And so, in conclusion… (with a new footnote)

by Jay Guin

Todd and I have said what we planned to say, but this is a difficult stopping point, because there are so many more Biblical teachings that we’d love to share with Phil, Mac, and the readers. We’ve not covered falling away as described in Galatians 5. We’ve not touched on Romans 8 or 14. Neither have we covered Peter’s teaching in 2 Peter 1 on how to make one’s calling and election sure. And the Bible’s teachings on church discipline need to be dealt with. We’ve only covered the very basics.

We know we’ve not answered many of even the most obvious questions, but we’ve said enough for now. It’s time to hear from Mac and Phil —it’s particularly time to see if they can state a position and then answer our questions from before consistently with that position.

We don’t think it’s possible. Let me explain.

There are two contradictory strains of thought in conservative Church of Christ theology. One is that certain errors damn: instrumental music, missionary societies, etc. The list varies from preacher to preacher, editor to editor, and year to year, but the conservatives are quite certain that certain errors put a Christian out of grace regardless of his penitence or faith in Jesus.

Thus, the conservative Churches routinely treat the independent Christian Churches as damned. Thus, Dave Miller’s book A Plea to Reconsider treats the Richland Hills congregation as damned for having added an instrumental service. Thus, when the Quail Springs congregation added an instrumental service, many churches disfellowshipped their pulpit minister and announced their decision in a full-page ad in the Daily Oklahoman.

All would deny that there is such a list.* Rather, they’d insist that all errors damn on exactly the same terms.

But the conservative Churches of Christ also believe that 1 John 1:7 means what it says: that the blood of Christ continuously washes away the sins of those who walk in the light. And they believe it’s quite possible for a Christian to walk in the light and so be continuously saved without being perfect in either morals or doctrine.

Thus, conservative Church of Christ polemics flit back and forth between the two theologies: (1) all error damns and (2) the blood of Christ continuously purifies us from sin — with no one noticing that someone needs to explain when to pick (1) and when to pick (2). And it seems that none among the conservatives notices that no one actually believes that all errors damn — because they routinely fellowship others who disagree over all sorts of doctrinal issues (even those that lead to sin) — just not those errors on the list.

When we directly ask, “Why damn over this and not that?” we are told that all errors damn but that God may not damn depending on the state of the Christian’s heart and that we really aren’t the judge. But, of course, many in the conservative Churches are quite pleased to judge (regarding some issues) in full-page newspaper ads and books.

And this is why our conservative friends can’t state a position. Their position continually changes — sometimes in the very same paragraph. They contradict themselves because they teach two contradictory theologies that cannot be reconciled. And they aren’t willing to live entirely within either theology.

We have proposed a solution that we believe is deeply rooted in the scriptures. If that’s not right, what is?

_____________________

* On further reflection, I think I need to explain why I charge the conservative Churches of Christ with having a list of sins that fall under theology number (1) (all error that leads to sin damns) even though they vigorously deny it.

It really comes down to this: our conservative friends claim that all error that leads to sin damns. But Mac and many other conservative authors (as extensively documented by Todd in Facing Our Failure) also teach that some errors that lead to sin don’t damn. Well, both positions simply can’t be true, and so I have to ascertain their real postion from the totality of their writings. (Although, I’m sure their views are sincerely stated. I don’t believe conservatives intentionally misrepresent their own positions.)

However, when I read conservative literature, I find plenty of lists of sins that come within theology number (1). I gave several examples of this in an earlier post as well as giving two examples of such listmaking by Greg Tidwell. And so I can find lists. I can find nothing else that fills the gap.

And it’s my theory that these lists are mainly made of doctrines that, in the conservative mind, demarcate the Churches of Christ as separate from “the denominations.” Hence, issues that don’t threaten the boundaries of the Churches, such as whether the Bible requires women to wear hats in the building, although obviously about how to conduct scriptural worship, are rarely found on the lists. It’s not an identity issue.

That’s not a complete explanation, but it’s at the core. Then some authors expand the list to take in similar questions in order to defend the inclusion of what’s already on the list. If having only one elder damns, then what about an elder with only one child? And it’s on these non-identity issues where you find the greatest diversity of opinion — or willingness to apply theology number (2).

That’s my observation. That’s certainly how I thought back in my conservative days. But I’m open to hearing from anyone among the conservative Churches a truer explanation for why some doctrinal errors that lead to sin damn — and some don’t.

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43 Comments on “And so, in conclusion… (with a new footnote)”

  1. Rob Woodfin Says:

    Several years ago I made a bid to print a Korean newspaper located in Atlanta. They invited me to their office, where a half a dozen staff members sat around a table and spoke to me through an interpreter. It took me about twenty-five minutes to go through my presentation and field questions via the intermediary. Then after talking among themselves for a few minutes they had their translator tell me, “Please give information again.”

    I methodically went through my entire list of notes again and ended up answering the same questions just as before. Afterwards they had me leave the room for a few minutes. When I returned they had more questions, though this time they did not use the interpreter but each spoke to me in English.

