Tell Us Why You Left the Church of Christ

Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

April 27th, 2005, 4:17 pm #31

Thanks for your response, Brian. But it would really help us if you gave some specific reasons why you left. You said that Church of Christ beliefs do not line up with Scripture. Please assist us in pointing out our deficiencies with specific New Testament Scripture references. I stress the New Testament, because our doctrine consists of the commandments of Christ in the Gospels, those laid out by Him in the Acts and the apostolic epistles in the New Testament, and in Revelation, not on the Mosaic Law or the doctrinal laws in the Old Testament (Gal. 5:4).
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Ken Sublett
Ken Sublett

April 27th, 2005, 4:26 pm #32

"...tell us exactly why you left this faith... Was our doctrine too strict? Was there too little love? Did you prefer instrumental music over a cappella singing? Did you want more programs and interactive features with group participation? Were the sermons too long or too theological?"

How about none of the above?

I left the cofC simply because I came believe that it's beliefs and practices did not line up with scripture. My choices were either sit still and deny my beliefs, speak up and get asked to leave, or leave on my own.

It had nothing to do with personal preferences, style, etc. It had everything to do with following the truth no matter where it took me.
Brian, it would help if you filled in some details.

Ken
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brian
brian

April 27th, 2005, 5:55 pm #33

I didn't realize you wanted such specific details. Tell me why it would be helpful and I'll think what my major issues are.
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

April 27th, 2005, 9:03 pm #34

In the introduction to this thread, I stated that we wanted specific reasons, because we are always being told that the traditional Church of Christ is a vanishing sect. If people are leaving for so-called "greener pastures," we would like to know what we're doing, if anything, that is driving folks away. That's why I mentioned some examples:

"Was our doctrine too strict? Was there too little love? Did you prefer instrumental music over a cappella singing? Did you want more programs and interactive features with group participation? Were the sermons too long or too theological?"

These were, of course, not meant to be an exhaustive list, just to suggest some possible causes for leaving. We are trying to determine if people are leaving because of truly scriptural reasons or if they just want a worship environment that's more entertaining and "pleasurable," because the traditional Church of Christ services are not designed to be "entertaining." They are designed to worship God/Christ and Him only. People will leave for whatever reasons they wish, but are those reasons really legitimate? Are they based on valid problems or from personal grudges?

Therefore, to say that the Church of Christ does not line up with Scripture is hard hitting and needs specific clarification. We cannot take your accusation with any degree of seriousness without your providing specific reasons, scriptural or personal, about why you left.
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brian
brian

April 28th, 2005, 5:06 am #35

Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see anywhere that you explained why this would be helpful to you.

I left because of theological disagreements. Do you need to somehow validate those reasons before you take them seriously. If so, why? Is your agreement with my particular theological views necessary in order to accept them as my personal explanation as to why I left?

The charge of being "hard hitting" is particuarly confusing. Is that what you call anyone who expresses disagreement with you? Is it only hard hitting because I didn't go into the details?

I tell you what. You give me one theological disagreement which you would condider a valid reason for leaving the CofC. If you can't tell me that, will you admit that there might be some which you just haven't thought of?
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Ken Sublett
Ken Sublett

April 28th, 2005, 2:37 pm #36

Brian, you hit and run: pull pigtails and blame Jimmy.

I say that Jesus founded and EKKLESIA which is a SYNAGOGUE which is a school of the Bible.

Jesus PLANNED to be the only Master Teacher through His Words "as they have been taught."

Jesus instituted, Paul explained and illustrated the Lord's Supper in a NEGATIVE way (Corinth) and a positive way (Troas)

The direct command and examples of the early churches was for those who PROSPERED during the week would give to the DESTITUTE or POOR which translates in the SOUP LINE.

Anything beyond that began to SOW DISCORD and minimize the SCHOOL aspect. T. Campbell defined the church as SCHOOL and worship as READING and discussing the WORD.

Therefore, anything beyond that may be BAD THEOLOGY but not necessarily evil for establishing a community fellowship.

BUT, I am going to put words into your mouth:

You probably believe that NOT using instruments is BAD THEOLOGY.

