"We have too many men of science; too few men of God. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. Man is stumbling blindly through a spiritual darkness while toying with the precarious secrets of life and death. The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living."
Man is incurably religious. No society of true atheists have ever been found. Why? The Bible says that God "has set eternity in their heart" (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We all have a deep yearning to connect with eternity. We all have an eternal spiritual dimension. We came from someplace and we're going someplace.
God has planted this spiritual quest for meaning in us. Why? "So that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring'" (Acts 17:27-28). Each of us is a forever-living spirit on a journey to eternity. In trouble, haven't you cried out, "Oh God!" This is your spirit searching for God's help.
We can make sense of this life only by looking to the eternal God who made us His moral, spiritual "image" (Genesis 1:27). We, as human beings, are uniquely fitted for a spiritual relationship with God, the "Father of spirits" (Hebrews 12:9). We need to anchor our lives to the unchanging God, "the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity" (Isaiah 57:15).
God made each one of us with a purpose in mind. The wise person will look to His Word for the true answer of where we came from, where we're going and why we are here. What Scripture says, God says: "All Scripture is inspired of God and is profitable " (2 Timothy 3:16). Only God's Word answers life's two most profound questions: "how shall we then live?" (Ezekiel 33:11) and "if a man dies, shall he live again?" (Job 14:14).
Yet, many people are "turned off" to modern, organized religion. John Naisbitt observed that in periods of great social change, organized religion is often unable to meet the depth of man's religious needs (Megatrends 2000, p. 276). Flaws of modern organized religion are moral corruption, hypocrisy, denominational politics, too much emphasis on money and spiritual superficiality. A 1988 Gallup Poll reflects current disillusionment with organized religion. It found almost 60% surveyed complained that religious groups are too concerned with organizational politics and not concerned enough with spiritual issues. The same survey found the lowest church membership affiliation since 1937.
Men often distort and dilute the ideals of God set forth in the Bible. All problems in religion are man's fault, not God's. "O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps" (Jeremiah 10:23). "Christianity has not been tried and found wanting," observed G. K. Chesterton, "it has been found difficult and left untried." The religious movements of men too often taint the truth of God.
We believe, for example, that hypocrisy in religion is not the fault of Christianity, but rather it is a lack of true Christianity. We believe that man-made religious beliefs and practices are the flawed evolution of human denominationalism. Jesus said, "In vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrine the precepts of men" (Matthew 15:9). The opinions and traditions of men are shifting sand (Mark 7:6-9). They cannot save. Did you know that all denominational churches are less than 500 years old? The confusing multitude of conflicting denominations are nowhere found in the Bible.
There is something better than the mediocrity of man-made religious confusion. Many modern religious churches present a contradictory message of how to be saved and how to serve God acceptably. We believe we can peel away the layers of human religious tradition. They obscure the ideals of the gospel of Christ revealed on the pages of the New Testament.
We want you to know that there is a nondenominational group of Jesus' disciples nearby, who are sincerely striving to please God and follow Christ. We're endeavoring to pattern ourselves as a simple, New Testament church of Christ, like you read about in the Bible (Romans 16:16). We're simply Christians, honestly living to "glorify God in this name" (1 Peter 4:16). We have no man-made denominational affiliation, nor are some strange cult.
Our only creed is built upon the truth that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:18). The essence of Christianity is believing in and following Jesus Christ. He is the risen and reigning "King of kings and Lord of lords" (Revelation 19:16). In the practice of pure, New Testament Christianity, we have found forgiveness, spiritual purpose and satisfaction in a right, living relationship with Jesus Christ. He offers just what we need: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:28-29).
Listen to more of Jesus' bold claims: "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst" (John 6:35). Only Jesus can satisfy your spiritual hunger and give strength to live a purposeful life. Jesus also says, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life" (John 8:12). He alone can give you light to live by, while millions grope in turbulent darkness. Again, Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6). He alone came into this world to show us the way back to God. Jesus taught the best way of life, such as loving God foremost means everything else will fall into place (Matthew 22:37-38; 6:33). He taught us to love our neighbor as ourselves (to seek their highest good), to treat others as we wish to be treated, to be honest and forgiving toward others as God has forgiven us, and to be faithful in marriage (Matthew 22:39; 7:12; 5:37; 6:12; 19:4-6). He has changed our life for the better, and He can do the same for you.
Our spiritual quest is directed by Christ's entire Word of the New Testament. We believe we can go back to the Bible and find the ideals of the gospel just as the Lord left them for us to believe and practice. He says, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31-32). We are freed from the problems of sin, self, ignorance and error only when we live under the authority of Jesus' Word, which is the New Testament Scriptures (1 Corinthians 14:34; Colossians 3:16).
We admit that we don't know all the answers, but we do know where to look for them! What we do know has changed our life. We invite you to become a fellow searcher in the liberating quest to restore the transforming ideals of New Testament Christianity.
We lovingly challenge you to read and study the "one faith" that was "once for all delivered" in the New Testament for us read and obey (Ephesians 4:5; Jude 3). Jesus promised the apostles that the Holy Spirit would guide them into "all truth" (John 16:13). Only the truth of God can save your soul (James 1:21). Only the truth of God is tried, true and reliable (Psalm 19:7-8). If it is true, then it is not new. If it is new, then it is not true. By "walking in truth" (2 John 4), your spiritual quest is heading in the right direction.
They cannot save. In the end, the truth of Christ will judge our lives (John 12:48). If one does not love the truth enough to obey it, they will be lost (1 Thessalonians 1:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12). It doesn't matter so much what we think, feel or say about it in religion. "There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death" (Proverbs 14:12). Rather, it is what God's has said about it that matters. Jesus challenges you, "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46).
We have found that with an open Bible and an open heart, the God who made us can meet our deepest needs. We rejoice that someone like you has read this far. You obviously want to better your life. We want to help you discover God's will for your life.
We freely offer several Bible study aids. All our resources are at your spiritual service, free of charge. A local church of Christ is chartered to be "the pillar and support of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:15). The men and women of this congregation would love to personally visit with you, if you so desire. We'd enjoy sitting down with you, at your convenience, to get acquainted and study God's Word with you.
God promised long ago, "And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13). We have discovered that this promise holds true in knowing and obeying Jesus Christ, the living Word who perfectly reveals God. "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). In Him, you will find spiritual fulfillment in your quest.
Searching for spiritual satisfaction? Please, let us hear from you.
By W. Frank Walton