I don’t have a clue about where the upcoming Labor Day Meetings will be this year, or who is on the roster for giving talks. I don’t really think about or care about such things, although I’m always interested when people send me talks they find interesting. The hard part is listening to all the audio, which is usually light on Biblical content. However, if anyone sends me the audio, I will dutifully listen, so the rest of you don’t have to. (OK, I’m just being sarcastic, I’ll actually post the full audio for the world to listen to, whether I agree with it it or not.)
It’s not that I’m opposed to Stanton having a Labor Day Meeting, or Thanksgiving Meeting, or whatever they want to call their various holiday celebrations. I think it’s awesome to get together and fellowship with like-minded believers, and listen to talks from respected speakers. But who gets the privilege of speaking? Why do some, and not others? It seems like a bit of a social club with a whole lot of man-pleasing going on.
For a little bit of history, I grew up preaching, though not in the Stanton group. When my dad took me to a different Church of Christ after being withdrawn from when I was six and a half years old, it was a “mutual edification” sect. This meant that we had no paid preacher. So when I was baptized at 17, I started preaching, like the other men in the congregation who wanted to.
I have to say, I preached some doozies in my younger years. I kept my notes from sermons in a file cabinet, and years later, when moving and going through old files, I remember reading through them and shaking my head in shame at the things I’d said. I actually drafted an email one time and apologized to a few people I know I had offended by my unloving words.
I wonder if this same self-awareness will come upon the speakers at Stanton’s various Labor Day Meetings. My prayer is this: Stop propping up an institution that preaches and teaches unbiblical doctrines of men. Stop lending your name to the cause of Stanton. Some of you have an inkling that you are on the wrong track, and yet you still do it. Others of you don’t yet know it—but you will.
Keep learning. Keep immersing yourself in the scriptures. Contact me (it will be in 100% confidence) if you want to bounce your thoughts off of someone outside of Stanton. And have a good Labor Day Meeting.