The following is an answer to Pastor David Martin, of the Solid Rock Baptist Church, who says the church of Christ is a cult. Understand that each congregation in the church of Christ is autonomous and there is no headquarters for the church that can answer these questions. As a member of the church of Christ, I will do my best to answer Pastor Martin’s questions. To make his case, he offers the following points which I have copied and pasted here. My answers are in caps to set them apart from Pastor Martin’s questions (here is Martin’s original page, http://www.solidrockbaptist.net/common-sense-questions.html)
1. According to the history of the “Church of Christ,” God used certain men to “restore” the New Testament Church in the early 1800’s. Where was the true New Testament church before then? Jesus said that the gates of hell would not prevail against His church (Matthew 16:18). What happened to the church and where was the truth it was responsible for preaching before God restored it?
- MR. MARTIN MISREPRESENTS THE CHURCH’S POSITION. NO ONE IN THE CHURCH OF CHRIST BELIEVES THAT THE CHURCH CEASED TO BE UNTIL THE 1800’S. THE CHURCH OF CHRIST CONTINUED EVEN THROUGH THE DARK AGES EVEN IF HISTORICAL DATA IS RARE. THERE WERE, AFTER ALL, RELIGIOUS FORCES WHO DESTROYED OR SILENCED ANYTHING THEY DEEMED HERETICAL. IT IS NOT SURPRISING THAT THERE ARE ONLY SKETCHY REFERENCES TO SMALL POCKETS OF CHRISTIANS WHO IMMERSED ADULTS FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS. THERE IS HISTORICAL INFORMATION THAT SUGGESTS THAT CHURCHES IN BRITAIN AND OTHER PARTS OF EUROPE BELIEVED AS WE DO. WHILE THE BAPTIST CHURCH HAS A SHORT HISTORY, PAUL RECOGNIZED THE CHURCHES OF CHRIST (Rom. 16:16) THAT COULD NOT BE DESTROYED. IT IS MR. MARTIN WHO NEEDS TO ANSWER FOR THE SHORT HISTORY OF HIS CHURCH THAT ISN’T MENTIONED IN THE BIBLE.
2. If a “Church of Christ” elder refuses to baptize me, will I be lost until I can find one who will? Do I need Jesus AND a Campebllite “preacher” in order to be saved? If I do, then Jesus Christ is not the only Mediator (1 Tim. 2:5) and the Holy Spirit is not the only Administrator (1 Cor. 12:13) of salvation – the “Church of Christ” preacher is necessary to salvation for he is performing a saving act on me when he baptizes me! Is this not blasphemy against Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost?
- ISN’T IT INTERESTING THAT MR. MARTIN TAKES TO ARGUING AGAINST A PRACTICE THAT JESUS COMMANDED? JESUS COMMANDED WATER BAPTISM WHICH REQUIRES A BAPTIZER (WHICH MR. MARTIN SAYS IS A MEDIATOR) AND A BAPTIZEE. NOW I HAVE READ BAPTIST MATERIAL AND HAVE LEARNED THAT BAPTIST WITHHOLD MEMBERSHIP INTO THE CHURCH FROM THOSE WHO HAVE NOT BEEN BAPITZED. EVEN IF IT IS FOR THE WRONG REASON THAT THEY DO SO, THEY STILL REQUIRE BAPTISM AND A MEDIATOR FOR ENTRANCE INTO THEIR CHURCH. SO WHY MR. MARTIN CANNOT UNDERSTAND JESUS COMMAND TO BE BAPTIZED, PREFERRING RATHER TO SUGGEST THAT JESUS WAS COMMANDING HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISM IS BEYOND ME.
AND NO, IT DOESN’T TAKE A “CHURCH OF CHRIST” OR A “CAMPBELLITE” PREACHER TO MAKE A VALID BAPTISM. THE SUGGESTION BY MARTIN INDICATES HIS LIMITED KNOWLEDGE OF THE CHURCH OR ELSE A WILLINGNESS TO WRONGLY PREJUDICE PEOPLE AGAINST OUR TRUE BELIEF. PASTOR MARTIN WOULD NOT FIND A MEMBER WHO WOULD SUGGEST ANYTHING OF THE SORT. A VALID BAPTISM REQUIRES THE GRACE OF GOD AND AN OBEDIENT FAITH IN THE SINNER (Rom. 1:5; 16:26; 6:1-5. BAPTISM “FOR REMISSION OF SINS” IS PERFECTLY COMPATIBLE WITH THE GRACE OF GOD (Mt. 28:19,20; MK. 16:16 Acts 22:16). SALVATION IS A GIFT, TOO GREAT TO BE EARNED, BUT IT IS RECEIVED AT A PARTICULAR MOMENT WHEN A PERSON IS IMMERSED INTO CHRIST — NOT BEFORE.
3. If the water pipes broke and the baptistry was bone dry, would my salvation have to wait until the plumber showed up? If I were to die before then, would I go to hell? If obedience to water baptism is the means of forgiveness of sins, then I would.
