Church of Christ
Mission USA

What Is Wrong With The Church Of Christ?

by Perry Sexton

            There is not one single thing wrong with the Lord’s church on Heaven’s side, but in the world there are many problems!  The church on the divine side is perfect, but on the human side – well, we are human!  Early on there were problems in the church due to misunderstandings, lack of knowledge and want of revelation to name but a few things.  Today we have problems due to misunderstandings, lack of knowledge and therefore the need of more Bible study, not to mention all the problems that go hand in hand with the pride of life, selfishness, etc.  Paul spoke of the unity that should be when the complete revelation of God would be given to the church (Eph. 4:13ff cp. 1 Cor. 13:8-13).  Yet, even to this day we do not have that unity which should be and for which our Lord prayed (John 17:20,21). 

            Brethren, it behooves us to strive for that unity (1 Cor. 1:10) and we do this by studying and also studying together (2 Tim. 2:15; Acts 17:11).  As Amos wrote: “Can two walk together, except they be agreed” (Amos 3:3)?  Even so, many preaching brethren who disagree on certain doctrinal issues will not engage in a study together.  These things should not be so.  We should love truth and seek it with the whole heart for God is the God of truth (Deut. 32:4; Psalm 31:5; 1 Sam. 12:24; Psalm 25:5; 86:11; John 8:31,32).  John wrote: “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3).  John was speaking of being one with God (cp. John 17:20,21).  Keep in mind that we are to walk with God, but we cannot unless we agree with Him (again Amos 3:3 cp. Gen. 6:9; 5:22,24; Heb. 11:5). 

            A plea to brethren: If you disagree with a brother or brethren doctrinally then seek to study with him/them.  It may be they can help you or you can help them in understanding.  This we never know until we try, but try we must as we are our brother’s keeper (Gal. 6:1; James 5:19,20).  How wonderful it is to walk with God and have that peace (Phil. 4:7) as we strive to walk in the light as He is in the light (1 John 1:7).  “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133:1)!  Let us endeavor “to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). 

            As important as unity is we must never compromise truth for unity.  The inspired Word of God must be heeded: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (2 John 1:9 cp. Matt. 15:9).  We must walk in that light (1 John 1:7) and we must mark those who refuse to do so (Eph. 5:11; Rom. 16:17; 2 Thess. 3:6). 

            We need a membership which is diligent in studying of God’s Word.  No one should rely on preachers for their sole study, yet it seems many do.  This is an open door for disaster!  Have you ever wondered why whole congregations go over into some kind of error?  It is amazing to me that a whole congregation of God’s people will start using mechanical instruments of music in worship to God and/or start using women in leadership roles!  It is a simple case of the blind leading the blind (Mat. 15:14), but they should not be blind if they all would study the Bible for themselves with an honest desire for truth (Luke 8:15).

            We need preachers who will preach the power (Rom. 1:16) and not seek to please the people (2 Tim. 4:3).  Preachers who will preach doctrine and the whole council of God (Acts 20:27) and call sin, sin (2 Tim. 4:2).  It seems like many will not preach much doctrine anymore and are afraid to speak out against sin.  This is one of the great problems in the church today. 

            We need elders who will hold to the “strait and narrow” and truly watch for the souls “as they that must give account” (Heb. 13:17).  Needed are elders who strive to be as the Good Shepherd and not as hirelings (John 10:12-14).  “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. 10For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, … [even today]: 11Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake” (Titus 1:9-11). 

            All of God’s people must be concerned for the salvation of souls and not the vain pride for numbers.  We all should be very concerned for sound doctrine and practices rather than numbers!  Yet many congregations have opened the arms of fellowship to every sort of evil including those who are in doctrinal error; drunkards; fornicators; wife beaters, known liars, dishonest people, etc., and ask such to participate in worship.  The thinking seems to be “It will keep them coming.”  Is this God’s will or wisdom?  No.  They must repent and obey the gospel (1 Cor. 6:9-11; Eph. 5:11).

            We need parents who will truly be Christian parents and see to it that their children are brought up in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).  It may not be pleasant sometimes, but the rewards for both the parents and children are great (cp. Heb. 12:11; Prov. 19:18; 22:6,15; 23:13,14, etc.).  Children need proper examples, training and restraint.  Remember Eli’s fatherhood to his sons: “he restrained them not” and we see the outcome of that (1 Sam. 3:13).  But not only that and other Bible examples, most of us have seen in our own life times what a child left to himself can do (Prov. 29:15,17).

            We all, as God’s people, truly need to put God and His church first (Mat. 6:33); love His Word (Psalm 119:97); stop making excuses and do His will (James 1:22; Matt. 7:21 cp. Mark 16:15; James 1:27; Gal. 6:10, etc.).  We must realize baptism is not the end of the Christian life, but the beginning.  We must go onward “growing in the grace and knowledge” (2 Peter 3:18) doing God’s will to the very end (Heb. 3:6; 6:11) which, of course, includes defending the truth (Jude 3).  Brethren, all brethren, not just preachers and elders, let us not be afraid to stand for truth; to stand for truth is to stand for God.  And never apologize for truth!  Let us not be ashamed to invite others to services.  Let us all be evangelistic minded (Mark 16:15).  We all were included in that commission as much as we are able and there are many ways in which to be involved.  Let us remember and never forget the five foolish virgins (Matt. 25:12) and the five churches which needed to repent (Rev. 2:1ff; Luke 13:3).  Where do we stand now (2 Cor. 13:5)???    

            The church (or any individual) does not have one single problem that cannot be solved by the Word of God: study, believe and apply God’s Word in all things (2 Peter 1:1-4; 3:18).  ♥