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Christian Church or Disciples of Christ

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Jack Matthews, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. Jack Matthews

    Jack Matthews New Member

    Jul 7, 2006
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    I saw this thread down the list, and tried to respond, but couldn't so I'll try it here.

    I now attend a Southern Baptist church, but was saved at age 17 in a Christian Church, otherwise known as the Disciples of Christ. There was a question about the Christian Church that I will try to answer.

    The D of C church in which I was raised was an extremely ministry oriented body of believers, which is typical of Christian churches. The path to salvation in a D of C congregation is virtually the same as in a Baptist church. It would generally be described as hearing, believing, repenting, and confessing. The D of C emphasizes salvation by grace through faith, and even goes so far as to define faith as a response to the Word of God that comes through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Baptism is by immersion.

    The two focuses of a D of C congregation's worship are communion and invitation. Communion is offered at every worship service every week as a reminder of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross and his living presence within us, and is taken symbolically. The Invitation at the end of every service is for unbelievers to confess, and believers to involve themselves in ministry service as a lifestyle to which Christians, who are God's children, are called.

    What I found different in the D of C from a Baptist congregation is the way Bible study is conducted. The Bible study classes and groups I attended in the two D of C churches to which I belonged were as intense and content-oriented as the courses for credit I took at the Baptist college I attended. The biggest difference aside from that is that a Bible teacher in a D of C congregation, usually a college professor or other professional educator, does not draw doctrinal conclusions for the students. Those are left completely up to the individual. The Disciples of Christ also avoid any kind of formal doctrinal statement or creed. Baptists claim not to be a creedal people, but there is quite a difference in the level of consensus with which a Baptist church is comfortable, compared to the D of C.

    A D of C congregation generally has two levels of "doctrinal" issues. One, stemming from a belief that salvation by grace through faith and the atoning work of Christ on the cross is the most important of all Christian doctrine and theology, considers all things related to that as "essential" or "primary," and other principles and teachings of scripture which are not related directly to salvation as "cultural" or "secondary." As a result, they are open to women serving as pastors, elders or deacons, and leave these choices up to local congregations.

    D of C congregations probably experience as wide a variety of worship, from liturgical and traditional to contemporary and "emergent church" as Baptists, perhaps even more so. The last D of C church I attended offered an "emergent" style on Saturday evening, a liturgical service at 8:30 on Sunday morning and a contemporary service at 11:00.

    Hope that helps. The transition from D of C to Southern Baptist was pretty easy for me.
  2. genesis12

    genesis12 Member

    Dec 26, 2005
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    Good report. Thanks.