I found this on my former preacher's blog... something for you Church of Christ people to think about... The article is directly in line with what I've felt for so long.
Going to Tennessee my junior year for spring break campaign - we worshiped with and worked along side... gulp... other church groups. How dare the few churches (different denominations) unite together in the community to reach the others. Why didn't we spend our time converting those sinners (aka Methodists) instead of trying to reach those who didn't have any relationship with God or church connections. How dare we be prayed over (yes, hands were raised to us - gulp!) by crazy pentecostals. We were better just to do it on our own, right? How dare different churches missionaries unite together in Africa to teach the devil worshippers... They should be converting each other first, right?
The secret scandal has weighed on my heart for too long. And I know that it will not be received by some of you very well. But I feel like a liar every time I think about it so I'm coming clean. And Greg has given me permission. For too long I have worried about "letting people down" - but to not tell the truth seems worse.
We do not go to church of Christ any longer. I think we would both tell you that in our hearts the majority of our doctrine is still in line, but we no longer attend the same. We go to a community church. Do I worry about what I will teach my child if we are still attending a similar church when the questions come? Yes, I do. But pray that the words will come at the right time and that, together, we kind find the answers to the question through the Bible and not just what we are told to believe.
Our church has music - instruments. Women and men both pass the collection plates and serve communion. There is a women's minister - she even preaches sometimes. Outloud! Men actually get to hear our point of view. There are actually people there who aren't white! A rarity from my past I promise you. Greeted at the door the other week by a middle eastern man. And not everyone there has a college background, makes good money, or even has English as their first language. Amazing to have small group discussions and have a variety of backgrounds - makes conversation a lot more thought provoking I promise you. I like being challenged to come up with my own opinions...
Do I agree with everything there? No of course not. Am I perfectly comfortable with everything we do/don't do? No, but I'm seeking and questioning. Do I wish some thing were different? Yes. Is there a church out there that has all of this? I hope so somewhere and pray that we may be led there someday. Until then, this is where we stay.
Do I need your prayers? Absolutely. However, I pray that these aren't prayers for this household who are now lost, going to Hell, disappointments....
Instead, prayers for strength for all of us to continually question; seek answers; accept all with love; allow God (and only Him) to make salvation decisions and not us; that we may have that grace for each other; not assume to be the only ones who understand all the He plans, allowing ourselves to condemn others; and to be able to come together to reach more people in the world than we can bickering with each other about who is allowed to pass the communion plates on Sundays, or whether music is truly Christian even if there is a guitar in the background, or to not lose sight of the message being preached because the one speaking is female. A prayer for unity.
Tomorrow, happy baby pictures I promise! :)