The Church (?)

R. L. Morrison
Columbus, Georgia

I remember reading a story about J. D. Tant being challenged to preach a sermon in which he would not use the word "baptize." Evidently some folks thought he could not do it. However he accepted the challenge and was equal to the occasion. He simply read passage after passage of scripture in which the word is found, but instead of saying "baptize" he said: "that word I promised not to say in this sermon." I imagine it was quite effective.

Considering a number of things that have been written and preached in the last three years, it might be interesting formative to read, after the same fashion, a few passages of scripture in which the word "church" is found. Some seem to insist that there is no such thing as a church, organized or not, revealed in the New Testament. So in these passages of scripture let's just substitute "NO SUCH THING" for the word "church."

1. Matthew 16:18.... Upon this rock I will build my "NO SUCH THING ..."

2. Matthew 18:17: And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the "NO SUCH THING"; but if he neglect to hear the "NO SUCH THING" let him be unto thee as a heathen man

3. Acts 2:47: ...And the Lord added to the "NO SUCH THING" daily....

4. Acts 5:11: ... and great fear came upon all the "NO SUCH THING."

5. Acts 8:1: And at that time there was a great persecution against the "NO SUCH THING."

6. Acts 8:4: ... As for Saul, he made havoc of the "NO SUCH THING."

7. Acts 9:31: Then had the "NO SUCH THINGS" rest throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria and were edified.

8. Acts 12:1: Now about the time the King stretched forth his hand certain of the "NO SUCH THING."

9. Acts 16:5: And so were the "NO SUCH THINGS" established in the faith and increased in number daily.

10. Acts 20:17: And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called for the elders of the "NO SUCH THING."

11. Acts 20:28: Take heed therefore unto yourselves and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the "NO SUCH THING" of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

12. I Cor. 1:2: unto the "NO SUCH THING" of God which is at Corinth

13. 1 Cor. 7:17: And so ordain I in all the "NO SUCH THINGS."

14. 1 Cor. 11:18: When ye come together in the "NO SUCH THING"

15. 2 Cor. 11:8: I robbed other "NO SUCH THINGS" taking wages of them, to do you service.

16. Eph. 5:23: Even as Christ as the head of the "NO SUCH THING"

17. Eph. 5:27: A glorious "NO SUCH THING, "not having spot or wrinkle

18. 1 Thess 2:14: And became followers of the "NO SUCH THINGS" of God 

19. Heb. 2:12: In the midst of the "NO SUCH THING" will I sing praise to Thee.

20. Rev. 1:4: John, to the seven "NO SUCH THINGS" which are in Asia...

Had enough?

Do not be led to believe there are none who teach there is "NO SUCH THING" a, church, organized or unorganized, revealed in the New Testament.

In the editorial of August, 1968 "Sentinel Of Truth" the editor, in an article he calls Preachers and Preaching," has MUCH to Say about the CHURCH; ORGANIZATIONAL INVOLVEMENT; HEAVY OFFICIAL RULE OF THE ELDERSHIP; OPERATION OF THE ORGANIZATION and the LOCAL INSTITUTION, as well as some things about preachers and preaching. He then states: "We know it is NOT (caps his) right and that the entire system is a downright failure. Yet we conform and go along" (p. 2, Paragraph 3).

Then in "HALL'S CORNER," September 1966 edition of the same magazine, page 20, paragraph 1, we find this bit of wisdom. "Brethren there are no passages in the New Testament which prove the existence of an institution in the time of the apostles such as we have today and which we call a 'local church of Christ.' Nowhere do we read of a common treasury such as we have today, and around which revolved almost all so-called work of the church. Never have we been told of an incident where anyone, either as church, gathering, or as an individual, ever hired a preacher or anyone else for any purpose whatever. Nowhere do we read where elders were in charge of anything or anybody.

It seems to me this should enough of this also.

In conclusion, consider just two more passages of scripture. Eph. 5:23: "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the NO SUCH THING and he is the Savior of the body." Col. 1:18: "And he is the head of the body, the 'NO SUCH THING." So in reality, (?) Christ is the Savior of absolutely NOTHING." He lived and died in vain. God's plan for man's redemption, purposed eternally, amounts to just exactly "NOTHING."

Brethren, how Bible-denying, God-dishonoring, and Christ-rejecting, can men who call themselves Christians get to be?

March 1969