Monthly Archives: September 2013

//September
23 September

Reclaiming the doctrine of Christ

By |2019-04-11T02:09:13-06:00September 23rd, 2013|Uncategorized|10 Comments

I've realized over the course of writing this blog that the phrase "Doctrine of Christ" has been redefined by Stanton with meanings and connotations that the Bible never gives it. A church member at some point even felt compelled to write an anonymous blog entitled "What Is The Doctrine of Christ?," taking it down after I linked to it. Perhaps you'll find the true meaning of the term rather shocking in its simplicity, as I once did a number of years ago. So let's explore what John was really was saying in this passage: 2 John 9 - 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 [...]

21 September

Teachers in lieu of elders

By |2019-04-11T02:09:12-06:00September 21st, 2013|Uncategorized|12 Comments

One of the most far-reaching mistakes of church history in the last 2000 years was when congregations started colluding to give bishops influence over multiple congregations rather than over a single congregation, as Paul originally established. Bishops are just another word for pastors, elders, presbyters, overseers, or shepherds. Whatever you want to call these local shepherds, they were a God-given form of church oversight to help keep wolves out of the flock. Paul outlined the qualifications for them, and instructed both Timothy and Titus about those qualifications. The only problem was that human ideas for church management (and control) just seemed so much more practical. The congregation in Rome—not unlike Stanton or Spring Valley—asked for, and received the deference of its peers. Their bishops began to [...]

19 September

Breaking News: Only sin will be forbidden by the church

By |2019-04-11T02:09:10-06:00September 19th, 2013|Uncategorized|14 Comments

Spring Valley, Calif.  - In breaking news from the Spring Valley congregation, evangelist Gary Preman has announced that only sin will be forbidden by the church in the future. At the Labor Day Meeting 2013, Preman said "Our admonition is not to forbid anyone from doing anything, unless it's a sin." The author of the Stanton Church of Christ blog says that this is a significant change from past teachings of the church, which are largely based on 45 years of church tradition. "Church traditions and the opinions of church teachers are not properly called 'doctrines' in church nomenclature," according to the author of this blog, "but are called 'judgments.' So it remains to be seen if this new 'judgment' will work its way through [...]

18 September

Love: More than a feeling

By |2019-04-11T02:09:09-06:00September 18th, 2013|Uncategorized|17 Comments

One of the more enlightening moments in the recent Labor Day talk, which I've good-naturedly entitled Not Ready To Give An Answer, was when we were told that those of us who preach incessantly about love have succumbed to a feel-good religion involving no real sacrifice or cost; a cheap gospel that is all about making you "prosperous and healthy and wealthy and wise." "And so as I hear about so many people who were raised in the church, people who are no longer wanting anything to do with the church they were once a part of, seem to have bought into a type of gospel that says "Jesus wants you to be happy" and "Jesus wants you to be joyful" and "Jesus wants you to have [...]

16 September

Labor Day 2013 – Not ready to give an answer

By |2019-04-11T02:09:04-06:00September 16th, 2013|Uncategorized|64 Comments

How do you defend the Pharisaic rules for travel and the many other unbiblical doctrines discussed on these pages? You don't. You certainly don't want to have any self-reflection, or engage in critical thinking. You assert instead that answering tough questions legitimizes them (although in fact, refusing to answer them is exactly what de-legitimizes your case). And of course you call anyone who dares ask tough questions an "enemy of Christ" for whom you have "contempt" and "disdain." Really? Sadly, there are some for whom that type of response will suffice. For those who question with boldness and search the Scriptures whether these things are so, it's not hard to recognize flowery speeches and empty words without Biblical support. If this talk on Labor Day 2013 is [...]

12 September

Don’t speak where the Bible’s silent

By |2019-04-30T09:59:24-06:00September 12th, 2013|Uncategorized|2 Comments

To speak where the Bible speaks, and be silent where it's silent has long been my motto, but I have not always lived up to it. Like many reformation denominations, which with one mouth subscribe to the Nicene Creed, and with another mouth sing a different tune, I too have given lip service to my motto without being true to its ideals. The motto, I believe, is a good one. If the Bible speaks on an issue, I ought to speak where it speaks, always in love, of course. But the truly hard part is remaining silent when the Bible is silent. That goes against every ounce of our human nature. We want to have an opinion on everything, and as humans, we love to [...]

