The Cultural Connectiongreenspun.com : LUSENET : church of Christ : One Thread
This is a draft of an article I am working on for a fellow's web site. Any comments or questions are welcome. Any BCV that will prove me wrong is more than welcome.
Why do we have the systems in place today? Where did we get the ideas we have today? How did Christ's body get caught up in the culture of the day?
God's people didn't just all of a sudden become what they are today. Digression happens slowly. Things were simple when the apostles walked the earth and taught the people, but as time went on changes gradually took place. Paul warned the elders that after his departure there would arise men even from themselves who would bring about digression. This should have been sufficient warning, but was it?
The Church fathers took over. Instead of the simple getting together for encouragement and edification one of the elders, who now were called Bishops, became the president of the gatherings. Rules began to be set up. As one of the Church fathers told the people, "Don't do anything without the permission of your Bishop." Gradually things continued to change. People took what the Bishops said as law and instead of being submission to Christ they now had someone standing between themselves and Christ. Digression continued as the years went by....a little at a time.
Power pollutes! When mere men are in charge and have given themselves power, most people give into that power....giving their allegiance to the powerful ones. Of course, out of this came the Catholic Church system with all its rules and regulations, its rituals and ceremonies. (Today we have taken on much of what that system set up.) It is not that people didn't want to have a relationship with God, but no longer knew how because they had been brain-washed and had given over their allegiance to mere man.
Today, even those associated with the Church of Christ who still claim to "do Bible things in Bible ways" have fallen into the trap. It is my thinking that all the digression today in what is called the Church of Christ is based on the money that is put in the plate on "the Lord's Day." "Money" that the saints are taught now belongs to God. There is nothing in the scriptures that even hints that this is correct.
An Eldership has developed which takes away the simple work God gave older men. The Eldership became a Board of Directors which direcst something alien to truth. Big business is now what the Eldership runs. Notice the money enables them to have a business to run. They have their business meetings to plan how they can run this business.
Because this Eldership holds the purse strings it has the power to hire and fire whomever they wish. They are usually on the lookout for younger men to hire to hold up the authority of the Eldership. Whom they hire must be someone who is young enough to be flexible in his beliefs and must be willing to go along with the beliefs of the ruling Board of Directors. If not he is soon sent on his way and the searching for another to take his place begins......again.
But wait! Something is missing. There must be a place where this Board of Directors can do their ruling. What is the solution? Take a good bit of the money (most of it) that is the "Lord's money" the members have donated and try to fit into the cultural religious Churches in their town. If possible the Church building they build must be at least comparable to the other denominational buildings. Theirs must have a steeple to let people know they can come there and hear their fine Pulpit Minister. Then a sign is either placed on the building itself or on a sign out front. On this sign you will see THE CHURCH OF CHRIST, which in fact is using the title of our Lord in vain. On many of the signs the name of the Pulpit Minister will be placed.
To show where the interest of the Board of Directions rest you can go to almost ANY web site of the Church of Christ and the first thing you see is a picture of the Church building which is called the Church of Christ. Then there is usually a picture of the Pulpit Minister with whatever education he might have completed......if it is high enough to be impressive.
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-- Nelta Brock (email@example.com), August 15, 2003