The Christian Church of Los Alamos
Imagine a Church… that is simply Christian
What Kind of Church Is This?
When it came, the reaction was spontaneous. A group of New England Christians broke out of denominationalism, announcing their intention to follow the Bible only. Another group in Kentucky, and still another in Pennsylvania, each independent of the others, felt the spirit of unity moving them to stand with, not against, fellow Christians. Under the leadership of minister Barton W. Stone, some Presbyterian leaders in Kentucky published The Last Will and Testament of the Springfield Presbytery, putting to death their denominational connections. They said, “We will, that this body die, be dissolved, and sink into union with the Body of Christ at large; for there is but one body, and one Spirit . . .”
· That ... the church of Christ upon earth is essentially, intentionally, and constitutionally one; consisting of all those in every place that profess their faith in Christ and obedience to him in all things according to the Scriptures. . . .
· That ... there ought to be no schisms, no uncharitable divisions among local congregations.
· That ... nothing ought to be inculcated upon Christians as articles of faith; nor required of them as terms of communion; but what is expressly taught and enjoined upon them, in the Word of God.
· That ... the New Testament is as perfect a constitution for the worship, discipline, and government of the New Testament church, and as perfect a rule of the particular duties of its members, as the Old Testament was for the worship, discipline, and government of Israel.
· That ... no human authority has power to impose new commands or ordinances upon the church, which our Lord Jesus Christ has not enjoined.
There are more propositions, but these are enough to show Campbell’s unusual good judgment. From his day until now, millions of others have decided they also wanted to be Christians only, without the complications of denomination. Click here if you are interested in more history, texts, and addresses of the early restoration movement in America that resulted in the establishment of congregations like the Christian Church of Los Alamos, NM?
How, then, shall we summarize what kind of church we are talking about? Perhaps the following terms will help.
· A Christian church - Our message is that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.” We require no other creed. He alone is Lord and Savior.
· A church of Christ - The church belongs to Jesus, who is the Christ. We have no authority to change the teachings, rewrite the rules, alter membership requirements, or usurp His place. The church is not a democracy.
· A church seeking unity - Like the Campbells and Stone, members of this church seek to be one in Christ with all others He calls His own.
· A church seeking to restore - As much as possible, we imitate the New Testament precedents. That is why our baptism is by immersion, our Communion is every Lord’s Day, our leaders are called elders, our preaching is about Christ, and our prayers are in Christ’s name. Even our church name is rooted in the earliest days, when disciples were called Christians and their congregations were often addressed as “churches of Christ.”
· An apostolic church - The church, Ephesians 2:20 states, is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.” Whatever we know about Christ and the church we learned from Jesus’ closest companions, the apostles.
· A thinking church - In the same Ephesian letter, Paul prays that God will give a “Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. . . .” Christian faith demands the best our minds can give, so we are a studying church, seeking to apply biblical truth intelligently.
· A feeling church - Ours is not a dryly intellectual approach to God, however. We rejoice and praise and pray and love and serve from the heart. We are unashamed of the gospel and not embarrassed to let our excitement be seen.
· A sharing church - We share our faith and love with as many as we can reach and our possessions as persons who know that everything we have belongs to God to be used for His purposes.
· A free church - We have no bishops or superintendents or national headquarters to determine local church policies. We elect our own leaders, call and support our own ministers, and decide where our mission money will go. We are not isolationists, though. Our congregations freely associate with one another to accomplish tasks too big for one congregation alone.
· A growing church - We want to grow, because we are under Christ’s commission to disciple the world. We haven’t completed the task yet, so Christian churches and churches of Christ are renewing our commitment to go unto the ends of the earth, preaching and baptizing and teaching, until the whole world knows the one Lord of all.