Church of Christ?


#1

Does anyone know where and when this church started? Also do you know anyone who came out of this church, back to the Catholic faith?


#2

Which Church of Christ?

The Mormon one, the pentacostal one, the mainstream protestant one, the ministrial sectarian one, the evangelical one?

A lot of heresys call their churches by this name, which one are you after specifically Sister?


#3

[quote=margedonpete]Does anyone know where and when this church started? Also do you know anyone who came out of this church, back to the Catholic faith?
[/quote]

I believe that the Church of Christ you are referring to came out of the restoration movement (as in restoring the ‘real’ new testament chruch) in the mid 1800’s. I’ll have to do some digging, but I remember Marcus Grodi having former member of this denomination who had converted on his show The Journey Home. I’ll try to dig up the audio link…


#4

My grandparents belonged to the Church of Christ and some relatives still do. This appeared in the late 1800s in western American frontier areas as a revivalist movement. They are evangelical fundamentalists; they advocate adherence to strict moral standards, and they pride themselves on celebrating the Lord’s Supper every Sunday in their own way.


#5

The Church of Christ I am very familiar with is a non-denoninational church…loosely associated with others, and definitely Evangelical…Not exactly fundamentalist, but close. They are a little more tolerant of others, and not at all separatist, as true fundamentalists are.


There is a Church of Christ that is a denomination, one that uses no musical instruments, the one that is Evangelical. and others. I believe they are all a part of the “restoration” movement that seeks to do things the way they were “done” in New Testament times…They do believe that some Catholics may be “real” Christians, but are happy to have us “convert” to their churches and become “saved”…


#6

From the Handbook of Denominations in the United States, Samuel Hill, 1995:

CHRISTIAN CHURCH (THE STONE-CAMPBELL MOVEMENT)

**The Restoration impulse, to recover the message or the organization or the mission (any or all), is at least as old as the Protestant Reformation. In nineteenth-century America, however, this impulse became the sole defining mark of several Protestant movements. Those associated with Barton W. Stone and the Campbells, Thomas the Father and Alexander the son, epitomized this determination. This indigenous movement traced some of its heritage to Baptists and Presbyterians. But these leaders and their followers glimpsed the vision independently. By 1832 the **
“Stonettes” and the “Campbellites” had come together. Very soon thereafter, however, differences arose and, over time, three distinct fellowships emerged. Devoted in varying ways to the Reformation ideal, these continue to be influential.

Following this paragraph are listed details of the founding and some of the major beliefs of the (1) Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), (2)Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, and the (3) Churches of Christ.

Also listed separately are the General Council of the Christian Church of North America, Christian Congregation, Inc., Christian Union, Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A., and the Church of Christ, Scientist. Preceding this breakdown of “Church of Christ” churches is the Christian Catholic Church (an evangelical Protestant church).

If you can tell me specifically which Church of Christ you’re interested in, I’ll be glad to look for it in Hill’s book. (Denominations of less than 200 are not included.)


“All the waters of the Elbe would not yield me tears sufficient to weep for the miseries caused by the Reformation” Melanchthon (Luther’s co-conspirator and author of the Augsburg Confession, Epistles, Book IV, Ep. 100).


#7

OK I think u meaning the ICC/ICOC, which is the international church of Christ. It was started by Kip Mckean in 1979 and has roots back to the Boston Church of Christ. They use brainwashing and other controling techniques to control there members. Go to www.reveal.org. Its a web site on Members who have left the church and they give insites into the cult church. If you want something that will show your friend about how false and twisted there teaching are you can find it there. Particularly in the people and stories section. You will find one by Jennifer Porter. She give total insite into there teaching and how you can prove that they are incorrect from the bible. I am busy reading it myself as I have friend that has also become involved lately.

Hope this helps

Cheers
Brendan


#8

Without further information, it’s hard to know which group is being referred to. But I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that it’s the “International Church of Christ,” which is an offshoot of the older “churches of Christ,” which is in turn the most conservative branch of the “Restoration movement.”

