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kolaida

Church Of Christ?

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I don't know if this is the right place to post this.  Anyway, my best friend recently enrolled her daughter in a daycare, which happens to be a Church of Christ church. I'm not exactly familiar with them, but I did recognize it as it's own denominational group, but it's a church my family never attended. I was kind of curious if anyone knows anything about them? From what it sounds like, they don't observe holidays but don't really care if their members want to observe it as a family? 

 

I ask mostly because I'm curious. My friend and her husband are actually atheists, so it was pretty hilarious when they told me and another friend where they had enrolled their daughter at. They did say they were planning to take their daughter out once she got old enough to start the "Christian based curriculum" they had been told about when visiting. Anyway, when I was a Christian, I would frequently research others' religious beliefs to compare and contrast to mine and the Bible.  This was one that I never really got around to, though. 

 

Has anyone had any experience with this particular flavor of Christianity? 

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The single nuttiest thing about the CofC is that they think it's WRONG to have instrumental music.  Yep, that's right; acapella music only. Weird, but true. After that, they are a pretty typicel, southern flavored, hyper conservative cult. Creationism, patriarchal, blah, blah.

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The single nuttiest thing about the CofC is that they think it's WRONG to have instrumental music.  Yep, that's right; acapella music only. Weird, but true. After that, they are a pretty typicel, southern flavored, hyper conservative cult. Creationism, patriarchal, blah, blah.

 

Okay, I had wondered about that. From what I had read, it seemed like most of the stuff was similar to what I had learned in my Southern Baptist churches.  The instrument thing IS weird. My friend had asked if they were a non-denominational church and I was like, "No, pretty sure that aren't."  Okay, thanks so much!! 

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I was part of a group for a few months called the International Church of Christ. Beware of that group. They are actually considered a cult.

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As mentioned above highly patriarchal women are not allowed to read from or teach the bible to men

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I was a member of the Church of Christ for about 27 years. I served as a bible teacher, deacon, and ultimately as an elder. The c of C is an example of Christian fundamental extremism. Their members would deny this but they worship both the bible and the apostle Paul as well as Jesus and God, and pretty much in that order. They take bible inerrancy and literalism to such an extreme that it takes control of their lives to the point they become bible idolaters aka Bibliolatry.

 

It is their teaching that every word in the bible must be followed exactly as written. To be a Christian all commands, laws, rules, and even examples, which are interpreted as commands, must be adhered to precisely for a believer to retain their salvation. Sin, any sin, will cost the believer their soul, so sin, by any definition, must be repented of and forgiveness asked in order for the believer to have their soul restored. And this cycle is repeated each time a believer sins.

 

As others have noted the c of C does not allow instrumenal music in their buildings because nowhere in the NT is instrumental music specifically authorized. Therefore using instrumental music in worship goes beyond what is authorized in the bible. Since the bible doesn’t authorize it using instruments in worship would be a sin and that would put the offender's soul in jeopardy.

 

Another  poster noted the International Churches of Christ. That group came out of the traditional Churches of Christ but they are a separate groups now they have no connection with each other. I would classify both the traditional Church of Christ and the International Church of Christ as dangerous cults with the notation the the ICC is by far the more problematic of the two.

 

Both groups shun disobedient or erring members. They call this practice dis-fellowshipping. Like all religious fundamental extremists they indoctrinate their members and this begins at birth. A child placed in their day care would be subjected to being indoctrinated in their religious beliefs.  

 

Once you become a member of the Church of Christ it is difficult to become disassociated from them. Like all religious groups individual congregations (each congregation is autonomous the Church of Christ has no central authority) can range from liberal (by c of C standards) to hard core extremism, but their core beliefs and teaching remain pretty much the same. Congregation’s that disagree with one another often dis-fellowship each other. The level of legalism in the Church of Christ and the antics they engage in to insure doctrinal purity is almost comical.

 

Hope this helps.

