Do We Teach Another Gospel?

You can download this essay as a single document here: Do We Teach Another Gospel?


39 Responses to Do We Teach Another Gospel?

  1. Ken Erickson says:

    The crux of the problem on the title question raised and content is that you do not understand the doctrine of election. This teaching is not a mystery it is prominent throughout the Old and New Testaments.

  2. Alan says:

    An outstanding paper on a very important topic. Our elders and minister are all reading this. Thanks for your work.

  3. Jay Guin says:

    I'm glad you enjoy a relationship that allows you all to study such controversial materials together. No doubt, your congregation is blessed in being overseen by such men.

    I taught on this subject at the ACU Lectureships a couple of years ago. The PowerPoint outline is posted at /2007/03/25/do-we-teach-ano…. It might be helpful to you all.

    Now, THAT made for some interesting conversation.

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  12. Royce says:

    Thanks for telling the truth!

    I have shared this Galatians passage and it's modern day application with several coC folks and the looks I received ranged from horror to looking like a calf looking at a new gate.

    Thanks for having the courage to be true to the text even when the knife cuts both ways.

    Royce Ogle

  13. Jay Guin says:

    From a reader's email —

    Jay –

    I just found " Do we teach another gospel" online and wanted you to know it is the most rational, well researched article by a writer in the Churches of Christ in my recent recollection.

    I have only read it once but am planning to do so again. I can certainly find nothing to disagree with at this point. I'm sure you have been challenged to debate your spurious views already!!!

    Actually, I don’t get debate challenges. I wish I did.

    I am a 70+ year old man who was baptized when he was a teenager, married to a member of the church in my early 20's and raised two children. Divorce entered after 25 years, and although it didn't destroy my faith needless to say it certainly changed my world.

    I have struggled to attend regularly since and have certainly been aware of the exhortation to not forsake the assembly, but am not sure it has been correctly taught. If you have any thoughts on this type of situation I would welcome hearing from you as I don't want to be lost as a result.

    Sorry for the length.

    Regarding divorce, I’ve laid out my views in a book on the site, But If You Do Marry … at /books-by-jay-guin/but-if-y

    Regarding the assembly, I’ve not written much on the “do not forsake” part. However, I’m a pretty strong advocate of being regular in attendance. I think we need it. I just don’t see it as a legalistic obligation. I go to church because I crave it. It’s been a long time since I even thought about whether I have to go.

    I know of churches where divorced members are treated as second-class citizens, and in such a case, I could certainly understand your reluctance to attend. I mean, one reason we attend is to be reminded of God’s grace — and that can’t happen if we don’t treat one another graciously. I’d struggle mightily to attend any other kind of church.

    Thanks much for your encouraging words regarding my book.

  14. Adam Davis says:

    Do we teach another Gospel?

    Those "conservative" Churches of Christ you mentioned most certainly do. Praise be to God that some Churches of Christ have abandoned this view that the act of Baptism is the Gospel and turned to the true Gospel of Jesus that He died on the cross for the sins of mankind. The hardline Church of Christ Gospel is a gospel of works that competely depreciates Christ's work on the cross.

    This is a very serious matter. The Bible has a crystal clear warning for those who would teach another Gospel. The ultra conservative wing of the Church of Christ that thinks they control everyone else and try to do so through hate and fear mongering are the Pharisees of our day. These legalists are not to be catered to and excused and blown off as many Church of Christ preachers and Christians do. We are not to fear them but to militantly speak out against them as Jesus and the Apostles did. They must be stopped.

  15. Ken says:

    Actually, as they say, there are two levels of gospel: Paul speaks of the PROTOS or PROTOTYPE gospel. That is what Jesus did and which we cannot do. As a PROTOTYPE it has the same meaning as the FORM of doctrine to TYPE. A type is a PATTERN CAPABLE OF BEING IMITATED.

    Paul says that AFTER we have obeyed that FORM or PROTOTYPE that we are THEN free from sin. That means that you are NOT free from sin just because Jesus died on a stake.

    A TYPE also means INSTEAD OF. We can obey the PROTOTYPE as a pattern capable of being imitated or obeyed OR we must dye on the cross for out own sins. NO ONE is said to be free from sin just because Jesus provided a PATH or WAY through His FLESH.

