A review of Todd Deaverís coc Book

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Since: Jul 11

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#1 May 1, 2013
http://stoned-campbelldisciple.blogspot.com/2...

In one way what Todd has done is illustrate the slippery slope of the traditional hermeneutic of the Churches of Christ. If we actually practiced what we preached then where would the division stop? If we really believe "every practice considered to be unauthorized in the New Testament is grounds for breaking fellowship" (p. 18) then where does it end? But our spiritual sense has lead us, rather inconsistently, to simply sweep under the rug massive amounts of disagreement while putting on a charade that we reject "unity in diversity." Todd never says this outright but this is what he demonstrates: we preach unity through conformity but practice unity within diversity ... even among the most conservative among us.

One of the most fascinating chapters is Todd's expose of "Safe Sins." What are those issues that we must divide over disregarding Jesus High Priestly prayer (John 17)? Todd gives us an actual list:

Is it a live issue in our generation?
Is it applicable or inapplicable doctrine?
Is the issue causing a disturbance in the church?
Is the error held but not practiced?
What influence is the person having on others?
How often is it being practiced?
What does the community think about it?(pp. 66-67)

In a manner worthy of Derrida, Todd deconstructs these "safe sins."

As I read through Facing our Failure I was genuinely surprised by some material. I never knew that Wayne Jackson argues that women must have a head covering in public worship (pp. 40f). I never knew that we have leaders among us that actually argue it is sinful to pray to Jesus, that using women translators {what about signing?) in worship is wrong, that omitting an "invitation song" is sinful (see the laundry list on pp. 52-56).

The point that Todd makes is not that we need to divide further over these things. We should not (most are in my view not issues at all). His point is that if our paradigm pushes us to these extremes and then picking and choosing what are safe sins then the paradigm needs either a major overhaul or better yet to die. Because "our theology doesn't allow us the luxury of being wrong" (p. 105, that is our paradigm) some embrace the extreme doctrinal stances noted above but find they simply cannot live with a consistent application of those stances.

So I agree with Todd, "Unless we are willing to live in religious self-contradiction, we must take our theology back to the drawing board" (p. 108). I believe many are already doing that. It is my prayer that Todd can help others see the need for restudy, for rethinking ... there are distant voices that can help us ... and some not so distant.
Bobby

Fort Worth, TX

#2 May 1, 2013
JesusCreed wrote:
http://stoned-campbelldisciple .blogspot.com/2009/01/todd-dea ver-facing-our-failure-thought s.html
In one way what Todd has done is illustrate the slippery slope of the traditional hermeneutic of the Churches of Christ. If we actually practiced what we preached then where would the division stop? If we really believe "every practice considered to be unauthorized in the New Testament is grounds for breaking fellowship" (p. 18) then where does it end? But our spiritual sense has lead us, rather inconsistently, to simply sweep under the rug massive amounts of disagreement while putting on a charade that we reject "unity in diversity." Todd never says this outright but this is what he demonstrates: we preach unity through conformity but practice unity within diversity ... even among the most conservative among us.
One of the most fascinating chapters is Todd's expose of "Safe Sins." What are those issues that we must divide over disregarding Jesus High Priestly prayer (John 17)? Todd gives us an actual list:
Is it a live issue in our generation?
Is it applicable or inapplicable doctrine?
Is the issue causing a disturbance in the church?
Is the error held but not practiced?
What influence is the person having on others?
How often is it being practiced?
What does the community think about it?(pp. 66-67)
In a manner worthy of Derrida, Todd deconstructs these "safe sins."
As I read through Facing our Failure I was genuinely surprised by some material. I never knew that Wayne Jackson argues that women must have a head covering in public worship (pp. 40f). I never knew that we have leaders among us that actually argue it is sinful to pray to Jesus, that using women translators {what about signing?) in worship is wrong, that omitting an "invitation song" is sinful (see the laundry list on pp. 52-56).
The point that Todd makes is not that we need to divide further over these things. We should not (most are in my view not issues at all). His point is that if our paradigm pushes us to these extremes and then picking and choosing what are safe sins then the paradigm needs either a major overhaul or better yet to die. Because "our theology doesn't allow us the luxury of being wrong" (p. 105, that is our paradigm) some embrace the extreme doctrinal stances noted above but find they simply cannot live with a consistent application of those stances.
So I agree with Todd, "Unless we are willing to live in religious self-contradiction, we must take our theology back to the drawing board" (p. 108). I believe many are already doing that. It is my prayer that Todd can help others see the need for restudy, for rethinking ... there are distant voices that can help us ... and some not so distant.
Welcome to the evangelical camp:)

