A friend is looking for a new church home and I directed her away from mine. I don’t even like it and I understand all its foibles. I grew up in it. She and hers grew up Catholic and Baptist, with abuse from both sides, and so have become Methodists. I don’t know all the tenets of Methodism, but I’m sure she would find our church radically different. Sometimes radically different is good. Sometimes radically different is bad. In this case, though, I think radically different is just radically different.
She thought our congregation might be a good place to go because of some things that M said, which let her know some of our beliefs. But our personal beliefs do not, I think, match with the church’s. Now that is the “traditional” church, but still.
I believe in modern day working of the Holy Spirit, including tongues, miracles, and healing. I have experienced speaking in tongues. I have been given words of knowledge and words of wisdom. I have heard people give prophecies which were true 100% of the time.
Historically my church does not believe in the modern working. It is better than it used to be, when one of the teachers of a young marrieds’ class said that the Holy Spirit was a deposit slip put in your brain so that you could get into Heaven. And there are people and even congregations in my church who believe in the modern working of the Holy Spirit. But they are still unusual and within my lifetime such a belief would get you disfellowshipped.
I believe that instrumental music is fine, good, and probably used in the first century church.
My church in general does not. (Some individuals do, but not in general.) I know of two congregations which use instrumental music but neither use it on Sunday morning.
I believe that women can have a leadership role in the church.
My church does not. Except where it pertains to children. And there are some congregations which do let women have leadership roles, but they are few in number. At least three that I know of. And they would be known. One congregation I was in studied the matter as an entire fellowship, concluded that women should be allowed leadership roles, but then said it would be too stressful to other people in the congregation to allow that to happen.
I believe that other people from other Christian faiths are going to Heaven.
Historically my church has not. This is changing. But there are still plenty who are sure that all Catholics, for example, are going to Hell. Including my son’s Sunday morning Bible class teacher.
I believe that water baptism as an understanding person is not the point/time of salvation.
My church believes it is. Anyone who dies on the way to the baptism might be let in, but only maybe. Even though they are faithful and trying to do as God has commanded.
I am sure there are others. This is not a definitive list. But it does show some of the reasons why I would not recommend my congregation for someone who did not grow up in the church of Christ.
That doesn’t mean that the unchurched can’t find a home here. They can. We have two month old believers who are trying their hardest to learn what others have spent a lifetime imbibing. They are a joy to see. (Thanks, guys!)
But I don’t think this would be a good church for someone who has a more… ecumenical viewpoint.
I don’t think all church members everywhere are going to Heaven and I believe that some churches which represent themselves as Christian might not be, but… I think more of us are going that my church has traditionally and continue to teach. So, I didn’t recommend it.
How’s that for pitiful?