    Those who do not OBEY the gospel will be lost. The only way to OBEY is to do what preaching the gospel always demands as a way to REQUEST A holy spirit or A good conscience. BAPTISM SAVES says peter because it is the Christ ordainee way to REQUEST or call upon the name of the Lord. Now, surely the death on the cross has no PERSONAL meaning unless we "Call upon His Name (singular) to SERVE him.

    SECONDLY, for we who believe, Mark defines the ARCHE gospel which is "The most important part of the gospel" as it applies to the believer who must repent (our act), must confess (our act) and SUBMIT to baptism. ONLY after a person has believed and asks WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED must a faithful person must say "repent and be baptized FOR (in order to) the remission of sins AND then you SHALL RECEIVE A holy spirit or a good conscience." OUR spirit must be sanctified beforee we can go boldly before the throne of Grace.

    That is the problem anticipated by Paul who identified corrupting the Word as "selling learning at retail." and Peter who declared that the once-probated will of Christ must be "taught as it has been taught" as the oly way to MARK false teachers.

    A priest had to accept the sacrifice, then he had to be BAPTIZED head over heels in a 7 foot deep baptistry (Laver) and only THEN could he enter into the "holy place" which has all of the symbols of the body or Church of Christ: the seven lamps or SPIRITS all related to Divine knowledge, the bread of fellowship and THEN looking into the Most Holy Place at the incense altar where we HOLD the harps and HOLD the noise and offer the fruit of our lips as the only praise God accepts. That new holy place or temple is OUR spirit.

    Prototype or FORM done only by Jesus Christ. The wrath or passion which must be COOLED OFF is humanity's lust to ritually murder the gods, then the kings as God's agents, then a scapegoat to save the king and THEN innocent animals to cool the unholy animalistic blood lust. Music was called EXORCISM.

    ARCHE (as in the ARCH or the FOUNDATION of ROCK upon which we build our foundation.

    Initium is Latin is the beginning, first principles, elements, sacred rite to which only the initiated are allowed.

    No one before Zwingli said that "baptism does not save" but he and everyone quickly added "without faith." The Sola Fide cannot be learned at a university: you have to read Luther.

    The faith in the PROTO gospel has NO value unless you begin or BUILD upon that at baptism.

    After Mark spoke of the BEGINNING PRINCIPLE OF THE GOSPEL He went back to Malachi who prophesied of John the Baptist and our being washed by the FULLER only when we obey. He then began to speak of the baptism by John and by Jesus through His disciples.

    When Jesus was baptized to "fulfill all righteousness" the meaning is that he FULLY PREACHED BAPTIZM or FILLED IT FULL of His own righteousness. Both Luther and Calvin grasped that fact and Sola Fide demanded Sola Scriptura which demanded Sola Baptisma because that, he says, is the ONLY thing you can believe if you read the Bible.

    Otherwise, you really have to say that Chrisit through Malachi and Isaiah who prophesied baptism, Peter, Paul, Philip and most of church history were liars. In fact, BELIEVETH NOT which denies that "he that believeth AND is baptized SHALL be saved" is the Greek APISTOS. That means that people are in REVOLT and are therefore treacherous. The Greel BELIEVETH in this sense demands COMPLIANC with what you believe.

    I doubt that "conservative churches of Christ" hold views of baptism different from say most baptists. It fact, this is a personal issue and no preacher has the skill or standing or Biblical Case Law to interfere or to incourage. If you could grasp that being Pastor is an UNFUNDED ROLE you could solve most of the problems. I believe that it was Hardeman which called the pastor a fungus on the church.

    It is pretty easy to be baptized into the Baptist faith but more than half of their preachers preach what we preach and a survey showed that people wanted to be baptized immediately in order to be saved.

    The die hard traditionalists STILL do not consider you a member of the body of Christ until they have indoctrinated you, voted on you and baptized you and THEY you are in FELLERSHIP and able to commune and participate.