Since: Jul 11

Location hidden

#3 May 1, 2013
What do you mean by "welcome to the evangelical camp"
Bobby

Fort Worth, TX

#4 May 1, 2013
JesusCreed wrote:
What do you mean by "welcome to the evangelical camp"
What you are posting mirrors what we evangelicals have been teaching all along. In fact many churches of Christ are now counted as evangelicals. Obviously I don't agree completely with all evangelicals but I can still fellowship with them and join them and support much of their work in our community. For instance, one of our night shelters has about 10 or so churches that work (rotating) on different days and occasionally together. I worked the kitchen for years and we sometimes had members from a local church of Christ helping us. No one was there to teach their doctrine...
Dave P

Morehead, KY

#5 May 1, 2013
This sounds like an interesting book. Need to find it somewhere. Agree with his thoughts, what I see so far.

One of the main issues I always have had with evangelicals is how can they have fellowship with each other with such a contradictory bunch of beliefs and practices within evangelicalism. I can understand some things being not as divisive as others. But coc's believe everyone else is a heretic and lost. Do evangelicals consider ANYONE to be false teachers or heretics?

Some are absolutely intolerant, others are tolerant perhaps to a fault. We all know the coc dirty laundry. What I would like to know, and I direct this to Bobby-where do evangelicals draw the line, if they do at all? This is a serious question, not casting stones here. I want to hear an evangelical perspective on this.

Since: Jul 11

Location hidden

#6 May 2, 2013
Dave P wrote:
where do evangelicals draw the line, if they do at all? This is a serious question, not casting stones here. I want to hear an evangelical perspective on this.
The million dollar question!

I emailed Todd some back and forth years ago and ordered my copy of his book directly from him when he published it. I think it can now be found on Amazon. Its very insightful and reveals the dirt swept under the rug. His purpose was to address issues that are often hidden and covered. After the book came out, he was labeled an apostate by many conservative coc. I guess telling the hidden truth makes one an apostate. Only if more were honest as Todd. I commend him.
Bobby

Fort Worth, TX

#7 May 2, 2013
God did not give us the role to become military "church" policemen-he is still the judge of mens hearts. There is no perfect church and it has no perfect people except within the boundaries of God's grace.

We have people in our church who have come for years and never joined/placed membership. We even have some of those same people helping in various ministries without a background check-who are you what do you believe. Although anyone who works in children's ministry will require a background check for security purposes. Elders will require teachers to have a good knowledge of our specific or most important doctrines and must be a member. They also set the stage for what will be taught with a set of scriptures for each sunday morning that every class from the youngest to the oldest will discuss. Then the preacher with bring us a message on the same topic.

We have lots of other teaching stages such as marriage conferences, addiction classes/discussion, men's retreats, women's retreats, or anything that helps to reach out to hurting people without judging them.

We are against the gay agenda and are as conservative as any on these threads concerning the social issues and moral values of christian living. We are a very busy/active body of believers.

Bobby

Fort Worth, TX

#8 May 2, 2013
Btw, we have regular new membership classes offered for those who want to be identified as a member. It is in those classes that people ask and learn about our doctrines. It is there that we determine if they are believers. Water baptism is offered at any time and we also have special baptism services that is the message and activity for that whole day-even in our classes.

Since: Jul 11

Location hidden

#9 May 2, 2013
The reason that some in the coc hide their disagreement over doctrine like MDR is because it makes them look like those ďawful denominational churchesĒ. Itís hard to condemn others to hell for doctrinal disunity when you are guilty of the same thing. So, instead of dealing with it, it often is swept under the rug of hypocrisy.

When brave and honest souls like Todd brings the truth out, others mark him as an apostate. If Todd had of kept quiet and not revealed the inconsistencies in the coc, he would not have been labeled an apostate. Todd pulls no punches in his book. He names men known by many within the coc with references citing their disagreements. He has one chapter in his book that speaks directly to MDR and its inconsistencies- very insightful!

If the coc can disagree over MDR, still be saved, then God obviously will accept doctrinal error of others. This is why the coc bury their doctrinal disagreements under the rug of hypocrisy. They know once they come out and admit they also disagree over doctrine, it opens the door for them awful denominational churches.

