September 25, 2007

Caring About the Church of the Brethren

The BRF Witness, Vol. 42, No. 5, includes an article "Why We Care About the Church of the Brethren" written by Craig Alan Myers. The assignment take on by Bro. Myers is a good one that could be followed by other Church of the Brethren organizations and/or individuals. It seems to follow in the spirit of the Together Conversations organized throughout the church over the past couple of years.

In the introductory paragraph, Bro. Myers suggests: "It is good to recall from time to time the importance of our church fellowship ... We may be tempted to say, 'I don't care about the Church of the Brethren' - as if it is some abstract thing "out there." Yet, the Church of the Brethren is worth caring about."

The article goes on to lift up five reasons to care about the Church of the Brethren:

1. For her rich heritage as a fellowship. We find ourselves to be the beneficiaries of a rich legacy stretching back nearly three hundred years.

2. For her doctrines - the teaching of the Word of God. The Church of the Brethren has been a doctrinal church. That is, it is a teaching church, and known for teaching the New Testament as it is. That is why we say, "The New Testament is our creed." and "the New Testament is our Rule of Faith and Practice."

3. For her practices - rooted in the New Testament. We care about the Church of the Brethren due to its rites and ordinances and the things they symbolize or represent. We are known by what we believe and by what we practice.

4. For her people - the incarnation of the church's beliefs and practices. The doctrines and practices of the Church do not exist on their own. They come alive in the lives, struggles, hopes, and dreams of Brethren people.

5. For her future - the continuing work of God until Jesus returns. We care about the Church of the Brethren for it can have a promising future.

Perhaps it would be a good discipline for each of us to develop our own list, or add to this one, reasons to care about the Church of the Brethren.