Skip navigation

Have you ever heard that phrase “The ONE TRUE CHURCH” before?

If You have,,, it is most likely that you heard it from a cult member or cult group. ALL cults say they are the “one true Church” (referred to as OTC hereafter). All cults have 3 things in common. 1. The all have distorted teachings about God, specifically Jesus and the Trinity. 2. They all employ a teaching and culture of legalism. And while they may give lip service to “salvation by grace”, they apply a system of salvation by works. 3. They all claim to be “The ONE TRUE CHURCH” !

This idea of the OTC among cults is expressed in many ways, some of them very ambiguously and not always clearly understood by the folks that hear the assertions. The claim to be the OTC by cults, and the many different ways that say or imply it,, is generally called Authoritarianism. Authoritarianism being defined as “Characterized by or favoring absolute obedience to authority, as against individual freedom” (1).

Lets understand how Cults practice authoritarianism by looking at the teachings of their leaders or books. We will see that indeed cults are sectarian and authoritarian in belief and practice,,, claiming that “only they have the ONE TRUE way” and that only through their group, church, or fellowship can anyone be saved. They say only they have authority and salvation is exclusive to, and dependant upon their teachings and membership in their group. They keep their members in bondage by saying that members that leave the OTC, will lose their salvation by doing so.

We will hear it in their own words and then I will share a comment from a friend, that sums up the topic of “The ONE TRUE CHURCH” very well. We’ll look at 3 or 4 of the more well known cults. Lets look at a couple of Mormon quotes first.

Mormons

Joseph Smith claimed that he had seen both God the Father and Jesus Christ and asked these personages which church he should join. He claimed he was told to join none of them, “for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight” (Joseph Smith History 1:19).

“Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth” (Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 14:10).

Notice that the Book of Mormon here is saying that the Christian church is “the whore of all the earth”, “the church of the devil” and “the mother of abominations”.

The Mormon scripture Doctrine and Covenants says the Mormon church, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Later day saints is “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased ….” (1:30)

Clearly Mormonism’s claim has always been that it is the OTC and all others are false and of Satan. For more anti-Christian quotes from Mormon leaders all the way up to the present leadership, see this post on this blog. LINK HERE

Church of Christ

For the Church of Christ, we will refer to section of an article at faithfacts.org @ http://www.faithfacts.org/world-religions-and-theology/church-of-christ#truechurch

The section is appropriately titled,,,,

TRUE CHURCH.

Walter Scott in the preface of his book, The Gospel Restored, said: “In 1827 the True Gospel was restored. For distinction’s sake it was styled the Ancient Gospel.” In a more recent Church of Christ tract, the writer says: “She [the church] was HIDDEN for 1260 years, that she might be protected from the power of the Popes.” Is it true that some within the CC still teach that the true church was really completely hidden for some 1260 years, so hidden in fact that Alexander Campbell had to find a Baptist preacher to baptize him?

Apparently not all CC people have this understanding of the 1260 year church gap. Some only say that the true church existed during those 1260 years, although believers had to worship in secret lest they be persecuted by the apostate Catholic church. But if you do hold to the gap view, what is the meaning of Mat 28:20 (“And lo, I am with you all the days, even unto the end of the age.”)? And Ephesians 3:21 (“Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.”) If the church was in apostasy for centuries, why does Jesus say, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it”?

Is it correct that sometimes the CC considers Christians who “do not walk with you,” as Ketcherside claims (www.freedomsring.org/heritage/chap22.html) to be “hobbyists, or dishonest, or insincere, or sectarians, or unworthy of notice?” Did Jesus die for a particular party within Christendom? Do you know precisely where God would draw the line to eliminate certain people from being considered Christians? How would you define “sect?” Would you define it differently than Cecil Hook (http://www.freedomsring.org/ftc/chap24.html)?

Hasn’t the church always been in need of reform and restoration—even from the beginning, as evidenced by Paul’ letters to his churches? If a man loses his leg, doesn’t he still have the essential nature of a man? If the church loses some correct practices, doesn’t it still have the essential nature of a church (www.freedomsring.org/fic/chap19.html)? The concept of the restoration of the true church is a view that the CC holds in common with Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. If the church only existed in “seed” (meaning the Word) as you say during this church gap period, where in the “seed” does it prophecy that Alexander Campbell and his followers would restore the church? Or where in the “seed” does it authorize anyone to restore the church?

