One of the most difficult things to teach people is that the church of Christ is not a denomination. Allen Highers makes it very plain in the following article that the church is not a denomination. If you have further questions about this, then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not A Denomination, by Allen Highers
The Church which is revealed in the New Testament is not a denomination. It is composed of those who heard, believed, and obeyed the truth (Acts 2:3747). When men and women did what God said, they became members of the church. They did not have to “join a church” (a human act) because they were “added” by the Lord (a divine act). Jesus Christ is the author of eternal salvation unto all those who obey Him (Hebrews 5:8-9).
No one believes that New Testament Christians were a part of any denomination. In fact, denominationalism, such as we have today, did not exist in the first century. Disciples then were just Christians, members of Christ’s church, with no denominational affiliation. Why can we not be the same today?
The plea of the church of Christ is to return to simple New Testament Christianity, to be undenominational, to be just what early disciples were, nothing more, nothing less. This is what is meant by “restoration” or the “restoration plea.”
It is a plea to restore New Testament Christianity, to go back to God’s original plan. It is not a plea for one denomination over another, rather, it is a plea to abandon all denominational divisions, differences, and distinctions, and to return to the church revealed in the New Testament, which was not a denomination.
When the 3,000 souls on the day of Pentecost heard the gospel, believed, and were baptized for the remission of their sins, did they join any denomination? No, none at all. Yet they became Christians, they were added to the church, they were everything God wanted them to be. Suppose today that we preach the same gospel message and that people obey the same gospel message in the same way. Some say that puts them into a denomination. Why? If individuals could hear, believe, and obey the gospel in the first century, and become Christians and be added to the church, all without ever joining a denomination, why can we not do the same today? The answer is that we can. This is our plea.