Or, you probably believe that BAPTISM is NOT for the remission of sins.

Or, you believe that WOMEN should have a vocal, preside over role.

You have implicated BAD THEOLOGY so you need to define that bad theology for your own emotional health and to TEACH others the truth. We will probably DEBATE you. To question ANYONE'S belief is considered BAD THEOLOGY by too many false teachers but WE HAVE MOVED ON into the POSTannointed phase.

Ken
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Anonymous
Anonymous

April 29th, 2005, 7:18 pm #37

Bill - you deleted your post with the bad analogy about the doctor. It's probabally for the best because it also contained conclusions about me which were nothing more than wild guesses.

Ken - you notice I did not run nor did I place blame on anyone. I gave what I thought was an adequate answer. You wanted more. I want to know why and still do not have a decent answer as to what would be helpful about giving more details. You should apologize for your false assumptions.

Also, my emotional health is just fine thank you. Where do you come up with mess like that? I do not "need" to spell it out. Is this why you think it would be helpful for me to give more details? Becaues it would help me and it would teach others? Surely you can do better than that.

Anyhow, 1 out of 3 ain't bad. Maybe you'll be a little more careful about pigeonholing people next time.

- I DO NOT believe that NOT using instruments is bad theology.
- I DO believe that one can be saved w/o being baptized
- I DO NOT currently believe that women should be the spiritual leaders of the church

Now, let's add some more fuel to the fire :

- The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is actual and personal. It does not happen only as you read the words of scripture. (note: I realize different cofCs differ in opinion on this)

- The CENI hermenuetic is a flawed method of interpreting scripture.

- CofC has a works based salvation - whether they admit it or not. God does his part and man does his part. The truth is that God does all of it. In the CofC, you have to follow the right pattern to be saved and "remain faithful" in order to keep your salvation.

- The "remain faithful" part above encompasses non-essential requirements like worshipping without instruments, taking the Lord's supper every Sunday, not visiting other churches, etc. In some CofCs, it also includes no Sunday School, no kitchens, and a host of other things. And you don't even have to actually violate these things. Just having different opinions on them is enough to get you tossed out of the "true church" and declared reprobate.

- Grace is not "try your best and let God do the rest" as I was taught. I have no best. God's work accomplishes everything.

- In the CofC, all that is required to follow God's will is knowledge and willpower. Everything in scripture is plain to understand and all we have to do is do it. Hogwash.

- The CofC proof-texts the scripture horribly. They tie together unrelated scriptures just because the have a common word in them. They do not take into account the context in which something is written. They have no concept of the difference between "descriptive" and "prescriptive".

I could go on, but basically the CofCs are Pelagian in doctrine. If you are familiar with why Pelagianism was rejected then you are familiar with my objections to the CofC.

NOTE THIS : I will try to clarify anything which you find unclear, but I will not get into a debate. If that sticks in your craw then so be it.

Now, let me put some words in your mouth :

- You're not really interested in learning from someone else. What you really want is more ammo to convince yourself that you hold the superior position.

- You genuinely think that there are no valid theological reasons for leaving the CofC and don't think anyone can ever change your mind on this.

- You also genuinely think that most people who leave the CofC do so based on their likes and dislikes rather than hard doctrinal reasons.

- You have deluded yourself into thinking that following the right pattern is enough to get you to Heaven.

Enough? I think so.
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Ken Sublett
Ken Sublett

April 29th, 2005, 10:09 pm #38

Now, that didn't hurt: I would agree with some of your reasons and that is why I don't do church anymore. However, I can assure you that none of the "brethren" know what a Pelagius is except from other preachers books. Not even Calvinists have read Calvin.
  • <font color=red>I could go on, but basically the CofCs are Pelagian in doctrine. If you are familiar with why Pelagianism was rejected then you are familiar with my objections to the CofC.</font>
I think that it would be some help if you explained the doma which can be rejected easily without agreeing with Calvinism. We never force you to attend or tithe or obey the unlawful LAW OF GIVING and no one will be sent to your door. So, you can define what Pelagius believed and maybe I can show you that anyone who had ever heard of Pelagius would know that literate members of the church of Christ believe in no such thing.

