UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

Brief History:

       The United Church of Christ, one of the most progressive denominations today, formed through the merger of two established Christian traditions. The church holds the belief that God still speaks to his followers today. Before being elected President of the United States, Barack Obama was a member of Trinity United Church of Christ on the south side of Chicago, led at that time by the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr.

 

On Tuesday, June 25,1957, at Cleveland, Ohio, the Evangelical and Reformed Church, 23 years old, passionate in its impulse to unity, committed to "liberty of conscience inherent in the Gospel," and the Congregational Christian Churches, 26 years old, a fellowship of biblical people under a mutual covenant for responsible freedom in Christ, joined together as the United Church of Christ. The new church embodied the essence of both parents, a complement of freedom with order, of the English and European Reformations with the American Awakenings, of separatism with 20th-century ecumenism, of presbyterian with congregational polities, of neoorthodox with liberal theologies. Two million members joined hands.

The story of the United Church of Christ is the story of people serving God through the church. Co-President James E. Wagner, a graduate of Lancaster Seminary, parish minister, seminary professor, and instructor in Bible, brought intellectual and spiritual stature, wisdom and brotherly warmth to match the generous personality of Co-President Fred Hoskins, gifted Congregational Christian professor and pastor, of liberal theological orientation and consummate organizational ability.

A message was sent to the churches from the Uniting General Synod, signed by its moderators, Louis W. Goebel and George B. Hastings, its co-presidents, and co-secretaries Sheldon E. Mackey and Fred S. Buschmeyer. After acknowledging the separate ancestries of the parties to the union and citing ecumenical "relatives" of both denominations, the message stated, "Differences in ecclesiastical procedure, which in sundry places and times have occasioned tensions and disorders, are appointed their secondary place and are divested of evil effect." The union, the message continued, was possible because the "two companies of Christians hold the same basic belief: that Christ and Christ alone is the head of the Church ... From him [we] derive the understanding of God, ... participation in the same spirit, the doctrines of faith, the influence toward holiness, the duties of divine worship, the apprehension of the significance of baptism and the Lord's Supper, the observance of church order, the mutual love of Christians and their dedication to the betterment of the world" ("Report on the Uniting General Synod:" Advance, July 12, 1957, p. 22).

A Joint Resolution, declaring the basis of union, adopted by both parties at the Uniting General Synod, said in part: "Delegates of the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the General Council of the Congregational Christian Churches, in joint session assembled this day in the city of Cleveland, Ohio, do hereby declare that The Basis of Union with the Interpretations has been legally adopted ... that the union ... is now effected under the name of 'The United Church of Christ' ... that the union be formally pronounced ... in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit ... that until the adopting Constitution ... The Basis of Union shall regulate the business and affairs of the United Church of Christ .... "

The Second General Synod at Oberlin in 1959 received for study by the churches a first draft of a constitution and approved a Statement of Faith:

                      

 1.The United Church of Christ (UCC), is a denomination that formed through the merger of two established Christian traditions.

Unlike the church of Christ, the United Church of Christ still believes that God still speaks directly to His followers today. The UCC traces their history back to 1957 A.D. in (Cleveland Ohio) with their prominent founders (Robert Browne, William Brewster, John Cotton, Anne Hutchinson, Cotton Mather and Jonathan Edwards).

2.  The United Church of Christ borrows Scripture and Tradition to express its core beliefs. The United Church of Christ urges testimonies of faith instead of tests of faith. New light and understanding are constantly being revealed through interpretation of the Bible, thus no absolute concept of the Bible as a final authority on many beliefs and practices. Individuals are free to live and believe based on their interpretation of God's will for their lives. The United Church of Christ has an earthly headquarters that rule through "Associations, Conferences and General Synod". 

3. The United Church of Christ believes that both men and women occupy the same roles within the church. Therefore women serve not only as preachers but also as bishops along with other roles (titles) that are seen in scripture as only belonging to men. Both men and women wear titles like "Reverend" and "Father" which many in the churches of Christ believe to be erroneous as far as the Bible is concerned (Psalm 111:1-9, Matthew 23:9). To take matters further, in 1972, the UCC was the first denomination in the United States to ordain an openly gay pastor and in 2005 was the first to endorse the fledgling movement to allow civil marriage for same-sex couples! President Barack Obama has been associated with Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ, is there any wonder why he was so passionate about passing "gay" rights and same sex marriage reform? The church of Christ does not endorse same sex marriages and mixed roles of men and women in the church. When many heard that Barack Obama was a part of such a church (United Church of Christ) many confused his membership with those of the church of Christ. Some still do. 

