Congregations are generally overseen by a plurality of elders who are sometimes assisted in the administration of various works by deacons. Elders are generally seen as responsible for the spiritual welfare of the congregation, while deacons are seen as responsible for the non-spiritual needs of the church. Deacons serve under the supervision of the elders, and are often assigned to specific ministries. Successful service as a deacon is often seen as preparation for the eldership. Elders and deacons are appointed by the congregation based on the qualifications found in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1, including that the persons must be male (female elders and deaconesses are not recognized, as these are not found in Scripture). Congregations look for elders who have a mature enough understanding of scripture to enable them to supervise the minister and to teach, as well as to perform “governance” functions. In the absence of willing men who meet these qualifications, congregations are sometimes overseen by the congregation’s men in general.Churches of Christ consistently teach that in baptism a believer surrenders his life in faith and obedience to God, and that God “by the merits of Christ’s blood, cleanses one from sin and truly changes the state of the person from an alien to a citizen of God’s kingdom. Baptism is not a human work; it is the place where God does the work that only God can do.” The term “alien” is used in reference to sinners as in Eph 2:12. Members consider baptism a passive act of faith rather than a meritorious work; it “is a confession that a person has nothing to offer God”. While Churches of Christ do not describe baptism as a “sacrament”, their view of it can legitimately be described as “sacramental”. They see the power of baptism coming from God, who uses baptism as a vehicle, rather than from the water or the act itself, and understand baptism to be an integral part of the conversion process, rather than as only a symbol of conversion. A recent trend is to emphasize the transformational aspect of baptism: instead of describing it as nothing more than a legal requirement or sign of something that happened in the past, it is seen as “the event that places the believer ‘into Christ’ where God does the ongoing work of transformation”. There is a minority that downplays the importance of baptism in order to avoid sectarianism, but the broader trend is to “reexamine the richness of the Biblical teaching of baptism and to reinforce its central and essential place in Christianity”.
What is the true Church of Jesus?
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Catholic ecclesiology professes the Catholic Church to be the “sole Church of Christ”—i.e., the one true church defined as “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic” in the Four Marks of the Church in the Nicene Creed.
The Churches of Christ, most commonly known as the Church of Christ or church of Christ, is a loose association of autonomous Christian congregations based on the sola scriptura doctrine. Their practices are based on Bible texts and draw on the early Christian church as described in the New Testament. In keeping with their history, the Churches of Christ claim the New Testament as their sole rule of faith and practice in deciding matters of doctrine and ecclesiastical structure. They view the Old Testament as divinely inspired and historically accurate, but they do not consider its laws to be binding under the New Covenant in Christ (unless they are repeated in the New Testament) (Hebrews 8: 7–13). They believe that the New Testament demonstrates how a person may become a Christian (and thus a part of the universal Church of Christ) and how a church should be collectively organized and carry out its scriptural purposes. The largest of these four categories is the “non-institutional” Churches of Christ. This group is notable for opposing congregational support of institutions such as orphanages and Bible colleges. Similarly, non-institutional congregations also oppose the use of church facilities for non-church activities (such as fellowship dinners or recreation); as such, they oppose the construction of “fellowship halls”, gymnasiums, and similar structures. In both cases, opposition is based on the belief that support of institutions and non-church activities are not proper functions of the local congregation. Approximately 2,055 congregations fall into this category.
Many leaders argue that the Churches of Christ only follow the Bible and have no “theology”. Christian theology as classically understood – the systematic development of the classical doctrinal topics – is relatively recent and rare among this movement. Because Churches of Christ reject all formalized creeds on the basis that they add to or detract from Scripture, they generally reject most conceptual doctrinal positions out of hand. Churches of Christ do tend to elaborate certain “driving motifs”. These are scripture (hermeneutics), the church (ecclesiology) and the “plan of salvation” (soteriology). The importance of theology, understood as teaching or “doctrine”, has been defended on the basis that an understanding of doctrine is necessary to respond intelligently to questions from others, to promote spiritual health, and to draw the believer closer to God.The Campbell movement was characterized by a “systematic and rational reconstruction” of the early church, in contrast to the Stone movement which was characterized by radical freedom and lack of dogma. Despite their differences, the two movements agreed on several critical issues. Both saw restoring the early church as a route to Christian freedom, and both believed that unity among Christians could be achieved by using apostolic Christianity as a model. The commitment of both movements to restoring the early church and to uniting Christians was enough to motivate a union between many in the two movements. While emphasizing that the Bible is the only source to seek doctrine, an acceptance of Christians with diverse opinions was the norm in the quest for truth. “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, love” was an oft-quoted slogan of the period. The Stone and Campbell movements merged in 1832.The International Churches of Christ had their roots in a “discipling” movement that arose among the mainline Churches of Christ during the 1970s. This discipling movement developed in the campus ministry of Chuck Lucas.
Who was the founder of the church of Christ?
Joseph Smith, Jr. Church of Christ (Latter-day Saints) – the original church founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. on April 6, 1830. Pure Church of Christ – First schismatic sect in the Latter Day Saint movement, this denomination was organized in 1831 in Kirtland, Ohio, by Wycam Clark and Northrop Sweet and is now extinct.
Other terms are derived from their use in the New Testament: “church of God”, “church of the Lord”, “churches of Christ”, “church of the first-born”, “church of the living God”, “the house of God”, and “the people of God”, while terms recognized as scriptural, such as Church of God, are avoided to prevent confusion or identification with other groups that use those designations. As a practical matter, use of a common term is seen as a way to help individual Christians find congregations with a similar approach to the scriptures. Members understand that a scriptural name can be used in a “denominational” or “sectarian” way. Using the term “Church of Christ” exclusively has been criticized as identifying a denomination. Many congregations and individuals do not capitalize the word “church” in the phrases “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ”. This is based on the understanding that the term “church of Christ” is used in the New Testament as a descriptive phrase, indicating that the church belongs to Christ, rather than as a proper name.
Which church is the only true church?
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Catholic ecclesiology professes the Catholic Church to be the “sole Church of Christ”—i.e., the one true church defined as “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic” in the Four Marks of the Church in the Nicene Creed.
In 1967, Chuck Lucas was minister of the 14th Street Church of Christ in Gainesville, Florida (later renamed the Crossroads Church of Christ). That year he started a new project known as Campus Advance (based on principles borrowed from the Campus Crusade and the Shepherding Movement). Centered on the University of Florida, the program called for a strong evangelical outreach and an intimate religious atmosphere in the form of soul talks and prayer partners. Soul talks were held in student residences and involved prayer and sharing overseen by a leader who delegated authority over group members. Prayer partners referred to the practice of pairing a new Christian with an older guide for personal assistance and direction. Both procedures led to “in-depth involvement of each member in one another’s lives”, and critics accused Lucas of fostering cultism.Membership declined rapidly during and after the First World War. The Association of Churches of Christ in Britain disbanded in 1980. Most Association congregations (approximately 40) united with the United Reformed Church in 1981. In the same year, twenty-four other congregations formed a Fellowship of Churches of Christ. The Fellowship developed ties with the Christian churches and churches of Christ during the 1980s.
Because of the belief that baptism is a necessary part of salvation, some Baptists hold that the Churches of Christ endorse the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. However members of the Churches of Christ reject this, arguing that since faith and repentance are necessary, and that the cleansing of sins is by the blood of Christ through the grace of God, baptism is not an inherently redeeming ritual. One author describes the relationship between faith and baptism this way, “Faith is the reason why a person is a child of God; baptism is the time at which one is incorporated into Christ and so becomes a child of God” (italics are in the source). Baptism is understood as a confessional expression of faith and repentance, rather than a “work” that earns salvation.
What religion is Church of Christ?
The Churches of Christ, most commonly known as the Church of Christ or church of Christ, is a loose association of autonomous Christian congregations based on the sola scriptura doctrine. Their practices are based on Bible texts and draw on the early Christian church as described in the New Testament.
