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Church of Christ Beliefs

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through
endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
– Romans 15:4

The Kent County church of Christ believes in following God’s plan as laid out in the Bible, as we strive to imitate the first century church.
We see the Bible as the inerrant, inspired word of God, and use it as our guide for life.
[su_spoiler title=”What is the distinctive plea of the church of Christ?” icon=”plus” class=”my-custom-spoiler”] It is primarily a plea for spiritual unity based upon the Bible. In a divided religious world it is believed that the Bible is the only possible common denominator upon which most, if not all, of the God-fearing people of the land can unite. This is an appeal to go back to the Bible. It is a plea to speak where the Bible speak and to remain silent where the Bible is silent in all matters that pertain to religion. It further emphasizes that in everything religious there must be a “Thus saith the Lord” for all that is done. The objective is religious unity of all believers in Christ. The basis is the New Testament. The method is the restoration of New Testament Christianity. [/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”How many churches of Christ are there?” class=”my-custom-spoiler”] The most recent dependable estimate lists more than 15,000 individual churches of Christ. The “Christian Herald,” a general religious publication which presents statistics concerning all the churches, estimates that the total membership of the churches of Christ is now 2,000,000. There are more than 7000 men who preach publicly. Membership of the church is heaviest in the southern states of the United States, particularly Tennessee and Texas, though congregations exist in each of the fifty states and in more than eighty foreign countries. Missionary expansion has been most extensive since the second World War in Europe, Asia and Africa. More than 450 full time workers are supported in foreign countries. The churches of Christ now have five times as many members as were reported in the U.S. Religious Census of 1936. [/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”How are the churches organizationally connected?” class=”my-custom-spoiler”] Following the plan of organization found in the New Testament, churches of Christ are autonomous. Their common faith in the Bible and adherence to its teachings are the chief ties which bind them together. There is no central headquarters of the church, and no organization superior to the elders of each local congregation. Congregations do cooperate voluntarily in supporting the orphans and the aged, in preaching the gospel in new fields, and in other similar works.

Members of the church of Christ conduct forty colleges and secondary schools, as well as seventy-five orphanages and homes for the aged. There are approximately 40 magazines and other periodicals published by individual members of the church. A nationwide radio and television program, known as “The Herald of Truth” is sponsored by the Highland Avenue church in Abilene, Texas. Much of its annual budget of $1,200,000 is contributed on a free-will basis by other churches of Christ. The radio program is currently heard on more than 800 radio stations, while the television program is now appearing on more than 150 stations. Another extensive radio effort known as “World Radio” owns a network of 28 stations in Brazil alone, and is operating effectively in the United States and a number of other foreign countries, and is being produced in 14 languages. An extensive advertising program in leading national magazines began in November 1955.[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”How are the churches of Christ governed?” class=”my-custom-spoiler”] In each congregation, which has existed long enough to become fully organized, there is a plurality of elders or presbyters who serve as the governing body. These men are selected by the local congregations on the basis of qualifications set down in the scriptures (1 Timothy 3:1-8). Serving under the elders are deacons, teachers, and evangelists or ministers. The latter do not have the authority equal to or superior to the elders. The elders are shepherds or overseers who serve under the headship of Christ according to the New Testament, which is a kind of constitution. There is no earthly authority superior to the elders of the local church. [/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”What does the church of Christ believe about the Bible?” class=”my-custom-spoiler”] The original autographs of the sixty six books which make up the Bible are considered to have been divinely inspired, by which it is meant that they are infallible and authoritative. Reference to the scriptures is made in settling every religious question. A pronouncement from the scripture is considered the final word. The basic textbook of the church and the basis for all preaching is the Bible. [/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Do members of the church believe in the virgin birth?” class=”my-custom-spoiler”] Yes. The statement in Isaiah 7:14 is taken as a prophecy of the virgin birth of Christ. New Testament passages such as Matthew 1:20, 25, are accepted at face value as declarations of the virgin birth. Christ is accepted as the only begotten Son of God, uniting in his person perfect divinity and perfect manhood. [/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Why does the church of Christ baptize only by immersion?” class=”my-custom-spoiler”] The word baptize comes from the Greek word “baptizo” and literally means, “to dip, to immerse, to plunge.” In addition to the literal meaning of the word, immersion is practiced because it was the practice of the church in apostolic times. Still further, only immersion conforms to the description of baptisms as given by the apostle Paul in Romans 6:3-5 where he speaks of it as a burial and resurrection. [/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Is infant baptism practiced?” class=”my-custom-spoiler”] No. Only those who have reached the “age of accountability” are accepted for baptisms. It is pointed out that the examples given in the New Testament are always of those who have heard the gospel preached and have believed it. Faith must always precede baptism, so only those old enough to understand and believe the gospel are considered fit subjects for baptism. [/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Do ministers of the church hear confession?” class=”my-custom-spoiler”] No. Ministers or evangelists of the church have no special prerogatives. They do not wear the title of Reverend or Father, but are addressed simply by the term Brother as are all other men of the church. Along with elders and others they do counsel and advise those seeking help. [/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Are prayers addressed to the saints?” class=”my-custom-spoiler”] No. God the Father is considered the only one to whom the prayers may be addressed. It is further understood that Christ stands in a mediatorial position between God and man (Hebrews 7:25). All prayers are therefore offered through Christ, or in the name of Christ (John 16:23-26). [/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”How often is the Lord’s supper eaten?” class=”my-custom-spoiler”] It is expected that every member of the church will assemble for worship on each Lord’s day. A central part of the worship is the eating of the Lord’s supper (Acts 20:7). Unless providentially hindered, each member considers this weekly appointment as binding. In many instances, as in the case of illness, the Lord’s supper is carried to those who are hindered from attending the worship. [/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”What kind of music is used in the worship?” class=”my-custom-spoiler”] As a result of the distinctive plea of the church – a return to New Testament Faith and practice – acappella singing is the only music used in the worship. This singing, unaccompanied by mechanical instruments of music, conforms to the music used in the apostolic church and for several centuries thereafter (Ephesians 5:19). It is felt that there is no authority for engaging in acts of worship not found in the New Testament. This principle eliminates the use of instrumental music, along with the use of candles, incense, and other similar elements. [/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Does the church of Christ believe in heaven and hell?” class=”my-custom-spoiler”] Yes. The statement of Christ in Matthew 25, and elsewhere, are taken at face value. It is believed that after death each man must come before God in judgment and that he will be judged according to the deeds done while he lived (Hebrews 9:27). After judgment is pronounced he will spend eternity either in heaven or hell. [/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Does the church of Christ believe in purgatory?” class=”my-custom-spoiler”] No. The absence of any reference in the scriptures to the temporary place of punishment from which the soul will eventually be released into heaven prevents the acceptance of the doctrine of purgatory. [/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”By what means does the church secure financial support?” class=”my-custom-spoiler”] Each first day of the week the members of the church “lay by in store as they have been prospered” (1 Corinthians 16:2). The amount of any individual gift is generally known only to the one who gave it and to the Lord. This free-will offering is the only call which the church makes. NO assessments or other levies are made. No money-making activities, such as bazaars or suppers, are engaged in. A total if approximately $200,000,000 is given on this basis each year. [/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Does the church of Christ have a creed?” class=”my-custom-spoiler”] No. At least, there is no creed in the usual sense of the word. The belief of the church is stated fully and completely in the Bible. There is no other manual or discipline to which the members of the church of Christ give their allegiance. The Bible is considered as the only infallible guide to heaven. [/su_spoiler]
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