Ad Hominem & other Attacks p7, You’re not SMART enough

The Bible’s Marvelous Unity

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]

Today’s attack is arrogant and full of pride. “You’re not SMART enough to understand.” We know what God says about pride; “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” [Proverbs 16:18]

The SEVENTH ATTACK sounds like this: “Religion is a crutch for the weak minded.” Another way this attack is framed; “You’re not SMART enough to understand.”

This attack is used by both unbelievers and denominational believers alike. Jesse ‘the body’ Ventura said this, “Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers. It tells people to go out and stick their noses in other people’s business. I live by the golden rule: Treat others as you’d want them to treat you. The religious right wants to tell people how to live.” (If you believe Jesse, please ignore the part about the golden rule, which is from Matthew 7:11-12)

Another fellow said to me, ‘you need to be reading more difficult books.’ He is a denominational believer (2Cor 11:4) and was being critical of a group of us that were studying just the Bible.

“You’re a SPIRITLESS church” is another way this attack is stated. Supposedly, according to the attacker, if the worship is without instrumental music, hand clapping or other bodily gyrations & speaking in tongues, then the Holy Spirit is not with you and is proof that you’re wrong. This line of reasoning ignores the Scriptures about the operation of the Holy Spirit, and substitutes bible study for emotionalism. [cr. 1Cor 12, 12, 14 for a more complete understanding of the operation of the Holy Spirit]

Atheists are prone to say that we ignore the MATERIAL evidence supporting evolution. This is a presumption on their part. Many of us have looked at the same MATERIAL evidence and are compelled to believe in a Creator. [Romans 1:18-20]

Others will frame this attack by saying we’re heartless ANTI’S, because we don’t help people with their physical needs the way that they do. Once again, this is a presumption on their part because they don’t know the scriptures nor the power of God. [Matt 22:29; cr Matt 7:21-23]. We in the church of Christ are very benevolent. The difference is we follow the doctrine of Christ about HOW & WHO is responsible for it. They have shifted the work of benevolence from the shoulders of those responsible, according to the scriptures, to the ‘NEW CART’ of institutionalism. [cr. 2Samuel 6:1-9]

Still others accuses us of being irrational or having a ‘blind faith.’ I’ll readily admit that many denominational errors are completely irrational and foolish. Paul stated this in 1Corinthians 14 verse 23, “will they not say that ye are mad?”

If you deny the truth because of the abuses and errors of denominationalism, that’s on you. Don’t call good evil because someone is doing it wrong. We’re as much against irrational faith as the next. Irrational faith is more common among denominational believers and atheists than it is in the Lord’s church.

God’s word is very RATIONAL. The internal evidence of the Bible is very compelling and the faith we hold is not without evidence. [Hebrews 11:1]. The evidence of UNITY is very compelling. Written over 1600 years, by about forty men in separate intervals of time and place, under varying circumstances and without contradiction, yet one crimson thread (the theme of human redemption) runs throughout the entire 66 books. The other evidence from prophecy, scientific accuracy before scientific discovery and its indestructability just add to a RATIONAL faith.

Lastly, we hold the rational position that there is one TRUTH. The attacker often claims many truths (ie; your truth, my truth) much of which is contradictory. The TRUTH of God’s word has stood the test of time. “Sanctify them in the truth: thy word is truth.” [John 17:17]

The TRUTH of God’s word is transparent and available to all. Unlike those bodies that keep secrets [Jude 1:3]. It is researchable by all [Acts 17:11]. It has universal application to all men, for all time, in all places [Mark 16:15]. The bible is expansive to all levels of thinkers. From the least to the greatest of minds, the wisdom is undeniable [Proverbs 1:4-6]. Lastly, the words of scripture are heaven sent, they come from God.

Never believe it when someone says you’re not SMART enough to understand. Becoming a Christian is the SMARTEST thing anyone can do.

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without variance, without hypocrisy.”