Here’s the Restoration movement in a nutshell. It was founded in the early 19th century by a number of American Protestants, chief among whom was a Presbyterian minister named Alexander Campbell. The “Restoration movement” was in many ways a reaction against Calvinism–it denied the Calvinist/Augustinian idea of original sin, predestination, etc., and also denied infant baptism. Campbell and his followers believed that baptism was necessary for salvation but it had to be done by full immersion on profession of faith (the stricter members of the movement think that the non-immersed are damned–most hold a view closer to the Catholic one, allowing for some form of baptism by desire). Like many other 19th-century movements, they emphasized sola scriptura and rejected any kind of creeds or confessions (bear in mind that many of them were coming from a Presbyterian background where the confessions of the 16th and 17th century were given great authority). They had a rather rationalistic approach to the Bible–if you just read it with an open heart the truth will become obvious (they’ve been accused of minimizing te work of the Holy Spirit). That being said, from a Catholic point of view they did come to some amazing conclusions–that the Lord’s Supper should be celebrated every week, that baptism is salvific (though not really sacramental), and that many Calvinist traditions were false. So of all the primitivist movements of the 19th century, I’d say this one was in many ways the healthiest.

One of their principles was the autonomy of each local church, but by the early 20th century they were developing into something more like a denomination (i.e., more of a bureaucracy). Because of this (and also because of the growing use of musical instruments, which many saw as unbiblical), the more conservative members of the movement split away as the “Churches of Christ,” while the more “denominational” group was known as the “Disciples of Christ.” Later, the more conservative among the “Disciples” split away and took the name “Independent Christian Churches and Churches of Christ.” They reject a denominational bureaucracy but allow musical instruments.

The “International Church of Christ” developed out of one “Church of Christ” congregation in Boston. It is very controversial, because it teaches that it is the one true Church and has an authoritarian structure. It is not to be confused with any of the groups I’ve been describing.

In Christ,

Edwin


#9

[quote=Katholikos]From the Handbook of Denominations in the United States, Samuel Hill, 1995:

CHRISTIAN CHURCH (THE STONE-CAMPBELL MOVEMENT)

**The Restoration impulse, to recover the message or the organization or the mission (any or all), is at least as old as the Protestant Reformation. In nineteenth-century America, however, this impulse became the sole defining mark of several Protestant movements. Those associated with Barton W. Stone and the Campbells, Thomas the Father and Alexander the son, epitomized this determination. This indigenous movement traced some of its heritage to Baptists and Presbyterians. But these leaders and their followers glimpsed the vision independently. By 1832 the **
“Stonettes” and the “Campbellites” had come together. Very soon thereafter, however, differences arose and, over time, three distinct fellowships emerged. Devoted in varying ways to the Reformation ideal, these continue to be influential.

Following this paragraph are listed details of the founding and some of the major beliefs of the (1) Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), (2)Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, and the (3) Churches of Christ.

Also listed separately are the General Council of the Christian Church of North America, Christian Congregation, Inc., Christian Union, Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A., and the Church of Christ, Scientist. Preceding this breakdown of “Church of Christ” churches is the Christian Catholic Church (an evangelical Protestant church).

If you can tell me specifically which Church of Christ you’re interested in, I’ll be glad to look for it in Hill’s book. (Denominations of less than 200 are not included.)


“All the waters of the Elbe would not yield me tears sufficient to weep for the miseries caused by the Reformation” Melanchthon (Luther’s co-conspirator and author of the Augsburg Confession, Epistles, Book IV, Ep. 100).
[/quote]

**Thank you for the information…The church I am familiar with is called Christ’s Church at Mason, and can be found on the web…It is a non-denominational church, which is loosely connected to other Churches of Christ. They attend the North American Christian Convention, which will be held in Phoenix this year. **


As far as I can tell, this church is very welcoming to everyone…There are MANY former Catholics there, as well as people from many other Protestant denominations…They do not seem to like the idea of “doctrine”, feeling that it gets in the way of faith. While they will not say that all Catholics are not Chistians, they do seem to rejoice in having a Catholic become a “real Chirsian”…


I have many friends in this church, and it hurts me to know that some of them are praying for my conversion…I attend now and then with my husband, and we are members of a wonderful Sunday School class. I am very open about the fact that I am a practicing Catholic, and the Sunday School teacher refers to me as their resident Catholic expert…Catholic related questions are usually referred to me, and it is always a wonderful chance to clear up the many misconceptions they have about the Catholic faith…I am never pushy, but always rejoice at the opportunity to share my faith with people I have come to love and respect. The wonderful thing is that they seem to respect me, too…It is a privelege to be part of this group of sincere and loving Christians, and to have the opportunity to witness to my Catholic faith.


#10

The NACC is the convention of the group I mentioned that split away from the Disciples in the mid-20th century. They’re the moderate branch of the movement–they use instruments and fall more or less in the “evangelical” rather than fundamentalist camp. I attended a college affiliated with them, and I have a lot of respect for them, as you obviously do. You might be interested in the writings of a theologian called Fred Norris, who teaches at one of their seminaries and is a patristics scholar with a lot of respect for Catholicism and even more for Orthodoxy.

