“In life, we all have choices and some of those choices have eternal consequences! Your decision to leave the Church of Christ has made you the biggest disappointment in my life!”
Those words were spoken to me by my mother, not in the form of loving parental guidance given during my childhood or adolescence, but rather as theological condemnation given at the zenith of my spiritual consciousness. Although motivated by concern for my very soul, those words were spoken harshly out of anger and frustration. They cut to the bone and the wound will never heal.
Baptist-ism or Methodist-ism is not a fatal contagious religious disease. Visit friends in other denominations and invite them to visit you. Participate with them in any community activities that will glorify God. Delete the “one true church” phrase from your vocabulary and embrace all of your denominational friends as brothers and sisters in Christ. Love will abound!
Open your mind to differing theological perspectives by participating in interdenominational activities. Bible Study Fellowship is an international, interdenominational, in-depth, seven-year Bible study program and represents an excellent example of this point. Gideons International, of course, is another excellent example. Once you get to know God’s servants from other denominations their horns will soon appear to be halos.
Wake up and listen to what is being taught in your congregations. When your preacher tells you that only members of the “Lord’s Church” will be saved he’s simultaneously saying that all Baptists and Methodists are going to hell. When your preacher tells you that instruments, choirs and solos are unscriptural and then has your “praise team” lead in a hymn, you might want to ask for clarification. If you do not agree with such teachings, discuss it with your preacher in a calm and quite way.
Examples in this book have been taken from a broad spectrum of Church of Christ congregations and affiliated Web sites and publications. The quotes are documented, accurate and have not been manipulated for impact. Members of the Churches of Christ should be reminded that you are judged by the company that you keep. If your congregation does not fit portrayals given in this book, you might consider changing your name! What’s on the sign out front is not an issue of your salvation. Contact Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, for validation.
The above point is simply this. From one end of the spectrum to the other, congregations within the Churches of Christ represent extreme diversity in theology. Any potential member should understand the theology of their prospective congregation, as should be the case in selecting a church home in any faith.
Do not box yourself in or deprive yourself of the religious insight to be gained from other faiths. You will not go to hell for visiting a denominational church and enjoying the instrumental music. Even the Apostles could not agree on every issue so what gives anyone today greater insight than they possessed? You will actually draw nearer to Christ by sharing precepts with Christians of other faiths in a nonjudgmental way. Recognize that Christians of all faiths comprise the body of Christ.