Church of Christ Beliefs
At the memorial service for a recently-deceased saint, a denominational preacher who had known well, had numerous religious discussions with, and occasionally worked alongside the deceased in a secular capacity over the years in their small community, was overheard to say something along the lines of: “Well, we had a lot of religious discussions over the years – and he sure hung onto his church of Christ beliefs! But he was never able to convert me.”
That final statement has haunted me at times ever since I heard it… just as it may well haunt him on into and for all eternity if he doesn’t get into the word of God, study, repent, and get converted. To me, it was a sort of masochistic modern-day equivalent of what the misled religious people and leadership of Jesus’ day said of Him before Pilate in Matthew 27:25 and John 19:15: “His blood be on us and on our children,” “We have no king but Caesar!”
The entire misunderstanding – and the resulting, satanically-engineered reasoning and statement that accompanies it – can be seen inherent in the phrase, “church of Christ beliefs.” What exactly are, “church of Christ beliefs” anyway? And why is such phraseology seemingly so widespread in today’s contemporary religious climate? It’s like when we seek to simply quote, read, and/or present God’s black and white, “book, chapter, and verse,” soul-saving gospel truth to those around us who are lost in sin according to God, and all we get in return is, “You have your beliefs, and I have mine” – like all belief systems are on the same level or something!?! And what I always want to respond with at that point is, “Yes; you’re absolutely right! I believe entirely and exactly every word of what God says in Scripture (Matt. 4:4). So…what is it again that you believe, instead of God’s eternal word and divine promises?”
You see, notwithstanding a few of the liberal, bible-denying and perverting colleges and publications “associated with churches of Christ,” and the few larger congregations of the Lord’s church which have promulgated and/or decided to join them in their culturally and pride-driven trip down the wide path towards eternal destruction by seeking to please people instead of pleasing God (Gal. 1:6-10), by and large the vast majority of “churches of Christ” (Ro. 16:16) still cling to and insist on faithfully following the “old paths” (See Jeremiah, chapters 5 + 6) of Spirit-driven and dictated, divinely-inspired and God-breathed Scripture (2 Ptr. 1:20-21; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).
And the recently-departed saint mentioned at the beginning of this article was apparently no exception. He had, from everything I have ever heard about him, for decades believed exactly what God said – nothing more and nothing less than God’s “book, chapter, and verse” truth – regarding things such as the one church (or body) of Christ; the one faith, one baptism, one way of salvation, and Spirit and truth worship commanded by, and instructed in, God’s holy word (Eph. 1:22-23, 4:4-6; Ro. 16:16-17; Acts 2:37-41, 22:16; Rom. 6:1-23; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Ptr. 3:21; Jn. 14:6, 4:23-24; Matt. 15:1-14; Mk. 7:1-13; and etc).
So what the denominational preacher’s statement actually meant, and how his actual statement should therefore have been literally worded and expanded to explain, was in the one way, arena, and wording which he could never, in his currently biblically-ignorant and blinded mindset, ever bring himself to admit:
“Well, we had a lot of religious discussions over the years – and he sure hung onto every word of what God actually said in Scripture, in all of its black and white, “book, chapter, and verse” glory and clarity! But he was never able to convince and convert me into doing things God’s way! I stubbornly opposed and rejected everything he showed me God actually said on several essential life and death doctrines! Instead, I staunchly and strongly defended such things as a man-made and devised church never found, seen, or ever mentioned in God’s word; a man-made and devised way of salvation never found, seen, or ever instructed in God’s word; and even argued in defense of several humanly-desired but biblically-unauthorized additions, deletions, and changes to corporate worship!
Tragically, it strikes me as extremely obvious that this poor man had absolutely no idea of the horrifying implications of his original, public statement! You see, unlike all the denominations around us, the churches of Christ never had to come up with their own belief system – they simply take and trust God, totally at His word! Jesus said that if we love Him, we’ll obey His commandments (Jn. 14:15); that it is His words which are spirit and life (Jn. 6:63); and that it is those words which will judge us all in the last day (Jn. 12:48-50). Therefore, we in Christ’s church also do not seek to ‘judge’ (pass final or eternal sentence or judgment on) anyone – nor do I this man. We don’t have to. This, because God has also made it clear in His word, that to continue to reject and not be converted by what He said in His word, is to judge one’s self unworthy of eternal life (Acts 13:44-49). May God help all who truly want to go to heaven, to accept and obey only His word… for there is simply, no other way there!