Baptists vs. Church of Christ

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by chargrove, Feb 13, 2004.

  1. chargrove

    chargrove
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    Okay, I guess I'm just not too enlightened about this, but what is the difference in theology between Baptists and Church of Christ'ers??? It seems to be very prevalent in Texas and they are such fine people...what makes them go to their churches and us go to ours instead???
     
  2. Debby in Philly

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    I found this on their website:

    Churches of Christ - who are we?

    Looks like they only sing a capella, and include baptism in the list of salvation requirements. Or at least that's what I get out of it.
     
  3. Ed Edwards

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    The rumor is that the first "Church of Christ"
    was founded by a local Baptist church
    that read it's Bible. They noted that
    the Bible teaches the church could be
    called the "Church of Christ". So they
    forumlated a doctrine that only members
    of the Church of Christ are saved.
    So the Baptists that they were are all
    lost. Well, i've got a problem with those
    who say i'm lost, cause i'm saved.
    So i quit speaking to them and they quit
    speaking to me. And i'm married to
    a Church Organist and the New Testament doesn't
    say nothing about insturments so they
    don't have them in their church.
    Well, strain at a knat and swollow a camel,
    the Bible doesn't mention getting your
    Dodge Pick-up on a four-lane highway
    and driving to church, so I'm a thinking
    that all athe CoC's that do that are
    overlooking something :confused:

    There are, of course, several groups
    known as the Church of Christ who
    disfellowshiped each other. Sigh!

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Dina

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    My *limited* exposure to the Church of Christ is that they are based on Acts.

    From Acts they got the idea that Baptism is fundamental to salvation.


    Had a friend who was very big into the CoC, he invited DH and I to a revival they had in Dallas when we were living there. Disagreed with that core belief, but came out of the revival with a great play called Upside Down.
     
  5. KenH

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    Also, as an ex-Church of Christ member I will add that they have the Lord's Supper each Sunday, must have a plurality of elders, the minister is under the oversight of the eldership, only men can be elders, deacons, or ministers.
     
  6. rsr

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    The Church of Christ originated in the Campbell-Stone movement of the early 19th century. Both of the founders were of Presbyterian stock, but the movement rejected denominationalism and sought to return to the example of the New Testament Church.

    Alexander Campbell was, for a short time, a Baptist and recieved baptism by a Baptist. But the union was contentious; it split apart many Baptist associations and churches and led to a lasting bitterness that is still with us.

    The movement eventually split into three parts: the Disciples of Christ (which maintains the ecumenical outlook of the movement), the Christian Church and the Churches of Christ (which are the movement's nominal equivalent of the Primitive Baptists.)

    Generalizing about the Church of Christ can be a bit dangerous. At one time, the CoC had no paid pastors and had only a capella music. They also held to a form of baptismal regeneration, and I have known some to hold to a sacramental view of the Lord's Supper — which is valid only if taken with a single cup.

    Today there are many churches that adhere to the traditional model, but some churches have adopted paid staff and instrumental music and have rejected baptismal regeneration and are, well, almost Arminian Baptists. (Calvinism was never a part of the Stone-Campbell Restoration movement, which set them apart from Baptists.)

    Max Lucado's Oak Hills Church in San Antonio is a prime example.
     
  7. biblemark

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    My sister is involved in a CoC and they have instrumental music and such, but their Pastor is very uninspiring in his delivery.

    She also believes our family is not saved because our baptisms were not done with the right reason and understanding. She was raised in a Baptist denomination, but then became a troubled teen and a run away. After getting her into a Christian boarding home, things got better, but she then discovered and adhered to CoC.

    When questioned about salvation being a requirement for salvation, she says that it is not, but that one is also unabled to be saved uless they are baptised with the proper understanding of baptism's place. Her statement makes no sense to me and sounds like double-talk, yet she is conviced in her spirit that she is the only family member who has been "properly" baptised, and the rest of our family is damned.

