On November 1, 2005, we signed an annual lease contract for the use of the meeting room in Greenbelt Business Park. While this facility served us reasonably well, it deprived us of the ability to use the property whenever we chose or needed to do so, and it often required us to clean up after the last users of the meeting room. Further, we had to collect, box, and store our songbooks and Bibles after each assembly, and installing a baptistery was out of the question. Knowing our lease would expire at year’s end, we began in the fall of 2012 to look for property we might purchase. Through God’s providence we found such, and with what we had been able to accumulate for the purpose, plus some generous contributions from other congregations and from some individuals, we were able to finalize the purchase of our present building in Greenway Plaza at 4224 N. Interstate 35 in the northwest part of Denton. We had our first meeting in our own facility on December 23, 2012.
We did not begin the Northpoint Congregation because there were no religious groups in Denton with signs on their property reading, “Church of Christ.” The Lord’s church in our city can be traced all the way back to the 1860s. Unfortunately, the ravages of liberalism, anti-ism, and other manifestations of error have had devastating effects on the congregations here over the past one hundred fifty years. The only faithful congregation in Denton over the past several years had been the Pearl Street Congregation, but it forfeited its once-pristine reputation when the majority of its elders began espousing and defending the direct operation of the Holy Spirit error.
When they would not be dissuaded from their error, several members departed in 2003 for conscience’s sake. For approximately two and one-half years, some of us drove several miles to remote congregations in the area. In 2005, various ones of us began discussing the need for a faithful church in Denton, a city of approximately 100,000, and decided we would make such a beginning. Northpoint is the result of these plans and efforts. We are small in number, and we are determined to avoid “Madison Avenue,” high pressure, gimmick and gadget-driven tactics of “church growth.” It is not that we do not want to grow in numbers. In fact, we are dedicated to growing, both numerically and spiritually. However, we intend to grow by doing the “planting” and the “watering” of the seed of the kingdom and allowing God to “give the increase” as He sees fit (1 Cor. 3:6). If you are ever coming to or through Denton on the Lord’s day or on a Wednesday evening, please visit us and give us an opportunity to greet you personally.
“… we intend to grow by doing the “planting” and the “watering” of the seed of the kingdom and allowing God to “give the increase” as He sees fit (1 Cor. 3:6).”
SOME THINGS YOU WILL FIND WHEN YOU VISIT US
Worship each Lord’s day that is authorized by the New Testament:
- We sing “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs,” without any instrumental accompaniment, to praise the Father and His Son and whereby we also teach and admonish each other (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16-17).
- We pray to the Father through the mediation and in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ (John 16:23-24; Col., 3:17; 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 4:14- 16; et al.).
- We partake of the Lord’s supper, involving eating unleavened bread and drinking fruit of the vine (grape juice) as the Lord instructs His church to do (Mat. 26:26-28; Luke 22:19-20, 29-30; et al.). We do this, as Jesus commanded, in memory of His death for us upon the cross (1 Cor. 11:23-26), and, following apostolic precedent, we thus partake each first day of the week (Acts 20:7).
- We contribute some of the wealth God has entrusted to our stewardship that the work of His church may be accomplished (1 Cor. 16:1-2; 2 Cor. 8-9). These offerings are given of each person’s free will, with no quota or percentage (e.g., tithe) imposed. The New Testament authorizes no other means of funding the work of the church.
- We study the Word of God by means of a Biblical sermon, by which God and His Son are glorified and we are edified (Acts 20:7, 32). Almost as many activities called “worship” exist as there are religious bodies that claim to believe in the Christ and His Word. Jesus cried out against those in His day who practiced vain worship because they were “teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men” (Mat. 15:9). God and His Son are not obligated to accept whatever men offer them in the name of “worship.” No man knows what pleases God in worship apart from the revelation of that information in the New Testament.
Work that is authorized by the New Testament:
- The principal work of the spiritual body of Christ (i.e., the church, Eph. 1:22-23) is the same as the work He did in His physical body. Just as He came in the flesh “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10), so He told His followers: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15). The Gospel is the “power of God unto salvation” (Rom. 1:16), and, if men do not hear it, they have no opportunity to be saved. If the church of the Lord spends its time and resources on other efforts to the neglect of this one imperative, it will fail to please its Head.
- The New Testament congregations also helped provide the necessities of life for those who were helpless (Acts 6:1-6; 11:29-30; 1 Tim. 5:16; et al.). They did this not only for fellow-Christians, but also for others as well (2 Cor. 9:13; Gal. 6:10). Jesus healed the sick and fed the hungry on occasion, but such deeds were not the purpose of His coming. He did these signs to relieve suffering, but even more, to prove that He was the One Who could save them (John 20:30-31). Likewise, the church, as opportunity and ability allow, should serve the physical needs of those who cannot provide for themselves. Also likewise, such benevolent activities must never take precedence over the great work of serving the spiritual needs of men through preaching the Gospel.
