Q&A: Who is dividing the church, page 1 update on K.C.Moser LU foundation

Q&A: Who is dividing the church, page 1 update on K.C.Moser LU foundation

Joseph D. Meador
Joseph D. Meador

July 22nd, 2004, 7:19 am #1

NEW posts will be on the last page, page 4 for now.


Source: Bible Infonet/Firm Foundation
___________________________________________

Q&A: Who is dividing the church, and why do some leave the faith?
Joseph D. Meador

The church is deluged with denominational attitudes. Sectarian teaching has found its way into many pulpits and into the classrooms in many of our schools and universities.

John gives us an apostolic view of the causes of such apostasy. "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us" (1 John 2:19). Guy N. Woods has aptly portrayed:

They became apostates from the fold by going out. They were not 'of' the disciples, i.e., they did not possess the same spirit of obedience characteristic of the disciples, for if 'they had they would have continued with' the disciples. In apostatizing from the faith, they were 'made manifest' (shown to be not of the disciples).

Others, like those of this text, adopt false and heretical doctrines, forsake the church, and make shipwreck concerning the faith (1 Tim. 1:19).

The Bible presents varied reasons for the infection and spread of the disease of apostasy. Why do some leave the faith?

Deception is one reason for division. Paul noted that false teachers of Corinth posed as pious and informed brethren, yet because of their lack of true Bible knowledge, were void of spirituality (1 Tim. 1:19-20; 6:4; 2 Cor. 11:14-15).

He further says that such impostors feigned Christian maturity:
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works (2 Cor. 11:14-15).
The Bible points out that many will be deceived into believing doctrinal error because they choose to follow personalities rather than the teaching of Christ (2 Tim. 4:1 ff; Matt.7:21-23).). During the premillennial heresy of the '20s end '30s, many were deceived by "that sweet- spirited preacher," R.H. Boll. In the mid-'30s, K.C. Moser advocated "unmerited grace" which placed more emphasis upon the "personal" Jesus than upon his doctrine. Obedience was minimized. Many followed Moser because he showed an irenic spirit, however contrived that spirit might have been. Some remember the "kind and meek" attitude which was displayed by the leader of the modern "Unity in Diversity" movement, W. Carl Ketcherside, though at times he exhibited a vicious spirit.

There are convincing personalities in this generation who are using the same strategy to draw away many disciples into accepting their favorite theories of grace only, and change of the unchangeable, and mutating the immutable. (The essential elements of the church, which is the body of Jesus, cannot be altered without destroying it. Instead of being the bride of Christ it becomes a harlot.)

The desire for pre-eminence is a driving force among some "professing" Christians who are bent on a course of control. Some have ventured so far in their quest for power that they encourage congregational rebellion in an attempt to "change" and "reform."

The apostle John recounted to Gaius the sad state to which Diotrephes had fallen in loving preeminence (3 John 9). Diotrephes wanted to be the petted and pampered. He refused to receive the apostle John as a brother in Christ. No doubt, Diotrephes thought he had risen to new heights of spirituality.

When the goal is control, the end always justifies the means. Such a perverted spirit would rather rip apart the body of Christ rather than mend; divide rather than graft; and, split apart rather than seam.

Some in the church despise doctrine and seek to amend the will of God to make it mold and conform to their notion of "progressive" Christianity. The Bible says we should attend to sound doctrine, continue in it, and hold steadfastly to it (1 Tim. 4:6; 1 Tim. 4:16; 2 Cor. 2:17; Titus 2:7, 12; 2 Tim. 1:13; Titus 1:9; 2:1).

Truth does not divide. It is incapable of division. When the hammer of error falls on the wedge of discord, it recoils against the seasoned stone of faith, but fragments the unstable sandstone of human ambition. Error and weakness are the cause of division.

We cannot walk in fellowship with those who have gone out from us, even though they were once of us (1 John 1:7; 2:19).

(Joseph D. Meador is the director of the Southwest School of Bible Studies, an excellent institution for the training of men who aspire to preach the Word. He may be contacted by calling [512] 282-2438.)
Last edited by Ken.Sublett on June 27th, 2015, 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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John Waddey
John Waddey

July 27th, 2004, 6:58 am #2

<font size=4>WHAT IS A CHANGE AGENT?</font>
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dear Bro. Waddey:

What is a "closet change agent"? William
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dear Bro. William:

A change agent is a false teacher within the brotherhood of Churches of Christ who is not content to follow the faith and practice of Christianity as set forth in the pages of the New Testament. He or she therefore works to convince our brethren that they should adopt changes in their faith, worship and practice that will be more acceptable to the world of the 21st Century. The adjective "closet" means they operate undercover, or covertly to accomplish their evil purposes.

