After spending a week with some ministers in Dallas last week I cannot tell you just how hopeful I am for the future. We hear all sorts of things about the future of the church, ministers leaving and all the rest…while not everything is great all the time…the future is still bright. There are some really great people with integrity, honesty and hearts for the Lord who are ministering in some amazing ways and telling stories of some great things God is up to in their ministries. I am refreshed and excited for what the future holds! It is going to be better than many people expect or predict.
A Few Significant Problems With the Four Spiritual Laws
One of the most popular ways of presenting the gospel over the last half century or more is the idea
I am not hopeful for the survival of the Churches of Christ and could care less. They have been a cult since 1889. They primarily were a pro-war war church since WW1 and a white racists church as well. A good step would be for all the COC periodicals to issue a blanket nationwide apology for the support of war and racism.Then all the elders of all the COC’s and their preachers should sign it. That would be a good start. Also, while at it, they could apologize for the 100+ years of lies and false teaching about being “The True Church”.. In the mean time, there is some hope for the Progressive COC, and I hope the traditional COC’s whither on the vine and close their doors.
For someone who could care less it seems you care quite a bit exactly how things proceed.
When you say there is hope for the progressive CofC, to this point, you are saying hope for the survival of the Churches of Christ…I am not aware of any on the progressive end that are calling for a division of the CofC down the progressive/conservative or ecumenical/sectarian line.
Last, I have learned to do my best to not confess for anyone except myself. I don’t always pull that off but that is what I try to do. So I see no reason for a mass apology by those who weren’t involved. Otherwise, where do you draw the line. Should we apologize for the Crusades? The Inquisition? Where does it stop when everyone, everywhere finally says “you have apologized enough.” You just cannot apologize enough for some. All you can do is take responsibility for your own mess. That is all I know to do.
ACU, under Dr. Money made a feeble attempt to apologize for its near 100 years of racism. The Churches of Christ have never tried to apologize for their support of the Jim Crow South and racism. I think the Pope, perhaps one or two have apologized for the Crusades and Inquisition. I admire the effort to reconcile. So far the COC, being the cult it is, has not made such an honest effort. I am a Southerner and I live in the South. Race relations in the past are never mentioned here, especially among the churches. They just say “we are not like that now!” No apology for the past. The COC is the same way.
I am really curious how you would see this work. Since we have no central organization how does this work? Ask every congregation around in those days gather up those who were adults at that time and have them issue an apology? How many congregations have to participate for it to “be enough”? Most of the people in these churches weren’t around in those days…do we apologize for our ancestors? Help me see the nuts and bolts/practical follow through of what you envision.
“No central organization” has long been a rallying cry of the COC to prove they are not a denomination. As in the rest of the South, most of the overt racism has stopped, and much is behind closed doors, and even in code. There is a lot of stealth racism out there in the churches. Many of the racist COC leaders are dead and have faced their judgement. I think a sincere seeking the Holy Spirit about this matter of racism in ones religious institution is the best way to go. Practically, there are the annual lectureships, periodicals,preacher training schools. universities, preacher training schools, and a thousand or so COC congregations. All of that is a good place to start. Then there are the many COC blogs, and since many people read the internet and blogs, that would be another good place to start.
My ancestors on both sides fought for the South. I am not responsible for their racism and sin of waging a racist war. That is is true. What I do is to attack racism, even in its hidden forms. I have learned the history of the institution of American slavery and work to educate about it. I do not fly the stars and bars or euologize the South of the Lost Cause. As for the churches. I fI belonged to a church which has an unrepented racist past, I would expose that ,much as DOn Haymes has done. I would expose the past leaders of the COC for their racism.I would expose the racism of the institutions of the COC, So what you personally do is up to you, since I have renounced my membership in the white racist cult which calls itself “the Churches of Christ”.
Gary, racism of the past has already been exposed. I am sure there is always more room to talk about our history and learn from it. I think you are on the right track when you said that we should deal with it as we see it today.
Some parts of the COC now know they have a racist past and heritage. More needs to be done. There are some churches which are multi-ethnic and multiracial. I commend that. More needs to be preached from the pulpit about the sin of racism. But then we would have preachers, as they would be fired for not preaching on safe topics. Mixed race dating and marriage should be encouraged or at least discussed in a positive light in the churches There is so much that could be done. I live in the South and race is not discussed in the churches here (for the most part). People say that was in the past, but there has been no apology for the support of slavery or racism. Most white evangelical Churches still admire the flag of the CSA and the Lost Cause. Maybe I have seen one toe over the line from time to time to deal with race. Not enough, by any means..