All graphics and images are copyright of A True Church
"church of Christ" Is A Lie
There is a church movement in America that takes on the name "church of Christ," and is represented, at least in part, by a web site with the name of "Truth For The World" (P.O. Box 751135, Memphis, TN 38175-1135; www.tftw.org).
Truth for the World is a mission work of the churches of Christ. It is a total approach to world evangelism involving radio and television programs, literature and campaign follow-up.
Truth for the World is under the oversight of the Duluth church of Christ, 3239 Highway 120, Duluth, Georgia 30136. The work is also supported by other churches of Christ throughout the United States, and by individual members of the churches of Christ.
. . . Several congregations have been established through the influence of this global mission effort.
At the present time, the radio and television programs are on every continent with a potential audience of billions. The literature, including Bible correspondence courses, and a simple English teaching paper, is being sent into more than 100 nations. About one million pieces of literature have been sent to precious souls since the early part of 1992, when Truth for the World had its beginning. (www.tftw.org/about.html, hard copy on file)
"Truth for the World" produces a booklet entitled Bible Question and Answer Booklet compiled by David Amos for "Truth for the World" (available free of charge @ www2.tftw.org/_private/tftw_list_articles.asp). In this booklet they write,
Outside of His church, the church of Christ, all will be lost! (p. 49, top)
This is true (Acts 4:12; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; Revelation 21:8), but this "church of Christ" is an impostor (2 Timothy 3:13, see below). In this booklet they also write,
All denominations have their origin in the doctrines and commandments of men (Matthew 15:9) and are, therefore, impostors that will one day be rooted up (Matthew 15:13). (p. 135)
If it is true that all denominations follow the doctrines and commandments of men, then indeed, it is true that they are all therefore impostors and will one day be rooted up. But, the "church of Christ" (as represented by "Truth for the World") is no exception to this. They themselves, in hypocrisy, follow the doctrines and commandments of men and reject the teaching of the word of God (see below).
Furthermore, in this booklet it is also written,
Obedience to all of God's Word is essential and critical to our salvation; every book, chapter, verse, and word! The essentiality or non-essentiality of a particular activity or action can only be determined on the basis of the totality of His word, by which all men will one day be judged (John 12:48)! (p. 63)
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4; see also Psalm 119:120; Isaiah 66:2; Matthew 7:24-27; Hebrews 4:12-13; James 1:21)
These "churches of Christ" give lip service to these words. They do not obey them.
This Bible Question and Answer Booklet reveals that the "churches of Christ," at least those who believe this folly, are not in Christ, but are rather deceivers (2 Timothy 4:3; 2 Peter 2:1-3). This booklet exemplifies how they are leading people away from God's word and onto the teaching of men (Matthew 15:8-9).
For example, unlike the true God (Romans 11:36), "church of Christ" teaches a false "God" who is,
I. Out Of Control
In the very first question and answer, "church of Christ" (COC) reveals their wimpy god, a god whose plan went awry.
QUESTION: Did God plan to insert sin into His creation?
ANSWER: No! James 1:13; "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man." Since God clearly loves His creation so greatly (John 3:16), the insertion of evil into it would be against His very nature! (p. 3)
This may sound nice to the humanistic ear, but it is a lie. The true Holy, righteous, and Almighty God did plan to insert sin into His creation, and this is why sin exists (Romans 11:36). The Lord says,
I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create evil; I the Lord do all these things. (Isaiah 45:7, KJV)
God is the one who created evil. Who made "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" and put it in the garden? God did (Genesis 2:9). Who is the One who has created and creates evil people? God, as it is written,
The Lord has made all for Himself, yes, even the wicked for the day of doom. (Proverbs 16:4)
Amos 3:6 says,
Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it? (Amos 3:6, KJV)
Lamentations 3:37 says,
Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass, when the Lord has not commanded it?
Nothing happens if God doesn't command it to happen. All things are "of Him and through Him and to Him" (Romans 11:36), and this includes sin. What? God causes sin? Yes, as Isaiah wrote,
O Lord, why have You made us stray from Your ways, and hardened our heart from Your fear? (Isaiah 63:17; see also Psalm 105:25)
Isaiah does not ask if God made them stray. He asks "why have you made us stray." David prayed,
Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works. (Psalm 141:4)
Why did David pray this? Because he knew God might just incline his heart to do evil, as He did in 2 Samuel chapter 24. God also caused great sin to take place in David's family as well (2 Samuel 12:11-12; see 2 Samuel 13-18).
