Is the Church of Christ Better Than Other Churches?

Is it wrong or right to say the “Church of Christ” is better than any other if they do the same worship and/or do a few different things like use instruments or use different name than just “Church of Christ”?

In Ephesians 4:4-6 the Bible says, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;  One Lord, one faith, one baptism,  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”  Note that just as there is one Father, one Son, and one Holy Spirit, there is just one body.  The body that Paul is talking about here is the church.  Note Ephesians 5:23, “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.”  The church is the body of Christ, and Christ is the Savior of the body.  Since Jesus only saves one body, this also means that Jesus saves only one church, and that is His church, the church that belongs to Him.  Jesus is not going to save any churches that do not belong to Him.  In Revelation 2:5, Jesus threatens the salvation of the church at Ephesus with these words, “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”  So not all churches will be saved.

Now, what does this mean?  It means that we must do what Jesus tells us to do if we want to be a part of His church, and there are many things that Jesus wants us to do to be His church.  One of those things is to glorify His name.  Consider what Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 1:11-12, “Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Who do we glorify when we put the name of someone else on the sign of the church?  If we put “Lutheran Church” on our sign, we glorify Luther, and not Christ.  If we put “Baptist Church” on our sign, we glorify the act of baptism, and not Christ.  We could continue on with this line of reasoning as we work thousands of different names for churches.  The bottom line is that we should glorify God and Christ by using a name that glorifies and honors Christ.  We know that the name “church of Christ” is a scriptural name.  Romans 16:16 says, “Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.”  So where does this leave us?  As we mentioned earlier, if we want to be part of Christ’s church, we must love and obey Christ in all of His teachings.  He said to the apostles in Matthew 28:20, “teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.”  If we do not observe all the things that Christ has commanded us, then we are not His disciples, and we are not His church.

Now, the questioner wants to know if one church is better than another.  There are two answers to this question.  First, since there is only one church that Jesus acknowledges, there can be no church that is better than another, for how can a church be better than itself?  Second, there are many congregations of the church, and some are better than others in the sense that they are being faithful to Christ and obeying His word better than others, such as the seven congregations that Jesus talks to in Revelation 2-3.  Third, churches that are not obeying Christ may not belong to Christ.  Just as Christ threatened to remove the candlestick from the church at Ephesus in Revelation 2:5, he does the same to those churches that are not obeying Him today.  So, it is wrong to say that the church of Christ is better than any other church, because there is only one church, and that church is the church of Christ.  It is right to say that some congregations are better than others because some congregations are being more obedient to Christ than others.  Churches that use names other than Christ’s glorify something or someone other than Christ, which we should not do.  Churches who obey and follow Christ belong to Christ, and He will save them.