To what church do you belong? People want to know where you stand and it is a fact that the church’s name, organizational structure and worship method with which you identify does speak volumes.
For many years now, the uninformed have asserted that “our tradition” began in the late 1800s with men like Campbell and Stone. Their claim is that churches of Christ have evolved into our current existence, having been influenced along the way by a dynamic American culture so as to change her nature. This argument is used to justify foundational changes in churches of Christ today.
If “our movement” originated in the 19th century, with the preaching of Stone and Campbell, these quibblers are correct in their assessment. However, if the foundation of thechurch ofChrist preceded these men, then changing the doctrine or worship of this body in response to fickle social whims is damnable heresy.
Jesus stated: “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). Jesus built His church; one that could be identified (Acts 24:5; 28:22), whose followers would wear His name (Acts 11:26; 26:28), that would worship according to His will (John 4:24).
A member of that church submits to Christ Jesus, not to men, no matter how sincere, or celebrated. A member of that church is called “Christian,” nothing else. A member of that church would worship according to Jesus’ instructions (through Spirit inspired apostles), not by the direction of a man-originated creed book. A member of that church would belong to the church of Christ (Romans 16:16). That church began in the 1st century, not the 19th. To what church do you belong; that church?