Thinking of leaving one of our local Churches of Christ, but nobody to talk to?

We recently had some folks visit us from the website “Ex-Church of Christ“, and we are glad they’ve visited our little discussion page!

That website is a place for folks who left Churches of Christ (like the ones whose teachings we discuss here), where they come together to discuss their stories.

If you are thinking of leaving Johnny Robertson, Norm Fields’ or James Oldfield’s churches, but need some support, their website might be a good place for you to go.

Meanwhile, make sure to check back here later for a summary of our thoughts on tonight’s “What Does the Bible Say?” broadcast, featuring Mr. Johnny Robertson. Hopefully it won’t just be a repeat of one of the debate shows!

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46 thoughts on “Thinking of leaving one of our local Churches of Christ, but nobody to talk to?

  1. The only problem with this suggestion and the mentioned group is that there is no way to classifty all Churches of Christ as alike. The ones you have in your area on your television are radicals. I have met people like them. However, most of the members of the church of Christ that I know would not identify with them at all.

    One of my hopes in continuing to post here / monitor your writings (many of which I agree with) … is that you will know that the whole is not represented by these radical and rude few.

  2. So johndobbs agrees with many of the writings of an anti-Christian website? WOW, what an admission! It sounds like he has left the church of Christ as well.

  3. If you want the real truth just ask Pastor Armondo Deloa he will tell you what the Bible really says!
    God Bless you!

  4. I don’t really need Pastor Deloa (or Johnny Robertson) to tell me “what the Bible really says” – I have a Bible, I can read, I can do research at http://www.blueletterbible.com and other places. The “real truth” is in Scripture, not in Pastor Deloa’s teachings.

  5. james: are you referring to this blog, or to the ex-church of Christ website? How do you define an “anti-Christian” website?

    Blessings,
    Nathan

  6. I was only referring to the tittle
    Thinking of leaving one of our local Churches of Christ, but nobody to talk to?
    Please don’t be offended I was not being sarcastic only sincere.
    Thanks for the web site i looked at the book of Acts it a great book.
    Do you have a Pastor?
    God Bless you.

  7. Sorry for being so sensitive! I’m just getting so tired of the way men can be so dogmatic, and so condemning of other Christians. I’ve seen this in both Johnny and Armando – although Armando approaches it in a much “nicer” way.

    Glad you are enjoying the website!

    I have several folks who are as a pastor to me, and I have a church – and many brothers and sisters in Christ – some are to me as Paul was to Barnabus, some are to me as Timothy was to Paul.

    Blessings,
    Nathan

  8. P.S If I want to lose wight I go see a trainer.If I need my car fixed i don’t read the manual i take it to the shop.If want a masters I go to school
    I don’t just pick up a book and read cause my interpretation might be lil off.My point is this I have yet to read the whole Bible my desire is I will one day.So till then I will read and worship God.
    Pastor who has more experience than me 23 years.He knows more than me.So if I have questions i ask the person the knows,not just any jo-shmo!
    And be honest don’t alot of traditional Christians sound catholic?

  9. Dear Johnny Robertson,

    About one year ago I was about 40% handicapped and couldn’t move my neck more than about 7 degrees right or left directions, I was in so much pain, narcotics were prescribed, and doctors had replaced two cervical discs with decaver bone and inserted a metal plate (accuplate) with six small screws. I was told by my orthopedic surgeon that I would be at least 40% disabled permanently. I let you know, that I myself have witnessed, and know that healings take place, and not only at KFC but also at Abundant Life Ministries, when hands were laid on me, I felt a burning on my neck and back, the heat was so hot, I had never felt anything like this before and I started to cry, you see, God had healed me that day,and since I am 100% certain that miracles do happen, I haven`t had limitations in movement, no pain, and I am currently working full time.

    Dear God, thank you for the blessings and the healings I have received, and thank you for the real men of God at Abundant Life ministries.