4. The United Church of Christ like other denominations uses instruments in worship. Many use them based on the fact that "David introduced them in the Old Testament" and because they were used by other denominations. The most common reason is because many prefer them as a form of entertainment in worship. The truth is the Bible nor History confirms any use of instruments in the worship of the church found in the New Testament. Unfortunately, like most things over time when men want something they will fight, debate and argue until they get enough people to allow what they want. This may explain why the worship most people see today is a far cry from the worship that is read about in their Bibles. 

5. The United Church of Christ instead, like other religious bodies, teaches, practices and welcomes a divided religion of Christ. This is in contrast to Christ prayer (John 17:17-21) for all to be one, the UCC promotes a belief of many bodies (churches), many faiths (beliefs), many baptisms while professing ONE Spirit, Lord and God!  

6.  Today the United Church of Christ takes in nearly 1 million members in more than 5000 churches in 44 North American states and a few congregations outside of the United States with the highest concentrations on the east coast and in the midwest. 

Wrong Time: 1957 A. D. 

Wrong Place: Cleveland, Ohio (USA)

Wrong Founder: Robert Browne, William Brewster, John Cotton, Anne Hutchinson, Cotton Mather and Jonathan Edwards 

 1.  The church that we find is the Bible are independent Christian congregations linked with one another through distinguished beliefs and practices. Now represented worldwide as various congregations that quickly spreaded around the world out of a desire of people who wanted to go back to the teachings of the Bible (Restoration Movement). The church that we find in the Bible will always be able to  declare biblical foundation for their doctrine and practice and outline their legacy back to the early Christian church as found in the New Testament. This church  regards Jesus Christ as the only head and founder (foundation) of the church which goes back to the 1st century 33 A.D. in (Jerusalem). Matthew 16:18.

2. The Church that we find in Scripture seek to follow the teachings of the Bible being the only source to find doctrine (known abroad as sola scriptura). This Churches  commonly see the Bible as historically authentic and accurate, unless the written context clearly designates differently. Regarding church disciplines, worship, and tradition, there is notable freedom from congregation to congregation in deciphering what is biblically admissible, as congregations are not regulated by an earthly headquarters or denominational authority, since they regard Christ as the only head of the church. Their method to the Bible is inspired by the "assumption that the Bible is sufficiently plain and simple to render its message obvious to any sincere believer". Linked to this is a presumption that the Bible presents an understandable "blueprint" or "constitution" for the church.

We are not to live by our "own" steps (Jeremiahs 10:23) and nor any "Private interpretations" (2 Peter 1:20-21).

 

 

 

 

 

1. Man may believe many things .....yet the Bible says, " Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." (I Corinthians 14:34-35).  Many in the church are now following the constitution "My rights" and the women suffrage movement "Women and do what men do" rather than the Bible. At the end of the day, the Bible still reads the same..."Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence  (I Timothy 2:11-12).

2. While the church loves any sinner but hate any sin, the church can not promote or approve of sin! The gay lifestyle is sinful! (Romans 1:18-26; I Corinthians 6:9-12). 

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They  ADD mechanical music to their worship, although we are NOT to add to divine revelation (Revelation 22:18, 19); and the Bible commands the KIND of music God wants us to use, "Singing." (Ephesians 5:19). 

Not in Christian worship as revealed in Testament. Leading reformist have opposed it, including Charles Spurgeon. The true church of Christ according to scripture did not use instrumental music in worship to God. 

1.  The disciples of Jesus Christ on the earth today knows that the Bible teaches that Jesus built HIS church in the first century (33A.D.) and that ALL of the "churches" or religious organizations are "cistern that can not hold any water". No one can be saved in any of them. The apostle Paul begged that their be NO divisions (denominations)

I Corinthians 1:10-15. Jesus prayed that we all would be ONE (not many -denominations). John 17:17- 21

 

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1. The real church of Christ found in the Bible is UNITED in that fact that there is ONLY ONE Body, ONE Spirit, ONE Hope, ONE Lord, ONE Faith, ONE Baptism, ONE God....If anyone believes in more than ONE Body (church)  then that would explain WHY they would believe in more than ONE faith. To be consistent they would have to believe in more than ONE Lord and ONE God. (Ephesians 4:4-5)