Monday, January 29, 2007

hearing the songs of a false gospel

The other day I attended a benefit concert at a church on the other side of town. The singer was a female folk artist/songwriter, She had grown up in the south during the civil rights era. I knew that the church and producers had a reputation for being on the evangelical left. So I was not surprised or upset that she also had such views. I simply expected an entertaining evening, which is exactly what she had brought. She apparently had a large secular following as a folk artist and also sang a few worship songs and described her faith. Her background was Baptist although she was greatly influenced by Roman Catholicism. In fact she said that Catholic writers had a great influence upon her devotional life.
One writer was an internationally famous Catholic poet named Thomas Merton. Merton I think, was a catholic monk. She decided to sing one of his prayers as a tribute to him.
The prayer opens with Mertons confession that he has absolutely no assurance of salvation. Yet in his despair he decides to place faith in the fact that he has a desire to please God and that his desire itself would somehow please God.
As usual this song was met with applause, however it startled me in the fact that it was a denial of the gospel.
First of all the Bible shows us how to have assurance of our salvation.
Heb 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Joh 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
1Jo 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
1Jo 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
Secondly and even more important is the fact that we can not please God in of ourselves.
Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Rom 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
But one may ask, what about the motivation of the Heart, doesn’t God desire that for his worship.
If our deeds are not good then are desires cannot be purely good either.
Psa 14:2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
Psa 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Besides our desires do not save us, only God’s Mercy.
Rom 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
At the heart of this poem and performance is a false gospel. Earlier in the show the singer shared a song she wrote. The song asked why good men were killed. She sang of Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King, then she sang of Jesus. She confessed in her song that he was the Son of God, but she described his death as a meaningless murder.
But that is not the Gospel! Jesus was not simply a victim. He was preordained to be a sacrifice for our sin and take penalty of sin for us.
Joh 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
Act 3:17 And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.
Act 3:18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
The Gospel is about how Jesus has given us his righteousness so that we are now judge righteous in God’s sight and we can enter heaven.

Rom 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Rom 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Phi 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Phi 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

I have no doubt that the folk singer and Merton were strongly devoted to God. I have no doubt that they believed in the deity and resurrection of Christ. But if they did not accept his sacrifice on the cross then how could they receive his forgiveness?
Their telling of the gospel is maimed and missing key elements. The Apostle Paul warns us however that there is only one gospel and only it can save.

Gal 1:3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,
Gal 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
Gal 1:5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8 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.
Gal 1:9 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.
Notice in verse seven, Christians are not seduced by a purely different gospel just one where the story is twisted a little. The end result is to be “accursed” meaning to burn in Hell.
There any distortion of the gospel will not save, but condemn.
I bring up this subject not to condemn these types of people. I bring up this subject because these people need life. Today in America, as in the entire world there are millions people who believe in Jesus, but do not understand the gospel enough to be saved.
In the past many Bible believers assumed liberal Christians to be believers with a different point of view. Many though came to the conclusion that what they teach is not Christianity. While many others have joined along. But, what I am suggesting is that these people need Jesus too.
It is a shame that these people come so close to the truth without receiving. We need to stop grimacing at heresy, and start healing the sinner. If a man has a sprain in his ankle and he can barely walk to you simply let him fall to the ground repeatedly or do you help him up and maybe give him a leg brace. We need to brace these Christians with the truth and not let them live out a deadly lie.
So many people would believe the truth if someone just told them.
And if there is anyone out there who knows of Jesus, but does not know for certain if they really are going to make it to heaven when they die let me give you the following instructions.

A. Rely upon the authority of the Bible because it is God’s Word
B. Admit that you have not completely followed God’s law and that throughout your life you have been guilty of sin/evil deeds
C. Trust that Jesus really is who he says he is: The Son of God, God in human flesh. The Messiah of the Jews who was born of a virgin, healer of the sick, and that he really died on the cross and he physically died and physically arose from death and he literally ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father.
D. Believe that Jesus died for your sins personally
E. Ask for Him to forgive you sins
F. Ask that God would give you though Holy Spirit to change your heart and life
G. Surrender to Him as your Lord.
H. Trust that Jesus has indeed saved your soul.
I. Follow Him by reading the Bible, and joining a Bible believing church, and being baptized in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.

