Is the church of Christ a
denomination? The answer is "No" if you correctly define and understand
the subjects of this question. Let's start with the term "denomination."
Denominations, as defined in the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, are "associations
of congregations...that have a common heritage. Moreover, a true
denomination does not claim to be the only legitimate expression of the
church" (Tinder,p.310). The Dictionary of Religious Terms defines "denominationalism" as "a term for the continuation of organizations, and emphasis on the divisions and distinctions, of Protestantism" (Kauffman, p.147).
What do these definitions tell us?
denomination is an organized collectivity of congregations (churches);
that explains why some churches select "representatives" to send to a
"national convention" to elect a "president."
(2) There are denomination(s) which are DISTINCT and DIVIDED from one another; that explains their need for different names and creeds.
(3) A denomination DOES NOT claim to be the WHOLE of
the church, but an authorized and distinct PART of it; which explains
why people in denominations believe the Lord's church is composed of differing denominations and say you can "join the church of YOUR choice."
In Matthew 16:18"I will build My ______ (denomination, denominationS, church).
Acts 2:47 says, "the Lord added to the _____ (denominations, church) those who were being saved."
Acts 20:28 says the Lord "purchased the ______ (denominations, church) with His own blood."
Ephesians 3:21 says God is "glorified in the _______ (denominations, church) by Christ Jesus throughout all ages."
Ephesians 5:23 says Christ is the "Head of the _______ (denominations, church); the Savior of the body."
Ephesians 1:22-23 says the ________ ____ (denominations are, church is) the body of Christ. And therefore, as Ephesians 4:4 says, "There is one _______ (denomination, church).
1 Corinthians 12:12 says "the body is one and has many ______ (denominations, churches, members).
According to the above scriptures, Billy Graham is _____ (correct, incorrect) when he says, "God did not invent denominations, man did."
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