Among the things they are trying to change are:
<ol><font color=blue>[*]Our commitment to restoring the faith and practice of the church of the Bible. They argue that such an approach is no long practical or needed.

[*]Our praise worship. They think we are wrong in opposing the use of instrumental music and should change to at least be tolerant of those who do so. Many of them are already using musical instruments in their worship. They also think we are wrong to insist on congregational singing and thus they want us to accept the use of soloists, choirs, etc.

[*]The way we commune. Some of them think we are wrong in observing the Communion as a sacred memorial to Jesus' death. They would turn it into a "joyful celebration" and combine it with a regular meal for the belly. Also they wish to be able to commune on other days than the first day of the week.

[*]The role of women in the church. They think we are wrong for not allowing women into leadership roles, and are willing to allow them to serve as preachers and teachers of men.

[*]The nature of the church. To them the Church of Christ is a denomination of the same worth as the hundreds of other denominational churches founded by men. They would have us not think or speak of the church as the exclusive body of Christ.

[*]They think we have been wrong in not fellowshipping the Christian Churches and other denominational bodies. They wish to change us so that we will do so.

[*]They say we have not understood the Bible properly. So they would change the way we read and understand it. This is to allow them to impose their unauthorized changes.

[*]They argue that we have misunderstood the way men are to be saved. They believe we are saved by grace through faith, and that baptism is not an essential aspect of our salvation.</font>
[/list]There are other particulars that could be cited but these are sufficient to show that these brethren are proposing changes that are foreign and contrary to the doctrine of Christ. We must not stand silent and allow them to impose these changes of the Lord's people. Where they are successful the church will be corrupted and destroyed. I do hope you will want to work with us in mounting an offensive to defeat them and drive them from our midst.

_____________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
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John Waddey
John Waddey

July 28th, 2004, 6:40 am #3

NEW posts will be on the last page, page 4 for now.


Source: Bible Infonet/Firm Foundation
___________________________________________

Q&A: Who is dividing the church, and why do some leave the faith?
Joseph D. Meador

The church is deluged with denominational attitudes. Sectarian teaching has found its way into many pulpits and into the classrooms in many of our schools and universities.

John gives us an apostolic view of the causes of such apostasy. "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us" (1 John 2:19). Guy N. Woods has aptly portrayed:

They became apostates from the fold by going out. They were not 'of' the disciples, i.e., they did not possess the same spirit of obedience characteristic of the disciples, for if 'they had they would have continued with' the disciples. In apostatizing from the faith, they were 'made manifest' (shown to be not of the disciples).

Others, like those of this text, adopt false and heretical doctrines, forsake the church, and make shipwreck concerning the faith (1 Tim. 1:19).

The Bible presents varied reasons for the infection and spread of the disease of apostasy. Why do some leave the faith?

Deception is one reason for division. Paul noted that false teachers of Corinth posed as pious and informed brethren, yet because of their lack of true Bible knowledge, were void of spirituality (1 Tim. 1:19-20; 6:4; 2 Cor. 11:14-15).

He further says that such impostors feigned Christian maturity:
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works (2 Cor. 11:14-15).
The Bible points out that many will be deceived into believing doctrinal error because they choose to follow personalities rather than the teaching of Christ (2 Tim. 4:1 ff; Matt.7:21-23).). During the premillennial heresy of the '20s end '30s, many were deceived by "that sweet- spirited preacher," R.H. Boll. In the mid-'30s, K.C. Moser advocated "unmerited grace" which placed more emphasis upon the "personal" Jesus than upon his doctrine. Obedience was minimized. Many followed Moser because he showed an irenic spirit, however contrived that spirit might have been. Some remember the "kind and meek" attitude which was displayed by the leader of the modern "Unity in Diversity" movement, W. Carl Ketcherside, though at times he exhibited a vicious spirit.

There are convincing personalities in this generation who are using the same strategy to draw away many disciples into accepting their favorite theories of grace only, and change of the unchangeable, and mutating the immutable. (The essential elements of the church, which is the body of Jesus, cannot be altered without destroying it. Instead of being the bride of Christ it becomes a harlot.)

