Help re Church of Christ!!


#1

Don’t know if this is the right place to post this, but here is the situation. The mother of my 16 yo daughter’s best friend recently began attending the Church of Christ. She is requiring her two girls to attend church all day Sunday and twice weekly for further Bible teaching. The church is telling the mother that her daughter must no longer participate in music at school or sports. The mom is abiding by this “counsel” and making her daughter drop out of athletics. This girl is a gifted athlete who has already been to the Jr. Olympics and could possibly try for the next Olympics in her sport. She would certainly get a college scholarship which she will need financially (the mom is a single parent). The mother has gone through the daughter’s clothes telling her that they are immodest and got rid of almost everything in her closet. My daughter’s friend now has to buy all new school clothes out of her small part time summer job income. This is a very good girl. She and my daughter are both “A” students, and have pledged to hold each other accountable to remain pure. Any parent would be so proud of them. This poor girl is devastated and coming to us for help. Are these actions typical of the Church of Christ? How can we address their teachings? My daughter says they do not believe any other churches are Christian. Also, I know I have to walk a very fine line between supporting this young friend and not offending the mother or she will cut off their relationship–she is already limiting most of her other social acivities. My heart is so heavy. Anyone out there that has experience with this group?


#2

I wonder if it is part of the United Churches of Christ, or just plain Church of Christ (and since you said plain Church of Christ I’ll go with that one! :slight_smile: )

There is a family friend of ours who is a pastor at a Church of Christ. His wife is also a friend. They have a teenaged son in high school, also a daughter who is 22 and just married.

In this church, they do not believe in any musical instruments to accompany their Sunday singing service. They only use their own voice. They also have many other beliefs but I don’t know what those are. HOwever, the wife and children of him, while yes they go to several meetings per week and Sunday is an almost all day thing, their children are in school band, play sports and things, they all listen to radio and have CD collections (secular music you know) and they wear stylish clothing, some of which is not the most modest.

From what I gathered in asking questions, the Church of Christ is not organized in any central way. They have no “diocese” or upper hierarchy that I can distinguish, and each church decides its own customs according to the sole authority of the Bible. Since there are many interpretations, there are many flavors of this kind of church. It sounds like your daughter’s friend is in a rather preoccupied one. It also sounds like the mother of the friend is very concerned at this time that the two of them find a church with “rules” to abide by. But for some reason, perhaps very adamant about not being Catholic.

The best way to address this teaching then might be to point out that if the Bible is the sole authority from which they derive all rules and regulations, and since each pastor will have his own little mind for interpreting scripture and what is intended by it (the pastor in this particular church, he has no education in Theology or has not gone to seminary or anything! Maybe so other places as well…) it is very dangerous for an uneducated man who is unfamiliar with Church history and theology to go about interpreting scripture and making the rules according to that.


#3

I don’t have so much to say about this so called “church”. All I could say is this is but another silly way of distinguishing themselves from other sects, and claim they have the valid interpretation of Scriptures. They will ban every sort of thing and regard it as “scriptural.” See how this “Scripture alone” had gone too far from the original message of the Gospel? Way way too far… tsk, tsk, tsk…

Pio


#4

My best advice is to be loving Christian examples to this girl and her family. While there are Church of Christ denominaitons as well as indy C o C’s - and they vary in doctrines, debating doctrine at this early stage will only serve to alienate the mother. She is a single mom, and has found a group that makes her feel loved and welcomend. By being an example of Christ’s love to her, that light will shine on the family. Let them see the love in your family, that there is no bondage or condemnation.

For the girl being pulled from athletics, I know it is hard, but let that be a family matter. Mom feels she is doing the right thing, and as long as there is no abuse of the girl - again, your love will be the best support and example you can give.

Pray for them, you be love, let the Holy Spirit do the converting!


#5

The Church of Christ is a very fundamentalist and anti-Catholic church. I would not be surprised if they pressured the girls to no longer associate. They see things in a very 19th century light and have very strict traditions they follow. If you can encourage her to find another church that would be great. Otherwise there is not much you can do. The daughter may choose to rebel on her own. But I would not get involved with that if I were you. Pray for them and be ready to show them a better way to be a Christian.