Is it fair to accuse other Christians groups of being started by men, when history clearly shows that the Church of Christ was started by men—Thomas and Alexander Campbell on May 4, 1811?

How does the Bible differentiate between joining a local congregation and joining the universal church of Christ (http://www.freedomsring.org/ftc/chap22.html)

Jehovah Witness’s

“It should be expected that the Lord would have a means of communication to his people on the earth, and he has clearly shown that the magazine called The Watchtower is used for that purpose.” (1939 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses, p. 85.)

“Make haste to identify the visible theocratic organization of God that represents his king, Jesus Christ. It is essential for life. Doing so, be complete in accepting its every aspect.” The Watchtower, October 1, 1967, p. 591.

“We cannot claim to love God, yet deny his word and channel of communication.” The Watchtower, October 1, 1967, p. 591.

Only this organization functions for Jehovah’s purpose and to his praise. To it alone God’s Sacred Word, the Bible, is not a sealed book. The Watchtower; July 1, 1973, pp. 402.

“We all need help to understand the Bible, and we cannot find the Scriptural guidance we need outside the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ organization.” (The Watchtower, Feb. 15, 1981.)

“Thus the Bible is an organizational book and belongs to the Christian congregation as an organization, not to individuals, regardless of how sincerely they may believe that they can interpret the Bible.” The Watchtower, Oct. 1, 1967. p. 587.
Just like the Mormons, the COC and all of the Christian Cults of the restoration movement started by Alexander Campbell, the JW’s also claim to be the ONE TRUE CHURCH.

Lets look at one more cult and then I will give you my friends wise summary of all of this.. This next cult is thought by some well respected Christians to not be a cult,, but it is in both doctrine and it’s authoritarianism and claim to be the OTC.

Seventh Day Adventist (SDA)

For the SDA we will refer to a section of an article by McGregor ministries @ http://www.macgregorministries.org/seventh_day_adventists/sda_facts.html

What facts won’t they tell you?

They won’t tell you that they consider themselves to be the only, true, remnant Church. Their prophetess, Ellen G. White, whom they revere and believe without question has told them that
“…Satan has taken full possession of the Churches”. (Spiritual Gifts V.l,p.189-90)
They also believe our prayers are an “abomination” to God. (Spiritual Gifts, V1 p.190).

That is what they think of you and your church, even if they won’t say it out loud in public, or to your face.
They revere their founding prophetess, Ellen G. White, and made this statement in their “Ministry” Magazine of Oct. 1981 and have never retracted it:
“We believe the revelation and inspiration of both the Bible and Ellen White’s writings to be of equal quality. The superintendence of the Holy Spirit was just as careful and thorough in one case as in the other”.

They won’t tell you too much about Ellen G. White at their public seminars, but their goal is to bring the person attending to the point of conversion and baptism.
Their 2000 baptismal certificate poses questions to which the candidate must answer “yes”. Question 8 says,

“Do you accept the biblical teaching of spiritual gifts and believe that the gift of prophecy is one of the identifying marks of the remnant church”.

If the candidate says “yes” and is baptised, they soon learn that the “gift of prophecy” is Ellen G. White’s writings. Point 13 has them accepting that the SDA Church is the remnant church of Bible Prophecy. They have been baptized into an exclusive group, but they don’t know how exclusive it is, yet!

No doubt they will be urged to avail themselves of a “Clear Word Bible”. This publication of theirs has inserted the words and doctrines of Ellen G. White right into the Bible text, insuring that the person studying it will have the mind of Ellen G. White.
Slowly, but surely, the new SDA will come to believe these extra-biblical doctrines that set the SDA church apart from Evangelical Christianity.

Summary conclusion My friend Katherine wrote the following about “the True Church” and she did such a good job I asked her if I could include her words here in this article. Katherine says,,,

The One True Church is easy…..there will be many that are members of the One True Church….they will come from all over the World…..God knows each and everyone of them because He is the only one that knows their heart………
They come from every denomination….from every walk of life….they are rich and poor…lame and weak but very rarely strong except that because of Jesus they have become stronger and richer than they ever imagined…beyond what they could ever conceive….this is the reason they continue to want to tell others about the Love Christ has for them….so they can know also.. God wants none to perish but many will, simply because of PRIDE……

Any denomination that has rules and regulations that do not match up with the Word of GOD…..is not TRUTH….and just about every denomination has one rule that does not match with the Word……some have so many they have become cultist….. now if this rule is a rule that is a salvation rule or says that if you do not do so and so..you are not saved or if you do not belong to this denom or that denom you are not saved….well they do not match up to the Word Of GOD……the Bible is Black and White…..it is man that blurs the Word …..If you truly love one another, understanding will fall into place….God is Love….If you Love…..you will know GOD…….it seems that pride is always out front……and this is sad…….

