Showing posts from July, 2007

I Don't Care What They Say--The COC Is a Denomination

OK, I'll concede that the COC doesn't have the formal structure of a denomination. There is no national or regional council or synod that determines what goes on in the congregations. Individual congregations do not have to report their budgets or anything like that to an overseeing body of any kind. However, there is an informal network of preachers, deacons, and elders that meets and shares ideas on how to run things. I call them the COC Cabal. Furthermore, nowadays most congregations like to hire preachers who've had at least a little formal training, and since all the preachers go to the same Bible colleges and are taught by the same professors, they're all pretty much guaranteed to preach the same things, whether they're in the upper Midwest or the buckle of the Bible Belt. Every COC I've ever attended, no matter where in the United States, has used the King James Bible, the Sacred Selections song book, and has conducted its service in the same way. It'…

Independence Day

Leaving the church of Christ was a dizzying, disorienting experience, partly because I had never had such a degree of personal freedom before. The whole point of that church is restriction, and most of their doctrine is a never-ending list of dos and don'ts (mostly don'ts). In honor of Independence Day, here is my Declaration of Independence from the COC.

Since I have left the COC, I am now free of:
--harsh judgment and withering criticism,
--hypocrisy and the need to put up a false front,
--restrictions on my service to God because of my gender,
--fear of being condemned for my flaws,
--enforced conformity to a lifestyle that is wrong for me, and
--being forced to shut down my intellect in order to believe.

In turn, I am now free to:
--accept my flaws and my humanity,
--love other people openly and without reservation,
--enjoy my life without fear of condemnation,
--accept God's grace and love without hesitation,
--reach out and be active in the community, and
--explore theology withou…