A news article from the on-line edition of the Christian Chronicle got my attention. The title? “Unity discussion takes center stage at Freed-Hardeman.”
Earlier, I had seen ads for this event. But the article was the first report I’d come across about the “Contemporary Discussion” that took place at Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee, back on October 14th.
The article notes that the organizers and participants of the “Discussion” were focused not only on what unites the Independent Christian Churches and the Churches of Christ, but on what still divides them, namely, the Independents’ continued use of musical instruments in worship, contrasted with the a cappella practice of the Churches of Christ.
I was struck by one of the leading quotes in the article. Representing Freed-Hardeman, moderator Earl Edwards reportedly said, “Now, some have seemed to think, and sincerely so, that it takes nothing but exchanging Bibles and embracing one another [to create unity].”
This is simply wrong. The fact is, many genuine, spiritual leaders among the Churches of Christ and the Independent Christian Churches today do not think that exchanging Bibles and embracing one another is what establishes unity between the two groups.
Instead, what they believe--if I may say so--is that Jesus Christ, into whom we were all baptized by one Spirit, united us by his blood and his new life; and, furthermore, it is foreign to the Spirit of Jesus to tolerate a wall in the territory that belongs to Christ.
Speaking first as a Christian, but second as one who was schooled at Freed-Hardeman, those are my own convictions. Thoughts?