“Misconceptions About the church of Christ”Categories: Christian Living, Encouragement, Joshuah Ellis, Preacher Life, Theology
It has happened too many times to count. I am in a conversation with someone, and then it comes out that I attend a local congregation of the church of Christ. The once pleasant exchange soon devolves into a big, soupy mess of awkwardness, and people have actually responded to this news with an apology as if they anticipate being scolded or reprimanded by me. This makes me wonder if people have a bad taste in their mouths about members of the church of Christ. If so, that makes me sad.
My intention in this blog is to try and clarify some of the misconceptions people may have when they hear the words “church of Christ.” However, this is a tricky one. It’s tricky because I can’t speak for everyone who claims to be a member of the church of Christ. However, I can speak for myself, and I feel confident that I can speak, at least from a general perspective, for those members who are closest to me. So here goes. Here are a few of the things I wish the average person knew about the church of Christ.
1. We are more than just the folks who don’t use instruments in worship. Come on. Let’s face it. This is one thing that most people seem to know about the church of Christ. We’re the ones who don’t have a piano, organ, guitar or ANYTHING, for that matter, playing when we sing during worship. However, that is not all there is to us. We are Christians striving to be more like Jesus with each passing day. We are men and women who struggle daily with sin and temptation. We are families trying to raise our children in the training and the admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). We are people who want to honor God and encourage those around us to do the same.
2. We do not think we are better than anyone else. Few things have stung more than hearing this being insinuated in a conversation. I don’t know any member of the church of Christ who thinks he/she is better than anyone. We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We all need the same Jesus if we are to be together in heaven one day (John 14:6), and to think that I somehow have an edge over another person simply because of the name on the building in which I worship is the farthest thing from the truth.
3. We are not “ultra-conservative.” I’m not a fan of terms like “conservative” and “liberal.” The reason for this is because both of the terms are completely based on comparison. What is conservative to one, might be liberal to another. I would like to think that as a Christian, I am neither. I would like to think the same of any other member of the church of Christ. We are not liberal or conservative. We are biblical. At least, that is what we strive to be. Every Christian I know tries his or her best to serve and worship God based upon the pattern that is laid out for us in the New Testament. That is the reason for the lack of instrumental music. The New Testament (which contains the instruction for worship under the law of Christ) tells us to sing (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). So, that is what we do.
4. We do not think we’re the only ones going to heaven. I’m about to get myself in trouble here, but it is important that everyone knows that it is NOT what is written on the building that determines salvation. Jesus made it clear that the one who does the will of God will inherit salvation (Matthew 7:21). That is the standard. Nothing else! While I, and others around me, are striving to seek out the will of God in everything we do, it is not done for us just because we are members of the church of Christ. The Bible tells us what a person needs to do in order to get to heaven; and nowhere in the Bible will we find evidence to support that simply being a member of a church of Christ is what God expects from us. “Whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17).
Again, let me point out that I am only speaking from my perspective here and to be frank, if these misconceptions are as common as I suspect they are, then they had to come from somewhere. I encourage you all to ask questions, start conversations, study your Bibles, and do everything we can to know God better. Lastly, let us strive less to be disciples of the name on the door and strive more to be disciples of Jesus Christ.
If you have any thoughts or questions about this blog, please feel free to comment below.
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