    Jay and Todd seem to think that Mac and Phil are failing to understand their position. When I began to explore some of these same issues a few year back, I noticed an amazing resemblance between the way my conservative brethren responded to me and my experience with the Koreans. They had no intention of acknowledging they understood what I was saying unless it was in their best interest to do so.

    Once the conservatives started down the road from Sand Creek, where the marching orders were to throw anyone away who did not agree with achieved salvation, acknowledging any flaw in that doctrine became extremely troublesome. Looking back across a 180 year battlefield, who would want to admit any responsiblity for all that carnage and still carry the flag the flag of exclusivism?

  2. Rob Woodfin Says:

    It’s embarrassing to stutter in print. I only meant to say “the flag” once. It certainly would be nice if WordPress offered an edit option for the author of a post like some of the other blog sites do.

  3. laymond Says:

    Rob, it made perfect sense to me, I just mentally added a comma after the first flag 🙂

  4. Randall Says:

    Several histories of the Stone-Campbell movement note our motto from the first several decades:
    In essentials, unity;
    In opinions, liberty;
    In all things, love.
    Of course the problem arose (and remains) in the multiplying of “essentials.”

    Another frequently used phrase was:
    We are Christians only, but not the only Christians.

    One can only wonder how much contentiousness might have been avoided if the CofC had held to those early principles.

  5. Alan S. Says:

    It is a slippery slope that the more traditional churhes of Christ are on: Once you start calling something a sin that God does not, once you start passing judgement where God has not, once you start condemning where God does not, where do you stop?

    God bless.

  6. Dusty Chris Says:

    Great points, Rob. If one does not want to understand, one never will, no matter how clearly and exhaustively explained. I am curious to see the conservatives side of the discussion.

  7. Dusty Chris Says:

    That full page ad in the Daily Oklahoman breaks my heart. I had no idea a group of Christian brothers could throw a minister and his church under a bus so cavalierly. Makes me want to attend Quail Springs. They must be doing something right to get such vitriolic attention…

  8. Anonymous Says:

    It’ll probably take Mac weeks again to post an answer.

  9. Jay Guin Says:

    Anon.,

    Be patient. We’ve laid a lot at Phil’s and Mac’s feet.

  10. Nicodemus Says:

    Good job, Jay and Todd.

    As a less and less conservative brother, I do not expect to see a valid, coherent reply from Mac or Phil.

    I am well read in the conservative periodicals and versed in the approach. As a result, I do not believe an explanation is possible.

    Jay, your opinion falls very close to the mark about why certain errors are so very important to the conservatives.

    Mac and Phil, your response or lack of it will have a big impact. Do it poorly and you will find more and more of your flock seeing the king lacks clothes.

  11. Steve Says:

    Jay,
    I know the discussion has not reached this point yet, but in the abscence of further discussion from Mac, Phil or Greg, I wish to make this comment.

    As grace is concerned towards fellowship, will this discussion turn toward the reconciliation of members of the One Boby and God’s work in that felowship reconciliation, as covered in Eph. 2.11-22.

    I may have missed something or you have not gotten there yet. But I would like to see how the two sides can come together as God planned His One Body under Christ.

    Thank you – Blessing and grace on all those involved here.
    Steve Valentine

  12. Jay Guin Says:

    Steve,

    You’re right. The scriptures are plain that God not only wants unity, he’s given us unity. Our sin is in rejecting the unity we already have in Jesus. We need only see a penitent faith as sufficient.

    Sadly, the conservatives see the progressives damned (or many as damned). Therefore, they refuse unity with the progressives. But they also refuse unity with each other over countless points of opinion and the interpretations of silences. Until their unbiblical doctrine of apostasy is exposed, unity can’t happen. And we’re a long way from being there.


  13. Dusty,

    That full page ad that Jay loves to reference was taken out by just a handful of very hard line, far right conservative preachers in the OKC area. That ad broke my heart as well. It was NOT endorsed by THE MAJORITY of CHURCHES OF CHRIST in the OKC.

    Many preachers in the area strongly encouraged them NOT to run such an ad and urged them if they wanted to run a reply to get permission from Glover Shipp (former long time missionary to Brazil and former editor of Christian Chronicle) and run his excellent response article that he sent to the Oklahoman which was published.

    The majority of preachers and congregations concern was not over speaking and contending for the faith in such “response ad’s” but doing so in the best possible way that does not further soil the name of Christ and His church before an unbelieving world’s eyes.

    I do wish those who paid for that ad would have been more specific about who was exactly behind the ad other than paid by “faithful members and area churches of Christ.”

    The fact of the matter is that the majority of OKC area churches of Christ hold no ill will toward Quail nor have any intention to give them “vitriolic attention.” Now, having said that, Quail’s decision has consequences and fellowhsip (has been for years) and will continue to be limited, including support at Oklahoma Christian Univesity.

    Now many of us do fear Quail is going the direction of the “Community church” model and we very well may not be able to recognize them in a matter of years as having any resemblance to churches of Christ. We continue to pray for them and encourage them to a more scriptural practice when it comes to music.