I may right articles more specific on salvation later. But remember, tell the Gospel of Christ to people and make sure that you tell it correctly!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

a critical analysis of Calvinism from an Amyrauldian point of view

In the last few years, militant Calvinism has made a high impact upon evangelical life. Now when I say militant I want to clarify what I mean. A militant Calvinist is not someone who happens to hold in five points of Calvinism but those who believe this doctrine as central to their faith, and also consistently attempts to proselytize others to their position as if it were a new conversion. In my time I have been close to many Calvinists (mentors, best friend, wife’s family & my alumni). Calvinist who have a diligence in studying the scriptures and the humility to take it as it is usually are very fine Christians. Yet many, confuse the position of Calvinism with determinism and can often follow the path to heresy.

A few years ago during my senior year at Bible College I had a conversation with a fellow student. I had maintained a moderate position on the Calvinist Debate and he wondered how I was capable of maintaining such a position. I wrote this Basically as a completion of years of study on the subject. So here it is, with some updating.

Dear Clayton,

I give you these passages under the presupposition that we are both conservative Baptist that already believe in Total depravity, unconditional election, exclusive salvation and perseverance of the saints.

God is Transcendent and Immanent(inside and outside of the space-time continuum)

2 Peter 3:8, Matt 28:20

2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

For the most part God the Father’s activity is in the Transcendent(outside)

Matt 11:27, 1Cor 2:9-14, Psalm 145:3 Isaiah 46:9-10

The Holy Spirit’s activity is mostly Immanent(inside)

Gen. 1:2, Job 34:14-15, 1Samuel 10:10, Eph 1:13

Jesus Christ’s active both transcendent and Immanent

Matthew 28:20, Rev 22:13, Colossians 1:15, 1John 1:1

Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

The Holy Spirit reveals the nature of God the Father to man

1Corinthians 2:10-12, Job 32:8

As well does Christ reveal the nature of the Father

Lk. 2:32, Col.1:15

Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

God the Father Creates the souls of humanity

Zechariah 12:1, Isaiah 42:5, Hebrews 12:9, Psalm 139:13

God the Father is active in election(His choice of who his people are)

John 6:37, 39

Election is a transcendant activity that is predestined (beyond any timescale)

Ephesians 1:4 compare this with John 17:24

Upon creation of the soul, the elect are given potential faith

Luke 1:41, Jeremiah 1:5, Gal. 1:15-16, psalm 139:16

All people including the elect enter into depravity and are temporarily destined (as opposed to pre-) for hell

Ephesians 2:1-3

Jesus Christ sacrifice was initiated by God the Father as an act of Love

John 3:16-17, Rom.5:8, 8:39, 1John 4:7-14

God is all loving

1John 4:8

Henceforth, God is revealing his loving nature through the offer of salvation.

Then why not simply universalism?

A: Love is not evil 1Cor 13:5-6 to support unbelievers would be evil, and to force good is actually evil.

Therefore, universalism is contradictory. Jesus rejected the offer of universalism as tempted by the devil in Matthew 4:9-10

God makes propitiation for believer’s and unbelievers

1John 2:2,1Tim. 4:10

1Jo 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our's only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

The propitiation result’s in the grace of God.

Rom. 3:24

If the grace of God is a free gift then what is the free gift?

A: The righteousness of God Rom. 3:21

How righteous is God? There is no limit to God’s righteousness

Gen. 18:25, Deut. 32:4, Job 40:2, 8, Psalm 11:7, 97:2, 111:3

Can God’s righteousness do something besides save? A: yes, specifically judgement and Jesus will judge all men. Gen. 18:25, 2 Cor. 5:10, Matt 25:31-46

Can any form of atonement be effectively placed on those who are not willing?

