Monday, March 07, 2011

CHURCH OF CHRIST OR CHURCH OF PHARISEES?

Which walk are we following in the church?  It would be assumed Christ gets the vocal nod.  Yet, his Spirit is fundamentally missing among those most outraged about any name other than Christ.  Without the Holy Spirit this would hardly qualify any group to be the true church.

In truth the Restoration Movement has developed a strong contingent of Churches of the Pharisees.  As much personality and doctrine have been sifted from the Saul of Tarsus as the Paul of Ephesus.  Rules, regulations, and mean-spirited dialog are hammered out in classrooms and on lecture trails.  Love and grace and good fruit are relished as we labor to mature over our own short-comings and even our sins.

Wasn't Jesus' encounter with the critics similar to our clash with our own brotherhood?  You can't heal on the Sabbath.  You can't have a garage sale in the true church.  You can't eat with sinners.  You can't have women pray in the company of a man.  You can't touch a leper.  You can't hum to a religious song on the radio that has instrumental music.

This doesn't reflect the church of Christ.  Rather it resembles the church of Pharisees. 

Why is it we have the ugliest of reputations from town to city?  Why is that?  Could it be because the Restoration Movement's trail is strewn with legalities and not heart issues?  Could it be we have worn ourselves ragged shining the exterior of church protocol while ignoring the deterioration of the inside of the cup?

It is an exciting day for all who hunger for less of self and more of Jesus to realize we actually see greater hope on the horizon.  We are not the denominational church of the Pharisees.  A new creation is developing among us--toward which we grow day by day and inch by inch--from the standard of persecuting and arresting legalism into the freedom for which Jesus and Paul and Titus, etc., called.

9 comments:

Steven said...

I see your point. I would like to take it a step further. There are more names that state church of God in the bible than it does church of Christ. I can see where one can use the name church of Christ by the following analogy:

If Christ was walking his dog down the street and I do no know the dog’s name then I would assume that is the dog of Christ or Christ’s dog. However, we do not know the name of the dog except the owner is Christ. Like a husband and wife they are married. Yes they may have their original name like John and Jane Doe. Yet we do not know what they call each other. Maybe he calls her, hun, honey, babe, sweetheart, sweet cheeks, pumpkin, gorgeous, wife, mother of my children etc.. Okay think we get the point.

We may not know all the terms of endearment that Christ may call his dog. Same with scripture there were various names to describe the ownership of the church.
Therefore, why does mankind insisting on putting name on a building to call it “church of “*””. We can only get to know a church not by the name on the outside but what takes place on the inside. It is all the heart of the matter. The heart of the matter is that I, as an individual, form a piece of the body that belongs to Him.

I feel if there is any restoration movement it should be one of the heart not to be a Pharisee, Liberal, conservative, mainstream, downstream, upstream. There is like you stated, “more of Jesus to realize we actually see greater hope on the horizon.” In order to see that horizon we need to do the five finger approach to resolving conflict (see my blog) on restoring the lost, the broken, the down trodden and the wounded to a church that has no name and belongs to Christ.

Thanks for the reminder!

Anonymous said...

Whoa boy....now you've gone from just one section of the Apostasy lectureship to the whole two day lectureship!! :)

Jay

struckbygrace said...

Oh yes... Well said!

jason reeves said...

The only way to overcome a narrow view of the Kingdom is to open our eyes to Jesus.

Thank you my friend.

Glory to God!

Jason

ladygolfer said...

Thanks for such a refreshing post, Terry. Fixing our eyes on Jesus must be our only focus...not on kitchens, pews, or other things. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love...(Gal 5:6) Everything else is secondary and in many cases, foolish and only a "tradition" that has been passed down through the ages since restoration began in America in the early 1800s.
Keeping teaching the truth!

Anonymous said...

Compassion is the root of religion to Jesus. Quarreling among the disciples about things made them ashamed I suspect. Great post Terry.
Larry in Denver

Liz Moore said...

Great post Terry! Love it! See you at the workshop!

joe huitt said...

very well said terry its the one reason i find it hard to go to a church in these times.They are pretty much of the pharisee kind

Daniel Bray said...

I cant believe you hummed along to a Christian Music song, c you in Hell!!
In Australia I m told by those with direct phone lines to God himself that there are only 2000 saved people in the whole country.
Thats 2000 out of 20 milliion. That 2000 people represents the number of people who attend non instrumental COC in Australia.
Church of Christ is top heavy on doctrine and law but rather light on mercy, compassion and LOVE.
In JUDE 1 verse 8-9 we are given an example on judging people in a damning sense, even Michael the acrhangel didnt condemn the devil to hell but rather said the Lord rebuke you. All these COC preachers seem to know the who and who not of heaven, are they greater then the ArchAngel Michael?