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Offline admin

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« Reply #35 on: Thu Nov 14, 2002 - 14:23:17 »
Here is the article:

=======================================

Tale of 2 churches
October 20. 2002
 

What does America need more today than money, merchandise or entertainment?

A spiritual revival.

That's according to www.shoalsrevival.com, the Web site touting the unified effort of local churches of Christ to spread the good news in a series of meetings. Eye-catching "Light the Fire" yellow signs and billboards dot the landscape, signifying that something big is happening.

This is neat for several reasons, one being that churches of Christ, which don't have a corporate hierarchy, have a reputation for being rather disunited. By joining forces, the churches are presenting a positive image and demonstrating moral leadership at a time when it is sorely needed.

The question is, what kind of church are they trying to revive? In the last six weeks, the TimesDaily has published items involving churches of Christ that show two very different paths members can take.

On Aug. 28, we published a front-page article on Darby Drive Church of Christ's plans for a 45-acre complex in north Florence. The church wants to build structures that total 94,950 square feet, making it one of the largest construction projects in the area.

At least one person doesn't think this is such a good idea. On Sept. 7, East Florence Church of Christ minister Shawn Smith wrote a stinging rebuke of Darby Drive's plans in a paid advertisement.

"I pray they change their name, because Christ doesn't know them," Smith wrote. "No, they are not 'movin' on up,' they are 'movin' on out' from God!"

Contrast that with an Associated Press report on Sept. 28 about former country music singer David Slater, who in 1998 was hired as pulpit minister of West End Church of Christ in Nashville, Tenn.

By most accounts, Slater had it all: a successful ministry, good friends, happy marriage and children. Then he was arrested and charged with stealing other people's credit cards from unlocked cars.

The first person to visit him in jail was Rubel Shelly, minister at nearby Woodmont Hills Church of Christ. Woodmont paid for psychiatric counseling for Slater, and marriage and financial counseling for the family to keep them together.

Meanwhile, the West End church had little choice but to remove Slater from the pulpit. However, it continued paying his salary and health benefits for nine months. The family is still part of the church and now help lead marriage enrichment courses for other couples in trouble.

Let's recap:

In case No. 1, a minister who thinks another congregation is sinning handles it by publicly condemning them. Then he claims they aren't even Christians for violating his opinion of how a church should spend its money.

In case No. 2, a minister sees a brother in sin and gives him a hug. Then the church provides emotional and financial help to get him back on his feet, and as a result, the former inmate known as "preacher man" is once again working to bring people to Christ.

As the fire is lit this week, you decide which kind of church you want to see revived in the Shoals.

David Brown is executive editor of the TimesDaily. He can be reached at 740-5720 or [a href=\"mailto:david.brown@timesdaily.com.\"]david.brown@timesdaily.com.[/a]

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« Reply #35 on: Thu Nov 14, 2002 - 14:23:17 »

Offline Rocketman

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« Reply #36 on: Mon Nov 18, 2002 - 11:18:16 »
marc,
I think Joe's articulated what is happening as well as anyone I've read on this subject.  I would suggest others read this as well if you have not.  
RM

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« Reply #37 on: Tue Nov 19, 2002 - 11:55:51 »
Just curious:  what do people say when they explain why "Family of God" is not acceptable?   I ask because when we first began publishing a bulletin several years ago, the lady who edited it used the title "Family of God" on the front. Our most conservative member (who left our congregation a short time later and this earth a couple of years after that) protested vehemently, but could never explain exactly what was wrong with this.  I suppost it was a slippery slope kind of thing.

Unfortunately we're much more conservative now and no longer do these kinds of things.

 :(

My personal taste is that I like seeing the signs with the name/description of the congregation and "a church of Christ" underneath for aesthetic reasons.

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« Reply #37 on: Tue Nov 19, 2002 - 11:55:51 »

Offline Eric

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« Reply #38 on: Fri Nov 22, 2002 - 08:17:54 »
Skip,
The difference I see is that instead of just saying Madison County Church of Christ, it would say a Madison County church.  A Church of Christ.  The focus here though is that everyone else in the area is also using the same beginning and the differentiation comes through the smaller name.  What I see on the current signs is differentiation between congregations of the same denomination rather than the focus being orientated to that one community.

