The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

What church, is the only church spoken of in the bible?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/22/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 869 times Debate No: 95570
Debate Rounds (4)
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What church, is the only church spoken of in the bible? The only church is the church of Christ, because the bible states it, Romans 16:16, therefore, the only church is the church of Christ.


As there has been no structure elaborated in the arguments or debate setup, I'll simply begin by just playing CON to PRO's position as he posts them. As such, I'll address what's written so far.

Romans 16:16 paraphrased from the many interpretations generally reads as: "Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you." I will assume "the only church is the church of Christ" references the collective churches of Christ of the restoration movement that began in the 19th century. I would say that no other section of Romans makes such a by-name statement so far forward into the future with such specificity. By this reason alone, I would suggest that Romans 16:16 is a woefully inappropriate foundation to make such a claim.

Additionally, Matthew 16:18 is a large brick in the foundation of apostolic succession which is utilized by the many churches which claim to be the one true church. Addressing simply the foundations of this debate, I therefore refute the original claim by PRO that the church of Christ is the only church.

The church of Christ referenced by PRO, particularly in Romans 16:16, is not the church spoken of in the Bible.
Debate Round No. 1


The bible shows only "one church " being spoken of in the New Testament.

I will present scripture and evidence outside of scripture to prove my proposition that the bible speaks of the church of Christ being the one church that the bible speaks of being the only church spoken of in the bible.

1. I will prove my opponents claims to be false on the following.
a. That the churches of Christ, Romans 16:16, is not the church spoken of in the New Testament
b. That the church of Christ is the church spoken of in the restoration in the 19th century.
c. That the apostolic succession is not spoken of in the bible.


The church is the body of Christ.

The church is the body of Christ, and was established on the day of Pentecost in which you can see that the first three thousand that day were added to it in, Acts 2:38-47, this verse also shows how one must be saved.

Matthew 16:18 | View whole chapter | See verse in context
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Matthew 18:17 | View whole chapter | See verse in context
And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

Acts 2:47 | View whole chapter | See verse in context
Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Acts 5:11 | View whole chapter | See verse in context
And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

Acts 7:38 | View whole chapter | See verse in context
This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:

Acts 8:1 | View whole chapter | See verse in context
And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.

Acts 11:22 | View whole chapter | See verse in context
Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.

Acts 11:26 | View whole chapter | See verse in context
And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

Acts 12:1 | View whole chapter | See verse in context
Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.

Acts 12:5 | View whole chapter | See verse in context
Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

Acts 13:1 | View whole chapter | See verse in context
Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

Acts 14:23 | View whole chapter | See verse in context
And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed

Romans 16:16 | View whole chapter | See verse in context
Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.

Ephesians 4:16 - From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

1 Corinthians 12:27 - Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

Colossians 1:18 - And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.

Romans 12:3-5 - For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. (Read More...)

1 Corinthians 1:10 - Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and [that] there be no divisions among you; but [that] ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Ephesians 4:1-6 - I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, (Read More...)

1 Corinthians 11:27-30 - Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink [this] cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. (Read More...)


My opponent claims that the church of Christ is the church spoken of in the restoration in the 19th century, and I will prove that to be false.

First the bible shows when the church was established.

a. The bible states church of Christ and was established on the day of Pentecost in which you can see that the first three thousand that day were added to it in, Acts 2:38-47,

b. St. Ives, Cambridgeshire, England where in the 1650s for a few months a 'church of Christ' met before moving to a house nearby.

c. James Bainham, by profession a barrister, preached at the Bow Lane (London) Church of Christ, was after torture burned for preaching the gospel, in 1532.

d. In 1529, Simon Fish a barrister by profession and one of the preachers at the Bow Lane Church of Christ (London) wrote his work, titled 'The Summe of the Holye Scripture.'

e. Tottlebank church of Christ

Below, John Rawlinson"s farm house at Tottlebank, where the congregation first met in about 1669.

f. Like the Hillcliffe and Chesterton, Cambridge congregations, they are interesting on six accounts:

1/ They were autonomous.

2/ They practised baptism by immersion for remission of sins.

3/ They met prior to the continental Anabaptists who date their appearance to January 21, 1525.

4/ They were pre-Reformation 1517.

5/ They were pre-English separation (1596).

