Who is the Arlington Church of Christ?

Who is the Arlington Church of Christ?

What is the distinctive plea of the church of Christ?
How is the church organized?
How are the churches of Christ governed?
What does the church of Christ believe about the Bible?
Do members of the churches of Christ believe in virgin birth?
Does the church of Christ believe in predestination?
Why does the church of Christ baptize only by immersion?
Is infant baptism practiced?
Do ministers of the church hear confession?
Are prayers addressed to the saints?
How often is the Lord’s Supper eaten?
What kind of music is used in the worship?
Does the church of Christ believe in heaven and hell?
Does the church of Christ believe in purgatory?
Does the Arlington Church of Christ accept evolution?
By what means does the church secure financial support?
Does the church of Christ have a creed?
How does one become a member of the church of Christ?
What does the Arlington Church of Christ teach about Marriage and sexuality?
Facility Use Policy
Discipline

We believe that all matters of faith and conduct must be evaluated on the basis of the Holy Scriptures, which is our infallible guide (2Timothy 3:16-17). We are motivated in all facets by our faith in Jesus Christ and attempt to serve as a reflection of God’s love for all people. We seek to honor the Lord in all things by operating the Arlington Church of Christ in a manner consistent with Biblical principles. All activities and speech of the Arlington church or its representatives shall be consistent with the Bible and done to further the religious purposes of the church both publically and privately. These activities include overt liturgical religious activities such as preaching, worship, Bible instruction, communion as well as related non-liturgical religious activities such as fellowship events, weddings, or other church events. Arlington Church of Christ conducts all activities in order to further its religious beliefs and commitment to follow the Holy Scriptures. Conveying the Biblical message is at the heart of all we do in life, word, deed, and expression. Therefore all behavior of the members, representatives, or volunteers of the church must be consistent with the Bible and it’s teachings. (James 1:26-27, Mark 16:15-16, Titus 1:7-9, Matthew 28:18-20) The primary, exclusive, and only purposes for which the Arlington Church of Christ is organized are religious in nature, including but not limited to conduction services and supporting outreach, the church being formed to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to render Christian charitable service.

The Arlington Church intends to transmit the words of scripture, the Bible’s moral teachings and values. We do so by engaging in the community and individuals’ lives, acts of worship, and all activities in which we participate. Likewise we believe that the behavior of our members and representatives of the church is to exemplify and express our faith and teaching, both publically and privately. Any member or representative who propounds a different point of view contrary to our beliefs as stated in our teachings will impair the church’s integrity and ability to disseminate the truth of the scriptures and is subject to discipline. (1Peter 2:12, James 4:4, 1 Corinthians 5:11-13) We take very seriously the Church’s charge to be a Christian presence in a secular world. (Matthew 5:13-16) Therefore all activities of the church are done to further its religious purpose and all of our ministries are considered as an outgrowth of the mission of the church to preach, teach, evangelize, and spread the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The teaching and doctrine of the Bible as expressed by the Arlington Church of Christ includes, but is not limited to the following:

What is the distinctive plea of the church of Christ?

It is primarily a plea for religious unity based upon the Bible. In a divided religious world it is believed that the Bible is the only possible common denominator upon which most, if not all, of the God-fearing people of the land can unite. This is an appeal to go back to the Bible. It is a plea to speak where the Bible speaks and to remain silent where the Bible is silent in all matters that pertain to religion. It further emphasizes that in everything religious there must be a “Thus saith the Lord” for all that is done. The objective is religious unity of all believers in Christ. The basis is the New Testament. The method is the restoration of New Testament Christianity.

How is the church organized?

Following the plan of organization found in the New Testament, churches of Christ are autonomous. Their common faith in the Bible and adherence to its teachings are the chief ties, which bind them together. There is no central headquarters of the church and no organization superior to the elders of each local congregation. Congregations do cooperate voluntarily in supporting the orphans and the aged, in preaching the gospel in new fields, and in other similar works. Members of the church of Christ conduct forty colleges and secondary schools, as well as seventy-five orphanages and homes for the aged. There are no conventions, annual meetings, or official publications. The “tie that binds” is a common loyalty to the principles of the restoration of New Testament Christianity.

How are the churches of Christ governed?

