Heirs of the “Restoration Movement” (Churches of Christ, Christian Churches, Disciples of Christ – and a plethora of groups believing this and that) have largely been an innocuous force in the contest for the souls of men and women. There are several reasons for this in my opinion (and I have been “at it” for over 50 years).
- We have preached “the church” instead of “The Christ.” I have, in the past been as guilty of this as anyone. You can claim to be “non-denominational” but this is about as denominational as you can get. Our message must not be the “church of Christ”, it must be the Christ of the church.
- We have invested our resources in buildings. With the money we spend on construction and maintenance, we could feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick and reach a hurting and hungry world with the only message that can save them.
- We have fought each other and not Satan. We seem to have forgotten that he is the real adversary — not those who are seeking to follow Christ even if they do some strange things you don’t find in the Bible. We can work all that out as allies in the fight against our real adversary.
- We have done everything except what Jesus told us to do. He never said to build “Christian Colleges and Universities (they seldom stay that way very long anyway).” He never said “Go forth and build buildings throughout the world,” He never said, “build hospitals, put your denominational name on them and charge the same outrageous prices that other hospitals do.” He never said hand out food, clothing and drill water wells but don’t worry about connecting it with the gospel (I know this is not the case in all instances).
- We put would-be missionaries through the ringer (remember those?). We make them sweat, strain, wear out tires and/or automobiles travelling around begging for support and ask them, “How little can you live on?” Meanwhile human beings are dying and going to hell. What’s the matter with us?
- Our job is to be Christ to our world (starting with our communities). Our job is to speak, act and conduct ourselves as He did. He still draws men and women to Himself.
I can probably think of some other things but this is my short list. All this has to change and all the lectureships, “summits,” conferences seem to this writer like exercises in futility. Let’s shut up and DO SOMETHING!