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Church of Christ Rules

February 4, 2005

Ok, as mentioned on Fajita’s Blog this is the Rules and patterns of the church of Christ. DISCLAIMER*****DISCLAIMER. I didn’t write this, and don’t know who did. The thing that is interesting is, Somebody wrote this (I assume with a sense of being cynical) and I read it and find parts to be funny, parts I agree with, and parts are scary. That said, I will get back to architecture as it relates to modernism/postmodernism and beyond next.

The Rules & Pattern of the Church of Christ

1 It must be noted immediately that this list is not to be construed as a written creed. No statement of beliefs or rules outside the Bible itself is permitted. However, it will be permitted that such lists of beliefs or rules shall be allowed if written in a church bulletin or other published material provided that such is clearly designated as not being a written creed. This list is here shared merely as a convenience and with the understanding that there is really no need for such since all these rules are to be found in a clear and unmistakable form scattered throughout the pages of the collected books of the New Testament. It is also to be believed that anyone who truly loves God and the truth will easily find these exact rules and consequently obey.

2 By Scriptural definition (and for the purpose of applying these rules), a Christian is one who has done the following five acts of salvation (and in this order): hear, believe, repent, confess (a “Yes” response to the question “Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God?” shall be construed as a valid confession), and be baptized. Of the several purposes and benefits of baptism, one must know that baptism is “for the remission of sins” in order for God to consider it a valid baptism.

3 A person who has completed the above five acts of salvation, but who comes to doubt the validity of their baptism (perhaps later thinking that he/she did not fully understand the primary purpose), shall be baptized again. One of the following scenarios must be adopted: 1) that the entire previous life of the person in question shall be considered as one outside of Christ and separated from God, thus only now becoming a new child of God; or, 2) that the person in question is being rebaptized “just in case”. In this instance, it shall be assumed that the person is doing so with the knowledge that baptism is generally “for the remission of sins”, even though he/she has may not be sure if such cleansing is really needed. Regardless, any rebaptism shall be preceded with the standard ritual of confession (one’s previous life as an apparent believing Christian shall not suffice as meeting this requirement).

4 The Bible shall be considered as the standard of authority for every spiritual matter. It shall be interpreted using the approved method of “command, example, and necessary inference”. Silence of the Scriptures on any matter is to be construed as a forbiddance of such. However, this rule shall not be applied to matters considered to be helpful in obeying any other commands (such as church buildings and their necessary furnishings, etc.).

5 Congregations shall name themselves according to the following guidelines: 1) the name shall be one that is found in Scripture and has within it the name of God or Christ (it shall be permitted that Paul’s use of the term “churches of Christ” in referring to various congregations may be used as a formal name and amended to “Church of Christ”); and, 2) the name may be preceded with a location description, that being the location of the church building, not necessarily the location of the church itself.

6 All those congregations who use the same generic name (excluding the location part of the name) and uniformly subscribe to these rules shall be considered as “the brotherhood”; no other Christian (one who has believed and been baptized but does not subscribe to one or more of these rules) shall be considered as being a part of “the brotherhood”.

7 Individual members of the church may be called by several different names that are found in Scripture (“disciples”, “saints”, “children of God”), but “Christian” is the preferred designation.

8 The church shall gather every first day of the week for worship. (Note: Most calendars have Sunday as the first day of the week. Cultures whose calendars are different will have to decide whether to observe Sunday or their first day of the week; no further help here is given in making that decision.)

9 The worship service shall consist of the following five acts of worship: praying, singing, giving, partaking of the Lord’s Supper, and preaching. The reading of Scripture shall also be considered as acceptable since it relates to preaching. No other acts (such as lighting candles, dramatic presentations or readings, etc.) shall be allowed in the service other than the following exceptions: making of announcements, recognizing of families who wish to place membership with the congregation, giving of Bibles to graduates or other special people, or other such special activities that shall be deemed as appropriate for the worship service.

10 It is permissible for congregations to have salaried preachers and other paid employees (such as youth ministers, education ministers, secretaries, janitors, etc.).

11 Acceptable designations for preachers shall be the following: “ministers”, “evangelists”, or “gospel preachers”. Generally speaking, all preaching can be called “gospel preaching” regardless of the subject. Sermons shall typically be ended with an invitation to be baptized or to rededicate one’s life to the Lord.