[James 3:17]

–Spencer

Ad Hominem & other Attacks p6, women’s ROLES

WOMEN NEEDED IN THE CHURCH

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]

One thing you’ll notice in these attacks is the complete lack of scriptures in defense of their position. We must always respond with biblical truth, and the best way to do this is to open the Bible and let them see it for themselves.

The SIXTH ATTACK sounds like this: “You hate women because you won’t let a woman preach.” Another way this attack is framed; “Paul was a misogynist.”

This is a highly charged and emotional attack against God. In light of current cultural beliefs, many will avoid giving any kind of defense [cr. 1Peter 3:15]. We need not be afraid; the scriptures reveal great things about women. Why would we hide these powerful examples?

The objection is stated in a way that makes it appear that God, and by extension the church of Christ, places a lower value on women. This is patently false. God highly esteems women and so do we.

The true defense to this attack is by reframing the discussion to be about the various ROLES God has given us, both male & female. There are roles for men, for women, for children, for servants, for Elders, for teachers, for masters, for younger, for older etc. To claim a person is less of a person because of the different roles assigned is to be ignorant or dishonest with the word of God. Let’s examine the ROLES of women.

The wife being in subjection to her husband has been the RULE from the beginning [Gen 2, 3; 1Tim 2:9-15], and still continues [1Cor. 11:3; 1Tim. 2:11-12; Eph. 5:22-24; Col. 3:18; 1Pet. 3:1]. However, if we stop there we will miss the whole truth. Many overlook many passages that gives a complete picture.

The wife hath not power over her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power over his own body, but the wife.”

[1Cor 7:4; cr. 1Pet 3:1-9; Eph 5:22-23].

Those who give this attack are also unaware of the OUTSTANDING women examples in scripture. Here’s a list of some of the named OUTSTANDING women:

What these folks fail to see is that God has assigned roles to people and these are simple LABOR DIVISIONS. He gives His rationale for women’s roles in 1Timothy 2. The man was created first [1Tim. 2:13]. Woman was created afterward for a helper and companion to man [Gen. 2:19-25]. She is to be in subjection to man; he will rule over her [Gen. 3:16]. But this labor division doesn’t make her any less of a person. There are many labor divisions in scripture for all sorts of people, both male & female.

Women & men are EQUAL in the eyes of God. “There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be no male and female; for ye all are one man in Christ Jesus.” [Gal 3:28; Gen. 2:22; 1Cor. 11:7-9].

The SAD reality is that those who press this false narrative are actually harming the women they’re seeking to help. Many women who want to be homemakers are disliked, despised or strongly prejudiced against for their choices by those who think the church is keeping them down. On the contrary, the word of God clearly demonstrates the STRENGTH of women. –Spencer

Ad Hominem ATTACKS pt5; Your mind is CLOSED

What are the pros and cons of a Fixed Mindset vs a Growth Mindset? - Quora

An open mind doesn’t mean acceptance of error.

 

The FIFTH ATTACK sounds like this: “You already have your mind made up. It’s obvious you’re CLOSED minded.”

Objectors (whether atheistic or religious) to Biblical truths will say that they’re objective and open minded, that it is people in cults like the church of Christ that are CLOSED minded. They may use words like; ‘fanatical’ ‘legalist’ ‘rigid’ ‘without grace.’ Is this true and is it fair? How could we answer this attack?

First, it’s important to note that they are just as CONSTANT in their position as you. Is it only the other guy that is closed minded? How come I’m the one that’s closed minded when they’re the ones arguing against the bible? Does the one who gives the attack first get to be the open minded one?

One of the ways to prevent this attack is to LISTEN before you respond. So often we begin answering before we even understand what the other person is asserting. “He that giveth answer before he heareth, It is folly and shame unto him.” [Prov 18:13]. It’s key that we LISTEN to understand them before we’re able to answer them effectively.

