Talk:Christian churches and churches of Christ

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Watchman Herald[edit]

The "Watchman Herald" link has no place on this page. This paper is published by members of the non-instrumental Churches of Christ; I'm not really sure if it would be considered as "mainstream" even among them. Please quit just sticking the link onto this page; if you insist on doing so, please at least show the rest of us the courtsey of establishing an account, logging on to this page, and justifying what you are doing to the rest of us so that we can discuss it.

Rlquall 15:43, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Sort by state...[edit]

I'd like to change the list of churches to list them by state then country. The current list is poorly organized at best.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Ckvkkeek (talkcontribs) 14:15, September 22, 2006

I agree that would be useful. Census regions don't mean much to most people. --Danny Reese 20:16, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
According to the article, the movement has 5500–6000 different congregations. Should we even have a list of member churches at all? -Branddobbe 06:43, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
It seems like useful information to have, but perhaps not on the main page. We could create another page called "List of Independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ" or something like that, and then reserve the main article for more descriptive info. Just a thought. --Danny Reese 15:45, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Branddobbe. Entire sections of this article have become an external link repository which is not really appropriate. The list is already much longer than the rest of the article and should be removed. -- Satori Son 21:06, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Satori. I prefer the first item in the Ext. Link section [1] over a hodge-podge list of churches. I've been meaning to see how other denom. deal with this. Some include a list of dioceses (1) or synods (2), which have no correlation to this article. Others include a list of megachurches (3) or the largest churches (4). I wouldn't object to the latter within this article, if there were a good source, or at least splitting the list to a separate article. --Spiffy sperry 22:23, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
I believe the link to the locater is sufficient. Many of the churches listed are linked to that site anyway. I think it would be worthwhile to link the annual list of Megachurches from The Christian Standard (I added a link to the Standard's web site) Links to the pdf. If that is awkward then we could move that into another page called Christian Church Megachurches and include the text in tere. —Preceding unsigned comment added by MrBobBrown (talkcontribs) 01:29, January 15, 2007

Based upon the emerging consensus here, and Wikipedia guidelines, I have removed the List of Independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ section. The current websites included under External links will direct any interested reader to the information, and there are some other options mentioned above which would not overwhelm this article. -- Satori Son 18:02, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Citation Needed for Property Issues[edit]

This article states as a fact that "During this time the DoC made several attempts to take over facility and property ownership from many Independent congregations and Independents attempted to take over facility and property ownership from many DoC congregations. In this 45+ years both types of congregations were forced to seek legal representation. Representation was necessary in order to maintain ownership of their property and to prevent eviction and forfeiture of assets." There are debates about how much this happened. If there were legal cases they should be referenced; if you make a claim like "many churches" than some survey should be cited. Atterlep 22:16, 14 March 2007 (UTC) alludes to these court cases.jonathon (talk) 15:44, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Citing the Bible[edit]

While the Bible would be an appropriate source in an article written by a member of the church to explain the reasons for a doctrine, it isn't the appropriate kind of source to verify that a doctrine is indeed practiced by the independent Christian Churches and Churches of Christ. I've removed the Bible verses that were used as sources for specific CoC beliefs, but they'll need to be replaced with sources writing specifically about this group of churches, and I know that many of the most useful of those are in books that I don't have. If anyone out there can provide better sources, that would be groovy. -FisherQueen (talk · contribs) 21:34, 19 March 2008 (UTC)


Where did that logo come from? Given the autonomous nature of these congregations, I have major doubts that any of them accept it as a corporate logos for their strain of the CoC. jonathon (talk) 02:10, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

It seems to come from this web site, which doesn't make any claim for it as an official logo of the CoC. While I appreciate that pictures = good on Wikipedia, I think the logo is presented as an official logo representing the whole group of churches, and that isn't what it is. -FisherQueen (talk · contribs) 14:16, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Baptism Section[edit]

I would suggest that the baptism section needs some rework, as it is at odds with the practice in many of the ICC/CoC churches, who believe in salvation by grace alone, and that baptism is the public expression of the inward change upon acceptance of Christ. If you look at the statements of faith from many (if not most) of the major ICC/CoC churches, they would be at odds with what is recorded in this article.

Example from the largest ICC/CoC (Louisville Southeast) < here>:

The act of baptism cannot save an individual. We are saved only through accepting Christ's sacrifice on the cross. Baptism demonstrates the believer's acceptance of Christ and is the point of time when the believer receives assurance of his or her faith.

