CHURCH OF CHRIST EXPOSED!
Comment from webmaster of Jesus-is-Savior.com...
The Church of Christ [COC] Religion is straight out of the pits of Hell. They teach that water baptism is absolutely essential to go to heaven. This is the same damnable heresy which Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism teaches.
About the Churches of Christ...
Official Website - www.disciples.org [for Disciples of Christ (Christian Church)] which is the more liberal branch of the Christian Church. It's headquarters are in Indianapolis, IN. with membership of 834,000 in 1999.
During this Century, Independent Christian Churches broke away from the Liberal trend of the 'Disciples of Christ' branch, and each mostly has its own website. These are some of the fastest growing churches in the United States today, with such dynamic mega churches as SOUTHEAST CHRISTIAN CHURCH in Louisville, Ky with nearly 20,000 members! They have the same general doctrinal beliefs as Disciples of Christ and other Christian Churches, but have a dynamic 'SEEKER-FRIENDLY approach that is attracting multitudes to their churches.
Churches of Christ broke away in 1906 from the Christian Churches because they believed musical instruments should not be used in church. Their website is www.swv.net/christ'n (unofficial) and their headquarters are in Cincinnati, OH. and have about 1.5 Million membership in 2000.
BACKGROUND AND FORMATION
According to Mead's Handbook of Denominations (11th Ed.) on page 103, the Christian Church had its beginnings in the early 1800's:
"Thomas Campbell (1763-1854) was a Scottish Presbyterian who left his church in Ireland to come to western Pennsylvania in 1807. Campbell was convinced that the historical creeds and confessions of the church were a source of Christian division rather than union.......his view led to a censure from the Presbyterians in 1809...."
Mead's continues on p104,
"Campbell's son, Alexander (1788-1866), was less scholarly than his father, but more dynamic and consistent in his application for his father's principles. He convinced Thomas (his father) that infant baptism was not Christian, and in 1812 all of the Campbells were immersed by a local Baptist minister. However, even the Baptists were not Biblical enough for the Campbells...."
So the Campbells left the Baptists and later joined with Barton Stone and Walter Scott and formed what they called the 'Restoration Movement', ie, they were 'restoring' the Church back to its original pattern, since...in their estimation...every body else was wrong. Mead's lists the founding date of the Christian Church, also called "Disciples of Christ", as 1832. Based upon the premise of 'having no creed but the Bible', the Christian Church became 'one of the first independent denominations to be born in the United States.' (Mead, p104)
In the year 1906 some broke away over the issue of musical instruments in worship services and called themselves 'CHURCHES OF CHRIST'. Churches of Christ believed musical instruments should not be used in Worship services, but the Christian Church believes musical instruments in worship services are indeed Biblical. In 1968, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) organized nationally and had its headquarters based in Dallas, Texas.
Brief Summary of Distinguishing Beliefs
Independent Christian Churches and Churches of Christ have held to historic, orthodox views on the Bible, God, the Trinity, and Jesus, but the Disciples of Christ group has become very liberal and most do not even believe in hell.
The distinguishing doctrine or teaching of the Christian Church and Churches of Christ is that of WATER BAPTISM.
In his booklet, Christian Baptism, p531, Campbell states the Prima Dona Doctrine of The Restoration Movement and the Christian Church and Churches of Christ:
"Remission of sins cannot be enjoyed by any person before immersion."
The Christian Church and Churches of Christ believe that water baptism is essential to salvation and getting to Heaven.
Founder Alexander Campbell wrote in his THE HARBINGER EXTRA in this article "REMISSION OF SINS", unequivocally,
"Immersion is the converting act.......immersion and regeneration are two Bible names for the same act"...
In the Campbell-Rice Debate on page 556, it states, "Millions of ages to come, there will be millions in paradise who will be delighted to revert to (recall and point to) some river, pool, or fountain, in which they put on Christ and vowed eternal allegiance to Him."
