COMMUNITY CHURCHES AND CHURCHES OF CHRIST

John Waddey
John Waddey

October 16th, 2003, 11:03 am #11

<font size=4> COMMUNITY CHURCHES AND CHURCHES OF CHRIST </font>

<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>We all understand that God did not assign a specific name to his church. Rather, several different names are used to designate his people: church of God, church of the Lord, churches of Christ and the church. When there was but one body of people in the world that honored Christ as their founder, head and Lord there was no need for any further identification. We, however, live in a society were there are upwards of 1500 different kinds of churches. This situation creates a state of confusion as to which body of people one is referring to when he speaks of or asks about "the church." This situation necessitates that we have some way of identifying ourselves so we can communicate, find each other and point others to a body of brethren in a given place.

In the early days of the Restoration Movement three different streams of people came together to unite on the Bible and restore the faith and practice of the original church. Those led by Alexander Campbell most often referred to themselves as Disciples of Christ. Those led by Barton Stone most often used the name Church of Christ. Those coming from the James O'Kelly, Elias Smith and Abner Jones movement preferred the name Christian Church. There was not a strict adherence to any particular one of these names and all the brethren recognized each other as fellow-Christians serving God in one body. When schism occurred at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, those preferring to have instrumental music, missionary societies, women in positions of church leadership, etc., generally identified themselves as Christian Churches/Disciples of Christ. Our brethren distinguished themselves by the biblical name Churches of Christ, found in Rom. 16:16. Over a period of 25 years this distinction of names became virtually complete. Our brethren continued to hold and use the name Churches of Christ, not because it was the exclusive Bible cognomen for the church but because it was biblical and was helpful in identifying our people, wherever they might be.

Over the last 40 years, as liberalism slowly eroded the Biblical foundations of many of our younger preachers and they in turn failed to properly instruct and indoctrinate our people, a new generation of leaders arose who seemed to be ashamed of their association with the brotherhood of people known as Churches of Christ. They craved acceptance with their neighbors of the Evangelical churches. They did not want to bear the stigma of being exclusive and different from the worldly churches around them. Since they no longer believed the exclusive message of salvation and the one church of Scripture, they did not want to be publicly identified with those who still held to such exclusive beliefs. Hence they began to cast around for a name that would do two things:
  • It would mask from the people of their community that they were affiliated with other Churches of Christ.
  • It would make them appear like other "Community Churches" that were experiencing phenomenal growth. We know that many of those who have taken this route have chosen as their models, "Non-denominational Community Churches" such as the Saddleback Community Church of Orange County California and Willow Creek Church in Barrington, Illinois and Robert Shuller's Crystal Cathedral. Of course those churches are thoroughly denominational in their faith and practice since they prefer the doctrines and commandments of men rather than the authority of the New Testament of Christ as their standard. Numerous Baptist, Methodist, Reformed and other denominational congregations have also taken this same moniker of "Community Church." It seems that some of our brethren prefer to be identified with such groups rather than with their brethren of Churches of Christ.
  • Another probable motive is that under the name of Community Church, the typical congregation places little or no emphasis on doctrinal loyalty. Thus a typical Community Church might employ a Methodist minister this year and a Disciples of Christ man the next, and a female Presbyterian the following. Indicators are that some of our brethren who have chosen this route have a similar laxness about doctrinal standards. Church for them is all about fellowship, fun, doing good and feeling good. Such things as abiding in the doctrine of Christ (II John 9-11) are given little emphasis.
Those of our people who have chosen to identify themselves as Community churches seem to have a commonality about them. They all have embraced the agenda of the change movement, which seeks to transform our people into the likeness of our denominational neighbors. Such things as salvation by grace through faith before immersion, a de-emphasis on the importance of baptism, a willingness to tolerate the use of instrumental music in worship, a willingness to allow women to assume leadership roles in the life of the church, acceptance of denominational churches as in good standing with God and other related issues seem to be part and parcel of those wishing to be known as "Community Churches." Several of our Universities and Colleges have given encouragement to the Community Church movement: among them Abilene Christian University, Pepperdine University and Harding Graduate School of Religion.

It would be as scriptural to identify ones congregation as the Community Church of Christ as the State Street Church of Christ. But for most of these folks, they want the "Community Church" without the "of Christ" designation. As Jesus said we can only judge them by their fruits (Matt. 7:16-21). The direction of this movement is away from New Testament Christianity and from obedience to the message of Christ. It is away from the brotherhood of Churches of Christ of which they once were a part. In my judgment it would be a mistake for a congregation to take such a name as it creates confusion as to who they are. It also identifies them with those who are abandoning the Bible as their standard of faith and practice. It reflects on their part a sense of shame to be identified with the gospel and the body of Christ. Paul was not ashamed of the message he preached (Rom. 1:16). With Jesus, he gladly endured the shame of the cross (Heb. 12:2; Gal. 5:11) and so should we. If the world despises us for what we believe and stand for, so be it; they hated Jesus for his faith and convictions (John 15:17-20). </font>

___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
Churches of Christ are faced with a revolution in their camp. A band of skilled, articulate men have launched a movement to reform (i.e. change) the faith, worship and practice of the brotherhood. If they are successful, we will no longer be a church modeled after the Biblical pattern; the church our fathers and mothers knew. The seriousness of the challenge is illustrated by the contrasting views of the church held by those who are promoting change and those who are determined to cling to the old paths of the Biblical standard.

Our view of the church is that it is stable and unchanging in its essence. We want to believe and worship just as the first disciples did and as faithful saints have since the beginning. The church was established by Christ (Matt. 16:18) and given a standard of faith and practice conceived in heaven, suitable for all men of all nations and forever binding on those who wish to please him (Matt. 28:20). Their view, in contrast, is of a church that theoretically can be different in every age, culture and community. Their churches are the products of their culture and are shaped by those who are significant leaders. They reject the idea of the Bible as our divine pattern and ridicule the idea as “patternism.”

Our view is that the Church of Christ is the spiritual body of Jesus in this world (Eph. 1:22); purchased by his blood (Acts 20;28); established by Christ (Matt. 16:18). It is God’s family of saved people (I Tim. 3:15), that will live with him in eternity (I Cor. 15:24; Rev. 21:2). Their view is that the Church of Christ is a human organization founded by Alexander Campbell and Barton Stone in the early 1800s. At best, it is only a denomination, merely a part of the real church. They see it as seriously flawed and of no lasting value. To them, one’s salvation certainly does not depend on being a part of it.