As it is written, though, I'm not sure you'd get most churches to agree with the characterization put forth.--Lyonscc (talk) 18:55, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

Since only three of the bullet points in the article can't be supported by cites to that website --- but can be supported by cites to other CoC church websites, I'm not sure how they would be at odds with what the article claims. jonathon (talk) 23:27, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
Suggestion: Rewrite the section in the talk page, so it does not say what you think is at odds with the data on that link.jonathon (talk)

This section very much sounds like advocacy cloaked in descriptive language. The objections raised by "those of a Calvinistic" persuasion and the counterpoints to the objection sound very much like advocacy. In addition, the use of the "proof texts" lends to the idea of advocacy. This is a description of the theology of the movement. This is not supposed to advocate. Nor are encyclopedia article supposed to be an exhaustive treatment of the rationale for positions. They need to describe and direct the reader to the right sources for more exhaustive research. I'll try to clean up the language at a later date. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Koine2002 (talkcontribs) 12:03, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

"Fundamentally Identical"[edit]

As I've been a member of both Churches of Christ and Christian Churches, I question the statement that "The instrumental Christian Churches and the a cappella Churches of Christ are otherwise fundamentally identical." There are several differences, probably the most important being that Christian Churches are fundamentalist in character, while the Churches of Christ are not. I think this sentence should be removed. Dwight911 (talk) 06:16, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Proposed move[edit]

The current name of this page, Independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ seems rather artificial. I am concerned that it comes across as a proper name, and that it is one that Wikipedia has created. I propose instead that we move the page to Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, which is more descriptive and seems less like a proper name. Furthermore, the latter gets 6 or 7 times as many hits in a Google search.

I am wondering if there is any comment before I go ahead and attempt the move. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 16:33, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

It works for me. Where you might find a rub is that some may consider "Christian Church" to be a generic description of all Christian churches. I have no problems, though.--Lyonscc (talk) 20:23, 21 September 2011 (UTC)


The current article name was invented by Wikipedia, but comes across as a proper name. I propose renaming it to "Christian Churches and Churches of Christ", which is more descriptive and seems less like a proper name, not to mention it gets 6 or 7 times as many hits in a Google search. However, the rename would involve a lot of collateral work, so I want to make sure there is broad support before taking action. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 18:10, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Support, but I don't think it's a lot of work—seems like a relatively-simple page move, and the caps are needed because these are the names of denominations. Good luck and all the best,--Miniapolis (talk) 15:01, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

Well, I've now finished the work I had in mind, which was fixing all the linked references. I disagree on the caps because it is not actually the proper name of anything. There is no denominational organization. It is a descriptive name for individual congregations that more or less flock together. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 18:18, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
I thought your RFC was to rename the article using capital letters.--Miniapolis (talk) 16:17, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, after a long time of no comments, I went ahead and made the change I had suggested. The old article name was "Independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ". --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 21:18, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
I would strongly suggest changing the name of this article back to something along the lines of the old title, "Independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ". There has been confusion about names from the beginning of the Restoration Movement, and the current article name does nothing to help clarify things for the reader. There are two completely different groups that have very similar names: the "Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)" and the "Churches of Christ". Naming this article "Christian Churches and Churches of Christ" makes it look like we're talking about some combination of the other two. The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement uses the term "Christian Churches/Churches of Christ," which isn't ideal. Others call them "Independent Christian Churches" or "Independent Churches of Christ" because they separated from the "Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)". While a title along the lines of "Independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ" is somewhat artificial, it has the virtue of bringing some clarity to a confusing topic. If we're concerned that it might be taken as a proper name, we can easily drop a sentence or two about the various names that are used into the lede. EastTN (talk) 22:40, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Not surprisingly, I disagree. :) The current name (for posterity, in case it changes, it's "Christian churches and churches of Christ") is really not much different from what you propose, "Christian Churches/Churches of Christ." The primary differences are twofold, and I see them both as improvements: it avoids the awkward "Churches/Churches" and it clarifies the status as a common noun by keeping both instances of "churches" in the lowercase.
As for confusion with related movements, using "churches" instead of "Church" should be plenty sufficient to distinguish the article subject from the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Distinguishing from the Churches of Christ is tricky in any case, as neither movement has a proper proper name (if you will), but I don't think the current version is any worse than any other. I wouldn't mind "Independent Christian churches" (or even "Churches"), except that some congregations go by "church of Christ" and not "Christian church." --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 21:50, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
Confusion (and disagreement) over names has dogged the Restoration Movement from the beginning! Actually, you've done a better job than I did of laying out my reasoning. "Independent Christian Churches" is the least confusing of the alternatives, and it has the advantage of giving a nod to the history with the "Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ)". But, as you correctly point out, some congregations go by "church of Christ". That leads to "Independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ", awkward as it may be. I would be fine with "Independent Christian churches and churches of Christ", but it's getting a bit long.
On the capitalization, don't count on keeping the lowercase "churches" instead of "Churches". We fought that battle long and hard on the "Churches of Christ" page, and eventually lost. Most wikipedia editors not associated with the Restoration Movement interpret the article naming guidelines as requiring capitalization. I strongly prefer the lower case myself, because that's the more common usage within the movement - but my experience is that when the wider community gets engaged, it's highly likely that the words "church" and "churches" will end up capitalized.
Bottom line, I'll modify my proposal to "Independent Christian churches and churches of Christ". That would help, in my judgement, to make the distinction between the groups a bit clearer. I suspect the capitalization will be modified at some point in the future, but sufficient unto the day. EastTN (talk) 20:03, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
"Independent Christian churches and churches of Christ" is fine with me. I don't think the length is any objection. WP:TITLE says that the title should be "no longer than necessary to identify the article's subject and distinguish it from other subjects." For a subject with such a difficult naming issue, I think this qualifies.
Regarding capitalization, I agree with you that the churches of Christ should also be treated as a common noun. That means that the article title should be capitalized (just like, e.g., airplane or honey), but that the subject name should not be capitalized when it is not the first word of a sentence. In the "battle" you mentioned, which of the two was at issue? --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 12:17, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