Regarding eschatology (a branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or of humankind), Churches of Christ are generally amillennial, their originally prevalent postmillennialism (evident in Alexander Campbell’s Millennial Harbinger) having dissipated around the era of the First World War. Before then, many leaders were “moderate historical premillennialists” who did not advocate specific historical interpretations. Churches of Christ have moved away from premillennialism as dispensational millennialism has come more to fore in Protestant evangelical circles. Amillennialism and postmillennialism are the prevailing views today.After the Civil War, black Christians who had been worshiping in mixed-race Restoration Movement congregations formed their own congregations. White members of Restoration Movement congregations shared many of the racial prejudices of the times. Among the Churches of Christ, Marshall Keeble became a prominent African-American evangelist. He estimated that by January 1919 he had “traveled 23,052 miles, preached 1,161 sermons, and baptized 457 converts”.Many scholars associated with the Churches of Christ embrace the methods of modern Biblical criticism but not the associated anti-supernaturalistic views. More generally, the classical grammatico-historical method is prevalent, which provides a basis for some openness to alternative approaches to understanding the scriptures.
Efforts to address racism continued through the following decades. A national meeting of prominent leaders from the Churches of Christ was held in June 1968. Thirty-two participants signed a set of proposals intended to address discrimination in local congregations, church affiliated activities and the lives of individual Christians. An important symbolic step was taken in 1999 when the president of Abilene Christian University “confessed the sin of racism in the school’s past segregationist policies” and asked black Christians for forgiveness during a lectureship at Southwestern Christian College, a historically black school affiliated with the Churches of Christ.
During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s the Churches of Christ struggled with changing racial attitudes. Some leaders, such as Foy E. Wallace Jr., and George S. Benson of Harding University railed against racial integration, saying that racial segregation was the Divine Order. Schools and colleges associated with the movement were at the center of the debate. N.B. Hardeman, the president of Freed-Hardeman, was adamant that the black and white races should not mingle, and refused to shake hands with black Christians. Abilene Christian College first admitted black undergraduate students in 1962 (graduate students had been admitted in 1961). Desegregation of other campuses followed.The Restoration Movement was not a purely North American phenomenon. There are now Churches of Christ in Africa, Asia, Australia, South America, Central America, and Europe.
Which church did Jesus start?
Origins. According to Catholic tradition, the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ. The New Testament records Jesus’ activities and teaching, His appointment of the twelve Apostles, and His instructions to them to continue His work.
“Church of Christ” is the most common name used by this group. In keeping with their focus of not being a denomination, using Ephesians 1:22–23 as reference to the church being the body of Christ and a body cannot be divided, congregations have identified themselves primarily as community churches and secondarily as Churches of Christ. A much earlier tradition is to identify a congregation as “the church” at a particular location, with no other description or qualifiers. A primary motivation behind the name is the desire to use a scriptural or Biblical name – to identify the church using a name that is found in the New Testament. Adherents are also referred to as Campbellites by academics and other denominations because it is assumed that they are followers of the teachings of Alexander Campbell, similar to Lutherans or Calvinists. Campbell himself refuted the idea that a denomination was started by him or that he was the head of one in The Christian Baptist publication in 1826 and 1828, stating: “Some religious editors in Kentucky call those who are desirous of seeing the ancient order of things restored, ‘the Restorationers’, ‘the Campbellites’… This may go well with some; but all who fear God and keep his commands will pity and deplore the weakness and folly of those who either think to convince or to persuade by such means” (The Christian Baptist, Vol. IV, 88–89) and: “It is a nickname of reproach invented and adopted by those whose views, feelings and desires are all sectarian – who cannot conceive of Christianity in any other light than an ISM” (The Christian Baptist, Vol. V, 270). He was also associated with the Baptist denomination until 1820. The term “Campbellite” is usually offensive to members of the churches of Christ because members claim no allegiance to anyone except Jesus Christ and teach only what is presented in biblical texts.
What are the 5 major churches of Christianity?
Formulated in the legislation of the emperor Justinian I (527–565), especially in his Novella 131, the theory received formal ecclesiastical sanction at the Council in Trullo (692), which ranked the five sees as Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem.
The churches of Christ maintain a significant proportion of political diversity. According to the Pew Research Center in 2016, 50% of adherents of the churches of Christ identify as Republican or lean Republican, 39% identify as Democratic or lean Democratic and 11% have no preference. Despite this, the Christian Chronicle says that the vast majority of adherents maintain a conservative view on modern social issues. This is evident when the Research Center questioned adherents’ political ideology. In the survey, 51% identified as “conservative”, 29% identified as “moderate” and just 12% identified as “liberal”, with 8% not knowing. In contemporary society, the vast majority of adherents of the churches of Christ view homosexuality as a sin. They cite Leviticus 18:22 and Romans 1:26–27 for their position. Most don’t view same-sex attraction as a sin; however, they condemn “acting on same-sex desires”. Mainstream and conservative Churches of Christ bar membership for openly LGBT individuals and do not bless or recognize any form of sexual same-sex relationships. Churches oppose same-sex relationships, transitioning to align gender identity, and all forms of what they describe as “sexual deviation”, however, they say they don’t view it as any worse than fornication or other sins.Kip McKean resigned as the “World Mission Evangelist” in November 2002. Some ICoC leaders began “tentative efforts” at reconciliation with the Churches of Christ during the Abilene Christian University Lectureship in February 2004.
The Crossroads Movement later spread into some other Churches of Christ. One of Lucas’ converts, Kip McKean, moved to the Boston area in 1979 and began working with “would-be disciples” in the Lexington Church of Christ. He asked them to “redefine their commitment to Christ,” and introduced the use of discipling partners. The congregation grew rapidly, and was renamed the Boston Church of Christ. In the early 1980s, the focus of the movement moved to Boston, Massachusetts where Kip McKean and the Boston Church of Christ became prominently associated with the trend. With the national leadership located in Boston, during the 1980s it commonly became known as the “Boston movement”. A formal break was made from the mainline Churches of Christ in 1993 with the organization of the International Churches of Christ. This new designation formalized a division that was already in existence between those involved with the Crossroads/Boston Movement and “mainline” Churches of Christ. Other names that have been used for this movement include the “Crossroads movement,” “Multiplying Ministries,” the “Discipling Movement” and the “Boston Church of Christ”.
In 1906, the U.S. Religious Census listed the Christian Churches and the Churches of Christ as separate and distinct groups for the first time. This was the recognition of a division that had been growing for years under the influence of conservatives such as Daniel Sommer, with reports of the division having been published as early as 1883. The most visible distinction between the two groups was the rejection of musical instruments in the Churches of Christ. The controversy over musical instruments began in 1860 with the introduction of organs in some churches. More basic were differences in the underlying approach to Biblical interpretation. For the Churches of Christ, any practices not present in accounts of New Testament worship were not permissible in the church, and they could find no New Testament documentation of the use of instrumental music in worship. For the Christian Churches, any practices not expressly forbidden could be considered. Another specific source of controversy was the role of missionary societies, the first of which was the American Christian Missionary Society, formed in October 1849. While there was no disagreement over the need for evangelism, many believed that missionary societies were not authorized by scripture and would compromise the autonomy of local congregations. This disagreement became another important factor leading to the separation of the Churches of Christ from the Christian Church. Cultural factors arising from the American Civil War also contributed to the division.
Churches of Christ seek to practice the principle of the Bible being the only source to find doctrine (known elsewhere as sola scriptura). The Bible is generally regarded as inspired and inerrant. Churches of Christ generally see the Bible as historically accurate and literal, unless scriptural context obviously indicates otherwise. Regarding church practices, worship, and doctrine, there is great liberty from congregation to congregation in interpreting what is biblically permissible, as congregations are not controlled by a denominational hierarchy. Their approach to the Bible is driven by the “assumption that the Bible is sufficiently plain and simple to render its message obvious to any sincere believer”. Related to this is an assumption that the Bible provides an understandable “blueprint” or “constitution” for the church.Historically, Restoration Movement groups from Great Britain were more influential than those from the United States in the early development of the movement in Australia. Churches of Christ grew up independently in several locations. While early Churches of Christ in Australia saw creeds as divisive, towards the end of the 19th century they began viewing “summary statements of belief” as useful in tutoring second generation members and converts from other religious groups. The period from 1875 through 1910 also saw debates over the use of musical instruments in worship, Christian Endeavor Societies and Sunday Schools. Ultimately, all three found general acceptance in the movement. Currently, the Restoration Movement is not as divided in Australia as it is in the United States. There have been strong ties with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), but many conservative ministers and congregations associate with the Christian churches and churches of Christ instead. Others have sought support from non-instrumental Churches of Christ, particularly those who felt that “conference” congregations had “departed from the restoration ideal”.