The desire for pre-eminence is a driving force among some "professing" Christians who are bent on a course of control. Some have ventured so far in their quest for power that they encourage congregational rebellion in an attempt to "change" and "reform."

The apostle John recounted to Gaius the sad state to which Diotrephes had fallen in loving preeminence (3 John 9). Diotrephes wanted to be the petted and pampered. He refused to receive the apostle John as a brother in Christ. No doubt, Diotrephes thought he had risen to new heights of spirituality.

When the goal is control, the end always justifies the means. Such a perverted spirit would rather rip apart the body of Christ rather than mend; divide rather than graft; and, split apart rather than seam.

Some in the church despise doctrine and seek to amend the will of God to make it mold and conform to their notion of "progressive" Christianity. The Bible says we should attend to sound doctrine, continue in it, and hold steadfastly to it (1 Tim. 4:6; 1 Tim. 4:16; 2 Cor. 2:17; Titus 2:7, 12; 2 Tim. 1:13; Titus 1:9; 2:1).

Truth does not divide. It is incapable of division. When the hammer of error falls on the wedge of discord, it recoils against the seasoned stone of faith, but fragments the unstable sandstone of human ambition. Error and weakness are the cause of division.

We cannot walk in fellowship with those who have gone out from us, even though they were once of us (1 John 1:7; 2:19).

(Joseph D. Meador is the director of the Southwest School of Bible Studies, an excellent institution for the training of men who aspire to preach the Word. He may be contacted by calling [512] 282-2438.)
<font size=4>CAN WE RECEIVE MIRACULOUS GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT TODAY? </font>


<font color=indigo>Dear Allen:

The twelve apostles of Christ were baptized in the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost following the ascension of Christ. That brought to their remembrance the message of Christ (John 14:26) and it enabled them to speak that message in languages they had not previously known (Acts 2:4-11). Additionally it gave them the power to perform certain miraculous signs that confirmed their message as being from God (Mk. 16:20). Although everyone who confessed Christ, repented and was baptized received the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38) that did not provide them those miraculous powers that the apostles enjoyed.

The people of Samaria heard and accepted the preaching of Philip. They were baptized (Acts 8:12), but it was necessary for an apostle to come and lay hands on them before they could receive the supernatural powers (Acts 8:15-17). That they did not lay hands on every one is seen in the case of Simon the Sorcerer who, although baptized, did not receive the laying on of hands (Acts 8:18-19). The apostles had laid their hands on Philip along with the other deacons at the time of their appointment (Acts 6:1-6). That enabled Philip to preach with the knowledge the Spirit provided and to confirm his message with signs, but he cold not pass this gift along to those whom he converted. That is why Peter and John, apostles, had to journey to Samaria to lay their hands on newly baptized converts to give them the miraculous gifts of the Spirit.

As to the cessation of the supernatural gifts: The apostles received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which empowered them with the ability to do miraculous deeds. They laid their hands on selected disciples to empower them. The second generation, those upon whom hands were laid, could not pass the gift along; they had to call upon an apostle to do that. Thus when the last of the twelve apostles died, there was no one left who could lay hands on another to impart the Spirit's gifts.

When the last disciples died, upon whom the hands of an apostle had been laid, the supernatural gifts ceased to be exhibited among Christians.
</font>

_____________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
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John Waddey
John Waddey

August 13th, 2004, 6:32 am #4

NEW posts will be on the last page, page 4 for now.


Source: Bible Infonet/Firm Foundation
___________________________________________

Q&A: Who is dividing the church, and why do some leave the faith?
Joseph D. Meador

The church is deluged with denominational attitudes. Sectarian teaching has found its way into many pulpits and into the classrooms in many of our schools and universities.

John gives us an apostolic view of the causes of such apostasy. "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us" (1 John 2:19). Guy N. Woods has aptly portrayed:

They became apostates from the fold by going out. They were not 'of' the disciples, i.e., they did not possess the same spirit of obedience characteristic of the disciples, for if 'they had they would have continued with' the disciples. In apostatizing from the faith, they were 'made manifest' (shown to be not of the disciples).

Others, like those of this text, adopt false and heretical doctrines, forsake the church, and make shipwreck concerning the faith (1 Tim. 1:19).

