ADD-16 - Denominational Misconceptions about the Lord's church
Please feel free to download audio and video for personal listening or teaching. Please do not alter any content. All material is copyrighted and intended to be used in its entirety and is free for distribution under these terms. To save, simply click the button and the download will begin.
ANSWERING DENOMINATIONAL DOCTRINES
What do you know about the church of Christ? Have you ever heard
of the church of Christ?
There are many misconceptions about the church of Christ. In our
series of lessons answering denominational doctrines one of the things we
need to address is some denominational misconceptions about the Lord's
We hope and pray that your aim today is simply to do what the Bible
says- to be nothing more nothing less than of a Bible believer, a person
who wants to put their faith in the word of God.
Maybe you've heard this about the church of Christ- ‘They're the ones
who don't believe in music.’
That's just not true. We believe in music. We love to sing. We have
some of the best singing that you can imagine, but the misconception is we
don't believe in music. Again that's just not found in the Bible, nor is it fair to
Maybe you've heard of the church of Christ- ‘They're the ones who
don't believe in the Old Testament.’ Again this does not true. We believe
the Old Testament is from God. It is inspired of God. God gave it to us to
know Him and know how He expects us to relate to Him.
Maybe you've heard of the church of Christ- ‘They're all
Campbellites.’ You don't find Alexander or Thomas Campbell or Barton
Stone in the New Testament. It would be impossible to be a Campbellite if
he's not in the Bible. Christians don't claim be Campbellites. We don't claim
be followers of any man.
Let's think for a few moments about some of the misconceptions that
you may or may not have heard about the Lord's church.
Number one many people will say when they think of New Testament
Christians, members the church of Christ, that they are followers of
Alexander or Thomas Campbell and sometimes referred to as
Campbellites. That's just not true. Here's how you can know that is not true.
While there were men in the restoration movement who had maybe good
ideas and good intentions of going back to the Bible, their desire and their
purpose was not to make followers of themselves. While Thomas Campbell
or Alexander Campbell or Barton Stone- or whoever it may have been
sought to go back to the Bible- they are not key figures that you will find in
the Lord's church. How do I know that? I'm not a follower of Campbell.
My religion and my faith does not go back to Alexander Thomas
Campbell. My faith is built up on the word of God.
The question really to consider is- Can you be a Christian without
Thomas or Alexander Campbell or Barton Stone? Absolutely you can! How
do we know that? Because the church wasn't founded by these men.
Who founded the church? Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, “I'll build my
church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” I'm not a
Campbellite. I'm not a follower of Alexander or Thomas Campbell or Barton
Stone. I'm a Christian. I'm a follower of Christ. My religion and faith does
not go back to the reformation movement.
My faith is built upon Jesus, a solid foundation. He is the founder and
foundation of the church. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 3:11 that Jesus is
the true foundation. “No other foundation can any man lay except that
which is laid which is Jesus Christ.”
Denominational is wrong. It is wrong to divide over men's names. It
was wrong the First century. 1 Corinthians 1:10-13 Paul said, “I hear that
their divisions among you some of you. Some say ‘I am of Apollos. I'm of
Cephas. I'm of Peter. I'm of Christ.’” Paul said, “Let there be no divisions
among you.” Just as it was wrong in the First century to follow Peter or to
follow Paul or to follow Apollos- it is just as wrong the following or
Alexander Campbell or Thomas Campbell or Martin Luther, John Calvin or
My faith and my trust in the Bible isn't based on these men.
Here's what I would ask you to consider- if these men had never
existed, would you still have the Lord's church? Is the Lord's church
dependent upon some restoration movement leader? Not at all friend! If I
can find the church that God tells me to in the Bible without these men and
I can, then be sure my faith is built on the word of God.
Now here's what I ask you, do you find these men's names in the
Bible? Of course you don't! You can look and you’ll never find them in the
Bible. They're not there.
You do find the one church. Ephesians 1:22-23 and Ephesians 4:4
the Bible says that Jesus is the head of the church and there's only one
body. There's just one body. There's just one church. Whose church is it?
