and the Christian Church
Roy J. Hearn
Many have been led to believe that
the only difference between the Christian Church and the Lord’s church is the
use of mechanical instruments of music in worship. It is only fair to state that some
The following contrasts are taken
from a tract written by J. A. McNutt,
A century ago the church of Christ
and those who later became the Christian Church composed one body; they were
united upon the principles of truth; they shared the sentiment of a great gospel
preacher who said: “Nothing ought to be received into the faith or worship of
the church, or be made a term of communion among Christians, that is not as old
as the New Testament itself.” With the introduction of mechanical instruments
of music in the worship division was caused, and this innovation led others,
until now many
Our plea, then, to those of the Christian Church, is that they remove the modern barriers to fellowship and communion that they have erected. None of these innovations are as old as the New Testament, and many of the conservative element in the Christian Church deplore the extremes to which thousands of their brethren have gone. Why not discard the erroneous principle that “Whatsoever is not expressly forbidden in the Scriptures may be practiced,” and get back to a “Thus saith the Lord” in all worship and practice? Why not love the Lord enough, and love his cause so supremely that every unauthorized practice shall be laid aside, and the unity and harmony of God’s people be achieved upon the basis of God’s Word? A summit meeting is not needed — just get back to Bible authority and be and do only and all things therein commanded and authorized. Unity would be immediate. (After all, when did the Lord authorize a “summit” to be higher than his authority?)
A Great Contrast in Principle
I. Whatsoever is not expressly forbidden by the Bible is permissible.
2. “Areas of silence” allow liberties.
3. Attitude toward the world and denominationalism is one of compromise.
4. Lacking in charity, in as much as it has clung to its innovations in spite of grief and division. (Romans 4:15).
I. All items of faith and practice must be supported by scriptural authority. (I Peter 4:11).
2. Respects the silence of the Scriptures, doing only what is specifically authorized.
3. Contends for the faith and fights spiritual wickedness in high places. (Jude 3).
4. Holds no unauthorized practice that will cause division.
(I Corinthians 1:10).
Striking Distinctions as to Worship
I. The Christian Church has special choirs on Lords day that discourage and supplant congregational singing.
2. They use mechanical instruments of music in worship, which, according to recognized authorities, were first introduced by Catholic Pope Vitalian I, in AD. 660.
3. Its robed choirs, solos, plays, book reviews, and instrumental music cater to those who love entertainment, ostentation and showmanship.
4. Indorses and makes use of rummage salts, bazaars, food sales, bridge parties, plays, and other money-raising schemes Jo support the church.
5. Many Christian churches observe pagan feast days such as Lent and Easter, uniting with denominations in keeping “holy Week”, observing the Lord’s supper on Thursday night.
1. Churches of Christ have congregational singing encouraging the individual to worship God in song. (Ephesians 5:19;
2. Only vocal music authorized by the New Testament.
4. Free-will offerings, as prospered, on the Lord’s day (I Corinthians 16:1-2), giving of our means as Cod directs. (I Corinthians 9:7).
5. Observes no such days In Its services. (Galatians 4:10-11; Colossians 2:16). Observes the Lord’s day. (Acts 20:7).
6. Boasts of Its “progressive spirit” and does not hesitate to transgress the doctrine of Christ In all points above out lined. (II John 9).
(I John 9).
Differences in Preachers and Teaching
1. Has women preachers who speak in the public assembly.
2. Their preachers seem to delight in such titles as “Reverend”, “Doctor”, and “Pastor.”
3. Preachers belong to ministerial alliances; fellowship and exchange pulpits with denominational preachers, while some of them claim to condemn denominationalism.
4. The fear of preaching anything distinctive, soft preaching, compromise, prevail in the Christian Church.
5. In speech they have forsaken the “form of sound words” speaking the “language of Ashdod,” referring to “Lent”, “Palm Sunday”, “Easter”, “The Pastor”, “Reverend”, and such like.
1. Lets the women keep silent in the church assembly. (I Corinthians 14:34; I Timothy 2:12).
2. Elders are the pastors (Acts
) and each congregation has a plurality. (Philippians 1:1). Reverend Is applied only to God. (Psalms 111:9).
3. Real gospel preachers are courteous to all, but refuse to compromise convictions and weaken effects of the gospel by unscriptural alliances. (II Timothy 2:4).
4. Preaches the whole counsel (Acts , 27) with emphasis and distinction, contrasting truth and error. (II Timothy 2:2-4).
5. “Where the Bible speaks, we speak”; and “if any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God” (I Peter ) still practiced by the churches of Christ.
In Declaring the Terms of Pardon
I. The Christian Church professes to teach faith, repentance confession and baptism for tie remission of sins — but constantly fellowships and accepts those who ignore or deny the necessity of baptism. Is practice contradicts the profession.
2. Many Christian Churches have abandoned the plan of salvation and practice “open membership.”
3. Some Christian Church preachers have been known to
practice sprinkling, as did J. J. Walker of East End Christian Church,
2. Churches of Christ still maintain that one must be born of water and the Spirit, else he cannot enter the kingdom (John 3:5).
3. Teaches one baptism (Ephesians 4:4), and that by immersion in water. (Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:12).
Great Contrast in Organization
2, The Christian Church has missionary societies, circles;
‘‘Christian Endeavors”, National Benevolent Association, and Various subsidiary organizations.
3. Some of the organizations are national in character, such as the U.C.M.S and Christian Endeavor,
1. Churches of Christ are autonomous, local in organization only, having a plurality of elders, deacons, Saints (Philippians 1:1) with ministers or evangelists working under oversight of elders.
2. All missionary and benevolent work done through the church, that Christ may be glorified (Ephesians ; Colossians 3:1)
3. The New Testament authorizes no earthly organization larger than the local congregation (Acts ).
Differences in the Name
1. Uses the name “Christian” as a title of the church. Thus “Christian” Is changed from a noun to an adjective.
2. The terms “Christian Church
honor the members instead of
3. Honors the name of Camp bell and celebrates his memory.
His 100th anniversary was celebrated by
1. “Christ is a noun and the name given Io God’s people individually (Acts ). The Bible never uses this term as name for the church.
3. Honors no human name in religion, and accepts no teaching