Our view is that the faith, worship and work of the church have been ordained and commissioned by Christ (I Cor. 11:23). The Scriptures provide us all things that pertain to life and godliness (II Pet. 1:3-4). They constitute a “pattern of sound words” to which we are to cling (II Tim. 1:13). We are explicitly taught to “observe all things whatsoever (Christ) commanded” (Matt. 28:20). In his Testament, Christ sets forth the doctrines we are to believe, the kind of worship we are to offer and the mission his church is to pursue. Our duty is to acknowledge him as Lord (Rom. 10:9) and render submissive obedience to him in every way (Heb. 5:9). They see belief and worship as something derived from our history and culture; that human leaders have set the standards for the church. They specifically deny that there is a standard or pattern to which we must conform. They can adapt their message and worship to meet the felt needs and demands of society. They feel comfortable in allowing or doing things Scripture specifically forbids such as placing women in positions of public leadership in the church (I Cor. 14:33-34).

These examples demonstrate that although these two groups of people both call themselves Churches of Christ, they clearly are different in important and significant ways. In fact they represent two different kinds of churches; one divine, the other human; one guided by Scripture, the other by the will of man. Just as counterfeit money looks remarkably like genuine money, so the churches of the change movement appear to the unsuspecting to be Churches of Christ, but their similarity is only surface and their value is no more than that of a counterfeit bill. Christ built but one church (Matt. 16:18); He has “but one body” (I Cor. 12:20). Although counterfeits may exist and even flourish in our midst, they will not stand the inspection of the Great Judge of all (Matt. 7:21-23).

John Waddey
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John Waddey
John Waddey

October 20th, 2003, 8:18 am #12

<font size=4> COMMUNITY CHURCHES AND CHURCHES OF CHRIST </font>

<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>We all understand that God did not assign a specific name to his church. Rather, several different names are used to designate his people: church of God, church of the Lord, churches of Christ and the church. When there was but one body of people in the world that honored Christ as their founder, head and Lord there was no need for any further identification. We, however, live in a society were there are upwards of 1500 different kinds of churches. This situation creates a state of confusion as to which body of people one is referring to when he speaks of or asks about "the church." This situation necessitates that we have some way of identifying ourselves so we can communicate, find each other and point others to a body of brethren in a given place.

In the early days of the Restoration Movement three different streams of people came together to unite on the Bible and restore the faith and practice of the original church. Those led by Alexander Campbell most often referred to themselves as Disciples of Christ. Those led by Barton Stone most often used the name Church of Christ. Those coming from the James O'Kelly, Elias Smith and Abner Jones movement preferred the name Christian Church. There was not a strict adherence to any particular one of these names and all the brethren recognized each other as fellow-Christians serving God in one body. When schism occurred at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, those preferring to have instrumental music, missionary societies, women in positions of church leadership, etc., generally identified themselves as Christian Churches/Disciples of Christ. Our brethren distinguished themselves by the biblical name Churches of Christ, found in Rom. 16:16. Over a period of 25 years this distinction of names became virtually complete. Our brethren continued to hold and use the name Churches of Christ, not because it was the exclusive Bible cognomen for the church but because it was biblical and was helpful in identifying our people, wherever they might be.

Over the last 40 years, as liberalism slowly eroded the Biblical foundations of many of our younger preachers and they in turn failed to properly instruct and indoctrinate our people, a new generation of leaders arose who seemed to be ashamed of their association with the brotherhood of people known as Churches of Christ. They craved acceptance with their neighbors of the Evangelical churches. They did not want to bear the stigma of being exclusive and different from the worldly churches around them. Since they no longer believed the exclusive message of salvation and the one church of Scripture, they did not want to be publicly identified with those who still held to such exclusive beliefs. Hence they began to cast around for a name that would do two things:
  • It would mask from the people of their community that they were affiliated with other Churches of Christ.
  • It would make them appear like other "Community Churches" that were experiencing phenomenal growth. We know that many of those who have taken this route have chosen as their models, "Non-denominational Community Churches" such as the Saddleback Community Church of Orange County California and Willow Creek Church in Barrington, Illinois and Robert Shuller's Crystal Cathedral. Of course those churches are thoroughly denominational in their faith and practice since they prefer the doctrines and commandments of men rather than the authority of the New Testament of Christ as their standard. Numerous Baptist, Methodist, Reformed and other denominational congregations have also taken this same moniker of "Community Church." It seems that some of our brethren prefer to be identified with such groups rather than with their brethren of Churches of Christ.
  • Another probable motive is that under the name of Community Church, the typical congregation places little or no emphasis on doctrinal loyalty. Thus a typical Community Church might employ a Methodist minister this year and a Disciples of Christ man the next, and a female Presbyterian the following. Indicators are that some of our brethren who have chosen this route have a similar laxness about doctrinal standards. Church for them is all about fellowship, fun, doing good and feeling good. Such things as abiding in the doctrine of Christ (II John 9-11) are given little emphasis.
Those of our people who have chosen to identify themselves as Community churches seem to have a commonality about them. They all have embraced the agenda of the change movement, which seeks to transform our people into the likeness of our denominational neighbors. Such things as salvation by grace through faith before immersion, a de-emphasis on the importance of baptism, a willingness to tolerate the use of instrumental music in worship, a willingness to allow women to assume leadership roles in the life of the church, acceptance of denominational churches as in good standing with God and other related issues seem to be part and parcel of those wishing to be known as "Community Churches." Several of our Universities and Colleges have given encouragement to the Community Church movement: among them Abilene Christian University, Pepperdine University and Harding Graduate School of Religion.

It would be as scriptural to identify ones congregation as the Community Church of Christ as the State Street Church of Christ. But for most of these folks, they want the "Community Church" without the "of Christ" designation. As Jesus said we can only judge them by their fruits (Matt. 7:16-21). The direction of this movement is away from New Testament Christianity and from obedience to the message of Christ. It is away from the brotherhood of Churches of Christ of which they once were a part. In my judgment it would be a mistake for a congregation to take such a name as it creates confusion as to who they are. It also identifies them with those who are abandoning the Bible as their standard of faith and practice. It reflects on their part a sense of shame to be identified with the gospel and the body of Christ. Paul was not ashamed of the message he preached (Rom. 1:16). With Jesus, he gladly endured the shame of the cross (Heb. 12:2; Gal. 5:11) and so should we. If the world despises us for what we believe and stand for, so be it; they hated Jesus for his faith and convictions (John 15:17-20). </font>

___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
This is a valid question that millions of folks have pondered. To help put it in focus ask yourself: Is one medicine as good as another? Or one doctor? Is one car as good as another? Or one airline? When you are traveling, is one direction as good as another? When balancing your checking account is one answer as good as another? Is one political candidate as good as another? Is one school as good as another? Is a counterfeit bill as good as a genuine piece of currency? Or a forged check of equal value with a good one? Of course, the answer to all of these questions is no. One is not necessarily as good as the other; in many cases one is downright inferior or even worthless.