- IF WATER PIPES FREEZE OR BREAK, THERE IS STILL PLENTY OF WATER TO BE FOUND. THAT IS NOT AN EXCUSE. EVEN THE ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH COULD FIND WATER WHILE PASSING THROUGH A DESERT. SOMEONE ELSE COULD USE MR. MARTIN’S WEAK OBJECTION BY DEMANDING THAT REPENTANCE COULDN’T BE NECESSARY FOR SALVATION OTHERWISE WHAT IF A PERSON DIED IN BETWEEN THE TIME OF BELIEF AND REPENTANCE. JUST AS A PERSON MUST REPENT IN ORDER TO BE BAPTIZED, AND CANNOT BE SAVED BEFORE IT NO MATTER HOW MANY IMPOSSIBLE SCENARIOS MR. MARTIN POSES, SO MUST THE PERSON BE IMMERSED INTO CHRIST (Acts 2:38-41). THE SAME KIND OF SCENARIO COULD BE PUT BEFORE MR. MARTIN, WHERE IF HE WERE TO BE CONSISTENT, WOULD HAVE TO DENY HIS OWN BELIEFS. MR. MARTIN, IF SOMEONE HEARD THE GOSPEL AND BELIEVED IT, BUT DIED BEFORE HE COULD PRAY “THE SINNER’S PRAYER”, WOULD HE GO TO HELL? EITHER MR. MARTIN IS CONSISTENT AND SAYS YES, OR HE MUST BELIEVE THAT A PERSON CAN BE SAVED WITHOUT “ACCEPTING CHRIST INTO HIS HEART.” THE COMMAND TO BE BAPTIZED IS FROM GOD, AND SO MR. MARTIN’S QUARREL IS AGAINST JESUS CHRIST, NOT US. BEFORE ANYONE DENIES WHAT ACTS 2:38 SAYS, BE SURE TO CHECK IT OUT FOR YOUSELF. “REPENT AND LET EACH ONE OF YOU BE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.” GO AHEAD AND CHECK EVERY TRANSLATION AND SEE THAT THEY CONTRADICT PASTOR MARTIN. MR. MARTIN, THE HOLY SPIRIT IS GIVEN AFTER THE BAPTISM AND IS NOT THE BAPTISM. ACTS 2:38 IS CLEAR ENOUGH FOR A CHILD TO UNDERSTAND.
4. If my past sins are forgiven when I am baptized in water, and it is possible for me to “lose my salvation” and go to hell after being baptized, then wouldn’t my best chance of going to heaven be to drown in the baptistry?!! – before I had a chance to sin so as to be lost again? If I wanted to be absolutely sure of heaven, isn’t that my best opportunity?
- HONESTLY I WOULD SAY THAT WITH THAT ATTITUDE AND UNDERSTANDING, IT WOULD BE BETTER NOT TO EVEN HEAR THE GOSPEL. CHRISTIANS AND THE WHOLE CHURCH OF CHRIST BELIEVE IN THE SAVING GRACE OF GOD. NO ONE WHO IS SAVED BY GOD’S GRACE BELEIVES HE IS SINLESS AND PERFECT. WE ARE MADE SINLESS BY WALKING IN THE LIGHT AND BY CONFESSING OUR SINS. IT’S A PROCESS OF GOD’S GRACE CONTINUALLY CLEANSING SO THAT THE IMPERFECT ARE KEPT AS IF THEY DID NOT SIN. CHRISTIANS UNDERSTAND WHAT JOHN SPOKE OF THAT IF WE WALK IN THE LIGHT AND IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS THEN GOD IS FAITHFUL AND JUST TO FORGIVE OUR SINS ( Jn. 1:6ff). DOES MR. MARTIN NOT UNDERSTAND THE SIMPLE CONDITION PUT FORTH IN 1 JOHN 1? GOD’S SAVING GRACE WASHES SIN AWAY INSTANTLY, KEEPING THE BELIEVER SINLESS. HOWEVER, THAT A CHRISTIAN CAN FALL AWAY IS NOT DENIABLE. READ FOR YOURSELF THAT HEBREWS 6:4-6 (AND OTHER PASSAGES AS WELL) SPEAKS OF A CHRISTIAN WHO HAS FALLEN AWAY. IF YOU WANT, YOU CAN ASK THE PASTOR ABOUT THIS VERSE AND SEE IF HE BELIEVES WHAT IT SAYS. SINCE SALVATION IS A GIFT GIVEN TO IMPERFECT PEOPLE, IT IS DIFFICULT TO FALL FROM GOD’S GRACE. TO FALL, A PERSON MUST TURN AWAY FROM GOD. ONCE AGAIN, PASTOR MARTIN IS ARGUING AGAINST SCRIPTURE, NOT THE CHURCH OF CHRIST.
5. If as a Christian I can sin so as to “lose my salvation,” just what sin or sins will place me in such danger? Is it possible to know at what point one has committed such a sin, and become lost again? Please be specific and give clear Bible references.
