Tuesday, April 03, 2007


It's nearly on a daily basis I encounter one who is ready to chuck the whole Church of Christ system. While I am most sympathetic, I want to say to those who have stayed, Thank you. We need you. To those who are pondering leaving, I say, Thank you for reconsidering. We need you.

One can't deny we have made a mess of many things. I surely have. I've ripped and snorted, chipped and dented, smashed and ruined too many efforts which may have turned out to be God's. Emotion runs rampant, whether a Pharisee or a Sad-u-stayed. All sides claim the in the name of truth posture, but really guys, don't you think our enormous biblical lack is showing?

My frail mind believes there really is a true church of Christ. It is comprised not only of some who meet in Church of Christ buildings. It includes all those God has added to the kingdom in His way according to His wisdom. He is the one who said His ways and thoughts are higher than our ways and thoughts...Isa. 55:8,9. Yet, we the clay have said back to the potter, We know what you think and how you think. You think exactly the way we think! We'll judge and You endorse.

Should we bail on the Church of Christ, are we not very vulnerable to shifting right back into a neo-burdening church system? It's the inner man held captive; not the body. Transport the body to another venue. If the inner man is not set free, you've only made an equalateral move. You've done little but change scenery. However.......set the inner man free where you are and the scenery immediately changes when you once believed nothing would ever change.

Our God has not grown weary of us. We are in this for Him. We will not grow weary in well-doing, will we? I encourage you to live freely in Christ today. Love being in His church. Enjoy giving any captives in your court the news of freedom is coming. Reject dark talk. Inspire those needing inspiration. Salute those who endure. Congratulate all who prove to remain stable because they refuse to focus upon the seen. The unseen is where we've counted on all the eggs to hatch. The unseen is where the true church implements true Truth.

II Cor. 4:16-18


Donna G said...

But, if there is a great big church of Christ...and I believe there is...sometimes we have to step outside the "Church of Christ" to be able to rid ourselves of dark talk and to be able to inspire and be inspired....At least that is what I have found.

Stoogelover said...

Given the latest data I've seen (Christian Chronicle), in time we won't have to leave the churches of Christ. It will have left us! Sad to say, statistically we are a dying denomination ... mainly because we haven't embraced the larger kingdom of God. In California we're dying faster than any other state with the exception of Oklahoma, which I find amazing ... isn't that still a fringe part of the bible belt?

Here in Long Beach, most of the preachers who leave this pulpit leave churches of Christ as well. I don't know what we'll do upon our departure, but unless I can find a church of Christ very similar to the spirit of this one, I can't see myself remaining loyal to churches of Christ to perpetuate a system and othodoxy. My commitment by far is to Christ, not what we've made of an historical movement.

But all said and done, it's been a fun ride!!

cwinwc said...

Well Terry, I'll take the opposite point of view of my good friend Greg. While his stats are true I do believe there are "pockets" around the country where are fellowship is making an impact for the Lord and is throwing off the "Pharisaical" attitudes that our movement has been known for in the past.

Although I live in Florida (Go Gators!) I'll cite an incident in Parkersburg, WV. Our church's youth group attends the "Mid-Ohio Valley Work Camp" held every year at Ohio Valley University. During the year, the local ministers / youth ministers that make up the Board of the Work Camp go out and solicit homeowners to allow their home to be painted for free during the Work Camp.

One of the ministers told of how he approached a lady in Parkersburg about painting her house. At first, the lady hedged. “Paint my home for free, what is the catch?” As she was “hemming and hawing” (a southern phrase) her neighbor who was with her said, “Oh honey, its O.K. These people are from the Churches of Christ and this is what they do.”

How about that, instead of being know for the folks who “hate” pianos, in this area, our Fellowship has a reputation of serving. There is hope.

Anonymous said...

Why should we invest our time in staying with a group that doesn't value change or progress? Is the frustration worth the effort of preserving the name or denomination "church of Christ?"

Anonymous said...

It is nice to know that I am not the only one who is frustrated with "the church." I grew up in the Church of Christ. I was raised to be arrogant and judgemental of the ignorant lost souls in Baptist, Methodist, etc churches. As I grew into a young adult, I began to question and challenge the version of the "truth" that I had been taught. In my own study of the Bible, I just wasn't finding all of the rules and regulations that I had been taught. The older I get, the more disgusted I am with the rigidity and resistance to change. The Gospel never changes, but our methods of delivering it must adapt to our culture or we will become irrelevant in our society. I am struggling with the decision of whether or not I want to raise my children in the Church of Christ. So many people in my age group are dissatisfied with the Church of Christ! I don't want my children to grow up and feel this way. Instead of questioning whether or not they want to be a part of the Church of Christ, they may want no part of any church at all.

Anonymous said...

