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Author Topic: Church Name Changes
Egg Note
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Something was brought up in my church recently about the some Churches of Christ in the area. Apparently the Providence Church of Christ is now just simply called the Providence Church. Another church I used to go to in San Antonio, Oak Hills Church of Christ went through a name change as well. It's now simply called Oak Hills Church. The church I'm going, as well as the other Churches of Christ are "investigating" what provoked Providence Church to change their name.

From a outsider's point, it doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but apparently churches make huge changes inside when they change their name. I left my old church way before they changed their name, so I don't know what changed. From what I intrepret from their website, it seems like they're trying to give it a more "friendly" image, which from what I can remember, was always pretty friendly to begin with.

Strangely, I haven't heard any cases of any other churches of any other denomination changing their names. The Church of Christ seems to be a bit looser than others, but maybe I've just had the luck of going to non-maniac churches.

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AdmiralDinty
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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My fiancee went to a church called Glendale Baptist. At some point they decided that they were no longer Baptist, and/or the word "Baptist" had connotations they didn't like. They changed their name to the "Glendale Christian Lighthouse Church". From what I've observed, the church population hasn't changed one way or the other.

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"I wanna bite the hand that feeds me. I wanna bite that hand so badly. I wanna make them wish they'd never seen me." - Elvis Costello

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Crono
Deck the Malls


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That does seem to be a growing trend, especially among independent or congregational churches (Baptist churches and Church of Christ churches fall under this category since they are all individually governed without a panel that regulates the individual churches). The logic behind it seems to be that they don't want to appear too significantly tied to a particular denomination. Also, denominations are sometimes stereotyped with divisiveness or disagreement (since that's usually how they got started in the first place), so some churches don't want a denomination in their name at all. That way, any negative connotations that people may have about that particular denomination or about denominations in general are removed from the church. Some of them still remain associated with the denomination and say so in their constitution or guidelines, so it's just taken away from the name of the church. There are some churches that even take away the word "church" from their name. Many of the churches in the Vineyard denomination do not have the word "church" in the name, and there is one church nearby me that just calls itself The Carpenter's House.

I think it's more common in congregational churches, but it seems to exist in churches with an episcopal structure as well. There are several churces in my own denomination (Church of the Nazarene) that have taken on names like Such-and-Such Community Church instead of having "Church of the Nazarene" in its name. They are still governed by the General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene and follow all of its practices. The denomination is just left out of the name of the church.

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Starla
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Which Church of Christ? There is actually more than one affiliation group that calls itself Church of Christ. When you characterized CoC as being "loose" it makes me wonder if they dropped the moniker to avoid mental assosciation with the CoCs who are quite legalistic and don't allow instruments, alcohol, women speaking at all, etc. The church I attend now was CoC at one time, but moved away from many of the core legalistic rules (including all the ones written above) and thus removed the Church of Christ from its name. Around here legalistic Church of Christ is fairly popular and our church wanted to avoid visitors freaking out when the saw the guitar, drums and women on the stage with the worship band. [Smile] I first attended when they were still noninstrumental, thinking from the CoC name that it was the same affliation that I grew up in. I've been informed since then that there is more than one Church of Christ "brand."

-Star"I go generic"la

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Crono
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Starla:
Which Church of Christ? There is actually more than one affiliation group that calls itself Church of Christ. When you characterized CoC as being "loose" it makes me wonder if they dropped the moniker to avoid mental assosciation with the CoCs who are quite legalistic and don't allow instruments, alcohol, women speaking at all, etc. The church I attend now was CoC at one time, but moved away from many of the core legalistic rules (including all the ones written above) and thus removed the Church of Christ from its name. Around here legalistic Church of Christ is fairly popular and our church wanted to avoid visitors freaking out when the saw the guitar, drums and women on the stage with the worship band. [Smile] I first attended when they were still noninstrumental, thinking from the CoC name that it was the same affliation that I grew up in. I've been informed since then that there is more than one Church of Christ "brand."

-Star"I go generic"la

The Church of Christ is congregational, so each church can set its own standards as to what doctrine it believes and what traditions it practices. The churches do tend to hold similar beliefs, which is why they hold the name Church of Christ, and they may have activities involving one another, but there is nothing that binds them to one set of doctrine because there is no one governing body over all of them.

That being said, there probably are some churches that have the name "Church of Christ" but are not related to it at all. There are also many churches that have similar names. Some that come to mind are the Disciples of Christ (which split from the Church of Christ), the Church of Christ Boston Movement (which I think is the same thing as the International Church of Christ and is considered unorthodox by many other denominations), the Church of God (which is charistmatic), and the Church of God in Christ (which I know nothing about). With the exception of the ICC, I think that all of these are likewise congregational.

