Is the “church” in competition with Christ?


Most of us who are not Roman Catholics have criticized Catholics for elevating the authority of the church to a place equal to, or in some cases, greater than the Bible. Our criticism is just in my view. There is one mediator between the sinner and God, the man Christ Jesus, not the church.

I wonder, have some of us in Restoration Movement churches committed the same error? There was a reference in an article in the recent issue of the Christian Chronicle to this very thing. In at least some circles, “the church of Christ” gets much more play than Christ Himself. If anyone doubts this, just “google” a few church of Christ websites and read what they have to say.

I submit that this is a dangerous trend. The marching orders given by Christ were to preach the Gospel, not to preach the church of Christ. Christ can save a sinner, the church can’t. Perhaps if the energy and resources spent on promoting the church had been used to publish the good news about Christ, the church of Christ would have a larger foot print in the world than it does.

Do you suppose there are people are committed to the church of Christ who are unwitting imposters and not true disciples of Jesus? In my view it would be very naive to deny the possibility. Sincerity does not make one right, or righteous for that matter. Only a real faith relationship with Jesus Christ will make one a child of the Heavenly Father.

If all of us, of every stripe, will preach the good news about Christ, men and women and boys and girls will come to know Him and the church will grow without so much promotion. Three thousand in a day isn’t bad for church growth is it?

Grace to you,
Royce Ogle

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11 comments on “Is the “church” in competition with Christ?

  1. YES, this happens all the time. I think so many are committed to preserving the “Church of Christ” that the Christ takes a back seat. Thanks for an excellent point. I need to be committed to following Jesus wherever and however that is … not just within the boundaries of our sect.

  2. Royce this is a post people should listen to, but they won’t. Sometimes I wonder which is worse participating in something you don’t approve of, or not participating at all.

  3. I think you are right on topic here my friend.

    How often have you heard something like, “I am Church of Christ” or I am a “Church of Christer”. Denominational through and through.

    Excellent post.

  4. Yes. I have heard so many times that I like Danny said, “I am a Church of Christer” , “I’m church of Christ” I go to the “Church of Christ”. Yet we are non-denominational? Great post indeed brother!

  5. Royce … for too long we’ve been a people who preach our doctrine and not our Savior. We want people to be converted to our way of thinking intead of Christ.

    Great post… You always challenge my thinking.

  6. If you say that you are a Christian and not part of a denomination that is fine, but those who say “I’m a Church of Christ” are at least being honest about the fact that it is a denomination. The fierce loyality that you are writing about is proof enough.

    I would say there are lots of people in Churches of Christ that are ALL about the CofC and not much at all about Jesus. They also are probably willing to fight about Baptism while never putting all their hope and trust and faith in Jesus. Baptism becomes a guaranteed ticket to Heaven, Jesus isn’t needed.

    I just read a bulletin article about why all these other churches that don’t wear Christ’s name are just ashamed of Christ. I of course have heard this argument before. It is another of the we are right they are wrong because…. in this case…. our name is correct. It is just really stupid, I don’t know what else to call that argument.

  7. When some say “I am church of Christ”, I believe their mindset by saying that is that they are loyal to Christ. I know from reading previous posts that we all agree that the body (the church) is to be loyal to its head (Christ). I am not saying it is the best terminology, but I know from some that that is what is intended.

    I do not like it when people are ‘jumped on’ because they use denominational terminology. As long as I know what they mean based on the context of our conversations, I dont get bent out of shape.

    Is it possible that we can jump to conclusions about people in the church because of their terminology as well?

    Great thoughts, Royce!

  8. I agree. Abraham might have had a similar tendency. Maybe he started to “worship” the promises of God instead of the God who made the promises. Maybe this is one of the reasons God asked him to take Isaac to Moriah.

    Is it possible that we sometimes worship the processes of God more than God himself? Are we more proud of our stance on baptism than our belief that Jesus conquered death?

  9. One big difference between many C of Cs and the Catholic church is that we have more than one Pope. While it is not as bad as it has been in years past, there seems to always be a hand full of individuals who rise as saviors of the brotherhood, “our own little denominational word”, and try and speak for “The” C of C.

    Great post Royce as usual.

  10. True John! Thanks for your visit and comment. (check your yahoo email!)

    A valid question Laymond, thanks for stopping by Grace Digest again.

    Right Danny. “Denomination” has been strictly avoided because of those @#$%&* Bapsits! lol Am I wrong? Isn’t a “denomination” just a division of kind? A cashier will put the dollars in one place, the tens in another, the fives in another, etc. That is all the dreaded word means. True, some denominations do have a central authority. Methodists, many pentecostal charismatic churches like Assembly of God and church of God have a management system much like a large company would have. Others, like Southern Baptists and independent Baptists, Bible churches, and others combine some resources for mission outreach, schools, and other service projects but are just as autonimous as any church of Christ. If a Southern Baptist church commits a serious error, the Convention in the county, state, or even at the national level may raise a stink, but in the end the local church stands alone and is free to make its own decisions. Churches of Christ do the same thing, they just us slander, websites, and so called “brotherhood” papers to do the same thing. It is old as sin for one person or group to want to control another.

    …Not exactly Preacherman. Glad you are getting better! Blessings to you.

    Yes, a very sad truth Darin. Thanks for stopping by.

    Thanks Trey, I’m glad to know I’m not on an island of thought.

    TCS, that is a common arguement and also a mark of spiritual immaturity in my view. Thanks for your visit.

    Of course you are right James. We look on the outward part of a man and God looks at his heart. It is true nonetheless that men who are trusting in their church affiliation rather than in Christ are lost. I am sure, as you say, many dear folks love Jesus and are committed to Him and to the coC. I often tell folks I am preaching to that God wants people to be saved more than you and I do. That is great comfort to me.

    “Are we more proud of our stance on baptism than our belief that Jesus conquered death?” Great question! All one has to do to know the answer is just observe which of those gets the most time in pulpits, classes, and publications? Sad huh? Thanks Alan. Please come back often.

    Lee, I have met some of those Popes and they are ruthless individuals. I believe some of them would do prison time to preserve the status quo. Thanks for your visit and comments.

    Grace to you,
    Royce

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