Quail Springs Church of Christ “Disfellowshipped”: More of the Same

quailsprings.gifWell, I thought it was finally time to change the subject and talk about something other than instrumental music. But as soon as got back from vacation, there in my Inbox was an email from Al Maxey advising that another congregation had chosen to publish an ad in the Daily Oklahoman damning those who use the instrument — again embarrassing the Churches of Christ.

The full text of the ad follows:oklahomanad2.jpg

This link will take you to the original.

I’ll not waste time refuting the arguments made. They’ve all been dealt with before on this site. Just go to the Index under “Instrumental Music” and the recent posts on the “Regulative Principle.” Moreover, I’ve addressed the profound sinfulness of publishing such ads here  and here.

These obscenities are going to continue so long as those Churches of Christ that see the error in these practice stand on the sidelines, hoping to avoid criticism from the legalists. This is cowardice and only encourages sin.

Please, elders, ministers, Bible class teachers — sit your congregation down and teach them the grace of God in unmistakable terms. Don’t allow the legalists to run your church. Don’t allow your decisions for the Lord to be influenced by those who seek justification by works — not even a little. TEACH!

I believe that the worst sin in the Churches of Christ is the fact that good men and women, who know God’s grace, are afraid to teach it to their brothers and sisters. We are afraid that the truth will divide us.

Well — how well is that working for us? I mean, what does our history teach us? Has legalism kept us united? EVER?? Are we happy with how this strategy is working out for us?

The path to unity is good teaching, not church politics and a cowed silence. Why on earth do we allow such sin — such profound misunderstanding of the gospel — to even slightly influence our preaching?

And has anyone in Oklahoma City gotten up in the pulpit and declared solidarity with Quail Springs? Anyone? If we can’t rush to the defense of our brothers and sisters in Christ, then we are worse than useless. Surely it’s not asking too much that we actually stand up for the gospel of Jesus Christ!

(Gal 5:1, 4, 15)  It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. … 4 You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. … 15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

(Rom 14:1, 4, 9-10)  Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. … 4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. … 9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.

(Heb 7:25)  Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

When Jesus returns, he won’t ask the leaders of the Churches of Christ whether they used a piano. He’ll ask whether they taught the gospel — the good news that Jesus completely saves.

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0 Responses to Quail Springs Church of Christ “Disfellowshipped”: More of the Same

  1. josh keele says:

    Wow. Another ad planted by progressives to embarass conservatives away from the truth.

  2. josh keele says:

    I'm still waiting on the answer, by the way, as to whether rain-dances are OK to add to the worship. My dancers are getting tired of waiting for your highness to decide the matter. Please, o great pontiff, expedite the matter immediately.

  3. Kris (graceisgood) says:

    Jay, your last statement reminded me of Matt. 7. I wonder if some will say, "didn't we only use acapella, didn't we only partake on the first day every week, didn't we make sure everyone knew we were right, etc., etc.?" But He might say, "depart" to those sincere folks since they missed the point… the point expressed in the 1st half of that chapter. scary and sad

    Looks like you all had fun in at the world. We just went in January. It was sooo crowded. We had only been in Sept. before when there were very few lines. I thought January may be the same. We are definitely spoiled on low crowd levels. It was still awesome though.

  4. josh keele says:

    You like the last paragraph, eh? "When Jesus returns, he won’t ask the leaders of the Churches of Christ whether they used a piano. He’ll ask whether they taught the gospel — the good news that Jesus completely saves." Why can't the leaders both teach the gospel and be against a piano? Obviously they can. Just as Paul both taught the gospel and was against putting potlucks into the worship in 1 Cor 11.

    But sine its going to take a while for my raindance question to come on down the pipes, I figure I should add a few more and you can answer them all at once. That way we can get the progress on all the faster.

    1. Is it ok to add rain-dances to the worship?
    2. Is it ok to add drag-races to the worship?
    3. Is it ok to add bull-fighting to the worship?
    4. Is it ok to add karate to the worship?
    5. Is it ok to add gymnastics to the worship?
    6. Is it ok to add skits and/or plays to the worship?
    7. Is it ok to add pyrotechnics to the worship?

