History of "The Church of Christ"

I went out to dinner last night with a lady I’ve know for about 10yrs. She’s seemed to go around to different churches (non-catholic), but now has joined “The Church of Christ.” This was the first time I had ever had a discussion with someone, in my adult life, that has been a member of this “denomination”. I was laying down the history of the Catholic Church - in my lighthearted way - when she whipped out - in her lighthearted way as well - the “history” of “The Church of Christ”. She said it dated back to Peter… She said they believed in the True Presence… We went on a bunch of rabbit trails, so I didn’t get all the details.

My Question:

What do they believe their history is?


What is their true history since the Catholic Church is the only Church founded by St. Peter?


Pax et Bonum,


p.s. Resources are most helpful.

I had an awkward date once with a girl from a church of christ community and I knew nothing about what her faith taught. I’m with the OP I’d very much be interested in knowing what they teach (ironically enough we’re co workers now) and should the appropriate place pop up to share faith I’d like to be able to answer questions that might help her see the Truth found in the Catholic Church.

The Church of Christ is a product of the Restoration Movement of Alexander Campbell and Barton Stone in the 19th Century. The idea was to restore the church to the way it was in the apostolic age. The believed it was necessary to follow a strictly literal interpretation of the bible. Basic beliefs of the Churches of Christ include:
• Strictly literal adherence to the New Testament.
• Each church governed by a board of elders.
• Each church has deacons who assist the elders in administration of the church.
• A minister, who is not an ordained person, but who is responsible for the day to day operations of the church, conducting worship services, etc. Most but not all of them are seminary trained.
• Women cannot hold any church office or teach men.
• The Lord’s Supper observed every Sunday. Open communion is the norm and it is viewed as a memorial meal, not as a sacrifice.
• Believer’s (not infant) baptism by immersion for remission of sins. In this respect they see baptism as very much like a sacrament although they would not call it a sacrament.
• No musical instruments because there were none of record in the New Testament churches of the Bible.

“Church of Christ” church’s is a hornets nest. It would be difficult at times to make heads or tails of each of these church’s history. **William J. Whalen **researched them and boy did he get his hands full, Read his book **Revised Separated Brethren **would be of great help for you. From Williams research you might even be able to find which man founded your friends Church? and reveal to her it definitely was not Jesus.

Jesus founded the Catholic Church upon Peter and His apostles. Peter did not found the Catholic Church.

Because Church of Christ believers are so drawn to the New Testament. It would do them well if you can reveal to them when and where did the bible come from? They will be surprised to learn the Catholic Church canonized the bible as we have it today. The New Testament was canonized especially for the Catholic Liturgical Mass celebration.

There are two camps of Christian churches/Churches of Christ when it comes to musical instruments.

One camp does indeed not use musical instruments.

The other camp DOES use musical instruments.

Also, I want to make sure that readers of this thread recognize that there is a huge difference between the Church of Christ, which is a Campbellite Restoration fellowship, and the United Church of Christ, which is a mainline denomination that tends to be ultra-liberal theologically and socially these days (pro-abortion (they call it pro-choice), first denomination to ordain a gay minister, first denomination to perform a gay marriage, doesn’t necessarily preach the literal resurrection of Jesus, etc.).

Interesting, hard to keep up with all this these days.

Thanks for the book suggestion. I’ll look into it.

I stand corrected. Thanks for writing about Jesus founding the Church - something I already know. That was definitely a typo. :slight_smile:

Good idea about the Canon. I do know a good bit about it’s history, so that will be easy to bring up in the next convo. Thanks!

It is funny though because as a Filipino, I am very worried with one sect in the Philippines that is now spreading around the world. Yes, I am talking about the “Iglesia Ni Cristo” whom Mr. Keating debated ago against Mr, Ventilacion in San Diego. Mr. Keating had no problem refuting them though.

With this thread, I know also that the INC is refuting some sects with “Church of Christ” label. How many “Church of Christ” are there in the world today?

