About the church of Christ in The Hague
We started out in The Hague in the sixties as a new type of church: we don't consider ourselves to be a denomination, we merely want to be Christians. Not the only Christians but Christians only.
The church of Christ originated from the Restoration Movement, a movement in the UK and the US that sought to unify Christians by going back to the model of the New Testament church. This resulted in many autonomous churches where only the Bible is seen as authoritative.
Today there are thousands of churches of Christ with about 2-3 million members worldwide. In The Netherlands there are about 6 churches which consider themselves to be just churches of Christ.
God: There is one Creator God – all knowing, all loving, all present, all powerful. Humans have encountered Him in history and scripture in three distinct persons, The Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Jesus: The gospel is the good news that Jesus, the Son of God, came to live as a human on earth, died and was raised from the dead on the third day, ascended to heaven, and will return again in power and glory.
Spirit: The Holy Spirit dwells within every follower of Jesus in order to counsel, equip, empower, guide, and transform each believer into the likeness of Jesus. The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to mature and build up the church for the work of God in the world.
The Bible: The Bible is the word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and is a vital component for helping us understand God as well as God’s will for our lives.
The Church: Jesus is the head of the church. The church is the body of Christ, called by God, and sent by God to bless the world and bring glory to God. The church are the people who join God in the battle agaist evil, both in their own lives and in the world at large. We hold as our ideal the purity of the church on the day of its inception and practice believer’s baptism by full immersion (Acts 2).
'In essentials unity, in opinions liberty, in all things love.'
Some general principles of the church of Christ in The Hague
The church of Christ was established on the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus Christ as described in Acts of Apostles Chapter two.
Based on the practice of the New Testament churches, one is added to the church of Christ by the Lord himself. I Corinthians 12, verse 18; Acts of Apostles 2, verse 47. The New Testament Christians heard the gospel, Acts of Apostles 8, verses 5 and 6; believed in Jesus as God's Son, Acts of Apostles 16, verse 31; repented of their sins, Acts of Apostles 2, verses 38; confessed that Jesus is the Christ, Romans 10, verses 9 and 10; and were baptized for the forgiveness of their sins, Acts of Apostles 2, verse 38; and 22, verse 16. Based on God's Word, the Bible, these believers baptize by complete immersion, Romans 6, verses 3 through 7. and reject, consequently, infant baptism and sprinkling.
The purpose of the church is to worship God. According to the New Testament, the first Christians came together on the first day of the week to break bread (observe the Lord's Supper) Acts of Apostles 20, verse 7; I Corinthians 11, verses 23 through 30. They pray together in the name of the Lord for all people, kings and all dignitaries, that they may lead a quiet and peaceful life, I Timothy 2, verses 1 through 6. They sing Psalms and hymns, Ephesians 5, verse 19; Colossians 3, verse 16. When members of the Church of Christ sing songs, they do that without instrumental accompaniment. They announce or preach the gospel of the risen Lord, I Corinthians 15, verses 1 through 8. During the worship service on the first day of the week each member has the opportunity to give to the work of the Lord according to his ability, I Corinthians 1h, verses 1 and 2; II Corinthians 9, verses 5, 6, Further, the churches of Christ have as purpose benevolence, Matthew 25, verses 31 through 46; Galatians 6, verses 9 and 10; James I, verse 27; and the preaching of the gospel to all people (missionary work) Matthew 28, verses 18, 19 and 20; Mark 16, Acts of Apostles 10, verses 34 and 35.
Organizationally, each congregation forms an autonomous unit. She knows elders and deacons according to Acts of Apostles 20, verses 17 through 35, I Timothy 3, verses 1 through 13; Titus 1, verses 5 through 9; I Peter 5, verses 1 through 14. Neither among the elders or among the deacons is there any distinction made; no one is regarded as head but all work together as brothers to carry out the activities of the church in agreement with the inspired examples or teachings in the Bible. The elders have the oversight of the congregation, I Peter 5, verses 1 through 3. There is always a plurality of elders and deacons in a congregation. The number is specified by each congregation separately, depend on the number of brothers who are qualified according to the texts and the number of members in the local church. She knows preachers or evangelists and teachers in addition to the members. When there are no brothers who meet the qualifications for elders as specified in the above texts, the local church is led temporarily by the capable brothers and evangelists.
The Bible as a guide
Members of the churches of Christ view and use the Bible, God's Word, as a complete and perfect book, Revelation 22, verses 18 and 19; and 11 Timothy 3, verses 16 and 17. The Bible contains God's plan of salvation for people; what they must do to worship God; and in every way they can do good work. II Timothy 3, verses 15, 16 and 17. They do not use any books or articles written by people as authoritative, since these cause disunity among the believers.
See also gemeentevanChristus.nl