Answering Common Sense Questions – #9

In the past several blogs I have dealt with a series of questions posed by Mr. David Martin of the Solid Rock Baptist Church that he claims members of the churches of Christ are unable to answer.  The article containing these questions is entitled “Common Sense Questions A Church Of Christ Preacher Cannot Clearly Answer”.  Unfortunately few of the questions have displayed much if any common sense in the asking and have been easily to clearly answer.  This weeks question is no different.  Question number nine on Mr. Martin’s list is:

Why does the “Church of Christ” insist that their name is scriptural when it cannot be found anywhere in the Bible? The church is referred to as the “church of God” eight (8) times in the Bible, but never is it called the “church of Christ.” The verse they use is Romans 16:16, but it doesn’t say “church of Christ.” Where does the Bible call the church the “church of Christ”?

The first thing that leaps out at me from this question is that obviously Mr. Martin must have failed English in school since he doesn’t recognize a plural when he sees one.  The passage he refers to is:

Romans 16:16  Salute one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.

Now it seems obvious to me, and I am sure it seems obvious to anyone with a shred of common sense, that if there are “churches” of Christ plural, referring to multiple congregations,  that there must be a “church of Christ” singular, referring to an individual congregation.  So church of Christ is indeed a scriptural designation for the church.

In truth the church of Christ does not have a name per se just as the first century church did not have a particular name.  Rather it was known descriptively as the church of Christ, as shown above, or as the church of God. Other “names” used were church of the firstborn (Hebrews 12:23) or the church of the Ephesus, or other place the congregation was located (Revelation 2-3).  So the first century church was designated by its ownership.  Since the church belongs to Christ, who is God, it was called the church of, or belonging to, Christ or the church of, or belonging to, God. No where in scripture will you find the church given a name describing a particular doctrine or practice, such as Baptist or Methodist. No where in scripture do you find the church identified by a name describing a particular organizational structure, such as Presbyterian. No where in scripture do you find the church indentified by the name of the man, such as Lutheran, and in fact such was condemned by the apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 1:12-13).

Also it must be noted that simply bearing the name “church of Christ”, “church of God”, or any other Biblical designation for the church does not in and of itself determine whether or not that church truly is what they claim to be.  However,  a church  that is called by a Biblical name, practices Biblical worship, and teaches Biblical doctrine would be Christ’s church.

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2 Responses to “Answering Common Sense Questions – #9”

  1. Nedra Says:

    Hi, Brother Myer. I worship with the Hopkins Road congregation in Chesterfield, VA. I’m glad to have stumbled onto this article well “blog-searching.” (Is that a word?) I had never seen that list your post linked to…about the questions that would trip up a “Church of Christ” minister.

    I think it’s interesting that they would have to make such a tract. In my own experiences, I’ve run into people who will say “Oh, that’s just how you ‘church of Christ’ people do things.” Then, when one of us messes up, they hold us to a higher standard then they would one of their denominational friends.

    Thanks for writing this series.

  2. Phillip Williams Says:

    I worship with the Graceton Church of Christ in Diana, TX, a rural community near my home in Gilmer, Texas. I am a former Baptist who was so blessed to find the Lord’s true and only church. I am glad that “Pastor” Martin is being answered. We just want to make sure that we tell the truth in love, and let’s pray for our Baptist friends. After all, I (and several other members of the church of Christ) are ex-Baptists!

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