see,' your blindness remains."

Offline WileyClarkson

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« Reply #19 on: Thu Nov 14, 2002 - 11:49:53 »
Mainstream CoC is where the progressive/liberal coc of now will be twenty years from now when the progressive liberal CoC of twenty years from now is pushing for positive change and the progressive/liberal CoC of now is satisfied with where they have gone twenty years from now and don't wish to change any further from where they have gone twenty years from now........

It's all relative to the time frame we view it from :D

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« Reply #20 on: Thu Nov 14, 2002 - 15:08:50 »
I AM FROM FLORENCE AS WELL AND I LOVED DAVID BROWN'S ARTICLE AND THOUGHT HE HAD A VERY VALID POINT BUT I DID FIND IT INTERESTING THAT HE DID USE 2 MINISTERS FROM 2 OF THE "EXTREME".  LIKE BOB WAS SAYING, NEITHER ONE WAS WHAT PEOPLE CONSIDER "MAINSTREAM"  ONE WAS WAY TO LIBERAL AND ONE WAS WAY TO CONSERVATIVE SO THE PEOPLE WHO CONSIDER THEMSELVES TO BE THE "TRUE CHURCH" PROBABLY WERE UNABLE TO ACTUALLY SEE THEMSELVES IN THIS AND ACTUALLY LOOK AT SELF WHICH IN MY OPINION IS WHAT IS DESPERATELY NEEDED.

LISA P.

Offline Eric

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« Reply #21 on: Mon Nov 18, 2002 - 08:26:31 »
The problem with the name on the sign issue is not for those around you.  They know the style of the local congregation.  Visitors from other places that come expecting this CofC to be just like the one back home (whereever that might be).  

We often have visitors either get up and walk out, or they stay after and try to explain how we do not honor the scriptures up here.  Other CofC in our province already know and either they worship with us when they travel through or they make sure that they are not here on a Sunday.  We have not been quick at figuring out how to deal with the problem of perception because, while it bothers us once or twice a year, we know that nothing we have done will make that person "stumble" or give up their faith (they just believe that we have given up the faith).

Many of us want to keep contact with our history, with our roots (the core leaders of the church have that history unlike most of our members), but we want to find a way to warn people before they join us that we do not always do things the way that they might be expecting (the big issue for people is the women's roles thing, and it almost never fails, the husbands who visit enjoy themselves, while the wives want to debate scriptures with us ;) ).

Eric

Offline Eric

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« Reply #22 on: Wed Nov 20, 2002 - 08:36:05 »
Personally, I like the idea of choosing a name that represents the community you live in (as a church), but putting the tag line that admits your roots.  Many churches are moving to calling themselves community churches, but when you start to examine the theology it becomes clear what the background is.  I would rather not confuse people.  It seems to me to be more honest to put "a church of Christ, or a Church of Christ" depending on your theology (or grammar).

The Salvation Army Church has a sign, and I think it expresses something (I am not sure that it was intended) that I would like churches to express.  It says:  "A Thunder Bay Church" and then below it says, "Salvation Army Church" in smaller letters.  What if a whole community did that?  Imagine the signal it would send to the unchurched community?
 :0
Eric

Offline susieface

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« Reply #23 on: Thu Dec 05, 2002 - 11:08:46 »
I think when we get all concerned with whether to hang onto the c of c name or change it and add it at the bottom whatever,  we are more concerned with "the churched or other church of christ members" knowing who we are affiliated with than with the "lost or unchurched" who may not care one way or the other what the name on the building says.  Are we more concerned with christians knowing what doctrine we stand for or for getting the lost into our buildings?
Just a thought that has popped into my mind while reading this board.
Susie

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« Reply #24 on: Thu Dec 05, 2002 - 13:58:41 »
Fate, if we are worried about being confused with ICOC, then wouldn't that be one more reason to just not include cofc in the name at all.  Just say "fill in the blank  church."
But to be honest the name thing isn't an issue for me.
Susie

Offline Rocketman

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« Reply #25 on: Mon Nov 11, 2002 - 20:39:52 »
Alex, I'll take cofc theology for $500.

"What is a mainstream church of Christ and who sets the parameters for this identification?"

Who is Mack Lynn?

Correct.


 :D

Its got to be him, he keeps the book.  If its not him then its the bishops of the brotherhood journals.  At least thats my second guess. (Though I'm not equating Mack with those other folks)  Maybe STOP could do an article on this.

Offline janine

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« Reply #26 on: Tue Nov 12, 2002 - 09:27:06 »
I have, actually, literally, out of the mouths of elders, heard comments like "Well, the brethren in Tennessee do it this way."

As a defense of their method.  Whatever the method under consideration was, I've forgotten now.

But I sure do remember that justification. :angry:

Seems like a 'mainstream' church is one that is the most like most other churches.

But I don't even necessarily mean the church of Christ like most other churches of Christ, either.

I mean, the church of Christ most like any old middle-of-the-road
-let's-not-offend-anyone-you-pays-yer-money
-and-you-gits-yer-Sunday-morning-Christianity
-usually-but-not-always-Protestant-and
-belonging-to-a-national-organization-with-headquarters
-anywhere-but-Heaven
(whoof)
CHURCH.