    Perhaps someone can help me better understand how baptism is not required, yet one can not be a saved Christian without being "properly" baptised? Is this some different branch of the CoC, or is she also not really understanding their doctrine?
     
  8. gb93433

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    Some of the former First Baptist Churchs are now Church of Christ churches. Max Lucado's church is Church of Christ. The pastor of the GARB church where I live is liberal. The pastor interprets correctly but preaches the Bible as myth. Nowadays within denominations there can be quite a variety. I would tend to take a look at the specific church.
     
  9. Dave Taylor

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    My wife grew-up C-squared (Church of Christ) and I grew up Southern Baptist.

    Because of here family, I have attended quite a few CC services, but she moved to being a Baptist just before we got married about 12 years ago.

    I will comment that CC are far and away most closely to Baptists churches than any other denomination I have been around, both in style of service and doctrines. If you are baptist, and you go to a CC, you won't feel akward or out of place.

    That being said,
    Here are the things I have noticed as difference.

    1) No Music Instruments- all accapello
    (Except the Song Leader gets to 'toot' in a harmonic before each song)

    No big deal difference, just a 'tradition' of worship style.

    2) CC take the Lord's Supper more often than Baptists. (Again, no big-deal here either)

    3) CC generally believe that physical water baptism is a required action that must be taken before salvation can occur. They trouble over the theif on the cross and bed-ridden 11th hour salvation and stuff like that in regards to baptism.

    This is one of the bigger deals, because it leads to the 'works based' salvation arguement where some believe CC 'must' do water baptism to be saved; and Baptist agree one should, but in some cases it isn't possible and its ok.

    4) CC will do the baptism immediately following an invitation where someone has gone forward; baptists will sometimes put it off a few weeks for various reasons.

    Not that big a deal.

    5) Fall from Grace aka Lose your Salvation. Some CC really are strict on the idea that you must always be asking repentance and seeking to do good works; or you could fall away and lose your salvation. Baptists generally believe that once true salvation is received; it won't get lost...this gets into the OSAS debate; and how falling away verses being saved in the first place get defined.

    From my memory, those 5 things are the predominate differences, and most of them are petty; while some can get pretty heated.

    Someone above mentioned their organization structure, but again, it isn't much different than baptists. They seem to go the 'elder' route, where baptists tends to stick everyone on a committee.

    Hope this helps.
     
  10. Dave Taylor

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    My wife grew-up C-squared (Church of Christ) and I grew up Southern Baptist.

    Because of here family, I have attended quite a few CC services, but she moved to being a Baptist just before we got married about 12 years ago.

    I will comment that CC are far and away most closely to Baptists churches than any other denomination I have been around, both in style of service and doctrines. If you are baptist, and you go to a CC, you won't feel akward or out of place.

    That being said,
    Here are the things I have noticed as difference.

    1) No Music Instruments- all accapello
    (Except the Song Leader gets to 'toot' in a harmonic before each song)

    No big deal difference, just a 'tradition' of worship style.

    2) CC take the Lord's Supper more often than Baptists. (Again, no big-deal here either)

    3) CC generally believe that physical water baptism is a required action that must be taken before salvation can occur. They trouble over the theif on the cross and bed-ridden 11th hour salvation and stuff like that in regards to baptism.

    This is one of the bigger deals, because it leads to the 'works based' salvation arguement where some believe CC 'must' do water baptism to be saved; and Baptist agree one should, but in some cases it isn't possible and its ok.

    4) CC will do the baptism immediately following an invitation where someone has gone forward; baptists will sometimes put it off a few weeks for various reasons.

    Not that big a deal.

    5) Fall from Grace aka Lose your Salvation. Some CC really are strict on the idea that you must always be asking repentance and seeking to do good works; or you could fall away and lose your salvation. Baptists generally believe that once true salvation is received; it won't get lost...this gets into the OSAS debate; and how falling away verses being saved in the first place get defined.

    From my memory, those 5 things are the predominate differences, and most of them are petty; while some can get pretty heated.

