In Response to Mac’s Final Post

by Jay Guin

We should begin by saying how much we appreciate Greg, Phil, and Mac for participating in this conversation to this point. We believe that the effort has greatly clarified the positions of those on both sides.

And we greatly appreciate the readers for sticking with us. GraceConversation has been rated the fourth most popular Church of Christ blog — which is remarkable for a blog so recently begun. We’ve had over 100 comments on some posts. (And we aren’t taking the blog down anytime soon.)

We know that many readers will be disappointed to learn that conservative proponents have declined to continue. Some will be disappointed that one side has failed to persuade the other side. But the point of the conversation was always to bring a better understanding of the two positions, and we believe that’s been accomplished — although it could have been accomplished much more thoroughly had the conversation continued.

In particular, we have not yet had the opportunity to express our views on what we believe to be the third and final ground for falling away: teaching a different gospel by seeking to be justified other than by faith, contrary to Gal 5:4. We will therefore post something in the near future explaining our position, for the sake of answering that lingering question — and because we believe that very question is of great importance to this debate. We cannot in good conscience leave this discussion without having at least explained what we mean.

As we’ve not yet presented our views on this important passage, we’ll respond to Mac’s comments without reference to it to avoid confusion.

Response to Mac’s post

In Mac’s final post, he made a series of charges against the position that Todd and I have stated. We will reply below, but only briefly, as the arguments have largely already been made extensively in our previous posts. To remind the readers, our position is —

There are three ways a saved person can fall away –

  • A Christian falls away when he no longer has faith. “Faith” means faith in Jesus.
  • A Christian falls away when he is no longer penitent. Equivalently, a Christian falls away when he no longer submits to Jesus as Lord. Equivalently, a Christian falls away when he willfully continues to sin.
  • A Christian falls away when he seeks to be justified other than by faith in Jesus.

Mac wrote,

I will briefly list the following points: In your effort to exaggerate grace to the point of sanctioning corrupt worship, you have –

Mac imputes illicit motives to us, unfairly. Our goal is neither to “exaggerate grace” nor to sanction corrupt worship. Our goal is to learn from the scriptures God’s true doctrine of apostasy. Besides, our motives are quite beside the point. Leading his conclusion with an attack on our motives is a transparent effort to bias the readers against us. It is an unworthy tactic.

We in fact both serve in a cappella congregations. We believe that Mac’s motivations are to serve God to the best of his ability. We wish he would credit us with the same motivation.

1. Attacked the knowability of moral law (thereby attacking the nature of man and the nature of moral law itself)[You simply do not comprehend what you are here doing];

This is simply untrue. Would some reader please tell us just where we attacked the knowability of moral law? This is a pure straw man argument — and a blatantly false accusation.

2. Attacked the concept of the New Testament as a pattern though you have tried to argue for a general but not too specific pattern;

Again, where have we made such an attack? This is not even a discussion about whether the New Testament is a pattern. It’s a discussion about what might cause a saved person to fall away. We could, of course, explain our position on patternism in some detail, but it’s simply not relevant to the discussion at hand.

Indeed, we’ve only used the word “pattern” once in our discussion with Mac, and that was to note the obvious error of merely assuming that “walking in the light” in 1 John 1:7 means to worship or organize according to a particular pattern — which is a point of exegesis, hermeneutics, and logic: you don’t begin by assuming to be true that which you wish to prove.

3. Advocated the view that a person can walk in the light and be a practicing fornicator at one and the same time, thus turning the grace of God into lasciviousness (cf. Jude 4)[This alone, indicates the impoverishment of your cause!];

Mac and Phil stipulated,

Error due to a Christian’s status as a novice is tolerated by God until the Christian has had the opportunity to be instructed on that matter.

For readers new to the discussion, we offered as an example an engaged couple baptized by a minister. The couple had been entirely unchurched. In premarital counseling with the couple shortly after their baptism, the preacher learned that the couple didn’t know that premarital sex is a sin. When the preacher lovingly explained this to them, they immediately stopped and were chaste until marriage. We argued that because they were truly penitent, as evidenced by their willingness to change as soon as they learned better, they were not lost due to their sin. Under Mac’s and Phil’s stipulation quoted above, they should have reached the identical conclusion — but Mac instead responds with a lengthy list of accusations.

We honestly don’t know Mac’s position, as in one breath he says they are excused for being novices and in another breath he seems to argue that everyone is charged with perfect knowledge of God’s moral law. We certainly believe that God created us as moral creatures and so we innately know some of God’s moral will, but this hardly means that everyone — even a new convert — knows all of God’s moral will. And we live in an age when what was common knowledge about God’s will 50 years ago is simply no longer known by many outside of God’s church.

4. Admitted that the belief of some doctrines damn the soul but then argued that a sincere saint cannot be lost by the acceptance of any false doctrine;

Again, this is grossly unfair and untrue. We began this conversation months ago agreeing with Greg and Phil that

Fourth, we are agreed that those Christians who lose their faith in Jesus are no longer saved.

Fifth, we are agreed that those Christians who rebel against the Lordship of Jesus (described in Heb 10:26ff — deliberately continuing to sin) are no longer saved.

These statements are, of course, at the heart of our understanding of apostasy as stated at the beginning of this post. We’ve never said that “a sincere saint cannot be lost by the acceptance of any false doctrine.” After all, if he denies that Jesus is the Messiah, he is not saved.

5. Denied believing in “once saved-always saved” but then argued that a sincere saint cannot, while remaining sincere, be lost by doctrine or action;

Mac is right, of course, that we deny once saved – always saved. But as we’ve said from the very beginning, repeatedly, one can be lost if he loses his faith or penitence. We don’t know how we could have been clearer.

6. Argued that “sincerity” is the equivalent to “faithfulness” on the part of a saint though the Bible teaches differently;

Mac is so caught up in arguments made by other people in other contexts that he fails to see the point that we’re making. We have never argued, nor do we believe, that sincerity saves. Jesus saves. As we stipulated at the beginning, those without faith in Jesus are lost. Sincere belief in another savior does not save.

But those who’ve been saved can lose their salvation if they are no longer penitent, as Heb 10:26 ff plainly states and as, we are sure, Mac would agree. And insincerity can be a mark of impenitence. If a Christian woman believes that the Bible requires her to wear a hat to worship, and if she, in rebellion against God, wears no hat, she is endangering her soul. However, if a Christian woman believes that the Bible does not require her to wear a hat to worship, and if she, in faithfulness to God, wears no hat, her soul is not in danger, even if she should be in error. The difference is one of rebellion vs. penitence, which obviously matters a great deal in God’s eyes. Sincerity matters, because sincerity or insincerity can indicate whether someone has truly submitted to Jesus as Lord.

