“Blaming the Church”

Joined: January 2nd, 2005, 6:45 am

July 4th, 2006, 7:22 am #1

<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>It is a shame that there are folks who constantly badmouth, criticize, oppose, bash and speak negatively of the church that they still claim to be members of. In discussions regarding doctrinal issues, they would align themselves with those of other church affiliations just so they could position themselves as being opposed to fellow members who have real knowledge of and abide by the truth.

In essence, these are church members who show very little respect for God’s Word and go so far as to say that it doesn’t matter whether baptism occurs before or after one is already a Christian; that the Lord’s Supper may be observed “any day now,” that the louder “joyful noise unto the Lord” and being Hot-Christian-Rocky would be better for God’s hearing; that worship “in spirit” means being “charismatic” and rhythmically-clappy-feeling and applauding. The list can go on and on.</font>
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    <font class="option" style="font-size: 15pt"> Blaming the Church </font></td></tr>
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    <font class="option" style="font-size: 10pt">By John Waddey
    Christianity: Then and Now

    Those among us who make their living as professional critics of the Lord’s church make much of the unfortunate divisions that have occurred among our brethren over the last 200 years. To hear them tell it, we have more such problems than any other body of people. Their conclusions are that our plea for unity in Christ is unworkable, that our restoration movement is a failure, that they are thus justified in reaching out and embracing the denominations of their choice.

    These self-justifying critics overlook the many cases of apostasy that arose even while the Lord and his chosen apostles were on earth.
    • After Jesus’ memorable sermon on the bread of life, “Many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him” (John 6:66). He even questioned the apostles if they too would depart!
    • Judas proved to be unfaithful and betrayed the Lord to his enemies (Matt. 26:14-16).
    • Ananias and Sapphira allowed their greed and desire for recognition to lead them into mortal sin and condemnation (Acts 5:1-6).
    • Jewish converts created divisions by their discrimination against their Gentile brothers and sisters and trying to bind certain aspects of the Law of Moses on them (Acts 15:1-2).
    • Factious brethren in Corinth had caused divisions among them (I Cor. 11:19).
    • Paul warned that some would depart from the faith, forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from meats (I Tim. 4:1-3).
    • Some false teachers denied that Christ had come in the flesh (I John 4:1-3).
    • Some false brethren taught destructive heresies and made merchandise of their deceived brothers and sisters in Christ (II Pet. 2:1-3).
    • There was Diotrephes who came to dominate the church in his community and sought to alienate them from the Apostle John (III John 9-10).
    • There were deluded disciples in Pergamum who had embraced the doctrine of Balaam and the Nicolaitans (Rev. 2:14-16).
    • Christians in Thyatira were faulted for tolerating the false prophetess Jezebel who was corrupting them by her teaching and practices. (Rev. 2:20-23).
    In view of this sordid record of apostasy and division among those who were the disciples of Jesus and his church, I pose the following questions:
    • Did these episodes of apostasy and division make a mockery of the call for unity preached by Jesus and his apostles? (John 17:20-23; Eph. 4:3).
    • Did they make the church a laughingstock to their religious neighbors?
    • Did they prove that their efforts to unite all men in Christ were a failure?
    • Was the division the fault of those who avoided the schisms and remained faithful to Christ and his Will?
    • Did it make the church of Christ of the first century sectarian and a denomination because some were divisive?
    • Did it call for a “radical restoration” or an admission of their denominational status?
    • If a man’s answer to all the above is No, why then would he conclude the opposite about the brotherhood of churches of Christ today?
    The fact is, Satan is ever working, to inflict harm and division on the body of Christ. In so doing he hopes to discourage disciples and confuse the lost. He desires to alienate brethren and humiliate and discredit the church in the eyes of the unbelieving world. He hopes to so confuse and disorient some Christians so that like cancer cells in a physical body they will turn against the Lord’s church and wreak havoc in the body of Christ. Some who are affected deny her spiritual integrity and accuse her of being just another denomination founded by men. They attack her sacred doctrines, her worship and Christ-ordained practices. Like a blind man they cannot see that the blame for division rests on the heads of those “who cause divisions and occasions of stumbling” among us (Rom. 16:17), not on the church of Christ and those Christians who are their victims.

