A CRITIQUE OF CRITICAL RACE THEORY
Racism is to CRT what Total Hereditary
Depravity is to Calvinism: a noxious taproot,
a false understanding of human nature and
society which promotes further falsehoods.
The Christian Scholars Conference (CSC) was founded by
Pepperdine professor Thomas Olbricht in 1981. On June 9-11 of this
year, its annual conference was held at Lipscomb University
in Nashville, and the Christian Scholars Conference web page,
some of the nations top thought-leaders focusing on the
theme of Recovery of Hope were among the more than 400
scholars and faith leaders representing nearly 100 universities
from around the country. (
On Friday morning, June 11th at 10:45 a.m., in the final
session of the Fred D. Gray Plenary in Human and Civil Rights,
Ibram X. Kendi, a lecturer at Boston University, was the keynote
speaker. According to the CSC website
Mr. Kendi is the author of seven books
and one of Americas foremost historians and leading
antiracist scholars. Mr. Kendi describes himself as a
preachers kid who was raised by parents who were
fully immersed in the Black Theology Movement (
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azJh4N69Q5k). To this upbringing,
Mr. Kendi has added the fundamental tents of Liberation Theology,
Postmodernism, and Critical Race Theory (CRT). His 2019
international bestseller, How to
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azJh4N69Q5kBe an Antiracist, helped
land him on Time magazines 2020 list of the 100 most
influential people in the world.
In his 2019 bestseller, Mr. Kendi declares there is
no neutrality in the racism struggle. The opposite of
racist isnt not racist. It is
antiracist (p.9). To become an antiracist, you must undergo a
conversion experience (i.e., become Woke), categorically
condemn anyone who disagrees with you, and embrace the fundamental
goal of cultural Marxism/Critical Race Theory the dismantling
of the oppressive and systemically racist
American culture which was founded upon the Biblical principles of
personal freedom, individual responsibility, rule of law,
democracy, and the free enterprise economic system.
According to Mr. Kendi (
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azJh4N69Q5k), the church ought to
be the engine of liberation from any government deemed
oppressive. Because Jesus was a revolutionary,
Christians are obligated to liberate society from the powers
on earth that oppress humanity. Savior theology in
which a Christian seeks to save individuals who are behaviorally
deficient (i.e., in sin) is wrong because it aids and abets racism.
An antiracist must reject this worldview for liberation
theology the overthrow of all structures of power (in the
home, church, and government) to free the oppressed from their
oppressors. This is the only acceptable worldview.
When pondering Mr. Kendis work, one is hard pressed
to decide whether his ignorance of first century history or of the
New Testament is greater. Rome ruled its empire with an iron fist,
and its subjects chafed under its severe oppression. Because of
this, the Zealots of Jesus day sought opportunities to march
against Rome to overthrow their oppressors. When they attempted to
organize such an attempt with our Lord being the tip of the spear,
Jesus refused (John 6:15).
About a year later when Jesus was in a face-to-face
conversation with the most powerful Roman official in Palestine,
Jesus said to Pilate, My kingdom is not of this world: if
my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that
I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not
from hence (John 18:36). Both the apostle Peter and the
apostle Paul instructed Christians in the Roman Empire under the
heinous and oppressive rule of Caesar Nero to submit to the
governing authorities, not revolt against them (1 Peter
2:13-14; Rom. 13:1-6). Such blatant ignorance at a
Christian Scholars Conference belies its name.
Since its inception, the Christian Scholars Conference
has been a mouthpiece of Satan. From its early days of promoting
the gobbledygook of a new hermeneutic to this years
invitation and celebration of Critical Race Theorist/antiracist
Ibram X. Kendi, Thomas Olbrichts creation has repeatedly
failed to heed Isaiahs warning: Woe unto them that
call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and
light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for
bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and
prudent in their own sight! (Isaiah 5:20-21).
Since its inception, the Christian Scholars
has been a mouthpiece of Satan.