I am OPEN MINDED. I left the world and became a Christian based on the evidence for God, both internal scriptural evidence and external evidence. I am OPEN MINDED because I’ve accepted their challenges, listened to every one of their discussion points and then asked questions about them, citing scriptures. I am OPEN MINDED because I examine the scriptures daily to see if these things are so. [Acts 17:11; 1Thess 5:21] I am OPEN MINDED because I examine myself, whether I’m in the faith. [2Cor 13:5]

Being ‘CLOSED MINDED’ is the terminology used by the antagonist. The Bible uses the word ‘STEADFASTNESS.’ We are to remain steadfast in our faith. “Fear not the things which thou art about to suffer: behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days. Be thou FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH, and I will give thee the crown of life.” [Rev 2:10] Steadfastness, faithfulness will be perceived as being closed minded to the unbeliever. “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye STEDFAST, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not vain in the Lord.” [1Cor 15:58] How this verse sounds depends on the hearer, whether they believe the scriptures or disbelieve. (emph. mine seb)

Being closed minded is approved in other areas of life. There are EXAMPLES of their minds being made up. Are you closed minded against 7×7=28? Are you closed minded against the idea of a flat earth? Are you closed minded in favor of the idea that man went to the moon? Are you closed minded for the truth that George Washington was a real person?

DO NOT GET ANGRY and do not take it personally. Ad Hominem attacks usually come at the end of a person’s ability to defend their position. Maintain a positive and friendly demeanor as the scriptures say, “but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, even Christ;” [Eph 4:15] Always remain calm. If the person had a scripture, they’d produce it. The ones they do produce are taken out of context & distorted to prove their point. This is predictable, so prepare for it. “…as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; wherein are some things hard to be understood, which the ignorant and unstedfast wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” [2Peter 3:15]

Finally, we’re not here to win arguments, we’re trying to win souls to Christ, to show people the way to heaven. Always remember that.

–Spencer

 

“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not LOVE, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not LOVE, I am nothing. And if I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but have not LOVE, it profiteth me nothing. LOVE suffereth long, and is kind; LOVE envieth not; LOVE vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not provoked, taketh not account of evil; rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. But now abideth faith, hope, LOVE, these three; and the greatest of these is LOVE.

[1Cor 13:1-7, 13] ASV

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

6 More simple objections pt6; The Jailer is just told to believe.

Philippian Jailer Story of Salvation – The Afton Wesleyan Church

SIMPLE OBJECTION #6; ‘The Jailer in Acts 16 was just told to believe. “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” [Acts 16:30]

The Objection goes like this: “This is the only time in scripture that someone asks the question, ‘what must I do to be saved?’ He was told to just ‘believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.’ Therefore, the way to be saved is by faith only.” We answer this simple objection by just looking at the text.

JESUS was unknown to him. Was this pagan Jailer in a position at that moment to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? No, he would have to be taught Who, how, and what to believe. He still needed to hear. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” [Romans 10:17]

He ASKED how to be saved. He recognizes action upon his part. If the error about miraculous drawing to God is true, wouldn’t his response be different? The error claims that man can do nothing on his own! He asks what to DO! “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?” [Romans 10:16]

He is INFORMED about who is the Lord Jesus Christ. Luke records: “they spoke the word of the Lord to him” [Acts 16:32]. They preached Jesus to him which is the Gospel [cr. Acts 8:35-36]. The urgency is present, for all of this took place the same hour of the night which is just past midnight [v25].

He LISTENED to the Gospel. If John 20:30-31 & Romans 10:17 can be trusted, the words that Paul & Silas told the Jailer were sufficient to generate faith in him. Those same words preaching Jesus certainly included the information about repentance & baptism [cr. Acts 8:34-36] for how else did he know to wash their stripes and be baptized ‘the same hour of the night?” [Acts 16:33]

He EXPEDITIOUSLY OBEYED the Gospel. The Gospel is the Death, Burial & Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. We see the Jailer doing exactly that, obeying the gospel having HEARD, BELIEVED, REPENTED, CONFESSING (inferred) and being BAPTIZED. [cr. 1Cor 15:1-4; Rom 6:3-4; 10:9]. The Jailer did it the SAME HOUR OF THE NIGHT! He didn’t wait until morning or until any monthly scheduling of group baptisms. If baptism is not essential to salvation, why the urgency? In Acts 8, why stop the chariot?

