Reply to a Church of Christ member re: Jesus is God

While buying my car, of all places, the salesman, whom I briefly knew, and I got into a discussion about Jesus. I do not know much about the church of Christ so was surprised to learn that they do not believe in Jesus as God. He believes the bible and pointed out verses that defend his belief. (ie. the fact the Jesus is referred to as the Son of God, that Jesus said He is going to be with the Father, etc.) They are still waiting for Jesus to come.
I referred him to John 1 (among other verses), which I believe are the most pointed verses for the belief that Jesus and the Father are one; that Jesus is God. My rooted belief that Jesus was both God and man does not fit into his belief. He believes he was man only and even the disciples were able to perform miracles. He does not believe in the trinity and , of course, that is a hard belief to defend, in my estimation, with my limited ability. He said that the Trinity was a belief of the Catholic church and is not definitively designated in the Bible.

I am appealing to those of you that might know more about the Church of Christ than I do to help me , prayerfully, be able to show him our belief based on the scripture. Of course, with his belief based on the scripture I pray that God will show me how to approach him. Thank you for any help you can give.

Lynne Tomarelli
PS I am always amazed at the people God puts into our lives. Perhaps that is the reason I bought the car I did which was not a make I was even seriously considering! Isn’t God spectacular.!

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From my interactions with different people from the Church of Christ, no Church of Christ is the same. Church of Christ are individually governed, therefore there is no set doctrine/belief among them.

My sister-in-law grew up in a Church of Christ, but they were actually alienated from other Church or Christ in the area because their beliefs were more Baptist/evangelical in nature. One example is that they used instruments as opposed to many Church of Christ not using instruments.

I have actually never heard Church of Christ members denying Jesus as God, so it might be worth it to discuss this with other friends you have who go to Church of Christ to see if their beliefs are the same. Long story short, I would be careful to associate one persons belief with an entire church denomination’s beliefs.

Hope this helps!

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Morgan,
Thank you for your input. I do not know any other Church Of Christ members. Apparently all of the churches do not adhere to the same doctrines.
I would then ask as a general question how to respond to someone who does not believe that Jesus is God.
I would appreciate others who may have experience in this area.
Thank you
Lynne T

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Lynne,

I think it depends on the person you are talking with. If you are talking with a confessing Christian I think it might be helpful to ask some clarifying questions such as:

  1. Why do you not believe Jesus is the Son of God?
  2. Do you hold that the Bible is the Word of God?
  3. Does your church teach Jesus is not the Son of God?

I think the answers you receive from these questions might guide your response. If they hold the Bible to be the Word of God, and the only reason they believe different are due to the few verses you mentioned above, you might try to better explain the context of those verses as well as other verses which clearly state Jesus is the Son of God. If they do not hold the Bible to be the Word of God, your answer might be more focused on explaining the authenticity of the Bible. Again, if all depends on the questioner!

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Hi Lynne, I grew up in different Churches of Christ. Most of them are the same, at least in the US. But Morgan is right, they are all individually governed by a board of elders. Even so, most Churches of Christ are the same in most aspects. They take communion every Sunday, sing hymns (there are some that use instruments, but most don’t). They strongly emphasize baptism. They do generally believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit ceased with the apostles, which is one reason I left. I wouldn’t be surprised if many churches are shifting away from some of those more conservative beliefs about music and gifts, but that was my experience. I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, going to a few different Churches of Christ there. My grandpa was a preacher in San Diego, CA for 45 years, and my other grandpa was an elder in one south of Birmingham. We moved to Concord, NC and I went to a Church of Christ here until 2007, when I was 22. My dad is now an elder at that church. There is a college that a lot of people from the Church of Christ go to in Florida called Florida College. I never went there, but I’m 100% sure they teach the doctrine of the Trinity and that Christ is God incarnate, that he is both body and spirit.

I don’t believe that any Church of Christ would hold the beliefs that the salesman had. They all believe in the Trinity, and they all believe that Jesus is God. If there’s a Church of Christ that doesn’t believe that, I would question if it was a different kind of “church”. Maybe he is a Jehovah’s Witness who calls his church the Church of Christ, because that was used in the bible. There are definitely some people who have weird beliefs in every church. But the Churches of Christ teach about the trinity, and Christ’s divinity.

Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe in the trinity, and they believe that Jesus is coming back, but that he is an archangel (I think they believe he is Michael). Then, there’s the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, which is the Morman Church. They do believe in the trinity I think… but I’ve also heard they believe that Jesus and Satan spoke to the Father in the beginning about a plan for the world and they were brothers… So that’s weird.

There’s also the United Church of Christ, which is different from the Church of Christ. I don’t know much about that church. But I’m pretty sure they believe in the trinity and in Christ’s divinity as well.

There are a lot of beliefs that a lot of Churches of Christ hold that I disagree with, like the belief in cessationism (the ceasing of the gifts of the Holy Spirit). I don’t believe it’s wrong to have instruments in worship. And I don’t believe in Amillenialism (the belief that we are in the church age, and there’s no literal millenial reign of Christ on earth. I don’t think everyone in the Church of Christ agrees on that anyway). But I don’t believe any real Church of Christ has any of the beliefs about Christ or the Trinity that the salesman had.

p.s. I’m glad you met this guy! I believe your post inspired me to join.

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Eric,
Thank you so much for your response. You have given me so much useful information. I will be having other discussions with this gentleman, I am sure, so can further find out what his church is all about. He does believe in the Bible so it can be difficult because obviously his interpretation is different but he is fervent in his belief.
His belief is that Jesus is the SON of God and that God raised him from the dead; that even the apostles raised people from the dead, they did not raise themselves. So any help in that area would be appreciated.
Again, thank you for your response.

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