Church Of Christ???


#1

My sister-in-law was raised a member of the Church of Christ. I have tried to ask a few questions about her faith, but her answers are generally short and somewhat smart-mouthed. One question that I asked her (since I consider her faith protestant) was who started her church. Her answer - short and sweet- was Jesus Christ.

Is this what her faith teaches, or does she misunderstand her faith?

Also, her husband (my husband’s brother) was raised Catholic, but he is not as strong in his faith. He attends her church services, with their two boys (both where Baptized as Catholics, but refer to the Catholic Church as “Katie and Paul’s Church”). We are actually the godparents to their youngest child. I am not really close to them any more, but I would like to know more about what they are being taught, and what I can do to pray for their conversion.

Thank you!


#2

are you talking about the church of jesus christ and later day saints?


#3

Nope - plain old Church of Christ…she’s originally from Tennessee and I know that there are Church of Christ’s here in Birmingham and where her parents now live in Florida. I think it’s mainly in the south.


#4

The Churches of Christ are one of three main schisms in a movement led by Thomas and Alexander Campbell and Barton Stone in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Campbells did most of their work along the midwestern frontier states, Sone in the deep south. Their goal was originally to unify Christianity by using only what could be deduced from the New Testament to ‘restore’ the church to it’s original purity. Hence this entire movement is sometimes called the ‘Restorationist’ movement. Mormonism also has it’s roots in Restorationism but is not very similar to the Churches of Christ or other Cambellite/Stoneite denominations. By the way–all members of the various movements are terribly offended by the nickname ‘Campbellite’ or ‘Stoneite’ and do not want to be known by any name other than Christ’s. I use these other terms only for clarity in this thread.

In the beginning, all traditional practices which could not be found to be incompatible with NT practice were deemed to be acceptable for Christians. All three groups pracitce adult baptism only, by immerision. all practice weekly communion, which is a central part of their Sunday services. Over time, what became the Churches of Christ in particular began to argue that nothing which is not clearly and explicitly authorised by the NT should be a part of Christian practice. The Churches of Christ, therefore are especially fundamentalist in their approach to Christian living. For example, they refuse to permit the use of musical instruments in congregational worship–they sing a’cappella instead. The Churches of Christ are also not inclined to inter-Christian cooperation or ecumenical gestures.

The other two groups which grew out of Restorationism are the Independent Christian Churches and the Disciples of Christ. All three groups prefer to call themselves simply ‘Christians’ but for clarity I will refer to them employing their denominational appellations. The Independents can be very Evangelical and are certainly conservative in their theology. The ‘Disciples’ tend to be much more liberal and in recent years have begun ordaining women pastors or even accepting homosexuals in certain roles. I am not clear on how far this has gone in the Disciples denomination.

The Churches of Christ/Christian Churches/Disciples of Christ originally argued for something akin to the ‘Trail of Bood’ theory, which suggests that the Christian church survived in the shadow of the Roman Catholic Church, underground and brutally suppressed and persecuted. Most ‘Church of Christers’ would still advocate this idea, ‘Independents’ usually take a more measured view of the idea, and ‘Disciples’ wouldn’t much care about the issue.

See the following links:

church-of-christ.org/

church-of-christ.org/who.html


#5

I just emailed my S.I.L. to let her know that I was doing a little research to find out more about her faith. Her response should be interesting…

I’ll keep you posted!


#6

katieandpaul - I am a protestant seeker (Baptist) who has been reading, but not posting. I signed up just so I could respond to you. If you are still interested in learning about the church of Christ sect (they balk at being called a denomination), let me know. My husband grew up in it and I am VERY knowledgeable about their beliefs because I debated them with him for several years (he has since left the CofC). Although they are by-and-large a very zealous group, they are also misguided. His father considers him to be “going to hell on a greased pole” (my dh’s words) now that he has joined a Baptist church.

Of course, as far as he is concerned, about the only thing worse than a Baptist is a Catholic. It will be a long difficult road if we decide to convert.


#7

[quote=alsligh] If you are still interested in learning about the church of Christ sect (they balk at being called a denomination), let me know.

Of course, as far as he is concerned, about the only thing worse than a Baptist is a Catholic. It will be a long difficult road if we decide to convert.
[/quote]

That struck a nerve… my Baptist son might say that perhaps nothing is worse than being Catholic. I tell him that with his love of the Lord, and his great interest in Scripture (selective verses for now), someday he will make a wonderful Catholic.

Please share your knowledge. We (me at least) look to learn something new every day.