There are, thankfully, a handful of 'churches of Christ' which are trying to become known for spreading the love of Christ instead of not using instrumental music in worship... ('by this shall all men know you are my servants: that you have love one for another')

I am blessed to be a part of such a church in Northern Arkansas... when this church was planted, we struggled with whether to place the words 'of christ' on the sign after our name... I am happy we chose to use the name, and I believe the body which meets here (and in various homes throughout the week) is making an impact in the community... not only by helping those who need it, but by dispelling some long-held traditional views of what the 'church of Christ' is all about. We are FAR from perfect in our approach, but the attitude seems to be guided by the overarching principle that we lift Him up...('I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me')

God Bless you, Terry, for continuing to plow ahead and challenge us all!

Liz Moore said...

Terry, another great post! I am thankful to be a part of a Church of Christ and a group of people who love showing Christ to those around them. I'm thankful to be a part of a church that choses to love one another and who tries to be about showing Christ to the community.

Yes, some Churches of Christ need a little change. The problem is, people want to just throw it out all together. (Sort of throwing the baby out with the bath water.) Yes, there is some great baggage with the Churches of Christ that should be thrown out... and thrown out for good. But there are also some great things about the Churches of Christ that continue to be great. Some are just trying to so desperately get away from all the bad stuff that they are throwing out the good stuff as well as the bad.

We need to start concentrating on the good and moving closer to Christ and being more Christ like instead of more world like. Instead of always concentrating on the bad and being miserable.

We should be about loving one another the way Christ loved us. Thanks again for another great post. Love ya friend!

Danny said...

It is easy to seek and discover all that is wrong with us. The challenge is what to do about it.

Those who may have been victims of what is wrong simply cannot stay. Others become cynical and probably need to leave.

Then there is what I hope is the majority. Those who can seek and discover what is right with us and commit to heighten it while addressing what is wrong.

As many have already commented, there are numerous examples of congregations of the Church of Christ being led by God's Spirit geuninely making postiive differences in communities. There are numerous congregations were fresh winds of thought and service prevail.

I love the Church of Christ. She has been God's avenue to provide for me many, many blessings.

While I have come to realize the kingdom embraces more than just us, I do think God wants the Churches of Christ to prosper.

It is up to us to get out of his way and allow him to shape us in his image.

Great post and discussion!


Thanks for your thoughts today. As for one who grew up in the church, I'm thankful for my heritage and my upbringing. I've seen many who have grown frustrated and for a fast fix leave the Church of Christ. There have been many who have chosen to leave and sadly some who have been run-off in a unchristlike spirit.

All I know is that if I left every time I grew frustrated with my brethren, I would have already left 100 times. I'm glad I've stayed and plan to continue to stay and fight for progress, open-mindedness and change. And I'm glad for those who have done the same.

While I don't hold anything against those who have left, I'm thankful that there are many who are willing to tow-the-line and stay. For I feel the church has a glorious future. I am so excited about what my children and grandchildren will get to experience in the future with the churches of Christ because of those who stayed.

B. Gambill said...

I think everyone is right here. Each of us have our own likes and dislikes about the church. But I think we need to come to one realazation, it's not about us, but about Christ. There have been a lot of stigmas placed on the church through out the years, due to us trying to do things our way and not Christ way,not by the teachigs of the apostles.
If you are frusturated with the church I would encourage you to spend much time in prayer. Allow God to transform you and your church. Only the Spirit of God can transform your church to be the church that he demands us to be.
Read the book of Acts several times and find what you can discover about our 1st century brothers and sisters. I think you will all find something new everytime.
I would encourage us all to remember the book of Romans and the book of Hebrews. There is great wisdom in these writings.
I will share with you that I am apart of a church that used to bring me stress, but we are now a church that is trying to learn true agape love.
Even if your entire church isn't doing this, you can still do it. Allow God to use you to show His way to the church you worship with. Use your spiritual gifts, and your natural talents to show the Way. Continue to be a light, and don't allow yourself to get caught up in selfish ambitions.
Always stay focused on the goal. Do not allow Satan a foothole.
We are fishers of men.

Phoenix said...

Terry, I love the post. Brothers and sisters, I love the discussion. I've felt that our Christian family could make an incredible shift towards serving those in desperate physical and spiritual need all over the planet as one of our purest forms of worshiping the Lord for a while now. About six months ago, several of us started a global Christian-missions non-profit ministry under the advice of our elders and professors. The goal of The Global Christian Taskforce is to create a planet-wide coalition of individuals, churches, universities and Christian non-profits that will work together to create a large-scale ministry initiative each year and carry it to completion with the volunteer and prayer efforts of the global Christian community. This first year, we're going to Haiti and partnering with the local orphanages and churches to help with sustainable development and adoption. The next year, we'll be focusing on helping the homeless and victims of human trafficking in Portland, Oregon. And the Lord keeps opening doors all over with other ministries and missionaries across the globe who are interested in partnering in this global effort of worship for the God who loved us first. If you would like to take a look at the website, it can be found at www.TheGCT.com and if you would like to talk about how you or your church could get involved in joining this global missions movement with us, feel free to email me at phoenix.eyre@gmail.com or call me at 707-580-5310. Praise God for ideas and passion, but most of all, for the healing power of His forgiveness through Christ. May God continue to guide your steps and shine His light on your path.