Your patience is appreciated

by Jay Guin

As I noted in my previous post, Todd has been on vacation for the last week. I was on vacation the preceding week.

I’ve drafted up a position statement and defense for our views on apostasy, and Todd will be looking it over and fixing it now that he’s back in the saddle. I’ve used too many words to argue the case, and so I’m hoping Todd will hack the thing down to size as well as filling in some blanks.

I say all that to say that we’ve not abandoned the effort. It’s just going to take a while — but we’re getting there. This is too important not to get right.

Explore posts in the same categories: Apostasy

10 Comments on “Your patience is appreciated”

  1. thumper Says:

    I think it is premature for you and Todd to present your case.

    The conservative case has not yet been made in a consistent enough manner to answer the basic question:

    “How can I determine if doctrinal error XYZ will cause one to be lost?”

    Until then, the burden is still upon them. Wait them out.

  2. Rob Woodfin Says:

    I, too, have long been interested in Thumper’s quest. But I suspect I won’t live long enough to hear a satisfactory answer, despite the best efforts to untie this Gordian knot.

    Since no one has the authority to issue an official list, then we are subject to any and every list. Even if brother (Mac) Deaver were to provide one, he surely would be the first to admit there would be brethren to his left and his right who would challenge it.

    In declaring the gospel, Peter was acknowledged by Jesus to have the keys to the kingdom. It seems to me the underlying question is this: Do we contend that Paul came along and changed the locks?

    If damnable error exists beyond rejection of the gospel of Jesus Christ, if failure to accurately duplicate first century practices voids atonement, then making lists is as fruitless as the cursed fig tree because offending in one point would make us guilty of all.

    Relying on our own abilities to identify and execute “sound” doctrine in order to consummate salvation seems a bit like a group of people who once tried to build a tower to achieve their own stairway to Heaven. We all remember the end of that story. First they began “talking past each other,” then they found themselves scattered, subsequently just a flagrant footnote in history. God was not impressed.

    I certainly don’t presume to speak for Jay or Todd, but I’m convinced it is not their goal to elicit the ideal list since none such exists. Nor does it seem they anticipate ever reaching unanimous consent on grace. Their goal seems to be to generate thinking; first person, singular, thinking. Not granddaddy’s doctrine. Not the truth according to a favorite editor/bishop. Rather to prompt people to set aside preconceived notions (to the extent anyone really can) and search the scriptures to see which attitudes and actions pleased Jesus and which did not.

    Now if I might, I would like to rephrase another underlying question that I don’t believe has been asked particularly this way on Jay’s discussion board up to now (my apologies if it has, it’s a huge forum):

    Since the Church of Christ comprises less than 1% of all self-proclaimed Christians in the United States (based on our own directory; and that number doesn’t get anywhere near 1% unless we count every last liberal [including myself] from here to Pepperdine), do we really believe God made the gate so narrow that 99% of the people who seek Him fall through the cracks into Hell because they fail to accurately interpret every jot and tittle as precisely as we claim to?

  3. Royce Says:

    My thanks to all four (five) participants for this forum. I am hopeful though not optimistic that some conclusions will finally be reached that will show very clearly what is at stake when men choose human effort over the work of Jesus.


  4. laymond Says:

    Rob said, “Do we contend that Paul came along and changed the locks?”

    Sad to say Rob but it is even worse than that, the churches of Christ, have actually been the churches of Paul for a long time. Paul no doubt changed church doctrine, he changed Jesus’ doctrine in order to accomplish this change. If as most people say the scriptures including Paul’s writings were inspired then, there was no hi-jacking the church, God simply changed his mind. Was it a mistake to give Peter the key in the first place,? and was the example that was shown by Jesus, not complete.?
    No Paul did not change the lock, he simply grasp the key from Peter’s hand, and scolded Peter for misuse of that key. and publicly bragged about it.

    Gal:2:8: (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)

    Gal:2:11: But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

  5. Rob Woodfin Says:


    Since there is no typographic symbol for tongue-in-cheek, sometimes folks can miss subtle sarcasm in written remarks. Having read some of your commentary on this site, I don’t take your reply as a challenge to Paul’s apostleship and I hope others won’t interpret my earlier point in that way either.

    I do believe Paul was moved by the Holy Spirit, though I do not believe he (or any other inspired writer) was a steno machine. I also do not believe Paul ever intended to overstep his authority. That fault lies with us when we transform his treatises into a crossword puzzle with equal if not greater bearing on our salvation than the gospel itself.

    It’s true Paul was not afraid to mix it up with Peter, and also found himself crossways with at least a couple of other NT authors regarding his contrary view of eating meat served to idols. But that should simply help us understand we are not required to agree with each other on every single issue. After all, if there can be no disagreement, yet a plurality of opinions existed over the cuisine controversy, then at least one of those writers was a false teacher.


  6. laymond Says:

    Rob, believe me I know of which you speak, I have been accused of many things on the internet, that I am sure I would not have been, if I were sitting face to face with the accuser.
    blogs are really not the best place to get to know someone.

  7. ACOF Says:

    One thing for sure is we all on here demonstrate clearly that we are nowhere close to knowing scripture perfectly, which to me, takes some weight off my shoulders and points me to Jesus and His mercy. I am not suggesting we give up and not study, but our lack of knowledge and lack of agreeing upon each and every detail shows me that we need Jesus to get us to heaven….least I know my knowledge wont get me there…anyone willing to claim their knowleged is 100% accurate on each and every scripture and doctrine

  8. thumper Says:

    To Rob Woodfin:

    The issue from the conservative side is unfortunately tougher than that.

    Since the conservatives teach that in order to have fellowship with God they must have proper fellowship with only those with whom God has fellowship, they MUST produce such a list.

    That is the wonderful result of Todd’s book. Todd has exposed once and for all that the emperor has no clothes. There is no such list and cannot be, and even the conservatives who all attend the lectureships together don’t agree on things such as MD&R, much less an entire list.

    So, given the absurdity of the result of the conservative position, it loses on the face of it.

    Todd and Jay’s proposal, whatever it is, has the advantage over the conservative position.


    Because their position will not be founded upon the requirement to have all fellowship issues correctly laid out and practiced in order to have fellowship with God. An inconsistency is not fatal to their viewpoint.

    It is to the conservative one.

  9. Rob Woodfin Says:


    Perhaps a more retributive test of fellowship might be the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Then with a proof-texting broom one could sweep all the contenders aside who insist the Spirit is only manifested to us in the Word. But neither you nor I have any desire to strip Christians of their Christianity, even the ones bent on doing that very thing to all who disagree with them.

    For a long time I searched for a rationale that might permit me to be in the Church of Christ and yet not be unfaithful for failing to practice exclusiveness. After years of list looking (ironically I am probably the only person in my congregation who actually read “Behold the Pattern” from cover to cover), the Eureka moment for me was reading Jay’s essay, “Do We Teach Another Gospel.” It was as if chains had been removed.

    I am hopeful GraceConversation will extend that same emancipation to many more.


  10. Rich Says:

    Requiring a detailed list before accepting that some should be outside of fellowship is like requiring someone to know exactly how many hairs a person must be missing in order to be considered bald. As difficult as it is, Paul gave us an example where we must make the call concerning fellowship in 1 Cor. 5.

    I chose an analogy that I must deal with. – meant to be funny 🙂

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