Interdenominational cooperation

Discussion in 'Forum for Polls' started by Darron Steele, Jul 7, 2006.

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Is it ever fitting to work or cooperate with a ministry of another denomination?

  1. Absolutely yes.

    10 vote(s)
    32.3%
  2. Absolutely no -- never.

    2 vote(s)
    6.5%
  3. Depends on the ministry type.

    3 vote(s)
    9.7%
  4. Depends on the visitor's denomination.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Sometimes -- depends on multiple factors.

    16 vote(s)
    51.6%
  1. Darron Steele

    Darron Steele
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    Hello all.

    I was saved Baptist 13 years ago and attended that Baptist church for five years. I investigated a hard-line Church of Christ and attended for about nine months. It was so unpleasant that I did not seriously consider another Church of Christ congregation for several years. In July of 2004 I found a good one about a half hour north of me and I go there usually when I can.

    In July of 2005 I served as a Vacation Bible School teacher in a Baptist church about a half hour south of me. They knew of my church affiliation but cheerfully gave me the post. No one in my church voiced any objections and two people thought this was great, although I would have done it anyway because I love the children of that area so much. That week of VBS was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life.

    This year I am doing double duty. During the same week, I am going to a Baptist church to teach VBS third grade 35 minutes south of me in the morning, and doing puppets, story telling, and recreation assistant at my Church of Christ congregation 25 minutes north of me in the evenings.

    I carefully and diligently avoid compromising the doctrinal beliefs of any congregation which has trusted me.

    I look at it this way. As a Christian, I have a duty to serve Christ. I also recognize that the Greek word translated "church" means `an assembly of people called out.' Hence, a church is people. I take that to mean that I go wherever I can to serve the Lord however my given capabilities are best used among His people.

    However, I am curious: how many of you are open to inter-denominational cooperation if done with integrity?
     
    #1 Darron Steele, Jul 7, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2006
  2. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    I chose:

    If I could have chosen two, the other one would have been:

    Blessings,
    ┬žue :wavey:
     
  3. Marcia

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    I think inter-denominational cooperation should stop when there is a serious difference in theology. Churches of Christ teach baptismal regeneration and I could not seeing cooperating with them. From what I understand, they also believe that you are not saved unless in their denomination and/or baptized by them.
     
  4. Darron Steele

    Darron Steele
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    That is most of us. Not all.

    Most people in the Churches of Christ teach that one cannot be saved unless in the "Churches of Christ" and that church must be "doctrinally correct." My church believes that any "believer in Jesus Christ" is a Christian and we are strictly "non-denoninational" in thought as opposed to `anti-everyone else' like most Churches of Christ are. Most Church of Christ people would not even want to be seen in a Baptist church, and in such a church I left a number of years ago, your contempt for other Christian bodies was actually considered a sign of devoutness -- hence, I was never `devout.' In my church, as "Christians only" we have no reason to be contentious against the rest of Christ's followers; rather, we seek unity not under `opinion' but instead in common purpose serving the Lord Jesus Christ.

    We are rejected as a legitimate Church of Christ by most :) for which I am grateful -- we are different enough from them. We are an emerging type -- there are others like us scattered all over the country :) :praise: with more and more of us popping up all the time. Perhaps in a generation or two my type will be predominant, and the type common now will be left spitting their poison against the rest of the body of Christ in little isolated groups.

    I do not teach salvation by completed baptism. I teach salvation by faith before completed works.
     
    #4 Darron Steele, Jul 9, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2006
  5. Marcia

    Marcia
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    Darron, thanks for the clarification of your position, and the information. :Fish:
     
  6. Joseph_Botwinick

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    IMO, in many cases, if it has to do with witnessing and theological issues, inter-denominational cooperation cannot be done with integrity. One party from a denomination is going to have to sacrifice a theological belief. A good example would be having a tent revival where a Methodist and Baptist Pastor preached. Many times, if one is trying not to offend the other, one will have to compromise what they believe.

    When it comes to cultural and social issues, such as abortion, I think there can be cooperation, such as there is amongst evangelicals and Catholics.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  7. Darron Steele

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    May I clarify by how I meant `integrity'? I meant it in its secular meaning.

    I realize that in going between churches there are some things one should not say or do. If it does not need to be discussed, do not bring it up. If it is a question you cannot answer, defer with something like "Christians cannot agree on what the Bible says on that; ask your pastor."

    Basically, I meant someone who would go into another church intending to break that church's trust. That is how I would mean a lack of integrity.
     
  8. PrimePower7

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    I am under the impression that Max Lucado teaches Salvation by grace through faith.

    2 questions follow:
    1. Has he been ostrasized for this belief?
    2. Why does he stay in a denomination that is generally known for this heresy?

    Thanks for your time
     
  9. ktn4eg

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    Depends on what the purpose of this cooperation is.

    I see nothing wrong with standing with a Catholic in a pro-life rally, but you wouldn't find me standing next to him to welcome the Pope to town.
     
  10. FriendofSpurgeon

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    Great job Darron -- I hope you have a great time and are able to share the Gospel with the little ones. I know most VBS programs need all of the help they can get.

    Personally, I see nothing wrong with this at all, especially given the fact that you are respective of the varying views. Also, it probably helps that you are working with children rather than an adult Bible class.
     
  11. Darron Steele

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    I do not know much about Max Lucado. I can tell you this: there is a small but growing portion of Churches of Christ that are different from most. As I said earlier, such churches are not even acknowledged to be Churches of Christ by many.