In Christ,

Edwin


#11

Hi Edwin, and thanks for your reply. I thought that was the group.


Yes, I do have a lot of respect for these people. I count many as friends, and am always impressed with their love for the Lord, and their willingness to serve Him.


I’ll look Fred Norris up. Thanks for the information.


#12

I grew up in the Church of Christ and was a member for 26 years until I converted to Catholicism. My church though was very different in doctrine and practice than those described in previous messages.


#13

[quote=Hlebear]I grew up in the Church of Christ and was a member for 26 years until I converted to Catholicism. My church though was very different in doctrine and practice than those described in previous messages.
[/quote]

How was it different? I’d be interested in knowing.


#14

This thread caught my eye because I have a good friend who belongs to a small “Church of Jesus Christ.” She was baptized in this church a few years ago, and still participates in it. They greet each other (members of the same sex only) with a kiss, believe in and read the Book of Mormon, and have bread and wine at their services. They also speak in tongues – supposably – and call their clergy “elders.” Does anyone know about this particular denomination? I don’t know much else about it, but perhaps I’ll be able to ask my friend more about it, at some point.

I just felt compelled to add this. My apologies if it seems off-topic. :o


#15

I grew up in three Church of Christ Churches in the Oklahoma City over my life. Here are some of their major beliefs:

  • They are non-demonimational- everyone else is a denomination. They believe that the “Church of Christ” was the first church founded on the day of pentecost. All other churches are man-made.
  • They believe baptism is regenerational, but must be by full immersion. The baptized must also be of the age of reason. No small children or infants are baptized. Baptism is trinitarian. Baptism is necessary for salvation.
  • The Lords Supper is taken every Sunday by every baptized member. They use grape juice instead of wine in separate small cups. Though they believe it is symbolic only, it is still a very serious matter. Missing it would be considered a sin.
  • They do not believe in sola fide or only faith, but faith/works.
  • They believe in the bible only, sola scriptura.
  • They attend services 3 times a week: Sunday, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. Missing church is also very serious unless for illness.
  • They also do not believe in divorce, unless scriptural for adultery.
  • No musical instruments are used in services, there are no choirs. No symbols or pictures of Jesus are used in the building. Most people bring their bibles to services.
  • Alcohol, Smoking, Dancing, Gambling are forbidden and considered sinful.
  • Women are not allowed to speak during services or teach any man over the age of reason (Bible Classes).
    -Church Organization: Each church is autonomous with no central organization. Elders, Deacons, and preachers make up the church leaders. Elders are deferred to in all things and have no formal training in religion. They are elected by the congregation.
  • They believe that there is no salvation outside of their church. They do believe salvation can be lost even if a person is baptized. It is not a once and only thing.
  • There is no confession of sins, they believe in the “dial direct” method. However, if someone committed a serious sin (adultery, fornication/pregnancy), they should confess it to the entire church to be accepted.

If anyone has any further questions, I would be happy to answer.

I always thought this odd.


#16

[quote=Albedo]This thread caught my eye because I have a good friend who belongs to a small “Church of Jesus Christ.” She was baptized in this church a few years ago, and still participates in it. They greet each other (members of the same sex only) with a kiss, believe in and read the Book of Mormon, and have bread and wine at their services. They also speak in tongues – supposably – and call their clergy “elders.” Does anyone know about this particular denomination? I don’t know much else about it, but perhaps I’ll be able to ask my friend more about it, at some point.

I just felt compelled to add this. My apologies if it seems off-topic. :o
[/quote]

This is NOT a Church of Christ…If they are studying the Book of Morman, they are somehow part of the Morman Church…Interesting…


#17

[quote=CD4]This is NOT a Church of Christ…If they are studying the Book of Morman, they are somehow part of the Morman Church…Interesting…
[/quote]

While I’m not going to defend her choice of church, I will say they certainly aren’t connected with the Mormon Church at all. I don’t think they have any Mormon beliefs – like they say, “if you believe in the Old Testament, does that make you a Jew?” For whatever reason, they think the Book of Mormon is the inspired word of God, and should be in the Bible. They aren’t Mormons, or connected with Mormons.