There are two types of churches……

Church…a building with a name and lots of different people attend……saved and unsaved….

Church…..the only members of the body of Christ….they come from everywhere….and some don’t even attend a church building…….real simple

Advertisements

19 Comments

  1. Your understanding and representation of the CofC is not
    true and rather lopsided, with all due respect.

    • damonw
    • Posted January 7, 2010 at 4:29 pm
    • Permalink

    With all due respect Terry. I did not write the portion of the article about the CoC. But it is spot on right,, in my experience. I have several writings of my own about the CoC here on this blog. Feel free to take a look and speak up. Thanks for visiting.

  2. First, let me say I am a retired army chaplain. So, I have much experience dealing with people of different faiths. I grew up in the CofC, and much of my higher education is from CofC related schools–AA and MDiv degrees.

    Second, no congregation has any control/authority over any other congregation. Our ONLY authority is on the local level (and of course, from heaven above).

    Third, the Churches of Christ have no creed or manual. We serve only under the Bible.

    Fourth, sure the CofC has our share of arrogant, self-serving members, even whole congregations–as do the Baptists, Methodists, etc, etc. Bad apples do not make the entire barrel rotten. If so, I’ll gladly take a look at all the members belonging to your church/organization.

    I admit we have and have had argumentative, arrogant members, but that does not represent the total of the CofC.

    I look forward to your comments.

    Thanks…Terry

    • damonw
    • Posted January 8, 2010 at 2:01 am
    • Permalink

    First,, what does your education and experience have to do with anything? HHHmmm 🙂

    Secondly, Autonomy has it’s bad and good sides. I am well aware of CoC local autonomy. But it is just a veneer.

    Thirdly, CoC even has their own scholars, colleges and commentaries. I think “bible things by bible names” is cultic “ONE TRUE CHURCH” rhetoric.

    Forthly, I am aware that not all CoC churches are the same, and that all people groups have their jerks. But my studies and interactionS with CoC members leads me to believe that 20-70- percent of all CoC churches would be rightfully descripted as cultic,, in a theological sense.

  3. My education and experience say I am not stupid and am quite familiar with lots of different religious beliefs.
    And for you (hmmmm), I don’t believe a person needs education or experience to be a Christian.

    Just a veneer–I see words come easy with you, my new friends.

    When I was in Graduate school, I think we used one text book written by a CofC “scholar”. The rest were written by others outside the CofC. But, that CofC scholar had two PhDs, from Harvard and Hebrew Union.

    WADR, 20 to 70 percent is a ridiculous range.

    Enough of this nonsense. What it all comes down to is what we believe and teach/preach. According to you, my new friend, what do we teach that you think is not in the Bible? In the end, that is what really matters….

    I look forward to your remarks and thanks for your time and thoughts.

    Terry

  4. I wish your website had spell check. It is difficult to write and not have time to recheck and correct mistakes in spelling.

    Terry

    • damonw
    • Posted January 8, 2010 at 3:56 pm
    • Permalink

    Hi Terry, Try Firefox browser. It has spell check built in.

  5. I got your email about Fire Fox, but my reply would not go through…something about permanent failure.

    I don’t know.

    Terry

    • damonw
    • Posted January 8, 2010 at 4:23 pm
    • Permalink

    “My education and experience say I am not stupid and am quite familiar with lots of different religious beliefs.
    And for you (hmmmm), I don’t believe a person needs education or experience to be a Christian.

    Just a veneer–I see words come easy with you, my new friends.”

    You don’t think someone has to have a theological education to not be stupid do you?

    “When I was in Graduate school, I think we used one text book written by a CofC “scholar”. The rest were written by others outside the CofC. But, that CofC scholar had two PhDs, from Harvard and Hebrew Union.

    WADR, 20 to 70 percent is a ridiculous range.”

