OceanSide church of Christ
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CHRIST’S CHURCH VS. THE
Victor M. Eskew
There are hundreds of
denominational bodies within the
This writer went to the website for Christ’s Church in
Their name may be different today, but Christ’s Church still takes a liberal approach toward the Scriptures. In a section of the website entitled, “Beliefs,” one reads the following statement:
“We try not to be dogmatic about matters on which believers hold
divergent views. Our core beliefs are centered in Christ and His
message as supported by Scripture. More obscure doctrine, as well
as controversial issues about which the Bible is silent, are left to
believers to sort out on their own. On these issues we take no offi-
The silence of the Scriptures still causes problems for the Christian Church. They do not believe that the silence of the Bible is prohibitive.
This type of an approach toward the Bible opens the floodgates to all
kinds of innovations. These
innovations can be found on the website of Christ’s Church. The following is a list of some of the
additions this church practices: 1)
Saturday night worship services, 2) Easter Services, 3) Instrumental music in
worship, 4) Sports Ministries, and 5) An Executive Leadership Team that includes
a leader pastor, executive minister and administrator that works closely with
the eldership. None of these things
can be found in the New Testament.
Since the Bible is silent on these matters, Christ’s Church believes it
is free to practice them. Taking
this approach, Jesus could have been a priest while on earth. The Old Testament authorized the Levites
to be priests, but it was silent about all other tribes. The Law of Moses did not say that
Not only does Christ’s Church take a liberal position on the silence of the Bible, they are also lenient toward what the Bible plainly teaches. Within their “Beliefs” section, they make this statement: “WE BELIEVE the Bible clearly teaches the pattern to receive Christ is to believe in Jesus as God’s Son and Savior of the world, repent of personal sin, confess Christ publicly, and to be baptized (Rom. 10:9; Acts 2:36-38; Mark 16:16).” In the point that follows, they teach that they believe that baptism involves immersion in water. The website also contains a special article about baptism. One part of that article asks: “Why Be Baptized?” Six answers are given: 1) Because Christ commands it; 2) Because obeying Christ’s command shows you know him, 3) Because you want to follow Christ’s example, 4) Because it is the appeal we make to God for a clear conscience, 5) Because it unites you with Christ in a very special way, and 6) Because you desire to be forgiven.
The statements made in the previous paragraph indicate that Christ’s Church believes very strongly in the necessity of baptism in the salvation process. Yet in the section about baptism, this question is raised: “What if I die before I get baptized?” The answer reveals the liberal approach Christ’s Church has toward doctrine. “The answer to this question can be found in the character of God demonstrated to the thief on the cross (cf. Luke 23:39-43). Is it possible for an un-baptized believer to be saved? Yes, it is possible.” They go on to say that these are rare cases, but they have just denied what they claim to believe. They want it both ways: saved with baptism and saved without baptism.
In Matthew 16:18, Jesus said: “And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The church does belong to Christ. Thus, it should be named after Him. A name alone, however, does not the “true” church make. We might call a dog a cat, but it is still a dog. The Christian Church may call themselves Christ’s Church, but they are still the apostate body that split from the churches of Christ to form a man-made denomination.