Wednesday, December 30, 2009


The Christian Chronicle's January issue (page 3) lists their top ten stories of 2009. As much good news that the CC reports throughout the year, I am surprised at the Selection Panel's choices.

Their #2 story is, Excluded from 21st Century Christian's 2009 edition of Churches of Christ in the United States were the Richland Hills church in Texas and 20 other congregations that use instruments.

The #1 story? The number of men, women, and children in the pews dipped to the lowest level since a comprehensive effort to count members began in 1980.

I wonder if it occurs to anyone that the brotherhood's critical and judgmental attitudes toward those involved in the #2 story might be the cause of the #1 story. A proud and divisive spirit will not be conducive to church growth.

Blessings to every autonomous congregation for doing the best you can to reach as many as you can as fast as you can....including Richland Hills and the 20 other congregations listed at #2.


Steven said...

believe that is more than judgmental attitudes.
When hearts are not in the right relationship with Him, is when we find the most trouble. Here are several thoughts to ponder:
1. When is it stumbling to others? -- It's stumbling when one forces opinions on the other and tries to bind what may or may not be bound.
2. When is it profitable? When we devote to doing what is good. Note Titus (3:8) didn't say doing right.
3. When is it right? Never. Because we are not based on the right things we do, but by mercy.
4. What should be done to prevent #2? When brotherly devotion begins with devoted hearts in building a righteous relationship with him.
Quit gossiping or addressing "concerns" about others. "Avoid controversies and arguments"
Finally, one will need to ask does this fulfill the great commandment. Reread Matthew 28:16-20. Notice there were believers and doubters. All were given a charge to go and make disciples. We fail in growing churches when we focus to much on the 'law" when our lives should lead as examples to make disciples. Even the doubters were given a charge to make disciples. When self is removed and the cost of the kingdom is first then you will have more #1's. What hinges on salvation? My attitude.

1 Middle Man said...

Give me grace instead of check lists...any and every day.

Lita said...

...and maybe the reason the number of people in the pews dropped is because they are no longer counting the multitudes in the pews of the 21 congregations in #2.

Linda said...

I'm not able to put into words my gratitude to the imperfect people who reached into my painful lostness to connect me to the blood of Jesus. Can't recall right now if we ever talked about instruments in their sunday mornings or not...btw, can't recall hearing of the Christian Chronicle...I'll have to look it up sometime

westcoastwitness said...

"I wonder if it occurs to anyone that the brotherhood's critical and judgmental attitudes toward those involved in the #2 story might be the cause of the #1 story."

It occured to me - God could be displeased with a fellowship that hasn't had Jesus at the center of it's theology, but rather other things.

But it could also be that evangelism isn't as important as it should be. I know it is ultimately God who adds to our numbers those who are being saved, but why would God send people into a fellowship that doesn't REALLY love their souls as He intends?

Bobby said...

Next year when you get your ballot, I expect you to vote on the Top 10, Terry! LOL. :-)

DarrelM said...

The more I study God's word and not church of Christ tradition, the more I agree with your question here.

The world is not concerned with our tribal dictates about non essentials but more important, God is not either.

Tim Perkins said...

I really had thought the Christian Chronicle had turned the corner, theologically-speaking, but I guess not. Up to those of us who disagree with them to continue to love everyone, especially those with whom we disagree.