Does Stanton really believe the church must be unified on all teachings in order to remain “The One True Church?” You could be forgiven for coming away from their classes thinking that. I mean, after all, that’s their chief criticism of other churches.
- “The Catholic church changes their teachings to whatever the Pope says.”
- “The Baptists change their teachings at their annual Baptist Convention.”
- “The Mormons change their teachings at the whim of their current ‘Prophet.'”
- “The Jehovah’s Witnesses change their teachings at the behest of the Watchtower publication.”
- “The Lutherans change their teachings to whatever the Missouri Synod decides.”
Given the above, how is it not fair to say that the Stanton Churches of Christ change their teachings according to the results of the May Week Meetings?
If absolute unity on doctrine (and let’s face it, “doctrine” is just another word for “teaching”) is the key to being considered “The One True Church,” Stanton doesn’t meet that criteria. In this world we call reality, no organization can really make the claim of being 100% unified in the way that Stanton defines it (agreeing on everything). And to the extent that Stanton does make that claim, it is is self-refuting.
Consider that Stanton has changed doctrine after doctrine after doctrine in each of their last dozens of “May Meetings.” Do you see what I mean by “self-refuting?” If other churches aren’t “The Church” because of their changed doctrines, how can Stanton be “The Church” in spite of their changed doctrines?” It’s simply not possible. It’s self-refuting.
The truth is that no group of human beings can possibly be in 100% agreement. It is a human impossibility. God created us to think for ourselves, and that means we all grow in our intellect and spiritual maturity at different rates. That means unity (as Stanton defines it) is impossible. Of course, unity is entirely possible as the Bible defines it. Jesus didn’t pray to God the Father for something that was impossible to achieve.
John 17:11 (ESV) – And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.
But that’s a subject for another time.