Critical Race Theory (CRT) was developed in the academic
world by Derrick Bell, Kimberle Crenshaw, Richard Delgado, and
others. In the 1970s it was introduced into American law schools
and has been influencing the American governments judicial
branch ever since. Public school curriculum and even the U.S.
military have been targeted by Critical Race Theorists for its
indoctrination and implementation. If the proponents of CRT are
ever as successful as they desire to be, America will experience
its own Bolshevik Revolution. This is because of the following
characteristics of Critical Race Theory:
THE PHILOSOPHICAL TREE FROM WHICH CRT IS A FRUIT, IS EVIL
CRTs foundational worldview is false. The
fundamental premise of CRT is its dogmatic belief that all people
especially white, heterosexual males (like Americas
Founding Fathers) are inherently racist. The
worldview of CRT is that racism is institutional, structural,
and systemic in America (Ibram Kendi, How to Be an
A Critical Race Theorist uses the lens of race to view
the past, the present, and the future. Any person or portion of
society which disagrees with their chosen point of view does so
because of inherent racism (a.k.a. white privilege). At
the heart of CRT is a fundamental redefinition of racism
from a sinful, personal choice to prejudge another
based upon the pigmentation of ones skin to an
inherently biased society determined solely by the history of the
country you live in and the amount of melanin in your body.
According to Jesus Himself, a tree is known by its fruit
(Matt. 7:16,20). An evil philosophy produces false doctrines as its
fruit. The philosophical root of CRT is atheistic Marxism. As a
matter of fact, one synonym for CRT is Cultural Marxism.
Like Marxism, CRT divides the world into two classes of
people the haves and the have nots (or, to
use Liberation Theology and Marxist terms: the
oppressors and the oppressed). Unlike classical
Marxism which divided these two groups according to social
status, CRT identifies them according to race. The goal
for either form of Marxism is social justice the
righting of all wrongs committed in previous generations by
redistributing power (i.e., an overthrow of the government) and
redistributing wealth (i.e., reparations).
Marxism categorically rejects every fundamental truth
taught in Scripture. When cross-pollinated with postmodernism, it
has created such radical and militant fruits as the Social Justice
movement and Black Lives Matter, as well as Critical Race Theory.
CRTs obsession with race and overt promotion of
prejudice are sinful. Like the white supremacists of the Ku
Klux Klan and the Aryans within Germanys Nazi Party in the
1930s and 40s, Critical Race Theorists are obsessed with race. Such
obsession is sinful. God is no respecter of persons (Rom. 2:11).
Biblically speaking, there is only one race the
human race. Jehovah made all humanity from one blood (Acts 17:26)
with one set of common ancestors Adam and Eve.
Overtly promoting prejudice is sinful too. Prejudging
another person on any basis wealth, appearance, gender,
ethnicity is always condemned in Scripture (James 2:1-4). The
righteous God judges everyone as a unique entity with free will,
and in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh
righteousness, is accepted with him (Acts 10:35).
Righteous people, who are expected to follow/mimic God (Eph. 5:1),
will rid prejudice and its unfruitful works of darkness from their
lives (Eph. 5:11). To contend that such is impossible for a human
to do makes God a liar. To contend that such requires you to become
Woke and be an antiracist is to embrace another
gospel a perverted one (Gal. 1:6-7).
CRTs identification of humanitys fundamental
dysfunction is inaccurate. Because the taproot of CRT is wrong,
the theory incorrectly decrees humanitys fundamental issue to
be a skin problem, not a sin problem. Prejudging a
person based on the pigmentation of their skin is wrong regardless
of whether it is an Aryan like Adolf Hitler or a Critical Race
Theorist who advocates the defunding of the police. Gods
remedy for humanitys fundamental issue is not a political
revolution (John 18:36) with financial reparations; it is a
Redeemer (Matt. 1:21) who demands repentance (Mark 1:15) and
graciously offers every spiritual blessing (Eph. 1:3) to members of
all nations, kindreds, people, and tongues (Rev. 7:9).
CRTs definition of success is the furtherance of
evil. CRT espouses and spawns such works of the flesh as
hatred, wrath, strife, seditions, and envy (Gal. 5:19-21). Mr.
Kendi writes in How to Be an Antiracist: The only
remedy to racist discrimination is anti-racist discrimination. The
only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The
only remedy to present discrimination is future
discrimination. Chanequa Walker-Barnes, a self-proclaimed
public theologian and ecumenical minister wrote in her
book, A Rhythm of Prayer: A Collection of Meditations for
Dear God, Please help me to hate White people. Or at least
want to hate them. At least, I want to stop caring about them,
individually and collectively. I want to stop caring about their
misguided, racist souls, to stop believing that they can be better,
that they can stop being racist.
