We in churches of Christ who hew to the “old paths and the good ways” are often asked why we do not work with the denominations. It is not a selfish spirit on our part, but a matter of principle. Personally I had rather mingle with all mankind as much as possible than to live in seclusion. But I must abide by the Word of God and not my own feelings. First Peter 4:11 tell; us we must “speak as the oracles of God.” First Peter 3:15 tells me to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope.” This means I should be able to give a Bible answer for everything we do or refuse to do. Therefore we do not at any time fellowship any religious program of or with the denominations because:
The denominational world has not obeyed the gospel as revealed in the “Great Commission.” If they have, we are not preaching the truth. If we are preaching the whole truth, they lack the obedience that the Lord requires. Read Acts 2:38, Romans 6:3-4, and Romans 6:17. The denominations teach that the things commanded in these passages are “non-essential” to salvation. Can we then fellowship bodies of people who deny these plain Scriptures?
The denominations, we admit, use many unscriptural things in their worship and work: Instrumental music, societies usurping the work of the church, human names, creeds, confessions of faith, sensational means of getting a crowd, recreational activities—ball teams, youth camps, car ashes and rummage sales to finance the work and activities of various roups in the church, Junior church services, special devotionals for youth (corporate worship is not sufficient), down grading God’s simple worship and substituting Choirs, choruses, and other entertainment. We have spent years teaching and debating that these things are wrong. Now, if we take part with them in these unscriptural practices (you will be forced to take part in some of them, if you work with any denomination in the country, they will lot leave them off in order to get you to work with them), how can we convince them that they are unscriptural?
Paul said, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord” (Col. 3:17). To do a thing in the name of Christ is to do it by His Authority! Can we enter into any unscriptural practices by the authority of Jesus Christ? If so, where is it found in the Bible?
John said, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God” (2 John 9). Denominations do not abide in the doctrine of Christ. They have added things He never authorized, viz. Instruments, etc. Let us hear John again: “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (2 John 10-11).
Briefly, these are a few, among many, of our reasons for not working with the denominations in a religious way. We have friends and relatives among the denominations. We love and enjoy them, but we cannot fellowship them in their religious beliefs and activities. To have fellowship with them is sinful (Eph. 5:11).