The Road Less Traveled

“Two roads diverged in a wood,” wrote Robert Frost in his well-loved poem, “And I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
Often, in each of our lives, we see points of departure ? decisions which, once taken, make a tremendous difference in the subsequent course of events. What is true of individuals is also true of churches. There are critical points of departure which make all the difference in the world.
Choosing a Road
In the late 1800s a Liberal spirit washed over American culture, and American religion drank deeply from this spring. The Social Gospel redirected the work of the church toward the demands of the community and away from the salvation of souls from an eternal hell.
The rise of higher education as a dominate force in American culture shaped American religion as well. The new sciences of Psychology and Sociology coupled with Darwin’s theories of Evolution made the simple faith in Scripture seem hopelessly pass?.
The vast majority of American churches embraced the spirit of the age, and none more enthusiastically than the Christian Church. Since the academic community disparaged the truth of Scripture, the Christian Church abandoned confidence in the text. Since the broader community demanded socially relevant worship, the Christian Church obliged introducing various innovations. The Christian Church was the essential community church ? trendy, sharp, and in step with the world around them.
The churches of Christ, however, chose the road less traveled. While the world around us called for innovation, the churches of Christ held to Restoration. While the world around us sought a religion which was therapeutic, the churches of Christ offered a religion of repentance. While the world around us sought to reduce the Bible to comply with current academic theories, the churches of Christ rejected any claim to truth which does not comply with the text of Scripture.
For the better part of the twentieth century the churches of Christ stayed on this road with fidelity, and God blessed us in His path. Then, beginning about 1980, things began to change.
We’ve Been Here Before
Over the past two decades an increasing number of Christian colleges, congregations, and church leaders have left the old path to go down the well-traveled road the Christian Church denomination embraced years ago.
The Community Church Movement has pursued an unrelenting agenda replete with debauched doctrine and deviant practices. Making community relevance their standard, they compromised their allegiance to the authority of Scripture in every way imaginable.
Increasingly, the Community Church Movement has sought unity with other religions. Most prominently have been their overtures to Christian Churches. This desire for unity with the Christian Churches should not surprise us. The Community Church Movement among churches of Christ denies the authority of Scripture to regulate what happens in worship. Why shouldn’t they want the company of those who chose this well-traveled road decades before?
As Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13,14, ESV). The road we choose will make all the difference.

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Greg Tidwell

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