R's Commonplace Book

Tag: denominationalism

Jeremiah Tatum wrote in his article, “The biggest mistake Churches of Christ have made in the last 50 years“:

I’m going to be bold now and put the majority of the blame on the common disciple. For the most part I don’t believe that preachers and missionaries who are in the trenches have contributed to the problem. In fact we have often had to run interference. Mostly it is the members of the Lord’s church, who have either not been listening or who have not taught themselves, who use language like “I’m a church of Christ.” Or who use phrases like, “You have to be a church of Christ.” Or even, “Well the church of Christ teaches…” Such Christians who misrepresent the kingdom are doing the church and the world’s population a disservice by turning the body of Jesus into a denomination that follows a creed.

This is not a laity versus clergy problem. This is a generalized problem, a denominational concept of the church. It is leaders who hang “CHURCH OF CHRIST” on their buildings. Leaders have denominationalized the church as much or more than their followers. When leaders take down the names (for that’s what it is) from their buildings, maybe, just maybe, the laity will listen to the preachers’ rants about their use of language.

I use laity and clergy referring to the brethren, because we got it in most places. Stan Mitchell observed, in his last article on Forthright published today but written before his death last week: “We say we do not believe in the clergy-laity system, but we certainly act like that’s what we want.” It’s there for those willing to see.

There are hundreds of denominations/sects out there all contradicting each other. It’s impossible for them all to be right. We cannot all be on different roads going to the same place. We cannot all be pleasing God if we decide opposing things please him.

We can never rely on what someone else says just because they look and act holy and say all the right holy words and phrases and pray such holy-sounding prayers. We must never rely on our religious leaders to tell us what to believe. Shall we take their opinion or God’s opinion? —Katheryn Haddad

The more a congregation of the Lord imitates the divisive denominations, the more their leaders will make sense and seem to be a resource for its work.

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