Churches of Christ at a Tipping Point By Brady Bryce

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In case you haven’t read Brady Bryce’s article over at Wineskins, it has gotten a lot of traffic and sparked quite a few facebook conversations – Churches of Christ at a Tipping Point. What is the path forward?

4 Responses

  1. I read the article over at Wineskins. For too long, the cofC did not mention the old tenets of the faith. Sermons on why adults must be immersed were given from pulpits instead of the parables of Jesus and how they are still great examples. I hope this article will actually bring about some uniting under Christ instead of more division.

    1. It is striking a chord with thousands of people…at least if that is what we can conclude from the number of likes, shares, and views it has received. There are many people hungry for more. It will happen.

  2. The point about non-confrontational networking undermining real interactions, I think, sounded a warning note. We can, indeed, feel we are doing effective communicating with tenuous like-minded links over the ether, when it doesn’t do anything to change the hearts and minds of our physical neighbours. Are we in danger of letting technology neuter the urgency of the Christian message: “Seek the Lord while He can yet be found”, whether that is while we are still in the land of the living, or before “the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord”?

  3. Brady Brice: There have been flashes of people pointing us to God beyond cultural arguments as well as instances of sectarian exclusion, racism, arrogance, and pride. The entire 108 year venture has been an ongoing conversation about how life and faith converge in Jesus.

    The One God the Father thought to reveal HIMSELF: God breathed (spirit without meter) and Jesus of Nazareth articulated the LOGOS or Regulative principle of God. No one knows the Father but the SON who decides Whom to reveal Himself:

    Almost exactly after the first sectarianizing based on adding instruments after having added the society the date of 1906 marks the first census where the Disciples claimed ownership of Churches of Christ. The Census Man knew better, asked Lipscomb who said “No, churches of Christ are not part of the Disciples Denomination. The SECTARIAN claim may not be intentional: I pray not.

    Those Christ and the Campbells called A SCHOOL OF CHRIST have never used instruments based on specific commands, examples and inferences if you grasp that Christians are Disciples who are ‘Washed with water INTO the Word or into the School of Christ in the prophets and apostles.”

    In 1832 Churches of Christ were called Reformed Baptists: Before 1832 Alexander Campbell denied that there could any unity with Stone because they had nothing but the “unity impulse” in common. In 1832 a few preachers shook hands and John Smith wrote the “contract” which would have prevented the organ (only) rejected by all leaders of the Disciples. In 1837 Campbell denied that the Reformers “had come over to Stone” and Stone denied there could be unity based on Campbell’s views. Everyone could enjoy assemblying together in what T. Campbell called A School of Christ and worship was “Reading and musing the Word” before the imposed organ (only, we promise)

    The SOCIETY [and Organ] Party sent missionaries claiming “we will take Tennessee withing 5 years.” Why do that if they were already TAKEN?

    A flurry of books and debates mounted a cruel attack upon those who refused to BEGIN to do what they had NEVER done in recorded history. That was based on clear commandments against ‘vocal or instrumental rejoicing” or any loud rhetoric when the Holy Convocation was called for REST, READING AND REHEARSING the Word: the Latin word is Academy. The godly never attended the Worship of the Starry Host in Jerusalem

    The NACC did not begin to begin until 1927: too late for Churches of Christ to have sected out. The NACC sected out of the Disciples but not removed from the body-count until 1971: that was when the Stone-Campbell Movement began by unreconstructed Sommerites.

    If ACU feels the need to sect out of churches of Christ they are bound to RECONNECT with the Disciples of Christ since the NACC didn’t exist in 1906.

    The three “biggie” universities have effectively merged in their Councils with the NACC pledged to REprogram conservative preachers.

    If you say that Churches of Christ are a Sectarian Split from the Christian Churches one suspects someone missed Bible and Church History. What became Churches of Christ were unable to engage in fraternal assemblies after the Disciples fell in with the Millerites, founded a society, went to Jerusalem to save all of the Jews to ENABLE Jesus to return in 1844.

    Brady Brice: More and more of us understand that old sectarian stances are not the ancient paths represented by scripture, but represented our best efforts to follow God at that time.

    Paul outlawed the Areskos or Heretics including “creating mental excitement” with all of the performing arts and crafts as well as making personal or group decision about the assembly. The Pattern for what Paul called Synagogue was to “use one mind and one mouth” to SPEAK “that which is written for our learning” or “Scripture for our Comfort” that Paraclete word. That was the commanded way to GLORIFY or PRAISE Word.

    I worry about people who think that not turning the assembly “into a theater for holy entertainment” when Jesus promises to give us REST FROM these rituals so that we can come learn of me. But only if you have an APT elder gifted by Christ to “teach that which has been taught.” Legalists, sectarian etal I believe are RACA words and Jesus said that “doctors of the law take away the key to knowledge.”

    I believe a lot of people have sowed a lot of discord based on a lack of Bible and Historical facts (Phds don’t count if it is in theology). If the signs of right with all of the “worship wars” and others maybe Jesus will come really soon and the KAIROS concept is “a demon son of Zeus” and Kairos means the right time to MOUNT AN ATTACH. I would think they would use Wineskins as a place to GIVE A REASON since Matt is about the only person I know who will let you slip a verse in here and there.

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