Just looking for some more info on this non denominational group
If I recall, they’re adamantly anti-Catholic.
Aren’t they all churches of Christ?
In all seriousness, Google them.
There are a million denominations, but only one that has the full Christian faith. You are here.
They are only one of many Restorationist churches, who believe that the Catholic Church is in apostasy, and has been so since very early times. They sought to unify Christianity, but, departing from basic Catholic doctrines, they splintered in a very undignified way.
The further south you get the more COCs you see. They are “anti-denominational”, obviously not understanding what a denomination is. Many are somewhat cultic in thier control over their congregations.
Do some research on the Campbellites…Thomas and Alexander Campbell. Thomas was a Presbyterian…they later became the
Churches of Christ
Disciples of Christ
Christian churches and churches of Christ
The churches of Christ
It is one of many movements to unite and restore Christian thought in the sea of the Tower of Babel of non-denominational Christian “Restoration” movements. You can see that the as expected attempt to unite results in continued division. You will find it interesting over what they chose to divide and depart.
Lately there is the “Evangelilcal Free Church” movement, a loose body that is attempting to unite and incorporate with soft doctrine and the emphasis on “relationship with Jesus”…born out of Lutheran thought.
Hi, and welcome to the Forums!
There are several bodies, some more organized than not, that go by the moniker of “Church of Christ.”
One poster already linked you to the Restoration Movement churches in the US. This CAF thread from long ago discusses them. (Don’t reply or comment to this thread as it’s rather aged.)
There is also a sect, originally from the Philippines but with a group in the U.S. that’s really off the beam where it’s founder believed he was a prophet, and has such diverge views on the divinity of Christ that they cannot be theologically classified as orthodox Christian by definition (as are the LDS faith).
As explained by a Church of Christ evangelist, they had their beginnings during a Great Awakening in the early 19th century. Their founders were disturbed by the multiplicity of denominations that existed. They knew this was not the way it should be, and they decided the reason for all the different denominations was all the man made creeds and confessions, the Westminster confession, the Augsburg confession, the council of Dordt, and so on. So, forget about Calvin’s writings, Luther’s teachings, Wesley’s preaching…just go back to bible and let the bible speak.
And so they did. And in doing so, they discovered a soteriology, a doctrine of salvation, works, and baptism that sounds to us very Catholic. Just by reading the bible with an open mind and taking what is said at face value without preconceived notions, they rediscovered the Catholic teachings on the matters the initial reformers had denied.
In that sense they are not Protestants, because they do not have a typical Protestant theology. Their doctrine of church, though, is very congregationalist, each congregation being independent.
I was born and raised in the church of Christ.
They are very anti-Catholic, and well, anti any denomination. The group I was raised in saw themselves as the only true Church of Christ, as in the only church that had a chance of salvation and if they split then each group thought this of the other. No other denomination or especially the Catholics had any chance of being “saved”.
They will split over the must mundane things. Such as should there be allowed musical instruments played inside the church building (they always refer to the place of gathering as the church building, the church is the people), should there be one cup for communion or many small cups (and wine is never allowed, as nearly all coc are T-totalers), which translation of the Bible is another cause for division, the wearing of shorts, should women be allowed to wear slack or jeans, the list is never ending.
They are another group of wandering, frightened sheep.
They are very sincere people and love to study and memorize the bible. This is one of the things I truly love about the Catholic church, the magisterium.
I love Christ’s Church, the Catholic Church.
I might suggest finding some of the past episodes of “The Journey Home” hosted by Marcus Grodi. Bruce Sullivan, Church of Christ round table, Disciples of Christ round table will give some insight on the churches of Christ.
I had a friend who was Church of Christ (in Oklahoma). From what I could tell, I think they have strict beliefs on who is going to Hell and who isn’t, as you can see from this joke:
A thirty year old man, took a corner too fast in his coupe, suffering fatal injuries. But being a Christian all his life and knowing that “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”, he eagerly awaited meeting the Lord face to face. Upon arriving at the indescribable pearl gates he was greated by none other than Peter.
