Ad Hominem & Personal Attacks pt 4 Campbelite

We’re addressing how to answer Ad Hominem ATTACKS; Ad Hominem means; in a way that is directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.

Christians are to expect ATTACKS both personally & physically. “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” [Mark 13:13]

We must always remember not to respond in kind with our own personal attack. This would not be the example that Jesus gave when He responded to His attackers. [1Peter 2:23; Isa 53:7]

The fourth ATTACK sounds like this: “Your method of determining AUTHORITY (Command, Apostolic Example, Necessary Inference and the prohibition of Silence [CENIS]) are made up by Alexander Campbell who is the founder of the church of Christ.”

I’m blending 2 separate attacks into one as they’re related. 150 years ago, until about 30 years ago, the attack focused on calling members of the Lord’s body, ‘CAMBELLITES.’ (this is why we’re putting this as an ad hominem attack) The attack was an attempt to show that the church of Christ in America was founded by Alexander Campbell. This is easily refuted noting that Campbell never sought to START a new denomination, rather that he sought to RESTORE the church we read about in the New Testament. Evidence exists that shows the church of Christ was small but already present in America before A. Campbell was even born!

In more recent years, this argument still exists but focuses on the fourfold pattern of how to determine Scriptural Authority (Command, Apostolic Example, Necessary Inference and the prohibition of Silence [CENIS]). The objectors say that Alexander Campbell invented a new Hermeneutic (a method or theory of interpretation). This short article will show that CENIS is the way people communicate.

HOW WOULD YOU ORDER A PIZZA?

COMMAND. A direct command is to give an authoritative order of what you specifically desire. “I want a pepperoni pizza.” This direct command eliminates all other variety of toppings. When specifying a thing, you automatically eliminate all other unstated options.

EXAMPLE. “one that serves as a pattern to be imitated or not to be imitated.” Miriam-Webster. Another way of saying example is with the word “show.” When ordering a pizza, I can show you a picture or description of it from the menu. This becomes the “approved example.” There may be other examples on the menu, but those are unconnected to the command.

NECESSARY INFERENCE. To infer is what we do when another implies (to express indirectly) in their communications. It’s implied in my ordering a pizza that it will be a round bread, with Italian style sauce and cheese baked in an oven. The remaining toppings to be specified by direct statement. We Necessarily Infer when we have only one option available from the indirect command. We necessarily infer bread, sauce & cheese unless otherwise indicated.

SILENCE. That means absence of direction. When you order a pepperoni pizza, your silence about soup, salad or other items prohibit their inclusion. Would you pay a bill, charging you with extra items for which you didn’t order nor desire? You would very likely REFUSE them altogether. Silence is not a blank check to do whatever you want. “You didn’t say not to” is not a viable excuse.

Some argue that we can do whatever God hasn’t specifically prohibited. Try ordering a pizza by listing all the things you DON’T WANT. People communicate by stating, showing & implying what they DO WANT. Silence prohibits.

If this is wrong, please educate me without Telling me (command), Showing me (example), or Implying (we infer).

Alexander Campbell didn’t invent this, God did. He created humans and communication, therefore He created this logical reasoning on how to know what He wants. What He orders is much more vital to our life than pizza. [Matt 4:4]

Ad Hominem and Personal Attacks pt3: That’s your OPINION.

That's Just Your Interpretation!” - ppt video online download

The third ATTACK sounds like this: “That’s just your interpretation (OPINION).”

This objection most often occurs when we refer to a bible passage from memory, or even if we quote it accurately and in context. It sounds more like an opinion without evidence. Therefore, whenever you’re speaking with someone about the Bible, OPEN your bible and show them. Quoting scripture from memory has value. You can quote it then repeat it by showing them in God’s word. Have a bible and show it. People will have to direct their anger at the Word when they read it for themselves. Then we may ask, “Can we sit down and figure this out together?”

We might could show them 2Peter 1:20; “…no prophecy of scripture is of PRIVATE interpretation.” Used with the first principle in this guide, we can show that the word stands alone and is against any PRIVATE beliefs or ‘I think so.’ We live in a culture that looks at contradictory viewpoints as being equally valid. “There’s no absolute truth,” some might even say. What they fail to see is they’re being dogmatic against dogmatism.

