Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQ


Q.  Why doesn't the church of Christ use instrumental music in worship?

A.  The short answer is, because it is not authorized in the New Testament.  Ephesians 5:19 instructs us to speak "to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord."  A distinction must be made between what we "like" and what God has authorized.  While instrumental music may be more pleasing to some, we must remember that we are not the audience.  God is the audience, and we are the performers.  Our singing is an act of worship.  The early church understood this, as singing in the church was exclusively acappella for approximately 500 years after the establishment of the church.  Acappella translated literally means, "as in the church."  It is interesting, though seldom pointed out, that the use of instrumental music is a relatively modern addition to the mainline protestant denominations, and was not approved of my most of the reformers, such as John Wesley.


Q.  What can I expect as a visitor?

A.  You will be our honored guest.  You will not be called upon or embarrassed in any way.  Do not feel obligated to contribute when the collection plate is passed.

Q.  What typically takes place during a worship service in a church of Christ?

A.  There will be prayers led by men of the congregation, acappella singing, a Bible-based sermon lasting approximately 30 minutes, communion service, and a collection.

Q.  What is "the church?"

A.  The word "church", as used in the New Testament, is not a formal title.  It is a descriptive term.  It is translated from the Greek word "ekklesia", which is from the root words "ek" (out) and "kalien" (to call); therefore, the "called out."  The term was also commonly used to describe a secular public assembly, as it was used three times in Acts chapter 19 (Acts 19:32, 39, 41). 

Therefore, "the church" refers to those who are "called out," called by the gospel of Christ "out of darkness into his marvelous light" (I Pet. 2:9).  "The church" is the body of Christ (Eph. 1:22, 23), the body of believers collectively.  "The church" is not a building, it is not a sect, and it is not a denomination (a part of a whole).  Its head is not a man; its head is Christ (Eph. 5:23).  "The church" is the people -- Christians -- those belonging to Christ because he purchased them "with his own blood" (Acts 20:28).  There is only one body and, therefore, only one church (Eph. 4:4).  Christ said, "I will build my church" (Matt. 16:18).

The term "church," when referring to Christians, is used in only two ways in the New Testament.  First, as we have already noted, to refer to the body of believers collectively.  Secondly, to the body of believers in a specific place, as in the church at Jerusalem (Acts 8:1), the church at Antioch (Acts 13:1), or the seven churches of Asia (Rev. 1:4).  These are not references to groups that differed from one another doctrinally, held different beliefs, different titles or names, or separate religious hierarchies.  They were "in fellowship" with one another.  They were members of the same "church" (or body), but simply meeting at different locations.

Q.  Is the church of Christ a denomination?

A.  No.  Churches of Christ are autonomous congregations of Christians practicing New Testament Christianity.  A denomination is a name, or designation, for a specific group or class, which differentiates it from others -- a part of a whole.  Each protestant denomination has its own hierarchy, earthly headquarters, and formalized creed (and these creeds differ substantially). A religious denomination is, by definition and practice, a religious group that is smaller than "the" church (universal), yet larger than the local congregation -- a concept of "church" that is completely foreign to the Biblical pattern.

Q.  Is baptism necessary?

A.  Yes.  We are "baptized into Christ" and "baptized into His death" (Rom. 6:3).  We are "baptized into one body" (I Cor. 12:13).  Those who are "baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Gal. 3:27).  Mark 16:16 tells us that "he who is baptized will be saved."  If it is necessary to be in Christ; if it is necessary to be buried with him into His death; if it is necessary to be a member of His body (the church); if it is necessary to put on Christ; and if it is necessary to be saved -- then it is necessary to be baptized.

Q.  Does the church of Christ believe in the Old Testament?

A.  Yes.  The Old Testament is for our learning.  However, we are not under the obligations of the Old Law, but are under the Law of Christ

Q.  What must I do to be saved?

A.  If one hears the word of God (Rom. 10:17), believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (John 8:24; Mark 16:16), repents of past sins (Acts 2:37), confesses Christ before men (Matt. 10:32; Rom. 10:10), and is baptized into Christ (Rom. 6:3; I Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:27), God adds that one to the church (Acts 2:47).  That one is then a Christian, a member of the church (the body of believers) which belongs to Christ (Acts 20:28).  One must then remain faithful (Rev. 2:10).

Q.  Can I join the church of Christ?

A.  No.  When one becomes a Christian by being baptized into Christ (Rom. 6:3), God adds that person to the church (Acts 2:47).

Q.  What does one have to do to become a member of the church of Christ?

A.  When one becomes a Christian, God adds that person to the church.  One should then choose to worship with a specific congregation, placing themselves under the spiritual oversight of the elders of that congregation.

Q.  How are churches of Christ affiliated with one another?

A.  Individual congregations are autonomous, but all are members of the same body (church).

Q.  Does the church of Christ follow a specific creed book or manual?

A.  Churches of Christ use only the Bible for doctrine.  Books written by faithful men may be very useful for study: however, these must be measured against the scriptures for accuracy.

Q.  What is the organizational structure of the church of Christ?

A.  Christ is the head of the church (Eph. 1:22-23).  Each autonomous congregation is overseen by a plurality of men who meet the scriptural qualifications set forth in First Timothy chapter one and Titus chapter three.  These men are known as Elders, Pastors, Bishops, or Overseers (alternate designations for the same office).  Deacons, under the oversight of the Elders, may be appointed to carry out specific works.

Q.  How often does the church of Christ observe communion?

A.  On the first day of each week (Sunday), per the example in Acts 20:7.

Q.  How is the church of Christ supported financially?

A.  By the contribution of the members, collected each Sunday (I Cor. 16:1-2).

If you have any additional questions, please ask one of our elders.


Our Elders: Paolo DiLuca, Dennis Dye, Roger Spencer 

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