Question 7: Why is there very limited teaching on “grace” among the one cup Churches of Christ?

For those of us raised in the Church of Christ, so to speak, and seek to be free from sectarianism, the answer is somewhat obvious. Teaching on grace except to refute its full effect and meaning relative to our salvation is contrary and detrimental to the legalism that permeates the Churches of Christ, the one-cup Church of Christ having few equals in this regard. Too much emphasis on grace undermines the works philosophy, especially with reference to the planks that comprise the platform that identify the party. If we’re saved by grace rather than assent to and compliance with interpretations (opinions) relative to disputable issues, the party leaders lose a source of control and power. Instead God would get the glory and honor and praise rather than those who fashion themselves as the only true keepers and leaders of a faithful flock.

There is no doubt in my mind that many are honestly mistaken and sincere in their legalism, but there are also a number, especially those who are designated or self-appointed leaders, who know or should know better. Yet they persist in promoting and teaching that works are determinative of salvation rather than indicative.

Things are getting better though from what I hear over the grapevine. Brethren aren’t as uptight as they were a few years back when brother J. Ervin Waters spoke to the matter and was blackballed for this teaching and some related to it. Periodically now I hear of preachers saying much the same thing he did about grace back then. I want to believe the best.


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