To the nice lady who called me recently, inquiring about a place to worship that could afford a good piano player and then sincerely asked, why I would go to a church with such a silly name, that didn’t even have a piano player? Well Marie, I will try to sincerely answer why I am a member of the church that doesn’t have a good piano player, or a piano for that matter, and why we proudly wear the name of Christ.
There are many, many, churches in the world today, teaching many different doctrines, and called by many different names. The first thing to determine is which “one” was founded by the only scriptural builder, Jesus Christ. In Matthew 16:18-19, Jesus promised to build his church, only “one,” not many. Note that Jesus used church and kingdom of heaven interchangeably, when he said, I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Any church that was established by man, even great men of the past, is not the church of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Many claim the church was established by John the baptizer. This is literally impossible, since John was beheaded by Herod before Jesus promised to build his church (Matt. 14 ). John was sent to prepare the way for the Messiah (Matt. 3). Even Jesus states that John was the greatest of men, but he was never a Christian. For again Jesus says that even the least in the kingdom of God, is greater than John (Matt. 11:11). Some claim that the kingdom is not yet come and we are still waiting for it. We know this is untrue, for Jesus tells those who then stood with him that some of them would not taste death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power (Mark 9:1) We can read for ourselves how the church of our Lord was established, with great power on the day of Pentecost, as described in detail in the second chapter of Acts.
Yes Marie, we could afford a piano and a good piano player, but we choose not to do so. To put it simply, musical instruments in worship are nowhere authorized in the new testament, and therefor are not scriptural. We are admonished to speak to ourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord (Eph. 5:19). Singing is authorized and practiced in worship, in many other places in the new testament, but playing an instrument never is. Some say they want to worship as King David did and play for the Lord. Since David lived under the old testament law he did many things, such such as dancing, playing instruments, and offering blood sacrifices, that we are no longer authorized to do. What David did in worship then is really a moot point for Christians today.
Now Marie, on to the question of that silly name we wear. The church is synonymously referred to as the bride of Christ in many scriptures of the bible (Eph. 5:27, John 3:29, II Cor. 11:2 and others). If the church is symbolically the bride of Christ, why would it be called by any name but his? Can you imagine a man marrying a wife and her taking another man’s name? For a bride to refuse the name of her husband is to dishonor him. For a church to refuse the name of Christ, who bought and paid for it with his own blood, is to dishonor Christ (Acts 4:12, 20:28). The church was collectively referred to as the churches of Christ in the first century, so we know we wear a scriptural name (Rom. 16:16). God himself chose the name “Christian,” by which we are to be known (Isaiah 62:2, Acts 11:26). For a follower of Christ to refuse to take and wear the name Christian is to show disrespect and utter disdain for the one who shed his blood and died for us all. Contrary to what the world says, there is something in a name. I hope this letter explains why I choose to worship as God commands and to be a member of the church that Christ gave his precious life for.
We invite all who would, to come together with us each Sunday morning at Kedron on the Coopertown Road, Russellville, Kentucky, to worship God in spirit and in truth. We neither add to God’s word or take from it. Bible study at 10:00 and Worship at 11:00. If anyone has questions: please call 270-657-2455..
Brother Richard Sitz speaks on the first Sunday of each month and Crittenden Drive Church of Christ has graciously supplied us with a host of guest speakers for the remaining weeks of the month. We invite one and all to come visit with us and be uplifted by these fine presentations of the “Good News” of God’s holy word.