Standing on solid ground, remaining sound in the faith, and being steadfast to the Word have been the clarion call before I was ever converted. These were drilled into us in preaching school. Stand. Don't bend. Be firm. Each ordered us to never cower from the Truth.
What I didn't know is the cowering had already been done. The true church had been sold off at debate auction to the loudest bidders. Our claim to fame was we possessed the distinction of the one true New Testament church. The problem is we weren't exactly such. We were a mixture of Jewish-minded traditionalism, a version of the Lord's Supper, and semi-biblical worship services.
Certain texts had been set aside. Others had been ignored; i.e. the warning of holding to form rather than power. The Church of Christ is now known in many places for being all about form without power. Preaching of Jesus and him crucified had already been replaced by preaching the distinctive marks of the true church. Church of Christ was preached. And finally, the New Testament Holy Spirit had already been retired since including Him messed with our patented and now answerable doctrines.
True church? There is one. The one Jesus was and is building. I am taking my stand. I want in on that one. I don't want to be a part of the one I once was where wounded souls now litter our communities because they ran into the "true church" (us) and were mutilated by our harsh pronouncements of which we knew very little about.
You'll likely catch me slipping back into the Restoration Church of Christ on occasion, but I really want to be a part of the biblical one; that one where division and suspicion do not rule, but hunger for God does. I want to be a part of that one where I find myself really worshipping God rather than applauding ourselves for how good acapella sounds. I want to be a part of that church where every one counts, where the Word is still acknowledged but our pride in having stored up nearly all that can be known about God is not our trait.
I want to be a part of that distinctive church Christ is building where hope and joy and life abundant flow uncontrollably out of our mouths and into the streets where both the rich and the poor cross paths. That's where I want to stand.