I have had an idea for a post, probably a set of posts to explain my background, to explain my church, to explain me. It has the potential to make some of my closest friends and family either mad at me or disappointed with me. Let me start by saying that is not the intent of this. If you are one of those people, please, let’s talk. Let me explain my rationale, my reasoning, my studies.
You need to know two things about me before we go any further. One, I believe that the Bible is the word of God, living and active and truth. If you want to disagree with me, you can, but my own personal study has proven it to be true over and over again. The second thing you need to know about me is that I can and tend to be very black and white. A yes means yes, a no means no. If it is written down in a credible source, such as the Bible, then I tend to believe it.
I am a preacher’s kid, which means my daddy was a preacher. And his daddy was a preacher. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Grandpa’s daddy was a preacher as well. I have attended a church of Christ my entire life.
Which leads me to my first point. I attend a “church of Christ.” I was taught all my life that we were a “non-denominational” church. According to the Oxford dictionary, non-denominational means open or acceptable to people of any Christian denomination. According to the tradition that I was taught, it meant that we didn’t have an overseeing board like the Baptists have, that we were autonomous of other churches of Christ, with each church having it’s own elders and deacons. What that means in practical terms is that a church in Tennessee is not responsible for the budget, the teachings, for the people of a church in Missouri.
What I understood growing up was that a denomination was the church you attended. Like Baptists, Methodists, Catholic, etc., and that in saying we weren’t a denomination more or less defined us as a denomination.
I had so many questions growing up. I feel almost let down, because most of the time, instead of receiving answers, I was simply told, “We don’t do that here.” I wasn’t even told my mom’s favorite response, which was to “look it up.” So, I started looking and researching on my own. My favorite thing to do now is to look up the answers in my Bible.
Some of the things that I was told that I would like to cover are as follows: Christmas, nativities, crosses, Advent, instrumental music, drinking, gambling.
What I’m not going to cover: Women taking a “leadership” role such as preaching, song leading, serving communion. I’m sorry. That’s not the point of this blog, that’s not the point of this post. I’m not wanting to start a full out war on theology here, and that topic has the potential to do just that.
What I do intend is to start a rational discussion with others about why I was taught certain things as a child, and why I have studied the Bible for myself as an adult, and why my beliefs may or may not have changed because of my studies. Does that sound reasonable?
Well, if not, then tough. That’s what we’re doing. And we’re using the Bible for this project. So, that being said, I’m going to wrap up part one for now and prepare for part two. Have a wonderful day!