#8

Ooooo…I hope I did not offend. I do not see eye-to-eye with my father-in-law on many (alright, most) things. He is not an unpleasant or hateful man, but quite extreme in his “piety.” I’ll put it this way - neither of my husband’s siblings go to any kind of church ever, but they are looked upon more favorably by my father-in-law than is my husband who is a strong family man (again, unlike his siblings) and attends a Baptist church. As for our Baptist church, in some ways it is typical Baptist, but in many ways it is not. We have what I consider to be a quite ecumenical congregation, though still conservative. Obviously, it’s not perfect, or I wouldn’t be here reading and posting :slight_smile:

In my initial post I didn’t really share any information because that would be enough to write many books! In the years I’ve known my husband’s family I’ve been amazed at the rigid stance on things that they take (like the lack of instruments, for example). flameburns623 gave excellent background on the history of the movement. As I said before, they are for the most part a very zealous group - they truly want to be as obedient as they can be to God. The problem is that they’ve come to the conclusion that their interpretation is the absolute truth and therefore all others must be wrong (and what follows in many circles is the belief that everyone else is necessarily going to hell). The next step beyond “we’ve got it right” is “everyone else has it wrong” and, sadly, there’s a certain pride that naturally follows, and, well, we all know about the dangers of pride.

To more directly answer katieandpaul’s original questions (and by the way, Katie, I used to live in Birmingham, so if you know the actual name of the congregation where they worship I may can even be more specific in telling you how conservative they are and what they would therefore believe) - the church of Christ sect does believe that their church was started by Jesus Christ. They do believe in a great apostasy, but are convinced that the (their) church existed all along. They believe in baptism only by those who have accepted Christ, never infant baptism. They do not use the term “saved,” however, like many fundamentalist churches. They think salvation occurs at baptism and as a result will generally take someone directly from the “altar call” (can I assume everyone here knows what I mean by that?) to the baptistry. They also don’t do anything (or at least they claim not to do anything) that isn’t expressly provided for in the New Testament (i.e., no instruments or choirs). Many CofC congregations have split over the decision to add a kitchen to the church’s building. They have communion (always referred to as “the Lord’s Supper”) every Sunday, but use grape juice, not wine (they believe that wine in the NT refers to unfermented grape juice - virtually impossible in those times, but whatever). They consider themselves non-denominational, but are vastly different from the non-denominational megachurch concept that has emerged in recent years. They believe that all churches should be autonomous and shouldn’t have to subscribe to the direction of a governing body/authority. Some of the more progressive (progressive being a relative term) congregations may associate somewhat with other congregations, but always within the CofC. The preachers (never reverend, minister, pastor, etc.), as far as I can tell, aren’t expected to have any theological training whatsoever (an example - my husband’s stepsister’s husband is in real estate but is looking for a full-time preaching job). As far as leadership goes, the elders of the congregation make the decisions. Here’s some CofC code for you: if they use a capital “c” on the sign it’s more progressive than the ultra conservative lowercase outside “c” churches.

I’ve just hit the highlights on the surface, but maybe that’ll pique some curiosity! Like I said in the first post, I don’t agree with them, but I know them very well.

Andi


#9

Here is a Church of Christ joke:

A man gets to the pearly gates… St. Peter welcomes him in & begins to show him around. He leads him down a long hallway. Inside the first room are a bunch of people playing Bingo. St. Peter says, “These are the Catholics.”

Inside the next room are a bunch of people with their hands in the air… speaking in tongues… making a joyful noise. “These are the Assembly of God folks.”

Inside the next room is a bunch of people having a big pot luck dinner. St. Peter says, “These are the Methodists.”

When they get to the next room St. Peter says, "Now this door we can’t open… you can just peek through the window but be very quiet… these folks are from the Church of Chirst and they think they’re up here alone. "

:smiley:


#10

I LOVE that joke! I considered putting it in my last post. It was told to me by a friend of mine who is a former preacher in the (little “c”) Church of Christ.


#11

[quote=alsligh]I LOVE that joke! I considered putting it in my last post. It was told to me by a friend of mine who is a former preacher in the (little “c”) Church of Christ.
[/quote]

I love that joke too. I was hoping that no one would find it offensive…

I wanted to add that the Church of Christ people that I knew when I lived in Florida were some of the nicest, most God-loving folks I’ve ever met. I don’t entirely agree with their interpretation of the Bible - but I’d sure welcome them as friends. :slight_smile:


#12

[quote=flameburns623]The Churches of Christ/Christian Churches/Disciples of Christ originally argued for something akin to the ‘Trail of Bood’ theory, which suggests that the Christian church survived in the shadow of the Roman Catholic Church, underground and brutally suppressed and persecuted. Most ‘Church of Christers’ would still advocate this idea,
[/quote]

I have to admit that I’m somewhat morbidly fascinated by these mythical church histories.