(Eph 6:24 KJV)  Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

(Phil 1:9-11 KJV)  And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; 10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; 11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

It is standard sermon material to note that sincerity is not enough, and we agree. The penitent Christian will study God’s word to learn his will. However, one may be very studious and penitent and, yes, sincere — and yet misunderstand. And God’s grace covers such misunderstandings — for those who continue in faith in Jesus and in penitence.

7. Attacked the biblical concept of knowledge. Since you think that Phil and I are inconsistent on fellowship and because we do not know the eternal destiny of every saint, we cannot know what to teach as divine obligation or duty;

We have not attacked the biblical concept of knowledge. It just didn’t happen. On the other hand, we do question Mac’s and Phil’s knowledge of the scriptures. We have not taught that one cannot know what to teach as divine obligation or duty.

We believe that God’s will regarding apostasy is plainly taught in scripture, is not complicated, and is easily understood and taught. However, what Mac and Phil teach on the subject is so hopelessly complex that they have to constantly invent new exceptions and rules as they go in an effort to make things fit.

8. Undermined the very concept of obligation by suggesting that our inability to know the eternal destiny of a man implies that we cannot know what our actual duty is;

Here’s the key. While we are all at times unable to make God’s judgment and know someone’s eternal fate, we can certainly know in principle. We know that those who reject the Lordship of Jesus by rebelling against him (Heb 10:26 ff) are lost. We know that those who surrender their faith in Jesus will be lost (1 John 4:2-3). But these are, to some extent, matters of the heart, and we can’t judge the hearts of our brothers with certainty in many cases. But at least we know the principles, and this is enough so that we can deal pastorally with those who give signs of rebellion or weak faith, encouraging and disciplining as may be needed.

But under Mac’s and Phil’s position, the rules constantly change. Under their position, you can’t even know the outcome in principle, because they are unable to even state the principles.

We argued extensively in earlier posts that Mac and Phil had failed to state their views. When they attempt to do so, they contradict themselves. We’ve challenged them to state what they believe simply and explain their self-contradictions. In response, Mac issued a series of accusations and they left the conversation.

9. Tried to make a way for grace for the weak but not for the rebellious, when the fact is that weakness itself can lead to or be associated with rebellion (You treated king Saul’s case of disobedience as rebellion rather than weakness, when his “fear” of the people led him to rebellion. Was that “fear” a form of weakness?).

Precisely! We believe that Jesus came to make a way for the weak but not for the rebellious. Yes, weakness may in some cases lead to rebellion, but weakness and rebellion are clearly not the same, nor does God treat them the same. Not everyone who is weak is rebellious.

10.  Redefined “repentance” so that it does not necessitate the cessation of fornication or corrupt worship practice!

No, Mac has redefined “repentance” so that a Christian isn’t penitent unless he’s actually stopped all sin — and so where is grace? Where is sin being continuously purified while we are walking in the light? In one breath, Mac and Phil declare that sins are covered while we walk in the light. In the next, they declare we aren’t walking in the light if we sin.

The true Biblical principle is that a Christian remains in the light — where there is no darkness at all — so long as he remains true to the faith and penitence that were required for him to be saved in the first place.

11.  Attacked the very idea of knowing the truth by so blurring the distinction between truth and error as to make walking in truth the same as practicing fornication, at least in one suggested case! You have become epistemological agnostics as far as your concept of the gospel is concerned.

Mac again accuses us of epistemological agnosticism. It’s just not true — not remotely. Have we argued that “walking in truth” is the same as practicing fornication? Of course not. Indeed, Mac’s argument entirely misses the point of what it means to walk in the light.

Walking in the light is not about: do you obey all the rules? Rather, it’s whether you remain true to your faith in Jesus and submission to Jesus as Lord, that is, your repentance.

12.  You have so explicated some complex individual cases as to deny the application of plain truth to the easier cases.

What “complex individual cases”? Whether Daniel Sommer and Foy Wallace were factious? It’s not complicated. What makes it complicated is Mac’s and Phil’s ad hoc theology that allows them to pick and choose which sins permit us to remain in the light and which sins take us out of the light. As they cannot articulate how to make this decision, cases only become “complex” when they show the inconsistent, ad hoc nature of their theology.

13.  Argued for the extension of divine grace to those who constantly practice sin while the Bible teaches that it comes to saints who walk in the light[Just here you have turned grace into license to do wrong].

We’ve stated from the very beginning that “a Christian falls away when he willfully continues to sin.” On the other hand, everyone “constantly practice[s] sin.” Paul writes,

(Rom 7:18-19)  I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing.

Indeed, this is precisely where we disagree with Mac. We believe that God does indeed extend his grace to sinners. Mac and Phil want to pick and choose the sins that get covered.

14.  Unintentionally you have attacked the moral and doctrinal difference between the church and the world, claiming that as long as a saint or an alleged saint has a “heart for God,” he cannot be doing wrong [thereby abandoning biblical concept and language for an invented vague expression that somehow allows immorality to sincerely continue].

We argued regarding the just-converted, engaged couple who were sleeping together,

They plainly had hearts for God, so much so that they immediately gave up their sexual relationship as soon as they learned better.

Our argument was simply that God forgave their fornication because they were unaware that it was sin. Their penitence was plainly demonstrated by their willingness to give up their sin as soon as they learned better. They were not in rebellion and so were not apostate under Heb 10:26 ff. The question is whether their sin was forgiven, not whether they were sinning. They were.

Mac’s argument is that their baptism was ineffective because they’d not yet repented of their fornication — this despite his stipulation that —

Error due to a Christian’s status as a novice is tolerated by God until the Christian has had the opportunity to be instructed on that matter.

And so it appears that Mac’s position is that error by a novice is tolerated by God unless it’s an error on Mac’s unwritten list of errors that are outside of grace. And should “converts” be guilty of one of these kinds of errors, they’ve not fallen — they were never even saved at all and must be baptized again. It’s a deeply unscriptural position.

15.  Argued so as to deny the ethical significance between a one time act and a continuing practice.

Are the two different ethically? Of course. But we are talking about apostasy. Would Mac argue that a one-time act never damns but a continuing practice always damns? Of course, not.