Estimates are that there are 2,000 or more Restoration Movement congregations in India, with a membership of approximately 1,000,000. More than 100 congregations exist in the Philippines. Growth in other Asian countries has been smaller but is still significant.In 1968, at the International Convention of Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ), those Christian Churches that favored a denominational structure, wished to be more ecumenical, and also accepted more of the modern liberal theology of various denominations, adopted a new “provisional design” for their work together, becoming the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Those congregations that chose not to be associated with the new denominational organization continued as undenominational Christian churches and churches of Christ, completing a separation that had begun decades before. The instrumental Christian Churches and Churches of Christ in some cases have both organizational and hermeneutical differences with the Churches of Christ discussed in this article. For example, they have a loosely organized convention and view scriptural silence on an issue more permissively, but they are more closely related to the Churches of Christ in their theology and ecclesiology than they are with the Disciples of Christ denomination. Some see divisions in the movement as the result of the tension between the goals of restoration and ecumenism, with the a cappella Churches of Christ and Christian churches and churches of Christ resolving the tension by stressing Bible authority, while the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) resolved the tension by stressing ecumenism.
Premillennialism was a focus of controversy during the first half of the 20th century. One of the most influential advocates for that point of view was Robert Henry Boll, whose eschatological views came to be most singularly opposed by Foy E. Wallace Jr. By the end of the 20th century, however, the divisions caused by the debate over premillennialism were diminishing, and in the 2000 edition of the directory Churches of Christ in the United States, published by Mac Lynn, congregations holding premillennial views were no longer listed separately.
Congregational a cappella music from hymnals (perhaps pitched from a pitch pipe), but directed by any capable song-leader motioning the time signature, is notably characteristic of the Churches of Christ. Few congregations clap hands or use musical instruments during “formal” weekly convocations.
Congregations which supported and participated in pooling funds for these institutional activities are said to be “sponsoring church” congregations. Congregations which have traditionally opposed these organized sponsorship activities are said to be “non-institutional” congregations. The institutional controversy resulted in the largest division among Churches of Christ in the 20th century.
Within the U.S., membership in the Churches of Christ has declined by approximately 12% over the period from 1980 through 2007. The current retention rate of young adults graduating from high school appears to be approximately 60%. Membership is concentrated, with 70% of the U.S. membership, in thirteen states. Churches of Christ had a presence in 2,429 counties, placing them fifth behind the United Methodist Church, Catholic Church, Southern Baptist Convention and Assemblies of God – but the average number of adherents per county was approximately 677. The divorce rate was 6.9%, much lower than national averages.
Three quarters of the congregations and 87% of the membership are described by The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement as “mainstream”, sharing a general consensus on practice and theology.
There are congregations that permit hand-clapping and a few that use musical instruments in worship. Some of the latter describe themselves as a “Church of Christ (Instrumental)”.In the early 1800s, Scottish Baptists were influenced by the writings of Alexander Campbell in the Christian Baptist and Millennial Harbinger. A group in Nottingham withdrew from the Scotch Baptist church in 1836 to form a Church of Christ. James Wallis, a member of that group, founded a magazine named The British Millennial Harbinger in 1837. In 1842 the first Cooperative Meeting of Churches of Christ in Great Britain was held in Edinburgh. Approximately 50 congregations were involved, representing a membership of 1,600. The name “Churches of Christ” was formally adopted at an annual meeting in 1870. Alexander Campbell influenced the British Restoration Movement indirectly through his writings; he visited Britain for several months in 1847, and “presided at the Second Cooperative Meeting of the British Churches at Chester”. At that time the movement had grown to encompass 80 congregations with a total membership of 2,300. Annual meetings were held after 1847.
The Churches of Christ generally combine 1) the lack of any historical evidence that the early church used musical instruments in worship and 2) the lack of scriptural support in the New Testament authorizing the use of instruments in worship service to decide that instruments should not be used today in worship. The term a cappella comes from the Italian “as the church”, “as chapel”, or “as the choir”. As such, Churches of Christ have typically practiced a cappella music in worship services.
One effect of the emphasis placed on the New Testament church is a “sense of historylessness” that sees the intervening history between the 1st century and the modern church as “irrelevant or even abhorrent.” Authors within the brotherhood have recently argued that a greater attention to history can help guide the church through modern-day challenges.Though there was agreement that separate para-church “missionary societies” could not be established (on the belief that such work could only be performed through local congregations), a doctrinal conflict ensued about how this work was to be done. Eventually, the funding and control of outreach programs in the United States such as homes for orphans, nursing homes, mission work, setting up new congregations, Bible colleges or seminaries, and large-scale radio and television programs became part of the controversy.
Early Restoration Movement leaders varied in their views of slavery, reflecting the range of positions common in the Pre-Civil-War U.S. Barton W. Stone was a strong opponent of slavery, arguing that there was no Biblical justification for the form of slavery then being practiced in the United States and calling for immediate emancipation. Alexander Campbell represented a more “Jeffersonian” opposition to slavery, writing of it as more of a political problem than as a religious or moral one. Having seen Methodists and Baptists divide over the issue of slavery, Campbell argued that scripture regulated slavery rather than prohibited it, and that abolition should not be allowed to become an issue over which Christians would break fellowship with each other. Like the country as a whole, the assumption of white racial superiority was almost universal among those on all sides of the issue, and it was common for congregations to have separate seating for black members.A debate arose during the 1980s over the use of the command, example, necessary inference model for identifying the “essentials” of the New Testament faith. Some argued that it fostered legalism, and advocated instead a hermeneutic based on the character of God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. Traditionalists urged the rejection of this “new hermeneutic”. Use of this tripartite formula has declined as congregations have shifted to an increased “focus on ‘spiritual’ issues like discipleship, servanthood, family and praise”. Relatively greater emphasis has been given to Old Testament studies in congregational Bible classes and at affiliated colleges in recent decades. While it is still not seen as authoritative for Christian worship, church organization, or regulating the Christian’s life, some have argued that it is theologically authoritative. Churches of Christ are strongly anti-Lutheran and anti-Calvinist in their understanding of salvation and generally present conversion as “obedience to the proclaimed facts of the gospel rather than as the result of an emotional, Spirit-initiated conversion”. Churches of Christ hold the view that humans of accountable age are lost because they have committed sins. These lost souls can be redeemed because Jesus Christ, the Son of God, offered himself as the atoning sacrifice. Children too young to understand right from wrong and make a conscious choice between the two are believed to be innocent of sin. There is no set age for this to occur; it is only when the child learns the difference between right and wrong that they are accountable (James 4:17). Congregations differ in their interpretation of the age of accountability. Members of the church of Christ do not conceive of themselves as a new church started near the beginning of the 19th century. Rather, the whole movement is designed to reproduce in contemporary times the church originally established on Pentecost, A.D. 33. The strength of the appeal lies in the restoration of Christ’s original church.
What are the 4 denominations of Christianity today?
