I know it is technically July, but today I’m wrapping up my time in the Church of Christ.
After learning more about the Church of Christ, I’ve come to an odd conclusion. Of all the churches I’ve visited thus far, the Church of Christ seems most similar to the Orthodox Church.
At first glance, the two are nothing alike. The Orthodox Church was all about tradition, doing things as they’ve always been done, complete with confession, icons, incense, and kneeling. The Church of Christ is rather unstructured, a relatively young (compared to the Orthodox) church, with more modern ideas of baptism and communion (at least in terms of logistics).
But both churches seem to believe they are doing it the right way. That they are doing it as it was done in the New Testament, that they are the church of Christ. In Churches of Christ: Who Are They?, Mack Lyon states that Churches of Christ are “dedicated to being Christ’s church as described in the New Testament.’ In an interview, Peter Jackson, a former Protestant missionary and Orthodox convert, says “Not a single other church or faith can call itself the true Church.”
How can two churches so different both believe they are doing it the way it should be done? I have no idea. It’s one of the things that so confuses me about the Church (and by that I mean the Church as a whole).
To clarify: I know not all Church of Christ members believe they are the “true Church” – I would say the majority of the ones I know do not believe that! But in most of the literature and research I’ve read about the Church of Christ, this idea seems to come up often.
But if I put aside this idea, the Church of Christ doesn’t seem that different from other churches I’ve visited. There was prayer, worship, and communion. There was fellowship between members after the service. There was Scripture read from the pulpit.
Overall there was nothing in what I learned that would make me agree with Nancy Grace’s guest who called the Church of Christ a cult. Because each church is self-governed, I suppose there are some individual churches who may seem more cult-like. (I personally have never seen or heard of one.) But that is true of any self-governing church – a non-denominational church I attended in the past was actually accused of being a cult! (And for those wondering, it wasn’t.)
Personally, I don’t think I would ever join a Church of Christ. Mostly because I need an instrument covering up my singing voice – even if that instrument is just a piano or organ! But I don’t have a problem with it. I’m glad I took the time to learn more about this church…not denomination ;)