Church of Christ (and the like): evangelical or heretical?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Greektim, Mar 18, 2013.

?

Church of Christ is

  1. Evangelical (within orthodoxy)

    21.1%
  2. Heretical (outside of orthodoxy)

    68.4%
  3. Not Sure

    10.5%
  1. Greektim

    Greektim
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,143
    Likes Received:
    118
    With the wave of evangelicals being so moved by Duck Dynasty (I enjoy the show but not b/c of its "Christian" values), I wanted to get some opinions.

    Since these guys are hard core into the CoC, and since their doctrinal emphasis is baptism (good emphasis but with a misplaced theological understanding), should we consider this branch evangelical (or orthodox for that matter) or heretical.

    Honestly, I have a hard time calling them evangelical and not heretical considering their view of the necessity of baptism for salvation. It seems like "another gospel" to me.

    What say you?
     
  2. MB

    MB
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    2,536
    Likes Received:
    13
    The Bible tells us to be baptized in the names of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. Peter tells us What Baptism is for, and compares it to the saving of Noah by water;
    1Pe 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
    1Pe 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

    Do you suppose that Baptism is part of the Salvation process? You see I'm concerned that many over look Baptism thinking it has no value.
    MB
     
  3. Herald

    Herald
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,600
    Likes Received:
    0
    Baptism is important. It is a means of grace whereby the recipient is strengthened in their faith. Baptism is a sign of the thing signified, it is not the thing itself. Baptismal regeneration is a heresy. The Church of Christ is heretical in this area, although that does not mean every individual in the CoC is unsaved. Many are deceived by false teaching but saved nonetheless. However, just because you can find a tasty morsel in a dumpster does not mean it is a safe place to get your meals.
     
  4. MB

    MB
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    2,536
    Likes Received:
    13
    It isn't that I believe baptism will save but that Peter obviously felt that it has Salvific value. I think the reason may be because Baptism shows not only the death burial and resurrection of Christ but ours also. We die in Christ we are buried in Christ and we will rise as did Christ. It's having a good conscience after our turning from sin and towards Christ. Which is our repentance.
    MB
     
  5. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    Not all CoC are the same. My wife was raised CoC and left once she was in college. As we've talked about their beliefs and practices I disagree with them but still find them wholly within orthodoxy.

    Of course CoC and Baptists have a long history of animosity that a lot of folks don't know about, so that is part of the issue here. :)
     
  6. Herald

    Herald
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,600
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree it has salvific value to the extent it confirms what the Spirit has done at regeneration. Do not agree with me though because that is a thoroughly Reformed view. :)
     
  7. 12strings

    12strings
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,743
    Likes Received:
    0
    This doesn't make sense: You don't beleive it saves, but you believe that Peter did feel that it has salvific value? Assuming you would want to agree with Peter, your statement doesn't make sense.

    Wouldn't it make more sense to say it has VALUE, but not SALVIFIC value? (If you believe one can be unbaptized, but saved...)

    OR... that you DO believe it is part of what saves, if that's how you truly feel about it.
     
  8. 12strings

    12strings
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,743
    Likes Received:
    0

    I would disagree, and guess that for most today, rather than being motivated by some long-standing animosity, we truly want to find common ground with CoC friends, but find it difficult due to what we truly believe to be a be a Faith + Works salvation.
     
  9. Greektim

    Greektim
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,143
    Likes Received:
    118
    So how you describe their view of baptism in relationship to the gospel within orthodoxy?
     
  10. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    Siince you both are, essentially, asking the same question let me address you together.

    1. The primary question in the OP is structured difficultly. You either are evangelical or a heretic. Since I don't view mainline denominations or other orthodox Christian groups as heretical who aren't evangelicals, I will definitely go with my vote.

    2. Having talked with plenty of CoC folks, and also having spent two PhD seminars researching the nature and history of evangelicalism, I don't agree that their view of baptism is enough to put them out of the evangelical camp. If evangelical only means what baptists and quasi-baptist churches believe, that is an erroneous understanding of evangelical.

    3. CoC, again depending on the individual church, aren't agreed as to the soteriological function of baptism. Almost all, it seems, agree that it isn't a sacrament (ala Catholicism, EOrthodoxy, Anglican, etc) but that it is part B, or the sealing function of baptism. Plenty of my Pentecostal friends will tell you they believe that speaking in tongues is part B. I've even heard some fringe Baptists equate inerrancy with salvation.

    4. Plenty of evangelical denoms, networks, and churches believe baptism is a seal of either justification or the covenant. What do you think about, say, Max Lucado? How about the ministry of Southeast Christian Church? etc. Independent Christian Churches and CoC are often awfully similar. The point here is that if we keep culling the herd based on doctrinal differences we'll only end up with a handful of faithful churches who are worthy of "evangelical." So sue me, I believe in a big tent for evangelicalism.

    5. I don't think the CoC's view of baptism violates orthodoxy. There I said it. I also disagree, vehemently, with their view and also disagree with many of them who believe I'm going to hell because of my view. Their view has historical roots btw. Check Everett Ferguson's Baptism in the Early Church for that. (We should note that Dr Ferguson is a prof at Abilene Christian...but he is highly regarded academically.) Their view is part a faith in Christ and part b baptism in Christ. Now we Baptists believe this too btw, we just hold that the "baptism" here is the work of the Holy Spirit instaneously at justification. They believe it is a physical act. I disagree with them. But I can't hold their view to be outside orthodoxy.

    6. How much different in degree is their view of baptism than my disagreement with Dr MacArthur's view of lordship salvation? Just saying, we disagree...but I respect him.