The million dollar question: if God allows doctrinal error, where does God stop? How far will God go? If we take this to its logical conclusion, it allows for universalism. Since universalism isnít true, there must be a line in the sand- a place God stops.
Bobby

Fort Worth, TX

#10 May 2, 2013
JesusCreed wrote:
The reason that some in the coc hide their disagreement over doctrine like MDR is because it makes them look like those ďawful denominational churchesĒ. Itís hard to condemn others to hell for doctrinal disunity when you are guilty of the same thing. So, instead of dealing with it, it often is swept under the rug of hypocrisy.
When brave and honest souls like Todd brings the truth out, others mark him as an apostate. If Todd had of kept quiet and not revealed the inconsistencies in the coc, he would not have been labeled an apostate. Todd pulls no punches in his book. He names men known by many within the coc with references citing their disagreements. He has one chapter in his book that speaks directly to MDR and its inconsistencies- very insightful!
If the coc can disagree over MDR, still be saved, then God obviously will accept doctrinal error of others. This is why the coc bury their doctrinal disagreements under the rug of hypocrisy. They know once they come out and admit they also disagree over doctrine, it opens the door for them awful denominational churches.
The million dollar question: if God allows doctrinal error, where does God stop? How far will God go? If we take this to its logical conclusion, it allows for universalism. Since universalism isnít true, there must be a line in the sand- a place God stops.
I am familiar with Todd, he is indeed a new leader with a breath of fresh air for the coc. We need men like him to work from the inside circles-outsiders have little to no affect on the coc.

Until Jesus returns, we will continue to have doctrinal disagreements. I agree, Where do we draw the line? Universalism is definitely a problem. I see it as a final step toward accepting atheism. The Unitarian church is already there.

We-the church are all saved sinners living in a sin filled world. Our battle against sin appears overwhelming when we view it from within our own power. So, if we take an honest look at our problems we will see that Jesus has already provided the answer. There is enough grace available to cover any sin. I am well aware of the problem with using it as a license to sin. However grace is the only answer to our sin problem. Grace itself can teach us not to sin and give us the strength to overcome. We should never measure ourselves against each other, we should measure ourselves within the context of our Savior, praying that he will empower us to resist sin and to live for him-while recognizing our vital need for his forgiveness and protection.

Since: Jul 11

Location hidden

#12 May 2, 2013
Bobby wrote:
<quoted text>
I am familiar with Todd, he is indeed a new leader with a breath of fresh air for the coc. We need men like him to work from the inside circles-outsiders have little to no affect on the coc.
Until Jesus returns, we will continue to have doctrinal disagreements. I agree, Where do we draw the line? Universalism is definitely a problem. I see it as a final step toward accepting atheism. The Unitarian church is already there.
We-the church are all saved sinners living in a sin filled world. Our battle against sin appears overwhelming when we view it from within our own power. So, if we take an honest look at our problems we will see that Jesus has already provided the answer. There is enough grace available to cover any sin. I am well aware of the problem with using it as a license to sin. However grace is the only answer to our sin problem. Grace itself can teach us not to sin and give us the strength to overcome. We should never measure ourselves against each other, we should measure ourselves within the context of our Savior, praying that he will empower us to resist sin and to live for him-while recognizing our vital need for his forgiveness and protection.
Yeah, Todd is one of few who are willing to confront the truth regarding the inconsistencies. The problem is, this all does lead to Universalism ďifĒ God grades on the curve or He allows doctrinal error. I cannot accept this, however. Something in this, I am missing. Until I resolve this, I am stepping back from it all.
Dave P

Morehead, KY

#13 May 2, 2013
JesusCreed wrote:
<quoted text>
Yeah, Todd is one of few who are willing to confront the truth regarding the inconsistencies. The problem is, this all does lead to Universalism ďifĒ God grades on the curve or He allows doctrinal error. I cannot accept this, however. Something in this, I am missing. Until I resolve this, I am stepping back from it all.
Good points by both you and Bobby. Until brethren inside the coc come to terms with the truth, they will continue to be divided and repel other people from them.

Where does God, and us, need to draw the line? Well, obviously Universalists fall below, because not all will be saved. From Johns writings we should see that those denying the incarnation and deity of Christ are in serious trouble. I think according to Galatians, those propogating a perverted gospel are in danger as well-but defining a "different" gospel is tricky for some, because they simply define it as different from my beliefs.

Universalists, JW, LDS-get picked on the most. What does the Bible say? LOL.

Since: Jul 11

Location hidden

#14 May 2, 2013
"defining a "different" gospel is tricky for some, because they simply define it as different from my beliefs."

