I thought I would talk about denominations this week.
When people ask me what church that I go to, and I tell them where I attend (Conroe Church of Christ) I often get “that look.” That look of, oh, I thought you went to college, or you’re not married, or you speak your mind…all of these crazy false stereotypes of women who attend a “conservative” denomination.
I often describe being a member of the church of Christ as being baptist without a piano. It’s pretty close in my opinion, theologically speaking.
I grew up with a Methodist mom, a Pentecostal dad, Lutheran and Presbyterian best friends, and then I went to a Baptist college. So, as you can see, I’m pretty well versed in different denominations.
I ask a TON of questions, I research things, and I like things to “feel” right. I fought against placing membership/being baptized into the church of Christ for a while. Not a long time, but I wanted to make sure I could get my head wrapped around what I was getting into.
Most members of the church of Christ were born and raised, pew babies, cradle roll–whatever you want to call it. Lots went to CofC colleges, married young, had babies young and are bible reading, bible quoting, perfect pitch singing people.
You might know some of our more famous representatives:
Yep. Those boys are all members of the church. And, frankly, I’m proud of it. They speak their mind, aren’t bashful of speaking about God and love their wives. And their all flawed, a little nuts, and sometimes say things that are taken out of context by the media (gasp!).
Despite the fact it’s from wikipedia, it’s pretty true:
- We are autonomous and we don’t have denominational oversight (no “general convention of church of Christ people”
- We rely on the bible alone for doctrine. No Nicene Creed, no book of prayer, no statements of faith.
- We are lead, locally, by the elders (all older married men) of our particular congregation.
- Members are baptized believers through immersion baptism for the forgiveness of our sins. We are baptized when we are consenting believers, whether that be 5 or 95.
- We take the Lord’s Supper (communion) weekly.
- Practice A Capella singing (without instruments)
- We don’t have music–on the contrary, churches of Christ typically sing more than most during Sunday service, weddings and funerals
- We are predominately white. Depends on the church. There’s just about every color on my particular pew.
- We tend to be legalistic and unbending…yes and no. I would say that some people in the church tend to focus solely on the letter of the law as opposed to the intent of the rule from the bible.
- I mean that at the end of the day you should want the relationship that Jesus Christ desires to have with you, not just simply pointing your finger at the things that are wrong that others may be doing.
- Many people might tend to believe, because we rely so heavily on the bible, that we can’t see for the forest for the trees–sort of like the story from Mark 3:1-6 about Jesus healing on the sabbath.
Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. 2 Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. 3 Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.”
4 Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.
5 He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.
- The pharisees were so hell bent, if you will, following the law of resting on the Sabbath that they failed to get the picture that our Lord and Savior was there healing people.
- We believe everyone else is going to hell.
- I don’t make that choice, and if I could smite people, I would abuse that power in traffic on I-45 on the regular.
The reason that the church made the most sense to me is from a quotation from Thomas and Alexander Campbell during the restoration movement. The slogan became a call to action of sorts of three different denominations (church of Christ, Christian Churches, and Disciples of Christ). The quotation is, “where the scriptures speak, we speak; where the Scriptures are silent we are silent.” It basically means we don’t add to the bible, adn we don’t take away.
There are churches of Christ that don’t celebrate birthdays or holidays or refuse to have a kitchen in the church, and there are others who have instrumental worship…congregations are different.
So…that’s a little about my denomination of Christianity. I know that my readers are of various denominations, faiths, religious backgrounds, agnostic, atheist…whatever!
What questions, if any are floating around out there??