Archive for July, 2014

Exposing The church of Christ—Answered

July 13, 2014 1 comment

jerryIn his YouTube video “Exposing the church of Christ” Toby Johnson attempted to show why the churches of Christ are not in accordance with scripture.  This has been attempted by many over the centuries, but none have ever been able to show one legitimate reason for rejecting the churches of Christ as anything other than scriptural.  Men such as Peter Ruckman and Bob Ross (who can’t even agree with one another on major tenets of their faith and have shown such by constantly writing each other up over the years) have tried to show that the church of Christ is not scriptural, but all they did was to make themselves look foolish.  Men such as D.N. Jackson tried in the early 20th century, were  met by men like N.B. Hardeman who effectively shut Jackson down.  At least these men did use some halfway credible arguments in their work, but the person in the video under consideration didn’t even do that much.  Let us notice what he did have to say.

  1. The church of Christ is false because it is like the Pharisees in that they say and do not.  Well Jesus did say “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not” (Mat 23:2-3).  So if the church of Christ is like the Pharisees then men ought to follow what the church of Christ says, just don’t follow their hypocrisy when they say and do not.  What cause does he give for saying we say and do not?  He says we teach that there are about 3,800 different religions, with different names, in the world, but we fail to teach people that we are one of them.  No, our point in telling people that there are about 3,800 different named religions in the world is that with all of this confusion they can’t all be right.  It is common sense.  He seems to have it in for the church of Christ because it is growing.  Does he have it in for the Baptist church because it is growing?  Does he have it in for the Catholic Church because it is growing?  No, only the church of Christ and Seventh Day Adventists.  He says our doctrines are destructive.
  1. He says that we teach that other religions are false because they do not have the name church of Christ.  Actually that is only one point, but there are denominations with the name Church of Christ that we condemn.  The Church of Christ Temple Lot, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  We condemn these because of their false doctrines.  However, there is no reference to a Baptist church, or a Methodist church, or a Pentecostal church in the New Testament.  You do find “church of God” (1 Cor. 1:2), and “churches of Christ” (Rom. 16:16).  His second problem is that he doesn’t understand that “churches of Christ” is not a name like “Baptist Church” or “Pentecostal Church.”  “churches of Christ” is merely a descriptive term showing that the church belongs to Christ.
  2. His next mistake is that he claims that we believe that we are the one true church because Jesus said “upon this rock I will build my church” (Mt. 16:18).  Now he claims to have done his homework on what the church of Christ teaches, but I would like for him to show one, just one in the church who says that our church is that rock that Christ said he would build upon.  No, the truth is the rock that Christ would build his church, not Peter, not the church of Christ; but Peter’s confession “thou art the Christ, the son of the Living God” (Mt. 16:16).  Peter’s confession was not taught to him by man, but came by revelation of God (v:17).  So upon the bedrock testimony of the word of God Christ would build his church.  I was raised in the church of Christ; my father was a preacher for the church of Christ; my grandfather was a preacher for the church of Christ and my great grandfather was an elder in the church of Christ, so I think I know a little more about what is taught in the church than this guy who has never done anything more than read what someone has said about the church.
  3. He says that we think we are the one true church because of our name; church of Christ.  Nothing is further from the truth because (1) we don’t have a proper name—church of Christ is a descriptive term; and (2) we are the one true church because we strictly follow what the NT says about how to become Christians.
  4. He says that he doesn’t want to look at instruments in worship because “that’s irrelevant.”  So our worship to God is irrelevant?  Didn’t Jesus say “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (Joh 4:24)?  If that is true how is instrumental music irrelevant?  It isn’t and this person knows, if he knows anything about the church at all, knows that one of the reason we give for being the true church is that our worship is done in spirit and in truth, but he doesn’t want to get into this.
  5. He admits that Rom. 16:16 teaches that the church belongs to Christ and it is not a name, but he does not realize that this is exactly what we teach.  We do not teach that “church of Christ” is the one name, but it is a descriptive term found in the Bible, and you won’t find Baptist, Methodist or Catholic so I guess we are on safe ground calling ourselves “churches of Christ.”
  6. Another error in his thinking is that there has to be a direct operation of the Holy Spirit.  He quoted Paul’s letter to Corinth about being united “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1Co 1:10).  He admits that we are to be of the same mind, but he thinks that the only way we can do this is to have a direct operation of the Holy Spirit.  So in other words a person cannot pick up God’s word and understand it without having a direct operation of the Holy Spirit.  Does the Holy Spirit come upon alien sinners to help them understand?  If so why didn’t he do that for the Eunuch (Acts 8)?  No, he told Philip to go and join himself to the chariot.  When Philip asked him if he understood what he read did he say “How can I except the Holy Spirit should guide me?”  No…he said “how can I except some MAN should guide  me.” If it was up to the Spirit why didn’t Philip tell the Spirit to go to the Eunuch?  No…we don’t have a direct operation of the Spirit.

Mr. Johnson devotes the rest of his speech to trying to convince people of a direct operation of the Holy Spirit.  He said that the only way we can all think the same thing is if we all accept the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Listen, the Holy Spirit never once guided people that way.  Not one time did he ever, in conversion, conviction or sanctification directly guide anywhere.  The only thing he used to guide people was the spoken and written word in the early days of the church.  Now that the Bible is complete the only way he guides is through the written word.

The problem is not that the word is not sufficient to guide us, but rather that we are unable to allow the word of guide us.  We think we have to have a special leading of the Spirit, but no one has ever had that.  The Eunuch didn’t have it.  Saul of Tarsus didn’t have it.  Those on Pentecost didn’t have it.  As a matter of fact every example of conversion in the book of Acts has one thing in common; the preaching and teaching of the word.  The Holy Spirit never worked on anyone’s heart to make them believe or give them understanding.  The word is simple enough to understand, and all men can agree on what it says.  And all we need is a will to be united and study and follow God’s word.

Mr. Johnson failed in exposing the church of Christ, but what he did expose was his own lack of knowledge about the church of Christ.  He’s not the only one; he is just in a long line of many. Those churches of Christ that are true to the Bible; worship God in spirit and truth and do what God’s word says are the true church of Christ.  If they are the true church of Christ they won’t wear some name like Baptist or Methodist; they will just be Christians.  The Bible makes Christians only and the only Christians.  If you follow the Bible you won’t be part of any other religious organization; you will be members of the church of Christ.

Oh…and Mr. Johnson please get it right; we don’t join anything—the Lord adds to his church such as should be saved.


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