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

No Absolute Truth?

what is truth

SOMEBODY once said, “There is no absolute truth.” To which we must ask, “Is that absolutely true?”

I find funny the things people assert about the Bible, God and religion. They’re “absolutely certain” about what they claim. When pressed, they never have a logical answer.

We should be ready for these assertions and be able to answer them [1Peter 2:15]. Let’s examine a few things people claim…….

I’M AGAINST ORGANIZED RELIGION: This claim is often used to excuse a person from weekly Sunday worship. They bolster the claim by pointing out the hypocrisy of church goers.

AN ANSWER: We are hypocrites. That’s because we’re people. John said, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” [1John 1:8] Paul reminded the Corinthian Christians what kind of person they once were, fornicators, idolaters, thieves, drunkards and the list goes on [1Co 6:9-11]. Do you suppose that every Christian stops all sins as soon as they are baptized?

Another answer for this is found in the fallacy of the argument. Why is this discussion only used with religion, but seldom elsewhere? We never criticize the Ford Motor CompanyTM for a few lousy drivers of their cars. We never criticize the grocery store when one of the shoppers is rude to us. Why then do we criticize God’s command to worship? I suppose it’s because of the false notion from the first part, that all Christians must be perfect.

Sometimes we foster that belief when we as Christians act arrogantly, and speak with unbelievers without love. [Ephesians 4:15] Besides, can we ignore the commands of God when others fail to follow them accurately?

I’VE READ THE BIBLE: This one is usually used when a person is attempting to establish their credibility as they preach an opinion. This is hard to contradict because you have no actual proof, (other than they don’t know scriptures), and they get angry when you call them out.

AN ANSWER: One way you can disqualify this assertion, without calling them a liar, is by pointing out that the Bible cannot be learned with ONE reading. It requires continual, daily, reading and study [Acts 17:11]. Ask them this, “Did you go to school? If so, were you able to understand all of your lessons upon reading your textbooks once?”

ALL CHURCHES LEAD TO THE SAME PLACE: Another way this claim is stated is when a preacher says, “Find a church of your choice.” The belief is that, due to the different personalities of people, the Lord has allowed different style of churches, but they’re all leading people to heaven.

AN ANSWER: The Scriptures teach that the church is the body of the Lord, [Ephesians 1:22, 23], therefore, when in chapter 4 it says, “There is one body,” it’s teaching that there is only one church. If there is only one church, then why are there so many different doctrines, even ones that teach a different gospel? [Galatians 1:6-9]

In order for any assembly of Christians to be considered a church of our Lord is if they follow the whole council of God. [Acts 20:27] Our desire here in Borger is to be a true church of Christ. [Matthew 7:21]

THE BIBLE DOESN’T SAY I CAN’T: For me, this is one of the most ridiculous statements I ever hear. What they mean is that there is no specific mention of their sin, therefore, they are free to commit said sin.

I tried this line of reasoning with my parents once. Just once. This method of reasoning NEVER works in other areas of our lives, yet we expect to use this rational with bible study. It is this attitude that causes problems, not just in the church, but in our personal lives. You’ve heard the unverified story of the person that is injured because he used his lawn mower as a hedger. He subsequently sued the mower company using this logic, “you didn’t say in the manual that I couldn’t use it as a hedger.”

AN ANSWER: The Lord has taught us that silence is not authoritative. When King David sought to build God a permanent Temple, he was stopped because God NEVER SAID ANYTHING ABOUT IT.  In 2Samuel 7:7, God asks, “Wherever I have moved about with all the children of Israel, have I ever spoken a word to anyone from the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?‘”‘  This is also taught in the book of Hebrews regarding the priesthood of Jesus [Hebrews 7:14], as well as over the issue of circumcision, [Acts 15:24].

These passages teach clearly, silence is prohibitive. If the bible doesn’t say you can, then you can’t. To argue, as do so many denominations, “any practices not expressly forbidden could be considered”, is to argue AGAINST God and His divine word.

