What is Different about the churches of Christ?
It is not a matter of being different. All religious organizations are different. It is a matter of accurately understanding the teachings of Jesus as revealed in the New Testament. There are at least seven beliefs held by the Church of Christ which are different.
The church holds the Bible to be the only way that God now communicates His will to man. It holds the New Testament as the part in which Christians are instructed in matters of faith and practice. It holds the Bible to be verbally inspired, and the Bible's silence as an important element in understanding God's will for us.
The church holds that water baptism is a condition of the sinner's receiving God's forgiveness (Acts 2:38). One is not a Christian -- not a saved person until one has been baptized.
The church holds that the first century church observed the Lord's Supper on the first day of every week (Acts 20:7). Therefore, such is the practice of the Church of Christ today.
The church holds that singing in the first century church was a cappella style (without an instrument) (Colossians 3:16). Therefore, such is the practice of the Church of Christ today.
The church holds that each congregation was an independent body organized under the leadership of elders and deacons (Philippians 1:1). Therefore, the Church of Christ today is organized that way believing that such is the Lord's way.
The church holds that the Lord's church exists on earth today anywhere folks learn what first century Christians learned, believe what they believed, and practice what they practiced. It further believes such is exactly what God intended (Ephesians 3:20).
The church holds that all believers could be and should be united in the one body of Christ, and that this could be accomplished by the restoration of Christianity as it is revealed in the New Testament, and that such unity is the Lord's desire (John 17:21).
The Church of Christ is not trying to be different. It is different because of what it believes and practices that others do not believe and practice. And someof the differences are of such nature that they separate it spiritually, and therefore physically, from all others.
About our Worship
When we come together to worship on the first day of every week we want to be sure that we please God, for we believe that God himself is the audience, not ourselves. We look to the teaching found in the New Testament for our guidance in the matter of worship.
The first century Christians followed the directions given them by Peter, Paul and the other apostles. They prayed together, sang hymns, listened to and studied God's word together and partook of the Lord's Supper every first day of the week as they assembled together.
In Matthew 26:26-29 Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper and 1st Corinthians 11:23-26 confirms these instructions as central to our weekly worship. Our prayers are prayers of thanksgiving and requests of help for the sick and suffering as well as asking for God's will for our lives. At this time we also give of our means as we have prospered.
Our music is the voices of each member and every member's voice is important as we participate in congregational singing. Our songs are praises to God, songs of hope, peace and affirmation and songs to encourage one another. Ephesians 5:19 admonishes us to sing; “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart”.
Colossians 3:16-17 encourages us to, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God”. As we sing together, we worship God with our collective voices.