Being converted to Christ and thrust into a brotherhood like ours can be both exhilarating and terrifying. The love and support is enormous. The animosity and confusion is extensive. Being somewhat insecure (what was that I just heard outside my window?), trying to learn the ropes of church life can make one’s mind spin.
After a while, one thing helped me immensely in establishing my own faith. I learned to have confidence by questioning the challenge before me by simply asking myself, “Did God say that?” I learned to listen to specific accusations or declarations and search the scriptures for where God said that exact phrase. If someone said, “You know you can’t take the Lord’s Supper on any day except Sunday and be saved”, I would search for where it was God said it. If another said that it was not right to have a church sponsor a Mother’s Day Out program, I learned to have the confidence to go to the Word and see if God taught such. Quite often matters of extreme are voiced which have only one part truth mixed in with many more parts opinion.
I believe much of our division is based on cowardice; not laziness, but cowardice of members who don’t want to defy the faith of the herd mentality. “Whatever our friends tend to believe so do we”, is not a faithful way to live in the kingdom. The many sects we brethren have created to biblically divide scream of insincerity. We have not parted factional ways due to study as much as we have desperately preserved a few (usually five) sacred cows in our past to keep the herd from stampeding.
The thing I admire about the Campbells and the Lards and the Stones is they were bent on getting back to the Bible. The Church of Christ would do well to get back to the Bible. We’ve called people back to Campbell, Lard, and Stone of which none had a Mother’s Day Out program….I don’t think. Those guys and others were right when they loved the concept of the Word and they would be ashamed that a movement paraded after them seeking to make them Engineers of the Pattern.
So for those of you, young or old, who are weary of church hassle, don’t run away. Don’t quit the church and don’t give up on us. Do calm down and decide to simply base your faith on what God said He said and not what selfishly ambitious ones as me say He said. Like us, but don’t buy into us. Hold us when we are failing, but don’t build your faith upon our feet. Be careful not to esteem yourself higher than you should; this will allow stable judgment. Build your faith on God’s two feet. He knows how to stand the tests of time!