I've been thinking about denominational loyalty lately.
A few weeks ago, I was talking to one of my customers on my mail route. She was excited about her daughter's upcoming wedding. As my customer discussed her daughter's plans, she mentioned one regret. The daughter was marrying a young man from a different denomination, and the daughter had followed her future husband in joining his denomination. My customer sighed, "I don't know what is with kids these days. I would have never left the church of my parents. It would have broken their hearts. I wish they would stay with my church, but at least they are a great Christian couple."
This conversation prompted me to think about my son and his future choices. Would he someday leave the network of churches in which he has been raised?
As I thought more about it, I wondered about myself. Would I someday leave the churches (the Churches of Christ) with which I have been affiliated for decades?
I had to admit to myself that it was a legitimate possibility. I have seen trends among some of the leading preachers which concern me. Some of the most popular speakers among us have been teaching that the Bible cannot be fully trusted because of errors within it. Some have been teaching that a sinner does not necessarily need to place his faith in Jesus Christ in order to be saved. Some have been teaching that God is not truly all-knowing since he cannot know the future.
In contrast, I believe in the doctrine of biblical inerrancy, the necessity of faith in Christ, and the omniscience of God. We are on different trajectories. Eventually, if the popular trends in teaching become the normative doctrine among my fellowship, I may not be able to stay. It would not be because I would want to go, but it would be because denominational loyalty (for lack of a better term) would be of lesser value to me than the desire to cooperate with other believers who hold to the central truths of the Scriptures and to the Savior revealed within those Scriptures.
I hope it never comes to that scenario, but I need to admit to myself that the possibility certainly exists. If it becomes necessary to choose, I hope that my family and I would make a conscientious choice to remain loyal to Christ despite the pain involved in the decision.
"But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine" (Titus 2:1).