These sentiments are not for godly virtues which promote
a societys peace and the loving of your neighbor as yourself
like Jesus commanded (Matt. 7:12; Mark 12:31; Luke 6:31). Because
of its Marxist philosophical heritage, Critical Race Theorys
highest level of success is achieved when evil is called good and
good is called evil. Seizing political power and enslaving a
nations citizens remains the long-term goal of every ravening
Marxist, even the ones wearing the sheepskin of Critical Race
If the proponents of CRT are ever as successful as they desire to be, America will experience its own Bolshevik Revolution.
It does not matter how many Christian
scholars, public officials, or educational institutions
embrace Critical Race Theory, Gods word still admonishes His
people to Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy
and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of
the world, and not after Christ...ye are complete in Him
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Cookeville, TN 38501
Isaiah 5:20-21, Woe unto them that call
evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light
for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe
unto [them that are] wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their
Matthew 6:19-21, Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon
earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break
through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not
break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will
your heart be also.
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QUESTIONS ON SALVATION #1
Garland M. Robinson
When asked about whether water baptism was essential to being
saved, a certain denominational pastor responded with a
series of replies. They are numbered below.
What is the Bible answer to his comments? Lets
examine the Scriptures and see...
1. A person is dead in their sins. Eph 2:1-3.
It is true that a sinner is dead in their sins. We need
to point out that babies are not born in sin. They are innocent.
Jesus said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and
forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God (Luke
18:16). If babies are born in sin, inherited from Adam, then Jesus
is saying, unless you become as little sinners, you cant
enter heaven! Thats not scriptural nor logical.
Each person sins when they violate Gods word. Sin
is a transgression of Gods word (1 John 3:4). And, Romans 4:15
says, for where no law is, there is no
transgression. Babies cant violate the Scriptures,
theyre innocent. Each one sins when they are drawn away by
their own lust (James 1:14-15). So, those who are dead in
their trespasses and sins, are those who have personally
sinned themselves by giving in to their own lust. Were not
responsible for someone elses sins. Were responsible for
our own sins (Ezekiel 18:19-32).
2. God is the one who makes us alive. v.5
Yes, God makes sinners alive WHEN they BELIEVE (trust)
Him and OBEY His will. When one believes and obeys the Lord in
baptism, they receive the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; see also
Romans 6:3-6 & vs. 17-18). Hebrews 5:9 says, Jesus is the
author of eternal salvation unto all them that OBEY
him. What if a person believes in Jesus but does
not obey Him? Belief alone (faith alone, faith
only) is dead, useless, void (James 2:17,24,26). Mark 16:16,
He that BELIEVETH and is BAPTIZED shall be SAVED; but he
that believeth not shall be damned. That is not
emphasizing obedience over faith. Nor is it emphasizing faith over
obedience. It involves BOTH. When there is no Belief and Baptism,
there is no salvation.
Man is required to respond to Gods will
in order to be saved. Man decides for himself whether he will
reject Gods word or accept Gods word. Man does this, not
God. God gives us free will to choose for ourself. Every
action man chooses for himself is something he chooses for himself:
doing, obeying, working.
Mans choice to believe is a work, not a
work of merit, but a work of action that man chooses to DO. Belief
(faith) is something man DOES one chooses to believe. Faith
is not forced upon anyone. John 6:29 says, This is the work
of God, that ye BELIEVE on him whom he hath sent.
Faith is a work that God commands man to do. Those who
desire to be forgiven, do it, therefore they believe.
Repenting is a work man chooses to do because Gods
commands it (Acts 17:30). Confessing Jesus as Gods Son
is a work man chooses to do because God commands it (Matt.
10:32-33; Acts 8:37). Being Baptized is a work man chooses
to do because God commands it (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Acts 10:48;
Acts 22:16). When a sinner does these things (believes, repents,
confesses, baptized), Acts 2:40 says it is man making the decision
to save himself. Actually, it is God that saves man, but only WHEN
man responds (in faith) to Gods commands. A sinner believes
and obeys God in order to be saved. At no time can man claim God
owes him salvation or that man has placed God in his debt.
