An Open Letter to
All Lakeside Residents:
Are you looking for a church home? Every week people are visiting churches in hopes of finding one which they can call their church home. Their visits are usually made at the suggestion of friends or church leaders who have shown an interest in them. However, truth-seekers are sometimes discouraged because time is limited and the number of churches is seemingly endless. What can a person in this situation do?
Study the Bible first. Most churches will tell you that the perfect "blueprint" for the church and daily living is found in the Bible. If you believe this to be true, then a study of God's Word will enable you to find yourself spiritually without visiting every church in the community.
You would not necessarily have to begin with Genesis (the first book of the Bible) which tells about the creation of things, the rebellion of man against God, and God's plan to send a Savior to all men. You would not have to consume valuable time reading the history of the Hebrew people, their Psalms, Prophecies, and Proverbs. Since you are especially interested in the story of Jesus Christ and his church, you might want to begin by reading the shortest record of his life--the Gospel According to Mark (the second book in the New Testament)--and then the history of his church--The Acts of the Apostles (the fifth book in the New Testament).
After you have read The Acts of the Apostles and other scriptures, we plead with you to investigate the Lakeside church of Christ. We are striving to reproduce the church as Christ would have it, according to the scriptures. It is our conviction that all of our questions concerning God's will for us are answered exclusively in His book. For this reason, we study the Bible so that we may do the things God wants us to do. We, therefore, have no creed or catechism to present, but accept Christ as our only creed and the Bible as our only guidebook. In this way we are never prevented by an erroneous creed from accepting any truth which may be learned from God's Word.
You can be just a Christian! This might seem strange and even impossible with so many religious groups in our country. However, the early disciples were Christians only, and we too can be Christians only if we will follow the same teachings given to these first followers of Jesus. Christ said, "The seed is the word of God" (Luke 8:11). Just as surely as a planted acorn will produce only an oak, so God's word will produce only Christians and nothing more. We invite your earnest consideration of this plea.
It is obvious that the religious world is badly divided. Great leaders of the past sought to correct erroneous teachings and practices. But the reformers often started at different points and thus arrived at different conclusions. Division rather than unity has resulted.
Churches of Christ, on the other hand, plead for the restoration of New Testament Christianity rather than a reformation of existing religious bodies. Since all can agree that the early church was right, we should also be able to agree that we cannot be wrong if we succeed in reproducing that church today in every essential part. While many things have changed since the first century, the teachings of Jesus and His apostles have not. Truth is absolute and unchangeable. God's Word is Truth (John 17:17) and can save today as surely as in the first century if applied in the same way. "The truth will make you free" (John 8: 32).
If this presentation appeals to you, we want to encourage you to follow through on it. We cordially invite you to come and worship with us. You can see, first hand, how we apply the principles that have been advanced here. . If you have any questions, we would be happy to discuss them with you either in person, over the telephone, or by mail. We are looking forward to serving you. All you need to do is let us know of your wishes or needs.