Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mixed-bathing … is that okay?


During my growing up years in the 1970s and 80s, I began to notice that my church was different from other ones.  For one thing, we had unique doctrinal views about baptism, weekly communion, and instrumental music.  There wasn’t a lot of wiggle room on those issues.  And for another, we had a long list of activities that we shouldn’t partake in … activities like drinking alcohol, dancing, or swimming with members of the opposite sex (which was sometimes called “mixed bathing”).

I shared this information with a friend who grew up in a Church of Christ in Arizona.  He said, “Yeah, at our church it was all about the same … except for the view about mixed-swimming.  It’s hot in Arizona.”


(Pictured above is my hometown church building, the College Church of Christ in Searcy, Arkansas.  This picture dates to about 1976 or so.)

4 comments:

  1. Imagine the culture shock when I left Searcy for Italy. Wine, dancing, and church camp at the beach suddenly became not just allowed but an expected part of doing work with the church!

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  2. I know! I remember going on international campaigns to Italy. As Harding students, we could drink the communion wine, but we weren't allowed to have wine at the meals.

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  3. By the time I was six, I assumed everything we didn't do was because we were Christians. In our family, we didn't do candy or much of anything that involved sugar. Imagine my total surprise when I went to first grade at Harding Academy -- a Christian school -- and saw fellow students pulling candy out of their lunch boxes. My six-year-old self was appalled that such blatant disregard for the faith was being carried out in front of me. I honestly believed candy was on the same list as dancing, bathing suits in public, and cigarettes. You know -- the list of things that were scriptural no-nos.

    I think I even talked to Mrs. Blue about it. Come to think of it, that might have been the beginning of my paradigm shift. :-)

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  4. The beginning of a paradigm shift in 1st grade ... love it!

    Lisa, your thoughts reminded me of elementary-school conversations about the use of the word "gosh" in 2nd grade and about whether or not we could use a piano to practice "church songs" for 6th grade graduation.

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