#6

Also, here is a link to the “churches of Christ” website, in case this is the group the girl’s mother is in. Just for more information for you if you are curious:

churches of Christ


#7

There are different CoC’s of different stripes. Some even allow instruments at their services but they are frowned down upon by the older CoC members. You might actually be shocked at how much Catholics have in common with them as opposed to other Protestant denominations. From what I can tell, they believe that baptism is more than a sign and that it is required for salvation (they don’t get into blood, desire and whatnot though). However, they believe in “believers baptism” and full immersion is required. They believe they are the one true church founded by Christ (thus the founded 33 A.D. signs on some of their churches). They do NOT believe in sola fide and they have communion every Sunday (symbolic though) … I have been to CoC web sites that cite ECF’s. They do believe one of the many variants of sola scriptura. To me, the best way to demonstrate they are NOT the true chruch is to attack whatever historical angle they come from. They cannot demostrate some of their teachings which depart from the apostolic faith in the historical record we have of the early church. Also, go at the immersion angle and, of course, sola scriptura.

The vast majority of CoC members I know are not as strict as what you are talking about here. The younger generations of CoC members are a LOT more relaxed than their 19th century predecesors.


#8

A couple more things. They are also against images used in piety thus the vast majority of their churches are far from attractive. Many of them are of the cheap metal warehouse type. They name their churches like churches are named in Acts, by location. [location] Church of Christ.

For example, Southwest Big City Church of Christ or Big Street Name Church of Christ.


#9

Questions to ask the mother:
[list=1]
*]When did the CoC (Church of Christ) begin? Proof?
*]Do all CoC preachers believe and teach the same theology?
*]Has she attended another CoC church to see differences?
*]When was the Bible written? When was Sacred Scripture written? (There is a difference here!)
*]Where in the Bible do they get their belifes? Show me the verse and make sure its in “context”.
*]Are there Bible verses that contridict their teachings? Show them to her in “context”.
*]Do the preachers have to graduate from an accredited theological institute?
*]Etc.
[/list]Is the child an adult? If she is a minor she must remain obidient to her parents and you must respect her parents authority and decisions. You must talk with the mother if the child is a minor.

Now, the most important rule is to never insult or belittle the members of any protestant sect. When you approach the mother treat her with respect for her beliefes and show “Love” towards her. Find out what and why she believes things before you begin to “exhort and correct”. It is sometimes better not to tell someone they are wrong but rather just state your beliefes and how they differ from hers. Make sure you have Scripural support for your belifes too at the ready to give her.

Start slow and take your time. It could take years for her to admit she is wrong and will have a hard time admitting it too. Show her compassion, “Love” and support. Never fight with her but only discuss. Sometimes if you just put a seed of truth in her mind it will grow on its own. When she sees some of the CoC beliefes prove false, she may start to “see” other false teachings as well in what the church does.

Try to talk about her theology at the beginning and avoid talking about or defending the Catholic Church, Christ’s body. You are not there to defend Christ’s body, His Catholic Church, but rather to learn more about hers and to see if it is truly supported by Sacred Scripture. Some of what she does sounds good too like making her daughter dress propely and spending more time on Sunday worshiping God. When her beliefes are good tell her so!

And most important, pray! Pray! Pray!

"F"aith is a freely offered gift and must come from within and cannot be forced on anyone. Not all who read the Bible or listen to the Gospel will “see” or “hear” Gods Word. It took me 27 years of “buffet-line” protestant theology and sects to find the truth. I also did not want to join the “Roman” Catholic Church either. But I learned the truth, cried my heart out and crossed the Tiber with the greatest smile I ever had. I am now a member of the last Church on earth I ever thought I would be in when I was a protestant picking and choosing what I did and did not want to believe. Now as a Catholic I obey ALL of Gods Word as best I can!

Take your time and speak with love for they are Christians too! Never forget that.

Good luck!


#10

The making the daughter drop out of atheletics is so sad though! If especially she can get a scholarship to go to college. It is really tragic if you ask me. A poor single mother who obviously wants the best for her child seems like she is being mislead into keeping her from success. But yet what the others say is true, you have to leave her up to her mother.

What I would do is find a way to demonstrate that some of the other churches of Christ DO allow participation in sports and having music,e tc… so that maybe she can see it would not be abandoning her “denomination” were she to seek another church of Christ out, with a more reasonable attitude. I just hate to think of young persons not going to college over such a thing as interpretive Bible groups. :frowning:


#11

My wifes cousin played volleyball (ever seen those outfits?) for Harding University which is a Church of Christ school.

harding.edu/athletics/VOLLEYBALL/VOLLEY.HTML
It is a very conservative school as well. Keep that in mind.