When we asked him about the continuous sins of hypothetical and real persons, Mac repeatedly refused to judge the fate of these people, saying that it depends on their hearts. Which is what we say. It’s just that we’re consistent in our position, while Mac persists in applying this principle on an ad hoc basis, picking some sins to be covered by grace (if the heart is right) and other sins not — all the while refusing to tell us how to distinguish between them.

Let me say this finally. I want all men to be saved just as God does (11 Pet.3:9; 1 Tim.2:4). However, God has told us that few men will be saved (Matt.7:13, 14) in spite of the availability of the matchless love and grace of God. Grace is always connected to truth, either to the acquiring of it or to the walking in it. Jay and Todd do not serve either sinners or saints well in their effort to disassociate the grace of God from attaining the truth and actually walking in it. The “solution” that they offer to the problems and difficulties that we face constitutes no solution at all! Their effort simply becomes another doctrinal error that becomes a part of the brotherhood landscape.

We’ve repeatedly pointed out that the New Testament’s definition of “truth” is not “any true proposition” or even “doctrinal correctness.” Rather, “truth” in the context of salvation refers to the truth about Jesus — the gospel. We’ve argued this in detail, and Mac and Phil have responded by ignoring the argument. But the passages are very clear for those who will take the trouble to read them.

The problem Mac and Phil face when they expand saving “truth” far beyond its biblical definition is that they do not have a means by which they can consistently identify which truths are essential for salvation and which are not. And so, some errors regarding divorce and remarriage are tolerated (even if they lead to sin) while others are not. Some errors regarding church organization (e.g., certain views on the qualifications of elders) are tolerated while others are not. Some errors regarding worship practice are tolerated while others are not. Again, it seems to us arbitrary in the extreme.

The grace that Jay and Todd offer is not the grace of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a different grace because they advocate a different gospel (cf. Gal.1:6-10).

This is a serious misunderstanding of Galatians. We’ll post something shortly explaining the true meaning of Galatians for the conservative Churches of Christ.

Evidently they have been too much affected by the religious corruption in the world and by the constant division within the church. It is my view that they have wrongly reacted to the mess we have to face. The world will always be corrupt (1 Jno.5:19) and the church will always have to face its own divisiveness (1 Cor.11:19).

Have we been deeply affected by the division in the Churches of Christ? Absolutely. Do we think that the conservative Churches of Christ have the solution? No. Over a century of constant division is hardly evidence of having the true gospel. The inability of two of the most prominent ministers among the conservative Churches to even state a consistent, coherent view demonstrates that they are missing something very important in their understanding.

We neither help the world nor the church by disvaluing truth in an attempt to get grace to the world.

Exactly. Exactly. But “the truth” is the gospel, and the gospel saves by forgiving sin. Mac and Phil routinely, repeatedly devalue God’s truth by denying God’s grace to those who have an imperfect understanding of doctrine. It’s as though they believe everyone is capable of perfect theology. When we deny this, they accuse us of denying that people can know any truth at all — which is completely untrue and a transparent false dichotomy.

We believe that doctrine is knowable, but that we are fallen, weak, sinful creatures, which is why Jesus died to provide us grace for our imperfections.

It seems to me that one of the fundamental differences between Jay and Todd on the one hand and Phil and me on the other is that (1) Phil and I still see the necessity of teaching one’s duty in spite of the fact that we do not know what God will do with certain individuals at judgment whereas (2) Todd and Jay, on the other hand, since we cannot determine in all cases what the eternal destiny of some folks is [we do not sit in the seat of God], actually wind up undermining what the clear duty is. The duty becomes a fog or it disappears altogether. And they think this is a solution to the alleged problems that we have in the matter of fellowship!

Again, Mac makes an entirely unfounded accusation. We have never argued against teaching one’s duty. Ever. Rather, we have argued against the notion that one must become a master of theology to even be a candidate for baptism. As Mac argues it, one cannot be saved unless one repents (true), but “repent” requires that candidates for baptism must be taught enough doctrine so that they can repent of every particular sin and thereby cease all sin. It’s an impossible position that deeply misunderstands human nature and grace at every level.

I hereby propose that we have a four night oral public debate in 2010 in Tennessee. If Todd and Jay can formulate a proposition with which we disagree and which states the actual issue between us, then I will come to Tennessee and debate Jay or Todd in the spring or the fall (but not the summer) of next year. They do not need to accept or reject this proposal on the internet, however. They simply can send their response by e-mail or snail mail.

Notice —

* Mac began his email by asserting, “It is pointless to continue the back and forth correspondence.” How can a written dialogue be pointless whereas a verbal exchange would not be?

* What arguments might Mac make verbally that cannot be made in writing?

* How is a verbal exchange a better way to find the truth of the matter?

* Why is the burden on us to state the proposition on which we disagree? You see, one of the points we’ve repeatedly made is that Mac’s theology is so self-contradictory that he can’t even state his position. In response, we receive a list of accusations and a challenge for us to state what we disagree about!

In fact, the proper next step would be for Mac to state his views in a succinct fashion. He can’t do it. Mac wants leeway to change his views to get the result he wants case by case. And how can we argue with that?

All that notwithstanding, we’ll take Mac’s challenge under advisement and prayerfully consider it. I must say, however, that my health does not presently permit me to even consider a verbal debate. I’m fine with writing at a pretty good pace, but a verbal debate is out of the question for the immediate future. But if God gives me the strength, it could happen.

With regard to things we cannot know, there are many. With regard to the destiny of many Christians, I would have to say that I do not know.

We would not presume to know the fate of all individual Christians either. However, unlike Mac and Phil, we can simply and consistently state the principles by which this judgment is to be made. We aren’t supposed to be making this up as we go along.

But I know that neither Jay nor Todd nor Phil nor I have the right to engage in corrupt worship and practice immorality and claim that God’s grace will cover it.

For those in grace, grace covers sin. As I said earlier, it’s obvious to me that Mac and Phil have a list of pet sins (perhaps we should call them “mortal sins”) that cannot be covered by grace. Among these are  instrumental music in worship and fornication.

But there are other sins that grace covers for those walking in the light. Let’s call these “venial sins.” Now, Mac and Phil are very careful not to ever list venial sins, but they are often very pleased to give a sampling of mortal sins.

Now, we agree that there are certain sins that take one out of grace. But it’s not some ad hoc list of subjectively chosen sins. It’s the sin of denying the faith: that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. It’s the sin of failing to submit to Jesus as Lord. And it’s the sin of adding additional requirements to the gospel. We’ll explain this third point in future posts.

