Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 12, 1964

Which Church Did Christ Build?

E. L. Flannery

There are several hundred religious bodies, each claiming to be the church of Christ, or a denomination of the church of Christ. These groups disagree with each other in doctrine and practice it is plain to see, Did Christ establish all these? If so, why do they disagree, seeing they all have the same Bible? Did Christ establish any of them? If so, which one? If more than one, how many? Many people say, "It makes no difference which church you join." Men join several lodges to get the benefit of all of them. Now, if it "makes no difference which church you join," then why not join several or all to receive the benefit of all?

But the question is how many churches did Christ establish? What does the Bible say? The inspired apostle Paul said, "There is one body." (Eph. 4:4) "Now are there many members, yet one body." (1 Cor. 12:30) What is this body? It is the church: "And he gave him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body." (Eph. 1:22-23) Thus we see the body and the church are the same. Both are in the singular. Since Christ is the founder and head of ONE CHURCH, it does make a difference which one you become a member of, if you wish to be united with Christ, for he is the head of the one body, the church.

Would it be right for four men to teach and practice different things religiously, and then be wrong for one man to teach these same four things? To illustrate: Preacher A declares "once saved you cannot fall." Preacher B states that "we must take heed or we will fall from grace." Preacher C tells us that "sprinkling is baptism." Then preacher D says that "immersion only is baptism." Now, are all four men right? It so, then Preacher A would be right in preaching these four conflicting doctrines. Consistency, did you say? If four men preach these things people say they are preaching the Bible, but if one man did so people would say he was a false teacher. It is no wonder we have unbelievers and infidels when several hundred groups teach conflicting doctrines and claim the Bible as their source.

Are denominations branches of the church? Paul said there should he no divisions in the body. (1 Cor. 12:18-25) Is there division among denominations? Certainly! "God set the members every one of them in the body as it pleased him." (Vs. 18) Did God set in the various denominations? If so he failed to tell us about them. Consider your denomination. Where is it spoken of in God's word? We can read of the church of the First-born, the church of God, the churches of Christ. The word church means, "the called out." The called out, the saved are added to the church. (Read Acts 2:47) No joining; just obeying the gospel, and let the Lord keep the books. He will add you to the church, His church, the ONE he built. (Matt. 16:18) Christ said, "I am the vine, and ye are the branches." (John 15) Was Christ referring to various denominations when he said, "ye are the branches"? Let Christ answer that." If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch." (Vs. 6) There is the answer. Individuals, men, are the branches. Christ is the vine in which they are to abide. Denominations are not hinted at in this passage. Most all have arisen in the last two hundred years. Christ established his church on the day of Pentecost, A. D. 33. He gave his blood for one church. It is undenominational. It invites all to accept the Bible only. It accepts apostolic teaching of faith, repentance, confession, and baptism. It rejects all human aids to worship and work, as the organ, orchestras, dramatics, societies, etc. In the church of the Lord no preacher ever wore a title of "Reverend" or "Pastor." Bible scholars know that the terms elders, bishop, and pastor refer to the same class — the overseers of the church. "Rev. Paul and Dr. James" is not the language of the Bible. Are you a member of the church Christ established? Read Matt. 7:22,23; Neb. 5:8,9.

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