Offline janine

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« Reply #27 on: Thu Nov 14, 2002 - 09:43:31 »
I guess none of them would have 'gone for' the interpretive dance at a ladies' day some of us went to a couple weeks ago.

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« Reply #28 on: Thu Nov 14, 2002 - 15:13:53 »
Wow.

First of all to get a piece like that written in a secular publication is just amazing. That deserves a WOW

Then to read the follow-up on David Slater rates two more WOWs. One to his congregation and another to Woodmont for stepping up to the plate to help. That's the sort of weirdness that Christ espoused!

marc

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« Reply #29 on: Sun Nov 17, 2002 - 23:42:49 »
It's entirely possible that one reason I look at things this way is that I am fully aware of the legalistic views I once held.  Though I was never at the Contending for the Faith level (they were the bogeymen when I was growing up) and the change in my own views took place more due to my reading than outside views, the increasing openness in the congregation Where I grew up and the awareness that others in the Church of Christ were also changing helped me along and made me willing to express my changing views (at first a very difficult thing for me).  If those who were changing had left the Chruch of Christ, I don't know where I would be today.

Offline Skip

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« Reply #30 on: Thu Nov 21, 2002 - 08:25:58 »
[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote [/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]Years ago when I was in Erie, Pa. there was a "mainline" church in the area that went to great pains not to be confused with any other group, so someone told me (cannot verify) that they took out an ad in the Yellow Pages that read something like this:
  CHURCH OF CHRIST
  Vocal music only
  Supports Herald of Truth and Orphan Homes
  Multiple cups at communion
  Sunday School available

Let's see, did they leave anything important out?

For Janine, be open to the Holy Spirit. He is the director and will not violate His own Word. By the way, are you near Lake Verret (ck sp). I remember fishing there many moons ago and it was a great spot.[/quote]
Bob,

It looks like they put the important part on the first line...  :D

Actually, as one who has travelled on business and been a bit concerned sometimes about what might be going on behind the sign on the door, I think that it is a good idea to plainly state in the yellow pages where you stand on some issues confronting the CoC (since the yellow pages are the place that many or most travellers would look).
Better to know than to be surprised... Talking from experience...  :0

Eric,

How does what you've mentioned - a community name then a 'church' name - differ from what many CoCs do?
For instance, the sign outside the building where I attend in Madison, AL, says "Madison Church of Christ".

Some CoCs use a street address, which is also tied to the community.

But I can think of very few CoCs that *don't* have a name that's tied to the community.

(Or was your point a roundabout way of saying that you like the way the CoC designates themselves in the community?)

Offline janine

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« Reply #31 on: Sat Nov 23, 2002 - 17:04:38 »
If I get any say in the sign & phone book listing when our hoped-for church plant takes shape, I think I'll push for "Church of Dulac", followed below in smaller print by "A Conservatively Liberal, Liberally Conservative Church of Christ".

 :p  :D  ;)

Offline Fate

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« Reply #32 on: Thu Dec 05, 2002 - 14:23:25 »
Susieface and Charlie and Janine and whoever else might be listening in on our conversation! :D

The name thing is a problem for me. It's mostly because of my own personal church culture baggage. You know I grew up under, "There's something in a name!" sermons. And even when you look at American society, branding is highly important. Having said that, I wouldn't make it a test of fellowship unless it was a matter of open-rebellion against God.

 We call ourselves the Metropolitan Church of Christ but I would be dishonest if I told you we weren't tempted to go with Metropolitan Church just to avoid the constant roadblocks the name "Church of Christ" carries with it. I don't want to have to give up a Biblical name just because it's been marred by cultists though.  ;)

Charlie I do also hope to see that unity one day... but I'm not holding my breath! We may have to wait until the final consummation of the Kingdom. Maranatha! :)

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« Reply #33 on: Mon Nov 11, 2002 - 20:51:34 »
What happened to autonomy?  There is no central body that decides for all churches of Christ and there is a reason for this.  How cool it would be if that system actually worked and each church got to work out for themselves how they would operate and no one would get upset because someone else had more freedom than they did.  We need to learn to mind our own business and take care of our own church families and stop worrying about what anyone else is doing.  Sorry, a little soapbox talk here.  grace, Julie

Offline charlie

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« Reply #34 on: Thu Nov 14, 2002 - 07:31:41 »
MAINSTREAM CHURCH OF CHRIST

Charlie's def. 1:   The church I grew up in.
Charlie's def. 2:   Any Church of Christ made up of unknowing, yet effective disciples of the editors of the Gospel Minutes, Gospel Advocate, Spiritual Sword, Seek the Old Paths, Foy Wallace, and such. They are reluctantly accepting of NI churches, so long as they maintain the moniker "Church of Christ", or some variant of capitalization. They are reluctantly, yet consistently, condemning of churches of Christ they deem liberal.

LIBERAL:

Charlie's def. 1: not a disciple of the editors of the Gospel Minutes, Gospel Advocate, Spiritual Sword, Seek the Old Paths, Foy Wallace, or such.

Note: all congregations are autonomous, but are subject to the will of the editors of the Gospel Minutes, Gospel Advocate, Spiritual Sword, Seek the Old Paths, Foy Wallace, and such. (In other words, you can do what you want, so long as you want what they have decided you should do)

 

     
anything