6/ They saw themselves as the true Church of Christ, not a denomination.

My opponent claims the apostolic succession to be true, which I claim is false, and here's why.

1. It is written, "Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword" (Acts 12:1-2). There is absolutely no record, not even the slightest implication, that a replacement apostle was named when James was murdered.

Judas Iscariot was succeeded, but it was not his death which prompted the vacancy. In the process of replacing him, the eleven prayed and spoke of the "apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell" (Acts 1:25). It was not his death, but his sin which removed Judas from office. Therefore, to suggest a need for modern apostles is to incriminate all previous apostles.

2. The Qualifications of Apostleship are No Longer Attainable

When the eleven sought out Judas' successor, they identified the qualifications, saying, "Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection" (Acts 1:21-22). The criteria for an apostolic candidate were that the man was a companion of Jesus and the twelve from the days of John's ministry until the ascension of Christ, and that he was a witness of the Lord's resurrection. These conditions were so limiting that, even in those early days, just two men could be found who met them (Acts 1:23). Those who claim to be modern-day apostles ignore the severely limiting qualifications of the original.

3. Furthermore, apostles were chosen by Christ (Luke 6:13). Even Judas Iscariot's replacement was decided by the Lord. "They cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles" (Acts 1:26). Scripture affirms this was God's doing, for "The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord" (Proverbs 16:33). None who claim modern apostleship can substantiate the notion that they were chosen by Jesus.



I have proved by scripture and outside of scripture that my opponents claims to be false with well documented sources.

1. Scripture

This proves beyond a doubt that the church spoken of in the bible, is the church of Christ.
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by WFTL 2 years ago
The bible is quite clear on what church one must be a member of. Just by reading the New Testament one can clearly without any doubt know what church is the true and only church, and how one is to worship, it's " man " who causes the confusion by not taking the time to study, or for purposes of wanting to worship there own way will either add or take away from scripture.

Anything worth having, such as a life the way God meant for us to have here and now, and then eternal happiness should take study, but as far as knowing what to do to start your life as a Christian doesn't take that much studying at all, as it tells you in plain English on where to go to church and what one needs to in order to be added to the church.

Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, he that believeth not shall be damned, Romans 16:16, 16Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.

Acts 2:38, (KJV) 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

So tell me, how hard is this to understand. Man seems to want to blame God for not understanding what the bible says, but it will not work on the day of judgement, because the bible is clear.
Posted by BackCommander 2 years ago
@WFTL, just going to kind of spitfire respond to your statements.
1.) If the bible were clear on what church, this debate wouldn't exist in the first place.
2.) If the bible requires continuous study then as I said it is obviously and unarguably flawed.
3.) As I also said before, I have looked into enough of the faiths of this world to be confident that any being that considers itself fair would look kindly upon the life I choose to live.

I did not come here to offend anyone, so if at any point that has happened, I apologize. I think I'll be departing from this debate now though, I feel we've all thoroughly shared our own thoughts here.
Posted by WFTL 2 years ago
Backcommander, the bible is clear on what church, Romans 16:16,, and how one must be added to the church, ( body ) Acts 2:38. The New Testament is clear on that if one would "study" as the bible isn't a book to be read through, it's a book that needs to be studied daily. The bible is totally against indoctrination, as the bible simply tells us all who wish to become a Christian on what to do to achieve that goal. God is not the author of confusion, man is , and that's why there's so many churches. People make up there own way they prefer to worship God, and many people follow blindly to people who have a little charisma, and they end up in a man made false doctrine.

The bible isn't hard to understand, but you must study it on a daily basis. I suggest using commentaries and concordances in which you can find a list to choose from on places like Bblegateway or Biblehub to name a couple. Again, there's only one church and one way to be added to that church, and that church is the church of Christ, non instrumental. If you have any questions on what I have said, please feel free to let me know my dear friend, In Christian love.
Posted by BackCommander 2 years ago
@WFTL Your excuse for indoctrination is that it happens a lot? That's it? You missed most of my points, most of which will be in my response to senshred19

@senshred19, I have a lot to say about the subject of religion, because I care that it exists. Aside from this very sentence I haven't mentioned "the church" that is references in the original post, because that is what I don't care about.

