Churches of Christ have had a strong sense of identity that has developed over the past 100 years, some might say “too strong.” In a Pharisaical effort to be completely holy and pleasing to God, some have trampled fellow believers in the name of obedience.
I appreciate the emphasis on unity and a rejection of denominationalism and sectarianism from the early days of the Restoration Movement (out of which Churches of Christ, The Christian Church, and Disciples of Christ developed). But somewhere along the way we became what we preached against. Our beliefs became creedal and divisive. We became in our own eyes “the one true church.” And if you didn’t believe like us on every point, you were marked, judged, and maybe even condemned. We took over God’s job of removing candlesticks.
We used the label of “denominational” to attack those with different opinions than us. We became divisive while preaching against division. Oh, the Irony!
So, a common way of arguing a point or warning a Christian or a congregation was to claim they were “acting like the denominations” or “becoming denominational.” And some times you didn’t even need to back it up with Scriptures. The accusation alone was enough to convince someone of the alleged error of his/her ways.
I have said all that to say this: Churches of Christ aren’t always quick to join in with the activities of the rest of the Christian world. And that’s often a good thing. But this is helpful in understanding why a group of churches might not join in what seems to be a wonderful and obvious celebration.