Eric

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« Reply #38 on: Fri Nov 22, 2002 - 08:17:54 »
Pinterest: GraceCentered.com

Offline s1n4m1n

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« Reply #39 on: Fri Nov 22, 2002 - 22:15:08 »
Arkstfan,

You made a good point about the "distinctives". If I remember correctly, I've read church of Christ apologetic material about how one can find the right (true) church. All the ones I've read mentioned acapella singing, LS on Sundays only, plurality of elders, local church autonomy, correct name, etc.

Now this is used as a reason for attending a particular church (you local church of Christ). If you take away these "distinctives" then what reason would one have to attend a "restoration movement" church as opposed the Baptist, Methodist, or Catholic church down the street?

Ken

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« Reply #39 on: Fri Nov 22, 2002 - 22:15:08 »



Offline spurly

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« Reply #40 on: Tue Dec 10, 2002 - 21:15:04 »
[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote (Guest @ Dec. 10 2002,11:13)[/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]Here in our town, a church uses a name similar to this:

EastSide Church
 A church of Christ serving the metropolitan area

What do you think of this?[/quote]
It sounds like a winner to me, though it is a mouthful to teach to a child.

Kevin

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« Reply #40 on: Tue Dec 10, 2002 - 21:15:04 »

Offline patriciaredstone

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« Reply #41 on: Tue Nov 12, 2002 - 01:16:01 »
A mainstream Church of Christ is one that doesn't rock the boat?

Offline s1n4m1n

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« Reply #42 on: Tue Nov 12, 2002 - 19:25:19 »
Hi,

You take the whole group. Knock 10% off of one side and 10% of the other and the 80% left is the "mainstream."

Wait a minute, I'm in one of those 10% figures.

Oh well.

Ken

Offline Rocketman

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« Reply #43 on: Thu Nov 14, 2002 - 15:04:56 »
Thanks Lee,
Very interesting read.

To me this illustrates the great divide that is occuring within the cofc.  I try to read a broad spectrum from NI materials to "mainstreamish" to well here  :D  and I think it's highly likely that there will be yet another great division among cofcs.  One side will be characterized by writing up those who dont fit their mold and fear they will be lost if they make a mistake; the other will be characterized by liberty, grace and an openness to looking at things again.  I don't wish for this yet I find it hard to see how such radically different approaches can be reconciled.
RM

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« Reply #43 on: Thu Nov 14, 2002 - 15:04:56 »

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« Reply #44 on: Mon Nov 18, 2002 - 11:11:21 »
I think it's interesting that this is playing out much like Joe Beam suggested in his article on this site What is Happening to Us?

Any thoughts concerning this?

Offline seekr

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« Reply #45 on: Tue Nov 19, 2002 - 13:13:17 »
marc, just to lighten things a little--you accidently wrote Chruch of Christ on your Nov. 17th, post. Freudian slip, maybe?

A member of His church, no matter the label, Maurine

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« Reply #46 on: Fri Nov 22, 2002 - 10:23:48 »
A lady called our young minister back in the '80's in Hammond, La.; she was going to be traveling through, or maybe she was checking us out 'cause her kid was coming to our nearby state college...

Anyway, she asked him what kind of Church of Christ we were.  I think he told her "There's only one kind, ma'am," or something like that.  I don't think she ever visited us.

Nowadays he heads up a ministry working with moslty coC people, or their young-adult kids, who have come out of cultic churches.

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« Reply #47 on: Fri Nov 22, 2002 - 14:24:41 »
Well I agree with Skip in that for some people these are "fellowship tests". You can have all the faith in Christ you can muster, get a good dunking baptism, love God with all your heart, love your neighbors as yourself, never miss the Lord's Supper (properly served Sunday A.M.) and still that's not enough.

For the people looking for that ground where they can disqualify you such a yellowpages listing is a good idea. They aren't exposed to the vile apostacy of the other congregation. It's not a bad deal for the church either. The person who would disqualify them from fellowship doesn't wander in by accident and loudly, sternly, and with proper proof-texting correct their error in love.

The reason I agree with Rocketman though is once you start listing those things you are declaring that they are important. One cup vs. many, Sunday school vs. none, acapella vs. IM aren't important and you cannot convince people that they are not important and not the root of our "distinctiveness" when you legitimize them by listing them as characters of your church.