God's plan, with the insertion of evil, is further evident by the fact that the Lord Jesus was "slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8), "foreordained before the foundation of the world" (1 Peter 1:19-20), that salvation was planned "before the foundation of the world" (Ephesians 1:4) and even "before time began" (2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2). No matter what it is, salvation, condemnation (1 Peter 2:8), or sin, it is all of God, orchestrated (e.g. 2 Chronicles 18:18-22; Isaiah 19:14), controlled (Job 1 & 2), commanded (Lamentations 3:37), and planned by Him (Revelation 1:8; 22:13). The words of Isaiah are apropos for the "church of Christ" (COC).
Remember this, and show yourselves men; recall to mind, O you transgressors. Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, "My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure." (Isaiah 46:8-10)
COC teaches that God did not plan to insert sin into His creation. But this is a lie, because,
The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations. (Psalm 33:11)
If sin was not a part of His plan, then the plans of His heart did not last and His counsel fell. But, sin was and is a part of His plan (Genesis 2:16-17; Romans 5:12-19). No one, not even Satan, can bring to be what God has not already ordained and commanded to be (Lamentations 3:37-38; Romans 11:36). For,
The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. (Psalm 33:10; see also Proverbs19:21; 20:24; Jeremiah 10:23; 17:9)
There is no wisdom or understanding or counsel against the LORD. (Proverbs 21:30)
Another example of COC's out-of-control god can be seen on page 4-5.
QUESTION: Is God the cause of human suffering in certain classes of society?
ANSWER: No! Clearly the Bible teaches that God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). However, we must also understand that God lovingly created man with the ability to exercise his own free will (Genesis 2:16-17; John 7:17; Revelation 22:17). It is evident as well, that God has continued to love man (John 3:16). Man suffers today because of unwise or sinful choices made in the past, by either himself (I Peter 4:15) or others, including his ancestors (Exodus 34:7; I Kings 21:29).
Indeed, man suffers because of unwise or sinful choices, but the bottom line is, all suffering (along with everything else, Romans 11:36) is caused by God. The Lord Himself says,
Now see that I, even I, am He, and there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; nor is there any who can deliver from My hand. (Deuteronomy 32:39)
If it is not God, who is it? There is only one God (Isaiah 45:5). There is only One Sovereign Lord (1 Timothy 6:15). If you attribute a cause or control to anyone or anything, outside of the cause and control of God (Romans 11:36), you create a god of your own making (Romans 1:22-23), and this is exactly what COC has done.
Another example of COC's out-of-control god, can be seen in their rejection of election. On page 67 they write,
God does not predetermine or cause particular individuals to be lost or saved, . . .
COC reveals that they are fools and senseless, because,
A senseless man does not know, nor does a fool understand this. When the wicked spring up like grass, and when all the workers of iniquity flourish, it is that they may be destroyed forever. (Psalm 92:6-7; see also Psalm 139:16; Proverbs 16:4; Romans 9:11-23; Ephesians 1:3-5; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Peter 2:8)
II. God With No Body
Not only is the COC god out of control, but he is also without a body. On page 6 they write,
QUESTION: In Genesis 1:27, God created man in His own image. Then in John 4:24, we see that God is a spirit. Now, what kind of man did God create, spiritual or bodily man? Are we really like God?