    In my stupidity I made a mistake. 100% of CoC members I have interacted with would fit the term cultic. The 20 to 70 percent figures is from two exCoC members.

    I noticed you did not deny that “CoC even has their own scholars, colleges and commentaries”. So much for autonomy based solely on the bible. I love rhetoric.

    “Enough of this nonsense. What it all comes down to is what we believe and teach/preach. According to you, my new friend, what do we teach that you think is not in the Bible? In the end, that is what really matters….”

    With all cultic groups,,, truth is mixed with error,, how much poison must be added to water to make it deadly? Yes I disagree with salvation by works, baptismal regeneration and the ONE TRUE CHURCH RHETORIC,, among other teachings that are not coming to my just woke up brain. You could have just said,, no we are not the one true church,, but it don’t look like your going in that direction.

    • damonw
    • Posted January 8, 2010 at 4:30 pm
    • Permalink

    Hi Terry,, It came through on this end.

  6. I think I am going to enjoy this discussion. Thanks for sharing with me.

    “You don’t think someone has to have a theological education to not be stupid do you?” With all due respect, that cynical remark does not even make sense.

    I did NOT say you were stupid; I said your percentage range was ridiculous. I would never draw conclusions based on numbers as low as TWO, either.

    Cooperation (scholars, colleges and commentaries) does not deny autonomy. None of these are binding on anybody in the Churches of Christ. They are only aids and helps. If you take time to research, you will find differences of OPINION in them. The Bible is our standard of authority.

    “With all cultic groups,,, truth is mixed with error, how much poison must be added to water to make it deadly?” So goes a statement without any support (yet).

    We do not believe in salvation by works or baptismal regenerarion. Besides, those are “hate terms” (WADR) you want to throw in my face.

    The New Testament does NOT teach either of the two doctrines you brought up, nor do the Churches of Christ.

    A long time ago, one of our better known preachers made this comment, “we are Chritians only, but not the only Christians”. The Church of Christ does not make up the whole body of Christ or kingdom of God. All who strive to follow God are pleasing to Him. However, grace does not cover willful sin or willful ignorance.

    WE ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES GOING TO HEAVEN!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I look forward to your reply.

    Terry

    • damonw
    • Posted January 8, 2010 at 5:12 pm
    • Permalink

    ““You don’t think someone has to have a theological education to not be stupid do you?” With all due respect, that cynical remark does not even make sense.

    I did NOT say you were stupid; I said your percentage range was ridiculous. I would never draw conclusions based on numbers as low as TWO, either.”

    I knew I should have not accepted your comment when you first made the comment about your education and then followed up with “I was trying to show I am not stupid”. To be honest,, it ain’t a bright idea starting a discussion with your credentials and the inference that non educated folks are stupid. It clearly indicates less than respectable motives. I figure a smart person like you could figure out that it ain’t nice to stack the deck,,, and that proof by educational status is a logical fallacy.

    I am glad you say the CoC is not the only people groups that will make it to heaven. You stand head and shoulders above all the other CoC I have met. But I am still waiting to see you start talking out of the other side of your mouth and do the CoC circular semantical shuffle. It’s a great dance.

    So which people groups do you think will make it to heavan? Baptist,, Methodist,, Lutherans??? IOW,, besides the CoC,, which groups follows and teaches saving doctrines besides the CoC? And why did you not just join one of those groups?

  7. Please, stop putting words in my mouth. I did NOT say uneducated people are stupid, you did. I noted my experience and education to show YOU that I am very familiar with what the Church of Christ teaches and what other religious groups teach. You sound to me like you are a little ashamed of your lack of education and experience. You are not following me very closely. Me thinks you looketh for things to throweth in my face. ;-))

    Please, stop trying to prejudge me. You don’t know my heart or my intents. Give it a rest, please.

    Do you think God expects us to obey Him? Obedience is where I am headed, along with grace. I don’t particularly care about groups. I am a member of the Church of Christ because I believe it is the nearest to what the NT teaches.

    Forgive me for being so blunt, but personally I think you asked for it. ;-))

    Terry

  8. BTW, what church/religious organization are you a member of?

    Thanks…Terry

    • damonw
    • Posted January 8, 2010 at 5:51 pm
    • Permalink

    Do you really think that one must be educated to be “very familiar with what the Church of Christ teaches and what other religious groups teach.” LOL There simply is no need to name your education level. It is irrelevant unless your making a ploy.