In support of this position, we’ve exegeted the entire book of 1 John and large portions of Hebrews and Romans. In response, Mac tells us that it is pointless to continue, except on a stage. What stage is bigger or more public than the Internet?

I sincerely hope that Jay and Todd will come back to the truth of the gospel. I will continue to pray for them.

And we will pray that Mac and Phil learn the truth of the gospel. Indeed, we will continue in prayer for all within the conservative Churches of Christ that they will escape an ad hoc theology that needlessly divides brother from brother and forces one division after another and instead embrace the true gospel in its simplicity.

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37 Comments on “In Response to Mac’s Final Post”

  1. Jeff B. Says:

    Jay,

    Have you given any thought to continuing this discussion with new participants who are willing to commit to sticking with it? I know some disagree with me here, but even though emotions run high in these discussions and are sometimes expressed in undesirable ways in the comments, they are a wonderful way for the two sides to understand each other. And, whether I agree with someone or not, understanding them is the first step towards unity. I hope that you can devise some way to continue this discussion using other participants who will also be respectful in their tone (which Mac and Phil were until this “hit and run” piece).

  2. randall Says:

    Great rsponse Jay!
    Two things:
    First, I have failed to submit to Jesus as Lord. And I might add that I have done that a lot, but I am not lost. I do not know that I have EVER loved God with ALL of my heart, mind, sould and strength but I am not lost. I know I should obey this command, but I sense I am not capable of it as I should be. I am obligated to do it, but I am not lost. I suspect everyone that is committed to Christ is also guilty of failing to comply with both the great and the second comandment. The grace of God is my only hope, and also my sure hope, of salvation.

    Second: In conclusion of the post Jay said:
    “And we will pray that Mac and Phil learn the truth of the gospel. Indeed, we will continue in prayer for all within the conservative Churches of Christ that they will escape an ad hoc theology that needlessly divides brother from brother and forces one division after another and instead embrace the true gospel in its simplicity.”

    That is why many have elected to remain in the CofC – to try to teach the gospel to their sisters and brothers who are life long CofC members.

    May God grant them grace to come to an understanding of what he has done for them.

    Peace,
    Randall

  3. Rick Griffis Says:

    There is a degree of intellectual dishonesty in the position of the extreme conservatives. I am not certain if it is intentional, but it is there.

  4. Rob Woodfin Says:

    Jay,

    My first concern is the reference to your health. I pray whatever this situation may be that you are on the mend. Stress is unavoidable, both in your vocation and in this labor of love you pursue in your internet ministry (not to mention raising a family, serving a congregation, etc), but the vicious gauntlet of a debate certainly falls into the category of avoidable. I hope you continue to avoid it this year, next year, any year.

    Public oral debates (often the human equivalent of chicken fighting) may be fine in the political arena, but I believe they do more harm than good to the cause of Christ. Jesus didn’t let the Pharisees goad Him into debates. Yes, He had conversations with them, but He never gave them the opportunity to set the terms or frame the arguments. He also had a keen eye for ambush and was able to avoid entrapment all the way to the cross (to which He offered Himself freely).

    The conservative newsletters I occasionally peruse (when my borderline blood pressure allows) make it clear there will always be members of the Church of Christ who contend they are the only Christians, and not just exclusive from all (other) denominations, but from all the apostates (such as you and me) within the CoC. Consider this quote from a Church of Christ Bible College newsletter: “The Christian Church has done the church of Christ a favor in one sense. They have helped weed out some of the unconverted folks in the church of Christ.” I believe that statement sums up the conservative agenda fairly succinctly. It is not about evangelizing, it is about purifying; not bringing people to Christ, but helping God weed out the unworthy.

    I salute your efforts to bring GraceConversation to this point. But I wonder if you and Todd might not be just as helpful to those who are seeking answers to these questions by offering your propositions and then simply interacting with the readers. If other conservative leaders decide to join in, all the better. In seeking replacements, though, not only are you likely to be drawing from a pool even less capable of on-point discussion, but you run the risk of appearing to “pick losers.”

    Far be it from me to improve on your efforts. I have greatly benefitted from your writing and truly appreciate the tremendous amount of effort you put forth to help break the chains of legalism.

    May God’s healilng hand be upon you and may you have many more years in His service.


  5. Jay and Todd thanks for answering the points laid out by Mac. It is unfortunate that Mac and Phil chose to pull out of the debate. I would never have thought that any “seasoned” Christian would have such a difficult time stating and defending their position as Mac and Phil had in defending the position they hold. Perhaps their difficulty came from the fact it was their personal position and not the position of Scripture. Thanks for all that you guys did to progress the cause of Truth.

  6. Jay Guin Says:

    Rob,

    Thanks for your thoughts. The conversation has not been the least stressful to me. I actually enjoy this sort of thing, because I feel I’m using talents God gave me in his service. To me, this is fun. Kind of a hobby. My health situation is something else altogether.

    We will definitely be posting some more thoughts. Whether we invite someone else to fill the void left by Mac and Phil — and whether anyone will be willing to take up the task — remains to be seen.

  7. Royce Says:

    “The ultimate evidence of legalism is not what it claims, or which laws it adopts, but on whose obedience it depends for right standing with God.” (Edward Fudge)

    Bro’ Fudge has summed up the conservative’s flaw.

    Royce

  8. Randy Blankenship Says:

    Dear Brethren,
    A great response to Brother Mac. Coming from the One Cup branch of our faith heritage I’ve heard the same arguments as those presented by Bro. Mac. There are many One Cuppers who are on the same path as you and Todd. We advocate fellowship with all our brethren while maintaining our own views with respect to the Lord’s Supper and other Bible teachings. God bless all who seek unity in Christ!!!!!!!!

    [comment submitted by Randy to Jay for posting]

  9. laymond Says:

    “To me, this is fun. Kind of a hobby.”

    Jay, to some of us it is “Dead Serious” May I suggest that you take up collecting stamps, it wouldn’t be nearly as harmful, as instigating arguments among fellow Christians.
    May God bless you and resolve your health problems.

  10. Richard GF Says:

    Greetings from sunny Texas,

    I see that nothing much has changed. Blind is still blind.

    The Jews did what is going on here..defining sin to the ninth point of the scale and then adding another point or two.

    Neither side seems to grasp the problem when you both start defining{from each side} what things are and are not. and then arguing over them.

