Some interesting links…

Thanks to Randy for pointing out graceconversation.com.  This is a conversation that will be held between several different men from the churches of Christ – dealing with different issues, it seems.  Here is what Jay Guin has to say about it.

The conversation will begin with a statement of agreed principles. Phil and Greg will then take up the question of when does a Christian lose his soul — the apostasy question. Closely related, of course, is the question of fellowship.

You can read more about the plans for the site and about the participants here.

insearchofclipAlso, when I was reading about this new conversation, I was referenced to another website, In Search of the Lord’s Way.  I haven’t had time to really look through the site, but it seems to be a website for a church of Christ TV broadcast (sound familiar?) where the hosts spend most of their time talking about what they believe, rather than why everyone else is wrong (doesn’t sound familiar).  

I don’t think they sneak video cameras into other churches in an attempt to trap other Christians (although they probably also don’t think anyone is a Christian outside churches with the name “church of Christ” on the sign – would need to watch a few videos to see).  

While I disagree with some of their theology, I am totally in favor of their methodology.  Seems much more Christ-like than what we get around these parts.

Anyway, might be worth a gander.

Local church of Christ readers… be like this! Part τέσσερα

Church of Christ to construct/rehabilitate boreholes nationwide

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(Ghana) The Church of Christ Rural Water Development Project (CoCRWDP), would drill 70 wells in guinea-worm endemic areas throughout the country this year.

Mr Nathaniel Nii Sasah Adams, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CoCRWDP, who disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at Ashaiman on Friday when he threw light on the objectives of the project, said the same number of broken down boreholes would be rehabilitated.

He indicated that the vision of the project was to provide water for needy communities nationwide, especially those in deprived areas and to ensure quality human development.

For the full story of what the church of Christ is capable of when they are really seeking to be salt and light in their communities, read this article.

…wait a minute… they are actually meeting a need in the community, not trying to ambush people with video cameras?  Church of Christ folks in the WGSR viewing area… be like this!

Local church of Christ readers… be like this! Part drei

Counseling children is part of his lifelong ministry

COOKEVILLE — Church of Christ minister Douglas Downs may be in a secular environment as the guidance counselor at Northeast Elementary, but he views his relationship with the students he cares for as part of his “lifelong ministry.”

“It’s all about kids,” said Downs. “In a society where kids are often neglected, abandoned and mistreated, school counseling is one area of work where you can make a tremendous difference in the present and the future. I love kids. They give me energy, and I enjoy reaching out to them in times of need. I also enjoy the opportunity to influence their social and moral development at an age where it can still make a difference.”

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For more information about this wonderful-sounding church of Christ minister,  read the story here.

…wait a minute… he is actually meeting a need in the community, not trying to ambush people with video cameras?  Church of Christ folks in the WGSR viewing area… be like this!

Local church of Christ readers… be like this! Part Deux

Sunset Church of Christ’s Wellness Fair 

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Get in the Know – Stay Healthy

Visit their website

…wait a minute… they are actually meeting a need in the community, not trying to ambush people with video cameras?  Church of Christ folks in the WGSR viewing area… be like this!

Local church of Christ readers… be like this!

Hey guys,

Put away your ambush video cameras, your constant attempts to argue people into your vision of the kingdom of God, your desire to “defeat destroy” your fellow followers of Jesus, and see what people in your particular stream of Christianity are doing with their energies.

Friday, it will be six months since Hurricane Ike blew through and destroyed Bridge City, a good portion of the Cove and other areas of Orange County. The area was quickly flooded with volunteers and donations. Today, most organizations have left the area, another is planning to leave as others still provide assistance.

The Church of Christ Disaster Response Team set up shop in the Bridge City-Orangefield Community Center soon after the storm. They said they would be here as long as needed and usually are at a site approximately one year. Two weeks ago, they had no deadline for leaving. Today, that has changed. The team’s departure has been set for March 31.

