This article is about the church of Christ, or more specifically, “exactly what is the church of Christ?” Usually, in an article like this, one can expect to see some historical information that will identify the particular religious group under consideration as either Catholic or Protestant or something else. Further, you might expect some mention of its headquarters, its para-church organizations, and number of congregations, etc. Unfortunately, you will not find that kind of information here. And the reason that you won’t is that we simply don’t define or explain ourselves like other religious groups explain themselves.
Why the difference? Well, because our roots are different from theirs. In fact, our roots are rather unique among religious groups. They began with a man called Jesus Christ who came to the earth to build His church (Matthew 16:18). That church began in Jerusalem during the First Century. We know this because of Jesus’ command to the apostles that preaching of “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47). The apostles obeyed this and Acts 2 records this being done. As a result of this, the church is mentioned in verse 42-47 as being in existence at that time and place. While it began in Jerusalem, it was never considered the headquarters. The church was to grow into different parts of the world as the preaching of Jesus went throughout the world. (read Acts 1:8)
As a result of Jesus being the builder of the church (Mt.16:18) and considering that His blood bought the church (Acts 20:28), it is proper to call the church, the “church of Christ”. And that was one of the names or identities that was used in the New Testament to describe those saved by the blood of Jesus (Romans 16:16). Other names or descriptive titles used to refer to the saved are “the church of God” (I Corinthians 1:2), the “body” (Ephesians 1:22,23), the “house of God” (I Timothy 3:15), and the “kingdom of God” (Matthew 16:18,19). It is important to note that the “church of Christ” which we are talking about here, is not a denominational name. Neither are any of the above names referring to denominational groups, including “the church of God”. We are talking about the references that Christ made to His church, His people, as being in existence beginning in the First Century and not to any group that had its beginning in the last century whether in Cleveland, TN or Anderson, IN.
With this basic understanding of a non-denominational stance, the church of Christ that meets at Park Road seeks to be just that church that Jesus built and that spread throughout the world. It is spread by the teaching of the gospel of Christ as seen in the parable of the Sower in Luke 8:4-15. Wherever the gospel (seed) is taught, then what God wanted to grow from that seed would grow and bear fruit. Jesus warned against false seeds in another parable, The Parable of the Wheat and Tares (Mt.13:24-30), and also told the apostles that even in His day, “Every plant, which my heavenly Father has not planted shall be rooted up.” (Mt.15:13)
In summary, the church of Christ is a term that describes the people who have been saved by the blood of Jesus and this church began during the First Century in Jerusalem. It is not a new denomination nor does it believe that denominationalism is part of God’s will for the church. (Read I Corinthians 1:10-13; 4:17; John 17:20, 21).