Christ Is Our Head
There is no man, or group of men, who legislate for the church. We have no one to answer to except Christ our Lord. He is the head of the church (). As true in the first century, there is no inter-congregational organization. Congregations in different locations, with Christ as Lord, function independently of each other. According to the authority of Christ, when a church matures to the point where two or more men meet the qualifications, overseers (called bishops, elders, or pastors) are appointed to look after the affairs of the local church. Such men are appointed when they meet all the qualifications listed in & . They then have the responsibility to “feed the flock” with spiritual food found in the Scriptures, & to be examples to others (1 ). In the churches of Christ, preachers are not “pastors” (unless they meet the qualifications cited above), but are simply teachers of the gospel.
The Bible Is Our Only Guide
Therefore, we have no man-made creeds to follow. We are governed in faith & conduct by the Bible alone. While recognizing the guiding principles of the Old Testament (; ), we accept the Bible as being verbally inspired & infallible in content ( ; 1 ). Consequently when the Bible speaks upon any given subject, its pronouncement is accepted as final. By its own testimony, no one may alter a single word with impunity ( ; ; ).
Our Plea For Unity
We plead for unity among all who obediently respond to the doctrine & commandments given in the New Testament. Such is in harmony with the prayer of Jesus, & the pleading of the apostles (; ; ). We consider such unity to be possible, or Jesus would not have prayed for it. Since God is not an author of confusion ( ), division must always be the result of departure from God’s pattern. We therefore believe division can be healed by a return to the revealed truth of God’s word. For this unity we plead.
We Are Not A Denomination
It is our sincere desire to be nondenominational, to wear no other name than Christ’s and to be known simply as Christians, members of the body of Christ. . Collectively we refer to ourselves as the church of Christ, the Lord’s church, or some other scriptural description to identify ourselves as the saved belonging to Christ. ;
We Strive To Be The Same Church Described In The New Testament
It is our purpose to be identified with the Christians of the first century, guided by the plain teachings of God’s word. When Jesus declared such to be ”the seed of the kingdom” , He was emphasizing a known fact of nature that specific kinds of seed, when planted, will always produce after their kind. For example, wheat will produce wheat. In like manner the word of God, when planted in the hearts of honest people, & obeyed, will produce Christians just like it did in the first century – nothing more & nothing less.