#18

[quote=Hlebear]I grew up in three Church of Christ Churches in the Oklahoma City over my life. Here are some of their major beliefs:

  • They are non-demonimational- everyone else is a denomination. They believe that the “Church of Christ” was the first church founded on the day of pentecost. All other churches are man-made.
  • They believe baptism is regenerational, but must be by full immersion. The baptized must also be of the age of reason. No small children or infants are baptized. Baptism is trinitarian. Baptism is necessary for salvation.
  • The Lords Supper is taken every Sunday by every baptized member. They use grape juice instead of wine in separate small cups. Though they believe it is symbolic only, it is still a very serious matter. Missing it would be considered a sin.
  • They do not believe in sola fide or only faith, but faith/works.
  • They believe in the bible only, sola scriptura.
  • They attend services 3 times a week: Sunday, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. Missing church is also very serious unless for illness.
  • They also do not believe in divorce, unless scriptural for adultery.
  • No musical instruments are used in services, there are no choirs. No symbols or pictures of Jesus are used in the building. Most people bring their bibles to services.
  • Alcohol, Smoking, Dancing, Gambling are forbidden and considered sinful.
  • Women are not allowed to speak during services or teach any man over the age of reason (Bible Classes).
    -Church Organization: Each church is autonomous with no central organization. Elders, Deacons, and preachers make up the church leaders. Elders are deferred to in all things and have no formal training in religion. They are elected by the congregation.
  • They believe that there is no salvation outside of their church. They do believe salvation can be lost even if a person is baptized. It is not a once and only thing.
  • There is no confession of sins, they believe in the “dial direct” method. However, if someone committed a serious sin (adultery, fornication/pregnancy), they should confess it to the entire church to be accepted.

If anyone has any further questions, I would be happy to answer.

I always thought this odd.
[/quote]

Wow! Very great summary! I have been attending one for the last 7 years. Although, there are few exta points of clarity.
1 - Confession of sins is in front of the entire church after the invitation. - This is not just “serious sin” but rather even if one “isn’t doing enough”. If you repeat the same sin, you are in trouble, because Christ says, “go and sin no more”. So they generally believe they are “sinless”.
2 - No Kitchens / extra suff, no Church Pinics. They will have an unofficial get togethers organized by a deacon or such, that in not in any way supported by the church
3 - No steeples / No Women leading the songs.
4 - I believe the mid/late 1800’s is the origin date. There was a scism in the 1950’s, where the “liberal” Church of Christ took off. These Liberal Churches now are generally larger and may have preschools & extra non-Bible authorized activities. You have to ask the Elder which is a “good” church.
5 - The Church was in “hiding” from about 100 A.D. to 1850
6 - In the INDPLS, IN area there are about 12 or so such churches with about 40-200 people each. Alot of members are originally from Tennesse/Texas.
7 - One woman is “withdrawn” from because they believed the man, who quit attending, was telling the truth when he said he didn’t committ adultry before the marrage was over.


#19

Edwin…This sounds very much like the Church of Christ I am familiar with. This particular one is autonomous, but does attend the North American Chrsitian Convention (I think that’s right)…Anyway, they have a pastor, and elders, but no deacons…The elders do the work of deacons. Various groups of elders are responsible for different things…All staff members are assigned a couple to help them stay on the right path…

What you have said about baptism and the Lord’s Supper apply to this church, also. It is the only non-liturgical Protestant church I know of that celebrates Communion on a weekly basis. Although I do not partake (of course), I am always impressed with the reverence shown during the brief service. While they do not believer that the bread and wine (OK…grape juice) become the actual Body and Blood of Christ, as we do, they do believe that He is somehow truly present…Not consubstantiation, but something close to it.

Thanks for the information…


#20

[quote=Albedo]While I’m not going to defend her choice of church, I will say they certainly aren’t connected with the Mormon Church at all. I don’t think they have any Mormon beliefs – like they say, “if you believe in the Old Testament, does that make you a Jew?” For whatever reason, they think the Book of Mormon is the inspired word of God, and should be in the Bible. They aren’t Mormons, or connected with Mormons.
[/quote]

When someone mentions Mormons, one generally thinks about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, based in Salt Lake City. However, there are other branches of Mormons, not associated with Salt Lake City, that also hold to the idea that the Book of Mormon is inspired scripture. One of these is the Community of Christ, formerly called the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. From them, broke of the Church of Christ (Temple Lot), Church of Christ with the Elijah Message, and those are the only two I can think of at the moment. There is also another branch that’s mainly practiced out west, called Fundamental Mormonism. These are the ones in Colorado and Arizona that have been on the news lately, over polygamy.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.