Only in the realm of religion would we even consider such a statement to have any merit. In any other area, to affirm that one thing is as good as another would cause us to be laughed off the platform. Christ purchased a church (Acts 20:28); he built a church (Matt. 16:18); he is savior of a church (Eph. 5:23); he is head of a church (Eph. 1:22). That church is undisputedly of ultimate value and benefit to all who become members of it. New Testament writers speak of it as an exclusive, unitary church. They call it "the" church. They tell us there is one body or church (Eph. 4:4-5). Across the centuries, men and women have established hundreds of churches of their own design and making. Who would say that any one of them is of equal value with that church which Christ built? Christ's church existed long before any human denomination, sect or cult was created. Our eternal destiny depends on our being members of the church which is God's saved family (Eph. 5:23). It behooves us therefore to be members of that church which Christ built. Paul referred to this body when writing to the Romans, saying, "All the churches (i.e., congregations) of Christ salute you" (Rom. 16:16). No other church is equal in value to that of Christ.

John Waddey
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John Waddey
John Waddey

November 29th, 2003, 7:00 am #13

<font size=4> COMMUNITY CHURCHES AND CHURCHES OF CHRIST </font>

<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>We all understand that God did not assign a specific name to his church. Rather, several different names are used to designate his people: church of God, church of the Lord, churches of Christ and the church. When there was but one body of people in the world that honored Christ as their founder, head and Lord there was no need for any further identification. We, however, live in a society were there are upwards of 1500 different kinds of churches. This situation creates a state of confusion as to which body of people one is referring to when he speaks of or asks about "the church." This situation necessitates that we have some way of identifying ourselves so we can communicate, find each other and point others to a body of brethren in a given place.

In the early days of the Restoration Movement three different streams of people came together to unite on the Bible and restore the faith and practice of the original church. Those led by Alexander Campbell most often referred to themselves as Disciples of Christ. Those led by Barton Stone most often used the name Church of Christ. Those coming from the James O'Kelly, Elias Smith and Abner Jones movement preferred the name Christian Church. There was not a strict adherence to any particular one of these names and all the brethren recognized each other as fellow-Christians serving God in one body. When schism occurred at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, those preferring to have instrumental music, missionary societies, women in positions of church leadership, etc., generally identified themselves as Christian Churches/Disciples of Christ. Our brethren distinguished themselves by the biblical name Churches of Christ, found in Rom. 16:16. Over a period of 25 years this distinction of names became virtually complete. Our brethren continued to hold and use the name Churches of Christ, not because it was the exclusive Bible cognomen for the church but because it was biblical and was helpful in identifying our people, wherever they might be.

Over the last 40 years, as liberalism slowly eroded the Biblical foundations of many of our younger preachers and they in turn failed to properly instruct and indoctrinate our people, a new generation of leaders arose who seemed to be ashamed of their association with the brotherhood of people known as Churches of Christ. They craved acceptance with their neighbors of the Evangelical churches. They did not want to bear the stigma of being exclusive and different from the worldly churches around them. Since they no longer believed the exclusive message of salvation and the one church of Scripture, they did not want to be publicly identified with those who still held to such exclusive beliefs. Hence they began to cast around for a name that would do two things:
  • It would mask from the people of their community that they were affiliated with other Churches of Christ.
  • It would make them appear like other "Community Churches" that were experiencing phenomenal growth. We know that many of those who have taken this route have chosen as their models, "Non-denominational Community Churches" such as the Saddleback Community Church of Orange County California and Willow Creek Church in Barrington, Illinois and Robert Shuller's Crystal Cathedral. Of course those churches are thoroughly denominational in their faith and practice since they prefer the doctrines and commandments of men rather than the authority of the New Testament of Christ as their standard. Numerous Baptist, Methodist, Reformed and other denominational congregations have also taken this same moniker of "Community Church." It seems that some of our brethren prefer to be identified with such groups rather than with their brethren of Churches of Christ.
  • Another probable motive is that under the name of Community Church, the typical congregation places little or no emphasis on doctrinal loyalty. Thus a typical Community Church might employ a Methodist minister this year and a Disciples of Christ man the next, and a female Presbyterian the following. Indicators are that some of our brethren who have chosen this route have a similar laxness about doctrinal standards. Church for them is all about fellowship, fun, doing good and feeling good. Such things as abiding in the doctrine of Christ (II John 9-11) are given little emphasis.
Those of our people who have chosen to identify themselves as Community churches seem to have a commonality about them. They all have embraced the agenda of the change movement, which seeks to transform our people into the likeness of our denominational neighbors. Such things as salvation by grace through faith before immersion, a de-emphasis on the importance of baptism, a willingness to tolerate the use of instrumental music in worship, a willingness to allow women to assume leadership roles in the life of the church, acceptance of denominational churches as in good standing with God and other related issues seem to be part and parcel of those wishing to be known as "Community Churches." Several of our Universities and Colleges have given encouragement to the Community Church movement: among them Abilene Christian University, Pepperdine University and Harding Graduate School of Religion.

It would be as scriptural to identify ones congregation as the Community Church of Christ as the State Street Church of Christ. But for most of these folks, they want the "Community Church" without the "of Christ" designation. As Jesus said we can only judge them by their fruits (Matt. 7:16-21). The direction of this movement is away from New Testament Christianity and from obedience to the message of Christ. It is away from the brotherhood of Churches of Christ of which they once were a part. In my judgment it would be a mistake for a congregation to take such a name as it creates confusion as to who they are. It also identifies them with those who are abandoning the Bible as their standard of faith and practice. It reflects on their part a sense of shame to be identified with the gospel and the body of Christ. Paul was not ashamed of the message he preached (Rom. 1:16). With Jesus, he gladly endured the shame of the cross (Heb. 12:2; Gal. 5:11) and so should we. If the world despises us for what we believe and stand for, so be it; they hated Jesus for his faith and convictions (John 15:17-20). </font>

___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
There are churches on every hand; all kinds of churches: Catholic, Protestant and others, big churches, fancy churches, small and plain churches. Let me tell you about a very unusual church THAT HAS:

• No rock bands or professional entertainers; just simple worship to God with hymns and spiritual songs sung by all (Ephesians 5:19).

• No showmen or comedians; just plain, ordinary Christian teachers who preach God's Word to those assembled (II Timothy 4:1-2).

• No cathedrals, or temples; just plain, functional meeting houses in which to worship and serve the Lord.

• No magicians or "miracle" workers; just normal, intelligent Christians doing the will and work of Christ in the church and in the community. Helping the poor, ministering to the ill and doing good in the name of Christ.

• No denominational structure or government; just congregations meeting, conducting their own business, choosing their own leaders and serving God as they understand Scripture to direct.

• No human founder to honor or follow, no human doctrinal system to believe or obey; just disciples honoring Christ by believing in him as God's Son and obeying his will as revealed in his New Testament.

• No sectarian or denominational names to be known by; just members who are called Christians (I Peter 4:16) and congregations called "Churches of Christ" (Romans 16:16).