The Church of Christ does have a reputation for being legalistic, and it does generally prohibit musical intruments in its services (although I hear that many CoC churches are becoming more lenient on that practice). The Disciples of Christ is sometimes called the "liberal" brother of the Church of Christ, and its reputation is not as legalistic. I have heard that the gap between the two has become much smaller recently.

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Egg Note
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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I'm guessing I go to a "legalistic" CoC since we don't use insturments. I don't know what you mean by not letting women speak though. They strongly support that wives should submit to their husbands, but besides from that, I don't know. They allow women to request prayers during service, but I don't think that's what you meant.

I do have a friend who goes to a Church of Christ. They do have a choir and a midi-organ thing, but I'm not sure if they count as insturments. The odd thing about her church though is that men and women sit seperately.

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AdmiralDinty
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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As far as I can tell there are at least two (if not three) Churches of Christ: United Church of Christ (liberal mainline Protestant), the Church of Christ (fundamentalist/evangelical), and the International Church of Christ aka Boston Church of Christ (fundamentalist and controversial for alleged cult-like activities). I'm not sure if the last two are actually the same or in some way connected.

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"I wanna bite the hand that feeds me. I wanna bite that hand so badly. I wanna make them wish they'd never seen me." - Elvis Costello

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Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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The CoC here is as fundamentalist as they come -- no music, women only wear skirts, we are the church Christ founded because our name is Church of Christ (yet Restorationist), the Pope is an incarnation of Satan, etc.

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Bela Lugosi's Dead
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Starla:
Which Church of Christ? There is actually more than one affiliation group that calls itself Church of Christ. When you characterized CoC as being "loose" it makes me wonder if they dropped the moniker to avoid mental assosciation with the CoCs who are quite legalistic and don't allow instruments, alcohol, women speaking at all, etc. The church I attend now was CoC at one time, but moved away from many of the core legalistic rules (including all the ones written above) and thus removed the Church of Christ from its name. Around here legalistic Church of Christ is fairly popular and our church wanted to avoid visitors freaking out when the saw the guitar, drums and women on the stage with the worship band. [Smile] I first attended when they were still noninstrumental, thinking from the CoC name that it was the same affliation that I grew up in. I've been informed since then that there is more than one Church of Christ "brand."

-Star"I go generic"la

That is true, as mentioned in another post there are 3 different kinds of CoC, and they aren't really affiliated with one another but in name.

I grew up in a Church of Christ family, and while my mother never drank, drinking was not forbidden. Likewise, while women were not allowed to become ministers, women WERE allowed to speak. I don't know what kind of Church of Christ you are familiar with... The non-instrumental music rule sounds right though, I remember there never being instruments with the church music. To this day, church music just doesn't sound like church music if there are instruments in it to me. I have heard that there is a far more radical branch of CoC that has all the rules I mentioned above, but also encourages its women to not wear makeup, requires long hair and skirts, and likely forbids alcoholic consumption. Also, there is the United Church of Christ, which isn't affiliated with the abovementioned Church of Christ at all, which is very liberal. They were the one who wanted to run a pro-gay marriage ad on TV but were declined my the major networks. Though that church is far more in line with my mother's actual politics, she continues to attend her CoC church because its what she's always known.

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Elwood
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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A bunch of Methodist churches here recently changed names due to consolidation. While United Methodist Church is by far the most popular mainline denomination in this area, they are losing membership at a pretty good clip to the independant evangelical churches and are no longer able to afford the upkeep of all of the buildings. My independant church is actually in the process of buying a Methodist building that has been abandoned due to such a merger. [hijack]As a long time Methodist, it kind of saddens me, but then I realize I'm contributing to the loss myself![/hijack]

The other name changes I see are sometimes remove either the denomination name or its connotations, but more frequently it is to get rid of the word "church" altogether or at least minimize it. It's more common to see names that end in "Fellowship" or "Outreach Center," and the ones that do keep the work word "church" frequently put it in very small font under the logo like "NEW SONG in large font, with the words "an assemblies of God church" almost unreadable underneath.

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"If I didn't see it and didn't know it was a real news report, I wouldn't believe it. I mean, how nutty can you get?"-Pat Robertson Oct 26, 2006.

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Slainey
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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The church I grew up going to will soon be called "This space for rent". I briefly felt guilty but even if I were still active I wouldn't have been going there.


