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May 12, 2006

This is a church interior from either Alabama or Tennessee. I like the secretary's report on the wall. I assume it is everyone's attendance.

my new favorite acronym is MOTC (Member Of The Church). In church of Christ lingo that means your one of us.

A lot of stuff lately on people "leaving the Church of Christ". Danny has had several posts (and for a new blog he's doing great and getting lots of interaction) Post Restorationist Radio had a episode on the topic. Donna sort of wrote about it today. I had a e-mail last week encouraging me not to "throw the baby out with the bathwater" specifically meaning don't leave our congregation because of it's flaws. I have not said nor do I have any definite plans to. But that doesn't mean I would not go where I felt led to go by God. Now that will make some people nervous.

To discuss the issue as "leaving the church" or "leaving the church of Christ" is in my opinion a denominational issue. Your mind set is about if someone leaves at location x then they have left the denomination. Nancy will remind me that its not a denomination. Thanks NJ and about that prom photo all I can still say is "wow."

It is not about leaving the denomination. Its about leaving all denominations. Its about where you are at on this earth. It is about being God's people or person right where you are. It is about following Jesus and not church. (Jesus is the head or the husband. He is to have the lead. We can dance with the wrong partner.) That means that you might live directly across the street from where you have always gathered (church) but need to be doing something different on your side of the street. They in your eyes are still good, still right with God, but not what you need to be doing. You may feel that they going to become less and less relevant to the society around them. But that doesn't mean all there members should come to your side of the street.

The rub or vice you find yourself in is this. The voice of dissent can be lonely. It can feel that to stay and voice these concerns just seems to cause trouble to an otherwise happy cruise ship. There are other rubs of family heritage, people that will not understand, friendship that will deteriorate or be lost. That's tough.

One of the questions I think is valid to ask is this. Does the gathering of Christians (church) you are a part of teach/deliver/proclaim good news?

In other words does it have the real stuff? If it doesn't and you hold to it anyway then you may be married to the church instead of Jesus.

So what is the real stuff? What is good news? Is it salvation? Is it more than that? I think its way more than "getting butts into heaven" as Mclaren has so aptly put it. Willard calls it "sin management". Sin management is not good news, it never even sounded like good news. Jesus seems to define it in Luke 4 as setting free, giving sight, etc. It is lives changed. Well that's the result anyway.

we can talk about the church as a whole which is in fact much easier. It doesn't get personal then. But it comes down to there are churches (which just means a gathering of people for a purpose) all over the place. Do you or the group your in deliver the Gospel? Are you seeing people set free? If not are you following Jesus?

…. more to come

5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 12, 2006 3:59 pm

    I think that is what people fail to understand…it is personal, for everybody. And I don’t think we will all come up with the same conclusions, but I do think that if we are truly being led by the spirit, we will never stop asking the questions…..

  2. May 12, 2006 4:00 pm

    I think I can still be in the club. But in order to be satisfied (?) I will have to take responsibility for my own ministry. If there is something I feel led to do – I need to do it. If my club is not doing that particular thing, I’ll do it on my own or work with another group (church or not)I can still enjoy being a part of my friends and family at the church building :),
    and obviously I would be worshipping there – I’ve just got to make sure I’m worshipping (is that supposed to have 2 ps?) in the way that I feel led each and every day.

  3. May 12, 2006 9:01 pm

    Peter said to him, “We have left everything to follow you!”

    “I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. Mark 10:28-30

    I think Jesus could have included “church” in the above statement!

  4. May 13, 2006 11:21 am

    It is the cart before the horse. The tail wagging the dog. We are, to quote a phrase I heard one time, “hung by the tongue”. Listen to the way we talk. It is all about church and the only time Jesus is mentioned is to defend some doctrine about the church. We talk much about what we are to DO and little about what He has done and is doing.

    But there is hope! Things are changing in some circles. It is going to take time, and all are not going to be changed – that is just the way it will be.

  5. May 15, 2006 8:16 am

    MOTC makes me think of ROTC.

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