A have a confession to make. I'll admit up front that it's shocking and will bewilder many people who know me. I'll even admit that sometimes it's a little embarrassing. Here it is: I love the Churches of Christ.
I love my religious heritage. I really, honestly do. I guess if I didn't, I wouldn't care so much about it. I wouldn't push so hard for it to be what it should be. I'd just leave. For me though, that's not an option. I love the Churches of Christ.
When I lived in Georgia, I got interested in Restoration Movement History, and so for about two years I read everything I could get my hands on regarding the subject. I was struck by how "right on" most aspect of its "founding" were and by how much of what I saw as a product of that heritage didn't match up. Some of them even seemed to blatently deny that history claiming (ridiculously) that they were the actual church started at Pentacost and that "everyone else" had simply chosen apostacy and split off from them, the true church. When I looked around I saw a movement that was the poster child for sectarianism and fit the dictionary definition of a denomination better than any of the other "denominations" that it so constantly derided. Even so, I had fallen in love with the Dream of the American Restoration movement, which seemed to be quite in line with the Dream of God (though not exclusively). As I thought about God and how He as been willing to work with and through me in spite of my weaknesses and misunderstandings and as I thought about how He is constantly redeeming me and reforming me into what He dreams for me to be, it became clear that I should try to reflect those thing in my life and ministry. Recently this thought has come back to me as I have been studying through the Old Testament with a group of teenagers. We have been struck by the fact that in some parts of the story there are not really any "good guys" (with the exception of God, though He's hard to understand). Even so, God continues to work in and through His people pushing for them to be who He called them to be. This is illustrated beautifully by the living analogy He made with Hosea.
So, wherever I go and whatever I do, I will be embracing my heritage: valuing its treasures and honest about it's failings and weaknesses...pushing for it to be worthy of it's calling.