The Church of Christ, Non-Instrumental
My Old Stomping Grounds
South Trail Church of
The photo above is of the Church of Christ, whose members were mostly "cataracts
in Cadillacs" awaiting death in the Sunshine State, that disfellowshipped me at
age 17, two months after I'd already left and joined an even more
conservative Church of Christ. Seems I had been asking too many questions,
questions such as why when claiming to "speak where the Bible speaks, remain
silent where the Bible is silent" we had a whole system of professional paid
clergy which is no where mentioned in the Bible. For more see
Fire The Clergy
This church chose to try to sweep the problem under the rug
("Kill the messenger") rather than deal with the message. But the joke is on
them now: I copied and pasted the following:
"South Trail Church of Christ"
into the Google search engine on
Sept. 9, 2004, and this here web site you're reading right now is #1 at the top
of all the responses listed, even way in front of their OWN web
site!!! Ha ha ha ha ha. Not so easy to hide your problems any more, is it South
UPDATE: It is now August 10, 2005, and I just redid the
Goggle experiment mentioned above. South Trail CofC has now managed to get
their site to the top of Google's list (probably I goaded them to it
out of embarrassment), but my site is still way up there- right underneath
theirs, in the number two slot.
Quest For a Public Debate with a CofC Minister
(For responses received thus far, see:
Responses to Church of Christ Essays
In my never ending quest to find a Church of Christ, Non Instrumental
minister who is brave enough to defend their nonsense in a public debate, I've
been emailing the following challenge to a whole bunch of Churches of Christ
within a few hundred miles of where I live}
Will you defend your beliefs in a public debate? As a member of the church of
Christ, you are obligated by the Bible to "be ready always to give an answer to
those who ask you..." On the authority of this Bible verse then, I am
challenging you regarding your faith. Please read the following web site (link
below) and give me your answer.
Awaiting your reply,
What I've found is, more than half of the congregations on the web don't have
email links. That's a funny thing to be lacking IF they are all
concerned about "reaching the world for Christ", but par for the course with
modern cults. The Jehovah Witnesses don't want to be contacted either. It's ok
for them to bother you with their opinions, but they don't care
one whit about hearing yours. Why should they? They think they
already know it all, and they don't want to be embarrassed by being shown they
don't, so they hide. But what else should we expect from groups that teach the
nonsense they do? Hell, I'd be hiding too!!!
February 8, 2004
List of Churches Emailed
The long list of churches (see LIST OF CHURCHES EMAILED) were found on
the following list:
The Churches of Christ in California:
Here are some other web pages that list Churches of Christ- let any reader
feel free to email these churches and ask why they are all so scared to have
their minister in a public debate with me, Mark Smith}
LIST OF CHURCHES I EMAILED & TRIED TO EMAIL:
Alhambra: Church of Christ
Anaheim: Canyon Church of Christ
Anaheim: Central Church of Christ (Ball Rd) (no
Anaheim: Church of Christ, Orange Ave.
Anaheim: State College Church of Christ (no email
Anaheim: The Church
of Christ at Anaheim
Anaheim Church of Christ
Bellflower: Church of Christ (no email link)
Buena Park Church of Christ (no email link)
Burbank Church of Christ (no email link)
Brea: Church of Christ
Carlsbad: Church of Christ (no email
Carson: Church of Christ (no email link)
Chino: Church of Christ (no email link)
Chowchilla: Church of Christ (no email link)
Colton: Church of Christ (no email link)
Corona: Church of Christ
Costa Mesa: Church of Christ (no
Covina: Ellen Ave. Church of Christ (no email link)
Covina: Arrow Hwy. Church of Christ (no email link)
Covina: Briarpath Ave. Church of Christ (no email
Crenshaw: Church of Christ
Cypress: Walker St. Church of Christ (no email link)
Downey: Imperial Hwy. Church of Christ (no email
Downey: North Downey Church of Christ
Escondido: North County Church of Christ
Escondido: Church of Christ
Fallbrook: Main St. Church of Christ (no
Garden Grove: Fairview Street Church of Christ
Garden Grove: Nelson St. Church of
(no email link)
Garden Grove: Newland St. Church of Christ
Gardena: Church of Christ (no email link)
Glendale: Church of Christ (no email
Hawthorne: Church of Christ (no email
Hemet: Central Church of Christ (no
Hemet: Acacia Church of Christ
Hermosa Beach: Church of Christ (no