In each congregation, which has existed long enough to become fully organized, there is a plurality of elders or presbyters who serve as the governing body. These men are selected by the local congregations on the basis of qualifications set down in the scriptures (1Timothy 3:1-8). Serving under the elders are deacons, teachers, and evangelists or ministers. The latter do not have the authority equal to or superior to the elders. The elders are shepherds or overseers who serve under the headship of Christ according to the New Testament, which is a kind of constitution. There is no earthly authority superior to the elders of the local church. The elders are to have the final authority in determining if a teaching meets the scriptural requirements of conforming to the words of the Bible and seeing that teaching that is consistent with the Bible as the doctrine to be followed by the congregation.

What does the church of Christ believe about the Bible?

The original autographs of the sixty-six books, which make up the Bible, are considered to have been divinely inspired, by which it is meant that they are infallible and authoritative. Reference to the scriptures is made in settling every religious question. A pronouncement from the scripture is considered the final word. The basic textbook of the church and the basis for all preaching is the Bible. (2Tim 3;16-17, 2Tim 2:15)

Do members of the churches of Christ believe in the virgin birth?

Yes. The statement in Isaiah 7:14 is taken as a prophecy of the virgin birth of Christ. New Testament passages such as Matthew 1:20, 25, are accepted at face value as declarations of the virgin birth. Christ is accepted as the only begotten Son of God, uniting in his person perfect divinity and perfect manhood.

Does the church of Christ believe in predestination?

Only in the sense that God predestines the righteous to be eternally saved and the unrighteous to be eternally lost. The statement of the apostle Peter, “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation he that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable unto him” (Acts 10:34-35) is taken as an evidence that God did not predestine individuals to be eternally saved or lost, but that each man determines his own destiny.

Why does the church of Christ baptize only by immersion?

The word baptize comes from the Greek word “baptizo” and literally means, “to dip, to immerse, to plunge.” In addition to the literal meaning of the word, immersion is practiced because it was the practice of the church in apostolic times. Still further, only immersion conforms to the description of baptisms as given by the apostle Paul in Romans 6:3-5 where he speaks of it as a burial and resurrection.

Is infant baptism practiced?

No. Only those who have reached the “age of accountability” are accepted for baptism. It is pointed out that the examples given in the New Testament are always of those who have heard the gospel preached and have believed it. Faith must always precede baptism, so only those old enough to understand, believe, and repent of their sins are considered fit subjects for baptism according to the scriptures.

Do ministers of the church hear confession?

No. Ministers or evangelists of the church have no special prerogatives. They do not wear the title of Reverend or Father, (Matthew 23:9) but are addressed simply by the term Brother as are all other men of the church. Along with elders and others they do counsel and advise those seeking help.

Are prayers addressed to the saints?

No. God the Father is considered the only one to whom the prayers may be addressed. It is further understood that Christ stands in a mediatorial position between God and man (Hebrews 7:25). All prayers are therefore offered through Christ, or in the name of Christ (John 16:23-26).

How often is the Lord’s Supper eaten?

It is expected that every member of the church will assemble for worship on each Lord’s Day. A central part of the worship is the eating of the Lord’s Supper (Acts 20:7). Unless providentially hindered, each member considers this weekly appointment as binding. In many instances, as in the case of illness, the Lord’s Supper is carried to those who are hindered from attending the worship.

What kind of music is used in the worship?

As a result of the distinctive plea of the church – a return to New Testament Faith and practice – acappella singing is the only music used in the worship. This singing, unaccompanied by mechanical instruments of music, conforms to the music used in the apostolic church and for several centuries thereafter (Ephesians 5:19). It is felt that there is no authority for engaging in acts of worship not found in the New Testament. (Prov 30:6, Rev 22:18) This principle eliminates the use of instrumental music, along with the use of candles, incense, and other similar elements.

Does the church of Christ believe in heaven and hell?

Yes. The statement of Christ in Matthew 25:31-46,and elsewhere, are taken at face value. It is believed that after death each man must come before God in judgment and that he will be judged according to the deeds done while he lived (Hebrews 9:27, 1Cor 5:10). After judgment is pronounced he will spend eternity either in heaven or hell.

Does the church of Christ believe in purgatory?

