Is it wrong to teach in a denomination?

Question: Is teaching specific subjects, such as apologetics, wrong in a denominational church? Thanks. Answer: Throughout Acts, we find the apostle Paul teaching in Jewish synagogues (Acts 9:20; 13:5,14; 14:1; 17:10; etc.). Paul did that because he had an audience interested in God, though they did not follow God correctly. Paul often focused on proving…

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A Crisis of Faith?

by Orlando B. Gonzalez Perhaps you wonder whether we, as members of the “Churches of Christ”, are turning others away from Jesus by how we discuss people in other denominations, and how we talk about our practices as if they are the only right way to do things, thereby condemning those who do them differently.…

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What Is “A Different Gospel?”

by Jefferson David Tant In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatian churches, in the beginning, he deals with a serious problem in the churches concerning which he has knowledge, and that is “a different gospel.” “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for…

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The Bible Is Understandable

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/The-Bible-Is-Understandable.mp3 by Jeffrey W. Hamilton Text: Psalm 119:97-112   I.         When it comes to religion, people seem to prefer having a mystery             A.        Those in leadership of many denominations prefer it because people depend on them for answers.             B.        Those in the ranks of denominations are satisfied having others tell them what they need to know.             C.        The problem…

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Should Christians purchase dinners from denominational churches?

Question: Should Christians purchase dinners from denominational churches? Answer: Start by reading Should a Christian attend a university operated by a denomination? It covers many of the basic principles we need to discuss. The core question is: Does the purchase show support for the denomination and its teachings? For example, in a number of places,…

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Is Sincerity Enough?

by Jefferson David Tant A popular idea among many people when questioned about their religious beliefs is that sincerity is the final judge of what is right and wrong. So long as a person believes in Christ, whatever his practices or beliefs may be in regard to that faith, so long as he is sincere,…

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Is it wrong to sing and play with unbelievers?

Question: My friend studied music in a university, graduated, and joined the state music band, which means he will always play in state events. However, He was disfellowshiped by the church on the grounds of playing instruments and singing with unbelievers. Is this right or wrong? In addition to this, I have another friend and…

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The American Dutch Reformed Chinese

by Ed Harrell Vanguard (Volume 5 No. 6), March 22, 1979, p. 339 Can you interpret that? The Reformed churches grew out of John Calvin’s teachings during the Reformation and, like most other churches of the period, quickly divided along national lines. When Dutch Reformed immigrants came to America they established an independent denomination, making…

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There Must Needs be Heresies

by David Edwin Harrell, Jr. Vanguard, Volume 1, #1 January 1975, pp. 21-22 After a few weeks of study at St. John’s University and Abbey, I am impressed by the perceptive Roman Catholic analysis of the weaknesses of Protestantism. They insist that Protestants are pressed between two unacceptable extremes. One extreme grows out of the…

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Origins of Denominations

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton Over the years, I’ve done lessons that look at various issues that caused the rise of the various denominations that we see today. Rather than leaving them scattered, I’m gathering them up on a single page so that they will be more easily found. Where Did They All Come From? (Overview)…

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God Is NOT the Author of Confusion

by Jefferson David Tant To authenticate the title, consider its source. Paul wrote in I Corinthians 14:33: “for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” There are two significant points made. God is not the author of the confusion in the churches claiming to…

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What Is It?

Flavil L. Colley Firm Foundation, January 20, 1948, p. 3 “Now, a denomination— what is it? I think the following will prove true: A denomination is a religious organization larger than any local church on earth and yet smaller than all the Christian people on earth. Think of the statement thus made. What is a…

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How did the Presbyterians and the Episcopals come by their names?

Question: Recently we studied the qualifications of elders and I mentioned the Greek words, Presbuterous (elder, presbyter) and Episkopos (bishop, overseer), and one of the members here asked if this is how the Presbyterian and Episcopal churches came up with their names for identifying their churches. I did some research and have been unsuccessful in…

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Are Christadelphians Christians?

Question: Hi Jeff, I want to know if Christadelphians can be considered Christians. They preach the gospel and baptize scripturally. Just that some of their unbeliefs are frightening. Are they Christians even if they are compromised on some things? Thanks. Answer: The Christadelphians trace their roots back to a British physician named John Thomas. He…

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Do I need to confess some sins to a Roman Catholic priest to be forgiven?

Question: Hello Jeffrey! I’ve been studying Christianity once again and found out that there are two kinds of sins at the Roman Catholic Church — ‘venial’ and ‘mortal’. I found out that if one commits a mortal sin then it must be confessed in front of a priest in order to be completely forgiven. That…

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Why Do We Need Church Creeds?

by Jefferson David Tant Does your denomination have a creed? I suppose most denominations have an official creed outlining the things that distinguish one denomination from another. I have a box full of such books. These include the Catholic New Baltimore Catechism, the Baptist Hiscox Standard Manual for Baptist Churches, the Methodist Discipline, the Book…

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If Christ Built Only One, Where Did They All Come From?

by Jefferson David Tant At the beginning of the gospel age, there was but one church, and now, 2000 years later, according to some reports, there are over 1,200. How did this happen? People wonder where they all came from. Is this division and confusion what Christ intended? Let’s examine this situation to see just…

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The Charismatic Movement

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/CharismaticMovement.mp3 by Jeffrey W. Hamilton Text: I Corinthians 14:6-12   I.         As we continue our tracing of how various denominations came to be,             A.        We examined how the Pietiest influenced the beliefs of John Wesley and the Methodist societies that he established.                         1.         In particular was an emphasis on the need for a personal experience to become sanctified,…