Thats the point made in Ephesians 2:8 when we read and
that not of yourselves. Not of works.... Mans
obedience (action, work) is not our work. Man did not
make up out of our own mind. It is Gods work (the work) that
God has commanded man to do. Man simply trusts God enough to do
what (the work) God commanded him to do.
3. Salvation is by grace (Eph. 2:5), not of our own doing
(v.8) and not a result of works (v.9).
Salvation certainly is by grace. Grace means favor,
benefit. God is doing man a favor, extending man a benefit, by
offering him forgiveness of his sins. Gods grace is extended
to the entire human race (Titus 2:11-12), not just those who
believe him and obey him. Jesus died for all men (Heb. 2:9). He
extends to mankind the wonderful benefit (favor) of his
grace/mercy; that is, the forgiveness of our sins.
Mans salvation did not come about by mans own
doing. Man did not come up with the idea of forgiveness and how to
obtain it. Nor did he work out a plan where he could save himself.
Thats impossible. Salvation from sins is Gods plan, not
mans plan. Man cant save himself apart from God. However,
there is a sense in which man can, and does, save himself (but not
of his own doing, plan, or process). Acts 2:40 says, And
with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, SAVE
YOURSELVES... Yes, we can save ourselves. The inspired
Peter said so.
When the first Gospel sermon was preached on the day of
Pentecost, those who cried out saying men and brethren,
what shall we do (Acts 2:37) were told to save
yourselves (Acts 2:40). Since we cant save ourselves
without God, why does this verse say we can save ourselves? The
answer is this, sinners save themselves by accepting (that is,
believing, trusting) the Lords plan (not mans plan) AND
obeying (doing) what the Lord specifies SINNERS MUST DO in order to
be saved. In verse 38 they had been told to repent AND be baptized
FOR (in order to) receive the forgiveness of sins. In
verse 40, there were many other words spoken to exhort them to DO
(obey) what they were told to do. In verse 41, those who gladly
received these words of exhortation WERE BAPTIZED. They did what
they were told in verse 38. As a result, about 3,000 souls were
added unto the church that day. WHEN were these people added to the
church, the Lords body? Acts 2:41 says it was WHEN they were
BAPTIZED. Not before they were baptized.
Another example is found in the conversion of a sinner
named Saul. He was on his way to Damascus to persecute Christians.
He was struck down on the road by a bright light. And he
trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to
DO? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city,
and it shall be told thee what thou MUST DO (Acts
9:6). He was trembling in fear having learned he was persecuting
the Lord and his church. He desperately wanted to be forgiven of
such a heinous sin. He went to Damascus and for three days was so
troubled in heart that he refused to eat or drink (Acts 9:9). A
disciple named Ananias came to him, taught him the Gospel and what
he had to do to be saved. Being taught Gods word like those on
Pentecost, Ananias told him, why tarriest thou? arise, and
be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the
Lord (Acts 22:16). He was not told to be baptized to show
he had already been saved. He was told to be baptized in order to
wash his sins away. He did the same thing those in Acts 2:37-42
did. They repented and were baptized in order to receive the
forgiveness of sins. Saul repented and was baptized in order to
receive the forgiveness of sins.
According to many, Saul was saved on the road to Damascus
when he was struck down by the light. If that is true, then he did
not have any sins to be forgiven by being baptized three days
later. Also, if he was saved on the road to Damascus, he was the
most miserable saved man you can ever imagine. For three days his
soul was in such turmoil that he refused to eat or drink. That
doesnt sound like a saved man to me, does it you? Acts 8:39
tells about a man from Ethiopia that was rejoicing AFTER he was
baptized. Paul certainly wasnt rejoicing BEFORE he was
baptized! It was AFTER he was baptized that he was able to eat
Saul was told to go into Damascus in order to LEARN what
he MUST do to be saved. He did not know what to DO on the road. He
had to be TAUGHT what to do. There was no one on the road to teach
him. God did not give the task of teaching the Gospel into the
hands of angels. He placed that responsibility in the hands of men.
