I read some place where the simple symbol of a fish scrawled somewhere was a clue to where early Christians met during times of great persecution. Whichever direction the drawing was facing told the viewer which direction to go in to find the faithful. It would seem to me that the symbol would quickly be uncovered by those who were persecuting the church and would lead the enemies of the church right to them. Another source said that when two strangers met one might draw a curved line somewhere and if the other drew a reverse curved line making the sign of a fish that would identify each as Christians. Again, it seems to me this would quickly become commonly known.
The church known publicly to the community as The Monticello Church Of Christ of Monticello, Georgia has a sign out front of the building that says "Church of Christ."
The sign does not designate a denomination or an association. It designates a concept of speaking where the Bible speaks and being silent where the Bible is silent. It designates a gathering of believers who strive to take nothing away from the Bible or add anything to it.
The sign also designates who the church belongs to and it is one of the names found in the Bible. (Romans 16:16) We believe a Bible church should have a Bible name. For instance, the names, Methodist Church, or Presbyterian Church, or Later Day Saints and many others are not found in Scripture. If the name is not found in Scripture there is a very good chance their teaching may not be true to Scripture either.
The Monticello Church of Christ is autonomous. That means no earthly organization guides the church or tells it what to do or what doctrine to teach or what no to teach. The local members control the activities, teaching and preaching of the congregation. We strive to follow the Bible without any outside influence. Christ is the head of the church and we look to him for direction through his word which is the Word of God.
He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” (John 14:21 NKJV)
If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. (John 15:10 NKJV)
And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. (Colossians 1:18 NKJV)
Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. (John 17:17 NKJV)
The Bible says...
9 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. (II John 9 NKJV)
No matter what anyone tells you there can be no unity in diversity. When first principles and matters of obedience and salvation are heavily laced with indifference and the influence of men such as Luther, Calvin, Smythe and so on, there can be no fellowship. Is that important? Yes, very much so. The Bible does not allow us to "agree to disagree."
Can two walk together, unless they are agreed? (Amos 3:3)
Is Church Of Christ the only acceptable Bible name? No. There are many Scriptural names. The Church Of The Redeemer, Church Of The Good Shepherd, Church Of The First Born and others denoting the Bible church's name are all acceptable Biblical names and many church buildings boast these Biblical names. Even a simple, "The church," is Scriptural. Paul even uses the names "church of the living God," and "pillar and ground of the truth."
but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:15 NKJV)
The Monticello Church Of Christ is by no means the only congregation on earth striving to follow what the Bible says with no additions or subtractions. There are many throughout the world that believe the same way the Monticello church believes and identify themselves the same way the Monticello church does by choosing to display a sign that says "Church of Christ."
When a member of the Monticello church of Christ is traveling and seeking out those who believe the same as they do they look for a sign that says "Church of Christ."
Do the words "Church Of Christ" on the premises guarantee those worshiping inside believe and teach the same way? No. Not at all. There are those who call themselves the Church of Christ who do not follow the first century pattern laid out by Jesus.
However, having the designation visible on the premises certainly increases the chances of finding unity.
Now then are there those who are in agreement, or fellowship, with the Monticello Church of Christ who don't have the words "Church Of Christ" on or near their building?
As I said earlier, yes, there are those who are in Biblical unity with the Monticello Church Of Christ who do not display the same name. The name "Church Of Christ" is not an official name that has been designated or agreed on by any association as being the only acceptable Bible name. It is just one that over the course of time has come to be the most commonly used to designate the concept of First Century Worship we identify with.
When a member of the church is traveling and looking for a place to worship God in spirit and truth and sees a sign that says "Church Of Christ" they are more likely to find unity than at a place displaying "Church Of The Sheepfold."
Is it possible the "Church Of The Sheepfold" is in Biblical unity with the Monticello Church Of Christ?
But it is far less likely than one simply displaying Church Of Christ.
If we can be of assistance in any way, feel free to contact us.
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For Further Information Contact Marv Walker 706 816-7190
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