  10. I noticed James stated John has left the faith, seeing he agrees with some things on the blog. This is just what we are having to deal with here-men like James, who think they have every answer, and if youre not in their little boat of belief, you are headed to hell. It’s sad they think that they have mastered scripture to such a degree that they can now be God and Judge.

    I wonder if this might be James Oldfield? If so, James, seeing Norm disagrees with you and Johnny on a “marriage issue” which one of them are headed to hell?? Not only this, but I have also heard the end of Acts 2:38 taught different from you guys ( ye shall recieve the gift of the Holy Spirit ).

    And Norm has a spin on the thief of the cross (baptized prior to the cross ) that Johnny and you do not use…is he again wrong?? I have old emails were Johnny has another argument on this…his argument is weaker, so maybe Norm seen that as well and makes the thief baptized prior to the cross, which he could have been, but again Nathan covered this very well in a prior post.

  11. Thank you, answeringchurchofchrist, for mentioning our ex-cofc website.
    Anyone who needs support in leaving is very welcome to drop in and visit us. I would also like to make one point…..just because one has left the church of christ does not mean one is anti-christian!! Many of us who post on the ex-cofc board are christian……just not cofc!! 😉

  12. To Linda:

    You’re right, but my point is this:

    If you are sick, you go see a doctor. If that doctor tells you you have three months to live, do you accept it? If you’re wise, you’ll go see a second doctor, and get another opinion.

    It’s the same with pastors – it’s great to have a wise pastor-type who can help you understand Scripture, but realize that your pastor may interpret Scripture one way, but another pastor might interpret it a completely different way.

    In other words, don’t put all your theological eggs in one basket!

  13. Wow I see your point and that is good.Yes you are right i would go to get a second opinion.I would first go talk to God in my prayers and ask him to validate his answer.I would trust the Master ,King of kings Lord of Lords Jesus.Then trust in him that I will be healed.
    As for the Bible do you ever just pray and ask God to open your heart and mind and just open the book and when you read God shows you something amazing.I do that.
    when i was battling depression and I cried out to God Please help me!
    I was listening to worship music and I open the Bible God gave me a Scripture,I cried with all my heart.Then started exalting God.praising his Holy Name.Its Amazing!!God is so wonderful!
    That is wise not to put all your eggs in one basket yes,But even when I can not trust myself.I have to trust in God.Trust that I’m being told the truth,I feel God like the air I breath.How do you know its air it just is.God is!It just feels right.I feel good!I feel loved happy free =)
    When I became a Christian I went to the alter I said God this is some new stuff I’m hearing.If you don’t want me here and if this man is lieing to me show me sign.But instead he set me free from all my hurts.
    I did’nt tell no one what i was feeling i took it to the alter.Then Pastor preach on a topic like,mmm healing from the past or something….
    So those were sign to stay=)That is the holy ghost power!
    Thank you for allowing me to share that with you and the people.God Bless you all!=0)

  14. The verse of scripture found in Acts 20:7 is quite famous, especially among Churches of Christ. This verse is used by members of Churches of Christ as a basis to substantiate by biblical example, the practice of assembling to observe the “institution” of the Lord’s Supper every Sunday. I do not believe that the statement in Acts 20:7 furnishes sufficient evidence to conclude that a New Testament church met regularly for a specific purpose, thereby qualifying as a biblical example. Hopefully, I shall make clear my reasons, and trust that those who have never closely examined this passage will be enlightened as to its actual content when freed of the inferences that are often drawn from it.

    The common idea that this passage teaches that the “disciples at Troas” regularly met on the first day of the week to observe the Lord’s Supper could be largely due to the rendering of this verse in the King James Version: “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread. Paul preached to them…” This has led to a deeply imbedded assumption, by some, of the existence of a church at Troas. But the word “disciples” does not appear in the original [it does in a few manuscripts]; it was substituted by the translators for “we,” which is the correct translation. It is significant that the New Testament nowhere expressly mentions any disciples, or a church at Troas! To base a practice on such uncertain evidence is not well-advised.