    Someone above mentioned their organization structure, but again, it isn't much different than baptists. They seem to go the 'elder' route, where baptists tends to stick everyone on a committee.

    Hope this helps.
     
  11. Dave Taylor

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    My wife grew-up C-squared (Church of Christ) and I grew up Southern Baptist.

    Because of here family, I have attended quite a few CC services, but she moved to being a Baptist just before we got married about 12 years ago.

    I will comment that CC are far and away most closely to Baptists churches than any other denomination I have been around, both in style of service and doctrines. If you are baptist, and you go to a CC, you won't feel akward or out of place.

    That being said,
    Here are the things I have noticed as difference.

    1) No Music Instruments- all accapello
    (Except the Song Leader gets to 'toot' in a harmonic before each song)

    No big deal difference, just a 'tradition' of worship style.

    2) CC take the Lord's Supper more often than Baptists. (Again, no big-deal here either)

    3) CC generally believe that physical water baptism is a required action that must be taken before salvation can occur. They trouble over the theif on the cross and bed-ridden 11th hour salvation and stuff like that in regards to baptism.

    This is one of the bigger deals, because it leads to the 'works based' salvation arguement where some believe CC 'must' do water baptism to be saved; and Baptist agree one should, but in some cases it isn't possible and its ok.

    4) CC will do the baptism immediately following an invitation where someone has gone forward; baptists will sometimes put it off a few weeks for various reasons.

    Not that big a deal.

    5) Fall from Grace aka Lose your Salvation. Some CC really are strict on the idea that you must always be asking repentance and seeking to do good works; or you could fall away and lose your salvation. Baptists generally believe that once true salvation is received; it won't get lost...this gets into the OSAS debate; and how falling away verses being saved in the first place get defined.

    From my memory, those 5 things are the predominate differences, and most of them are petty; while some can get pretty heated.

    Someone above mentioned their organization structure, but again, it isn't much different than baptists. They seem to go the 'elder' route, where baptists tends to stick everyone on a committee.

    Hope this helps.
     
  12. pinoybaptist

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    Seems like they want heaven on earth now, pronto, a hora mismo !!

    A body of Christ where there are no divisions as to doctrine, practices, etc., can only exist in heaven where there are no tears, no pain, no hunger, no thirst, no sin, no Satan to divide and rule, or at least try to.
     
  13. fcs25

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    Isn't it funny that 1900yrs after the apostles and Christ lived a new denomination will pop into existence and claim to be the only true church.If tradition and history equal the truth then the only church that has existed for 2000yrs is the Catholic faith.Is that why 20000+ protestant denominations exist but only one Catholic church does?
     
  14. DHK

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    This was posted in the Other Religions forum some time ago by someone who had visited one of the Churches of Christ.

    The Rules & Pattern of the Church of Christ

    1 It must be noted immediately that this list is not to be construed as a written creed. No statement of beliefs or rules outside the Bible itself is permitted. However, it will be permitted that such lists of beliefs or rules shall be allowed if written in a church bulletin or other published material provided that such is clearly designated as not being a written creed. This list is here shared merely as a convenience and with the understanding that there is really no need for such since all these rules are to be found in a clear and unmistakable form scattered throughout the pages of the collected books of the New Testament. It is also to be believed that anyone who truly loves God and the truth will easily find these exact rules and consequently obey.

    2 By Scriptural definition (and for the purpose of applying these rules), a Christian is one who has done the following five acts of salvation (and in this order): hear, believe, repent, confess (a “Yes” response to the question “Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God?” shall be construed as a valid confession), and be baptized. Of the several purposes and benefits of baptism, one must know that baptism is “for the remission of sins” in order for God to consider it a valid baptism.

