by Gilbert Alexander
The number of new churches started by men and based upon a human standard has grown rapidly over the past century in this country. Their creation and continued existence reflect the unbelief and arrogant self-will of their builders, and the gullibility of those who have joined them. Apparently the church of Jesus Christ is unknown to them, or they value their own wishes above the desire of Jesus Christ that all His followers be united (John 17:20-23). They reject the only standard by which unity can be achieved as God planned it, that standard being the New Testament and also designated as the New Covenant (Ephesians 4:1-6; Hebrews 8:8-13).
Catchy names and loose and liberal practices appeal to the self-indulgent and those ready always to follow some new thing (II Peter 2:18,19). Cowboy Church, Bikers's Church, Church for Men, Homosexuals' Church, National David Spiritual Temple Of Christ Church Union (Inc.), U.S.A., Willing Workers Fellowship, New Vision Ministries, Destiny, Peace, or whatever name one may choose to distinguish his new creation, all such plants which the Lord did not plant will be rooted up (Matthew 15:13). God's Word still stands as a light to a dark world.
Jesus built His church (Matthew 16:18), purchasing it with His own blood (Acts 20:28). He set the conditions for membership (Acts 2:41; Mark 16:16; I Corinthians 12:12-14; Galatians 3:26,27). He gave it His Law, the Gospel of Christ, the Law of Liberty (John 8:31,32; James 1:25). He authorized its form of worship (John 4:23,24) consisting of prayer, the Lord's Supper, singing, giving, and instruction in the Word of God. He assigned the church its mission and revealed its work. He gave it local organization and only local organization (Acts 20:28; I Peter 5:1-4; Philippians 1:1). There are no archbishops, cardinals, popes, patriarchs, presidents, or any other officers over the universal church. Christ is the Head of His Body, His church (Colossians 1:18) He is the Savior of His body (Ephesians 5:23). Only those obedient to Him have His promise of salvation (Hebrews 5:8,9; II Thessalonians 1:3-10). Does this teaching appeal to you? On what is your mind set (Colossians 3:1-9)?