Slai "wonders about the church where the women only wear skirts" ney

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Elkhound
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Crono:


The Church of Christ does have a reputation for being legalistic, and it does generally prohibit musical intruments in its services (although I hear that many CoC churches are becoming more lenient on that practice). The Disciples of Christ is sometimes called the "liberal" brother of the Church of Christ, and its reputation is not as legalistic. I have heard that the gap between the two has become much smaller recently. [/QB]

Both the CoC and CC/DC are descended from the late 19th C. Campbellite movement, which sought to bring together all Christians by going back to the N.T.

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Joseph Z
Xboxing Day


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Maybe there's a story to go with Church of Christ. We do know there is "Church of Jesus Christ and (Latter or Ladder) Day Saints" all over the place.

Maybe they bought a copyright and protested to have 'Of Christ' removed from those who had it. Who knows?

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Joseph Z

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Starla
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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The (former) Church of Chirst I attend is where I got my information about women/drinking/etc. Most of the people there grew up in CoC, several different ones, and they all had the same rules. I realize there is no head governing body that mandates rules. The people I know who grew up CoC were all raised to believe drinking alcohol, even using it in cooking, was a sin. They did not allow women to sing on stage or speak in any way (give announcements, prayer, or teach anything but Sunday School kids). Many CoC (I'm not speaking of the United or International version) believe that they are the last remaining church to properly interpret scripture and all other churches are apostate. Again, I'm not saying all, but I do know that CoC people I know who grew up in Alabama, KS, TX, CA and MS all have attested to the same rules and experiences.

And it is funny that a church stemming from the Campbellite movement would morph into something so legalistic and exclusive.

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Egg Note
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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I wonder if the name change really does have something to do with the CoC's legalistic reputation. From what it sounds like, it seems like the radical churches are "louder" in a sense.

I wonder if size has anything to do with the name change. The two CoC's I went to were pretty big in attendance as well. Oak Hills, the last time I was there, normally had well over 1,000 people per service. The other CoC isn't as big, but it had at least half the attendance of Oak Hills. The current CoC I go to now is pretty small with at least an average of 150 people per service, but all three aren't really radical.

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Brioninn
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Starla, it sounds like you and I have almost identical experiences of CoC. I was raised in a church in rural Alabama. CoC's are very common here. While they have very similar beliefs with the Baptists, most CoC are quick to point out the "fatal flaws."

CoC's here consider themselves to be purists of the bible. For instance: the bible says SING, it did not say play a piano and sing. No dancing, no drinking, no divorce. Women shall not speak during services at all. Women should be submissive wives. After I reached my teen years, I started learning about other denominations and other religions. I quickly found that CoC was the most rigid of the local church denominations.

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Mistletoey Chloe
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Jason Threadslayer:
The CoC here is as fundamentalist as they come -- no music, women only wear skirts, we are the church Christ founded because our name is Church of Christ (yet Restorationist), the Pope is an incarnation of Satan, etc.

That's a bit of a cheeky criticism after you've set up a topless congregation, isn't it?

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Bela Lugosi's Dead
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I asked my mother about the "no speaking in church" rule for CoC, and she said that in the south, there are some CoC that are far more politically conservative, but that isn't an official church doctrine. It is almost hillarious to me to consider my mother, a lifelong feminist and career woman with short hair and two Masters degrees who is divorced from my father and married to a man of another race, belonging to such a conservative organization.

I think what we have here is a matter of geography and politics. One will often find that churches in particular areas of the country will be more conservative and repressive than churches of the same name in other parts of the country. For example: Anglicans in the south are often notably more conservative than Anglicans on the East Coast or in the North. CoC around here (Missouri) tend to be more moderate to conservative. I think that the CoCs that Starla and Brioinin have encounted are CoCs that happen to be membered by mostly conservative people, because they are in areas of the country that tend to be more conservative.

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Elkhound
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Brioninn:
CoC's here consider themselves to be purists of the bible. For instance: the bible says SING, it did not say play a piano and sing.

But the Bible also talks of using drums, horns, trumpets, harp, cymbals, and nearly every other instrument known to the ancient world in worship. How do they get around that?

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callee
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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For what it's worth, I have a good friend from Poland who grew up in CoC there, and he was astounded when he came to america and found that the "american CoC" was so fundamentalist; apparently the Polish version is much more open, i.e women being allowed to speak, modern music, etc...

