Bible Questions for the Church of Christ - Faith Facts
Mead's lists the founding date of the Christian Church, also called "Disciples of Churches of Christ have held to historic, orthodox views on the Bible, God, the. by Woodland Oaks Church of Christ / Re-use prohibited without expressed written presented a statement to the church regarding the basic position. Here's how to apply God's Word to dating, finding a spouse and getting married. have taken the position that Christians can apply their faith in such a way that Scott Croft is an elder at Capitol Hill Baptist Church where he.
It's what comes after the "but" that is important. What comes after the "but" is not consistent among them; here are some answers they may give: God fills the gap with his grace. Interestingly, this is the same view of grace held by Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses. When asked how they know that they are saved, they will probably say something like, "I have been obedient" or "I have been pleasing to God.
Christ is said to save by furnishing man an example. He simply showed man how to save himself. Despite their emphasis on patternism, works righteousness, the Law of Christ, and their view of grace that is similar to the pseudo-Christian cults, they deny that they are legalists. In any case, they see the Holy Spirit's activities in a much more confined role than other Christians. There is little or no place for the Holy Spirit in regeneration or sanctification.
Some even reject the notion that the Holy Spirit indwells a person, despite numerous mentions of this in the New Testament. This is a view they share with non-Christian groups: Muslims, communists, eastern religions, Mormons, and Jehovah's Witnesses. They refuse to fellowship with other Christians, even other conservative Christians.
Question for the Church of Christ: Have we summarized your views correctly? The Church of Christ is convinced that they have the precisely correct understanding of the Bible.
But critics say that they have strayed from their original purpose of Christian unity. They accuse the Church of Christ of having a different gospel, being divisive and sectarian, legalistic, and ignoring or explaining away passages of Scripture that do no fit their presuppositional interpretation.
Church of Christ author K. Could any of these charges against such a biblically based group be at all true? Here is an article by a Church of Christ insider offering a candid look at their exclusive thinking. See chapter 18 of Heritage. If you are a Church of Christ person reading this, let us describe a situation that might be revealing. How do you feel inside? Do you greet this person with love and a feeling of warmth to be with another believer and servant of the Lord?
Alexander Campbell, in while still living in Scotland, became concerned about the strict sectarianism of his Presbyterian group, which practiced a form of closed communion in which one had to have a token in order to participate. The whole idea repelled Alexander.
He was convinced that no man had the right to determine the worthiness of another to receive God's forgiveness. When his turn came at one point, he returned his token to the elders and did not take communion.Why I Left the church of Christ
In his heart he renounced allegiance to any church that proclaimed its path as the only way to the throne of God. Yet he insisted that the members of even these churches were true Christians.
His concern was that the denominational structure imposed requirements that were not consistent with biblical unity. Barton Stone, a Presbyterian minister on a similar tract, rejected sectism and started his own movement independent of Campbell.
While the two groups had very different views on many issues, they agreed to accept one another as brothers in the faith and merged in However, the hypercon contingent resolutely refuses to acknowledge any association with these men. According to Richard Hughes, the reason is that to acknowledge any historical association would be to deny that they are direct descendants of the New Testament church.
It would also be an admission that they are a denomination started by men. Stone and Campbell became leaders of the idea that Christians should be able to spiritually unite on a few fundamental ideas.
They held that insistence on matters of interpretation, denominationalism, credism, and ecclesiastical tyranny were not in the spirit of Christianity—given the many calls for peace and unity in the New Testament. Personal interpretation of Scripture should not be the basis for judging others or made the basis of Christian communion. Reflecting this noble idea, Stone and Campbell often said in slightly different variations, Let us acknowledge all to be our brethren who believe in the Lord Jesus, repent of their sins, and humbly and honestly obey Him as far as they understand his will and their duty.
What a wonderful picture! If we may editorialize, this movement is perhaps the most underappreciated movement, at least in modern church history. These men had a passion for unity as fundamental to the Christian faith. They hailed with enthusiasm the least indications of a growing spirit of forbearance and brotherly love among the different denominations. They saw a spirit of unity among Christians as dethroning sin and Satan and converting the world. We find much to admire in the original Restoration Movement.
Every Christian group has its own set of warts. Campbell noted the status of Christian division, "The constant insisting upon them [doctrinal opinions], as articles of faith and terms of salvation, have so beaten them into the minds of men, that, in many instances, they would as soon deny the Bible itself as give up one of those opinions. However, reflecting the sinful and divisive tendencies of all of us humans, the Restoration Movement itself soon began dividing over differences.
For most of the nineteenth century, the terms "Church of Christ," "Disciples of Christ," and "Christian Church" were used more or less interchangeably. These have further divided so that today one can count over 2 dozen factions. Divisions came from every manner of opinion, including instrumental music, the manner of serving the Supper, millennial theories, missionary methods, orphan homes, cooperative programs with other Christian groups, whether to have Sunday School classes, etc.