    The progresives “just cannot see” “nor believe” why in the world the conservatives “cannot see your point of view concerning the texts.”

    At the end of your note you stated…

    And we will pray that Mac and Phil learn the truth of the gospel. Indeed, we will continue in prayer for all within the conservative Churches of Christ that they will escape an ad hoc theology that needlessly divides brother from brother and forces one division after another and instead embrace the true gospel in its simplicity.

    OK–Do us all a really big favor–STOP!!!
    The truth of the gospel is not the issue here at all!!

    The reason divisions occur is because we are human beings and we have an extremely cunning adversary who uses our human emotions to destroy.

    And, it depends on whether or not you stand on my left or my right as to whether or not you are conservative or liberal–which each demands “rightness” being their way–you have just moved from the teachings of the texts to the teachings of men..

    The truth is not hard–When progressives throw any part of the MDR issue–at the conservatives–story is over–you guys evidently are not smart enough to figure that one out? How many discussions have you had with the right wing conservatives on MDR to not know that?????

    Well, when you communicate in that fashion–guess what–you get the IM issue right back–

    You guys have done nothing but drive the stake of division deeper.

    Now, having done all of this all you can do is complain that the other side quit. Shuckins, they were just smarter, that’s all. They saw what you did not see–this was going no where fast, slow or anything in between.

    And, this is not going to get any better any time soon but what would help is for all to begin studying the texts by covenants and not by testaments.

    This would be of larger benefit to the more conservatives–but everyone benefits because you can then all use the same authority.

    Richard GF


  11. RichardGF, I think when Jay and Todd said “And we will pray that Mac and Phil learn the truth of the gospel. Indeed, we will continue in prayer for all within the conservative Churches of Christ that they will escape an ad hoc theology that needlessly divides brother from brother and forces one division after another and instead embrace the true gospel in its simplicity,” they were only responding to Mac’s closing line, ” I sincerely hope that Jay and Todd will come back to the truth of the gospel. I will continue to pray for them.”

    I think it’d be great if we all prayed for each other. Maybe more progress can be made if we approach a conversation about grace with grace and with a lot of prayer.

    We just need to remember we’re praying dangerously when we pray for God to change someone’s heart … I read about God hardening hearts – with no hesitation on His part. And I read about God making circumstances so difficult for some that their hearts were completely broken.

    I can’t call to mind any accounts of God gently softening someone’s heart.

    Maybe that’s because we’re all so blamed stiff-necked.


  12. Rob, I concur with what you said: “Consider this quote from a Church of Christ Bible College newsletter: ‘The Christian Church has done the church of Christ a favor in one sense. They have helped weed out some of the unconverted folks in the church of Christ.’ I believe that statement sums up the conservative agenda fairly succinctly. It is not about evangelizing, it is about purifying; not bringing people to Christ, but helping God weed out the unworthy.”

    Doesn’t the parable of the tares (Matthew 13) teach us that weeding out the unworthy is not our task? How did we come to believe that it is????


  13. Jay, when I first read Mac’s comment that you, “9. Tried to make a way for grace for the weak but not for the rebellious, when the fact is that weakness itself can lead to or be associated with rebellion (You treated king Saul’s case of disobedience as rebellion rather than weakness, when his “fear” of the people led him to rebellion. Was that “fear” a form of weakness?).”

    My initial reaction was that you were not the one who “treated king Saul’s case of disobedience as rebellion.” It was God through Samuel who so treated it. Saul tried to excuse his rebellion by blaming it on the people. In this, he was much like Adam who tried to excuse his sin by blaming it on Eve (and on the Lord Himself, for He was the one who had given her to Adam – “The woman you put here with me….”).

    As in so much, Mac is simply stretching to find something to criticize – and so excuse himself for dropping out of the conversation.

  14. Richard GF Says:

    Keith, greetings in Christ from sunny Texas,

    In these conversations, I have not made a real effort to portray my own feelings here–I have been more interested in seeing the responses to the somewhat traditional thinking–which for the most part I do agree with.

    I gave some thought to this response– I am not trying to be “better than others” or “more prideful” or many of the other adjectives some may think of before I am finished.

    First the issues repentance and apostasy are not understood nor applied the same way by the groups involved. But that is self evident, isn’t it?

    Mat 15:3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?

    Now, those who insist upon or support those who use the instrument in worship–are contributing to unrighteousness.

    I have watched this discussion over the last 30years or so–and so far no one has shown from scripture that God has authorized the use of the Instrument in worship.

    So, the attack is misdirection–misapplication all because folks want something that is not there.

    I do not consider folks who do this as brothers..perhaps conservatives have not been clear enough about this..But you need to understand that when men “add to\take away” from the word of God–you step outside the church.

    It does not help the IMER”S at all that the folks who take MDR and teach it as the doctrine of devils..because it is.

    However, that is not justification for dying already dead because of the evil of others in a different arena of life.

    The progressives want something from the conservatives that they are not ever going to receive because these issues remain.

    Personally, both grousp pose a real and present danger to the churches of Christ–as well as any who teach as gospel–the traditions of men.

    Unity can only come when those seeking said unity practise and teach only those things authorized by God.

    Mac and Phil and etc. by their teaching on MDR are keeping folks out of the kingdom of God–God is not mocked folks–

    Again, that is no excuse for folks then teaching another tradition of man–the use ofIM in man’s worship.

    And, by the way the “source” for both errors is the Roman Catholic church.

    Richard GF

  15. Anonymous Says:

    If you read the whole context of Jesus’ conversation with the Pharisees in Matthew 15 you would know that instrumental music was not the issue at hand.

    Jesus nor his disciples never spoke against instrumental music, they never told the people to stop using instrumental music.


  16. If you’re right, then by all means we need to be praying for each other.

    And I think you’re right in saying, “… no one has shown from scripture that God has authorized the use of the Instrument in worship.” On the other hand, no one has shown from scripture that God has de-authorized the use of the instrument in worship from the time of His original command in 2 Chronicles 29:25 and Psalm 150, nor has anyone pointed to the moment in scripture that He somehow reauthorizes it only in heaven to come Revelation 15:2.

    But the conversation here was far more comprehensive than instrumental worship or marriage-divorce-and-remarriage; it was about where God’s grace ends, and if the teaching is true that salvation requires – in addition to faith in the Sonhood and blood of Jesus Christ – a virtually flawless knowledge of and obedience to every so-called doctrine which arises from the necessity of something being authorized before it can be done, then we might as well all invest in flame-retardant firefighter’s suits – for all of the good they will do us in eternity.