#12

Do you know what “Church of Christ” we’re dealing with here? The Churches of Christ generally are pretty conservative, but this sounds relatively extreme for them. There is an offshoot of the Churches of Christ known as the “International Church of Christ” (formerly the “Boston Church of Christ” but has spread way beyond Boston) which is extremely authoritarian (it’s been accused of being a “cult” by many people) and sets very strict rules for its members. I wonder if that is the “Church of Christ” in question. If you can find out the name and location of the church, it should be fairly easy to look it up on the Internet and figure out what its affiliations are–or as a last resort call them up and get some info.

In Christ,

Edwin


#13

[quote=Kerry in WA]Don’t know if this is the right place to post this, but here is the situation. The mother of my 16 yo daughter’s best friend recently began attending the Church of Christ. She is requiring her two girls to attend church all day Sunday and twice weekly for further Bible teaching. The church is telling the mother that her daughter must no longer participate in music at school or sports. The mom is abiding by this “counsel” and making her daughter drop out of athletics. This girl is a gifted athlete who has already been to the Jr. Olympics and could possibly try for the next Olympics in her sport. She would certainly get a college scholarship which she will need financially (the mom is a single parent). The mother has gone through the daughter’s clothes telling her that they are immodest and got rid of almost everything in her closet. My daughter’s friend now has to buy all new school clothes out of her small part time summer job income. This is a very good girl. She and my daughter are both “A” students, and have pledged to hold each other accountable to remain pure. Any parent would be so proud of them. This poor girl is devastated and coming to us for help. Are these actions typical of the Church of Christ? How can we address their teachings? My daughter says they do not believe any other churches are Christian. Also, I know I have to walk a very fine line between supporting this young friend and not offending the mother or she will cut off their relationship–she is already limiting most of her other social acivities. My heart is so heavy. Anyone out there that has experience with this group?
[/quote]

The church of Christ is a church who believes that they are Christ’s one, true church, because of their name! They don’t believe in playing music on instruments because they don’t find it in the Bible. I live in Ann Arbor and there was a booth for the Ann Arbor Church of Christ. I got four of their pamphlets and read them. They are supposedly a “biblical” church, but they aren’t UNITED, as their name suggests, for them to be the UNITED CHURCHES OF CHRIST. They aren’t united, the only leadership they have is the pastor. The only thing they really have in common with the Catholic church is that they celebrate the “lord’s supper” every sunday. Catholics, however, celebrate it everyday. Oh, and they don’t believe in the Real Presence. I wouldn’t only suggest this, but I would FORBID my daughters to go to this church if they were being pressured by their mother. It isn’t the church Christ founded, and they can’t prove that by a name. Give your wife tracts from Catholic.com, show her how making this decision isn’t good. Give some to her friend, too.


#14

After reading Corpus Cristi’s post I wanted to clear something up about one of my posts. The CoC is certainly MILES different from the Catholic Church. I was shocked that they did have a few things in common (like what I mentioned) that most other fundamentalist churches reject. Outside of what I mentioned though, they are really nothing like the CC, so in reading my previous post where I say

You might actually be shocked at how much Catholics have in common with them as opposed to other Protestant denominations.

keep that in mind. I should have said Fundamentalist. We certainly have far more in common with mainline Protestants than the CoC.


#15

Corpus Christi,

The United Church of Christ is very different from the Churches of Christ. The UCC is one of the most liberal Protestant denominations and was the result of a merger of the Congregationalists, the German Reformed, a hybrid Lutheran-Reformed church of German origin, and a denomination with some historic ties to the Churches of Christ. The “Cambellite” movement from which the Churches of Christ come has three main branches: the Disciples of Christ, a fairly liberal “mainline” denomination who are not so far off from the UCC; the “Independent Christian Churches and Churches of Christ,” who run the college I attended and who are the most middle-of-the-road of the three groups (if I was going to belong to one of them, that’s the one I’d belong to); and the Churches of Christ, who are very conservative (many, maybe most of them believe that if you haven’t been baptized by immersion on profession of faith, you will go to hell).