    In Christ,
    Robert Prater
    Shawnee, OK


  14. Well, I don’t know who Mac and Phil are and I’m obviously not them *chuckle* nor do I consider myself a conservative (or liberal) member of the churches of Christ (there are flaws on both sides). But if I may, I’d like to address a few basic issues, ask a few basic questions. I apologize if I’m repeating old hat here.

    I’ll start with: What is God’s grace that saves?

    In Truth and Love,

    Ernie

  15. Jay Guin Says:

    Robert,

    I’m thrilled to hear that most OK Churches of Christ did not endorse the ad. I’ve not been able to find a single instance of an Oklahoma church taking a public stand against it. I saw where the Memorial Road Church of Christ posted a note on their website that they didn’t help pay for it. But I thought sure some courageous Oklahoman would stand up and declare sin sin. http://oneinjesus.info/2008/02/20/quail-springs-church-of-christ-disfellowshipped-a-question/

    You would make my day (year, actually) if you could point me to a single Oklahoma congregational, public statement or a sermon or bulletin article saying that the ad was wrong.

    It was, in my view, very sinful, and yes, I’ve expressed this opinion directly to those who published the ad.


  16. Jay,

    You asked if I read previous posts here on falling from grace and the Holy Spirit. I have read a couple on grace, but there is a lot to wade through. If there are threads specifically that you would like for me to read, could you give me the title of the original blog? I would sincerely appreciate it.

    Again, I apologize for coming into the discussion late and maybe causing y’all to repeat some things you’ve already posted. I’ll happily follow links to relevant posts and read those, but at this point there is so much, its a bit confusing and overwhelming to read everything.

    Also, in considering any discussion on grace, I would reiterate my question above: What is grace? If we do not define what we are talking about, it may be that we have different meanings and would end up talking past each other.

    In Truth and Love,

    Ernie

  17. Randall Says:

    Ernie,
    Here is the Wikipedia website on the definition of grace: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_grace

    Of course, Wiki is not the be all end all of theological definitions and it may not be the definition used here. You might find it interesting to read. If you look there you will find how grace is understood by various groups that come under the umbrella of Christendom and you will not there is a separate little section on the church of Christ view of grace as it is distinct from how it is understood in Protestantism. I have taken the liberty of copying the general definition here:

    In Christianity, grace is “unmerited favour” from the God (referred to in Christianity’s holy book, the Bible, in the chapter of Ephesians 2:8-9). In theology, grace may be described as ‘enabling power sufficient for progression’. Grace divine is an indispensable gift from God for development, improvement, and character expansion, and without God’s grace, there are certain limitations, weaknesses, flaws, impurities, and faults (i.e. carnality) mankind cannot overcome. Therefore, Christians believe it is necessary to increase in God’s grace for added perfection, completeness, and flawlessness.

    More broadly, divine grace refers to God’s gifts to all humankind, including life, creation, and salvation. More narrowly but more commonly, grace describes the means by which humans are granted salvation (and to some, saved from original sin). Grace is of central importance in the theology of Christianity, as well as one of the most contentious issues in Christian sectarianism.

    Grace is often distinguished from mercy in that mercy is seen as not receiving punishment that one deserves to receive, whereas grace is the receipt of a positive benefit that one does not deserve to receive. Divine grace also can be defined as God’s empowering presence in one’s life, enabling one to do and be what one was created to do and be.

  18. Randall Says:

    Ernie,
    Here are a couple of excepts from Wiki taken from the section on the Church of Christ view of grace. Again, Wiki is not the be all end all of understanding theological thought, but it may give one an impression of how the CofC is viewed by some other people:

    First excerpt:
    The church of Christ believes that the grace of God that saves is the plan of salvation, rather than salvation itself. This plan includes two parts, 1) the perfect life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ, 2) the gospel/New Testament/the faith.

    Second excerpt:
    The church of Christ believes that grace provides the following plan, which if followed results in salvation, entrance into the body of the saved (Eph. 5:23) which is Christ’s church (Eph. 1:22-23), not by “earning” salvation, but by the obedience of servants in hope and trust in the faithfulness of their master to fulfill His promises according to His word.

    One must hear the gospel/word (Rom. 10:17). Believe the gospel (Mark 16:15-16). Repent of their past sins (Acts 2:38). Confess their faith in Christ before men (Matt. 10:32; Rom. 10:9-10) Be immersed in water into Christ for the remission of those sins (1 Pet. 3:21; Romans 6:3-18; John 3:3,5; 1 John 5:6,8; Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16; etc.) Living faithfully even to the point of death (Rev. 2:10; Rom. 11:17-22; James 5:19-20)

    My final comment is that it is important to understand that different people use the same words, but mean different things when they use those words. I suspect that is why you asked the question in the first place.
    Peace,
    Randall


  19. Jay, Randall,

    Thanks for the links. I’m reading through them as rapidly as I can given the time I have. (My wife is pregnant with twins, due Dec. 4th, so she is currently nesting which means I’m cleaning and painting everything! 😀 )

    Randall,

    That definition of divine grace under the heading of the churches of Christ was pretty detailed. I appreciate you pointing me to it.