  17. […] GraceConversation.com GraceConversation.com « In Response to Mac’s Final Post […]

  18. Richard GF Says:

    Keith, greetings in Christ from sunny Texas,

    Two things–or three or so

    [1] God has not authorized the use of IM in the New Covenant. No man has been able to prove that He has.
    So the attack has to be upon the verses that tell us to sing–but the bottom line is sing..Not play.

    [2] Actually depending on which side you are on here–both IM and MDR are crucil–Both have to do with biblical authority.

    [3] And this argument –you gave here–it was about where God’s grace ends, and if the teaching is true that salvation requires – in addition to faith in the Sonhood and blood of Jesus Christ – a virtually flawless knowledge of and obedience to every so-called doctrine which arises from the necessity of something being authorized before it can be done,

    THAT IS JUST WHAT IT IS–THE ARGUEMENT OF THE PROGRESSIVE{for emphasis only}

    Progressive’s don’t get it…you are once again guilty of taking the same position of the Jews priorto Christ with their Man made scribal laws and made them to be equal to the scriptues.

    We can clearly find authority for the things we do in our worship to our God and in our daily walk with God.

    The Jews lost and just could not ever get it. Well, after Pentecost some of them “got it” but most of them did not get it and that was more than likely by choice.

    Oh yes, there was a discussion here…but it did not carry much of what God says..but a lot of what men say God says.

    With the coming of the New Heart, New Spirit and New Covenant–requried a new covenant law given by God through the apostles.

    Apostasy was not defined–conditions however were given.

    You know the Jews sat down and figured out what was and was not work on the Sabbath–the conditined the law right out the door and knew it not.

    Obedience is essential–but God did not leave it to man to decide what is and what is not necessary.

    You and others have taken the idea of obedience and followed the example of theJews in the example ofwork–not a good nor great idea.

    Well, I have to do time sheets so folks can get paid.

    Richard GF

  19. Anonymous Says:

    Richard you are clearly a very anti-Semetic person. Your words are disgraceful and full of hate, especially toward Jewish people which there are many Jewish Christians. Some people like you want to do away with the Hebrew Scripture, but God did not.

    2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

  20. Ellen Says:

    In response to it being “dangerous” to ask God to change hearts- God promised to take hearts of stone and give them hearts of flesh, didn’t he? When I pray for someone’s heart, this is what I specifically pray. I don’t assume to know what God wants to do with a person’s heart, and I pray for my own heart as well. My mom prays for me because she believes I’m going to hell. That’s fine with me. I can use all the prayers I can get. If she’s right and I’m going down the wrong path, I want to know. I know God loves me and He won’t stear me wrong. He doesn’t want anyone to perish.

  21. laymond Says:

    Yep, you are right anon. Paul had to be referring to Hebrew scripture, because there was no other at the time. He said that hundreds of years before the writings called the New Testament were placed in book form.

  22. Anonymous Says:

    Paul said “All Scripture”, also verses 14 and 15 speak of the Holy Scriptures – the Hebrew Scriptures.

    2 Tiomthy 3:14-17 “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

    God did not do away with the Hebrew Scriptures – He did away with the old covenant because people are not faultless and He made a new covenant with the perfect redeeming blood of Jesus once and for all. His promise was given to Abraham – a Jewish man and his seed. We are wild branches who have been grafted into the olive tree, hence we need to know the nature of this olive tree and to partake of that same nourishing sap that comes from its roots.

    The truth is that Judaism was not removed, but perfected in Jesus our Messiah

    http://bondservant3.wordpress.com/


  23. Richard GF:

    I’d respond in detail, bro, but frankly I can’t understand what you’re saying. You’re right. Whether I’m a “progressive” or not, I don’t get it.

    You say of me that “… you are once again guilty of taking the same position of the Jews priorto Christ with their Man made scribal laws and made them to be equal to the scriptues.” And also, “You and others have taken the idea of obedience and followed the example of theJews in the example ofwork–not a good nor great idea.” Could you clarify that for me?

    How am I guilty of that?

    What I’m actually saying – if I wasn’t clear – is that to create man-made doctrines like requiring authority for everything that one can do and damning anyone who does something not specifically authorized … well, that’s the kind of thing scribes and Pharisees did in Jesus’ day and before. They excoriated Him for not following/teaching their washing rules. They regulated lunch for the hungry traveler right out of the Sabbath rest. They defined healing as work – on the spot – and told Him to do it some other day.

    But we may not be able to reach common ground on this, because you clearly believe that the new covenant is just another big set of laws to flawlessly know and obey and intuit when they’re not actually stated (“sing” means “you can’t sing accompanied”) – when there are all kinds of New Testament scripture which absolutely refute that position.

    The law of Christ is the law of love; it is as simple as the Shema and the golden rule – and condemning people based on their violation of the rules we make up hardly demonstrates that kind of love.

    Hope your time sheets were resolved more easily than this conversation!

  24. Richard GF Says:

    keith, greetngs in Christ from sunny Texas,

    You say of me that “… you are once again guilty of taking the same position of the Jews priorto Christ with their Man made scribal laws and made them to be equal to the scriptues.” And also, “You and others have taken the idea of obedience and followed the example of theJews in the example ofwork–not a good nor great idea.” Could you clarify that for me?

    How am I guilty of that?

    My response–

    First, you do ascribe some things to the scriptures in order to then make arguments of refutation.

    Let me try this:

    [1] The New Covenant when the New heart new spirit and new Covenant were first given in Acts 2– the good news is pretty straightforward.

    [2} Apostasy is a sin–progressives make degrees out of it using human logic. If you stay with James 1:12-17 most of your side goes away.

    [3] Progressives are guilty of doing exactly what the Jews did and continue to do with the Mosaic law and sadly they never caught on to their mistakes..

    [4] STill, Most folks don’t wrestle very well with the concept that the scriptures are to be “rightly divided” without giving up their inspiration.

    And, for clarification–so do the ultra conservatives–just at the other end of the scale.

    Because they err does not automatically make you correct. Not when you presume on the same set of principles that lead to adding to the word. I.E. using IM in man’s worship.

    you stated

    What I’m actually saying – if I wasn’t clear – is that to create man-made doctrines like requiring authority for everything that one can do and damning anyone who does something not specifically authorized … well, that’s the kind of thing scribes and Pharisees did in Jesus’ day and before.