- THE PASTOR’S QUESTION IS IF SALVATION CAN BE LOST FOR THE SIN OF TURNING AWAY FROM GOD, OF GOING BACK TO THE FORMER LIFE? THE ANSWER IS YES, IT IS CALLED APOSTASY. IT’S NOT A NEW TEACHING. I’M SURPRISED THE PASTOR HASN’T HEARD OF IT. THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL WERE SAVED, COVENANT PEOPLE OF GOD. BUT BECAUSE OF THEIR UNBELIEF AND APOSTASY, THEY FELL AWAY AND DID NOT ENTER THE PROMISED LAND. JUST AS GOD’S PEOPLE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT COULD APOSTATIZE, THE SAME CAN HAPPEN TO COVENANT CHRISTIANS TODAY WHO GRUMBLE, COMPLAIN AND LONGS FOR THE BREAD OF EGYPT (Heb. 3:14-19). IT CANNOT BE DENIED THAT A BROTHER OR SISTER IN CHRIST CAN LOSE SALVATION. LOOK AT TWO PASSAGES.
– Mt. 18:15-18 DOES SAY TO PUT A “BROTHER” OUT OF THE CHURCH AND TREAT HIM LIKE SOMEONE OUTSIDE OF THE CHURCH. WOULD THE GOOD PASTOR TREAT A BROTHER DIFFERENTLY THAN GOD DOES? DOESN’T IT MAKE SENSE THAT GOD HAS ALSO PUT THE UNREPENTANT MAN OUT OF THE CHURCH? AND SINCE SALVATION IS ONLY IN THE CHURCH, IS IT FAR-FETCHED TO CONCLUDE THAT THE MAN HAS LOST HIS SALVATION? SUCH A CONCLUSION IS NOT UNFOUNDED.
– Heb. 10:25-26 TELLS CHRISTIANS NOT TO FORSAKE THE ASSEMBLY OF CHRISTIANS. IT THEN WARNS “IF WE GO ON SINNING WILLFULLY AFTER WE HAVE RECEIVED THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH, THERE REMAINETH NO MORE SACRIFICE FOR SINS.” THE GOOD PASTOR SHOULD EXPLAIN HOW IT IS CULTIC TO TEACH WHAT IS A CLEAR MESSAGE. HOW CAN THE PERSON IN QUESTION BE SAVED ONCE THERE IS NO LONGER A SACRIFICE FOR SINS? THE SACRIFICE OF CHRIST IS THE ONLY THING THAT CAN SAVE. BUT IF THE PERSON TURNS FROM THE FAITH, GOD REMOVES THE SACRIFICE. MR. MARTIN THINKS THAT THAT MAKES GOD AN INDIAN GIVER. I SUPPOSE MR. MARTIN COULD ASK GOD ABOUT THAT. I AM NOT GOING TO MAKE THE CHARGE AGAINST GOD THAT HE IS UNJUST FOR REQUIRING THAT PEOPLE KEEP THE COVENANT AND BE FAITHFUL. JUST AS A PERSON MAKES THE DECISION TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN, EVEN SO CAN HE MAKE THE DECISION TO GO BACK TO THE WORLD. GOD’S SAVING GRACE WAS NEVER PROMISED TO THOSE WHO TURN AWAY FROM THE FAITH. IT IS NOT WRONG TO TEACH WHAT THESE VERSES TEACH. A COMMON TACTIC USED BY PEOPLE LIKE THE BAPTIST PASTOR IS TO SAY THAT THE WARNING HERE IS FOR THOSE WHO REJECTED THE SACRIFICE PRIOR TO ACTUALLY BECOMING CHRISTIANS. THAT’S JUST PLAIN ‘OLE NONSENSE. THE CONTEXT (SEE HEB 10:22FF) INDICATES THAT THE WRITER IS SPEAKING TO CHRISTIANS (SEE ALSO Heb. 6:4-6).
6. If as a Christian I can fall and “lose my salvation,” is it possible to regain it? If so, how? If God “takes away” my salvation, doesn’t that make Him an “Indian giver”? How could I ever know for sure that I was saved or lost?
- THE PASTOR SHOULD KNOW THAT INDEED A PERSON CAN COME BACK TO THE LORD. THE PRODIGAL SON CAME BACK. SIMON THE FORMER SORCERER IN ACTS 8 CAME BACK. IT IS IN ACTS 8 THAT WE ALSO SEE THE WAY FOR A CHRISTIAN TO COME BACK TO THE LORD. AFTER SIMON SINNED AND RECEIVED A REBUKE FROM THE APOSTLES, HE WAS TOLD TO “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee” (Acts 8:22).
