I have recently had discussions with a believer outside our fellowship regarding discipleship and church membership. I have been faced with a difficult question that I can't answer. Where does the scriptures give mandate or urge to formally register as a church and give it a name? This is an extremely important question to me. I do see that the church is God's plan (Matt 16). I see also that church is the intimate fellowship of those baptized into Christ (1 Cor 12). I see that being connected to Christ is foundational (Joh 15; 1 Cor 1), and I do see that Jesus prayed all believers would be one (John 17). Have we gone beyond what is written -- violating 1 Cor 4:6 -- by building on something else than Christ?
I’m sorry this issue has become a stumbling block. Of course the scriptures don’t address this. Nor do they address in vitro fertilization. Or 1000 other subjects where we need to use our judgment.
The differences of interpretation within the Restoration Movement historically shed important light on your question:
* The super-strict interpretative model of the Churches of Christ: The silences of scripture are prohibitive.
* The more moderate interpretative model of the Christian Church: Silences of scripture are permissive.
This is a typical COC question, not a CC question. I side with the permissive view: unless scripture forbids it, or it contradicts a scriptural teaching, we are free.
As for the context of 1 Cor 4:6, going beyond what is written, in the Corinthian case, was exalting Paul or Apollos (or Cephas) as superior leaders, and then looking down for others for being in the inferior faction. We should not be making such judgments! To be partisan in our attitude — sectarian — is going beyond what is written.
It’s not violating scripture to have a telephone in church (even though the apostles didn’t use them), or to have a church start time (such as 11:00). The passage is about attitude, arrogance, and judgment. It’s hard (for me, at least) to see any connection between this passage and the issue of complying with governmental regulations in registering the church. Registering with the government -- unless this means promising to violate clear teachings of scripture -- is not an issue. You aren't basing and building the church on the foundation of the government, but on Christ -- provided you continue to live in him and for him. I hope this helps.