Editor's Note: The following excellent article was written back in the 60's. A brother in Florida recently discovered it among his materials and sent me a copy. It deserves to be shared with the readers of this paper. Read it carefully. The author's name is given at the close and we are indebted to him for this study of "the creed" of the 20th century Church of Christer. - CAH.
We, members of the Church of Christ church, do not believe in human creeds. We believe in following strictly the teaching of the Bible, nothing more and nothing less, as it is interpreted and given to us by the heads of the Bible Departments of our various colleges. After all, those are smart men in those colleges! They have been to school! They wouldn't lead us astray as the "smart" men of other ages have led people astray. We are also guided by the pronouncements of the editors of brotherhood papers. These editors are especially helpful in telling us who to boycott and who to fellowship, their rule being that we should fellowship everyone who agrees with them, and boycott everyone who disagrees with them.
The Elders: We accept completely the teaching of the Bible that elders are the overseers of their own congregation, nothing more, and we refuse to step one inch over this line
EXCEPT when such stepping over the line is approved by the above-mentioned editors and/or professors of Bible, or
EXCEPT when we can save some money by stepping over this line, or
EXCEPT when we can prove that we have been stepping over the line on this matter for 50 years or more already, or
EXCEPT when to step over the line makes it possible for us to compete with the denominations in their sensational projects, and thus get the name of the Church of Christ Church in the newspapers as often as "other" denominations get their names in the papers, or
EXCEPT when to refuse to step over the scriptural line in this matter would mark us as "Antis" (God forbid that we should have to carry a cross this heavy!), or
EXCEPT when we have to step over the line God drew on the eldership in order to oversee some preacher. Preachers are meaner than most people and need more watching. All other Christians can serve God acceptably in a congregation which has no elders and not be under the oversight of any elders at all. But preachers have to be sponsored by some eldership somewhere or somehow (Hezekiah 4:12), or
EXCEPT when (and especially on such an occasion as this) by giving the elders more oversight than God specified we can protect some congregation from the influence of these pesky "antis;' or
ON ANY OTHER OCCASION when it seems to us expedient and practical to violate the teaching of God's word on this matter. We pronounce an anathema on anyone who opposes our right to take these liberties, and we quarantine and boycott anyone who torments us before our time by asking us for chapter and verse for what we are doing.
We Church of Christers believe that the Lord's church is all-sufficient to do the work God assigned it to do, and we are zealously opposed to human organizations being attached to it (this is the reason we are opposed to the missionary society). We refuse to compromise the truth on this matter. If there is anything you can say about us it is that we stand for the Truth foursquare. We are consistent and logical in our convictions in this matter, and we will have nothing to do with any kind of human institution -
UNLESS it is an institution rendering benevolence, or
UNLESS it is an arrangement not called a missionary society, but doing the work of a missionary society, or
UNLESS we can apply one of the same reasons given above for stepping over the line on the authority of elders.
We believe the Lord's church has a spiritual mission, and must limit itself to the work the Lord assigned it to do. For this reason the church must not under any circumstances enter the field of recreation and entertainment -
EXCEPT for the fun and frolic provided in the Church of Christ Fellowship Hall, or at a Church of Christ Bible Chair, or at a Summer Camp provided by a Church of Christ,or
EXCEPT any other occasion when the entertainment can be called "fellowship" so that we can then quote all the verses in the Bible on fellowship to justify our fun. Anyone who throws cold water on our projects by asking us to look up the real meaning of the word "fellowship" is obviously an "anti," and everybody knows you can't reason with such people!
Politics: Because the church is spiritual and has a mission to save souls, we don't believe the church should enter politics -
EXCEPT when some brother is running for office and his election would add prestige to the Church of Christ Church.
Business: Because of the spiritual nature of the church it should not enter the field of business or commerce. The Lord has specified how the church is to obtain the money it needs, and we should respect this scriptural limitation -
EXCEPT when some brother dies and wills the church a farm, a rent house, an oil well, or some other money-making property, or
EXCEPT when the church enters the field of business through the medium of a Church of Christ orphanage or old folks home. (For example, it would be unscriptural for the church TO HAVE a dairy, but if the elders oversee an orphanage and the orphanage has a dairy, then the church can be in the dairy business this way.)
Teaching secular subjects: Because of the spiritual nature of the church, it is not authorized to teach the arts and sciences of this world -
EXCEPT in the mission field, or to support one of OUR colleges, or to show the Catholics we can do anything they can.
We believe we must prove everything by the Bible. "Where the Bible speaks we speak, and where the Bible is silent we are silent." For this reason we lean so heavily on such verses as the following:
"I'd rather the Lord came back and caught me doing something wrong than not doing anything at all" (Jehosaphat 6:10).
"The Lord told us to do it, but he didn't tell us how to do it" (Jude 2). Just read the whole chapter to get the connection.
"We do a lot of things you can't find chapter and verse for" (Ananias 1:5).
"You are just jealous and that's why you are always criticizing" (Saul 6:10).
Upon reading these statements of our Faith we are sure you will be impressed not only by our zeal in sticking close to the Scriptures, but also our amazing logic and consistency in the application of Bible principles.
Have you come across any members of this strange new sect? I have met several of them in recent years. That's how I found out about their creed. -Mack Kercheville
Please Note: The views expressed in this paper by any writer are his/her own and not necessarily those of the editor or any other writer.