The Century church of Christ is not a cult but it is dedicated to practicing New Testament Christianity. It is our desire to follow the gospel of the New Testament and that alone in religion. In showing what the New Testament teaches we do show the errors and weaknesses in many different religions while upholding the truths of the gospel. This does not make us a cult and in this article we will show the reasons why. 1. A cult is defined as “an independent religious group which looks to some special leader”. (Concise Dictionary of Religion). The Century church of Christ follows Christ alone as our leader. In Life we seek to walk in His steps (I Pet. 2:21). We are not dedicated to walking after any man. We are not to think of men above that which is written (I Cor. 4:6). We love one another but at the same time recognize that all of us have flaws in our lives and only Jesus is a perfect leader. We exalt Christ as the head of the church because that is the position God gave him. In Eph. 1:22,23 we read where God “put all things under His feet and gave him to be head over all things to the church”. We listen to the instructions of Christ as found in the gospel because in these last days God has spoken through Christ (Heb. 1:1,2). It is Christ who in the future will be our judge and not some man (Acts 17:31). If the Gospel says it we believe it. What ever the commands of the Gospel are we seek to obey them. We do rightly divide the word of truth. We have been accused of accepting the first part of the Great Commission but not the part which says, “these signs shall follow them that believe” which is followed by a number of miraculous signs done by the apostles. The purpose of the signs is shown in verse 20 which is “And they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word with signs following.” We have the message of the gospel in written form but we do not have the signs with which it has been confirmed. These were done away in favor of the Perfect Revelation—which is the New Testament. (I Cor. 13:8-10; James 1:25). We are to earnestly contend for the faith which has once for all been delivered (Jude 3). We are to be careful that we know not add to nor take away from the Revelation of Jesus Christ (Rev. 22:18, 19). 2. Also a cult according to the dictionary makes claim to a special Revelation. The most famous cult is Jehovah’s Witnesses. Their special doctrines include: a) No eternally burning hell as punishment; b) the soul is just the life of the person which passes away when he dies. The church of Christ in Century teaches what Jesus said about the soul living after death (Mat. 22:29-32; Rev. 6:9); and that there is an everlasting fire where there will be everlasting punishment (Mat. 25:41,46). We emphasize Mark 16:16 about believing and being baptized to be saved. We emphasize that there is everlasting destruction to those who know not God and obey not the gospel (2 Thes. 1:7-9). There are thousands of cults with differing beliefs. We have to test each of them by New Testament teachings. I Thes. 5:21 tells us to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good. I John 4:1 tells us to try the spirits whether they are of God for many false prophets are in the world. We strive to do this in every Bible class and worship service. We don’t want to have any peculiar doctrine not taught in the New Testament. 3. Cults always emphasize “Total Commitment”. They “Brainwash” their followers into thinking as the leader thinks, talking as the leader talks, and following a certain discipline of living. To accomplish this each disciple has a “prayer partner” who counsels him and there are various group therapies where the individual loses his identity and becomes a sort of “robot” of the group. They choose his words, his work, his marriage partner, his recreation, and in other ways control his life. Century church of Christ certainly does none of this. Denying self and taking up the cross of Christ is entirely voluntary. (Mat. 16:24-26). We study for ourselves and so grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord (2 Pet. 3:18). We all participate in worship with the spirit and with the understanding (I Cor. 14:15). We voluntarily present our bodies as living sacrifices and renew our minds with righteous thoughts (Rom. 12:1,2). There is a great deal of difference in going back to the Bible for it all and in the practice of cultism so prevalent in our society.
Do you have questions or comments? Email us at Questions and we will reply shortly.
CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO THE GOSPEL HERALD ARCHIVES
CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE MAIN PAGE
CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE MAIN PAGE