12 The Lord’s Supper shall be observed every first day of the week, and it cannot be observed on any day other than the first day of the week (nor at any function other than one specified as a formal worship service). If the congregation chooses to have another worship service later in the day, the Lord’s Supper shall then be observed again. However, only those who were not at the earlier service (or who otherwise did not already partake) are expected to partake. These same persons are to be given the opportunity to put an offering in the collection plate. These two acts of worship can be done in the presence of others who merely watch, or it can be done in a separate assembly apart from other Christians.

13 The Lord’s Supper shall consist of the following (and in this order): 1) a prayer of thanksgiving for the bread (which must be unleavened); 2) the distributing of the bread; 3) a prayer of thanksgiving for the fruit of the vine; and, 4) the distributing of the fruit of the vine.

14 Those who have not been baptized shall not be allowed to conduct any public part of the service. There is one exception to this rule: young boys who have not yet been immersed may be permitted to read Scripture in the general assembly or to lead singing or prayers in a special assembly for the purpose of training such boys.

15 Those who have not been baptized shall be allowed to participate in the worship by listening to the prayers and the preaching. They are further allowed to actively participate by joining in the singing and by putting money in the collection plate. They are not, however, allowed to partake of the Lord’s Supper.

16 The music of the worship assembly shall be limited to the vocal expression of words. No humming or other non-worded sounds are permitted. The use of harmonious or other singing shall be deemed as fulfilling the pattern of chanting as found in the early church.

17 No instrument of music shall be used at any time in the worship other than to play the first note or key of a song before the singing of that song. The use of a song leader is permitted, as is the use of a microphone for him. Song books or other such aids are also permitted. However, it is forbidden for more than one person to help in leading the singing, and no voice other than that of the one song leader’s may be amplified by artificial means.

18 Singing shall at all times be congregational; at no time is it permitted for one person or group of persons to sing while another merely listens, other than at those brief times when a song is written accordingly. In other words, it is permissible for different people to sing different parts at different times during a song, provided that all members sing at some point during the song and it can reasonably be said that they all sang together.

19 If a congregation wishes to permit a separate group (such as a chorus) to sing to the congregation, it must be done in a separate assembly, or at least after what is considered the closing prayer of the worship assembly. It is permitted for the chorus to sing, read Scripture, and end with a closing prayer, but this shall not be considered as a time of worship, nor shall any individual in the audience allow their thoughts or feelings to be intended as a worship unto God. It is merely a performance for entertainment value; the fact that songs, hymns, and spiritual songs are being sung is inconsequential. If a woman should be used to lead the group, she is not permitted to speak until after the close of this non-worship service.

20 There shall be no clapping, raising of hands, or any other gesture or indecent or disorderly action during the worship service. However, a congregation is allowed to suspend this rule during special child-oriented services such as Vacation Bible Schools or Youth Rallies.

21 During the worship assembly, men are allowed (but not required) to say aloud “amen” or some other similar word or phrase as long as such is done decently and in order. Expressions such as “Praise the Lord” would technically be permitted, but are not recommended.

22 A collection of money is to be taken every first day of the week. Each Christian is to give as he purposes in his heart, keeping in mind the amount generally required under the Old Law. The money collected shall be put into a church treasury and referred to as “the Lord’s money”, but it can be used for a variety of purposes such as church buildings, utility bills, employee salaries, landscaping, etc. (all at the discretion of the elders). Funds cannot be obtained and deposited into the church treasury by any other means than by free will offerings. Fundraisers of any kind are forbidden.

23 The elders of a congregation may choose to have more than one regular assembly during each week. If so, attendance by all members at all of these assemblies is required unless they are prevented from doing so due to illness, work, or some other good reason. Those who no longer attend any assembly on a regular basis shall be deemed as being unfaithful and shall eventually be disfellowshipped (this shall typically be comprised of declaring such in a worship assembly and in a letter sent to the person being disfellowshipped).

24 Women are allowed to teach other women or children. They may not teach male children who have been baptized. Women may speak aloud in any Bible class (while still recognizing the authority of the man), but not during the formal worship service (other than during the announcement period).