    It is in order, then, to determine who met on this occasion, and for what purpose. The text states: “And upon the first day of the week when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul discoursed with them, intending to depart on the morrow; and prolonged his speech until midnight” (RV). The phrase “break bread” needs no special comment, and should be allowed to mean the partaking of a meal, as it does in Acts 2:42, 46; 20:11. But to whom does the “we” and the “them” refer? The answer is clear if we begin reading at verse 3 and notice particularly the people who are mentioned along with the “we/us” and the “these/them” statements. Verse 5 states: But these [those named in v. 4] had gone before, and were waiting for us [Paul and Luke] at Troas.” Verse 6 states: “And we [Paul and Luke] sailed away … and came unto them [those named in v. 4] to Troas …. ” The phrase, “where we tarried seven days,” no doubt refers to the entire company of travelers, including Paul and Luke. In verse 7, the “we” statement, following the natural flow of the context, refers to this same company of travelers: “Paul discoursed with them [those named in v. 4] until midnight.” Again, there is no mention of a local church in Acts 20:7.

    The careful reader of Acts will soon become aware of the graphic detail the writer exhibits when relating certain events and occasions, and Acts 20:7 is no exception. This fact is evidenced by his including several specifics concerning Paul’s traveling companions, the journey, and the assembly itself; and any effort to attach some special significance to some of them could make the writer appear to say more then he intended. No doubt, the writer could have been equally specific by using the terms: “Lord’s Day,” “Lord’s Supper,” or the “church at Troas,” had that been his express intention. Is it wise for us to take the liberty of even mentally inserting them?

    So then, bearing in mind the above points and observations, can we not reasonably assume that the group mentioned in Acts 20:7 had met to share in an evening meal, and that it consisted primarily of Paul’s traveling companions, along with possibly some visitors such as Eutychus?

  15. Ok I read it..
    And upon the first [day] of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

    Act 20:8 And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together.

    Act 20:9 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.

    Act 20:10 And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing [him] said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him.

    Act 20:11 When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.
    Ok sound like they ate dinner!
    Now im not a preacher you asked what i think so there it is.
    It like after church we all go out to eat.WE do that at our church,after service eat at Norms LOL=)
    We make dinner at church and fellowship!
    I will ask pastor what that means.

  16. I was a church hoper I hit a few catholic churches and the broke bread with grape juice .I went to one catholic church they passed out real wine!;)
    I was waiting to taste it!But I chose not to…I fake the drinking cause everyone was drinking from the same cup..EWWW!!!!!
    God is good!

  17. Acts 20 and 7 seems like they were taking the Lords Supper but, hmm if you look at it again Paul was teaching and Eutychus fell into a deep sleep. The breaking of bread many want to assume they came together every week and took the Lords Supper but, if you read it it did not say they took the lords supper because they broke just bread when taking the Lords supper you must take the wine and wash the feet also the disciples took the Lords supper at a certain time according to history. They came to gether and fellowshipped.

  18. Jesus held a closed Passover celebration

    Jesus held a closed Passover celebration with his 12 Apostles. This is proven in the following study:

    When it was revealed to me by the Holy Ghost that observing Communion one time a week on the fist of the week and other whim selected days was wrong, I purposed in my heart to make the Lord’s Passover my most important celebration of the year. There are now many Apostolic Churches throughout the world who now observe the Lord’s Passover annually correctly. There are many Apostolic families who have no Church to observe this annual feast in and so they hold it in their homes. In every case, I teach that this celebration is closed to all except those who believe in the true Messianic Judaism of Jesus. No one may attend, observe, or participate who denies the Messianic identity of Jesus and the New Testament Church. Our services are closed just as Jesus held a closed Passover Supper with his Apostles.

