In Celebration of the Church of Christ

In all the hub-bub and hand-wringing resulting from the “perfect storm” reaction to recent publications within Church of Christ circles, I thought it might be refreshing to pause and celebrate our warm and wonderful fellowship.

Yes, I do have my concerns and have voiced them, but I pray that this has not been perceived as bashing. (In my view a running dialogue about concerns is healthy- as long as our end-goal is searching for solutions.) But to be honest, I am a little weary with all the gloom.  

A couple of years ago I posted here about the good things  in our tribe. They remain good.

From a more personal perspective, I cannot envision my life  apart from the fellowship of the Churches of Christ. This church has been the source of incredible love, support, grace, forgiveness, growth and affirmation for me. This church has nurtured me, encouraged me, provided me with many forever friendships and blessed me in innumerable ways.

Sure, there have been a few bruises along the way. Not everyone within this fellowship has always acted with as much charity as they probably should. But it happens- and unfortunately will continue to as long as we are walking around with skin on bones. That is why we all need God’s grace.

It is not the aim of this post to gloss over our problems or excuse away any hurtful actions, but I do celebrate the Church of Christ. I thank God for the opportunity to work and worship within this body of believers.

To borrow a phrase, I like to consider us, “Christians only, but not the only Christians.”

So, I ask you to join me in taking to heart Peter’s divine counsel and “love the brotherhood of believers” including the Churches of Christ.

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17 Responses to In Celebration of the Church of Christ

  1. K. Rex Butts says:

    Yes and Amen! What I love about our fellowship is that we do love God and each other. As preachers (and other preacher will understand this), as we explore and interview with congregations searching for ministers we have the priviledge of getting to know many more congregations than the typical CoC member. These congregation include all regions of the country as well as both progressive, traditional, and all points in between. While I do not believe I would be a good fit as a minister for every congregation I have visited with, there is no doubt about that the greatest and second greatest commandment is in full practice. We may not practice these commandments perfectly (what church does?), but we do practice them and that practice is for the better rather than the worse. And with few exceptions, we also extend that love to outsiders of all walks and this love is extended without any self-serving motives.

    Thanks for this post!

    Grace and peace,

    Rex

  2. Danny we have a great heritage in the Stone Campbell Movement. I am proud of my family just as I am my physical family. My dad once said to me “We have a great family tree … we just have a few nuts and squirrels on it too.” I liked that and will never forget it. We have a great family tree … but we do have some nuts and squirrels too. And even some of those are interesting … 😉

    Thanks for reminding us that there are GOOD things to praise God for.

    Shalom,
    Bobby Valentine

  3. dannydodd says:

    LOL Bobby- I am going to borrow that line from you. It sums it all up perfectly.

    Good thoughts Rex.

    And Tammie, I love it when the sisters say amen!

  4. E. Walker Myer says:

    It is true, there are imperfections among us; but, remembering that we are saved by the grace of God allows us to forgive each other and brings us closer together. One of my concerns is that we in the C of C should look outward to other baptized believers whose doctrine is the same as ours but whose practice of worship may be different. God’s grace is at work there, too.

  5. dannydodd says:

    Eva, now I get to say Amen to a sister! 🙂

  6. Donna says:

    Even in our frustration we are united. Anywhere you meet someone who is in the “fellowship” you have a bond. It is one place I can go where I know I will be loved and I will be cared for. Sometimes we fail our communities around us….but we are there for each other.

  7. Tawana says:

    Danny, I couldn’t agree more. I can’t imagine myself anywhere else than this fellowship that stands for the truth. My frustration comes from within the body sometimes but lately has been coming from people who have misunderstood the church. Maybe it is because of a small town but there seems to be a lot of hard feelings against the church here. People who do not understand the church, or have been misinformed, spread contention in the community. I have been confronted with it and a friend of mine was asked how she could raise her children in “that.” First of all what is the “that.” I say all that to say I also celebrate the church of Christ, it’s fellowship and it’s truth.

  8. Dave Brumley says:

    The congregation I attend recently hosted a seminar regarding Confronting Culture (delivered by Joe Wells of Focus Press – I suggest you invite this man to speak in your area or look for the DVD in the upcoming months that was filmed this weekend) and we invited close to 3000 people from and around this area (all denominations and the secular community. We knew that the message Joe had was “relevant” and the message was that all of us as Christian must become more Holy.
    Hoping for a huge turnout and thinking that maybe there were people from other denominations who were on fire as we were, we were sorely disappointed by the turnout that we had. Disheartened as this seminar was “my baby” that I had planned and put together with the help of a few others I was disappointed and angry that no one saw the importance of what we were trying to do. Looking for answers I went to the only place I know to find sure answers; the Bible.
    In the name of brevity, let me encourage all of you to read Romans 14 this weekend. Especially read this if you find yourself thinking that you are working so hard yet not seeing results in the congregation you attend. The chapter is Romans 11. The passage that relieved my heart was Romans 11:18.
    “Remember, that it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.”

    Remember brothers and sisters, in the spirit of Dodd’s post here. It is not us who support the church, but the church that supports us.

    Preach the word.

  9. Dave Brumley says:

    Sorry, I put Romans 14. I meant Romans 11

  10. mattdabbs says:

    Have you ever had a sore finally heal when you kept picking at the scab? Sorry for such a nasty analogy but I think it fits. We have to let it scab over and stop picking at it so it can heal. We have to move on and offer a positive vision for hope and the future instead of dwelling on the negatives. I appreciate this post.

  11. D. Meadows says:

    Danny,

    It took me a long time to come out of that narrow mindset that so many Christians of my generation and I before me have held for so long. Who am I to limit God’s power, and how arrogant I was (as were and are others) to think God is there only for us. What a wonderful and liberating awareness that there are “others” out there with whom I can and do fellowship. I pray constantly that we will not get so frustrated trying to do God’s will “our” way that we miss wonderful opportunities. God’s Grace! What more could we need?

    Donna

  12. xybatt says:

    Wednesday we will celebrate the life of Erskin Belk. Bro. Belk preached the gospel fervently for over 50 years in the Pensacola area. The last things we did together were to attend the Christmas play and lead a non-denominational worship at the Senior facility where he lived. He loved the play (a first) and the worship. If a 91 y.o. can learn and adapt, maybe the rest of us have hope in One LORD, one faith, one baptism.

  13. Adam G. says:

    Danny,

    I’m trying.

  14. markemo says:

    Through various links I have found your blog and appreciate this post. A long time ago I was convicted that I had no right to bash someone else’s wife, so I have tried to quit being so critical of Jesus’ Bride. I grew up in the Church of Christ and have served as Campus Minister and Minister for several congregations. I now work with a new congregation made up of a core group from several branches of the Stone-Campbell movement. I have noticed that all parts of the body has it’s own strengths, weaknesses and hang-ups, but there is (and this is why I appreciate my roots) a commitment to the Word of God as the authority for our lives. We are learning to live the Meta-narrative that unifies Scripture and is fulfilled in Jesus, and that has helped us with overcome our sectarian blemishes. The Bride is looking better all the time!

  15. Terry says:

    I love the Churches of Christ,too. I have benefited from the men and women who led me to Christ, who have counseled me, mentored me, and challenged me. I appreciate my education in a university affiliated with Churches of Christ and the adoption agency affiliated with Churches of Christ that helped my wife and myself adopt our son.

    Thanks for reminding everyone of the positive aspects of the Churches of Christ:).

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