Jesus said, “I'll build my church.” It's the church of Christ, the church that
Jesus himself died for. What were Christians called in the first century
those who simply were members of the Lord's church and who follow the
Bible? What were they called? They weren’t called Campbellites, Baptist,
Methodist, or Calvinists. The Bible says in Acts 11:26 “They were called
Christians first in Antioch.”
The religion that God set forth, the New Testament Christianity, His
church goes all the way back to the New Testament. You can find the
church of Christ and you can find Christian in the Bible.
Now let me suggest to you why this misconception is propagated by
many. Can you find the Baptist Church in the Bible? Can you find the
Methodist Church in the Bible? Can you find the Presbyterian or Lutheran
or the Catholic Church in the Bible?
We are not saying those things to offend anybody, but listen carefully;
you can't find those in the Bible. It is a very weak attempt to bring the Lord's
church down to man-made denominational size, and friend God will not
allow that and the Bible won’t either.
Sometimes people will say about the Lord's church, the church of
Christ, that it is just one of many denominations. A denomination by its very
name is a division. It causes division. It's not right in God’s sight.
What makes a denomination? Denomination had its starting among
men and not the Bible. It divides instead of uniting. Jesus said in John
17:20-21, “I pray that they may all be one as You Father are in Me and I in
You that they all may be one in Us that the world may believe that You sent
Me.” Jesus prayed and died for unity.
The Bible says in Psalm 133:1, “Behold how good and how pleasant
it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” Paul said, “Let there be no
divisions among you.” Is the church of the Lord Jesus Christ a division from
that which is the original? Absolutely not!
Denominationalism is against the will of God. The Lord's church
doesn't seek to divide. We want to build our faith upon the word of God
which does not change.
Maybe you've heard this misconception. Sometimes people will say
of the Lord's church ‘they’re the people who don't believe in the Old
Testament.’ That's just not true. The Lord's church absolutely believes in
the Old Testament as inspired of God and as an accurate representation of
the will of God. The history of Israel and the nature of who God is.
Let's be clear. While the things that were written aforetime were
written for our learning, we are not under the Old Testament. Here's what
the Bible says about that. In both Ephesians chapter 2 and in Colossians
2:14-16 the Bible say that Jesus, when He died on the cross, ‘He nailed the
old law to the cross in His flesh. He did away with the enmity that is the law
commandments, and He made out of both Jew and Gentile one body, one
group of believers.’ The Old Testament has been done away with as old
law that we live under to be judged by. Hebrews 8:13 says that which is
‘growing old and vanishing away is ready to depart.’ We don't live under the
A lot of people want to mix a little of the old law with a little of the new
law. You just can't do that. James chapter 2 says ‘if we depart from one law
we’re condemned by it all.’ You can't just have bits and pieces of each.
Imagine you live under the Old Testament, Leviticus times, you say
something or do something that's not right. You have got to go to the field
and get an animal. You've got to slit its throat. You have to skin it. You've
got to take that before the priest there and offer that and burn it on the
offering. Then what happens tomorrow? You would have to do that all over
again. Do you really want to live under that law old law? It did not have
Christ at the central. Christ is coming. I understand that's clear in the Old
Testament. The law where your sins cannot be removed until Christ comes
Galatians 3:20-26. We believe in the Old Testament. We believe that it's
inspired of God. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness that the man of God may be complete thoroughly equipped
for every good work.”
The Old Testament is an accurate account of the history of Israel and
God's dealings with man. It can teach me great lessons about the
fundamentals of God and His relationship with man. When I think about the
Old Testament, I think of great lessons to learn. I think about lessons like
that in the days of Noah. I think of people like David. David was a man after
God's own heart. David sinned, and David had severe consequences
because of that. Yes, there are great lessons to learn. I'm not going to be
saved by, nor do I worship under, the same law they worshiped under.
A Jew living under the old law, as part of the worship, would have to
go to Jerusalem twice a year. There were many other intricacies of the law
they had to keep as part of their worship. The old law has been nailed to
the cross. I'm not accountable to that. Now someone says, ‘What about the
10 Commandments? Are you throwing out all 10 the commandments?’ No
not at all friend. 9 of the 10 Commandments are brought back in under the
teaching of Christ in the New Testament. Although we’re not to remember
the Sabbath, we’re to remember the Lord's death on the first day of every
week, Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16:1-2. The old law was nailed to the cross.