The Bible presents varied reasons for the infection and spread of the disease of apostasy. Why do some leave the faith?

Deception is one reason for division. Paul noted that false teachers of Corinth posed as pious and informed brethren, yet because of their lack of true Bible knowledge, were void of spirituality (1 Tim. 1:19-20; 6:4; 2 Cor. 11:14-15).

He further says that such impostors feigned Christian maturity:
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works (2 Cor. 11:14-15).
The Bible points out that many will be deceived into believing doctrinal error because they choose to follow personalities rather than the teaching of Christ (2 Tim. 4:1 ff; Matt.7:21-23).). During the premillennial heresy of the '20s end '30s, many were deceived by "that sweet- spirited preacher," R.H. Boll. In the mid-'30s, K.C. Moser advocated "unmerited grace" which placed more emphasis upon the "personal" Jesus than upon his doctrine. Obedience was minimized. Many followed Moser because he showed an irenic spirit, however contrived that spirit might have been. Some remember the "kind and meek" attitude which was displayed by the leader of the modern "Unity in Diversity" movement, W. Carl Ketcherside, though at times he exhibited a vicious spirit.

There are convincing personalities in this generation who are using the same strategy to draw away many disciples into accepting their favorite theories of grace only, and change of the unchangeable, and mutating the immutable. (The essential elements of the church, which is the body of Jesus, cannot be altered without destroying it. Instead of being the bride of Christ it becomes a harlot.)

The desire for pre-eminence is a driving force among some "professing" Christians who are bent on a course of control. Some have ventured so far in their quest for power that they encourage congregational rebellion in an attempt to "change" and "reform."

The apostle John recounted to Gaius the sad state to which Diotrephes had fallen in loving preeminence (3 John 9). Diotrephes wanted to be the petted and pampered. He refused to receive the apostle John as a brother in Christ. No doubt, Diotrephes thought he had risen to new heights of spirituality.

When the goal is control, the end always justifies the means. Such a perverted spirit would rather rip apart the body of Christ rather than mend; divide rather than graft; and, split apart rather than seam.

Some in the church despise doctrine and seek to amend the will of God to make it mold and conform to their notion of "progressive" Christianity. The Bible says we should attend to sound doctrine, continue in it, and hold steadfastly to it (1 Tim. 4:6; 1 Tim. 4:16; 2 Cor. 2:17; Titus 2:7, 12; 2 Tim. 1:13; Titus 1:9; 2:1).

Truth does not divide. It is incapable of division. When the hammer of error falls on the wedge of discord, it recoils against the seasoned stone of faith, but fragments the unstable sandstone of human ambition. Error and weakness are the cause of division.

We cannot walk in fellowship with those who have gone out from us, even though they were once of us (1 John 1:7; 2:19).

(Joseph D. Meador is the director of the Southwest School of Bible Studies, an excellent institution for the training of men who aspire to preach the Word. He may be contacted by calling [512] 282-2438.)
<font size=3> SHOULD CONGREGATIONS COMMITTED TO THE CHANGE MOVEMENT BE IDENTIFIED AS SUCH?</font>


<font color=blue>Dear Bro. Waddey:

You wrote that "Bro. J. W. Shepherd was appointed to contact the churches and determine which were committed to staying with the old paths of Bible Christianity." Do you think the following action should take place today? Mack</font>


<font color=blue>Dear Bro. Mack: </font>

Before I answer your question let me first describe a situation for you. For 100 years folks in the northern and western states who were looking for a church of Christ have had to distinguish between two groups using that name. There are congregations associated with the Independent Christian Churches that still use the name Church of Christ. They have instrumental music, missionary organizations, fellowship denominational bodies and some congregations have women in places of public leadership. There are other congregations that are striving to be simple New Testament Christians, worshiping and serving God as did the ancient disciples of Jesus. In some towns, the congregations themselves made the distinctions. Signs or ads might read, Church of Christ (instrumental) or Church of Christ (a cappella). When lists of our churches were compiled and published in those states we did not list the instrumental groups as part of our fellowship. The same is true of other factions that had separated themselves from the mainstream. Even today, the Directory of Churches of Christ prepared by Mac Lynn and published by 21st Century Christian uses identifying symbols to identify the peculiar identity of congregations. The letters "NI" identifies a congregation as "non-institutional." "NC" tells us a congregation opposes Bible classes.