No. The absence of any reference in the scriptures to the temporary place of punishment from which the soul will eventually be released into heaven prevents the acceptance of the doctrine of purgatory. (Luke 16:26)

Does the Arlington Church of Christ accept evolution?

We accept the Biblical account of the Genesis creation as literal history, that the earth was created by God in six literal days, and that the events described in Genesis occurred exactly as they are described. We believe that God created certain ‘kinds’ or species of animals which reproduce according to their ‘kinds’ and cannot cross the ‘kind’ limits placed upon them by God. (Gen 1,2) And we believe that God created mankind as a special creation ‘in his image’ (Genesis 1) and that humans did not arise from some previous earthly life-form.

While understanding that there can be some minor changes within a species, there is absolutely no reference in scripture or evidence produced by science that one ‘kind’ of creature can change into another ‘kind’ – the process called commonly called macro-evolution. Therefore we reject the ‘evolutionary chain’ which promotes the idea that one life form changed over time into another and that man evolved from lower creatures.

By what means does the church secure financial support?

Each first day of the week the members of the church “lay by in store as they have been prospered” (1Corinthians 16:2). The amount of any individual gift is generally known only to the one who gave it and to the Lord. This free-will offering is the only call which the church makes. NO assessments or other levies are made. No moneymaking activities, such as bazaars or suppers, are engaged in.

Does the church of Christ have a creed?

No. At least, there is no creed in the usual sense of the word. The belief of the church is stated fully and completely in the Bible. There is no other manual or discipline to which the members of the church of Christ give their allegiance. The Bible is considered as the only infallible guide to heaven. (2Tim 3:16-17, Prov 30:6, Rev 22:18)

How does one become a member of the church of Christ?

In the salvation of man’s soul there are two necessary parts: God’s part and man’s part. God’s part is the big part, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, that no man should glory” (Ephesians 2:8-9). The love which God felt for man led him to send Christ into the world to redeem man. The life and teaching of Jesus, the sacrifice on the cross, and the proclaiming of the gospel to men constitute God’s part in salvation. Though God’s part is the big part, man’s part is also necessary if man is to reach heaven. Man must comply with the conditions of pardon, which the Lord has announced. Man’s part can clearly set forth in the following steps:

  • Hear the Gospel. “How shall they call on him whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14).
  • Believe. “And without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing unto him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him” (Hebrews 11:6).
  • Repent of past sins. “The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commands men that they should all everywhere repent.” (Acts 17:30).
  • Confess Jesus as Lord. “Behold here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, if thou believeth with all thy heart thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” (Acts 2:36-37).
  • Be baptized for the remission of sins. “And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38).
  • When these conditions are met, the person is added to the church by the Lord. (Acts 2:47)
  • Live a Christian life. “Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life (Rev 2:10)

What does the Arlington Church of Christ teach about Marriage and sexuality?

The Arlington Church of Christ defines marriage as the permanent, exclusive, comprehensive, and conjugal ‘one flesh’ union of a man and a woman as the scripture states – intrinsically ordered to procreation and biological family and in the furtherance of the moral, spiritual, and public good of binding father, mother, and child. (Gen 1:27-28, Gen 2:18-24, Matthew 19:4-9, Mark 10:5-9, Ephesians 5:31-33) Neither the Arlington Church of Christ minister or any of its representatives is to participate in any marriage or ceremony that does not meet the Biblical guidelines of one man and one woman as described above.

The Arlington Church teaches that sexual acts outside marriage are prohibited by the scriptures as sinful. Consequently, members must resist and refrain from any and all sexual acts outside marriage – including adultery, fornication, incest, pedophilia, prostitution, polygamy, sodomy, voyeurism, same-sex acts, and others. (Exodus 20:14, Leviticus 18:7-23, Leviticus 20:10-21, Deuteronomy 5:18, Matthew 5:19, Matthew 5:27-28, Matthew 15:19, Romans 1:26-27, 1Corinthians 6:9-13, 1Thessalonians 4:3, Hebrews 13:4, Galatians 5:19, Ephesians 4:17-19, Colossians 3:5)

The Arlington Church of Christ believes that God created mankind in his image and made them male and female, sexually different and with different roles but with equal personal dignity.