The INC is a problem in the Philippines (over 3 million members) and may not be felt yet in the U.S. because they are not that many yet. However, when the time comes that their memberships increases they become worst than the Jehovah’s witnesses because they will not confine their faith within but also outside their church. I am talking regarding their influence on politics and government where they used one voice in decision making especially when voting a public official. They are known as block voters in the Philippines. Right now, there is a news that they are lobbying for the acquittal of the Philippine’s Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who is under impeachment for alledgedly amassing ill-gotten wealth ater he became part of the Supreme court justices. His worst edict was to help the former President Gloria Arroyo leave the country in haste before she face trial. He also favored 80% of cases for the Arroyos. He was a former ally and legal counsel of the Arroyos before appointed as Chief Justice (Midnight appointee) less than two months before Arroyo is to leave office (illegal).

They preyed mostly on Catholics who are not well knowledgeable with the Catholic teachings. They are as good as the mormons in discipline. They help their members economically by finding them jobs especially in higher post of the goverment. They are Arian followers who does not have an official Bible. They get scriptures everywhere just to justify their cause, worseso, they bend them to make their faithful believe especially to honor the words of their spiritual leader. They believe that salvation is only in their church.

The ‘Christian Church’ is also known as the ‘Disciples of Christ’ and they are the ones who do use musical instruments.

Do both come from the same source themselves or are they completely unrelated and just share a name? I’m somewhat familiar with the Church of Christ’s origins but not the United Church of Christ’s origins. Do you have any knowledge of how the UCC came about?

The Christian Church(Disciples of Christ) and Church of Christ stem out of the “resoration” movement of Stone/Campbell. United Church of Christ has it’s roots in the Congregational Church and Evangelical and Reformed church movements…the two are unrelated in historical development.

Both as I understand utilize the “congregational” method of church government…you’ve probably noticed when you pass a Church of Christ the sign outside usually says “The Church of Christ meets here”…the Church isn’t a building but a people and they seek to make that known…much as Friends don’t use “church” historically either…Friends have “meetings”…the “church meets” together…the building is inconsequential.

My paternal grandmother was Church of Christ…no muscial instruments allowed. I took some classes at Jessup University in San Jose (formerly San Jose Bible College), a Christian Church/Church of Christ college when fresh out of high school before I was convinced a Friend.

They believe that the true church went into “total apostacy” and ceased to exist until “restored”.

Thier true history is that they were began in the very late year 1906, by dissadents from the Christian Church Disciples of Christ who dissagreed with organised missions, musical instruments in chruch worship, calling the preacher Reverend or Pastor, and a host of other issues at the time.

Most “churches of Christ” are in the South and places southeners have migrated.

To confuse matters further there are also churches mostly in the midwest who call themselves church of Christ and Christian church interchangably.

These people also broke from the Disciples but later in the 40s and 50s, they are not as conservative/reactionary as the Southern cofc, but still fundamentalist and very conservative.

I see you are in TN which is like a cofC heartland with Nashville as it’s “vatican”.

You likely would not be familiar with the chruch of Christ-Christian chruch, you are dealing with the real deal.

I was raised and dunked in THE church of Christ, and I fled as soon as I graduated.

They really do think they are the only church Christ has, and all others are not Christian and going to hell.

Thank you all for your input. It is nice to know some more info on the subject.

I’m also wondering if anybody knows of a resource(s) that I could find even more and how it the Catholic Church defends herself from it. I’ve come on here because I’ve found it very hard to bring up a search including the two. When you search “Church of Christ” “Catholic Church”, it brings up the Catholic Church is the Church founded by Christ. I’ve searched denomination Church of Christ, etc.

Does anyone have links or articles?

Sounds pretty mutual exclusive to me.

Due to the extremely independent and congregational nature of the “churches of Christ” they have no unanamous authority or headquarters they have no official web site or position on anything. But they do have a basic dogma shared by most congregations. Each church is independent of the others.

You will have to do a search, read the sites and reach your own conclusions. There are actually a number of groups using church of Christ as their name.

cofcs that are very conservative
cofcs that are less conservative, but still conservative
cofcs that have instruments, few but existent
cofcs that have sunday school classes
cofcs that have none
cofcs that use one glass for the grape juice
cofcs that use seperate shot glasses
cofcs that support “institutions” like orphanges
cofcs that support nothing outside their own individual congregation.

