A fellowship’s true founder
Regardless of where they stand on the issues that divide congregations, the survey respondents and reviewers agreed that Churches of Christ should be defined not by practices or stances, but by the divine.
“The Church of Christ is the best institution that has ever been established — because it was established by Jesus Christ,” said Luaao Soli Jr., a second-generation preacher from American Samoa, currently training for ministry at the Memphis School of Preaching in Tennessee.
“I remember my late father preached one of his sermons about the true church,” Soli said. “He mentioned that, ‘the church is not the problem; it’s the people in the church.’
“People want the church to follow their way, have the ways of the church fit theirs. Instead of following what Christ wants for his church, we follow man.”
Churches of Christ share a dedication to God’s Word, said Bill Park, a member of the Woodburn Church of Christ in Oregon.
“It is the only place were I am confident that I can open the text and have discussion solely based upon the revelation of God himself.” Park said. “We have a predilection to unity in our DNA that I have not found elsewhere.”
Many survey respondents — including Jeff Cash, the missionary in Uganda — grew up in the fellowship and said they have chosen to make it their own.
“I found Jesus through my family and church,” Cash said, and, despite its flaws “I was raised in this culture and feel loyal to my tribe.”
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