The church of Christ is not a denomination. When we say that, most in the
religious world do not understand what we are trying to say. What we are trying
to say is that we are Christians. We are nothing more because there is nothing
more. We are not something less because that would be a waste of our time and
disrespectful to God. Because we are Christians, we believe, practice, and teach
the things that Christ taught. We belong to Christ and follow Him wherever He
takes us. We do not belong to someone or something else. I belong to Christ.
I have been added to a group of people called out (church) that belongs to (of)
John began in v. 1 of II John by saying, “the elder to the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in truth; and not only I, but also all who know the truth.” John made reference to the thing that bound him to those he was writing to and also to all other Christians. That common element is the truth. The truth is what binds me together in the church of Christ to people who are nothing like me in many ways. We are bound together by a common belief in the truth that Jesus is the Son of God, that certain activities are sinful and other activities are holy, that Jesus will return for His children, and every other truth that Jesus taught.
When we abandon the truth of Christ, we cease to be the church of Christ. I was reading a few weeks ago an article by some who were very upset at the fact that there was a television program on in their area that had a session devoted to what the Bible says about a woman’s role in the church. One of the things they discussed on the program is why it is wrong for a woman to teach or have authority over a man in the church (I Tim. 2:12).
What the author of the article was upset about was that at the end of the program, they made the statement, “This program is from the churches of Christ.” His point was that he does not believe it is wrong for a woman to be a preacher, but he still considers himself a member of the church of Christ. In response, I would say that he may be a part of a body, but that body does not belong to Christ. It may be a lot of things, but it is not the church of Christ. The body that belongs to Christ does not believe that it is right for a woman to teach or have authority over a man. This is not because of cultural bias, chauvinism, or ignorance. It is because the truth of God’s word teaches this to us based on creation and the fact that Eve sinned first (II Tim. 2:11-14).
If we abandon the idea that we have truth, then what do we really have left besides a bunch of people with no common denominator? This is not just applicable to subjects like a woman’s role in the church, but it extends all the way to our very belief in Jesus Christ. When we lose the truth, we lose the key to our bond in Christ and our very salvation. In John 8:31-32, Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
May we be more convinced of the truth every day through our study of God’s word. May that conviction spur us on to a life inspired and grounded in the truth so that the world might see God’s truth and give Him glory (Matt. 5:16).
By Westley Hazel
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