    It is my conviction by the Holy Ghost that Jesus held the first New Covenant Passover Supper in private and closed. Although there were about 120 members of the Church attending on the day of Pentecost, yet only 11 present were in attendance at the Lord’s Passover Supper. Where were the other 109 members? They were in their homes and as Jews, observed the old Passover of Egypt privately. No non-Jew was allowed to attend, observe, or participate. They would not learn or know of the New Covenant Passover Supper Jesus instituted until after Jesus was crucified, resurrected, and ascended to heaven. The Apostles would report the events of the last Passover celebrated with Jesus and that it was commanded of them to continue this celebration of the New Covenant for ever. Therefore, it is a fact as the Holy Ghost has revealed it unto me that the Lord’s Passover is to be a closed celebration for believers in the New Covenant Messianic Judaism of Jesus.

    The Lord’s Passover was closed to unbelievers when it was established

    Mark 14:18-20 says, “And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with Me shall betray Me. And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto Him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I? And He answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with Me in the dish.” Judas dipped with Jesus in the dish. Then later Jesus dipped a sop and gave it to Judas who then left the private group as they were observing the Passover and went out to betray him for 30 pieces of silver. This is the first instance of someone eating unworthy and who ate and drank damnation unto himself. Taking the Lord’s supper by an unbeliever can be damnation. Because many unbelievers have been allowed to eat of the Lord’s Supper, many are sick and some have died. The presiding Pastor or Bishop should investigate all in attendance that they are Acts 2:38 Apostolic Messianic and they believe in the Judaism Kingdom of Jesus Messieh. If there is found anyone who has not fully come under the holiness and righteousness of the Blood of Jesus through water baptism according to Acts 2:38, they are to be rejected and denied attendance at the Passover celebration. They must be sent out of the service. For this reason, each Pastor and Bishop should prepare his congregation and or those under his Ministry for the right to observe the Lord’s Passover. They should be prepared beginning the first Sunday in February with Bible Study on the Lord’s Passover, the importance of Acts 2:38 in relationship to this Supper, and prepared for acceptance of the New Testament plan of salvation. They must be baptized before attending the Passover celebration. They must come under the Covenant of the Blood of Jesus by faith water baptism or they are to be rejected from the Lord’s Supper observance. The observance is open to all who are under the Covenant of the Blood of Jesus. All others are rejected and to be refused attendance at the celebration.

    Because of the Scriptural policy of Jesus, the Passover Supper is open only to Believers.

    In the Corinthian Church the Apostle Paul instructed the Lord’s Supper to be held by Believers.

    “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” (I Cor. 5:11).

    Obviously if Believers were not to eat daily meals with these kinds of sinners, there is no way these would be welcome to eat the Lord’s Supper Passover!

    The Scripture is clear, we are not eat the Lord’s Supper with ungodly people even if they are attending the local church. The Supper is to be observed only in a local church by those who have come under the New Covenant of the shed blood of Jesus in Acts 2:38 water baptism.

    Because of the policies of Jesus and the Apostle Paul, I require all Churches and Ministers who fellowship with me to respect the Lord’s Supper highly and in doing so, prove it by investigative judgment of all who plan to celebrate to determine if they are worthy to celebrate this great Feast of Righteousness.

    It is only carnal human nature that some will rebel, hold a contrary doctrine, and open up their Passover or Communion Supper to the godly and ungodly alike. They will do this in defiance of my doctrine that the Lord’s Passover is to be a closed and private celebration. For those who follow this path of falsehood we can only have pity. But, we will not suffer shame or intimidation because of these rebel factions, rather: we will rejoice and count ourselves worthy to observe this Memorial as Jesus instituted it.

    From a careful examination of the Scripture testimony, it is evident closed communion was the Biblical pattern.

  19. Linda, I am not Catholic and honestly wished people would drop the party names, seeing they didnt call themselves such in the bible. Saved people were called Saints, Christians, The Elect, Church of the first born, Church of Christ, Church of God–this was what they were, but never did they have a sign up in front of a meeting place reading Church of Christ or any other party names erected on some sign.

    Example: They were dividing up in the church at Corinth and some were saying, “I am of Paul; I am of Apollos; I am of Cephas.” Thus they were breaking the congregation into quarreling factions that gathered around men. Today, we have the same problem–except we now call ourselves by many names and even put up signs to seperate ourselves from each other.

    I know this invites the question: Do I think all denominations are of God?? No, I dont.

  20. To James asks if this is James Oldfield. No but he and Johnny are my brothers in Christ. I really would like you to tell me who is going to hell? Me, James O., Johnny, Norm or all of the above? Based upon your comments you have “mastered scripture to such a degree that” you “can now be God and Judge.” Come on, I have heard better from the Baptists!

  21. Dear to Linda says
    Please don’t be offended on the question.I only asked cause I been to Catholic churches and thats what they do.
    If i felt love in a Catholic church i would have stayed.I am a Christian I love God.He is a living God.He still does Miracle!God is Love!
    do you feel Love in the church your in?Or is it political?
    Is God spoken in past tense or does he still exist in your daily life?
    I will leave the bible battle to the preachers,but I know God is love and i feel that every day I walk with him in my spirit he is there like the air i breath.
    My Pastor is so smart I trust God that he will work through my Pastor to teach me.
    God Bless you I pray that God show you the truth and Love and that you accept truth and his love.In Jesus Name!

  22. Hmm…I left the Churches of Christ to become Catholic. I was raised to want to be a member of the Original Church, after all 🙂

    If anyone knows of any Church of Christ people who want to become/ are becoming/ became Catholics, kindly send them my way, please! You know the link to my blog, and here’s my e-mail:

    be_not_dismayed@icqmail.com

  23. James:

    One of the points of our blog is to say that we DON’T have the ability to categorically state that other Christians are going to hell, the way Johnny, Norm, and James (and you, too, apparently) do.

  24. It was very obvious that you either knew these men or considered them to be your brothers in Christ, and my guess is you see everyone else ( denominational folk ) lost. I would also guess you might even see some in the Church of Christ as lost, if they don’t adhere to YOUR interpretation of the “pattern”. Seeing nobody can provide a detailed-specific list of this so-called pattern you guys follow– please provide us all with this pattern that you claim to be ALL following the same. Keep in mind, I know everything that the Churches of Christ have split over and it numbers in the hundreds, so once you come up with the pattern, there will be others in the Church of Christ who disagree. Matter of fact, Norm and Johnny disagree on a certain marriage issue to the point they had a heated meeting prior to Norm being hired in Danville….did they “agree to disagree”?? Norm also has his on spin on the thief of the cross ( suggesting he could have been baptized ) and Johnny sticks to the old arguments regarding the thief on the cross, the ones that most all of the CofC folk use—but Norm see’s the flaws with the old arguments and suggest that maybe the thief was baptized of John prior to the cross. BTW, most CofC folk are quick to point out there is no alter-call in the New Testament, but almost all ultra conservative CofC people have “an invitational song” —they ask for authority for the alter-call—show me authority for the “invitational song”….by the way, some sing at communion and others don’t….and have split even over this as well as fellowship halls, kitchens, preaching schools, funding, one cup or many, and if you like I could give you a list of over 100 other things the Church of Christ have split over and now are made of many sects-factions = Denominations.

  25. Answeringchurchofchrist says:
    “One of the points of our blog is to say that we DON’T have the ability to categorically state that other Christians are going to hell, the way Johnny, Norm, and James (and you, too, apparently) do.”
    Are we wrong for saying such things? Did we sin? Please do tell.
    One of the points of the Bible and not this blog is to say that some will go to hell! Are we part of the condemned?

  26. Whether or not you can name 100 or 1000 examples of splits and divisions within the church proves absolutely nothing! That’s what happens when people abandon the scriptures. Read Galatians 2. Peter sinned and Paul, “withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed,” (Gal 2:11). There was a split and division at this very moment. Did Paul expect Peter to “adhere to his interpretation of the pattern?” Leave out the interpretation jargon and you are correct. There was a pattern to follow for Peter was worthy of rebuke for not following it. I will let you find find that pattern, it’s not that hard.

  27. Did you sin? That’s really not for me to say. You see, the difference between our Church of Christ TV hosts (and you, apparently) is that I don’t claim to call things sin that aren’t called sin.

    What am I talking about? Just three examples of things that aren’t called sin in Scripture that you and your guys label sin:
    1) playing musical instruments in worship
    2) not taking the Lord’s Supper each first day of the week
    3) being a part of a congregation other than yours.

    And examples of splits DO matter. Especially when they aren’t addressed and discussed.

    For example, Jason Hairston left the Martinsville Church of Christ under dubious circumstances. I’ve received emails from folks from that church that talked about this – about the division that was created between Jason and Johnny. And of course, Johnny is the one who is in the right, and the folks who have left the church because of this division are wrong, right?

    Not to mention that NONE of these men will address the issue of what happened with Jason. He was an on-air personality for quite some time, and the community is owed an explanation about what happened, but they are apparently afraid to address it.

    What are they afraid of? The truth? Why do they hide Jason’s story in the shadows?

    And incidentally, I love how you and your CofC friends automatically identify yourself with Paul. Has it ever occurred to you that you might better be seen as the Peter in this story?

  28. I quote myself:
    “Read Galatians 2. Peter sinned and Paul, “withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed,” (Gal 2:11). There was a split and division at this very moment. Did Paul expect Peter to “adhere to his interpretation of the pattern?” Leave out the interpretation jargon and you are correct. There was a pattern to follow for Peter was worthy of rebuke for not following it. I will let you find find that pattern, it’s not that hard.”
    2 things quickly,
    1) I never identified myself with Paul but you did and I glad you saw the point whether you accept it or not.
    2) You never answered the question.

  29. James,

    Anyone reading this would agree that you inferred that you (and by extension, Johnny, Norm and James Oldfield) were identifying yourself with Paul and me (and those like me) with Peter.

    You said that Peter wasn’t following the “pattern” and that I, too, need to “find the pattern”. This means you are identifying me with Peter, and yourself with Paul – because you apparently have knowledge of the “pattern” and I don’t.

    And I did answer the question. I’m not going to declare your actions “sin” because I’m not God to be doing this. You are sinners, as am I (Rom 3:23), but are the men at the Church of Christ TV broadcasts sinning by doing their broadcasts? I don’t know. What do you think?

    And you didn’t address my point about Jason Hairston. Do you have any comments to make about that situation?

  30. Again I quote myself,
    “Read Galatians 2. Peter sinned and Paul, “withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed,” (Gal 2:11). There was a split and division at this very moment. Did Paul expect Peter to “adhere to his interpretation of the pattern?” Leave out the interpretation jargon and you are correct. There was a pattern to follow for Peter was worthy of rebuke for not following it. I will let you find find that pattern, it’s not that hard.”
    The question you did not answer is in the above quote. “Did Paul expect Peter to “adhere to his interpretation of the pattern?”
    I was not implying any specific person or group. The point I was making was about splits and divisions within any group. Here we had Paul and Peter obviously both Christians. One sinned and one rebuked. Again I ask, “Did Paul expect Peter to “adhere to his interpretation of the pattern?”

  31. Whatever happened with Jason Hairston is between that congregation and Jason. Why do you think the community is “owed” an explanation about what happened? It’s none of their business! Will you explain to me every problem that occurs in your congregation? I hope not because it’s none of my business.

  32. James:

    As to your first post, I really like what you wrote: “Paul and Peter, obviously both Christians”. Do folks in Johnny’s, Norm’s and James’s church consider me and folks like me as an “obvious Christian”? I don’t think so.

    But to your question: of course Paul expected Peter to adhere to his interpretation of the pattern. Who do you see as Peter and who do you see as Paul in our case?

    As to your second post:

    Excuse me, James, but Jason Hairston was appearing each week on the airwaves, telling the people of Martinsville, Reidsville, and Danville that they were going to hell if they didn’t agree with his doctrine and attend a church like his.

    Now, apparently there has been a rift, and he no longer apparently agrees with that doctrine, and no longer worships at that church.

    THAT is why he owes this community an explanation.

    Of course I don’t expect Johnny Robertson or Norm Fields or James Oldfield to explain it, because it would show that their ship isn’t as waterproof as they claim. But I really wish Jason would step up to the plate.

    Johnny, Norm, James and Jason make their bed each week, and should be willing to lie in it.

    All that being said, I appreciate your posting here, James. You are the only person from the local Church of Christ (are you local?) so far willing to do so with any consistency. Communication is the first way we can get past our differences and truly understand one another.

    Blessings,
    Nathan

  33. Could Peter have said, “Nobody can provide a detailed-specific list of this so-called pattern.” No way. Paul called sin a sin because there was a pattern. In your last post you said, “Of course Paul expected Peter to adhere to his interpretation of the pattern.” You admit there is a pattern. AMEN. But one more thing. What if Peter said his interpretation was different than Paul’s? Would that work? Would Paul need to apologize for being dogmatic?

  34. I appreciate the way you are trying to lead this conversation, James, but let’s cut to the chase.

    The pattern that the Church of Christ follows is this: interpret scripture the way we do, or we will pronounce you condemned to hell. Did Paul condemn Peter to hell, or did he correct him and move on? Was it EVER a salvation issue between Peter and Paul?

    See, this is the core of the problem. If you are a part of a Church of Christ congregation like Johnny, Norm or James, then you don’t think that I am a Christian, because I identify myself with the Presbyterian Church. Although I don’t worship John Calvin, or John Knox, or any of the reformers who were there when my denomination was birthed, our Church of Christ TV hosts would insinuate that I do.

    Do they (or you) follow or worship Alexander Campbell? Nope. Why do they insist that I place the “cloud of witnesses” above the One who made the clouds? To insinuate something like that is plain and simply false. I worship the Lord Jesus Christ, am submitted to Him, He is my Lord and Savior.

    Our Church of Christ friends would question that entire last sentence, claiming that it is false because I disagree with their interpretation of the role of Baptism in the salvific experience. Even people who agree with their interpretation of the place of Baptism in the salvific experience (Primitive Baptists, for example) aren’t saved in their minds, because they don’t attend “the Lord’s Church” and do things the way they do (i.e., musical instruments in worship, taking the Lord’s Supper each first day of the week, etc).

    But where do we draw the line? That may be the $100,000 question. I would encourage you to read this article:

    http://www.mckenziestudycenter.org/theology/articles/draw.html

    It’s a very insightful look at that question.

    Thanks for continuing the conversation, James!
    Blessings,
    Nathan

  35. I want you to think about what Peter did to deserve this rebuke? He sinned but what specifically did he do? He had to repent of it or he would be condemned (Luke 13:3). It was a salvation issue.
    Before talking about Calvin or Campbell or anyone else, we need to see that there was a pattern that God expected Peter to follow and when he did not, Paul withstood him to the face (Gal 2:11). True or false?

  36. I dispute that it was a salvation issue. Luke 13:3 isn’t addressing this specific issue – in that passage, Jesus is responding to a group of folks who were trying to figure out just how bad a group of Galileans were who had died horribly at the hands of Pilate. Jesus told them (in my words) to not worry about how bad THOSE people were, but think about your own soul’s state. Live in repentance. It’s said twice – once with the meaning of “once and for all”, and once with the meaning of being in the continuing act of repentance.

    Peter’s salvation wasn’t in question here – but what was in question was whether or not he would eat with the Gentiles in the presence of the Jews – and help open the door for the Gospel to extend unfettered to the Gentiles.

    This is one of the flaws of Johnny’s, Norm’s and James’s (and apparently your) doctrine – the idea that our salvation is held by such a flimsy, thin thread. But we are told in Col 3:1-3:

    “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”

    If our lives are “hid with Christ in God”, how can it be so easily snatched away? Is Christ so powerless that He can’t hold onto us?

    But, back to your question: God did expect Peter to follow the pattern (to include the Gentiles fully into the “family”), and when he didn’t, Paul confronted him.

    Speaking of which, you never did return to the subject of Jason, and my reasons why the community deserves to hear the story.

  37. Peter without a doubt sinned on this occasion. Gal 2:11 uses the word “blame” which Kittel, Vine and Strong define as condemn. Peter was condemned. Now before anyone tries to redefine the meaning of condemn please read v-13. “Barnabas was carried away also with their dissimulation.” Dissimulation is the word hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is always a sin in the Bible, always. Peter is guilty are playing respector of persons which God does not (Acts 10:34). Isn’t it interesting that Peter presents this fact in relation to the events of Acts 10 (Jews and Gentiles are equal). But then violates God’s law on the same point in Gal 2. This not a flaw in my doctrine, this is what the Bible teaches.
    Peter needs to repent Luke 13:3 (the application applies).
    You admit that Paul expected Peter to follow the pattern but when Peter did not you refuse to call it sin. Of what value is the pattern? Can I therefore choose to not follow the pattern and be faithful?
    What more can I say about Jason. I don’t know the man, have no idea about what happened and if I did I would not gossip. If he no longer agrees with the “doctrine” (this is your word) that does not mean the doctrine is wrong. It seems that many people have restless nights wondering what the juicy details are. I thought you would be thankful that there’s one less “false teacher” on the radio.
    Thanks for your thoughts Nathan,
    James

  38. The greater question, which I posed and to which you didn’t respond, is this:

    Can a Christian lose his or her salvation?

    Now, if you are Church of Christ, dependent upon a work to save you (baptism), then of course you can. If your work can qualify you, then your mistakes can disqualify you. (Mormons and JWs believe this, too.)

    But, what if salvation has been a gift of God?

    What kind of father am I if I give my son a Gameboy for his birthday, and then the next day when (not if) he argues with his sister I take it away from him and return it to the store? Luke 11:13.

    In Ephesians 2:8-10, Paul explains that salvation is a gift of God based on faith. But even the faith itself comes from God. Then, after salvation comes good works. Why are people saved by God’s unmerited grace? One reason, Paul says, is to do good works. Salvation caused mankind to become a new creature in Christ “unto good works.” Christians will do good works, not because they must do so to gain salvation, rather it has become their new nature. Because they have become new creatures in Christ, they will desire to do good works.

    That’s fine that you can’t answer about Jason. I really don’t expect you to, but would love it if Johnny, Norm or James would – or if Jason himself would step up to the plate. It’s not a question of gossip, either. Here’s an analogy – if a man is running for political office, and he tells all the potential voters that he is pro-choice, and he champions the pro-choice movement, and helps raise money for Planned Parenthood and abortion clinics and all, and then something happens to change his opinion to pro-life, wouldn’t he owe it to the pro-life AND pro-choice people to explain his change of heart?

    Believe me, my nights are very restFUL, and I am as pleased as punch that Jason’s no longer teaching on the airwaves (TV, not radio). But I think the audience deserves some explanation besides the sidestepping they always do.

    Happy New Year, James!
    Nathan

  39. Great question: Can a person lose their salvation?? According to most CofC folk, the answer is YES.

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