    Am I understanding you correctly to say that the definition you pointed me to is one you agree with?

    I’m just trying to build that common ground for communication here. I apologize if doing so at times it seems a bit tedious with me.

    In Truth and Love,

    Ernie

  20. Randall Says:

    Ernie you asked: “Am I understanding you correctly to say that the definition you pointed me to is one you agree with?”

    No, that is not my understanding of grace? I just wanted you to have a flavor or how others see us. I believe there are folks in the CofC that believe that way, but not all, not by any means.

    A lot of latitude is allowed on significant theological issues in the CofC. Our reputation is for making a big deal of relatively insignificant issues and not paying all that much attention to important issues. This is why the use of instrumental music receives a lot of attention but who you think Jesus was and what you think he accomplished does not receive near as much attention.

    Peace,
    Randall

  21. Heath Says:

    …thought I’d let the readers and Authors of this site know that the person using the name ‘Truth, Bondservant, Bondservant3, Anonymous, and Paden’ are all the same individual…

  22. bondservant3 Says:

    Heath supports Johnny Robertson too. These people don’t like that my blog goes to the heart of what Johnny Robertson and his cult are doing harassing and stalking people.

    I am allowed to use whatever ID on the internet I want to use to protect myself and loved one’s from these people. I use to use Truth as my main ID and some blogs still have me logged in as Truth. I have occasionally come on here using Anonymous, my main ID is bondservant3, I have never used Paden.

    Here is the link to my blog, if anyone wants to visit you are welcome there.

    http://bondservant3.wordpress.com/


  23. Okay, so if that is not your answer to what grace is, may I have one from you, what you and others defending your position on this blog believe grace to be? What other people think grace is in a conversation between you and I is kinda irrelevant. 🙂

    Thanks!

  24. Randall Says:

    Ernie,
    I speak only for myself and not for others on this blog. Jay would be the appropriate person to tell you what Jay believes just as you would be the appropriate person to tell me what you believe.

    As to what I believe about grace: Wiki has it about right in the first definition I copied from Wiki. I’ll copy it again below as I think it does bear reading by more folks that you alone. For your information I am very much closer to being a Calvinist than a Pelagian, but that is not the topic of discussion here. Jay has invited interested bloggers to discuss it at another website. Please refer to Jay’s last post for additional information.

    Here’s the Wiki definition of grace again:

    In Christianity, grace is “unmerited favour” from the God (referred to in Christianity’s holy book, the Bible, in the chapter of Ephesians 2:8-9). In theology, grace may be described as ‘enabling power sufficient for progression’. Grace divine is an indispensable gift from God for development, improvement, and character expansion, and without God’s grace, there are certain limitations, weaknesses, flaws, impurities, and faults (i.e. carnality) mankind cannot overcome. Therefore, Christians believe it is necessary to increase in God’s grace for added perfection, completeness, and flawlessness.

    More broadly, divine grace refers to God’s gifts to all humankind, including life, creation, and salvation. More narrowly but more commonly, grace describes the means by which humans are granted salvation (and to some, saved from original sin). Grace is of central importance in the theology of Christianity, as well as one of the most contentious issues in Christian sectarianism.


  25. Hey Randall, I appreciate you narrowing it down for me. Forgive me for being a bit dense here, but you still haven’t told me what Grace is. What is the “unmerited favour” from God? What gift, that man did not, could not earn, is the gift that enables us to progress in development, improvement, character expansion, and overcoming human failings? What unmerited favor completes us, makes us flawless, saves us?

    When I ask “What is Grace?” that is what I mean by the question. What, specifically, is the gift God gave us?

    Thanks again for your patience and your time in answering.

    In Truth and Love,

    Ernie


  26. I guess it might be helpful if I provided an example of the type of answer I’m looking for.

    What is Grace?:

    Some people say God’s gift that saves is salvation.
    Some people say God’s gift that saves is Jesus Christ.
    Some people say (see Wiki) God’s gift that saves is the plan of salvation, which includes both Jesus and the gospel/NT/teachings of Christ/etc.
    Some people say God’s gift that saves is faith.

    What do you say God’s gift that saves is? One of the above? Something not mentioned yet?

    I hope I’ve been able to explain clearly what it is I’m asking for! 🙂

    In Truth and Love,

    Ernie

  27. Randall Says:

    Ernie,
    The words “unmerited” and “favour” are not that difficult and I harbor some doubt that you really don’t understand the meaning of either of them. I could refer you to a Websters dictionary; or perhaps a short book by R.C. Sproul titled “Chosen by God.” I believe it can be obtained free if you want a little more than the dictionary provides. You may also wish to check out Alistair Begg and John Piper as they may help you understand better if that is your intent. It is simple enough to get all the info you need from the internet.

    I am not one of the four principals writing for this site. I have no intention or hijacking the site of enabling anyone else to do so. I do not understand why my personal point of view is of particular interest to you. If you wish to carry on this conversation any further then let’s move it to the other site as Jay requested.

