October 23, 2011
Some Facts About The Lord’s Church
We are continuing this extremely important series of articles for the benefit of the Lord’s people and those who are members of the denominations.
(6) The Lord’s congregation is not a denomination. How many times has someone asked you, “What denomination are you a member of?” Did you respond by saying “the church of Christ?” If so, you answered incorrectly. The church of Christ is not only not a denomination; it is anti-denominational. It opposes denominationalism because denominationalism is sinful and has no right to exist!
One of the definitions of denomination is, “an organized group of religious congregations.” (The American Heritage Dictionary, page 381) A denomination is smaller than the universal body of believers and larger than the local congregation. No such organization exists in the New Testament. The “church” in the New Testament consists of all the saved! Denominations were built by human beings. They are sustained by human laws. They are named after men and/or movements. Denominationalism is the result of division and dissatisfaction with God’s will. God’s word condemns religious division that results from people turning away from the teaching of the New Testament. (John 17:11, 20, 21; Romans 16:17-18)
(7) Members of the Lord’s congregation are called Christians in relation to their Lord. The “disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” (Acts 11:26) A Christian is a follower of Christ. He is the one we must follow. (1 Corinthians 11:1) He has all authority. (Matthew 28:18) He is the head of the assembly. (Ephesians 1:22-23) He is the lawgiver.(John 12:48-50) The names Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Seventh Day Adventist, Jehovah’s Witness, Episcopal, Roman Catholic, and Mormon are never used in the New Testament to describe the people of God. They are humanly authorized names and no one has the right to wear them in religion. Why would a person want to be identified by names that are not authorized by the word of God?
The Lord’s congregation is the only one that is right in the eyes of the God of heaven! Man-made religious societies are without divine sanction. They are not found on the pages of God’s word. There was a time when denominational preachers at least tried to justify their doctrines and practices. But that has largely changed. Yet, the Lord’s faithful people must move ahead.