• No political agendas or involvement; just Christians working to promote a kingdom, "not of this world" (John 18:36), who pray for kings and all in high places (I Timothy 2:1-2) but do not try to manipulate or control government.

"WHAT A STRANGE AND UNUSUAL CHURCH; I can't imagine such," you may say. To see just such an unusual church, visit The Church of Christ near you.

John Waddey
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Elmer LaRue
Elmer LaRue

December 5th, 2003, 12:55 pm #14

John,thanks to you for an apt discription of the Lord's church. I have read after you for the past several years and enjoy the plain gospel teaching that eminates from you brother.If memory serves me [and it doesn't always] I have attended a few meetings or lectureships in which you participated.Thanks again and keep up the good work. Yours in Christ. Elmer LaRue
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Stephen R Armstrong
Stephen R Armstrong

December 5th, 2003, 7:42 pm #15

There are churches on every hand; all kinds of churches: Catholic, Protestant and others, big churches, fancy churches, small and plain churches. Let me tell you about a very unusual church THAT HAS:

• No rock bands or professional entertainers; just simple worship to God with hymns and spiritual songs sung by all (Ephesians 5:19).

• No showmen or comedians; just plain, ordinary Christian teachers who preach God's Word to those assembled (II Timothy 4:1-2).

• No cathedrals, or temples; just plain, functional meeting houses in which to worship and serve the Lord.

• No magicians or "miracle" workers; just normal, intelligent Christians doing the will and work of Christ in the church and in the community. Helping the poor, ministering to the ill and doing good in the name of Christ.

• No denominational structure or government; just congregations meeting, conducting their own business, choosing their own leaders and serving God as they understand Scripture to direct.

• No human founder to honor or follow, no human doctrinal system to believe or obey; just disciples honoring Christ by believing in him as God's Son and obeying his will as revealed in his New Testament.

• No sectarian or denominational names to be known by; just members who are called Christians (I Peter 4:16) and congregations called "Churches of Christ" (Romans 16:16).

• No political agendas or involvement; just Christians working to promote a kingdom, "not of this world" (John 18:36), who pray for kings and all in high places (I Timothy 2:1-2) but do not try to manipulate or control government.

"WHAT A STRANGE AND UNUSUAL CHURCH; I can't imagine such," you may say. To see just such an unusual church, visit The Church of Christ near you.

John Waddey
Wonderful article, but if we are not careful the church as we know it, the church of the scripture, will change before our very eyes, just like the soceity we grew up in is gone, all in the name of progress and tolerance. Contemporary praise and worship services for our young people - fellowship with groups such as Promise Keepers & denominational groups, acceptance of alternative lifestyles. As God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, so shall the church of Christ be the same in the eyes of Jesus, our Lord. I just pray that we continue to be that church and not change with the times. One thing is for sure, those of us that see unscriptural changes coming in our local church and say nothing, will pay the price, eternally! May God give us the strength and courage to stand with him and His Word. Come apart from the world or you will come apart!
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John Waddey
John Waddey

December 6th, 2003, 10:22 am #16

<font size=4> COMMUNITY CHURCHES AND CHURCHES OF CHRIST </font>

<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>We all understand that God did not assign a specific name to his church. Rather, several different names are used to designate his people: church of God, church of the Lord, churches of Christ and the church. When there was but one body of people in the world that honored Christ as their founder, head and Lord there was no need for any further identification. We, however, live in a society were there are upwards of 1500 different kinds of churches. This situation creates a state of confusion as to which body of people one is referring to when he speaks of or asks about "the church." This situation necessitates that we have some way of identifying ourselves so we can communicate, find each other and point others to a body of brethren in a given place.

In the early days of the Restoration Movement three different streams of people came together to unite on the Bible and restore the faith and practice of the original church. Those led by Alexander Campbell most often referred to themselves as Disciples of Christ. Those led by Barton Stone most often used the name Church of Christ. Those coming from the James O'Kelly, Elias Smith and Abner Jones movement preferred the name Christian Church. There was not a strict adherence to any particular one of these names and all the brethren recognized each other as fellow-Christians serving God in one body. When schism occurred at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, those preferring to have instrumental music, missionary societies, women in positions of church leadership, etc., generally identified themselves as Christian Churches/Disciples of Christ. Our brethren distinguished themselves by the biblical name Churches of Christ, found in Rom. 16:16. Over a period of 25 years this distinction of names became virtually complete. Our brethren continued to hold and use the name Churches of Christ, not because it was the exclusive Bible cognomen for the church but because it was biblical and was helpful in identifying our people, wherever they might be.

Over the last 40 years, as liberalism slowly eroded the Biblical foundations of many of our younger preachers and they in turn failed to properly instruct and indoctrinate our people, a new generation of leaders arose who seemed to be ashamed of their association with the brotherhood of people known as Churches of Christ. They craved acceptance with their neighbors of the Evangelical churches. They did not want to bear the stigma of being exclusive and different from the worldly churches around them. Since they no longer believed the exclusive message of salvation and the one church of Scripture, they did not want to be publicly identified with those who still held to such exclusive beliefs. Hence they began to cast around for a name that would do two things:
  • It would mask from the people of their community that they were affiliated with other Churches of Christ.
  • It would make them appear like other "Community Churches" that were experiencing phenomenal growth. We know that many of those who have taken this route have chosen as their models, "Non-denominational Community Churches" such as the Saddleback Community Church of Orange County California and Willow Creek Church in Barrington, Illinois and Robert Shuller's Crystal Cathedral. Of course those churches are thoroughly denominational in their faith and practice since they prefer the doctrines and commandments of men rather than the authority of the New Testament of Christ as their standard. Numerous Baptist, Methodist, Reformed and other denominational congregations have also taken this same moniker of "Community Church." It seems that some of our brethren prefer to be identified with such groups rather than with their brethren of Churches of Christ.
  • Another probable motive is that under the name of Community Church, the typical congregation places little or no emphasis on doctrinal loyalty. Thus a typical Community Church might employ a Methodist minister this year and a Disciples of Christ man the next, and a female Presbyterian the following. Indicators are that some of our brethren who have chosen this route have a similar laxness about doctrinal standards. Church for them is all about fellowship, fun, doing good and feeling good. Such things as abiding in the doctrine of Christ (II John 9-11) are given little emphasis.
Those of our people who have chosen to identify themselves as Community churches seem to have a commonality about them. They all have embraced the agenda of the change movement, which seeks to transform our people into the likeness of our denominational neighbors. Such things as salvation by grace through faith before immersion, a de-emphasis on the importance of baptism, a willingness to tolerate the use of instrumental music in worship, a willingness to allow women to assume leadership roles in the life of the church, acceptance of denominational churches as in good standing with God and other related issues seem to be part and parcel of those wishing to be known as "Community Churches." Several of our Universities and Colleges have given encouragement to the Community Church movement: among them Abilene Christian University, Pepperdine University and Harding Graduate School of Religion.

