Introducing the Church of Christ Part 7
Some of the earliest men of the Restoration Movement learned the truth by personal study. It was not a private, independent study without the help of men who had written on the subjects previously, their studies went back three or four hundred years and were made of the finest independent-thinking minds of their times. Remember, too there were NO scriptural churches in their denominational world. They, not being content with the patented doctrines of their day, searched the scriptures seeking scriptural conversion and worship, church government, and doctrinal discipline. They gradually began worshipping, teaching, and learning what the New Testament taught. The same is true of those Restoration in Europe and Australia which, coincidentally were occurring at the same time! Occasionally, there are reports of brethren finding groups in remote places already worshipping according to the New Testament pattern and following the Lord’s teaching on salvation. But they are always meeting together separate from denominational and national religious bodies. They know better than to think they can be truly Christian in any setting that is not wholly scriptural in organization and worship!! There was a story a few years back about some inmates in the Oklahoma Prison system who had contacted the Elders of a local Church of Christ inquiring about their teachings on several subjects. When an investigation had been completed, it was found that these inmates had come to the New Testament position on baptism for the remission of sins, partaking of the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week, and worshipping without the aid of a mechanical instrument of music. This happened in 1901 in the World Fair held in New York City. It is told that a man from Australia was passing a booth of the Churches of Christ and when picking up some of their literature, came back to the booth crying. The people in Australia had never known that someone was teaching and preaching exactly what they had preached for the past 50 or 75 years!! Never, would someone who finds the truth stay with their denomination, they immediately start a church established after the New Testament pattern!!
I have to question the motives of those persons nowadays who are pushing their assumption that there are saved people in all churches. How can they learn those truths without being free from the denominational error in which they are embroiled? What is their purpose? Is it to exalt the Church of the Lord? Is it to strengthen it? Is it to convince the denominationalist who has almost made up his mind to leave denominationalism? What is behind all this to-do we have heard about “loving them into our fellowship”?? How can we “add them to the body of Christ” when Christ, Himself WILL NOT?? There is only ONE answer; it is done to break down the walls of Zion!!
Some of the “loving” brethren who want all “baptized by immersion” souls as apart of the Body of Christ are all out for “OPEN-END CHRISTIANITY”. What is that? That is a religion in which there are not answers, no positive stands, no real authority—not even that Word of God, itself!! This is the position of subjectivism, and conversion through personal testimony rather than through the forceful teaching of Bible Doctrine!! Others are in the camp of those ultra-loving-sophisticated modernists who are tunneling and min9ng under the walls to bring about that grand amalgamation of “believers” who only just ‘love Jesus’!! They really are pushing for an International Ecumenical Movement run by an International Council of Church Officials of good will who promotes peace at any price!! They don’t consider Christ, His Testament, or His Apostles!!