“Welcome!” Peter said. “I know you’re excited to be here and the Lord is eager to see you face to face, but first things first. I am in charge of giving all newcomers a tour. So follow me and be prepared to be amazed.”
Peter led the young man on a breathtaking tour of heaven, walking the streets of gold and showing him every thing from majestic stones to the tree of life. He even showed him his beautiful residence which the Lord had prepared for him, but the man had not yet met any other souls since arriving.
Finally, Peter said, “It’s time to show you where all the peoples of the earth are gathered to praise and worship.” So Peter led the man down a vast hall with doors on either side. He opened the door to show the man a multitude of people singing praises to God. “These souls here are largely Baptist in number.”
“Amazing!” the man thought to himself. He was a Baptist, too so he mentally noted which door he was at, hoping to come back and find some family members who’d preceded him. Next Peter led him further down the hall to another door. “These are mostly evangelicals.” The door opened and people were there praising God and really getting into it, lifting their hands and jumping up and down. “Wow!” the man thought to himself, “What a joyous group of people.”
From there Peter began to quietly tip toe down the hall. Though feeling somewhat ridiculous, the man followed his Peter’s cue. “He is Peter,” he thought to himself. Finally, they reached the end of the vast hall and Peter pulled the man closely and whispered in his ear. “This next door I’m about to open….you must be very, very quiet and not make a sound.” With a puzzled look he asked “Who are these souls behind this door that we should be so quiet?” “Well, we just don’t know how to tell them, ” Peter said. “Tell them what?” the puzzled man asked. “Well,” Peter said “these are from the Churches of Christ and they still think they’re the only ones here.”
Jokes aside, my friend and his church also did not believe in using musical instruments for their worship services. They sang everything a cappella (and they were very good at it too). I remember once getting in the car with him and he was listening to some raunchy classic rock song, and I asked him, “Why don’t you listen to Power FM?” This was the Christian rock station that I and all of our mutual friends listened to. He told me that since they were using instruments and the lyrics were Christian, he couldn’t listen to it. :shrug:
He seemed very devout, though, and even in high school he was tasked with leading high school youth catechesis every week, and always had either his Bible or lesson planner in front of him.
As individuals, they can say some hurtful things about Catholics, but there is truth in what you say about their approaching certain Catholic beliefs.
My personal opinion (and experience) having come from a Campbellite church is that if they did push their thinking a little further, they can return to the Catholic Church. For example, they insist on weekly communion, they define communion as the central act of church worship, and although they will say it is symbolic (no real presence), they exhibit a reverence for it that belies that belief. In actual rite, they use words straight out of scripture with no additional commentary (This is my Body…), which I think opens the door for a belief in the real presence on the part of an individual believer. They have a deep interest in the “Early Church”, and don’t mind reading or referring to ECFs in sermons - they just don’t credit them as being Catholic - but if you point out to them that today’s CC also accepts something Augustine wrote, they have to concede the point as being one of general Christian agreement. Although their organizational structure is congregational (each individual congregation is wholly financially independent, local Church), they believe in one universal Church, derived from the apostles (They don’t recite the creed, but would likely agree to nearly all of it).
They totally don’t get Mary, however, and are put off by iconography and religious art in general - kind of spartan in style.
They’re usually very conservative and suprisngly closer to Catholic beliefs on many issues than all but the most conservative Lutherans and Anglo-Catholic Anglicans. They hold to baptismal regeneration, works have a place in salvation, and some congregations even believe the Eucharist is the actual body and blood of Christ or at least the congregation does.
In that way it’s easier to convince them that Catholicism is the true faith because you can start undermining the apostasy angle by pointing out that the Catholic Church teaches the same thing and always has.
My paternal grandmother was Church of Christ…she walked to meeting each Sunday to a small clapboard building in the poor section of Phoenix…“They don’t use muscial instruments”…she read her Bible daily…and was a kind gentle woman with a heart of love for Christ.
It is really a fascinating thing which I knew nothing about until I met my wife who was a Disciple of Christ when I met her. I agree with a lot of Catholic doctrine. Usually when I discuss some theological matter with her from a Catholic perspective she tends to agree with me.