The “International Church of Christ” or “Boston Church of Christ” is, as I said earlier, something else again.

weunice, having gone to a Christian Church college (see above), I actually agree with what you said. The “Campbellite” or “Restoration” movement from which the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ come is IMHO the soundest and the most Catholic of all the many Protestant movements trying to reestablish “New Testament Christianity.” They believe that baptism is a means of salvation, though they have an overly narrow definition of baptism and an overly legalistic (instead of sacramental) understanding of how this happens. They celebrate the Eucharist every week, even though most of them think it is just a symbol. They believe strongly in the necessity of good works for salvation. The college I attended actually did a lot to open me up to more Catholic ways of thinking. I remember that at the matriculation service in the chapel one of the deans pointed to the communion rail and said, “This is where you will find the strength to keep going in the years ahead.” I was actually shocked at his apparent belief that the Eucharist really involved drinking Jesus’ blood (he used the analogy of a blood transfusion). Then several years later my best friend at the college (Christian Church himself), in response to my criticism of his church’s beliefs about baptism, said something like, “That’s the one distinctive belief of my tradition that I’m pretty sure is right.” Indeed, some of the professors at the seminary across the road from the college liked to refer to their movement as “Free Church Catholics.” Granted, they weren’t representative of the tradition as a whole . . . .

In Christ,

Edwin


#16

If this is one of the “Boston” Churches of Christ then I would be careful of your children having contact with hers. That group is a cult. Don’t endanger your kids and warn the mother about it if that is the group she is with. They are very very dangerous.


#17

Patrick madrids book Saved by truth 2 gives a good synopsis of C o C.

I have coworkers that are CoC they are very nice but I get the strong feeling they keep to themselves and only associate with other CoC. Everyone else is going you know where, staight to hell.

They run a school here but they never come out and say we are affiliated with CoC. they will always drive home that they are the true christians.

they’ve restored christianity because Catholics have screwed it up so bad.

beware


#18

There are at least eight different denominations calling themselves THE one and only “church of Christ”, all denying the anme “Christian” and fellowship to the others. The deny that they are a denomination at all, just the “church of Christ”, everyone else is a “denominationalist” and is going straight to hell.

They splinter at the drop of a hat over such silly issues as whether or not to have sunday school classes, or whether to have a parish hall on church premises. This being said I cannot offer too much advice to the original poster, no knowing which “church of Christ” she is reffering to.

BTW, I personally converted from this denomination upon finding out my parents disowned me, told me I “had left Christ and his church”, and “was going straight to hell”.

It is hard to find a group that hates Catholicism more than the “churches of Christ” and lies about us more on their websites. For a good example of cambellite hatred for and lies about the CC just look up:

bible.ca

And then go to the part about the Catholic Church.

I wonder where Latisha (campbellite poster) is when we need her?


#19

i’m right here. since you felt the need to call me out…and i’m more than confident it was for the wrong reason, and sincerly hope that one day you will get over your ego and accept people as is. because its truly a turn off to this whole board…yes you, and your closed minded and negative responses towards anyone that does not agree with you. you attack…attack and attack again. with no purpose and not gaining any leway, because its repulsive. but i’m here. starting my junior year at school on monday, so most likely will not have time to be on a message board at all, as it seems you have plently of time in your day to do…but anyone wants to address any questions to me by e-mail that would be fine…just doubt if i’ll be able to make it to the boards as much…dial-up in room at school…and thats just not going to cut it…so pc won’t even be hooked up most likely, but i do check my e-mail…

my view on the post…everyone has stated their opinion, which we are ALL entitled to,and me commenting really won’t have any ground…i never forget this is a catholic message board, and am never out to really prove myself, i’m simply here to learn and take notes, just as i would anything i’m not familar with. not an act to convert…just pure curiosity. so i’m an observer…simply put.

God bless.

[and would you want to comment on anything, when people take shots at you just as your fellow catholic brother has]

ciao


#20

I’d say this. Pray for the mother, but work on the kids. Pray pray pray. There is really little else you can do, unless you are a totally sold out, brash as a boar Catholic who is will to confront the “pastor” to his face in front of the mother. That is what I would do, but then again, I have never been accused of being meek or modest in my faith. I think it is high time for Catholics to stop buying into this “religious tolerism” thing and be proud (in a spiritually humble way) of your faith. The martyrs of the Roman persecution were humble people, but they were not afraid of being eaten by lions or burned at the stake for their faith. Since we know that you aren’t going to be crucified, burned, eaten, or attacked by gladiators, I’d go and stand up to the “minister”.


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