Who are We?
The church of Christ in Brookings
was established in 1961.
(This article used by permission,
The Spiritual Sword, Volume 30, October 1998, No. 1, published by
Church of Christ, Memphis, Tennessee)
The church of Christ
of Christ is different from every other religious institution on the face
of the earth. Jesus promised to build his church (Matt. 16:18), and
on the day of Pentecost it became a reality (Acts 2:37~47). The church
is comprised of the saved (Eph. 5:23). Individuals are added to the
church by the Lord when they are obedient unto his word (Acts 2:47). New
Testament Christians do not join a denomination, subscribe to a human creed,
or wear a sectarian name. They are simply members of the church, Christians,
children of God, citizens of the kingdom, and a part of the bride of Christ
(Acts 11:26; Rom. 8:16; Eph. 2:19; Rom. 7:14; Eph. 5:25).
the church is different:
church of Christ is different from atheism due to its faith in God.
A theist is one who believes in God. The word, theist is derived from
theos, the Greek word for God. The Greeks negated a word by putting
the letter a before it (known as the alpha privative). Therefore,
if a theist is a believer in God, an atheist is one who does not believe
in God. The Psalmist said, The
fool hath said in his heart, There is no God
(Psa. 14:1). In the New Testament it is said: For every house is builded by some
man; but he that built all things is God
(Heb. 3:4). When David looked into the heavens, he saw evidence for
the existence of God. He said, when I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers,
the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained.. .0 Lord our Lord, how
excellent is thy name in all the earth!
(Psa. 8:3, 9). He also exclaimed, The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament
showeth his handy work (Psa.
19:1). The church differs from atheism, therefore, because we believe
in the God revealed in the Bible.
2. The church of Christ is different
from paganism because of our belief in one God. Throughout the heathen
world there were many gods, as there are today in pagan cultures. Paul
stated that there are gods
many, and lords many, yet
to us there
is but one God, the father of whom are all things, and we in hirn; and one
Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him (I Cot 8:5~6). When Paul visited Athens,
he found a city wholly
given to idolatry (Acts 17:16).
In his great oration on Mars Hill the apostle declared unto
the people the one true God, stating: God that made the world and all things herein, seeing
that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands.
For in him we live, and move, and have our being
(Acts 17:22~31). Paul did not simply declare some deity to them; he
revealed the Lord of heaven and earth. The church is different from
paganism because of our belief in the one God revealed by the apostles and
3. The church of Christ is different
from Judaism because of our belief in Jesus as the Son of God. Judaism
believes in God and even believes in the one true God. The Jews stood
in contrast to those who believed in pagan deities as they cried out, Hear, 0 Israel: The Lord our God
is one Lord (Deut. 6:4). But
the Old Testament is also rich with prophecies of the Messiah. In Isaiah
53, we read: But
he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:
The chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are
healed. Jesus tasted death
for every man (Heb. 2:9). Jesus himself said, I am the way, the truth, and the
life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me
(John 14:6). Faith in the Son is a requirement for salvation. The
apostle John stated: He
that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not
the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him (John 3:36). We honor the confession
made by the apostle Peter: Thou
art the Christ, the Son of the living God
(Matt. 16:16). The church of Christ is different from Judaism in our
faith in Christ as the Son of God.
4. The church of Christ is different
from Catholicism in our belief that there is only one mediator between God
and man. Paul wrote to Timothy, For there is one God, and one mediator between God
and men, the man Christ Jesus
(I Tim. 2:5). There is just one God, and there is just one mediator.
In The Faith of Millions, Roman Catholic priest John A. OBrien
tells us that the priest offers up again the same sacrifice of adoration
and atonement which Christ offered on Calvary. No wonder that the
name which spiritual writers are especially fond of applying to the priest
is that of alter Christus. For the priest is and should be another
Christ. To assert that any man on earth can occupy the place of Christ
and serve as mediator between God and man is irreverent and sinful. But
there is more. In The Glories of Mary by Alfonzo DeLiguori, this Catholic
writer said: And there is no doubt that, on account of the merits
of Jesus, the great privilege has been granted to Mary to be the mediatrix
of our salvation.. .St. Lawrence Justinian also says: Can she be otherwise
than full of grace, who has been made the ladder of paradise, the gate of
heaven, the most true mediatrix between God and man? The Bible does
not teach that the priest is another Christ or that Mary is
the true mediatrix between God and man. The church of Christ
is different from Catholicism in our belief that there is one mediator between
God and man, Christ Jesus.
5. The church of Christ is different
from denominationalism in our regard for the authority of the scriptures.
Denominationalism has its creeds, manuals, and confessions of
faith. One cannot join a denomination by following the Bible. It
takes something in addition to the Bible to make one a member of a denomination~the
Bible plus the discipline, the Bible plus the manual, or the Bible plus
the catechism. The Bible only makes Christians only. The church
of Christ stands out in bold contrast to denominationalism in its recognition
of the Bible as our guide and authority. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of
God (I Pet. 4:11). And whatsoever ye do in word [teaching]
or deed [practice], do all in the name (by the authority) of the Lord Jesus (Col. 3:17). We endeavor to speak where
the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent. The church
of Christ is different from the denominational world because of our reliance
upon book, chapter, and verse from the word of God for our teaching and
The body of Christ is unique in the religious
world. There is none like it. We believe in a restoration of
the New Testament ideal. We are striving to believe, teach, and practice
that which was revealed in the first century. If any person is weary
of human dogmas, let him throw off the yoke of bondage and obey the simple
gospel message which is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16).
-- EDITOR [Alan E. Highers,