Baptism in Churches of Christ is performed only by bodily immersion, based on the Koine Greek verb βαπτίζω (baptizō) which is understood to mean to dip, immerse, submerge or plunge. Immersion is seen as more closely conforming to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus than other modes of baptism. Churches of Christ argue that historically immersion was the mode used in the first century, and that pouring and sprinkling emerged later. Over time these secondary modes came to replace immersion, in the State Churches of Europe. Only those mentally capable of belief and repentance are baptized (e.g., infant baptism is not practiced).Church government is congregational rather than denominational. Churches of Christ purposefully have no central headquarters, councils, or other organizational structure above the local church level. Rather, the independent congregations are a network with each congregation participating at its own discretion in various means of service and fellowship with other congregations (see Sponsoring church (Churches of Christ)). Churches of Christ are linked by their shared commitment to Biblical restoration principles. Congregations which do not participate with other church congregations and which refuse to pool resources in order to support outside causes (such as mission work, orphanages, Bible colleges, etc.) are sometimes called “non-institutional.” The Restoration Movement originated with the convergence of several independent efforts to go back to apostolic Christianity. Two were of particular importance to the development of the movement. The first, led by Barton W. Stone, began at Cane Ridge, Kentucky and called themselves simply “Christians”. The second began in western Pennsylvania and was led by Thomas Campbell and his son, Alexander Campbell; they used the name “Disciples of Christ”. Both groups sought to restore the whole Christian church on the pattern set forth in the New Testament, and both believed that creeds kept Christianity divided. Churches of Christ avoid the term “theology”, preferring instead the term “doctrine”: theology is what humans say about the Bible; doctrine is simply what the Bible says. While the more conservative and traditional Churches of Christ do not use instruments, since the early 2000s about 20 in the U.S., typically larger congregations, have introduced instruments in place of a strictly a cappella style. The fundamental idea of “restoration” or “Christian Primitivism” is that problems or deficiencies in the church can be corrected by using the primitive church as a “normative model.” The call for restoration is often justified on the basis of a “falling away” that corrupted the original purity of the church. This falling away is identified with the development of Catholicism and denominationalism. New Testament verses that discuss future apostasy (2 Thessalonians 2:3) and heresy (e.g., Acts 20:29, 1 Timothy 4:1, 2 Tim 4:1–4:4) are understood to predict this falling away. The logic of “restoration” could imply that the “true” church completely disappeared and thus lead towards exclusivism. Another view of restoration is that the “true Church … has always existed by grace and not by human engineering” (italics in the original). In this view the goal is to “help Christians realize the ideal of the church in the New Testament – to restore the church as conceived in the mind of Christ” (italics in the original). Early Restoration Movement leaders did not believe that the church had ceased to exist, but instead sought to reform and reunite the church. A number of congregations’ web sites explicitly state that the true church never disappeared. The belief in a general falling away is not seen as inconsistent with the idea that a faithful remnant of the church never entirely disappeared. Some have attempted to trace this remnant through the intervening centuries between the New Testament and the beginning of the Restoration Movement in the early 1800s. Beginning in the 1960s, many preachers began placing more emphasis on the role of grace in salvation, instead of focusing exclusively on implementing all of the New Testament commands and examples. This was not an entirely new approach, as others had actively “affirmed a theology of free and unmerited grace”, but it did represent a change of emphasis with grace becoming “a theme that would increasingly define this tradition”. Thomas Campbell and Barton W. Stone both publicly believed that God is made known in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. This traditional trinitarianism, greatly influenced the early church of Christ movement. Although churches of Christ have no formal overarching leadership, the Stone-Campbell belief on the Godhead prevailed throughout churches of Christ during their establishment.Although there is no reliable counting system, it is anecdotally believed to be 1,000,000 or more members of the Churches of Christ in Africa. The total number of congregations is approximately 14,000. The most significant concentrations are in Nigeria, Malawi, Ghana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, South Africa, South Sudan and Kenya.
Churches of Christ hold to the priesthood of all believers. No special titles are used for preachers or ministers that would identify them as “clergy”. Many ministers have undergraduate or graduate education in religion, or specific training in preaching through a non-college school of preaching. Churches of Christ emphasize that there is no distinction between “clergy” and “laity” and that every member has a gift and a role to play in accomplishing the work of the church.
While the early Restoration Movement had a tradition of itinerant preachers rather than “located Preachers”, during the 20th century a long-term, formally trained congregational minister became the norm among Churches of Christ. Ministers are understood to serve under the oversight of the elders and may or may not also be qualified as an elder. While the presence of a long-term professional minister has sometimes created “significant de facto ministerial authority” and led to conflict between the minister and the elders, the eldership has remained the “ultimate locus of authority in the congregation”. There is, however, a small segment of Churches of Christ who oppose the “located minister” concept (see below).
Baptism has been recognized as the important initiatory rite throughout the history of the Christian Church, but Christian groups differ over the manner and time in which baptism is administered, the meaning and significance of baptism, its role in salvation, and who is a candidate for baptism.
In 2022, the total membership of Churches of Christ is estimated to be between 1,700,000 and 2,000,000, with over 40,000 individual congregations worldwide. In the United States, there are approximately 1,087,559 members and 11,776 congregations. Overall U.S. membership was approximately 1.3 million in 1990 and 1.3 million in 2008. Estimates of the proportion of the US adult population associated with the Churches of Christ vary from 0.8% to 1.5%. Approximately 1,240 congregations, with 172,000 members, are predominantly African-American; 240 congregations with 10,000 members are Spanish-speaking. The average congregation size is approximately 100 members, with larger congregations reporting over 1,000 members. In 2000, the Churches of Christ were the 12th largest religious group in the U.S. based on the number of members, but the 4th largest in number of congregations.
The tradition of a capella congregational singing in the Churches of Christ is deep set and the rich history of the style stimulated the creation of many hymns in the early 20th century. Notable Churche
s of Christ hymn writers have included Albert Brumley (“I’ll Fly Away”) and Tillit S. Teddlie (“Worthy Art Thou”). More traditional Church of Christ hymns commonly are in the style of gospel hymnody. The hymnal Great Songs of the Church, which was first published in 1921 and has had many subsequent editions, is widely used.
The relative importance given to each of these three strategies has varied over time and between different contexts. The general impression in the current Churches of Christ is that the group’s hermeneutics are entirely based on the command, example, inference approach. In practice, interpretation has been deductive, and heavily influenced by the group’s central commitment to ecclesiology and soteriology. Inductive reasoning has been used as well, as when all of the conversion accounts from the book of Acts are collated and analyzed to determine the steps necessary for salvation. One student of the movement summarized the traditional approach this way: “In most of their theologizing, however, my impression is that spokespersons in the Churches of Christ reason from Scripture in a deductive manner, arguing from one premise or hypothesis to another so as to arrive at a conclusion. In this regard the approach is much like that of science which, in practice moves deductively from one hypothesis to another, rather than in a Baconian inductive manner.” In recent years, changes in the degree of emphasis placed on ecclesiology and soteriology has spurred a reexamination of the traditional hermeneutics among some associated with the Churches of Christ.
Alexander Campbell said the goal was to “[c]all Bible things by Bible names”. This became an early slogan of the Restorationist Movement. These congregations generally avoid names that associate the church with a particular man (other than Christ) or a particular doctrine or theological point of view (e.g., Lutheran, Wesleyan, Reformed). They believe that Christ established only one church, and that the use of denominational names serves to foster division among Christians. Thomas Campbell expressed an ideal of unity in his Declaration and Address: “The church of Jesus Christ on earth is essentially, intentionally, and constitutionally one.” This statement essentially echoes the words of Jesus Christ in John 17:21, 23.
To object to any child of God participating in the service on account of his race, social or civil state, his color or race, is to object to Jesus Christ and to cast him from our association. It is a fearful thing to do. I have never attended a church that negroes did not attend.
The Restoration Movement began during, and was greatly influenced by, the Second Great Awakening. While the Campbells resisted what they saw as the spiritual manipulation of the camp meetings, the Southern phase of the Awakening “was an important matrix of Barton Stone’s reform movement” and shaped the evangelistic techniques used by both Stone and the Campbells.
The Churches of Christ are represented across the world. Typically, their distinguishing beliefs are that of the necessity of baptism for salvation and the prohibition of instruments in worship. Many Churches identify themselves as being nondenominational. The Churches of Christ arose to prominence in the United States from the Restoration Movement of 19th-century evangelism by groups who declared independence from denominations and traditional creeds. They sought “the unification of all Christians in a single body patterned after the original church of the New Testament.”
During the late 19th century, the prevailing view in the Restoration Movement was that the Holy Spirit currently acts only through the influence of inspired scripture. This rationalist view was associated with Alexander Campbell, who was “greatly affected by what he viewed as the excesses of the emotional camp meetings and revivals of his day”. He believed that the Spirit draws people towards salvation but understood the Spirit to do this “in the same way any person moves another—by persuasion with words and ideas”. This view came to prevail over that of Barton W. Stone, who believed the Spirit had a more direct role in the life of the Christian. Since the early 20th century, many, but not all, among the Churches of Christ have moved away from this “word-only” theory of the operation of the Holy Spirit. As one scholar of the movement puts it, “[f]or better or worse, those who champion the so-called word-only theory no longer have a hold on the minds of the constituency of Churches of Christ. Though relatively few have adopted outright charismatic and third wave views and remained in the body, apparently the spiritual waves have begun to erode that rational rock.” The Churches of Christ hold a cessationist perspective on the gifts of the Spirit.
A relatively small proportion of total membership comes from Canada. A growing portion of the Canadian demographic is made up of immigrant members of the church. This is partly the result of Canadian demographics as a whole, and partly due to decreased interest amongst late generation Canadians. The largest concentration of active congregations in Canada are in Southern Ontario, with notable congregations gathering in Beamsville, Bramalea, Niagara Falls, Vineland, Toronto (several), and Waterloo. However, many congregations of various sizes (typically under 300 members) meet all across Canada.Modern Churches of Christ have their historical roots in the Restoration Movement, which was a converging of Christians across denominational lines in search of a return to an original, “pre-denominational” Christianity. Participants in this movement sought to base their doctrine and practice on the Bible alone, rather than recognizing the traditional councils and denominational hierarchies that had come to define Christianity since the first century A.D. Members of the Churches of Christ believe that Jesus founded only one church, that the current divisions among Christians do not express God’s will, and that the only basis for restoring Christian unity is the Bible. They simply identify themselves as “Christians”, without using any other forms of religious or denominational identification. They believe that they are recreating the New Testament church as established by Christ.