    I am positive that those who think they are SAVED by faith only do NOT understand that the term is JUSTIFIED BY FAITH and not because one has obeyed the Law. Abraham was JUSTIFIED by faith WHEN He obeyed God's laws, commandments, decrees and covenants.

    If I should be the greates law student in the world and get my case brought to the supreme court I AM NOT JUSTIFIED. That means that I do not have the STANDING to practice law before the Supreme Court. A person of FAITH who practices right living is JUSTIFIED by FAITH: that means that they have the STANDING to "call upon the name of the Lord at baptism." I civil law a person is JUSTIFIED if they have the legal standing to plead that the courts declare them innocent.

    No one has their sins remitted WITHOUT baptis which is the way to PLEAD: "ARISE and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling upon the Name of the Lord." Why would it be PROGRESSIVE to do what the Pharisees did why they "Rejected the counsel of God by REFUSING to be baptized?"

  16. Jay Guin says:


    I'd appreciate it if you'd actually read what I write before you comment. I mean, this comment does not address the arguments in my post at all. And when you refer to a scripture, please have the courtesy to cite book, chapter, and verse.

  17. Ken says:

    Jay, I was responding to Adam Davis: Sorry but at 79ish there is not enough time to affirm all of your writings. I made some "opening arguments" and I didn't think you wanted me to expound.

    I do believe that in you overarching view of the Old Testament you have missed some of the most important other falls from Grace. I think that first DEFINING what THE church of Christ believes and teaches and then judge, jury and execution of same is too expansive. Statements like the following tests my meds:

    48 The idea that authority for an act of worship, church organization, church name, etc. is required is taken from John Calvin. Among Calvinists the doctrine is called the Regulative Principle. See, e.g., John Calvin, Commentaries on the Four Last Books of Moses (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1981), 1:344-345. See, generally, Brian Schwertley, Sola Scriptura and the Regulative Principle of Worship (Lansing, Mich., 2000)

    John Calvin was perfectly aware of the fact that you COULD NOT sing any of the directly commanded Biblical text as the SOLE resource for the school of the Bible, synagogue or ekklesia. Nor could any organ ACCOMPANY what is commanded under the heading of SPEAK which is an EXCLUSIVE word.

    I have quoted several of dozens of passages which would severely WARN people to even further expound the Word (private interpretation) and corrupt it (sell learning at retail). As well, you will not find a single writer (church father) or founder of a denomination which did not just inherently HONOR the Bible: being Apostolic never, never meant restoring A New Testament church but of not tampering with the Word.

    In absolute FACT Paul's ONLY definition of an ACT of worship is found under terms such as "giving heed to the Word of Christ, that which is WRITTEN [Rom 15], Psalms-hymns-spiritual songs or the Spirit Eph 5 (words of Christ Jn 6:63) and the Word of Christ (col 3). NONE of these have any musical content but identify rhthmical prose (Cantillation or SPEAK meaning the OPPOSITE of poetry or music: Greek 101aa).

    Christ directly commanded / excluded for the Holy Convocation for the church in the wilderness. That was ALWAYS practiced by the NARROW WAY, endorsed by Jesus, commanded by the word EKKLESIA, commanded by Paul who used the synagogue word, practiced by the historical church for almost 4 centuries before singing or preaching was imposec close to the year 400

    1. There was NO act of preaching–your friends will not want to give up on that.
    2. There was no "Doctors of the Law–Jesus said they take away the key to knowledge.
    3. There was no "exegesis/hermeneutics", singing or instrument playing because he (in Isaiah and Ezekiel) defined speakers, singers and instrument players as HYPOCRITES. So, does all of the Greek performing arts words OUTLAWED as SELF-pleasure in Rom 15:1)
    4. There was no ACT of preaching–Acts 15:21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day. –the ENLIGHTENED people will not want to give up that patternism.
    5. There was no ACT of laying by in church LAW–Christ defined ALMS (only), Paul denied that it was a LAW, the historic church encouraged those who PROSPERED for the week to give to the DESTITUTE but only if they were willing. Whose gonna give that up.

    6. In fact Ephesians 4 where Paul made his usual preemptive strike against sophistry, music, tricky teaching DOES NOT list a preacher.

