no charge creates more prejudice against a group of people than the
charge that they think there is only one church that is right. This
fact clearly indicates that most Americans consider all churches right.
Is it possible that only one church is right?
least three other questions must be answered before this one can be
there such a thing as right and wrong? Many who complain so
bitterly about such a claim do not believe that anything is absolutely
right or wrong. If there is no right and wrong, then obviously any claim
to be the only right church would be ridiculous. However, if there is a
God and if He created us, then He is the standard of right and wrong
His word is truth
there a right and wrong in religion? Some who accept the concept
of right and wrong in the realm of morals exclude it from religion.
They seem to think that God is so loving and good that He will accept
anything man may do and dedicate to Him. But Jesus warned of false
teachers who would come in sheep's clothing
He stated that worship was made vain by teaching the doctrines of
men (Matthew 15:9).
Paul informed the Galatians that anyone who preached any other gospel
than what he had preached would be accursed
and Peter predicted that there would be false teachers among us
(2 Peter 2:1).
So religious teachings can be false and religious practice can be wrong.
Jesus also said, ``Every plant which my heavenly Father has not planted
will be uprooted''
(Matthew 15:13). This is equal to saying that churches not
planted by the Lord will be rejected.
God designated any exclusives in religion? Consider
``There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in
one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and
Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.'' The
``one'' in these verses obviously means ``one and only one.''
verses do not allow for our modern broad-mindedness. Such
broad-mindedness, however, is not really new; it existed in the first
century among the Ephesians to whom this was written. Paul became the
focus of a riot because he insisted ``that there are no gods made with
hands'' (Acts 19:26).
To put it another way, he preached there was ``one and only one'' God.
The Ephesians were tolerant of many gods, but intolerant of anyone who
said there was only one. Most of us would agree that there is one and
only one God. But the same verses say, ``there is one body.'' What is
this one body? The same writer says in
that God has given Christ ``to be head of all things to the
church which is His body.'' So if there is one body and that body is the
church, this is saying there is one church. If one God means only one
God, then one body means one body or only one church.
the one church? Without doubt, the one body (church) referred to in
was the church than Jesus promised to build
It was to be founded on the fact that He was the Christ, the Son of God.
That church began on the day of Pentecost
when Jesus was first publicly proclaimed to be the Christ, based upon
the facts of His resurrection from the dead. Those who believed asked,
```What shall we do?' Then Peter said to them, `Repent, and let every
one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of
sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit'...Then those
who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three
thousand souls were added to them...And the Lord added to the church
daily those who were being saved''
(Acts 2:37-38, 41,
note that all who were saved were added to the church. It includes all
who were saved, for the Lord added all who were saved to it. But if it
included all who were saved it was not a denomination, for a
denomination by definition is only one part of a whole. Neither was it a
combination of all denominations, nor even an association of local
churches known as ``churches of Christ.'' The one body was made up of
individual members, not of local churches. It was the one true church to
which all who were saved were added. It was that one body described in
this church be identified? Jesus said that the gates of Hades would not
prevail against His church
It must be in existence today. If it is, it has Jesus Christ as its only
Lord and the gospel as its only faith. It is entered by the one baptism,
it still includes all who are saved, and it is not one of many. It is
the body of Christ (Colossians
1:18), Christ's church
the church of God
(Galatians 1:13), the house of God
(1 Timothy 3:15).
It is the one and only church that is right.
Articles by Sewell Hall
Confusion and Transgression
Churches -- God-Centered or Man-Centered
The Church for Everyone