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10 July

The poison pill of bitterness

By |2019-06-11T16:11:20-07:00July 10th, 2017|Uncategorized|13 Comments

There's been some discussion lately about bitterness. I think this is a good conversation to have, and a timely one. My goal here is not to judge anyone for any bitterness they currently feel, but to provide some advice and encouragement to (a) make the decision to struggle against it, and (b) actually take active steps to do it. Why would you want to struggle against it? Because if you don't, you will destroy yourself, not the other person. Bitterness is not something to be messed with. It is a poison pill that will ensure a life of unhappiness for the person who lets bitterness grow in their heart, and will only encourage those who are the targets of their bitterness to justify their behavior. [...]

3 July

Your own personal Independence Day

By |2019-07-06T14:16:24-07:00July 3rd, 2017|Uncategorized|101 Comments

1 Corinthians 7:23 - You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings. (NIV) Galatians 5:1 - For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (ESV) Being enslaved to human masters can wear on a person. Whether it's having to seek counsel for what color or style of underwear you want to wear (no, I'm not kidding), or whom you marry and when, Jesus didn't buy our freedom only to hand us over to the rabbi class of the so-called One True Church. God created the human spirit to be free, made in his image. Humans need autonomy, and that need matures and grows as we move from our teen [...]

26 June

Is necessary inference really necessary?

By |2019-04-11T06:14:17-07:00June 26th, 2017|Uncategorized|59 Comments

If you Google "necessary inference," you end up finding almost entirely Church of Christ websites, or websites about the Church of Christ and it's sometimes unique doctrines. The reason? The term was popularized by Church of Christ preachers using a three-finger recital of how we establish Biblical authority for modern church practices: command, example, and necessary inference. But adherence to this methodology didn't come from Alexander Campbell, or even his father. "While Thomas Campbell, in his Declaration and Address, says we should use command and example to understand what God would have us do, Alexander Campbell, in his Christianity Restored, spends a hundred pages on hermeneutical principles and never mentions "command, example, and necessary inference." (Stafford North at Oklahoma Christian University) "We only pretend to assert [...]

21 June

Merie, in her own words

By |2019-04-11T06:15:04-07:00June 21st, 2017|Uncategorized|39 Comments

This website has always been about trying to create some transparency for Stanton, so their beliefs, teachings, and practices can come out of the shadows. To that end, let's see what Merie, the founder of the sect, said about various issues...in her own words. And for those who would argue that the opinions of Merie don't matter today because she's long gone, would you dismiss the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy, Ellen G. White, Joseph Smith, Charles Taze Russel, and other denominational founders on that basis? Of course not. Merie's opinions do matter. If she hadn't taught what she taught over 50 years ago, Stanton wouldn't be here today. Stanton's legitimacy as the self-proclaimed "One True Church" rests squarely on the soundness of Merie's teachings. [...]

19 June

No, Jesus didn’t come to divide households. Not even close.

By |2019-04-11T06:16:05-07:00June 19th, 2017|Uncategorized|21 Comments

One of the most powerful rhetorical devices to rally the troops around the church's flag has been its language of martyrdom. Everyone is out to get them, and they love to talk up how much they're hated and persecuted by "the world" and their non-SCOC family members. But at least they know to expect and prepare for this kind of unfair treatment; Jesus predicted it, didn't he? Matthew 10:34-36 - Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person's enemies will be those of his own [...]

14 June

Seven tips to draw closer to God

By |2019-04-11T06:17:46-07:00June 14th, 2017|Uncategorized|8 Comments

We all need some shortcuts to help us in our spirituality. It's a busy world, and those in the church have a busy life, with all the various church functions to attend. There's Sunday morning worship, Sunday afternoon fellowship, Sunday evening Bible class, Monday personal work, Tuesday midweek Bible study, Thursday nonmember class, the occasional Friday night fellowship, and don't forget last minute confessions and studying for Sunday on Saturday. Anything we can do to save Christians time in drawing closer to God, we're happy to help. Here's a list of our top seven things you can do to draw closer to God. Surely there's more, and as you think of them, please leave them in the comments. Seven tips to draw closer to God [...]

13 June

Tips for loved ones

By |2019-04-11T06:18:50-07:00June 13th, 2017|Uncategorized|37 Comments

Many people have found the blog recently who don't have firsthand experience attending the sect. Their only knowledge of it is through a family member or loved one. The more you hear, the more red flags pop up. Sirens go off in your head, but you don't know enough to do anything about it. But the more you take the time to learn about the sect, the more your loved one's behavior can start making sense. Only then can you get inside their head and help them rethink their commitment to the teachings of men. That's why this blog exists, to deepen everyone's understanding of Stanton's historical roots and the premises of their often bizarre unbiblical doctrines. Don't get me wrong, understanding them doesn't justify [...]

