Submitted: CM's Richland Hills Church of Christ Forum
By: Brian Cade (Anonymous)
Date: May 23 2012, 5:07 PM
[Edited items as numbered for reference purposes.]
Oh, boy, talk about grist for the mill;
<em>1. The change agents believe that the church of Christ Jesus is a denomination;</em>
It certainly looks like one from the outside, especially when you throw in the arrogant belief that only those who are in the "Church of Christ" are saved.It's foolish to believe that our little movement has a lock on God's truth. I can tell you for certain we don't.
<em>2. The change agents believe that Christ's church should engage in instrumental music;</em>
The men you speak against, your brethren, have examined the scriptures and find no prohibition against instrumental music. You won't either, if you examine the scriptures for yourself in a Berean spirit.
<em>3. The change agents believe in open fellowship with other religious bodies;</em>
Who, the Buddhists? The Hindus? The Muslims? OR are your brethren advocating fellowship with other Christians who might belong to another faith-heritage? What's wrong with that?
<em>4. The change agents teach that women should have a leading role in the church;</em>
<em>5. The change agents downplay the office of the deacon -- that women can serve as deaconesses;</em>
The word "deacon" comes from the Greek word for servant. Whether you want to admit it or not, thousands of our sisters are <em>already</em> serving the church in some informal capacity.Paul commended at least one such that we know of, Phoebe.
<em>6. The change agents teach that the church is not the kingdom;</em>
If by "church" you mean the little group that remains from the Stone-Campbell movement that calls itself the "Church of Christ" then your brethren are absolutely correct.
<em>7. The change agents teach that the New Testament church needs to be restructured;</em>
If by "restructure", you mean moving away from the view that elders are an executive board of directors and that deacons are "elders in training"-level junior executives, then your brethren are correct. "Deacon" is not a formal office.
<em>8. The change agents teach that New Testament Christianity is irrelevant;</em> False. You've been lied to.Worse, your brethren have been slandered and libelled.
<em>9. The change agents teach that silence of the Scripture is not prohibitive;</em>Silence neither permits nor prohibits. What permits or prohibits is God's <em>specificity</em> on a given matter.When did God ever reveal truth to His people by saying absolutely nothing at all? That said, scripture is very clear that if you are not sure about something, don't perform that action if it will violate your conscience.
<em>10. The change agents teach that salvation is by faith and baptism is not essential for the forgiveness of sins;</em>
Your brethren teach that salvation is by faith and that baptism is the response. Let me explain it this way:if, out of the goodness of my heart, I go down to the bank and open an account for Donnie Cruz with a balance of a million dollars, you still have to go into the bank and put your name on the signature card for that account. Without your signature, you can't accept or access my gift to you. I didn't have to set up that account for you; I did it because I wanted to and you needed the money.
<em>11. The change agents are greatly enamored by radical youth workshops;</em>
<em>12. The change agents teach that teaching obedience and commandments is legalism;
13. The change agents teach that using deductions based on Scripture cannot establish truth;</em>
These two belong under the same heading. Your brethren teach that the CENI hermeneutic, along with the twin laws of silence and expediency, if taken to their conclusion, lead to division and strife among brethren and need to be re-examined, if not discarded. Are you afraid to think for yourself?
<em>14. The change agents teach that restoration of the church is not finished;</em>
False. The church never needed restoring in the first place. It has been with us since its founding. The idea that the church needs "restoring" is a man-made conceit
<em>15. The change agents teach the advocacy of the Holy Spirit empowering us in sensational ways apart from the Word of God;</em>
Please be more specific.
<em>16. The change agents teach that worship is to be changed to be more emotional in the Pentecostal denominational style;</em>
There is nothing wrong with an uplifting worship service. Nehemiah 8:10 says "The joy of the Lord is our strength." At the same time, we need to be aware that some practices (lifting holy hands, clapping, singing during communion,etc) can cause a large amount of cognitive dissonance to people whose idea of "joy" includes a dry rendition of "The Old Rugged Cross".
<em>17. The change agents are gashing the church and finding little good about it and in contrast being complimentary of other religious groups;</em>
There is very little good about a group whose only purpose in coming together is to find fault in others. On the other hand, did you ever once stop to think that you might have something to learn from people whose lives show evidence of the fruit of the Holy Spirit, regardless of their Christian faith-
<em>18. The change agents teach that pattern theology is an abomination;</em>
Pattern theology teaches that a man can earn salvation by keeping to a scripted code of conduct and action, so that come the day of judgment, God has no choice but to allow you into heaven.In other words, pattern theology is a special case of works theology, which spits in the face of clear scriptural teaching to the contrary."For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." - Ephesians 2:8,9