The Church of Christ- Introduction
Some Christians believe that the Church of Christ promotes non-biblical teachings and practices. Is the Church of Christ a Christian church?
The Church of Christ- Extreme Doctrines and Practices
The Church of Christ movement originally arose in the hopes of promoting unity among all Christians, but it eventually ended up separating itself from other Christian groups. Although the Church of Christ movement is basically Christian, it’s difficult not to categorize certain factions as aberrant because of some of their more extreme doctrines and practices.
The Church of Christ- Baptism is Essential
Of all its beliefs, the Church of Christ movement is perhaps best known for its view that water baptism is absolutely essential for salvation. This is no doubt a “sub-biblical” view of baptism. Acts 10:44-48, for example, records that Gentiles were filled with the Holy Spirit (and therefore saved) before they were baptized. Water baptism is certainly a normal part of becoming a Christian and a member of the church; nevertheless, it’s still possible to be saved without having been baptized — especially when circumstances make baptism very difficult if not impossible (cf. Luke 23:39-43). Now, some of the more extreme factions within the Church of Christ movement go even further, and argue that anyone who views baptism differently from them is not a Christian and is, therefore, lost — even if that person has been baptized!
The Church of Christ- Heavy-Handed Tactics
There are also reports that heavy-handed tactics are employed by a number of more extremist groups within the Church of Christ. The Boston Movement, for example, which evolved from a similar movement at the Crossroads Church of Christ, is probably the most well-known of these authoritarian groups. Both movements were rejected by the mainline Churches of Christ. This particular group goes so far as to say that other segments of the Church of Christ movement are non-Christian and will face eternal damnation. And so, while the Church of Christ movement is orthodox in many of the essentials of the faith, it is plagued with a very loud segment whose views are so extreme that developing any type of Christian fellowship with them becomes almost an impossible task. But remember, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water; there are many within the Church of Christ movement who are committed Christians.
On the Church of Christ, that’s the Bible Answer Man Perspective. I’m Hank Hanegraaff.