F.E. Mayer in his Comprehensive of Handbook THE RELIGIOUS BODIES OF AMERICA on page 384 quotes CHRISTIAN BAPTISM by F.D. Kershner (Commission on Christian Union of the Disciples of Christ):
"Baptism by immersion is an act of obedience to Christ, and as such is necessary for the remission of sins and salvation."
Mayer cites Christian Church writer S. J. Corey on page 383 of RELIGIOUS BODIES IN AMERICA,
"Baptism is for the remission of sins; together with faith and repentance it constitutes the condition upon which God will grant remission (or regeneration), the gift of the Holy Spirit, and eternal life." (Census II, page 542 by S. J. Corey)
He continues, "According to most Disciples, Baptism is one of the three indispensable acts which determine one membership in the one holy catholic Church. Baptism by immersion is an act of obedience to Christ, and as such it is necessary for the remission of sins and salvation." (Religious Bodies of America, F. E. Mayer, page 384)
Mayer quotes Walter Scott on page 377 as Scott gives the 5 steps to being saved and receiving Eternal Life:
1. Hearing and accepting the evidence for Christ's Messiahship;
2. Repentance of personal and actual sin;
3. submission to Baptism as the condition for:
4. God's Liberation from the guilt, penalty, and dominion of sin and for:
5. God's bestowal of the Holy Spirit and eternal life.
Here we see clearly Scott's portrayal the Christian Church teaching that the Holy Spirit and Eternal Life is received only after one's submission to Baptism.
The LaPorte Church of Christ s directed by Pastor Peter J. Peters, a false prophet. As with all Church of Christ followers, Peters espouses a false salvation by water baptism, forsaking of sinful lifestyle, mandatory confession of Christ to others, et cetera. In sharp contrast, the Bible teaches that a man's faith is COUNTED for righteousness (Romans 4:5). Salvation is solely by faith in the Lord. We are saved by Christ's righteousness (2nd Corinthians 5:21; Matthew 6:33; Romans 10:3-4). And a good thing, for we have no self-righteousness to offer God (Isaiah 64:6). Acts 10:43 says that our sins are forgiven by simple faith in Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus proclaimed that He is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). Peters is a heretic! COC is straight out of the pits of Hell.
The Christian Church and Churches of Christ do not believe in the unconditional Security of the Believer and reject 'Once Saved, Always Saved' teaching.
They believe salvation can be lost. The Christian Church believes we are saved by grace, BUT we work and remain faithful to the Lord in order to finally make it to heaven some day. Otherwise one can 'backslide' and be lost and end up in hell after trusting Christ and being baptized. However, if one loses salvation and comes back to Christ, he amazingly does not have to be baptized again.
Christian Churches and Churches of Christ do not believe one can have assurance and KNOW he is going to heaven.
Evangelist Joe Boyd, in a conversation with a Christian Church worker, was told that only way he could have his sins washed away would be to be baptized. Then he was also told that after baptism he would have to work in order to make to heaven, and that he could not be sure of heaven until the end of his life. "In other words, commented Brother Boyd, "you're telling me that the only way that I could ever be SURE of getting to heaven would be for you to baptize me and then DROWN me in the baptistry! Is that right? The Christian Church worker had no reply. To have complete assurance you were going to heaven in the Christian Church would be only possible if you drowned in the Baptistry.
The Christian Church and The Churches of Christ and the Doctrine of the Trinity
Mayer in his RELIGIOUS BODIES IN AMERICA states on page 381,
"There seems to be no doubt that not a few Disciples have repudiated not only the term Trinity, but also the doctrine.....The Disciples' theology, when its central motif of the 'good life' is taken seriously, has no interest in the deity of Christ and considers the Trinity a metaphysical abstraction. It is more than passing strange that among their voluminous writings the Disciples can point to no book dealing with this doctrine, except (Barton) Stone's early writings against it."
The Christian Churches and Churches of Christ use and promote the use of the NEWER BIBLE VERSIONS and reject the idea of the King James Bible being superior to the other newer versions.
Most any Bible version can be found in the Christian Churches.