When hearing this attack (objection), one must realize that the person may not believe in the INSPIRATION of Scripture. Many denominations today don’t teach that the Bible is the only way to hear from God. From the Catholics onward, they’re taught that extra-biblical books, feelings and opinions are just as valid as the written Word. Perhaps pausing and looking at the evidence for the INSPIRED word before continuing.

Another approach to answering this challenge is by showing examples of people doing similar things. NAAMAN is one such example. When told clearly and concisely what needed to be done, his response was ‘I thought.’ [2Kings 5:1-14]. Point out that it was the objector who has a private interpretation. This may work only IF you are following the first point, to OPEN your bible and let the person read for themselves.

It must also be said that we’re not INTERPRETING, we’re reading. What we do when we read is to seek understanding. Many passages teach that we can understand when we read. [John 20:30-31; Romans 10:17; Eph 3:3-4; 2Timothy 3:16-17]

Recognized that this objection comes usually when a clear, concise teaching OPPOSES the person’s practices. (ie. MDR, Instrumental music, Fornication etc.) An appeal to the authority of God through the scriptures may be in order. [Luke 6:46; John 12:48; Mat 7:21-23; Acts 17:11] There are resources available to teach how to determine Biblical Authority. [Billy Moore, James P. Needham, Roy Cogdill and others.]

Lastly, one of the reasons why this objection is raised is because of our own words. We say things like, “I believe” “In my opinion.” We do this with a mind of humility, unfortunately it is working against us. NEVER say ‘I think’ or ‘I believe’ when you’re quoting from the word of God. A Thus saith the Lord shouldn’t be watered down by our fear or cowardice.

Young Samuel knew this lesson. Although he was afraid to tell Eli what the Lord had spoken to him, he didn’t withhold one word of it nor did he water it down to make it easier to swallow.

And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him.” [1Sam 3:18a]

Let’s proclaim God’s word boldly without pride on our part. It’s God’s word, not ours.

–Spencer

Ad Hominem & Personal Attacks p2; You think you’re only ones going to heaven

Christianity Is Exclusive. 2 The Gospel is For All Mark 16:15: Preach the  gospel to every creature 1 Tim. 2:3-4: God desires all to be saved & come  to. - ppt download

 

Ad Hominem & other Attacks p2

We’re addressing how to answer Ad Hominem ATTACKS; Ad Hominem means; in a way that is directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.

Christians are to expect ATTACKS both personally & physically. “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” [Mark 13:13]

We must always remember not to respond in kind with our own personal attack. This would not be the example that Jesus gave when He responded to His attackers. [1Peter 2:23; Isa 53:7]

The second ATTACK feels & sounds like it’s right: “You THINK you’re the only ones going to heaven!”

This sounds like a doctrinal rebuttal, but it is based on emotional feelings alone. It carries the presumption that denominational divisions are authorized by God. This attack brings upon the brethren ridicule, mocking and antagonism. “INTOLERANCE” is another code word that often accompanies this attack. Other words tossed in for good measure are, cult, mean-spirited and judgmental. In reality, it has zero scriptural foundation and is thus an Ad Hominem attack.

HOW CAN WE RESPOND? Because the attack has zero biblical foundation, we MUST appeal to the bible for our response. One of the more effective ways is through the seeking of common ground, showing of a bible passage and the asking of a question.

First, I admit that the statement is TRUE. One passage, among many, that can be shown is 2Thessalonians 1:8. “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:” The question then is, “What does this scripture teach about who will be saved & who will be lost?”

Next, you could show them 1Corinthians 1:10 or Ephesians 4:4 (Eph 1:18) or Matthew 16:18 and ask, “HOW many churches does Jesus want?” The unmistakable is answer is ONE.

Then you could show them INSTANCES where Jesus was exclusive in His statements. You could show them Matthew 7:21-29 and Luke 6:64-49. The question with these passages is, “Will Jesus save based only on the confession one has that they believe, or is He making the distinction between those who believe only vs those who believe AND obey?”

You could show other INSTANCES of God requiring obedience. Cain and Abel [Genesis 4:1-8], Noah [Genesis 6:22], Abraham [Genesis 26:5], Moses [Exodus 17:6; Numbers 20:7-12], Nadab and Abihu [Leviticus 10:1-3], Uzzah [2 Samuel 6:6-7], Ananias and Sapphira [Acts 5:1-11].

You should then note that NOT every believer has obeyed and is thus excluded. “Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:” [John 12:42] This clearly shows that belief must move into action. [cr. Romans 10:9,16].

