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Information about Churches of Christ:  

 

What is the Plea of the Church of Christ
It is primarily a plea for religious unity based upon the Bible. In a divided religious world it is believed that the bible is the only possible common denominator upon which most, if not all, of the God-fearing people of the world can unite. This is an appeal to go back to the Bible. It is a plea to speak where the Bible speaks and to remain silent where the Bible is silent in all matters that pertain to religion. It further emphasizes that in everything religious there must be a "Thus saith the Lord" for all that is done. The objective is religious unity of all believers in Christ. The basis is the New Testament. The method is the restoration of New Testament Christianity.

Are the Churches Organically Connected?
Following the plan of organization founded in the New Testament, churches of Christ are autonomous. Their common faith in the Bible and adherence to its teaching (only from the Bible) are the chief ties which bind them together. There is no central headquarters of the church and no organization superior to the elders of each local congregation. Congregations do cooperate voluntarily in supporting the orphans and the aged, in preaching the gospel in new fields, and in other similar works.
In each congregation, which has existed long enough to become fully organized, there is a plurality of elders, also called presbyters, bishops, shepherds, etc. who serve as the governing body. These men are selected by the local congregation on the basis of qualifications set down in the Scriptures (I Tim. 3:1-7). Serving under the elders are deacons, teachers, and evangelists, also called ministers. The latter do not have authority equal to or superior to the elders. The elders are shepherds or overseers who serve under the headship of Christ according to the New Testament, which is a kind of constitution. There are no earthly authority superior to the elders of the local church.

What does the Church of Christ believe about the Bible?
The original autographs of the sixty-six books which make up the Bible are considered to have been divinely inspired, by which it is meant that they are infallible and authoritative. Reference to the Scripture is made in settling every religious question. A pronouncement from the Scriptures is considered the final word. The basic textbook of the church and the basis for all preaching is the Bible.

Do members of the Church of Christ believe in the Virgin Birth?
Yes. The statement in Isaiah 7:14 is taken as a prophecy of the virgin birth of Christ. New Testament passages such as Matthew 1:20, 25, are accepted at face value as declaration of the virgin birth. Christ is accepted as the only begotten Son of God, uniting in his person perfect divinity and perfect manhood.

Does the Church of Christ believe in predestination?
Only in the sense that God predestines the righteous to be eternally saved and the unrighteous to be eternally lost. The statement of the apostle Peter, "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is acceptable unto him" (Acts 10:34-35) is taken as an evidence that God did not predestine individuals to be eternally saved or lost, but that each man determines his own destiny.

Why does the Church of Christ baptize only by Immersion?
The word baptize comes form the Greek word "baptizo" and literally means, "to dip, to immerse, to plunge." In addition to the literal meaning of the word, immersion is practiced because it was the practice of the church in apostolic times. Still further, only immersion conforms to the description of baptism as given by the apostle Paul in Romans 6:3-5 where he speaks of it as a burial and a resurrection.

Is Infant baptism practiced?
No. Only those who have reached the "age of accountability" are accepted for baptism. It is pointed out that the examples given in the New Testament are always of those who have heard the gospel preached and have believed it. Faith must always precede baptism, so only those old enough to understand and believe the gospel are considered fit subjects for baptism.

What is the ministers role?
Does the preacher hear confessions? No. Preachers, ministers, or evangelists of the church have no special prerogatives. They do not wear the tile of Reverend, Father, or Pastor, but are addressed simply by the term Brother as are all other men of the church. Along with elders and others they do counsel and advise those seeking help.

Can women have a leadership role in the Church?
Women are vital to the chruch. They do many things within the church to help it be successful. They are teachers in the childrens classes, as well as, in all womens classes. But as we see in 1 Timothy 2:11 - 12 a women is not to take a leadership role over a man (Christian man).

Are prayers addressed to saints?
No. God is considered the only one to whom prayers may be addressed. It is further understood that Christ stands in a mediatorial position between God and man (Heb. 7:25). All prayers are therefore offered through Christ, or in the name of Christ (John 16:23-26).

How often is the Lord's Supper eaten?
It is expected that every member of the church will assemble for worship on each Lord's day. A central part of the worship is the eating of the Lord's supper (Acts 20:7). Unless providentially hindered, each member considers this weekly appointment as binding. In many instances, as in the case of illness, the Lord's supper is carried to those who are hindered from attending the worship.

What kind of music is used in worship?
As a result of the distinctive plea of the church - a return to New Testament faith and practice - a capella singing is the only music used in the worship. This singing, unaccompanied by mechanical instruments of music, conforms to the music used in the apostolic church and for several centuries thereafter (Eph. 5;19). It is felt that there is no authority for engaging in acts of worship not found in the New Testament. This principle eliminates the use of instrumental music, along with the use of candles, incense, and other similar elements.

By what means does the Church secure financial support?
Each first day of the week the members of the church "lay by in store as they have been prospered" (I Cor. 16:2). The amount of any individual gift is generally known only to the one who gave it and the Lord. This free-will offering is the only call which the church makes. All moneys stay with the local congregation to be used by the elders as they see fit to aid fellow Christians, benevolence, and to spread the boarders of God's Kingdom through evangelism. If you have question about how our money is being used, visit our Mission Work Link.

What is the belief of the Church of Christ concerning divorce?
Because of the statement made by Christ in Matthew 19:3-9, and elsewhere, it is believed that marriage is binding until death. The only exception is in the case of adultery on the part of one of the parties to the marriage. In such cases it is believed that the innocent marriage partner is no longer bound by the marriage ties. Divorces, for the myriad causes known to modern society, are not recognized as scriptural.

How does one become a member of the Church?
In the salvation of man's soul there are two necessary parts: God's part and man's part. God's part is the big part, "For by grace ye have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, that no man should glory" (Eph. 2:8-9). The love which God felt for man led him to send Christ into the world to redeem man. The life and teaching of Jesus, the sacrifice on the cross, and the proclaiming of the gospel to men constitute God's part in salvation.
Though God's part is the big part, man's part is also necessary if man is to reach heaven. Man must comply with the conditions of pardon which the Lord has announced. Man's part can be clearly set forth in the following steps:
1. Hear the gospel. "How then shall they call on him whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10:14)
2. Believe. "And without faith it is impossible to be wellpleasing unto him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him" (Hebrews 11:6)
3. Repent of past sins. "The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent" (Acts 17:30)
4. Confess Jesus as Lord. "Behold here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believeth with all thy heart thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God" (Acts 8:36-37)
5. Be Baptized for the remission of sins. "And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38)
6. Live a Christian life. "Ye are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possessions, that ye may show forth the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light" (I Peter 2:9)
Now that you are aware of a church in the present which is built according to the blueprints of Christ's original church, why not become a member of it? In becoming a member of it you will be called upon to do nothing which you cannot read in the New Testament. You will then live and worship just as the apostle-guided Christians of the first century did.
Not only is this return to New Testament Christianity a wonderful basis upon which all believers in Christ can unite, it is absolutely solid ground. If we do just what our Lord commanded, we know that our salvation is certain. We want to be as Abel, pleasing to the Lord through unselfish obedience. We do not want to be as Cain was, changing God's commands because we feel our way is just as good as God's way, either through ignorance or selfishness. We must always go to the word (Bible) for direction. Come with us as we go back to the Bible, back to Christ and his church!

 

 


 

 



Radford Church of Christ