I’ve made a decision to change how I “do church.” These frequently asked (or anticipated) questions will provide insight on where my head is. Over the following days and weeks, I will be expanding on many of these comments and viewpoints, so stay tuned. And, of course, I’m no authority, so take all this with a grain of salt.

 

1. Where is Robin this morning?

I’ve decided to make a clean break from participating in “institutional” church services, so in 2006 I won’t be showing up for Bible classes and worship services. (Where institutional represents an organization, building, paid staff, programs, etc.)

2. What’s wrong with “institutional”?

Along with the many benefits there are some negative side-effects. I will write more over the coming days and weeks about my disaffection with organized religion and  our current forms and attitudes in churches of Christ. Topics would include:

    • Holy Spirit (acknowledgment of, sensitivity to)
    • Deep Personal Relationships
    • Accountability
    • Interactive, Participatory Meetings
    • Children’s Participation
    • Sanctification/Holiness
    • Evangelistic Concern
    • Buildings & Staff

3. Do you still believe in God? Have you lost your faith?

I still believe in God. I am feeling more passionate about God, fellow Christians, and neighbors today than at any other point in my life. You might say that I’ve lost my faith in our current forms and methods, but my faith in God, His word, and His church has never been stronger.

4. Are you still a member of the church of Christ?

Yes in the very best sense of that phrase. I am a member of Christ’s body, the called out.

No in the very worst sense of the phrase. I’ll no longer go by the moniker “member of the church of Christ” with the denominational connotations it carries. In the best tradition of the Stone-Campbell restoration movement, I’d rather use simply “disciple” or “Christian”.

5. Are you disfellowshiping members of the church of Christ?

No. I plan to write more over the coming weeks about what I’m finding in the Bible on the topic of disfellowshiping, namely morality and accepting the identity and resurrection of Christ. I don’t see any issues there.

6. Are you abandoning any of the distinctive practices of the church of Christ?

Yes and no. I think we’ve gotten a lot of things right, and I’ll continue to test and prove those conclusions over time. The biggest departure is to be more balanced in handling the word of God. I want to keep the big stuff, big, and the little stuff, little. (Yes… That is as subjective as it sounds.)

7. Why now?

New Year’s Resolution… Mid-Life Crisis… No time like the present… The leading of the Holy Spirit… Many thoughts, discussions, and experiences have converged over the last couple of months leading me to the conclusion that it is time to make the break.

8. If you are right, does that make the “institutionals” wrong?

No. Right is know why you are doing what you are doing and doing it intentionally. Wrong is to not knowing why you are doing what you are doing OR doing something that you know is not right. It is completely Biblical for me to live out my faith differently than you and for us both to be completely OK. (Romans 14)

Please click on the “Comments” or “No Comments” link above (under the BLOG entry title) and ask more questions, refute statements, etc. Blogs are all about dialogue.

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