Seeking a Church?
Introduction. If you are seeking a church, what are you looking for? If you are already a member of a church, are they faithfully doing what God would want them to do? There is considerable diversity today regarding the role and activities offered by local churches. Some congregations tend to emphasize improving social conditions and equality in this life while de-emphasizing the authority of the Bible, sin, and moral issues. Some churches have assumed a wide variety of social responsibilities and programs, including providing recreational and social activities, life enrichment seminars, and charitable activities for the community at large.
The list below is not intended to be exhaustive. It is merely a sampling of issues what are encountered more frequently among religious denominations, non-denominational groups, and churches of Christ. Note the hyperlinks below to related topics where you will find additional information to study.
And if you live in the Denver area and are seeking a local church, we'd encourage you to visit us. For more information about us, see the menu bar above under "About Us".
For general material on this subject, see Attendance, Church, The True, Denominationalism, and Liberalism.
The Plan of Salvation. How does the congregation answer the age-old question "…Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16: 30)? Congregations differ widely on the answer. But getting this question right is absolutely critical to our eternal destiny. See "Lessons > Steps to Salvation" choice on the menu bar above.
The Social Gospel. Goes God approve the use of the church treasury and treasury-purchased assets for recreational, entertainment, and/or social activities such as church-sponsored potlucks, kitchens, fellowship halls, gyms, sports teams, and "family life centers"? We believe not. See Church Building, and Social Gospel.
Attitudes toward Worldliness and Morality. Does the congregation have a casual attitude toward matters involving worldliness? We believe the scriptures condemn such attitudes and practices. See Abortion, Attendance, Christian Living, Dancing, Dress, Drinking, Entertainment, Homosexuality, Profanity, Smoking, and Worldliness.
Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage. Under what conditions does God approve of divorce and remarriage to someone else? The scriptures teach God hates divorce. For a scripturally married couple, only the act of fornication allows the innocent spouse to put away the guilty spouse and remarry with God's approval. See Marriage, Family, and Divorce.
Authority, Legalism, and Unity in Diversity. What about congregations that minimize the need for Bible authority and/or minimize religious differences in the name of "unity"? We believe the scriptures emphasize the need for Bible authority in all spiritual matters. Controversial topics need to be openly discussed and not minimized for the same of "unity in diversity". See Authority, Division, Legalism, and Unity.
Congregational Leadership. Can congregations scripturally allow women into various public leadership roles? We believe not. Some congregations have one individual as the sole leader ("pastor"), while others have various leadership titles and/or structures inconsistent with the New Testament pattern. See Church Government, Elders, and Women Leaders.
General Benevolence. Does God approve of the church treasury and treasury-purchased assets being used to provide charity for the general public by means of things such as church-run food banks, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and cash donations? We believe such is an individual responsibility, not a congregational responsibility. See Church Benevolence, and Widows.
Institutionalism. Does God allow churches to support para-religious organizations such as missionary societies, church-supported hospitals, orphanages, homes for unwed mothers, and church-supported colleges? We believe not, either because these works are not the responsibility of the local church (general benevolence, secular education) or because God intends local churches to be His "institution" for proclaiming the Gospel. See Institutionalism - Church Funded, Institutionalism - Privately Funded, and Schools.
Church Autonomy and Sponsoring Churches. Can congregations scripturally pool their resources and perform religious activities under the sponsorship of a particular congregation? We believe not since God intends local congregations to be autonomous. See Autonomy, and Sponsoring Church.
Church Fellowship and Discipline. Does God approve of congregations which freely extend fellowship to prospective members regardless of their background? What about congregations which fail to discipline unrepentant members? We believe God requires local congregations to be careful to practice proper congregational discipline, extending fellowship only to faithful Christians. See Fellowship.
Worship. How does God want people to worship Him? Congregations differ widely in what they do to worship God. Some have both "traditional" and "contemporary" worship services, Sabbath worship, instrumental music, dramas, tithing, candles/incense, "children's church", and a variety of related things which appeal to the audience. But what appeals to God? See Sabbath, Lord's Day, Worship, Giving, Lord's Supper, Music, and Prayer.