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Church Of Christ?


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#1 kolaida

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 06:34 PM

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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#2 leopardus

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 08:47 PM

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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#3 kolaida

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 07:59 AM

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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#4 FloridaGirl

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 09:16 AM

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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#5 JamesG

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 12:07 PM

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

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 03:49 PM

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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#7 Geezer

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 04:50 PM

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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#8 claireann

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 05:23 PM

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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#9 Geezer

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 08:23 AM

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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#10 megasamurai

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 12:58 PM

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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#11 Burny

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 01:14 PM

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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#12 Fernweh

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 01:20 PM

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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#13 megasamurai

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 01:51 PM

Pentacostal Holiness?


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#14 Fernweh

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 03:22 PM

Pentacostal Holiness?

http://en.wikipedia....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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#15 Geezer

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 03:47 PM

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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#16 megasamurai

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 04:10 PM

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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#17 Fernweh

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 04:35 PM

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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#18 megasamurai

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 05:47 PM

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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#19 Hunter93

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 09:11 PM

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.

Edited by Hunter93, 11 June 2013 - 09:21 PM.

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#20 pandora

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 06:23 AM

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.  


Edited by pandora, 12 June 2013 - 06:27 AM.

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