Are They Churches of Christ or Churches of Sin?
Volume IX ~ Issue XLV ~ August 2nd, 2009
By: Brian A. Yeager
(To open this article in PDF - Click here)


Over the years I have been amazed at how many articles I have seen wherein so-called preachers have talked about how no one can be perfect. These articles talk about how we are all human and we all sin. Passages such as Romans 3:23 are used and the past tense “have sinned” statement in that passage is ignored. Recently, I looked at a few web pages of so-called “churches of Christ” and was amazed at how many times I found these churches telling the world that they are churches of sin. Notice a few of the quotes I found:

  • “Church of Christ which meets on Walker Street in Cypress tries to follow the word of GOD, but like most folks we are not perfect and fall short of the Mark” (church of Christ; Cypress, CA; http://www.cypresscofc.info/).
  • “We are not perfect, and this is not a perfect church, but our God is” (Charleston Road Church of Christ; New Albany, IN; http://www.truth-search.org/).
  • “Our actions, knowledge, understandings, and relationships are not perfect. People in this congregation reflect every level of spiritual development. There is enormous diversity. Hopefully, everyone is mutually committed to Jesus Christ” (West-Ark Church of Christ; Fort Smith, AR; http://www.westarkchurchofchrist.org/intro.htm).
  • “Does the church always live up to God's intentions for it? No, it does not, since it represents fallible people who still fall prey to sin and worldly temptations (1 John 1:8-10). Yet such is the condition of anything that involves people” (“Why The Church Matters”; Ethan Longhenry; Weekly Bulletin for the Norwalk, OH church of Christ; http://www.norwalkchurch.org/goodnews/2009/0421.html)!

The Real church of Christ Would Not Make Such Statements As You Read Above!


The real Lord’s church is not a church of imperfection. Through obedience to the Gospel, those who make up the church have been made clean (Acts 22:16 and Revelation 1:5). The church is the people who have been added to Christ through obedience to the Gospel plan of salvation (Acts 2:47, I Corinthians 12:12-13, and Colossians 1:12-13). Real Christians understand that the Lord expects us NOT TO SIN (Romans 6:1-2). This means, the Lord expects His church to be the opposite of the quotes on page one of this article. In fact, He says so. Notice:
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:25-27).

So, are those who claim to be churches of Christ while acknowledging they are continually in sin right? NO! They are as far from the truth as one can get. They readily and openly admit that they are practicing sin, not truth. Yet, within these worship services you’ll hear lessons against instrumental music, drinking alcohol, etc. What makes those sins worse than the sins these churches are openly admitting they commit regularly? Isn’t it hypocrisy to say sin is wrong while you yourself are practicing it continually (Luke 6:42)? In fact, according to our Lord, these churches of sin should not be practicing worship or evangelism until they get their lives right (Isaiah 1:10-18, Isaiah 59:1-2, and Matthew 7:1-5). Faithful Christians realize that we cannot just follow the Lord in word, but we must also do so in deed (Luke 6:46, Luke 11:28, and James 1:21-25). Therefore, real churches of Christ would not be in sin to have to make such statements as we read on page one. Those who are really following the Lord understand that He expects perfection from us!

The Lord Expects Perfection From His People

Have you ever read the commands the Lord has given concerning Christians being perfect? If not, open up your Bible and read the following verses: Matthew 5:48, II Corinthians 13:11, Colossians 1:28, II Timothy 3:16-17, Hebrews 6:1, and Revelation 3:2. So, someone would respond and say that those passages do not teach us to be sinless. Those who proclaim to be practicing sin continually would argue that those passages just teach us to be mature or complete (as though being mature or complete means we are to keep erring). So, for those sinners who refuse to obey the commands to be perfect and who say those passages don’t mean what they say, here are a few more verses to consider: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God… Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God… Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world… Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (Romans 12:1-2, II Corinthians 7:1, Philippians 2:14-15, I Peter 1:13-16).

Conclusion


Churches of sin do not belong to our Lord. They belong to their father the devil (I John 3:1-10). True Christians realize we are to live a life of faith without sin, preparing ourselves in true holiness remaining blameless before man and God (II Peter 3:9-14). Those who are fake in Christ need to repent (Luke 13:3; 5)!