The DVD That Wasn’t Seen

In case you were wondering what was on that DVD that Chris didn’t show on Sunday night, he has uploaded it to the internet and given us permission to embed it here for your viewing pleasure.

You can comment here, or directly to Chris over at his blog: The Knight Shift.

Advertisements

Make Sure to Watch for Chris Knight Sunday Night

For those of you in the WGSR viewing area, Chris Knight is supposed to be on Sunday night at 8:00 for 25 minutes.  Charles Roark has apparently offered Chris 25 minutes to give his position regarding Johnny Robertson and their recent encounter outside the WGSR studios.  Knowing Chris from his blog, I would bet he’s got something interesting up his sleeve!  Let’s all watch and support him.

 

The Holy Kiss – A Command, or Not?

From wikipedia

The holy kiss is a traditional Christian greeting. The term comes from the New Testament, where it appears five times.

holy kiss 

 Farewell of Saints Peter and Paul, showing the Apostles giving each other the holy kiss before theirmartyrdom. (Alonzo Rodriguez, 16th century, Museo Regionale diMessina).

It is mentioned in:

  • Romans 16.16a — “Greet one another with a holy kiss” (Greekἀσπάσασθε ἀλλήλους ἐν φιλήματι ἁγίῳ).
  • I Corinthians 16.20b — “Greet one another with a holy kiss” (Greekἀσπάσασθε ἀλλήλους ἐν φιλήματι ἁγίῳ).
  • II Corinthians 13.12a — “Greet one another with a holy kiss” (Greekἀσπάσασθε ἀλλήλους ἐν ἁγίῳ φιλήματι).
  • I Thessalonians 5.26 — “Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss” (Greekἀσπάσασθε τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς πάντας ἐν φιλήματι ἁγίῳ).
  • I Peter 5.14a — “Greet one another with a kiss of love” (Greekἀσπάσασθε ἀλλήλους ἐν φιλήματι ἀγάπης).

Superficially, there was nothing new in the practice of Christians greeting one another with a kiss: cheek kissing was the normal way that men in the ancient westernMediterranean would greet one another. However, the New Testament’s emphasis on its being a holy and love (agapē) kiss meant that it quickly developed into something more than a greeting. The writings of the early church fathers mention the holy kiss as forming the introduction to the regular Sunday eucharist in the early church. In this way it still remains a part of the worship in traditional churches (Eastern ChristianityRoman Catholic Church and liturgical Protestant churches), where it is often called the kiss of peace or sign of peace, or simply peace or pax. In these churches, it is usually performed before the preparation of the altar for the eucharist.

Presently, the greeting is not normally shared as a kiss in English-speaking cultures, but by shaking hands or performing some other greeting gesture (such as anembrace) more in tune with the culture and time. In fact, handshaking, which can seem quite prosaic today, was popularised by Quakers as a sign of equality underGod, rather than stratified system of etiquette of seventeenth century England.[citation needed] One could even say that the handshake greeting is also of biblical origin: it is mentioned in Galatians 2.9d: “They gave me and Barnabas their right hands of fellowship” (Greekδεξὰς ἔδωκαν ἐμοὶ καὶ Βαρναβᾷ κοινωνίας).

Different ProtestantReformed and Restorationist churches have readopted the holy kiss either metaphorically (in that members extend a pure, warm welcome that is referred to as a holy kiss) or literally (in that members kiss one another). This practice is particularly important among Mennonites.

——

Isn’t it interesting that this command – which is found FIVE times in the NT, is ignored as a command by our CENI-happy friends in the hyper-conservative Churches of Christ?  Doesn’t the “C” in “CENI” stand for “command”?

This is one of my big criticisms of Johnny, Norm, and James (and like-minded others) – that they work so hard to bind others to their limited interpretations of Scripture claiming to be the NT church in the 21st Century – and then when you look closely, you’ll see that they cherry pick their doctrine as much as the next folks.

A Great Article from churchesofchrist.wordpress.com

The guys at churchesofchrist.wordpress.com have written a great article dealing with the unscriptural exclusiveness of folks like Johnny Robertson, Norm Fields and James Oldfield.  Go over and take a look!