There is an absolute truth, it is God’s inspired and divine word [John 17:17]. God delivered this truth to His Apostles and inspired men, and they wrote it down. When we read it, we can know what they knew about the mystery of God. Let us study God’s word and know the truth. [John 16:13; Ephesians 3:3-4; John 8:32]

spencer blackwelder
evangelist – Franklin St Church of Christ, Borger Texas.

A church worth investigating

A member recently brought me a bulletin for the Franklin St church of Christ from April 1959. It held a timeless message that I wanted to share with you all.

A church worth investigating

The church of Christ was not established on a sudden whim of the Lord, nor was its establishment merely an afterthought. It had been God’s intention throughout the entire history of the world to build the church. All of the many centuries were spent in preparation for the establishment of the church. The church and its work is “According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” –Eph. 3:10

About 800 years before Christ came to this earth the prophet Isaiah foretold that the government of the Lord’s house should be established at Jerusalem, and all nations should flow unto it. –Isa. 2:2. This could not have referred to the house of Israel, for that had already been established and it was not for all nations. What then is the Lord’s house of which the prophet wrote? Turning to 1Timothy 3:15, we read, “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” So we see that the house of God is the church, and of this house Isaiah wrote hundreds of years before Christ. What more is required to show the importance which God has placed upon the church of Christ?

Why the church of Christ is important

This brings us to the following question: WHY IS THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IMPORTANT? The church is important because God’s wisdom is seen in it: “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,” — Eph 3:10. Is it important to know the wisdom of God?

Again, there is glory to God in the church: “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” — Eph 3:21. Is it important to glorify God?

Also the church is important because its purchase price was the blood of Christ: “…feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” — Ac 20:28. Do you believe the church is worth the purchase price: The church of Christ is important because Jesus “loved the church, and gave himself for it.” –Eph. 5:25. Would you give yourself for something that is not important to you?

Finally, we shall mention that the church is important because all of the saved are added to it: “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” — Ac 2:47. It is surely regrettable that denominationalists preach that the church is not important.

Not a denomination

The church of Christ is not, and cannot be, a human denomination because the church does not wear a denominational name. All denominations wear names which distinguish them from “other Christians”, as they say. But the church of Christ does not seek to distinguish itself from others who are Christians, since we firmly believe that ALL Christians are members of the church of Christ. There is nothing denominational about the name which we wear, for it only honors Christ, and is worn by His command. –Acts 4:12, Rom. 16:16.

The church is not a denomination, furthermore, because we do not subscribe to a creed written by men. We believe in Jesus Christ as he is revealed in the New Testament, but we refuse to accept human interpretations of the New Testament. It is sectarian to make any book of human origin the standard of fellowship and communion. We extend our fellowship to any who follow only God’s word.

The church is not a denomination because we have no earthly headquarters. Christ is the only head of the church, Col. 1:18, Eph. 1:22-23, Matt. 28:18, and His is in heaven. Thus our headquarters is in heaven. Instead of all of the churches of Christ being tied into one central unit, each church is directly, and independently, responsible to Christ.

Almost all religious people are in agreement on one important point; that is, that the church we read about in the Bible is the right church. Most folks will also agree when asked that the Bible mentions only one church. Where, then, does the idea come from that one church is just as good as another? If the Bible only mentions one church, ad this is the right church, it follows that all other churches are wrong. This is the case whether we wish to accept it or not. By this position we are not trying to consign all of the members of the other churches to hell, but rather we are trying to teach them the truth so that they can be saved.

Nor is the idea true that all denominations are simply branches of the Bible church, for all denominations contradict one another in points of faith, doctrine, name, and practice. The Bible does not contradict itself, so all of the many churches could not be parts of the Bible church. For a church to be the right church, it must be identical with the church that we read about in the New Testament. This is true of no religious body save the church of Christ. We do not need to make a labored attempt to distort history, and trace an unbroken chan of churches all the way back to Bible times, because we can prove by the Bible itself that everything we teach, and everything we do, was taught and practiced by the church under the direction of the apostles. This makes it the right church, and nothing else can make a church right. We invite you to attend the services of the church of Christ and to investigate it. We believe that it is a church that is worth investigating.

–Gordon Wilson, Sacramento, CA 1959