Christian Churches and Communion (the Lord's Supper)
Christian Churches practice communion (the Lord's Supper) every week on Sunday, not as a sacrament, but as a memorial. (Census II, page 542, by S. J. Corey) In the past, many Disciples practice using one common cup at the communion service.
Christian Church and Churches of Christ believe that women can be pastors of Churches.
Verses such as 2 Timothy 2:12 and 1 Timothy 3:2 are held by many Protestant Bodies to teach that God forbids women from being pastors of Churches and teaching adult men from the Pulpit. The Christian Church and Churches of Christ, however, do not believe the following verses forbid a woman from being pastor of a Church and preaching to and teaching men from the pulpit.
1 Timothy 2:12,
"But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence."
1 Timothy 3:2,
"A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife,
The Christian Church do not believe these verses do not apply for today.
THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH AND CHURCHES OF CHRIST CONCERNING THE CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT AND SPEAKING IN TONGUES
History seems to indicate that much phenomena of the current Charismatic Movement was found in the early days of the Restoration Movement of the Christian Church and Disciples of Christ. Mayer in his RELIGIOUS BODIES OF AMERICA states on page 373,
"(Barton) Stone became the moving spirit in the Kentucky Revival (in 1801 in Cane Ridge, Kentucky, about 30 miles northeast of Frankfurt, Kentucky), and which for its religious frenzy, and its 'Holy exercises' is unique in Revivalism"
In the footnotes Mayer quotes several sources describing these 'Holy exercises': "These phenomena, known as religious exercises, were 'holy jerks' or 'shakes' (terrific bodily contortions as evidence of the devil's presence), 'holy barkings' (simulating the barking of a dog when it has treed its prey), incessant laughter followed by complete exhaustion."
Christian Churches today do not restrict people with the 'Charismatic Gifts' and allow great freedom in their worship services for people use their 'gifts' of tongues, holy laughter, shakes, barking, etc.
While Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) are very ecumenical and members of the World Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches, the Churches of Christ and Independent Christian Churches are not.
Christian Churches are openly a part of Local Ministerial Associations where different pastors believe in different methods or ways of salvation. They openly promote such ecumenical ventures such as PROMISE KEEPERS, are members of the radical NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES and THE WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES. In last WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCH gathering, prayer was led to the 'Goddess Sophia'........
Since its formation in the 1800's, Mead's Handbook notes, "....differences arose among Restorationists, and over time, distinct fellowships emerged..."
The Christian Church Movement offers an interesting observation. While some of the Christian Churches are stagnant and dying, others (The Independent Christian Churches) seem to be growing in phenomenal leaps.
Mead's notes on page 110,
"In recent years, some of the Christian Church congregations have experienced enormous growth, reaching audiences of up to 20,000 worshippers."
In fact, several of these 'Christian Churches' have become 'Mega-Churches' with tremendous crowds. Many of these Mega-Christian Churches have adapted the 'Seeker-Friendly' approach to church growth and offer 'Christian Rock' with complete band and musicians on stage, instead of the regular 'piano and organ'; 'Praise music' instead of the traditional hymns and hymnbooks; Casual and informal worship service replacing the more formal worship service; Casual dress is the norm; Drama and skits play a major role in the worship service, with participation from old and young alike. With multiple services and refreshments in between, and lots of 'contemporary music', many are attracted to the informal atmosphere. Instead of the normal 'midweek' service, many of these 'mega-churches' have 'cell groups' in which smaller groups meet, often in peoples' homes.
These "mega-churches" still hold to the basic doctrines of the Christian Church and Churches of Christ regarding Water Baptism as being necessary for remission of sins and rejecting the Unconditional Eternal Security that most Baptists hold to. etc.
Churches of Christ are unique in that they do not use musical instruments at all and only use acapella singing (a far extreme from the Christian Rock music found in the Independent Christian 'Mega-Churches'!)
Churches of Christ are also unique in that they do not take a literal view of the Book of Revelation, but rather take a figurative view of the last book of the Bible.
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