Blame the Church First

In her recent book “Useful Idiots,” Mona Charen speaks of the impulse some people have to “blame America first.” In her view, there are those who will, as a reflex, blame America every time something goes wrong in the world. She speaks of an attitude where the assumption — and these are themselves Americans — that will take anybody’s side against that of their own country.
It must be a sign of the times, because I often sense the same attitude towards the church of Christ. Brethren will speak admiringly of the qualities of various denominations (and there are good qualities in many of them), but when it comes to their own fellowship, they seem to “blame the church of Christ first.”
Please understand. I am not saying that we cannot speak to our leaders about our concerns and our deep desire to honor God better as a fellowship. I am not saying that we can do no wrong. The church is comprised of imperfect people. Of course we can make mistakes!
But it hurts me to hear “us” speaking mockingly of our great fellowship. I’m heartbroken when people flippantly refer to the “C of C” rather than lovingly repeat the name by which we are called.
American democracy is big, rambunctious and often flawed; its call to liberties and human rights is still, politically, the best hope of the world. The church of Christ’s call to go back to the Bible has been dented and misdirected at times by our flaws, divisions, and personal ambitions, but its call to follow Christ alone, and scripture alone, is more than the best hope of the world.
It is its only hope.
“Do not grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The judge is standing at the door!” (James 5:9).

4 thoughts on “Blame the Church First

  1. Stan,
    It is hurtful and painful to hear folks speak, and I believe, ignorantly so, about the bride of Christ. The Lord’s church is made up of the saved and not divided. The brotherhood, on the other hand, is made up of the faithful and the erring. To love the brotherhood is to correct those in error with love and comfort those hurt by the erring and the alien. The bride of Christ is to be adored and respected at all times. As I’ve heard Marshall Keeble used to say, “A man should be mindful what he has to say about Jesus bride. He knocked a man down once for abusing her. Just ask Paul”.
    Keep up the great writing.

  2. Thanks, you have cause me to think.
    Today I heard someone say to a friend, “Are you a Church of Christ”? I was expecting a biblical reponse explaining the church, but I must confess that I was a little surprised to hear the simple reply, “Yes.” Nothing more, and nothing less.
    This reminds of some of the terms that have evolved in our own country. Before the Civil War, when people referred to our country it was always in the plural. “The United States are entering into a treaty with Europe.” After the war to save the union of states, it was in the singular, “The United States is entering into a treaty with Europe.” In a sense the identity of the country has changed since July 4th, 1776.
    Marshall Keeble also said, “Set em to readin.” , and I agree. To know our identity we must open the Bible see who we are, and with whom we are united with in faith.
    We should not rely on someone’s review of what the Bible says.
    Thanks again,

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