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The single nuttiest thing about the CofC is that they think it's WRONG to have instrumental music.  Yep, that's right; acapella music only. Weird, but true. After that, they are a pretty typicel, southern flavored, hyper conservative cult. Creationism, patriarchal, blah, blah.

 

 

 

Their refusal to allow instrumental music in their worship service would likely strike most traditional Christians as odd, but I can personally attest that would not likely take the top spot if you were made aware of all the strange beliefs and traditions associated with the traditional Church of Christ.

 

It might not even make the top ten. 78.gif 

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I've just come out of a cofC background, my parents were converted by missionaries in the early 70's and I was a missionary myself for awhile. One of the big issues (besides the instrumental music) was full immersion baptism for remission of sins. This is a very big deal, if you don't believe that the baptism is the moment and act of salvation then you're not really saved. I know of many people who were baptised as teenagers who decided later that they hadn't really "got it" at the time so they were rebaptised, sometimes more than once. This is the main reason that most cofCers believe that all other evangelicals and baptists and denominations aren't really Christians, because they've not been baptised properly.

 

I attended a few baptisms where they were real sticklers for the full immersion, one guy's hand didn't go fully under and he had to go again. I remember wondering if they'd not caught it would he have woken up in heaven after he died without his hand :D

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As claireann noted in her post above, baptism is probably the single most important tenet in restoration theology. Acts 2:38 is viewed by the traditional Church of Christ as the most important scripture in the bible because it supposedly answers the question posed in verse 37, what must a person do to be saved?

 

The answer, of course, is: "38 “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.In order to comply with Peter’s instruction Church of Christ tradition requires absolute compliance with the example supplied in verse 38. The prospect must be completely submerged in water. Hardcore fundamentalist also believe the words, “I baptize you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” must also be said in order for salvation to attach.

 

Traditionally, the Church of Christ believes it is the water that washes away sin and thus saves the lost sinner. The c of C does not believe anyone is saved until their sins are washed away in the water, the symbolic blood of Christ. Even though the water is only a symbol of Christ blood it has the power unto salvation for those that confess Christ and repent of their sins.

 

The c of C absolutely believes if a person accepts Christ but dies before they are baptized they will spend eternity in hell. That is why they baptize prospects immeditaly no matter the place or time of day. For reasons that no one could ever explain to me a believer who sins, and supposedly loses their soul in the process until they repent and ask for forgiveness, doesn’t need to be re-baptized.

 

In the c of C mindset believers baptism washes away all past sin but future sin must be dealt with by the individual on a sin by sin basis. That reality prompted me to pray that God would forgive me of ALL of my sins. I was then was left to hope that God recognized request for packaged sins just in case the sinner forgot one or didn’t recognize they had even sinned. Grace is a concept that has little real meaning in the c of C. It is generally pretty much limited to the idea that God is even willing to forgive sin at all, but that doesn't nullify the responsibility of the believer to live a sinless life with only an occasionally accidental slip.

 

A believer has a better chance of winning the power ball than making it to heaven if the c of C theology is to be believed and taken literally.

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Are you sure they are as nutty as the Assemblies of God.? My old church believed in the same idea of perfect obedience being required for salvation, but we add our own list of sins in addition to the Bible. You go to hell for physical affection of any kind before marriage, going to R rated movies, listening to rock music, drinking an ounce of alchohol, getting a tatoo, dancing, playing cards, and the like. You could get disowned for doing any of those. The Assemblies of God has a special brainwashing camp my parents made me get trapped in for a week where technology becomes a sin. The camp has the magical property of making people closer to the holy spirit. The Assemblies of God puts special emphasis on emotions and the concept of emotion crime. If your emotions don't conform with the Bible, you are considered a sad excuse for a human being.  If you don't worship enphusiastically enough, you don't love god enough and are considered scum. You have to make a conspicious visual display of emotional passion for God to survive. They deliberately invoke the "sinful" emotion of fear to children with their annual Book of Life play and say it's immoral to feel the fear that the church gave them. I think my old church was even worse.