Church members must affirm their biological sex and refrain from any and all attempts to physically change, alter, or disagree with their biological sex by their actions or by other means – i.e. elective sex reassignment, transvestite, transgender, or ‘genderqueer’ acts or conduct. ( Genesis 1:26-28, Romans 1:26-32, 1Corinthians 6:9-11)

The Arlington Church of Christ believes that God created and ordered human sexuality to the permanent, exclusive, and conjugal ‘one flesh’ union of the man and woman as described above. Consequently, church members must affirm the sexual complimentarity of man and woman and resist any and all same-sex attractions and refrain from any and all same-sex acts or conduct, all of which are intrinsically condemned as sinful by the scriptures. (Gen 1:27, Gen 2:24, Matthew 19:4-6, Mark 10:5-9, Romans 1:26-27, 1Corinthians 6:9-11, Ephesians 5:25-27, Revelation 19:7-9, Revelation 21:2)

While all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, it is by belief, repentance, confession, and baptism leading to a faithful life by which one finds redemption. Church members must welcome and treat with respect, compassion, and sensitivity those who may experience same-sex attractions or confess sexually immoral acts but have repented and changed their behavior to resist and refrain from sexual temptation and conformed their lives to the beliefs stated in the Bible as listed above. (Matthew 11:28-30, Rom 3:23, Ephesians 2:1-10, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Hebrews 2:17-18, Hebrews4:14-16, Matthew 6:14-15)

In following the scriptures, the Arlington Church of Christ believes that there are two life-giving options for human sexual behavior : 1 – the conjugal ‘one flesh’ marital union of one man and one woman and 2 – celibacy. Either is a gift from God and is to be affirmed and celebrated within the church. (Matthew 19:4-6, Mark 10:5-8, Matthew 19:12, 1Corinthians 7:1-17)

All members of the Arlington Church of Christ must affirm and adhere to these statements about marriage and human sexuality in order to accomplish the mission given us by our Lord in His Word. Those who do otherwise impede and harm our integrity and purpose. We believe that God’s grace can wipe clean the slate of guilt and sin when one repents and changes their life, although consequences in this life are still incurred due to past behavior. This belief is based on the authority of the infallible and inspired word of God – the Bible. It is our source of morality, belief, conduct, and lifestyle. The words of the Bible are the final authority in all things.

Facility Use Policy

All property of the Arlington Church of Christ, including furniture, fixtures, and equipment, are set apart for use in the worship of God. They are consecrated to God because they are a provision from Him to propagate the faith by fellowship, preaching, teaching, and charity. Therefore all use of the Arlington Church of Christ and its property shall be limited to members of the Arlington Church of Christ for use in the propagation of the belief in the Biblical scriptures as espoused in this document. All use will be exclusively conditioned on whether the use promotes the belief of the Arlington Church of Christ. In addition, all property is exclusively reserved for those who agree to abide by the teachings of the Bible as stated by the Arlington Church of Christ. Church facilities are generally not open to the public and may not be used by persons or groups holding or advancing beliefs that conflict with the church teaching and beliefs. The facilities are intended to further Arlington Church of Christ’s calling to witness to our faith and minister to others through the word. For this reason, church property cannot be used for purposes that contradict the church’s beliefs, which would constitute a grave violation of the church’s faith and religious practices, as well as degrade the church’s integrity. (2Corinthians 6:3, 14, 1Thess 5:22)

The elders of the Arlington Church of Christ have the exclusive power to enforce conformity of belief. In regards to building usage, the elders are to seek to avoid member confusion by allowing the use of the facilities for anything that contradicts the church’s religious teachings. (1Peter 2:12, Colossians 3:17) In the event of disputes, the elders shall resolve any disputes in the use of the church facilities. Anyone using the facilities must adhere to this church policy.

Discipline

Discipline in the Arlington Church of Christ is to be carried out in accordance with the words of scripture stated in Matthew 18:15-17. First going to the person involved privately and attempting to resolve the problem, then if it continues – taking witnesses along to establish the facts of the matter, and if that does not resolve the sinful behavior – the person is to be disfellowshipped. (1 Corinthians 5:11-13) If the person who has sinned by violating the commands of the Bible (as noted by two or three witnesses) is one of the elders or the evangelist, they are to be rebuked publicly. (1Timothy 5:19-20)