A: the sin offering Leviticus 4:2, Ezra 6:17, Isaiah 6:7, 53:5 1 John 1:7

Does the sin offering remove all sin? A: no, just the unconscious sins

Lev. 4:1-9

General Atonement passages

Isaiah 50:2, 53:6, John 1:7,29, 3:16-17, 6:51, Romans 3:22-24, 5:18, 11:32, 1Cor. 15:22, 2Cor 5:14-15,19, Col. 1:20, 1Tim 2:4-6, 4:10, 1Peter 3:18, 2Peter 3:9, 1John 2:2, 4:14

1Jo 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Open invitations:

Psalm 117, Ezekiel 18:32, Acts 17:30, Rev. 22:17

Parallels of the Atonement with Original sin

Rom 3:22-23, 5:17-18:this passage still can not promote universalism since salvation is based on the “obedience of the many” Rom 5:19, 11:32, 1Cor 15:22, the meaning of the word “world” used in 1John

Whom is it imputed to? Is it all the elect?

If that were so then salvation would be prior to Faith, as John Gill would believe. However scripture and the Southern Baptist Faith and Message say there is no salvation outside of faith/repentance toward Jesus Christ.

Matt 4:17, Luke 13:5, John 1:12, 3:3-21, 5:24, Eph. 2:8-22

Can the Atonement have other purposes than paying for sins (Christ office as priest)? A: Yes.

Providing Victory over Evil (Sin Death Devil etc,) (Christ office as king)(Christus Victor)

Rom. 8:37-39, Eph. 1:20-2:6, Col. 2:14-15, Hebrews 2:14-15, 1John 3:8, Rev. 12:11

Question: In the Christus Victor model all Jesus does is beat evil and therefore it becomes universalism so doesn’t that make you a Universalist?

A: Non-Christians are under the headship of the Devil, so when Jesus defeats Satan then all those who are under Satan’s headship are defeated as well. 1John 3:10

Providing the ultimate moral example (Christ office as prophet)

Luke23:47-48, Phil 2:5-11, 1 Peter2:21-24

Question: Doesn’t the moral influence lack an explanation of how he saved people?

A: This is true. However, these aren’t total explanations of Christ atonement, they are only aspects. This is what nags at the heart of unbelievers and inspires believers to move forward in Holiness. John 12:32

Salvation is imputed to those who have an active faith

Acts 2:38-41,Rom. 3:21-24, 4, Hebrews 3-4

Election is only effectual through the Cross of Christ: In other words Jesus is not Just securing salvation He is making it happen!

John 6:33, 35, 37, 40

Faith in the cross of Christ is only effective through the drawing of the Holy Spirit

Titus 3:5-6

The Holy Spirit only draws (and makes grace available) through the gospel.

John 3:18, 14:6, Rom10: 5-15

This grace is potentially available to all, plus the Holy Spirit is witnessing through natural revelation (even though this will not surpass their depravity)

Titus 2:11, Joel 2:28, John 12:32, 16:8, Rom.10:18-psalm 19

Even the non-elect are recipients of this grace filled gospel

Hebrews 4:2-3,10: 26

Only those who are elect have their faith stirred up by the Holy Spirit

Romans 10:5-15 & Deut. 30:11-20, John 12:32, Romans 10:17

Reprobates will reject the Holy Spirit and the elect may at first

Isaiah 65:12, Matt 23:37,Acts 2:36&41, 7:51&58&8:1, 2Cor. 6:1-2, Gal. 5:4, Hebrews 4:7, 6:4-7, 10:26-29

Those who place faith in Jesus Christ are then regenerated

Matthew 7:7-11, Luke 11:10-13, John 3:19, 21, Acts 2:38

God’s open Covenants

Gen 3:15, 9:9, 12:3, 22:18, Gal 3:10-18 & 23-29 (3:26)