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Churches of Christ Are Different

by Wayne S. Walker “… The churches of Christ greet you” (Romans 16:16). Non-denominational, New Testament churches of Christ are different from other religious organizations.  Even the very terms by which they identify themselves are different.  It is clear that congregations of Christ’s followers in the first century were known as “churches of Christ.”  Thus,…

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The Holiness Movement

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/The-Holiness-Movement.mp3 by Jeffrey W. Hamilton Text: I Thessalonians 5:16-28   I.         Pietism took off during the 1600’s with Philipp Jakob Spener (1635-1705)             A.        Eventually a denomination form that was referred to as the Moravian church             B.        From here we skip ahead to the early 1700’s II.        John Wesley (1703-1791)             A.        He was raised in the Church of England and eventually…

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Pietism

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Pietism.mp3 by Jeff Hamilton Text: II Corinthians 11:1-4   I.         In the late 1300s lived a man named John Wycliffe in Oxford, England, where he taught in Balliol College.             A.        He was a theologian and a lay preacher, strongly advocating evangelism.             B.        This man found many things wrong with Roman Catholicism                         1.         The Bible was the supreme authority and…

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Would your church be a good fit?

Question: I have friends who are soon to be married. Both are leaving their church to find one together. Both very much need a Bible preaching church and also a church that allows the Holy Spirit to move. Would this be a good fit? One coming from a conservative church and one comes from a…

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Cafeteria-Style Religion

by Ethan R. Longhenry An investigation of the local bookstore or magazine rack or a quick search on the Internet shows how Americans today are very interested in “spirituality.” Plenty of books abound across the whole spectrum — “Christian inspiration,” “New Age,” and many books describing elements of Eastern religions. These trends were recently documented…

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Criticism of other churches has no place in Christianity

Question: To whom it may concern, I just read a response to a question regarding Mark 9:38-40, and I was disappointed that the last paragraph contained the following: “This passage also shows that the concept of succession, where a denomination claims to be the “real” church because it can trace its heritage from one church to…

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Where Did They All Come From?

Where Did They All Come From? – Part 1Where Did They All Come From? – Part 2Where Did They All Come From? – Part 3Where Did They All Come From? – Part 4 by Jeffrey W. Hamilton Text: I Timothy 4:1-11 I.         Christ founded but one church – Matthew 16:18             A.        It belongs solely to him. It…

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The Apostles’ Creed

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/ApostlesCreed.mp3 by Jeffrey W. Hamilton Text: John 17:11-23   I.         Every once in a while someone will ask what is our statement of faith.             A.        Back when we were home schooling, we were wanting to get involved with a local group, but they wanted us to sign a statement of faith             B.        Another name for a statement of…

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Corruption in Church Organization

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/0020/01/CorruptionInChurchOrganization.mp3 by Jeffrey W. Hamilton Text: Acts 20:17-35   I.         Equality of members (first century)             A.        The early church was marked by the equality of its members – Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11             B.        As Jesus prayed, the desire was for all Christians to be one – John 17:20-21             C.        There were different duties, but the people were seen as…

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Why Are There Denominations?

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/WhyAreThereDenominations.mp3 by Jeffrey W. Hamilton Text: I Corinthians 1:10-15   I.         I was asked by a gentleman in Nigeria why there were so many denominations             A.        A denomination simply means a division.             B.        Among those who call themselves Christians, there are a great number of divisions                         1.         Even within various divisions, there are divisions                         2.         The Episcopals are dividing over…

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How do I get my dad to see that his church isn’t good enough?

Question: I have a problem I have been dealing with my father, and he simply does not understand. For many years we’ve been going to this small church. The people are nice. I would describe the church as traditional because it is Baptist. The majority of people who like to attend are seniors and a…

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Should a Christian attend a university operated by a denomination?

Question: I really like all of the information that you have on your website. I have used it as a reference many times in the past. I teach the teenagers in our congregation and have a question about colleges. One of our kids is planning on attending a Catholic university next year. When she told…

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A Sound Mind in a Sound Body

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/SoundMindInASoundBody.mp3 by Jeffrey W. Hamilton Text: I Timothy 4:6-16   I.         Back in the time of the early church, a Roman poet, Juvenal, stated “You should pray for a sound mind in a sound body.”             A.        The thought is clear. To have one without the other is far from an enjoyable life.             B.        But what is meant by…

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Infant Baptism

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/InfantBaptism.mp3 by Jeffrey W. Hamilton Text: Romans 7:7-25 I.          Historians will admit that infant baptism did not appear in the church until the second or third century              A.         Roman Catholics                           1.          “There is no express mention of the baptism of infants in the New Testament” [Question Box, page 23].                           2.          “It is difficult to give strict proof from the…

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Is the church of God the one true church?

Question: Good day brother Jeffrey, I need your help. Where does the church of Christ get the year 33 AD? What is the basis for this? Another question: Is it true that no religion can save? The Church of God said that the one true church is the Church of God because it is written…

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Can a person be scripturally baptized in a denomination?

Question: I am a member of the church of Christ and lately, an issue has arisen. A few of our members were baptized in denominations but have been allowed to join our congregation on the basis that their baptisms were valid or scriptural based on an investigation. According to these members, as soon as they…

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Just a Church?

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/2014Spring5JustAChurch-1.mp3 by Brian Faulkner On Being a Christian

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Noah, You Have Got to be Kidding!

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/NoahYouHaveToBeKidding.mp3 by Jeffrey W. Hamilton I.         Most are familiar with the story of Noah, the great flood, and the ark Noah had to build             A.        However, Noah was also a preacher of righteousness – II Peter 2:5             B.        The world Noah lived in was a moral cesspool.                         1.         Some scholars estimate that the world’s population at that time equal…

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