Our Beliefs: FAQ
What is the Church of Christ?
The Church of Christ is the church that Jesus promised to build (Matthew 16:18). She goes all the way back to the New Testament (Romans 16:16). The name serves more as a description than a title. Broken down, it is easily understood. It is "church" (Greek word ekklesia) meaning "the called out;" "of" a preposition indicating ownership; "Christ" our Lord, Savior and Head. Thus it is the "called out group of people who belongs to Christ." Christ is indeed the head of His body, the church (Ephesians 1:22-23). Another term for the church is the kingdom (Matthew 16:18-19; Colossians 1:13). It is the body to which God adds those who are saved (Acts 2:47) and the body in which the saved serve God (Ephesians 5:25-27; Colossians 2:14).
Is the Church of Christ a denomination?
In a world where denominationalism is rampant, this question might seem silly, but not all churches are denominations. Jesus promised to build His church, not churches (Matthew 16:18). Furthermore, Paul stated that there is one body (Ephesians 4:4) and that the body is the church (Ephesians 1:22-23). Hence, God is not the author of denominationalism and He is not pleased with it. Jesus prayed for unity among all the believers (John 17:20-24). Paul condemned the Corinthians for their division and admonished them to "speak the same thing, and that there be no division among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and the same judgment" (1 Corinthians 1:10). This description of unity is a far cry from the situation we see around us today. There ought to be NO denominations! Such division is not the will of God. But how can we be unified? By throwing away the creed books and simply going by what the Bible says. That is what we are seeking to do, to follow the Bible as our only guide and thus be what they were in the first century, simply Christians!
What creed book does the Church of Christ use?
Our only guide is the Bible. We have no creed book because such is not needed if one's goal is to be a New Testament Christian. Creed books are written by man and cannot expound anything that God has not said. Also, the church has no earthly headquarters, but her headquarters are in heaven. There is no board to govern all of the congregations of the church, but each church is autonomous, being ruled by Christ as head, and overseen by elders (Acts 20:28).
Why do you not use mechanical instruments of music?
Because the New Testament does not authorize the use of them. Since the New Testament is our binding law (Colossians 2:14; Ephesians 2:15), we must base what we do in worship to God from that law. In the New Testament they just sang without mechanical instruments. Colossians 3:16 states, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts unto the Lord." The instrument that we are to use is our hearts and mouths, nothing else, lest we become like the Old Testament example of Nadab and Abihu who offered "strange fire before the Lord which He commanded them not" (Leviticus 10:1-3).
Why are Church of Christ preachers not called pastors?
The Church of Christ has pastors, but many times are called elders and serve a different function than most denominations. God has given strict guidelines for the organization of the church. He says that each local congregation of the church should have elders (Titus 1:5). These elders are sometimes called pastors or shepherds, elders or presbyters, and bishops or overseers. The elders were to meet certain qualifications such as being the husband of one wife, having faithful children, having a good reputation among those outside of the church (1 Timothy 3:1-7). Their God-given responsibilities include feeding and overseeing the flock (Acts 20:28). Also the church is to have deacons. These are men who have been chosen to serve in different areas of the work of the church and are to meet certain qualifications (1 Timothy 2:8-13). Also, congregations can have located preachers, (also called ministers or evangelists). A few examples of preachers in the New Testament are Epaphras and Timothy. Sometimes the preacher is also an elder, as was the case with Peter (1 Peter 5:1).
Why does the Church of Christ teach that one has to be baptized to be saved?
Because God says so! Jesus sent His apostles on the great commission and told them, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:16). Peter told those on the day of Pentecost in the first gospel sermon, "Repent, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of the Lord Jesus for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" (Acts 2:38). Ananias told Saul, "And now why tarriest thou, arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16). Paul said that all spiritual blessings are in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). He also described one gets into Christ. " For as many of you who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Galatians 3:27). Finally Peter said, "The like figure whereunto baptism doth also now save us..." (1 Peter 3:21). Baptism is essential to our salvation. Of course, baptism is ineffective unless preceded by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17), believing in Christ (John 8:24), repenting of sins (Acts 17:30), confessing Christ (Acts 8:37). Afterward, we must continue to live faithful for the rest of our lives (Revelation 2:10).