Notes on Calling:

Hebrew: qara “to call” ‘ud “to bear witness”

Greek: Kaleo “to call” proskaleo “to call to”

Klesis “a calling” related to eklesia “the called out ones”

From the New International Encyclopedia of Biblical Words

God’s call in the gospel’s. The idea of call, when involving communication of a message, has always carried significant implications. A call is issued by a person of higher rank to those of lesser rank (cf. Ge 24:58; Ex 1:18, 12:21). Thus a call is something more than an invitation: it is a command and requires a decision by the ones called. The called are to hear and respond. Yet to call does not insure a response. Human beings can ignore and even reject the call of God. The freedom to reject is illustrated in OT History and is seen clearly in some gospel parables. Jesus told of a wedding banquet prepared for a king for his son (MT. 22:2-10). The King’s servants invited (called) the intended guest. But when those invited refused to come, the king turned to the streets to find the crowds that were needed to fill the wedding hall. The same story is repeated in Luke 14:16-24, with the same lesson taught. Those who are called but refuse the invitation will be excluded from the final celebration of redemption. In the gospels, then, ‘call’ is often used in the sense of invitation, with the response of the invited being uncertain. Indeed Mt 22:14 says that ‘many are invited, but few are chosen.’ The invitation is broad and inclusive. But few respond. Not all accept the invitation that God extends to us in Jesus. God’s call in the epistles. When we reach the Epistles, and especially Paul’s Letters, we find ‘call’ and ‘called’ used in a distinctively theological sense. There is nothing here of the gospel’s invitation with it’s uncertainty about individual response. ‘The called’ have heard and have responded. They are the saved, and to be called is to be already involved in salvation’s great adventure.” ….. “this has led some to suppose that God’s call is an irresistible invitation and that human beings cannot help responding to the Lord’s efficacious call. This interpretation however, misses the nature of call in the Epistles as a theological term. Here call is equivalent to salvation.”

In Summary: “call” can either mean command or salvation/employment. Kaleo and proskaleo are used in terms of a calling that is capable of rejection (Isaiah 65:12) and a calling that is salvation itself.

Notes on Roman’s

The passages 3:21-24, 5:18, 11:32 make the case for unlimited atonement as noted earlier

The text 3:22, 4:16, 5:2, 6:16 and 11:20 point towards a willful conversion experience. 5:2 goes against the irresistible doctrine directly since we enter grace.

Problem text

8:29-30 the “unbroken chain of salvation” that ensures that atonement equals salvation therefore it is either limited atonement or universalism.

Answer: this is not a complete description of salvation, but emphasis and encouragement to the believer of all that God does to ensure their salvation. There is evidence that this is true. These are described of those who are foreknown. What are they foreknown for? We find it in the previous verse (28) “those who love God” Verses 29-30 describes every thing that is done for the believer. The term foreknown is not saying that they are elect because of foreknowledge however. It is a loving term to help them be assure that they are not God’s chosen people through birthright but instead through faith.

“Called” in verse 29 in the Greek is Pros kaleo most likely referring to their experience of the gospel testimony by witnesses. (Believers)

9:13 says that God hates Esau so why would he atone for him?

Answer: The term hate here is used as an idiom or ancient slang term for “loved less”. If God truly hated anyone, which is to want him or her dead, then Esau would cease to exist. Also many verses speak of Gods love for everyone. It is hard to imagine God completely hating someone he created in his image/likeness. Besides this passage is a quote from Malachi referring to Esau’s descendents. That we bring up God’s Judgement against all Edomites. When the point of Paul’s rebuke is against the idea of racial election and salvation. When Paul discusses the reprobate, God still shows patience, which in the Greek def. is related to mercy.

9:15 says God will have mercy on whom he will. =Limited Atonement

Answer: There is no doubt He will, but as it relates to the gospel how much mercy will God show in offering an opportunity of salvation? Move across to the next page and see 11:32!

