Tonight I interviewed former Church of Christ pastor Brandon Thomas. He grew up in the CoC and was a member for 26 years before he left. He is no longer CoC although he did just interview for a pastor job at a CoC church. We talked about his time in the hardline CoC, his transition to the non-hardline CoC and eventually to become non-CoC. We looked into some Church of Christ doctrine and then we talked about his sports and street ministry.
Tonight I did my first apologetics TV show @ http://how2becomeachristiantv.com/. It turned out good. I interviewed ex-Church of Christ member Tyler Clay Morgan on how he was an atheist, got saved in a CoC church, got abused and then became a Lutheran, and some about his pro wrestling career. Tyler did a great job and was very personable and I thank him for coming on the show and helping me kick things off. I will have CoC pastor and reformer Brandon J. Thomas on this Tuesday @ 8pm central time for my second show and I will be doing a weekly show every week at that time. You can follow the show several ways on the site. Please do so if you would like to watch future shows. Announcement post will go out a few hours before each show. THANKS -Damon.
SOURCE: I grew up in the non-instrumental Churches Of Christ and left the Stone/ Campbell movement in late 2001 when I was about 40. Since that time we (my family and I) have been active members in a Baptist fellowship.
I did not leave the Church of Christ over a falling out or a bad experience or anything. I simply became convinced from reading the book of Romans that the theology was absolute heresy.
It happened one day after reading Paul’s summary statement in Romans 3:9-20 about man’s (read my) fallen condition-
“There is none righteous, no, not one;
There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one…”
I continued in the context of the passage and begain to read about the righteousness that God provides as a gift to all who place faith in Jesus Christ-
“But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe…”
This was not just some abstract verse taken out of context.
This theme continues for the rest of chapter 3, 4, 5 and is picked up again in chapters 9,10, and 11.
I kept thinking “I’ve been reading the Bible all my life. How could I have missed this doctrine about the gift of perfect righteousness that God gives to all who place faith in Jesus Christ?”
And then it was- “Yes, Lord! I don’t have any righteousness of my own. I’ll gladly trust in Jesus Christ for evernal life.”
In summary, there are 154 places in the New Testament alone that tell us that salvation is by simply placing faith in Jesus Christ. It is systematically taught in the book of Romans in chapter 1,3,4,5,9,10, and 11, and because of a doctrinal controversy, Paul addresses it again in the book of Galatians in chapter 2,3,4 and 5.
Galatians 2:15-16 says,
“We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified…”
Needless to say, I didn’t stay Church of Christ much longer after I came to understand how we are saved simply by placing faith and trust in the Savior.
This doesn’t mean I didn’t have questions about baptism.
But at least I knew we are saved by faith in Christ and then began looking for answers of how water baptism related to salvation, rather than just thinking we are saved by water baptism and never coming to understand how we are saved by faith in Jesus.
In short, in all four gospels and twice in the book of Acts it says that ‘John baptized with water, but that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit.’
I found out that as the Lord’s Supper is the believer’s sign or a symbol of the actual body and blood of the Lord, water baptism is simply the believer’s sign or a symbol of the real or actual baptism of the Holy Spirit that comes upon the believer at conversion.
1 Cor. 12:13 says,
“For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free —and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.”