The churches of Christ salute you.
During my conversion process in 1970, great pride swelled within to find my new church actually spelled out in the Bible. We were listed! The news (to me) that we were not a denomination, but were the true Bible church, was deeply meaningful and impressive.
I loved the simplicity.
However, it wasn't long until I learned that such a name represented some in a movement that had gradually become the very thing they had stood against; a denomination. Church of Christ has become a brand name while the church of Christ is the one he continues to build.
The church owned by Jesus strives to live in tenderness willing to absorb God's unfolding truth. The Church of Christ denomination knows all of the answers while being blinded to our own denominational practices.
The church that Jesus builds remains flexible in the Holy Spirit in movement and heart. The Church of Christ, however, is riddled with the very traditions we have long mocked other groups for possessing.
The Christ's church wants to advance in spiritual depth as well as meaning. The capital C church wants to preserve what thirty-eight things we have rightfully concluded.
It isn't that we Church of Christers have no grip for Truth. It is that we have been a people far too long heavy on Church and light on Christ. Furthermore, I never experienced any persecution from our brotherhood to the level I did when shifting that very emphasis.
The capital C church is enamoured with rules and forms. The small c church is refreshingly dependent upon God for instruction and guidance day by day. The former doesn't like the word new while the latter is new.
Finally, the capital C-ists believe that the true church has to have the name Church of Christ. Biblical names like church of God or church of the firstborn are dismissed mainly because we are capital C-ists.
Small c-ists believe the church is Jesus'. Its label for the street sign or listing in the yellow pages may be Battle Creek, Cornerstone, Brooklyn Tabernacle; on the list goes in great abundance.
To believe one to be a member of the true church is a very right concept. To believe it has to have a capital C in order to be the only right one is subject to possible transference into the very denominational realm we bemoaned.
The churches of Christ still salute you.