A Tulsa, OK television station recently brought a story on, “One Traditional, One Modern, Two Tulsa Churches Come Together”. The news report contains some interesting statements about the two religious groups as they merge together. I encourage you to read the article.
1. Two churches
The article makes several references about “two churches” coming together as one.
2. Putting aside differences
If we are all in the one body for which Christ died, there will be no differences. Religions founded by men have no authority for their existence. This includes all of the denominations that exist today as well as any other religious body not found in the NT. Paul warned about a great apostasy that would and did come after the church was established in the first century (1 Tim. 4:1-3;2 Tim. 4:1-3: 2 Thess. 2:1-12). If differences do not matter then why would Paul warn of some who would introduce differences in the Lord’s church which would result in apostasy, a falling away from the truth? Rather than openly fellowship error Paul warns us to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11; also read Eph. 4:1-4; 1 Cor. 1:10; Phil. 3:16).
3. Members of two churches but citizens of one kingdom.
There is only one church as noted above. That church is the kingdom (Mt. 16:16-18 Note in this passage that “church” and “kingdom” are used interchangeably). Since the kingdom and the church are the same, how can two “churches” be different but still be in one kingdom?
One group (Garnett) claims to be a cappella while the other group (Connection Church) “rocks at the other end of the musical spectrum”. The NT teaches that we are to sing and make melody in the heart. (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). There are two types of music: vocal and instrumental. Since the NT commands (authorizes) singing, mechanical instruments of music are not authorized.
5. The adults attend the church of their choice but the “children’s ministries” are combined.
I do not know all of the details about the “children’s ministries”; however there is no authority for “children’s church” as it is often called. Some congregations of the church of Christ practice this but there is no authority for such.
6. There is a reference to God showing up at the worship
God does not need to “show up” since He is omnipresent (Ps. 139). Scriptural worship is where God’s children come together in one place to worship God. NT Christians are commanded to attend each and every service (Heb. 10:25). We must worship God in spirit and in truth (Jn. 4:24). This verse shows the object of worship is God; the standard by which we worship is truth which is the Word of God (Jn. 17:17); and the proper attitude is “in spirit”.
This past Sunday I brought a lesson in the adult Bible class entitled, “The church of Christ is different”. I got many of the points for this lesson from the latest issue of The Spiritual Sword (October 2011), entitled, THERE IS ONE BODY (The article was one written by David Pharr on Why The Church of Christ Is Different. I encourage you to study the NT about the church that Christ established and obtain a copy of the Spiritual Sword dealing with the one body.
It is our prayer and plea that brethren everywhere would have a renewed zeal and desire to simply follow the NT pattern for the church.