25 The business of each congregation shall be conducted by one of two methods: 1) a plurality of elders and deacons; or, 2) a men’s business meeting. The first is the preferred option, but it is not required if the congregation cannot find at least two men willing or able to fulfill the responsibility. Elders and deacons must fit the qualifications listed by Paul, the main difference being that elders have to have children who have been baptized, while deacons just have to have children. Those men who are needed to serve as deacons but do not technically fit the qualifications can still be used as long as their title is changed (“ministry leader”, etc.). Women may serve in an appropriate way but are not to be called deaconesses.

26 There shall be no organization of the church beyond that of the local congregation. However, conformity of beliefs can be maintained through brotherhood lectureships, publications, universities, etc.

27 Elders have authority only over the local congregation. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. An eldership can take upon itself (with approval by the other party or parties) the oversight of such things as congregations with few members considered to be in a mission area, church workers in mission areas, or other similar works deemed to be in need of the oversight of an eldership.

28 A plurality of congregations may combine money from their respective treasuries for the purpose of evangelistic efforts in another location. At no time, however, can this effort be conducted or organized in such a way as to be construed as a “missionary society”.

29 Divorced persons are to be a welcome part of the congregation. However, those divorced persons who wish to marry again, or those who have already been divorced and married again, must be investigated by the church (or its designee) in order to determine if their marriage (or pending marriage) has been preceded by a “Scriptural divorce” (that being one where the other person committed adultery either before or after the divorce). Those deemed to be in “unscriptural marriages” are expected to get a divorce in order to remain in good standing with God and the church.

30 All major doctrinal issues must be understood and taught without error. This includes (but not necessarily limited to): that we are not predestined to salvation, that it is possible for a Christian to lose his/her salvation, that speaking in tongues and other such miraculous gifts came to an end at the completion of the writing of the NT, that there will be no Rapture nor 1000 year reign of Christ, and that Heaven and Hell are literal. However, this requirement of perfect understanding shall not apply to the issue of the indwelling and operation of the Holy Spirit.

31 The preaching of these rules and correct doctrinal positions shall be deemed and denoted as “preaching the truth”. As noted above, people who do not understand these rules (and thus fail to follow them perfectly) shall be deemed as not truly loving God nor the truth.

32 These rules shall be observed without variation of any kind. Anyone who fails to know and follow these rules perfectly is deemed to be lost eternally unless he/she repents. The grace of God shall not be thought to be extended for any misunderstanding or noncompliance. However, moral imperfection (sin) shall be excused (covered by grace) provided the person regularly prays and asks for forgiveness.

33 Any group who fails to abide by these rules in their entirety is to be called a denomination. Anyone who attends a denomination is committing the sin of denominationalism.

In addition, the following are yet more rules that are not as frequently debated:

1. observing Christmas or other holidays
2. fruit of the vine must be fermented/not fermented
3. one cup vs. multiple cups
4. no kitchen or eating in the building
5. cannot give to non-Christians, orphan homes, etc.
6. non-baptized not allowed to read Scripture
7. no separated classes
8. Bible versions
9. taking of oaths
10. serving in the military
11. inflicting capital punishment
12. using force to defend oneself or others
13. serving as a government official
14. lifting hands while singing
15. joining a ministerial alliance
16. how God answers prayer
17. fasting
18. who selects and appoints elders
19. singing as the emblems are passed
20. use of church buildings for secular activities
21. building of fellowship halls, gymnasiums, etc.
22. use of an instrument in “church” weddings
23. youth directors, youth rallies, youth camps
24. the six days of creation being literal days
25. the operation of Christian hospitals
26. ministers of education, ministers of music, etc.
27. the baptismal “formula”
28. formal confession before baptism
29. dedicating babies
30. signing contribution pledge cards
31. women wearing shorts and slacks
32. women working outside the home
33. Children’s Bible Hour
34. bussing children to services
35. degrees of reward and punishment
36. dress code for men serving the Lord’s Supper

22 Comments leave one →
  1. February 4, 2005 10:52 am

    Bless you for this! You have contributed greatly to the salvation of many souls and the correcting of uncountable formerly-blessed assemblies blasphemously gathering under a Scriptural name above their doors! May the penitent be forgiven! May the ignorant be informed! May the Lord Himself not be brought to tears in the midst of a guffaw! Hallelu … oops, Amen!

