May I confess something to you?
There have been times when I’ve been a little embarrassed to be a part of the Restoration Movement.
I’m not embarrassed to share how our movement rose up out of a desire to get back to the Bible.
I’m not embarrassed to share how our movement rejected denominationalism in favor of New Testament Christianity.
I’m not embarrassed to share how our movement rejected creeds in favor of Christ.
I’m not embarrassed to share why we chose to call ourselves simply, “Christian.”
I’m not embarrassed to share that we desired to use the New Testament Church as our only model for “doing” Church.
And, I’m definitely not embarrassed by the fact that we chose personal liberty in matters of opinion, but unity in matters more essential.
It’s not embarrassing to talk about the things that defined, distinguished, and drove our movement to become one of the most phenomenal religious movements of the 19th and 20th centuries.
What’s embarrassing is sharing the fact that our movement–once united–divided into three distinct groups that now have very little to do with each other.
The problem now is not that we sit at different tables at our family reunion, or that we don’t have family reunions anymore, but that we (The Churches of Christ, Christian Churches, and the Disciples of Christ) don’t seem to consider ourselves “family” anymore.
We can’t go back an change history.
What’s done is done.
Or, is it?
As I read this week’s issue of The Christian Standard, “What Went Wrong?”, I was so encouraged.
This week’s issue is full of history, but I also think it’s full of hope.
What went wrong? We allowed disunity to define and divide our movement, but–it seems–there are a large number of Christians in the Christian Church and Churches of Christ who are now committed to fostering unity in spirit, word, and deed.
As I think about next week’s NACC, I can’t help but be proud to be a part of the Restoration Movement.
I have a dream.
I hope The Christian Standard is still around in the year 2106, and I hope that the June 2106 issue of The Christian Standard will be devoted to celebrating the unity that began–and grew–because of the 2006 North American Christian Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, and I hope that the June 2106 issue of The Christian Standard is entitled, “What Went Right?”