Hesperia: Church of Christ (no email link)
Hollywood: Church of Christ
Huntington Beach: Church of Christ (broken
Huntington Park: Church of Christ (no
Indio: Deglet St. Church of Christ (no
Indio: Ave. 46 Church of Christ (no
Irvine: Northside Church of Christ (no
La Habra: Church of Christ
La Puente: Church of Christ (no
Lake Elsinore: Church of Christ (no
Lake Forest: Saddleback Valley Church of Christ
Lakewood: Church of Christ (no email
Laguna Hills: Church of Christ (no
Long Beach Church of Christ
Long Beach: Los Altos Church of Christ (no
Long Beach: Studebaker Church of Christ
Los Angeles: Avalon Blvd. Church of Christ
Los Angeles: Central Church of Christ (no
Los Angeles: Century Blvd. Church of Christ (no
Los Angeles: Chinatown Church of Christ (no
Los Angeles: Main St. Church of Christ (no
Los Angeles: Normandie Church of Christ (no
Los Angeles: Southside Church of Christ (bad
Mission Viejo Church of Christ
// email@example.com //
Norwalk: Church of Christ (no
Norwalk: Central Church of Christ (no
Norwalk: Pioneer Blvd. Church of Christ (no
Palm Desert: Church of Christ
Palm Springs: Church of Christ (email link broken)
Palm Spring: East P.S. Church of Christ (no email
Pasadena: Lincoln Ave. Church of Christ
San Bernardino: Church of Christ
San Bernardino: University Church of Christ
San Diego: Canyon View Church of Christ
(no email link)
San Diego: Northern Hills Church of Christ (no
San Diego: North San Diego Church of Christ
San Diego: Sunrise Church of Christ (no
Tustin: Church of Christ
Vista: Church of Christ
Fact or Fiction ?
Mark Smith 1980
The Church of Christ, when given enough rope, can really hang itself without
hardly any help from anyone else. The claims they make for themselves of being
the restored New Testament church, in light of reality, are really quite
laughable. It's almost like a little organ monkey claiming to be the
reincarnation of King Kong. For your enjoyment, I have traveled to Churches of
Christ hither and thither to raid their lobby *tract racks, and here share with
you some of the humble claims they make for themselves within these official
*(Note to denominationalists: Until the Churches of Christ allow an
official book of church doctrines to be written, these tracts will have to
of Christ Tracts
of Christ Claims
from The Tracts
THE CHURCH OF CHRIST?
Batsell Barrett Baxter
Hosted the Churches of Christ national TV show "Herald of Truth",
faculty member of David Lipscomb University.
|Members of the church of Christ do not conceive of
themselves as a new church started near the beginning of the 19th century.
Rather, the whole movement is designed to
in contemporary times the church originally established on
Pentecost, A.D. 30. The strength of the appeal lies in the
of Christ's original church.
(This portion of the original tract can
also be found on the following Church of Christ web page:
http://church-of-christ.org/who.html This web site may be
CHURCH OF CHRIST
Minister, Author, Publisher
|(The Church of Christ) is
the same kind of church that began on the day of Pentecost two thousand
years ago, that is organized
the same way (and) practices the same things. They think of it as
the original church of the New Testament reproduced in this
twentieth century. The church of Christ today is
no more and no less than the New Testament church reproduced
in doctrine and practice in this twentieth century.
Famed Church of Christ Evangelist and Tract Publisher.
|The church of Christ is the only religious institution
that worships Scripturally-- without either addition or subtraction.
This we will affirm in *public debate--
should anyone care to deny it.
*Mark Smith's note} I have been trying
for over twenty years to get ANY Church of Christ
minister to back up this challenge to "affirm in public debate" their
absurd claims, to no avail. And just like the theological claims being
nothing but pure horseshit, so also their claims to "affirm in public
debate". Fact is, this group stopped debating in the 1950's because
they kept getting their asses kicked, and have been hiding under a bed
ever since, like a scared little Chihuahua dog who occasionally runs
out to snip at someone's ankles.
|WHAT TO EXPECT
WHEN YOU VISIT
A CHURCH OF CHRIST
|You may expect to hear gospel preachers pleading for all
who would follow Christ to return to the original pattern of
Christianity as revealed in the New Testament. It is their conviction
that since the Word of God is the seed of the Kingdom, if it alone is
planted in the hearts of men it will produce the same fruit today as it
did in the first century! This product will be New Testament Christianity.
