- How do you classify your religion?
We do not classify ourselves as a religion in the usual sense of the word. Religion is often thought of as man’s attempt to form and serve a god to man’s taste or moral state. We are Christian because we believe that there is an intelligent beginning behind all that exists. This personal origin of all that is, has made Himself known to man through the material universe and through revelation (the Bible). Christianity is a revealed and evidenced belief system from God about God to man about man.
- What are the historical foundations of the church?
To see the historical foundations of the Church we look back beyond the beginning for the cause behind the beginning. The Church was first planned by God. Then God created the material universe. Upon completion of creation there was now a material place for the purpose of it all to begin. That purpose was the Church. The Old Testament reveals the process of preparing for the coming of the Church. In its completed stage it would be that gathering where those who considered and believed the evidence provided could come without coercion and without manipulation to be a God-governed people voluntarily and altogether by choice. It is the goodness of God that is seen and that draws people to God.
That is why God has hidden Himself, placing all in the situation of faith. No one can prove God. No one can prove that Jesus arose from the grave. No one can prove God does not exist. All are in the situation of faith. All are in the situation of faith having to develop a belief system from some perception of evidence or wishful thinking.
The prophets of the Old Testament looked forward to the church and the coming of Jesus Christ. Out of that history emerged the Christ who would build His Church. The Church of Christ is rooted in that history. And then with Christ, the foundation of the Church was built upon the Apostles and Prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the chief corner stone (Eph. 2:20-22).
On that foundation built in the first century A.D. the Church continues to stand and grow. The Church stands on the written and confirmed documents called the Holy Scriptures.
- What are the principle tenets?
The principle tenet is that the scriptures are inerrant in the original language and therefore all equally important. The purpose of the miraculous activity during the New Testament times was to provide supportive evidence that the message being spoken had its origin outside human capability. That supportive evidence was recorded in scripture for the same reason that it was performed – so as not to be needed for the purpose again once the written word was completed. We embrace and preach and teach the whole counsel of God, it is all equally important.
- Where and when do you worship?
Worship is not a thing to be done at a special place or special time – worship is a way of life (Jn. 4:24). We assemble to learn how to worship more effectively as we live our daily lives. Worship is an expression of our love for God, a voluntary compliance to the will and counsel of God. Worship is adoration.
- Describe a worship service:
As we are going through our everyday life, for instance, at the grocery store, a person in a wheelchair bumps into a display and knocks it to the floor. Helping to restore the display is worship. Responding Christ-like in all situations is worship, we learn to worship by learning Christ. Worship is service to God (Rom 12:1), out of love and adoration of Him.
- Are there other branches or sects to the Church?
No. All local bodies of the Church are autonomous, all local bodies have Christ as the head. The authority and the constitution of the Church is the Scripture. God is the law giver and the local bodies of the Church are the administrators of the God-given law.
- Any Creeds?
No creeds other than the only creed of the Holy Scriptures which is that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (Ma. 16:16).
All man-made creeds are divisive and tend to restrict one’s grasp of the whole purpose of God (Acts 20:27). The body of Christ (the Church) speaks only where the scriptures speak and remain silent in the silence of God. We intend to neither add to nor take away from that which God has revealed.
- Position on Intermarriage
There is only one race. That’s the human race (Acts 27,26). Marriage and other bonds are to be limited by common belief systems (II Cor. 6:14-16). Can two walk together unless they be agreed? The purpose of marriage beyond the propagation of opportunity through reproduction to offer the choice to serve God is to assist each other in life to serve God.
- Belief in the Trinity
Often, when terms are used that are not found in the Bible, the idea isn’t found there either. Phrases such as the “fall of man” the “rapture of the church” the “blessed trinity” “invite Jesus into your heart” or the “prayer of faith for salvation” are not found in scripture and it may well be that the idea isn’t there either. The scriptures speak of one God.
His nature, character and personality, those things that give Him His identity, are the characteristics that constitute His spirit. The doctrine of the trinity robs God of His breath, the depth of His being and makes His breath a separate entity. (The Greek word translated “spirit” is “breath”, it means the depth of one’s being).
Jesus was born as a man and resurrected as a man to demonstrate to man that because He, as a man, was resurrected that mankind can have hope in life after death. For a “little while” Jesus was made like us in all ways. To create by doctrine that Jesus was God while in the days of his flesh is to rob us of our hope and example.
- Interpretation of Scripture
The scriptures are essentially historical. They would be read and understood as we would read and understand any work of history. In all literature there are many styles and forms used to express what the author sees. The Bible was written by some 40 different writers over a span of over 1600 years and on three different continents and covering 4,000 years of history all writing on the same theme historically and prophetically to their time (most never having seen the other writers). Yet when the pieces all come together there is perfect unity.
- Ethical Positions
There are two laws that if followed would allow everyone to get along no matter their belief system, their culture, their status in life. If these laws are violated, chaos results eventually. What are they?
Do all that you agree to do. Keep your word - Do not lie.
