In this instance, the friends I’m praying for are the folks preparing and gathering for the 2013 Spring “Contending for the Faith Lectures.”
I had such hope when I saw on the sponsoring church’s home page that the topic this year would be “Christ – The Great Controversialist.” I dared to think that the practices of the past might be done away with in this year’s lectures, and that the presentations might actually be Christ-centered, and elaborate on His controversial teachings, life, death, and resurrection – the gospel that saves us.
But here’s their list of topics and speakers, and I greatly fear that the topics (in many cases, at least) indicate a focus on repeating questionable doctrines generated by men and attributing them to God as if scripture relayed them from Him word-for-word, and no human logic or inference or deduction or conclusion was involved. And I suspect that these topics will serve as an opportunity for lambasting as apostate those who disagree with the speakers’ logic, inferences, deductions and conclusions — as well as disagreeing with their insistence that these constitute God’s own doctrine.
I fear these things because of the tenor of these lectures in the past (2012, 2011, 2010, etc.), and so many of the names are the same, and the odds of a change of heart among so many are not very good, really.
So as speakers and attendees prepare, I will again be praying for them the same things I have prayed in years past — and these are the same things I pray for myself and anyone else who desires to speak about, for and in partnership with God, His Son and His Holy Spirit.
I would so very much like to be proven wrong about the things I fear.
17 thoughts on “Time to Pray for My Friends Again”
It is amazing to think that the late Ira Y. Rice, Jr. would be too moderate for his spiritual heirs were he alive today. I read the first volume of his autobiography years ago and found some surprises. Rice was a very early advocate of racial equality in Churches of Christ. He was also a commited pacifist and was questioned by the FBI during WW2. I told a friend that once and he commented that Rice was a pacifist regarding carnal warfare but not warfare among Christians!
After reviewing last years lecture topics I can see why you fear. God’s truths were spoken, denominational apostasy brought out into the light. Your idea of inclusion and unity, shown for what it really is, sin. May we always remember what a believer in Christ is, one who gladly recieves and accepts the teachings of Christ. One who doesn’t question, but simply does. You desire a “change of heart”. You remind me of those in John 6. After Jesus had told them who He was, they had a chang of heart. In verse 60f they said “this is a hard saying, who can understand it.” Jesus knew that they were complaining and He said, “does this offend you?” There were those in His day who would not gladly recieve His words, just as there is in ours. Thats exactly what a denominational body is, a group that has become “offended” by the teachings of Christ and they seek to honor Him, “their” way. I wonder if Jesus ever had anything to say about such people? I think Matt 7:21 speaks to this. “Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord have we not prophesied in your name, cast out demons in Your name and done many wonders in your name? And (Jesus said) I will declare to them I never knew you, depart from Me you who practice lawlessness.” Those who do things their way, are practicing lawlessness. He is describing those who do not worship Him in spirit and in TRUTH. He is describing a denominational body. You fear that this years lectures will once again repeat the same “questionable man made doctrines.” Without question, the bible teaches of only one body, that being the body of Christ, His church, the one He built and died for. The only questionable man made doctrine is yours kb, the “inclusion” of man made churches.
Jeff, I’ve been blogging my reasons for disagreeing with exclusivism, legalism and judgmentalism for almost nine years now. You’ve been along for the ride the last three or four years.
I don’t see any great chance that we will persuade each other.
But here is something that we can agree upon and do together: We can pray for those who desire to speak for God; pray that they and those who hear them will be led closer to the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Jeff, if only one of the many competing sectarian groups is the one true church you can rest assured that it is not the CFTT gang. If only one is going to make it you’ve definitely put your money on the wrong horse.
well balitmoreguy which one should I bet on? I only read about one in scripture. I know Christ only built one, I can see from scripture what they believed and taught and how they were organized, how they worshipped, and how they became apart of it and who added them to it. So balitmoreguy which of the many differing and perverted man made doctrines should I follow?
Jeff if that’s the way it worked I’d go with Roman Catholicism before I’d go with the CFTF crowd. I’m a part of Christ’s church, the one that takes no account of sectarian divisions like the ones CFTF creates and perpetuates, the one Jesus was referring to when he said that wherever two or three were gathered in his name he is there with them in their midst. Every disciple of Jesus is my brother or sister. And since one day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Christ is Lord that eventually takes in every one. We know that the saved will be more than any one can number or count. No offense but it wouldn’t be all that hard to count the ever dwindling CFTF fellowship.
Lets remember, those who are gathered together “in His name” are those who “whatever you do in word or deed, do in the name of Jesus Christ,” To do something in someones name, is to act by His authority. I would guess that you believe, whatever you do, and you say it’s being done for Christ, your doing it in His name, might want to rethink that one. Why Catholicism? I’m sure that you know that nothing like Catholicism was even known until sometime in the third century. We know from scripture that the Lord’s church was indeed established on pentecost A.D. 30-33, Acts 2. And yet you would still pick Catholicism? Thats amazing! You will find nothing even close to it in scripture. I would suggest Matt 7: 13-29 for your personal study, no offense. By the way, I have no authority to include or exclude anyone. Christ has all authority and He has shown us what one needs to do to be apart of His kingdom. He makes the call not us. By His word, we can see how one enters the kingdom, those who reject His way, will be lost. But for some reason you and kb seem to think you can include whoever you desire. Sounds like something a Pharisee would do.
But the CFTF creed was not invented until well into the 20th century. The Catholics have you beat by 1,600 years.
What creed are you talking about, the church of Christ has no creed only the bible.