Originally posted by Slainey:
Slai "wonders about the church where the women only wear skirts" ney [/QUOTE]

yeah, I always wondered about that too. I mean, what's the point? I always thought a good skirt was a lot sexier than pants. And besides, as what's-her-name on the 70's show so eloquently put it, "skirts are best for car sex -- easier access"! [Big Grin]

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a moment for old friends now estranged, victims of the flux of alliances and changing perceptions. There was something there once, and that something is worth honoring as well. - John Carroll

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foxyleah3
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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both my mother and i (in two seperate CoC's in two seperate states) were told that the only way to get to heaven when you died was to be baptised in a CoC. luckily we were both positive that wasnt right...and we promptly went to find other churches.

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Starla
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Elkhound:
quote:
Originally posted by Brioninn:
CoC's here consider themselves to be purists of the bible. For instance: the bible says SING, it did not say play a piano and sing.

But the Bible also talks of using drums, horns, trumpets, harp, cymbals, and nearly every other instrument known to the ancient world in worship. How do they get around that?
He doesn't believe this anymore, but according to my pastor (who went to CoC run seminary in Alabama) the instruments were only mentioned in the Old Testament so they didn't count b/c Jesus came to give us a new covenant & Paul was a teacher of that covenant. If he wanted us to use instruments he would have said so, thus instruments are evil! Our pastor doesn't follow this logic anymore, but that kind of thinking (if it doesn't clearly say yes, the answer is no) has been hard for him and others reared that way to overcome.

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Buzzkiller
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A bit off-topic, but I have noticed that congregation names for Churches of Christ tend to be geographic in nature: Springfield Church or Christ or Pine Street Church of Christ, for example. I don't think I've just imagined this...it's a denominational trend that I've always found interesting, and I wonder if anyone knows a reason for the habit.

Not that there's anything wrong with it. And not that other denominations don't have their own naming habits. You're not likely to come across many St. Paul Baptists or Calvary Lutherans.

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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Buzzkiller:
You're not likely to come across many St. Paul Baptists or Calvary Lutherans.

Because there is a Calvary Lutheran in my town, I google it. While all aren't urls for separate churches, I did get 32,000+ hits, including those for churches named "Mt. Calvary Lutheran". May be easier to find than you thought.....

"St. Paul Baptist" gave me 9100+ hits.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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Crono
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by foxyleah3:
both my mother and i (in two seperate CoC's in two seperate states) were told that the only way to get to heaven when you died was to be baptised in a CoC. luckily we were both positive that wasnt right...and we promptly went to find other churches.

From my understanding, this has been one of the core doctrines of most CoC churches. Many of them aren't quite this extreme and simply say it is necessary to be baptised, regardless of the church in which it happened, as long as it is done after salvation (i.e., infant baptism is not accepted). A CoC pastor that spoke at my church one time mentioned that some CoC churches are becoming even more lenient and will even accept infant baptism.

quote:
Originally posted by callee:
quote:
Originally posted by Slainey:
Slai "wonders about the church where the women only wear skirts" ney

yeah, I always wondered about that too. I mean, what's the point? I always thought a good skirt was a lot sexier than pants. And besides, as what's-her-name on the 70's show so eloquently put it, "skirts are best for car sex -- easier access"! [Big Grin]
I grew up in a church that did not permit women to wear pants. I heard three main reasonings for this. 1) The most common reasoning was that wearing pants is immodest for women because it shows off the shape of their rear end too much. 2) Somewhere in the Bible (I think Leviticus), it says that men and women are supposed to dress differently from one another. Since pants are men's clothing, it isn't appropriate for women to wear them as well. 3) Pants are seen as a sign of superiority, as in the expression "I know who wears the pants in your family." Since women are supposed to submit to their husbands, wearing pants can give the wrong impression and are therefore inappropriate.

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Crono
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Buzzkiller:
Not that there's anything wrong with it. And not that other denominations don't have their own naming habits. You're not likely to come across many St. Paul Baptists or Calvary Lutherans.

One of the strangest names I've ever seen for a church was St. Mary's Baptist Church. It's unusual that a Baptist church would be named after a saint, let alone a female one.

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Elkhound
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by callee:
For what it's worth, I have a good friend
Originally posted by Slainey:
Slai "wonders about the church where the women only wear skirts" ney

yeah, I always wondered about that too. I mean, what's the point? I always thought a good skirt was a lot sexier than pants. And besides, as what's-her-name on the 70's show so eloquently put it, "skirts are best for car sex -- easier access"! [Big Grin] [/QUOTE]

There is a passage in the Bible that says "a man shall not wear that which appertains to a woman, or a woman to a man." I haven't the exact citation here, sorry. The passage is interpreted to forbid women from wearing trousers (and men skirts, I presume; I guess there aren't many CofC congregations in Scotland.)

