FALSE DOCTRINE: ‘We Are The One True Church’ Claim
Eph 4:1-6 (HCSB)
1 I, therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting one another in love, 3 diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds [us] . 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope at your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
In the Ephesians 4 passage above, Paul tells the Ephesians, among other things, to accept one another in love and to diligently keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Then Paul says that there is one body and one Spirit. When Paul says, ‘there is one body’ he is obviously referring to Jesus’ church since Jesus’ church is many times referred to as the body of Christ.
1 Cor 12:12-13. 27 (HCSB)
12 For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body—so also is Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it.
In the above passage, Paul says, ‘For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body…’, once again supporting the idea that there is one body of Christ which is led by one Spirit.
So the Bible does teach that there is one body of Christ led by one Spirit. Churches that teach The ‘One True Church’ false doctrine take this idea that there is one body of Christ led by one Spirit and take it a step further by claiming that their particular church is the one true church and that all other churches are not part of the body of Christ. Along with this, these churches claim that if one is not a part of their church, the one true church, one cannot be right with God.
Although we have seen that the Bible does teach that there is one body led by one Spirit, God is the only One who can see exactly what individuals and/or what group of people are in His church. He is the only One who can say who is and who is not part of His body. No man or woman can see the boundaries of Jesus’ church and no individual or group of people can monopolize God’s Holy Spirit.
Matt 18:20 (HCSB)
20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.
John 4:19-24 (HCSB)
19 “Sir,” the woman replied, “I see that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, yet you [Jews] say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.” 21 Jesus told her, “Believe Me, woman, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship Him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Luke 17:20-21 (HCSB)
20 Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God will come, He answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with something observable; 21 no one will say, ‘Look here!’ or ‘There!’ For you see, the kingdom of God is among you.”
The reason I put this false teaching under ‘teaching as doctrines the commands of men’ is because I believe that ‘the one true church’ false teaching is going beyond what is written:
1 Cor 4:6 (HCSB)
6 Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the saying: “Nothing beyond what is written.” The purpose is that none of you will be inflated with pride in favor of one person over another.