A place to talk about the doctrine and methodology that the "hardline-legalistic" church of Christ

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1 Corinthians 13:10 is a passage regularly abused the Church of Christ. The city reads together follows:

But once that i m sorry is perfect is come, then that which is in component shall be done away.

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According come the hardline Church of Christ this verse is around the completion of Scripture. It’s often used by the hardline Church that Christ come prove that details Spiritual gifts have ceased ‘with the canonization of Scripture’.

The fact is Paul was no speaking the a ‘bible’ at all. The context because that one is about love. Secondly, the perfection to come is once we watch ‘face come face’ and no longer through a darken glass. We know in component in this lifetime however when we room ‘face to face’ we will understand everything. This is no speaking around a scriptures but a life past this life.

March 1, 2015
The new and enhanced ‘Answering the Church the Christ’Blog.

This blog site will it is in a continuation of the old site https://answeringchurchofchrist.tastecraftedmcd.com.com/

As sharp out, perhaps the direction in 2008 wasn’t the best means to go. Walk forward, our primary focus will not be Johnny Robertson nor any kind of of his neighborhood comrades’. Rather, us will emphasis on the hardline Church of Christ together a whole. Additionally, we will certainly offer options to their teachings. We will delete the vault threads about Johnny and/or persons indirectly regarded him.

Randy Craigar said he has attempted to contact the owner the https://answeringchurchofchrist.tastecraftedmcd.com.com/ in really hopes that that reopen his Blog but that clear isn’t ever before going come happen. Johnny boastfully has professed to have actually scared the Moderators away of https://answeringchurchofchrist.tastecraftedmcd.com.com/. True of false, I have actually no idea. Randy’s brother preaches in Rocky Mt, VA., wherein we overcome paths. A conversation transpired i m sorry led united state to reopen the site. To be honest, we wondered if the owner of https://answeringchurchofchrist.tastecraftedmcd.com.com/ was even alive see he simply vanished indigenous the scene years back without a genuine explanation.

For those interested, ns opted for the pseudonym ‘Axel Reid’ as soon as I an initial started this site but due to undo pressure I will write-up my name Nathaniel Hodges. Girlfriend can find me top top Facebook, Twitter, etc. Ns may attach those to the website as i see how it goes.

February 28, 2015
Where’s Johnny?

My inside world tell me that he doesn’t come to our blog anymore since he doesn’t want his people at ‘his Church’ come see another side various other than what he teaches. Most, in fact, room not even conscious of the division within the hardline Church of Christ, nor carry out they understand that a gradual Church the Christ exist which space not legalistic. Well, it is fine. My suggest here is come refute his “false teachings” (to use his lingo), and if that doesn’t desire to come and defend his doctrine, it is his prerogative.

I’ve chose that it’s too exhausting to shot and watch and review every of your programs, as much as I reap picking your flimsy debates apart with tiny defense from your side. So, the blog is going to walk a little an ext generalized, wherein we will watch what lock teach on every fronts – from your blogs to your websites ( five they take it them down hmm) to their radio and also TV broadcasts, and we’ll be commenting ~ above those things. Now, lest lock think they’ve somehow asserted a “victory” by driving us away – we’re not going away, just changing things increase a little bit from the 2006 blog. I hear he has ran come Rocky mountain in wishes to find people unaware of your tactics.

That gift said, if everyone would choose to do a particular comment top top something one of the “false teachers” teaches on among their broadcasts, you re welcome feel cost-free to include it together a comment and I’ll make a brand-new post making use of your comments.

February 28, 2015
CENI: a hardline Church of Christ technique toScripture

Let’s talk about a form of interpretive an approach common in hardline church of Christ (and absolutely used in Johnny Robertson’s and James Oldfield’s tv broadcasts). The basically states – every practice, thought, and also value we hold must uncover within the New Testament (they to exclude, the Old Testament due to the fact that they space Marcionites…oops…I mean because they are the Church under the NT constitution and not the OT – Israel’s constitution) a clear command, example, or important inference. If one of these three cannot be found, climate what we room doing is thought about “unauthorized” and also thus a sin. This is how acappella churches of Christ justify their doctrine as soon as it come to opposing musical instruments.

This interpretive technique has been called PATTERNISM – the belief that over there is a details pattern (think…”BEHOLD THE PATTERN”) provided to united state in Scripture and there can not be any type of deviation to it is in the true church (note the language…”true church”…ouch).

It seems come me the this interpretive method (patternism) drops under its own weight. No where do we check out Jesus or the apostle adopting command, example, and necessary inference as your interpretive lens with their Scripture…thus it lacks a clear command, example, and necessary inference (e.g., Jesus’ authorized in the synagogue, feast that Dedication…all that which have actually no “command, example, or necessary inference in the OT).

This interpretive an approach simply does no take seriously the complexity of many biblical passages. Command, example, and also necessary inference perform not compete with things that are cultural, points that are situationally-specific, or things that are coincidental in nature. Because that example, the NT clearly commands us to wash one another’s feet, greet each other with a holy kiss, and for ladies to undertake head-veils. Yet, at the very least in just how we actually lived, we never followed any kind of of this very clear and also direct commands! Why? us judged them come be culturally conditioned and not applicable to our day and also age. Or, what around the fact that when the bible tells us by example that there were seven deacons in the Church in Jerusalem according to acts 6. We have no other point out of the number of deacons a Church need to have. Go that average that the Church deserve to only have actually seven deacons because it is the only instance we have? In this we have actually judged that the acts 6 passage is situationally-specific. Or what about the truth that as soon as the ar of communion is mentioned in the brand-new Testament, the is constantly in an top room? No where do we read about the church taking communion on the first floor (at the very least not explicitly). In this we have actually said the this is simply coincidental.