9:19 the question implied who can resist his will? Paul never denies irresistible grace therefore he implies it.

Answer: Paul’s rebuke is that the Devil’s advocate is disobeying the Potter and consequently resisting God’s moral will. Paul stated it in this format so as not to undermine God’s sovereignty. Besides the Potter and clay illustration throughout the OT implies a free will (see Jeremiah 18:6-8).

11:29 Says that the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable and therefore Irresistible Grace.

Answer: This is true but the Greek word here is ‘clesis’ and refers to employment and salvation as opposed to an offer of salvation, it is the salvation itself which is irrevocable.

Doesn’t rejecting 5 point calvinism deny the Sovereignty of God? How can God be in control if others can reject his will?

sov·er·eign·ty (s¼v“…r-¹n-t, s¼vr¹n-) n., pl. sov·er·eign·ties. 1. Supremacy of authority or rule as exercised by a sovereign or sovereign state. 2. Royal rank, authority, or power. 3. Complete independence and self-government. 4. A territory existing as an independent state.(American Heritage Dictionary)


of God, his absolute right to do all things according to his own

good pleasure (Dan. 4:25, 35; Rom. 9:15-23; 1 Tim. 6:15; Rev.

4:11).(Easton’s Bible Dictionary)

The Sovereignty of God refers to the fact that God is in the highest of office in the Universe and that His will can never be thwarted.

However it does not refer to God having to make sure that all wills are equivalent to His. It simply means that He is in charge on His throne.

The idea that God has to have deterministic style predestination to rule the universe is a slam on His ability to even create. It states that He is not a very capable creator because he could not handle free will. I am not saying that God doesn’t use predestination but what I am saying is that His Sovereignty has nothing to do with determinism.

One may notice that there are many Calvinists who approach this debate, purely on a philosophical/theological bases. As opposed to starting with the scriptures, they use theological axioms of God as their defense. I have always found this dangerous because it takes the debate away from scripture and creates an unbiblical spirituality/theology based upon rationalism.

I label this group “militant calvinists”. This group focuses on the philosophy of the five point system. They evangelize this mindset and usually have little desire to debate other philosophical issue. One could believe 5 point Calvinism as a biblical interpretation and not be militant. The key difference is the use of the doctrine as a philosophical/theological paradigm with an intent of evangelizing the principles. I believe it is this mindset which leads to several of the heresies of hyper calvinism.

These include

Supra-lapsarianism (God predestines evil in all it’s forms)

Fatalism (a lower emphasis on morality and Know desire to fight evil)

Non-assurance of salvation (due to a lack of emphases on conversion)

Theonomy (God’s Chosen must rule with God’s Law)

Anti-missions/evangelism (the idea that the Great Commission today is an attack on God’s Sovereignty)

Deism (God uninvolved with the universe today)

The unloving God (God hating all unbelievers)

Eternal justification (salvation without conversion)


Notes on 1John

World = kosmos

The phrase “whole world” in 1 John used twice

1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

and 5:19 refer to the devils reign throughout earth because of sin

the term “world” is used in 1John as in the world that is evil.

Whether or not world is inclusive of believers it is definitely inclusive of non believers and

In 1John 4:14 we read “We have seen and testify that the father has sent the son to be the savior of the world.”

Also in John 17:9 Jesus does not pray for the world. Which gives a case for limited atonement.

In this verse John prays for Believers of that day. John 17:6,8 His prayer to us is more inclusive “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in me through there word.”(John 17:20)


How can the classic Calvinist possibly interpret 2Peter 2:1?

The only possible interpretations are Apostasy or General atonement.

If God’s atonement were related to God’s love, then as a Calvinist; wouldn’t loving our enemies be a contradiction? After all, we shouldn’t try to be more loving than God, should we?

While the Doctrine of Election should be a doctrine that promotes humility, doesn’t God favor it true that one can become extremely proud since, after all, they are loved more than lost people are?