    So you are left where the Campbells tried to pin you down: "Fellership" is only possible when the local group follows the patternism for SYNAGOGUE which Paul defined in Romans 14 (to exclude private opinions) and Romans 15 where he defined the Glorifying or worship Christ as reading that which is WRITTEN wiwth one MIND and one MOUTH for the purpose of edificaiton or education, comforting one another WITH Scripture and preventing the sowing of discord.

    I am just astounded at how SILENT Scripture seems to be to those who violate the warning against tampering with it for money.

    I also deny your characterization of the "dip 'em–dupe 'em" without teaching them about Christ. If you look carefully at Romans 14 you will find the NECESARRY process and not LEGALISTIC STEPS: Sending, Preacing, hearing, believing, confessing AND being baptized. The same Paul remembered the meaning of CALLING ON THE NAME OF THE LORD:.

    He was warned that the Jews would be waiting for him in Jerusalem but THIS was perhaps his ONLY change to go into the lion's den and preach that the WASHINGS could not make the spirit or conscience clean AND preach the GOSPEL which could never be preached without the "what is it to me" question.

    Acts 22:14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.
    Acts 22:15 For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.
    Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise,
    and be baptized,
    and wash away thy sins,
    calling on the name of the Lord.

    Let it be known that for the most part a church of Christ preacher is not a legalistic, sectarian, patternist hypocrite when each baptized person has had a scriptureal understanding of what Christ did and makes the same confession the enuch made.

    "I believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God" and I doubt that any other group better prepares people for understanding of baptism as that which joins them to Christ.

    It is common "among the scholars" to point the pistol in the wrong direction when they quote the Declaration and Address and fib about the Lunenberg Correspondence. The TEACHING is against IMPOSING those things which are the PRIME MOVERS of destroying fellowship. It certainly DOES NOT condemn those who REFUSE to have MUSIC imposed upon them as hear the implication among the new ANTI circle.

    Silence as PERMISSIVE of IMPOSING instruments (radically condemned from Genesis to Revelation) with a high hand knowing that they are THRUSTING UPON that which Christ outlawed for the Church in the Wilderness and which had NO prooftexts before the Disciples/Christian churches after 1878.

    I know I am supposed to enthuse but I still believe that there is a SILENCE in the Old Testament story line which SHOUTS so that no one could miss it: Specificially musical idolatry as THAT which invited God to REMOVE Grace and abandon them to worship the starry host. Therefore, there is NO patternism in the sacrificial system which has ANY place in the SYNAGOGUE now as it had NO place in the Synagogue from Mount Sinai onward

    During the same time people who feared God and worked righteousness were called justified and were ACCEPTABLE to God–without mediators in song and sermon.

    Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
    Acts 10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

    The ANTI-patternists will KILL to preserve theology, preaching, staff infection, singing and laying by in store BASED they think on the New Testament teaching. They want to IMPOSE INSTRUMENTS (at the heart of most of the new ANTISM) which is defacto defined as legalism. A musical instrument is a machine for doing hard work, mostly used in MAKING WAR and creating the shock and awe (lying wonders) of pagan religioism. The "oregon" was an instrument/weapon to facilitate the ORGY (Orge).

    The new ANTI-patternist gets tripped up by Perry Mason when they spend most of their time making those who will NOT impose instruments beyond the realm of "Fellership."

    Not one single pro-instrumental would allow any one to just attend and READ what the Bible says of the INSTRUMENT almost as a mark of refusing to hear the Words of Christ; doeth that needeth any proof?

  18. Jody B. says:

    I'd appreciate writing that has proper grammar, proper puntuation and proper spellng. I'm sorry Jay, but that was painful.

  19. Jody B. says:


    A couple of questions:

    If you have to use the actual Greek to clarify the NIV, then why not just use a more accurate translation? BTW, I'm not a stickler for translations, but it this doesn't help when half of the people you're addressing will simply stop reading once they find our the translation of the Bible being used cannot be depended upon to say what it means and mean what it says.

    Second, since you reason that love cannot be a commandment, then how do we reconcile the commandment "Love the Lord your God with all of your heart…" with that statement. I understand from where you are coming, but please clarify.