<font color=blue>In my estimation it would be perfectly legitimate to identify those congregations that have embraced the change agenda so that everyone will know what their peculiar identity is. One need only read the many hateful criticisms the promoters of change lay against the brotherhood of churches that do not accept their call for change to see that they view themselves as different from and superior to us. One need only visit their assemblies to see that they worship in ways that are significantly different from other churches of Christ. One need only hear their sermons to understand that they preach a different gospel and plan of salvation than those of the "traditional" churches which they despise. Many of them are removing the name church of Christ from their congregations so they will not be confused with the rest of us. It seems to me that they would welcome the opportunity to be identified as a separate body of people.

I can see why some of the promoters of change would not want to be identified as a different kind of church. If they can continue to operate among us and pretend to be part of the fellowship of New Testament Christians, unsuspecting brethren will be drawn into their congregations not knowing the vast differences in faith and practice the change agents are promoting. They can take preaching jobs in unsuspecting congregations. Under the cover of being a faithful member of the church of Christ they can undermine the faith of the members, subvert the leadership and capture the church for their new movement.</font>

As to Bro. Shepherd and the Federal Census Bureau, no we don't need the government to appoint a brother for the task. We just need discerning Christians to open their eyes, note the differences that are manifold and reject those who have forsaken the Bible way.

Yours in Christ,

John Waddey
_____________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
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John Waddey
John Waddey

September 5th, 2004, 7:01 am #5

NEW posts will be on the last page, page 4 for now.


Source: Bible Infonet/Firm Foundation
___________________________________________

Q&A: Who is dividing the church, and why do some leave the faith?
Joseph D. Meador

The church is deluged with denominational attitudes. Sectarian teaching has found its way into many pulpits and into the classrooms in many of our schools and universities.

John gives us an apostolic view of the causes of such apostasy. "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us" (1 John 2:19). Guy N. Woods has aptly portrayed:

They became apostates from the fold by going out. They were not 'of' the disciples, i.e., they did not possess the same spirit of obedience characteristic of the disciples, for if 'they had they would have continued with' the disciples. In apostatizing from the faith, they were 'made manifest' (shown to be not of the disciples).

Others, like those of this text, adopt false and heretical doctrines, forsake the church, and make shipwreck concerning the faith (1 Tim. 1:19).

The Bible presents varied reasons for the infection and spread of the disease of apostasy. Why do some leave the faith?

Deception is one reason for division. Paul noted that false teachers of Corinth posed as pious and informed brethren, yet because of their lack of true Bible knowledge, were void of spirituality (1 Tim. 1:19-20; 6:4; 2 Cor. 11:14-15).

He further says that such impostors feigned Christian maturity:
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works (2 Cor. 11:14-15).
The Bible points out that many will be deceived into believing doctrinal error because they choose to follow personalities rather than the teaching of Christ (2 Tim. 4:1 ff; Matt.7:21-23).). During the premillennial heresy of the '20s end '30s, many were deceived by "that sweet- spirited preacher," R.H. Boll. In the mid-'30s, K.C. Moser advocated "unmerited grace" which placed more emphasis upon the "personal" Jesus than upon his doctrine. Obedience was minimized. Many followed Moser because he showed an irenic spirit, however contrived that spirit might have been. Some remember the "kind and meek" attitude which was displayed by the leader of the modern "Unity in Diversity" movement, W. Carl Ketcherside, though at times he exhibited a vicious spirit.

There are convincing personalities in this generation who are using the same strategy to draw away many disciples into accepting their favorite theories of grace only, and change of the unchangeable, and mutating the immutable. (The essential elements of the church, which is the body of Jesus, cannot be altered without destroying it. Instead of being the bride of Christ it becomes a harlot.)

The desire for pre-eminence is a driving force among some "professing" Christians who are bent on a course of control. Some have ventured so far in their quest for power that they encourage congregational rebellion in an attempt to "change" and "reform."

The apostle John recounted to Gaius the sad state to which Diotrephes had fallen in loving preeminence (3 John 9). Diotrephes wanted to be the petted and pampered. He refused to receive the apostle John as a brother in Christ. No doubt, Diotrephes thought he had risen to new heights of spirituality.

When the goal is control, the end always justifies the means. Such a perverted spirit would rather rip apart the body of Christ rather than mend; divide rather than graft; and, split apart rather than seam.