  2. February 4, 2005 11:29 am

    Thanks for posting this. I think I’ll be able to life it off your blog.

  3. May 17, 2005 10:39 pm

    Don’t you think this is a bit tendentious?

  4. "former non-fiddlin Campebellite" permalink
    August 9, 2007 9:50 am

    As a former “non-fiddlin Campebellite”, now a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for 20+ years, it’s interesting to see that we still handle the New Testament like the Tennessee Code Annotated–

  5. Rob permalink
    December 1, 2007 9:17 pm

    is this Church a cult?

  6. June 16, 2008 9:44 am

    Interesting and pretty (sadly) accurate. It was a bit bewildering to me going into HSBS at Harding from a Christian Churches background (independent, and I still have one foot in each of both branches of the movement). The terminology was killer. “Do a Bible study” instead of “witness” or “evangelize,” and — this one really confused me — “Gospel Meeting” instead of “Revival.” My first or second week at Harding I was invited to a “Gospel Meeting” and didn’t figure out until I got there that it was a subdued sort of Revival meeting.

  7. January 7, 2010 3:49 am

    i love this rules am very grateful to have read through this rules.

  8. Fran Samuelson permalink
    January 8, 2010 3:51 pm

    If a church of Christ member marries a United Methodist, what happens to this member in the eyes of his/her church? Is this member shunned, like with the Amish? What kind of contact can they have with family members? Can they ever attend services at a church of Christ again?

  9. Brother permalink
    February 27, 2010 6:29 am

    When making comments like this in this type of setting you should add the scriptures that support this list to show that this isn’t man’s dreamed up rules. Sorry to say that within the church there are two types of congregations. There are the liberal and the conservative. It is clear that this list is from the liberal version based on some of the so called rules. As an example there is only one meeting set forth in the Bible for the church and that is on the first day of the week. That meeting is to be held only once with all of the members in attendance. There is no need for a second meeting since it is the duty of the christian to be in attendance. The elders have no authority except what is given in the New Testament and the apostles only refer to a single meeting on the first day of the week for the whole congregation. That is why it is important that scriptures are given when talking about a list of “rules”.

  10. Kat Hart permalink
    August 25, 2012 8:33 am

    Men trying to rule Women…Hell NO! It’s the 21st Century, get a grip! My friends ask me to go to church with them, not if this is what they stand for, nope. I will not be looked down on because I am a Woman!

  11. November 1, 2012 9:26 am

    Must you be a baptised member of the Church of Christ to have a marriage ceremony therein? I was baptised as a Methodist. My intended is a baptised COC member.

  12. Mark permalink
    August 2, 2013 3:06 pm

    When I was a part of the Church of Christ, I remember thinking that we went exactly by the Bible. But if that were true, they’d be meeting in someone’s home during the nighttime on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). Oddly enough, most COC members use that very scripture as the main defense for Church building worship on Sunday morning. We’d also drink real wine and eat healthy olive oil soaked bread instead of a tiny bit of grape juice and a little corner of cracker. It would be a meal that believers ate whenever they got together to break bread at someone’s house or anywhere. That’s what was happening in Acts 20. After leaving the COC and growing a bit, I now realize that we’re not expected to mimic every little thing that was done in the NT (thank God). We just need to be servants of Christ and take opportunities to work in the Lord when they come, because we’re free like Paul. But if you do believe in following NT examples to the letter, shouldn’t you be in a house at night during your worship ceremony? Funny how the COC is so comfortable with altering examples in the NT so dramatically, then think that they have copied it perfectly. Then they expect every “good Christian” to do it the same or else. When you actually read that scripture in Acts 20 with an open heart, you’ll find that the truth is there’s not a command to meet on the first day of the week; the Bible is simply telling us that this particular group of believers were meeting then. In fact, there are no commands on how to “worship” in an institutionalized way at all. That’s because God never intended for us to only “worship” in some silly building.

    And it IS silly to think of God expecting us to only worship him in a certain place at a certain time. The Church of Christ gets so focused on “different types of worship” that occur either Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, during a small group at a house, or individually. In actuality, there is only one type of worship listed in the Bible and it occurs in your heart (Romans 12:1). We get to choose where, when, and how we work for the Lord and where, when, and how we praise the Lord as long as all that we do is in the service of God. That’s it. So we should be allowed to worship on Sunday in a building then right? Yes, but if that particular method causes so much corruption and misunderstanding, then it should be shed as a hindrance. You don’t even need a Bible to be saved or to save others; word of mouth will do for those things. The early Christians did without it and were saved. The Bible was meant as something to bring us together in the Spirit, not as something to argue over. It certainly isn’t a rule book for “worship service,” as indicated by the absolute lack of rules in the Bible for anything that could happen on Sunday morning in a Church building. That is, every reference for things we should do and attitudes we should have, including worship, were referring to every moment of our lives, not to be reserved for some jewish-like assembly in a special building. There are no rules for worship in a building because there was no worship service in a building in the Bible.

    People like Paul were absolutely free to serve God in any manner in which they were led to do so (Romans 14:5-6). Good thing for Paul, because he constantly needed to be on the road to do his work! Can you imagine a COC member condescendingly asking Paul how long it’s been since he went to Church? My advice is to read the entire Bible quickly instead of tiny bits at a time. That way it’s a narrative and you’ll remember what happened in previous books and chapters, and you’ll get the bigger picture of things. You’ll find no examples of Jesus or anyone else “worshipping” in the manner the Church of Christ does. Actually, there’s no example of any institutionalized Church. When “churches” read letters from Paul, don’t picture people in a Church building like us, because Christians didn’t start building them for a few hundred years after the Bible was written. Having a special building is historically a very Jewish thing to do. Come on, have the guts to investigate this! It doesn’t change God so there’s nothing to fear.

    Instead of having a preconceived idea of what you want to find in the scripture, every believer should pray before they open the word of God. The prayer should be that their heart be opened to whatever God wants to reveal, and then promise to accept anything he shows you no matter how uncomfortable it makes you. And if you’re in the Church of Christ, be prepared to be uncomfortable a few times as you grow. That’s how it was for me. The scriptures changed before my eyes and I suddenly saw verses differently for the first time, then I even discovered a new way to look at the Bible and it’s purpose. I mean come on, changing Biblical silence on an issue into a man-made rule is adding to the book of life. COC members tend to to do that because they’re assuming the Bible is talking about things that happen in the Church building during a special service of some kind. The scriptures never refer to anything that happens especially in a Church building! For a moment imagine that there has never been a Church building….now read the verse about women being silent in the Church. Hey, the meaning of it changed! So will it be for every scripture and every so-called rule of worship. Also, without my stubborn defenses up, I was able to see that John chapter 3 has nothing to do with water baptism, even though previously I had desperately wanted it to. After all, the verse in the middle doesn’t say unless you’re born of spirit and of spirit, it says water and of spirit (meaning the water is the physical birth, not the spiritual). Then I wondered what else in the Bible would look different, and it led me to see that baptism was thousands of years Jewish; they even had ceremonies for washing their clothes that they called baptism. Then, as if it was my first time to read it, I realized that John’s water baptism for remission of sins was only for the Jews. Also, remission doesn’t mean cured of an illness except for on a temporary basis. That’s why Jews were getting the baptism for remission of sins multiple times. It temporarily took the place of animal sacrifice just before Christ died for them (and us). When I realized that I had been wrong about this, I was uncomfortable to the point of being depressed for a few days because it seemed my faith had been wrong and I felt vulnerable. But finally I realized that God and Jesus were still there and were unchanged and I was still saved! Only now I didn’t have to follow crazy requirements for salvation or “worship” in a manner taught by men.

    If you are a member of the Church of Christ, please pray that prayer mentioned above and discover that there are no requirements for salvation except to be born again and love with Christ’s love. No rules that can be handed to you by a man in a nice suit in a ceremonial building can guide you to salvation, you must free yourselves and become like children (Matthew 18). The last time I looked, children don’t beat every word in the Bible to death trying to find a hidden meaning so they can argue a point. They simply have faith and love. We’re free!