How come 5-point Calvinist are so confident about their preaching when (according to the doctrine of the effectual call) their gospel is only occasionally effective? In fact if one is not sure of the election of the congregation there is very little purpose to the ministry besides convicting of sin.

Friday, January 19, 2007

False doctrines of the “Church of Christ”(fundamental Campbellites/followers of Alexander Campbell”

Now before we discuss this system of theology, I must put the following disclaimer. Not everyone from the Campbellite tradition has exactly the same theology. The movement is popular for the phrase “no creed but the Bible” and so there is some diversity. Many Friends and relatives of mine have been members of the “Christian Church” lean a little more evangelical in their understanding of salvation (like Bob Russel of Southeast Christian Church). Some under the title Church of Christ have also more evangelical leanings (like Max Lucado). I have successfully done ministries with some Campbellites (coffeehouse ministries) as well as political activism in the campaign for traditional marriage. Yet the shadow of the traditional hardened church of Christ approach still looms over the religious life of most Campbellites. This mentality can lead to a false gospel that will not save. I have personally witnessed church of Christ ministers who have publicly ridiculed the idea of Justification by faith alone and declared all non-Church of Christ denominations (specifically Baptists) to be false religions that will end up burning people in Hell. This movement is quickly picking up speed and must be judge in light of scripture.

Pillars of Church of Christ teaching

1. The Old Testament has been replaced by the New Testament.

2. The New Testament has a New Law code replacing the Old Law code.

3. The Church is the Kingdom of Heaven/God.

4. The Church began on the day of Pentecost.

5. Revelation must be seen in a figurative sense.

6. Since Baptism is the 1st commandment given for the New Testament it is essential for salvation.

7. Since commandments must be followed for salvation, Justification is not by faith alone.

8. Since salvation includes our own righteousness we must not break the commandments of the New Testament

9. We also must not practice anything outside the New Testament. Because this would be adding laws to the scripture

As a result…

Old Testament and Revelation paid little attention to in church life.

The New Testament is just a new rulebook.

The 4 gospels have little or nothing to do church life and salvation. Though it has some rules.

The local churches that call themselves churches of Christ are the only members of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Instruments are not allowed

Only Churches that follow Church of Christ teaching are righteous

Therefore it is probable that only the churches of Christ are going to heaven.

1. The Old Testament was the only scriptures and the only Bible of the New Testament era.

The New Testament was not printed together in a complete manuscript until 300A.D. The New Testament at the time was printed separately. The majority of the churches would rehearse the books through oral tradition keeping accountability among each other, resting their authority first upon the living apostles and secondly upon the scriptures (when they could grasp them) and students of the Apostles.

Secondly the Old Testament was respected as inspired and infallible. Now the Church of Christ would regard the Old Testament as inspired and good for history sake. However that is not applicable today because it has been replace by the New Testament.

However the New Testament itself contradicts this crucial teaching.

Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Mat 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus said he had nothing to do with destroying the authority of Old Testament law. His mission was simply to complete it. The Old Testament law like all the Bible will not cease till has been fulfilled. The mention of the end of the world implies that the Old testament is still in the process of fulfillment. Jesus consistently comments on the Old Testament Law. He teaches that those who explicitly break the OT commandments are the least in Heaven. At this point it is obvious that the Old Testament still plays an essential role in the Christian life today. But Just incase we believe that Jesus was Only speaking to the Old Testament dispensation, Paul also backs up this teaching.

2Ti 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

2Ti 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

It would be obvious that since the only accessable printed scriptures this early in the 1st century had to have been the Old Testament. Paul obviously affirms it’s infallible application to every day life in the Age of Grace.

2. The New Testament certainly has commands that are foreign to the Old. However they are not arranged in a specific law code. Because the New Covenant is not written law code. It is a conviction from the Holy Spirit place upon our hearts.

Heb 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

We are now governed by the convictions given to us by the Holy Spirit.