    I will not respond to and additional inquiry regarding this issue on this site.
    Peace,
    Randall


  28. Hey Randall,

    I apologize. I assumed you were one of the principles. That was my fault for assuming.

    I looked around and couldn’t find who they were. Jay Guin is one. Todd somebody is another. Who are the other two?

    Those of you who consider yourselves the “progressive” or “conservative” elements in the church, my question goes to you then. What is Grace?

    P.S. I’m neither progressive nor conservative. Just didn’t want anyone assuming anything about me! 😉

    In Truth and Love,

    Ernie

  29. paden Says:

    im paden

    im 15

    i live in texas

    and i am a member of the church of Christ and am conservative

  30. randall Says:

    Ernie,
    Initially the four principals were Phil Sanders, Greg Tidwell, Jay Guin and Todd Deaver. I believe Greg Tidwell had to drop out and he was replaced by Mac Deaver. I imagine we will be hearing Mac’s and Phil’s responses to these latest posts soon.
    Peace,
    Randall


  31. Randall, thanks. That makes things a LOT more clear now. So Jay Guin and Todd Deaver are having a “grace conversation” (fellowship conversation) with Mac Deaver (father?) and Phil Sanders.

    So my question is then directed at all four of them.

    Thanks again for clearing it up for me!

    Ernie

  32. Jay Guin Says:

    paden, Richard GF, and Ernie,

    This site is a conversation between two progressive writers and two conservative writers, all four being in the Churches of Christ. We are discussing what causes a saved person to fall away.

    The conservative writers have stated their position and we have discussed the merits of their position.

    Now we progressive writers have stated our position and have stated a prima facie defense of the first two points of our three-point position.

    You all are welcome to join in the conversation, but if so, you need to be talking about the subject at hand. In particular, I’ve posted articles showing how I believe 1 John, Hebrews, Romans 5 and Romans 15 all support the progressive position that Todd and I have taken.

    The question on the table is whether Todd and I have correctly interpreted those passages. And at this point, not a single conservative commenter has challenged the intepretation of those passages that we’ve put forward.

    I would be most interested to learn whether the conservative commenters agree or disagree with the exegesis of these passages that we’ve offered – and why.

    paden,

    Given your youth, let me offer some advice. 1 John is the first epistle I ever taught in Sunday school, some 34 years ago. And it’s a great place for you to learn how to interpret New Testament writings, because it’s fairly short — just 5 chapters — and written very simply, although John’s simple style provides incredible doctrinal depth.

    Before you read my two posts on 1 John or anyone’s commentary, pick up your Bible and read 1 John from front to back, 3 times. It won’t take long. If you have them, read it in 3 different translations.

    Then outline it. Look for the flow of John’s reasoning. How is he trying to build his case? What questions is he addressing? What are the major themes? How to the verses build to support his argument?

    Then read my posts. Ask whether my interpretation fits the scriptures.

    Now, 1 John is a book that will challenge you at a personal level. Don’t ask: how do I fit this book into my doctrine? Rather, ask: how do I fit my life into this book? And then ask: how do I change my doctrine to fit what John said?

    You see, we all have a tendency to want to adapt tough books like 1 John into our doctrinal framework. But that’s exactly backwards. We need to adapt our doctrinal framework to fit the book.

    Then after you’ve read 1 John (3 times at least) and my posts and whatever commentaries you wish, come back here and tell me where you think I’m right and where you think I’m wrong. And ask me and the others here whatever questions you wish — 1 John should raise all sorts of questions. Most people here really enjoy discussing the questions the text of the Bible raises.

  33. paden Says:

    ok jay ill try to remeber that but can you answere a few questions for me.

    are you an elder at university church of Christ.

    are you and your partner progressive and the other 2 conservative.

    are you against instrumental music.

    do you teach baptism in the plan of salvation

    do you teach premalinialism

    do you believe a child of God can fall from grace.

    who are the other 2 people yall are discussing with.

    are any of you preachers or have some kind of bible degree from a preaching school.

  34. Jay Guin Says:

    Yes, I’m an elder at the University Church of Christ

    Todd and I are progressive. Phil and Mac are conservative.

    I’m neither for nor against instrumental music. My congregation worships a cappella, but there is nothing inherently sinful in the instrument.

    Yes, I teach baptism as part of the plan of salvation.

    I do not teach premillenialism.

    I teach that Christians can fall from grace. The discussion here at GraceConversation is about how one falls from grace, not whether one can fall from grace.

    An introduction to Mac Deaver may be found at https://graceconversation.com/2009/05/20/mac-deaver-joins-graceconversation/

    An introduction to Phil Sanders and the other participants may be found at https://graceconversation.com/2009/03/25/announcing-graceconversationcom/

  35. religiousblogtalk Says:

    I have started a blog here is a link to it

    http://religiousblogtalk.wordpress.com/

    this is paden

  36. Viewers Voice Says:

    The viewers of the Johnny Robertson’s show, “what does the bible say” have started their own blog too, Paden. Our cause is to seek true unity and
    NOT a unity formed upon man-made laws and inferences.