However, not all Churches of Christ abstain from instruments. The use of musical instruments in worship was a divisive topic within the Stone-Campbell Movement from its earliest years, when some adherents opposed the practice on traditional grounds, while others may have relied on a cappella simply because they lacked access to musical instruments. Alexander Campbell opposed the use of instruments in worship. As early as 1855, some Restoration Movement churches were using organs or pianos, ultimately leading the Churches of Christ to separate from the groups that condoned instrumental music.
While there is an identifiable mainstream within the Churches of Christ, there are also significant variations within the fellowship. The approach taken to restoring the New Testament church has focused on “methods and procedures” such as church organization, the form of worship, and how the church should function. As a result, most divisions among Churches of Christ have been the result of “methodological” disputes. These are meaningful to members of this movement because of the seriousness with which they take the goal of “restoring the form and structure of the primitive church”.
The remaining congregations may be grouped into four categories which generally differ from the mainstream consensus in specific practices, rather than in theological perspectives, and tend to have smaller congregations on average.
Most members of the Churches of Christ live outside the United States. Although there is no reliable counting system, it is anecdotally believed there may be more than 1,000,000 members of the Churc
hes of Christ in Africa, approximately 1,000,000 in India, and 50,000 in Central and South America. Total worldwide membership is over 3,000,000, with approximately 1,000,000 in the U.S.The Fellowship of Churches of Christ and some Australian and New Zealand Churches advocate a “missional” emphasis with an ideal of “Five Fold Leadership”. Many people in more traditional Churches of Christ see these groups as having more in common with Pentecostal churches. The main publishing organs of traditional Churches of Christ in Britain are The Christian Worker magazine and the Scripture Standard magazine. A history of the Association of Churches of Christ, Let Sects and Parties Fall, was written by David M Thompson. Further information can be found in the Historical Survey of Churches of Christ in the British Isles, edited by Joe Nisbet.
Churches of Christ have historically had the most conservative position on baptism among the various branches of the Restoration Movement, understanding that repentance and baptism by immersion are necessary parts of conversion. The most significant disagreements concerned the extent to which a correct understanding of the role of baptism is necessary for its validity. David Lipscomb argued that if a believer was baptized out of a desire to obey God, the baptism was valid, even if the individual did not fully understand the role baptism plays in salvation. Austin McGary argued that to be valid, the convert must also understand that baptism is for the forgiveness of sins. McGary’s view became the prevailing one in the early 20th century, but the approach advocated by Lipscomb never totally disappeared. More recently, the rise of the International Churches of Christ, who “reimmersed some who came into their fellowship, even those previously immersed ‘for remission of sins’ in a Church of Christ,” has caused some to reexamine the question of rebaptism.
The remaining three groups, whose congregations are generally considerably smaller than those of the mainstream or non-institutional groups, also oppose institutional support as well as “fellowship halls” and similar structures (for the same reasons as the non-institutional groups), but differ by other beliefs and practices (the groups often overlap, but in all cases hold to more conservative views than even the non-institutional groups):The use of instrumental music in worship was not a source of division among the Churches of Christ in Great Britain before World War I. More significant was the issue of pacifism; a national conference was established in 1916 for congregations that opposed the war. A conference for “Old Paths” congregations was first held in 1924. The issues involved included concern that the Christian Association was compromising traditional principles in seeking ecumenical ties with other organizations and a sense that it had abandoned Scripture as “an all-sufficient rule of faith and practice”. Two “Old Paths” congregations withdrew from the Association in 1931; an additional two withdrew in 1934, and nineteen more withdrew between 1943 and 1947.
This Website is awesome very beneficial for learning the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth will set you free from False Doctrines EverydayOur desire is not to replace the work of the local church, but to help those who do not know the Gospel of Christ find their direction to the local church, edify its members, and be evangelistic.Please note: Although we use a \”commerce\” site to process your request, our media is shipped for free. If you have trouble completing the checkout procedure, please email us at [email protected].
What type of Christianity is Church of Christ?
Church of Christ, any of several conservative Protestant churches, found chiefly in the United States. They are strongest in parts of the Midwest and in the western and southern parts of the country.
Please notice: Due to the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic placed on travel and essentiality to business both in the United States, and specifically in Tennessee, our operations are limited. Please also note that until further notice, we have been notified by the USPS that we cannot mail our media packages to any other country outside of the United States. We encourage you to visit our Digital Downloads section as well as our Online Free Media resource pages.Controversies developed among the Christians about the middle of the 19th century, principally over the scriptural authorization for organized mission societies and the use of instrumental music in worship. In 1906 in the federal census of religion there was added to the earlier listing of Disciples of Christ a new listing of Churches of Christ that enumerated those congregations opposing organized mission societies and instrumental music. The New Testament mentions neither, and, therefore, the Churches of Christ consider them to be unauthorized innovations.
After the division, the Churches of Christ continued to grow. Though the churches oppose organized mission societies, missionary work is supported by individual churches and is carried on in 100 foreign fields. Members of the Churches of Christ support more than 20 liberal arts colleges and numerous high schools.
Church of Christ, any of several conservative Protestant churches, found chiefly in the United States. They are strongest in parts of the Midwest and in the western and southern parts of the country. Each church is known locally as a Church of Christ and its members as Christians, and each church is autonomous in government, with elders, deacons, and a minister or ministers. There is no organization beyond the local church.A hallmark of worship in the Churches of Christ tradition is unaccompanied congregational singing. Baptism is of adults, and the Lord’s Supper is observed as a memorial of Christ’s death. The Churches of Christ affirm the orthodox teaching of the person of Christ and the Bible as the sole rule of faith and practice with the primacy of the New Testament as the revelation of the will of God. Most churches do not take part in interdenominational activities.
What kind of denomination is Church of Christ?
What denomination is the Church of Christ? Churches of Christ do not belong to any denomination. They are non-denominational or undenominational. Each church sets its own government based on the Bible.
In 1997 the group reported 1,800,000 members and 14,400 congregations in the United States and 8,000 members and 140 congregations in Canada. There are no officers or headquarters.
The early history of this group is identical to that of the Disciples of Christ. They developed from various religious movements in the United States in the early 19th century, especially those led by Barton W. Stone in Kentucky and Thomas Campbell and Alexander Campbell in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. These men had all been Presbyterians. They pleaded for the Bible as the only standard of faith, without additional creeds, and for the unity of the people of God by the restoration of New Testament Christianity. Refusing affiliation with any sect, they called themselves simply Christians.We are truly blessed to have settled here. We have loved watching our boys grow up surrounded by so many loving CKS teachers and staff. I have found true friendships in other Mom parishioners, and I have greatly valued the maternal support from the many friends I have made from the Catholic Way Bible Study. Christ The King has truly become our extended family.
I am pleased to announce that Megan Mottet will be joining the Christ the King Parish staff as the next Director of Faith Formation for our Cathedral Parish. I and the search committee are excited that Megan accepted our offer and look forward to her service to our Cathedral parish as we continue moving forward as a parish of intentional disciples seeking to invite all into life-changing encounters with Jesus Christ. Megan will start work the week of July 3rd. Deacon Tim will be working with Megan to carry out a smooth, seamless, transition so she can hit the ground running in July. Megan introduces herself down below and we are sure you will get to know her as she gets started.
I am humbled and honored to have been chosen for this important role. My prayer is to be able to deepen the Faith of each parishioner who seeks it and to inspire others into desiring to seek the Faith. I will work diligently and collaboratively to strengthen our Catholic ministries, be available on a one-on-one basis for spiritual support, and will use new forms of communication to share ways we can glorify God and grow in intentional discipleship!
Deacon Tim, thank you for your service to the parish and we look forward to your continued involvement in the parish as an active deacon. Megan, welcome to the staff and we are all looking forward to working with you to empower and equip our parish to respond to the Holy Spirit’s call and anointing as disciples of Jesus! Come Holy Spirit!
