We are living in a very complex time in history. The tremendous advances in science and technology, coupled with the demise of the family concept, add the influence of the secular–progressives that have undermined traditional values, and the result is you have a lot of people hurting and seeking to find happiness, meaning, and significance in life. People need God in their lives, but many either don’t recognize that as the basic problem, or they don’t know how to relate to him, or they reject that as a course of action because of their experiences with institutional Christianity.
The Churches of Christ, in the main, have not been a good source of people wherein to find help relative to spiritual health and wholeness. For instance, we have many hurting within our ranks, but instead of providing attentive caring, and consideration, counseling, help, understanding, we tend to shoot our “lame”. Two examples have come to my attention within the last few months. Both have to do with divorce cases.
One was my cousin. One Sunday morning he showed up for assembly and the preacher was waiting for him at the door. He abruptly told him that he had learned that he was married and divorced and remarried and said that he couldn’t stop him from attending there, but he was not welcome there anymore. This was done without ever discussing it prior with my cousin and learning the facts of the case. The result, my cousin no longer attends a Church of Christ.
The second involves a woman who endured years of physical and verbal abuse from her husband and finally divorced him. It was considered an unscriptural divorce and even though she didn’t remarry, the congregation where she had attended for fifteen years shunned her for all practical purposes and she finally quit.
Unfortunately this is typical of legalistic bodies like the one cup Church of Christ. They not only wholesale reject those who think differently, be it because of ignorance or intelligence, etc., but also they drive away sinners who have made alleged moral or moral mistakes and need caring, help, and understanding. The legalist says that you must measure up to his standard of faithfulness or purity, or be whole in his sight to belong to his fellowship. There is little caring, tolerance, or understanding for the lame or sick. They are avoided, blackballed, ignored, isolated, shunned, left to go it on their own or seek help and refuge elsewhere. In addition to the above examples I can speak from personal experience.