One question I usually ask of people that espouse them is: *Why do you use the KJV? * Logically, if this “bible-based” church existed throughout history, they must have had their own bibles upon which to base themselves. They must have produced vernacular translations of their own. Where are they? Certainly there should be some still remaining in existence.

Another is: Who were the members of this ancient bible-based church? Are we to believe that it existed for 2000 years and not a single member ever managed to get into a history book? One has to believe in a conspiracy theory of mammoth proportions to think that the Catholic Church was able to erase this “true” persecuted church entirely from history.

It’s interesting that people recognize the necessity of a historical connection to Christ but they will accept as true a connection that has virtually no evidence to support it.


#13

[quote=katieandpaul] One question that I asked her (since I consider her faith protestant) was who started her church. Her answer - short and sweet- was Jesus Christ.

Is this what her faith teaches, or does she misunderstand her faith?
Thank you!
[/quote]

Hi Katie and Paul, the church of christ people do not believe that their church is a denomination. In fact, that claim is a chip on their shourder. She is assuming you know what is posted at this link, scripturessay.com/ch4.html


#14

The “Restoration Movement” as her church would call themselves had roots in the “christian connection” movement ( which influenced Seventh Day Adventism and influenced the Jehovah’s Witnesses ). The Christian Connection movement had its roots in the boston Unitarian movement – where the modern bible alone doctrine came from. Thus they do not believe that their church is protestant, nor catholic and did not have a man made origin. They believe that they are the original christian church in Acts.

google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=Restoration+Movement+christian+connection+Unitarian


#15

note that Mormonism is also fruit of the “Restoration Movement”, so confusion about that makes sense.


#16

I have taken some deep breaths and said a prayer.
Now I will try to formulate a response.
I can’t argue the “facts” of the Cof C beleifs. Facts are facts.
As someone who has always been (since 14 anyway) a member of the CofC I have known some very conservative members and some rather liberal ones as well.
SO…good job reporting all you know about what we believe.

But you don’t KNOW the people in these churches.
Most of them are deeply in love with Jesus and want everyone to be saved.
Most of them(us) have never said nor believed that we would be the only ones in heaven.
Please dont be so quick to think you know US just because you know how we interpret scripture.
These churches are made up of PEOPLE. Sincere people.
Don’t laugh at them(us), tell jokes about us, or assume to be an expert because someone you know is a member and is difficult to get a long with.

The goal of all of us is to be closer to Christ.
Thats why I am on here.
I hope that is why others are on here as well.

If your only on here to ridicule other beliefs, then how very sad.
This is a great place to learn what the Catholic church believes.
Concentrate on that.

Asligh, you seem very proud of your knowledge of a church you are not a memeber of, and even prouder of the Baptist church you are a member of. Yet here you are on a catholic forum!

May I suggest you figure out exactly what your own beliefs are before you attack someone elses?


#17

Hi allisonP, with all respect, I have heard CoC pastors tell that joke and I do not think it was meant in a mean or spitful spirit.


#18

[quote=Daniel Marsh]Hi allisonP, with all respect, I have heard CoC pastors tell that joke and I do not think it was meant in a mean or spitful spirit.
[/quote]

I am sure your right Daniel. I have heard that same joke before with CofC, or Baptist, or Catholic inserted in the punch line.
However, even if it wasnt meant to be mean spirited, it is never kind to poke fun at someone elses religous belief’s. :tsktsk:
I think it was the over all tone that bothered me though, not so much the joke.
It is not something worth arguing over however and I probably should have just said my prayer and let it ride. :yup:


#19

AllisonP.,

I am the poster who told the joke. I am so very sorry it it offended you - I certainly didn’t mean to. I think the joke pokes fun at all of us… after all… it has the Catholics playing Bingo & the Methodists eating pot luck & certainly there is MUCH more to both of those faiths that just those two things. But perhaps you are right… it isn’t nice to make jokes about someone’s religious beliefs because what may be funny to one person, is insulting to another.

As I stated in a subsequent post, I have had many friends who were members of the Church of Chirst. I would agree with you - they are wonderful people who truly love the Lord & try their best to live their faith. They don’t totally understand my Catholic Faith - in the same way that I don’t totally understand some of their beliefs - but we still get along by focusing on what we DO have in common - our Savior Jesus Christ. I think it’s what He would want us to do.

I am very sorry - and I hope you continue to post here.
CM


#20

Carol Marie,

As I stated to Daniel I think it was the overall tone of the post,prior to your joke, that was offensive.
So by the time I heard the joke I no longer had a sense of humor!
Of course I am not going anywhere! :wink:
Thanks for your concern for me though!
Allison


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