A heretical church

Here is something I read on Facebook.

A heretical church

by Joshua Arnold

My story of when I was a member of a heretical church.

I’ve had this jersey for nearly a couple years now. It’s a Church of Christ softball league jersey, and it belongs to me. We were allowed to choose the name we wanted, and whatever number was available. I chose Romans 9 for obvious reasons, but there is more to the story than this.

For those of you who don’t know, Church of Christ, despite their name, is not an actual Christian sect. They are heretics. You’re probably wondering how I ended up with this jersey then. I will get to that a little later.

I ended up with this jersey because back in 2017, I attended this church without having any idea what they actually affirmed. The Lord called me out of the world in 2015, and I was so ignorant and weak that I didn’t understand the importance of being a part of an actual church. I was a rogue Christian, and looking back at my posts from that time, which was on a different profile, you can certainly tell.

I attended this church because a brother in Christ had recently moved into my home with me, and I figured it would be nice to start going to church. I had heard of this one from a friend who always invited me to come. We ended up going to the Bible Study they had, and both of us being young converts that barely knew any zealous professing Christians (mainly because we were too lazy to diligently look), we were so excited. We loved that there were other people who took the word of God as serious as us.

We talked about it for days, and we’re excited to go back. We ended up going back, and were impressed even more. They could cite all sorts of scriptures and were eager to talk about the word of God for hours.

Then came the disagreements. I don’t think we had been around them more than two or three times before we started realizing the differences between us. At this time, I had already embraced what many call Calvinism. I didn’t know how to defend my view very well, but I did know that when I read scripture, it was clear to me that the Doctrines or Grace were true.

I can’t remember exactly what they brought up once, but I said something along the lines of “what about original sin?”, and immediately they corrected me. They said there is no such thing. I disagreed, but kept my mouth shut, and started spacing out as I thought about that doctrine.

That was the first disagreement I remember. Shortly after that, I noticed that baptism was a huge deal to them. They believed that water baptism was necessary for salvation. They believed that we can lose our salvation, and other errors. I don’t think I had been going to that church for a month, and I had spent the majority of the time disagreeing with them, and speaking openly about it.

As time went on, I disagreed with just about everything, and they knew it. I was vocal about it. They knew I affirmed the Calvinistic doctrines, also known as sound biblical doctrines, and I even argued on the phone with the pastor for about an hour one day.

Come to find out, he didn’t even believe the Holy Spirit indwelt believers today. None of them did. They said that if the Holy Spirit indwells us, how can we sin? This stemmed from the only thing I agreed with them on, and that was cessationism. I believe the extraordinary gifts have ceased, but they believe the Holy Spirit is not dwelling in any believer, period.

This was very alarming. I couldn’t believe my ears. In addition to this bizarre set of beliefs, they believed God didn’t want us worshipping using instruments, and some were even taking it as far as nearly counting it as a sin to do so.

I don’t know why I stuck around for a few months. I suppose I thought I could convince them of their heresy. I would spend hours upon hours debating them in their living rooms. On one of the nights, I asked one of their leaders something along the lines of this: “if I saw a car accident, and I ran up to the person who got in the accident as they are bleeding out, clearly going to die before an ambulance comes, and shared the Gospel to them and they believed the Gospel with their whole heart, would they go to Hell still if they weren’t baptized, even if they were willing to if able?” And as serious as can be, he said they would go to Hell.

All of those experiences were very frustrating, because they were well equipped, and I was such a young Christian that I wasn’t very well equipped with much knowledge. They have a particular system of scriptures and they use it so much that they know most objections, and can answer them quickly.

They hated the Calvinistic doctrines, but I still couldn’t defend it as well as I wanted, so that’s when I started buying books. I was so hungry to learn. I bought The Potter’s Freedom by James White, and enriched myself some more, but I was still weak. I kept reading and studying. To this day I haven’t stopped reading books, and I credit it to the Lord moving me to form that habit out of battling their heresy. Praise the Lord.

So after some months of constant debating, I ended up leaving, realizing that God will deal with them, and I have been faithful. He brought me there to call out their errors, and I did so.
But before I left, I joined their softball league team. And this is where the jersey comes from. I made sure my stance was clear. I played almost all the games, but ended up leaving a couple games before the season ended. I won an award that I still haven’t picked up, and all I’ve been able to do for them since is pray.

I’m so glad to say that I’m able to defend my stance better than ever, and I have a clearer understanding of the Church of Christ’s doctrines, the dangers of them, and that they are flat out heretics.

Although there are several heretical doctrines of theirs that I could answer to, I’ll answer only one, because it is the most violent against the Lord, and it is their most prized doctrine.

They deny that we are justified by faith in Christ alone. They believe Faith plus Baptism saves people. This makes Christ insufficient. It mixes Christ with something else, and therefore dilutes His blood to be ineffective entirely. It is either Christ alone, or no Christ at all. Christ is a medicine that must be taken alone or else it will not work.

Christ was baptized Himself, not for His own sake, but for the sake of everyone whom He represents, and so anyone who comes short, and out of ignorance does not get baptized, Christ can say that He did it in their stead. He covered that, too. He alone is sufficient. All works, including baptism, is in Christ alone. He is our all in all, sufficient for all things, by His grace.

I urge anyone who mixes Christ with anything else to repent and believe truly on Him alone. To mix anything with the infinitely pure and lovely Christ is absolutely vile in God’s eyes. He hates it, and will forever pour out on His wrath on anyone who degraded His Son that way.

Posted on July 8, 2019, in Facebook, salvation and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I have nominated you for The Barnabas Award because your posts encourage me. You can read all about it on my latest blog at http://vicklea.com.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very good.:)

    Liked by 1 person

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