Those with opposing views were labeled "not sound in the faith" or "liberals" or "extremists" and were marked to be avoided, according to W. Carl Ketcherside in chapter 15 here: We infer from Ketcherside and Garrett's inside look at the Church of Christ that this would be all but forgotten and forgiven history if a spirit of separation and condemnation were not still present today.
There is adequate evidence for this claim, including a refusal to attend any non-approved church except perhaps grudgingly at weddings and funerals —and a special aversion to taking the Lord's Supper in any other church.
Church of Christ
CC churches seemingly spend a great deal of time studying other groups with the intent of condemning what they believe to be their many egregious errors. This has a tendency to bolster unity within their group. Sadly, the noble goal of uniting Christians ended up dividing us further. The divisions are so severe among the ultra-conservative factions that there is one faction referred to as the "One Cup" group.
They believe that a congregation must all partake of the Lord's Supper from a single cup, which apparently cannot be refilled if they run out. Most of these ultraconservative factions refuse to have a meal in the church building, and would condemn any other group that disagrees. Here is an interesting article about this "Reflections" Issue Number The first and most important journal was Alexander Campbell's Christian Baptist. Campbell edited this journal from to Hughes believes that the editors of these journals wielded so much authority that they functioned much like bishops!
Campbell postulated two key doctrines: His followers tended to coalesce around one or the other of these themes.
So splits and disagreements were inevitable. His goal of restoration tended to be sectarian and exclusivist. Campbell himself shifted emphasis over his life. As he aged, he became more ecumenical, which could only have irritated the restorationist element within the movement. Stone on the other hand began very ecumenical but became somewhat more sectarian later.
The two men merged in the middle of their lives when their thinking was fairly similar. He himself was never baptized for remission of sins. Stone came to believe in the doctrine, but never insisted on it as a test for Chrsitian fellowship—arguing over and over that, "To denounce all not immersed as lost, and to cut them off from salvation, however holy and pious they may be, appears to dethrone charity and forbearance from the breast.
In trying to simplify the basic tenets of Christianity, Scott developed a short list of important concepts. The list actually had different configurations. An early configuration included: Hear the Gospel i. These became the "terms for admission" into the true Church of Christ. Alexander Campbell spoke of Scott as "the first successful proclaimer of this ancient gospel. He believed that people had taken his ideas too far. He felt the movement had become too sectarian and complained that many had become "theoretical to a hair-breadth, and proclaimers of water rather than of Christ," who "talk of baptism for the remission of sins, until every body is sick of it.
We are indeed 'a sect' differing but little, of anything that is good, from the parties around us. Here are some quotes: There has never been one. There will never be one De [sic] we mean that denominational people are not true Christians? We mean exactly that Do we contend that among all the millions of Baptists, Lutherans, Catholics, Methodists, Presbyterians, and other denominational people on the earth there is not even one single, solitary faithful Christian?
That is our contention. The turning point of division came in with the Sand Creek Declaration. With this declaration, the elders of some Churches of Christ pronounced the sentence of "spiritual death" upon sister congregations over which they held not the slightest degree of jurisdiction See chapter 12, Death of a Dream. Non-conformists were cut off without trial or appeal.
People in the condemned congregations were given the "deep freeze" treatment by even former friends, and were branded as "traitor, heretic and apostate. The doctrinal fights continued into the twentieth century. One major battle was over "millennial theories. It had already been established by the Church of Christ.
Premillennialists have largely been purged from the Church of Christ This purge was probably a correct thing to do, but for the wrong reasons Another huge issue has been the role of the Holy Spirit.
His trespass was to quote the New Testament that the Holy Spirit indwells the believer and is indeed active today.
Even though the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is mentioned some 7 times in the New Testament, there was no room for debate on this issue. Still another big issue is the one of instrumental music. My background includes 25 years in the Church of Christ. Wish I could have had this info during my time with them.
Faith Facts ministry specializes in theology, Christian evidences, world religions, and cults. We would like to get the opinion of Church of Christ folks on these matters in order to clarify your views, and if your views stand up to the Bible, to help put other Christians on the correct narrow way. Since you are so well versed in the Bible, would you be willing to give us answers for the hope that lies within you 1 Peter 3: Frankly, there are some things we find hard to understand and perhaps you can enlighten us.
Below is a list of questions that would help many understand your views on the Bible better. If your views have not been correctly given, please set the record straight. These questions and comments are rather tough and dig very deeply into the Bible and Church of Christ theology. You may have some difficulty with these questions. As mentioned, there is a very wide range of views within the Church of Christ. Some would be considered mainstream within Christianity.
Bible Questions for the Church of Christ
We are addressing these questions to those within the Church of Christ who refuse fellowship with non-Church of Christ groups. However, we are interested in the experience of anyone who may have knowledge of the Church of Christ and invite you to email us. So we hope you will give us your views on these things. These matters are truly important to millions of people who call themselves Christians; their eternal life in heaven or hell depends on understanding these things properly.