Faith just after graduating with my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2003. In the following years, I studied for a Master’s degree and spent my spare time diving deeper into understanding our rich and enlightening Faith.
I grew up outside of a small Northwest Ohio farm community, in a home where we sporadically attended various Protestant Sunday services. During my Freshman year in college, I encountered the Holy Spirit at a Catholic prayer group, and I came into the fullness of the CatholicIn 2005, I graduated with a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and met Chris. For about nine years, I worked in community mental health and private practice in Central Ohio where Chris and I started our family. After welcoming our second son, I felt the call to go into the home full time to focus on our growing family and to continue learning about our Faith so I could teach our children. It was not long after that decision when Chris’ career brought us to the Lexington area, and we found Christ The King.
As our boys have grown, I prayed about what God had in store for the next stage of my life. The message I consistently received from Him was that I would return to working outside of the home and helping others after our youngest son started Kindergarten. I believe it is no coincidence that our son will be a kindergartner this Fall, and God has now placed me in a role where I get to do my favorite thing outside of being a Mom, sharing our rich Catholic Faith with others!
According to the Book of Revelation (2:1-7) Ephesus is known for having labored hard and not fainted, and separating themselves from the wicked; admonished for having forsaken its first love. The city is very important for Christianity as John the Apostle tought and missioned in Ephesus city. It is widely accepted that The Gospel of John was written in Ephesus. There is a Basilica built in the name of John the Apostle which is located right next to the Ayasuluk Castle which was the first settlement of the people before the Ephesus ancient city. The city survived many invasions during history but the port silted and an earthquake destroyed the city in the 7th Century. Ephesus never gained her earlier importance yet never lost her fame for being the biggest metropolis of its time. Ephesus was home to two councils of Christianity in 449 and 475 which stresses her importance in the Christian World.Erkan Dulger, a seasoned expert in the travel and tourism sector, has devoted more than 17 years of his life to planning wonderful journeys for people all over the world. Erkan has made a great career as a travel consultant and prosperous business owner. He was born with a deep enthusiasm for exploration and a desire to introduce people to beautiful places.
Sardis is admonished for – in contrast to its good reputation – being dead; cautioned to fortify itself and return to God through repentance according to the Book of Revelation (3:1-6). Sardis has always been an important city in history thanks to her location. The city is erected on the fertile plains of Aegean low lands and busy trading routes. The city sparkled thanks to the first coins minted in history. Sardis was the capital to the Persians and a seat of a proconsul during Roman times. The Synagogue of Sardis and the Jewish community attracted the early Christians to settle and build churches in the area along with one of the Seven Churches of Asia. The Seven Churches of Asia as stated in the Book of Revelation are Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. Today, all these are existing names in Turkey as they are ancient cities protected by the Culture and Tourism Ministry of the Republic of Turkey. They are located in the Izmir, Manisa, and Denizli provinces of Turkey. Smyrna is the ancient name of Izmir city which will possibly be your starting point of a tour of the Seven Churches of Asia. Smyrna is located in Izmir city and Pergamum is only 2 hours away from Izmir. Thyatira is located one hour east of Pergamum. Sardis and Philadelphia Churches are very close to each other and they are less than an hour away from Thyatira. The furthest Church of Revelation is Laodicea which is two hours away from Sardis. To complete the tour of Seven Churches, you need to drive to Ephesus which is 2,5 hours away from Laodicea. The House of the Virgin Mary and the Basilica of Saint John is within the vicinity of Ephesus. In three days and two nights in Pergamon and Pamukkale, you can easily visit the Seven Churches of Asia along with the House of the Virgin Mary and The Basilica of Saint John. If you would like to explore the surroundings of the Seven Churches, you should spare a few more nights in the west coast of Turkey. Would you like us to tailor you a private itinerary, including Seven Churches of Asia? Benefit from our expertise. We offer tailor-made tours to Turkey for all interests and desires, from romantic honeymoons and scenic self-drive road trips to photo tours with experienced photographers and cultural tours in major destinations. We arrange everything for your Turkey Tours, including hotel bookings, airport transfers, guided tours, and top-notch experiences. We want you to have a great time in Turkey and make sure your trip is a memorable one as we have escorted so many tours in Turkey personally. Imagine dealing with only one person for all your travel details, receiving customized itineraries and recommendations which will suit exactly your travel interests. Contact Turkey Tour Organizer to get a personalized day-by-day itinerary for your trip to Turkey. According to the Book of Revelation 1:11, Jesus asks John of Patmos to write seven letters and send them to the seven churches of Asia. Patmos is a Greek island located fifty kilometers off the Aegean Coastline of Turkey nearby Didim. John of Patmos is possibly John the Apostle according to the Book of Revelation and was instructed by Jesus Christ to send letters to the Seven Churches of Asia in his dream. Thanks to the Book of Revelation, House of the Virgin Mary, and the Basilica of Saint John, the western part of the Republic of Turkey has always been a popular destination among Christians and travelers. Many discoverers traveled extensively on the west coast of Anatolia to find the House of the Virgin Mary during Ottoman times. Her House was discovered in 1891 by two French priests and was confirmed by Pope John XXIII. Philadelphia is known as steadfast in the faith, keeping God’s word, and enduring patiently according to the Book of Revelation 3:7-13). Philadelphia means the one who loves his brother in the Greek language. King of Pergamon Eumenes II built the city in the name of his brother who was his successor as the King of Pergamon. Like Thyatira, there was a big Christian community in Philadelphia until the end of the first World War. Today Protestant Christians use the “Philadelphia” name for their churches to emphasize their faithfulness.Laodicea is called lukewarm and insipid in the Book of Revelation (3:16). The Church of Laodicea stands in the ancient city of Laodicea which is very close to the popular tourist destination Pamukkale. Meaning cotton castle in Turkish, Pamukkale is a white travertine mound stretching roughly a kilometer. Due to the thermal waters, Pamukkale – Hierapolis has always been a popular tourist destination shadowing Laodicea. However, thanks to the recent excavations in Laodicea and her importance in history, the last church of Asia will gain popularity very soon. Thanks to the enormous Jewish population of the Phrygian cities such as Hierapolis and Colossae, Laodicea was of great importance to Paul the Apostle.The temple of Zeus in the ancient city of Pergamon is stated as the seat of the satan in the Book of Revelation (2:12-17). Pergamon was the second most important city of the Hellenistic Era and the Kingdom of Pergamon established many cities in the western and Mediterranean regions of Anatolia such as Hierapolis nearby Pamukkale and Attelia which is Antalya at present. The ancient Serapis Temple was converted into a Church by the early Christians and one part of the Serapis temple is still used as a mosque today by the Muslim community of today’s Bergama city.Erkan had always dreamed of starting his own travel business, one that would reflect his passion for crafting extraordinary travel experiences. Erkan founded his own travel company in 2015 after realizing his dream via intense determination and strong faith in his abilities. Known for its charity, whose “latter works are greater than the former”; tolerates the teachings of a false prophetess says the Book of Revelation about Thyatira (2:18-29). The quote is because of a woman named Jezebel who called herself a prophetess and tried to convince the Christians of Thyatira to make fornication and eat the meat of the sacrificed animals to the pagan gods. Paul the Apostle and Saint Silas is believed to have visited the city during the second journey of Saint Paul. The Christian community remained in Thyatira until the population exchange held between Greece and Turkey in 1922. Smyrna is admired for its tribulation and poverty; forecast to suffer persecution according to the Book of Revelation (2:8-11). Named after an Amazon Princess, Smyrna was a prosperous city of ancient times thanks to the easily defendable port and is located at the end of the many trading routes coming from Anatolian hinterland. Ancient Smyrna names live in the name of present-day Izmir city. One of the Seven Churches of Asia was established in Smyrna thanks to the big Jewish population in the city. Polycarp’s martyrdom in Smyrna is also an important historical event of Smyrna.
What are the 7 churches in the Bible?
The Seven Churches of Asia as stated in the Book of Revelation are Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.