- The church also has the responsibility to edify and strengthen itself in order to be better able to fulfill its primary function of preaching the Gospel to the world (Rom. 14:19). The authorized worship activities each Lord’s day help serve this goal. Faithful leaders of the Lord’s people will provide various additional opportunities for spiritual growth through Bible classes, Gospel preaching, and various other spiritual and fellowship activities (Acts 17:11; 20:32; 1 Cor. 15:58; Eph. 4:15-16; et al.).
In today’s confused world of Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, and cultic religious bodies, one sometimes has to struggle to remember that they are what they claim to be-religious bodies. The “work” of many of them relates only to the old modernistic “social gospel” concept of concern only for the body and none for the soul. Outrageous (and downright anti-religious) activities such as bingo tournaments, dances, beer parties, and the like are frequently “church” sponsored as fund-raising projects. Money-hungry, shyster televangelists regularly make a mockery of Sacred matters and play on the guilt and fear of a gullible and ignorant public. Many religious groups resemble large secular business corporations far more than they do the church of the Bible. Even beyond these matters, instead of preaching the Word of God, thousands of preachers spend their time each Sunday destroying faith in the Bible as the revelation of God.
Congregational organization that is authorized by the New Testament:
“The various man-made religious organizations have created “officers” and “offices” galore which Jesus and the apostles never imagined in their wildest dreams (e.g. popes, archbishops, eldresses, deaconesses, et al.). Likewise, men have invented religious titles, some of which the Lord explicitly proscribed (e.g., “father” [Mat. 23:9], reverend, right reverend, his holiness, reverend mother, et al.). What stark contrast one can see between such inventions of men and the simplicity of Christianity in the New Testament.”
- The largest unit of the church in the New Testament is the congregation. We thus read of “the church which was in Jerusalem” (Acts 11:22), “the church of God which is at Corinth” (1 Cor. 1:2), “the churches [i.e., congregations] of Galatia” (Gal. 1:2), “the church of the Thessalonians” (1 The. 1:1), and other such descriptive terms. There is not the slightest hint that any sort of centralized system of hierarchy existed in the apostolic church, and there is no Scriptural authority for the existence of such in any age.
- Each New Testament congregation was autonomous (i.e., self- governing), with no congregation having authority over one or more other congregations. We understand this readily from the fact that each congregation was to have its own group of men to make decisions relating to the execution of the work of said congregation. The New Testament refers to these men by the interchangeable terms of “elders,” “bishops,” and “pastors” (Acts 20:17, 28; 1 Pet. 5:1-2), each of whom must meet explicit Scriptural qualifications (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Tit. 1:5-9). The New Testament never speaks of one elder over one or more churches or of a plurality of elders over more than one church, but always of a plurality of such men over one congregation (Acts 14:23; 20:17; Phi. 1:1; Tit. 1:5; Jam. 5:14). Congregations necessarily functioned without elders until the time when men in them could meet the qualifications (Acts 14:23; Tit. 1:5), and so must it be in every age.
- The elders/bishops/pastors have the “oversight” only of the congregation in which they serve (Acts 20:28). This delegated authority, to which the members are to submit (Heb. 13:17), does not give them the right to make religious law. The Lord has already made and revealed all that we will ever need to get to Heaven (Acts 20:32). Rather, their responsibility is to keep the church within the confines of revealed Truth, which includes guarding it from false teachers (Acts 20:28-31).
- Serving under the elders is a group of men called “deacons,” whose specific qualifications are also given in Scripture (1 Tim. 3:8-10, 12- 13). As the term deacon means, these men are servants, especially trustworthy because of their qualifications, who do not share in the authority of elders except as elders delegate responsibilities to them. We do not read of any congregations in the New Testament that had deacons without first having elders, nor do we read of any “deaconesses.”
- While these are the only positions in local congregations with specific, listed Scriptural qualifications, the elders in each church are certainly wise to use the talents of others to preach, teach, lead singing, and carry out other necessary functions in the congregations as they do their work. The Babel characterizing religion in our time shows no respect for Scriptural organization. Most religious bodies have a hierarchy of some sort, with the extremes in this respect seen in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox organizations. The various man-made religious organizations have created “officers” and “offices” galore which Jesus and the apostles never imagined in their wildest dreams (e.g. popes, archbishops, eldresses, deaconesses, et al.). Likewise, men have invented religious titles, some of which the Lord explicitly proscribed (e.g., “father” [Mat. 23:9], reverend, right reverend, his holiness, reverend mother, et al.). What stark contrast one can see between such inventions of men and the simplicity of Christianity in the New Testament.