    My observation–then why do it? Then turn around and lambaste other folks who also do it on the other end of the scale?

    And those Jewish leaders as you so aptly point out–were told about it by Jesus..but what also needs to be pointed out is the fact that they did not believe they were so doing…….

    you stated
    They regulated lunch for the hungry traveler right out of the Sabbath rest. They defined healing as work – on the spot – and told Him to do it some other day.

    My response–Yes they did and so do you progressives–but like the Jews one has a hard time believing that of themselves.

    Now you are back to the authority issue again.

    you said–

    But we may not be able to reach common ground on this, because you clearly believe that the new covenant is just another big set of laws to flawlessly know and obey and intuit when they’re not actually stated (“sing” means “you can’t sing accompanied”) – when there are all kinds of New Testament scripture which absolutely refute that position.

    My response–quite frankly, those are fighting words.
    I get really tired of you guys out on the liberal end looking at the ultra conservatives–then telling us how we believe.

    Your ignorance is showing–I choose to believe that it is not deliberate.

    You evidently do not understand covenants and what covenants entail.

    God has never had man UNDER NO LAW OF ANY KIND–NOT EVEN IN THE GARDEN!!

    God governs by Covenants–God does not insist that we use the Mosaic law to govern us as Christians today.

    Yet I consistently see it here. That law saved no one yet folks keep trying to put us under a law that killed.

    When men choose to follow the traditions of men–they end up spiritually dead.

    And when men aid in such a cause–they become as guilty as those who do so.

    It is not “LOVE” to entice men in Christ to sin–and even the untra folks on the right recognize that fact.

    There is not a man living today who can prove from the new Covenant that God is well-pleased with the use of man made instruments in worship.

    Ignorance raises its head again–In the form of scriptural combat. No one has ever claimed that progressives are stupid or dumb..

    When you folks finally got the idea that you could not do as requested–you then began to attack the “sing” texts.

    Unfortunately–when the texts are done–sing is all that is included.

    But it is God’s word that prevents men from using IM in their worship. You see we believe in the definition of sin as given by scripture.

    The truth is man has to worship “by faith” we trust God to do as He has stated. WE only do those things that are “authorized” because we know that God did not leave it up to man to decide what God wants or don’t want in our worship to Him.

    Man just cannot worship by faith” and use IM in their worship.

    This is one of the issues that caused you guys to leave in the first place..

    If you want to talk about being united –you have to get back to allowing the texts–not your application of them to govern..

    This is what the Jews in the day of Jesus did and they didn’t get it either.

    Richard

  25. Royce Ogle Says:

    Richard,

    Does the silence of Scripture impose shaped notes or round notes? Or why have notes at all since we are to make melody in our hearts to the Lord? Three songs and a prayer or four? Shouldn’t every worship service have psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs sung a cappella? Does the silence of Scriptures that requires a cappella singing only also mandate a song leader and a pitch pipe? Does it prohibit more than one song leader? Should the singers stand or sit or does the silence principal address that? How do you know if you are right to sing harmony or in unison? What does silence say about that? Is an electronic voice amplification approved by God? If so upon what principal? Does the principal of silence also mandate an invitation song with the page number announced before the lesson? Which of these things are a part of the worship pattern and which are not and how do you know?

    Shouldn’t a person who can determine God’s will by what He has not said know the answer to these simple questions? Enlighten me and other readers.

    Royce


  26. Royce will you email me please williamokimberly (at) yahoo (dot) com Thanks, dell kimberly

  27. Richard GF Says:

    Royce, greetings in Christ from sunny Texas,

    You stated–
    Does the silence of Scripture impose shaped notes or round notes? Or why have notes at all since we are to make melody in our hearts to the Lord? Three songs and a prayer or four? Shouldn’t every worship service have psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs sung a cappella? Does the silence of Scriptures that requires a cappella singing only also mandate a song leader and a pitch pipe? Does it prohibit more than one song leader? Should the singers stand or sit or does the silence principal address that? How do you know if you are right to sing harmony or in unison? What does silence say about that?

    My Response– When we once again cut directly to the chase– Where are the texts that authorize the use of IM in worship?

    That has always always been the issue–Where is the text that authorizes men to use IM in worship today.

    You should really re read this above paragraph–In some ways it is very telling about what is to be and what is not to be..

    You asked–

    Shouldn’t a person who can determine God’s will by what He has not said know the answer to these simple questions? Enlighten me and other readers.

    My observation–Do you have any idea at all what a “slam’ this is toward God?

    We do know–we do only those things that we CAN PROVE ARE WELL PLEASING TO GOD…

    It is not God’s fault that the progressives cannot get this??

    Again–look directly at the Jews.. They had a long history with God and they could not stay faithful for more than a generation before wandering off again.

    They died because they could not “see–hear–understand” what Jesus was telling them–They preferred their view of the scriptures and they died for it.

    I have little doubt that you know the answer to the questions you pose–but the response is always the same–IM is not found in scripture to be “well-pleasing” to God.

    The Jews had no problems in twisting the law in order to decide not to take care of their parents as required if they decided not to…

    Men today do the same exact same thing and they do so in the name of God and they will be just as dead as those jews.

    It is time to get back to the scriptures–leave apostasy as what it is a sin–Let God decide when sin takes over and man.
    Repentance still means a change of heart or of mind–and build one’s relationship with God on God’s terms not ours.

    Richard GF


  28. Sorry, that didn’t help me understand where you believe me to be guilty of what you accused, bro.

    You responded with generalizations rather than specific examples.

    You responded with insults about ignorance rather than facts.

    You repeated platitudes rather than quoting scripture.

    You continue to maintain, “There is not a man living today who can prove from the new Covenant that God is well-pleased with the use of man made instruments in worship.”

    And I continue to maintain, “There is not a man living today who can prove from the new Covenant that God is NOT STILL well-pleased with the use of man made instruments in worship.”

    Stalemate.

    You said, “If you want to talk about being united –you have to get back to allowing the texts–not your application of them to govern.”

    I didn’t apply anything to the texts. I just quoted them – where God ordained instrumental praise in Deuteronomy and where He is surrounded by it in the Revelation to John. I didn’t apply any “law of silence to the texts.” I didn’t apply any kind of doctrine of implied liberty. God simply neither commands nor condemns the practice in the New Testament … but it is clearly exemplified in heaven through the Revelation to John. (That’s being honest with the text.)