    This is GOOD reading. Thanks a lot for putting it in the public domain.

  20. Jody B. says:

    Jay, I have another comment here as well and it concerns your thoughts on grace.

    You make the statement "Thus, those of my brothers and sisters—baptized penitent believers—who
    worship with (or without) an instrument, who practice quarterly (or weekly) communion, who have women elders (or have no women elders), who have Sunday School classes (or teach that such classes are wrong), who teach that the earth is billions of years old (or that it’s only thousands of years old), etc., etc. are all going to heaven if they believe these things with penitent hearts, believing that they glorify God with their teachings and practices."

    I disagree with the fact that a church can consent to something such as appointing women as elders and be penitent? Why? Simply because Paul has given explicit commands to the contrary that elders are to be men. Ignoring such a command logically qualifies as the exact OPPOSITE of penitence, as it denies the authority of Paul as and apostle and spokesman of Christ.

    I do not know how or if one can roll up this example of command into "loving their neighbor as themselves" and somehow be exempt from judgment, but I assure you that what Paul said is a command and he doesn't give that command for nothing.

    The bottom line is that we cannot be penitent yet continually, willfully ignore God's explicit teaching (or that of his apostles) in anything and expect anything other than Heb 10:26. Imagine I said, "Let's ignore Paul's command to speak truthfully to one's neighbor" because I felt the spirit say it was OK, or I beleived it was glorifying God. Jay, that's shaky ground my friend. Is that command any more or less forceful or relevant than that he gave Timothy and Titus to appoint men as elders? No. Now, commands of church polity are not issues of salvation in and of themselves, but continued, willful disobedience is. Ultimately motivation is the key, and normally the motivation for not following a command as given regarding church polity is placating those who believe that the world order works within the church, and this is precisely what got us into 1200 years of unchallenged Roman Catholocism; all because Ignatious knew just a little more about how to govern a church than Paul and Timothy.

    Ultimately Jeremiah said it best; "the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure". No matter what I feel the Spirit is saying to me, if I'm ignoring God's explicit command I am neither penitent or truthful. If I'm not mistaken, there were a lot or deceiving spirits out there as well during Paul's time and before. I don't think it's any different today.

    For the record, I prefer to not to subscribe wholesale to the idea that one must have a perfect doctrinal position based on necessary inference being equal to direct command. Just be careful where you are leading people. BTW, cut out the joking about the Pope stuff. That makes me (and likely others) more than uncomfortable.

  21. Jody B. says:

    Sorry for my response to Ken earlier, as the posting seems to be out of whack on this page.

  22. Jay Guin says:

    Jody B.,

    Because (1) the ESV wasn't around when I wrote it and (2) the NIV is by far the most popular Bible in the Churches of Christ. Yes, when it comes to Paul, the NIV is often a mess, but the mess mainly matters when you're doing close exegesis, which isn't how most people read their Bibles.

    I don't believe I said love isn't a commandment. Rather, I said that if the only reason we "love" is because of the commandment, it's not really love. Love must come from the heart, not fear of damnation. If I serve the poor so I won't go to hell, then I'm acting out of love for myself, not love for the poor. However, if I serve them because I've already been saved, then my service truly is selfless and truly an act of love. And people will see and respond to it. It'll make all the difference in how the church is perceived.

    That doesn't mean love isn't commanded. It is. But we've not obeyed the command until we've transcended the command by loving because that's our new nature, created in us by the Spirit. Hence, the command must become our nature — so much so that we'd do what's commanded even if it weren't commanded.

  23. Jay Guin says:

    Jody B.,

    I refer you to my book Buried Talents. /books-by-jay-guin/buried-t…. While I may not convince you of my view on the role of women, hopefully you'll see that an egalitarian view can be held by a penitent believer.

    Think carefully about the nature of the Bible and how we read it. There are numerous "commands" that are quite explicit that we refuse to obey. Indeed, we sometimes insist that to obey them would be sin.

    (1 Cor 14:5) I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified.

    It is therefore not nearly sufficient to point out that a command is "explicit." We have to do some serious hermeneutics first. And this includes considering whether that command is somehow subsumed within the command that includes all the law: love your neighbor. Moreover, it includes considering where that command fits into the narrative of the scriptures from Gen 1 to Rev 22.