THE CHURCH OF CHRIST?
Dr. Joe R. Barnett
|We believe the church today should be the same as the
church in the New Testament in organization,
name... (not) the establishment of another denomination, but rather a
return to the original church.
(This tract can also be found online, incorporated into a larger body
of work by Dr. Barnett. It can be found at:
The Reality Is...
Church of Christ
|Elders / Pastors8
||Elders / Pastorsc
||Minister of Musicf
||Full Time Professional Clergymeng
|1) 1Cor 12:28 / Eph 4:11 / Acts 14:14
2) Acts 13:1 / 1Cor 12:28 / Eph 4:11
3) Acts 13:1 / Eph 4:11 / 1Cor 12:28 / Appointed by Apostles- 2Tim 2:2
4) 1Cor 12:28
5) 1Cor 12:28
6) 1Cor 12:28 & 14:26
7) Given directly by Jesus- Eph 4:11 / Able to do miracles- Acts 8:6 /
Had authority over multiple congregations- Titus 1:5 / Their preaching was
directly guided by the "Holy Spirit"- Acts 16: 6,7
8) Appointed by direct Apostolic command via an Evangelist, they were
able to heal the sick, and were oft times appointed directly by the "Holy
Spirit"- Titus 1:5; James 5:14,15; Acts 20:28
9) Male and Female- 1Tim 3:10 / Romans 16:1
|a) Self-appointed or appointed by the head of the Sunday
b) Self-appointed. They really answer to no one, and have authority
over no one.
c) They are granted their authority (i.e. appointed) in the first place
by the very same people over which they will exercise their authority,
i.e. a form of democracy, and the very practice Paul predicted in 2nd
Timothy 4:3 that the apostates would do.
d) 100% male; women need not apply.
e) No such office in the New Testament church, either in name or
function. This is entirely an invention by modern denominations that has
been ripped off by The Churches of Christ.
f) No such office in the New Testament church, either in name or
function. This is entirely an invention by modern denominations that has
been ripped off by The Churches of Christ.
g) No such office in the New Testament church, either in name ("The
Pastor" or sometimes "The
Minister" of such and such Church of Christ) or function. This is
entirely an invention by modern denominations that has been ripped off by
The Churches of Christ.
It is obvious to anyone without a Church of Christ ax to grind that the New
Testament church on the left bears little resemblance to the
Church of Christ on the right, regardless of the Church of Christ
claims to be a Xerox copy of the original New Testament church. The Church of
Christ claims are patently false, and not only false, but absurd to the extreme.
In spite of this, they brag they are willing to defend these absurdities in
public debate. I would be more than happy to accept their challenge, but knowing
their history of cowardice regarding public debates in the last fifty years, I
don't advise anybody to hold their breath in anticipation.
THE RESTORATION MOVEMENT
(Or, "Only God Could Restore God's Church.")
(Mark Smith, 1980)
WE'VE RESTORED THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH!
Why do you say that? What did you restore?
UH...I DON'T REMEMBER.
Have you restored apostles?
OF COURSE NOT! THEY'RE DEAD!
Have you restored prophets?
THEY'RE DEAD TOO!
How about miracle workers?
Elders appointed by God?
ESPECIALLY DEAD!!! THEY'RE ALL DEAD, ALL HOLY SPIRIT RELATED
THINGS ARE DEAD AND GONE!
What about the Holy Spirit, did you restore Him?
SORT OF...I MEAN, NO! HE DOESN'T NEED RESTORING!
Have you remembered what you've restored yet? You've
eliminated almost everything except Christians. Oh no,
you're not going to claim...!
THAT'S IT! WE'VE RESTORED CHRISTIANS!
You mean there weren't any Christians between 90 AD and the
I'VE GOT IT NOW! WE RESTORED TRUE DOCTRINE!
But the Bible teaches doctrine, and your church did NOT
restore the Bible! So what's left? What did the great
Restoration Movement restore? Answer me!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Paper mache' replicas
Frankenstein bodies without souls,
"Restoring" God's Church without God,
Acting as if you've been told.
But "labor in vain," the Lord doesn't build
Restore one apostle? Ha! Restore one dead mouse.
Petty plans of lifeless content,
Restore the Lord's House? Ha!
You're merely a pup tent!
