A Message to the Community

Hey guys,

Ya’ll do me a favor.  Don’t call up these folks and complain about their “critical spirit”, or to criticize their methods, or to call them names like the man who called in last night and called James a “fool”.  This is really counter-productive, and you are not going to do anything but encourage them to continue down the paths they are walking.  Besides, James was completely right, that the caller was being critical about James being critical, and so both were exhibiting the signs of a “critical spirit”.  (Did I, just then?  Whoops.)

If you disagree with them, then figure out why and call in with a good argument.  Think what you want about them, but these men know the Bible, and have detailed arguments worked out for just about anything.  So, don’t call on impulse, because they will eat your shorts.

And check back here, because I’m attempting to compile a list of the arguments they make so that you can avoid falling into those pits.

Sola Dei Gloria!

Nathan

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11 thoughts on “A Message to the Community

  1. Nathan, someone sent me an e-mail and pointed me to your site. I want to compliment you on your approach. You seem to be a very fair minded individual. And in your disagreement with these men on television, you have not descended into mockery or a mean spirit. I grew up in the Church of Christ and am presently a preacher in the Church of Christ. As you have noted on some of your posts, we are a diverse group (even with claims to the contrary by some!). I do not live in that area nor do I know these television teachers. Just wanted to say hello. I added you to my reader, so you may see me commenting again from time to time.

    blessings,
    john

  2. Thanks John for the kind statements. I think Nathan is out of town. He will reply when he returns. The guys here on TV make it hard sometimes to maintain the right spirit, but as you stated, Nathan does manage to do so. I would like your input on CENI that most church of Christ people use.

    Thanks a bunch John for the reply.

  3. There are about two dozen factions in the non-instrumental Churches of Christ. Each one basically thinks it constitutes the one faithful, loyal and true body of Christ. The others are all in error one way or another. To be in the fellowship of each of these factions is not merely a matter of faith and expressing that faith in repentance, confession, and baptism, followed by a sincere manifestation to be obedient to God in response to His love, but fellowship in each faction is further conditioned upon following the legalistic creed of the faction.
    Brethren are encouraged to read their Bibles, and are handed the line that the sacred scriptures require no interpretation. But when they come up with an interpretation that is different from that of the party’s, it is quickly pointed out that theirs is a wrong interpretation and ours is what the word of God says.

    Each faction of the Churches of Christ insists that we can all understand the Bible alike, but what they mean is that we should all subscribe to their unwritten creed. If we don’t, we can’t be a part of their faction and we won’t go to heaven.

    Every faction of the Churches of Christ overlooks a great many differences within its own ranks, but it insists upon unanimity of opinion on the issues that they have exalted to form their unwritten creed which in turn gives them their factional status. Almost every division in the Churches of Christ has occurred when some men placed their interpretation or interpretations above brotherhood and sought to bind it upon others as the will of God and a condition or conditions of fellowship. This is creedism and as one of our spiritual forefathers pointed out, unwritten creeds are more dangerous than written ones.

  4. I’m not sure you if you watched Norms program last night, but if you did, you might have noticed by now, that whenever someone calls in and says that they are being judgmental, they ( CofC ) will run to John John 7:24 , yank it from its context and use it to prove they can judge everyone. We read in John 7:24: “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” Here Jesus rejects and repudiates this popular notion that one may judge based upon perception. In the context of John 7:24, Jesus was teaching in the temple during the Feast of Tabernacles (v.2). Many were speaking about Jesus at the feast, but quietly (v.11-13). Part of this gossip included the rumor that he had a demon (v.20). Jesus reads their hearts and repudiates this by showing that the same critics formed hypocritical judgments regarding healing on the Sabbath (22, 23). They had quickly come to wrong judgment regarding Jesus based upon gossip that they heard. The “evidence” upon which they had drawn their conclusions regarding him was all perception. So Jesus rebukes them, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”
    Unlike Jesus, we cannot read the hearts of individuals who act this way, so the Bible gives us several principles upon which to ensure that our Christian relationships remain in tact. These principles are love, patience, longsuffering, and brotherly kindness. Applying these principles in our life will go a long way toward not judging according to appearance.
    I find it quite sad that Norm and others yank scriptures from their context and judge peoples hearts, and even go as far as telling them they are headed to hell. I understand fully that they do so, because they consider being in a denomination sinful, but notice how Paul acted when faced with the same issue…Paul did have to correct the Corinthian church for becoming man-followers, calling themselves “of Appol, of Paul and others, but note that Paul addressed them as Saints, not as someone outside of the body of Christ.
    James 4:11, 12 states, “Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?” This passage is a little more difficult to understand, but I think that we can get the essence of it. First, this type of judging has to do with speaking evil of someone else. The Christian ought never to do this. In fact, we are to give blessing to others, not cursing according to 1 Peter 3:9. So the passage starts with the idea of a Christian who is speaking evil of another Christian. When we personally make judgments against another brother and speak evil of him, then we become a judge instead of one who is practicing the law. We also then judge the law, because we pronounce our own personal judgments upon others particularly when the law does not condemn them. I think that is what this passage is discussing. That is, it is specifically in regard to speaking evil against others. So the judgment that is being made has already been condemned–it is an “evil” judgment, not a righteous one.
    The Bible teaches that there is a sense in which the Christian must judge. Let’s look at a few passages. First, in 1 Corinthians 5:12 Paul says, “Do you not judge them that are within?” Here, Paul is talking about judging Christians who are not living according to the standards that Christ sets for them. In particular, he was talking about the fornicator that was among them. However, Paul does not limit this process to just fornication. He says in verse 11, “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.” We are, in fact, obligated to judge Christians who are engaged in these sinful situations. In the very next chapter, we also notice 1 Corinthians 6:1-3. This passage teaches that instead of going to a court of law to settle differences between Christians, we are to judge such matters among ourselves. Here is another form of judging that the Christian is to do. Finally, notice also Matthew 7:16-20. This passage teaches that we are to judge men according to their fruits. As we mentioned earlier in John 7:24, Jesus said, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” Jesus also said in Matthew 7:6 “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” Who are the “dogs” in this passage? Who are the “swine” in this passage? How do we determine that? We must make judgments. We, as Christians, have obligations to judge certain situations. Jesus taught us to do this in regard to false teachers, people who are not living morally, and those who have proven themselves unworthy of the gospel. Jesus also taught us not to judge inappropriately. We should not judge hypocritically. We should not judge unrighteously, and we should not judge in a condemnatory fashion. Note that there is a big difference in the judging from out TV Church of Christ guys and the judging spoken in the bible. There is righteous judgment, which is clearly stated in the above verses, but there are also unrighteous judgment which is condemned…

  5. Thanks, John, for the kind words. I hope that people will read this so, especially the folks who are involved in the assemblies that meet in this area (NC & VA) and who agree with the things taught by Norm Fields, James Oldfield and Johnny Robertson.

    I really want this to be a place of dialogue, that is truly neutral, and am a bit disappointed that none of those folks feel interested in participating.

    But, I am really happy to have you and others join us!

    Sola Dei Gloria!
    Nathan

  6. CENI rests upon the supposed “law of silence”. My friend and church of Christ minister / elder Al Maxey has written extensively on this fabrication.

    http://www.zianet.com/maxey/topic.htm

    Scroll down for his posts on “law of silence”.

    One reason that this is held onto so tightly is that with it’s release go many of our core practices. The reason I do not subscribe to CENI legalistically is because it is never applied evenly, as you have pointed out.

    I seek to be honest about that which is our tradition, and those things the Bible clearly teaches. Even the things I consider to be CLEAR are not always clear to others. In discussing these things I try to remember that it is never wrong to love another person. If I abandon love – even in disagreement – I have abandoned the greatest command.

    I would also add that many in the Church of Christ would not know what you are talking about (CENI) … except in pockets where this is emphasized constantly. I do not speak for the Church of Christ people, simply as a member of the church of Christ. That’s a freedom that some of our editors, TV spokesmen, and others forget from time to time. They do not always represent us well.

    blessings,
    john

  7. Its ironic that you mention Al, as I have talked with him via email quite a bit, and he has been most helpful. He also talked with the men here that Nathan speaks about and that was very interesting ,and I soon after these men dropped chatting with me. They disagree with Al, Rubel, Max, Cecil Hook and men like such. Its nice to talk with others in the church of Christ like yourself.

  8. Thanks Randy. With Al and Rubel in particular … I wouldn’t want to match wits with them! Good men using their brains for the good of others!

  9. John 7:24: “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”

    It did say judge RIGHTEOUS judgement but there judgement is not righteous judgement.

    Those guys should be ashamed because they are not rightly dividing the Word of Truth.

    Randy, the exact same thing happened to me.

  10. These guys quite often use passages out of context and most people are so use to hearing them do it-that they dont even know.

    Please visit the section where we have listed several passages that are often used out of context.

    The guys here rarely use the name Jesus when they are on TV and it seems their goal is to just cause strife and conflict. They go around to various churches with a camera to get some footage of what they call false teachers. The leader has been fied from churches before over his actions and he told me himself he was ask to leave in at least 4 churches. I got mixed up with these guys and were acting just like them, but thankfully I woke up. Not only I, but one of the preachers there left and may others have left. I hope these people can find a place where they can the hear the word more and not some mans agenda to place everyone under bondage/legalism. My goal is to let people see that all in the church of Christ are not like these men and I hope more join this blog, so the people here can see first-hand that there are many in the church of Christ who honestly want to preach Jesus and not cause strife.

  11. I wish I could get the word out to area churches that what they want is to be forced out.

    A couple of weeks ago Johnny visited a church, and appeared to be trying to entice the preacher of that church to come and debate on his program, and so he apparently acted civil. I’ll bet the folks from that church weren’t as happy to watch the broadcast and see the way he was talking about them!

    However, most of the time, it seems that they enjoy being able to have the footage of being given the boot – usually at the hands of some big beefy deacon. Makes them look like they’re being persecuted, I suppose.

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