I grew up in the Church of Christ. For nearly two decades I went to their church camps. I attended a Church of Christ college. I taught classes, led worship, preached from their pulpits and spoke at their weekend conferences. I attended their work shops, youth rallies, retreats and conferences. I read their periodicals. My Church of Christ family married into other Church of Christ families. My family has several members teaching or administrating at Church of Christ schools and universities.
Then I left the Church of Christ.
Few outside the Church of Christ will know the church of Christ denomination as well as I. Few will know the struggle and fight to leave as well as I. Many will understand how difficult it is to accept the Father’s graces.
I am a believer, follower, and lover of Jesus Christ. I am saved by his grace alone through faith alone. I am a reader of his word the Bible. The good and righteous that is in me comes only through the Spirit of Christ. The righteous and good in me is only in me because of the grace of God.
God has led me through over twenty years of study and meditation. What led to my leaving the Church of Christ was the very fact that through hours upon hours of study I came to disagree with almost every interpretation for which the Church of Christ stands. The choices were to remain and be the disruptive voice always causing contention OR walk away to be a follower of Christ leading others to cease following the destructive voice of this world and inviting them to a relationship with Jesus. I chose the latter.
Within me there is a dichotomy of which one of mourns and one is angry. The first part is a memory that is full of good people and good times. There were awesome memories at VBS and church camp. There were many tender moments and good relationships. Yet the other part of me is angry that believers can argue over the most moronic things. These same people who claim to know Jesus can castigate and alienate those who may not come up with the same conclusions.
For the hard core Church of Christ, it is an ALL or NOTHING relationship. You must agree with EVERYTHING they teach. If you don’t then you are in error. Yet there is not total agreement within their own fellowship. So which one is right?
So here I am on the outside looking in. Maybe the question to be answered is “Having left the Church of Christ, why even bother with a ministry like this?”
The Church of Christ recovery exists to educate, emancipate, expose and empower. These “4 E’s” are defined in the Purpose of Church of Christ Recovery. To put it in simple terms here the desire is to help you:
- Help those who desire to have a healthier relationship with Jesus
- Give church of Christ leadership instruction to develop healthier churches.
Let me be clear that inasmuch as I know my theology and interpretations are more consistent, more stable and more properly concluded, I do not, in any way, see myself as better than anyone else. Because I know more clearly does not make me more holy. To believe otherwise would be completely Gnostic.
To explain it in another way, at the point of this writing my youngest daughter is in preschool and believes that 3+3 is 2. This is NOT the correct answer. My knowledge does not make me better or more righteous than her. It does make me more knowledgeable than her.
So at this place in life there is a need to help people who may feel at odds with the church. I have been there! At times I am still there. There is difficulty at times removing old negative voices. At other times it is hard to remove the insecurity that the Church of Christ breeds.
Maybe you are just beginning to question the beliefs of the Church of Christ. Maybe you are receiving letters from elders or family members trying to convince you that leaving the Church of Christ is similar to Lot choosing the greener pastures. Maybe you are being overwhelmed with someone asking you pointed questions that you can’t answer. Allow Church of Christ recovery to help.