The Christian Chronicle announces that the latest edition of Churches of Christ in the United States will no longer list Richland Hills in Fort Worth because they have instrumental music on Sunday. It seems that the editors( of the volume) think (although they deny it) that instrumental music defines the Church of Christ. They have long ago purged Oak Hills (Max Lucado) and Farmers' Branch in Dallas.
Richland has one a cappella service on Sunday morning with a huge attendance--but this doesn't count--the church has to be totally a cappella--How ridiculous. Seeing as how there is very little evidence in the New Testament that a capella is the desired mode of worship, they are straining gnats and swallowing camels. I am sure the list does include churches that are absolutely insular and dead with no outreach and no growth--but these folks
can be found by travelers traveling through their area (that is one of the aims of the book).
A cappella is my preferred mode of worship, although I have enjoyed worshipping with instruments often. (Worshipping with instruments is another "hinky" statement--as if instruments determine the love and regard that pours out of one's mouth in worship).
Wouldn't it be nice if Churches of Christ were known for their outreach to the poor, their contributions to peace and justice in the world, their absolute integrity--I know some who are and praise God for them.
Oh by the way, the volume also shows how Churches of Christ have joined other contemporary churches in decline losing 526 churches and 78,436 members over the past six years. Wonder why?