In Reply to Greg’s Posts

by Jay Guin

What doctrinal errors place one in danger of divine judgment?

In “Not Man-made Checklists but a Scriptural Rationale,” we asked whether Greg stills holds to the teachings he expressed in the articles quoted in that post. In those articles, Greg specified several issues that place one in danger of divine judgment.

Greg responded with respect to two of the doctrines he considered in his articles,

What I am saying is that when one no longer believes in the complete truthfulness of God’s Word, or when one no longer believes in God’s Way of Salvation, then one stands in danger of divine judgment.

We appreciate Greg offering greater specifics on these two issues, but Greg hasn’t responded either way regarding four other issues that he said will cause one to have “a different religion” —

• Worship with an instrument, or
• Allow women to lead in worship, or
• Support parachurch organizations that engage in false teaching, or
• Allow parachurch organizations to drain resources from the congregation

Greg, do you contend that those four issues place one in danger of divine judgment? Or are you saying that of those doctrines mentioned in your articles, only the two — inerrancy and baptism — place one in danger of divine judgment?

If you do still consider these as placing one in danger of divine judgment, as we asked earlier, would you please advise us of the scriptural basis on which you conclude — not that the teachings are error — but that the errors place one in danger of divine judgment?

“Danger of divine judgment”

To make sure we’re not talking past each other, we want to be sure we’re understanding you when you say “place one in danger of divine judgment.” We take the phrase to mean that God is patient with his children. Error does not necessarily immediately damn, but for certain errors (not all errors), God will at some point lose patience and damn. Moreover, we will generally not know when God has given up on someone, only that at some point he will.

If that’s your meaning, then we agree with the principle — we just want to be sure we’re understanding each other.

Going forward

We cannot progress in this discussion until you’ve answered these questions. We could talk about what the Bible says about inerrancy and baptism, but that would hardly provide a comprehensive understanding of the doctrine of apostasy. Those two doctrines raise issues that are quite different from, say, the role of women and instrumental music. However, if you no longer consider the role of women and instrumental music to be issues that place one in danger of divine judgment, we need not concern ourselves further with those issues in this apostasy discussion.

Once you’ve responded to the questions posed above, we will be glad to post the lists of salvation issues as taught by several Church of Christ leaders that you requested, and we will respond with respect to inerrancy, baptism, and any other doctrinal errors that you believe places one in danger of divine judgment.

May our discussion be to the glory of God.

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2 Comments on “In Reply to Greg’s Posts”


  1. Jay, Thanks for reposting these questions. It is extremely important that Gregory answer these questions. If we allow the waters to be muddied rather than the questions answered nothing gets done. Thanks for your persistance.

  2. James Says:

    In Matthew 25.31 where what is known as the parable of the sheep and the goats, I believe this has been mischaracterized. Other than the references to how the group as a whole will be separated into two groups, the sheep and the goats, no other symbolism is used.

    It’s not going to be like this; it’s going to be this. So rather than the parable of the sheep and the goats, it’s just straight up prophecy about judgement day.

    If I were to grade myself on the determining criteria Jesus uses: Feeding the hungry, Clothing those needing clothes, Drink for the thirsty, Inviting in the stranger, taking care of the sick and visiting those in prison, can I expect grace to cover me if I refuse to do any of those things?

    I don’t believe I can according to Christ. Perhaps if I am taking care of widows and orphans instead, maybe I’d have a case. (James 1.27)

    Noticeably absent from the eternity determining criteria is the presence or absence of small groups on Sunday evenings, hand clapping, hand raising, frequency of Lord’s supper taking, which version of the Bible used, applause in the auditorium, located preachers, number of cups used, instrumental music in worship, whether an elder should have children or if one child will suffice, whether the invitation accompanying a song was offered at every service,etc, etc, etc.

    I believe when we allow these kind of issues to destroy relationships the TRUE issue is a lack of love. Romans 14.3 speaks very specifically about those able to do things with a clean conscience are not to look down or dismiss their brother as an idiot. This passage also speaks very specifically about those unable to do things because it will violate their consciences are not to condemn their brother to the 7th level of HELL.

    I see violation of the spirit of this scripture coming from both directions condescension from progressives toward conservatives and condemnation from conservatives toward progressives.

    Paul is scripturally right to be able to eat meat sacrificed to idols, but is willing to sacrifice eating meat altogether to preserve or restore the relationship with his brother. God through Paul is saying the relationships are MORE IMPORTANT than who is right and who is wrong on issues such as these. I believe Jesus was specifically saying in Matt. 5.23-24 that relationships were MORE IMPORTANT than worshipping God, or at the very least that it was impossible for me to properly worship God while I’m at odds with my brother.

    I don’t see either side willing to give an inch in the name of saving relationships. Most demand compromise from the OTHER side, whoever that is. I am guilty of both sides of the condescension/condemnation equation as well. I don’t want to give in even when I’m scripturally wrong, much less when I am scripturally right.

    It may sound as if I’m advocating an “Anything Goes” policy when it comes to worship services. Rest assured I’m not, but I would be honored to be thrown into the same category as those slanderously accused in the past. Rom. 3.8 🙂


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