ANSWER: God created the physical body and the spirit of man. "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul" (Genesis 2:7). Man is a living soul (the total being) only when the body and the spirit are joined together. When a body exists without the spirit, there is death, not life (James 2:26). Clearly, since God is a spirit, it must then follow that the spirit of man was created in His image! We have physical bodies. God does not. Therefore, the spirit of man is in His image, but the total man is not! (bold added to answer, see also p. 123)
Here COC denies both the teaching about man found in Genesis 1:26-27 and the real God by denying His physical nature. The Son of Man (Jesus), who is both Man and God (John 1:1; Philippians 2:6; 1 Timothy 2:5), has a physical body (Luke 24:39; Colossians 2:9), and so does His Father (Daniel 7:9; John 5:37; 8:17-18; please see our report The Lord Is A Man). COC misses the obvious here. Man is a physical being (as well as spiritual, 1 Thessalonians 5:23). In man's physical being he displays the very image and likeness of God. In other words, man displays what God looks like (James 3:9). Genesis 1:26-27 makes no distinction between physical and spiritual. In fact, the context is very physical as God creates the physical world. These "churches of Christ" do not know the God of the Bible, nor do they know themselves; that they are, indeed, made in His image.
III. The Holy Spirit
On page 4 they write,
QUESTION: When God comes to stay in your heart what will you feel?
ANSWER: The heart that is talked about in the Bible refers to our mind or our understanding. When we receive God's Word, the Bible, into our minds (our Bible hearts) and we come to believe and obey it, then God dwells in our hearts (minds). He does not actually live in our bodies. He is said to dwell in us, only because we let His words (the Bible) dwell in us (Colossians 3:16). (bold added to answer)
COC makes an unbiblical distinction between God and His word. The word of God is God (John 1:1, 14; Hebrews 4:12-13; Revelation 19:13; etc.). Moreover, Scripture says,
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19)
The answer to this question for the "church of Christ" is, "No." They do not know that their bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit for two reasons. One, because they do not believe the Scriptures. Secondly, because they are still lost in their sin, and the Holy Spirit is not in their bodies (John 7:39; 10:5; 14:17; Acts 5:32; Romans 8:9).
IV. They Lie About Christ
QUESTION: Did Jesus drink alcoholic beverages?
ANSWER: No! That Christ stands opposed to the use of alcoholic beverages is made clear in Proverbs 23:29-35 and Isaiah 5:11. Note that these two passages show a connection between "wine" and "strong drink." Then consider Habakkuk 2:15, "Woe unto them that givest his neighbour drink, that puttest the bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness." Certainly, this does not suggest that our Lord who was without sin, having kept the Old Law perfectly, including this passage, gave His neighbour (the twelve and those at the wedding in Cana) to drink and "put the bottle to them." Neither does it suggest that He Himself drank alcoholic beverages. Clearly the opposite is taught! (p. 14; see also page 207 where they say drinking alcohol is a sin)
Clearly, the opposite of what COC teaches is taught! Jesus made "wine" (the same stuff you can get drunk on, Ephesians 5:18) in John 2. "John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine," but Jesus came "eating and drinking" (i.e. wine) and they said, "Look, a glutton and a winebibber" (Luke 7:33-34). Why did they call Him a "winebibber"? Because, unlike John, He drank wine.
Habakkuk 2:15 speaks of making someone drunk to look upon their nakedness. Jesus did not do this. Also, Habakkuk 2:15; Proverbs 23:29-35 and Isaiah 5:11 do not address making alcohol or drinking in moderation. In fact, note Proverbs 31:6-7. There is a time to give someone "strong drink." [For more information on Drinking Alcohol, please see our report on this subject.]
V. Oust About 75% Of Scripture
QUESTION: Is clapping hands while singing forbidden in the New Testament?
ANSWER: Yes! Hand-clapping (applause) is often engaged in to give praise and honor to ungodly performers and entertainers who with their additional and unscriptural worship practices (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16: I Corinthians14:15) usurp the praise, honor and glory that rightly belongs to our God. They, and those who praise (applaud) them, do not worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24), because they have no authority for that which they do (Revelation 22:18)! Neither is there authority to use the hands to create a rhythmic beat in accompaniment of vocal music when worshipping God. This differs in no way from the use of drums or other rhythm producing instruments! There is no scripture in the New Testament that authorizes the clapping of hands or mechanical instruments in worship to God! In Colossians 3:16, we are told that whatever we do in word (which includes singing) or deed (which includes playing, clapping, and singing), it must be done in the name of (by the authority of) the Lord Jesus. Clearly, from Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16 and I Corinthians14:15, we see that the music authorized by the New Testament is strictly vocal and congregational, which excludes clapping and playing! We cannot, without sinning, take away from God's Word (Revelation 22:18). We cannot, without sinning, add to God's Word (Revelation 22:19). We cannot change His Word in any way (Galatians 1:6-9)!
