Something More than Christians?

Something More than Christians.001Sometimes people will ask, “What are you, religiously?” One who follows the Bible may simply answer, “I am a Christian.” But this may not satisfy the one asking the question; he may insist on greater specificity: “I mean, what church are you a member of?” The Bible believer will simply say, “I am a member of the church about which you may read in your Bible, the church Jesus bought with His blood.”

This answer still may not satisfy the one asking the question. “I mean, What denomination are you a member of? Are you a Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, or what?” The biblical answer is, “I am not a member of any denomination, because denominationalism is unknown to the New Testament.” If the conversation allows, it may be possible to note that the New Testament implicitly condemns denominational divisions (1 Corinthians 1:10-17). The church Jesus established is not a denomination, and that the Bible does not authorize the wearing of such sectarian names as “Baptist,” “Lutheran,” or the names of other manmade institutions. We have many friends in these churches. We love their souls and would not insult them. And yet, we must lovingly say what the Bible says.

Ironically, our friends who are members of the denominations do not insist that one must join any particular denomination in order to be saved. Our brother, F. B. Srygley observed this very point back in the 19th century.

“The man who will not be fenced in by ‘doctrinal standards’ made by uninspired men is not very highly esteemed by those who herd with denominational flocks and graze in sectarian pastures. Still, I am content to be simply a Christian while I live and go to heaven when I die; and all denominations admit that this can be done without joining the Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, or any other party or denomination in religion. . . .

[I]t is as clear as a sunbeam that a man can be a Christian without belonging to any denomination. . . . What I want to do is to get men and women to be Christians without being ‘appropriated to one denomination,’ or to any denomination. . . . There is nothing denominational in Christianity. People must be something more than Christians in order to be a denomination.” ((The New Testament Church: Editorials which Appeared in the Gospel Advocate from 1889 to 1900 (Nashville: Gospel Advocate, 1955), 83-84.))

Notice that last sentence: “People must be something more than Christians in order to be a denomination.” When we stand before God in judgment, we want to stand simply as Christians, and nothing more. One cannot walk by faith and be anything more than a Christian, for the faith once delivered to the saints condemns following manmade doctrine or being anything other than a follower of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:7; cf. Romans 10:17; Jude 3; Matthew 15:9).


- 2024

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