    7. What is the "orthodox" position on baptism? What is the "evangelical" position on baptism? Who decided either?

    I think I addressed everything. If I haven't, please let me know. Thanks
     
  11. Herald

    Herald
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,600
    Likes Received:
    0
    The pertinent question is whether water baptism is a sine qua non of the ordo salutis (a required part of the order of salvation). If the answer to that question is "yes" then it is heresy. I believe baptism is salvific in nature, but not a sine qua non of salvation. What I mean by that is that baptism is a sign of the new covenant applied only to those who have professed faith in Christ. If the CoC, or any denomination, believes that, then they are orthodox. If they consider water baptism as actually part of regeneration or justification, then they are not only not orthodox, they are heretical.
     
  12. MB

    MB
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    2,536
    Likes Received:
    13
    Well according to what I've read and asked of CoC they do not believe it is justification. They believe baptism is for the remission of sins.
    MB
     
  13. MB

    MB
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    2,536
    Likes Received:
    13
    This from wickapedia
    Doctrine of Salvation (Soteriology)

    Churches of Christ are strongly anti-Calvinist in their understanding of salvation and generally present conversion as "obedience to the proclaimed facts of the gospel rather than as the result of an emotional, Spirit-initiated conversion".[18]:215 Churches of Christ hold the view that humans of accountable age are lost because of their sins.[10]:124 These lost souls can be redeemed because Jesus Christ, the Son of God, offered Himself as the atoning sacrifice.[10]:124 Children too young to understand right from wrong, and make a conscious choice between the two, are believed to be innocent of sin.[8]:107[10]:124 The age when this occurs is generally believed to be around 13, although it varies based on maturity.[8]:107

    Churches of Christ generally teach that the process of salvation involves the following steps:[1]

    One must be properly taught, and hear (Romans 10:17, Matthew 7:24);
    One must believe or have faith (Hebrews 11:6, Mark 16:15–16);
    One must repent, which means turning from one's former lifestyle and choosing God's ways (Acts 2:38, Acts 17:30, Luke 13:3);
    One must confess belief that Jesus is the son of God (Matthew 10:32–33; Acts 8:36–37);
    One must be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 1Peter 3:20–21; Romans 6:3–5; Mark 16:16; Acts 22:16); and
    One must remain faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10).

    Beginning in the 1960s, many preachers began placing more emphasis on the role of grace in salvation, instead of focusing exclusively on implementing all of the New Testament commands and examples.[51]:152,153 This was not an entirely new approach, as others had actively "affirmed a theology of free and unmerited grace", but it did represent a change of emphasis with grace becoming "a theme that would increasingly define this tradition".[51]:153
    MB
     
  14. Herald

    Herald
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,600
    Likes Received:
    0
    That is splitting hairs (not accusing you of that). Remission of sins is part of the salvation process. That is not the role of the ordinance of water baptism.

    Give the CoC credit for one thing; they have a higher view of baptism than most Baptists. There are many Baptist churches that have a low view of baptism. They delay baptisms until years later, perform them in the evening service instead of considering them an integral part of worship, and see no spiritual benefit of baptism that may strengthen the believer's faith. Baptism is so much more than a dunk. Baptism is the sign of the new covenant. It can be a source of spiritual nourishment for the believer. As the years go by they can look back on their baptism as a reminder of their death to sin and new life in Christ.
     
  15. Thomas Helwys

    Thomas Helwys
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,892
    Likes Received:
    0
    I like what you said here. Very good.
     
  16. MB

    MB
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    2,536
    Likes Received:
    13
    Well John the Baptist never saved a soul but, he certainly baptized for the remission of sins. Personally I see it a little differently as I also see it as baptism into the name of Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. as well as a confession of faith in Jesus Christ. At any rate the whole process is about being saved, and for the saved. Though not Salvation it self. Believing is not Salvation it self but is certainly a part of Salvation. Every Christian should be baptized. Neglecting it is like neglecting God.
    MB
     
  17. Herald

    Herald
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,600
    Likes Received:
    0
    John the Baptist operated under the Old Covenant. It was not his baptism that saved. Salvation has always been by faith (Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness). John pointed forward to Christ.
     
  18. glazer1972

    glazer1972
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Messages:
    261
    Likes Received:
    0
    Imo. Heretical.
     
  19. 12strings

    12strings
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,743
    Likes Received:
    0
    A few things...

    I wonder, have you read Iain H. Murray's EVANGELICALISM DIVIDED? If so, what are your thoughts on it?

    As I am in the greater Louisville Area, I attended a Southeast Christian Church service a few years ago, and it just so happened that the Pastor's (Dave Stone) message that week was, "What do we believe about Baptism." I thought, great, I've been wondering about that...but at the end of the sermon, I still didn't know! His climactic, summary statement was a comparison with marriage:

    "When are you married, when you exchange vows, when you kiss, when you are pronounced man & wife, when the paper gets signed, when you consummate it that night...? I'm not really sure, but you don't want to leave any of those out, right??!!"

    Now, when it comes to people's eternal souls, I cannot have much confidence in Southeast Christian's ministry when their answer is, "Here's some stuff...we aren't sure which of these really saves you, but its best not to leave any of them out."

    Good point. Only the most anti-Lord-ship Salvation people would go so far as to say John Mac. is not saved.

    You didn't address why you think Baptists have some deep-seated (non-theological) animosity toward CoC's.
     
  20. thomas15

    thomas15
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not to be mean but while we are at it, lets give the RCC and the JWs the same credit while condeming Baptists who base their salvation on grace alone by faith alone in Christ alone.... not by works. Let's condem those Baptists who get their spiritual nurishment from the words of the Bible and with prayer instead of constantly recalling the memory of their past baptism experience.
     

Share This Page

Loading...