The Churches of Christ may not have a headquarters or creed book, but we most certainly have a framework of orthodoxy which undermines both personal liberty and congregational autonomy.
In the ultra-conservative Churches of Christ, you can usually find at least one “Brotherhood Watchdog“ in every congregation. They could be anyone; an Elder, Deacon, Preacher or just one of the flock. They are the brother or sister who doesn’t know why Romans 14 is even in the Bible because to them everything is a matter of doctrine. They couldn’t tell the difference between matters of the faith and matters of opinion or conscience if their life depended on it. As a consequence, they end up being spiritual bullies whether they intend to be or not.
In all fairness, these people are usually well meaning and love the Lord. However, in their zeal to “be a friend” or “do their duty as a Christian”, they feel compelled to go around correcting everyone with whom they disagree. More often than not, these areas of disagreement are within the realm of personal judgment and opinion. At best, they create hurt feelings. At worst, they might so discourage the spiritually weak or babes in Christ, that they give up and fall away. No matter how good the intentions the end results are usually not positive.
Promoting an environment where a free and open exchange of Biblical ideas can take place should be the goal of every Christian (Hint: this is a description of a BIBLE STUDY). All to often however, the only ideas that can be put forth are the ideas accepted by the “brotherhood”.
The aim of the articles on these pages is to search out the truth, while pointing out the ideas, opinions and “orthodoxy” that hinders such a search.