|CHURCH OF CHRIST
CHURCH OF CHRIST
Mac Lyon (Search TV)
The Search T.V. Ministry had this article on the front of the March bulletin. Apparently, a local congregation has decided to no longer be called “Church of Christ,” perhaps because they no longer teach the things they once did? They sent a letter to the Search TV Ministry and the article is in response to that letter. The note and Mac Lyon’s article are as follows:
(From the mail: Please take us off your mailing list. It would be a waste to send us any more of your materials. We are no longer a Church of Christ.)
“Church of Christ” is not a name. It describes a possession. Christ’s church was built by Christ (Matt. 16:18). The church of Christ consists of people who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ (I Peter 1:18). Thus the Scripture says that He (Christ) “purchased the church with His own blood” (Acts 20:28). Christ, then, is the builder andpurchaser of the church you read about in your Bible. He bought it and built it, therefore it is His as a possession. It is the church belonging to Christ and He is the head of it (Eph. 1:22-23).
A church of Christ is a spiritual temple in which every redeemed (saved) person is a living stone (I Pet. 2:4), and Jesus Christ is the corner stone (Eph. 2:21). Each of those living stones was added to it by Christ the builder when that person became saved (Acts 2:47). We can be sure, then, that all the saved are in it. No saved person is left out.
Before the days of radio and television some denominations had other ways of raising money from the unsaved to do their work. It was a common practice for them to go up and down the streets asking merchants to contribute to the erection of their buildings.
The story was told that one man solicited a merchant who promised to give a considereble sum if when the building was completed, they would put a sign on it that said, “THIS IS A CHURCH OF CHRIST.” To which the solicitor responded, “Oh, no! We couldn’t do that! Because, you see, it is NOT a church of Christ!”
“All right,” agreed the friendly merchant, “I’ll still give you the money if when it is completed, you will put a sign on it that says, THIS IS NOT A CHURCH OF CHRIST.”
This seems to be the dilemma in which some churches are finding themselves nowadays, who no longer want to be a church of Christ. They probably know better than anybody whether they belong to Christ or want to be known in the community as belonging to Christ.
Every congregation should persistently strive toward being the kind of church described in the New Testament as being the church of Christ’s. However, if there is a congregation that is not striving toward that and would rather not be known in the community as the Lord’s people, redeemed by His blood and subject to His authority, they should do as the church who notified us: stop deceiving the people, pick up their toys, stay at home and stop playing church, because whatever else they do doesn’t really matter.
To use “Church of Christ” as a name is but to denominationalize the congregation. (To denominate means to divide and name.) But to fail to recognize “church of Christ” as an indication of the possession of Christ is to deny the Lord. Shame on some who only pretend to be Christians.
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