So, They Aren’t Just In Martinsville…

Sorry, folks in Tennessee, but it looks like you have an outbreak of CofC TV mania, too.  Anyone from that part of the country like to trade stories?

 TBC broadcast looks at salvation

By AMY DAVIS

Friday, Jan 18, 2008
COOKEVILLE — How many plans of salvation does God offer? Just one, say Cookeville ministers Malcolm Hill and Paul Wilmoth of Northeast Church of Christ. And that’s what the duo plans to discuss this Wednesday, Jan. 23, at 9:30 p.m. on their weekly Channel 7 television program, Bible Questions and Answers.
 
“There are those in the religious world who do not understand that God has only one plan to save all mankind,” Hill said. “They think your plan may differ from my plan to be saved. Some say the direct operation of the Holy Spirit saves. Others say you’ve got to pray the ‘sinner’s prayer’ or that you’re saved by works, and so on. But God has only one plan. What I must do to be saved is the same thing you must do and the same thing all people in the world must do. That’s the reason Jesus said for us to go and preach the gospel to every creature and baptize in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost. Same plan.”
 
Hill and Wilmoth will discuss various Bible passages, including Acts 16:17, Matthew 7:14 and John 14:6, which emphasize the singular use of “the way” in regard to salvation.What is the way?Hill said, “The plan of salvation that God has given to every person is to hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), to believe the word of God (Hebrews 11:6), to repent of our sins (Luke 13:3) and to be baptized into Christ for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). And then you live the Christian life.”
 
Bible Questions and Answers is produced on the campus of Tennessee Bible College, where Hill has served as president since founding the school in 1975. Previously aired audio versions of the program are available on the Northeast Church of Christ web site, http://www.necoc.org.
 
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Did Johnny Robertson send these guys their talking points? For a denomination that claims to not be a denomination, they certainly do act like a denomination – if the things that these men said and that Robertson & Co affirm are not like a denominational creed, I don’t know what is.
 
Thoughts?

 

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27 thoughts on “So, They Aren’t Just In Martinsville…

  1. Sigh. One of the shortfalls of NOT having a ‘headquarters’ or larger structure is that people like these can get on the air and claim to speak for all the churches of Christ. Most Church of Christ preachers (as is true of all denominations) are not on the air. And if we had the larger structure in place, some of these guys would never make it to the airwaves.

    Anyway, I’m sure they’ll offer you much more fodder for the website!

    john

  2. John, I think this may be why I am so negative with my post. I studied with these men whom Nathan is addressing for 10 years and was to the point that I was strongly considering training at their preaching school. But after seeing how legalistic they were, I back away. I helped line up debates and was confronting preachers and acting very unkind to them. Now, I am carrying some of that baggage and venting my frustration with them and like minded people who seek to cause division. I know my approach may not be the best and my be just as wrong as I was when attacking “denominational preachers” …my goal is different now, I want people to see that the church of Christ aren’t in unity as they claim and they are just as denominated, and hopefully some of the people trapped in these legalistic churches will look for a place more grace centered. I dont seek to devide, but I do seek to reach people like myself—people who are mixed up in legalism. I wish you guys could send a CofC preacher down our way like yourself to start a meeting place for people who desire to leave the legalistic churches of Christ. If nothng else, you could or others could purchase airtime on the same channel these guys are on, so people could hear and see that everyone doesnt teach and act like the guys here.

  3. Yes People, You May Be Blind-sided By The Ways Of Men Of This World, And Think That You Are Right In Joining With Them, But Yes People, God Still Has HIS Church Here, And All Over The World. It May Be A Surprise To The People Like You, But God Does Have His Own, The Ones That He Added To His Church. We May Not Be Many Like The Churches That Are Started By Men, That Will Let Anything Go On In Their Churches As Long As The Money Keeps Rolling In, So That The Fat Cats That Heads It Up Can Fill Their Nests, Off The Backs Of The People That They Have Brained Washed. What A Shame? As Matthew 7:13 & 14 and Matthew 19:23 & 24 Says:
    Mat. 7:13.”Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Mat. 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Mat 19: 23 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. Mat 19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” Why Should It Surprise You That The Churches of Christ In Tennessee Were Teaching And Preaching The Same Thing That Johnny, Norm And James are Teaching And Preaching Here In Virginia And North Carolina. If You Will Go To Your Bibles And Read 1- Corinthians 1:10, You Will See Why They Do. In
    1- Corinthians 1:10, Paul Say’s, “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
    So Now You Guys & Girls, Have A Great Day & May You Be Blessed Also. George

  4. Hiya George,

    First, A Question – Why Are You Capitalizing All Of Your Words In Each Sentence? It’S ReaLLy ConFusIng When YoU MAKE Up Your OwN GRammar RuleS.

    Do you do the same with your doctrine?

    It’s funny that you write the way you do – about being “blind-sided” and such. Because the people who attend the assemblies that we examine here have been “blind-sided” (in my opinion) by the hard-nosed, judgmental, doom and gloom preaching of the three men in question (and apparently the men in Tennessee, too).

    Christ not only talked about narrow gates, but he also talked about FREEDOM. You see, George, the truth is supposed to set you free, not bound you to a list of strict MAN-INTERPRETED do’s and don’ts (John 8:32).

    This is what really fries my potatoes about you guys – you are taking the freedom of Christ and turning it into shackles. Given – you aren’t the only ones who do it – it’s just that your boys get on the air for four hours a week and shackle people in the safety of their homes. It’s like the religious gestapo – breaking into your home and carrying you away. (“religious gestapo… I like that!)

    Finally, before you go off on abuse of freedom, read what Paul had to say about the subject in Romans 6.

  5. …and George…you used 1- Corinthians 1:10, Paul Say’s, “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

    Do you not realize that the church you are in has at least 25 divisions-DENOMINATIONS, splitting over at least 100 things that they cant agree on. Not only that, but ask Norm and Johnny about their little meeting on a particular marriage issue–they DISAGREED with each other and had one heated debate before hiring Norn. They were not perfectly joined together in the same mind and judgment on this point. And if you watch the show enough, they also have different takes on the thief of the cross. Norm, being the smartest of them all see’s the weaknesses of the arguments Johnny uses and puts his own spin on the thief, stating that he “could” have been baptized. And maybe you should ask them about the rest of Acts 2:38….”and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”….this is taught a few ways in the church of Christ. I have heard Johnny’s spin on it….lets hear yours.

    Like I said to Johnny and I will to you—have one church of Christ assembly read the book of Romans and then have me question them….wonder how many will be “joined together in the same mind and judgment”. I have heard wrong answers during the adult Sunday school class where Johnny had to correct them. Keep in mind that some are on the milk of the word while others on the meat, so dont think everyone has some perfect understanding to the point they agree on everything.

  6. George, you are missing what Pal was saying…

    “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought” (1 Corinthians 1:10). The context of this passage seems to indicate that this disharmony existed over preferences for various leaders among God’s servants—not doctrinal issues. In fact, Paul writes: “My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:11-12).

  7. George,

    I am still an active member within the Churches of Christ. In fact, I serve as the preacher of a local Church of Christ in Ithaca, NY.

    All of my life I have heard fundamentalists both in and outside of the Churches of Christ proof-text Matthew 7.13-14, just as you have done. The proof-text is intended to tell all those who differ with your creedo that they are on the wide path while you are on the narrow path.

    Do you not realize that the context for Matthew 7.13-14 is the Sermon on the Mount? Have you read that sermon lately and wrestled with the RIGOROUS moral/ethical demands that Jesus calls his disciples to follow (not just consider)? The people on the wide-path are not people with supposed doctrinal errors. No, the wide path are the people who refuse the radical moral/ethics of being a disciple of Jesus.

    And what a steep challenge it is to live out the moral/ethics of Jesus. I try everyday but often fall very short. Perhaps that is why Jesus began chapter 7 of his great sermon by reminding his followers to be careful about the way they exercise judgment on others, for they will be judged by the same measure of judgment they exercised on others.

    George, be careful how you proof-text. Not only are you mis-using the scriptures but you may be cutting your own throat by leveling a judgment so rigorous that no body, not even you, can withstand.

    Grace and peace,

    Rex
    Ithaca Church of Christ
    Ithaca, NY

  8. While searching the net today, I found this article written by Jason T. Hairston. http://www.roysecitycoc.org/

    What’s interesting is he no longer holds the views he expresses below. He left the church he once preached for and now regrets how he acted towards people and he does not hold the same views any longer. Thankfully, he left the legalistic branch he was with. I wish he would come forth and tell all.

    By Jason T. Hairston

    For the simple reason that I am a former Baptist preacher, it is only natural for the one reading this essay to inquire as to why I left the Baptist church, and thus ceased to be a Baptist preacher. The reader of this essay, which bears the bold title “Why You Should Leave The Baptist Church”, should also be willing to give consideration to the fact that I am not some novice in respect to Baptist doctrine. With two years of introductory training at the Temple Baptist Institute in Collinsville, VA, using a curriculum designed by Liberty University, two years attending Tabernacle Baptist College in Greenville, SC, and earning a degree in Theology from West End Baptist College in Easely, SC, I can with great confidence affirm that I know what the Baptist church is, where it came from, and why you should steer clear of it if you intend to be saved from the wrath of God!

    The Baptist Church is NOT in the Bible

    What would Christianity be without the Bible? Non-existing. Every facet of New Testament Christianity is reliant upon inspired Scripture (II Tim 3:16,17; II Peter 1:3). If I tell someone that I am a Christian, they do not connect my confession with the Koran. Rather they perceive that I am a Christian, therefore I must be an adherent to the Christian faith, which is revealed in the Word of God. New Testament Christianity cannot be separated from the Bible. Since the Christian faith is identifiable by characteristics exclusive to the Bible, it is only reasonable to say that in order for something to be Christian, it must be found in the Bible. The Muslim religion is not Christian. Why? Because the Bible knows nothing of Allah, Mohammed, praying to Mecca, or “smiting infidels on the neck.” These are particulars of the Islamic religion, and can be found in the “authority” for Islam, the Koran.

    I know of no Baptist who would disagree with the preceding paragraph, nor with the line of reasoning used in it. For this cause I see no harm in scrutinizing the Baptist Church using this same logic. Is the Baptist Church Christian? No! What would compel me to say such a thing? Well reader, just like Islam, the Baptist Church is not mentioned in the Bible one single time. Jesus Christ, the very founder of Christianity, never spoke a word of the Baptist Church; nor did Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, James or Jude.
    The first known Baptist church was organized in 1607 by John Smyth (David Benedict, History of Baptists, p.304). The Church that Jesus built (Matt.16:18), however, was organized in 33 A.D. On the day of Pentecost (Mk 9:1; Acts 1:8; 2:47). This can only mean that the Baptist Church and the Church Jesus built are two different churches. It is just as interesting to note that the Baptist Church was established in London, England, not Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:1-3; I Tim 3:15; Acts 2).

    Another major distinction between the Baptist church and the New Testament Church is the name worn by individual members. Members in the Baptist Church are “Baptists”, while members of the Lord’s Church are Christians (Acts 11:26; 26:28; I Peter 4:16). A Baptist may say that he/she is a Christian, but at best he/she can only be a “Baptist-Christian” or a “Christian-Baptist”. This is unscriptural and illogical, seeing that the Christians of the first century were not Baptists; they did not adhere to Baptist doctrine (Acts 2:42), nor did they belong to a Baptist Church (Rom 16:16).

    The Baptist Church Preaches A False Gospel

    The primary reason that the Apostle Paul wrote the epistle to the Galatians was to warn them that there were some among them who were preaching another Gospel. Notice what the Apostle had to say:
    “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.” Galatians 1:6-7

    A perverted Gospel? How had these false teachers perverted the Gospel of Christ? The answer is found in chapter five:

    “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
    For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” Galatians 5:1-4

    Simply put, these false teachers had added the Law of Moses to the plan of salvation, making it necessary for one to be circumcised in order to obtain salvation! This was not the Gospel preached by the Apostles; it was a perverted Gospel. Adulterating the Gospel is not the only way whereby the Gospel can be perverted, however. Taking away from what God has said is just as damning as adding to it (Rev 22:18-19). Remember, it was Satan who took away from God’s word in the Garden of Eden, persuading Eve to haphazardly eat of the forbidden fruit (Gen 3:4).

    So how has the Baptist Church perverted the Gospel of Christ? The answer is two-fold: 1) By adding to it (the infamous “Sinner’s Prayer”), and 2)By taking from it (the protestant doctrine of “Faith Only”). Let us examine both of these perversions one at a time.

    The Sinner’s Prayer

    At the immature age of 11, I was attending a Baptist church on a fairly regular basis. During a particular Sunday evening service, the preacher was going through his routine of giving an “alter call” as he did at the end of all his sermons. After hearing statements like “Trust Jesus as your personal Savior” and “Ask him to save you tonight”, I walked away from the church pew and headed toward the “altar”. Not knowing what an “alter” was, or even what I was doing walking toward one, the preacher approached me, put his arm around me, and had me repeat the “sinner’s prayer”. After mimicking what the preacher had said, I recall hearing him tell me that I had “a home in heaven now”, and that I would “never be lost again”. I was so happy that I could have jumped over the moon!

    Fifteen years later, I realize that this so called “Sinner’s prayer” was nothing more than a perverted gospel. It hurts me deeply to know that this preacher is now deceased, and that he died a Baptist preacher, preaching a Baptist gospel. The New Testament never instructs individuals to repeat the “sinner’s prayer” in order to be saved. Actually, we are told in the Gospel according to John that “God heareth not sinners” (John 9:31). Out of all of the many conversion accounts found in the New Testament, not one includes an individual praying “the sinner’s prayer” in order to be saved. If the Christians of the first century were being saved apart from the “sinner’s prayer”, that would mean that it is non-essential to salvation. Therefore, what is non-essential to the Gospel is not the Gospel and can only be explained as an addition thereto.

    In light of this, the average Baptist will try to defend the “sinner’s prayer” by misinterpreting two particular verses of Scripture. The most common argument set forth in favor of the “sinner’s prayer” is formulated from a phrase found in the book of Acts:

    “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Acts 2:21

    The Baptist’s insist that “calling on the name of the Lord” really means to “confess to Jesus that you are a sinner, and ask him to come into your heart and save you.” If this is the case, however, one must explain verses 37 and 38 of the very same chapter:

    Acts 2:37-38

    “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts 2:37-38

    The questions immediately arise: If calling on the name of the Lord is synonymous with the “sinner’s prayer”, then why didn’t Peter tell these people to recite a prayer when they asked him what they needed to do to be saved? Why did he tell them to repent and be baptized in order to have their sins forgiven? Why did these individuals ask Peter how to be saved if he had already told them to say the “sinner’s prayer” in verse 21? Any one who is honest with the Scriptures can easily realize that “calling on the name of the Lord” involved acts of obedience (repentance and baptism in this particular text) and not a literal vocal calling.

    The second argument advocated by Baptists concerning the “sinner’s prayer” comes from wrongly dividing Romans 10:9 and 10:

    “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9-10

    Strong’s concordance defines the word confess (homologeo, Gk) as follows: “to assent, i.e. covenant, acknowledge”. Thus, to “confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus” is simply to “acknowledge that Jesus is Lord by saying so”. For one to say that confessing Christ is the same as confessing your sins to Christ is absurd!

    Faith Only

    The Baptist Church is guilty of adding to God’s Word, but equally it is responsible for subtracting from the it. While the Bible teaches us that there are several requirements that must be met before salvation from alien sins, the Baptist Church says that all one need do to be saved is believe. This false doctrine is better known as “Faith Only”. Though it is highly unlikely that a Baptist would deny adhering to a “Faith Only” gospel, it is only appropriate that evidence is given to substantiate this truth. The Standard Manual For Baptist Churches, written by Edward T. Hiscox, is undoubtedly one of greatest authorities available on Baptist doctrine. Below is an excerpt from it:

    “We believe the Scriptures teach that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in him is justification; that justification includes the pardon of sin, and the gift of eternal life on principles of righteousness; that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in Christ…”
    (p. 62)

    Simply put, the Baptist Church teaches that faith is the sole ingredient to salvation. Nothing anyone can do will ever make any difference concerning their eternal welfare. I should only hope by this point that the reader of this essay has noticed a major contradiction in Baptist doctrine. Remember, it is the Baptist Church who will tell a person that “calling on the name of the Lord” is the “sinner’s prayer”, and that one is to recite this prayer sincerely if they want to obtain eternal life. But “Faith Only” or “justification solely through faith in Christ” will not permit room for the “sinner’s prayer” in the plan of salvation, for the “sinner’s prayer” is a work – something one does in order to be saved! Either an individual is saved at the point of faith, or he/she is saved at the point of faith plus the “sinner’s prayer”. We cannot have our cake and eat it too, can we? In all actuality, reciting a prayer never saves sinners, nor can a sinner be saved at the point of faith only. It is solely my intention to reveal the contradictions evident in Baptist teaching.

    Referring back to Mr. Hiscox manual, one really becomes confused if they remember what they read on the previous page:

    “We believe the Scriptures teach that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace…”

    Faith only? Grace Only? Faith plus the “sinner’s prayer” – which one is it? What does it actually take to be saved in the Baptist denomination?

    There is a great amount of Scripture that teaches the necessity of faith in Christ (John 3:16; 3:36; Acts 16:31; Hebrews 11:6, etc.) There isn’t any way for an honest person who reads the Bible to deny this. But only a dishonest person will affirm that there are verses in the Scriptures that teach “Faith Only”. In the Robertson-Smith debate, A.C. Smith made one of the most dishonest claims a Baptist could make. He stated: “there are literally thousands of verses that teach ‘Faith Only’”. However, when Johnny Robertson demanded that A.C. Smith give just one verse that actually teaches “Faith Only”, he conveniently retracted this statement and claimed that he actually meant to say there are many verses that “imply Faith Only”. This kind of dishonesty is the foundation that almost all Baptist teaching rests upon, and must not be looked upon as harmless.

    What does the Bible have to say about “Faith Only”? The epistle of James mentions the phrase “faith only,” but it is in the negative. Notice if you will:

    “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” James 2:24

    Here we have the inspired Word of God telling us that one is not justified by faith only, yet the Baptist Church, which is not in the Bible, which is guilty of perverting the Scriptures, teaches us the exact opposite. Who is right? Is God almighty in the wrong here, or is the Baptist Church guilty of taking away from the truth? Surely the answer is clear.

    Faith is definitely required of God, but not “Faith Only.” In addition to believing the Gospel, one must repent of sins committed against God (Luke 13:3,5; Acts 3:19; II Cor 7:10), confess Christ as Lord (Acts 8:37; Romans 10:9), and be Baptized, not as an outward show of an inward faith, but for the forgiveness of sins (Mk 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; I Peter 3:21).

    Conclusion

    It should be quite clear why I left the Baptist Church and became a member of the church one reads about in the New Testament. It should also be clear as to why YOU need to do the same. The Baptist teachings discussed in this brief essay are only the tip of the false doctrinal iceberg of denominationalism. The impossibility of apostasy, premillennialism, mechanical instruments in worship, tithing, etc., are other false teachings that are thriving in the Baptist Church. My last plea to any Baptist reading this article is the same as what Christ said to the Pharisees of his day:
    “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39).

  9. I’m confused,

    I looked over the website of the church (Royse City cofc) Jason Hairston is now affiliated with and it is just as false as the one he left here in this area.

    They’re the only true church, you must follow a pattern, baptismal regeration, denominations are evil, etc.

    New location, same heresy.

    Tommy

  10. Hi Tommy,

    Randy was giving an example of what Jason USED to teach. He isn’t with Royse City CofC any more.

    He’s still in the Martinsville area, from what I understand, and he’s not teaching this doctrine any more.

    Nathan

  11. Thats correct. Jason isnt wuth them at all and does not hold to what he once taught. I talked with Jason yesterday …

    Randy

  12. Tommy, I will say this–I don’t consider the church of Christ to teach baptismal regeneration. That’s a Catholic doctrine, and not how the church of Christ teaches it. The reason people think this is because the cofC stresses baptism so much. I thought this myself at one time. They don’t consider baptism a work of men, just as Jesus ask some men ” is Johns baptism from heaven or men” same could be ask about our baptism, seeing Jesus connected it to preaching the gospel. Is our baptism from heaven or men? Repentance is a much harder thing to do than being baptized, seeing one merely submits to the water. But Peter tied them both together in Acts 2:38 in response to their questions “what shall we do”. The word DO carries action, meaning they had to exercise an active-obedient faith, not just a dead faith of “believing the facts” to be saved, but a living faith that acts. Are we saved by what we do?? NO! We are saved by grace THROUGH faith….a living faith that produces action-obedience to the gospel. Not by works, but by faith…

    In the old testament when they walked around the walls, was it God who knocked the walls down or was it their walking around the walls that knocked the walls down? They merely acted in faith, not of works and God knocked the walls down. Also an instance where a leper was ask to dip 7 times to be healed, what if he refused and said I don’t believe being dipped in water will cure me, no, it wasn’t about the water. The water had no magical power, but it was faith that caused him to obey and he was healed. Just has one is dipped today …. its not any magical power in the water, but faith in Christ and his work…. I don’t let our disagreement come between us as would Johnny and crew and hope you don’t either.

    Randy

  13. As a CoC preacher, let me say something about the accusation that we preach baptismal regeneration.

    I teach people that their response to the gospel is repentance and baptism. That is they are to say no to the ways of a fallen world and their fallen life and in turn, surrender their life to God by dying to self in the waters of baptism and trusting in God to raise them into Christ/newness of life (see, Romans 6). In Romans 6, as well as several other passages of the NT, the verb “to baptize” is in the passive voice. Thus it is God who is doing the baptizing, not the person being baptized. That is to say, that baptism is God’s work.

    In fairness, I have heard plenty of sermons in the CoC that seem to place the emphasis of baptism upon the person being baptized. Not only is that emphasis incorrect from a biblical standpoint, it makes baptism into a work rather than an act of faith. BUT ALSO in fairness, I have listened to many sermons from a variety of Evangelical preachers. They, in calling people to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer,” place the emphasis upon the person praying (e.g., “if you pray this prayer…). What I am saying is that regardless of baptism, prayer, or whatever other response one attempts to make, when the emphasis is placed upon the human rather than God then salvation becomes a human work. Regardless of when a sinner actually becomes justified from sin, salvation is the work of God and our response is to have faith in God to bring about our salvation both now and when Jesus returns.

    But let’s remember something… Repentance is a verb, an action on our part. Let’s also not forget that faith requires obedience. Even in Romans, which lays out a beautiful doctrine of salvation by grace through faith, Paul defined faith as obedience (“…we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name…” Rom 1.5).

    Rex
    Ithaca Church of Christ
    Ithaca, NY

  14. “What’s interesting is he no longer holds the views he expresses below. He left the church he once preached for and now regrets how he acted towards people and he does not hold the same views any longer. Thankfully, he left the legalistic branch he was with. I wish he would come forth and tell all. ”

    Can this claim be backed up ? I’ve never heard Jason say he has changed his views or believes differently. He simply changed his occupation. Has nobody here ever changed an occupation? Seems like you are speaking for Jason and I don’t think he would agree with what you are saying.

  15. I know you would love nothing more than for this to pull Jason in….for some comments. If you must know he and I are friends and he lives 5 minutes from me….this is over much more than a change in occupation. Sounds like to me you guys dont want the truth out. Not only did Jason leave, so did others ( Jeff and his wife, Gene and others ) I guess they left with him on his occupation. Jasons very words to me when he left was ” I felt like I have escaped from something”. His leaving is over much more than a simple change in occupation and you know this too….I have emails from Johnny were he and I discussed this…..maybe you should ask Johnny about he and Jason fussing over things and also why the men had meetings about this……..either you know the truth, or they have led you to believe a lie. I would love nothing more than for Jason to tell al, but I will respect his wishes not too.

  16. Of course, all of this mess about Jason would be cleared up for the community if Johnny, Norm or James would just go ahead and address it publicly. If Jason would do it, it would be even better, but if what Randy says is true, then the three TV hosts wouldn’t touch Jason with a ten foot concordance.

    I say that we should encourage the community to call in and ask (nicely) about Jason at least once per episode, until these men address it.

  17. i belive i watched several years ago a program with jason
    and several others with johnny. a lady called in to say that
    she had enjoyed hearing jason sing in a baptist church and
    had been touched by his testamony. mr hairston then proceeded to deny his “baptist” conversion, so much that
    he refered to it as garbage. i have not forgotten. his comments
    seemed to hurt the lady caller . i would go so far as to say
    he needs to come forward to make an apology to people he may have hurt. please dont minimize the ability of words to damage and to heal.

    amen?

  18. Hi Lee,

    This has been my point since Jason left. He spent so much time doing damage in this area for so long, that he really owes it to the community to make a statement of some sort to explain why he’s left.

    It’s obvious that Johnny Robertson is trying to sweep it under the rug – which is ironic considering how much he lambasts others for doing similar things.

    Nathan

  19. Below is what we have so far….

    Roy Says:

    January 24, 2008 at 8:08 pm
    they mite say “closed on Sunday” and does that mean one Sunday or ever Sunday?

    churchesofChrist Says:

    January 24, 2008 at 8:32 pm
    I know. I am quite aware of that argument.

    Shawn Paden Says:

    January 25, 2008 at 12:00 am
    Where you go to church the sign must say “services EVERY Sunday”.
    I’m sure it does.

    churchesofchrist Says:

    January 25, 2008 at 11:59 am
    Does a sign staing sevices on Sunday exclude them on any other days? Btw, we can also discuss the word “fisrt ” that is used in Acts 20:7….Im sure you know. I know each argument you have and I am sure you do too…..

    churchesofchrist Says:

    January 25, 2008 at 12:11 pm
    The doctrine of Sunday ONLY observance is derived from deductions made from a singular text by those who perceive the New Covenant writings as being a Law Book filled with proof texts. “And on the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread…” (Acts 20:7). Well, there you have it. Based on these few words an entire theology has been built. Ron Halbrook comments, “With the presence, the participation, and the approval of an inspired Apostle of Christ, the early saints ate the Lord’s supper every Sunday.” It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to perceive that numerous assumptions must be made for one to arrive at the position that this passage commands Sunday only, and every Sunday, observance of the Lord’s Supper.

    Nothing is said in the passage about the practice of Troas either before or after this particular weekend. Was the first day of the week the ONLY day these disciples observed the Lord’s Supper? We don’t know. Did they observe it every first day of the week without fail? We don’t know. Was this the practice in every other congregation on the face of the earth at this time? We don’t know from the biblical text, although history reveals it was not. But there is even more that needs to be considered here. Where in the NT writings does it state that the way Troas observed the Lord’s Supper with regard to the matter of frequency (assuming we even truly know conclusively the exact nature of their regular practice) is the way ALL disciples the world over MUST observe the Lord’s Supper until the end of time? Where does it ever state in the sacred Scriptures that our salvation today, and even our fellowship with one another, is dependent upon US observing this memorial feast in exactly the same manner as THEY did in ancient Troas? In other words, is the singular example of Troas forever binding upon all disciples the world over until the end of time? If the answer is “yes,” then where in Scripture is such a demand ever specifically stated by our Lord?

    Let me ask an even deeper hermeneutical question (one the legalists have never yet been able to answer for me) — Can a singular example override or restrict a command given by Jesus Christ and repeated by an inspired apostle? In other words, which bears more weight — a command of our Lord or an example of mere men (about which many assumptions must be made)? Which has more authority — a precept of deity or a practice of men?

    What many rigid religionists have seemingly forgotten in their quest to bind their practice upon others. Jesus has already spoken to the matter of frequency with regard to the observance of the Lord’s Supper. We do not have to resort to examples for our authority, for the authority lies in the words of the Master Himself. Further, a singular example does NOT have the power to forever override, restrict, limit and regulate a direct command of the Lord. In 1 Corinthians 11:25-26 Jesus issues the command, “Do this!” He then tells us the purpose and significance of the observance — it is in remembrance of Him. And, of course, Paul elaborates on the spiritual significance in other passages, as well. Then, with regard to frequency, Jesus said, “As often as” you do it. Paul then repeats the same phrase — “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” The matter of frequency has forever been addressed in the phrase “as often as.”

    The relative adverb “hosakis,” translated “whenever” or “as often as,” is nonspecific with regard to time. Daily, weekly, monthly are ALL equally in accord with the statement by both Jesus and Paul. Again, we must raise the vital hermeneutical question — Which has the greater weight when it comes to determining our own practice today with regard to frequency of observance of the Lord’s Supper? A specific command or declaration of Jesus Christ, repeated by an inspired apostle? Or a singular example about which fallible men have made countless assumptions? Unto which of these will we give “authority” to determine our practice?

    Was the practice of Troas, as best we understand it, in accord with the teaching of Jesus and Paul? Of course it was! Even if the disciples in Troas did in fact observe the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week, and only on the first day of the week, that would still be in complete compliance with the directive of Jesus and Paul — “as often as” you do it. “Whenever” you do it. However, a daily observance would also be in compliance. So also would a monthly observance, or a bi-weekly observance. ALL would fall under the gracious umbrella of “as often as.” True, the latter examples given would not be according to the pattern of Troas, but they would be according to the precept of Jesus and Paul. Thus, again, the question — to which do we give preference in the establishment of practice: precept or pattern?

    churchesofchrist Says:

    January 25, 2008 at 12:17 pm
    In summation, Jesus never restricted the observance of this memorial with regard to frequency. Paul, in restating this command, did not restrict it either. Indeed, there is no place in the NT writings that restricts, limits, or regulates this momentous event. The emphasis is always on the spiritual significance of this feast, not the timing of it. The matter of frequency has been forever addressed when the Lord Himself left it in the realm of the indefinite, the undefined, the unrestricted, and the unregulated. The Lord made the event important …. it is man who has made the day important! Unless there is some compelling reason to limit or restrict a direct command or directive, a singular example from which inferences are drawn does NOT have that power. There is no principle of biblical hermeneutics (much less of common sense) which affords such power and authority to a solitary example and inferences of fallible men over a directive of deity.

    What I will never do is condemn those who differ with this traditional practice. On what possible grounds could I do so?! What law of God have they violated? If a group of devoted disciples choose to remember the Lord’s death in a communion service twice in one week, do we serve a God who would actually send them to hell for this “affront to His holiness?” Would our loving, gracious Father actually “torture in fire forever” one of His children who remembered the death of His Son by taking the Lord’s Supper on a Wednesday? According to some, He would. Frankly, I regard such a caricature of our God as bordering on blasphemy!

    We have assumed for ourselves an authority that our Lord has not bestowed upon us, and we are evidencing an attitude of which He does not approve. Daily, weekly, monthly, etc. observance of the Lord’s Supper each fall under the umbrella of acceptance. It is now time for God’s children to begin accepting one another, rather than perpetuating the pernicious divisions that have far too long surrounded the promotion of the preferences of mere men.

  20. and more….

    Shawn Paden Says:

    January 24, 2008 at 8:34 pm
    Acts 2:42, “And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”

    Acts 20:7, “And on the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread…”

    1 Corinthians 11:23-26, “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, ‘This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same way He took the cup also, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”

    John Calvin (Presbyterian, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book VI, Chapter 18, section 56) – “Every week the table of the Lord should have been spread for the assemblies, and the promise declared by which, in partaking of it, we might be spiritually fed.”

    John Wesley (Methodist, Letters to America, 1784) – “I also advise the elders to administer the supper of the Lord every Lord’s day. With respect to this, or any other command, he that, when he may obey it, if he will not, will have no place in the Kingdom of God.”

    August Neander (Lutheran, Church History, Volume I, Page 332) – “The Lord’s supper was still a part of the divine worship every Sunday. The whole church partook after the amens of the preceeding prayers. The deacons carried the bread and wine to everyone present.”

    Charles Spurgeon (Baptist) – He observed the communion service weekly in the Metropoitan Baptist Tabernacle in London, England, where he preached for more than 20 years.

    Justin Martyr (110-165 AD) – “But Sunday is the day on which we hold our communion assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrote a change in the darkness and matter, make the whole world; and Jesus Christ our Savior on the same day arose from the dead.”

    Shawn Paden Says:

    January 24, 2008 at 8:40 pm
    Religious scholars confirm this was the practice
    a. “As we have already remarked, the celebration of the Lord’s
    Supper was still held to constitute an essential part of
    divine worship every Sunday, as appears from Justin Martyr
    (A.D. 150)…” – Augustus Neander (Lutheran), History Of
    Christian Religion And Church, Vol. I, p. 332
    b. “This ordinance (the Lord’s Supper) seems to have been
    administered every Lord’s day; and probably no professed
    Christian absented themselves…” – Thomas Scott
    (Presbyterian), Commentary On Acts 20:7
    c. This also is an important example of weekly communion as the
    practice of the first Christians.” – A. C. Hervey
    (Episcopalian), Commentary On Acts 20:7
    d. “It is well known that the primitive Christians administered
    the Eucharist (the Lord’s Supper) every Lord’s day.”
    – P. Doddridge (Congregationalist),

    churchesofChrist Says:

    January 24, 2008 at 8:53 pm
    Love how you used the very people you consider to be false teachers. I do thank you for coming on here though.

    You are taking part of one example and binding it upon people as LAW. I have no problem with people do so out of love, but to take an example or part of an example and bind that upon everyone as something they must do is legalism. Why not tell people to give away what they have to the poor or meet every day….those are in the book of Acts also….you pick what you like and throw the other examples to the side.

    There is no clear example of the Lord’s Supper ever being eaten on EACH first day of the week. If they met according to Roman (and our) manner of reckoning time, they met to eat it on our Sunday night, but did not partake until Monday morning, because of Paul’s long discourse. If they followed the Jewish calendar, they met to partake of it on our Saturday night. Would we be right in participation on Saturday night or Monday morning.” What is “the breaking of bread”? The “breaking of bread” is generally associated with the Lord’s Supper. Nevertheless, there is nothing in the context to indicate that this activity is the Lord’s Supper. The expression breaking of bread is also an idiom for a common meal. In fact, in Acts 2:46-47, one reads: Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people”. If the “breaking of bread’ refers to the Lord’s Supper, then they observed the communion a daily basis, not just on Sundays. Which of these nine examples of details concerning the so call “Lord’s Supper” are binding? It was eaten:

    1. at night
    2. upstairs
    3. during another meal
    4. with no women present
    5. one loaf
    6. of unleavened bread
    7. one cup
    8. of Passover wine which could not have been fresh grape juice at that season.

    Which exemplified details are binding and which are not? I find it quite shocking that some in the curch of Christ would say it’s sinful to partake in the Lords supper on a Tuesday or Thursday. Paul even warned some not to observe days –Foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you not to obey the truth, before whose … You observe days, months, seasons, and years. …

    Shawn Paden Says:

    January 24, 2008 at 8:58 pm
    Sorry about all that evidence. I know its gotta hurt.

    Shawn Paden Says:

    January 25, 2008 at 1:18 am
    Legalism:
    “Close adherence to law; strict conformity to law” (New Illustrated Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language, pg. 559).

    Yes, I strictly adhere to the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2).
    If that makes me a legalist then so be it.

    Are you an illegalist?

    churchesofchrist Says:

    January 25, 2008 at 11:55 am
    We can discuss the law of Christ another time as you have that all wrong too. The point is your not getting any law of Christ from the acount in Acts 20:7….youre taking your view of an EXAMPLE and binding that as your man-made law upon other and that is legalism. Strange you dont really follow the example though in detail…. Btw, the men you used as “evidence” also adhere to other teachings that you will consisder to be false…..

    lets see how cold you really are…

    Question: If I take the Lords Supper each Sunday and each Thursday too, would I be lost or lose my salvation for honoring Christ two days each week?

    Question: Could I take the Lords supper twice on Sundays? or would that be a sin too?

    Your answer will reveal your heart…..either you will see Sunday as more important or you will see the event and its meaning as more important.

  21. “I know you would love nothing more than for this to pull Jason in….for some comments”

    I’m not the one who brought the subject up. I’m just responding to unfounded accusations. Just because you live withinn 5 miles of Jsaon doesn’t give you an inside track. Were you in those meetings you spoke of?

  22. It seems to me when I read through the post here on this site as well as others. The issue isn’t the church or it’s teaching but rather individuals in the church and their personalities.

  23. I know enough as do you. So, faithful, where do you attend? 🙂

    Where did Jeff and his wfe go?? oh, thats right you said with Jason….who esle left?? 🙂

    You still havent answered any of the questions as Shawn hasnt either.

  24. I AM JUST A PERSON SEARCHING FOR TRUTH. I WENT TO A PENTECOSTAL CHURCH FOR ALMOST A YEAR IN MARTINSVILLE AND IT WAS THE WORST THING I COULD HAVE EVER DONE. THEY HAD ME SO CONFUSED OF WHAT IS REAL AND WHAT ISN’T. I WAS BAPTIZED IN JESUS NAME THERE AND PRAYED MANY TIMES FOR THE HOLY GHOST. THEY TOLD ME A PERSON DOESN’T HAVE THE HOLY GHOST UNLESS THEY SPEAK IN TONGUE. I WASN’T GOING TO FAKE ANYTHING BECAUSE I FEEL IT IS WRONG TO GOD TO DO SUCH A THING. THEY SAID SINCE I HAVEN’T SPOKE IN TONGUE THAT GOD WASN’T WITH ME. AT FIRST THEY MADE ME THINK THEY TAUGHT THE WORD OF GOD. BUT WHEN I STARTED READING MORE OF WHAT THE BIBLE SAID ABOUT THINGS LIKE SPEAKING IN TONGUE AND THE POWER TO HEAL I STARTED TO REALIZE THAT THEY REALLY ARE FAKING IT, THE BIBLE SAYS WHEN THE DISCIPLES SPOKE IN TONGUE THAT EVERYONE ELSE COULD UNDERSTAND THEM IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGE, WHEN THESE PENTECOSTALS SPEAK IN TONGUE NO ONE CAN UNDERSTAND ANYTHING THEY ARE SAYING . THEY HAD AFFECTED MY LIFE IN SUCH A BAD WAY THEY TRIED TO TELL ME THAT MY OWN MOTHER IS EVIL, AND SHE IS AS GOOD AS GOLD AND STILL I AM HAVING A PROBLEM AT WORK ALL BECAUSE I WENT TO THIS PENTECOSTAL CHURCH WHICH IS REALLY NOTHING BUT A BRAINWASHING CULT. IF A CHURCH AND A PREACHER CAN INFLUENCE A PERSONS LIFE IN SUCH A BAD WAY THEY NEED TO BE EXPOSED. THEY TELL US LIES THAT WE TRY TO BELIEVE. I WENT TO CHURCH TO TRY TO DO THE RIGHT THING FOR GOD AND THIS CHURCH TRIED TO GET ME TO DO AWFUL THINGS SO I CAN GO TELL PEOPLE THAT GOD IS WITH ME. I DON’T THINK I NEED TO MAKE WEIRD SOUNDS OR JIRK AROUND LIKE I’M HAVING A CONVULSION OR FALL ALL ON THE FLOOR, I BELIEVE GOD IS WITH ME AND THE ONLY PROOF I NEED TO HAVE FAITH IN GOD IS HIS WORD IN THE BIBLE.

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