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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

July 4th, 2006, 7:26 am #2

<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>
  • When apostasy swept through our ranks a century ago, “The educated upper echelon was siphoned off in the Christian Church” (Wm. Banowsky).
  • “We are not helped in fighting evil by exaggerating its extent. In rejecting or refuting the exaggeration, men often make the truth a victim” (N. Thomas).
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

July 24th, 2006, 6:17 am #3

<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>It is a shame that there are folks who constantly badmouth, criticize, oppose, bash and speak negatively of the church that they still claim to be members of. In discussions regarding doctrinal issues, they would align themselves with those of other church affiliations just so they could position themselves as being opposed to fellow members who have real knowledge of and abide by the truth.

In essence, these are church members who show very little respect for God’s Word and go so far as to say that it doesn’t matter whether baptism occurs before or after one is already a Christian; that the Lord’s Supper may be observed “any day now,” that the louder “joyful noise unto the Lord” and being Hot-Christian-Rocky would be better for God’s hearing; that worship “in spirit” means being “charismatic” and rhythmically-clappy-feeling and applauding. The list can go on and on.</font>
  • <table width="93%" border="0"><tr><td valign="top" width="100%">
    <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="98%"><tr><td width="98%" bgcolor="#ffffff">

    <font class="option" style="font-size: 15pt"> Blaming the Church </font></td></tr>
    <tr><td colspan="2" bgcolor="#ffffff">
    <table border="0" width="98%" align="center"><tr><td>
    <font class="option" style="font-size: 10pt">By John Waddey
    Christianity: Then and Now

    Those among us who make their living as professional critics of the Lord’s church make much of the unfortunate divisions that have occurred among our brethren over the last 200 years. To hear them tell it, we have more such problems than any other body of people. Their conclusions are that our plea for unity in Christ is unworkable, that our restoration movement is a failure, that they are thus justified in reaching out and embracing the denominations of their choice.

    These self-justifying critics overlook the many cases of apostasy that arose even while the Lord and his chosen apostles were on earth.
    • After Jesus’ memorable sermon on the bread of life, “Many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him” (John 6:66). He even questioned the apostles if they too would depart!
    • Judas proved to be unfaithful and betrayed the Lord to his enemies (Matt. 26:14-16).
    • Ananias and Sapphira allowed their greed and desire for recognition to lead them into mortal sin and condemnation (Acts 5:1-6).
    • Jewish converts created divisions by their discrimination against their Gentile brothers and sisters and trying to bind certain aspects of the Law of Moses on them (Acts 15:1-2).
    • Factious brethren in Corinth had caused divisions among them (I Cor. 11:19).
    • Paul warned that some would depart from the faith, forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from meats (I Tim. 4:1-3).
    • Some false teachers denied that Christ had come in the flesh (I John 4:1-3).
    • Some false brethren taught destructive heresies and made merchandise of their deceived brothers and sisters in Christ (II Pet. 2:1-3).
    • There was Diotrephes who came to dominate the church in his community and sought to alienate them from the Apostle John (III John 9-10).
    • There were deluded disciples in Pergamum who had embraced the doctrine of Balaam and the Nicolaitans (Rev. 2:14-16).
    • Christians in Thyatira were faulted for tolerating the false prophetess Jezebel who was corrupting them by her teaching and practices. (Rev. 2:20-23).
    In view of this sordid record of apostasy and division among those who were the disciples of Jesus and his church, I pose the following questions:
    • Did these episodes of apostasy and division make a mockery of the call for unity preached by Jesus and his apostles? (John 17:20-23; Eph. 4:3).
    • Did they make the church a laughingstock to their religious neighbors?
    • Did they prove that their efforts to unite all men in Christ were a failure?
    • Was the division the fault of those who avoided the schisms and remained faithful to Christ and his Will?
    • Did it make the church of Christ of the first century sectarian and a denomination because some were divisive?
    • Did it call for a “radical restoration” or an admission of their denominational status?
    • If a man’s answer to all the above is No, why then would he conclude the opposite about the brotherhood of churches of Christ today?
    The fact is, Satan is ever working, to inflict harm and division on the body of Christ. In so doing he hopes to discourage disciples and confuse the lost. He desires to alienate brethren and humiliate and discredit the church in the eyes of the unbelieving world. He hopes to so confuse and disorient some Christians so that like cancer cells in a physical body they will turn against the Lord’s church and wreak havoc in the body of Christ. Some who are affected deny her spiritual integrity and accuse her of being just another denomination founded by men. They attack her sacred doctrines, her worship and Christ-ordained practices. Like a blind man they cannot see that the blame for division rests on the heads of those “who cause divisions and occasions of stumbling” among us (Rom. 16:17), not on the church of Christ and those Christians who are their victims.