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"The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."--Iris Murdoch

Posts: 3307 | From: Charleston, WV | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Elkhound
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Crono:
quote:
Originally posted by Buzzkiller:
Not that there's anything wrong with it. And not that other denominations don't have their own naming habits. You're not likely to come across many St. Paul Baptists or Calvary Lutherans.

One of the strangest names I've ever seen for a church was St. Mary's Baptist Church. It's unusual that a Baptist church would be named after a saint, let alone a female one.
I don't know the reason for it, but in my experience Baptist churches named for saints tend to have mostly African-American congregations. I may be wrong, but that is my impression from what I have seen.

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"The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."--Iris Murdoch

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TrishDaDish
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Elkhound:
There is a passage in the Bible that says "a man shall not wear that which appertains to a woman, or a woman to a man." I haven't the exact citation here, sorry. The passage is interpreted to forbid women from wearing trousers (and men skirts, I presume; I guess there aren't many CofC congregations in Scotland.)

Deuteronomy 22:5.

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I would prefer not to.
My blog

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Brioninn
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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One local COC even adheres to the "women must cover their head" theory. But that only applies while they are in the church service. One enterprising preacher turned it into "you can't have a bald head".

But yes, the "must be baptized in COC" rule applies. The "women must wear skirts rule" applies.

However, I admit that the "conditioning" took years to overcome. My first visit to a Methodist church was a culture shock when the music started. Wow, a drum, a guitar, violins, cellos! I was scared!

But I still remember most of the verses used to "dispute" all other religions. Baptism: Acts 2:38. Repent, be baptized, and you shall be saved. I'm still not sure why most of them think that their baptism is the end-all-be-all. Acts ... eek, bad me, forgotten the chapter and verse, says Sing in worship. It does not say Play instruments and sing. Hm... the list goes on.

The old testament is considered history and nothing more. Song of Solomon should be removed from all bibles.

Conservative doesn't even begin to explain it.

I can easily understand why some of the churches are beginning to distance themselves.

But probably, IMO, it's because they are wanting to become less denominational in order to increase the donations. [Smile] I'm a cynic.

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Elwood
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Re the no instruments thing a CoC friend of mine says it has more to do with an Amish-like preference for simplicity in worship than any particular bias against instruments. According to him, a lot of the early CoC churches couldn't afford a piano or organ so the denomination decided early on to be consistant and just not have it, asking congregations that did have more money to give it to the poor instead.

This logic still gives out on some points though, particularly the use of privately owned instruments like guitar. The no use by exclusion in the NT is also very strange, for one thing, harps are mentioned in Revelation. For another, a lot of things, like hymnals, bibles, and electric lighting are also absent in the NT yet used in most, if not all, CoC services. If one is to exclude on that basis, it would be better to be consistant.

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"If I didn't see it and didn't know it was a real news report, I wouldn't believe it. I mean, how nutty can you get?"-Pat Robertson Oct 26, 2006.

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foxyleah3
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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in reference to the geographical names thing...i was told when i visited the CoC that because of the spiritual significance of the number seven in revelation, they only allow seven CoC churches in each town. maybe that is why they are named after the towns/streets?

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On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.

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Bela Lugosi's Dead
The Red and the Green Stamps


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As far as I know, they are only not permitted to use instruments in church music. They can still use them at home and in secular music. As for this whole thing about seven churches per town...thats new on me.
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Egg Note
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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You mean the CoC really is that uptight? I don't think I ever remembered any of my churches teaching anything about no pants or the like. Actually, I do know that the "no insturment" rule applied to Oak Hills when I still going there [I don't know if it does now] and the current church I'm going to. My current church seems to be more strict on the "no insturment" policy, but from what I can tell, it's way more lenient from these other churches. I do know they really concentrate hard on the "wives submit to husband" idea though, even though they teach that husbands should submit to wives too.

I guess I can understand why some churches would want to change their name. I wonder if my church is aware of all of the "rules" they don't follow.

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Okay, just to make it clear, there is a real world out there. No really, there is. I checked.

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Mistletoey Chloe
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Elkhound:
There is a passage in the Bible that says "a man shall not wear that which appertains to a woman, or a woman to a man." I haven't the exact citation here, sorry. The passage is interpreted to forbid women from wearing trousers (and men skirts, I presume; I guess there aren't many CofC congregations in Scotland.)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't most men wearing robes back then?

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~~Ai am in mai prrrrrraime!~~

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