Doing What I Hate

July 27, 2009

Romans 7:15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do

Why do we keep doing what we hate?

Churches of Christ have a long history of quarrelling and dividing over virtually any disagreement. Disagreements have been with us throughout history, but division over those disagreements came to churches of Christ in a big way in 1889, at Sand Creek. The issues of that day included instrumental music, choirs, missionary societies, preaching colleges, hired preacher-pastors, and church fund raisers. Since then, further divisions have occurred over communion cups, Sunday Schools, premillennialism, the Holy Spirit, church organization, qualifications for elders, marriage / divorce / remarriage, the role of women in the church, discipling practices, and more.

Churches of Christ continue to repeat the mistakes of our forefathers. The spirit of Sand Creek is alive and well. We keep doing what we hate — which the Lord also hates:

Proverbs 6:16-19
16 There are six things the LORD hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies
and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

I am writing this because I recently heard a report that one of the former ICOC congregations was “blacklisted” by leaders at another congregation. Having personal knowledge of the supposedly blacklisted congregation, I find that appalling. What kind of mindset would conclude that it is right to make such a judgment about a church they have not visited, about leaders they have not approached, about a group of penitent baptized believers who have made Jesus their Lord? What scripture gives anyone that right?

Divisiveness is deep in our DNA. It permeates our history, and we have so far failed to learn from that history. If we fear God, we would be wise to learn those lessons. The judgment we use on others will be applied to ourselves as well. Those who create divisions in the church do so at their own peril.


  1. I think fear drives a lot of this. I don't know the details, etc., but I think a lot of folks fear when one group is perceived as 'different' in some way because they fear that whatever is different will permeate their group.that being said, do you think there are situations where that would be the right action even w/o having visited the group or contacting it's leaders?

  2. I have a hard time thinking of a scenario where it is ok to blacklist a church without first confirming the allegations. And those allegations would have to involve denial of something fundamentally crucial to the gospel — something like the deity of Christ, the resurrection, etc.

  3. True. I can't really think of one myself. So, what does one do about something like that? Does one go to this group and ask why they are 'blacklisting' another group? Is there recourse if the group clearly does not have good reason for their action. Conversely, if one doesn't go to the group, are they then also guilty of making a judgment w/o talking to the source?

  4. If I were to blacklist the congregation for blacklisting the other congregation, I'd be guilty of the same thing. But I'm not doing that.What I'm trying to do is to bring up the issue in an anonymous fashion so that others won't follow that example. I know some folks who have tried to chase down situations like this. It becomes an all-consuming task. I pray that someone who has a relationship with the accusing church will confront them about it.

  5. Alan, is there a way to contact in a private forum rather than a public one about this matter?Thanks!

  6. ekimyam,You can email me at blogger [at] rouses [dot] net

  7. Blackballed? And we wonder why the church at large has zero credibility in our culture today.

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