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« Reply #48 on: Tue Nov 12, 2002 - 07:51:25 »
There should not be such a term.  "mainstream" suggests that the others are on smaller streams.  To utilize the term one suggests that this is more popular than the others.  Well obviously the one building them should be mainstream.   :0

Who defines is whoever is talking.  Who defines normal is whoever is talking.  In truth, there is no normal, just as there is no mainstream.  That is why autonomy really needs to be practiced.  Every group does things differently, the question becomes are you going accept their differences or are the differences the ones that you do not like therefore you will not accept them.

For survey purposes as Joe Beam did with his article a while back you can use different labels like that, but it becomes difficult in practice to use such terms because your expectations are your starting point.  (Let him who is without sin cast the first stone - step back from your expectations, do you practice strange peculiarities in your group, that others might find uncomfortable or awkward?).

Eric

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« Reply #49 on: Tue Nov 12, 2002 - 18:59:08 »
"Mainstream"

Any church who is a strict follower of the Church of Christ creed established from the 1930's to 1960's.  Even though it is unwritten it is most assuredly there.  Anyone who says the church doesn't have a creed is only kidding himself.  You don't make cookie cutter congregations like the "mainstream" churches without one.  By the way, this is true not only of the Church of Christ denomination (don't tell me it's not a denomination either) but also of a lot of Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, and other believing brothers and sisters.

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« Reply #50 on: Thu Nov 14, 2002 - 12:56:40 »
Hi all,

I am excited to see this story being discussed. The "mega-church" who is building a "campus" is the one that I have attended since the age of 14 (That would be 8 years ago). I didn't attend there while I was in Augusta, GA at age 20 but didn't remove my membership. Now that I am in Nashville and about 2 hours away I attend every other week.

The name of the Church? Darby Drive Church of Christ. They are an outstanding congregation!

I read the article and have copies. Perhaps I should post it here! I have it if anyone would like to see it. It really makes one think.

Lee

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« Reply #51 on: Sun Nov 17, 2002 - 14:13:16 »
[!--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.  One side will be characterized by writing up those who dont fit their mold and fear they will be lost if they make a mistake; the other will be characterized by liberty, grace and an openness to looking at things again.  I don't wish for this yet I find it hard to see how such radically different approaches can be reconciled.
[/quote][!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote [/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]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.  [/quote]
I'm with Wiley. I see the confrontational "fighting spirit" (a phrase used to describe the 'mainstream' church of Christ 50-75 years ago) as the status quo, and the more open and outwardly loving spirit as the upstarts who are trying to make a new name for our fellowship. If enough leaders in the Churches of Christ make a big enough stink, and make our work difficult enough, it's really only a matter of time before the non-condemning lovers of sinners in our fellowship just up and leave so they can get some work done without having to explain to everyone that, 'oh, I don't mean Church of Christ like you know it. We're the nice kind.'

If I worshipped in a building full of hateful people, it wouldn't take long before I gave up trying to invite guests to worship with me. I would either have to move someplace, start a new congregation, or just give up on evangelism altogether. Well, the name "Church of Christ" is like one huge building. Unless we can fill it with loving, caring, non-judgemental believers so that when people think "Church of Christ" they think of scenario #2 from above, then we're struggling against our own family and our own name: a fight that is really a waste of time.

Offline Booty

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« Reply #52 on: Tue Nov 19, 2002 - 16:21:15 »
Prophetic, isn't it?

We too have long puzzled over the name, we probably are closer t Disciples of Christ than we are to Church of Christ. We have empacized the small "c"  (or in our case "i" ) and have adopted "misionero" after our iglesia de Cristo to diferrentiate us from those who have had contact with the legalistic congregations.

Then a couple of things happened.

First we realized that we are off the traveled lane and other c or C oC congregations actions just do not affect us. Those we are reaching if they have had church affiliation of any type is normally Catholic with a few evangelicals thrown in.  
Second Los Elius raided my rock wall again and on the hill on our land an "iglesia de Cristo misionero" appeared in rocks on the hillside, but they did not have enough white paint, so we were simply "iglesia" with rocks following.

Third the rocks following slid down in the rain and only recently were carried back up. But "iglesia" weathered the storm nicely.

We realized that as we are the only church in the immediate area, we have become known as simply, "la iglesia", "the church".

So the Lord appears to be taking care of the name issue and we can attend to more important issues, like evangelizing.

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« Reply #53 on: Tue Nov 19, 2002 - 08:47:58 »
It seems that many of these congregations that are being marked are seeking to unite with Christ and him alone. This fact is bringing many barriers down that once stood because if Christ is the measuring stick of unity then many issues that have divided are no longer issues but opinions.