First, the organization offered hot meals, clothes, clean-up supplies and free labor to assist in tearing out damage in homes. They recently shifted their focus. No longer serving meals, they still distribute clothes but are not taking donations of wearables.

For more about this wonderful and inspiring work by people who are part of the church of Christ (which sounds a LOT more like what a church by that name should be about – as compared to what we get with the “What Does the Bible Say?” crowd), visit the story here.

Or, you can go directly to the horse’s mouth and read about the Churches of Christ Disaster Response Team at their website.

Money Well Spent… Not.

Chris Knight is reporting on his blog, and I also witnessed this, that hyperconservative Johnny Robertson used about 30 minutes of bought and paid for broadcast time to run this image on tonight’s broadcast of “What Does the Bible Say?”:

darwin

A DVD menu, complete with “unScriptural” new age music.  

For 30 minutes.

How much does 30 minutes of air time cost on this station?  Chris Knight estimated it to be between $500 and $1000.  These guys have that kind of money to spend on broadcasting a DVD menu?    

Houston, we have a problem…

Hey Danville, Go Get Your Free Coffee!

starbucks

This is very off subject, but I had to make sure our friends (even our hypercon friends) in Danville know that they can go get a free cup of Starbucks joe today (Nov 4).  Here’s the story:

SEATTLE — Seattle-based Starbucks is making fast changes — after being accused of breaking the law with an offer to voters.

 

Prior to Monday afternoon, Starbucks was promoting an ad that said anyone who says enters a Starbucks on Election Day and says that they voted would get a free cup of tall coffee.

Election officials for the state of Washington told KIRO 7 that rewarding voters with free coffee is illegal. 

“No good deed goes unpunished,” said Nick Handy, director of elections. 

Handy said there is a federal statute that prohibits any reward for voting. 

Starbucks’ good deed can be perceived as paying someone to vote, and that’s illegal, Handy said. 

“The way it is written, it expressly prohibits giving any kind of gift,” Handy said. 

Handy said the intent of the statue is aimed at special interest groups trying to influence who and how people vote. 

To fix the situation, Starbucks had agreed to give a tall cup of coffee to anyone who asks on Election Day. 

A statement from Tara Darrow of Starbucks says, “We’ve been excited by the number of positive responses received about our free coffee offer. To ensure we are in compliance with election law, we are extending our offer to all customers who request a tall brewed coffee. We’re pleased to honor our commitment to communities on this important Election Day. We hope there is a record turnout on Tuesday and look forward to celebrating with our customers over a great cup of coffee.”

Story found here.

So, go vote, and then go get a free tall coffee at the Danville Starbucks!  Good stuff.  This is written under the assumption that Danville Starbucks is participating.  If someone goes by there, drop a note here to let others know.

Meanwhile, here’s a picture of a cool Starbucks located in California.

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Acts 26

Tonight’s local hypercon TV show featured a message the host presented at a recent cofC-sponsored tent meeting in a nearby town.  In the beginning of his talk, the host asked his audience to go home and look up Acts 26:17-20.  Then he said,

“…you will hear the Apostle Paul say that you better get ready to do some work.  Everybody says that Paul said that it’s faith only, that’s not in the Bible.  No preacher in this town can show you the Scripture where it says “faith only”.  And I can show you where the Apostle Paul said that Jesus Christ told him to preach to the Gentiles that they better turn from darkness to light, and they better do works meet for repentance, in other works to show that you have repented… that is in the book and Jesus said it to Paul…

The interesting thing about this statement (especially with the “faith only” comments) is that the host says that works are required for salvation, and then he claims that Paul was somehow saying such a thing in this passage.  

t’aint so, McGee.

This passage isn’t dealing with how to be saved – as the host even said, “work meets repentance” means that after you’ve become a believer, you will do works that prove you are a believer.  Let’s look at it again.  

