“CHURCH OF CHRIST” NOT A RELIGION?
IS it true that the “Church of Christ” is not a religion? Nowhere in the Bible we can find a verse that says “the Church is not a religion.” This is only based on opinion. On the other hand, the Apostles and the true Christians explicitly said that the Church where they belong is their religion:
I Timothy 3:15-16 TEV
“But if I delay, this letter will let you know how we should conduct ourselves in God's household, WHICH IS THE CHURCH of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. No one can deny how great is the secret of OUR RELIGION…” (Emphasis mine)
Because it is clearly written in the Bible that the Church is the religion of the apostles and the true Christians, thus, those who say that the Church is not a religion contradict the apostles and the teachings of the Bible.
Also, those who say that “the Church is not a religion” do not understand the true meaning of the word “religion.” Etymologically, the word “religion” came from the Latin “religio” or the French “religare.” Thus, the Webster’s Dictionary gave us this meaning of the word “religion”:
Webster’s Third International Dictionary, page 1918
“Religion — prob. Fr. religare, to tie back, the personal commitment to and serving of God or a god with worshipful devotion, conduct in accord with divine commands especially as found in accepted sacred writings or declared by authoritative teachers, a way of life recognized as incumbent on true believers, and typically the relating of oneself to an organized body of believers.”
According to the Dictionary, religion means: “serving of God…conduct in accord with divine commands especially as found in accepted sacred writings.” Thus, in saying that “the Church is not a religion” is like saying that the Church is not about serving God. Actually, according to the Bible, one of the main purposes of the Church is to prepare God’s people to serve:
Ephesians 4:12 God’s Word
“ Their purpose is to prepare God's people, to serve, and to build up the body of Christ.”
Another meaning of the word “religion” is based on the French word “religare” meaning “binding back” or “to tie back.” Thus, religion also means “to bring men back to God.” Now, if a person will say that “the Church is not a religion” and the word “religion” means “to bring men back to God,” hence, it is like saying that the Church is “not about bringing people back to God.” However, the Bible clearly states that true Christians are “brought back to God in one body”:
Eph 2:16-17 God’s Word
“He also brought them back to God in one body by his cross, on which he killed the hostility.”
The “one body” the Bible referred to is the “Church of Christ”:
I Cor 12:12 Weymouth
“For just as the human body is one and yet has many parts, and all its parts, many as they are, constitute but one body, so it is with the Church of Christ.”
Because “religion” is about serving God and how people will be brought back to God, thus, TRUE RELIGION is true worship and service of the true God, and also TRUE RELIGION is bringing back men back to God.
HENCH, IT IS A GRAVE ERROR TO SAY THAT THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IS NOT A RELIGION. THE CHURCH OF CHRIST TAUGHT BY THE BIBLE IS THE TRUE RELIGION.
Thus, we are certain that those people or groups who say that “the Church of Christ is not a religion” is indeed not the true Church of Christ and not the true religion.
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