These are 2 quotes from Ketcherside that I love,

“They are capable of distinguishing between fellowship and endorsement.

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« Reply #54 on: Fri Nov 22, 2002 - 13:22:14 »
A sweet young-mom sister & her hubby, new Christians, and their two little girls, recently moved up north.

They found a congregation to visit & right away she reported back to her mother (down home here) that she wasn't any too sure about that congregation up there...

They had folks seated up front with mics on to highlight each voice part during the singing!  Scandalous!

And they projected the lyrics up front on a big screen!  No songbooks, I guess.

I think her husband also had trouble with being approached by someone who wanted to know if they'd paid their portion for the banquet being held that night... I never did find out what offended him, that a church should collect money to pay for an event, or that they asked him, not realizing he was new...

Her mom agreed with her that these were horribly questionable things, and recommended that the girl should call one of our elders here & talk with him about it...

Perhaps a list of hot-button issues pro-and-con in the phone book would have saved this young woman from the terrible exposure she suffered to these worldly heathenish things... :0

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« Reply #55 on: Thu Dec 05, 2002 - 11:54:56 »
Oh, and how many times have you heard, "You're not supposed to believe that, you're an X!" (X being a congregation or denomination)

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« Reply #56 on: Fri Dec 06, 2002 - 02:15:20 »
This name thing threw our congregation into turmoil last Sunday night.   :(   One of our members had got to the name section of these awful correspondence courses we've been offering and mentioned that it read to her like we were saying a "Biblical Name" was necessary for salvation. This led to the general question of why we are constantly bashing other churches.

I'm at a loss.  In a way I feel I should leave because when I state my views it contributes to the disruption of the piece. On the other hand I have discovered that quite a few others feel the way I do.  At least three times in the past few weeks someone else has brought up the way we constantly attack other churches.  I just wish that those promoting this exclusivism could see that by doing this we're preventing unity not promoting it.

But that brings up another line of thought I may start a seperate thread to discuss.

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« Reply #57 on: Tue Nov 12, 2002 - 07:59:11 »
I'm just glad all of this is occurring on the religion page.  Most non-Christians will never look at it.

Kevin

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« Reply #58 on: Tue Nov 12, 2002 - 14:24:29 »
So then is the mainstream polluted water? Or are we saying that the bottled mainstream water we have been given is actually just average tap water?

I’m not sure what stream I am in but I must confess I usually feel I am without a paddle.

Offline Rocketman

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« Reply #59 on: Thu Nov 14, 2002 - 14:02:00 »
Lee, please post the article I'd love to see it.  I'm a native north Alabama person (Athens) so I'd like to read more about it.

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« Reply #60 on: Sun Nov 17, 2002 - 22:51:42 »
I ran into a quote from Carl Ketcherside over the weekend that went something like this:  "we (the churches of Christ) are no more a unity movement than a hermit is a crusader."

If an "official" split happens, I think I'll do my best to ignore it.  My studying on Romans 14 over the past week (for next week's class) has led me to so much information about our history of splitting that it almost makes me want to chuck the whole thing and start my own church (gallows humor alert).  We have tried to create unity by saying that in order to be a part of the true church, one has to agree with us on our own hand-picked issues. Thus unity exists, whether it looks like it does or not.  Not only do we not have unity, we don't even know what the word means!  

The part that troubles me the most is that I was once part of this mindset.  I remember reading Jesus' prayer for unity and thinking those were "our" verses.  We knew what true unity meant.  Come to us and be saved.

And now as I read about how we are saved by a faith apart from the law, as I read about how Jesus obeyed perfectly because we couldn't, as I read "who are you to judge someone else's servant" and "accept one another as Christ accepted you" I cringe at my ignorance and repent once again. ???  :D

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« Reply #61 on: Tue Nov 19, 2002 - 08:41:03 »
The name issue is just yucky.

Our small group of planters were really torn about naming our church.

Some wanted to be church of Christ. Others a Family of God or Body of Christ.

In the end we became the CrossWalk Family of God, a church of Christ where grace and love abound.

The final decision was to not have church of Christ as the formal name because many of the people we are trying to reach have a strong aversion to the name thanks to some of less than stellar moments in the history of the movement but also because we felt it created an expectation of how we would conduct our services among those from our tradition who stumbled in.

Yet we felt that by adding the "a church of Christ" in the signature line that we admitted that we have come out of this tradition and consider our church to be a continuation of the tradition.