James 2:14-26 shows salvation is a working faith and NOT by faith only. Will those who believe only be saved? [cr Jas 2:19]

Lastly you can show that just because there’s only one church doesn’t mean that God is trying to exclude or KEEP anyone out of heaven. God desires that all men repent & obey the gospel. “The Lord… is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” [2Peter 3:9b] The gospel is for all, “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” [1Tim 2:4] Unfortunately, some will exclude themselves, “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” [Matt 7:13-14] The question to ask is, “What does God expect of us?”

There will be those that refuse to obey the gospel and be added to His church, “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;” [Heb 5:8-9] It is said of these that there’s no love of God in them for, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” [Joh 14:15,21,23; 15:10,14; 1John 5:3]

Thus, the scriptures teach that only group of people will be saved, those who have obeyed the gospel and have been added to the church of Christ. [Acts 2:41,47]

–Spencer

Ad Hominem & Personal Attacks p1; You’re ARROGANT

The Debate Pyramid V2 Simple Tt Norms Bold Text - Pyramid, HD Png ...   The Ad Hominem Fallacy (3 Flavors) and Ridicule in the Bible

 

If you’ve done any evangelism at all, you’ve likely experienced a personal attack (Ad Hominem; in a way that is directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining).

This should come as no surprise for Christ gave us warnings about it in addition to experiencing the ultimate attack, the one against His life. “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” [Mark 13:13]

While some accusations may be well founded due to our own poor attitudes, words & acts, most are ad hominem attacks.

Let’s look at a few and learn how to respond without reviling.

 

Before we answer this attack, we need to remember how Jesus responded to personal attacks. He didn’t revile in return. “Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:” [1Peter 2:23; Isa 53:7]

 

The First ATTACK has a few versions: “You’re Arrogant. You’re just closed minded. It’s obvious you’ve already got your mind made up.”

First off, ACCURATELY define your intentions & motives. Tell them that it is true that you have your mind made up, and it’s not because you haven’t examined the evidence nor heard the arguments. It’s made up BECAUSE you’ve given careful consideration to the scriptures. “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” [Acts 17:11].

This attack is vile in that it impugns your motives. It attempts to judge you unfairly and we know how the Lord feels about that [Matt &:1-2].

RESPOND calmly with a question; “Are you saying it’s arrogant to say & do what the bible teaches? [Luke 6:46; Mat 7:21-23; Col 3:16] Jesus often used questions (about 100) to challenge His accusers & His disciples. [Matt 15:3; 21:25]

One good question from Christ’s spiritual arsenal is, “Have you READ this scripture?” [Matt 21:42]. It’s much more effective to show someone the verse in the bible than it is to refer to it or even to quote it from memory. Otherwise it’s just arguing opinions. Show them, not just tell them. Let them READ it for themselves.

I sometimes ask; “Is it ONLY the OTHER guy that has his mind made up?” The other person has their own steadfastness and sees your steadfastness as pride. “How come your unwavering assertions aren’t arrogant?” This response is not to conflate the conversation. It’s to calm it down by finding common ground. Paul used a similar strategy at the beginning of his speech on Mars Hill [Acts 17:22].

It’s a good reminder for them and for yourself that GOD HATES pride & arrogance. [Prov 8:13; Luke 18:14]. Perhaps you can restore civility by admitting that you’re working on avoiding this sin.

Remember that debate is healthy, ARGUMENT is not. We must have discussions about our differences, but we mustn’t allow ourselves to resort to ANGER & HATE. “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” [Phil 2:3] Consider these passages for additional study on scriptural debate [1Thess 5:21; Titus 2:15; 2Tim 4:2; 1Tim 5:20; 2Tim 2:24-26; Jude 3; 1Tim 6:12; 2Cor 10:4-5; Acts 14:26-15:2] It’s better to end the discussion if either of you are having trouble with their emotions. [Mat 7:6; 15:14]

Another good reminder is that it’s NOT ABOUT WINNING an argument, it’s about winning a soul. “To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” [1Cor 9:22]

Finally, if you’ve handled yourself well, made no mistakes in your defense of the Gospel and never raised your voice or rolled your eyes, THEY MAY STILL accuse you of pride. THEY did it to the Master Teacher, are you any more special than He? [Mark 14:61-65]

–Spencer