    With the regulative principle the answer would be easy to determine, but with it gone I must down down and kiss your big toe and await your response since I am lowly and unlearned and could never determine it myself without reverting to the regulative principle.

    You will note a theme: talents. This is one of the arguments for instruments, of course, that "Won't someone please think of the children!" because if we don't let our children use their talents in the worship, they'll leave the church, so they say. But what if my children's talents lie elsewhere, beyond instruments in something else? Are your children's musical talents allowed for the worship, but my child's gymnastic talents aren't?

    Can't "The power team" get up and rip encyclopedias in half with their bare hands and their faith in Jesus and edify the congregation as much as any trumpet or piano can? So, what if my child's talent was body building, and he built his body "in the name of the Lord" right there in the worship service? Would that be ok, Jay?

  5. Nancy says:

    Josh's absurd examples makes me wonder this: Just because we can, should we? Do dramatic changes to worship styles edify the body? I left a progressive congregation (I've been in two, maybe three, different sects of the CofC) because the worship service morphed into a rally of sorts. It didn't seem worshipful or edifying or spiritual in the least. It was a stumbling block for me.

    With respect to Jay's plea for teaching. I left the CofC altogether because I was frustrated with the lack of solid teaching of the gospel. Perhaps because many have never heard the gospel, it is hard to teach what you don't know. It was well into adulthood before I heard and understood the gospel even after 40+ yrs. of pew sitting in the CofC. I heard a lot about how the CofC was better than everybody else and studies centered on secular books or pop culture spirituality but not much solid Bible study. As several have pointed out, it is scary and sad.

    Jay, your tender sheperd's heart and efforts on this site are commendable. Your work has been a blessing to me.

  6. Vicki says:

    Hey Josh,
    All these things are fine to add to "worship". Doing things together (except sin!) is worship in itself.
    It feels like you've got a fixed idea of what worship is. Does this come down to some sort of fundamental beliefs in 5 or so acts of worship which must be performed on the first day of the week, every week?
    Salvation is in Christ, not in following (or not following) a specific list of examples and necessary inferences found in the NT. The NT doesn't save. Christ saves.
    Vicki

  7. josh keele says:

    I would to God that everyone who wants instruments in the church would either straighten up and quit being selfish or just leave altogether so that I never have to hear a sermon against instruments ever again for as long as a live and so that no one else has to either. And the same with the ignorance that those baptized as infants might be saved that God will make exceptions and all that. Let them join the Presybyterians and cause trouble in the FV controversy and leave Christ's church alone. It is a sign of whose their master is that they would rather stay and be divisive heretics.

  8. josh keele says:

    "Hey Josh, / All these things are fine to add to “worship”." (vicki)

    I'm glad someone finally answered. What about incense, then? Can we put on a long robe and walk about the building censing everything with a pot full of incense on a rope mumbling something about dominus and nomine patre, etc? Or what about having husbands who suspect their wives of cheating on them come up and making them drink holy water as part of the worship? (read Numbers 5 to see what I'm talking about)

    "It feels like you’ve got a fixed idea of what worship is." Maybe because I read the Bible and saw where Nadab and Abihu got iced for offering worship that God didn't command.

    "Salvation is in Christ, not in following (or not following) a specific list of examples and necessary inferences found in the NT." Who gave us the New Testament, then, Satan? I thought it was Christ. I think Christ gave it to us to follow, not to prop up our coffee tables with. And whether instrumental music is a salvation issue or not is irrelevant really, since Jesus is Lord and we ought to do what he says regardless of whether we're afraid we will go to hell for not doing so. Do you only obey God when you are afraid of hell? That's not from love, then, and if it isn't from love, how do you know you are saved?

  9. josh keele says:

    "The NT doesn’t save. Christ saves."

