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!

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?”:

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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…

Age of Accountability

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I came across a good article dealing with the issue of the “age of accountability”, a subject that was recently discussed on a “What Does the Bible Say” clip over on youtube.

The ever-elusive “age of accountability” that continues to plague some churches; mostly the “Church of Christ” and some other “non-denominational” brands, is the result of a marketing agenda. Let me explain.

For those who have not heard the term “age of accountability,” it is the age when some Protestants believe one is culpable for his sins, is sorry for his sins, and wishes to be baptized for the remission of his sins. It is akin to the moment prior to when a “faith only” Christian words the prayer, “Jesus, come into my heart.”

The irony is that it is those who usually claim to be “real Christians” or “Bible Christians” are who have accepted the doctrine of “age of accountability,” yet have no location in scripture to point for its development. In fairness, I don’t expect “book, chapter, and verse” proofs, but I do expect the admittance that the doctrine was a theological conclusion–an answer to a theological problem; a result of an agenda.

To read the entire article, go here.

“Speaking to one another…”

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Happened to catch a bit of “What Does the Bible Say” tonight, and couldn’t believe it when I realized what JR was doing.  He spent quite a few minutes lambasting a local church for having Christian rappers perform.  Then, he had the nerve to justify his argument by using the following verse…

“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Eph 5:19)

Does anyone else not see the irony here?  JR is saying that they are doing something sinful, when they are not using any instruments, but are speaking to one another.  That is what RAP is all about – the human voice.  

They just love to complain about everything, it seems.

I’m still on my hiatus, by the way – the blog is not opening back up for business yet.  I just had to write about this issue.  Someone has contacted me concerning the so-called “Religious Review”, by the way.  I’m thinking about whether or not to post what they wrote.  We’ll see.

Now back to my break…

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.

Regarding Tactics…

Watched a bit of the Robertson show tonight.  He spent quite a bit of time justifying his tactics of getting at his enemies (the preachers from other denominations) by ambushing with cameras, etc.  He justified this behavior by talking about the tactics employed by the children of Israel when they were spying out the land.   

This made me go “hmmm…”

Why?  Well, when we’ve discussed using musical instruments in worship on this blog, the hyperconservatives have come back repeatedly saying that there is no New Testament authority authorizing the use of musical instruments in worship, and that is why the “true church” would never use musical instruments.

My question – where is the New Testament authority for hyperconservative church of Christ people to use these tactics of ambushes, secret recording, etc?  Can anyone tell me a passage of New Testament scripture that has the apostles engaging in this sort of behavior?   

It seems that this is a pretty big double standard.  Further, it demonstrates how the hyperconservatives will violate their own principals if it helps them to justify themselves in their own minds.

Am I misreading this situation?  Anyone else care to comment?