Souls have to be Taught. They have to Hear. They have
to Learn (John 6:45). They have to Believe. They have
to Obey what theyve learned (John 8:24; Matt. 7:21).
We often hear someone claim they were saved here or
there, while doing this or that. A man once told me
he was saved in the middle of a corn field. He said he wasnt
even thinking about it and the Holy Spirit just came and saved him.
He said he just had this wonderful feeling come over him and he did
absolutely nothing to be saved! Dear reader, salvation doesnt
happen that way. The Holy Spirit doesnt work that way nor
does God the Father or Jesus the Christ.
Without being TAUGHT what to DO to be saved and then
doing that from the heart, sinners cant be forgiven of their
sins. Thats why Jesus said, Go ye into all the world,
and preach the gospel to every creature. He that
believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that
believeth not shall be damned (Mark 16:15-16).
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THE CHURCHES OF CHRIST SALUTE YOU (Rom. 16:16)
In this age of marketing the church, many denominations, and
unfortunately some churches of Christ have decided to change their
name. Their reasons vary: a new emphasis, a Different location, a
new face lift, a merger, a Division, Doctrinal barriers,
etc. It is interesting to note many have dropped church
from their new identity; e.g. The Branch, The Crossing, Grace
Pointe, The Grove, The Mount, The Journey, etc. Others have the
idea that any name is acceptable such as: The Cowboy Church,
Endurance Church, The Bikers Church and even the Church of
Schizophrenia. It is very apparent that many are of the persuasion
that there is nothing in a name. Yet, their inconsistency is
readily seen when it comes to marriage, naming of children, name of
a business, ones beneficiary, and identifying of
We are exhorted to speak as the oracles of God
(1 Peter 4:11), and in so doing we will call Bible things by
Bible names! Denominations and denominational names are
without biblical authority (Col. 3:17) because they are not
speaking as the oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11)! The inspired words
of Paul in 1 Cor. 1:10-13 is a riveting denunciation of party names
which create division!
As one searches the Scriptures he will discover that
the church has no given name. In other words, there is no
one exclusive name for the church, but is spoken of in many
scriptural designations: the church (Acts 8:1), the
house of God (1 Tim. 3:15), the temple of God (1
Cor. 3:16), the church of God (1 Cor. 1:2), the
church of the living God (1 Tim. 3:15), the general
assembly (Heb. 12:23), the church of the firstborn
(Heb. 12:23), and the churches of Christ (Rom. 16:16).
All of these designations have reference to the one church of the
New Testament which clearly identifies the church belonging to
Pauls letter to the Romans was written in 57 or 58
A.D. Toward the close of the epistle he wrote, The churches
of Christ salute you (Rom. 16:16). Friends, there was not
one denomination on the face of the earth when Paul wrote those
inspired words! There was only the one church that Christ
established on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:37-47)!
The word churches in Romans 16:16 has reference
to local congregations of the Lords one church. Another
example is the seven churches which are in Asia (Rev.
1:4). Meaning, the one church that belongs to Christ is found in
these locations. Therefore, each congregation would be a
church of Christ! Again, Christ is the head of the church
which is His body (Eph. 1:22-23), and He purchased the church with
His own blood (Acts 20:28). One cannot separate Christ from His
Without question, Christs church or
the church of Christ is a Scriptural designation of
the church that belongs to Christ! Let us therefore wear
the designation the church of Christ with dignity and
honor to our risen Savior, Jesus Christ! The churches of
Christ salute you (Rom. 16:16).
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THE PSALM OF THE CONQUEROR
David was an old school warrior. He fought his foes face to
face, with bucklers, swords, and helmets. It was hand-to-hand, one
on one, one after the other, until one of the armies was driven
from the battlefield. This kind of fighting called for physical
strength and mental stamina. The soldier had to fight hard and keep
his wits. The end of a day of battle was the end of a hard
days bloody work. You can read of many such encounters, in all
their glory and in all their gore, in Homers song of the wars
on the windy plains of Troy, if you have the stomach for it.
It is easy for me to read the Ninth Psalm and
imagine David standing exhausted on a battlefield after a hard
fought victory, watching his enemies flee, and lifting up a voice
of praise to the LORD for his help. In this psalm, David sings of
the defeat of the wicked, of the LORDs role in the victory,
and of Gods merciful remembrance of the meek and lowly.
