Twenty-four years ago a broken, lonely, confused girl stumbled into a church, a Church of Christ. For two years she came to their church meetings, prayed with them, studied with them and sat at the feet of learned men, and some not so learned.
Eventually her heart was convicted and she gave her life to Jesus. She had her sins washed away and was baptized for the remission of her sins, in a Church of Christ.
Today I make the choice to pick up that cross and follow Jesus every day. But I also make another choice, the choice to not designate myself as “Church of Christ.”
This is why:
Church is a movement
not a building with a sign on it. Throughout the book of Acts the movement was so radical, so identifiable and so counter cultural that it was simply called, The Way. (Acts 9:2, 18:26; 19:9,23; 22:4; 24:14, 22)
Proper Names were not intended
I know that Rom. 16:16 says, may the churches of Christ salute you. But in the context, he is not giving them a title, proper name or designating a type of denomination.
Jesus wasn’t Church of Christ
Jesus did tell Peter, on this “rock I will build my church” (Mt. 16:18), but he never named it that. In the Book of Revelation Jesus designates the churches by city and by their fruit.
the church that had forsaken its first love (2:4).
the church that would suffer persecution (2:10).
the church that needed to repent (2:16).
the church that had a false prophetess (2:20).
the church that had fallen asleep (3:2).
the church that had endured patiently (3:10).
the church that was lukewarm (3:16).
Jesus gave us an ID tag
What you advertise in the yellow pages doesn’t put you in the Lamb’s Book of Life. However, our fruit will and it will advertise far and wide (Col. 1:4-6).
You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act (Mt. 7:16).
“Some of you are saying, ‘I am a follower of Paul.’ Others are saying, ‘I follow Apollos,’ or “I follow Peter,” or ‘I follow only Christ.’ Has Christ been divided into factions?” (1 Cor. 1:12-13).
A modern rendering of that verse could be, “Some of you are saying, “I am Baptist.” While others say, “I am Church of Christ” or “I am non-denominational.” Has Christ been divided into different denominations?
Jesus said our testimony will be in our unity. What message is sent when we aren’t unified?
“May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me” (Jn. 17:23).
I am simply a Christian.
I am member of the called out of Jesus. I am a member of the blood bought household of God. I am a member of the church, the body of Christ. I am simply, a Christian.
You will know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God. This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth. 1 Tim. 3:15