    Our purpose is to point people to Christ, not a set of rules and laws that justify, but a justification found only in Christ, which produces Christian living — a relationship with God through his Word and a relationship with the members of His body.

    Regrettably, Mr. Johnny Robertson may be a big focus, seeing he is the most far left Church of Christ preacher in our nation. His views are
    the most legalist of any Church of Christ preacher, and he believes one can become an apostate over any matters not agreed upon – this means you must agree with him or be lost.

    Our blog will take months to get off the ground, please pray that we can some how awaken Mr. Johnny Robertson to Gods grace.

  37. Paden Says:

    1. My blog has nothing to do with johny.

    2. I live in texas and my name is paden and thats all i have to say regarding my addentitie.

    3. If yall are so worried about johny and find hima threat just go have a bible study or debate with him. Making a blog wont do much.

  38. Glenn Dowling Says:

    Jay, Please tell me sir, how after reading Romans – 10:9 “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” How you can teach, with a clear conscience, that on cannot be saved unless they are baptised – by emmersion. No question that baptism is important…but it is NOT the crowning act.

  39. Ernie Says:

    Glenn,

    Perhaps Jay can teach that because of 1 Pet. 3:21 which says that “immersion doth also now save us” and because Jay will use all of the Bible on the topic of salvation rather than just one or two verses that support whatever it is he wants to believe when taken out of context? Romans 10:9 does not teach that confession and faith only save, no more than 1 Pet. 3:21 says that immersion alone will save.

    Glenn, if you keep reading through Romans 10:10 instead of stopping with just verse 9 you will see that: “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Where faith and confession lead unto salvation, it is immersion that puts us into Christ where salvation is found. (Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27)

    In Truth and Love,

    Ernie


  40. […] And so, in conclusion… (with a new footnote), by Jay Guin […]

  41. Dan Says:

    Ernie,

    In 1 Peter 3:21, Peter says that baptism now saves us but in what sense? Read the context. 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.” The context reveals that the subjects, the eight souls “saved,” were those in Noah’s ark. The eight people in the ark were “saved through water” as they were in the ark. THEY WERE NOT LITERALLY SAVED BY THE WATER, AS THE CONTEXT REVEALS. Hebrews 11:7 is very clear on this point (…built an ark for the SAVING of his household). 1 Peter 3:21 does not say that baptism saves us in “any sense” OTHER THAN AS A FIGURE. It is the FIGURE of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ by which we are LITERALLY saved. We are still saved through faith (rightly understood) alone. Romans 10:9 does not teach that we are still lost at the moment we place our faith in Christ alone for salvation until sometime later, after we confess. The word “confess” means to acknowledge or agree. It often involves what is expressed with the mouth or at least with the mind (not everyone can speak). A belief that is genuine is marked by confession. A confession that is true reflects saving faith. This confession is not just a simple acknowledgment that Jesus is the Son of God, but is a deep personal conviction, without reservation, that Jesus is that person’s Lord and Savior. Notice in 1 Corinthians 12:3, “…no one can say that JESUS IS LORD except BY the Holy Spirit (not in order to receive the Holy Spirit and become saved after faith). It’s not the confession “in of itself” that saves you as an additional requirement after faith, it’s the faith behind the confession. Faith and confession are not two separate steps to salvation. They are chronologically together. We are still saved through faith (rightly understood) alone. We literally get into Christ through Spirit baptism (1 Corinthians 12:13) not water baptism. Ephesians 1:13 – IN HIM, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation –having also BELIEVED, you were SEALED IN HIM WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT OF PROMISE… In what sense are we (water) baptized “into Christ?” In the same sense that the Israelites were baptized “into Moses” (metaphorically) indicating their oneness, or solidarity, with him as their leader (1 Corinthians 10:2) just as through water baptism we indicate our oneness, or solidarity with Christ as our Savior. Now does 1 Corinthians 10:2 teach that the Israelites were literally water baptized into the body of Moses? Absolutely not. “Buried with him by baptism” is obviously referring to the “likeness” set forth in baptism (vs. 5) — the reality that “our old man (sins) is crucified with Him” (Romans 6:6). Romans 6:4 uses the words “like as Christ” and Romans 6:5 says “in the likeness.” This shows that water baptism is a “likeness,” not the reality, a shadow, not the substance. After we are saved through faith and Spirit baptized into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13) we are then (afterward) water baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3-4) just as the Israelites were baptized into Moses (1 Corinthians 10:2). Not literally water baptized into the body here, but “baptized into” in a “metaphorical sense” in regards to “identification.” We are still saved through faith (rightly understood) alone. Notice in Galatians 3:27, that those who were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Now for the word “enduo” (put on), this word also appears in Romans 13:14 where we read, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill it’s lusts.” This exhortation is not to a sinner, telling him to be baptized to “put on” Christ, but it is written to Christians. Evidently then, baptism is not the only way to “put on” Christ. To “put on” Christ is to conform to Him, imitate Him. So it is in baptism; we “put on” Christ, conforming to Him in the ordinance that declares Him to be our Savior. So if we must “put on” Christ to be saved through water baptism, apparently we are not saved yet. We must also “put on” Christ by making no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts (Romans 13:14). Right? Let’s be consistent. We are water baptized BECAUSE we are already children of God through faith (Galatians 3:26), not to become children of God. The verb in Greek translated “put on” has the meaning of putting on a badge or uniform of service like that of a soldier. This verb is common in the sense of putting on garments (literally and metaphorically as here). In I Thessalonians 5:8 Paul speaks of “putting on the breastplate of righteousness.” He does not here mean that one enters into Christ and so is saved by means of baptism after the teaching of the mystery religions, but just the opposite. We are justified by faith in Christ, not by circumcision or by baptism. But baptism was the public profession and pledge, the soldier’s sacramentum, oath of fealty to Christ, taking one’s stand with Christ, the symbolic picture of the change wrought by faith already (Romans 6:4-6).” The allusion is to putting off old clothes and putting on new ones, to enclosing onself in armor, etc. When a soldier puts on armor he is imitating his superiors and trainers, is revealing himself to be a soldier. One does not put on a uniform in order to become a soldier. Simply putting on a soldier’s uniform does not make one a soldier. Once he is made a soldier he is then able to wear the uniform that distinguishes or marks him as a soldier. Putting on a judge’s robe does not, in itself, make anyone a “judge.” But, one who has been made a judge is qualified to put on “judicial robes” and thus declare his qualifications. So too with being baptized the Christian puts on robes for which he has previously been qualified to wear. The putting on of Christian attire, spiritually speaking, is not what makes one a Christian, but one which becomes a token of it. If one puts on the clothes of a Christian, in water baptism, without first becoming a Christian, then he becomes an imposter, and is declaring, in baptism, to be what he is not. You must be careful to not distort passages of scripture and then patch them together to create a your own gospel plan.

