Vol.X No.IX Pg.6
November 1973

Whiteside, On The Church

Robert F. Turner

R. L. Whiteside was an honest, Capable Bible scholar. The following is from a compilation of his works, Reflections. (p.259-f) Omissions, necessary for brevity, are indicated.

The word church is a translation of the Greek word that means the called out. All who have been called out of sin into the service of God, by that very process become a part of the called-out people, members of the church.

### To say that the local churches of Christ constitute the church of Christ is a great mistake, for there are children of God who are not members of any congregation. When Philip baptized the Ethiopian eunuch, there was no local church in that community for the eunuch to become a member of; yet he became a child of God, a member of Gods family, which is the church of God. ###

The church is not so much an organization as it is an organism. This is true whether the whole body of believers is considered or simply a congregation. In either case, Christ is the head, from whom all the body fitly framed and knit together through that which every joint supplieth, according to the working in due measure of each several part, maketh the increase of the body unto the building up of itself in love. (Eph. 4:16)

course where a group of people are banded together for a definite purpose, there must be some sort of arrangement, or organization to meet the needs of the body. In the very nature of the case, somebody must by appointment or by common consent take the lead — must direct affairs. Every body must have a head. Also somebody must look after various details connected with the operation of the body. The local church is no exception. Somebody must direct its affairs, and somebody must attend to the detail a of service. Hence, in the early churches there were elders and deacons. It seems very plain that elders were appointed in every church.

The early churches were bound together by strong spiritual ties. Jesus was the head, and the gospel was the bond of union; but each church was a whole unit; as much so as if there had not been another local church in the world. It was complete in itself, independent of any outside control. There were no ecclesiasticisms, such as the denominations have today. There was no grouping of churches under one man or set of men. Each church owed allegiance to the, Lord, and worshipped and served His according to His will. That is the Lord s way today — walk in it.

Divisions developed in the church of God at Corinth, and Paul told them that they were carnal. So long as a church moves along smoothly, no one can tell with certainty who are really true to the Lord. For there must be also factions among you, that they that are approved may be made manifest among you. (l Cor. 11:19) When divisions come, those who are true to the Lord stay with the right. ### Of course the group that stays with the Bible is the one to cast your lot with.

(Reprint, Vol. 4, No. 3)