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We went to a more modern C of C which did have modern worship styles and was almost non-denominational. The underlying theology wasn't really taught that strongly but it was there in the details. They tried to make me an elder and I got the hell outa there.

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Are you sure they are as nutty as the Assemblies of God.? My old church believed in the same idea of perfect obedience being required for salvation, but we add our own list of sins in addition to the Bible. You go to hell for physical affection of any kind before marriage, going to R rated movies, listening to rock music, drinking an ounce of alchohol, getting a tatoo, dancing, playing cards, and the like. You could get disowned for doing any of those. The Assemblies of God has a special brainwashing camp my parents made me get trapped in for a week where technology becomes a sin. The camp has the magical property of making people closer to the holy spirit. The Assemblies of God puts special emphasis on emotions and the concept of emotion crime. If your emotions don't conform with the Bible, you are considered a sad excuse for a human being.  If you don't worship enphusiastically enough, you don't love god enough and are considered scum. You have to make a conspicious visual display of emotional passion for God to survive. They deliberately invoke the "sinful" emotion of fear to children with their annual Book of Life play and say it's immoral to feel the fear that the church gave them. I think my old church was even worse.

 

I grew up in the AoG and spent some time with Pentecostal Holiness as well. Everything you say about the AoG is true but they are stodgy compared to the Pentecostal Holiness crowd. When my family left the Pentecostal's and joined an Assembly of God church I felt like we had fled the asylum. Needless to say, my bar for weirdness was set pretty high after spending so much of my youth in these churches. I attended a few Church of Christ services and I have to say they were just as weird but in a very legalistic way. The lack of instruments is quite strange coming from the near rock concert like worship services of the Holiness crowd. It wasn't until years later that I discovered how cult like the CoC beliefs are.

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Pentacostal Holiness?

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Pentacostal Holiness?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Pentecostal_Holiness_Church

 

Oral Roberts was IPHC. They are very strict about the trinity, pre-millennial rapture, and speaking in tongues. Compared to the Oneness Pentecostals they can appear to be quite normal since the women don't wear long skirts or keep long hair. However, in spite of their otherwise normal dress they are just as batshit crazy as any other form of Pentecostalism.

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When it comes to Christian fundamentalism, especially the groups found in the Bible Belt of the Southern United States, deciding which one is truly the most weird, most legalistic, or the most cult like would be a difficult choice, because the possibilities would appear to be almost endless.

 

I might have to cast my vote with the snake handlers that I encountered while living in the Carolina’s. they possess all the weirdness and legalism a person would expect to find among uneducated fundamental extremist, but these fruitcakes take Mark 16:17-18 literally: 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

 

Their group is small because they tend to get bitten by the poisonous snakes when they pick them up and then they die and if the snakes don’t get them the poison does. They, of course, refuse medical assistance when bitten depending on their faith to heal them. Their survival rate is low as would be expected by any rational even moderately educated moron.

 

Yep! I’d have to vote them Number #1 on my list of stupid religious beliefs and practices and idiots who believe it.  dry.png 

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What is the name of this denomination that handles snakes? Is it United Penecostal? I still don't see much difference between Assemblies of God and Penecostal Holiness.

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What is the name of this denomination that handles snakes? Is it United Penecostal? I still don't see much difference between Assemblies of God and Penecostal Holiness.

 

The A of G and IPHC are practically the same in their beliefs. The A of G that I attended just acted more conservative in their church service. It was sort of a Pentecostal Lite. The Pentecostals I saw turned the speaking in tongues and dancing in the isles up to 11. It's been 30 years since I set foot in either of these places so they may be even more alike now than then.

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The Assemblies of God has tons of speaking in tongues and some old guy always instantly translates it to English. The message is supposedly from God, but contains all the Biblical cliches.