The old covenant, the 10 Commandment law, is not what judges us today.
Another misconception you've heard about the church of Christ is that
these are the people who don't believe in music. What people mean is we
don't have mechanical instruments of music. We don't have any man-made
organs or pianos or things of that nature. Christians don't believe in music
again is not true. We absolutely believe in music and singing. 1 Corinthians
14:15 Paul said, “I'll sing with the spirit, and I'll sing with the understanding.”
We sing according to the teaching of the New Testament. We sing songs
that are true to the Bible and with man spirit with his whole heart, soul,
mind, and being we sing to God. We sing one to another. Ephesians 5:19
in the Scripture tells us about singing. Paul will say on the great subject of
singing in Christian worship, “Christians are to be speaking to one another
in Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs singing and making melody in your
heart to the Lord.” Do Christians sing and believe in music? Absolutely
we’re singing one to another. We encourage. We uplift. We teach. We sing
psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. We’re to ‘make melody in our heart.’
Where's the music made? In the New Testament, as it relates to the music,
it's made in the heart. What's the heart? The mind. Melodies are made in
the heart. Christians in the New Testament are never commanded to use
mechanical accompaniment in their singing that is man-made organs or
pipes or drums or guitars or piano. You don't find that in the New
Someone may say, ‘What was is the big deal?’ The Bible says that
we’re not to add to or take away from the word of God, Revelation
22:18-19. We’re not to go beyond what's written, 1 Corinthians 4:6. Paul
explicitly says that must we do all in the name and authority of Christ. Paul
said such in Colossians 3:17. The proverb writer in the long-ago said in
Proverbs 30:6, ‘do not add to His word lest He rebuke you and you be
found a liar.’
We’re not living under the old law. It’s been nailed to the cross.
Regardless of what they did or did not do pertaining to Christian worship-
that's not how we do it today. I'm under the law of Christ. I worship based
on New Testament principles.
Do you find anywhere in the New Testament, the authority, to sing
with mechanical instruments of music to bring that in as part of our music?
No. We’re told to sing to one another. We’re told to make melody in our
heart. We’re told in Colossians 3:16 to teach and admonish one another.
Matthew 26:30 Jesus and His disciples sang a hymn, and they went out. In
Hebrews chapter 2 they sing in the general assembly. Every passage, as it
relates to worship in the New Testament, tells us we’re to sing. The
reason Christians don't bring in mechanical instruments is God's not asked
Let's go back and learn some principles about what God expects
when He tells us His law. Take your mind back to Leviticus 10:1. There
were two young men there, two priest of God. These two men offered a
strange fire before the Lord which He had not commanded. What
happened to those two men? How did God feel about that? ‘Fire rained
down from heaven and burned those two young men right there on the
spot.’ Was it important to God that they only did what He said? They did
what He had not commanded them. Are we any different? We're no
Now take your mind 2 Samuel chapter 6. The Ark of God is being
transported. Two men, Uzzah and Ahio, are taking it back to the people of
Israel. As they come across the threshing floor, which would naturally be
rough, it looks like the Ark is going to fall off. A man by the name of Uzzah
reaches out to touch the ark. The Bible says that he dies there on the spot.
Why is it that Uzzah died trying to protect one most valuable pieces of
Israel's history given by God? We learn update on that in 2 Chronicles
chapter 15. The Bible says that Uzzah perished at that moment in time
because had not allowed him to touch the Ark. What was such a problem in
doing that? Listen to 1 Chronicles 15:13, ‘For because you did not do it the
first time the Lord our God broke out against us because we did not consult
him about the proper order.’ In context they're asking ‘why can't we do
this?’ David says, ‘Think back to Uzzah. Why did Uzzah die?’ David said
‘They were to put poles through the sides of it since nobody was ever to
touch it,’ and David says ‘because we didn't consult God about the right
way to do it, Uzzah died.’ If we don't consult God about how to sing, we’re
no different than Uzzah who was trying maybe do right- but didn't follow
what the word of God said.
