Why the Church of Christ?

You have moved into a new community, and are looking for a church home. You may or may not have been a member of the church of Christ in your previous hometown. Why should you join the local church of Christ?
Well, because we have the best music in town. And the most programs. And the most young people. And the best preacher. Especially the best preacher, right?
It seems to me that these “reasons” for joining a church are rather self-serving and shallow, to be honest. Both churches and prospective members are susceptible to the trap of looking for, and trying to be, the “best” at these things. I am sure that someone else in town will have a better preacher, bigger building, more programs, and perhaps friendlier members. But wasn’t there a time when people chose to serve in a church out of conviction?
With humility, yet urgently, I want to remind church members, and inform visitors of who we, the churches of Christ, are.
We exalt Jesus to the highest place (Philippians 2:9-11). No church hierarchy dims our view of Jesus as head of the church and Lord of our lives. We wear his name proudly as individuals (“Christian”), and as a fellowship (Romans 16:16).
We reflect a deep respect for the Bible as God’s word (Matthew 24:35). All the talk of “the Bible and the Bible alone” reflects this. From our pulpits you should hear the phrase, “please turn to …” and a Bible reference will be given. The Bible is our rule, keeping us from erring, from the left or the right, from God’s will. We couldn’t, in good conscience, face a community with anything less than God’s word.
We proclaim the grace of Jesus, at the cross, for all who will come to him (Ephesians 2:8-10). We immerse believers for the forgiveness of sins (1 Peter 3:21). Baptism saves us. This is not exclusivist. It’s what God’s Word says. Our insistence on partaking the Lord’s Supper on the first day of the week, our understanding of the women’s role in the assembly, and our a cappella singing reflects this commitment.
We are not perfect. Our restoration of Biblical Christianity is a continuing discovery, not a prideful accomplishment. The future, with its new challenges, however, is nothing to fear, for God’s eternal Word is still more than adequate for a changing world. We know better than we do. Regardless of our human resources, our programs, or our public persona, these qualities are not inconsiderable. You may find a church with qualities that impress the eye and ear more. But my invitation to you is this: Worship with us, and see if the qualities I have mentioned are not the ones that are needed to nourish the soul.

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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7 thoughts on “Why the Church of Christ?

  1. I seldom object to the content of articles presented by your organization. This article is an exception due to the reference made that “Baptism saves us.” Jesus began his ministry with words that said to repent and that the Kingdom of heaven is near. Jesus did not baptize the thief on the cross. Paul and Silas told the jailer to believe in Jesus and he and his household would be saved. To make a statement that baptism saves us makes our salvation dependent on something we do, which is unscriptural. It is by God’s grace alone, and not of works.
    Thank you.

  2. good article, but please explain what you mean by MUSIC, i read it as instrumentle, if so i cant find scripture thats support that.

  3. Samuel,
    I agree that God’s grace saves us, but the question I ask is this, where is the point of contact?
    We are called to repentance (Acts 2:37-42) and we respond with obedience. The result is our sins are forgiven and we recieve a gift.
    If we are not obedient, do with still recieve forgiveness and the Holy Spirit? (vs. 38)
    Respectfully,
    -Paul

  4. Thank you, all, for your comments, and the attitude with which they were expressed. Some obeservations: The phrase, “baptism saves” was a quote from 1 Peter 3:21. The inspired writer apparently believes that it does indeed save. Note, however, the passive sense of “saves.” God’s grace, Christ’s blood, God’s promise based on our compliance with His conditions all combine to save us (i.e. we don’t save ourselves). One submits to baptism, he does not achieve it.
    A careful reading of the article will indicate that I was referring to vocal, or a cappella music.
    God’s richest blessings
    Stan Mitchell

  5. Samuel Nonaka, please read my article on the “Thief on the Cross,” please. It explains why the thief was not baptized and why his sitaution is not applicable to us today.
    http://tinyurl.com/8vuws
    Richard Mansel

  6. Mr. Nonaka
    Please note the words of Paul in Romans 10:9 that our belief must indeed be that God raised Christ from the dead. It was not possible for the thief to believe that Jesus was raised from the dead when he was not even dead yet. Obviously there was another system in place when the thief was promised paradise.

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