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Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Rebel, Apr 2, 2015.
How would characterize this "denomination"? A cult? Orthodox?
IMO they are borderline next to a cult. They believe baptism is necessary for salvation, therefore preach a works salvation. They also have some strange beliefs with no Biblical foundation such as no musical instruments and no caffeine. Each to his own. There are lots of denominations I would belong to before this one.
There are some Church of Christ congregations that are 'instrumental' and others that are not. In the area I live in most of the 'instrumental' ones have a music note on their church sign or it says 'Instrumental' under the church name. However, I never have heard that there is any ban on caffeine by CoC. Mormons do, of course.
They claim not to believe in baptismal regeneration. But here's a quote from a Wikipedia article:
"Because of the belief that baptism is a necessary part of salvation, some Baptists hold that the Churches of Christ endorse the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. However members of the Churches of Christ reject this, arguing that since faith and repentance are necessary, and that the cleansing of sins is by the blood of Christ through the grace of God, baptism is not an inherently redeeming ritual. One author describes the relationship between faith and baptism this way, "Faith is the reason why a person is a child of God; baptism is the time at which one is incorporated into Christ and so becomes a child of God" (italics are in the source). Baptism is understood as a confessional expression of faith and repentance, rather than a "work" that earns salvation."
Seems like a distinction without a difference to me.
They despise the classification of "denomination" more so than Baptists!
Also they will not use Rev for their ministers.
Like other schismatics have done, in their formative years many Campbellites claimed to be just 'Reformed Baptist'. Eventually they dropped the charade, departed, and went by 'Disciples', 'churches of Christ', etc.:
The Stone-Campbell Movement: The Story of the American Restoration Movement
Every denomination differs with every other denomination "on something".
I think even DHK's denomination differs with SBC and free will Baptists "on something".
The question is - what "is the something"?
I think Church of Christ does have some odd beliefs but I have not looked into it in depth.
In the case of no drugs like Caffeine - what was the "other" option when it comes to drug abuse?
Neither of which is sufficient to toss them into the cult category. They could even be right on that.
They are very strong in the area where I live and I have interacted with them most of my life.
The Church of Christ came out of the Restoration Movement. It got its name because its founders sought to restore the church to its early First Century roots. Its primary founders were Barton Stone, a Presbyterian minister, and Alexander Campbell, a Baptist minister. The church that came out of this movement in the middle of the 19th Century was the Church of Christ. There are a couple of offshoots of this church which came about over the absence of musical instruments. Some wanted instruments, others did not, and this brought about many splits. Those who split off called themselves the Christian Church. Today there are many independent Christian churches, both small and large. Perhaps the largest is the enormous Southeast Christian Church in Louisville with over 20,000 members. Some of these Christian churches organized into a denomination early in the 20th Century and they are now known as the Disciples of Christ, which has become very liberal.
As for the practices of the Church of Christ, they use the New Testament as their only guide for faith and morals--at least that is what they say. They study the Old Testament, but only for historical value and for aid in interpreting the N.T. They eschew musical instruments in worship because there is no account of any instruments in the worship services of the New Testament churches.
The do use caffeine. I have been to their social events and coffee and tea is served right along with the lemonade.
They abhor alcoholic beverages. I'm not sure why because alcohol is not forbidden in the New Testament.
Their view of baptism is hard to pigeonhole. They do believe baptism is necessary for salvation but they seem to deny that they believe in baptismal regeneration. To them it is more a matter of obedience. Jesus told his disciples to baptize and he said he who believes and has been baptized will be saved. That implies baptism is necessary for salvation. They also believe John 3:5 is a reference to baptism.
As far as church structure is concerned, they are all independent. However, there are colleges and at least one seminary that are run in the Church of Christ tradition. At the local level, they have deacons whose role is just like Baptist deacons. The church is governed by elders. Women are not allowed to teach men and they do not, under any circumstances, have women in the pulpit.
This is true, and actually they do not have any denominational structure that would compare to the SBC, not even a small one.
Also, they do not use the term "pastor" for their ministers. "Pastor" implies a position of authority and their ministers serve at the pleasure of the church's elders.
aside from their denial of the OT scriptures (and I think also the Gospels as still binding scriptures since they too are about events before the cross) - thus denying the statements made in the NT about the OT scriptures -- don't know if anything else they have that would make them a cult.
Actually they do have structure, but don't wont to admit it.
Seems they may also use the term evangelist for their pastor.
There has been a split of sorts. Several years ago, a new group - the International Christian Church split from International Churches of Christ.
( ICoC official link)
Salty, did you catch Tom Ruhkala of Baptist Mid-Missions being interviewed by Nancy Grace on the 'The Nancy Grace Show' several years back?:
Bookmarking - will catch it later.
Overall, I would say that the DOC are not that legalistic.
Not my experience with them and I'll bet I've had more face time with them than Tom Ruhkala. Some are like he describes but they are a distinct minority.
They would hold that one MUST be water bapized in order to have a completed salvation of the Lord, and that means that they have a faulty Gospel!
That would be any baptism - immersion or otherwise
The Holy Bible tell us that Jesus baptized.
Christ did in fact baptize during the early days with his apostles, it was not the sacrament of baptism as we know it today. That sacrament, inserts us into the mystery of Jesus’ death and resurrection and applies the merits of Christ’s action to ourselves.
We, the baptized, are initiated into the sacramental life of the church and placed on a path to holiness and to heaven.
Yes, so what is your point?