Monuments to Division
Paden City, West Virginia
According to Webster, a monument is something that refreshes one's memory concerning an event or a person, etc. Every religious denomination in the world (over 250 in the United States alone) stands as a reminder of the division that exists among "religious" people. The fact that religious division exists is attested to by every building built by a denominational group, and by every doctrine taught by them which is contrary to the word of God. If a group is unscriptural in teaching, work or worship, they join themselves to the denominational world.
The Lord's church is not a denomination. It is not part of anything, nor is it one in a series of like or similar things. It is described by the word of God and can be identified by this Bible-given description.
In Matt. 16:18 Jesus said he was going to build "his church." Eph. 1: 22-23 shows that the BODY and the CHURCH is one and the same thing. Eph. 4:4 says that there is one "body" or "church," yet some like Billy Graham will thank God for the religious division that exists among the people of the world. This is different from the prayer of Jesus as he prayed that we would all be "one" in John 17. Paul told the Corinthians not to be divided (I Cor. 1:10). I Pet 4:11 instructs us to speak as the oracles of God. In the denominations of so-called "religious America" we find people thanking God for the very thing that God condemns.
All of this confusion would cease if people would follow the word of Cod, as the word of God teaches unity and has fully instructed man. (2 Tim. 2:15; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:3; Jude 3; Rev. 22:18-19; Gal. 1:8-9) Now if I tell some denominational person this, he will likely answer "you people in the church of Christ are divided, so dont talk to me about division." There is a great division in (or from) the church of Christ and it must be explained.
When asked about this situation, I must explain that there are those who call themselves Christians, but will not accept the word of God as final authority. They have denominationalized themselves in WORD by teaching such unscriptural things as: what the individual can do, the church can do; that the church cannot stand alone or, without the aid of mans institutions which are supported by the church. Some of them have taken a very soft stand (if any) against instrumental music in worship and are still enjoying the fellowship of brethren. Many of these people have not only denominationalized themselves in word, but also in work by following these unscriptural teachings. How long will it be before there is a wholesale denominationalizing of the worship service also? It has begun.
Not long ago I read a clipping from the "Southern Standard" published in McMinnville,
Tennessee which told why the Westwood church of Christ (?) is opening a kindergarten. The kindergarten would be unscriptural in itself, but now read their reasons: "1. To promote an understanding that God loves and cares for the child; that the Bible is a special book; that the child can do many things to help others. 2. To develop and maintain optimum health. 3. to further physical development. 4. To extend understanding of the social world. 5. To extend the world of science. 6. To expand language control. 7. To extend the literary heritage. 8. To express ideas through art. 9. To become acquainted with good music. 10. to establish satisfying relations with others." These are mans reasons for setting up something that God did not authorize and attaching it to a church that God can no longer recognize by His own description. Denominational teaching, denominational work; full-scale denominationalizing of the worship cannot be far behind. Another monument getting bigger.
TRUTH MAGAZINE XIV; 43, pp. 11-12
September 10, 1970