Question:

Hi,

When I was 15, I was baptized in a church of Christ. Originally the church had been non-instrumental, but later used an organ and piano. The minister was also a professor of Greek at nearby college. If the Christian Church has so many differences, as is indicated in the Q&A, why do churches of Christ send men to the seminaries that train both church of Christ and Christian Church ministers?

My paternal grandparents and their parents were church of Christ, non-instrumental. They would hold many of the same things true that you have printed on your web site. After their church of Christ dwindled down to just a few people and closed, my grandmother attended, but would never join the Christian Church.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Answer:

Allow me to handle the implication at the end of your note. The number of people following a particular belief is not a determining factor in whether the belief is accurate or not. In fact, a belief that is very popular could be an indication that something is wrong. "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matthew 7:13-14). Truth tends to be unpopular.

When the Christian Church split off from the churches of Christ in the late 1800's, not all the congregations changed their names. Many continued to call themselves a church of Christ while espousing the Christian Church beliefs. I remember seeing several places in upstate New York that had "Church of Christ" on their sign with "Christian Church" in small letters or "Christian Church" on their signs and "Church of Christ" on the cornerstone of their building.

What has also happened is that many churches of Christ have drifted closer to the teachings of the Christian Church over the decades. I agree that with some of the most liberal groups, it is basically impossible to tell the difference between them and the Christian Church.

In regards to sending men to seminaries, the conservative churches of Christ that I'm familiar with do not practice this. If an individual wish to extend his education, he chooses to attend on his own. The churches do not pay his way.