- THE CHURCH OF CHRIST DOES NOT THINK GOD IS AN “INDIAN GIVER” FOR REMOVING HIS GRACE. THE TERM IMPLIES AN INJUSTICE WHERE SOMEONE ENTERS A GOOD FAITH AGREEMENT ONLY TO HAVE THE OTHER PARTY RENEGE ON THE DEAL. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE QUESTION HERE. GOD DOES NOT RENEGE ON FAITHFUL PEOPLE. ONLY IF SOMEONE IS UNFAITHFUL, DOES GOD REMOVE HIS GRACE. THE CHURCH OF CHRIST BELIEVES THAT IF YOU LOVE JESUS, AND IF YOU OBEY HIS VOICE, AND IF YOU ARE LED BY THE SPIRIT (Rom. 8:5ff), THEN EVEN THOUGH YOU REMAIN IMPERFECT AND NEED THE POWER OF HIS BLOOD FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, YOU WILL BE SAVED. THAT DOESN’T SOUND VERY CULTIC, DOES IT? PASTOR DAVID MARTIN MAY NOT HAVE READ PAUL’S WORDS TO TIMOTHY: “IT IS A TRUSTWORTHY STATEMENT: FOR IF WE DIED WITH HIM, WE WILL ALSO LIVE WITH HIM; IF WE ENDURE, WE WILL ALSO REIGN WITH HIM; IF WE DENY, HE ALSO WILL DENY US; IF WE ARE FAITHLESS, HE REMAINS FAITHFUL, FOR HE CANNOT DENY HIMSELF.” (2 Timothy 3:11-13). THE CHRISTIAN READING THIS UNDERSTANDS THAT HE MUST REMAIN FAITHFUL OR GOD WILL DENY HIM TOO.
7. After becoming a Christian, are there any sins that will put me beyond the “point of no return” so that I cannot regain salvation? What sin or sins will put me in such jeopardy, so that, after becoming a Christian, I would be doomed to hell without any recourse? Please be specific and give me clear Bible references.
- YES, THERE IS A SIN THAT WILL PUT YOU BEYOND THE “POINT OF NO RETURN”. CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING PASSAGE: “If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.” 1Jn. 5:16 THE VERSE IS TALKING ABOUT A “BROTHER” IN CHRIST. THE IMPLICATION IS THAT A BROTHER CAN COMMIT A SIN “UNTO DEATH”. WITH HIM STAYING ON HIS PRESENT COURSE AND DISPOSITION, THERE IS NO POINT IN PRAYING FOR HIS FORGIVENESS. THE ONLY WAY THAT HE CAN BE FORGIVEN AND SAVED IS IF HE REPENTS AND PRAYS. IN HEBREWS 6:6, THE INSPIRED WRITER SAYS, “it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.” IF THE FORMER CHRISTIAN QUITS TRAMPLING ON THE SACRIFICE OF CHRIST BY REPENTING, THEN GOD WILL FORGIVE.
8. If I committed some sin -whether in thought, word, or deed, one minute before a fatal car crash – would I go to hell if I did not have time to repent of it? And, please, don’t just say that it’s up to God without giving me a specific Bible reference. it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.
- THE ANSWER IS SIMPLE. THE TERMS SANCTIFIED AND JUSTIFIED DO NOT MEAN THAT ONE NEVER SINS. THAT IS THE BEAUTY OF GOD’S PLAN. HE CLEANSES HIS CHILD IMMEDIATELY WHEN THE SIN IS COMMITTED. ONLY IF THE PERSON HAS MADE A DECISION TO TURN BACK TO THE WORLD, TO FOLLOW THE FLESH, IS THERE NO LONGER A SACRIFICE FOR SINS (Heb. 10:25-26).
9. Why does the “Church of Christ” insist that their name is scriptural when it cannot be found anywhere in the Bible? The church is referred to as the “church of God” eight (8) times in the Bible, but never is it called the “church of Christ.” The verse they use is Romans 16:16, but it doesn’t say “church of Christ.” Where does the Bible call the church the “church of Christ”?
- IT IS INTERESTING THAT THE PASTOR WOULD MAKE A BALD-FACED DENIAL OF SCRIPTURE. ROMANS 16:16 USES THE PLURAL FOR “CHURCH OF CHRIST”. “EKKLEISIAI TOU CHRISTOU” IS THE GREEK FOR “CHURCHES OF CHRIST” AND IT THEREFORE REFERS TO MORE THAN ONE “CHURCH OF CHRIST”. THERE IS AN IMPORTANT POINT HERE THAT THE GOOD PASTOR SHOULD CONSIDER. THE BIBLE SAYS NOT TO ADD TO OR TAKE AWAY FROM GOD’S WORD. DOES THE PASTOR KNOW WHERE THE “BAPTIST” CHURCH IS MENTIONED IN SCRIPTURE?
10. If the “Church of Christ” claims to worship God only as “authorized” by scripture because they sing only (and do not use instrumental music), then where do they get the “authority” to use hymnals, pitchpipes, pews, and indoor baptistries in their worship services? If the answer is that they are “aids to worship,” where does the Bible allow for that? Where is your required authorization? If a pitchpipe can be an “aid to worship” for the song service in the “Church of Christ,” then why can’t a piano be an “aid to worship” for Baptists who may need more help in singing?
