Increasingly we see movement among many churches of Christ to the left. Instrumental music, women song leaders, communion on Saturday night, fellowship with denominational churches you name it and it is happening among brethren. Worse still is where those things are happening: in some of the largest churches of Christ in the country. It is not difficult to read the handwriting on the wall and see that a day is coming when there will be only two kinds of congregations: ultra-liberal churches and very conservative, non-institutional churches.
In May 2002 we put together a special issue of Abundant Life to make a direct appeal to people who are caught in the middle. We wanted to reach out to people who are seeing the congregation they love evaporate away, getting smaller and smaller as more and more young people head to the big churches doing big things. We wanted to invite people in congregations that are shifting left to evaluate and think about what the church they are a part of is becoming. We wanted to issue a call for people stranded over in the left to head back right.
We think such a call is even more appropriate today than it was then. With some new and added material we think this is an excellent time to consider carefully the differences brethren know and what good and honest brethren need to do in the present crisis.
We hope that if you are part of a sound church this material will strengthen your convictions. We also hope that you will find someone who is not part of a sound church who needs to read it. And if you are reading this from the perspective of someone who does not regularly worship with a non-institutional church we hope you will give what is said here much thought and prayer. May it lead us all to worship and serve our Lord exactly as the New Testament instructs.