It would be as scriptural to identify ones congregation as the Community Church of Christ as the State Street Church of Christ. But for most of these folks, they want the "Community Church" without the "of Christ" designation. As Jesus said we can only judge them by their fruits (Matt. 7:16-21). The direction of this movement is away from New Testament Christianity and from obedience to the message of Christ. It is away from the brotherhood of Churches of Christ of which they once were a part. In my judgment it would be a mistake for a congregation to take such a name as it creates confusion as to who they are. It also identifies them with those who are abandoning the Bible as their standard of faith and practice. It reflects on their part a sense of shame to be identified with the gospel and the body of Christ. Paul was not ashamed of the message he preached (Rom. 1:16). With Jesus, he gladly endured the shame of the cross (Heb. 12:2; Gal. 5:11) and so should we. If the world despises us for what we believe and stand for, so be it; they hated Jesus for his faith and convictions (John 15:17-20). </font>

___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
Many brethren are like the man from Missouri: They won't believe a report until they have seen with their own eyes. When we warn brethren that apostasy is sweeping our brotherhood under the guise of changing us, many folks just can't believe it. I sometimes wonder just what it would take to persuade them. You who doubt the report, I ask to consider the following:

• If you knew for a fact that some preachers are teaching that sinners can be saved by grace before and even without baptism for forgiveness of sins;
• If you visited congregations of our people who are using women to lead in public worship, teach adult classes with men present and even preach from their pulpits;
• If you observed congregations of the Church of Christ participating Billy Graham Crusades;
• If you could see congregations mixing the Lord's Supper with a common meal;
• If you visited a sister congregation engaged in special Easter and Christmas services;
• If you attended a class or service in a church of Christ where instrumental music accompanied the singing of hymns;
• If you heard with your own ears gospel preachers teaching that the Churches of Christ are really just another denominational body, that we were founded by Alexander Campbell;
• If you could read the words of Christian teachers advocating that we should fellowship denominational churches since they are acceptable to Christ;
• If you heard preachers ridicule and reproach the deceased great heroes of our brotherhood and downplay their achievements:
• If you saw with your own eyes congregations torn asunder by promoters of change and houses of worship built and paid for by brethren who opposed all of the above stealthily taken by false brethren;
• If you knew that some Christian Universities founded and funded by our people are now promoting all of the above;

Would you be convinced that great and serious problems have befallen the Lord's Church in our day? With deep regret I must tell you that such is in fact the case. Furthermore unless we act quickly and decisively the tidal wave of error may well sweep everything before it. I implore you not to stop your ears and close your eyes to the dangers we face. Every faithful man and woman is needed to help preserve the blessed church of our Lord Jesus.

John Waddey
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

September 6th, 2005, 8:42 am #17

<font size=4> COMMUNITY CHURCHES AND CHURCHES OF CHRIST </font>

<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>We all understand that God did not assign a specific name to his church. Rather, several different names are used to designate his people: church of God, church of the Lord, churches of Christ and the church. When there was but one body of people in the world that honored Christ as their founder, head and Lord there was no need for any further identification. We, however, live in a society were there are upwards of 1500 different kinds of churches. This situation creates a state of confusion as to which body of people one is referring to when he speaks of or asks about "the church." This situation necessitates that we have some way of identifying ourselves so we can communicate, find each other and point others to a body of brethren in a given place.

In the early days of the Restoration Movement three different streams of people came together to unite on the Bible and restore the faith and practice of the original church. Those led by Alexander Campbell most often referred to themselves as Disciples of Christ. Those led by Barton Stone most often used the name Church of Christ. Those coming from the James O'Kelly, Elias Smith and Abner Jones movement preferred the name Christian Church. There was not a strict adherence to any particular one of these names and all the brethren recognized each other as fellow-Christians serving God in one body. When schism occurred at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, those preferring to have instrumental music, missionary societies, women in positions of church leadership, etc., generally identified themselves as Christian Churches/Disciples of Christ. Our brethren distinguished themselves by the biblical name Churches of Christ, found in Rom. 16:16. Over a period of 25 years this distinction of names became virtually complete. Our brethren continued to hold and use the name Churches of Christ, not because it was the exclusive Bible cognomen for the church but because it was biblical and was helpful in identifying our people, wherever they might be.

Over the last 40 years, as liberalism slowly eroded the Biblical foundations of many of our younger preachers and they in turn failed to properly instruct and indoctrinate our people, a new generation of leaders arose who seemed to be ashamed of their association with the brotherhood of people known as Churches of Christ. They craved acceptance with their neighbors of the Evangelical churches. They did not want to bear the stigma of being exclusive and different from the worldly churches around them. Since they no longer believed the exclusive message of salvation and the one church of Scripture, they did not want to be publicly identified with those who still held to such exclusive beliefs. Hence they began to cast around for a name that would do two things:
  • It would mask from the people of their community that they were affiliated with other Churches of Christ.
  • It would make them appear like other "Community Churches" that were experiencing phenomenal growth. We know that many of those who have taken this route have chosen as their models, "Non-denominational Community Churches" such as the Saddleback Community Church of Orange County California and Willow Creek Church in Barrington, Illinois and Robert Shuller's Crystal Cathedral. Of course those churches are thoroughly denominational in their faith and practice since they prefer the doctrines and commandments of men rather than the authority of the New Testament of Christ as their standard. Numerous Baptist, Methodist, Reformed and other denominational congregations have also taken this same moniker of "Community Church." It seems that some of our brethren prefer to be identified with such groups rather than with their brethren of Churches of Christ.
  • Another probable motive is that under the name of Community Church, the typical congregation places little or no emphasis on doctrinal loyalty. Thus a typical Community Church might employ a Methodist minister this year and a Disciples of Christ man the next, and a female Presbyterian the following. Indicators are that some of our brethren who have chosen this route have a similar laxness about doctrinal standards. Church for them is all about fellowship, fun, doing good and feeling good. Such things as abiding in the doctrine of Christ (II John 9-11) are given little emphasis.
Those of our people who have chosen to identify themselves as Community churches seem to have a commonality about them. They all have embraced the agenda of the change movement, which seeks to transform our people into the likeness of our denominational neighbors. Such things as salvation by grace through faith before immersion, a de-emphasis on the importance of baptism, a willingness to tolerate the use of instrumental music in worship, a willingness to allow women to assume leadership roles in the life of the church, acceptance of denominational churches as in good standing with God and other related issues seem to be part and parcel of those wishing to be known as "Community Churches." Several of our Universities and Colleges have given encouragement to the Community Church movement: among them Abilene Christian University, Pepperdine University and Harding Graduate School of Religion.