7 June

The Orwellian side of the church

By |2019-04-11T06:20:23-07:00June 7th, 2017|Uncategorized|8 Comments

If you're a Gen-Xer like me, George Orwell probably had a big impact on your political ideology. His landmark 1984 was required reading in my English Literature class in high school, and for good reason. I graduated a couple of  years after the title year of the book, and right smack in the middle of the Cold War. The fight against communism wasn't so much a geopolitical fight, but an ideological battle for truth, against propaganda, and against totalitarian regimes who would try to control the masses by controlling the flow of information. Is it just me, or are there some troubling similarities between Orwell's Big Brother and Stanton leadership? The desire for total control over the flow of information, and the tendency for members to [...]

15 May

Merie was right on this one

By |2019-04-11T06:20:47-07:00May 15th, 2017|Uncategorized|501 Comments

No, you can't withdraw from a nonmember. On one facet of "withdrawal," Merie was dead right, and current Stanton leadership is stunningly wrong in their quest to quash dissent. I remember her teaching that once someone leaves the church, the church can't "withdraw" from them because they've already "withdrawn" themselves from the group. For this reason, the church cannot take disciplinary action against a nonmember. The sect has been apparently taking liberties with this, and stretching itself to extend its reach on disciplinary measures. They've even invented new forms of discipline to rise up to the task, like re-interpreting "mark and avoid" to fit their current desire to suppress dissent. But I'll tell you right now, they are just sowing the seeds of tyranny. Here's [...]

9 May

Can women teach men?

By |2019-04-11T06:21:10-07:00May 9th, 2017|Uncategorized|16 Comments

Can women teach men? As a vocal critic of Merie's unbiblical leadership in the formative years of the Stanton churches, my opinion might surprise some. I have not been critical of her teaching as a female--only of the actual things she taught. I do think it's fair to point out the hypocrisy of how Stanton teaches that women should be absolutely silent "in the church," yet when the closing prayer for the "worship service" is done, all bets are off. They can teach in whatever capacity they want, because it's outside the times 10:00 to noon, or whenever their churches meet. I do believe women can teach men within very broad Biblical boundaries, which I'll offer my thoughts on here. But women being "silent" during [...]

5 May

Rules-based parenting vs. grace

By |2019-04-11T06:21:49-07:00May 5th, 2017|Uncategorized|23 Comments

Since May Week is legislating new rules for parents this year in order to crack down on teens and their texting habits (I've heard that they are, indeed, banning texting between teens interested in each other), I think it's an appropriate time to write about the subject of rules-based parenting—and how that relates to legalism, Pharisaism, and our understanding of God as our father, and his grace. Have you thought about why the Old Testament comes with 613 rules from God for His people? And have you thought about why the New Testament wiped out such ordinances? Or why people constantly try to interpret the New Testament in such a way as to re-create an Old Testament style legal system? The disparity in how God related [...]

31 December

The surprising truth about Christian music and the Bible

By |2019-10-29T08:25:17-07:00December 31st, 2016|Uncategorized|38 Comments

Many from Church of Christ backgrounds have been taught that instruments are unacceptable to God. Some take this to an extreme and try to suggest that the Bible condemns them outright. Others take a more moderate approach, and apply their prohibition only to church. Which is it? Can a Christian listen to contemporary Christian music? Are they in danger of hell fire for doing so? Are there good reasons to listen to Christian music, or to stay away from it? After giving serious thought to this subject from a scriptural standpoint, I came to the realization that there is nothing intrinsically or Biblically wrong with Christian music, and there is a lot of positive in it, in any setting (at home, in church, etc.). Each [...]

27 December

What are Jesus’ commands?

By |2019-04-11T06:23:07-07:00December 27th, 2016|Uncategorized|2 Comments

I often hear believers quote Jesus assuredly: "If you love me, keep my commands," as John records him saying. It seems that more often than not, though, what they mean is "If you loved Jesus, you would be keeping all of his commands like I am, and you clearly aren't." loving Jesus = keeping his commands I've personally found the subject of Jesus' commands a rewarding study. After all, if the Bible says loving Jesus means keeping his commands, I think it has to be pretty important to know what his commands are. So, what are his commands? This is an exercise everyone should try. Take out a pen and paper (or open up a Word file) and list all of the things you think [...]

