A Christian Left the Christian Church
And Some Churches of Christ Left Christ
One thing that impressed me in studying the institutional question prior to our coming out of such in 1986, was the material by brother Floyd Decker explaining why he left the Christian Church denomination in 1930.
It was impressive from the standpoint that he stated the Christian Church practiced many items which the churches of Christ did not at the time. Yet, these are items now commonly practiced by both groups. It helped me to see that there had been a drifting among many churches of Christ. Since then, I have used this in both sermons and articles to illustrate this fact.
Some of the reasons he left the Christian Church as listed in his article included:
"The Christian Church has missionary, benevolent and educational organizations to execute the work of the church, the church of Christ does not."
"The Christian Church emphasizes society and the physical man by appealing to carnal nature with church carnivals, bands, plays, choruses, dramatics, kitchens, church camps, and elaborate fellowship halls. The churches of Christ do not."
"The Christian Church has Educational Directors, Associate Ministers, and Youth Directors. The church of Christ has Elders, Deacons, Evangelists and Teachers."
Usually, after each of these points, I state "The Churches of Christ do now have these. What would brother Decker have said concerning these Churches of Christ? Would he then have had an article over why these Churches have left Christ?" This is pointed out not because he was inspired, but to try to show how far some churches have gone today and that most mainstream Churches of Christ are now doing things over which brother Decker left the Christian Church.
It was unknown to me however, until recently, that brother Decker did indeed deal with these issues within his life. In fact, 18 years after leaving the Christian Church, he dealt with the institutional issues that were springing up within some churches of Christ. Not only is this useful to show that it was recognized as a departure, but that it was being dealt with prior to 1955, the date that so many institutionals have claimed "no one opposed these items prior to 1955."
Read Brother Deckers Article "Eighteen Years Ago"
By Wayne Goforth
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