What do you think about what Buff says here??

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REFORMATION RUMBLINGS Buff Scott, Jr., TheReformer ___________________________ Questions For Tuesday

Q. "I really appreciate your insight into brother Wayne Jackson's position. I'm a product of his mindset because I grew up in it. But the older I got the more uneasy I became with being so hardlined and hardheaded. I have wrestled with it for years. I'm not totally out of it yet, but more 'out of it' than 'in it' at the moment. My questions:

"1) What advice, suggestions, and/or encouragement can you give to brethren like me who struggle with overcoming this [sectarian] mindset and wanting to help others do the same? 2) Are there ways to avoid destroying relationships and splitting established congregations in the process?"---(Name withheld upon request).

A. It isn't easy to abandon a rigidly indoctrinated lifestyle that we were brought up in, whether Protestant or Catholic, for it has almost become an indispensable part of us. I know. I've been there, just as you have. We cannot renounce a destructive---and addictive---religious lifestyle of our own efforts. Without help from above, it is futile. Prayer in overcoming a spiritual malady is crucial. God will grant us the help and strength to overcome if we will but turn our eyes and our pleas in His direction and attune our hearts to His grace.

As to your second question, we will surely destroy some relationships, and perhaps even cause some disruption within the local family of believers, the moment we openly decide to yield the partisan spirit and opt for reform within the established order. It cannot be avoided. Jesus Himself taught this principle (Matthew 10:35).

By all means, we should try hard not to destroy relationships. We "can ease the pain" somewhat by being tenderhearted and respectful toward the sentiments of others who have not yet embarked upon the same journey or arrived at the same level of understanding. For remember, we were once as they are. But in spite of our efforts not to destroy and disrupt, it will happen. Sometimes we have no choice but to walk away, as our dear sister noted in the next statement. Please listen to her.

Q. "Buff, after being a 'member' of the [non-instrumental music] Church of Christ for 60 years (the same church in the same town), I walked away a year ago, November. It took me 14 years to do so after I knew I needed to do it. Everyone in my family is a member. My Father served as an elder when he was alive. It was not an easy thing to do.

"I can only rejoice that God, by His Holy Spirit, saw fit to have tremendous grace toward me when I started searching for more. One Wednesday evening I walked out of services that I had felt duty bound to attend, dead tired though I was, and looked toward the heavens and said, 'Holy God, there has to be more. There just has to be more.' I just praise Him, for there was and is indeed more. And I am free! If Christ Jesus sets you free, you are free indeed. God bless you, Buff."---Joyce.

A. And I say, "Bless your cottin' pickin' heart, Joyce!" We all need the freedom this dear sister is now enjoying, but it is almost impossible to acquire this freedom as long as we cleave to the bosom of orthodox religion---whether Church of Christ, Church of God, Methodist Church, Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, Lutheran Church, Catholic Church, Baptist Church, or any of the others.

Once we have formally "placed our membership" with one of our contemporary churches or denominations, we relinquish our freedom and get caught up in all of their projects and programs. We feel obligated, if not compelled, to support those projects, programs, and endeavors---financially and otherwise---whether we agree with them or not. Pressure, in one form or another, is applied and we feel embarrassed if we fail to "contribute our share of the load."

Because the Christian community in the aggregate has moved from compassion to project, "all hell has broken loose." Satan is at his zenith when 85 percent of our "church contributions" is squandered on materialistic projects and programs and only 15 percent is spent on evangelism and to alleviate the needs of the destitute. As for me, I think it best that I remain a "believer at large" and support, independently and at my own discretion, any need or ministry I deed worthy. This, to me, is freedom. The former is slavery. ----------- To connect to my Web site, click on Until next time, take care and God bless.---Buff. <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

-- nib Nelta Brock http://newmachine.qwikpages.com/parkave/nib/ Bible discussion list: 1stCen-Christianity-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

-- Nelta Brock (nib@hal-pc.org), February 18, 2002


Here is my take on your question.

There is no *worship service* on the first day of the week mentioned in the N.T. What the infant body did was meet together for encouragement and edification as they interacted together. All of the formality that goes on in the Church Building came about MUCH, MUCH later after the death of the inspired writers. IMO that is what Joyce is talking about when she experiences *freedom* when she left the institution of religion.


-- nib Nelta Brock http://newmachine.qwikpages.com/parkave/nib/ Bible discussion list: 1stCen-Christianity-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

-- Nelta Brock (nib@hal-pc.org), February 19, 2002.

Sooooo, how do you think one does that? Is there such a group of people that come together on the first day of the week....and get it right? Or at least strives to get it right. I am finding if the group is striving for the fellowship and encouragement, it seems to be lacking (IMO) in the 'what God expects of us' department, and visa versa.

-- nla (N_L_A_@hotmail.com), February 19, 2002.

About Joyce,

ISTM Joyce is trying to come out of the institution of religion, where the rules and regulations are man-made. She is trying to escape the formality that has engulfed us. None of the formality that we see today is even hinted at in scripture and most of it came to us from Rome. The division of the *clergy and laity* that we see today even in the Church of Christ is not in scripture.

When I read Buff's article the scripture that came to my mind was, "LET MY PEOPLE GO."


-- Nelta Brock (nelta72000@yahoogroups.com), February 19, 2002.

It would be interesting to me to know just what kind of freedom did Joyce find, and how did it mesh with her orthodox side.

-- nla (N_L_A_@hotmail.com), February 19, 2002.

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