    LOL! I missed that the first time around. No, of course not, the New Testament is pure garbage right. Yeah, that must be why Jesus shed his blood to establish it then, eh? Have you ever read the book of Hebrews, Vicki? It is the New Testament that saves. Jesus established it by his death, as he says of the cup in the Lord's Supper "this is the New Testament ratified by my blood" and of the contents "this is my blood of the New Testament," and see also Heb 9:16-17. Jesus is the mediator of a better covenant, that is, testament, built on better promises and that offers eternal salvation. Hebrews 8:7 says "For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second." But why waste his time and his blood establishing a New Testament or New Covenant if the New Testament doesn't save? Yes, Christ Himself saves, but he does it through the New Testament that he established with his very blood! Man, you progressives have gotten so far away from the Bible that you deny the very covenant that Jesus died to establish? Jesus just saves with a magic wand Harry Potter style, I suppose, and not with his New Covenant–is that it? Ay ay ay, I need an aspirin.

  10. Vicki says:

    Josh,
    I think you've taken me too literally. When I said the "NT", I wasn't referring to Christ's atonement. I was referring to that which is written about it in the second half of the Bible, commonly referred to as the "New Testament".
    You seem to be giving more and more bizarre examples…trying to disprove the validity of heartfelt worship to God by quoting extremes. I have no problem with worshipping in Latin. I hear some people find the language beautiful in its antiquity.
    What's a progressive? I read the Bible, I study it and see that Christ saves….and see nothing to restrict us to a specific mode of worship. I'm okay that you choose (I guess) to have some sort of regimented worship at a specific time and place, with rules like "no instruments". I can live with that, but why try to impose it on the rest of us? Jesus doesn't, so why do you?
    Vicki

  11. Alan says:

    The prohibition against instruments is, at best, an inference from scripture (and not a necessary one!) It is inherently and demonstrably disputable, merely an opinion. OTOH, the command to accept one another without passing judgment on disputable matters is, well, a command. It is general in scope, and unambiguous. Those who pass judgment over the instrumental controversy are ignoring a direct command of God in order to enforce their opinion.

    To answer Josh on whether we can add his list of practices to the worship: There is an underlying fallacy in his point. He presumes that silence must either be permissive or prohibitive. That is a false dichotomy. Silence is neither permissive nor prohibitive. Silence is silent. It says nothing. To determine whether those things are permissible in service, one would have to use other biblical principles. For example, from 1 Cor 14, does it edify the church in the gospel? If so then it is permissible. If not then it is prohibited.

  12. Nick Gill says:

    Dear Br. Keele,

    Because some minimum-wage printing press worker stamped the words NEW TESTAMENT on a collection of translations of 27 1st century documents, I must equate his work of stamping and binding with the work of Christ?

    The Hebrew writer is not talking about Scripture at all, and the fact that you cannot recognize that displays a deeply unhealthy understanding of how God does reveal himself through Holy Scripture.

  13. Mark says:

    Jay,
    This latest ad didn't cause much of a splash. It looks like something that could have been published in 1958, rather than 2008. Very few people made it past the introductory paragraph, which states that the Church of Christ today is the same as the church you read about in the NT. I think the other ad got more traction because people were appalled that they actually ran a picture of me and "marked" me in that forum.

    After the first ad, I received a lot of positive, encouraging communication from elders and ministers in the area congregations. Some publicly disavowed the ad, but I am not aware of any who affirmed us publicly. Someone could have made a statement in support of us, and it just didn't get back to me. I don't know.

    Josh, your attempt to put drag races and instrumental worship in the same category is another reminder that trying to converse with you on the subject is an exercise in futility. Instrumental worship shows up quite a bit in the Bible. I don't remember seeing anything about drag racing. Don't feel an obligation to respond to me. I am happy to discuss areas of disagreement with people who will honestly wrestle with the issues. You have demonstrated over and over that you do not meet that criterion.
    Mark

  14. josh says:

    Nick, you go way beyond progressive to just plain antichristian. If you don't even accept that the New Testament is the New Testament, you might as well go chant Allah and chop off the heads of American soldiers in Iraq. You have actually increased my respect for the progressives. At least they don't argue that the New Testament isn't the New Testament.

