Psalm 1:1,2, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and might." Psalm 127:1, "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain." Matthew 15:13, "But he answered and said, Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up." Proverbs 14:12, "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Jeremiah 10:23, "0 Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his own steps." The leading thrust of these passages is that there is a way for man that pleases God, and there are ways that displease Him. It makes a difference what a person believes, does and thinks. Unless that which a person follows it the way of God it is in vain. Destruction awaits that which is not of God. This is true with respect to the church. The popular idea is that one church is as good as another. But since the Bible is true, we contend this doctrine is false. Churches make a difference. While some contend it makes no difference, we urge and demand that Biblical authority for such an idea be presented, and we have never had that request met by anyone. What do we mean by "the undenominational church?" Without the existence of denominations we would not have to use such a phrase. But denominations are abundant in number. Many have been so ingrained in denominationalism that they find it difficult to conceive of the church without a denominational concept of it.
What Is Not Meant
Let us first discover some things we do not mean by the phrase. We do not mean a church that includes all denominations. Such a mass of confusion would certainly not be a credit to God. Nor do we mean a church that is a single denomination. There is no authority in the New Testament for any denomination. We are not talking about something that is generally known as Catholic, Protestant or any such thing. These are denominations. The undenominational church would not fit in any such category. We are glad we are not called upon to defend these denominations and their doctrines We are equally glad we are not required to defend the history of either one. We do not profess to be a denomination or a member of one. Denominationalism has been a plague on the religious scene. It breeds doubt, division, confusion and unbelief. It misrepresents God, the faith of Christ, His church as revealed in the Bible, and paves the way for atheism. The amalgamation of doctrines, creeds, disciples, catechisms, prayer books, manuals, confessions of faith and other such things, many of which are openly contradictory to the Bible and each other, makes it embarrassing for any person who will stay with Scripture to defend them. "Thus saith the Lord" is the plea of Scripture and not the doctrines of men. We do not mean any church founded by any man anywhere at any time, regardless of how honest, sincere and well-meaning and pious he may have been.
What We Do Mean
What we do mean is that church which is separate and apart from all denominations, a church that is not a denomination, a church that has nothing to do with denominations. Let us be more specific. We speak of that church that is a sacred institution, divine in origin, founded by Jesus Christ, purchased by His blood. God planned and prophesied the coming of the church (Ephesians 3:10,11). Jesus said He would build it (Matthew 16:16-18). It began on Pentecost (Acts 2). We speak of that one body (Ephesians 4:4,5) which is the church (Ephesians 1:22,23). This is the church over which Christ is head (Colossians 1:18). That church, rather than any denomination, is the one that existed before any denomination, and exists apart from them. That is the undenominational church.
The undenominational church recognizes no human head. Any church that has a human as its head, man or woman, is not the undenominational church. Christ is the head of His church, the King of His kingdom, the elder brother in God s family, the chief Shepherd of God s flock. Nothing in Scripture denotes a visible, earthly head of the church. All authority belongs to Christ (Matthew 28:18). Everything is to be done according to His authority (Colossians 3:17).
The undenominational church does not subscribe or follow any human creed. The word "creed" means "1 believe." The undenominational church has as its creed the Son of God and His revealed testament. Take a Bible and write on its cover, "The Creed Of The Undenominational Church." By that alone are we guided and bound. Any other message is prohibited (Galatians 1:6-9). Traditions of men are not to be equated with God s Word (Matthew 15:9). By His Word we shall be judged (John 12:48), not some creed of man. Second Peter 1:3, "God hath given us all things that pertain to life and godliness." Second Timothy 3:16,17 teaches the Scriptures to be inspired, inerrant, infallible, authoritative and all-sufficient. It is all we need and all we are allowed. That Word of God is the final court of appeal. The reason we believe what we believe is because the Scripture teaches it. The reason we do not believe what others may believe is because the Scriptures to not so teach. That is the characteristic of the undenominational church.
The undenominational church is identified by terms found in Scripture, like churches of Christ, church of God, more often than any other, simply, the church. Members are Christians. No denominational and divisive names are supplied or warranted. Denominations pride themselves in their distinct names, doctrines, practices that separate them from others. But it also separates them from the undenominational church of the Bible.
The undenominational church follows the distinct New Testament plan and pattern of worship, work, entrance into the church, life in the church. While the world suffers beneath the yoke of denominationalism, those who will take what the Bible teaches quickly learn the difference between what the Bible teaches and what is prominent and dominant in the religious world. We would put forth this proposition for all to consider. If men would throw away their creeds, human heads of their churches, divisive names, distinctive doctrines, man-made traditions and practices, and take God at His Word, and take only God s Word, the plague of denominationalism and all its attendant havoc would vanish from the face of the earth. Then atheism, communism, humanism, heathenism and all other forms of anti-God ideologies could be confronted with a tremendous wealth of resources, manpower and truth. Salvation for the teeming billions of the world could become a reality. Realistically speaking, this is not likely to occur, not because it is not right, but because too many people are wedded and welded to their denominations. Their pride and desire to "do their own thing" will prevent it. But regardless of what most may do, this is the cause and the plea of faithful Christians.
Return to the General Articles page
Home / Bible studies / Bible Survey / Special Studies / General Articles / Non-Bible Articles / Sermons / Sermon Outlines / Links / Questions and Answers / What Saith The Scriptures /Daily Devotional / Correspondence Courses / What is the Church of Christ / Book: Christian Growth / Website Policy / E-mail / About Me /