Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Better late than never

For the anon. poster, here are some prelim thoughts. I call this the (not so) daily news because I don't always have time to type and post what I want to say at that particular time. Quite often things (such as this response) are saved as "draft" (late at night) until I post them. It's somewhat hard to be in a new biz, have a new child, and be stretched thin. Somethings gotta give-usually it's blogging. This has been a very, very hectic week. Extend a bit of grace.

Here was my draft response to date. It isn't completely thought out, but for the time being here it is. Email me at eric.cope@netzero.net (a backup email). Maybe we can have a better dialogue than this forum. I'm more of a personalized one-on-one guy anyways.

I understand where you come from. It's hard be a Christian thinking that God is constantly switching his "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" based on how you are living at that particular moment.

I try and live a life pleasing to God. At different times of life, my faith and walk with God have seen their relative high's and low's. Oh, I'm sure that God has been right by my side. Probably the selfish side of me has contributed to my experiencing the low's. I am strong-headed, and have displayed a tendency to try and reinvent the wheel and question the "why's" alot. This makes for an interesting career path, but what about my spiritual path?

There are certain things I did not question until relatively a short time ago. For instance, my stance in the arena of worship content and style, Christian music, or the particular Church I attend. What is important to God? is it that we omit musical instruments during worship? is it the sign on the building (are these the only people going to Heaven?). Does a "liberal" church fall out of favor in God's eyes over a "conservative" church becuase they have a praise team, or they encourage small groups?

For those not knowing, penned below is a line of questioning that was sent to me recently. Of those that read this blog, what do you think?

I will be the first to admit that no congregation is perfect (no matter what the sign on the building says). I try and examine myself through Phil 2:11-13 when I look at how I worship and in reflection of my beliefs and motives. I grew up in a conservative congregation, and have attended or visited the scope of conservative/mainstream/liberal congregations.
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ANON. SAYS:
I have read your blog entries and some of those of your friends. You seem to have quite a head full of knowledge. I was wondering if I could ask you some questions...I grew up in the Church of Christ. But the older I got the more I felt like I was in a faith of hypocrisy. Not just my church but the whole faith. I was taught that if you sin you go to hell and that we dont rely on the Grace of our God. Well we sin everyday, Grace is one of the only things we can rely on. How horrible to think that I accidently did something wrong right as I die, and think that I was going to hell because of it. I was raised to think that if I used any Bible besides the King James I was going to hell. We as a Church of Christ were quick to judge everyone who wasnt "COC" I was a strong believer in my religon and now I feel like I was pushed away. I am now attending a Baptist church. They are involved in the community, very uplifting, non-judgemental. They also teach about that Grace which I believe, and its not just the once your saved just sit back and relax, it is actually a "live faithfully" attitude.

I just dont understand, what makes the "COC" so perfect. I always heard of there being too liberal of congregations. Well there is such a thing as too conservative too. Any words of enlightenment.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well thanks for replying...sorry I was so short, had a bad day and took it out on everyone. I am sorry. As far as an emailing you, I have no email address.

To elaborate more...I was CofC, I fiancee was a Baptist. So you know how we think when talking to other religons, we go in thinking we are going to change this person. Didnt happen with me. She made a better argument and I took her religon. Now..grace being one of the most contraversial things between the religons, musical instruments is right up there with them. My thoughts are, acappella sounds better, but nothing in the Bible says not to use them. Yeah there are those verses that say singing songs and hymms and spiritual songs singing and making melody in your hearts. You can do all of that with instruments playing. So I'm not to worried about that aspect. I wish that CofC would stop being so judgemental about every religon. You know who are they to try and remove a splinter in others eyes when they have a plank in there's.."no sins, cast the first stone"

I believe that it ultimately comes down to you and God. I believe that there are people in every religon that are going to go to Heaven. Now I'll be a little hypocrital but when I say every religon I mean, "Christian Religon" not being mean to the muslims and buddists, but there's only one God.

I was quite active in the church, and everytime I did something like teach a lesson, lead singing, lead a prayer, everyone would tell me what I did wrong. Right when I was a new Christian as well. That doesnt help build anyone up but rather tear us down. It hurts and makes you think if this is how Heaven is going to be then......

But grace...we have to be saved by grace...not grace alone, but for all of those sins we dont even think about and we dont ask forgiveness for, grace has to save us, otherwise by the CofC teachings if your not sinless your not going to Heaven.

I guess all I can say is we'll just have to wait until that day and see who's right. But I think that they are quite naive.

Again sorry for the attitude and thanks.

EBC said...

I appreciate your comments, but I don't buy the argument that blankets the CofC members in one condemning swath of judgementalism. I can think of several people that disprove this notion. Whenever you get an email address, email me.