Here’s the link. 

 

23 Good Questions to Ask a CofC Fundamentalist

Over at http://www.topix.com, at a conversation going on between a few Church of Christ fundamentalists and a few other folks, we had a list of some Very Interesting Questions posted for our Church of Christ friends to answer.  I put them here for your perusal, and invite you to put them on your list of questions to ask your own Church of Christ friends. 

1)  I was baptized at age 10 for the forgiveness of my sins (in a Church of Christ) what sins were I capable of committing at this point in my life? If I died before my baptism would I have gone to Hell?

2)  Where does the age of accountability for proper baptism appear in the Bible? Please provide book, chapter, and verse

3)  Is Matthew 28:19 proper baptismal instructions? Or did Jesus make an incomplete statement?

4)  Would you consider keeping another man as a slave to be sin?(Please keep in mind 1 Timothy 6:1-2, Ephesians 6:5)

5)  Is the apostle Paul accountable for his false teachings on “faith only” salvation in the books of Romans and Ephesians?

6)  Would Paul be allowed to serve as an Elder in your Church? Jesus is called the “high priest” for the Jewish audience in the book of Hebrews. Doe he fit the criteria to be an elder of a congregation?

7)  Is it better for a man not to marry? Would a preacher be more effective if he was not married? Should Paul’s thoughts on the subject be considered advice? inference? command?

8)  Is the Bible silent on the following issues? song leaders, song books, choirs, paid preachers, church supported colleges, proper dress attire in a worship assembly, Wed. night assemblies, organs, communion being part of a worship service, clapping in a church service, indoor baptisms, sitting and standing in unison during a service, proper methods of baptisms, singing songs written by members of differing denominations, women singing in a church service (are they silent?), youth ministers, church secretaries, and church buildings?

9)  If my eyes are causing me to sin should I gauge them out? Should this be taken literally? Why or why not? Is this instruction you would give another Christian?

10)  How many times does the Book of James mention Baptism as a necessary work? Does it mention it at all? What is the main point of the Book of James?

11)  How many times did Jesus address what proper worship in public assembly consists of?

12)  Where in the Bible (please provide book, chapter, and verse) is the Lord’s Supper set to consist of grape juice and crackers that must be observed every Sunday morning. 

13)  Please provide book, chapter, verse that bans alcohol drinking as well as dancing.

14)  Where does the idea of being “silent where the Bible is silent” appear in the Bible (please provide book, chapter, verse)

15)  Is gluttony a sin? If so, is eating fast food a sin; or is overeating fast food a sin?

16)  Was the original Lord’s Supper unscriptural occurring as a Passover dinner on a Thursday night?

17)  I have never seen any Church today conform to the clear pattern of practice set in Acts 2:44-45. Why is this clear example ignored?

18)  Why was Jesus baptized? 

19)  Did Jesus have any fears or doubts about his role? If he did would this make him “imperfect” or does it display his humanity?

20)  Who did Jesus butt heads with the most? Why?

21)  What does “infallible” mean to you? Please provide the book, chapter, verse that the Bible claims to be infallible.

22)  Where did the Bible come from? Who decided what books it should consist of? Were the men that decided this Christians? Was God guiding them?

23)  When did the church fall into apostasy? Has there been a time when the Church of Christ did not exist? Has there been a time when it was united?Thanks to “DMH” for the list of questions.

Why Do I Have This Blog?

I’ve been thinking about this question a lot recently, because it takes a bit of my time which could be used elsewhere, and it has since I started it a few months ago. If you just happened upon the blog, and wondered why someone would take the time to blog about the teachings of three men who nobody knows anyway, I suppose that would be a valid question.

To be concise, it is because I have seen the damage that these men do to people, and it makes me pretty angry. Now, I don’t mean that they set out to damage people – I think they think they are really “serving the Lord” (Rom 12:11). However, Jesus talks pretty seriously about being able to recognize people who are teaching Truth by their fruit (Matt 7:16). Let’s look at some of the fruit from Johnny Robertson, James Oldfield and Norm Field’s work in particular, and the work of the fundamentalist Churches of Christ in general.

