Wednesday, January 30, 2008

EMBRACE THE DISCOMFORT?

The members of the Quail Springs Church of Christ were recently challenged to "embrace discomfort" for the sake of breaking down barriers and for the mission of reaching the lost. It wasn't the "discomfort" of uncushioned pews or poor ventilation, for example. No the "discomfort" was something much different. Quail Springs announced that instruments would be used in the Sunday worship. With that announcement, 300 or so members decided that they could not endure THAT "discomfort".

Such a decision by the leaders at Quail created a lot of hubbub and angst and ultimately split the church. Afterward, the preacher, Mark Henderson, said he was misunderstood. He said communicating is sometimes difficult and what he was trying to say is not what was heard. He did not mean at all that he wanted the people to leave, even if that's what they heard.

For quite a long time, the leaders at Quail had been treating musical instruments as a non-issue, which eventually led to the introduction of the "non-issue". Whether Mr. Henderson intended it or not, he and the others made a decision that 300 of the members could not "embrace".

Adding to the Word of God does not constitute a mere "discomfort" to be embraced. Christians are willing to endure and embrace many things with a good spirit. But you don't ask Christians to defile their conscience. Nobody should ask Christians to "embrace" what is vain.

When the preacher was asked what Quail Springs hoped to gain by their decision, he said the hope was to keep members who were leaving for an instrumental church and to attract others to the church. Quail Springs church will probably grow, but it will never be the same. 300 of people who were the backbone of the congregation are gone.

At the time of this writing, Quail Springs is offering two services on Sunday, one instrumenal and one non-instrumental.
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1. Mark Henderson Audio
2. Text of Mark Henderson address following the split is here.

3 comments:

  1. Musician for Jesus (at long last)6:54 PM

    Yes, the church of Christ has been encouraging believers to "embrace discomfort" for many years. Particularly, worshipers in the CoC who were able to play instruments have been wearing a choke chain for years. I still have the marks on my neck. I didn't have to "embrace the discomfort", it embraced me... right under the chin.

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  2. Anonymous9:34 PM

    You really had no place to go, did you? It's not like there weren't 300 or so groups that would love to have you entertain them. But the church is not about entertainment. The people at Quail Springs could have walked next door and worshiped with the Baptist. But the church is about the worship of God. It's not about pleasing you. It's not about giving you a place to publicly perform after you have practiced at home all week. If you need a place to perform and be stroked, I hear American Idol is a good place to start.

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  3. Dear "Musician for Jesus"
    I have been around the church for a long time. To suggest that the church did you harm is ridiculous. The church is not a venue for you to play your instrument. If your talent was something else like dancing, it would not be obliged to let you dance for it. If your talent was basketball dribbling or lifting weights, it would not be obliged to let you perform. You apparently grew up in the church. I pray that you will see the goodness that is found in it. It is a place your can worship God in spirit and truth. Thanks for commenting.

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