bits from bob....

Who Are the Churches of Christ?

by Robert J. Young
February 18, 2004
©, 2004, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]
Note: Several years ago while I was preaching in Michigan, I became acquainted with a tract written by an anonymous author. The tract was entitled, "Who Are We?" That writing was edited and included in a tract we published at the Holmes Road church of Christ. The edited tract has been reedited for this article with a slightly changed title. Some of the wording of the original writing has undoubtedly been retained. If anyone knows the author of the original piece, I would be pleased to give credit.--Bob Young

We are a free independent, self-governing congregation under Christ alone as Head, drawn together for worship and service by our common faith in Christ. We are free to study, teach and work as our conscience directed by the Bible dictates. We are not only free from any denominational control or obligation, we are free in that only those who choose to be are members. In this unique vision of uniting all whose loyalty is to Christ, we deplore the religious divisions of our day and pray that all who profess Christ will lay aside humanly devised barriers and come to the unity of the faith that is Christ. We pray that the Lord will break down walls of partition and that the world will believe that God sent Him.

We want to wear only the name of Christ even though we have not attained everything that name represents. In our weaknesses and sins, we are called together in fellowship with Christ and one another to supply one another's needs mutually. We recognize our weakness and rely on His strength. As Christ our Head chastens and redeems us, he also uses us to promote His kingdom on earth by serving and proclaiming the Good News.

In our work and worship we seek to follow the Bible precisely. We celebrate the Lord's Supper each Sunday; our prayers, largely spontaneous, are intended to seek power and not just as a part of the worship program. Following the practice of the early church, our music is a simple offering to God the fruit of our lips in song. The proclamation of Scripture is prominent in our worship for God always speaks in Christian worship and his people must be attuned to hear. Because giving is a symbol of our dedication of all we have and are, we strive to give liberally and proportionately to God's blessings, recognizing that giving is a matter of the individual heart.

Acceptance to the congregation is by baptism or by transfer of membership by baptized believers from other congregations. Those who are not Christians are taught to believe in Jesus Christ wholeheartedly, to repent of sin, to confess faith in Christ, and to be buried with Christ in baptism for the remission of sins, as is taught in the New Testament. Only believers are baptized, and thus we do not practice infant baptism, although we encourage parents to accept the responsibility of dedicating and nurturing their children in faith. As baptism in the early church was immersion, symbolizing both the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and the death of the believer to sin and self, the burial of the old person and resurrection to a new life, that is also our practice.

Our marching orders are the Lord's last words to take the gospel to the whole world. Our hope is His everlasting kingdom and the resurrection of the dead. Our message, whether in missions, evangelism, or showing compassion, is "Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (1 Cor. 2:2). We pray the Father for more laborers in His vineyard here that we may serve Him better, reach out to our world more, and love one another always.

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Last updated February 18, 2004.