The Church of Christ is Not a Denomination
By Joe R. Price
The church of Christ is not a denomination within so-called Christendom. It was built by Jesus and purchased with His blood (Matt. 16:18; Acts 20:28). It and it alone is the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:22-32). It is the kingdom of Christ (Matt. 16:18-19; Mark 9:1; Col. 1:13; Rev. 1:9). Under another figure, the church of Christ is the house of God, His temple in which His people worship and serve Him (Eph. 2:19-22; 1 Pet. 2:5).
Now, back to the first statement of this article. Protestantism generally believes Christ’s church is subdivided into many different denominations, all of which have merit and approval before God. Simply put, Protestantism believes the Church is composed of Churches (i.e., denominations). This idea is expressed in the common phrase, “Choose the church of your choice.”
Several questions arise out of this Protestant view of Christ’s church:
(1) Where in the Scriptures does Christ or His apostles endorse, encourage, and elaborate on denominationalism?
(2) Where in the Bible did God give people the right to choose the church of their choice?
(3) Are you willing to give up denominations and the church of your choice if these things are not in the Bible? (Gal. 1:8-10)
The Bible’s answers to these questions are:
(1) Christ did not teach denominationalism. It is the division of believers along doctrinal and organizational lines. Christ condemns such division by praying for unity among believers based on truth (John 17:20-21; 1 Cor. 1:10; Eph. 4:1-6).
(2) The Lord adds saved souls to His church (Acts 2:41, 47). He does not offer a choice of denominations to those He saves. That is an addition of men that developed many centuries after the life and work of Jesus Christ. The church of Christ is composed of Christians, not churches.
(3) Jesus said to follow Him, we must deny ourselves and put His will first before everything else (Matt. 10:34-39; Luke 9:23; 14:25-35). Are you ready to do that?
The false teachings of men will never be a refuge against sin or give hope of an eternal inheritance. Christ is our only hope. His truth must be our only guide (Acts 4:12; John 8:12; 12:48).