- NOW THE PASTOR IS ATTACKING US FOR SINGING? THE BIBLE SAYS TO SING. BUT THE BIBLE DOES NOT SAY TO “PLAY” OR ELSE ALL CHRISTIANS WOULD OBEY GOD BY PLAYING SOME INSTRUMENT. THE PASTOR SUGGEST THAT THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IS BEING INCONSISTENT BY DENYING ONE ADDITION TO THE WORD WHILE ACCEPTING ANOTHER. BUT THAT IS NOT THE CASE BECAUSE THE CHURCH UNDERSTANDS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT IS AN “AID” TO FULFILL GOD’S COMMAND AND WHAT IS AN “ADDITION” TO GOD’S COMMAND. I ASSUME THE PASTOR WOULD BE AGAINST AN ADDITION TO GOD’S WORD. BECAUSE OF THE SERIOUSNESS OF ADDING TO GOD’S WORD, CARING PEOPLE ARE CAUTIOUS NOT TO APPROVE WHAT IS NOT NECESSARY. BUT UNLESS THE PASTOR STUDIES THIS SUBJECT IN GREATER DETAIL, HE IS LIABLE TO ALLOW ALMOST ANY RATIONALIZATION ON THE BASIS OF A PERCEIVED “NEED”. HIS RATIONALIZATION FOR “NEEDING” THE PIANO IS THE SAME ONE USED TO RATIONALIZE ALL KINDS OF THINGS TO “SPICE UP” THE WORSHIP. TO SOME PEOPLE, THE WORSHIP AS FOUND IN SCRIPTURE IS JUST TOO “BORING” FOR THEM. THEY “NEED” SOMETHING MORE TO MAKE IT APPEALING TO THEM. THE CONVERTED PAGANS AND JEWS WOULD HAVE UNDERSTOOD THIS SUBJECT BETTER THAN DOES PASTOR MARTIN.
- HERE IS HOW THE CHURCH OF CHRIST DISTINGUISHES BETWEEN THE HYMNAL/AID AND A HARMONICA/ADDITION. WHEN GOD COMMNANDED SINGING, HE COMMANDED A PARTICULAR KIND OF MUSIC. BUT GOD DID NOT GIVE THE PARTICULAR SONGS. THE GENERIC COMMAND TO SING SPIRITUAL SONGS LEFT IT UP TO THE CHRISTIANS TO DECIDE WHICH SONGS TO SING AND HOW TO COMPILE THEM – IN SAY, A HYMNAL. BY ASSEMBLING A SONG BOOK, CHRISTIANS DO WHAT IS NECESSARY TO FULFILL THE COMMAND TO SING. WHEN GOD COMMANDED MUSIC, HE ALSO TOLD THE KIND OF MUSIC – A CAPELLA, NOT INSTRUMENTAL. THE HERMENEUTIC PRINCIPLE SAYS THAT WHEN SOMETHING IS SPECIFICALLY COMMANDED, IT NEGATES ALL OTHER OPTIONS. BECAUSE HE COMMANDED SINGING, IT NEGATED PLAYING OF INSTRUMENTS. GOD DID NOT COMMAND OR HINT AT THE PLAYING OF INSTRUMENTS. A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT IS NOT REQUIRED TO FULFILL THE COMMAND TO SING. INSTRUMENTS ARE NOISE THAT CONSTITUTES AN ENTIRELY KIND OF MUSIC THAT GOD DID NOT COMMAND. BUT A SONGBOOK HELPS THE CHURCH TO FULFILL THE COMMAND TO SING. THE HYMNAL DOES NOT ADD A NEW KIND OF WORSHIP, BUT A PIANO DOES! IF GOD HAD SAID “MAKE MUSIC” IN THE CHURCH, THEN NO ONE IN THE CHURCH OF CHRIST WOULD FIND ANY PROBLEM WITH SINGING AND PLAYING IN WORSHIP. BECAUSE GOD WAS SPECIFIC AND SAID TO “SING” (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16), THAT IS THE ONLY MUSIC OFFERED IN WORSHIP TO GOD. THE PASTOR MIGHT UNDERSTAND THIS POINT IF SOMEONE TRIED TO JUSTIFY MAKING AN ADDITION TO THE LORD’S SUPPER. A LEGITIMATE “AID” OR “EXPEDIENT” TO PARTAKING OF THE LORD’S SUPPER WOULD BE A COMMUNION CUP. BUT AN UNSCRIPTURAL “ADDITION” TO IT WOULD BE SLATHERED BUTTER ON THE BREAD, OR A LEG OF LAMB ON THE SIDE. THEN AGAIN, MAYBE THE GOOD PASTOR IS CONSISTENT, AND SEES NO PROBLEM WITH ADDING TO THE COMMUNION JUST AS HE SEES NOTHING WRONG WITH ADDING TO THE SINGING. THE CHURCH OF CHRIST CAN HARDLY BE CALLED A CULT BECAUSE IT CARES ABOUT OFFERING THE WORSHIP GOD HAS ASKED FOR. WHY ISN’T IT MR. MARTIN WHO IS CALLED TO ANSWER FOR GIVING APPROVAL TO SOMETHING HE CAN’T FIND IN THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH?