19 December

The slippery slope of truth-seeking

By |2019-04-11T06:23:32-07:00December 19th, 2016|Uncategorized|4 Comments

I believe all biblical scripture is inspired and useful for our learning, even though the conclusions I draw from their writings have evolved as I get older, acquire more knowledge, and (I hope), mature in the faith. I understand that it's my understanding of Scripture that has evolved, not Truth. Truth is not relative, but our fallible understanding of it is; which is why our opinions about Truth can and should evolve as we gain years and wisdom. If they don't, we're not growing as Christians. So when we anchor Biblical truth in our minds by some past popular understanding of it–whether so-called "historical Christianity," or the teachings of the [church/sect/cult] we grew up in—we are risking measuring ourselves by ourselves. We are putting our [...]

13 December

Am I sowing seeds of discord?

By |2019-08-30T16:23:15-07:00December 13th, 2016|Uncategorized|60 Comments

A commenter named David posted a question awhile back. In the spirit of dialogue, I thought I'd address his question in a post for your consideration. He wrote: What is "Sowing seeds of discord"? as stated in Proverbs 6. Please avoid telling me what other people may say about it. Tell me what you know of the meaning. To say it is just dissention is a copout. Paul and Barnabus had contentions as did others. To say it is only dissention, as many say, is to say; the first person to point the finger and shout "sowing seeds of discord" WINS! We still have to discern between dissention and contending. Paul had to contend for the truth with Peter as we all know; where as [...]

21 October

Convince people, don’t insult them

By |2019-04-11T06:32:47-07:00October 21st, 2016|Uncategorized|8 Comments

My interest in the traffic to this blog is not about numbers of visitors, or how many people comment, or how to inflict the most damage on the institution of the Stanton sect of the Church of Christ. No, it's always and only been about one thing: uncovering the historical roots of the sect, and encouraging and motivating people impacted by its unbiblical doctrines to learn more about our loving God and forsake the teachings of men for the Bible alone. It's about spurring one another on toward love and good works. John 8:32 - Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. Hebrews 10:24 - And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and [...]

9 October

Do you believe in love?

By |2019-04-11T06:33:29-07:00October 9th, 2016|Uncategorized|10 Comments

Do you believe in love? Before you dismiss this as a trite 80's song, think about it from a Biblical perspective. One of the really interesting things about God's love is that we have to believe it: 1 John 4:16 - So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. This makes so much sense, when you think about it. Consider a father who loves his child deeply, and wants only the best for her. He raises her in love, corrects her when she's wrong, and teaches her how to be a good adult. But during those teen years, isn't it true that a parent's love is sometimes not felt? It's there. It's being displayed. But it's not [...]

6 October

Does evil exist?

By |2019-04-30T09:43:58-07:00October 6th, 2016|Uncategorized|5 Comments

This is a little poem I wrote awhile back based on the moral argument for God. I know there are readers of this blog who struggle to believe that God exists due to their experiences with the Stanton sect. I just want to encourage you to dig further. We should all be able to agree that evil exists. This poem makes the case that the existence of what we call evil is not evidence that there is no God, but evidence that there is a God without whom we would not have any frame of reference to decide what is evil and what isn't.I hope this poem makes the case persuasively. In any case, I can assure you that God is alive and well, and [...]

3 October

How to read the Bible—and how not to.

By |2019-04-11T06:34:57-07:00October 3rd, 2016|Uncategorized|18 Comments

The Bible is feared reading for some. If you were raised in the Stanton sect, it may seem to you like a mass of confusing cross references, chain references, commands, and vague inferences. Remember the trusty Thompson Chain Reference Bible? Yeah, I thought so. Understanding how to read the Bible is critical to developing a love for the Word. It's not as confusing as Stanton would make it seem. It's actually exciting, if you take the clean Bible challenge. But it's important not to read it like a novel. It's not one. And it's also not a law book to be dissected and argued like in the Pharisaic courtroom of May Week deliberations, either. Here's the simple truth: The Bible is basically a collection of [...]

30 September

Why won’t Stanton confess its own public sins?

By |2019-04-11T06:35:43-07:00September 30th, 2016|Uncategorized|6 Comments

Stanton teaches that private sins require private confessions, and public sins require public ones. Thus, if a person runs a red light, they are in public and must confess that sin publicly before God will forgive them. This is, of course, completely foreign to the scriptures, but that is what Stanton teaches. But what about sins committed by the church body as a whole? It turns out that the whole idea of enforced unity through May Week is a two-edged sword for Stanton. If their unity is so commendable on good things, when they're wrong, isn't it a liability? Isn't that a collective sin that can bring the whole ship down? You can't have it both ways. Let's remember that May Week is essentially a church council. Starting [...]

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