Responses to decline
I think we lose our kids at graduation (see this story for reference). We make a big deal of them through high school and graduation, then we drop them. There is no place for them until they are a young family. Somehow, we need to continue to make them feel a part of the body through those transitional years.
Peggy Pirkle | Midlothian, Texas
Your articles on the decline of membership among Churches of Christ prompted this note. Central Church of Christ in Johnson City, Tenn., has had an approximate doubling of membership and attendance since I returned to Johnson City in 1993. The difference is quite apparent to me.
My wife and I traveled quite often during summers until recently and visited many congregations. Most ministers are preachers, whereas the one at the Central church is a teacher. There is a significant difference.
Roger M. Clites | Johnson City, Tenn.
Mark Hamilton’s column on the value of Bible scholarship says that study “can be an act of reverence toward God,” yet the one-volume commentary which he edited, (“The Transforming Word,” ACU Press) denies the Mosaic authorshop of Deuteronomy, which Jesus affirmed (Matthew 19:1-9) and rejects the unity of Isaiah, which the New Testament clearly accepted (John 12:36-40).
It is difficult to understand how it can be an act of reverence toward God to reject what he taught through the Word that he inspired.
Alan Highers | Henderson, Tenn.
FeedbackI commend the letter written by Alan Highers for pointing out Mark Hamilton’s error and inconsistency in a respectful yet pointed way. Where there is error, either rebellious or sincere, it must be pointed out (Gal. 6:1; Eph. 4:15; Rom. 16:17-18). If this causes decline in attendance, it is not because the criticism exists, but because those who left didn’t like the truth when they heard it (2 Tim. 4:2-4). Nevertheless, the truth must still be proclaimed and defended, with us knowing ahead of time that the majority will not heed it (Matt. 7:13-14).Jon MitchellDuncan Church of ChristDuncan, SC
United StatesJune, 7 2009Some might find it ironic that a comment denunciating Mark Hamilton & ACU was published alongside letters discussing the decline of Church of Christ membership. I think as our attrition continues, we must acknowledge actual causes and effects if we are to honestly assess the fate of our fellowship. Is what we are seeing that Christians are no longer hungry for the Word? Or are we watching Christians reluctantly leaving an environment where criticism is the standard fare? – Rob Woodfin, Kimball Tennessee,May, 25 2009