The Psalm begins with praise, I will praise thee,
O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvelous
works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to
thy name, O thou most High (Psalm 9:1-2), and continues,
Sing praises to the LORD, which dwelleth in Zion: declare
among the people his doings (Psalm 9:11).
David sings of his enemies in their defeat, When
mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy
presence (Psalm 9:3). Thou hast rebuked the
heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their
name for ever and ever. O thou enemy, destructions are come to a
perpetual end: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is
perished with them (Psalm 9:5-6). The heathen are
sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is
their own foot taken. The LORD is known by the judgment which he
executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands.
Higgaion. Selah. The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the
nations that forget God (Psalm 9:15-17). Arise, O
LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy
sight (Psalm 9:19).
David sings of the LORDs role in the victory.
Thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in
the throne judging right (Psalm 9:4). The LORD
shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment.
And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister
judgment to the people in uprightness (Psalm 9:7-8).
Shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of
Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation (Psalm 9:14).
Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know
themselves to be but men. Selah (Psalm 9:20).
And David sings of Gods attentiveness to the meek
and humble who trust in him. The LORD also will be a refuge
for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know
thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not
forsaken them that seek thee (Psalm 9:9-10). When
he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them: he forgetteth
not the cry of the humble. Have mercy upon me, O LORD; consider my
trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me
up from the gates of death (Psalm 9:12-13). For
the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the
poor shall not perish for ever (Psalm 9:18).
The LORDs kingdom of Israel under David was of this
world, and then, did his servants fight against flesh and blood
with carnal weapons of warfare. But it is clear from the Psalms of
David that there was a spiritual element to these carnal battles.
David was fighting the LORDs battles (1
Samuel 18:17). Their purpose was to prepare a way for a different
kind of kingdom. God would establish a spiritual kingdom
with a spiritual purpose greater than any civil purpose
God has had for any earthly kingdom. Its citizen soldiers would
help achieve spiritual victory over the spiritual hearts of men
with spiritual weapons. Therefore, we read in the New Testament,
Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put
on the whole armor of God... (Eph. 6:10-17), fight
the good fight of faith (1 Tim. 6:12), and endure
hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (2 Tim. 2:3).
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Morrison, TN 37357
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What is a liberal congregation? What are the
identifying marks? Can one worship acceptably with such a
congregation? Knowing that many are presently disturbed by and are
wrestling with this question, we trust that our answer will be of
help to all.
MANS WAYS, NOT GODS WAYS
In Second Timothy 4:1-4, Paul gives the definition of
those who are liberal in doctrine and practice. His charge to
Timothy before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall
judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his
kingdom was to preach the word; be instant in
season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all
longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will
not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they
heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall
turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto
- They refuse to endure (continue or abide in) sound (healthy,
solid) doctrine (Truth).
- These follow their own lusts (desires) instead of the sound
doctrine or teaching of Christ and the apostles.
- They find a plentiful amount of teachers who are willing to
teach what they think, and they follow them as if the majority was
to decide what is right and what is wrong.
- When the Word is preached in purity, their ears refuse and
- Finally, they willingly exchange the true religion of Jesus
Christ for the fables of men.
Liberal, then, is a term, whether applied to
individuals or congregations, which describes a complete lack of
respect for the Word of God if and when it interferes with
human thinking and philosophy.
WHAT ARE THEY SEEKING?
The Lords Word is not the final authority to the
liberal mind. They place their own way above the Lords
authority, and practice the same. These are blind, evidently, to
Jehovahs words spoken by Isaiah: For my thoughts are
not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher
than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isa.
Jesus says, Teaching them to observe all things
whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even
unto the end of the world (Matt. 28:20).
Peter writes, If any man speak, let him speak as
the oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11).
Paul encourages, Let the word of Christ dwell in
you richly in all wisdom ... And whatsoever ye do in word or deed,
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the
Father by him (Col. 3:16-17).
These promote and force fundamental changes in teaching and
practice which are unauthorized by the Lord (Matt. 28:18-20).
Rather than worshiping in spirit and Truth, rather than letting
all things be done decently and in order (1 Cor.
