But we're the ONE TRUE CHURCHTM! We have to save them from Hell!
I still go to a Church of Christ for reasons that I've explained before. They would consider me a "struggling christian," I suppose, because I was outed as an atheist and managed to convince them that I was going to try to believe again. In the year and a half since that happened, nobody has questioned me. I kind of hate it but it keeps family relationships smooth.
Anyway, being that I'm still a member, I'm still on the email list. Monday, the following email (names redacted) was sent to the congregation:
Sent: 8:33 AM Monday
Subject: (family name) contact information and update
I have not yet spoken with (his name), but a text from (her name) to (woman at our church) indicated they have joined the Catholic church. Needless to say, we need to reach out to them to see what we can do to get them back to the Lord's church. Any and all efforts are greatly appreciated. Their souls are at stake! James 5:20.
(his name) - phone: nnn-nnn-nnnn; email firstname.lastname@example.org
(her name) - phone: nnn-nnn-nnnn; email email@example.com
This was out of the blue. We weren't there Sunday night, so I have to assume that an announcement was made. This couple are not members of our congregation!
James 5:20 is the verse that says if you turn a sinner from the error of their ways you'll save them from death and cover a multitude of your own sins (and I thought God didn't keep score!).
So, two hours later:
Sent: 10:37AM Monday
Subject: Update on (family name)
I apologize for all of the emails, just want to be sure everyone is up to date if you decide to reach out to them. Here is what (his name) just sent to me:
Hi (elder's name),
We have not joined the Catholic Church. We are studying and searching without bias, at least that is our intention. We want to go wherever the truth leads us. I have had many questions over the years that I am sadly just addressing.
I would be more than happy to study once we figure everything out. At this time, we are studying and praying together and quite honestly want to be able to do so without pressure. If that day comes that we decide to leave the church of Christ, then I would be open to group studies.
As I said, this couple are not members of our congregation; yet this elder, in his concern for their "souls" (they've joined the Catholic church! We have to get them back to the Lord's church!) published their email addresses, phone numbers, and home address to the entire congregation (everyone on the email list, anyway). You can see the polite reaction of the man, saying essentially that they don't want to be bothered, they just want to figure this out, and that their searching for the truth is long overdue. I doubt they would sue, but if contact from people they've never met becomes a big enough hassle, they might be seriously tempted.
I don't know how this happened, but I would speculate that the woman mentioned as having received the text must have been really worried about her friends from another congregation, and brought her concerns to her own church, asking for prayers, and the elder(s) decided it would be good to be proactive. (After all, nothing fails like prayer.) I'm just guessing, here. It could easily have been someone else asking for prayers, and this woman just happened to follow up. People in the NI-Churches of Christ know a lot of people in other local congregations. (I'm surprised I don't know this couple; I would bet that my sons and their wives do, though.) I don't know if I'll ask anyone how this came about or maybe just leave that up to my wife. I try to be as uninvolved as possible.
But I'd like to send this couple a card congratulating them on their decision to pursue their doubts and try to figure out the truth!