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Words Fail Me

Sometimes when I'm trying to explain the church of Christ and its negative effect on my life to my friends who didn't grow up in it, I feel as if I'm no longer speaking English. The words I'm saying simply don't compute with them. For example, they can't even imagine a church that rejects instrumental music, or refuses to celebrate Easter, or doesn't have a food pantry or give money to a homeless shelter. That's what a church IS to them. It's the very definition of a Christian religious body. Sometimes they don't even believe me and think that I'm pulling their leg. And who could blame them? The COC is so bizarre and insular and out of touch with reality that it seems like a bad joke.

This is one of the reasons I'm so grateful for the ex-Church of Christ support board (the link is to the right of this post). There are people on that board who actually speak my language, who grew up in the COC and know what a bizarre little world it is. I&…

What Was the Point of Pentecost?

Today is Pentecost Sunday--not that you'd know it in a church of Christ. I don't know about the mainline or liberal congregations, but the conservative non-institutional branch of the COC emphatically does not observe the church calendar in any fashion. A Sunday is a Sunday is a Sunday, all the same, forever and ever, world without end, amen.

Thus, it's always fun for me to observe the changes that occur at my new congregation as the liturgical year progresses. In honor of Pentecost, the decorations, candles, and vestments are red, symbolizing the tongues of fire that hovered over the disciples on the very first Pentecost. The readings, songs, and sermon are all about the Spirit and how it inspires us to love our fellow humans and gives us power to do good in the world.

Such talk of the Spirit would be shockingly out of place in the COC where I grew up. I remember that sermons on the Holy Spirit were few and far between, and they tended to be more about what the Spirit does …

Happy 2011!

Just wanted to wish everyone a healthy and prosperous new year. Hope you had a lovely holiday season, however you chose to celebrate.