Erkan traveled to the United States in search of knowledge and practical experience, where he spent four years honing his craft while working at various hotels. He was able to better comprehend the complexities of the travel industry as well as the various demands and expectations of travelers thanks to this priceless experience. Other denominations, such as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) also claim inheritance of the authority and responsibility that Jesus Christ conferred on the apostles. Other groups, such as Iglesia ni Cristo, believe in a last-messenger doctrine, where no such succession takes place. The Seventh-day Adventist Church regards itself to be the one true church in the sense of being a faithful remnant. The Amish, as with other Anabaptist Christians, believe that “the established church became corrupt, ineffectual, and displeasing to God.” The Amish believe that the true church is pure and separate from the world:Many Baptists, who uphold the doctrine of Baptist successionism (also known as Landmarkism), “argue that their history can be traced across the centuries to New Testament times” and “claim that Baptists have represented the true church” that “has been, present in every period of history”. These Baptists maintain that those who held their views throughout history, including the “Montanists, Novatians, Patarenes, Bogomils, Paulicians, Arnoldists, Henricians, Albigenses, and Waldenses”, were persecuted for their faith, a belief that these Baptists maintain to be “grand distinguishing mark of the true church”. In the introduction of The Trail of Blood, a Baptist text that explicates the doctrine of Baptist succession, Clarence Walker states that “The history of Baptists, he discovered, was written in blood. They were the hated people of the Dark Ages. Their preachers and people were put into prison and untold numbers were put to death.” J. M. Carroll, the author of the said text The Trail of Blood, also appeals to historian Johann Lorenz von Mosheim, who stated “Before the rise of Luther and Calvin, there lay secreted in almost all the countries of Europe persons who adhered tenaciously to the principles of modern Dutch Baptists.” Walter B. Shurden, the founding executive director of the Center for Baptist Studies at Mercer University, writes that the theology of Landmarkism, which he states is integral of the history of the Southern Baptist Convention, upholds the ideas that “Only Baptist churches can trace their lineage in uninterrupted fashion back to the New Testament, and only Baptist churches therefore are true churches.” In addition Shurden writes that Baptists who uphold successionism believe that “only a true church-that is, a Baptist church-can legitimately celebrate the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Any celebration of these ordinances by non-Baptists is invalid.” The expression “one true church” refers to an ecclesiological position asserting that Jesus gave his authority in the Great Commission solely to a particular visible Christian institutional church—what is commonly called a denomination. This view is maintained by the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox communion, the Assyrian Church of the East, the Ancient Church of the East, the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, the Churches of Christ, and the Lutheran Churches, as well as certain Baptists. Each of them maintains that their own specific institutional church (denomination) exclusively represents the one and only original church. The claim to the title of the “one true church” relates to the first of the Four Marks of the Church mentioned in the Nicene Creed: “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church”. As such, it also relates to claims of both catholicity and apostolic succession: asserting inheritance of the spiritual, ecclesiastical and sacramental authority and responsibility that Jesus Christ gave to the apostles. The Eastern Orthodox Church (officially the Orthodox Catholic Church) identifies its confederative communion of Orthodox churches as the “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church” of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed and applies this title in conciliar and other official documents, for instance, in the Constantinople synods held in 1836 and 1838 and in correspondence with Pope Pius IX (r. 1846–1878) and with Pope Leo XIII (r. 1878–1903).Baptists who uphold this ecclesiology also do not characterize themselves as being a Protestant church due to their belief that “they did not descend from those churches that broke away in protest from the church of Rome. Rather, they had enjoyed a continuous historical existence from the time of the very first church in the New Testament days.” These views are generally no longer widely held in the Southern Baptist Convention although they are still taught by some Southern Baptist Churches and many independent Baptist churches, Primitive Baptists (Reformed Baptists), and some “congregations affiliated with the American Baptist Association.” Most other Latter Day Saint churches claim to be the rightful continuation or successor of the church Smith established and therefore claim to be the one true church. However, the Community of Christ, the second-largest Latter Day Saint church, has recently de-emphasized this belief in favor of a position that the Community of Christ “is part of the whole body of Christ”. The church’s canonized Doctrine and Covenants continues to contain the declaration that the church is the “only true and living church”. The Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) a Philippine-based Christian religion, like other restorationist groups, professes that it is the one church founded by Jesus. Adherents hold that the Iglesia ni Cristo (“Church of Christ” in Tagalog) is the only true church of Jesus Christ as restored through a human instrument (sugo) Felix Manalo. The church recognizes Jesus Christ as the founder of the Christian Church. Meanwhile, its reestablishment is seen as the signal for the end of days. They believe that the church was apostatized by the 1st or 4th century due to false teachings. The INC says that this apostate church is the Roman Catholic Church.Some small epsicopal church groups, such as the “Workers and Friends”, represent themselves as nondenominational and hold all other churches to be false.Restorationism is a broad category of churches, originating during the Second Great Awakening, that characterize themselves as a return to very early Christianity after the true faith was lost in a Great Apostasy. Prominent among these groups are the Christian churches and churches of Christ, the Churches of Christ (Stone-Campbell movement), the Christadelphians, and the Latter Day Saint movement (Mormonism). The idea of “restoration” was a popular theme of the time of the founding of these branches, and developed an independent expression in both. In the Stone-Campbell movement, the idea of restoration was combined with Enlightenment rationalism, “precluding emotionalism, spiritualism, or any other phenomena that could not be sustained by rational appeals to the biblical text.”Roman Catholic theology regards formal schismatics as outside the church, understanding by “formal schismatics” “persons who, knowing the true nature of the Church, have personally and deliberately committed the sin of schism”. The situation, for instance, of those who have been brought up from childhood within a group not in communion with Rome, and who are acting in good faith and have maintained almost the entirety of the orthodox faith, differs. This nuanced view applies especially to the churches of Eastern Christianity, more particularly still to the Eastern Orthodox Church, though doctrinal impediments still remain, such as disagreement over the primacy of the Roman See, papal infallibility, the nature of Purgatory, indulgences, the Immaculate Conception, and a few other important doctrines. Mem
bers believe that the Iglesia ni Cristo is the fulfillment of the passage above. Based from their doctrines, “ends of the earth” pertains to the time the true church would be restored from apostasy and “east” refers to the Philippines where the “Church of Christ” would be founded. The INC teaches that its members constitute the “elect of God” and there is no salvation outside the INC. Faith alone is insufficient for salvation. The Iglesia ni Cristo says that the official name of the true church is “Church of Christ”. The two passages often cited by INC to support this are Romans 16:16 “Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you” and the George Lamsa translation of Acts 20:28: “Take heed therefore … to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.” The predominant organization within the movement is the LDS Church, which continues to teach that it is “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth”. The church teaches that all people who achieve the highest level of salvation must be baptized by one who holds the proper authority to perform such an ordinance; however, those who missed that opportunity in their lifetime may be included through a proxy baptism for the dead, in which a church member is baptized on their behalf inside a temple.
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that Christ founded only “one true Church”, and that this one true Church is the Catholic Church with the bishop of Rome (the pope) as its supreme, infallible head and locus of communion. From this follows that it regards itself as “the universal sacrament of salvation for the human race” and the “only true religion”.
In responding to some questions regarding the doctrine of the Church concerning itself, the Vatican’s Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stated, “Clarius dicendum esset veram Ecclesiam esse solam Ecclesiam catholicam romanam…” (“It should be said more clearly that the Roman Catholic Church alone is the true Church..”) And it also clarified that the term subsistit in used in reference to the Church in the Second Vatican Council’s 1964 decree Lumen gentium “indicates the full identity of the Church of Christ with the Catholic Church”.
In the encyclical Mortalium animos of 6 January 1928, Pope Pius XI wrote that “in this one Church of Christ no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors” and quoted the statement of Lactantius: “The Catholic Church is alone in keeping the true worship. This is the fount of truth, this the house of Faith, this the temple of God: if any man enter not here, or if any man go forth from it, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation.” Accordingly, the Second Vatican Council of 1962–1965 declared: “Whosoever, […] knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved. In the same document, the Council continued: “The Church recognizes that in many ways she is linked with those who, being baptized, are honored with the name of Christian, though they do not profess the faith in its entirety or do not preserve unity of communion with the successor of Peter.” And in a decree on ecumenism, Unitatis redintegratio, it stated: “Catholics must gladly acknowledge and esteem the truly Christian endowments from our common heritage which are to be found among our separated brethren. It is right and salutary to recognise the riches of Christ and virtuous works in the lives of others who are bearing witness to Christ, sometimes even to the shedding of their blood. For God is always wonderful in His works and worthy of all praise.”