Neither can we go to the Old Testament to learn how we are to worship under the New Testament. This is true, because the Old Testament was taken out of the way at the cross of Christ. Please read carefully the following passages: II Corinthians 3; Galatians 3:16-29; Ephesians 2:13-19; Colossians 2:13-14; Hebrews 7:12; Hebrews 8:7. (p. 50-51)
COC discards approximately 75% of the Bible (i.e. the Old Testament)! None of the passages given say Genesis to Malachi (the Old Testament) was taken away at the cross, or anything like that. When Scripture speaks of the law and the old covenant, as in the passages given, it is speaking of the Mosaic covenant God made with Israel (please see our report on The Law Of God). Indeed, the new covenant is not the same as the old, but this does not do away with 75% of God's revelation! No doubt, when you remove 75% of God's revelation to man, you can make up all kinds of folly and discard the truth with, "That's in the Old Testament." This is exactly what COC does, as they reiterate on page 107,
The Old Testament has been taken out of the way and replaced by the New Testament of Jesus Christ. (see also p. 157)
Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. (Matthew 5:17-18)
Jesus, speaking of the Old Testament (i.e. the Law and the Prophets), states that it will not be "taken away," so to speak. Indeed, "Christ is the end of the law for righteous" (Romans 10:4), but the law, and the Old Testament, is still revelation from God "for our learning" (Romans 15:4); and we can learn to clap our hands.
Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! (Psalm 47:1; this is a Psalm, not a part of the law of Moses)
As for musical instruments, COC says it is a sin to use musical instruments in worship (p. 157), and if this sin is continued in, such a one will go to hell (p. 162). They say,
Christians cannot look to the Old Testament for authority to offer animal sacrifices, burn incense or worship with mechanical instruments. More important, there is no authority in the New Testament for us to engage in any such acts today. To do so is to sin and fall from grace (Galatians 5:4). (p. 157-158)
Galatians 5:4 deals with the false gospel (Galatians 1:6-9) that justification (righteousness, Galatians 3:3) comes through the keeping of the law (i.e. Exodus - Deuteronomy), as Galatians 5:4 says, "you who attempt to be justified by law." Neither Galatians, nor anywhere else in the New Testament, is the keeping of the law forbidden. Paul kept the law (1 Corinthians 9:20) and he did not sin nor fall from grace (2 Timothy 4:6-8). COC's view of the law and the Old Testament is severely twisted.
God allows instruments in heaven (Revelation 5:8-9; 14:2), but, according to COC's folly, He doesn't allow them on earth. The Bible says,
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night, on an instrument of ten strings, on the lute, and on the harp, with harmonious sound. (Psalm 92:1-3; see also Job 30:31; Psalm 33:2; 43:4; 49:4; 71:22; 81:2; 98:5; 144:9; 147:7; 149:3; 150:3-5)
Psalm 92 says it is good. COC says it is sin, and they discard Revelation 5:8 as well by brushing it aside as "symbolic" (p. 163). The words of Isaiah 5:20 are apropos for COC.
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil.
VI. According To COC, Don't Obey The Word!
COC promotes the discarding of the Old Testament, and outright disobedience to the New!
QUESTION: Should we anoint the sick with oil as James teaches in James 5:14-15?
ANSWER: No! Oil was customarily used in Bible times both medicinally and symbolically. Such is rarely, if ever, the custom today. Additionally, the anointing in this passage was to be accompanied by miraculous gifts that had been bestowed upon the elders through the laying on of the apostles' hands. When the miraculous action commanded of the elders was followed, the miraculous result was sure and without doubt, i.e., "And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up" (vs.15). That such is not the case today is evidenced by reality. If such were the case today, then it would also be the case that none in the church today would ever die. Since this is not the case, it can safely be concluded that the action of James 5:14 (including the anointing with oil) was to temporarily serve a special purpose for a special time, i.e., the miraculous age, which found fulfillment with the completion of the written, perfect Word of God (I Corinthians 13:8-12). (p.74)
If it wasn't for COC, someone might be dumb enough to obey James 5:14-15!
