This morning I was to fish in a tournament on a nearby lake. All of the proceeds from the tournament entry fees will be used to support summer camp for kids from our church, Whites Ferry Road Church of Christ. I decided to not fish after paying my entry fee and registering for two reasons. The steering on my boat is failing and severe thunderstorms are predicted. The boat is in the local repair shop and I am in my cozy home.
This morning I sat down with a warm cup of coffee and Googled “weather, 71203” and clicked on my favorite weather site, to see how far away the predicted storms are. I noticed a tiny Google ad, “The One True Church”. My curiosity peeked and I clicked on the link and listened to a few minutes of a video expounding why that church is the “One True Church“. Of course they are not the one true church but maybe they are a part of it, maybe not.
It was easy to learn from the website that the focus of their teaching was a series of lessons validating their claim that they alone are the true church and that all others are false. The first red flag I see, the thing that gives me pause, is when any group teaches more about the church than the Christ. It takes a lot of time, money, and effort to produce all of the material necessary to support such a claim of exclusivity.
I’m trying to remember how many “One True” churches there is. I can think of perhaps a dozen right away. You might think of more. Each of those that come to mind use similar tactics and teaching to prove up their claims. And, every one of them has a different set of rules one must keep to finally be accepted by God. Man made religion is always and forever about keeping rules. It is a detailed, well thought out plan of how man can earn God’s favor and be looked upon favorably by Him.
“The One True Church” is not a church on earth making claims of exclusivity. The “One True Church” is the mystical body of Christ composed of every person God has called to Himself and is depending on Christ alone for salvation and final reward. That remnant of those, both dead and living and who are not yet saved, who are God’s own dear children and understand that God looks on His children favorably because of the obedience of Jesus and not their own. He birthed them supernaturally, put His Holy Spirit in them as a guarantee and assurance, gave them immortality, wrote His law on their hearts, poured out His love in their hearts, and designed them to love and do good works.
It is my view (this is not inspired!) that of professing Christiandom only a “few” are members of the Lord’s body, the “church“. Jesus’ own words when He described the “narrow” way and “few” that find it. His rebuke of professing Christians who were only counterfeits in Matthew 7. And for me, the most compelling truth is His descriptions of how his followers must live in self denial, have unconditional love for others, be different from the world, and be holy people, stands in stark contrast to the average church member on the pew any given Sunday.
God’s plan to reconcile sinful people to Himself goes against human nature and crushes the human ego. It demands surrender! It demands that we give up trying to appease God and simply trust the Christ who bore our sins in his body, who died, was buried, and was raised from the dead. Most people it seems, stumble at the simplicity of the gospel of Christ.
If you are in “The One True Church” Christ is the chief cornerstone of your life. If not, He is the stone you stumble over and a rock of offense. The message of the cross and the resurrection of Jesus will get one of two reactions. A person will either be drawn to God’s plan or be offended by it. How about you? It is my only hope!