In the end, I would certainly say patternism has actually much that it lacks in regards to understanding and applying the Bible.


What the hardline Church of Christ now calls “Worship Service”, is neither worship, nor is the service, yet it is a ceremony that they act out every Wednesday & Sunday as soon as they walk to their Church building and also sing song of your pleasure, and also listen to sermons ran by a one-man-show. Matter of fact, over there isn’t a such point in Scripture together the “Worship Service”, The whole concept called “Worship Service” is man-made.

The Church version in plot is much removed from modern Church… no pulpit, no altar, no pews, no one male running things, no offering plate passed about, to surname a few, were part of the early Church. Arranged Church, as we see it today, spawned indigenous Constantine. The hardline Church that Christ profess t not be a denomination however their building mirrror the version of every various other denomination.

It is absolutely NOT worship, and it is absolutely not business when we accomplish in our numerous denominational buildings. Before I am taken wrongly, i am not condemning conference in buildings. My beef is the hardline Church of Christ who give more homage to their structures than they treatment to admit.

True business is to offer your BODY as a living sacrifice come GOD, EVERY solitary DAY and to it is in abiding in JESUS. That is the complete change of the heart and also of the mind. True worship is to obey THE mr JESUS fully EVERY single DAY, the IS NOT about OUR synthetic CEREMONY nor around man-made organization constructed on an individual understandings that what each denomination think the bible to teach i m sorry we divide into countless denominations, every professing come teach the reality yet every contrary to the other. May God unite us, is mine prayer, and also may God present the hardline Church the Christ that they too room a denomination.

You deserve to BET the if the hardline Church the Christ says; “Come to our worship Service” that they space talking about the ceremony the they are proceeding to connect in. The is NOT around a relationship with Jesus for them, the is about a cheat ceremony.

There space lots of people visiting this blog now, and I don’t recognize who you every are, yet you might be interested what roads to no go down as soon as you are stating the bible with a hardline Church that Christ person.


When discussing denominations, don’t mention that man the Baptist is the evidence of the Baptist denomination being discovered in the Bible. The hardline Church that Christ world will rightly phone call you that “Baptist” was not the surname of a church, however the task of John. He to be a baptizer, not a “Baptist” as in the originator of the Baptist church. This is a tree that just doesn’t should be barked up. To mine amazement, I have actually heard some people actually use John the Baptist come validate the Baptist Church.

The Church the Christ is a denomination. Now, they’ll say the they don’t have actually an organization, however I disagree, particularly when you go to one of their websites and also see that they advertise and also link up v each other. The seems favor at the least, the hardline churches of Christ in this component of Virginia and North Carolina space “united in their adherence to their beliefs and also practices.” Now, if that an interpretation falls apart, look at the definition of “denominating” – to offer a name to.

But, anyway, that’s a deserve to of worms that they’ll be ready to answer should you decision to run in.


The hardline Church that Christ have actually their disagreements all inside wall up favor ducks in a row re: this topic, and they’ll be ready to shoot under anything friend say the disagrees v their interpretation of Scripture. So, if you’re walk to obtain into this one, be prepared.

Musical instruments in Worship

This was what very first got me associated in conversations v our regional hardline Church the Christ. I made the rookie mistake of call up and also talking around Psalm 150, i m sorry discusses the use of musical tools in worship. Well, the hardline Church that Christ solution to this is swift and also merciless: that in the brand-new Testament, the church wasn’t provided permission to use instruments, so although the Old Testament has actually a number of examples the the usage of musical tools in worship, us aren’t allowed, and also to perform so is sin, according to the hardline Church the Christ view.

Now, also, if you mention the “psalms” of Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16, they’ll say that words “psalms” (which in the Greek is native psalmos, “striking chords on a music instrumet”) is indicating miscellaneous that must go top top in the heart – a striking the the chords top top the strings of your heart. A little bit of a stretch, however that’s fine. Ns will address this in future post.

See, if your interpretation of this passage is various than theirs, you room in sin and also not saved. All because we’ve no been offered permission in a way that satisfies your interpretation.

You deserve to see wherein this is going. Anyone have anything to contribute?

The hardline Church the Christ do a nice compelling argument versus the sinner’s prayer. I wonder what human being think about the use of this prayer as a device for evangelism?

Some sites that usage the prayer, found randomly making use of Google:




Now, one of the points that the hardline Church that Christ slam is the absence of Scripture found to assistance the sinner’s prayer. However, the links I gave above (all found on the an initial page of the search engine’s results page) space filled v Scripture. Among them end by saying that the prayer isn’t what saves, yet faith – and they offer a Scripture passage to justify the proclamation. I think that is a reasonable thing.

Here room some non-Church that Christ sites the disagree through the use of a “sinner’s prayer” (and most of the website I discovered were Church the Christ… interesting…):

An exciting Calvinist perspective: http://www.irishcalvinist.com/?p=763

A prof in ~ Biola: http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=6871

A post-modernist blog around it: http://www.faceslikeflint.com/?p=105

The point I find compelling is the argument that too many people use the prayer like a crate to examine off, and once they execute that they deserve to go top top doing whatever they want rather of submitting themselves to God, and also dying to self each day.

So, what is the thought of this blog’s audience?

This leader me to a declare of appreciation I’d choose to make – friend can get angry, or annoyed, or fed up with several of the things that our neighborhood CofC TV guys say; however that’s the dorn response. Listen to what the hardline Church of Christ say, and also investigate it!

I may disagree v them on some basic issues, yet I execute appreciate the they room out over there making us ask questions – and also making us look in ~ the things we say us believe.

The local hardline Church of Christ done a show called “God Calling your Pastor”, and their thesis seemed to it is in that we shouldn’t simply take a pastor’s native at confront value. As their example, lock referenced a regional Baptist pastor, the minister of Fairview Baptist in Gretna (a surrounding community), who spoke around Cornelius and also Peter in acts 10 in ~ his church. The pastor supposedly talked about how Cornelius required Peter come come and also confirm the vision the Cornelius had, and how that is a photo of the means of points today, that if you have a vision, you require the pastor to come and confirm it. The hardline Church the Christ disagreed with this, and called into question the “calling” of pastors in the very first place.

Now, ns agree through the allude that the hardline Church of Christ seemed to it is in making. Ns think that among the biggest difficulties in the Church this day is the we have actually pastors speak “God called me this” and also “God called me that”, however pulling what God “told them” out of slim air. This is why we so often get ministers life in the lap of high-end – due to the fact that they use their power to take benefit of others.

I agree v the hardline Church that Christ assessment of numerous of this pastors, and I think Jesus’ warning concerning false prophets in Matthew 7 is directly applicable to many of these guys (and women): “by their fruit ye shall understand them.”

But, I have actually an admonition because that the hardline Church the Christ, too:

Be careful, that you aren’t doing favor the lady in the photo below!

You see, I’ve recognized dozens of pastors in my day, in dozens of different denominations, and most all of the people I’ve known have been guys who didn’t presume come speak because that God, however they nice much across the plank let God speak because that Himself through His Word. Your interpretations of some things can be different, but their desire to be pleasing to God, and also to remain true come what He states was sound.

The just real criticism I have actually is that the hardline Church of Christ seem to be exhilaration in a rather disingenuous way with the folks in ~ Fairview Baptist. First, they had actually their patented sneaky camera along, and also apparently the good folks at Fairview treated him as well kindly to gain any an excellent footage because that the ardline Church of Christ. Second, in the snippet the the hardline Church the Christ played of castle addressing the congregation there, lock sounded virtually ecumenical. They absolutely didn’t sound the same as they did in the studio once they said about that very same congregation, “we don’t think they are worshiping God.”

And the hardline Church of Christ marvels why they need to go every the way to Los Angeles to uncover a pastor willing to debate them? fact is, world in Martinsville long earlier learned to avoid the techniques of the hardline Church that Christ.

And friend know, ns think the it was amazing that in ~ the beginning of the hardline Church the Christ program, castle referenced 1 Peter 3:15 together his factor for going ~ folks the means he does. To repeat you, the verse says, “But sanctify the lord God in your hearts: and also ready constantly to an answer to every guy that asketh girlfriend a reason of the hope the is in you through meekness and fear.”

It appears like many in the hardline Church of Christ, when they pursue these guys, are not gift obedient come this Scripture. They’ve taken that upon us to force men to offer an answer. Together if their bible says, “and ready constantly to get solution from every man…”

Does your scriptures say that?

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Spiritually abusive ministries

It’s either his/her way or no way. And if a follower deviates, he is guilty the deviating indigenous Jesus.

Use exclude, language. “We’re the only church really complying with Jesus.” “We have actually all the right theology.” think their means of act things, thinking theologically, or taking care of ministry and church is the just correct way. Anyone else is wrong, misguided, or stupidly naive.

Often over there is no grace because that someone who fails to live approximately the church’s or ministry’s expectation. And if someone steps external of the often-unspoken rules, leaders shame them into compliance.

Often have actually a charismatic leader in ~ the helm that is complete of arrogance, protectionism and also pride. Harbors a cult that personality, definition if the main figure of the ministry or church left, the entity would certainly collapse, together it was entirely dependent top top one human being to host the place together.

Buffer him/herself from criticism by placing people approximately themselves whose only allegiance is to the leader. See those who bring up concerns as enemies. Those who were once friends/allies swiftly become enemies once a concern is raised. Occasionally these folks room banished, said to be silent, or shamed into submission.

Hold to external performance however rejects yes, really spirituality. Places burdens on pendant to plot a details way, dress an agree way, and have an agree lifestyle.

Use exclusivity because that allegiance. Pendant close come the leader or leader feel prefer insiders. Everyone else is ~ above the outside, despite they lengthy to be in the inner circle.


1. The leader is charismatic and often militaristically demanding2. The leader is constantly right3. Elitism, the leaders treated as aristocracy or a feeling of awe, hierarchical, authoritarian strength structure4. Lower members acquire no respect, or gain abused5. Leader is not organized accountable because that his plot or the plot of his government structure6. Leader will not forgive or obtain criticism, however leader criticizes every others7. Over there is no exit8. If members departure they are thought about rebellious, out of the will certainly of a greater power or the leader9. Members do not have any association v members that have left the group10. There space no graduates native the “program” or group, simply deserters or angry people11. There is cult speak (a language many others can not understand)12. Personal attacks on movie critics or those who space not in the group13. Solidarity within themselves, no external allegiance or association14. Use of guilt come manipulate members15. The leaders of team are me absorbed16. Instant community17. Members can not to tell the truth18. Money grubbing19. Newcomers nothing “think right” and also need to be trained20. Device of punishment and also reward21. Intrusiveness22. Sense of powerless, dependency, concealed fear, guilt23. Members and leaders space imbalanced or holy spirit ill24. Thought stopping language, clichés, or slogans25. Requirements of ultra commitment or ultra to trust in the groups process and others

From Dusty Owens

My admission of having "left the Church the Christ" might come as a complete surprise to countless who have known me with the years; to others who have followed my writings on the institutional church, it will not come as a shock. The decision to actors off the bind of traditions and also laws of men came after countless years the prayerful research of the sacred scriptures and also the history of the development of the very first man-made spiritual entity – the Catholic Church.

Betty, mine faithful and also loving mam of over 44 years, has been by mine side every the while, studying, praying, and affording me a sounding board whereby I can test newly found hypotheses. She has regularly served as a an excellent balance come my occasional impetuosity. Today, us stand in finish agreement top top what ns shall set forth in this article. As soon as I state the factors why i left the Church that Christ, ns really to be speaking because that Betty also.

It is with good emotional an obstacle that one declares the left miscellaneous behind that was once an extremely near and also dear to his heart. Especially, as soon as it involves long-time friends and also loved ones. No doubt the apostle Paul shed many a tear as he contemplated the definition of his decision to leaving Judaism in bespeak to adopt the liberating Christ:

Brothers, i pray to God the the Jewish world will be saved; the is my heart"s desire. I tell you the truth, they have actually much enthusiasm because that God, yet they don’t understand! castle ignored God"s righteousness and tried to create their own form of righteousness. They did not placed themselves under God"s kind of justice (S.E.B. Rom. 10:1-4).

This is the 2nd time ns have had actually to make this sort of heart-rending determination. Ns was born to roman Catholic parents and was elevated a Catholic. Ns was "baptized" as a baby, attend catechism (religious instructions), and also was "confirmed" at the period of twelve. Later, Betty submitted to catechism to end up being a Catholic the we can marry. We continued to be Catholics until I was 24 year old. By now we were presented to the teachings of the Church of Christ. Ns remember that lot of the conversation centered roughly identifying "The One True Church." as a Catholic, i was conditioned come the "one true church" concept and also had no difficulty accepting it. Also, I could see that Jesus and the apostles taught "immersion" as being vital for the remission that sins. After much study and deliberation us left the Catholic Church and also became "members that the Church that Christ."

Four years after our conversion in Wheeling, West Virginia, I gave up a promise career as a nation music entertainer and moved to holy place Terrace (Tampa), Florida where I enrolled as a student in Florida Christian university (later readjusted to Florida College). I want to examine the scriptures in an extreme program, and also to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I taught for various congregations over the next 30 years. Throughout this time, I came down on scriptural conclusions the were taken into consideration erroneous and dangerous by few of the priest (preachers and also elders) of this sect. Us were branded together "unsound in the faith." Those preachers, elders, and churches which to be under the affect of Florida College to be warned "to have actually nothing to carry out with Dusty Owens." Interestingly, I have actually been invite to entertain (sing) in ~ lectureships, homecomings, etc. Plenty of times, but never as soon as asked to current a scriptures lesson. I have often been solicited to make a financial contribution to the school, yet never inquiry to add to their spiritual well-being.

I did not intend because that this write-up to it is in a biography, yet I felt that the leader ought to understand these pertinent points. Please save in mental that together I comment on why i left the Church that Christ, I hold no animosity or ill-will toward any person. God"s son is my brothers or sisters in Christ. I will state up front that I perform hate the device men devised the robs God"s people of their rich inheritance, including the blessings of joy, peace, hope and love. And also now, why ns left the Church the Christ.

Emphasis ~ above "Church"When members of the Church that Christ claim they space "the one true church," they average that emphatically. They profess to be the only, therefore the true church, that Jesus will save. They go on to determine it by name, "Church that Christ," and insist that one should be a member of this "Church" in bespeak to be saved. Furthermore, they contend that one must be "a faithful member that the church" to it is in saved. "Faithful" contains attending every announced assembly ("worship service and also Bible study"), and giving come the church liberally of her financial earnings and your time. It also includes doing every little thing according to "truth," which, of course, is figured out by the preachers and elders. If your examine of the scriptures does not create the same conclusions the they have reached, you room in "error," judged "unfaithful," and also subject to "marking" and even "disfellowshipping."

Gradually, as I learned the scriptures and the original language of the brand-new Testament (Greek), I could see the errors of these contentions. Basically, over there is one error - a faulty premise. Once you i think the presence of a "church," everything about the church appears to loss into place.

The fact of the matter is, the principle of "church" originated through man and not through God, and over the century man has actually institutionalized his creation. In other words, in the psychic of the theologian, the "church" came to be an "it" different from the human being themselves. This idea permeates the thinking of those in the Church the Christ.

Actually, the English word "church" walk not analyze the Greek word ecclesia, and also does not belong in any English translate in of the Bible. The word ecclesia is used throughout the new Testament, but almost always has reference come God"s human being who were "called out of darkness." In the context, the ecclesia is the spiritual body of Christ. Men have perverted this ide into a literal meaning organized, functional, entity, which they call "the church." lock have differentiated it right into "local" and "universal." Furthermore, castle think castle see divine instructions in the bibles for the "local church," i m sorry they firmly insist must be adhered to to the "letter" or operation the risk of being condemned by God. They proclaim the all who execute not get involved in the "five acts of worship" in the assembly space going to hell and that includes giving enough of your income to you re welcome God. Attendance and also financial support space absolutely necessary to salvation - and, come the guaranteed existence of the Church of Christ.

All of this theories perish under a single blow the truth: God never created a literal meaning organization, a sensible entity, referred to as "the church"! Jesus never died to conserve "the church." Jesus died that "whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (Jn. 3:16). Jesus died to save individuals, not a "church"! In apostolic times, once a person provided in to the persuasion the the gospel, he/she was taken into consideration "saved." believer were never instructed come form, organize, or in any way create a corporate body to duty as a "local church." when a person came to be a Christian, he/she had a straight relationship come God v His kid Jesus Christ. Men have obscured that partnership by imposing the need of "church membership" because that salvation. Once I completely realized this, ns was closer come leaving this man-made organization called, "The Church the Christ."

Church of Christ DenominationMembers of the Church of Christ firmly insist that your church is no a denomination. They easily admit that the Lord"s civilization were described by assorted terms, such as, Christians, saints, firstborn ones, etc., however they cling to one designation - Church of Christ. They preserve that it would certainly be scriptural come use all of the over designations, however in practice they utilize only one. Look for the sign over the door or in former of the building and also you will discover their name; advertisements in the paper or in the phone publication carry their name; many congregations send out advertising brochures which bring their name; and also many use letterheads and envelopes the bear their surname - Church of Christ. This is to distinguish them native the Church the God, the Baptist Church the Presbyterian Church, the Methodist Church, the Catholic Church, etc. It started to bother me that it to be inconsistent and hypocritical to contend that the Church that Christ was not a denomination, when in truth it was - choose all the rest.

The an initial requirement the a denomination is to have a stated name. "It is (1) the plot of naming; (2) a name; (3) the name of a course of things; (4) a course or type ... Having a specific name...; (5) a spiritual sect: together a protestant denomination." These meanings are from Webster"s new World Dictionary. Certainly, on this point, the Church that Christ qualifies together a denomination. Just heralding yourselves "not one" is not adequate to to escape the logical conclusion.

Furthermore, whatever that characterizes the denominations the the world (those declare to monitor Christ), are discovered in the Church the Christ: that company body, organization, membership, Church buildings, clergy, worship-services, etc. In fact, I difficulty you to name one point that qualifies a group to it is in a denomination the is not discovered in the Church that Christ. You can"t surname one! The Church that Christ is a denomination.

In fact, the Church that Christ is a sect together well. Members that a sect, by definition, space narrow-minded and also bigoted (Webster’s new World Dictionary). Plenty of of the members the the Church of Christ space narrow-minded and also bigoted, reasoning that just those of their specific brand that Church of Christ-ism will certainly be saved. There room over twenty different sects amongst those wearing the Church that Christ name and also claiming to be the "one true Church." they usually execute not fellowship each other. Often, they will certainly not contact on a human being from another Church that Christ to lead in prayer, command the congregational singing, or take component in the "services" in some other way. Some preachers will go so far as to insist that a person desiring membership be re-baptized if they come from another type of Church the Christ. I mean if a team starts their very own church, they can develop their own rules and also regulations come govern it.

Authoritative Elders and also PreachersAnother factor why i left the Church of Christ was since of the doctrine of classic Elders. V the years, i witnessed men who were chosen to the place of leadership become carried away through what they taken into consideration to be "divine authority." Supposedly, God has actually invested government in every "eldership" of every congregation "to ascendancy in the location of Christ." much of the blame because that this false teaching should lie at the feet that preachers. They use Hebrews 13:17 come mold the "elder-ship" into a ruling class that frequently demands unconditional obedience. "Obey castle that have actually the ascendancy over you, and also submit come them for they clock in instead of of her souls..." A careful student the the scriptures, doing a word research of this verse, will discover that the writer was not requiring submissive obedience come a "delegated strength from top top high," however was encouraging the younger to trust the counsel of the older, wiser, "shepherds of the flock." as Peter would certainly admonish, "Tend the i cry of God ... NEITHER together LORDING IT end THE fee allotted to you, however making yourselves ensamples to the flock (1 Pet. 5:2-3).

Obviously, God never intended any type of man, or group of men, to hold a position "OVER" others, and also to exercise one-of-a-kind authority by which to "RULE" them. Elders to be to SERVE and TEACH others, being instances of sonship to God. You deserve to do all this without a dispensation the "divine authority."

According to Jesus, not even the apostles would certainly "exercise authority" end the world of God. "Ye know that the rulers of the Gentiles mr it over them, and their an excellent ones practice authority end them. No SO SHALL the BE amongst YOU" (Matt. 20:25-26). This is an extremely significant. If Jesus emphatically withheld "divine authority" indigenous the apostles, surely, he did not delegate it to elders.

Some males are obsessed with the desire for power. They desire to regulate every information of the group"s activities, as well as tell each individual where and also when they deserve to "go to church"; exactly how they should dress for the assembly; and also what they deserve to do in their work and also play. ~ above the various other hand, I have actually seen males put into positions of leadership who were in no method qualified to be there. Part have operated as mere finance committees.

Also, I have actually witnessed a one-man rule in congregations wherein the preacher made all the decisions. Many congregations rely on the preacher to perform everything, "because, after ~ all, he is getting paid to carry out the work." There room preachers that love the lime-light and allow brethren to hold them increase on a pedestal. They call all the shots; do most of the teaching and also preaching, organize debates, visit the sick, convert the sinner: and also everyone insists "we carry out not have a priest system." does this sound inconsistent come you?

Churches that Christ think in the autonomy or independence of "each regional congregation." that is, until it serves a purpose to practice otherwise. There are times once a preacher or elder native one "local church" will call a preacher or elder of one more to advise him that it would certainly be wise to release a gospel meeting v a suspected "heretic." often the gossip and also slander (no evidence) is enough to achieve the an outcome that will certainly "black-ball the heretic." If the leader of the congregation refuse come cancel the meeting, they recognize that they end up being suspect v the "brotherhood." The pressure is there to accommodate the further discrediting of the human who is not willing to spout the party line. Is this no an intrusion into the "autonomy" of a congregation?

Strife and DivisionAnother factor for leaving the Church the Christ is the we experienced a arising "spirit of division," which, in my opinion, is that the devil. Jesus prayed for unity amongst His people, which has to be God"s will certainly also. In order come thwart God"s purpose, Satan works overtime to influence strife and department among the saints. This evil soul was functioning in apostolic times:

Now ns beseech you, brethren, v the name of our lord Jesus Christ, the ye every speak the same thing, and that there be NO DIVISIONS amongst you: however that ye it is in perfected together in the exact same mind and in the same judgment (1 Cor. 1:10).

... Because that ye space yet carnal: for whereas there is among you JEALOUSY and also STRIFE, are ye not carnal, and do ye no walk after ~ the way of men? (3:3).

Notice, the the apostle Paul attributed the divisive soul of the Corinthians come carnality. Carnality is the contrary of spirituality. The is worldly, and therefore, Satanic. That is ungodly and unrighteous, therefore, sinful!

Paul detailed "strife" and also "division" v "fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, ... Jealousies, wraths, factions,… parties, envyings, drunkenness, revellings, and also such like," stating emphatically, "that castle who practice such points SHALL no INHERIT THE KINGDOM the GOD" (Gal. 5: 19-21). Is cultivating "strife and division" a significant offense come God? I believe it is. Since my make the efforts to revolutionary members that the Church the Christ and also get lock to check out the seriousness the this sin, not only dropped on hearing deactivated ears, yet kept me in continuous turmoil, I had actually to leaving the Church that Christ. I can no longer be a party come the "strife and also division" that they it seems to be ~ to flourish on.

Much of their fighting, wrangling, strife and division come from (1) a self-imposed duty to "defend the truth"; and also (2) misinterpretation of 2 john 9-11.

Every son of God must be ready to "defend the truth" as far as he understands it. But, what walk this mean? Peter provides the answer: "Always be prepared to give solution of defense come anyone that asks girlfriend why you have actually hope within you" (1 Pet. 3:15, S.E.B.). Once I give solution to a human who questions my faith and/or practice, it is limited to my very own knowledge and understanding that God"s will. I should not be so presumptuous as to think that i can constantly give solution that will certainly be follow to God"s truth. If ns could, I would be infallible!

Many of the clergy of the Church the Christ go beyond Peter"s admonition to "defend the truth," to a position of defending "the doctrine of Christ" as their brand of Church that Christ-ism teaches. Hence, they have the self-imposed responsibility to save the theory OF THE CHURCH pure. "Defending the truth" is yes, really "defending the teachings the the church." since "the church" was no an idea that God, yet an institution of man, God go not require anyone to market defense because that this institution.

When the priest insists on anyone conforming to your church doctrine, there space bound to be distinctions of opinion. Once this happens, debates and also argumentation ensue. If attitudes are not right, if the contestants space carnal, fighting, wrangling, strife and division follow, and Satan wins the end over God"s people. I have actually witnessed this happening often just in the Tampa just area end the last several years. Plenty of of the congregations here today, fan their visibility to the result of strife and also division. In mine opinion, God is no pleased.

Another contributing aspect for the divisions that space rampant amongst the church of Christ, specifically the radical ideal of every of the parties, is the misinterpretation the 2 john 9-11.

Whosoever goeth onward and abideth no in the teaching of Christ, hath no God: he that abideth in the teaching, the very same hath both the Father and also the Son. If everyone cometh depend you, and bringeth not this teaching, receive him not right into your house, and also give the no greeting: because that he that giveth him greeting partaketh in his evil works.

The interpretation inserted upon this passage is the the "teaching the Christ" is generic, definition it uses to every little thing Jesus taught. In other words, "teaching of Christ" amounts to "truth." with this prefabricated "yard-stick" one have the right to measure any kind of "teaching" to check out if that conforms v "the to teach of Christ." If it does, he has actually "both the Father and the Son"; if it does not, that human being does not have God. Furthermore, if he pertains to your house, friend cannot admit him, nor provide him greeting. If friend do, you come under God"s condemnation.

Armed with this interpretation, the leaders of the church, by THEIR own STANDARD, deserve to measure the "soundness" of every individual. What they think the fact to be on any type of subject i do not care the STANDARD.

For example: Hebrews 10:25 teaches we are not to forsake our very own assembling together. Since this to be taught by an motivated writer, it should be a "teaching of Christ"; if friend disagree, you room not "abiding in the to teach of Christ"; therefore, you do not have actually God, and I cannot fellowship you. This is just one of many examples i could cite to present how basic it is to reason strife and division. 2 man 9-11 has been invoked on countless occasions in the Church that Christ to cause this sinful condition.

What is the meaning of 2 man 9-11? The prize is in the context, i beg your pardon is ironic, because that members the the Church of Christ speak they urge on leaving i of scripture in context. The "teaching the Christ" comes to His deity. Jesus taught that He to be God come in the flesh. The apostles believed that (John 1:1,14). Later, a team claiming to be Christians refused to expropriate the idea that deity could take on sinful flesh. Castle rejected "the to teach of Christ" top top this point. In John"s 2nd epistle, the states, "For plenty of deceivers are gone soon in the world, also they the CONFESS not THAT JESUS CHRIST COMETH IN THE FI.ESH. This is the deceiver and also the antichrist" (v.7) This is the context whereby we recognize the allude John is do in verses 8 through 11. There, the apostle warns of the risks and after-effects of rejecting the teaching of our lord (i.e., the He to be both man and also God) in favor of the deceptive theory of the "antichrist." using this passage to club human being into submission to a church theory is inexcusable. It disclosure strife and department which are serious sufficient to store one native inheriting the kingdom the God (Gal. 5:21).

As the truth about these points became apparent to me, ns became more cognizant that the ways that many of the clergy to be misusing this i to success their disagreements with each other, and also to force conformity top top the masses. It made me sick in ~ heart. Gradually, I got to a allude where i no longer taken into consideration them honest and forthright.

Ceremony and also RitualismIf you research the advance of Catholicism, you need to be impressed v the gradual advancement of ceremony and also ritualism. Together a catholic for numerous years, it was usual practice come "attend church" and also follow the priest together he "said mass." They speak to it, "WORSHIP"! The layout was almost always the same: a mix of songs, scripture readings, prayers, and also preaching. There to be a mass because that each Sunday published in her missal to help you in complying with the priest. The priest, a full time professional, was center-stage and also obviously the central character in each performance. And, that was really what attracted the world to any one congregation. If a priest to be personable and also exceptionally articulate as he went v the liturgy, the human being responded through faithful attendance every Sunday. If a priest to be introverted and dull, the human being slowly drifted turn off to join one more congregation whereby the priest to be a an ext exciting performer. Churches completed by making sure that they had a top-notch achiever. Success for the priests was measured by the ability to draw an excellent numbers and also by the amount of the offerings that could be solicited native the audience.

It was some time before the ceremony and ritualism in the Church that Christ began to register on me. Perhaps it was since I was captured up in the responsibility I felt come "be prepared" each week v two sermons and a bible class lesson. Maybe it was because we prefer the comfort zone of ours own tiny rut (do you notice how civilization tend to sit in your "own" pew every assembly?), and we hit change. Depending on what component of the nation you space from, every Sunday"s ritual included "the five acts of worship": announcements, two songs, a prayer, a song, an additional song to "prepare our minds," the Lord"s Supper, the collection, the sermon, an invite song, closeup of the door remarks, close up door song, and a close up door prayer. Finally, that dawned on me - this is ceremony and also ritualism. This is another form of what we had in the Catholic Church.

Does it need to be choose this? ns think the one factor we succumb come ceremony and also ritualism is due to the fact that of the insistence come own and meet in a "church-building." look at how we kinds the auditorium. We put nearly all the seat in theatre style, encountering the prior (stage?). In a many places, over there is a spotlight resolved at the ar of the preacher or grasp of ceremonies. This tends to emphasis all attention on the one that is "performing." The seating setup discourages any kind of interaction in between the members. In fact, also whispering may illicit a resounding rebuke. After dismissal, a human being does get the idea that he/she has actually "attended a service," instead of "participating" and also "serving."

In mine opinion, that is significant that in apostolic times, the hands-on worker met in their houses, probably in several, little groups. Jesus promised that also where 2 or three come together, He will certainly be in your midst. The exercise of building a special place for the group did not come to be the norm until the early on Fourth Century. In this smaller, an ext intimate gatherings, there was no speak to for formalism, ceremony, or ritualism. The saints came together to visit and also to encourage each other in the faith. Sometimes, someone would have actually a spiritual track or psalm come share, someone rather prayed. They frequently came together to eat the typical meal and at times they included the Lord"s Supper. There to be no collection pattern. God has actually not revealed one. Coming with each other in this fashion allowed them come really understand each other and also to uncover ways they can minister to each other.

Meeting this method in houses carried other advantages. There to be no collections of money for payments on properties, maintenance, and utilities. There to be no squabbles over that owned or regulated the building. There were no indications to put up, therefore, no need to "name the group." There to be no need for a "church treasury," something totally foreign to the brand-new Testament scriptures. The beforehand Christians to be admonished to placed money aside in ~ HOME, in situation an chance to practice benevolence came along (1 Cor. 16:1-3). Disagreements today end whether women deserve to speak the end in the assembly dissipate as soon as the team meets in a personal house. There women readily participate and also no one objects.

Freedom In ChristGod intended because that His youngsters to be cost-free in Christ Jesus. Jesus said, "Ye shall understand the truth, and the fact shall do you free" (John 8:32). We find out the degree of this flexibility by researching His indigenous (8:31). Paul said, "For freedom did Christ collection us free: stand rapid therefore, and also be no entangled again in a yoke the bondage" (Gal. 5:1). "For ye, brethren, were called for freedom; just use no your liberty for an occasion to the flesh, however through love it is in servants one to another" (5:13).

One element of religion is the it holds civilization in bondage. God has actually no religion. Christ did no die because that a religion. The apostles did not create a religion. You deserve to read about the Jew’s religious beliefs (Gal. 1:13,14), and the faith of the pagans (Acts 22:17), but you will not read around the religious beliefs of Christ. The Jew’s religion held human being in bondage v the legislation of Moses and also the legacies of men. Pagans served many gods v a holy place system preserved by a priesthood. It preserved them in bondage. Any kind of Jew or Gentile who renounced all, turned native sin, and also placed his belief in Jesus Christ to be liberated.

Writing come the Galatians, Paul express surprise and shock the Christians provided up the "grace of Christ" come return "to the weak and beggarly rudiments… to it is in in bondage over again" (Gal. 1:6; 4:9). What were they doing to bring on these crucial comments by the apostle? They to be allowing spiritual leaders to dictate rules and also regulations the they said had to it is in obeyed because that salvation. They to be told the they had to be circumcised, keep certain days holy, make various sacrifices come God. Paul claimed that if they offered in to these requirements, lock would shed their blessings. "Christ will certainly profit girlfriend nothing" (5:2).

The denominations of the world, consisting of the Church of Christ, are artificial institutions. Castle abound v church laws and also regulations, which, if broken, may bring about excommunication, or members being diminished to second-class citizenship. Under this laws, members are returned to bondage. Right here are several of the laws implemented by the Church that Christ which GOD DID no LEGISLATE: You must assemble with the saints double on Sunday and also on Wednesday night; you need to observe the Lord"s Supper every Sunday (some say just in the morning); you need to sing, however not be accompanied through an instrument; girlfriend must offer of your income to the church treasury every Sunday; only men in suitable fellowship might be called upon to pray; ideal attire is compelled of those who "wait ~ above the Lord"s table"; women space not permitted to teach adult or preach to the congregation however must stay silent during the assembly; they space expected come sing; no blended bathing or swimming; no gambling of any kind of kind; usage of any kind of alcoholic beverage is prohibited; all smoking or chewing is prohibited; no fishing, hunting, or playing sporting activities on Sunday; and the perform goes on, but this will certainly suffice to make the point.

Is it any type of wonder that many of the members the the church space unhappy and frustrated? They space not enjoying your life together a Christian. You have the right to tell it when you visit with them. You can see it in their eyes. The spark that life is gone. Their mindset betrays them. In the sermon ~ above the mountain, Jesus told united state what it would require to be blessed (happy). We have to go earlier to the mountain. We will not uncover the institutional church there. Paul tells us to rejoice constantly under any and also all circumstances, but it"s difficult when you job under great bondage and also wonder if you are obeying all the needs that men have laid upon friend ... And, if you are saved! The answer my friend is not "church"; the is liberty in Christ Jesus!

ConclusionThere are plenty of other reasons why i left the Church that Christ that have not been extended in this treatise, yet these are few of the primary ones. I suspect that I have actually infuriated part who have actually taken the problem to check out this post thoroughly. Ns did not average to antagonize. Hopefully, several of you will get knowledge and understanding of what it method to be a slave to a system devised through men. Might you find the courage to perform what God would have actually you do, because doing it will lug you the peace, love and also joy the Jesus passed away to provide.

What I have said critically around the Church that Christ could be stated of any type of denomination, because the problems questioned are the logical aftermath of any type of institutional church. There is always the temptation to take something basic and plain, and add to it, embellish and modernize it; change it! Also, over there is always the search for power and notoriety, competition because that the spotlight, the clash that the super-egos. I experienced it every in mine years v the Church that Christ.

In the at an early stage years of our experience, numerous members the the Church seemed different than those that today. Then, i was impressed v their quest for truth, their open-mindedness, humility, love and also concern for others, and their tolerance in the direction of those that did not think the means they did. I observed the adjust in that mindset through later years as countless seemed to come to be paranoid v fear, frustration and also suspicion. Bitterness and sadness filled the pews. Frank, open discussion on any kind of Bible subject ended up being a thing of the past as over there gradually occurred a kind of catechism; wherein the teacher asks the very same simple, basic questions the the course that he has asked because that years (of the very same people); wherein probing and also meaningful, though perhaps controversial, concerns were no longer encouraged and tolerated, and also sometimes even forbidden for are afraid that that might an outcome in a boil argument. V the years, I observed the introduction of a church doctrine that had actually to be safeguarded at every cost. Ns watched members that the Church the Christ construct an mindset that that is much better not to speak the end on points they disagreed v lest they it is in "put out of the synagogue." and also so, they tho sit in their pews, quiet as a tombstone, placing in their time, not rocking the boat, protecting your status and reputation as "faithful members that the church."

So space the fruit of institutional church-ism. Its members room the product the the professional preacher and also the authoritative eldership. They have taken what God gave through His Son, a simple, direct, unencumbered relationship with Him, and they have fashioned depend themselves their idol, their golden calf: The Church that Christ. Is there any hope for the people? correct – yet will they repent? What must they do?

The answer is similar to Jesus’ response to the wealthy man. "Give it every away and come, follow me." Lay under your banner, "Church of Christ," which is component of the sin of division, and be contents to be known simply as a Christian. Put away your idolatry.

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And what commitment hath a holy place of God through idols? for we space a holy place of the living God: even as God said, I will certainly dwell in them, and also walk in them: and also I will be your God, and they shall it is in my people. Wherefore, COME YE the end FROM among THEM, and BE YE different SAITH THE mr (2 Cor. 6:16-17).