A great article!
“Often on our local TV station, the cofC preachers will talk about the churches of Christ in Romans 16:16—and you could in the King James Version and many other translations. From this kind of literal citation of Scripture, without regards to the context, they have developed a theology about the name of the church, which just happened to be the “Church of Christ” that came out of the Stone/Campbell movement.
They often reasoned like this: Where in the Bible do you read of a Baptist Church or a Methodist Church or a Presbyterian Church? One can read about the Church of Christ Church inRomans 16:16, but one cannot read about the others.
On the surface, their argument appeared to have some validity, but the dilemma in this kind of dialectic was/is that Christ was not our Lord’s name, but rather, his official appellation (title). Matthew (1:21) tells us that his name was Jesus. For some reason, we never cited Romans 16:4 that speaks of “the churches of the Gentiles.” Is “churches of the Gentiles” also the name of the church? Also, they never called attention to Galatians 1:22: “I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ.” Is the “churches of Judea” the name of the church also? To advance the notion that Romans 16:16 is the name of the church is to outrun the evidence in the text.
The question that confronts every Christian, as it did me, is: does Paul designate the denominational Churches of Christ in Romans 16:16 as the Churches of Christ today? The true Church of Christ had to do with my particular fellowship, no one else, all others were digressive. In fact, they taught that everyone who disagreed with their brand of orthodoxy was on the way to “hell.”
Jesus died for persons and not for their opinions or ideas, right or wrong, and those for whom he died must be more important to us than anything for which he did not die. As God accepted us in our weakness, with mistaken ideas, warped views and unhealthful attitudes, so we must accept each other in the same state or condition. We must not make the kingdom of heaven to consist of our convictions, attitudes or opinions, but of citizens who must be tolerant of each other in such matters, else there can be no kingdom of heaven at all.This article is from Randy’s blog, which you can find here.