It would be as scriptural to identify ones congregation as the Community Church of Christ as the State Street Church of Christ. But for most of these folks, they want the "Community Church" without the "of Christ" designation. As Jesus said we can only judge them by their fruits (Matt. 7:16-21). The direction of this movement is away from New Testament Christianity and from obedience to the message of Christ. It is away from the brotherhood of Churches of Christ of which they once were a part. In my judgment it would be a mistake for a congregation to take such a name as it creates confusion as to who they are. It also identifies them with those who are abandoning the Bible as their standard of faith and practice. It reflects on their part a sense of shame to be identified with the gospel and the body of Christ. Paul was not ashamed of the message he preached (Rom. 1:16). With Jesus, he gladly endured the shame of the cross (Heb. 12:2; Gal. 5:11) and so should we. If the world despises us for what we believe and stand for, so be it; they hated Jesus for his faith and convictions (John 15:17-20). </font>

___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
<font size=5>
The Community Church Movement
</font>


<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>The community church movement has grown out of a denominational background. The chief models are the Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois and the Saddleback Community Church in California. The textbook for the movement is The Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren. Some of the characteristics of community churches, are the following:

<ol>[*]Contemporary music. At Willow Creek a pop singer has replaced the choir, and a 10-piece rock band has replaced the organ.

[*]Eliminating denominational names. Most community churches are disguised denominations, that is, they still hold to Baptist or Methodist creeds and teachings, but the name has been changed. As this movement has infiltrated churches of Christ, the name church of Christ has been diminished or eliminated.

[*]Casual emphasis in worship, both in style and dress.

[*]Different kind of leadership model rather than elders who have authority.

[*]Praise teams and entertainment orientation in worship.

[*]A greater emphasis on “self”, including one’s own feelings and emotions.

[*]De-emphasis on doctrine, and among churches of Christ, an emphasis of the restoration plea.

[*]A market-driven program, that is, striving to provide what people want or what they are seeking, rather than what God says they need.
[/list]
<font size=4>
Concern Even in the Denominational World
</font>

In his book, Ashamed of the Gospel, John MacArthur writes against the “market-driven” approach to religion. Here is how he describes the philosophy behind the community church movement: “Provide non-Christians with an agreeable, inoffensive environment. Give them freedom, tolerance, and anonymity. Always be positive and benevolent. If you must have a sermon, keep it brief and amusing. Don’t be preachy or authoritative. Above all, keep everyone entertained. Churches following this pattern will see numerical growth, we’re assured; those that ignore it are doomed to decline” (pp. 45-46). “Preaching—particularly preaching about sin, righteousness, and judgment—is too confrontive to be truly satisfying. The church must learn to couch the truth in ways that amuse and entertain” (p. 23). In contrast to such a philosophy of preaching that entertains, the Bible commands preaching that convicts the heart and moves the sinner to repentance (Matthew 4:17; Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30; 26:20; 20:21; 2 Corinthians 5:9-10; Acts 24:25 “And as he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come”).
  • Please note that we can preach the truth, urge people to repent, expose error and still greet people in a warm and friendly manner. Jesus ate with sinners and continued to preach the truth. We can make people feel welcome, but we are making a mistake if we want them to avoid any discomfort at all. The Word of God will naturally cause any sinner to feel uncomfortable at times (Hebrews 4:12; John 16:8; Acts 2:37). Remember, life is not about avoiding discomfort.
  • People who wanted sinners to feel no discomfort were labeled as false prophets in times past, (Isaiah 30:10; Jeremiah 8:11). Spiritual growth many times requires being convicted and being uncomfortable (Matthew 5:3-4).
<font size=4>
An Old Problem
</font>
In his book, MacArthur quotes often from the 19th century Baptist preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Spurgeon was probably the most well known denominational preacher of his time. He became concerned with what he saw as a “down-grade”, meaning that he saw faith going downhill (we would say the “slippery-slope”). The Downgrade controversy began with Spurgeon’s publication of two anonymous articles by a fellow Baptist, which lament trends away from biblical fundamentals, compromises with the world, and the unwillingness of even otherwise orthodox preachers to oppose those whose soundness was questionable. He saw evangelicals using entertainment as a tool for church growth, and he believed that was subverting the church’s priorities. He feared that frivolous diversions and carnal amusements in the church would eventually destroy people’s appetites for real worship and preaching of God’s Word. Paul seems to have described the same worldly attitude in 2 Timothy 4:3, and Isaiah saw the same problem among his contemporaries (Isaiah 30:9). We need to remember that there is another kind of “worldliness” besides drinking and fornicating. It is the worldly desire to be seen as sophisticated, to fit in, to no longer be different, to be viewed as “cool”, “hip”, “on the cutting edge,” and on what the world would call “a winning team” (Romans 12:1-2). Indifference toward doctrine is only one step away from indifference to immorality (Romans 1:23-24).

<font size=4>
Among Liberal Churches
</font>
Various schools supported by liberal churches of Christ are known to be promoting the Community Church, these are Abilene Christian University, Harding University, Oklahoma Christian University, Lipscomb University, and Pepperdine University. The Downtown Church, the joint world of the Highland Church of Christ, and Harding Graduate School of Religion, has borrowed from denominationalism by employing the use of a praise team to replace the song leader, the clapping of hands during the singing; the presence of icons in worship, and testimonials from the congregation. Other practices that are usually associated with the movement in liberal churches are, drama presentations, observing religious holidays, dedicating babies, children’s worship, and the adoption of instrumental music in worship.

<font size=4>
False Compassion
</font>
Even when these churches arise in the denominational world, the philosophy often is that the mainline group isn’t warm or compassionate towards unbelievers. Doug Varnado, preacher for the Hendersonville Community Church, was recently forced out as a faulty member at David Lipscomb University because where he serves began employing, on a periodic basis, recorded instrumental music in worship. In an interview he noted, “It’s unimportant if the church adds instrumental music on occasion. More important, is a faith community that shows compassion for people seeking God at the end of the 20th century”. The trouble with this statement, and others that seek to downgrade doctrinal matters, is that true compassion means truly bringing people out of darkness into God’s light, which includes God’s view of things, including how He wants to be worshipped.
  • Often people will try to justify the absence of any doctrinal or convicting preaching by saying that they want people to feel comfortable in the assembly and eventually these topics will be addressed. First, I have found that once one adopts this attitude, those topics never get addressed, for there is never a “convenient time” once you have bought into the idea that people should always feel comfortable (2 Timothy 4:2).
  • True compassion means recognizing the facts that a person is lost, that they believe things that are false, and that until those issues are addressed, they can’t be saved (Acts 17:22ff; 3:14). It is noteworthy, that Jesus didn’t put-off confronting people with what stood between them and eternal life (Mark 10:21).
<font size=4>
The Name
</font>
Various liberal congregations have dropped the designation “church of Christ”, arguing that people are turned off by such terms. But such a name is Biblical (Romans 16:16). I have found that dropping the name virtually equals dropping what the name represents, that is, the church that is following Christ, New Testament Christianity, and the church that Jesus founded. Secondly, such is a deceptive practice. It is better to be honest and upfront with people, than try to lure them in under false pretenses ( 1 Peter 2:1 “putting away all guile”).

