The word “church” describes perfectly what the 1stSCA is and what it does. The 1stSCA’s members are drawn together on the basis of their shared values and approach to questions and problems that are generally considered to be religious. The 1stSCA sponsors regular meetings that are free and open to the public as well as other activities for its members. Marriages are celebrated, newborns are welcomed, children are instructed, personal crises are addressed, and the sick and dying are supported, all within the context of these same values.
The 1stSCA is and does everything that any other church does but without supernaturalism and without imposing doctrines and dogmas on its members. We believe in doing the right thing always in life, because we are good people- NOT because we are afraid of burning in hell if we don’t.
The objection would make more sense if it were true that all other churches are Christian. But the Church of Scientology and the Buddhist Church are certainly not Christian. Indeed, many Buddhists are atheists! Likewise, the Unitarian-Universalist Church does not promote Christian doctrines and, in fact, welcomes atheists and agnostics. Then there is the Universal Life Church (ULC), which sells ordinations by mail and over the internet. The NTCOF is much more like traditional churches than is the ULC.
The objection is irrelevant in any case. What other church would change its name to suit outsiders? Should the Catholic Church stop using the word “church” because some Protestants say that the Vatican is the “Anti-Christ” and the “Whore of Babylon?” Of course not. Even many Christians have pointed out to us that the ancient origin of the word “church” is the idea of people who are “called out for a purpose.” We are certainly that.