In response to your email…
I was raised in the Church of Christ. I got out at the age of 18. Married a abusive alcoholic man from [REDACTED—MLM] who was also raised in the Church of Christ. His parents would only babysit our two children on Saturday nights on the condition that we pick them up at church on Sunday morning! My parents raised [REDACTED—MLM] in this church and not one of us will ever enter that church again!!! We have all decided that it is a form of a cult. Sad to feel that way about a church… If you think I’m just a angry person who doesn’t believe in God, your very wrong! I am a firm believer in God and prayer. I just don’t believe that you have to attend a building where they tell you how to vote and were you can eat, because they serve alcohol. My mother [REDACTED—MLM] Still trying to preach to whoever will listen. It is so sad that she thinks that the church will bring her husband, my father back from the dead… Go Church of Christ… When people get out, they never go back.
I tried returning your email but it seems it no longer exists. I can only assume the account was created for the sole purpose of writing the email that you sent to us earlier this week. I wanted to respond but without knowing your actual email I’m unable. If you’re out there and you ever find our website again I hope you’ll read this; it’s my response to the things you said.
I’m sorry to hear you’ve had such a bad experience with the church of Christ in your home state. People think and believe different things. I can’t speak for any of the people you’ve encountered in your life. I can only speak for myself. So, for my part….1. I don’t believe the church building is necessarily special or important. It’s just bricks and wood and a shelter over our heads while we worship. We can and have worshipped outside, in the homes of our members, or in other buildings and locations..2. I don’t believe I can tell you how to vote nor do I think I ever have told someone how to vote..3. I’ve never told anyone not to eat somewhere that happens to serve alcohol. I’ve eaten at Chili’s many times..4. I don’t believe the church (any church) can raise the dead. I do, however, believe that God can do that, and that He will at that last day (1 Corinthians 15:51-57).
As for your description of the church as a cult, I disagree. A cult is secretive, a cult recruits its members through subterfuge, a cult has leaders that operate in the shadows, a cult is selective about who may join. I can’t speak to the experience you had in your home state but I can tell you that I don’t belong to any cult. Our actions are not secretive (on the contrary, they’re broadcast on the internet!). We don’t recruit members or scout out who would be a “good fit” to worship with us. We don’t recruit at all; we “invite.” We follow the command of Jesus who told His disciples to go and invite others to become disciples. Those disciples then went out and invited others, who invited others, who invited others… Also, our Leader does not hide in the shadows, He sits on a Throne. We follow no man but Jesus. We adhere to no guidebook but the Bible. We recite no pledge but whatever scriptures we know by heart. And we certainly are not selective about who becomes part of the church; we want everyone to be part of Jesus’ church.
Sorry again you have had such a bad experience, one which has clearly impacted the way you feel about all churches of Christ. Perhaps it was a cult that you dealt with, one which falsely wore the name of Jesus. If so, I’m especially sorry to hear that. Hopefully by my answers you can see that not everyone teaches the same thing, and just because someone calls himself a member of the church of Christ does not, sadly, mean he teaches the doctrine of Christ. That’s been the case going back to the beginning of Christianity (1 Corinthians 1:10-14).
If you’re ever in town, we’d love to talk to you and answer any questions you may have.
Have a good day.
– Matthew Martin,
Minister, North Heights church of Christ
Juliet, if you’re out there, our door is open.