10 September

False teaching

By |2019-04-11T02:09:01-06:00September 10th, 2013|Uncategorized|6 Comments

Is it bad to teach something that is incorrect? Of course. We should all strive to be correct in our opinions, particularly when we are going to take a teaching role and assume the responsibility of instructing others. But we also have to understand that anyone who undertakes to teach anything will at some point be incorrect. Anyone who grows in their faith and knowledge will end up changing their thinking, which is why an abundance of caution is in order when we share our opinions with people. We need to have some humility and try to differentiate between our opinions and the facts upon which we base them. For that reason, it's not without some hesitation that I've written the articles for this blog, [...]

9 September

Rules for the Lord’s supper

By |2019-04-11T02:09:00-06:00September 9th, 2013|Uncategorized|19 Comments

Many rules have been developed for the Lord's supper over the years, some applying to the participants, and some to the one presiding over it. One of the biggest interpretational mistakes the church makes is believing that one must be "worthy" (i.e. "sinless") to participate in the Lord's supper. This comes from taking 1 Cor 11:27 wildly out of context: 1 Corinthians 11:27 - Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. Notice the word "unworthily" has an "ly" at the end. This makes it an adverb, which modifies a verb. In other words, it is referring to the "manner" in which the Lord's supper is observed: 1 [...]

6 September

Turning the tables on legalism

By |2019-04-11T02:08:58-06:00September 6th, 2013|Uncategorized|109 Comments

The underlying assumption made by a legalistic theology (approach to understanding God), or more accurately, hermeneutic (approach to interpreting the Bible), is that God wants his children to be law-keepers, and the Bible is his law book. Neither can be further from the truth. That is not to say I am antinomian (against law) or lawless, nor am I afraid of absolutes. I have not fallen prey to the shifting sands of moral relativism in the slightest. I will confess that I am very much afraid of imposing an absolute that God hasn't, however, because that is adding to the Word, and speaking where it is silent. My understanding of the Bible soared and it became a joy to read when I came to realize [...]

5 September

2 Opinions Chapter 3

By |2019-06-17T09:30:32-06:00September 5th, 2013|Uncategorized|208 Comments

It has been brought to our attention that church members and teachers have had some trouble defending various rules from the Bible, so we've provided the following chapter from the book of 2 Opinions for easy reference. It will no longer be necessary to quote various teachers, May Meeting deliberations, or founding documents. Members can now simply refer to book, chapter and verse below to defend their favorite teachings. 2 Opinions Chapter 3 Christians must not eat food or drink anything but water in their building at any time. Christians must not take food into their building at any time. Christians must not have weddings or funerals in their building. Christians must stand to make confessions. Christians must make public confessions for violating traffic laws. Christians must not [...]

4 September

Can Christians wear crosses?

By |2019-04-11T02:08:55-06:00September 4th, 2013|Uncategorized|5 Comments

I have been scolded for letting my kids decorate my office with a cross on my wall and letting them grow up to think that crosses are OK to own and display as symbols of our Christian faith. I plead the fifth. My wife just bought a cute cross necklace. My kids wear crosses on necklaces. I have a t-shirt with a big cross on it. All of these have been great conversation starters from time to time, letting people know something about my worldview, if nothing else. Do I always live up to it? No, I'm human; of course I don't. I'll never be worthy of what Jesus did for me. Yet I don't have a problem displaying the symbol of the cross, nor [...]

3 September

May Week audio and transcript on rules for travel

By |2019-04-11T02:08:54-06:00September 3rd, 2013|Uncategorized|38 Comments

Jesus must be shaking his head in disbelief to think that his immense personal sacrifice—God coming to Earth to live as his creation lives, and being crucified for it—has been reduced to yet more Pharisaic rules that the rabbis heap upon their followers. These self-appointed legislators leave no stone unturned in looking for areas of your life to assert the spiritual superiority of their own opinions. Thus they fabricate rules for marital sex, attire, recreation, wine, travel, the Lord's supper, and a whole host of other topics found in what I call 2 Opinions Chapter 3—the go-to source of authority when you can't find it in the Bible. This article delves into the mindset of those who feel qualified to make these rules for other people [...]

2 September

Hide it under a bushel?

By |2019-04-11T02:08:52-06:00September 2nd, 2013|Uncategorized|2 Comments

NOTE: Updated with transcript of audio The following audio snippet comes from a May Meeting discussion, I believe, and shows a clear intent to avoid criticism by keeping the teachings of the church hidden from public scrutiny. The idea under discussion was to avoid having written material get indexed by search engines and exposed to the "wrong eyes" on the Internet, the supposed "enemies of the cross of Christ." This is just another way of silencing dissent; if your opinions aren't published anywhere, no one can counter them with scripture. Does anyone doubt that Paul would have loved for each and every one of his sermons to be published in audio, written, and video form on the Internet, if he'd had such technology? He would have [...]