What is the difference between the churches of Christ and the denominational world? Not as much as you think. Yes, you have been taught that churches of Christ you attend date back to AD 33, but this is absolutely false! So,what separates the Lord’s church from all else?
The churches of Christ don’t have instrumental music. This is quite unique, but not all together synonymous to the churches of Christ. Present-day Christian religious bodies known for conducting their worship services without musical accompaniment include some Presbyterian churches devoted to the regulative principle of worship, Old Regular Baptists, Primitive Baptists, Plymouth Brethren, the Old German Baptist Brethren, the Byzantine Rite and the Amish, Old Order Mennonites and Conservative Mennonites.
The churches of Christ doesn’t have women preachers but many denominations don’t have women preachers. Most, if not all churches of Christ allows women to teach children up to the age of 18 during Sunday and mid week bible studies. This is identical to most all denominations.
The church of Christ partakes of the Lord’s supper each Sunday. Acts 20:7 Most denominations only take the communion periodically. The church of Christ gives each Sunday where most denominations take up collection at any time that they are assembled. 1 Cor 16:1-3
A few churches of Christ still believe that all scriptures came from the inspiration of God. 2 Tim 3:16,17 A few believe we must speak where the bible speaks and remain silent where the bible is silent. 1 Pet 4:11 Most liberal churches of Christ deny both of these and call such practices legalism (a strict adherence to the law of Christ). In this regard, liberal churches of Christ are in total agreement with denominations.
As you have noticed, the churches of Christ are not so unique in it’s worship to God. Yes, there are subtle differences, but not that much. So, what is the greatest difference between the churches of Christ and the rest of the world? Is it in the gospel? In large part, yes, but not totally. There are a few denominations which teach one must believe and confess Jesus is the Christ and repent and be baptized for the remission of sins. However, most of these also teach that one must acknowledge certain men and women as inspired prophets of God.
The churches of Christ which exist today emanated from denominations with the idea of getting back to new testament doctrine. This meant that they must have book, chapter and verse to prove all that they say and do. This meant that they revered all scripture as God’s Word. 1 Thess 2:13 This meant they proved all things by the scripture. 1 Thess 5:21 This meant that they worshiped God the exact same way that early day Christians worshiped. Jn 4:23,24
Sadly, we hear of some churches of Christ beginning to use instruments of music in their worship. Many see no harm in using instruments of music even though they still sing A capella. Sadly, some churches of Christ are beginning to use women to lead prayers, lead singing, make announcement, and even preach God’s Word. Apostasy has begun and the end is drawing closer. The church has lost nearly one third of its members in the last few years, and that trend is likely to continue as the elderly, more conservative die off, and the young, more liberal members take over. Will the Lord find faith on earth when he comes? (Lk 18:8) If what is beginning to happen is any indication, the answer may be very few.
Hopefully, the few who still hold firm to the basic principles which began in Ad 33 will forever remain here on earth. Despite the churches of Christ which we attend is less than 200 years old, the gospel and doctrine which we so long hold so sacred began on the day of Pentecost. Acts 2:37-47 This is what used to make the churches of Christ the most unique church in all the world. We are still the most conservative people in all the world. However, this is in a world of such wickedness that even Sodom and Gomorrah appears pious. The day is coming, and now is, that only a few world wide will be found worthy to be called the faithful of the Lord. Choose to be among those faithful by continuing in the apostles doctrine and abiding in the basic principles and traditions established in new testament times. Acts 2:47 f; 2 Thess 2:15 Don’t be complacent and high minded in believing that all church of Christ members will be saved. This is not so. Only those who hold firm to sound doctrine will be saved! Tit 1:9 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;” 2 Tim 4:3 Be among the called, the chosen and the faithful_your eternal life depends upon it! Rev 17:14 f; Rev 2:10