The Mysterious Case of Jason Hairston

I mentioned Jason’s blog in my last posting, and I need to talk just a bit more about this, because it’s such a glaring example of rotten fruit. Now, you need to understand that my thoughts on this are not clear, because none of these men have come clean in public about the situation. My understanding from sources close to the subject is that Jason is really have trouble with his spiritual identity after his time spent with these fundamentalist Church of Christ men.

Unfortunately, this is not an exclusive result for exposure to men like this – just go over and take a look at the website for ex-church of Christ folks – click this link – you’ll see plenty of people who have been damaged in similar ways to Jason – some to the point of renouncing belief in God altogether.

If, by starting a blog like this that questions their teachings and examines their doctrine outside of their control helps even one person to NOT leave God as a result of confusion sown while under their influence, it will be worth the time spent.

Holding Them Accountable When Nobody Else Will
Now, given, this would be a task more easily achieved if the men would actually participate in our discussions, but I do my best to do this without them. I haven’t figured out the way to be the most organized about this, because over the past few months of study, I’ve realized that there are some pretty big errors in their teaching – mostly dealing with the bonds they put on others and themselves. And even their arguments for “speak where the Bible speaks, silent where the Bible is silent” (is that a creed?) are inconsistent when you put them under the microscope. Look at my discussions with Nova about Joshua and the city of Jericho to see an example of what I mean.

Looking for the Galatians 5:22 Fruit
Now, you really need to get into a deep study of what the Law meant to the readers of the NT, but I think it’s important to say that you hear these men talk quite a bit about the restrictions placed on Christians with the NT, but you very rarely hear them (at least on their TV programs) talk about the following “Galatians 5:22 Fruit”:

A) It’s not a “Galatians Fruit”, but being FREE in Christ (occurs 59 times in Scripture) – John 8:32; 36; Rom 6:18; Gal 4:31; 5:1; etc.
B) The Joy of the Lord (occurs 165 times) – 1 Pet 4:13; 1 John 1:4; Gal 5:22; etc.
C) Hope (occurs 130 times) – 1 Pet 3:15; Heb 3:6; 2 Thess 2:16; etc.
D) Peace (occurs 429 times) – Mark 4:39; Luke 2:14; 2 Cor 13:11; etc.

You could go on.

Now, I can almost hear their rebuttal – and let me answer before it’s stated: men, I know that freedom without law is chaos, and that Scripture does have very serious things to say about the way we should conduct ourselves. That being said, however, I would think that a church that was truly living in the Truth (especially to the point of broadcasting that everyone else is living in error) would have a better grasp of the balance between the two.

If you go onto the websites of these men and watch some of their video clips, you’ll see that there is NOT a balance. The impression I get from watching these men is that they get their biggest joy from putting other people in their place. This is part of the reason that Johnny Robertson lost the debate with Armando Deloa. If he’d have demonstrated more of the character of God and less of the wrath, his arguments would be much more compelling. But, after interacting with Shawn Paden over at http://www.topix.com, I’m beginning to wonder if it is possible for these men to be able to show grace and mercy – or even to admit that they are wrong about something – not even doctrinally, but personally. That’s a big Matt 7:16 warning.

Well, that’s enough for now. I hope that it helps folks understand. Again, I don’t have a beef with all Churches of Christ – just these sorts who claim that if you aren’t in the church where they assemble, or if you aren’t in a church that teaches exactly what they teach, then you aren’t in the Lord’s Church.

As always…
Sola Dei Gloria!
Nathan

A Very Reasonable Church of Christ Position

We’ve received a couple of emails from Norm and Johnny, and they’ve told us that they have no intention of participating in our little blog, although I’m pretty certain they come here and read what we’re discussing.  I’m sure they are hoping that if they ignore us, we’ll just fade into the distance.  However, we are pretty much committed to being the “fair and balanced” alternative to the discussions of their teachings.  It’s funny, because they always harp on others for not discussing on their turf, but won’t come here and discuss!  What are they afraid of?