Exactly
Dave P

Morehead, KY

#15 May 2, 2013
JesusCreed wrote:
"defining a "different" gospel is tricky for some, because they simply define it as different from my beliefs."
Exactly
Context, my friend, is our best friend in this case. Hang in there sir. We're all just trying to get through this life, and have life eternal on the other side. We all have doubts and questions at times-unless we already have it all figured out :)
Bobby

Fort Worth, TX

#16 May 2, 2013
JesusCreed wrote:
"defining a "different" gospel is tricky for some, because they simply define it as different from my beliefs."
Exactly
When identifying "another Gospel", the trick is in understanding the phrase. When Jesus work on the cross is compromised (denied/Jesus not really God in the flesh/changed/re-arranged/adde d to or taken from) it can become another gospel. After all, the cross of Christ is the gospel. I am not referring to our response to the gospel.

Since: Jul 11

Location hidden

#17 May 2, 2013
I would agree with this. It seems to be the case when Paul was addressing the Galatians who fell from GRACE to MOSES. Some who began in the Spirit of truth were looking back to MOSES, desiring to be followers of the LAW as a means of salvation to which Paul condemned.ďAnother gospelĒ seems to be something other than Jesusí work on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. In other words, it is by Jesus Christ and no other gospel.
Dave P

Morehead, KY

#18 May 2, 2013
Would we consider doctrines or systems that don't have salvation from sin and the atoning death of Christ as the ultimate fulfillment as "another gospel"? I know the three of us-Randy, Bobby, and myself-have serious issues with the health and prosperity gospel. Is it a true gospel which has earthly rewards at its' heart?

Or how about liberation theology that gets preached by the Reverends Sharpton, Jackson, Jeremiah Wright, and others in third world countries? Or social justice and the social gospel? Personally, I believe these focus more on hedonism, prosperity, social change and other things rather than Christ and His work. I feel really that these are nothing more than works of men, and I would consider them as "different gospels" than the one preached in the Bible.

Since: Jul 11

Location hidden

#19 May 3, 2013
Dave P wrote:
Would we consider doctrines or systems that don't have salvation from sin and the atoning death of Christ as the ultimate fulfillment as "another gospel"? I know the three of us-Randy, Bobby, and myself-have serious issues with the health and prosperity gospel. Is it a true gospel which has earthly rewards at its' heart?
Or how about liberation theology that gets preached by the Reverends Sharpton, Jackson, Jeremiah Wright, and others in third world countries? Or social justice and the social gospel? Personally, I believe these focus more on hedonism, prosperity, social change and other things rather than Christ and His work. I feel really that these are nothing more than works of men, and I would consider them as "different gospels" than the one preached in the Bible.
Yes, when a teaching perverts the gospel of Christ, it indeed is another gospel. I have listen to many of the health, wealth and prosperity pimps, and their view of Jesus, in many cases also is off track. Ken Copeland and that whole bunch believe they are "little Gods" and they even state this. They have other teachings that belittle Jesus as well.
Bobby

Fort Worth, TX

#20 May 3, 2013
JesusCreed wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes, when a teaching perverts the gospel of Christ, it indeed is another gospel. I have listen to many of the health, wealth and prosperity pimps, and their view of Jesus, in many cases also is off track. Ken Copeland and that whole bunch believe they are "little Gods" and they even state this. They have other teachings that belittle Jesus as well.
I agree with you, Dave and wil. Their goal is to line their pockets. Copeland has his on private Jet and runway which is located not far from here. He lives as well as any wealthy CEO. Funny thing though, prosperity teachers mix truth in with their lies. When mixed with lies, does the truth they teach still have the power of God in it-I think it does. This is why I believe I was as much saved while in the coc as I am now-even though I was taught some lies. Ok, I will soften the word to un-truths/misunderstandings to make it more palatable.
Dave P

Morehead, KY

#21 May 3, 2013
Bobby wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree with you, Dave and wil. Their goal is to line their pockets. Copeland has his on private Jet and runway which is located not far from here. He lives as well as any wealthy CEO. Funny thing though, prosperity teachers mix truth in with their lies. When mixed with lies, does the truth they teach still have the power of God in it-I think it does. This is why I believe I was as much saved while in the coc as I am now-even though I was taught some lies. Ok, I will soften the word to un-truths/misunderstandings to make it more palatable.
I would tend to agree that the truth of God still has power, even when mixed with "misunderstandings". I do believe that there are at least some people in the religious groups who are saved because they do believe the gospel and respond to it. There are also lost people in every organization we see, including the coc. Been thinking of the wheat and tares a lot lately.

Those TV prosperity teachers are exactly who I was thinking of. Some of them do preach on other subjects. Some of them, all they speak of is wealth or miraculous seeds and such. That is not gospel to me.

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