Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Changes in the Religious Landscape

The religious landscape is changing so quickly it leaves our heads spinning. We might think this phenomenon is peculiar to our own fellowship (churches of Christ) -- but it's happening in every group. So many churches are dropping their identifying "names" and calling themselves "community church" or "family", etc. Yet, they are simply Baptists or Methodists or Churches of Christ gone under cover.

Within our own fellowship, our traditional positions on many issues are being challenged. Some churches are introducing instrumental music and others are allowing women to have a more public role in the assemblies.

Ultimately, it does not matter all that much what a church in Dallas or San Antonio or Nashville does. What we are responsible for is being what God has called us to be right where we are. We have always claimed to be autonomous -- with no ruling councils and with every congregation under the local authority of elders. Let's practice that now.

The WORST thing we could do is become afraid and draw inward into a protective mode. This is often the response of churches to situations such as those we currently face. But we must not do that!

Let us (I am speaking for the Decatur Church of Christ) be bold in prayer and in action to be the hands and feet of Jesus to Wise County. Let us be led by the Spirit to be what God has called us to be. What freedom it is to have no authority other than Jesus to tell us what we must do or be. But with that comes the responsibility to be HIS church.

Fear is the WORST motivator there is. It leads to making knee-jerk decisions and clouds sound reasoning. We have not been called to fear, but to boldness.


Josh Ross said...

Very well said!

randy said...

May we boldly advance the Christ in our lives and those around us, not wasting time on devisive issues, or judging the servants of the Lord.

Anonymous said...

I do not think it could be said any better.

Anonymous said...

Preacher, I very much agree with your position. We really have no control over what other churches do although we certainly have plenty of opinion and advise. I would suggest we expend our energies and focus on our local congregation. There is much we can do Lord willing to make a positive impact in the lives of people residing in Decatur and throughout Wise County. May God bless our efforts and may we start sooner rather than later.

Jeff said...

It's so much easier to point out what the other guys are doing wrong than to look inside ourselves and focus on our motivations and our actions.