Language confusion and much false teaching results from the use of the English word "church". That word should not be in the Scriptures. It does not translate the Greek word ekklesia. In truth, there is no "church" in God's word! The King James translators, on orders from King James himself, substituted the word "church" for a true translation of the Greek word. It is one of the greatest evils ever perpetuated on all who have put their trust in the translations of Holy Scripture! Let's look at the confusion or deception the word 'church' can cause.
To what does the word church refer in the following statements?
1) "He left the church years ago."
2) "It's my month to lock up the church."
3) "The Southwest Church of Christ, Inc. was formed in 1971."
4) "After church let's eat at Ryans."
5) "Freed-Hardeman University is a Church of Christ school."
6) "Mary is always late for church."
7) "That is a conservative church."
8) "We are building an addition to our church."
9) "Some of the members filed a lawsuit against the 9th and Park Church."
10) "Our church recently had a split and another church started as a result.'"
11) "How many attended church today?"
12) "Our church recently hired a new Youth Minister."
13) "'If you are looking for a church home we invite you to consider our church."
14) "Let's meet at the church to discuss plans for our church softball team."
15) "The Church of Christ was defeated 10 to 1 by the First Baptist Church."
16) "I recently ordered some more church literature for the classes."
17) "If you are a visitor and live in our city, we hope you will consider making our church your church home."
Carefully check back through the statements and see how many different meanings the word "church" has. It contributes to real language confusion.
The word "church" was substituted for a correct translation of the Greek word ekklesia; and that anti-scriptural word has deceived millions of unknowing, often uncaring, people into actually believing that there really is a church in the Bible. It is a great deception; a horrible error. The English words assembly, congregation, or gathering are correct renderings of the Greek word. There is no justification whatever for the English word church being in the Scripture.
Today we live in a religious world with many churches, of all brands, shades, grades, and character. They are all from men; not any one of them is from God. But churches are what the vast majority of religious people have based their hope of heaven upon, believing that faithfulness to their brand of Church is the way to please God. They "belong to the church," not to the Lord Jesus Christ!
I urge you to get a translation of the New Covenant Scriptures that does not have the word church in it and read it. There are several. The Simple English Bible-NT is one. (Hugo) McCord's New Testament Translation of the Everlasting Gospel is another; even though our brother compromised his scholarship and himself (in my view) in putting the word church in 1 Cor. 16:1; at least, it is in my copy. You should read his Appendix relative to the word church and his compromise is apparent. (Edward) Young's Literal Translation of the Holy Bible does not use the word church. In the NT translation initiated by Alexander Campbell, using perhaps the three greatest Bible and language scholars of that day, the word church does not appear. His translation is called The Living Oracles.
The hard fact is that there is no church in God's word! Therefore, there is no Church of Christ church, no Church of God church, and no other brand of church in God's Word nor in His plan for men. Churches are the inventions of men. That's the reason there are so many churches.-- cah