Bad assumption about transferability

Earlier today, I documented one case, among many I’ve seen over the years, of using denominational data applied directly, without discrimination, to the Lord’s church.

This use fails to think through the implications, the first of which is that the creeds, hierarchies, authoritarianism, and falsehoods in the denominations do not affect results of research data, which are applied without criteria to the church of God.

If as we say, and as Sesame Street teaches, that one thing (the church) is not like the others (denominations), then we should refrain from using their data indiscriminately for application to the church.

For by such use, especially in the case of negative results, we are implying that the church is also guilty of their errors.

My latest example can be found here.

#denominationalism, #new-testament-church, #research

Are we a church of Christ?

Are we a church of Christ? Lessons by this title have been installed in the Archive in both text and audio, in English and Dutch.

http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/arewethechurch.html

http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/zijnwij.html

It is easy to call ourselves a church of Christ, but let us be sure that it remains true.

May the Lord bless you.
Roy Davison

#audio, #new-testament-church, #sermons

Hugh’s News & Views (Two Books)

HUGH’S NEWS & VIEWS

TWO BOOKS

This week I am reviewing two books which I highly recommend to all who are interested in gaining a clearer understanding of original Christianity as set forth on the pages of the New Testament. The first is a very scholarly work; the second is written in popular language that will grab and hold the reader’s attention from start to finish.

Continue reading

#book-reviews, #books, #hughfulford, #new-testament-church

So are we the only ones going to heaven?

Here's where the religious world thinks we came from. We must show people the truth.

Here’s where the religious world thinks we came from. We must show people the truth.

Yesterday, Cory Collins shared three ways to answer those who accuse us of teaching that we’re the only ones going to heaven. Check out his post, well worth your time.

The accusation obviously works only within a denominational framework. (See chart, click to enlarge.) People today have been blinded by Satan. They can’t think of being a Christian outside that framework. The recent description of the church of God being “predenominational” is a good effort to knock that notion in the head. The church of God existed before the first denomination appeared. Continue reading

#church-of-god, #denominationalism, #new-testament-church, #restoration-plea, #salvation

Hugh’s News & Views (The Church)

HUGH’S NEWS & VIEWS

THE CHURCH: “ACCORDING TO THE ETERNAL PURPOSE”

Our “News and Views” essay of June 11, 2013 discussed “The Pattern Principle.” From time to time, we intend to follow up with other essays that will look at specific areas in which the pattern principle has relevance. In this one we look at the church as the manifestation of the multi-faceted wisdom of God and the culmination of God’s grand scheme of redemption “according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:10-11).

Noah’s ark, the Old Testament tabernacle, and Solomon’s temple were all built according to a divine pattern determined by God. They were physical structures that were utilized in deliverance from a destructive flood (in the case of the ark) and important in the religious life of the Hebrew/Israelite/Jewish people (in the case of the tabernacle and, later, the temple) under the Law of Moses. But these physical structures are instructive in understanding and appreciating truth about the New Testament church, God’s spiritual house.

The apostle Peter says that Christians are “living stones” who constitute “a spiritual house” (I Peter 2:5). This spiritual house is the “house of God which is the church of the living God” (I Timothy 3:15). The builder of this spiritual house was Jesus Christ Himself. He said, “On this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). Since the church is comprised of all who have been redeemed from their sins by the blood of Christ, to say that Christ built the church is to say that He shed His blood in order to bring into existence His aggregate body of saved people. In instituting the Lord’s Supper, Jesus said of the cup, “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many, for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28). Once Christ had shed His blood for the sins of the world and the church (the blood-washed ones) had become a reality, it could be affirmed that the church had been “purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28). An integral feature of the church according to God’s eternal purpose is that it was built by Christ. Christ established His church; men have established their multiplicity of denominations.

The deity of Christ, the fact that He is the divine Son of God, is the foundation upon which the church was established. After Peter confessed Christ to be the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16), Jesus responded by saying, “On this rock [the truth that Peter had confessed, hf] I will build My church” (v. 18). Isaiah had prophesied of a great foundation stone upon which God’s people would be established (Isaiah 28:16). Hundreds of years later, the apostle Peter quoted Isaiah and said, “Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him [the chief cornerstone is a person, Jesus Christ, hf] will by no means be put to shame [disappointed, NASB]” (I Peter 2:6). This is an essential feature of the church according to the eternal purpose that must be honored.

Further, Christ is the head of His church. Paul wrote, “And He (God, hf) has put all things under His (Christ’s, hf) feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:22-23). Later, Paul affirmed that there is “one body” (Ephesians 4:4). The one true church has but one head and that head is Christ. This divine feature of the church must be recognized and respected. It, too, was according to the eternal purpose of God.

The church exists in different localities, depending upon where the gospel has been preached and obeyed. Those who hear, believe, and obey the good news of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, are saved and “added to the church” (Acts 2:47). Wherever that occurs, a plain, simple congregation/church of Christ comes into existence, but this congregation is not a denomination or any part of a denomination. It is simply a church that is of (according to) God or Christ! Each congregation is autonomous (self-governing) under its own elders (also known as bishops, pastors and shepherds). Paul addressed a letter “to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons” (Philippians 1:1). That simple organizational structure of the church is a part of the divine pattern for the church according to the eternal purpose of God.

The above are undeniable and very specific truths about the church as set forth in the New Testament. Which of them can be ignored, abandoned, modified, or corrupted and the church still be “according to the eternal purpose”?

Speaking Schedule:

July 24: McEwen Church of Christ, McEwen, TN

July 31: GreenHillChurch of Christ, Mt. Juliet, TN

Hugh Fulford

July 23, 2013

 

#church-of-the-bible, #divine-pattern, #hughfulford, #new-testament-church

Just show up

City anniversary and holiday yesterday, 245 years of official establishment of SJCampos. Though the history of the town goes back to the 1500s. Some government services were closed, maybe even some businesses, but we kept on working.

• The Missus and I watched The Movie that Refused to End last night. Ever see one of those? Ours was three hours long. And a long three hours.

• Woody Allen, not my favorite personage, said 80% of life is just showing up. That’s true spiritually as well, in the church, in the world, for the people of God. And when you do show up, watch God work.

• Phillip Eichman has a free, extensive work at this link on “The Church in the New Testament” (html format). Though he misses, as most do, the literal meaning of the word church (reaching back to etymology), it appears to be a good, solid work that will serve as a good reference. We have three of Phillip’s book on FPress.

• Ironic now that the Internet has freed up physical limitations of space, people use abbreviations more than ever. What has gotten cramped is our time. And we know what haste makes …

#abbreviations, #irony, #movies, #new-testament-church