Some in the church despise doctrine and seek to amend the will of God to make it mold and conform to their notion of "progressive" Christianity. The Bible says we should attend to sound doctrine, continue in it, and hold steadfastly to it (1 Tim. 4:6; 1 Tim. 4:16; 2 Cor. 2:17; Titus 2:7, 12; 2 Tim. 1:13; Titus 1:9; 2:1).

Truth does not divide. It is incapable of division. When the hammer of error falls on the wedge of discord, it recoils against the seasoned stone of faith, but fragments the unstable sandstone of human ambition. Error and weakness are the cause of division.

We cannot walk in fellowship with those who have gone out from us, even though they were once of us (1 John 1:7; 2:19).

(Joseph D. Meador is the director of the Southwest School of Bible Studies, an excellent institution for the training of men who aspire to preach the Word. He may be contacted by calling [512] 282-2438.)
<font size=3> IDENTIFYING THE FACTIOUS MAN</font>


<font color=blue>Dear Brother:

I am seeking your advice and biblical insight in the following. How do we recognize and determine a heretic or divisive person (Tit. 3:10), and how can we best show others that flaw? Randy</font>


<font color=blue>Dear Bro. Randy: </font>

A factious man is one whose attitude, speech and conduct causes sinful division in the family of God. Problems within a church can be caused for various reasons:
<ol>[*]Because of some false teaching that is being promoted.
[*]Because of someone's opposition to the truth that is being taught and practiced.
[*]Because of selfish personal interests; i.e., a determination to have one’s way in some or all situations.
[*]Because of personal antagonisms with other brethren.
[*]Because of ignorance. Even a good person can in ignorance and misguided zeal be guilty of causing conflict and division in the church.
[/list]A factious person can be recognized in several ways:
<ol>[*]By their conduct. If they are actively trying to recruit a clique or party, if they are hostile and antagonist towards fellow-Christians. Factious people often are seen having private meetings with their sympathizers to plan their strategy, or secretly circulating petitions or letters to effect their agenda.

[*]By their speech. Such people often express openly their intent to "drive out" those who oppose them or to "lead a group in starting a new congregation."

[*]By their teaching. Often a factious person is a teacher or preacher. The manner, tone and content of the message he delivers can be designed to create unrest and unhappiness within the congregation. It can be critical of the elders and a challenge to their leadership and authority.

[*]Factious preachers can sometimes by identified by the content of their sermons. They present lessons that are designed to undermine the doctrine of Christ. Sometimes they ridicule past Christians and those who are clinging to the Bible way. Often they float new controversial ideas and opinions that can only cause dissension within the body.

[*]The person who gathers together a small group and begins to separate them from the rest of the congregation by his teaching and leadership is factious. This might be a campus worker. It might be a person who appeals to younger adults and families within the congregation. It might be the preacher. Slowly they indoctrinate their group with their faulty views and alienate them from the leadership of the church.

[*]Factious people will often use smooth and fair speech to deceive the innocent (Rom. 16:18). Rarely will they admit what they are about.
[/list]Given all of the above, we must make a distinction between those who cause divisions "contrary to the doctrine ye learned" from God's book (Rom. 16:17) and those who stand up to and resist the false teacher who has disrupted a congregation. It sometimes happens that the false teacher is able to deceive and gain control of the majority of the congregation...even the elders. When such is the case what shall the faithful brother or sister do? We must mark or take note of them and turn away from them (Rom. 16:17). We must refuse them (Tit. 3:10). We must resist them (Eph. 5:11-12). We must contend against them (Jude 3). When the faithful do this they will often be accused of causing division by the very sinners who have invaded and corrupted the church. The fact is they are not the ones causing the trouble. It is the false teachers and their followers. When Elijah resisted the corruptions of Ahab and Jezebel, they called him "the troubler of Israel" (I Kings 18:16-18). In reality the corrupt rulers were causing the trouble.

As we face the juggernaut of change, may we never be guilty of promoting faction in God's church, but may we always be steadfast, and unmovable in our faith and convictions (I Cor. 15:58).

_____________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
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Dustin B.
Dustin B.

October 4th, 2004, 1:40 am #6

I just have a simple question to ask that I don't want to get drawn out on a huge rant. I consider myself interdenomination because I can worship bountifully in a CoC, a Baptist Church, Pentacostal, Methodist, etc... But for the sake of the point being made:

I am a Baptist.