    3 A person who has completed the above five acts of salvation, but who comes to doubt the validity of their baptism (perhaps later thinking that he/she did not fully understand the primary purpose), shall be baptized again. One of the following scenarios must be adopted: 1) that the entire previous life of the person in question shall be considered as one outside of Christ and separated from God, thus only now becoming a new child of God; or, 2) that the person in question is being rebaptized “just in case”. In this instance, it shall be assumed that the person is doing so with the knowledge that baptism is generally “for the remission of sins”, even though he/she has may not be sure if such cleansing is really needed. Regardless, any rebaptism shall be preceded with the standard ritual of confession (one’s previous life as an apparent believing Christian shall not suffice as meeting this requirement).

    4 The Bible shall be considered as the standard of authority for every spiritual matter. It shall be interpreted using the approved method of “command, example, and necessary inference”. Silence of the Scriptures on any matter is to be construed as a forbiddance of such. However, this rule shall not be applied to matters considered to be helpful in obeying any other commands (such as church buildings and their necessary furnishings, etc.).

    5 Congregations shall name themselves according to the following guidelines: 1) the name shall be one that is found in Scripture and has within it the name of God or Christ (it shall be permitted that Paul’s use of the term “churches of Christ” in referring to various congregations may be used as a formal name and amended to “Church of Christ”); and, 2) the name may be preceded with a location description, that being the location of the church building, not necessarily the location of the church itself.

    6 All those congregations who use the same generic name (excluding the location part of the name) and uniformly subscribe to these rules shall be considered as “the brotherhood”; no other Christian (one who has believed and been baptized but does not subscribe to one or more of these rules) shall be considered as being a part of “the brotherhood”.

    7 Individual members of the church may be called by several different names that are found in Scripture (“disciples”, “saints”, “children of God”), but “Christian” is the preferred designation.

    8 The church shall gather every first day of the week for worship. (Note: Most calendars have Sunday as the first day of the week. Cultures whose calendars are different will have to decide whether to observe Sunday or their first day of the week; no further help here is given in making that decision.)

    9 The worship service shall consist of the following five acts of worship: praying, singing, giving, partaking of the Lord’s Supper, and preaching. The reading of Scripture shall also be considered as acceptable since it relates to preaching. No other acts (such as lighting candles, dramatic presentations or readings, etc.) shall be allowed in the service other than the following exceptions: making of announcements, recognizing of families who wish to place membership with the congregation, giving of Bibles to graduates or other special people, or other such special activities that shall be deemed as appropriate for the worship service.

    10 It is permissible for congregations to have salaried preachers and other paid employees (such as youth ministers, education ministers, secretaries, janitors, etc.).

    11 Acceptable designations for preachers shall be the following: “ministers”, “evangelists”, or “gospel preachers”. Generally speaking, all preaching can be called “gospel preaching” regardless of the subject. Sermons shall typically be ended with an invitation to be baptized or to rededicate one’s life to the Lord.

    12 The Lord’s Supper shall be observed every first day of the week, and it cannot be observed on any day other than the first day of the week (nor at any function other than one specified as a formal worship service). If the congregation chooses to have another worship service later in the day, the Lord’s Supper shall then be observed again. However, only those who were not at the earlier service (or who otherwise did not already partake) are expected to partake. These same persons are to be given the opportunity to put an offering in the collection plate. These two acts of worship can be done in the presence of others who merely watch, or it can be done in a separate assembly apart from other Christians.

    13 The Lord’s Supper shall consist of the following (and in this order): 1) a prayer of thanksgiving for the bread (which must be unleavened); 2) the distributing of the bread; 3) a prayer of thanksgiving for the fruit of the vine; and, 4) the distributing of the fruit of the vine.

    14 Those who have not been baptized shall not be allowed to conduct any public part of the service. There is one exception to this rule: young boys who have not yet been immersed may be permitted to read Scripture in the general assembly or to lead singing or prayers in a special assembly for the purpose of training such boys.

    15 Those who have not been baptized shall be allowed to participate in the worship by listening to the prayers and the preaching. They are further allowed to actively participate by joining in the singing and by putting money in the collection plate. They are not, however, allowed to partake of the Lord’s Supper.