Now then, you pointed out things that people are incorrect about. What I fail to see is how this helps an argument for your side at all. People are ignorant, that's the point you've made, something I am already very aware of. I have a full grasp of the extent to which the human species is indoctrinated. My point was that indoctrination doesn't make the person right, it makes them incapable of knowing whether they are or not.

You both seem to be under the impression that I have never read the bible. I have, but will admit I have not studied it, though I have spent plenty of time around those who have, who themselves are Christians. I have my beliefs because I have studied multiple other religions besides the one I was "born into." I don't know if either of you have studied other faiths, but what you find is that they mostly give the same message that yours does, with the same amount of certainty and a mostly outdated list of rules and regulations that you must follow to gain the favor of whoever is in charge. Most share underlying themes and often have rehashed characters and events. Sen in your second paragraph you point out interpretation, which is exactly my point, if we can take the "word of god" differently, just how divine can it be?

Lastly, I'm not a god, therefore I can't write a book that all can understand. Your god could have made his book understandable by all, without needing interpretation, correct? Why isn't that the case? Why make it so that there are 2000 denominations, some of which could be sinning without knowing it? Why the confusion? Understand?
Posted by senshred19 2 years ago
You sure have a lot to say for someone who does not c.a.r.e. Like WFTL said, indoctrination happens at all levels of life. Take basic American History for example: Columbus is viewed by most children as a hero who "discovered" the Americas that we celebrate every October; many believe that Paul Revere's famous midnight ride consisted of him yelling "The British are coming!", when that has never been proven; and most believe that the Emancipation Proclamation freed all of the slaves, when it only freed the slaves in the Confederacy. All these are forms of indoctrination that most children are taught, most of which are false. As with everything else in life, children grow up and those of us who seek out the truth study and research most of what we've been taught. Yes, I grew up in the Church, but as a man, I have researched and study the Bible to come to the same conclusion as WFTL. I have my beliefs because I have studied, not just by listening to what others have told me.

The Bible is taken differently by many because of interpretation. Why do you think that since the Protestant Reformation, there have been more than 20,000 Christian denominations (man-made churches) created? Because people translate certain passages differently. One small disagreement about interpretation can lead to the creation of a new denomination.

And by the way, if you can write a book that is understandable for all readers of all languages to understand, go for will be a millionaire. And then see if that book keeps that same understanding to people 2,000 years from now.
Posted by WFTL 2 years ago
Indoctrination happens to all children, whether their parents are Christians or not. All parents pass down some type of family tradition, It's simply the way it is. It's man, not God who causes the confusion, as the bible is clear on what's being said .

There are no contradictions, just people who think there are because of their unwillingness to simply study the scripture. The bible has an accuracy rate of 99.5% because of the way it was textually processed by comparing thousands upon thousands of copies, which were then examined and compared to each other to get the most exact copy possible.

You must realize that what God wants us to know we will have, and we do, it's the bible. What makes you think that God would have multiple ways to worship him when the bible is all about unity, in one, such as one faith, one baptism, one God, one body,one church], and so on?

The New Testament clearly shows one church, and one way to worship, which one can see by simply reading the New Testament.
Posted by BackCommander 2 years ago
Indoctrination is the reason it is number one. A child knows nothing of your god if they are not told of him, don't you find that strange? It cannot be the word of god, it is a flawed book with many contradictions. It requires interpretation, why would one who knows all give us a book that is taken differently by almost every single human who reads it? Would he not know better? My point is made simply by the fact that you have made a debate in order to argue which church Jesus spoke of in the bible. The fact that an argument can be made against yours proves that the book is flawed. Through countless retellings and translations between languages that don't always share terms for the same things, it has lost all credence. Yet again one must ask why and how an all knowing being would not simply make it understandable to readers of all languages.
Posted by WFTL 2 years ago
That literature you speak of is the word of God, and it's still saves people today as it did back then, that's why it's always been on the bestsellers list from day one, and will always be on the bestsellers list as # 1. No other book has that title, and never will, so that literature will always be here until the end of time.
Posted by BackCommander 2 years ago
Thanks for the update on literature from thousands of years ago. Once again, you only serve to alienate yourself. Why?
Posted by WFTL 2 years ago
John 7:7, "The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil."

Galatians 4:16, King James Bible
Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

John 8:45 King James Bible
And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

Amos 5:10 King James Bible
They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.
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