<font size=4>
Targeting Your Audience
</font>
Far from going out and trying to save everyone (Mark 16:15), the community church movement often targets a select group of people whom they are trying to attract. MacArthur notes, “Why do you suppose nearly all the user-friendly churches identify their ‘target market’ as young suburban professionals and other moneyed groups? Why are so few of these churches targeting the poor and inner city? The answer may be obvious. One leading pastor in the movement says, ‘A pastor can define his appropriate target audience by determining with whom he would like to spend a vacation or an afternoon of recreation’. It would be hard to imagine a ministry philosophy more at odds with the Word of God than that” (p. 126). Paul actually found that “suburban professionals”, rejected the truth (1 Corinthians 1:26; Matthew 11:5).

<font size=4>
False Growth
</font>
Willow Creek, which is held up as the model of church growth, recently did an internal audit, in which they found that only 2% of their growth consisted of new converts. The rest of the people simply came from other churches in the area. MacArthur observes, “User-friendly, entertainment-oriented, market-driven, pragmatic churches will probably continue to flourish for a while. Unfortunately, however, the whole movement is based on current fashion and therefore cannot last long. When the fickle winds finally change, one of three things may happen. These churches will fall out of vogue and wane; or they will opt to change with the spirit of the age and very likely abandon any semblance of biblical Christianity; or they will see the need to rebuild on a more sure foundation” (p. 188). (See Acts 17:21; Ephesians 4:14). Such congregations have made the mistake of giving people what they think they need, instead of what God says they need. “Those who advocate a contemporary style of worship tell us that if we want success and growth in the church, and if we want to keep our young people, we must do things in new and different ways. But, consider this: When the ‘new’ wears off and the ‘different’ becomes customary, what happens then?” (The Spiritual Sword, October 2000, p. 27) . One cry that was heard in the denominations and is being heard in liberal churches today is that “We are bored” with the same old songs, prayers, and preaching, but people also become bored with entertainment as well. People were bored with the Olympics, claim to be bored by the present World Series and so on. The truth of the matter is, as long as one is selfish, eventually everything will seem boring to you. I like the following comment: “Instead of attempting to renovate worship for our own benefit, what we need to do is cultivate our appetites for pure, New Testament worship (John 4:24; Habakkuk 2:20)” (p. 27). </font>

__________________________________

Mark Dunagan/Beaverton Church of Christ/503-644-9017
www.ch-of-christ.beaverton.or.us/mdunag ... street.com
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Joined: September 7th, 2005, 6:37 am

September 7th, 2005, 6:55 am #18

Ahh, We are so good at taking what believe is the translation of biblical text and making it what want it to say. We as Church of Christ members have the audacity to claim we are the only non-denominal church, and we say that all these community churches are just denominations in disguise? Hmm well i would argue that we are nothing more than a denomination in disguise. I love the arrogance that you all have to believe that our church is the orginal church formed at Pentacost as if our ways of thinking are directly from the bible. What you should all do is spend some time studying the path of Christianity from Palestine, to Italy, To Turkey, To England and eventually to the United States and then maybe you would realize that Church of Christ is simply an offshoot of a thought process that has been carried down. Im sure that many of you would claim that Martin Luther was some sort of Anti-Christ yet without him there would be no Church of Christ. I am a Member of a Church of Christ but im not as arrogant as all of you to believe that my translation of the Text is the right way. First off you all read the KJV. Im not sure if you intellegent concerned members know but the original texts were Written in Greek which I have studied and I can Assure you that the KJV is far from accurate, But im sure you just as arrogant as to believe that your bible is the Real one and the Greek that Paul wrote in is some sort of language of Satin. Also you fail to even investigate any circumstances for the text of the bible. Do you honestly believe that everything written in the NT was focused for your biblical doctrine?? Im sure many of you cannot even name one of the Apostolic Fathers who helped to form the bible. By the way did you know that the Holy Canon which was not finalized till 325AD was formed by Constantine who just happened to be the first to form the Universal church also known as Catholic....Uh Oh i bet that throws a Kink in your exclusiveness. Im sure you will throw some poorly translated Texts at me in response to this and carry on thinking that your way is the right way but your Way is Dying. It is dying as your generation Ages and within 50 Years you will only be looked on as Extremists in christianity. You people fill the same Role that Radical Islamists do in Muslim Relgion. But that doesnt matter does it they are all satanists anyway. Enjoy passing misguided judgement, and please respond telling me about how Liberal Professors are filling my head with this "Knowledge Stuff." Continue to be Uneducated so that when you spew your Ignorant banter the educated of the world will simply shake their heads and just excuse your actions. Im sure this wont even get posted but its ok because if a Moderator reads it I will be happy. Im sure God is very happy with you right now because you have taken his will and made it fit into your idea of religion. Enjoy
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

September 7th, 2005, 3:34 pm #19

Christian Scholar's post seems more of an attack on the King James Bible than discussing the Community Church Movement as such. Very well, Christian Scholar claims to have studied Greek and therefore contends that the King James translation of the New Testament is "far from accurate." I would therefore ask the following of Christian Scholar:

1. What specific Greek New Testament edition (Traditional Text [Textus Receptus, Received Text], Critical Text, etc.) did Christian Scholar use as a comparison to draw his/her conclusion?

2. Since the King James Bible provides a literal, word-for-word translation of the Greek New Testament (formal equivalence translation), let Christian Scholar produce at least twelve New Testament passages (or many more if desired) which clearly demonstrate the most profound of alleged inaccuracies of the King James translation. Let the proof be so clear that we cannot do anything but discard our KJVs.

3. Since it is obvious that Christian Scholar rejects the KJV, let him/her not only recommend a specific New Testament translation which is allegedly the most accurate and reliable when compared with the Greek, but also cite ample reasons for this recommendation.
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Ken Sublett
Ken Sublett