14:30), and rather than doing the Lords work with soberness,
they want a pep-rally, handclapping, foot-stomping form of
worship, as they seek emotional entertainment, wherein
those leading the services become stars, and these, by
their fair speeches deceive the hearts of the
simple (Rom. 16:18).
SOME IDENTIFYING MARKS
The convicting evidence will be found in what you see and
hear, just as it was with Samuel and Saul. When Saul claimed to
have done the commandments of the Lord in utterly destroying the
Amalekites, Samuel said upon his return, What meaneth then
this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen
which I hear (1 Sam. 15:1-14)? In the same manner, these
are convicted today.
- First, you will probably see the New International
Version or some other of the modem perversions quite
prominent to view.
- You may hear special music from choirs, or
solos and quartets.
- You may hear doctrines such as Grace Only, even Faith
Only, and that it is not necessary for one to know the
scriptural reason for being baptized, if a man thinks he
is obeying God.
- You will miss hearing the plan of salvation at the close
of the sermon, but you may hear something to the effect
that the church of Christ is a big, sick,
denomination or the down-playing of the importance
of the Lords church, and how it needs to be
- You may hear it said that instrumental music is optional
in worship or that meaningful worship must be
changed to the emotional, Pentecostal type of swaying,
singing, and swinging while waving the hands.
- Or you may observe that two acts of worship are being
attempted to be performed together to make it more
- It is possible now that you may see women in leading
roles even when men are present.
- You may hear that the Holy Spirit so powerfully works
directly and apart from the Word among them that
even the elders cannot control their actions.
- It is likely that the emphasis will be more on social
activities than on doctrinal teaching, in which God, by
the Scriptures, thoroughly furnishes the man of God (cf.
2 Tim. 3:16-17)!
CAN WE PARTAKE?
A faithful Christian, who wants to remain faithful, after
making every attempt to change the unscriptural situations, needs
for his or her own sake as well as that of their precious family
members, to separate themselves and go to a faithful congregation!
They are under scriptural obligation to mark them which
cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have
learned; and avoid them (Rom. 16:17).
I would ask that you read these passages and make up your
own judgment about whether a faithful Christian can partake of, or
be a part in any way, of these errors.
Ephesians 5:11, And have no fellowship with the
unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
Galatians 1:8-9, But though we, or an angel from
heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have
preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say
I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that
ye have received, let him be accursed.
2 Corinthians 6:14-18, Be ye not unequally yoked
together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness
with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that
believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of
God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God
hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be
their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from
among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the
unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto
you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord
2 John 1:9-11, Whosoever transgresseth, and
abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that
abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the
Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine,
receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he
that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
Madison on the Range
10801 County Line Rd, Apt 107
Madison, AL 35758
Table of Contents
THE CONGREGATION OF THE DEAD
Jason Patrick Hilburn
Before the Ephesians were converted, they could have been
described as the living dead people who were
physically alive, but ...dead in trespasses and sins
(Eph. 2:1; cf. 2:5). After their conversion, they could have
been described as ...alive from the dead (Rom.
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all
the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made
you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he
hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this,
that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter
in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own
selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to
draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and
remember, that by the space of three years I ceased
not to warn every one night and day with tears
What does it mean to be dead? Death can be defined as a
separation. Physical death is when the spirit separates from the
body (James 2:26). Spiritual death is separation from God because
of sin (Isa. 59:1-2). When Paul brought the Gospel of Christ to
those spiritually dead Ephesians, they believed and were baptized
into Christ (Acts 19:1-5; cf. Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27; Eph. 1:3). They
then were quickened (made alive spiritually;
reconciled to God), and became a living congregation of the
Lords church existing in Ephesus (cf. Rom. 16:16).
What would have happened if one of those Ephesians
decided to leave the Lords church? He would have ceased to be
spiritually alive (Heb. 10:23-31), and if he remained in that
state, he would find himself in the congregation of the
dead: The man that wandereth out of the way of
understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead
(Prov. 21:16). He would experience spiritual death at the point
of departing from faithfulness, and would later experience eternal
death, being gathered with all those separated from God in eternal
punishment (Matt. 25:41,46; 2 Thess. 1:7-9).