No one opposes logic until logic opposes them. The misguided brother and those like him you are answering are as Biblically ignorant, disrespectful of Bible authority (Col. 3:17), inconsistent, and illogical in most cases as they come. He writes: “I’ve been blogging my reasons for disagreeing with exclusivism, legalism and judgmentalism for almost nine years now.” How is it possible that for “nine years” one can do as he has done but fail to see that in so doing (“blogging my reasons”) that he has: (1) engaged in some form of reasoning, illogical though it may be, (2) reached conclusions about others and things, although many of those conclusions are not (a) warranted by the right division of the Word of God (2 Tim. 2:15), or (b) by adequate evidence, or (c) by credible witnesses, but he has judged others and thereby he has (3) engaged in what he labels “judgmentalism”, (4) practiced “legalism” (one must conform to his way of seeing persons and things or else), and (5) when they do not judge and conclude as he does he excludes them from his fellowship circle, thereby practicing “exclusivism”? If such a person is not in sad shape, what would it take for him to be in a sad shape? What is it that prevents him from seeing that he is practicing on others what he condemns in them? Whatever the answer is, the Lord has a term by which he has labeled such characters—hypocrite.
I believe in allowing the New Testament of Jesus Christ to determine who is right and who is wrong and base my conclusions about them accordingly (John 7:24; 12:48). That is the way that is right and cannot be wrong. If the inspired apostle Paul could preach the word and in so doing he “reasoned of righteousness, temperance and judgment to come”, then I am on safe ground in doing the same thing (Acts 24:25; Also see 17:2; 18:4, 19). It would be interesting, to say the least, to see how this fellow and his friends engage in doing what Paul authorized all Christians to do, in the way he told them to do it, and for the reason or reasons he authorized them to do it, when he practices 1 Thessalonians 5:21? How can anyone comply with the inspired apostles direction is the preceding passage without logical reasoning from the Biblical information provided for us in order to determine what and who is right and what and who is wrong–including the beliefs and actions of one’s own self?
Now if he attempts to answer what I have written in this blog, see if he does it without (1) exercising his rational powers (such as they are), thereby (2) reaching some sort of a conclusion, thus making a judgment about me and what I have written in this blog, (3) expressing his judgment about me, and (4) having judged me to be wrong, excluding me from whatever it is that he calls fellowship with God. When he does that he will condemn himself—although I doubt he will recognize it. But if he does not judge me to be wrong regarding what I have written in this blog or elsewhere what is the point of all he has recorded?
For the One Faith,
David P. Brown
Thank you for your comments, David. You might have shown me the courtesy of directing them to me, since they are about me, and many people would have construed that action as the one recommended by Jesus – going to your brother – in Matthew 5:24 and 18:15ff.
Ah, but I would be guilty of that omission by posting this blog article, wouldn’t I? Tell me, did reading my opinion of the lectures here in public make you favorably disposed to my point of view? Was it persuasive? If the purpose of lectures is to convince brothers of error and save their souls, then why is it not done in the order Jesus recommended to the one who errs first, one-on-one, then with a couple or three witnesses and then before the church?
Did I call brothers out by name and slander them, or simply link to their works as the evidence for my opinion?
Did I fail to offer to pray for those with whom I disagree?
I see the matter differently than you, but I do not hold my logic to be of equal weight to scripture.
Perhaps, brother, you can explain how yours is superior and infallible, as your comment implies. Or were you using “I” generally, in the place of “we” or “one” or “a person” in those sentences? (I refer to: “I believe in allowing the New Testament of Jesus Christ to determine who is right and who is wrong and base my conclusions about them accordingly (John 7:24; 12:48). That is the way that is right and cannot be wrong. If the inspired apostle Paul could preach the word and in so doing he ‘reasoned of righteousness, temperance and judgment to come’, then I am on safe ground in doing the same thing (Acts 24:25; Also see 17:2; 18:4, 19)”.)
It would help if you substantiated your claims against my logic with actual examples, rather than simply bullet-pointing the accusations and throwing in a few parenthetical slurs. What kind of proof is that? Guilt by insinuation?
Am I judging you? I am judging the words and actions I’ve seen before, and I disagree that they are in harmony with scripture. I’m offering you the opportunity to judge for yourself (Acts 4:19).
Brother, I will continue to pray for you and your colleagues. Your souls are worth much to me because they are precious to Christ — at the price of His own life. I live you, and feel compelled to pray for you, and I hope you will do the same for me.
Lacking your conviction of the inerrancy of personal logic, and being a terribly fallible person beset right now with more kinds of stress and temptation than I can resist alone, I can use all the prayers I can get.
Keith, you implicitly admit your own hypocrisy, and then revel in it, as though it is a noble thing! Amazing! LOL
Do I, Howard? Or have I used the same procedure used by my friends at CFTF to make a teachable point?
Brother, how do you know that I revel in this action?
I’m waiting for my wife to be taken for a biopsy for spots in her liver to see if they are cancerous and possibly connected to the mass in her pancreas.
I assure you that I am not reveling in anything right now.
I don’t think you know me better than you know myself.
But I will make you an offer: I will pray for you if you will pray for me. In fact, I will pray for you even if you cannot find it in your heart to pray for me.
I need all the prayers I can get right now, and so does my family.
Keith, you have. “No man turns on reason until reason turns on him,” so says David Hume. So, just continue to rant on. With each attack you show what liberalism really is — a mean-spirited, egotistical exercise in phony piety and feigned love with self-contradictions and all.
By the way, I am praying for your family, though it is not for miracles, as you have called for, as the Bible teaches they have ceased (1 Cor. 13:8-13; James 1:25; Jude 3; et al.). All healing is Divine in origin, but not all healing is miraculous. You probably once knew that to be so.
One final thought, Keith, God in His providence can provide the healing that is sought, if it is in keeping with His will. I do pray that you will receive good news from the biopsy report, but even people who disagree with your teaching battle cancer and other life-altering maladies as well — some even presently.
They have my prayers and compassion as well, brother.