    “Do you think God expects us to obey Him? Obedience is where I am headed, along with grace. I don’t particularly care about groups. I am a member of the Church of Christ because I believe it is the nearest to what the NT teaches.”

    AHH HA,,, There goes the obfuscation. Claiming that the CoC are not the only ones that will be saved but yet you fail to list those other people groups that will be saved. IOW,,, you just admitted that when you said CoC is not the only ones saved,,, you was peeing on my leg telling me it is raining.

    How much obedience must you do to be saved,,, 50%, 90 % 100%??

    Rom 4:4-5 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

    Rom 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

    Now lets cut to the chase. WHAT ARE YOU HEAR FOR? You started out saying I did not know what I was talking about concerning the CoC in my post,, not even noticing that I did not write the section about the CoC (should have been obvious to an intellectual man like yourself). So what about the CoC that in is the post that you do not agree with?

    Are you denying the CoC place in the restoration movement? Which “restoration” church is the true one??? Mormons, SDA, JW’s,,, or just the CoC?

    FOR THE READERS: http://how2becomeachristianblog.com/the-heresy-of-restorationsim/

    • damonw
    • Posted January 8, 2010 at 6:00 pm
    • Permalink

    How is that relevant to the CoC and the discussion? Every CoC member I have met likes to try to prove the CoC right by proving someone else to be wrong. I am a member of one specific group but have fellowship with ALL mainline denominations.

  9. Are you ashamed of your church/group?
    Name it, man. It balances the discussion. friend.

    You are not being honest; you are arrogant and pigheaded. I am trying to get this discussion to the Bible and specifics, and you are doing everything in the world to avoid that.

    You still do NOT know what the CofC teaches, and further more, you really don’t what to know.

    Still, are you so ashamed of your lack of educationa and experience? Really, what are you afraid of, man. The truth. The truth will set us free, but it won’t if you stick you head in the sand.

    I’m moving on, friend. YOU ARE NOT open-minded and not yet ready to be truthful. You are not ready to go to the Bible and discuss the specifics. What are you afraid of?

    Now, you can tell all your friends, you have been “hurt” by another one of those awful CofC people. However, you can tell them also you were not READY to talk with him.

    You can not get past me; we will never get to the Bible.

    thanks but so long

    When you have a web site and make accusations and have a comment section, you should be ready for what comes along.

    God bless, and may He open you heart.

    Terry

    • damonw
    • Posted January 8, 2010 at 6:34 pm
    • Permalink

    “Are you ashamed of your church/group?
    Name it, man. It balances the discussion. friend.”

    My denominational affiliation has ZERO to do with the CoC.

    “You are not being honest; you are arrogant and pigheaded. I am trying to get this discussion to the Bible and specifics, and you are doing everything in the world to avoid that.

    You still do NOT know what the CofC teaches, and further more, you really don’t what to know.”

    I could throw some ad hominems your way too. But what will that accomplish? I know what the CoC teaches,, and I also know that you guys are kings at talking out of both sides of your mouth. You say others besides the CoC will be saved,,, but that is just idle talk since your unwilling to name those other groups that hold to saving doctrines.

    “Still, are you so ashamed of your lack of educationa and experience? Really, what are you afraid of, man. The truth. The truth will set us free, but it won’t if you stick you head in the sand.

    I’m moving on, friend. YOU ARE NOT open-minded and not yet ready to be truthful. You are not ready to go to the Bible and discuss the specifics. What are you afraid of?

    Now, you can tell all your friends, you have been “hurt” by another one of those awful CofC people. However, you can tell them also you were not READY to talk with him.”

    I am not afraid of anything in this discussion, but wasting my time,, is that why your here. FYI,, I have never had a CoC member “hurt me”,,,, and you certainly have not. Don’t think so highly of yourself.

    “You can not get past me; we will never get to the Bible.

    thanks but so long

    When you have a web site and make accusations and have a comment section, you should be ready for what comes along.”

    I am the only one to have posted any bible at this point. Your just trolling seeking to evoke and emotional response. But it’s OLD HAT. This site is for seekers,, not died in the wool sectarians.

    I pray God will open your eyes to your delusion.

    • damonw
    • Posted January 8, 2010 at 8:05 pm
    • Permalink

    Terry,, when you say your finished,,, BE FINISHED. 😉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: