While we’re waiting for Thursday, I thought it might be interesting to start a discussion. There are lots of people visiting this blog now, and I don’t know who you all are, but you might be interested what roads to NOT go down when you are discussing the Bible with a Church of Christ person, such as the fellows that host the TV programs broadcast in Martinsville/Henry County.
This comes from watching hours of the program, and seeing people bring up the same arguments time after time. So, to save readers time, I’d like to assemble a list.
If you have something to add to this, please feel free.
1. When discussing denominations, don’t mention that John the Baptist is the proof of the Baptist denomination being found in the Bible. The Church of Christ people will rightly tell you that “Baptist” was not the name of a church, but the activity of John. He was a baptizer, not a “Baptist” as in the originator of the Baptist church. This is a tree that just doesn’t need to be barked up.
2. The Church of Christ is a denomination. Now, if you’ve looked at some of Randy’s comments on this blog, you’ll see that the Church of Christ plainly is, according to the dictionary definition of a denomination. If you look at http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/denomination , you’ll see that it is a denomination according to number 4. Now, they’ll say that they don’t have an organization, but I disagree, especially when you go to one of their websites and see that they advertise and link up with each other. It seems like at the least, the Churches of Christ in this part of Virginia and North Carolina are “united in their adherence to their beliefs and practices.” Now, if that definition falls apart, look at the definition of “denominating” – to give a name to.
But, anyway, that’s a can of worms that they’ll be ready to answer should you decide to jump in.
The CofC on-air folks have their arguments all lined up like ducks in a row re: this topic, and they’ll be ready to shoot down anything you say that disagrees with their interpretation of Scripture. So, if you’re going to get into this one, be prepared. You can look at some of the discussions I’ve had with Norm and the strangely missing Jason over at www.bibleqna.com to get an idea how that conversation can go.
3. Musical Instruments in Worship
This was what first got me involved in conversations with our local on-air personalities. I made the rookie mistake of calling up and talking about Psalm 150, which discusses the use of musical instruments in worship. Well, the Church of Christ response to this is swift and merciless: that in the New Testament, the church wasn’t given permission to use instruments, so although the Old Testament has a number of examples of the use of musical instruments in worship, we aren’t allowed, and to do so is sin.
Now, also, if you mention the “psalms” of Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16, they’ll say that the word “psalms” (which in the Greek is from psalmos, “striking chords on a musical instrumet”) is indicating something that should go on in the heart – a striking of the chords on the strings of your heart. A bit of a stretch, but that’s fine.
See, if your interpretation of this passage is different than theirs, you are in sin and not saved. All because we’ve not been given permission in a way that satisfies their interpretation.
You can see where this is going. Anyone have anything to contribute?