Churches of Christ Identified by Their Schools (satire)

As most of my posts are pretty serious, I thought I would take a break and try to explain why there are so many different congregations of Churches of Christ to those who have no clue about us or our history. What follows is just how I see things, and may or may not have a grain of truth, and it is certainly written with my tongue firmly in my cheek . . .

How many members of the Churches of Christ does it take to change a light bulb as answered by the leading schools of higher learning associated with the Churches of Christ –

Pepperdine University – “We have chosen not to perpetuate the system of binary thinking that separates light bulbs into “burned out” and “new.” We also do not believe a light bulb should be forced to change against its will. We allow each light bulb to choose how they wish to be viewed, and in the spirit of diversity we welcome each light bulb regardless of its perceived condition.”

Abilene Christian University – “We believe it is important that we welcome the darkness that a burned out bulb symbolizes. We embrace the spiritual implications of the darkness, and together we seek to find the essential meaning to that darkness, and what it signifies for our human journey. As we ponder the eschatological significance of the fractured filament, we also contemplate our fractured souls and the vanity of a vacuous existence.”

David Lipscomb University – “What ACU says, (we think, we’re not sure exactly).”

Harding University – “We have established a committee to seek to ascertain the impact that burned out bulbs have on our campus. In the interest of all concerned, we will continually strive to do the best we can to have a positive impact on all light bulbs, whether we can specifically address the burned out light bulb issue at this time or not.”

Oklahoma Christian University – “Burned out light bulbs? Who cares? What time do the Sooners kick off?

Freed-Hardeman University – “Give us 10 choruses of ‘Just as I am’ and we will have a small army of sanctified light bulb replacers ready to go forth and change every burned out light bulb in the world!”

York College, Ohio Valley College, Lubbock Christian University – “Who has money to replace light bulbs!?”

Schools of Preaching – “Has the replacement bulb ever been in a socket before? Because we cannot replace a burned out bulb with a bulb that has been put into a socket. We have to maintain light bulb purity in this regard.”

Now that I have pretty much offended everyone – y’all have great day!

Author: Paul Smith

Paul Smith was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He holds the Bachelor of Science in Youth Ministry, Master of Biblical Studies and Master of Divinity, all from Abilene Christian University; and the Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. Paul's passion is in teaching and preaching the gospel. Beyond the study of the Bible, his main academic interest is in the life and theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He is an unashamed mountain-goat, and longs to spend his time with his feet in a cold trout stream.

4 thoughts on “Churches of Christ Identified by Their Schools (satire)”

  1. Although I might have suggested Pepperdine more than ACU influencing Lipscomb, I laughed when I read the Freed-Hardeman paragraph (FHU is my alma mater), and think you were right on target with the preaching schools. Sadly, the York and OVU note is all too true, I suspect.


    1. Thanks, much, Michael! I hope all grads have an equally sanguine response (I am an ACU grad – I kind of know the lingo). Just as geographically ACU is in the middle of California and Tennessee, I kind of picture the theological movement as being Pepperdine – ACU – Lipscomb (and then maybe Harding and OCU), but maybe DLU does aspire to be closer to the left coast! I know I kind of lumped all preaching schools in the same batch, and that is certainly not *technically* true – but I did not want to get too specific there. I also hope I was not too far off with LCU – they may have a deeper financial bucket, but living in the geographical shadow of ACU and being next door to TT, I can’t imagine they are trying to figure out how to spend their surplus. Also, I tried to do some research in their library, and quite frankly was appalled.

      Thanks again, Michael. Sometimes I just have to let my snarky side out. Glad you did not find my F-HU poke too offensive!



      1. Lipscomb’s current President came from Pepperdine. That influenced my response. I have former classmates who teach at most of those institutions. And what happened to Faulkner?


      2. Being from the west, there are a number of schools that have ties to the Restoration Movement that simply did not show up on my radar. A couple of others that I could have mentioned – Harding Graduate School of Theology and Austin Graduate School of Theology. Also – there is the former Michigan Christian that became something that became something – I’ve lost track.

        Fascinating the link between DLU and Pepperdine. I guess that shows how much I really keep up with such goings-on. I like that F-HU brought in someone who had his roots in ministry. Years ago most of our college and university presidents had at least a foundation in preaching or ministry. Now, it’s all about fund raising. I would have liked F-HU to have hired someone with a graduate degree (simply because I am a strong proponent of higher education), but that is a minor quibble. As long as he pushes F-HU to maintain the highest standards in education AS WELL AS faithful adherence to the gospel, all will be well.


        Liked by 1 person

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