I believed and was baptized and now follow the scripture, not because I am told I should, but because I want to and because I love God and wish to be acceptable to him.

Am I going to hell.
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B
B

October 4th, 2004, 2:41 pm #7

Unless God runs this website (and I'm pretty confident he does not), you're asking the wrong people.

Thank goodness no one here decides who is going to heaven and who is going to hell. I know I sure don't want that job.
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

October 4th, 2004, 5:15 pm #8

I just have a simple question to ask that I don't want to get drawn out on a huge rant. I consider myself interdenomination because I can worship bountifully in a CoC, a Baptist Church, Pentacostal, Methodist, etc... But for the sake of the point being made:

I am a Baptist.

I believed and was baptized and now follow the scripture, not because I am told I should, but because I want to and because I love God and wish to be acceptable to him.

Am I going to hell.
You state that you are a believer who has been baptized, that you are truly trying to be acceptable to God, that you can worship well in any denomination, and that you are a Baptist. Then you ask if you are going to hell. Are you really worried that you just might belong to the "wrong" church and that your soul is in danger? If so, then it's time to take corrective action. Or are you merely asking a rhetorical question out of curiosity to see what kind of varied responses you receive from members of the Church of Christ?

Anyone who flatly states that you are going to hell just because you belong to a particular denomination is presuming judgment from God. Only God can determine your eternity, as you undoubtedly realize. But many denominations maintain beliefs and practices which the New Testament (NT) clearly does not authorize, and these should be of concern to anyone who is truly trying to be acceptable to God. Some of these unscriptural practices include, but are not limited to:

1. Communion not taken weekly; the disciples met and broke bread on the first day of each week (Acts 20:7, KJV).
2. Pratice of infant baptism--not authorized in NT.
3. Water baptism by any means other than immersion--"baptism" comes from the Greek "baptisma," meaning "immersion" or "submersion," not sprinkling or pouring.
4. Water baptism is only an outward sign of belief--Mark 16:16 and 1 Peter 3:21 both stipulate that baptism is required for salvation; Acts 2:38 stipulates that baptism is required for remission of sins.
5. Ordination of women priests and pastors--not authorized in NT.
6. Ordination of homosexual priests and pastors (men and women)--the NT condemns fornications, which include homosexuality (1 Cor. 6:9).
7. Employing a host of worldly, entertainment-oriented media in worship, such as instrumental music, praise teams, choirs, drama, skits--defies general principles outlined in Romans 12:2, Ephesians 5:19, and James 4:4.
8. The Bible is not relative to modern society, contains spurious passages, and is not the infallible Word of God--the philosophy of many liberal preachers and Bible scholars, who ignore 2 Timothy 3:16.
9. As times change, Bible doctrine must change to meet the needs of society--apostasy predicted in 2 Timothy 4:3-4.
10. Salvation by faith alone, nothing else--ignores requirements of repentance, confession, and baptism, as stipulated in Matt. 10:32-33, Mark 16:16, Luke 13:3, Acts 2:38, Romans 10:9, and 1 Peter 3:21.
11. As long as you have love and a "heart for Jesus," everying else is "disputable," including your beliefs and biblical doctrine--this is one facet of the "Purpose-Driven Church" philosophy, an apostasy predicted in 2 Timothy 4:3-4.

While Christianity gives us spiritual "freedom" from the Old Law of Moses, we are not completely free to do as we please. Christ intended for us to follow His commands, neither adding to nor subtracting anything from them. Unfortunately, the list above, and others like it, do just that. Many in the modern church refer to this strict adherence to the "law of Christ" as "legalism." No, it is simple OBEDIENCE. I would think that anyone who is truly trying to be acceptable to God would strive to deviate neither to the right hand nor to the left in their walk with Him. Follow the Bible's narrow guidelines to salvation, not popular opinion to destruction, and do not associate with any denomination which subscribes to anything which is not authorized in the New Testament.
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Dustin B.
Dustin B.

October 4th, 2004, 9:33 pm #9


I have complete faith that I am going written in the Lamb's book of life. I was simply trying to see if someone would tell me that because I am not a member of the CoC that I am going to hell. Is this truly the general consensus? I haven't a doctorate in theology, nor am I being backed by a minister or am I trying to throw the entire doctrine of the CoC down the gutter. I truly love the way that there is focus on the New Testament. But I see that the CoC is against many of my church's practices. My question is this: why would they concern themselves unless they believe it is directly related to my salvation?