    I recently covered how I do hermeneutics in the Blue Parakeet series, /index-under-construction/b… which was a 13-lesson series we taught at my church.

    But you've put your finger on the analysis. Why did Paul issue his commands regarding women? For when we understand Paul's reasons, we can then determine whether the command applies today or, like the commands to wear veils or to greet with a holy kiss, was the command an application of "Love your neighbor" to First Century culture?

    I should add that there are plenty of people who would have the identical reaction to yours regarding the age of the earth (the Bible is explicit, so you're not penitent if you disagree with me), the frequency we should take communion, etc.

  24. Jody B. says:

    Jay, I still disagree because of the ramifications of the failure to follow the commands given to Paul regarding church polity have had what you and I can likely agree is a destructive effect. This is a far broader issue than simply breaking a command. It is simply denying God's wisdom for how his church should be organized. Furthermore, there are countless examples of kings throughout the Chronicles who insisted upon doing things in an expeidient way, and perhaps thought they were being pleasing to God. For example, most of the kings maintained the high places that were convenient and certainly smiled upon by the majority of their subjects. Their motivations were myriad, but because of their refusal to wipe out the symbols of their fathers' pride and wisdom, they unwittingly contributed to the physical and moral downfall of the southern kingdom.

    Now you and I both know there are obvious differences between the ramifications of greeting one another with a holy kiss and sheparding a church according to the wisdom of Paul as revealed by inspiration. Therefore my argument is based upon your own premise that some items are of more importance than others.

    My arguments against your writing on grace run far deeper than whether or not women being given the role of elders within the chruch is a damnable heresy. That is simply an example. The arguments simply state that when we are given explicit commands and we do not follow them based on the desire to serve God as we want, versus the way that God desires, then why should we expect God to bless our efforts. Indeed King Saul found this out the hard way, and his sin affected far more people than himself. Just because we've become more enlightened in culture and history or have a greater desire to please him does not change the wisdom of God or his ambassadors. You yourself indicated that our intellect is just as fallen as our physical body. Why do we insist on ignoring God's simple instructions for the adminsitration of the church if not for simple pride and arrogance?

    I will say that I am just as disgusted about many of the divisions of the past 100 years as you, and I think that most of the reasons for these are comical but for the heartbreak they have caused God and His children. You and I both agree that we cannot make commands from what has not been said, especially regarding patterns of worship that, quite frankly, do not exist within the confines of Genesis and Revelation. Ultimately we will be judged upon the existance of a living faith. It may be weak or strong, but it will be sufficient in light of his work.

    Whether or not God chooses to save us if we decide to violate an explicit command (especially one regarding the oversight of his church) wilfully and and repeatedly is his alone, and I will not judge one who does. I am sure that God will hold the elders of those churches responsible.

    We don't disagree on everything Jay, but a proper view of grace is essential our complete submission to God in ALL matters which is ultimately the biggest test of our faith.

  25. Jay Guin says:

    Jody B,

    Please go back and carefully read what you just wrote in response to me. I urged you to consider the fact that some NT commands are no longer applicable and to consider the principles that help us decide whether a First Century command applies in the 21st Century. There a many such commands: veils on women, the Holy Kiss, tongues speaking, establishing a list of widows for support, etc. Of course, the Churches of Christ disagree on many of these. Some see a permanent command where others see a temporary one. How do we decide?

    You've not even attempted to articulate a principle that makes that distinction. How can you possibly know that Paul's instructions concerning women apply today if you've not found a biblical hermeneutic that tells you how to make that determination? Without a biblically founded hermeneutic, it's just one man's opinion vs. another man's. And that leads to division.

  26. Gary Cummings says:

    PRESBYTES is just the feminine form or PRESBYTER, which is the office or service of the elder, either male or female. Give me one statement where Paul forbids women to be elders or deacons.

    Women in NT days ministered a lot more than the 20th century Stone-Campbell movement let them. How can they claim to be the NY church restored, if they deviate from the more open NT attitude about allowing women to minister, pray, and lead?

