The Eye of the Beholder: How Churches View Other Churches

I found this on the blog of Ed Stetzer (http://www.edstetzer.com/assets_c/2011/09/perception1.html).  What do you think?

While there is always some exceptions to the norm, I do think there is some truth to the images.  A few quick observations.  First, it seems that every group image of itself is positive while it views the other group with some sense of negativity.  Second, I wish that the Eastern Orthodox Church would have been included but I didn’t create the image-chart.  Third, I also assume that my own tribe, the Churches of Christ and the larger Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement fits within the broad label of “Evangelical”.

Finally, I wonder how much of our suspicious to outright negative view of the other groups is from our lack of truly getting to know Christians outside of our own group?  As a minister, I have had the privilege of interacting with a number of Christians from different denominations and tribes other than my own.  For the most part, that has been a positive experience and I have learned that what I was taught about those other groups and what is was very different.  That’s one reason why my definition of “church” has widened considerably over the years.

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2 responses to “The Eye of the Beholder: How Churches View Other Churches

  1. Pretty accurate, in my opinion. However, I’d have to disagree with the idea that the Restoration Movement falls into “evangelical.” I’d say part of the a cappella churches and most of the instrumental churches are “evangelical” in style. A large part of the a cappella churches seem to be more “fundamentalist” to me, and there is a relatively small portion of the instrumental camp in that category as well. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is almost entirely mainline Protestant, with a very small minority evangelical. I still don’t know how to categorize the ICOC fellowship. Definitely not fundamentalist, but not evangelical either exactly. And this is only dealing with the part of our movement we see in the United States.

    • Ergo the problem of trying to pigeon hole any particular group. I too think some CoC’s would be more fundamentalist than Evangelical and certainly think many of the Disciples of Christ would be more mainline liberal than Evangelical. Of course, the irony is that there are some mainline liberals who don’t see any difference between Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism.

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