    There, creatures and elders and angels and men bow down, falling on their faces before Him. We don’t do that much, either. Maybe we should do it more. Wouldn’t that be allowing the texts to govern?

    Law can’t save. (Galatians 2:21) It can’t impart life. (Galatians 3:21) It cannot make people perfect or take away sins. (Hebrews 10:1-3). We didn’t need more law; we needed Christ, His Spirit, His law written on our hearts (Hebrews 15:17). Yes, I understand covenants – and the new covenant is not full of law that damns one for doing something God did not specifically authorize … as if a life that follows Christ were no more than a cosmic game of “Simon Says.”

    If God didn’t mention it, then it’s not something that He’s enacting law about. He hasn’t specifically authorized thousands of things that we do every day and Sunday too. You’re drawing a line God hasn’t drawn; dividing the body of Christ over that line; insulting brothers in that blood-bought fellowship … doesn’t that strike you as dangerous to do?

    You said, “Man just cannot worship by faith and use IM in their worship.”

    Chances are good that Jesus did, Peter did, Paul did, John did, generations before them did and the hosts of heaven do.

    If a brother or sister in Christ worships God with a grateful heart, a glorifying voice and the accompaniment of a musical instrument from a pitch pipe or tuning fork that sounds the first note to a harp to an orchestra, I am not authorized – to use the language I have heard so much – to tell that person he/she is sinning.

    God certainly doesn’t. Why should I?

  29. Richard GF Says:

    Royce, greetings in Christ from sunny Texas,

    To be fair about it–the same exact claim can be made toward all men who attempt to take any part of the Mosaic law and bind it as law on men today. And, the gospels up to the cross are Old Covenant. Esp in the MDR arena.

    Richard GF

  30. Richard GF Says:

    Keith, greetings in Christ from sunny Texas,

    From what little I have read here–it does not matter what is given–It has and can be proven that God is not well-pleased with man’s use of Im in worship–but that is NOT WHAT IS DESIRED HERE..{emphasis only}so you guys are like broken records–so don’t expect me to get real interested in convincing you folks–you don’t want to be convinced.. You cannot see…

    So what do you expect of me? To uselessly spin my wheels so to speak–Well, If I considered it totally useless I would already be gone..

    I do choose to keep using theJews but in the end run folks never seem to learn from the past–but on the odd chance that some can–well, you just never know.

    Richard GF


  31. So, Richard, we are not bound by such Mosaic law as “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” or “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”?

    We are to ignore Jesus’ teaching that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath? We are to set aside His teaching to do unto others as we would have others do unto us? That’s all “Old Covenant,” null and void?

  32. Richard GF Says:

    Keith, greetings in Christ from sunny Texas,

    I am literally forced to keep reminding myself that what took me more than a few years to understand–others may need that long or longer to get the idea.

    In response–to point the need to better get a hold of this concept of studying by covenants and by the law that accompanies each covenant–I am going to add this text–

    Mat 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
    Mat 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
    Mat 19:18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
    Mat 19:19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    Mat 19:20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
    Mat 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

    My observation–These are the words of Jesus–along with your observations and others–Now–when is the first time you taught that salvation comes from doing exactly what Jesus has taught here in the Mosaic law?

    Now, more importantly, why is that?

    So, who decides which part of the Mosaic law we use and which part we do not use? The way it has been is that man has been so doing and that does not work–But if we allow God to do so. Well, The Old Covenant ended at the cross–not at the birth of the Jewish Messiah. Where is each found in the gospels?

    God has not been silent here..we just have trouble getting our minds around the issue because we have been taught differently..

    There also needs to be an understanding of God’s moral law of sin and of death. And to keep in mind that God only governs men by the covenant they are under.

    For instance, when God gave the Jews the Mosaic covenant–God never ever held the Gentile accountable to that law–since it was not theirs.

    And with the New heart, New Spirit and New Covenant–On the Day of Pentecost forward every person not under this covenant is lost.
    Those under this covenant will be judged by that covenant–not by the moral law of sin and death that the rest of the world stands condemned under.

    Christians and Gentiles and Jews today are not under the Mosaic Law–And those who try to put us back under that law for what ever reason–are attempting to put us under a law that kills and not saves..

    Everytime we use the gospel texts to illustrate how we are to be bound by that law–the folks so doing are teaching error.

    Now, a very large issue is understanding that when we understand from scripture God’s plan for redeeming ALL MANKIND.. Then the gospels today or for that matter have never been null and void–even for Christians.

    We can learn from the gospels but the gospels are written to four different christian churches–and what do each emphasize to their particular audience and even to us today?

    As that question is answered–then how do I as a Christian see the gospels.

    [1] As a Christian–I am not lost–Jesus had a specific message to the lost sheep of the house of Israel–why? Because they were lost–They had moved from the scriptures of God to their own and in doing so changed the meaning of God’s Word to suit.

    A lot like the MDR folks or the IM folks do today.

    [2] I use the gospels–as God does–to teach the lost about Jesus and who and what He was\is to the world today.

    [3] I, as a Christian know and understand that When God makes a new Covenant–new means new–so when I see God’s moral law in the law of sin and death–I can find that moral law under the Mosaic law. This means that I can also find said moral law under the New Covenant

    [4] Gentiles were never bound by the Mosaic Covenant and Christians are not bound by either the law of the Gentiles or the Mosaic law.
    We see our authority for salvation and Christian living not from the gospels–directed at the dead Jews to bring them back in harmony with the Mosaic law but in Acts 2 where God has given a new spirit and heart and covenant and has provided the laws for that covenant.

    [a] This does not mean that I as a Christian count up all the laws–line them up and then keep score as to whether or not I am keeping them.

    [b] On the other hand as a priest of the most high God I have enough lessons from scripture to know that I do not want to ever offer up to God sacrifices that God has not authorized.

    Richard GF

  33. Ellen Says:

    AMEN, Keith!


  34. Richard, If we look for authority under every verse or rock so we can get the works of law right, doesn’t that make Galatians 5:4 apply to us?


  35. I understand your belief system, Richard.

    But you didn’t answer the questions.

    (And I honestly think you should be more careful than to use phrases like “dead Jews.” That one is disrespectful at best, and a racially-charged epithet some might see as threat, at worst.)

  36. Anonymous Says:

    Richard wants to omit the Hebrew Scriptures – Richard is omitting over 300 Messianic prophesies.

  37. laymond Says:

    What!! Keith which is disrespectful, calling them “dead” or calling them “Jews” ?
    Please expound.


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