Question 11: The church’s task is to provide the opportunity for its people to find spiritual wholeness when lameness threatens their progress. How do you respond to this?

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.

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2 responses to “Question 11: The church’s task is to provide the opportunity for its people to find spiritual wholeness when lameness threatens their progress. How do you respond to this?

  1. Jerry Starling

    Welcome to the roll of bloggers who share a Restoration Movement Heritage! I myself joined that blogging fraternity about 7 months ago – and have enjoyed it mightily. Check out my current offerings at committedtotruth.wordpress.com where you’ll find my current series-in-progress on “Sound Doctrine,” weekly “Communion Meditations,” answers to questions that arrive to me via the Question Box on my congregation’s web page, plus other items that happen to interest me from time to time.

    I’m glad to be able to add you to my blogroll, and hope you will return the favor (should you find my musings worthwhile to share with your readers).

    Yours in the Lord,

    Jerry Starling

  2. Thanks for reminder to let love reign. I truly do believe that Satan has used even the Scriptures to deceive God’s people – just as the Galatians were bewitched. But Paul didn’t call them victims did he? He called them fools.

    The true exegete will pray for discernment and for deception to be revealed in our own hearts, as we read God’s Word anew. Draw near with our heart, even our very soul (maybe leaving behind our minds for a time so that our foreknowledge will not serve as a barrier to God’s revelation) and God will tear down those walls of deception and reveal the deep truths of His Word.

    Institutionalized legalism is now and was in the Galatian church THE ‘wolf in sheeps clothing’. God will reveal the unseen – just as He revealed the Angel to Baalam – Numbers 22:34 Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, “I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back.” Let those of us who see the deception (by God’s grace) beckon those who do not yet have eyes to see – trusting that God is more powerful to save than Satan is to destroy. And that one day – if the righteous fervently pray – those who have accepted Satan’s lies will see anew and say, as Baalam said ‘I have sinned, I did not realize that Satan was standing between me and thee! Now hear my deep sorrow and accept our repentance. ‘

    Let us pray.

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