"Are All Christians A 'Part' of The Church of Christ?"
Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Often, during the course of a Bible class in the home of one who is not a Christian, I have sought to kindly and firmly impress upon the mind of the unbeliever, the absolute necessity of being a steadfast and faithful member of Christ's church. Usually, in seventy-five per cent of all cases, the response will be something to the effect that, "Well, I am a Methodist, that is, a member of the Methodist Church, and I believe that I am a member of Christ's church, because all churches are apart of the church of Christi" Or, it may be worded like this: "You know Mr. Daly, I believe that there is only one church, and it is the church of Christ, and I am definitely a member of the one church, because I am a Baptist, a member of the Baptist Church, a part of which the church of Christ consists."
Friends, nothing is further from the truth! Simply stated, the Bible nowhere teaches that "all churches are a 'part' of the church of Christ". And, if the Bible does not teach this doctrine, why should you believe it? Please, carefully observe the following reasons why "all churches do not 'make up' the church of Christ."
First of all, when one obeys the gospel of Christ by believing (Acts 15:7), repenting of sins (Acts 3:19; 17:30), confessing the Lord (Rom. 10:10; Matt. 10:32), and being immersed in the name of Christ in order to receive the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; Mk. 16:16), the Lord adds him (i.e., the individual) to the church, the body of the saved universally (Acts 2:41,47). Hence, Christ's church is composed of members, not churches (Rom. 12:4-5; 1 Cor. 12:12-27). Being composed of members, one must think of the "brotherhood," not a "churchhood" (1 Pet. 2:17).
Next, "all churches are not a part of the church of Christ" because all churches (denominations) are not named in the Bible. To be right, a church must be named in God's word. It must be described in and authorized to exist by the inspired word of the living God! Paul said to do "all in the name of Christ" (Col. 3:17). Peter said, "If any man speaketh, speaking as it were oracles of God . . ." (1 Pet. 4:11). We must give book, chapter, and verse for all we believe and practice! Where is the verse of Scripture which mentions the Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, or Pentecostal churches? Friends, this is a very serious matter!
Another reason I know that "all churches are not a 'part' of the church of Christ" is Christ did not build all churches. He built His; men built theirs (Matt. 16:18; 15:9-13). Those which were built by men cannot possibly be a "part" of what the precious and unique Son of God established.
Finally, the Bible plainly says, "there is one body" (Eph. 4:4) which is the church (Col. 1:24). If there is only one church made up of members (as we have proven), then there cannot be one church made up of 1200 churches (denominations)! The Lord Jesus is the head of the church (Eph. 1:22-23). If I 'the head" identifies only one head, why doesn't "the church" mean only one church? No friends, "all churches are not a 'part' of the church of Christ!
Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 12, p. 356