The Greek word translated by the KJV as “meet” is the Greek word ἄξιος (“axios”) which also translates like this: “befitting, congruous, corresponding to a thing” (look here for more info on this Greek word).  In other words, it isn’t saying that you have to work for your salvation, but that when you’ve turned from darkness to light, there should be work that proves your repentance.

Let’s look at that passage in a more understandable (more modern) translation:

“…that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.”  Acts 26:20b NKJV

That’s still a bit hard to understand.  Let’s look at another even more modern translation:

“that they should repent and turn to God and perform deeds worthy of their repentance.” Acts 26:20b RSV

This is a point that our hypercon host and others who agree with his teaching seem to miss.  The work that the writer of Acts talks about here (as well as in James) is a work that happens because we’ve become followers of Christ – it’s not a work that we do to become a Christian.

This is one of the stunning misconceptions that our hypercon friends try to propagate – that we must work our way to heaven.  That we have the ability to work our way to heaven.  

Well, we don’t.  

I submit that our readers consider these verses with regard to the idea that we have much of anything to contribute to our salvation by way of works:

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” Romans 3:10  

“I will declare thy righteousness, and thy works; for they shall not profit thee.” Isaiah 57:12  

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Isaiah 64:6  

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

“Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” Romans 3:27-28  

“Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” Romans 3:31

What Does the Bible Say?

“People were bringing Pharisees to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the Pharisees come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not work their way into the kingdom of God like a Pharisee will never enter it.” And he took the Pharisees in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.” – Mark 10:13-16 

Oh – wait.  No, that’s not it.  Here’s what it actually says…

“People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.” – Mark 10:13-16 

Hosting this blog, dealing with the mindset of modern day Pharisees who are attempting to work their way into heaven, I have to remind myself often of the truth of the Gospel.  Thank God for His grace and mercy.  And let us all be like children in Christ.

Sunday, August 3 – Prayer Day for Johnny, Norm and James – Part II

As happened back at the beginning of June, recent events here have convicted me again to not allow this blog to degenerate because of the wild postings of a rambling man.  It is not what the blog is supposed to be, and it is not what I want it to become.

Here’s what I wrote back in June, and it’s being reapplied today, but updated:

When the people who represent the doctrine that this blog discusses are people who seem to revel in stirring things up and getting people riled up (regardless of what is motivating them to do this), then it is easy to find ourselves getting comfortably in a permanent defensive posture.  Johnny Robertson’s visit yesterday just underlines how easily that can happen.

I don’t want this blog to be a place that Johnny, Norm and/or James can give to their supporters and say, “Look at how I am being treated!  I must be doing something right if they are so upset at me!”  Rather, I want it to be a place where the three men would see the love of Christ exhibited.

I would ask my regular commenters to consider the following Scripture passages:

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another (John 13:34).

But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27-28).

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse (Romans 12:14).

We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it (1 Corinthians 4:12).

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:17-21).

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing (1 Peter 3:9).

Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble (1 John 2:9-10).

Now, I am not saying that any certain people who have been posting here about the three TV hosts have been acting improperly.  However, I want this to be a place where Jesus’ name is honored, and I think one important way we honor Him is when we act like Him.

So, I invite you all to join me on Sunday, August 3 as I pray for Johnny Robertson, Norm Fields and James Oldfield, “faithful”, “TD” – and all hyperconservative church of Christ folks in general, but specifically the Martinsville church of Christ, the Danville church of Christ, and the Reidsville church of Christ.  Some suggested things we can pray for them:

1.  For the well-being of their families

2.  For their health  

3.  For Godly wisdom for those in leadership as they attempt to lead the churches where they teach and preach

4.  That Christ would dwell in their (and our) hearts through faith.  And that they (and we), “being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that [they] may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”  Ephesians 3:17-19

5.  That they would experience the true freedom found in being a follower of Christ.  “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free… If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:32, 36

Won’t you join me in praying for these men this Sunday?

Thanks,

Nathan