Maybe you've heard another misconception about the Lord's church.
Sometimes people who know very little about the church will say we
believe in water salvation. Friend we believe the Bible teaches that baptism
is essential to salvation. We do not believe that there's anything mystical or
magical about the water. We don't believe there's a magic potion in it. We
don't believe that. We believe you must do what God says. The Bible says
you've got to obey. John 14:15 Jesus said, “If you love Me keep My
commandments.” Members of the Lord's church simply believe that you
must do what Jesus said to be saved. Now does that mean that baptism is
taught by Christ and essential to salvation? Absolutely! It's no more
important than any other step. Must a person hear the word of God?
Absolutely! Romans 10:17 says “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by
the word of God.” Must a person believe to be saved? Absolutely! Jesus
said so in John 8:24. Must I repent of sin and turn from ungodly ways? You
bet! Luke 13:3 says so. Do I need to make the good confession just as they
did in Acts 8 and other places? Jesus said, ‘One must confess,’ in Matthew
10:32-33. Did Jesus command baptism for salvation? He did in the New
Testament there's no denying that.
Listen to these passages. The Bible says in Mark 16:16 “He that
believes and is baptized will be saved.” You just can't get much clearer
than that. Belief and baptism are both essential to salvation. Think with me
about Acts 2:38. The people of the day of Pentecost realized they'd killed
their own Savior. They cried out to Peter and the rest of the men, “What
must we do?” Peter responds in Acts 2:38 by saying, “Repent and be
baptized for the remission of your sins and you shall receive the gift of the
Holy Spirit.” What was the purpose of baptism? “Repent and be baptized
for the remission of sins.” Other places teach this as well. In Acts chapter
22 Ananias comes to Saul. Ananias asked Saul this question, “Saul Saul
why are you waiting?” Then he says this, “Arise and be baptized and wash
away your sins.” It wasn't the water. It was the completing, the doing, of
God's will that saves Saul. When we obey God, we’re raised to walk in
newness of life. In John 3:5 Jesus said, “Unless a man is born of water and
the spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.” In 1 Peter 3:21, probably
one of the clearest passages in all the Bible, “Baptism does now also save
us.” Doing the will of God is what makes one right in God’s sight. Baptism
is essential to salvation. Baptism puts one into Christ, Galatians 3:27.
Today we ask you to think about some of the misconceptions maybe
you've heard about the Lord's church. Here's simply all that we ask, take
those misconceptions and examine them according to what the Lord's
church truly believes and teaches- get your Bible and see if those things
are true. We want you to know where the Lord's church in the Bible stands.
We stand upon the Bible as the only source of authority. We have no other
books of men. We don't have any man made leader. We simply believe
Jesus is the head of the church and the Bible is our only authority.
Whatever we do in word or deed, we do all by the authority of our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ. The Lord's church based upon the authority and
teaching of Christ, believe that a person's got to hear the word, believe in
Jesus, repent, make that good confession, and be immersed in water to be
We believe in the purity and the simplicity of New Testament
Christianity. We just simply want to be Christians nothing more, nothing
less. As Christians we want to give honor and praise to God by lifting up
His name and worship in the way He tells us to. We worship God in spirit
and in truth. It may be popular, not what men may be telling us to do, and
we simply want to please God. We want to live every day for Jesus Christ.
Are you a member of the New Testament church? Are you member
of the church that you read about the Bible?
If not, we beg and plead with you- won't you become a member of the
Lord's church? Nothing more, nothing less- won't you be just a Christian?
Study Questions for: “Answering Denominational Doctrine:
Misconceptions of the church of Christ”
1. According to Matthew 16:18, who founded the church?
2. According to 1 Corinthians 3:11, who’s the foundation?
3. What should there be none of among us according to 1 Corinthians 1:10-13?
4. Who is head of the church according to Ephesians 1:22-23?
5. What were they called in Acts 11:26?
6. What did Jesus pray for in John 17:20-21?
7. What is good and pleasant according to Psalm 133:1?
8. What does Colossians 2:14-16 say pf the old law?
9. What kind of music is found in the New Testament?
10. What does Proverbs 30:6 say of adding to God’s word?