11. The “Church of Christ” teaches that a sinner is forgiven of sin when he is baptized in water by a Campbellite elder.
- NOPE, THIS IS NO WHERE SAID EXCEPT BY PEOPLE LIKE PASTOR MARTIN WHO DO NOT KNOW BIBLICAL TEACHING.
Where does the Bible teach that water baptism is required in order to have one’s sins forgiven? Every time the phrase “for the remission of sins” occurs it is speaking of the fact that sins have been forgiven previously!
- NOPE, THIS IS NOT SO. ACTS 22:16 SHOWS THAT THE BELIEVING APOSTLE PAUL WAS NOT YET WASHED OF HIS SINS AND WOULD NOT BE UNTIL HE GOT UP AND GOT BAPTIZED, THEREBY CALLING ON CHRIST FOR SALVATION. AND PETER DID NOT SAY THAT THE 3,000 ON PENTECOST WERE ALREADY FORGIVEN PRIOR TO THEIR BAPTISM.
The Bible plainly teaches that the forgiveness of sins is conditioned upon repentance of sin and faith in Christ – never upon water baptism! (Matthew 3:11; Luke 24:47; Acts 3:19; Acts 5:31; Acts 10:43; Acts 20:21; Romans 1:16; Romans 4:5; et.al.) Where does the Bible teach that forgiveness of sin is linked with water baptism? When Christ made the statement in Matthew 26:28, “for the remission of sins,” it had to be because they had been forgiven all through the Old Testament! Christ shed His blood because God forgave repentant and believing sinners for thousands of years before the Son of God came to “take away” sins and to redeem us and pay the sin-debt with His own precious blood. How can one say that “for the remission of sins” means ‘in order to obtain’ in light of the fact that God never uses the phrase in that sense? In the Old Testament God forgave sin on the basis of a blood sacrifice (Heb. 9:22) – the Old Testament saints had their sins remitted (i.e., forgiven) but they were not redeemed until Christ came and shed His blood at Calvary. Their sins were covered (Romans 4:7; Psalm 32:1), but the sinner was not cleared of his guilt (Exodus 34:7) until the Cross (Heb.10:4). Before Calvary, the sins of believers were pardoned, but they were not paid for (i.e., redeemed) until the crucifixion (see Romans 3:25 and Heb. 9:12-15). When Jesus said, “It is finished,” (John 19:30), all sin – past, present and future – was paid for, and the plan of salvation was completed, so that ‘whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins’ (Acts 10:43). In Acts 2:38, the people were baptized because their sins were forgiven (at Calvary when Jesus said, “Father, forgive them,”) and they received the blessing of forgiveness when they repented of their sin of rejecting Christ and accepted Him as their Saviour and Lord. Friend, heaven or hell depends on what you believe about this.
- NOTICE THAT MR. MARTIN IS NOW ACKNOWLEDGING WHAT THE SCRIPTURES TEACH THAT SOMETHING IS REQUIRED FOR SALVATION BEYOND SAYING A SINNER’S PRAYER. NOW MR. MARTIN SAYS THAT A PERSON MUST DO REPENTANCE BEFORE BEING SAVED. i BET THAT MR. MARTIN WOULD ALSO SO THAT A PERSON MUST DO CONFESSION OF JESUS BEFORE BEING SAVED. NOTICE THAT THE GOOD PASTOR SAYS THAT THE BIBLE SAYS NO WHERE THAT BAPTISM IS “FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS”. INSTEAD OF ACTUALLY QUOTING SCRIPTURE TO PROVE HIS WORDS, THE PASTOR CAN ONLY MAKE BOLD EXCLAMATIONS. ACTS 2:38 SAYS BAPTISM IS “FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS”. ACTS 22:16 SAYS, “WHY DO YOU DELAY, ARISE AND BE BAPTIZED AND WASH AWAY THY SINS, CALLING ON HIS NAME.” AND 1 PETER 3:21 SAYS, “AND CORRESPONDING TO THAT, BAPTISM NOW SAVES YOU . . .” WHAT DO THESE VERSES SAY TO YOU? THE GOOD PASTOR SAYS THEY MEAN ONE IS TO BE BAPTIZED “BECAUSE” SINS ARE ALREADY FORGIVEN. THIS IS A NICE ATTEMPT AT CHANGING THE MEANING OF THE PHRASE “FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS” SAYING THAT IT MEANS “BECAUSE” OF THE FORGIVENESS FOR SINS IN THE PAST. BUT THEN AGAIN THE FACT REMAINS THAT “FORGIVENESS” IS A FUTURE REALITY THAT FOLLOWS JESUS’ DEATH. CONTRARY TO WHAT PASTOR MARTIN SAYS, MATTHEW 26:28 DOES NOT SAY THAT JESUS SHED HIS BLOOD “BECAUSE” FORGIVENESS OF SINS WAS ALREADY GIVEN. FORGIVENESS IN THE PAST AND FUTURE COULD ONLY FOLLOW THE CRUCIFIXION. PAUL WARNED AGAINST DISTORTING SCRIPTURE (Gal. 1:6-9). THE PREPOSITION “EIS”, TRANSLATED “FOR” IN ACTS 2:38 DOES NOT EVER HAVE THE RETROSPECTIVE MEANING “BECAUSE”. THE PREPOSITION TRANSLATED “FOR” IN ACTS 2:38 INDICATES PROSPECTIVE DIRECTION. IN THAT VERSE, BOTH REPENTANCE AND FORGIVENESS PRECEDE “FORGIVENESS OF SINS”, NOT JUST REPENTANCE. PASTOR MARTIN GIVES SOME GOOD VERSES THAT SHOW THE NECESSITY OF REPENTING FOR SALVATION, AND I AGREE COMPLETELY. BUT THOSE VERSES DO NOT TELL THE WHOLE STORY ON HOW TO BE SAVED. THEY DON’T MENTION BAPTISM, BUT THEY ALSO DON’T MENTION CONFESSION WHICH IS ALSO NECESSARY (Rom. 10:9,10). SO THE PASTOR’S POINT IS INVALID.
