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3 Beliefs That Set Disciples of Christ Apart From Other Christians

By    |   Thursday, 02 Apr 2015 01:10 PM

The Disciples of Christ, also known as the Christian Church, formed a denomination from two separate movements, one in western Pennsylvania and another in Kentucky, which were in response to the "rigid denominationalism" of the early 1800s, according to the Disciples of Christ (Christian Church) website.

These three key beliefs set the Disciples of Christ apart from other Christian groups:

1. Autonomy: The Disciples of Christ has no denominational creed, giving its congregations total independence to determine their own doctrine, based on the denominational identity statement. Because of this approach, local Disciples of Christ churches vary widely in their beliefs from liberal to conservative.

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2. Ecumenist Philosophy: Another belief that makes the Christian Church unique from many other denominations is its ecumenist philosophy. According to its website, the Disciples of Christ is a member of the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches as part of its efforts to bridge gaps by reaching out to other Christian denominations. It also has had discussions with the Roman Catholic Church.

3. Welcoming LGBT:
Although still in the minority among Christian denominations that believe the Bible clearly calls homosexuality a sinful act of disobedience against God, the Disciples of Christ joined recent trends toward welcoming homosexuality and lesbianism.

In July 2013, the Gay Star News reported that the Christian Church's General Assembly passed a resolution openly welcoming lesbians, homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgender people into the church as members and enabling their ordination as ministers. A year after the resolution, a Disciples of Christ church in Davenport, Iowa, wed a lesbian couple in a same-sex wedding, The Des Moines Register reported.

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According to the General Assembly, the resolution "calls upon the Christian Church to recognize itself as striving to become a people of grace and welcome to all God's children though differing in … sexual orientation, gender identity or theological perspective. Be it further resolved that the General Assembly calls upon the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to affirm the faith, baptism and spiritual gifts of all Christians regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and that neither is grounds for exclusion from fellowship or service within the church, but we celebrate that all are part of God's good creation."

But, true to its refusal to enforce a denominational creed, the Christian Church lets individual congregations decide if they want to appoint LGBT pastors and permits its regional church offices to choose whether or not to ordain LGBT members as clergy.

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The Disciples of Christ, also known as the Christian Church, formed a denomination from two separate movements, one in western Pennsylvania and another in Kentucky, which were in response to the "rigid denominationalism" of the early 1800s.
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2015-10-02
Thursday, 02 Apr 2015 01:10 PM
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