We will debate if necessary but THAT is the meaning of the word PREACH or the Latin Sermo.

Ken
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Ken Sublett
Ken Sublett

April 29th, 2005, 11:39 pm #39

Bill - you deleted your post with the bad analogy about the doctor. It's probabally for the best because it also contained conclusions about me which were nothing more than wild guesses.

Ken - you notice I did not run nor did I place blame on anyone. I gave what I thought was an adequate answer. You wanted more. I want to know why and still do not have a decent answer as to what would be helpful about giving more details. You should apologize for your false assumptions.

Also, my emotional health is just fine thank you. Where do you come up with mess like that? I do not "need" to spell it out. Is this why you think it would be helpful for me to give more details? Becaues it would help me and it would teach others? Surely you can do better than that.

Anyhow, 1 out of 3 ain't bad. Maybe you'll be a little more careful about pigeonholing people next time.

- I DO NOT believe that NOT using instruments is bad theology.
- I DO believe that one can be saved w/o being baptized
- I DO NOT currently believe that women should be the spiritual leaders of the church

Now, let's add some more fuel to the fire :

- The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is actual and personal. It does not happen only as you read the words of scripture. (note: I realize different cofCs differ in opinion on this)

- The CENI hermenuetic is a flawed method of interpreting scripture.

- CofC has a works based salvation - whether they admit it or not. God does his part and man does his part. The truth is that God does all of it. In the CofC, you have to follow the right pattern to be saved and "remain faithful" in order to keep your salvation.

- The "remain faithful" part above encompasses non-essential requirements like worshipping without instruments, taking the Lord's supper every Sunday, not visiting other churches, etc. In some CofCs, it also includes no Sunday School, no kitchens, and a host of other things. And you don't even have to actually violate these things. Just having different opinions on them is enough to get you tossed out of the "true church" and declared reprobate.

- Grace is not "try your best and let God do the rest" as I was taught. I have no best. God's work accomplishes everything.

- In the CofC, all that is required to follow God's will is knowledge and willpower. Everything in scripture is plain to understand and all we have to do is do it. Hogwash.

- The CofC proof-texts the scripture horribly. They tie together unrelated scriptures just because the have a common word in them. They do not take into account the context in which something is written. They have no concept of the difference between "descriptive" and "prescriptive".

I could go on, but basically the CofCs are Pelagian in doctrine. If you are familiar with why Pelagianism was rejected then you are familiar with my objections to the CofC.

NOTE THIS : I will try to clarify anything which you find unclear, but I will not get into a debate. If that sticks in your craw then so be it.

Now, let me put some words in your mouth :

- You're not really interested in learning from someone else. What you really want is more ammo to convince yourself that you hold the superior position.

- You genuinely think that there are no valid theological reasons for leaving the CofC and don't think anyone can ever change your mind on this.

- You also genuinely think that most people who leave the CofC do so based on their likes and dislikes rather than hard doctrinal reasons.

- You have deluded yourself into thinking that following the right pattern is enough to get you to Heaven.

Enough? I think so.
<font color=red>Brian: - The CENI hermenuetic is a flawed method of interpreting scripture.</font>

It might be flawed but churches of Christ DID NOT invent the concept. In fact, God laid it out clearly in the Old testament.

Here are some references to the Bible and ALL of the church historians who spoke on the issue. It was just natural to give God the RIGHT to communicate the only way WE can communicate directions.

That is why no trinitarian ever thought of THREE PEOPLE. Rather, Father is THOUGHT, Son is WORD and Spirit is breath or that communication which takes place between THUGHT and WORD.

http://www.piney.com/ComExamInfer.html

History saved the invention of a Family of Gods to the church of Christ articulated in the year 1942 by H. Leo boles, Lipscomb and the Gospel Advocate. John Mark Hicks attributes this neo-trinity which is Tritheism to Max Lucado and Rubel Shelly but Boles beat them to it and the GA spread the view among the GA wing of the church.