Invited to comment, first off, the lede is completely out of compliance.[edit]

"The Christian churches and churches of Christ are a part of the Restoration Movement ..." First concern: aren't we talking about proper names which need to be capitalized? Second concern: no citation Third concern: Factually incorrect in that "Church of Christ" can refer to more than one denomination and the lede does not distinguish them. GeoBardSemi-retired 00:31, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

1) This grouping of churches has no formal organization, thus it is not a proper name. 2) Which statement do you doubt the truth of? We can discuss your concerns and add a citation if necessary. 3) The lede does not say "Church of Christ" but "Churches of Christ", which is a common name for a grouping of churches closely related to the subject of this article. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 14:33, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

Requested move 9 June 2015[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: No consensus. As BlueMoonlet stated, "The article subject is in fact a common noun, not the proper name of any organization". This makes it hard to justify capitalization. Our policy on WP:Article titles doesn't have a concept of "borrowing portions of common names" as proposed by Zfish118. EdJohnston (talk) 21:44, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Christian churches and churches of ChristChristian Churches and Churches of Christ – Both uses of "churches" in the title should be capitalized. While there is no formal name for the collective grouping of churches, the title of the article here is simply borrowing portions of the proper names of individual congregations. For instance "Anytown Christian Church" and "Big City Christian Church" are affiliated only in similarity of belief, with no common church governance. However, both signify their similar beliefs using "Christian Church" in their names. The article here thus essentially concatenates parts of both church proper names; the title of the article should reflect this. --Zfish118 (talk) 19:29, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

As an addendum to my original proposal, I would like to note that the Association for Religious Data Archives uses the naming convention "Christians Churches and Churches of Christion", capitalizing both words in each clause.[1]