Do not infringe nor encroach upon anyone's property or person. Mind your own business.
Those two laws summarize both the Old Testament and the New Testament on the issue of how we are to treat each other. Those two laws are real and they work!
Those two laws are also a way to begin to understand the God Who is there. We learn the big picture from the Bible that God does what He says He will do. We need to learn that. Also, we learn that God will not infringe nor encroach on your person. That is so important and basic. God remains hidden to keep from violating those two laws. He desires us to come to Him freely by choice, then He is truly pleased!
The weekly observance on the first day of the week of the emblems portrays the historicity of Jesus Christ. We have brought to our remembrance that Jesus was man as we partake of that which represents His body and His blood. It is the confirmation of the covenant between God and man that sin is forgiven by the shed blood of Christ. He is the way, the truth and the life. There is no other way to the Father (Matt 16:16).
The healing of the New Testament times provided evidence that the message of the messenger was of God’s inspiration. Once the message was confirmed there was no longer a need for miraculous healing. When the scriptures were complete, miraculous healing by God’s design ceased. Today, men and women using God-given talents are trained in medicine, surgery, etc. which can help aid the body’s healing. If miraculous healing were continued today, it would render training, skills, education, etc. useless and the work of personal service would have no value.
Primarily confession is our confession of belief in Christ as Lord (Rom10). Secondarily confession is an individual confession to Christ of sins committed and the asking for forgiveness. If our belief in Christ is in error we confess the wrong Christ and when we confess our sins to the wrong Christ we remain in our sins.
- Virgin Mary
Jesus stated very simply that those who obey Him are his mother, brother and sister. He did say that Mary would be spoken well of throughout history. However, she is not an access to God nor the forgiver of sins. Jesus, the man, is our only mediator to God (I Tim. 2:5), (Matt. 128-50). Mary is not diety, nor did she remain a virgin.
Baptism is our identity with the manhood of Christ – His death, burial and resurrection. When we voluntarily choose to be baptized we do in form what Christ did in reality. To be united with Him in baptism is to be united with Him in the resurrection. It is at that point that there is a change in the relationship between God and the believer being baptized. It is the only point in the salvation process that is not a work. Someone else even lowers us into and out of the water.
- What is the meaning of baptism?
It illustrates Christ’s burial and resurrection.
“Christ died for our sins. . . He was buried . . . and He rose again” (1 Cor 15:3-4)
“For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ” (Col 2:12).
It illustrates my new life in Christ.
“When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a new person inside. The old life has passed away and a new life has begun ” (2 Cor.5:17).
“By our baptism them, we were buried with Him and shared His death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead . . . so also we may live a new life ” (Rom 6:4).
- Why be baptized by immersion?
Because Jesus was baptized that way.
“As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water.” (Mt 3:16).
Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion.
“. . . then both Philip and the man went down into the water and Philips baptized them. When they came up out of the water . . . “ (Acts 8:38-39).
The word Baptize means: “To dip under water.” It best symbolized a burial and a resurrection.
The founders of denominations agree:
Martin Luther . . . “I would have those who are to be baptized to be entirely immersed, as a work imports and the mystery signifies.”
John Calvin . . . “The word ‘baptize’ signifies to immerse. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church.”
John Wesley . . . “Buried with Him, alludes to baptizing by immersion according to the customs of the first church.”
- Who should be baptized?
Every person who has believed in Christ.
“Those who believed and accepted His message were baptized . . . “ (Acts 2:41).
“Simon himself believed and was baptized . . . “ (Acts 8:13).
“But when they believed Philips as he preached the Good News . . . and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” (Acts 8:12).
At CCC, we wait until our children are old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them.
Some churches practice a “baptism of confirmation” for children. This ceremony is intended to be a covenant between the parents and God on the behalf of the child. The parents promise to raise their child in the faith until the child is old enough to make his own personal confession of Christ. This custom began several hundred years after the church was established. This is different from the baptism that is talked about in the Bible, which was for those old enough to believe. The purpose of baptism is to be a pledge to God of a clean conscience (I Pet 3:21).
- Can my family and friends be baptized together?
Yes, if each person understands the meaning of baptism, and each one is willing to place their trust in Christ for salvation, we encourage families to be baptized at the same time. It is a wonderful expression of commitment. However, it is important to remember that baptism is a personal statement of faith, not a family or group tradition. It is usually not wise to delay your baptism while waiting on others to join you. This puts an undue pressure on them, and delays your obedience.
- What should I wear when I am baptized?
Women should wear shorts and a top or swimsuit. Men may wear shorts, t-shirts or a swimsuit. Bring a change of clothes and a plastic bag for your wet clothes. We will supply the towels.
- Will I have to say anything?
You will be asked if you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and if you are following him as your Lord and Savior. At that point, you will be lowered just under the water. We encourage you to invite all your relatives and friends to attend your baptism.
When one has been baptized into Christ he has access to the Father through the High Priest which is Jesus Christ. God accepts us through Christ. For one to pray and not be in Christ is to say that God’s plan wasn’t needed. It is arrogant to proclaim some other process is OK; it is positioning ourselves in God’s position (Heb. 2:17; 5:7-11; 7:25).