September 7th, 2005, 5:17 pm #20

Ahh, We are so good at taking what believe is the translation of biblical text and making it what want it to say. We as Church of Christ members have the audacity to claim we are the only non-denominal church, and we say that all these community churches are just denominations in disguise? Hmm well i would argue that we are nothing more than a denomination in disguise. I love the arrogance that you all have to believe that our church is the orginal church formed at Pentacost as if our ways of thinking are directly from the bible. What you should all do is spend some time studying the path of Christianity from Palestine, to Italy, To Turkey, To England and eventually to the United States and then maybe you would realize that Church of Christ is simply an offshoot of a thought process that has been carried down. Im sure that many of you would claim that Martin Luther was some sort of Anti-Christ yet without him there would be no Church of Christ. I am a Member of a Church of Christ but im not as arrogant as all of you to believe that my translation of the Text is the right way. First off you all read the KJV. Im not sure if you intellegent concerned members know but the original texts were Written in Greek which I have studied and I can Assure you that the KJV is far from accurate, But im sure you just as arrogant as to believe that your bible is the Real one and the Greek that Paul wrote in is some sort of language of Satin. Also you fail to even investigate any circumstances for the text of the bible. Do you honestly believe that everything written in the NT was focused for your biblical doctrine?? Im sure many of you cannot even name one of the Apostolic Fathers who helped to form the bible. By the way did you know that the Holy Canon which was not finalized till 325AD was formed by Constantine who just happened to be the first to form the Universal church also known as Catholic....Uh Oh i bet that throws a Kink in your exclusiveness. Im sure you will throw some poorly translated Texts at me in response to this and carry on thinking that your way is the right way but your Way is Dying. It is dying as your generation Ages and within 50 Years you will only be looked on as Extremists in christianity. You people fill the same Role that Radical Islamists do in Muslim Relgion. But that doesnt matter does it they are all satanists anyway. Enjoy passing misguided judgement, and please respond telling me about how Liberal Professors are filling my head with this "Knowledge Stuff." Continue to be Uneducated so that when you spew your Ignorant banter the educated of the world will simply shake their heads and just excuse your actions. Im sure this wont even get posted but its ok because if a Moderator reads it I will be happy. Im sure God is very happy with you right now because you have taken his will and made it fit into your idea of religion. Enjoy
  • ChristianScholar:<font color=red>Ahh, We are so good at taking what believe is the translation of biblical text and making it what want it to say. We as Church of Christ members have the audacity to claim we are the only non-denominal church, and we say that all these community churches are just denominations in disguise? Hmm well i would argue that we are nothing more than a denomination in disguise. </font>
SOME people may have said that just as SOME people may use that claim to discredit OTHER THINGS. There is a community church denomination and then there are others which have STOLEN the name. Because you are such a scholar you know that there were about 421 separate denominations formed out of the Great American Awakening. Most of these were Baptists and someone has counted 156 separate Baptist denominations. NONE of that has anything to do with the LUSTED FOR changes.

I know of no major religious group which you can identify which does not have collectivists meetings to thresh out opinions and dogmas. They almost always train men and make sure they get PLACED in the group and most feed funds into a central headquarters. If you know of a specific non-denominational group then let us know. I know that the Jubilee hoped that they would spawn a group which met annually to be fed good stuff about HOW TO RAISE HOLY HANDS or be conditioned to instrumental music. They began with a Sunday school program but that probably got stamped on just as has the whole Jubilee denominational or INCORPORATED movement.
  • ChristianScholar:<font color=red>I love the arrogance that you all have to believe that our church is the original church formed at Pentecost as if our ways of thinking are directly from the bible. What you should all do is spend some time studying the path of Christianity from Palestine, to Italy, To Turkey, To England and eventually to the United States and then maybe you would realize that Church of Christ is simply an offshoot of a thought process that has been carried down. </font>
Ignatius who Died C. 110 wrote to the Ephesians spoke of THE CHURCH OF CHRIST. The Apostolic Constitutions identifies the church as THE CHURCH OF CHRIST. ALL of these writers defended the NAME of the church, the organization of the church, the worship of the church including rejecting music and even musicians from membership until they repented. They all rejected the trinity concept and all insisted on Baptism FOR the remission of sins. So CHRISTIAN SCHOLAR, you will never find any evidence to hallucinate Musical Worship Teams until the Pope imported the A Capella who were ALA CASTRATOS to perform in the Sistine Chapel where organs were outlawed.

Not until AFTER the Reformation did the Catholics or anyone ever have congregational singing WITH instrumental accompanied. Organs were signals to mark processionals, recessionals and were more like a pitchpipe for the Precentor but NOT to accompany "singing."
  • ChristianScholar:<font color=red>Im sure that many of you would claim that Martin Luther was some sort of Anti-Christ yet without him there would be no Church of Christ. </font>
On the contrary, thou who reads textbooks by Ph.Duhs who have never read Luther, Restoration Scholars who read original documents in original languages speak the same way Luther, Calvin and others spoke. What the lying "scholars" say about "american" invention is NOT TRUE in ANY SINGLE INSTANCE. T. Campbell spoke Luther's Sola Fide absolutely: "Faith must have have an object." Luther's Sola Fide meant Sola Scriptura because you cannot believe something you have not heard. Because the Sola Fide produced by Sola Scripture DEMANDED baptism for the remission of sins, Sola Fide demanded Salvation by Baptism Only. You didn't know that! Huh? Martin would repudiate LUTHERAN and would call himself a member of THE CHURCH OF CHRIST. We could use his description of baptism without change. He even put infant baptism in the cast of "baby dedication."

AD 150-211 Clement of Alexandria 354-430 Augustine of Hippo AND EVERYONE considered itself THE CHURCH OF CHRIST.

Luther defended OUR form of baptism FOR the remission of sins for those old enough to believe. Erasmus and Calvin called it the church of Christ, rejected music, the trinity of three Shellyite "people," and cast out the organs, choirs and restored congregational singing. Calvin rejected that the Spirit operated outside of the Word and called his effort A RESTORATION MOVEMENT.

ALL of the literary evidence proves that THE GOAL of all protestants was to RESTORE the faith and practice of the church to the BIBLICAL STANDARD. So, it is another big lie that Anti-instrumental churches of Christ INVENTED the concept of Commands, Examples and Inferences which is WELL DOCUMENTED in the Bible and all scholarship.

Constantine DID NOT form the canon but included what he wanted collected together to print. The Bible is a LIBRARY and there were MANY cannons based on what books were referred to by individual writers. MAKING A LIST did not include or exclude anything which has stood the test of time. The Old Testament as we have it with the Apocrypha existed and Jesus may have had a BOUND COPY because that is what he quotes. Adding the Apocryphal will only get you MORE association of MUSIC with the Devil and the sacrificial system.

ALL of the non-canonical literature CASTIGATES music as a worship concept and assigns it to Satan as does the Bible and ALL contemporaneous literature. So, the only thing you could ADD would be Babylonian tablets continued as Gnosticism and the Mother Goddess worship under Sophia and ZOE. Even among the Gnostics Zoe is called THE BEAST and the FEMALE INSTRUCTING PRINCIPLE.

Defend what YOU as PROGRESSIVE believe which is CONTRARY to the 2,000 year history of THE CHURCH OF CHRIST and let us see what you are screaming about. Amos, Isaiah, Ezekiel and other identify PROGRESSIVE with INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC.

GIVE US SOME TRUE BLUE TRANSLATION WHICH REFUTES ANYTHING CHURCH OF CHRIST. I can refute professional riders on church widows, the Law of Giving, the Law of Singing and that TRUMPS you.
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