    In the Churches of Christ, you can be "disfellowshipped" by other churches for a grandiose number of different reasons. One reason could be using musical instruments. One could be for acknowledging "denominational" Christians as Christians. One reason could be for not using one cup for the Lord's Supper -- or for doing so. I bet a compiled list of reasons for this practice would be very interesting. Of course, my church is not typically acknowledged as a Church of Christ by the hard-liners. :)

    Now, why would anyone want to identify with the Churches of Christ when they teach the ERROR of salvation upon completed baptism? Here are my reasons:
    1) the Churches of Christ formed out the Restoration, where the goal was to go back to following the Bible and the Bible only. The ideal, which has not happened, is to require nothing of the Christian except what is understood from Scripture.
    2) baptism to accompany conversion. No other conditions; no delays.
    3) the designation appears in the New Testament.
    4) the wonderful Christians in my church.
    5) how I might be able to contribute to the changes coming to the Churches of Christ.
     
    #11 Darron Steele, Jul 10, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2006
  12. PrimePower7

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    Easy enough. I guess it is important to start from where you are at.:thumbs:
     
  13. Jack Matthews

    Jack Matthews
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    I was saved in the Disciples of Christ (Christian Church) and know a little bit about the restoration movement that produced my former denomination and the group known as the Churches of Christ. I also have read a lot of Max Lucado.

    The churches of Christ departed from the segment of the restoration movement that eventually became known as the D of C partly as a result of their insistence on baptismal regeneration. The D of C does not accept that doctrine. Neither group has anywhere close to the level of a denominational structure as most Baptists, though the D of C does have a recognized central organization. The churches of Christ relate to independent entities which they dominate, such as some colleges and universities and perhaps a couple of publishing houses, but not much else. In such a loosely structured organization, there are churches that are influenced by other Christians and the three main things that the churches of Christ have become known for--baptismal regeneration, salvation exclusive to those who belong to 'churches of Christ', and no instrumental music in worship--are not necessarily practiced in all of the churches. Lucado's church has a contemporary worship service with a praise band, I believe, and I have heard that there are others who are doing the same.

    The membership of most of the traditional, non-instrumental churches of Christ has aged and declined fairly rapidly from its peak in the late 1950's. Most of the younger people have left for more progressive congregations and those who have had the foresight to see that deep change was needed to prevent certain death have dropped the idea that the only place you can be saved is in one of their churches, as well as the idea of baptismal regeneration. Lucado's writings would lead me to believe that he teaches salvation by grace through faith. As to whether he is ostracized for his belief, since he is the most well known minister associated with the churches of Christ, I would say that only the older, traditional non-instrumentalists would feel that way. As far as being ostracized, it is hard to be excluded from a denomination that doesn't really have any way to exclude you. The colleges practice open enrollment, and there are no formal meetings or organized gatherings from which to be ostracized. I think Lucado has probably had a pretty heavy influence in some of the changes that have come about in that group in recent years.
     
  14. TaterTot

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    certainly you arent members of both churches. We dont ask non- members to take classes or fulfill leadership roles. It sounds as if you are teaching with integrity and not compromising either set of beliefs. But I feel sure that you would be the exception to the rule.
     
  15. donnA

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    Max Lucado is certainly not your average CofC, and I've wondered why he is CofC when he obviously beleives differently. We have people in our church who used to be Cof C, to hear them talk about it, theres no way I would ever do anything together with them,and most people feel the same. Most everyone here knows what they believe and how serious the differences are.
    Our Methodist church here just got a woman pastor, we found that out when her and her husband stopped at our yard sale last week.
     
  16. Darron Steele

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    "They" as in `absolutely all' or "they" as in the individuals you mention? There are reasons why I would not attend most Churches of Christ in existence, and why mine is the only one in my area I would attend regularly.
     
  17. Darron Steele

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    Update:
    Today is Wednesday July 12 and I introduced the Gospel to ex-third graders at the Baptist congregation I am teaching in VBS at. Here is how things went down. The lesson was on Nicodemus, and it involved John 3:1-6 and 3:16-18, the crucifixion, and the resurrection. I did not address or mention how 3:5 is often misunderstood to refer to water baptism because I rightly expected them to overlook the possibility. I took the resurrection and tied it to 1 Corinthians 15 opening where the Good News is outlined as Christ dying for our sins and being resurrected. I then went to the Romans 10:9-10 passage about believing the resurrection and acknowledging Jesus as Lord for salvation. I explained from Ephesians 2:8-10 that salvation is by faith apart from works, and then from that salvation we are made a new creature = new birth from John 3:3-6 and then from that new birth we do the good works Christians are known for.

    I emphasized that salvation is from:
    1) acceptance of the fact that we have all sinned and cannot save ourselves from God's justice on this;
    2) acceptance of what Jesus Christ did to pay the penalty for our sins for ourselves;
    3) choosing to live for Him as Lord because He died for us;
    4) that good works are a result of salvation, not the cause.
    They claimed to all understand this -- every item.

    Baptism was not discussed.
     
    #17 Darron Steele, Jul 12, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2006
  18. Darron Steele

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    Great news everyone:
    At the Baptist congregation where I have taught VBS for the past two years, one of my students last year has announced this year that he will be baptized!

    Of course, the Baptist pastor would never allow him to be baptized without first verifying that he has accepted the Gospel by faith. Hence, since we are saved by faith -- Ephesians 2:8-10 -- and the pastor is convinced that the child has the right faith to be baptized, it is reasonable to believe that the child is likely saved!
     
  19. PrimePower7

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    Well done, Darren. Way to be faithful!
     

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