There can only be one true visible Church. Of this our Catechism speaks in Question 192: “Whom do we call the true visible Church?” Answer: “The whole number of those who have, teach and confess the entire doctrine of the Word of God in all its purity, and among whom the Sacraments are duly administered according to Christ’s institution.” That there can be but one true visible Church, and that, therefore, one is not just as good as another stands to reason because there is only one truth, one Bible, one Word of God. Evidently that Church which teaches this truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, is the true visible Church. Christ says John 8, 31. 32: “If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Again Christ says Matt. 28, 20: “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” Whatsoever He has commanded us, His Word, and nothing else, we should teach. And again, all things which He has commanded us we should teach. That, therefore is the true visible Church which does this. But that all visible Churches do not this is plain from the fact that they do not agree among themselves. If every Church would teach the whole truth and nothing but the truth as God has revealed it, there could be no difference. So, then, by calling other denominations Churches, we do not mean to say that one Church is just as good as another. Only that one is the true visible Church which teaches and confesses the entire doctrine of the Word of God in all its purity, and in whose midst the Sacraments are duly administered according to Christ’s institution. Of all Churches, this can only be said of our Lutheran Church.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Catholic ecclesiology professes the Catholic Church to be the “sole Church of Christ”—i.e., the one true church defined as “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic” in the Four Marks of the Church in the Nicene Creed. The Council of Nicea (AD 325) originally formulated this teaching and ratified the Nicene Creed. The church teaches that only the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ, who appointed the Twelve Apostles to continue his work as the Church’s earliest bishops. Catholic belief holds that the Church “is the continuing presence of Jesus on earth”, and that all duly-consecrated bishops have a lineal succession from the apostles. In particular, the Bishop of Rome (the Pope), is considered the successor to the apostle Simon Peter, from whom the Pope derives his supremacy over the Church. The 1943 papal encyclical Mystici corporis Christi further describes the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ. Thus the Catholic Church holds that “the one Church of Christ which in the Creed is professed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic … This Church constituted and organized in the world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him.” In Humani Generis, Pope Pius XII declared that “the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing.” The Second Vatican Council repeated this teaching, stating in the Decree on the Eastern Churches: “The Holy Catholic Church, which is the Mystical Body of Christ, is made up of the faithful who are organically united in the Holy Spirit by the same faith, the same sacraments and the same government.”The Catholic Church teaches that the fullness of the “means of salvation” exists only in the Catholic Church, but the church acknowledges that the Holy Spirit can make use of ecclesial communities separated from itself to “impel towards Catholic unity” and thus bring people to salvation in the Catholic Church ultimately. It teaches that anyone who is saved is saved through the Catholic Church but that people can be saved ex voto and by pre-baptismal martyrdom as well as when conditions of invincible ignorance are present, although invincible ignorance in itself is not a means of salvation.The Seventh-Day Adventist Church (SDA Church) holds itself to be the one true church. It specifically teaches that “it is the ‘final remnant’ of His true church [spanning] the centuries”. Seventh-day Adventist eschatology promulgates the idea that in the end times, there will be a “growing opposition between the ‘true’ church and the ‘apostate’ church.” According to Seventh-day Adventist theology, these apostates are referred to as “Babylon”, which they state is an amalgam of religions (including other Christian denominations) that worship on Sunday rather than the Lord’s Sabbath, Saturday (Exodus 20:8–11). The SDA Church, in their view, “has drawn substantially on the biblical text, especially the books of Daniel and Revelation, to argue for its own status as the true remnant church which has a divine commission both to exist and to preach its apocalyptic message to the world at large.”
Amish fraternity is based upon the understanding of the church as a redemptive community. To express this corporateness they use the German term Gemeinde or the shorter dialect version pronounced Gemee. This concept expresses all the connotations of church, congregation, and community. The true church, they believe, had its origin in God’s plan, and after the end of time the church will coexist with God through eternity. The true church is to be distinguished from the “fallen church”. … The church of God is composed of those who “have truly repented and rightly believed; who are rightly baptized … and incorporated into the communio
n of saints on earth.” The true church is “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation,” and “a congregation of the righteous.” The church of God is separate and completely different from the “bind perverted world.” Furthermore, the church is “known by her evangelical faith, doctrine, love, and godly conversation; also by her pure walk and practice, and her observances of the true ordinances of Christ.” The church must be “pure, unspotted and without blemish” (Eph. 5:27), capable of enforcing disciplinary measures to insure purity of life and separation from the world.
Fear not for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, And gather you from the west; I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’ Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the ends of the earth.The concept of schism somewhat moderates the competing claims between some churches—one can potentially repair schism, since they are striving for the same goal. For example, the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches each regard the other as schismatic and at very least heterodox, if not heretical, yet both have held dialogues and even partaken in Councils in attempts to resolve the division that exists between them.The Lutheran Church views itself as the “main trunk of the historical Christian Tree” founded by Christ and the Apostles, holding that during the Reformation, the Church of Rome fell away. The Augsburg Confession found within the Book of Concord, a compendium of belief of the Lutheran Churches, teaches that “the faith as confessed by Luther and his followers is nothing new, but the true Catholic faith, and that their churches represent the true catholic or universal church”. When the Lutherans presented the Augsburg Confession to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor in 1530, they believe to have “showed that each article of faith and practice was true first of all to Holy Scripture, and then also to the teaching of the church fathers and the councils”.
In 1830, Joseph Smith established the Church of Christ in the belief that it was a restoration of original Christianity. In 1831 he declared it to be “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth”. Smith later reported in some versions of his First Vision in his teenage years, Jesus had told him that all churches that then existed “were all wrong; [and] that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight”. The Latter Day Saints combined their religion with “the spirit of nineteenth-century Romanticism” and, as a result, “never sought to recover the forms and structures of the ancient church as ends in themselves” but “sought to restore the golden age, recorded in both Old Testament and New Testament, when God broke into human history and communed directly with humankind.”
The 1215 Fourth Lateran Council declared that: “There is one universal Church of the faithful, outside of which there is absolutely no salvation”, a statement of what is known as the doctrine of extra Ecclesiam nulla salus.
Although similar in some ways to other conservative Mennonite groups, the Holdeman church teaches that they are the one true church of Christ. Their doctrine of the one true church, based on Matthew 16:18 and other Scriptures, emphasizes the succession of true doctrine, practice, and teachers through the centuries, and the authority of the church under Christ.As described in the tract The Glory of the True Church by Francis Howgill, the Religious Society of Friends traditionally believed that after the Apostolic Era, the “true Church fled into the wilderness” and “the false Church came into visibility”. George Fox and his followers “believed that they were called to carry out the true reformation, to restore apostolic Christianity, and to make a fresh beginning”. As such, “The Quaker community was the one true Church, and consequently those converted by Quaker preaching were expected to join it.” Among some Quakers, there became a “shift from being the one and only True Church to being a part of the True Church” and so “marriage with non-Quakers became accepted by many in the Quaker community”, though “they still had to marry within the Meeting House, as well as gain approbation.”
Many Mainline Protestants regard all baptized Christians as members of a spiritual—not institutional—”Christian Church” regardless of their differing beliefs; this belief is sometimes referred to by the theological term “invisible church”. Some Anglicans of Anglo-Catholic churchmanship espouse a version of branch theory which teaches that the true Christian Church comprises Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, Old Catholic, Oriental Orthodox, Scandinavian Lutheran, Moravian, Persian, and Roman Catholic branches.
Methodists affirm belief in “the one true Church, Apostolic and Universal”, viewing their Churches as constituting a “privileged branch of this true church”. With regard to the position of Methodism within Christendom, the founder of the movement “John Wesley once noted that what God had achieved in the development of Methodism was no mere human endeavor but the work of God. As such it would be preserved by God so long as history remained.” Calling it “the grand depositum” of the Methodist faith, Wesley specifically taught that the propagation of the doctrine of entire sanctification was the reason that God raised up the Methodists in the world.
According to the views of Roman bishops, however, only apostolic sees, churches actually founded by apostles, were eligible for primacy; this view thus excluded any patriarchal role for Constantinople. In fact, the popes of Rome always opposed the idea of pentarchy, gradually developing and affirming a universal ecclesiastical structure centred on Rome as the see of Peter. Byzantine imperial and conciliar legislation practically ignored the Roman view, limiting itself to the token recognition of Rome as the first patriarchal see. The tensions created by the opposing theories contributed to the schism between East and West.pentarchy, in early Byzantine Christianity, the proposed government of universal Christendom by five patriarchal sees under the auspices of a single universal empire. Formulated in the legislation of the emperor Justinian I (527–565), especially in his Novella 131, the theory received formal ecclesiastical sanction at the Council in Trullo (692), which ranked the five sees as Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem.