ARE THERE DIVISIONS WITHIN THE “CHURCH OF CHRIST”?

mine is the true gospelThere is the commonly heard CoC 5 step plan of salvation which is “Hear, Believe, Repent, Confess, and Baptism“. But this is by no means the standard CoC plan of salvation. Many CoCers include living a faithful christian life, growing in the faith or continuing in the way of Jesus as a 6th step. And Walter Scott originally had 6 steps in his plan of salvation which he said was “Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Remission of Sins, Gift of the Holy Spirit and Eternal Life”. But before he had 6 steps Scott only had 3 steps in his plan and they were “Believe, Repent and Be Baptized”. Scott later made his steps of salvation into a “five finger exercise” that was easy enough for kids to remember and use, which was “faith, repentance, baptism, remission of sins, gift of the Holy Spirit.” And today many CoC’s argue over if there should be a sixth step and what that sixth step should be if so. This causes much division within the CoC with many saying other CoC’s are not the real church.

Even if you do the the plan of salvation, which ever one it is, then according to many hardline CoCers your still not saved unless you adhere to their “5 acts of worship” which are “singing, giving, preaching, praying and taking the Lords supper”. And this is where division really comes to bear in the CoC. Many CoC’s think that if other CoC’s do not worship just as they do then they are not really a part of the One True Church or saved.

One CoC writer named Cecil Hook list 100 issues that have caused splits and divisions within the CoC in his book Free In Christ. Hook then goes on to say there are 11 “big” issues “over which we have created open divisions, aligning brethren in different sectarian, exclusive groups“. Those issues are “1. use of Sunday School classes. 2. use of women teachers. 3. use of multiple communion cups. 4. premillennialism. 5. congregations cooperating in evangelism through a sponsoring church. 6. supporting Christian orphanages from the local treasury. 7. speaking in tongues. 8. cooking and eating in the church building. 9. the “located minister” system. 10. the use of instrumental music in worship. 11. the use of missionary, benevolent, and other types of societies or organizations to carry out Christian activities“. You can see the CoC becomes legalistic and divides over many non-essential issues.

Another CoC writer named Jay Guin says in his book Do We Teach Another Gospel “You see, in teaching that certain doctrines other than the gospel are essential to salvation, we’re effectively saying that to be saved, you not only must hear, believe, repent, confess, and be baptized, you must also join a congregation with a scriptural name, with a scriptural organization, and with a scriptural pattern of worship. Thus, if your home church has an elder who might not be properly qualified, or your church does something in worship that might lack authorization, you must change congregations or else lose your soul! I know Christians who have left their local congregation and take communion weekly at home rather than risk damnation by joining an unscriptural Church of Christ” (pg 57). Guin then concludes that the harline CoC does indeed teach another Gospel saying “I fail to see how insisting on these rules as conditions to salvation is any different from insisting on circumcision as a condition to salvation. Either way, you’re insisting on obedience to a law in addition to the gospel. The gospel is meant to take us away from legalism, and the imposition of any rule as a requirement for salvation—even a single morally neutral rule—beyond the gospel is a return to legalism and damnation” (pg 57). All these different CoC “Gospels” can be wrong but they cannot all be right. Also see this Wikipedia article to learn more about the 3 big splits in the CoC.

RELATED POST: VIDEO: Church of Christ Preacher Illustrating How Divided and Legalistic The CoC Is

About Damon Whitsell

Hello, my name is Damon. I have been studying Christian Cults since 1985 and doing Cult Apologetics online since 1998 because I grew up with Mormons, Oneness Pentecostals and Bible Missionaries in my family. All three of these groups (or Cults) think they are the One True Church and the Only True Christians and to be Saved you must join their Church. So as a result I started studying the Bible for myself to try to determine which of these groups had the truth. After much praying, reading and studying I decided the Mormon, Oneness Pentecostal and Bible Missionarie churches are not real Christian Churches at all, rather they are Christian Cults because they do not line up with what the bible really teaches about Salvation and they are not in agreement with other Essential Christian Doctrines. I found that according to what the Word of God teaches, and Historic/Orthodox Christian Teaching, Salvation cannot be earned by any form of human works or efforts I found that Salvation is ALL by the Grace and Work of God and that Salvation and Eternal Life are a Free Gift from God (Ephesians 2:8, Romans 6:23, John 3:16) to all who will Trust in Jesus Christ and the atoning sacrifice He made for us by dying on the Cross for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2). The Word of God is clear and plainly says “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Because I know what it is like to be targeted by Cult Groups and to suffer from the spirtual confusion and frustration brought on by their false teachings, I have endeavored to help others find True Eternal Life in Jesus Christ and to break free from the clutches of, and to be healed from the damage done by, Cult Groups who claim to be the One True Church. So it is my hope and prayer that the Lord will use my Websites to help those that need help and that some who use my websites will be helped by them to find the Free Gift of God’s Salvation, that is only found in His only begotten son Jesus Christ.

Posted on September 11, 2015, in Divisions in the CoC and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Looks good to me. Check out:”The Exers:An Ex-Church of Christ Community”. We have over 140 members.
    God’s blessings to you, Gary Cummings, Ex-member and ex-minister of the Churches of Christ (Non-Sunday School).

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: