Today’s Top 10 List

top 10 
The Top Ten Ways to Know You’re Dealing with a Hyper-Conservative Church of Christ Person. 

10)  They condemn your use of creeds, but cling to their own.  (“Speak where the Bible speaks, be silent where the Bible is silent”, etc.) 

9)  They won’t let you play musical instrument in worship because they say it’s not authorized by Scripture, even though the OT has many references to musical instruments being used in worship, and in the NT, God never takes away that authorization.

8)   They will kindly and lovingly tell you that no matter the circumstances of your salvation experience, it is invalid unless it conforms to the model they’ve developed from their own personal interpretation of Scripture.

7)  They will tell you that you are commanded to take the Lord’s Supper each “first day of the week”, even though no such Biblical command exists in Scripture, and if you don’t you are in sin.

6)  They will demand that if you aren’t adhering to Scripture like they are, you are not saved.   But of course, they do not adhere to Scripture.  For example, in Scripture there are four separate commands that the church should greet one another with a “holy kiss”.  And yet they don’t do this, and conclude that they don’t because it’s just a cultural tradition. 

5)   They will tell you that if you are in any church other than their own, you are not saved, because denominations are not authorized in Scripture, and the churches within which they assemble are – to which they’ll quote Romans 16:16 to support this assertion.  Even though “church of Christ” (singular) is found nowhere in Scripture – and yet they all worship in a singular “church of Christ”.

4)  They will not celebrate Christmas or Easter, because Scripture is silent about these holidays. And if you happen to (horrors!) wish them a Merry Christmas or Happy Easter, you’ll get a royal earful about how you are keeping Catholic traditions that no real God-fearing person would ever in their right mind keep. And you are in sin.

3)  They will insist that there is not a chance that Jesus would have ever taken a drink of alcoholic wine, because that would have made him a lawbreaker, and Jesus wasn’t a “heavenly bartender” at Cana.  Besides, “oinos” can mean “wine” or “grape juice”, so it must not mean wine. 

2)  They will claim that the thief on the cross was already saved when he went up on the cross, and that’s why he didn’t need to be baptized, because he had already been baptized.

And number 1…
They will be living on pins and needles, because they can lose their salvation, and will have a very limited view of God’s grace and mercy.

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18 thoughts on “Today’s Top 10 List

  1. good top ten and I can already hear some comments from some 🙂

    Your number one reminded me of an ex-church of Christ preacher ( btw, one we know ) who told me that there is never a real feeling of security in the church of Christ because it’s works based. One good thing came out of this preacher leaving is that it gave me some insight of how these men teach and why. The btm line is that they are living by laws and rules to be saved and the more I watch them and read other coC blogs – the more I am starting to think that maybe these men have “fallen from grace” and may not even be saved, seeing they are depending upon their faithfulness, rather that Christ and His Faithfulness to save them…don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying one live as he pleases because I’m not, I am say that works are the byproduct of being saved not the cause, nor can works keep one saved, if so, Christ died in vain. I honest fear that many ultra conservative coC preachers are lost and that is something I once would not admit, but recently I have begun to ponder whether these guys are really even saved. I am not God and cant judge them, but I fear they may be living a saved by works plan of salvation.

  2. Excellent list and so very true in uncovering the faulty ways many in the Churches of Christ view the faith.

    #1 is dead on, grace and mercy are foreign language to many and view God SOLEY as the Judge waiting to pull the lever that leads to hell.

  3. That last one is most true! When I was in the Church of Christ (as a youngster) I remember crying and praying because I didn’t know if I was saved or not. While they certainly don’t teach specifically that we are unsure of our salvation, it is implied. I am glad that I now know that I can be assured of my personal salvation.

    I remember once at a church in Virginia how they were all up in arms because a preacher at a nearby church wrote a book on how we can be assured of our salvation (it is called “Jesus Our Righteousness”) and they said that he was “teaching error.” lol

  4. The church of christ is not what you say. We do celebrate christmas and easter. We don’t believe that all other denominations are going to hell. We know God forgives sin, but we still try to live our lives right according to scripture. Thats only part of what is wrong with what you said about the Church Of Christ

  5. Hi Belle,

    Thanks for commenting. Please note how I prefaced the top 10 list – “hyper-conservative Churches of Christ”. This blog exists to examine the teachings of folks who DO believe the things I mentioned.

    If the church wherein you assemble does not, then that’s great! I’m always glad to meet folks in Bible-believing churches who are more moderate than the “hypers”.

    Just watch the youtube video in the other posting to see the kind of people we are addressing.

    Sorry for the confusion!

    Blessings,

    Nathan
    moderator
    answeringchurchofchrist.wordpress.com

  6. Belle must be a member of one of those “new-fangled, librul congregations.” Of course, growing up, I went to a moderate congregation, but I still heard the whole, “Christmas should be celebrated only as a secular holiday!” and we never heard anything at Easter. This moderate congregation was roundabout in the way they said, “We’re the only ones going to heaven,” too. They say, “People who do God’s will go to heaven. God’s will can be found in the Bible. We here at the Church of Christ try to follow the Bible as closely as we can,” which is just a long way of saying, “Everyone else is not following the Bible as closely as we are so their salvation is in jeopardy.”

    Some people are spiritually fulfilled while worshiping at the Church of Christ, and I commend them. I certainly couldn’t get anything out of it. There’s no intrinsic spirituality in it while I was going there. The only spiritual practice was singing the same old tired hymns, but this got old very quickly. Of course, I’m speaking to my own personal experience here.

    I don’t doubt Johnny as a brother in Christ, but I just can’t be spiritually satisfied by what he offers, which is why I eventually came home to the Catholic Church.

  7. If you think talking to you know who is frustrating…try talking to an atheist. Hey Nathan, I snuck out the back door of Topix Royse City and started hoping around the forum. It’s fun but some of the guys out here make SHP look tame.

  8. As a member of the Church of Christ I’m so ashamed that there are still some fellowships and individuals that give a black eye to the whole group. Please understand they are not all that way (legelistic). I live in Dallas, Texas and it’s heard to find ultra-conservitives here, but they do still exist. In fact, the Church of Christ is now a big group of denominations within itself(Liberals, Legalist, exclusionist’s, Boston’s, Anti’s, etc…). Your top 10 is both funny and sad.

    My church’s website says “we practice a-capella music because of tradition and choice, but its not a matter of doctrine.”

    I feel lucky that I get to take of the communion weekly- The bible doesn’t say to do it each week, but what a blessing it is to “remember God’s gracious gift and sacrifice in such a special way each week. It reminds me that in spite of all of my yuck of the past week, I’m as pure as Christ because of His gift. I need to be reminded weekly.

    I am a member of the church and a vintner and my shephard’s know. I lovingly say I’m following in Christ’s footsteps.

    “Greet each other with a holy kiss.” I believe what was meant was to greet each other like you love them – like family. I hug and kiss my family, whether church or blood family.

    I love Easter and Christmas. I think Christ would be pleased that Christians have taken pagen traditions and transformed their meanings into rememberences of Christ.-what a victory!

    If our works are the only way to get to heaven, I believe God’s standards would be too high. The only way is by grace and grace alone.

    I know to some I don’t sound very Church of Christ, but I belong to a huge group of like minded Church of Christers and for the hatefulness of others who in some way represent the whole I beg forgiveness.

  9. I don’t consider myself “Hyper-Conservative” although some of these points I wish to clarify. First of all not all who say they are the church are. The Church (ecclesia- which means called out assebly) is made up of men and women all over the world who obey the Gospel of Christ without adding or subtracting from it. That is not their own opinions, doctrines, or traditions but God’s word spoken thru his Son Jesus Christ, which we have in the Bible.
    Now with that in mind you cannot be saved or a part of the Lords church if you do not obey The Fathers will just as Jesus himself did. And by the way yes you can know and understand God’s will he does not try to trick us. He’s not a liar and does not contradict himself. Ephesians 5:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. He never ask of us to things which we cannot do. We can understand his word but we must study and rightly divide it or handle it aright. 2Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
    1) Yes it is possible to fall from grace so says the Bible. Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
    The law here is the law of moses not of Christ which Christ does have a law that we must follow.
    Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
    2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the LAW of Christ.
    By the way if one could not lose his salvation or fall from grace why are we commanded to “restore”.
    Now I am aware that all though I pointed out that Christ has a law that we must obey there are some who still would like use the first verse that I gave Galatians 5:4 to say that we “The COC” try to be justified by the Law. But the law here refers to the Law of Moses as you can clearly see the context is about circumcision which is not a part of Christ perfect law of liberty. James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. Yes there is liberty in Christ but not from following his commands it is liberty from the law of Moses. (Stoning, Circumcision…) However there is still work and rules to obey. Note james says continue in them… doer of the work… deed. Not only that but back to the first context Galatians 5:4 here is the next few verses Ga 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
    5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
    6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
    7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
    Notice faith WORKETH by love and also they were questioned on not OBEYING THE TRUTH. Not traditions, not opinions, not what what felt right but the TRUTH. John 17:17 Gods word is THE TRUTH. Faith is not just saying you belive or love God it is obedient. Which is of course consistent with James 2. If you don’t obey the Law of Christ you can fall from grace and loose your salvation. Re 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: BE THOU FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH, and I will give thee a crown of life. I will continue to the next point a little later.

  10. Dennis,

    I appreciate your humility, but you really don’t need to ask for forgiveness – if you do, we all do (since we are all a part of the body of Christ).

    I am very grateful you took time to respond, and to remind this blog’s readers that there are Godly, Biblical men and women out there in churches of Christ who don’t hold the limited view of the Gospel that these hyper-CofC’ers hold.

    Please feel free to return and comment as you feel led!

    Blessings,
    Nathan

  11. Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for your comments.

    You said: “The Church (ecclesia- which means called out assebly) is made up of men and women all over the world who obey the Gospel of Christ without adding or subtracting from it”

    If you are trying to avoid being considered “hyper-conservative” CofC, you might want to rethink the “without adding or subtracting” bit. This is a decidedly hyper-Con perspective – that those who (in the minds of those judging) do “add or subtract” from the Gospel aren’t saved.

    And what is the Gospel, in your opinion?
    And what things are and aren’t salvation issues?

    For example, the men who “inspired” us to start this blog consider it a salvation issue if you don’t take the Lord’s Supper each first day of the week. But, I suggest that they are “adding to the Gospel” with this New Law. As Dennis said above, it is great to take the Lord’s Supper weekly, but how can you possibly consider it a salvation issue?

    And is playing a musical instrument in worship a salvation issue? These men would say it is, but again, there are no verses that deal with this, so they’ve added to Scriptures by declaring it to be so.

    What about the holy kiss? This is a definite Biblical command, found four times in the NT, but these men don’t practice it – calling it a tradition that doesn’t need to be observed. If you follow the pattern they’ve set in the two examples above, isn’t this subtracting from the Gospel?

    Blessings,
    Nathan

  12. Good points Nathan. If it is a sin to miss the Lords Supper each Sunday, God forbid one be sick or breakdown on the way to the church building, or be on vacation or something. But they have this covered too…here they will bring in Sabbath day arguments which only proves that they treat Sunday like the 7 day Adventist folk treat Saturday.

  13. These are the same people that have an unspoken but strict rule that you must be “baptized” to be allowed to take the communion in the first place. On the night of the Passover when the Lord’s Supper was commissioned, I don’t remember Christ saying “do this in rememberance of me, but only if you’re baptized”. I haven’t been able to find anywhere in the bible where the deciples were baptized before that Passover. My Walk to Emmaus buddies (Yes I’m a member) are mostly Methodist- They take Communion on special days, but when there’s an Emmaus event we take Communion every day we’re together. I guess if its a salvation issue to take it less than once a week, it must be to take it more than once a week too. Maybe the ole King James says something the rest of the translations don’t?