  13. Val permalink
    December 2, 2013 10:55 am

    If there are people complaining about these ‘rules’, such as the different requirements for elders, deacons, and the different jobs described for these people, as well as for women who are church members, then they shouldn’t condemn the churches, but read the Bible and take their complaints to Jesus who established these rules in the Bible. The members of the church are merely trying to obey the rules as set forth in the Bible to please God and not men who want to change them to more conveniently satisfy themselves.

  14. September 14, 2014 7:43 pm

    I would love to see some scripture backing this all up.

  15. BRANDON permalink
    August 3, 2015 10:20 am

    The Church of Christ is nothing more than a crazy cult! My grandfather among a few other family members has been duped by this obvious cult and I have no respect for their hateful belief system that essentially makes a mockery of the christian faith! What sets christians apart from other religions is its LOVE for all people. The most important thing if you take nothing else from the whole bible is LOVE GOD AND LOVE PEOPLE. All of these COC rules are foolish and lead to the turning away of non believers and believers alike not to mention the harm it can do to families like mine and others. Do you really think God cares about the specific manner in which you worship him? Do you think he finds sin in the use of a musical instrument in church service? The Church of Christ is the embodied definition of gagging at a gnat and swallowing a camel!!!

  16. Mark permalink
    August 4, 2015 5:36 pm

    Brandon, I agree. But don’t be too hard on your grandfather. Members of the COC are, for the most part, faith-filled believers trying to do what the Lord decrees. They are just very confused. Where they begin to get confused is that they think examples are commands, so they look in the Bible for examples and create commands out of them. But it is not written that examples are commands, nor is it even inferred in the Bible. If you ask one to show you where it is written that examples are commands, the best they can do is tell you about “if anyone adds or removes from the book of life”…etc, which does not have anything to do with the question. You see, if you believe that examples are commands, it changes everything in and about the Bible, even how to approach it.

    I used to be in the COC, in fact I was a PK raised in it. I am now non-denominational because one day I took a leap of faith; I told the Lord I would study and follow what I thought the Holy Spirit revealed to me no matter what, even if it made me uncomfortable or if it was different from my parents. Btw, a Christian can never grow unless they take on this attitude. Most COC congregations are filled with everyone believing the exact same thing about every scripture in the Bible. If they were actually all on a journey to discover what the Holy Spirit revealed to them personally, they would be at different places in their walks and have different ideas and opinions. It’s a sign of man in charge instead of God in charge when everyone in the building believes the exact same thing about every single subject in the Bible.

    The common response (always) from a COC member when they feel attacked is to say “show us the scripture” to back up what you are saying. But that’s the point about the rules listed above isn’t it? There isn’t any scripture for any of them, so how could they be shown? And believe me from an former insider’s perspective, the rules in this article ARE in effect in the COC (not all have them all), even though there is no passage of scripture to support them other than scattered examples of a certain group that just happens to be doing something in the Bible (and other groups doing something different). If you then combine all the examples, it kind of, from a twisted angle, resembles SOME of those rules. IF you think that examples are commands. But again, where is it written that examples are commands? No where.

    And think about it…how logical would it be to actually try to fulfill every example? That’s so difficult you couldn’t even do it. If we followed every example we’d all be worshiping on the first day of the week, at night, in an upper room only (not lower levels), the preacher would have to speak until midnight, then eat by himself (everyone else already have eaten), then someone would have to fall out of a window and die then be brought back to life, then the speaker would have to stay up all night talking and not sleeping, but when morning came he would have to trek many miles to board a ship where his followers would be waiting. We would also at some point need to preach to Jews, presumably via yelling in the street, at 9 in the morning, and only 9 in the morning. See my point? The COC will straight away argue that “well, we only need to follow examples concerning worship.” But wait, Paul did all those things in the same setting and time as the example to meet on the first day of the week! And that is where they and others get the “command” to worship on the first day of the week. And this is the ONLY scripture they will point to for this “command”. In actuality of scripture, we are merely told to gather, and no restrictions or standards are in place for that, and scripture even indicates that the frequency isn’t even set on a certain schedule (Hebrews 10: 24-25). Also, let’s get back to scripture. Where is it written that examples of worship are commands for worship? There is no blue print for worship in the Bible and no need for one, because it comes naturally, like fish knowing how to swim.