    The practice of the Stone-Campbell churches violate the freedom of the Holy Spirit which Paul taught. I think Phoebe, Junia, Priscilla, and the other female ministers mentioned (and not mentioned) would laugh at the shoddy exegesis of the Stone-Campbell movement.

  27. Gary Cummings says:

    With many words, you actually didn't say much, except to give the traditional COC view. I think Paul makes it very simple:
    "I'm not ashamed of the Good News, It is God's power to save everyone who believes, Jews first and Greeks as well. God's approval is revealed in this Good News. This approval begins and ends with faith as Scripture says: "The person who has God's approva

  28. Jody B. says:

    Gary, c'mon. You can't honestly second guess "the husband of one-wife" can you. As for the "this is a trustworthy saying" argument by Jay, you honestly don't think Paul was inspired one minute and just turned around and said, "hey Spirit leave me alone and let me write this down while you get me a cup of coffee" do you? You can get in an argument about gender neutral language all you want, but there are plenty of other references in which Paul states the role of women in the assembly (praying and prophesying only), states that women are not to be in authority over or teach a man (which is one of the primary roles of an elder) AND gives specific orders for the wife to be in submission to the husband. Now you may argue that elders do not have authority for all I know, but they are responsible for the affairs of the church, so I'll stop there.

    Human wisdom and intellect does not trump inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This is total reactionary doctrine to the feminist movement of the 1960's and we would not be holding this argument but for that.

  29. Gary Cummings says:

    With many words, you actually didn't say much, except to give the traditional COC view. I think Paul makes it very simple:
    "I'm not ashamed of the Good News, It is God's power to save everyone who believes, Jews first and Greeks as well. God's approval is revealed in this Good News. This approval begins and ends with faith as Scripture says: "The person who has God's approval will live because of faith." Romans 1:16-17.

    Not one word is mentioned about baptism here. It is faith in God and receiving His righteousness that saves us-from first to last. From the first minute we say "I believe in Jesus" till we take our last breath and say: "into your hands, oh Lord!"

    We obtain God's approval by faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross and His bodily resurrection. Then we are declared righteous. Then we are baptized because we have been saved. The Baptists have baptism right. We are baptized because we have been saved, not to be saved. It is like getting married for love. We are married because we are already in love, It is the same way with baptism, we are baptized because because we are already saved by faith.

    God bless you.

  30. Gary Cummings says:

    We need to know what the norm was for faith, ethics and worship for the first followers of Jesus. Then, with good exegesis, we need to learn what is normative for followers of all Jesus through time. That is a tough task, and we need a lot of grace. Sometimes we may make mistakes, sometimes we will fail, and sometimes we will get in right. In spite of all of this, we are still under grace, and love covers a multitude of sins, mistakes and failures.

    Faith and I worship from time to time with the local Mennonite churches. Some of the women wear a covering, but most most don't. My wife wears a covering , and I respect her for that. That was her decision for her faithfulness to Christ. She does not bind that upon others.
    There is a mixture of acapella and instruments in the local churches. I like both, but somehow the acapella rings my bells. People say I sing acapella well, and that must have been from the 5 years I spent with the COC. I still like it a lot.

    That being said, I think there is room within the Body of Christ for a little difference in practice:instrumental and acapella, women elders and deacons and preachers, worship on various days of the week, and even differences of when and how often to take the Lord's Supper.

    If congregations are truly autonomous, why can't we live and let live?

  31. Gary Cummings says:

    Do a little more work on your exegesis. "The husband of one wife" probably means , according to the best interpreters a "one-woman man". This means he is to be faithful to his wife and not a "playboy". In your traditional interpretation, you mean it to say that "an elder must be a man". The text does not say that.. In 1st Tim 3:1-7, Paul addresses the calling and appointment of elders. then in 8-13, Deacons are discussed, and both men and women are mentioned in the context of the diaconate. Now why doesn't the COC recognize that the NT allows for women deacons? "Women" in verse 11, does not refer to the "wives" of deacons, rather women to be appointed as deacons.

    Stone-Campbell wisdom and sectarian intellect do not trump inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

  32. Jody B. says:

    Gary, I was getting a little short, and needed to take a long break. I don't like to respond out of impatience as I often do.

