Question: What makes you think your church is any different from any other one in town?
Very humbly and respectfully, the answer is: the same thing that always sets faithful churches of Christ (Rom. 16:16) apart from any denomination in any location or generation: complete respect for the absolute authority, singular supremacy, and infinite inerrancy of the word of God (Psalm 119) as the Word of almighty God; and our subsequent unbending, unending, and unyielding allegiance and adherence to it as such, in all things – even the most difficult – which has always caused some to walk away (Jn. 6:60-69).
We don’t teach and preach the politically-correct (and therefore Biblically-incorrect and irrelevant), ear-tickling (II Tim. 3:16-4:5), people-pleasing instead of God-pleasing (Gal. 1:6-10), “Cotton-Candy Christianity” (“fluff & puff” – looks good, tastes sweet, but has no real substance to save souls), generally-accepted by the Biblically unstudied vain doctrines of men (Matt. 13:15, 15:7-9).
For example, this would include where God’s Word says: faith alone is not enough to save anyone (Jms. 2:18-24); a Christian can fall from grace (Gal. 5:4); baptism is FOR the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38) – not something that comes along AFTER salvation – and that that one baptism (Eph. 4:4-6) is essential to salvation (1 Ptr. 3:21). It would also include where God’s divinely-inspired instructions unequivocally state that there is only one faith, one baptism, and one church (or body: Eph. 1:22-23, 4:4-6); where it shows us how God Himself referred to His own Son’s blood-bought church (Ro. 16:16); where it defines for us exactly what sin is and what it will do to you (Ro. 1:18-32; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Gal. 5:19-21); where it defines women’s roles in the church (1 Cor. 14:33-38; 1 Tim. 2:8-15); and where it depicts denominationalism (division) as a sin (1 Cor. 1:10-13), amongst many other things. We would very lovingly encourage you to check out these references in your own Bible; that’s why they’re included here, so you can see for yourself.
Because we believe God’s Word is GOD’S word, we humbly accept and unashamedly insist on these very things. We never teach that one is saved by such a biblically-absent precept as a pre-baptismal prayer of faith because God’s word doesn’t – in ANY example of N.T. conversion to Christ (Acts 2:36-41, etc). We also believe exactly what the Word says regarding worship as well; that worship isn’t about our wants and desires but His (i.e., He says “sing,” so we sing). Ultimately we don’t believe we’re in worship to please ourselves but Him (Mk. 14:34ff). We believe, accept, and live that He is Lord (Lk. 6:46-49; Gal. 2:20) and that His word is what will judge us all on the last day (Jn. 12:42-50).
And this “back to the bible,” “book, chapter and verse” approach goes for every doctrine right down to even the designation by which we are referred to as (Acts 4:12). After all, if the designation “churches of Christ” was good enough for the group the apostles worked and worshipped both with and within – and being Divinely-given as that designation was to boot (II Timothy 3:14-4:4) – shouldn’t that name be good enough for us to be referred to as as well? By way of illustration: my wife and I recently rode by a church building with a sign out front designating them as something similar to “Christ the Redeemer Lutheran Church” or some such. So, the obvious questions then become, “Are Christ and Luther now on the same level?” “How does that work exactly?” “Has Luther become as pre-eminent as Christ is scripturally stated to be?” “Has Jesus been demoted to the level of sinful humanity?” “Is Christ divided (See I Corinthians 1:10-13)?”
You see, whether we’re discussing designations, declarations or denominations, biblically speaking, God’s church always upholds and supports God’s truth, just like a pillar upholds a roof (1 Tim. 3:14). It should be pretty obvious to everyone, whether they’ve seen our signs, read our columns, or visited our services, that that is the one thing that sets faithful churches of Christ apart by comparison to any man-made and biblically condemned denomination around them.
Despite many modern-day thoughts to the contrary, following God even to Jesus wasn’t about such things, just for example, as the size and scope of someone’s beautiful buildings (which will be destroyed: Mk. 13:1-2); having the largest number of people who believed something (who will be destroyed: Matt. 7:13-23); the zealousness of those who believed that certain something (which will also cause them to be destroyed: Rom. 10:1-3), nor anything else other than: complete, by-faith acceptance, submission, and obedience to the all-encompassing authority of the will and word of almighty God exclusively, only, and always (Jn. 5:30, 6:38, 7:16-18, 8:28-32, 14:15, 14:30-31, 15:14, 17:5-23; Acts 2:37-42; Hebrews 5:7-9, all of chapter 11; 1 Jn. 2:3-6; and many, many more), which will cause those who do so to NEVER be destroyed: See I John 2:15-17!
To any and all who truly seek to work and worship with the same church the apostles did, and to become united with those whose sole (and soul) desire is to do the same, Welcome!