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Are you sure they are as nutty as the Assemblies of God.? My old church believed in the same idea of perfect obedience being required for salvation, but we add our own list of sins in addition to the Bible. You go to hell for physical affection of any kind before marriage, going to R rated movies, listening to rock music, drinking an ounce of alchohol, getting a tatoo, dancing, playing cards, and the like. You could get disowned for doing any of those. The Assemblies of God has a special brainwashing camp my parents made me get trapped in for a week where technology becomes a sin. The camp has the magical property of making people closer to the holy spirit. The Assemblies of God puts special emphasis on emotions and the concept of emotion crime. If your emotions don't conform with the Bible, you are considered a sad excuse for a human being. If you don't worship enphusiastically enough, you don't love god enough and are considered scum. You have to make a conspicious visual display of emotional passion for God to survive. They deliberately invoke the "sinful" emotion of fear to children with their annual Book of Life play and say it's immoral to feel the fear that the church gave them. I think my old church was even worse.

I don't even want to know about your old church if it was truly worse.

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The Church of Christ is nondenominational in the sense that there is no denominational church government.   If they are calling themselves nondenominational, you know it is this group and not some other group that has just borrowed the Church of Christ name (like some Latter Day Saint groups).  Church government is at the congregational level.   They are actually related to the more mainline Disciples of Christ which has more liberal and ecumenical theological views and branched off from the original Church of Christ.   The other related church is the Christian Church, and they are in the middle of the two... the latter two use instruments and all three emphasize immersion baptism for salvation, although not so much for the Disciples of Christ being more ecumenical.   The Church of Christ is by far the most conservative of the the three.   Because they are all from the same restoration movement and have congregational government, they sometimes use their church names interchangeably in my area at least, so it is possible that your friend is sending her kids to one of the other two types of churches.  

 

The church I spent most of my time in as a Christian was the Christian Church.   The immersion for salvation doctrine and focus on Creationism gave me fits and I went on to mainline denominations because of it.  

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What is the name of this denomination that handles snakes? Is it United Penecostal? I still don't see much difference between Assemblies of God and Penecostal Holiness.

 

 

According to ask.com: The Church of God with Signs Following is the name for Pentecostal holiness churches that engage in snake handling and poison.

 

When all things are considered I think I would have to crown the Pentecostal's as the most nutty of all the mainline fundamentalists groups, but I think the deep south version of the hard line Church of Christ is the most legalistic.

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Thanks SO MUCH for all in the information (and keep it coming!).  Quite interesting!! For a minute there, I thought it WAS Assemblies of God and I think I even mentioned it to her, but I was pretty sure Church of Christ and A of G were separate denominations.  They are not actually calling themselves a non-denominational church but actually Church of Christ. 

 

You know some of my mom's family (including her mother were, like, hardcore Pentecostal and in deep south Louisiana)--- maybe that's why my mom and half of her family couldn't get along. They had serious clashes; my mom was a southern Baptist- actually raised it. Her mom used to drop her off at a Baptist church growing up, but later converted to Pentecost, I guess. 

 

This CofC seems to be a pretty big church with a Day Care program that runs later into the evenings than most others.  Also, the day care cost is pretty cheap I guess compared to others (still seems expensive to me, though). They also have an internship coming up where you can live with the Elder and his family.  

 

My friend's daughter is just an infant as of now. I just wasn't too sure about the C of C. My friend, although her grandmother and aunt are religious and she attended some church in middle school (and I think might have gone on a church retreat or something once with her grandma), she never really attended churches on a regular basis and was never religious herself (I don't think her mother was/is, either). 

 

And these stories are making my Southern Baptist days look pretty chill, LOL!  My parents always did hate when churches started speaking in tongues and thought it was "showing off." (lol)  So snobby. 

 

 

(Also, we are currently in the Midwest USA and I don't THINK that's as dangerous/crazy as the Southern churches?--- but not Kansas, we're not near the Westboro, LOL)

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Another c of C story.

