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One way of looking at it

February 4, 2008
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I spent two days with family this past week after the passing of my Great Uncle. I spent my first two summers after high school working for him on the farm. It was a great experience and one I will never forget.

Unfortunately this was also one of the first times I have spent an extended period of time with several of my church of Christ relatives and there were some things I didn’t realize. Usually when we get together as family I hang out with my brothers and cousins. My spiritual journey doesn’t bother any of them but since none of them could make it to the funeral I found myself surrounded by those I don’t usually spend a lot of time with.

Well I must confess to some interesting conversations. You see the entire one true church thing just doesn’t compute to me and I figured out that I have been away from it for so long that I don’t even think about it. Well I made some comments about church and that bothered them because when I said church I meant the universal one not the one constructed over some invented rules. I can’t remember seeing my Grandparents so mad. It was like it is okay if you want to go do your self centered man worship but don’t talk about it like it is all the same thing.

The other thing that hit me was that those in my family who have no issue with my journey often do so for what seems to me to be the wrong reason. It is as if they think it was simply a taste thing, that my driving force was personal taste. Does anyone out there know what I’m trying to say?

I didn’t do what I did for personal taste but a desire to reach the lost. The issues that seemed to consume the Church of Christ didn’t seem to me to have any real bearing on the hurting lost souls I once hung out with. If I had seen acapella music connecting with a lost generation why leave? If I witnessed command, example and necessary inference having anything to do with life and hurting and need why go? I never considered any of them true or biblical or God ordained.

Which bring us to the book Church on the Move: New Church, New Generation, New Scotland. One passage that the author quotes and one that is really resonating with me is Acts 15:19. “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.”

I don’t want to make it more difficult. I remember the drummer who came to Christ who just couldn’t figure out the instrument thing. I remember having to have long discussions about why the Church of Christ didn’t use instruments.

Those early Christians were willing to drop every custom they had if it made finding Christ easier. We create customs and then equate customs with Christ and then we worry about our grandson might just by the grace of God escape hell and the innovations of man.

There is more, I had a great talk with my Uncle who hasn’t attended a church since college. His insights were keen and very enlightening.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 5, 2008 3:50 am

    I hear you and understand. sigh. There is a lot of fear in that unwillingness to dialog and understand your motives. Its easier just to dismiss it as taste. I’ve come to love that verse. What it says is that people trump tradition…not the other way around.

  2. February 5, 2008 5:00 pm

    I’m sure James took a LOT of heat over that message, too. And Paul got a ton of grief for being willing to “become all things to all men, that by any means [he] might save some.”

    We don’t make it HARD! Just stop listening to instrumental music (since our prooftexts are really about all of life). Just put away your fake wife and unholy children (can’t call it divorce because then it wouldn’t make any sense). Just white-out all the references to the Spirit in your Bible, and write “Bible” over them. How HARD is that?

    *sigh* What am I going to do with myself?

  3. February 5, 2008 5:00 pm

    I wish I knew why I can comment on YOUR WordPress blog but not on Out Here Hope Remains or Signpost.

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