What Does The True Church of Christ Look Like?
The true church is made of individuals who all are expected to know God’s Word. In the synagogues during Christ’s time, and even still today, every male is required to study Torah and to memorize it so that at any time, he can be called upon to read the word and then expound upon it. At TCC, even though the Pastor does most of the preaching, he does not do all of the preaching or teaching. Everyone is encouraged to be a teacher and preacher. Not all respond, but many do. All are expected to know scripture and be able to lead others to Christ.
What do other churches look like?
Does the church require or recommend that its attendees read the Bible frequently, or better yet, daily?
If not, why not? Any church that does not expect individuals to have a personal, intimate knowledge and interaction with the Word of God may not be a Church of Christ, but may be a Church of Satan. Or, hopefully, just a “slacker”, as Mr. Strickland from Back to the Future would say.
Does the church teach that the church has replaced Israel and is now the recipient of God’s promises to Abraham and his descendants?
If so, then such a church promotes the lie of Satan and cannot be considered a Church of Christ. Read Romans, especially chapters 10 and 11.
Does the church teach that an active homosexual can be a pastor or elder?
If so, then such a church promotes the lie of Satan and cannot be considered a Church of Christ. Scripture is very clear that human beings are to be fruitful and multiply. Not naturally possible for a homosexual of either gender. And using artificial insemination and other such methods don’t negate the command!
Does the church teach that a woman can be a pastor or elder?
If so, then such a church promotes the lie of Satan and cannot be considered a Church of Christ. Scripture is very clear that a woman is not permitted to have authority over a man, and that a pastor or elder must be the husband of one wife. For a thorough essay regarding the above two statements, read Women Pastors By Ron Graham. His essay can be found at: http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/g137.html. Another article regarding women pastors can be found in the Women Pastors: What Does the Bible Teach by Richard R. Melick: http://www.baptist2baptist.net/b2barticle.asp?ID=229. Finally, one might want to read The Ordination of Women: Arguments For and Against by Pastor Jim Feeney: http://www.jimfeeney.org/forbidden-fruittemptingEve.html
Does the church require or recommend that its priest or pastor be called “Father” rather than “Pastor” or “Reverend”?
Scripture states very clearly that we are to: “Call no one on this earth father; for one is your father and He is in heaven.” (Matthew 23:9). Either this church does not know scripture, or is a Church of Satan, not a Church of Christ. For a thorough essay regarding the above statements, read Roman Catholic Scandal In Ireland By Patrick Heron. His essay can be found at: http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/g137.html
Does the church deify anyone besides Jesus?
Scripture tells us there is only one way to the Father, and that is through Christ Jesus (John 14:16). If so, then such a church promotes the lie of Satan and cannot be considered a Church of Christ. For a more thorough essay about this topic, read Christ and Christmas by Dave Hunt. [This essay is quite long, and the relevant portion is close to the end of the essay.] His essay can be found at: http://www.bibleprophecyblog.com/2010/12/christ-and-christmas.html
Does the church promote the “name it and grab it dribble”?
This message, too, is a lie of Satan. For a more thorough essay regarding this lie, read Joel Osteen’s New Age Life Now? By Brannon Howse. His essay can be found at: http://www.bibleprophecyblog.com/2010/11/joel-osteens-new-age-life-now.html
Does the church attend or support the ecumenical movement to bring all faiths together under one banner?
This is a shadow of the One World Church under the direction of the False Prophet.
Does the church serve communion each time it meets, or just one day each month?
The apostles and early church broke bread daily.
Does the church have a hierarchical structure?
There are many gifts of the Spirit, some apostles, some teachers, etc. but no hint that a “pope” is higher than a “bishop”, a “bishop” higher than a “priest”, a “priest” higher than a “lay person”. We are all one in Christ.
If the answers to the above questions are “yes”, then once again I must question if it is truly a Church of Christ, a Church of Satan, or just a “slacker” church as Mr. Strickland from Back to the Future would claim. Today’s church is apostate in so many ways.
I fully believe it is time to return to the first century model and once again institute home churches. The organized church is headed in the wrong direction, precisely as prophesied in scripture. Just one more hint that we are in the season of Christ’s return, and that we may expect the trumpet to sound, the archangel to shout, and the Lord to call us to his side in the Father’s house. The birth pains have begun their march . . . but the end is not yet. Keep watch . . . the baby is coming!!!
George Barna has just released the results of a new survey that indicates “the religious environment in the U.S. is morphing into something new”. Here is a link to his article: Barna Article. I could not agree more, and would like to elaborate on a couple of these points:
1. The Christian Church is becoming less theologically literate.
Hence a diminished preaching that Jesus is God, the Holy Spirit is God, and God the Father is God. Hence a diminished preaching the Christ is our salvation, and no one comes to the Father except through Jesus’ blood, death, and resurrection. The church seems to be headed back into a period of dark ages, where the Bible is neither preached nor studied. It is a rare church that encourages everyone to know scripture and be able to lead others to Christ by teaching and preaching. When the Bible is mentioned, it is just “good, moral stories” and no longer believed to be the inerrant Word of God.
2. The influence of Christianity on culture and individual lives is largely invisible.
Hence the continuing and growing persecution of Christian teaching and people by governments, politicians, courts, and law enforcement throughout the world. This persecution speaks loudly to this fact. No longer is the Bible held up as the standard by which a person’s actions are judged. No longer is there a set standard of right and wrong. We are once again living in a era of the past, when everyone “did what was right in their own eyes” (Judges 21:25).
3. Growing numbers of people are less interested in spiritual principles and more desirous of learning pragmatic solutions for life.
Hence the “name it and claim it gospel”. Hence the belief that “whatever you conceive you can achieve.” Hence the popularity of New Age gurus. No longer do we seek that which is right, no longer do we seek heaven. No longer is hell something to be avoided at all costs!
4. The postmodern insistence on tolerance is winning over the Christian Church.
Hence the growing number of churches that allow “anything goes” as long as you show up and claim to know Jesus, and which also claim you have salvation in Christ, no matter what lifestyle you choose to live or which gods you choose to follow. Hence the false teaching the Allah and Yahweh are the same. Hence the growing ecumenical movement towards the One World Church.
Take heart, however, Jesus simply says to each of us, come out from amongst such entities. Come out from under such satanically generated delusions. Read the Bible, read the truth. Be Holy – Be separate from the world.