Log onto the blog tonight after “What Does the Bible Say?” to post your thoughts on Johnny Robertson’s teaching.

Meanwhile, thanks to Randy for the following, from a Church of Christ pastor.  If you are a part of the Martinsville Church of Christ, the Danville Church of Christ, or the Reidsville Church of Christ, let us know your thoughts!

“The fact is that our brethren defend some twenty-five different “patterns,” and each disputant is thoroughly convinced that his alone is the pattern. The absurdity of men standing up and quoting the same passages, and finding justification for their varied and opposite views while proclaiming that the Word is so plain that even a blind man can see it, seems lost upon everyone except those thinking persons who are outside our movement.

Most of our patterns consist of a combination of elements derived from three sources: (1) Cultural and environmental factors; (2) Reactions to other religious groups whom we consider as apostates or compromisers; (3) Misconception and misapplication of scriptural passages lifted from their contextual setting and used to establish our preconceptions and presuppositions.

A good example has to do with the method of “taking up the offering.” Few among us in this day recall what a furor was caused in some areas when brethren began to pass offering plates. Early restoration congregations never did this because it was sectarian. The sects all “passed the hat.” This was literally true. In my childhood days the Baptist and Methodist folk would send their collectors among the audience passing felt hats lifted from the hat-rack for the purpose. When they became a little more stylish they passed collection plates with felt noise-arresters to deaden the sound of dropping quarters.

When time came for this “item of worship” in our congregations, the brothers and sisters all marched up to the front, singing “There’s An Eye Watching You,” and laid their contribution on the Lord’s Table, returning to their seats by the way which they came. It was quite a procession. Sometimes there was a great deal of milling around in front when they converged on the table from two aisles. It was further complicated in some places by the fact that the marchers all took time to shake hands with the brethren on the front seat as a sign of fellowship.

As we grew in number and in sophistication, and began to crave less noise and more solemnity, changes began to be advocated. These did not come easily. Brethren mounted the pulpit to show that God had a pattern for doing everything, and we dare not deviate. We were reminded that the ark had to be made of gopher wood. We were again told of what happened to Nadab and Abihu when they offered strange fire. When such brethren were asked for scriptural grounds for marching up and laying their money on the table they were undaunted.

Members of the Church of Christ should face up to the question of what the apostle Paul would do if he returned to earth and came to the United States. With which of our partisan factions would he identify or “place membership”?

To which partisan journal would Paul report his preaching tours? Which one would he join as a staff writer? The Gospel Advocate? The Firm Foundation? The Old Paths Advocate? Gospel Tidings? Gospel Guardian? The Christian? The Christian Standard?

On which college lectureship would he participate? Abilene Christian College? Florida College? Would he address the North American Christian Convention? The World Convention of Churches of Christ?

Would Paul and Silas create a separate and exclusive party over Bible classes, individual container’s, support of Herald of Truth, or instrumental music? Would they set at nought a brother over orphan homes? Would they destroy a brother for whom Christ died over the use of fermented wine in the Lord’s Supper? Would they fracture and splinter the heirs of heaven into clashing clans and rival parties?

Would they spend their time emphasizing the same issues which we elevate above the cross and count as more worthy than the blood of the Son of God?

Is it not time to crucify within our hearts that work of the flesh which causes us to hold aloof from so many thousands of God’s precious children, and to build bridges across our senseless chasms? Let us ignore our silly walls and barriers. Let us cross freely back and forth through them. Why should we perpetuate the stupid and asinine feuds into which our father’s were lured by the siren call of pride and ambition. Why should we continue our futile and farcical clashes, martialed for civil war by the sound of rival trumpets?

Let me make it clear again to all who read this, that I am in the glorious fellowship of the Spirit, with every child of God in this whole wide world. No partisan leader will con me into believing that he alone has discovered the key of all knowledge and that his faction has a copyright on the real Simon Pure, unvarnished truth of heaven, to the exclusion of all others. I shall allow no one to do my thinking on earth who cannot be responsible for it at the judgment. This is my declaration of independence, and “if this be treason, make the most of it!””