  14. First question was what is the Gospel in my opinoin? First of all thats where all our problems start with the opinions of men. My opinion and your opinion does not matter when it comes down to salvation but the word of God is what matters. So what does it say is the gospel well 1Corinthians 15:1-4 gives us the basic facts of the Gospel or as Paul stated
    1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
    2 By which also ye are saved, IF ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
    3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
    4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
    I say this is at least the basics of the Gospel because Paul sais first of all… So the Gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ and all that he taught.
    What are matters of salvation? Certainly not greeting one another with a holy KISS. The kiss was clearly a type of greeting the reason for holy coming before kiss was to describe the type of kiss.
    Luke 7:44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
    45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
    In fact Judas used this type of greeting to betray Christ. You don’t kiss your brothers and sisters in Christ the same as you do your husband or wife. In america we give hugs and shake hands and sometimes give a kiss on the cheek as a greeting. And again we don’t hug the same way we do our husband or wife. But it is to be done in a pure that is holy way. 1Peter 5:14 says a kiss of love or charity. We show our love in america by giving hugs.
    As for the Lords supper see my entry on that blog. Now should we condemn those who don’t take it on the first day of the week? Clearly I see that this was when the disciples or Christians or the church came together to take the lords supper. (Acts 20:7)
    Well 2Thesselonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the TRADITIONS which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
    Also notice 2Th 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. Those who do not take the lords supper on the first day of the week as did the disciples are clearly not holding to the traditions of the Apostles which are from God. Thus they are breaking a commandment which is sin. As obvious as it may be some still can’t see why the first day of the week stands out in the New Testament. Christ rose, the church began, the disciples came together… But this is just all just by chance to some.
    Conserning musical instruments in worship. You’re right you will find no verses in the New Testament that includes musical instruments in the worship of the Church. Instead you will find verses that say sing and use the fruit of our lips to praise God. Clearly this was the tradition and the Commandments concerning music in the Church. Even external evidences show that the music of the Church during that time was congregational singing without instruments. In fact history shows that the catholics didn’t bring a organ into it’s worship until somewhere around 500-600 A.D. thats still about 500-600 years after the Bible had been completed and the traditions of the Apostles were well established. Therefore to add to the clearly stated commandments to sing would be sin. Not only did they add to the commandments they changed the tradition of God which is sin. As far as who can take the lords supper each should examine their ownselves. The truth is if you are not saved the word of God teaches that you are still a enemy of God who must be reconciled. How? There’s only one way thru Jesus Christ. If you don’t go thru Jesus Christ how can you worship God acceptably. We pray thru Jesus, we worship thru Jesus all we do for God and towards God must done thru Jesus. I would feel pretty guilty doing something to remember the death of the Lord and I’m still not saved. For he died died so that we can be saved. For imformation that shows that the word teaches that baptism is one of the things we need to do to be saved check my comments on the Lords Supper blog.

  15. answeringchurchofchrist Said:

    If you are trying to avoid being considered “hyper-conservative” CofC, you might want to rethink the “without adding or subtracting” bit. This is a decidedly hyper-Con perspective – that those who (in the minds of those judging) do “add or subtract” from the Gospel aren’t saved.

    The word of God teaches that those who add or subtract or in sin as a matter of fact they condemn themselves.

    Ga 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
    7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
    8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
    9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

    2Jo 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

    Re 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
    19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

    It has always been this way from the Even in the Old Testament.

    De 5:32 Ye shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.

    Pr 30:6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar

    De 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

    De 12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

    See this is what I obey the word of God I don’t have a choice on who is saved in who is not the word of God is very clear on that issue. Those who sin and remain in there sins are not saved. Those who repent and have there sins removed are. One thing for sure is that all who are saved are in the Church. Notice I did not say COC all though it’s obvious that since he is the head the body belongs to him. But I said it this way for those who try to put emphasis on the name. A name is very important for it helps us Identify things or people. But one might mistakingly post a sign the reads apples over the orange section in a grocery store that will not make the oranges apples. Point is a name alone does not make the church or a Christian but they must meet all that God’s word requires of them to be the real thing.

  16. When all is said and done I have nothing to stand on but the word of God it’s up to us to obey it if we want to get to heaven.

  17. “As for the Lords supper see my entry on that blog. Now should we condemn those who don’t take it on the first day of the week? Clearly I see that this was when the disciples or Christians or the church came together to take the lords supper. (Acts 20:7)
    Well 2Thesselonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the TRADITIONS which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
    Also notice 2Th 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

    Those who do not take the lords supper on the first day of the week as did the disciples are clearly not holding to the traditions of the Apostles which are from God. Thus they are breaking a commandment which is sin.”

    John, you have taken this WAY out of context, and unfortunately-you are not alone. Where do you find that being a command, instead of an example? They are not breaking a commandment, and are not sinning, and actually for you to say that is only adding to the Word of God-which you do not accept.

    “Walking disorderly” here is not referring to people who do not worship the exact same way as we do. Yes, I am a member of a “Church of Christ, and yes I celebrate communion every week-sometimes more than once; but I, nor you, nor anyone on earth, has the ability to judge or condemn anyone where God did not-especially in many areas of preference. That is where opinions, traditions, man-made interpretations get muddled into being passed off as the Word of God-when it was never intended that way.

    The answer is NO-we should not condemn them, because a) God did not, and b) They are not in sin. We have no room to be condemning anyone for anything-especially something that God did not even condemn!!. That is not what God has called us to, and I will have no part in it.

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