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DoC questions??

Discussion in 'Disciples of Christ DIR' started by AnthonyB, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. AnthonyB

    AnthonyB New Member

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    I became a Christian in an Australian Church of Christ (a conference aligned one) and although at the moment I attend a Baptist church my basic outlook is still from the Aussie CoC. I'm trying to make sense of the US church, especailly in the light that a number of sources indicate that the nearest US church group to the churches I grew up in is the DoC's but I feel a long way from what I perceive you guys are like. (My church was in a deeply conservative rural area)

    Are their any evanglelical rather then liberal DoC churches? (I'd never lable myself a liberal Christian)

    Do all DoC have open membership? (I personally support membership through baptism following confession of faith and associate membership (Christian in Felllowship is the term I grew up with) for non baptised (ie both the unbaptised and the christianed) Although I might consider accepting open membership, I don't think I could ever concede that christianing infants is baptism)

    Are their any non "open and affirming" congregations in matters of chastity?

    Do all DoC pastors wear robes and use the title "reverend"? (To me this would be denying (in practice if not by confession) priesthood of all believers)

    Do any DoC's allow any baptised member to preside at communion? (We are all priests therefore we can all share "priestly" duties)

    Do any DoC congregations still believe in "restoring the New Testament" church? (I was always told that is why we did what we did)

    Do DoC services have public reading of both OT and NT passages as part of the lead up to communion?

    The questions are in part my trying to understand but also clarifying the suspicion that I would probably feel more at home at an ICC/CoC church despite believing that delegate conferences were part of the NT church pattern. Also that some DoC'ers might feel more at home in the Australian Uniting Church rather then some of thistorical Campbell/Stone church in Australia. (The fact that the divisions never occurred in Australia probably means that we have a wider liberal/conservative mix than any of the three US sections.)
     
    #1 AnthonyB, Aug 20, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2008
  2. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    Yes. There are many evangelical DOC congregations. The best way to find out is to visit Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), find the congregation locator, and look at some websites.

    Membership is mostly determined by baptism, although there are exceptions. As a body, we have determined that we will accept all baptisms (even infants) as valid. However, individually, you may believe as you choose!

    I don't know of any "open and affirming" congos in matter of chastity, specifically. I'm sure there are probably some. Most Disciples congos simply don't ask about your sex life -- they just accept you.

    Most DOC clergy wear robes and stoles. many use the title, "Reverend." Your interpretation of that scripturally-based passage is a little skewed from the DOC POV. The priesthood is ours by virtue of our baptism. In that sense, we are all members of the priesthood. However, some folks are set apart for specific ministries within the Body of Christ. It's always been that way, both for the historical church and the DOCs. The vestments are worn as a sign of servanthood (the ordained ministry is a servant ministry). the title is a token of respect. Ministers are not "higher" or "better." Just set apart for specific duties.

    Most DOCs use either their clergy, or their lay elders (actually, most congos use both!) in the presidency at Communion. It's always been that way. However, some congos do use simply lay folk. It's out of the norm, but there are no hard and fast "rules." Presidency at Communion has always been one of those duties that has been set apart for the folks ordained to do it, whether it be clergy or lay elder.

    Denominationally, Disciples no longer support restoration practice. We have discovered that there was no uniform practice to restore. However, there are probably some individual congos who still adhere to the restoration principle. We all began that way, but most have abandoned it. Most of us have come to the realization that the way of being church together is a forever changing thing, and highly localized, both in terms of time and place.

    Some do, some don't include both readings. I always include the gospel reading for the day, and at least one other (either Hebrew or epistle). If I had my 'druthers, I'd "druther" read all four appointed for the day: Hebrew, Psalm, epistle and gospel.

    Hope this helps!
     
  3. Devananda

    Devananda Well-Known Member
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    Hey, all you DoC members out there, I've got a question for y'all. I'm a Unitarian Universalist (UU) Christian who is theologically moderate. In spite of this, I ABSOLUTELY confess Jesus Christ as the Son of God and my Lord and Saviour. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) seems very awesome to me. Would I be allowed to join the denomination?
     
  4. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    Sorry I didn't see this sooner! When you join, you join a congregation -- not the denomination. There is no real "denominational membership," other than who's on the rolls in any given congregation.
    Many (if not most) Disciples congregations would add you as a member if you've been baptized, and want to join that congregation as a member. In most, in order for you to be a member, you need to be baptized upon a simple confession of faith. but there is no "national rule" concerning this.
     
  5. Devananda

    Devananda Well-Known Member
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    It's OK. Thanks so much, Sojourner! Are you a member of a congregation?
     
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