The Name of “Christian”

Christian on chalkboard

The “Restoration Movement” is sometimes called the “Stone-Campbell Movement” after two principle men in that movement – Barton W. Stone and Alexander Campbell. They were two of many who endeavored to leave the churches and creeds of men and follow the Bible alone.

Stone was formerly a Presbyterian. Campbell had previously been associated with the Baptists. Yet they decided they were no longer going to use those names to identify themselves. So what would they be called? Campbell thought brethren should be identified as “Disciples” while Stone favored the name “Christian.” What does the Bible say? Notice what Luke recorded:

And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch” (Acts 11:26).

In the verse above, disciples were called Christians. Let us consider what the Bible says about the name we are to wear.Continue Reading

The Trend of Churches Offering Multiple Services, Sites, and Venues

Map of City

Churches built by men are constantly changing. What a particular church or denomination believes and practices today may not be what they believe and practice by the time the next generation comes along. The reason why these churches change is because they are trying to expand their reach and attract more people. As society changes, these churches must adapt. Too often, these changes are not in harmony with the teachings of Scripture.

Sometimes changes occur among a small minority of churches/denominations. Other times, there are trends that affect a large number of churches regardless of denominational affiliation. One of these trends that I have been hearing about more in the last few years has to do with churches offering multiple services, sites, and venues.

Thom Rainer, former CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, in a blog post titled, Nine Rapid Changes in Church Worship Services (published May 7, 2014), wrote the following:

“‘Multi’ is normative. Most congregants twenty years ago attended a Sunday morning worship service where no other Sunday morning alternatives were available. Today, most congregants attend a service that is part of numerous alternatives: multi-services; multi-campuses; multi-sites; and multi-venues.”

In a more recent post in which he projected what “healthy churches” would look like in ten years, he wrote, “The majority of healthy churches will be multi-site, multi-venue, or multi-day.” He went on to say, “As long as we don’t compromise biblical truths, we need to reach people where they are.”

However, is it true that a church can adopt a multi-service, multi-site, multi-venue model without compromising biblical truth?Continue Reading

Identifying the Lord’s Church (Part 1): How Many Churches Did Jesus Build?

Identifying the Lord's Church

As we look at the religious landscape around us, we see a myriad of churches that exist. How did all of these churches come to be? That is certainly a study in itself. For our purposes here, we want to answer this question: How many churches did Jesus build?Continue Reading

The Problem with Organized Religion

Cathedral

Many people today disparage “organized religion.” Instead, they simply desire a “personal relationship” with the Lord. However, this is not an “either-or” proposition. In our service to God, we have personal and corporate responsibilities. Notice what Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus:

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ…from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:11-12, 16).

That, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (Ephesians 4:22-24).

In the same chapter, Paul spoke of personal responsibilities (laying aside the old self and putting on the new self) and corporate responsibilities (being a functioning part of a self-edifying body). Clearly, both are involved in the life of a Christian. In this article, we will discuss these responsibilities and notice what the real problem is with “organized religion.”
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Is One Church As Good As Another? (Season 5, Episode 1)

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Is One Church As Good As Another? (Season 5, Episode 1)

As we talk with people in the world, particularly those who are religious, one idea with which we are often confronted is that one church is as good as another. Many people believe this. This can make it difficult in trying to lead someone to the truth. This concept that one church is as good as another must be eliminated if we want to have any success in leading souls to Christ. So it is good for us to consider the idea so we might be better prepared to handle various situations.

Article: Is One Church As Good As Another?

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Multiplying Religious Error (Sermon #3)

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Multiplying Religious Error (Sermon #3)

We’re in between season 3 and season 4 which will start on October 25th. During the break we’re posting audio sermons each week instead of the regular episodes. The sermon for this week was preached on August 21, 2016 at the Eastside church of Christ in Morgantown, KY.

If you found this episode to be useful, please share it with others. Also, if you enjoyed the podcast, please leave a rating on iTunes or Stitcher. This also helps others hear about the podcast. Thanks.

Why Were They Called “churches of Christ”?

Church of Christ

Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you” (Romans 16:16).

Paul referred to the congregations with which he was associated as “churches of Christ.” Many brethren, in an effort to follow the New Testament pattern, have also used this to identify local churches. However, some brethren have quit using this designation, choosing instead to identify themselves as “The Church in ___” or merely placing a sign in front of their building that says, “Christians Meet Here.” Of course, many more in the denominational world use other names to identify their churches (Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, etc.).

Our desire must be to please Christ and serve Him faithfully. So let us consider this question: Why were those local churches in the first century called “churches of Christ” and what bearing does this have on us today?
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