There seems to be a great deal of fear and even pessimism concerning the church of Christ. Certainly, there are areas of the country and in the world where the church is not growing, and others where it is declining in number and influence.
More than that, though, there are some who are ashamed of the church—or, at least, they act and write like it. On social media, there are constant “pot shots” taken at the church for backward, out-of-touch, or even just silly beliefs. In some pulpits, preachers castigate the way we “used to do things” as if they are nothing more than tradition.
I am here today, though, to say that I am grateful, honored, and proud to be a member of the Church of Christ! And here are 10 reasons–among many I could name–why that is true.
1. It Belongs to My Lord. Jesus clearly stated, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18), and that is exactly what He did. Beyond that, though, He also purchased it with His precious blood. I do not ever want to be part of any church that does not belong to Jesus.
2. It is Not Ashamed to Wear Christ’s Name. While there are many Biblical designations for the church (“The Way,” “The Church of the Firstborn,” etc.), I am grateful to be a part of a congregation that is not ashamed to proudly wear the name of Jesus. We do not shy away from our Founder, our Cornerstone, our Savior, and our Lord!
3. Hell Cannot Defeat It. As I said, there are places in the world where the church is in decline. That can be upsetting and even depressing. But Jesus made the clear promise that “the gates of hell” would not prevail against His church! (Matthew 16:18) There are people being saved by the blood of Jesus and added by the Lord to His church every day around the world. Hell not only will not win, it cannot win!
4. It is My Spiritual Family. Yes, sometimes, there are members of the church that can be a bit knuckleheaded (trust me, I know…I’m one of them), but these are my brothers and sisters. As the song says, “Sometimes we laugh together; sometimes we cry.” I honestly do not know how people make it through this life without a spiritual family to lift them up.
5. The Church Helps Others. One of the “shots” that people like to take at the church is that it is insular; in other words, it only takes care of its own. If you believe that, you have not been to the congregations I have been around! While they may not have world-renowned “programs” or massive budgets, members of the Lord’s Church are helping those in need every single day. The light of God is shining in these communities because of the church.
6. The Worship is Simple, Biblical, Emotional, and Powerful. No, we do not have instruments. God has not authorized them (cf. Galatians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 13:15). No, we do not have soloists. God has not authorized such. But when all of God’s people, in humility and reverence, worship Him together, absolutely nothing stirs the soul any more powerfully. If I leave unmoved by worship, it is not the fault of the church. It is my own fault!
7. I Get to Meet the Greatest People on Earth. When I travel to speak or to attend other events, I am constantly amazed at how wonderful God’s people are. They are humble, kind, filled with good manners, encouraging, and loving. There are times when I have spoken somewhere where I literally did not know a soul when I arrived, but I left with great encouragement in my heart because these were the finest people anywhere around.
8. It Will Stand Long After Any Denomination. Many in the broader “Christian” world are beginning to see that denominations (what are sometimes referred to as “mainline churches”) are failing fast. People are tired of “this group” and “that name.” Churches of Christ don’t have to worry about any of that. I’m grateful to be part of the church that started on earth in Acts 2—though it was in the mind of God long before that!—and continues to this day. It will stand because it does not denominate; it does not divide based on creeds of man or based upon personality. Instead, it faithfully follows the same pattern it has for 2000 years: the Word of Christ.
9. Only the Church of Christ Can Truly Balance “Spirit” and “Truth” in All Matters. Other groups must add a third thing—manmade creeds, statements of faith, opinion polls, and other additions—to the balance. Instead, we simply follow the Truth, which is the Bible, and seek to balance that with our own God-given emotions, the spirit (cf. John 4:24).
10. Christ Will Bring the Church Home Forever. These wonderful people I get to spend time with here on earth? They will be with me forever in heaven because Christ will bring His Bride, the Church, home. Enough said!
Trust me, there are dozens more reasons why I am grateful to be a member of the Church of Christ. Yes, I am concerned at times by various statistics or reports. I do not like the direction many take against the church of our Lord.
But none of that will move me. I love the church because I love Christ. I pray you will love His Church and be proud of it as well.
“For Christ and the church” let our voices ring,
Let us honor the name of our own blessed King;
Let us work with a will in the strength of youth,
And loyally stand for the Kingdom of truth.
AUTHOR: Adam Faughn
Photo credit: Greg Westfall on Creative Commons