Matthew 18:3 says,
Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
It is evident this conversion has not happened to COC. There is nothing in James or anywhere else that dictates that the words of James 5:14-15 are no longer to be obeyed. Even with the "completion of the written, perfect Word of God" one of the commands of this perfect Word is found in James 5:14-15. Moreover, James 5:14-15 is simply a "prayer of faith" (verse 15). It is not a miraculous gift, as in 1 Corinthians 12:9. COC relies on their own understanding ("such is not the case today is evidenced by reality," etc., Proverbs 3:5-6), and adds to the word of God; and they are, and will be, found to be liars (Proverbs 30:5-6).
VII. According To COC, Don't Believe The Word!
Akin to the above, COC just comes right out and says, "It doesn't mean what it says!"
QUESTION: What does it mean in Hebrews 7:1-3 that Melchisedec was "without father; without mother; without descent? (p. 97)
The last part of the answer says,
The passage does not imply that Melchisedec never had an earthly father and mother, nor that he was eternal!
Take a look at the passage! It speaks for itself.
For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated "king of righteousness," and then also king of Salem, meaning "king of peace," without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually. (Hebrews 7:1-3)
Another example of COC's "Don't believe what it says" is found in how they deal with the book of Revelation. On page 101 they write,
The book of Revelation was written in symbolic language and is not to be understood literally (Revelation 1:1, the word signified means that John was shown things in "signs," which must shortly come to pass). So it is in this passage. It, too, was written in signs or symbolic language. This means that something else is represented by such words and phrases as "key," "bottomless pit," "thousand years," "seal," "etc."
In other words, COC doesn't want you to believe what it says! You need their interpretation to find out the real meaning (Colossians 2:8-10). Thus, for example, when it comes to Revelation 20, COC does their part to make sure people do not believe it. They encourage people away from a simple trust in what the Bible says (Matthew 18:3) with deception like this:
Verses four through six do not have reference to a physical reign on this earth by Christ and/or His saints. This section is also symbolic! (ibid., see also p. 193 where they again deny the 1000 year reign of Christ)
Verses seven through nine relates that following the "loosening" of Satan for the "little season" there will be great spiritual conflict between his forces and the church. This is not to be understood as a literal, physical war! (ibid.)
Even though Revelation 20:2-7 speaks of a thousand years six times out of six verses and the context is the earth (Revelation 19:11-20:3 & 20:7-9), and even though Revelation 20:7-9 speaks of "the earth" (verse 8-9), "the nations" (verse 8), and "to gather them together to battle" (verse 8), COC basically says, "Don't believe it."
For another example of "Don't believe it" note the Q & A on page 103.
QUESTION: Please explain Mark 11:22-24.
ANSWER: Jesus is not here saying that a man with sufficient faith could or would literally move mountains. Reference to so doing in verse twenty-three is a proverbial form of speech (which the Jews would have easily understood) and simply means that one with proper and sound faith in God will be able to overcome all earthly trials and obstacles no matter what, or how difficult, they may be.
In other words, Jesus didn't mean what He said. Those who follow this folly will be among the "unbelieving" and find themselves "in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone" (Revelation 21:8).
VIII. Lies About The Devil
QUESTION: Are people possessed by "demons" today?
ANSWER: No! However, the fact of "demons" during the time of Christ cannot be denied (Matthew 4:24). But their presence at that time was for a specific purpose, i.e., in order for Christ to prove His divinity, by showing His power over Satan. Jesus clearly taught in Matthew 12:22-30 that he had come to bind Satan. He mightily accomplished that deed as seen in Revelation 20:1-3. This binding of Satan and his servants resulted in their power being limited only to evil influences. Today, when the faithful child of God resists these influences in obedience to the word of God, the devil will flee from him (James 4:7). People today are not possessed by demons, as were some in the first century! (p. 85)
This is absolutely amazing. After stating that Christ supposedly accomplished what is revealed in Revelation 20:1-3, the very next sentence says, "This binding of Satan and his servants resulted in their power being limited only to evil influences." This is absolute stupidity. Revelation speaks of Satan being bound for a thousand years, during which, he will be shut up in the abyss "so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished." Shut up in the abyss does not equate with "limited to only evil influences." Deception is an "evil influence." It also is in opposition to "the devil will flee from him (James 4:7)" as COC asserts. Being bound in a bottomless pit (abyss) with the lid shut and sealed renders Satan totally powerless to do anything upon this earth. In Revelation 20:1-3 he's in the abyss, not roaming the earth or fleeing from someone. To say otherwise is to make God out to be a liar (1 John 5:10).
