Did you know there is an ex-church of Christ support group online? I think this is pretty interesting because there is much we can learn from mistakes, misunderstandings, and our differences. You can find anything there from ICOC horror stories to all sorts of discussions on doctrine. Another interesting section is the “New Paths of Faith” section to find out how people are answering the question, “Now what?” or “Where do we go from here?” It is very important we understand people, why they come, why they stay and why some leave.
On the other hand there is a lot of sad information on this website. Lots of horror stories, splits, disunity, anger, and the like. It is an important reminder and wake up call that we are dealing with the most sensitive areas of people’s lives and that we must move forward in a way that is honoring to God but also sensitive to others. I am proud to be associated with the Churches of Christ but like any other religious group there will be mistakes made or things that could have gone better. Hopefully through all that we learn lessons rather than ignore them and learn how to be healthier as individual Christians and as congregations.
More and more I am seeing the trend of bash the one you’re with. I think it is important to realize two things in all of this:
1 – The church is beautiful, fulfills an important purpose in the world, and is bought with the blood of Christ.
2 – The church is composed of people who aren’t perfect yet and because it involves flesh and blood there will be problems from time to time. It is important we learn to walk through those problems in ways that are healthy and build up the body rather than tear it down.
The temptation is to think some other group does it better or that if we just leave this church or that church that things will get better. Bottom line, the church is the church and God doesn’t intend for us to reach perfection this side of heaven. That is no excuse to do things as we please and injure as many people as possible along the way. But it does mean that we live in tension. So in the mean time we rejoice and we groan all at the same time. But in all things we seek reconciliation with God and others in order to be who God wants us to be and to bring life and godliness to as many people as possible along the way.