 

Among the Churches of Christ Texas has long been recognized as a problem due to their liberalism.  Somewhere around 2005 the largest Church of Christ congregation in the United States which is located in Texas decided to add an optional instrumental worship service. Texas and Tennessee are the only two states where the Church of Christ has any significance presence. It has long been recognized that Nashville is the equivalent of Mecca for the Church of Christ. Nashville is recognized as the de facto center of authority for all scriptural and doctrinal issues. Texas is viewed by many in the c of C as the rebellious red headed step child. There are part of the family but they tend to be a problem.

 

Anyway, Richland Hills Church of Christ decided, after years of deliberation and study of scripture, to add an optional instrumental service.  Their leadership acknowledged the Bible doesn’t specifically authorize instrumental music but it doesn’t prohibit it either. They also noted the Bible in the book of Revelations indicates there are harps in heaven. And the OT has numerous examples of instruments being used in the praise and worship of God. Therefore, they reasoned that God was apparently okay with music in the OT and even allows it in heaven so He probably wouldn’t have a problem with allowing it in a worship service.

 

I need to note the Church of Christ also has an interesting doctrine they call Necessary Inference. Since attempting to follow the Bible literally doesn’t work in the real world and even the c of C recognizes that they had to have an out so the doctrine of Necessary Inference was created. In reality that simply means the local Eldership (the supreme pupas because God appointed them as Elders and made them the sole authority on all matters of scripture, doctrine, and tradition) can make up rules for their congregation as they see fit.

 

This normally is applied to such things as granting the construction of a Church building (also not authorized in scripture) appointing youth ministers, worship leaders, etc. Having a kitchen or fellowship hall is a sticky issue. Some congregations have them and some don’t and those that don’t generally dis-fellowship those that do.

 

So, the church leaders at Richland Hills decided they had the authority, using the doctrine of necessary inference, to add an optional instrumental music worship service. Needless to say they were immediately dis-fellowshipped by a whole bunch of congregations. Additionally, a web site was created asking fellow orthodox Church of Christ brethren to pray that God would kill the ministers and elders at the Richland Hills congregation for their willful disobedience of the word and for creating an environment that would doom their members to hell. Like I noted in another post,grace isn’t really a concept that has much significance in the hard line versions of the c of C. And then tend to love ya only as long as you follow the rules and submit to the Elders. And if you are a woman just smile and be quiet...please.

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I know that Church of Christ is somewhat prominent in my state of Oklahoma. I knew someone who felt that instruments and tongues were evil and that baptism was required. The Church of Christ in southern OKC has a pretty small, but loyal fanbase the two times I went there. Still, the Assemblies of God are huge in OKC. They have a freaking 2000 member cathedral. I wonder where the Assemblies of God and Pentacostal Holiness denominations are most prominant.

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I was raised in the CoC until I was 14 when my parents joined the Baptist church.  The difference was night and day to me.  The Baptist church was like Vegas compared to the doctrine of the CoC.

 

Another of the strange COC beliefs was that we are not supposed to revel.  I did not know what the word meant back then.  I found out that, according to my Sunday School teacher, it meant we were not suppose to clap our hands or tap our feet to music.

 

Now this was odd to me because my grandmother who was a member of the CoC as well, would take me on Fridays nights to an AoG church where there was, well music, for one, and a group of people clapping and tapping their feet to the music, including my grandmother.  There were also speaking in tongues which freaked me out.

 

I don't remember much of the doctrine of the CoC, just that it was very sombre and no one could carry a tune without any music.

 

I don't remember anything there that would keep me from using them as a day care, other than the constant invites to church.  But I wouldn't keep my child in one of their day cares after the age of 4, before a child starts believing all that crap about burning in hell.

If the day care is anything like the Vacation Bible school I rememberat the CoC, it would be nothing to be too concerned about.

 

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