Moreover, 1 John 5:19 says, "the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one." 1 Corinthians 4:4 & Revelation 12:9 reveals that Satan "deceives the whole world." 1 Peter 5:8 warns:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
There is no way Satan is bound right now as Revelation 20:1-3 describes! Deception abounds on the earth (2 Timothy 3:1-5; 4:3; 2 Peter 2:1-3; etc.), and COC is one example of Satan's work.
Finally, not only does Scripture not teach what COC teaches in regards to demonic possession, but the Word reveals possession will still be happening in the future (Revelation 16:13-14). COC discards this (Revelation 16:13-14) with the folly that Revelation chapters 6-20:1-3 has already transpired (see p. 88, 92, 101-102, Bible Question and Answer Booklet). They even go so far as to say that it is a "violation of Scripture" (p. 47) to pray "Your kingdom come" (Matthew 6:10). Please read Revelation chapters 6-20. It should be quite evident that these things have not taken place (if you take it simply for what it says), and even though Christ does indeed presently rule over the kings of the earth (Revelation 1:5), He will yet rule in a way in which He has never ruled before (Revelation 19:11f)! "Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:20).
IX. Twist Of Hard Things
2 Peter 3:16 speaks of "some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction." COC exemplifies their ignorance and instability with their twist of 1 Peter 3:20 & 4:6.
QUESTION: Please explain in I Peter 3:18-20 and I Peter 4:6. Who did the preaching? To whom? What was the result?
ANSWER: The spirits in prison (II Peter 2:4) referred to in 3:19 are the same as the dead referred to in 4:6. The dead were not dead at the time the preaching took place! They were dead at the time Peter was writing and they remain dead today! Preaching to the dead while they were dead would have served absolutely no purpose (Luke 16:26-31; Hebrews 9:27). These passages simply teach that Christ in the Spirit (3:18-19) preached through the person of Noah (II Peter 2:5) to those that lived before the flood. (p. 98, see also p. 113)
The first sentence in the answer is true. The second sentence is false. Moreover, the text does not say Noah preached to them, but rather, Christ did (1 Peter 3:18-19). It says, Christ "went and preached to the spirits in prison" (1 Peter 3:19). It does not say, "Noah preached to the people on the earth." Indeed, Noah was a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5), but so was Christ, before and after His death (1 Peter 3:18-19).
COC says, "Preaching to the dead while they were dead would have served absolutely no purpose." The Lord gives the purpose of Christ's preaching to the dead in the very passage they reject.
For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. (1 Peter 4:6)
X. Lies About Sin
In the following quotes it is evident that COC rejects the Biblical teaching regarding the state of sinful man.
Infants do not and cannot commit sin. Neither do they inherit sin! (p. 164)
Again, given that an infant cannot sin and does not inherit sin, he or she obviously has no sin and is, therefore, not separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). (p. 164)
"infants cannot sin" (p. 167)
an infant is incapable of sinning! (p. 168)
Since an infant cannot commit "wrongful deeds" of his own accord, and since the Bible plainly says that he does not inherit sin, it follows that an infant remains in a "safe" relationship with his loving God as long as he remains an infant! (p. 168)
The scriptures tell us that children do not have sin (Ezekiel 18:20); nor the knowledge of it (Deuteronomy 1:39). (p. 231)
Even though Scripture says, "that God made man upright" (Ecclesiastes 7:29), it also says that He "has committed them all to disobedience" (Romans 11:32), and "the Scripture has confined all under sin" (Galatians 3:22). This "all" includes "all," with infants explicitly mentioned.