12. If salvation is not by works of righteousness which we have done, and baptism is a work of “righteousness,”
- THAT IS THE PASTOR’S WORDS, NOT OURS. BAPTISM IS A WORK OF FAITH, NOT AN WORK OF MERIT. A WORK OF “RIGHTEOUSNESS” IS TO PAUL IN HIS DISCUSSION ON ABRAHAM THE ATTITUDE OF MAKING ONESELF RIGHTEOUS BY HIS WORKS. NO ONE THINKS HE IS SAVING HIMSELF WHEN HE IS BAPTIZED; IT IS GOD WHO IS SAVING AT THE POINT OF BAPTISM. Galatians 3:26,27 and Colossians 2:12 SHOWS THAT BAPTISM, IMMERSION INTO CHRIST, IS WHERE SAVING FAITH MEETS SAVING GRACE. THE PASTOR CONTINUES:
then how can water baptism be a part of salvation? (Titus 3:5; Matt. 3:16) In the Bible, we are SAVED BY GRACE, and grace does not involve human effort or merit – grace is grace and work is work! (Just read Ephesians 2:8,9 and Romans 11:6.)
- IN THE PREVIOUS SECTION, THE PASTOR SAID THAT REPENTANCE OF SINS PRECEDED FORGIVENESS OF SINS. DOES HE FORGET THIS OR DOES HE NOT SEE THAT REPENTANCE IS WHAT I DO? I DON’T ACCUSE THE PASTOR OF TEACHING THAT REPENTANCE IS AN EFFORT TO JUSTIFY ONES SELF. SO HE SHOULD NOT ACCUSE ME OF TEACHING ERROR FOR SAYING THAT BAPTISM, LIKE REPENTANCE AND CONFESSION WITH THE MOUTH (ROM. 10:9,10), IS A WORK OF FAITH – NOT MERIT (Rom. 1:5; 16:26). THE CHURCH OF CHRIST DOES NOT TEACH MERITORIOUS WORKS, AS THE PASTOR IMPLIES. HE IS QUITE RIGHT THAT SALVATION IS BY GRACE, BUT HE LEAVES OUT THAT IT IS THROUGH FAITH; WE ARE SAVED THROUGH AN OBEDIENT FAITH, NOT DEAD FAITH. TRUE SAVING FAITH CONFESSES, REPENTS AND IS BAPTIZED. BAPTISM IS A “WORK OF FAITH” THROUGH WHICH THE GRACE OF GOD IS RECEIVED. A RIGHTLY BAPTIZED PERSON DOES NOT TRUST IN HIS WORK/BAPTISM TO SAVE BECAUSE HIS FAITH IS IN THE BLOOD OF CHRIST TO SAVE. COLOSSIANS 2:12 SAYS THAT BAPTISM IS WHERE GOD SAVES THE PERSON OF FAITH. GALATIANS 3:26,27 SHOWS THAT A SINNER BECOMES A SON OF GOD BY FAITH AT THE POINT OF BEING BAPTIZED. BAPTISM DEMONSTRATES TO GOD ONE’S TRUST AND GOD FOLLOWS BY GIVING HIS SAVING GRACE.
13. The “Church of Christ” teaches that “obeying the Gospel” includes being baptized in water in order to be saved. If this is true, then how is it that the converts of Acts 10 were saved by faith before and without water baptism?
- FIRST, THE PASTOR IS CONFUSING THE WORKING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE INDWELLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT OR THE FALLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT ARE SUPERNATURAL EVENTS FOR SIGNS. THE INDWELLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS COMES WITH NO VISIBLE MANIFESTATION AND IT ONLY OCCURS WHEN THE SINFUL PERSON HAS BEEN WASHED BY THE BLOOD IN BAPTISM.