So you have to decide which “church of Christ” you are talking about.

But the majority have sunday school, no instruments, use seperate shot glasses and cooperate on “institutions”.

They all “observe” the Lord’s Supper each sunday but no other day, and baptise by total submerssion and mature beleivers only.

Good luck!

I was raised Church of Christ (not D of C or UCofC) we did use musical instruments.

2s4s, there is a web site called ex-churchofchrist.net or .com. And it has a lot of good stuff. But you need VERY good anti-virus.

It has a trojan horse virus in it.

I know others have posted different things about the CofC. I have had a little experience with them. Before coming home to the Catholic church I attended some of their services, as I was searching to find my way home. After invited there, they told me: they were non-denominational, communion on Sunday is very important to them and believe in adult immersion baptism. Also, was told you must believe at the time of your baptism that you are being cleansed of your sins or it must be repeated. You must be focusing on that at the time. Some wore headcoverings. Also, if something is not mentioned in the Bible, it frequently is not part of the church. For example, they didn’t have seminaries for their ministers because the word isn’t in the Bible. They would have Bible studies at the church and anyone who felt they had a calling to preach could, as long as it was a calling from the Holy Spirit. My friend who invited me, her husband had not been raised a christian, had not studied scripture but after a short time of going there felt he was called to be a preacher and so he did. (I know that happens other places also.) My friends would frequently say when discussing Biblical issues, “I am not adding anything to the Bible.” So I think there is a fear there of adding doctrine that is not biblical. I was also instructed Christmas and Easter are secular only holidays and it is wrong to celebrate them with any reference to Jesus. I was told we celebrate Jesus every Sunday, we do not need to do it on Christmas or Easter. No instruments, “because the early church did not have them.”

Frequently, at local fairs they set up booths and post signs stating they are the only one church, I haven’t seen a sign that said only true church, just the only one church. All the Churches of Christ around here are all very friendly with each other also. Even though there is no one person who is head of all of them, they frequently visit and fellowship with each other.

I had a friend who was a Disciple of Christ, or member of the “Christian denomination,” also part of the restoration movement, she said, except for the instruments they believed pretty much the same thing but they were seeing a lot of contemporary culture creeping in to the Disciples of Christ. She said that the Disciples of Christ and the Churches of Christ had started out as one but later divided.

Just my experience. Could be others with different information. Hope that helps.

Mine wasn’t a conversion from there to Catholicism, I just frequented it as I was searching but after coming home to the Catholic church, there was a little bit of disharmony between my friend and I, things haven’t quite been the same and at the time it bothered me and I found a website and after reading some of the posts on their forum it helped me. It is called Church of Christ to Catholicism. You might find some useful information there. Here is the link: coctocatholic.com/

I have found a web site from a cofc in Canada.


These people are very anti-Catholic, and it is a huge web-site. The sections about the Catholic Church use a skull and cfross bones logo!

And of course they repeat the same old lies, like Catholics worship idols, Pope is the beast, whore of Babylon etc.

Growing up, I’d hear my father talk about how the origins of the CoC were tied to Mormonism. Alexander Campbell was actually close to Sidney Rigdon, who was a prominent leader in the pre-Utah LDS church. I don’t know much about the church itself, but I do know that Rigdon’s congregation of CoC followers converted to Mormonism and it influenced both denominations. Wish I had references, but this is just from what I’ve learned through the LDS church and they’re not all that straightforward with what exactly happened regarding Sidney Rigdon or his origins.

Sidney Rigdon lost out to Brigham Young after the death of J Smith, so it probably makes sense that he is negelected by mormons.

The influence of both bodies on each other is enormous, even though Campbellites will deny it strongly.

Both hold the apostacy/restoration dichotamy.

Both baptise beleivers only, by submerrsion only and it must be for forgiveness of sin.

Both have communion each Sunday and no other day as a non-sacrificial memorial meal.

Both are run by laymen and have no semiaries or sacrament of ordination.

And both arose from the theological issues of the time.

But it is important to note that the church of Christ dernomination would not exist before 1906.

Mr Rigdon was Disciples of Christ.

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