1Co 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

1Co 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1Co 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

1Co 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Therefore our authority of knowing the law of the New Covenant comes from the convictions of the Holy Spirit. The Bible is not the Holy spirit convicting us but a channel to understand his will. If we contradict the Bible, we know that we are not following the Holy Spirit. If we have a new teaching that is neither from the direct or indirect teachings of scripture. We know that the Holy Spirit did not to forget to teach anything in the scripture and therefore is not teaching us something new today. But if we read the scriptures and the Holy spirit directs us entirely in line with it then we have confirmed the presence of the spirit working in our hearts.

3. The Kingdom of Heaven is closely related but not directly the New Testament church.

Jesus taught us to pray for the kingdom to come

Mat 6:10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

He taught that the kingdom is spiritual in nature

Luk 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:

Luk 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

The kingdom of God was promised to the church, not the same as the church

Luk 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

He did not reveal when the kingdom would come

Luk 17:22 And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it.

Act 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

Act 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

In the Book of revelation the Kingdom coming was a future event

Rev 1:19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

Rev 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

4. One sad false teaching is that the church was not started until Pentecost well after Christ death. Yet it started at the time of John the Baptist and it was made by Jesus.

Mat 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

5. Revelation is vital to a biblical understanding.

Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Rev 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:

Rev 22:19 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.

6. Baptismal salvation proof text

Mat 3:15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

Mat 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

First, we must noticed that John’s baptism was water baptism and that it’s purpose was for repentance. John did not require this baptism of Jesus, because he knew that this was the sinless Messiah. He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus did not need salvation.

Secondly, baptism is better-translated “immersions”, so Jesus did not immerse to turn from sin but to fulfill righteousness. Jesus received the Holy Spirit not as a way of salvation but as a way of ordaining his mission. This is evident by the Spirit immediately driving Christ into the Wilderness in order to face the temptations of Satan.

Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Some may argue that being born of water is being baptized and we need it, to enter heaven. However being born or “gennao” is the same word for begat to originate from some one or thing. If this is not referring to birth or the spiritual new birth of the spirit, then how doe become born or originating from water? We have no other reference to water outside this verse, but the context is discussing being born of flesh and spirit.

Mar 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

The only necessary act in this passage is belief because it is mentioned as condemning, while baptism is only necessary alongside belief but it is not capable of condemning..

Act 2:38 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.

First issue, is the use of the word “for”. Let’s see Strong’s lexical definition:

1519 eis {ice}

a primary preposition; TDNT - 2:420,211; prep

AV - into 573, to 281, unto 207, for 140, in 138, on 58, toward 29, against 26, misc 322; 1774

“into, unto, to, towards, for, among ++++ "For" (as used in Acts 2:38 "for the forgiveness...") could have two meanings. If you saw a poster saying "Jesse James wanted for robbery", "for" could mean Jesse is wanted so he can commit a robbery, or is wanted because he has committed a robbery. The later sense is the correct one. So too in this passage, the word "for" signifies an action in the past. Otherwise, it would violate the entire tenor of the NT teaching on salvation by grace and not by works.”

So you see, the verse itself does not necessarily imply Baptism. Besides there are other passages in genesis were baptism is not used as essential. Even in the next passage.

Act 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.

Here the act of baptism is omitted. Repentance leading to conversion is essential to the remission of sin. We must also remember that the baptism of John the Baptist was a baptism of repentance. If this is so then Peter was warning the people to repent and then be baptized as a symbol of repentance.

Finally in Peter’s speech he was not explain the process of salvation in this one verse he was not explaining the entire process of salvation, instead he simply giving the people directions on the process of conversion.

Act 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

This is Paul recounting his testimony and this is what the prophet ananias told him. Paul already convinced of Jesus Christ, thanks to his vision. Yet he still needed to personally convert. This brief admonition doesn’t even directly say that baptism was essential to salvation. Because he tells Paul to “be baptized “Kai/and” wash away” his “sins calling on the name of the Lord” there is no and separating the washing away of sin from calling on the name of the Lord. Yet there is an “and” blocking baptism from washing away thy sin.

Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

In both of these circumstances, it is obvious that the phrase “baptized into (Jesus) Christ” refers to salvation. However, this does not refer to water baptism. The literal translation of baptism is “immersion” so a proper reading of these texts is “Immersed into Christ/Jesus Christ.” Jesus is not the same as water. To become immersed or covered in Jesus is obviously metaphorical of the new birth experience. Now proper baptism is symbolic of this. Plus, if someone is properly baptized in Believer’s Baptism they are saved, only not through the water.

Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Here is an example of a text that is obviously referring to the baptism of the Holy spirit so long as we understand that to be distinct from water baptism.

1Pe 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

This text seems to answer itself. Baptismal salvation advocates brag about the phrase “baptism doth also now save us” yet immediately the text gives us an explanation. It is not the water that is doing the saving but a good conscience toward God concerning the ressurection of Christ. Therefore immersion in water does not save us, Jesus saves us.

Some text which prove that water baptism is not essential for salvation

John the Baptist’s baptism not saving.

Mat 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

The thief on the cross

Luk 23:42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.

Luk 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

The thief was promised salvation with out baptism.

Texts promising salvation with out mention of water baptism

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Joh 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

The Holy Spirit delivered prior to Baptism

Act 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

Act 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.

Act 10:45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Act 10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

Act 10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

Act 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

Baptism compared with circumcision

Col 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

Col 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

This very important in the sense that Paul makes a very strong argument that circumcision is not saving.

Rom 4:9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.

Rom 4:10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.

Rom 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

Rom 4:12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.

Rom 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Rom 4:14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:

Rom 4:15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.

Rom 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

If our seal of baptism is similar to their seal of circumcision then we must therefore not be obligated to water baptism for salvation.

7. Clear teaching of salvation apart from our works

Romans 3,4,5,11:6


Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Gal 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

Gal 3:12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

Gal 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Gal 3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Rom 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Here we see that we access the grace of God by faith without mention of baptism. If there is such thing as a sacrament it would have to be faith.

Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Rom 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Here we see that Jesus justifies those who are ungodly and unrighteous enemies of God. If Baptism were to save them then it would be a righteous act. If they had righteousness of there own why would they need that of Christ?

8. The works of the flesh are useless for drawing closer to God, We only come closer by faith in His grace Phillipians

Phi 3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.

Phi 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

Phi 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Phi 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

Rom 4:14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:

Rom 4:15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.

Rom 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace;

9. So much so that works salvation is will not save at all.

Gal 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Rom 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

10. We are bound by the entire Bible and it’s implications.

One final problem of the church of Christ is that they have great confusion over the nature of what is biblical.

Their motto is “speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent.”

Yet what is the Bible speaking; and what is the Bible silent?

For instance they have strict rules against the use of instruments. They say that to play instruments is unbiblical. Yet…

Psa 150:3-5 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.

The Old Testament has clear commands to worship with instruments.

The Church of Christ retaliates that you do not find instrumental worship in the New Testament. But you do find it implied.

Act 5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

It should be noted that instruments were part of temple worship and that the first church had no problem attending.

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

How could Christians sing psalms, which they would not obey?

At the opposite end the church of Christ believes strongly in having weekly communion.

But the never directly says that we ought to observe weekly communion. The Bible has some implications that could lead to this conclusion. (And actually I agree with that) Yet how can the Church of Christ claim weekly communion is biblical because it is only implied; while claiming instrumental worship to be unbiblical because it is also only implied? This is a contradiction!

We have to be clear when we mean biblical. If it is meant or implied it is biblical. If it is neither meant nor implied then it is unbiblical. You can’t be biblical by reinterpreting everything you don’t like out of the scripture and then following what you are comfortable with.

In the final analysis we should not fear the Church of Christ in their doctrines of salvation and claims of being the true church. For they are not in line with the Bible and a name is worthless if you do not live up to it.