    </font>
    </td></tr></table></td></tr></table></td></tr></table>
<font size=3 face=times new roman>PRAYERS NEEDED FOR CHRIST'S CHURCH

Dear Fellow-Christian:

If the Lord's church is to survive and prosper, it is essential that the fervent prayers of her faithful children be lifted up continually on her behalf. Today's lesson appeals for such prayers and suggests particulars for which requests should be made. We urge you to join your prayers with those of other thousands of saints. Remember the words of the blessed hymn, I Love Thy Kingdom Lord, ... "for her my prayers ascend." A devout army of praying Christians will be hard for Satan to defeat.

John Waddey</font>

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PRAYERS NEEDED FOR CHRIST'S CHURCH
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<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Paul wrote, "I exhort therefore,...that supplications, prayers, intercessions thanksgivings, be made for all men; for kings and all that are in high place; that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior..." (I Tim. 2:1-3). Would it not also be good and acceptable to ask that saints every where lift up prayers for elders preachers, youth workers, campus evangelists and missionaries and teachers in our Christian schools in the day of crisis:
  • That all will take seriously their sacred privilege and duty to serve the Lord and his church.
  • That all will "hold fast to the faithful word" (Tit. 1:9);
  • That they will be true to their task and responsibility to lead, teach and guide all of God's people safely in the footsteps of Jesus' revealed truth (II Tim. 4:2);
  • That they will resist any and every temptation and allurement to turn aside to the siren voices of denominational teachers (II Thess. 2:3);
  • That they will be content with the old paths of Scripture and resist every temptation to embrace new methods, means and doctrines that may please young minds, but which have neither foundation nor approval in Scripture;
  • That they will all have an interest in and a sense of loyalty to the brotherhood of New Testament Christians scattered around the world;
  • That should they lose their faith in the Bible way and the church of Christ, they will be honest and openly admit their changed convictions. If they are unwilling or unable to teach the sound doctrine of Scripture, held and loved by our brethren, that they will leave the church in peace and follow their new found faith to its denominational sources and there take up their abode;
  • That teachers and preachers will work diligently to indoctrinate and confirm in the faith the disciples under their influence so they will remain loyal to Christ and his teachings;
  • That elders will closely watch, guard and protect the flock of their charge lest any false teacher slip into their fold and ravage them (Acts 20:28-29);
  • That preachers will inform themselves of the dangers the change movement poses and speak words of warning to those they address.
  • That they will recover the evangelistic zeal Christ wants us to have so the church may once again grow and prosper.
___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
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Joined: February 27th, 2006, 10:01 pm

August 14th, 2006, 9:45 pm #4

I apologize for the long delay in responding
to this thread. I have spent quite a bit of
time in self-examination on this topic and
I know in my heart that I am not trying to
bring christian brothers down. I only want
for my bretheren of the churches of Christ
to admit that they are not 100% correct on
all doctrinal matters which puts them in the
same boat as myself. We are all fallable.
With that being said I would wish that the
members of the churches of Christ would be
less judegemental on others particularly in
regards to doctrinal matters that should be
prefernce, like instumental music; etc.
I really am sorry if these "change-agents"
used unethical methods in implementing their
changes. I only wish that you all can forgive
like Christ forgave us and then join in
fellowship with these other believers, after
all they are christian brothers also.
By the way I have not left the body of Christ
as I worship every week. It may not be the same
as the churches of Christ that you are familiar
with but it is still the Lord's church.

Thank you,

Wordkeeper
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Anonymous
Anonymous

September 13th, 2006, 9:00 pm #5


Wordkeeper,

You said, "I would wish that the
members of the churches of Christ would be
less judegemental on others particularly in
regards to doctrinal matters that should be
prefernce, like instumental music; etc."

Good luck with that.

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