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What Demoninations Teach - Part I

What Demoninations Teach
Part I

By Richard Nichols

Published in
The Christian Informer
August  2008


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Despite unfounded accusations, we still preach nothing but the word of God.  Preachers in the denominations hold up the Bible and say, “We preach the Bible.”  That is what we do.  So what have we gained by telling you that we take the word of God and nothing else.  That might not convince you, but it is the truth and we challenge you to test us.  Of course, to convince you we must prove that we actually stand on the word of God and nothing else, and the denominations do not.
 
When you were born into this world, it was already divided religiously.  As you grew up and looked around you could see a church building on every hand.  Here was one and there was one all claiming to preach the Bible, yet wearing different names and teaching different doctrines.
 
The predominate sentiment among religious people was, “It doesn’t make any difference what church you are a member of, or what you believe, just so long as you are honest and sincere about it.”  Having grown up in an atmosphere like that most people just accept that sentiment as the truth, but according to the word of God that idea is not true.  You ask, “If so, where?”  Even though these denominational men hold the Bible in their hand when they say, “It makes no difference...”.
 
Also, denominational preachers say, “Everyone ought to go to church; everyone out to be a member of some church.”  These things are believed and preached among most religious groups which call themselves “Christians” and result in great resentment toward the church of Christ, because we deny them.
 
When we challenge the teaching of the denominations we are not saying that everything they say is a falsehood or a lie.  We understand that they do preach a lot of truth.  We are glad that they have some truth for that gives us some common ground, but the things that are not true causes many honest people, who study the word of God, to ask questions which they cannot answer and because they cannot show what they teach and practice in God’s word, many of these honest souls leave them.
 
You will recall that in the Garden of Eden the devil preached truth along with a lie.  He contradicted what God said, telling Eve, “Thou shalt not surely die.”  That is false doctrine.  He also gave reason for God not wanting them to eat of the tree in the midst of the Garden; Satan said, “For God doth know that in the day that ye eat thereof your eyes shall be opened and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”  Part of that was true, their eyes were opened.  This, of course, made the lie more believable.  Did Adam and Eve sin when they believed and obeyed that?  Why, yes!  It was just half truth and half a lie.  But they died a spiritual death that very day, just as God had told them.
 
Now, if you say, “Well, I only stand for the things that are the truth”, then maybe that was what Adam and Eve thought too.”  They might have thought, “We’ll just stand for half of it, and we’ll tell the Lord that we didn’t believe the other half.”  But it led them to error and condemnation just the same.  Likewise, what the denominations teach that is truth is polluted by what they teach that’s false.  Suppose you had a glass of pure water to drink and you found out that someone had poured cyanide poison in it.  You wouldn’t reason with yourself, “I know that there is poison in this glass, but 95% is good water, so I’ll go ahead and drink it.”  Why, no!  You wouldn’t drink it at all; the part that was poison makes the entire thing dangerous to drink.
 
When a person attends a denomination, say, the Baptist Church, for example, he hears the preacher preach against sin, he recognizes the fact that he is a sinner and that he is lost.  Then being convicted of sin and desiring to be saved and do what is right, he takes the steps given by the preacher and he joins the Baptist Church.  A person convicted of sin is ready to do everything he is commanded.  In this instance he is told some things that the word of God teaches that are necessary to be saved but other things that God’s word says about salvation are left out or changed.  When this happens he may have obeyed the Baptist preacher but he is still not saved.
 
When a person joins the Elks Club does that make him a Moose.  Of course not.  Neither does joining a denomination put you in the Lord’s church.  Let’s look for a little while at the organization itself.
 
We see on TV and read much in the newspapers about “Baptists” and “Baptist Churches,” and the claim that “Jesus commissioned her [THE BAPTIST CHURCH] long before Pentecost.”  You need to know, however, that neither “Baptists” nor “Baptist Churches” are terms found in the Word of God and that the commission given by Jesus in Matthew 28:20 was not given to such as they claim.  “Christians” and “churches of Christ” are in the Scriptures, but “Baptists” and “Baptist Churches” are not.  It would be a simple matter to turn to the Scriptures and read about them if they were there.  Those who want the truth should recognize this.  We issue a call for all to find the passages that use the terms “Baptists” and “Baptist Churches” and bring them to us.  If you cannot find them, honesty demands that you admit it.
 
Oh, yes, we are quite aware that John was called “the baptist” because of his practice of baptizing, however, he was the only one ever called “the baptist” and those whom he baptized were never called “Baptists” simply because they had been baptized by John.  In our town there might be a shop where John the barber cuts hair.  It would be foolish for Tom, Dick and Harry to call themselves the Barbers because they had used John’s services.  The expression “Baptists” is never found in the Book.
 
We are told most “Baptists believe and teach salvation wholly by Grace, and no act of works is anywhere taught. – All one need to do is ask.  (Luke 23:41-43).”  That is supposed to be THE TRUTH.  Yet, if that doctrine were true, no one would be lost.  “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to ALL men” (Titus 2:11).  Again, we are told that Jesus suffered “that he by the grace of God should taste of death for EVERY man” (Hebrews 2:9).  That would be universal salvation if salvation is “wholly by Grace.”  None would be lost, and hell would be empty.

NO WORKS AT ALL

The claim which Baptists make is that “No act of works is anywhere taught – All one needs do is ask.”   However, according to the Word of God men are told to “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).  According to the Bible “God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him, and WORKETH righteousness, is accepted with him” (Acts 10:34,35).  According to the Scriptures “faith without WORKS is dead” (James 2:26).  Abraham was “justified by WORKS.”  Rahab was “justified by WORKS.”  “Ye see then how that by WORKS a man is justified, AND NOT BY FAITH ONLY” (James 2:21, 24, 25).  This is according to the Word of God not according to Denominational Men.

 
This clearly refutes the Baptist claim that “all one needs to do is ask.”  Jesus questioned, “Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and DO NOT the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).  He said again, “Not every one that saith unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that DOETH the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).  Actually, the teaching of denomina- tionalism does not harmonize with the Truth of God’s Word.

BAPTISTS AND BAPTISM

It is said by Baptists, “No where did Jesus tell anyone to be baptized except John to Baptize Him, Jesus, and not to save Him, but to witness of His death, burial, and resurrection.”  The actual Truth is, there WAS NO death, burial, and resurrection” to be witnessed when Jesus was baptized.  One cannot witness something that does not exist.  Jesus states the real purpose of His baptism and was “to fulfill all righteousness” (Matt. 3:15).  The Scriptures says, “All thy commandments are righteousness” (Psalm 119:172).  We see then that Jesus was baptized in obedience to God.  And according to the Scriptures, Jesus DID tell the people to be baptized.  He said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Matt. 16:16).  Friend, don’t believe a denominational preacher who will say, "He that believes shall be saved, and may be baptized to show his saved.”  You must believe Jesus for the Truth... He is the Savior!

 
There are other steps necessary to being saved, including Belief, Repentance, and Confession.  But please note that every case of conversion found in the New Testament after Christ died for the sins of the world included baptism.
 
Years ago, we read about a doctor who moved into a community to set up his practice.  He “shopped” around in the various “churches” and chose the largest Denomination to join and stated that “it was to help build his business.”  Of course, if Business is all a person wants and not Heaven then that’s all right.  But don’t try to justify Unscriptural Teaching and False Practice when you know they are wrong.  It reflects on your honesty.
 
Our hearts rejoice over the resent conversions here in Birmingham.  It is encouraging to know that there are honest souls seeking the Truth and are willing to leave denominational ties and to simply please God and obey the gospel according to the New Testament teaching.  May God bless them all.

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