Paul also told the Ephesians that Jesus is the Savior of
only one body, which is His church (Eph. 5:23; cf. 1:22-23; 4:4).
Therefore, to be outside of that one body (the one church) is to be
outside of salvation. The conclusion is that every accountable
person on earth is either a faithful part of that one church of the
living, or he belongs in the congregation of the dead. Being a
faithful member of that one church of the living also means that he
will become an active member in a local congregation of the living.
In another sense, there are congregations of the
dead all over the world today, in the form of religious bodies
who claim to be spiritually alive, but are dead. They have never
truly obeyed what Christ commanded in His Word to be forgiven and
to be added to His church (Matt. 7:21-23; Acts 2:36-41, 47; Rom.
6:3-5, 16-18; Col. 3:17; 1 Peter 1:22); therefore, those religious
people are just as dead spiritually as any atheist or completely
There are even some churches of Christ that were once
alive, but are now dead, like Sardis was: And unto the
angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that
hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy
works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead
(Rev. 3:1). Even though Jesus said that about the church as a
whole, He also said: Thou hast a few names even in Sardis
which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me
in white: for they are worthy (Rev. 3:4). How could Jesus
say what He did in verse one if there were still some faithful
members? Why did the living members remain there if they
knew about the problems? There are several possibilities,
including: 1) The faithful may not have known about sins going on
behind the scenes in the leadership of the congregation; 2) The
faithful may not have known about private, personal sins of other
members; and 3) The faithful may have been aware of such things,
but they may have been trying to turn the situation around. Surely
these faithful ones would not have ignored sins that had come to
their attention. Children of God ignoring sin is what caused Paul
to rebuke the Corinthians (1 Cor. 5; cf. 2 Cor. 2,7).
Another example of a living congregation gone bad would
be the church at Ephesus which started out strong, with the apostle
Paul himself converting them (Acts 19:1-ff). They soon established
an eldership (Acts 20:17), and they received no real rebuke in six
chapters of inspired Text written to them (Eph. 1-6). However, Paul
had warned the elders at Ephesus about the dead coming to attack
By the time Revelation was written, Jesus said the
Ephesians had left their first love and had fallen (Rev.
2:4-5). How sad, to read with joy about people in Ephesus first
being converted to Christ, becoming strong and faithful, only to
read of them succumbing to the wolves who sought to destroy them.
...Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the
name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins...And
with many other words did he testify and exhort,
saying, Save yourselves from this untoward
generation. Then they that gladly received his word
were baptized: and the same day there were added unto
them about three thousand souls...And the Lord added
to the church daily such as should be saved (Acts
2:38, 40, 41, 47; cf. 8:12, 35-39; 10:34-35, 48;
16:15, 30-33; 22:16, etc.).
What is the application for us today? First, accountable
people who are dead in sin should die to sin and become
alive in Christ: Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be
dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our
Lord (Rom. 6:11; cf. 6:1-23). They can either become an
active part of a congregation of the living, or they will find
themselves in the congregation of the dead (Heb. 10:23-31).
Those in congregations of the dead (as in false religions
of the world) need to seek the kingdom of God and discover the true
church that belongs to Christ (Matt. 16:18; Acts 20:28). They
should seek Bible authority for all things in religion, and
specifically in such matters as the founder of the church, the date
founded, the place founded, the organization, the plan of
salvation, the ways of worship, and the doctrines taught. They will
be added to that one true church, if they will do what the Holy
Spirit commanded through the apostles in Acts 2:
How can todays living congregations
prevent themselves from becoming congregations of the
dead? They also need to follow a pattern found in Acts 2,
which begins with continuing steadfastly in sound doctrine, leading
to fellowship with God and faithful Christians, and continuing in
true worship: And they continued stedfastly in the
apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread,
and in prayers (Acts 2:42). Being a living congregation
also involves helping others with their physical needs as
necessary, encouraging one another, maintaining a proper Christian
influence, and being evangelistic (2:44-47).
Leadership in faithful congregations of the living must
be vigilant and extremely cautious when it comes to protecting the
flock of Christ from dangers like wolves, apathy, and ignorance,
lest they become congregations of the dead.
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