IS ONE CHURCH AS GOOD AS ANOTHER?
The words "attend the church
of your choice" greet readers searching for churches who advertise in newspapers.
If it is true that one church is as good as another then it is also true that
one may confidently attend the church of his choice. Let us now search the Scriptures
and see if they shed any light on the subject.
Is one founder as good as another? Jesus promised He would build his church (Matt. 16:18). Christ, and not a man nor a group of men, is the founder of His church. The apostle Paul affirms this truth by saying, "For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 3:11).
Think of all the different foundations that have been laid by religious groups. Will one accuse the Christ of laying different foundations? Our Lord is neither the author of division (1 Cor. 1:10-13) nor confusion (1 Cor. 14:33). Christ has made it clear that "every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up" (Matt. 15:13). If one founder is as good as another then one can confidently attend the church of his choice!
Is the shedding of any person's blood as good as the shedding of the blood of Christ? The church that Jesus promised to build was purchased by the shedding of His blood. The Lord's church was not purchased by the blood of "bulls and goats" (Heb. 10:4) or by the blood of any human being! In Acts 20:28, Paul reminds the Ephesian elders that they are to "feed the church of the Lord which he purchased with his own blood."
Who will presumptuously proclaim that his shed blood purchased the church of our Lord? Who will arrogantly boast that his blood can cleanse one of his sins? If it is true that anyone's blood can be shed for our sins, the shedding of Christ's blood was unnecessary.
Is Christ the only head of the church or is one head as good as another? Do those who attend man-made denominations really believe that Christ is the head of a church that a man or woman founded? Christ is only the head of His church "which is his body" (Eph. 1:22-23). How many "heads" are there? Only one -- Christ! How many bodies should exist if there is only one head? Only one! The apostle Paul affirms such in saying, "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as also ye were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all" (Eph. 4:4-6).
Do folks who claim to believe God's word really believe it? The prophet Jeremiah taught, "O Jehovah, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps" (Jer. 10:23). The wise man stated, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; But the end thereof are the ways of death" (Prov. 14:12). Do folks really believe that Christ can be the head of a church that man has founded? Do people have good reason for believing that the one head (Christ) has spawned hundreds of different religious groups? No, the Bible does not so teach, thus, one church is not as good as another.
Is one kind of worship as good as another? The reason for different churches is to accommodate different kinds of worship! Can you tell me why a "Baptist" is not a "Methodist," or why a "Presbyterian" is not a "Catholic?" It is precisely because each has a different kind of worship that attracts those who desire to worship (?) in such a manner.
Jesus said, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24). Is truth that which comes from man or that which comes from God? The Bible says, "Sanctify them in the truth: thy word is truth" (John 17:17). If people do not engage in true worship, the worship they enter into is "vain worship" (Matt. 15:9). If one kind of worship was as good as another, then one church might be as good as another. The Bible, however, does not so teach.
Instead of the church of your choice or my choice, we must attend the church of God's choice! God gave His Son to die for and establish the church -- not a church, some church, or any church! Let the Bible be your guide and you will not be a member of some man-made denomination.
No, one church is not as good as another. Such is the devil's doctrine -- not God's.
By Marvin Weir
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