Why you call your Church Iglesia ni Cristo or Church of Christ—you use Christ's name in the name of your religion—when you believe that Jesus is not God?
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The Name of the Church

Letter to the Editor:
PASUGO, March 2001, p.2

I WOULD LIKE to know why you call your Church Iglesia ni Cristo or Church of Christ—you use Christ's name in the name of your religion—when you believe that Jesus is not God?  Also, shouldn't the Church be called "Church of God" as stated by Apostle Paul in Galatians 1:13, I Corinthians 10:32 and II Thessalonians 1:4?

Romeo Estores

Editor's reply:

     The Church of Christ upholds to belief that the Lord Jesus Christ is a human and is not God. Jesus Himself attested to this (Jn. 8:40). It was also who He introduced the Father in heaven – and not Himself – as the only true God whom people should recognize (Jn. 17:1, 3).

     Regardless of His state of being, however, Christ is the founder of the Church. This justifies the fact that the Church was called after His name – Church of Christ. In Matthew 16:18, the Lord declared that He would build his Church when He said, “…I will build My church” (New King James Version). Since He called it “My church,” it is biblically sound that the Church be named after Him.

     Moreover, Apostle Paul gave emphasis on the relationship existing between the Church and its founder, Christ:

     “The mystery is very great, but I speak concerning [the relation of] Christ and the church.” (Eph. 5:32, Amplified Bible)

     Since Christ is the head of the Church, which is His body (Col. 1:18, 24), it is logical to call that body after its head – body of Christ, Church of Christ. Apostle James further taught that true Christians are called by the name of Christ (Js. 2:7, Amplified Bible). Thus, when Apostle Paul greeted the early Christians, he addressed them as “churches of Christ” (Rom. 16:16), referring not to many churches but to the many members of the Church.

     When Apostle Paul called the Gentile Christians as “church of God” in Galatians 1:13;  I Corinthians 10:32, and II Thessalonians 1:4, it was to emphasize among the Gentile converts.

     Remember that the Gentiles, prior to their conversion in Christianity, were pagans who used to be “carried away from these dumb idols” (I Cor, 12:2, NKJV). They did not have the right to worship or deify the true God then and, hence, were described in that earlier state as “without hope and without God” (Eph. 2:11-12, Today’s English Version). But when they received the gospel and became members of Christ’s Church, the Gentiles were already recognized by God as His people (Rom. 9:24-26, NKJV) who belonged to the Church of Christ (Rom. 16:4, 16).

     Thus, by addressing them as “church of God,” Apostle Paul wanted the Gentiles to realize that they no longer belong to the worship of dumb idols, but to the Almighty God. Moreover, in using the designation “church of God” for the members of the Church of Christ, Apostle Paul was merely emphasizing that those who are of Christ are also of God. Rightly so, for this what Jesus Himself testified:

     “I have made you known to those you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me … I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but those you gave me, for they belong to you. All I have is yours, and you all you have is mine; and my glory is shown through them.” (Jn. 17:6, 9-10, TEV)


Bible Study Suggestion: If you have further questions, please feel free to visit the Iglesia ni Cristo congregation nearest you. A minister or an evangelical worker would be happy to answer any biblical question you have in mind. For the latest Worship Service Directory of Iglesia ni Cristo Locales and Congregations outside the Philippines, please visit www.iglesianicristoworshipservice.com or just click link at home page.

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