- THE PASTOR THINKS THAT CORNELIUS WAS SAVED BEFORE BEING BAPTIZED, BUT THE TEXT DOESN’T SAY THAT. THE PASTOR THINKS THAT THE OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT REQUIRES THAT THE HOUSEHOLD MUST HAVE BEEN SAVED BY THE ACTION. BUT THE TEXT DOES NOT SAY THAT. IF YOU KNOW PASTOR MARTIN, ASK HIM WHY THE HOUSEHOLD IMMEDIATELY RECEIVED WATER BAPTISM (Acts 10:47,48). THE PASTOR CONTINUES:
The Bible says in Acts 5:32 that only those who obey God may receive the Holy Ghost – so what did those in Acts 10 do to obey and receive the Holy Ghost and be saved? In the light of Acts 10:34-48, Acts 11:14-18, and Acts 15:7-11, how can anyone honestly believe that water baptism is necessary to salvation?
- IF THE ACTION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT PROVES CORNELIUS WAS SAVED, THEN IT PROVES THAT BALAAM’S DONKEY WAS SAVED! THE OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT UPON THIS HOUSEHOLD DID NOT SAVE THE HOUSEHOLD. BUT PASTOR MARTIN ASSUMES THAT IT DOES. BUT PETER WAS NOT FINISHED PREACHING, AS HE HAD ONLY BEGUN HIS PREACHING (Acts 11:15). JESUS SAID PETER “SHALL TELL THEE WORDS, WHEREBY THOU AND ALL THY HOUSE SHALL BE SAVED” (Acts 11:14). IF PETER WAS NOT FINISHED PREACHING THE “WORDS”, THEN THE “SAVED” DID NOT YET HAPPEN. IT IS THE GOOD PASTOR WHO READS INTO THE TEXT. IT SIMPLY DOES NOT SAY THAT THE OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT BROUGHT SALVATION. PASTOR MARTIN CONTINUES:
Simon Peter said their hearts were “purified by faith” (Acts 15:9) and that we are saved by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ like they were (Acts 15:11); that is, before and without water baptism! We know that unsaved people do not receive or have the Holy Spirit (John 14:17; Romans 8:9). We know that the Holy Spirit is given only to those who have believed on Christ (John 7:39). We know that the Holy Spirit seals the believing sinner the moment he puts his faith and trust in Christ as Savior, before he is ever baptized in water (Ephesians 1:12,13). How does the warped theolgy of Campbellism explain away these clear passages of Scripture without “muddying the waters” of truth and drowning its members in eternal damnation?
- PASTOR MARTIN SAID THAT SALVATION IS BY FAITH, NOT BY BAPTISM. THE CHURCH OF CHRIST TEACHES THAT SALVATION IS BY FAITH AT BAPTISM. AND THERE IS AMPLE EVIDENCE IN SCRIPTURE TO SUPPORT THIS. COL. 2:12 AND GAL. 3:26,27 BOTH TEACH THAT BAPTISM IS AN ACT OF FAITH. THE BIBLE TEACHES THE INDWELLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. BUT WHAT HAPPENED TO THE HOUSEHOLD OF CORNELIUS WAS NOT THAT. THE PASTOR CONCLUDES:
It would be impossible to discuss all the false doctrines of the “Church of Christ” in a small tract like this. If you have a particular question not dealt with here, or need clarification on the issues discussed in this tract, contact us via email or at the phone number or address listed. We will provide you with sane, sensible and scriptural answers to your Bible questions.
- THE PASTOR HAS NOT SHOWN THAT THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IS A FALSE CHURCH. HE HAS NOT PROVEN THAT THE NAME IS UNSCRIPTURAL. HE HAS SAID THAT SALVATION IS BY GRACE AND THROUGH FAITH. THIS IS WHAT CHURCHES OF CHRIST BELEIVE AND TEACH. IN SEVERAL INSTANCES THROUGHOUT THE PASTOR’S PRESENTATION HERE, HE HAS MADE FALSE WITNESS AGAINST THE CHURCHES OF CHRIST. HE HAS DEMONSTRATED THAT HE REALLY DOESN’T UNDERSTAND THE CHURCH OF CHRIST. IF I HAVE SAID SOMETHING WRONG HERE, IF I HAVE SAID SOMETHING IN ERROR, I WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS AND CORRECTIONS.
Questions for Pastor David Martin:
1. Where does the Bible mention the Baptist church?
2. What Bible verse, and in what translation, do you turn to to show the purpose of baptism?
3. Why does the Pastor understand that a person who dies before REPENTING will not be saved, but cannot understand that a person who dies before being BAPTIZED will not be saved. He teaches the necessity of belief, confession, repentance, not baptism.
Grace and Faith working together
EIS IN ACTS 2:38 AND MATTHEW 12:41
Turn the other cheek
Repentance is Real change beyond believing only