    Getting back to exegesis; Paul's discourse before he reaches the description of elders states that women were to learn in complete submission, and were forbade from having authority over a man. This could not be cultural, as Paul clearly stated the reason for this directive as being the deception of Eve and most likely a result of God's statement that the man will rule the woman in Gen. 3. In addition, since the description of PRESBUTEROS in Titus also makes the reference to overseer, the gender rules regarding husband of one wife still apply there. I THOROUGHLY AGREE (caps for emphasis, not screaming) with your analysis that "the husband of one wife" refers to monogamy. More specifically, it was likely a prohibition of polygamy. That still does not change the fact that he said "husband". In addition, there were specific instructions to Titus that an overseer must be able to exhort using sound doctrine and and refute those who contradict (apt to teach according to Paul's description in the first letter to Timothy). One cannot logically say that Paul meant for women to learn in submission and forbade them to teach a man in I Tim 2 or speak in the assembly I Cor 14, and then authorize them to teach men in chapter 3. Now Jay makes an argument that woman's subjection to man is not an all-time command with his example of the immolation of the Scottish woman that took sedatives during childbirth, but that argument is faulty at best. Some women naturally feel little, others feel a lot. If a woman happens to have a child and feels little pain in the process, is that an excuse to break the other directive of God? BTW, no matter how much sedative a woman takes, this doesn't take away the fact that pain is still part of the process. Once again, this is a human argument against an inspired directive. BTW, I could care less what Campbell, Stone have to say regarding the matter. They were neither inspired nor infallible. I'm simply using Paul's words as best I can to make a sound judgment.

    The gender reference in I Tim 3:11 regarding deacons I think is more unclear. Therefore, you MAY be right in your assessment that women could have served as appointed deacons during that time. My wife certainly fulfills that role as described in Acts within our house as a true "wife of noble character". However, the gender reference still remains in the description "husband of one wife". Furthermore, the description of Phoebe serving in the appointed office of deacon as some have deducted in Rom 16:1 is not consistent with the role of women in church governance found elsewhere. Therefore, Paul may have simply used DIAKONOS in the form of servant as translated in the NASB. My faith and lack of knowledge will not let me draw the conclusion that women were or would be authorized to serve in that role. A more thorough description of deacons can be found here.

    We could go on arguing all day and night about this, but I don't want to get caught up in chasing rabbits in light of the fact that we cannot be presumptuous regarding God's church. It is, after all, His and I'd rather run it how He commands instead of reacting to the feminist agenda and using worldly wisdom and thereby invoking unintended consequences for future generations.

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  35. Theodore A. Jones says:

    "Do We Teach Another Gospel?" yes, but every other contemporary church, regardless of the denominational tag, does too. What you all need to realize is that "few find it" is not an understatement, and "make every effort to use" is imperative. At this point I suspect you're thinking "What upstart is this?" but don't be so quick to judge. While I am not affiliated with the COC in any way I do commend you folks, in a general sense, to using your Bibles having not abandoned it. Perhaps progress can be made for "It is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous." Rom. 2:13
    What you need to do is identify which law this is because a law has been added by Jesus' crucifixion. Ref. Rom. 5:20 & Heb. 7:12. The common error of "another gospel" is the false conclusion that that crucifixion of Jesus is a direct benefit, but it is not.

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  37. Jany Sabins says:

    Thank you for this discourse. I was upset by Shank’s book, and this helped. I was born and raised in the Church of Christ, but never was introduced to the love of God. I left the last Church of Christ because it was a dead church, and I knew I needed more. I now belong to a Baptist church where I am sorting out my beliefs once again. But they are a vibrant church, passionate about their faith, and strong in their works. Yes, they have instruments and women speaking in church, but I know, without a doubt, that God lead me there and that I will grow as a Christian because of it.

  38. Jay Guin says:


    I’m glad that my book has been of some help to you. Please hang around here and read the other books and posts as you have time. And always feel welcome to ask questions and to comment.

  39. J.P. says:

    Dear Jay, and all other commenters:

    It sounds a lot like arguments about the Bible could go on forever.

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