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's policy on article titles.
  • REvert per nom to the old capitalization and naming -- (talk) 04:29, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
    Question @ To clarify, do you support "Christian Churches and Churches of Christ"? --Zfish118 (talk) 04:47, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes, revert to the old name, "Christian Churches and Churches of Christ", per the nom. -- (talk) 04:23, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Just FYI, "Christian Churches and Churches of Christ" is not the previous title of this article, though I can't say for sure that it was never the title. The longstanding title before this one was a true clunker: "Independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ." --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 04:58, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
The "Churches of Christ" is a confederation of congregations. The congregations here are unaffiliated. "Christian Church" is about all beliefs regarding the organization of Christianity.--Zfish118 (talk) 17:42, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
There is no need to merge this article. It is a well-defined topic that needs its own article. It is just hard to name. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 04:58, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose current title and support this move as proposed. Cannot remain at the common-noun title Red Slash 23:28, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
@Red Slash: Can you say more about why you dislike the common-noun title? The article subject is in fact a common noun, not the proper name of any organization. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 02:47, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
Any Christian church could be called a Christian church or even one of the churches of Christ. Red Slash 06:33, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but in a way that's exactly the point. The churches in this movement want to think of themselves as nothing more than Christian, and they name themselves accordingly. Nevertheless, they are part of a distinct movement (Restorationism). Furthermore, they are even more loosely bound than the other two offshoots of Restorationism. Whatever we choose to call them, it should be as spare as possible and (it seems to me) must be a common noun. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 11:32, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
Well, they say that, but as per "The group of Christians known as the Christian Churches or Churches of Christ are congregations within the Restoration Movement that no have formal denominational affiliation with other congregations, but still share many characteristics of belief and worship.[1] Churches in this tradition are strongly congregationalist and have no formal denominational ties, and thus there is no proper name that is agreed to apply to the movement as a whole." they do not deny that a Lutheran church, for instance, is a Christian church, yet it is not included as one of them. It can't be a common noun. Red Slash 21:22, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
You've just shown that the name is not unique, and I readily agree to that. But you have not shown that it is not a common noun. Although it is true that the term "Christian churches and churches of Christ" could be used to refer to other groups (e.g., Lutherans), it does so in a secondary way. For the article subject, on the other hand, there is no more common term.
If anything, the text you just cited shows that the article title (whatever we eventually agree that it should be) cannot be a proper noun. A proper noun indicates a name that is generally agreed to apply to something, and there simply is no such thing for this article subject. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 01:39, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose this move There is no organization by this name, and thus the title cannot be a proper noun.
The nom argument that it is the plural of proper nouns (the names of individual congregations) is not convincing; if you were speaking of several churches that were all something-or-other "Baptist Church", you would speak of "Baptist churches," not "Baptist Churches."
The nom addendum (appealing to ARDA) would only be convincing if the ARDA website had some article titles that were common nouns and not capitalized; instead, the ARDA website has several article titles that are clearly common nouns and are nonetheless capitalized [2][3][4], so this is simply a difference between their style (which is apparently to capitalize common nouns in a title) and WP's style (which is to leave common nouns uncapitalized in a title).
If people really hate the common noun title, we could try a different title that avoids the issue. Zfish118's mistaken move to "Autonomous Restoration churches" is an intriguing idea; it is still an invented name, but any title for this article is necessarily an invented name. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 04:58, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Comment What I find is that the current title is awkward (and my proposal here is not much better). I do like the idea of switching altogether. I like the old name "Independent Christian churches/churches of Christ", although saw that some objected to "Independent", as it was not clear if it were descriptive, or part of formal name (such as with "Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)"). Perhaps Unaffiliated Christian churches/Churches of Christ? With regard to "Autonomous Restoration churches", even the congregations that entered into the denominations still retain their automony, and could theoretically leave. If we went this route, I would prefer Unaffiliated Restoration congregations. I think "Unaffiliated" is less ambiguous about the status and relationships of these congregations. --Zfish118 (talk) 23:57, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Second comment, While there is no "organization" by the name of the this article, it does discuss a distinct movement, similar to "Latter Day Saint movement". --Zfish118 (talk) 04:46, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
You still have not actually said what you don't like about "Christian churches and churches of Christ." I've rebutted your argument about the article subject being a common noun, and you haven't replied to those points. Thus, I don't see that you have any case for moving the article at all.
Speaking of which, please stop moving the article when we have not yet reached consensus. This is the second time. I've made a request at WP:RM for the move to be undone, and the request may have a better chance if you second it.
Having "Churches/Churches" in the middle of the title is exceedingly inelegant, and getting rid of that construction was a major motivation or moving the title to its present form, as you would know if you read the discussions above. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 02:47, 14 June 2015 (UTC)


Any additional comments:
  • Why did someone move the article while the move discussion is in progress? "Unaffiliated Christian Church/Church of Christ congregations" is completely inappropriate due to WP:SUBPAGE -- the slash in the title is wrong to use for Wikipedia article names -- (talk) 04:08, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
  • What on earth?? Zfish118, what on earth could have possibly compelled you to move this article while it's still under discussion? What on earth? Red Slash 06:40, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

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  1. ^ "Denominational Profile: Christian Churches and Churches of Christ". The Association of Religious Data Archives. Retrieved 10 June 2015. Note: The Archive site capitalizes the word "churches" in its naming convention