1: I take communion, but not every week. I do it in remembrance of him because he commanded us to fulfill all righteousness. I am, in no way, going half-heartedly about my life as a Christian. Every aspect of my life should be directed by Christly ambitions.
2: I’m utterly against infant Baptism and sprinkling baptism.
3: I’ve been baptized and did so for Christ, it was for no man. However I disagree with the CoC’s standpoint on Water Baptism. We know each others’ standpoints on this issue and I can easily go to another page in these forums to read it so a lengthy description of this is not needed. (I know I sound brash, but I’m simply trying to get at the answer here.)
4: The pastor of my church is not a woman nor do I ever attend sermons where women preach. This is an issue I am currently praying over and am seeking answers too through a lot of reading.
5: Homosexuality is sin.
6: I have a difference in opinion over musical worship.
7: The Bible is perfect, uncontradictory and of Divine Origin.
8: Salvation by faith is my belief, but without faith you would not repent and confess and be baptized. I have done all of these to make myself pleasing to God. I didn’t do it for membership of a denomination or to satisfy anyone but God.
9: I love everyone, but that is not a call for me to throw aside his commandments and my service to him. However, that’s quite the contrary. If I have the love of Jesus, a godly love, then I’ll love my father in heaven and do his bidding.
10:Lastly, the only doctrine my church goes by is the Bible.

Those are my beliefs as a Baptist. I want to know if any of these things will send me to hell, in your opinion. I am doing this to get a better understanding of the CoC, not to put it down or judge it. My best friend goes to a Church of Christ and we study the bible together constantly. He is even going to a satellite school of Sunset Bible Institute (A Church of Christ School). I love each of you and I know you have nothing against me.

Feel free to e-mail me, I'm not hiding anything and I'm serious that I simply want to understand the CoC better. I've seen many people blast the Church of Christ and visa versa, but I am not one of those people. I have an open ear to you and I hope yours are open to me.

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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

October 5th, 2004, 1:46 am #10

Dustin, thanks for your thoughts. If you are convinced that you are following all of the New Testament's commandments, then anyone's opinion, let alone those in the C of C, about whether you are going to hell is moot. Again, only God can determine your eternity.

You might want to review your church's position on any points of biblical doctrine and ask yourself: "Does my church's doctrine and do my beliefs completely coincide with those as stipulated in the New Testament?" If they do, and if there is not room for doubt, then there is nothing more to say. If there is still a question in your mind, perhaps you need to fine tune your beliefs until they are in total harmony with those of the New Testament.

I say this, because I was raised in the C of C but later in life became an organist for and joined a Southern Baptist church for a few years. Then that church began to incorporate worldly gimmicks (like those I mentioned in my earlier post) into worship services to attract more members. After further biblical study, I realized that these elements were completely unnecessary for acceptable worship, and in some instances, they actually hindered worship, because attention was centered on performers and performances rather than on pure worship of God. This same Baptist church only encouraged water baptism and would have never taught that Christ required it for salvation; hence, there were members who professed to be Christians but who had never been baptized because they felt "saved" without it, and it was inconvenient to go through with it.

Having seen "both sides," I left the Baptist church because I believe that such a denomination does not quite measure up to New Testament standards (it's close, but not on target). I say that not to be damning or hostile, but simply because it's my conviction when I review New Testament standards. We must be able to live with our consciences. I believe that the C of C comes the closest to following the New Testament as Christ commanded.

On the other hand, people from other denominations are often turned off by the C of C because of our desire to follow the New Testament very strictly: plain worship services without external, worldly gimmicks; no jokes, amusing anecdotes, entertainment, or instrumental music during services; a cappella hymn singing; weekly Communion and collections; expository preaching that includes messages of God's mercy for those who repent and God's judgment for the hardened sinner; steps to salvation include hearing the Word, believing the Word, repentance, confession, and baptism. Sermons present complete biblical truth, the sweet with the bitter, without concern for "political correctness." Worship is a time for complete devotion to God, with de-emphasis of self and personal preferences. "What can make worship fun?" or "What can I get out of worship?" are alien concepts to us (or should be). Instead, we believe, "How can I worship so that God, and God alone, is glorified?"
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