The most interesting thing to me was that the Disciples take communion whenever they get together, which means Sunday morning worship and I believe other times as well. This seems very unusual for a later Protestant church. My wife treats the communion elements very sacredly in an almost Catholic way.
They apparently do not believe in infant baptism and baptism is by immersion.
I’m not sure how close the Church of Christ is since their split over musical instruments.
I can say that at least in my area the Church of Christ is very close to what you described other than the use of musical instruments.
I too was raised in an accapella “church of Christ”. They prefer to be called “undenominational”. They do beleive that they are the only Christians to exist, and the only ones headed for heaven.
They worship the protestant abridged bible as a idol. It’s common for their preachers to quote the bible with “God says in such and such book chapter and verse”.
Also they forbid anything to be done in church without speciffic permission from the bible, this they call authorisation.
They are THE church while everyone else is in a denomination. They have only existed since 1906 when they were established. Everyone born before 1906 presumably will go to hell.
The cofC was started when the Disciples of Christ started funding missionary societies, using organs in their churches and calling their ministers Reverend and Pastor. Those things were seen as “unauthorised innovations”.
The accapella csofC were originally in the south, but with migrations such as Texans and “okies” fleeing the dust bowl of the '30s they have expanded to Cal and other places not southern.
As soon as I graduated and moved away I left their undenomination.
BTW the cofC “observes the Lords Supper” only on Sunday, since that is the only time “authorised” in the NT.
In the csofC I am familiar with communion is not important at all. It is one of the 5 authorised acts of worship. And is gotted over with as soon as possible to get to the main point of the service. The sermon and the invitation.
I was also born and raised c o C. In fact, my great grandfather was a founding member of both Lubbock Christian College, and Abilene Christian College, now ACU in Abilene, TX. His brother started the Firm Foundation in Austin, TX and is listed on the restoration movement dot org website. One of his uncles wrote the hymn “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.” His father, Josiah Thomas Showalter was a well respected Disciples of Christ minister.
Generalities can be chancy here. There seems to be a lot of multiplication through division. But I can offer this: They subscribe to *sola fide * and sola scriptura. They often mention of “speaking where the Bible speaks and being silent where the Bible is silent.” There is no single governing body, and each congregation is autonomous. Baptism is offered only to people at the age of reason. Baptism is by immersion. Communion is offered every Sunday, and is a memorial only. Music is a capella singing (and Lord, can they sing!! Four part harmony of voices. Wow!) without instruments. There are some groups that have Sunday School (Bible study for children) and some that don’t. There are (although often not widely acknowledged) two “schools”, the “Tennessee tradition”, and the “Texas tradition”. These terms would only be recognized by old timers, as would the name “Campbellites”. They claim to be the “historical church” via a “golden thread” of believers throughout history who maintained the “original” teachings before Paganism gunked up the Church and “turned it” Catholic. (Not MY opinion)
They tend to be very sincere, can often quote Scripture at length (although often out of context and without full understanding IMHO) and are very clean cut. Smoking, drinking, dancing, etc. are all actively discouraged. They proselytize endlessly, and sincerely. Women to not serve in any authority or teaching position, other than the children, and younger married women.
I have been formally “disfellowshipped” (excommunicated) by them, and some of my family and former friends have ceased communication with me since I have gone over to the Dark Side, as it were, and joined the Tiber Swim Team! They believe in especially dark consequences for those who have/had the “truth” and “rejected” it. I love them anyway, and pray for them daily.
If any have specific questions, I’m happy to try to answer them as best I can.
I was into thinking that the OHCAC was the Church of Christ…is there someone else out there claiming this title?
Summer you would be campbellite royalty if you just had not “apostacized”, I am truly impressed, no joking at all.
I went as a high-school student to the lectureship at LCC now LCU. My dad would have been an elder if I had not left “the church” and he longer had a “beleiving child” in cofC parlence.
When I left I was told that I had “left Christ and his church” and was bound for hell, I was disowned and disinherited. Once my father had died I was completely broken from my family and not even told when my step-mother died. All this has given me the impression that the so-called, self named church of Christ is a cult many others agree.
I grieve for this “undenominational” denomination.