He REJOICED after he repented (washed their stripes) and was baptized. It was only AFTER the Jailer had heard, believed, repented and was baptized that he was able to REJOICE having believed in God. It is clear that belief & obedience truly are connected [Rom 10:16]. “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:” [Matt 7:24ff]

A careful examination of the context shows us that the Jailer obeyed the Gospel. When you add with this account the other accounts of those being saved in the book of Acts you will find a complete picture about how to be saved.

6 MORE simple objections pt5; It doesn’t say, ‘and is not baptized.’

Mark 16:16 He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he ...

 

SIMPLE OBJECTION #5; It doesn’t say, ‘and is not baptized.’

The Objection goes like this: “If baptism was important, how come Jesus didn’t say, ‘and is NOT baptized’ in the second part of Mark 16:16. If both parts are not present in the second half, then the part omitted is unnecessary.”

This falls under the silly category, not just the simple. Yet, I was given this objection recently in an online discussion. NO, the second part of verse 16 doesn’t say, ‘and is not baptized,’ and it doesn’t need to. The second part is contingent upon the completion of the first part. Look at the following illustration.

OMISSION of the second part is completely logical without the presence of the first part. “He that has food & eats it shall be nourished. But he that does not have food will perish.” If you don’t have the 1st part, the second part avails you nothing.

When you TAKE AWAY any part you won’t be saved. The person without belief is condemned already. “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” [John 3:18] “Without faith it’s impossible to please God.” [Heb 11:6]

6 More Simple Objections pt4; What if I’m in a desert?

What Really Turned the Sahara Desert From a Green Oasis Into a ...

 

SIMPLE OBJECTION #4; What if you’re in a DESERT?

I heard his objection and the next one just this week in my public evangelism. They really are being used. An associate pastor [I don’t know what an associate pastor is] said, ‘What if you’re in a desert and want to be baptized, then what?” I replied, ‘Let me show you a bible passage.’ He ignored me and walked away. Folks, these are not straw man arguments, they are being used by error to justify disobedience to God. Let’s reason together and learn how to answer them.

The Objection goes like this: “Baptism isn’t required because if a believer was in a desert or on a battlefield, they would not be able to be baptized.” These kinds of “what if” arguments prove nothing and don’t change what God has said. They actually lead to error, ie, Sprinkling instead of immersion. God can extend mercy as He sees fit however, we are not God and only know what God has revealed to us. [Deut 29:29]

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”

[1Thess 5:21]

DON’T GO beyond the word of the Lord. I cannot go beyond or below the word of the Lord. Consider carefully these passages about adding to or taking away from God’s word.

  • Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. [Deut 4:2]
  • What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. [Deut 12:32]
  • For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. [Rev 22:18]
  • Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. [Prov 30:6]

EXCLUDING one command that saves EXCLUDES them all. What saves us? Look at the chart on the last page. All of these are essential.

SALVATION is at the place God puts it. Forgiveness is at faithful baptism. God drew the line of salvation at baptism. We’re not the final judge. All we can say is that such a person does not have a Biblical hope of salvation.

  • And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. [Acts 22:16]
  • Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. [Acts 2:38]
  • He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. [Mark 16:16]
  • 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: 1Peter 3:21]
  • And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? [Acts 8:36]

EXCEPTIONS come from God, not man. God gave the children of Israel an exception to the Passover timing [Num 9:9-13]. God gave it, not man. We cannot go beyond the word of the Lord to do good or to do evil. [Mat 7:21-23] It’s presumptuous to speak where God is silent. “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.” [Deu 18:20] While we have no authority for stoning law breakers, the principle still applies. God makes the rules. [cf. 2Timothy 2:5] There are no exceptions to baptism.

REPLACING commands of God has been tried & failed. Naaman tried that. [2Kings 5:1-14]. A key verse: “My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?” [v13]

TURNING AWAY from the command of God is rebellion & blasphemous. “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.” [1Sam 15:23; John 12:42; 6:66]

This objection leaves us to wonder if it’s really about ability or willingness.

–Spencer