- Life after Death
Certainly there is life after death. That is what the resurrection of the man Jesus Christ was about. If not true then what this life is means nothing. No justice, no morality, no hope. Without hope, no conscience, no direction.
- Church Government
Christ is the head of His Church (Eph. 1:20-23). God planned the Church, Christ established the Church. The Bible is His constitution or law by which he governs. The local body is the only structure of which the Bible speaks. The administration of God’s government is described in Eph. 4:11, 12.
- Perceived Strengths and Weaknesses
Because the Church of the New Testament was designed by God and established by Christ, it is perfect with no weaknesses. Individual members of a body may be less than perfect, but that is why they belong to the perfect body, so that they as individuals can learn and be strengthened. This is why they assemble on the Lord’s day to stand and share and renew their covenant with Christ at the Lord’s supper (Eph 5:27).
- Concept of God and Jesus
The issue of God is His goodness. God is good. Jesus explained and demonstrated the goodness of God when He walked on earth as man. When we voluntarily come to understand the goodness of God and trustingly surrender our life to His authority, we are fulfilling the purpose of creation. Satan’s claim is that the difference between himself and God is power. However, the goodness of God is the issue. The issue has never been one of power. That’s why God sent His son as a man. So that in weakness, goodness would be victorious (I Cor. 1:25, 27), (Ex. 33:19-23).
- Membership and Demographics
Because the body is always local and only local, there is no knowing the total membership. There is no distinction between age groups, nor economic groups. His Church reaches all ages in all areas of life. Nearly everywhere I have been in the world, I have found groups (though not without a great deal of effort at times) that are adhering to the scriptures identically as we are. It is so surprising that those everywhere who study and adhere to scripture only, come to the same belief system. This illustrates the wisdom of God in how to keep His Church pure and free.
The Bible does not speak of a clergy, it speaks of the voluntary submission to the authority of Christ. All baptized believers are of the royal priesthood of Christ with Him as their High Priest. This is how and why their prayers are honored by God (I Pet. 2:9). There is no access to God without Christ and no one other than Christ can provide that access. It is entirely one’s relationship to Christ that determines his accessibility to God. All are equal in Christ.
- Only One True Religion
It is never wrong to be right. It is impossible for there to be two true “religions” that are not essentially the same. God’s word says that there is only one way. If there are two ways, then God’s goodness is reflected upon and His way of coming to Him isn’t appropriate. There is truth and there is error. It is extremely arrogant for someone to believe that error is equally as good as truth. The Christ of the Bible is the only way to God or there is known way. Our commitment is to embrace the truth of Jesus Christ the one and only way to the Father. God makes the calls, not us.
- Evangelical, Mission Oriented
It is each individual’s responsibility to know and to share the truth about God’s goodness. The mission field is the field where you live. We are not responsible for any other. Presumptuous responsibility is assuming a responsibility that is not ours; “missions” somewhere else is often the way to escape the responsibility that is individually ours. I am not my brother’s keeper nor am I his destroyer. Our responsibility is to inform those who ask, not necessarily to agree with us, but to understand so that they may make an intelligent decision with the information received.
Jesus did not die on a cross to keep us out of nothing. There is a hell created for Satan and his followers (Matt. 25:41) (Rev. 20:10). Hell is eternal absence of God. It is the place without order; it is autonomous from God. It is the place where all who choose to live apart from the government of God in this life can live without Him eternally.
Heaven is the place where the wholeness of God is and where fulfillment of man can be realized eternally.
Each individual has a choice which he makes for himself, God does not choose of us. He has simply provided a place for us to live eternally by the choice we have made.
- Special Laws
Because Christ is the head of His Church we cannot and do not add to nor remove from any requirement that is revealed.
- Main Difference
Man-made religions are those that attempt religion and sometimes Christianity apart from revelation. Rather than submitting to the God Who has spoken, they create something other than what God has given. Satan’s strategy has always been to ruin man who has been made in God’s image. It is religion that has done so. The main difference is in the objective to know and embrace the God who is there. Therefore we study.
Most prefer the ego satisfying effect of inspiration and emotionalism rather than the hard laborious task of studying and attempting to live a life pleasing to Christ. We are possibly perceived as being too studious, too serious about our belief system and out-of step with mainline “religious” groups.
- What Would We Change
We have no authority to change anything. We are pleased with what God has done.
The Church of Christ of the New Testament has neither material liability nor asset. Our wealth is found in the riches of Christ (Eph. 3:8-10). Our kingdom is not of this world.
- Health and Future
The body of Christ is always sound. The future of His Church is eternal. God’s glory radiates from His Church now and will forever (Eph. 3:21).
Truth is victorious, Christ reigns beside the Father now and continues to do so until all the systems of darkness are exposed. Therefore, the coming of Christ may not be imminent, but the victory of His truth and of His Church, is certainly assured.