    "The Hebrew writer is not talking about Scripture at all" — and? I recognize that there is a distinction between the abstract concept that is the Covenant itself and the document that brings us the knowledge of the Covenant, BUT THE TWO ARE NOT CONTRARY TO EACH OTHER. You act as if the written New Testament were from Satan or something, and you have the gall to say that it comes from some 17th century guy as if translating it made it not written by inspiration.

    Mark, you say "Instrumental worship shows up quite a bit in the Bible. I don’t remember seeing anything about drag racing." Incence then? When are you going to start censing your pews? making grain offerings? offering animal sacrifices, not for sin offerings but for thanksgiving?

  15. Kris (graceisgood) says:

    What translation uses "new testament" in Hebrews? Didn't some 4th century monk name that section of writings the New Testament? Or was it the Pope during the canonization? I am a bit suspicious that someone here might really be Kent from the "other" bulletin board pulling our chain or trying to get a rise out of Jay. I'm just sayin' ;-

  16. Mark says:

    Josh said:
    Mark, you say “Instrumental worship shows up quite a bit in the Bible. I don’t remember seeing anything about drag racing.” Incence then? When are you going to start censing your pews? making grain offerings? offering animal sacrifices, not for sin offerings but for thanksgiving?

    Why, Josh, I am incensed! You know that the NT is silent about pews.

    You keep referring to the Book of Hebrews. Surely, you have heard that it teaches that Jesus offered himself as a once-for-all sacrifice.
    Mark

  17. Jay Guin says:

    "New Testament" does not equal "New Covenant" as should be obvious from the fact that the new covenant was established long before the first book of the New Testament was written.

    On the other hand, we know what the new covenant is from the New Testament.

    (2 Cor 3:6) He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

    The new covenant will always be badly misunderstood when the work of the Spirit is misunderstood.

    (Heb 8:8-10) But God found fault with the people and said : "The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. … 10 This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

    Again, the covenant is all about God's work directly on the hearts and minds of his people.

    Now, of course, the new covenant is about much more than the work of the Spirit — but it's interesting how these passages particularly focus on that critical element of it. It just shows how important an understanding of the Spirit's work is to understanding the nature of the new covenant.

  18. josh says:

    "What translation uses 'new testament' in Hebrews?" (Kris)
    "'New Testament' does not equal 'New Covenant'" (Jay)

    Most translations translate the Greek phrase Kaine Diatheke as both New Testament and New Covenant. In Latin it is translated as both Novum Testamentum and Novum Instrumentum and a few other variations.

    In Hebrews 9:16 we read the following in various English translations:

    "For wheresoever is a testament, there must also be the death of him that maketh the testament. For the testament taketh authority when men are dead: For it is of no value as long as he that made it is alive. " (Tyndale, pre-KJV, 1534)

    "For where a Testament is, there must be the death of him that made the Testament. For the Testament is confirmed when men are dead: for it is yet of no force as long as he that made it, is aliue." (Geneva Bible, pre-KJV, 1587)

    "For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth." (KJV, 1611)

    "In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living." (NIV, 1978)

    "For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives." (NKJV, 1982)

    "For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives." (NASB, 1995)

    "Where a will exists, the death of the testator must be established. For a will is valid only when people die, since it is never in force while the testator is living." (Holman Christian Standard, 2004)

    Clearly, the NASB (the one that says "covenant") makes the least sense in this passage! The agreement that Jesus made between God and man is most appropriately called a Testament (or Will) in the sense that it was established by his death, as all wills or "last will and testament"s are. However, it is also rightly called a Covenant in that those who receive it have duties and responsibilities enumerated therein. The New Testament (the book) uses the phrase Kaine Diatheke in both senses, of a testament and of a covenant, and the New Testament/New Covenant is both a testament and a covenant.