    16 The music of the worship assembly shall be limited to the vocal expression of words. No humming or other non-worded sounds are permitted. The use of harmonious or other singing shall be deemed as fulfilling the pattern of chanting as found in the early church.

    17 No instrument of music shall be used at any time in the worship other than to play the first note or key of a song before the singing of that song. The use of a song leader is permitted, as is the use of a microphone for him. Song books or other such aids are also permitted. However, it is forbidden for more than one person to help in leading the singing, and no voice other than that of the one song leader’s may be amplified by artificial means.

    18 Singing shall at all times be congregational; at no time is it permitted for one person or group of persons to sing while another merely listens, other than at those brief times when a song is written accordingly. In other words, it is permissible for different people to sing different parts at different times during a song, provided that all members sing at some point during the song and it can reasonably be said that they all sang together.

    19 If a congregation wishes to permit a separate group (such as a chorus) to sing to the congregation, it must be done in a separate assembly, or at least after what is considered the closing prayer of the worship assembly. It is permitted for the chorus to sing, read Scripture, and end with a closing prayer, but this shall not be considered as a time of worship, nor shall any individual in the audience allow their thoughts or feelings to be intended as a worship unto God. It is merely a performance for entertainment value; the fact that songs, hymns, and spiritual songs are being sung is inconsequential. If a woman should be used to lead the group, she is not permitted to speak until after the close of this non-worship service.

    20 There shall be no clapping, raising of hands, or any other gesture or indecent or disorderly action during the worship service. However, a congregation is allowed to suspend this rule during special child-oriented services such as Vacation Bible Schools or Youth Rallies.

    21 During the worship assembly, men are allowed (but not required) to say aloud “amen” or some other similar word or phrase as long as such is done decently and in order. Expressions such as “Praise the Lord” would technically be permitted, but are not recommended.

    22 A collection of money is to be taken every first day of the week. Each Christian is to give as he purposes in his heart, keeping in mind the amount generally required under the Old Law. The money collected shall be put into a church treasury and referred to as “the Lord’s money”, but it can be used for a variety of purposes such as church buildings, utility bills, employee salaries, landscaping, etc. (all at the discretion of the elders). Funds cannot be obtained and deposited into the church treasury by any other means than by free will offerings. Fundraisers of any kind are forbidden.

    23 The elders of a congregation may choose to have more than one regular assembly during each week. If so, attendance by all members at all of these assemblies is required unless they are prevented from doing so due to illness, work, or some other good reason. Those who no longer attend any assembly on a regular basis shall be deemed as being unfaithful and shall eventually be disfellowshipped (this shall typically be comprised of declaring such in a worship assembly and in a letter sent to the person being disfellowshipped).

    24 Women are allowed to teach other women or children. They may not teach male children who have been baptized. Women may speak aloud in any Bible class (while still recognizing the authority of the man), but not during the formal worship service (other than during the announcement period).

    25 The business of each congregation shall be conducted by one of two methods: 1) a plurality of elders and deacons; or, 2) a men’s business meeting. The first is the preferred option, but it is not required if the congregation cannot find at least two men willing or able to fulfill the responsibility. Elders and deacons must fit the qualifications listed by Paul, the main difference being that elders have to have children who have been baptized, while deacons just have to have children. Those men who are needed to serve as deacons but do not technically fit the qualifications can still be used as long as their title is changed (“ministry leader”, etc.). Women may serve in an appropriate way but are not to be called deaconesses.

    26 There shall be no organization of the church beyond that of the local congregation. However, conformity of beliefs can be maintained through brotherhood lectureships, publications, universities, etc.

    27 Elders have authority only over the local congregation. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. An eldership can take upon itself (with approval by the other party or parties) the oversight of such things as congregations with few members considered to be in a mission area, church workers in mission areas, or other similar works deemed to be in need of the oversight of an eldership.

    28 A plurality of congregations may combine money from their respective treasuries for the purpose of evangelistic efforts in another location. At no time, however, can this effort be conducted or organized in such a way as to be construed as a “missionary society”.