The HIGH CHURCH view which Christians use to define the Stoneites as a church while those under Campbell were called a SECT was articulated but NEVER approved by any church council at any time or place. The Catholic church defends the BIBLE as authority but gives itself the role of CONTINUING REVELATION as does Rubel Shelly etal. You don't have to agree with me but I have to tell you what I believe history proves.

Ken
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

April 30th, 2005, 12:36 am #40

Bill - you deleted your post with the bad analogy about the doctor. It's probabally for the best because it also contained conclusions about me which were nothing more than wild guesses.

Ken - you notice I did not run nor did I place blame on anyone. I gave what I thought was an adequate answer. You wanted more. I want to know why and still do not have a decent answer as to what would be helpful about giving more details. You should apologize for your false assumptions.

Also, my emotional health is just fine thank you. Where do you come up with mess like that? I do not "need" to spell it out. Is this why you think it would be helpful for me to give more details? Becaues it would help me and it would teach others? Surely you can do better than that.

Anyhow, 1 out of 3 ain't bad. Maybe you'll be a little more careful about pigeonholing people next time.

- I DO NOT believe that NOT using instruments is bad theology.
- I DO believe that one can be saved w/o being baptized
- I DO NOT currently believe that women should be the spiritual leaders of the church

Now, let's add some more fuel to the fire :

- The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is actual and personal. It does not happen only as you read the words of scripture. (note: I realize different cofCs differ in opinion on this)

- The CENI hermenuetic is a flawed method of interpreting scripture.

- CofC has a works based salvation - whether they admit it or not. God does his part and man does his part. The truth is that God does all of it. In the CofC, you have to follow the right pattern to be saved and "remain faithful" in order to keep your salvation.

- The "remain faithful" part above encompasses non-essential requirements like worshipping without instruments, taking the Lord's supper every Sunday, not visiting other churches, etc. In some CofCs, it also includes no Sunday School, no kitchens, and a host of other things. And you don't even have to actually violate these things. Just having different opinions on them is enough to get you tossed out of the "true church" and declared reprobate.

- Grace is not "try your best and let God do the rest" as I was taught. I have no best. God's work accomplishes everything.

- In the CofC, all that is required to follow God's will is knowledge and willpower. Everything in scripture is plain to understand and all we have to do is do it. Hogwash.

- The CofC proof-texts the scripture horribly. They tie together unrelated scriptures just because the have a common word in them. They do not take into account the context in which something is written. They have no concept of the difference between "descriptive" and "prescriptive".

I could go on, but basically the CofCs are Pelagian in doctrine. If you are familiar with why Pelagianism was rejected then you are familiar with my objections to the CofC.

NOTE THIS : I will try to clarify anything which you find unclear, but I will not get into a debate. If that sticks in your craw then so be it.

Now, let me put some words in your mouth :

- You're not really interested in learning from someone else. What you really want is more ammo to convince yourself that you hold the superior position.

- You genuinely think that there are no valid theological reasons for leaving the CofC and don't think anyone can ever change your mind on this.

- You also genuinely think that most people who leave the CofC do so based on their likes and dislikes rather than hard doctrinal reasons.

- You have deluded yourself into thinking that following the right pattern is enough to get you to Heaven.

Enough? I think so.
Brian, thanks for going into detail about why you left. That's all we desired from the very beginning. You didn't need to beat around the bush about it. I can't guarantee that others won't jump down your throat about your reasons, but I at least appreciate your honesty. Of course, I do not agree with many of your theological views, but as you noted, this is not the thread for debating them.

Now for others who aspire to post on this thread, take heed. This thread was created to study why people leave the Church of Christ. Earlier I stated our reasons for desiring this study, yet some are unwilling to accept those reasons. Very well, those who fault our reasons may do themselves and us a service by simply not posting here. It's your choice whether you respond or not; no one is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to do so. But if you decide to respond, just make life simple by giving us your SPECIFIC, DETAILED reasons for leaving and let us worry about WHY we want to know. There's no need to be evasive and uncooperative. Also please have the courtesy not to abuse this thread with hateful, spiteful responses.
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