Many throughout time have ask the question "what does the church of Christ believe?" This question finds its purpose within the fact that the church of Christ does not have a "man-made creed book" or anything like this wherein one may go and find such information. The reason why is twofold; (1) we only use the Bible and nothing else (2) each congregation is autonomous. That isn't to say members of the church of Christ do not write concerning doctrinal beliefs and the like, as this is the purpose of this series of articles, but that there is no earthly headquarters that every congregation belongs to. Over the next few months I will be updating a series of articles I wrote on this matter back in 2010 to place on this blog. Until then I hope all goes well with each and everyone of you.
In Christian Love,
On October 6th in Madrid, Spain there were some 2,000 sheep led by their shepherds through the metropolis. As one report indicated “tourists were surprised to see downtown traffic cut to permit the ovine parade to bleat-bells clanking across some of Madrid’s most upmarket urban settings.” (http://goo.gl/WgR08j) These shepherds led their sheep through Madrid to demonstrate their displeasure with Madrid’s lack of concern for their ancient grazing, droving, and migration rights. One of the amazing things coming out of this was the sheep’s sheer confidence in their shepherds to lead them through what was “unfamiliar territory.” I can’t help but think how similar this is to Christ and the eldership He set up over His church. Peter makes clear Christ is the Chief Shepherd because we can have complete confidence in Him and can follow Him ultimately to heaven through unfamiliar territory (I Pt 5:4; I Pt 2:11). However Christ also established elders/overseers/shepherds (I Pt 5:1-3) to rule over His church (He 13:17). Christ expects His appointed shepherds to lead their sheep to Him. There are two things made explicit in this: (1) The sheep know their shepherds so that they know who to follow and (2) they trust their shepherds enough to follow them. Too many congregations today, unfortunately, find themselves not only not knowing their shepherds but not trusting them either. It is high time the shepherds that have been appointed by God to watch over His flock make sure that their flocks not only know them but can trust them to lead them to the home above (I Ti 3:5; Ezek 34:1-10).
As a young boy I found myself in many peculiar situations. On one particular day my family and I were visiting my aunt and uncle. They had a “farm” and for city slickers like us it was an amazing place. It just so happened that my uncle had an old motorcycle. Being as adventurous as I was I asked if we could drive it around. My uncle conceded after much begging and my brother and I set off to enjoy a day of driving around; it was just in circles around the pasture but it was exciting. Like many stories go with those that are driving motorcycles I ended up, on the last go around, wrecking the bike and hurting my knee. As I was picked up and taken back toward the house there was a point that I will not soon forget, if ever. While I was being passed over the electric fence my uncle slipped and I found myself straddling it. Fortunately I did not touch the fence but the fear from being in that position was enough. The idea of straddling the fence has never, as you can imagine, appealed to me too much and I think that is a good thing. God makes clear His feelings about those that straddle the fence in Revelation 3:15-16 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot…So then, because you are lukewarm…I will vomit you out of My mouth.” Let us each make sure we never straddle the fence.
I came across an article entitled “Patient’s Blinks Kept Him Alive as Doctors Prepared to Switch Off Life Support.” Within the article it talked about a man who had been in a motorcycle accident. This man, 43 years old, had told family of his wish not to live in a vegetative state after witnessing a friend be in such a state. With that in mind his family made the decision to “pull the plug” and allow nature to take its course. However simply moments before the doctors were about to remove the ventilator the man managed to open his eyes and blink to get the doctors attention. Through blinking he was able to tell the doctors he wanted to live, not die. As I read this I couldn’t help but think of how great it is that we have a “perfect doctor” (Mark 2:17). Jesus is the Great Physician, who came in perfection (Hebrews 4:15), and gave the antidote to sin (Ephesians 1:7). Christ knows when we are wanting to live spiritually (Revelation 3:20) and will not “pull the plug” on any that want to live. The question we must all ask ourselves is, do we want to live? If you want to live and are willing to go to God’s most precious Word, we here at the church of Christ in Ramona would love to simply open up God’s Word and study what God wants each of us to do. Please put forth the effort for God, because He has put forth the effort for you (John 3:16).