The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies. (Psalm 58:3; see also Psalm 51:5)
As unjust or incorrect as it may sound to the humanistic ear, Romans 5 teaches that all men inherited sin from Adam. All of mankind were "made sinners" (Romans 5:19) by Adam's one act of disobedience (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:6, 17-19; Romans 5:12, 15-19), and this resulted in the judgment and condemnation of all mankind (Romans 5:18). This is why every single man, woman, and child needs to be saved (Isaiah 64:5). Yet, what God does with infants who die is never directly answered in the Word (e.g. see 2 Samuel 12:16-23).
XI. Blasphemy Through Polygamy
Even though Scripture says no such thing, COC teaches that polygamy is a sin (p. 176, 178), and, if not repented of (i.e. divorce all but one spouse), such a person will go to hell.
QUESTION: If a Christian man marries a second wife, we know he has sinned, but what will the duties of this person be in the church?
ANSWER: The person in question should not be assigned any responsibility in the congregation until he repents! All of the people involved in the relationship described need to be taught the truth about their condition. Polygamy is sin! God has ordained that marriage is between two people, one man and one woman, until separated by death (Matthew 19:4-6; Romans 7:1-3). When a man and a woman are scripturally married and another person enters that relationship, all of those actively involved do so without the blessing of God. Further, all who knowingly participate in such a marriage are in sin as long as it continues. The above passages demand that the third party be excluded from the relationship, and that all who have participated come to repentance. Without scriptural repentance (Matthew 21:28-31; Luke 13:3; Acts 8:22; Acts 17:30), none can be saved. (p. 40, bold added to answer)
This teaching blasphemes several men of God and encourages to do that which God hates (i.e. divorce, Malachi 2:16). Abraham, Jacob, Caleb, Gideon, and King David all practiced polygamy. Therefore, according to this teaching, these men not only lived in sin, but were not saved and were ungodly; since "none can be saved" who practice polygamy. COC are "blasphemers" (2 Timothy 3:2). [For further information, see our report entitled, Polygamy]
XII. Unbiblical Divorce & Remarriage
More ungodly teaching commanding divorce can be found on page 169.
QUESTION: Can one be forgiven while remaining in a second marriage after having committed adultery and divorcing the first spouse?
ANSWER: No! The one described above has no right to the spouse of the second marriage and continues in a state of adultery! He or she can only be forgiven if repentance is forthcoming (Luke 17:3), which would involve dissolution of the relationship. Both persons in this relationship will continue in sin as long as the relationship exists. (see also the question after this on the same page)
Sadly, COC promotes this divorce even if there are children from the second marriage (p. 171; 173-174). This is not godly. God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16) and this is against the Lord's command in 1 Corinthians 7.
Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife. (1 Corinthians 7:10-11)
This is also against Paul's words.
But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. (1 Corinthians 7:12-13)
I suppose therefore that this is good because of the present distress - that it is good for a man to remain as he is: Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. (1 Corinthians 7:26-27)
More unbiblical counsel on marriage can be found on page 173 where they write,
QUESTION: Can a Christian marry an unbeliever?
ANSWER: Yes! In I Corinthians 7:12-14, we see that Christians may be married to non-Christians. Though it is not sinful for such a marriage to exist, it can clearly be seen that success in marriage is much more likely if both parties are Christians, i.e., if both are going in the same direction, having the same interests and goals in serving their common God!
1 Corinthians 7:12-14 does not say it is ok for a Christian to marry an unbeliever! It is addressing those who come to Christ already married to an unbeliever and their spouse did not turn to Christ as they did, thus they are now a believer married to an unbeliever (1 Corinthians 7:12-14, 17-24, 26-27). To find the right answer to the question above, simply read 1 Corinthians 7:39 and 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1. [For further information, see our report Divorce & Remarriage.]
Not all of COC's deceit is given here. The amount of error that they propagate is quite massive, considering their view on Revelation and the kingdom of Christ. But, the evidence herein provided should be enough for anyone inclined to believe Scripture that COC is not in the truth, and their name "church of Christ" is a lie. They are not the church of Christ, but are impostors; and all who partake with them will go to hell (Proverbs 17:4; John 10:5; Hebrews 12:14; Revelation 21:8; 22:15). May the Lord save you and bring you to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4).
Addition to this article:
a true church, P. O. Box 130, Moodys, OK 74444