I’ve spent my entire life as a part of the church of Christ. During my tenure, I have moved from the hyper-conservative, KJV-only, only-ones-going-heaven cofC’er to where I am today – which I will get to in a bit.
As a lifetime member, I have some thoughts about what would make the church of Christ better, and I’d like to share them here:
The church of Christ would be better if we just dropped the whole instrumental debate. I have no problem with staying a capella, it’s quite beautiful at times. Let’s just drop the whole “instruments are a sin” bit.
The church of Christ would be better if we allowed women to do more than bake casseroles and teach the children’s classes. It’s quite ludicrous what we’ve done to women – telling little girls they can be whatever they want when they grow up, except a tray-passer on Sunday morning. While I doubt any little girls are pining to be SERVING (an entirely different blog post, which will never be written by me) on the Lord’s table, the fact that they can’t seems like a harmful reality, and one for which I wouldn’t stand if I were a women. (Moment of sudden realization: I suppose in the church of Christ, women don’t feel they have the right to voice their opinion outside of the comfort of their own home. Yeah, that’s good for the health of the body…)
The church of Christ would be better if we started collaborating with other denominations to make a difference in our communities. While no denomination does this well, I believe our exclusive reputation is more established and needs to be destroyed immediately. Fortunately, it seems that our reputation is fairly non-existent among most people my age (isn’t it sad that’s fortunate?) so maybe, if we do a really good job of this, that old-school, dogmatic, exclusive image can go away.
Those are just three things that jump to mind, but I don’t really feel like searching or thinking about any more. Which takes us to where I am on the cofC spectrum today:
I think that the three “areas of improvement” I’ve mentioned above are slowly coming about. I see the winds of change among people my age and among the leadership at some of the larger and more influential congregations in our fellowship. However, I don’t feel like waiting for or helping facilitate that change. It simply isn’t worth it to me. I don’t love the church of Christ (the denomination) like I used to – which, I think, is a good thing.
I don’t know what the practical implications of this realization are. I’m not announcing my free agency from my current congregation, but I certainly don’t want to get slapped with a franchise tag (which wouldn’t happen anyway).
I think – I certainly don’t know this – I am pretty much done exerting any effort to bring about change in an organization that I’m no longer passionate about. This will make it difficult – not impossible, mind you – to remain in the church of Christ as I’m not typically the kind of person who can just sit back, doing and saying nothing.
I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.
To my local congregation: Please, if any you are reading this, don’t misunderstand; I’m passionately connected to you, the people, but not at all to the denomination which brings us together for a time of non-instrumental, man-led worship. Also, if you’re a part of the so-called, progressive “silent majority” it’s time for you to speak up – I’m tired of hearing about you and not from you.