“In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; in all things, love.”
THE POSITION OF CHRISTIAN CHURCHES
BY PROFESSOR DONALD A. NASH
What are Christian Churches or Churches of Christ, anyway? They are congregationally governed bodies with no official organization controlling them. They desire to reproduce in doctrine, life, and practice the church founded by Christ.
OUR PLEA What do we preach? We plead for the unity of all followers of Christ. This was the ideal of Christ for His church. He prayed, "that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee" (John 17:21). This unity should not only be in spirit but in reality. It is to be like that between the Father and the Son-a unity in purpose, spirit, and practice, in which all "speak the same thing" (1 Corinthians 1:10).
OUR PURPOSE The reason that this unity is necessary is stated in the prayer of Jesus, "that the world may believe that thou hast sent me" (John 17:21). The salvation of the world by the preaching of the gospel is the task of Christ and His church. The accomplishing of this goal has been hindered by division into many denominations and sects. Such division wastes time, energy, money and confuses those who seek for truth. The world cannot be won till the followers of Christ are one.
OUR PLAN Yes, we have a plan by which this unity can be attained. It is not by an organizational union of existing denominations nor by human speculation. The only course is to return to New Testament Christianity. For this, we plead! The only basis for any Christian faith is the inspired Word of God. Why not then restore the church revealed there just as it was without human additions, subtractions, theologies, or practices? This is the only logical plan for Christian unity.
OUR PROGRAM Here is the way this plan works. We wear no name but the one in the Bible for the followers of Christ-Christian (Acts 11:26). We accept no creed but belief in Christ (Matthew 16:16). We adopt no rule of faith and practice but the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). We practice only the ordinances commanded by Christ. One of these is the Christian baptism which is universally recognized by all followers of Christ, the immersion of the penitent believer. The other is the weekly observance of the Lord's Supper as a simple memorial of our Lord's death for our salvation (1 Corinthians 11:23-30). This is a platform all followers of Christ can accept for it is as broad as the New Testament and as narrow as the "faith once and for all delivered to the saints."
This program to restore the church of the New Testament was begun some 150 years ago by different men in various areas whose mottoes are still true.
“Where the Scriptures speak, we speak; where the Scriptures are silent, we are silent.”