Jan 19

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The question may come to the readers’ mind: Why so many articles on this subject?” It is because we have some within the churches of Christ who are leaving “the teaching of Christ;” that is, if they have not already departed from the churches of Christ! In so doing this, they are trying to make the churches of Christ into a denomination!
How are they doing this? First, as the title article of the reveals, they are trying very hard to convince us that we are trying to be “too rightness!” Second, allow me to once more to call attention to the words in the article under review: “What does an over-emphasis on our rightness look like?” Let the writer answer his own question: “It looks like a constant dwelling on the doctrines that set us apart from others, like baptism, music, women’s roles, and the like.” These are some of the teaching (doctrine) that separate “the churches of Christ” from denominational churches. When these teachings are removed, we are fully on our way to becoming a denomination. Here is a thought that some miss when addressing these subjects. No man, who teaches the gospel of Christ or anything else for that matter, knows the mind and the understanding of those who are seated before him. Is it not the case, that some, who were baptized in their youth, have concluded that they were too young and did not understand what they were doing? Yes, we have seen such cases! Then, there are visitors who have never obeyed the gospel and who have never heard the gospel in its truth. It is a same that any preacher, who calls himself a preacher of the gospel, who fails to understand these two points and not give God’s plan of salvation! One more thought just here, just how much time does it take to cover God’s plan of salvation? A minute or two?
When the writer questions: “What does an over-emphasis on our rightness look like?” He continues: “It also looks like condescension toward outsiders who disagree.” First, there is no room for “condescension” in the heart of any Christian! Here is what the word means: “an attitude of patronizing superiority; disdain.” No Christian should have any problem understanding that “an attitude of patronizing,” (Which means: “to adopt an air of condescension toward”) superiority” toward others has any place is the heart of a Christian, or among Christians as they worship God “in spirit and in truth”! But, to teach the truth is not showing “an attitude of patronizing superiority!” If so, then Jesus did it and so did the apostles of Christ! Who can believe such? Certainly not a Christian! Before leaving this subject, let us look at the word “disdain” which is the word “condescension.” It means: “a feeling of strong dislike or disapproval of someone or something you think does not deserve respect.” Once more there is no place in the heart of a Christian for sure. It should be remembered, that God loves all of us, Christian or not! Finally, to teach the truth is not showing “an attitude of patronizing superiority!” Jesus taught the truth and he was not showing “an attitude of patronizing superiority! Though he was superior!
The writer continues the same subject, as he wrote: “Additionally, it looks like unfriendliness and unwelcomeness toward any one who dare to question.” As one who has preached the truth for forty-nine years, I resent anyone who would call my preaching sounding “like unfriendliness and unwelcomeness” toward anyone! But the writer did not stop here, but wrote: “The implication is fairly common in the church today that all of the major doctrines (and minor ones, for that matter) were decided once and for all decades ago and we don’t need to revisit or discuss them anymore beyond a memorized defense.” Let me say here, that the writer did not go back far enough; as Jude wrote: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). It may be true, and more than likely is, that some among us stopped their studying and learning at some point! I also freely write, that some preachers are lazy and refuse to learn and all such are a danger to the body of Christ!
In conclusion, all this, written by the writer of the article, is an effort to destroy the teaching that separates the churches of Christ from denominational churches! Call it whatever you like, but the churches of Christ are built upon the truth! We are not perfect, that is, without our faults! But, teaching the truth in love of God and for the lost, is not one of them!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/loving-god-without-loving-righteousness-6/