    29 Divorced persons are to be a welcome part of the congregation. However, those divorced persons who wish to marry again, or those who have already been divorced and married again, must be investigated by the church (or its designee) in order to determine if their marriage (or pending marriage) has been preceded by a “Scriptural divorce” (that being one where the other person committed adultery either before or after the divorce). Those deemed to be in “unscriptural marriages” are expected to get a divorce in order to remain in good standing with God and the church.

    30 All major doctrinal issues must be understood and taught without error. This includes (but not necessarily limited to): that we are not predestined to salvation, that it is possible for a Christian to lose his/her salvation, that speaking in tongues and other such miraculous gifts came to an end at the completion of the writing of the NT, that there will be no Rapture nor 1000 year reign of Christ, and that Heaven and Hell are literal. However, this requirement of perfect understanding shall not apply to the issue of the indwelling and operation of the Holy Spirit.

    31 The preaching of these rules and correct doctrinal positions shall be deemed and denoted as “preaching the truth”. As noted above, people who do not understand these rules (and thus fail to follow them perfectly) shall be deemed as not truly loving God nor the truth.

    32 These rules shall be observed without variation of any kind. Anyone who fails to know and follow these rules perfectly is deemed to be lost eternally unless he/she repents. The grace of God shall not be thought to be extended for any misunderstanding or noncompliance. However, moral imperfection (sin) shall be excused (covered by grace) provided the person regularly prays and asks for forgiveness.

    33 Any group who fails to abide by these rules in their entirety is to be called a denomination. Anyone who attends a denomination is committing the sin of denominationalism.

    In addition, the following are yet more rules that are not as frequently debated:

    1. observing Christmas or other holidays
    2. fruit of the vine must be fermented/not fermented
    3. one cup vs. multiple cups
    4. no kitchen or eating in the building
    5. cannot give to non-Christians, orphan homes, etc.
    6. non-baptized not allowed to read Scripture
    7. no separated classes
    8. Bible versions
    9. taking of oaths
    10. serving in the military
    11. inflicting capital punishment
    12. using force to defend oneself or others
    13. serving as a government official
    14. lifting hands while singing
    15. joining a ministerial alliance
    16. how God answers prayer
    17. fasting
    18. who selects and appoints elders
    19. singing as the emblems are passed
    20. use of church buildings for secular activities
    21. building of fellowship halls, gymnasiums, etc.
    22. use of an instrument in "church" weddings
    23. youth directors, youth rallies, youth camps
    24. the six days of creation being literal days
    25. the operation of Christian hospitals
    26. ministers of education, ministers of music, etc.
    27. the baptismal "formula"
    28. formal confession before baptism
    29. dedicating babies
    30. signing contribution pledge cards
    31. women wearing shorts and slacks
    32. women working outside the home
    33. Children's Bible Hour
    34. bussing children to services
    35. degrees of reward and punishment
    36. dress code for men serving the Lord's Supper

    DHK
     
  15. rsr

    rsr
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    DHK, that pretty much sums up the CoC that I knew when growing up. I daresay the modernists like Lucado don't fit in too well.

    (I was interested in the single vs. multiple cup issue; we had friends who insisted that the single cup was the only acceptable method.)

    FWIW: I have found the Disciples to be more like Baptists than are the Churches of Christ (churches like Oak Hills excepted.)

    Thought I would pass along Lucado's comments about baptism:

     
  16. DHK

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    They claim to be sola scriptura, or the Bible as their final authority, and they speak as evangelicals, but when it comes right down to it they have a religion of works. From the first two points one can see that salvation is divided into five acts or works.
    "a Christian is one who has done the following five acts of salvation (and in this order): hear, believe, repent, confess...and is baptized"
    Baptism is an act of man, a work of man. Without baptism they say you cannot be saved--baptismal regeneration.
    A lot of what they do may seem "whacky" to some, but the main issue is, what do they believe when it comes to salvation. I believe on this important issue they are very confused.
    DHK
     

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