Probably not the best solution but we have two local Southern Baptist congregations that have gone the alternate name route. One will admit SBC pretty much only when asked the other includes it on their sign, bulletin, etc though they don't play it up. I'm just a little more comfortable with the second choice.

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« Reply #62 on: Tue Nov 19, 2002 - 16:43:00 »
[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote (janine @ Nov. 19 2002,04:52)[/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]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.[/quote]
Janine,

More than I have ever felt anything before, I truly believe the Lord is calling you and Mike down the Bayou.

Sandi and I will be glad to give you pointers. First find some quiet private time in you bedroom. Kneel on each side of you bed, Hold hands in the middle of the bed. Look up and say "Lord use us as you would"

Then stand by for action, it doesn't take long. Start your Sunday services as soon as you reasonably can, do not get stuck in preparing and preparing. Trust in Him, you have the Holy Spirit within you, allow it!!

Try and avoid as much as possible using "Guest Preachers", do it yourselves at first and exhort your new brothers to the pulpit as soon as possible. But Janine above all, tap into the great resource of youth!! They will keep you moving to be sure, but they excite you. It is very contagious when you are around their enthusiasm. Give them their head, let them know you are there when they have difficult problems to ponder as counsel, but give them their head. Heap them with as much responsibility as you can think of, (Learn to laugh at the rather unorthodox responses they will come up with!!  Teaching the parrot to pray was a hoot!! And the Rottweiller is totally ruined as a guard dog!!)

All new plants should be well seasoned with Elius or is it Elihus?

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« Reply #63 on: Fri Nov 22, 2002 - 11:15:22 »
Nerdneh wrote of something he had heard of once where a church took out an add listing:
[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote [/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]CHURCH OF CHRIST
 Vocal music only
 Supports Herald of Truth and Orphan Homes
 Multiple cups at communion
 Sunday School available
[/quote]
Then Skip wrote:
[!--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 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...  [/quote]

I disagree with Skip on this.  In fact, I think Satan's got to be very pleased with this approach to christianity.  Yes I know this is very common in the cofc, but to me it illustrates the major problem and how far off base and pharisee like we have become.  Its very sad to think of how petty we have become: that we've got to list our issues, all the while the lost are not hearing about Jesus.  But they do know we use multiple cups.  

Is my salvation at stake if I worship with a group that supports orphan homes while visiting?  Are some people really that unsure of their salvation and have that little understanding of the freedom in Christ and the autonomy of congregations?  

Perhaps on some scale even our reactions here show the differing approach to christianity that is occuring within the cofcs today.  If you hold a very traditional view, you probably think this is great idea.  If you hold a more progressive view, you are probably disgusted with this type of thing.  Please understand I am not directing this at you Skip (not personally, we disagree but you are a brother).  Maintaining unity when we get to such minute issues becomes impossible.  Unity beyond Jesus, one lord, one faith, and one baptism becomes quite difficult.    
RM

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« Reply #64 on: Thu Dec 05, 2002 - 11:47:19 »
Fate,

BINGO! In many ways church names are useful in finding out where folks stand, for the most part. But a lot could be said about the destructiveness of the names (baptist, catholic, and yes, even church of christ). I think it's refreshing that, after 2000 years, if you tell someone you are just a Christian and leave it at that, you still get a stir, even among the religious folk. And so far, no one has claimed the monopoly on being "just a Christian". Loads of people say it, and many of them (most especially in the churches of Christ) believe that only they embody it. Yet there it is, a term that is still truly uniting. I may never see in my lifetime a day when there are no more church signs that stand as a concrete symbol of our spiritual divisiveness thinly disguised as a tribute to our faith (and I'm still a young fellow). I'm not even sure I have the courage to let it begin with me, since tearing them down now may do more harm than good. But until we start thinking of ourselves as members of one body in various places instead of small groups of independent believers occasionally trying to get along with eachother, we will never realize the unity of the early church. Oh we may be one body in God's eyes. The prayers of Paul, Jesus and Peter about our unity will go unanswered as far as we're concerned. And worst of all, the world looks on and laughs at the joke we make of our precious faith.

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Flap in Florence continues
« Reply #65 on: Tue Dec 10, 2002 - 18:13:27 »
Here in our town, a church uses a name similar to this:

EastSide Church
 A church of Christ serving the metropolitan area

What do you think of this?

 

     
anything