    In Truth and in Love,

    Dan


  42. Dan,

    Once again, you’ve written a whole lot to try and convince me that a verse does not say what it plainly does say. Whatever water immersion is (and you do not deny that this is water immersion in this passage), it “doth also now save us”.

    ~~~~In 1 Peter 3:21, Peter says that baptism now saves us but in what sense?~~~~

    In the sense of we were lost in our sins but Jesus saved us by washing them away by his blood which we come into contact only by conforming to his death in the grave of burial in water.

    ~~~~Read the context…The context reveals that the subjects, the eight souls “saved,” were those in Noah’s ark. The eight people in the ark were “saved through water” as they were in the ark. THEY WERE NOT LITERALLY SAVED BY THE WATER, AS THE CONTEXT REVEALS.~~~~

    Again, you gotta put down the NIV. It’s killing you…spiritually. You quoted the KJV when it suited your purpose. What’s wrong with using it in verse 20? The Greek word “dia” means “through the agency of”, “by the means of”, “by reason of”, etc. In the full context of 1 Pet. 3, Noah and his family were saved by the water destroying the old, sinful world while saving humanity and starting again with a “new creation”. That is why Peter points to it as a type, pointing to the New Testament anti-type, water immersion which saves men.

    ~~~~Hebrews 11:7 is very clear on this point (…built an ark for the SAVING of his household).~~~~

    Heb. 11:7 does not negate 1 Pet. 3:20, just as the requirement for faith or repentance does not negate the requirement for confession or water immersion. If Noah had not built the ark, he and his family would not have been saved. But it was still the water that destroyed sin and saved Noah and his family from sin.

    ~~~~1 Peter 3:21 does not say that baptism saves us in “any sense” OTHER THAN AS A FIGURE. It is the FIGURE of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ by which we are LITERALLY saved.~~~~

    The words “like figure” does not mean what you think it means. It is a phrase translated from the word “antitupos” which means “antitype”. The Old Testament was full of shadows, reflections, types all pointing to the New Testament realities. The types pointing to NT immersion were the Flood, Naaman’s dipping in the river Jordan, the crossing of the Red Sea by the Israelites coming out of Egyptian slavery, the washings of the priests, and so many more. These things all spoke of cleansing, freedom, and salvation. These things all point to the antitype (the thing that is not a type or an image, but the real thing that images are a reflection of), New Testament water immersion. Go learn the meaning of antitupos and get back with me.

    ~~~~We are still saved through faith (rightly understood) alone.~~~~

    The Bible no where teaches this. (Which is why you will never provide a verse in conjunction with this statement). In fact, the only time the words “faith only” are used together in scripture, they are proceeded by the word “not” (James 2:24).

    ~~~~Romans 10:9 does not teach that we are still lost at the moment we place our faith in Christ alone for salvation until sometime later, after we confess. The word “confess” means to acknowledge or agree. It often involves what is expressed with the mouth or at least with the mind (not everyone can speak). A belief that is genuine is marked by confession. A confession that is true reflects saving faith. This confession is not just a simple acknowledgment that Jesus is the Son of God, but is a deep personal conviction, without reservation, that Jesus is that person’s Lord and Savior.~~~~

    I have no problem with your definition of confession. In fact, if you took out the first sentence, I would generally agree with everything you typed in this section.

