I will even put a post on my blog or create something online as a supplement to the directory to inform people of the contact information of those churches because let’s face it, people do want to know how to contact those churches to ask for support or to visit when they travel.
I 100% agree. There are countless fundraising needs in the Churches of Christ: missionaries, disaster relief agencies, universities, foster care agencies, orphanages … They all need access to mailing lists. The omission also places a serious burden on those who need to raise support or who want to invite churches to lectureships, youth rallies, and the like.
What would motivate anyone to put a burden on missionary and disaster relief fundraising? (Oh, right, “accuracy.” I forgot.)
PLEASE prepare the list and keep it maintained. I’ll help anyway I can.
Please send Matt, http://mattdabbs.wordpress.com/, contact information on any partly instrumental churches you know about.
Now, to completely undo the damage done by 21st Century Christian, I suppose we should notify the U.S. Census Bureau that data provided by the compilers of Churches of Christ in the United States is incomplete. It is, as you mention in your comment, nothing but Completely A Cappella Churches of Christ in the United States. The compilers themselves say the distinction is not theological. They just prefer to deal exclusively with a cappella churches. I’m sure the Census Bureau will understand that this is not a denominational split, just an editorial decision made for accuracy in counting completely a cappella churches. How could they not understand something so obvious?
I can’t imagine that this might somehow lead to the listing of a new denomination. I’m sure they’ll understand.
And we need to notify the World Almanac people and all the other organizations that compile data on denominations in the U.S. that this book does not speak for the Churches of Christ. Rather, they need to add the partly instrumental churches in. It shouldn’t be hard to be certain we’re accurately represented. After all, the instrumental churches were excluded for the sake of accuracy.
We need to tell the guys who publish the Handbook of Denominations in the United States that they shouldn’t list the partly instrumental music churches separately despite the fact that the people who compile the data they use have excluded the partly instrumental churches — for the sake of accuracy.
You see, it’s a mess. And it’s embarrassing. We’re being forced to present ourselves to the world as having split (again), and it’s even along the wrong fault lines! After all, the split that’s actually going on is between progressives and conservatives, and the split is over the scope of grace. Instrumental music is incidental.
The colossal mistake the compilers make is to see the split as based on practices rather than theology. Those who leave my church to move to other parts of the country never ask for a recommendation for an instrumental or non-instrumental church. They don’t think in those terms. They want a progressive church, meaning a church that teaches grace and that has the sort of tranformative worship that only comes with grace. Instruments are beside the point.
Wrong issue. Wrong time. The compilers have missed the point entirely. It’s not about the instrument. Not even close.