Spiritual truth is more important than "your pride or my pride.
Churches of Christ
Each number may actually contain more than one question. Please do not skip any questions and please read the links that are associated with the questions. The links are integral to the questions. Email them to mail faithfacts. We are appreciative of a few Church of Christ folks, including preachers, who have taken the time to answer a few of our questions.
But we still have many more questions that no one has been able to answer. May this dialogue be taken in love and not in scorn, that iron may sharpen iron. We claim no exclusive knowledge except as the Bible teaches. We always welcome our brothers' views. Top of page What is the Gospel? I had never heard that the gospel was actually something that God did for me. We fear that a non-believer visiting a Church of Christ and hearing that the "good news" is a list of things that they have to do, would not see it as good news.
Is it not ultimately found in the grace of God Acts According to Rom 1: Doesn't the Bible specifically separate baptism from the Gospel in 1 Cor 1: Our understanding is that a "gospel sermon" given by a Church of Christ preacher would be about the formula of what one must do to be saved: If you reject the claim made by Church of Christ preacher K. Didn't even the apostles have different opinions and emphases on doctrine; thus Peter said of Paul's teaching, "There are some things in them that are hard to understand.
Are you confusing law and gospel? The point of this section is that the gospel is something to be believed and is to be preached to non-believers. Leroy Garrett further clarifies what the gospel is: This is why Paul in 1 Cor 1: This is why he could refer to 'the defense and confirmation of the gospel,' for the gospel is one thing, while to defend it and confirm it are something else.
Do you preach the gospel Paul preached? Isn't the gospel described in 1 Cor Were you redeemed by your acts of obedience or by the precious blood of Jesus Christ 1 Pet 1: So what about the term obey the gospel Rom The word for obey that Paul uses in the first two of these verses is the Greek word hupakouo, which is defined in Strong's Concordance as "to hear under as a subordinatei.
Evangelist Joe Boyd, in a conversation with a Christian Church worker, was told that only way he could have his sins washed away would be to be baptized. Then he was also told that after baptism he would have to work in order to make to heaven, and that he could not be sure of heaven until the end of his life.
The Christian Church worker had no reply. To have complete assurance you were going to heaven in the Christian Church would be only possible if you drowned in the Baptistry. The Disciples' theology, when its central motif of the 'good life' is taken seriously, has no interest in the deity of Christ and considers the Trinity a metaphysical abstraction.
It is more than passing strange that among their voluminous writings the Disciples can point to no book dealing with this doctrine, except Barton Stone's early writings against it. Most any Bible version can be found in the Christian Churches.
Census II, pageby S. Christian Church and Churches of Christ believe that women can be pastors of Churches. Verses such as 2 Timothy 2: The Christian Church and Churches of Christ, however, do not believe the following verses forbid a woman from being pastor of a Church and preaching to and teaching men from the pulpit.
Christian Churches are openly a part of Local Ministerial Associations where different pastors believe in different methods or ways of salvation.
Summary Since its formation in the 's, Mead's Handbook notes, " While some of the Christian Churches are stagnant and dying, others The Independent Christian Churches seem to be growing in phenomenal leaps.
Mead's notes on page"In recent years, some of the Christian Church congregations have experienced enormous growth, reaching audiences of up to 20, worshippers. With multiple services and refreshments in between, and lots of 'contemporary music', many are attracted to the informal atmosphere. Instead of the normal 'midweek' service, many of these 'mega-churches' have 'cell groups' in which smaller groups meet, often in peoples' homes.
These "mega-churches" still hold to the basic doctrines of the Christian Church and Churches of Christ regarding Water Baptism as being necessary for remission of sins and rejecting the Unconditional Eternal Security that most Baptists hold to.
While the presence of a long-term professional minister has sometimes created "significant de facto ministerial authority" and led to conflict between the minister and the elders, the eldership has remained the "ultimate locus of authority in the congregation".
Churches of Christ hold to the priesthood of all believers. As a result, most divisions among Churches of Christ have been the result of "methodological" disputes.
These are meaningful to members of this movement because of the seriousness with which they take the goal of "restoring the form and structure of the primitive church".
The remaining congregations may be grouped into four categories which generally differ from the mainstream consensus in specific practices, rather than in theological perspectives, and tend to have smaller congregations on average.
This group is notable for opposing congregational support of institutions such as orphans homes and Bible colleges. Similarly, non-institutional congregations also oppose the use of church facilities for non-church activities such as fellowship dinners or recreation ; as such, they oppose the construction of "fellowship halls", gymnasiums, and similar structures.
In both cases, opposition is based on the belief that support of institutions and non-church activities are not proper functions of the local congregation. Approximately 2, congregations fall in this category.
The no Sunday School group generally overlaps with the "one-cup" group and may overlap with the "mutual edification" group as defined below. Another group opposes the use of multiple communion cups the term "one-cup" is often used, sometimes pejoratively as "one-cuppers", to describe this group ; there are approximately congregations in this group.