    Even the first covenant was not dedicated without blood, as Paul proceeds to point out in the next verse (Heb 9:18). The Old Covenant is also the Old Testament, for a testator also had to die in its establishment. But there, God did not die in establishing his Testament, but had a brute beast die as a proxy. Paul continues to explain, verse 19, "For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you."–that is, those calves took God's place in dying to establish the Testament, their death was the death of the Testator by proxy. Because the Old Testament was only established by the death of proxies and not the actual Testator (i.e. God) it was weak and beggarly and unprofitable as he says in another place. He says, however, in verse 23, "It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these (i.e. blood of bulls and goats); but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these." That is, that the death of proxy testators in the form of brute beasts was ok for that fleshly and national Old Testament wherein the same sacrifices that could never take away sins were continually to be offered and wherein instrumental music and incence and "holy water" were to be used, but that the New Testament must of necessity be established by the blood of the real Testator, that is, of God Himself for it is higher and holier and more spiritual.

  19. Mike says:

    Dear Josh, my fellow brother in Christ,

    I normally do not participate in such discussion-type chats, as it typically produces more "curses" than "blessings" (Romans 12:14).

    Satan surely knows how to get followers of Christ "off-task."

    However, I ran across this discussion and it brought tears to my eyes.

    Please forgive me if I am mistaken, but it sounds like Vicki's statement–"The NT doesn't save. Christ saves."–disturbs you.

    When I am a part of brothers "discussing" differences, after much prayer, I usually go straight to Scripture to see if I can find any direction. Here is what I found.

    What did the divine prophesied Messiah declare to the Jews in John 5:39-40?

    "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life."

    It will not be at the name of God's Holy Word that every knee will bow. According to the inspired writer, every tongue will confess, "Jesus Christ is Lord!" (Philippians 2:10-11).

    May we all realize why our humble Savior–yours and mine–prayed for unity: "so that the world may believe" (John 17:21). It's not about us. It's about "the world."

    I love you brother.

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  21. GB says:

    I can not believe how the "progressives" can wink at everything and believe God thinks we are "OK" and God is "OK", so we must be both be "OK".

    There is only one choice to follow, you will have to decide by what grace you are saved and by through which faith.

    1) Those who follow the scriptures.

    2) Those who add to the scriptures.

    3) Those who subtract from the scriptures.

    4) Those who add and subtract from the scriptures.

  22. Jay Guin says:

    GB,

    Are you suggesting that only those who follow the scriptures without any addition and without any subtraction are saved?

    Do you believe you meet that standard?

  23. Joe Baggett says:

    The addition and subtraction thing will always be a quagmire moslty based on ones approach and interpretation of scripture. But most would never admit or even see their own bias.

  24. David says:

    I don't read anywhere of Jesus asking us if we taught the gospel so we can get into heaven. As a matter of fact I don't read of him asking us any questions at all. We will ask the questions: When did we see you hungry, or sick, naked or in prison? This is the only standard of judgement given. We must, must get over our selfish, silly arguments (both sides) and get out and start serving!

  25. Dan Mayfield says:

    "Profound sinfulness"? Really. Then how do you turn and do the same thing? These things are public sin and a public response is required.

  26. Dan Mayfield says:

    I don't think the guy is saying that he is perfect. No one is. But I think he thinks he is right. Don't you? I do. If anyone thinks he is wrong he should change right away. If you think you are not right and are wrong, then you should change. So yes we must believe that we are not adding to or taking from God's Word.

  27. Jay Guin says:

    Dan,

    You may want to go to http://graceconversation.com, where Todd Deaver and I are discussing this very issue with Phil Sanders and Greg Tidwell. We are just getting underway.

  28. Ed Carp says:

    There are only two questions that need to be answered on this issue:

    1. Does it bring people closer to God, or does it drive them away?
    2. Does it divide the body of Christ with divisiveness and anger, or does it bring it together in love?

    I think the answer is pretty obvious.

  29. Ken M. says:

    Gotta agree with Ed on this one. Our CofC sectarianism on acapella music surely does drive many people away. When the lost see attacks on brothers over this sectarian view, people are driven away.

    And secondly, legalistic churches seeking to condemn their brothers for a practice neither approved or disapproved by the Bible has greatly divided the body of Christ and shown insane anger and the total lack of love. It is that quality of pride and self-hatred present in religious extremists that bring down towers and print ads in low-quality public newspapers.

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