Are Churches of Christ Denominational?

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You cannot set up a system of rules for everyone else and not go by them yourself. This is what we have done in Churches of Christ.

A denomination has come up with rules not in the Bible. So do we.

A denomination has liturgy. So do we.

A denomination does things not in the Bible. So do we.

A denomination doesn’t do things the Bible says to do. So do we.

So how are we not denominational when we do denominational things

7 Responses

  1. To name things that churches of Christ have in common with denominations is not equal to the churches of Christ being a denomination. Just as, to name things that Christians have in common with Muslims doesn’t make a Christian a Muslim.
    In Christ, John

  2. We have a professional clergy. As do they
    We are getting into following the church calender
    We are ending ours scripture readings with the formal “The word of the Lord” declaration
    We are referring to preachers now as Pastors
    We are using “headhunter” agencies and practices to find new professional ministers
    We are skipping baptism as an essential and necessary step in the adoption process
    We are using female ministers and shepherds – with the mistaken idea that will stop our decline
    We are going full band entertainment with the same mistaken idea that will stop our decline

    So I am wondering how much longer before “we” too will accept same sex relationships, and, lest we might offend someone, have atheist ministers.

    Using “we” in the somewhat generic sense.

    1. If you merely do certain things that help like a denomination does, why do you think that makes you one? Whop is skipping baptism? I keep hearing this and have yet to see any cofC who is advocating skipping baptism. Now one to two sermons per month on baptism may not be necessary, but I have not seen baptism deemed unessential. What is wrong with preachers as pastors? If the preacher is only hired to preach at people and the elders function as trustees, who is left to take care of the people?

  3. My good friend retired preacher Samuel Dawson wrote an excellent book on this subject many years ago. The world’s definition of denomination is “a group of congregations who choose to exclusively work with each other.” We can claim not to be a denomination (we are actually a group of denominations), and our Baptist friends will just walk away shaking their heads and laughing to themselves. We can continue clinging to our distinctive definition to justify ourselves as the only ones correctly following the Bible, but if we are interested in dialogue with our denominational friends and loved ones, we might try meeting them halfway and admitting that by their understanding we are indeed a denomination.

    1. With a professional clergy I believe the final step was taken. The rest does not matter anymore. We used to invite people as ‘preachers’ who were solid students of Gods word, whether or not they had a degree, any degree.
      “A Christian denomination is a distinct religious body within Christianity, identified by traits such as a name, organization, and doctrine.”
      In that sense, we have always been a “denomination.”

    2. Amen! As an elder who has supported myself to preach and teach for 40 years, it is amazing to see the deference to professional clergy at all types of lectureships and “brotherhood” events.

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