    Also, if we are relying on examples, what about things that there are no examples of? For instance, since there was literally not a Church building anywhere in the Bible, not even once, why are we allowed to have one? It’s a good thing that Biblical examples are not commands, because we would be in trouble. We would drive ourselves crazy trying to figure out what examples to follow and which ones not to! That is, of course, unless you’re like the COC and just have men go ahead and decide which ones count, then make it tradition and expect everyone else to accept it exactly. Someone might say “the example to meet on the first day of the week is the only example we are expected to follow in that particular passage of scripture.” But someone else says, “no, we need to include preaching until midnight, but the first day of the week isn’t expected to be followed by God because not everyone can make it to worship then.” Then they both accuse the other of removing or adding to the book of life, and both are absolutely convinced that they are right. -Once you get some distance away from this line of thought, you will feel ridiculous, as I did. Again, where is it written that examples are commands? Luckily………it IS written exactly what worship is in Romans 12:1.

    If you want to read a little more about an insider’s opinions about where they get confused so you can speak with your relatives, read my earlier post on this same page from from Aug 2, 2013 (I’m Mark). Probably the first thing where they might accept where they are in error is John 3:4-8, where many members of the COC think it is speaking of water baptism. If you point out that the “water” in verse 5 is referring to our physical bodies, they will think you have gone insane at first, but if you get them to read the whole chapter keeping in mind that the whole thing is talking about the difference between physical birth and spiritual birth, and ask them why then verse 5 would be saying “unless you are born of spirit and of spirit” (if water baptism is supposedly how we are saved then it would read spirit and of spirit, not water and of spirit), then they might become aware that there are things they are wrong about, and then maybe wonder if there are other things where they might be confused, because of doctrine made from COC men that is not in the Bible.

    I am not an authority and I know it. Only the Holy Spirit can truly teach a believer. Ask the Lord to reveal it to you and promise to follow no matter what is revealed, and wondrous things will happen!

  17. Mark permalink
    August 4, 2015 6:09 pm

    I just realized that the way I worded things in my last post seemed to indicate that all the rules listed on this article are wrong. I wrote, “there isn’t scripture for any of it.” I didn’t mean to say that. The COC obviously does believe some things right, as they are Christians trying their best. What I meant was that among correct, obvious Christ-like truths that the COC believes, it also adds many many man-made rules. Sorry. I do believe that members of the COC are saved, I’m just worried about man-made things that they intertwine with Christ’s message.

  18. September 13, 2017 7:48 am

    What BLOWS MY MIND is how the “first day of the week” has become the new day of rest or “The Lord’s Day.” NEVER, EVER did God change his Tenth Commandment. Ask yourselves WHY would He do that??? THINK, people, THINK. HE WOULDN’T, HE DIDN’T. Try opening your dictionary or check on-line the meaning of HALLOWED, SANCTIFIED. And don’t even go to “We follow The New Testament.’ Without the Old Testament, there would be no New Testament, would there??? Also, there are verses in The Old Testament which are, WORD FOR WORD, the same as those found in the New Testament. The Commandments (The Law) were nailed to the cross…” Is it now OK to go out and kill, steal, commit adultery, take His name in vain, have other gods before Him … ??? NO. The Commandments are still alive and well right into the Book of Revelation. The difference is that we now keep the Commandments out of LOVE (for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross) and NOT out of FEAR. SO, Mark, “man-made things that they intertwine with Christ’s message.” PRECISELY, including the “traditions of men …” Really dig in to the meanings of the scriptures; so much ahs been distorted through total misunderstanding. Figure it out for yourself, with just you, God and the Scriptures. REALLY study them, without any outside influence, and they will become clear. Don’t just follow the crowd. That’s where things get messed up, misconstrued. Example: “I say unto you, today you will be in Paradise with me.” OH. Wait. Isn’t the comma in the wrong place? Shouldn’t the comma be after “today,” ??? God bless …

  19. Jim permalink
    October 29, 2017 3:53 pm

    As you study the movements of all Protestant denominations, you’ll find that each one has their unique understandings and/or interpretations of Scripture. This is not to excuse what churches of Christ generally believe, but to simply point out that we are not alone in this endeavor. The Amish and Greek Orthodox Churches do not believe in using mechanical instruments in worship either. The Apostolic Churches believe that water baptism is necessary for salvation. Unfortunately, doctrinal issues in churches of Christ are presented in a dogmatic manner, leaving no room for disagreement. This is a general truism, of course, since you will find members who don’t feel this way (I’m one of them). Some of this begins to disappear, however, as members begin to see the Bible as more of a complete narrative of God’s dealings with mankind, and not as a legislative document. This is what we’ve done with the New Testament. Instead of seeing it as an extension of the Old Testament story, where Christ fulfills the Law and the Prophets, we see it as the “New Law”. I don’t think it was ever God’s intention to deliver us a new set of laws to replace the old. If you’re in northern Arizona, check us out sometime.

  20. October 30, 2017 5:13 am

    The coc IS A DENOMINATION. CHECK OUT THE DEFINITION of DENOMINATION. Whatever, too much damage has been done to innumerable family relationships by the coC. Just who do you folks think you are to disfellowship/shun?? “Judge not that ye be not judged” seems to elude you. How dictatorial and legalistic!!! It is a fact that the coC is so hell-bent on dissecting/misinterpreting every word in the Scriptures in order to suit its own agenda and patently NOT that of the SAVIOR!!! And the UTTER NONSENSE of no mechanical musical instruments is just that: NONSENSE. We are to worship God with everything we have, including our God-given talents. So, you can leave the church on SUNday and please yourselves by enjoying instrumental (non-Christian) music? Just another SUFFOCATING man-made rule. Why do you people get SO HUNG UP on twisting and nit-picking the Scriptures???? Quite simply, John 3″16 says it all. The coC has TOTALLY DESTROYED my relationship with my family who: did away with my mother, horribly verbally abused me, have stolen from me (her Will disappeared!!!) and now use slander to explain why I am no longer part of their (crazy) SELFISH, CONCEITED, lives. Before they began attending the coC, we were a close-knit family. That relationship suffered a slow but certain death by strangulation, as my “family” transitioned from once loving people into the hell of NARCISSISM and SOCIOPATHIC behavior. There is a special place for Mr. Campbell et al. And it won’t be Heaven. I am so sorry you people have been brainwashed (a slow, insidious process) to the point of no return. HOW SAD and displeasing to the Savior!!! WAKE UP PEOPLE. btw with regard to the Sabbath, IT WAS NEVER CHANGED to the first day of the week. Sanctified and Hallowed mean INVIOLABLE. Constantine in 321 AD changed it to SUNday, the venerable day of the Sun because the Catholics so hated the Jews. You folks need to get your stupid rule-bound heads out of the sand and THINK/STUDY for yourselves, individually, only then will the Truth (of the Scriptures) set you free from the dictatorial idiocy of the coC mistranslations and traditions of men!!! Respond if you like, but you will NEVER convince me of anything other than God’s truth. Oh, a question: would it be a sin to perform CPR in a coC meeting? To use THE PHONE to call for an ambulance? Hmm? Wise up, coC people. I feel sorry for you. Your rule-bound belief system is so BURDENSOME !!!!!

  21. Jae permalink
    November 16, 2017 9:35 am

    Church of Christ is insanely legalistic. They don’t have a monopoly on salvation. These crazy ideas started in the 1800’s. This is like Old Salem in the modern world. Their doctrine is false- particularly their overlooking and dismissing of the book of Revelation. Even Christ discusses the rapture in his parables of the virgin and her lampstand amongst others. And his return SEVERAL times. And it wasn’t just the period after His resurrection.

  22. November 21, 2017 6:08 am

    Check out a very well educated man. Austin Cline. The Scriptures were written by ancient peoples who did not even know how to make a pair of spectacles for the vision compromised. They had no real calendars; indeed, no account of Jesus’ birth date is given. REALLY! Such an important event, and no date! The Scriptures are totally contradictory in and of THEMSELVES. People, there are so many other really GOOD fictional books out there. Religion has caused more problems than it EVER solved.

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