It may be disappointing to some who've read the last two blogs that i haven't made virtually any attempt to justify the reasons i've been giving for still being a member of The Church of Christ. i honestly haven't intended to. The reasons i give are certainly sufficiently justified to my personal satisfaction. But wanting to write these blogs has developed out of my focus on criticisms of The Church of Christ. i have spent quite a bit of time over the years creating a list of things i think are in great need of reform in The Church of Christ. But here i am, still a part of it. It kinda begs the question: Why? If i keep griping about lousy food, why do i keep coming to this restaurant? If i've got all these criticisms, then why am i still here?
So why am i writing these blogs?
First, just to answer these questions (which doesn't necessarily require justifying those answers).
But second, i don't want to become a nay-sayer. The internet has plenty of people who've made it their full-time job to bash The Church of Christ. And while they swear they're not bitter or angry or resentful, i see no other possible motive emanating from their words (especially when some of them include page upon page upon page of their personal negative and abusive experiences in The Church of Christ on their "reformer" website), and even if somehow there were some other motive, i don't see what good could be accomplished by such work but to feed and fester other people's bitterness or anger or resentment over such experiences. Point being--this is not what i'm going for. And i have to be careful. i may have criticisms. They may even all be legitimate criticisms. But in no way does that permit me to be cynical or self-righteous or a fault-finder. And just for that reason (1) i need to be sure that any assessment i voice is given with the right attitude and motive, (2) i must never apply any standard that i'm not willing to have applied to me, and (3)i must take time to acknowledge the good and praiseworthy and make sure it gets due attention. (Especially #3--if you read some people's pages and newsletters, you'd think The Church of Christ is full of the most rotten pack of jerks in the world. But is that fair? Go ask orphans that have grown up in our homes--would they say we're a rotten pack of jerks? Go ask Katrina victims who were forgotten by the government but provided for by our Disaster Relief Effort--are we a mean bunch of cynics?)
So why am i still here?
First, i recognize that my criticisms are neither numerous enough nor of sufficient weight to justify or even suggest that i should leave and join some other religious group.
Second (and the point of these blogs), there are distinct reasons (personal convictions of mine which are also still largely held in The Church of Christ) which keep me here due to their importance and that no alternative religious group offers me all these reasons.
I've already given two of these distinct reasons:
1. The Restoration Principle
2. A Distinctive View of Baptism
Now a third:
3. Weekly Observance of the Lord's Supper.
Despite mounds of articles by in-house Church of Christ critics written to try desperately to show that needing to take the LS every Sunday is a silly idea hermeneutically speaking, it is not at all hermeneutically silly to me. It has never been a difficult or convoluted journey in my mind to arrive at the conclusion that the Supper was the purpose of the Sunday gatherings of the early church. While i think it'd be a stretch to say that the Supper is the purpose of The Church of Christ's Sunday gatherings, it is nevertheless observed every Sunday. i think much could be done to improve the practical observance of the Supper in The Church of Christ. But there will always be room for growth. But i believe they are right to observe it on a weekly basis, and it (in concert with the two reasons i've already given and at least one more i have yet to state) is part of why i am still a member of The Church of Christ.