Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Why I am a Member of the Church of Christ, Leroy Brownlow

Why I am a Member of the Church of Christ, Leroy Brownlow

The church constantly needs a firm understanding of the fundamentals of Christianity. One of the best tools to explain the distinctive identifying marks of the church of Christ in the New Testament is this book by brother Brownlow. When I have a religious discussion with someone and they have expressed an interest in learning more about churches of Christ then I give them a copy of this book. I recommend a copy of this book be given to each new convert and that this book is used in the teenage class regularly so that every teenager is taught from this book. We are losing people to apostasy and one of the reasons is because people do not fully understand what they are leaving and exchanging for the church of Christ.

This book is best explained by a listing of the table of contents. Why I am a member of the church of Christ:
· Because if was founded by the scriptural builder—Christ.
· Because it was founded on the scriptural foundation.
· Because it was founded at the scriptural place—Jerusalem.
· Because it was founded at the scriptural time—The Pentecost following the resurrection of Christ.
· Because Christ is the founder of only one church—His church.
· Because it is scriptural in name.
· Because it is scriptural in organization.
· Because it has the Bible at is only creed, confession of faith or church manual.
· Because it believes the Bible to be the inspired word of God.
· Because it believes the Bible is a book to be rightly divided.
· Because it is undenominational.
· Because if is scriptural in doing missionary work.
· Because it teaches the kingdom has been established and Christ is now reigning.
· Because it gives scriptural answers to the question—What must I do to be saved?
· Because it teaches that man is saved by faith but not by faith only.
· Because it teaches that man is saved by the blood of Christ.
· Because it teaches that a change of heart is indispensable to man’s salvation.
· Because of its teaching and practice concerning prayer.
· Because it teaches and administers scriptural baptism.
· Because it teaches that a child of God can so sin as to be eternally lost.
· Because it teaches that infants are born pure and innocent rather than depraved.
· Because it teaches that the miraculous manifestations of the Spirit have ceased.
· Because of its scriptural teaching and observance of the Lord’s supper.
· Because it has scriptural music in the worship.
· Because salvation is in Christ’s church.

It was thrilling to hear brother Brownlow at the FHU Bible Lectureship speak on the same topic. I wish everyone would have had the opportunity to hear him that day. In 1991, my wife and I graduated from FHU and brother Brownlow was awarded the Doctor of Laws degree. So, brother Brownlow was in my graduating class at FHU, which was one of the highlights of that great day.

When 2,000 copies of the first edition of this book were printed in 1945, Brownlow wrote in the forward: “The hope is now entertained that this volume of reasons for being a member of the church of Christ will be a source of light to those in darkness; a source of aid to those seeking Bible helps; and a source of glory to Him who will deal with all books according to their merits.” It is estimated that this book has sold over 1 million copies since its publication. I believe his hope has been realized. I was fortunate to have him sign a copy for me. One source I came across states he had written and sold more books in Texas than any other author. He has authored 30 books. Brother Brownlow passed away at the age of 88 on November 8, 2002. He will be greatly missed.

Originally printed West Virginia Christian, Vol. 10, No. 4, April 2003, p. 8. Reprinted by permission.

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