“What Kind of a Church Are You?,” you might be asking, if you are visiting our website.
First, we would ask you to think about this question, and how it would have been answered by Peter, Paul, Timothy, and other saints who lived and labored when the gospel was first being preached in all the world. After you’ve thought about that, then we are glad to tell you about ourselves. If at any point in reading this, you have questions–please contact us with your questions.
Who We Are
The word “church” refers to a group of people who are “called out” for some purpose. In the New Testament, it does not always refer to a group of religious people. In Acts 19:40, there was a disorderly “church,” or gathering. Here, people were “called out” of their daily routine in order to join the riotous crowd. But what does it mean when referring to spiritual matters?
Jesus said “I will build My church” (Matthew 16:18). Jesus was speaking of His “called out” people. Who are they? Those who are “called out” of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of Christ are “My church” (Colossians 1:13). God calls each saved individual a Christian (Acts 11:26), disciple (Acts 11:26), and saint (Ephesians 2:19). As a group, the saved are the kingdom of Christ (Colossians 1:13), the family of the living God (1 Timothy 3:15), the body, or church, of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23). These are not different kinds of religious groups. These are the “one body” (Ephesians 4:4; 1:22-23). He purchased His church (His saved people) with His blood (Acts 20:28; Revelation 1:5; Matthew 26:28). Every member of the church has believed the gospel and by that faith, been baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:36-38; 22:16; Colossians 2:12).
By God’s design, Christians have always “continued steadfastly” (committed to work together) with other Christians in the place where they live (Acts 2:47; 11:26). God calls these groups the churches of Christ (Romans 16:16). These are not different kinds of religious groups for there should be the same kind of teaching “everywhere in every church” (1 Corinthians 4:17). By being a church of Christ, we are identified with Jesus Christ our Savior, instead of with some other man or man-made religious group, hierarchy, movement, association, or board. We are content to be identified by our Savior, both individually and as a group.
Who We Are Not
It would be nice if Satan would just let the truth be the truth and leave it alone, but he has never done that. He always adds other ideas which only adds to confusion. Since Christ built His church, men have taken the word “church” and used it to mean something completely different. For example, some people refer to a physical building as “a church.” The Bible never uses it that way.
Also, sometimes when people hear the word “church” today, they immediately wonder “what kind of church” or “which denomination” is being referred to. The word “denomination” is absent from the Bible. What does that word mean? “A large group of religious congregations united under a common faith and name and organized under a single administrative and legal hierarchy” (The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, www.dictionary.com). Do you see that the idea of denominations is different groups each having a unique faith, name, and organization? That does not resemble the word or concept of “church” in the New Testament.
When Jesus said “I will build My church” (Matthew 16:18), to which denomination was He referring? Did He mean “I will build the Baptist Church?” “I will build the Methodist Church?” Did He mean that He was going to establish many different groups of congregations, each having a unique faith, name, and organization? No, Jesus was speaking of His “called out” people.
Those who are His church do not have faiths, names, and organizations differing from others who are His church. In fact, His word shows us the faith, name, and organization for His church (His people).
Paul said that there is one faith, not many faiths (Ephesians 4:5). The one faith is the one revealed message of truth, sound words (Jude 3; 2 Timothy 1:13). There are not “many truths,” there is one faith.
Instead of wearing names which identify us by a day (Pentecost, Seventh Day) or a common man (Luther, John), we must wear the name of our Savior (1 Corinthians 1:13; Acts 20:28; Romans 16:16).
Regarding organization, God set Jesus to be head of the one church (Ephesians 1:22-23). When Paul was preaching, each local church used qualified men to serve as elders (pastors, bishops), who ensured that the church there followed God (Acts 14:23; 1 Timothy 3; Titus 1). There was never a “Senior Pastor,” “Reverend,” or nation-wide Bishop who led groups of congregations. If you think that organization isn’t an important matter to God, then ask yourself if its okay to let the parents submit to the children (Ephesians 6:1-4). God’s organization matters.
So—what kind of a church are we? I hope you can see that question is VERY different than “Which kind of denomination are you?” Since we want to please God, we reject the idea of being a denomination. By teaching and following the one faith, wearing our Savior’s name, and being organized as God revealed, we will not become a new “kind” of church. We will simply and gladly be a church of Christ.
If you have any comments or questions, contact us at TruthAndReason@suddenlink.net
What We Do
As saints of Christ always have, we always assemble on the Lord’s Day to worship our God and strengthen His saints (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2; Rev. 1:10). We also meet on Wednesday evenings, as workmen seeking to rightly divide the word of truth and worship in spirit and truth—and sometimes we meet more often. But, we are not waiting for the community to find us in our building–we are trying to find the lost wherever they are in ways such as—
Each year, we host a booth at the local county fair, to introduce ourselves to the community and offer to teach the gospel of Christ to any who will hear–
Each summer, our Summer Bible Series offers opportunities for young and old to work together, teaching and learning various Bible themes.
Each week, an article appears in a local paper, teaching the gospel on a variety of topics. “Look for the purple box in Arkansas Weekly.”