    The problem you face is that in Romans 10:10 Paul writes that confession is “unto salvation”. I can’t go to where I’m already at. No one asks for directions TO San Antonio when they are walking down the Riverwalk.

    ~~~~Notice in 1 Corinthians 12:3, “…no one can say that JESUS IS LORD except BY the Holy Spirit (not in order to receive the Holy Spirit and become saved after faith). It’s not the confession “in of itself” that saves you as an additional requirement after faith, it’s the faith behind the confession. Faith and confession are not two separate steps to salvation. They are chronologically together. We are still saved through faith (rightly understood) alone.~~~~

    Okay, the Holy Spirit is an entirely different subject. I believe that the Holy Spirit operates through the Word of God only today, not by a physical, immediate indwelling. That is to say that the Holy Spirit dwells in men today the same way that the Father and Son do, by our knowledge and application of the Word (John 14:23).

    But nowhere does the Bible teach that faith and confession are simultaneous or that they are two aspects of the same event. The Jews believed in Jesus, but they refused to confess him (John 12:42) which contradicts your assertion.

    ~~~~We literally get into Christ through Spirit baptism (1 Corinthians 12:13) not water baptism.~~~~

    That is a gross misinterpretation of the passage. The preposition is “by” the Holy Spirit, not “in” the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit immerses us into that one body. What we are immersed into is not mentioned in this passage. Eph. 5:23 speaks of it though. So does 1 John 5:8. John 3:5 you won’t understand because you’ll make the same mistake Nicodemus made and think the water there is the water of the uterus during physical birth not realizing that the context of Jesus words is entirely about rebirth and rebirth alone.

    ~~~~In what sense are we (water) baptized “into Christ?” In the same sense that the Israelites were baptized “into Moses” (metaphorically) indicating their oneness, or solidarity, with him as their leader (1 Corinthians 10:2) just as through water baptism we indicate our oneness, or solidarity with Christ as our Savior. Now does 1 Corinthians 10:2 teach that the Israelites were literally water baptized into the body of Moses? Absolutely not.~~~~

    Once again a gross misinterpretation of scripture. You equate type with antitype, which misses the point of the relationship. When the Israelites were immersed in the Red Sea (and the cloud) they were at that moment set free from Egyptian slavery. The sinful was destroyed by the water (Egyptian army pursuing) and the people were saved. Being immersed “into Moses” was not a reference to the physical man, but the covenant/law that bears his name. Just as we are not physically immersed into Christ, but we are made partakers/heirs of the last will and testament/covenant/law of Jesus Christ. The antitype is reflected in the type in that upon our water immersion we are set free from the bondage of sin, which is destroyed, and saved. Romans 6 – which I will address again below.

    ~~~~“Buried with him by baptism” is obviously referring to the “likeness” set forth in baptism (vs. 5) — the reality that “our old man (sins) is crucified with Him” (Romans 6:6). Romans 6:4 uses the words “like as Christ” and Romans 6:5 says “in the likeness.” This shows that water baptism is a “likeness,” not the reality, a shadow, not the substance.~~~~

    No. This only shows that water immersion is symbolic of the death, burial, and resurrection. It does not ALSO a symbol of our salvation. A symbol in scripture never points to two realities else that symbol has no meaning at all. Our immersion in water is symbolic of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, but it really affects salvation.

    Keep reading. Romans 6:16-18 teaches that when we obey from the heart that form/pattern/likeness of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection we are THEN made free from sin in a very real manner. So tell me, how do you obey a supposed command to be immersed IN the Holy Spirit?

    ~~~~After we are saved through faith and Spirit baptized into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13) we are then (afterward) water baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3-4) just as the Israelites were baptized into Moses (1 Corinthians 10:2). Not literally water baptized into the body here, but “baptized into” in a “metaphorical sense” in regards to “identification.” We are still saved through faith (rightly understood) alone.~~~~

    Gross misinterpretations aside, you are now preaching two NT immersions whereas Paul said there was only one by the time he wrote Ephesians 4:5. And again, nowhere does scripture teach faith alone saves, and again you fail to provide a verse to back that assertion. I’ll point it out every time you do so.

    ~~~~Notice in Galatians 3:27…~~~~

    So now you go to the Greek. I was wondering…

    You are either teaching here that salvation comes after immersion in water (which is contrary to your former stance) or you are making no sense whatsoever. Paul states in Gal. 3:27 “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” thereby equating “being immersed into Christ” with “putting on Christ”. This is the first time a person puts on Christ. But for those of us who do not believe in Eternal Security, we realize that sometimes we take Christ back off again and must put him on again if we are to become faithful Christians again. There is no contradiction or inconsistency in what I believe, Gal. 3:27, and Romans 13:14.

    God gave the right or the ability to BECOME sons of God to those who believe. You cannot BECOME what you already are, so if faith alone saves, then John 1:12 makes no sense. However, since faith alone does not save us (James 2:24), then John 1:12 makes perfect sense. Faith is the second step for man in attaining salvation (the first being to “hear” the gospel).


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