PREACHES TO THE PREACHER?
Mark Smith, September 1973
In the Church of Christ, upon every first day of the week, the people who
serve the Lord's Table, lead the singing, collect the money, and lead the
prayers, are also participants of those same items of worship. But the one who
does the preaching...
Who preaches to the preacher? The congregation sings to the song leader,
but who preaches to the preacher? The first four "items of true worship" are all
done mutually, that is, everyone is a partaker. If the first four are mutual,
then why isn't the fifth one, preaching, also mutual? Only one person in the
congregation is not sermonized every Sunday, and that man is the preacher. Of
course, if your preacher talks to himself, this solves the problem. But if the
preacher is allowed to skip one of the five "items of true worship," then why
can't others do the same? The present system does not seem consistent.
Your churches have a plurality of elders and deacons, and even cite
scripture for the same. But, pray tell, where is the scripture to be cited for
the "one preacher per church"? How would one Elder per church sound? "Oh, but
that's apostasy!" Everyone must come together upon the first day of the week to
partake of the five "items of true worship." One of these five items is
preaching. Everyone comes to be reproved, rebuked, and exhorted. That is,
everybody but one.
Why does this man refuse to listen to sermons, like everyone else? Does he
use the excuse, "My job interferes with my being sermonized."? If so, you give
him, the preacher, the standard reply to that excuse. It is so easy for
preachers to tell others to quit their jobs in order to be sermonized, but will
the preachers practice what they preach? If he uses the excuse, "Preachers don't
have to be sermonized every week.", then quote to him the following,
"Therefore you are without excuse, every man of you who passes judgment,
for in that you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge
practice the same things. You therefore who teach another, do you not teach
yourself? You who preach that one should not steal, do you steal?" (Rm 2:1,22)
You who preach that one should not steal, do you steal? You who preach that
one should be sermonized every week, are you sermonized every week? Don't you
think it's time for you to sit down, shut up, and share the floor? Think about
Call No Man
by Mark Smith 1973
"Call no man 'teacher' for you have one who teaches you."
(Jesus, Matthew 23:8)
The Churches of Christ claim that all their members are equal, that no one is
treated more special than the next. In reality they have a caste system, in
direct violation of James 2:1,9. All Church of Christers, even elders, need to
be preached to weekly as part of their duty to Biblegod; that is, all except
one. This one man, ranking less than an elder even, rarely accepts being
preached to. And while the Churches of Christ claim that all
members are ministers, yet just this one minister among the many
ministers seems to get the royal treatment.
- This man is a "special" minister; the other Christians are not.
- This man has his own private office on church property; the others do
- This man has has his name on the church sign, publications,
advertisements and business cards; the others do not.
- This man lives tax free and rent free in church owned property; the
others pay for their own or go homeless.
- This man gets paid to study the Bible full time; the others do not.
- This man can belong to the local ministerial society; the others can
- This man takes precedence in almost all church activities; the others
only on rare occasions.
- This man has free access to the podium and newsletter; the others do
- This man performs marriages and funerals; the others do not.
- This man does all the baptizing as if he's got magic powers; the
others don't baptize.
- This man receives all the public confessions of sin; the others do
- This man must always be clothed as befits a man of the cloth; the
others don't have to.
- This man obtains discounts in religious book stores; the others pay
- This man has been hired by the Church of Christ; the others have not
- This man can also be fired from the Church of Christ; the others can
Due to his exalted role as exemplified by all the above, the world calls this
man a CLERGYMAN. But the Churches of Christ know better, don't they?
Authors Note: I ran across the following article (see below) by an actual
Church of Christ minister, which ties in so nicely with the one I wrote above
that I just had to include it here, for any C of C'ers that may think what I
wrote was somehow mistaken. To those who have eyes to see, the Church of Christ
has a clergy in all aspects but name only.
Of A Located Preacher
by Dan Rogers
As a preacher, am I a pastor? The "unofficial" Church of Christ position is
that the preacher is not a pastor. Over the past twenty years, I have heard this
point made many times, and I must confess that on more than one occasion I have
so corrected someone who called me a pastor.
However, although in theory I have denied being a pastor, I must confess that in
practice it is a much different matter. And I rather suspect that such is true
with regard to many, if not most, Church of Christ preachers, if they would only
be honest enough to admit it. Of course, I can only speak from my own
experiences, and so, can only really speak for myself. In doing so, as I look
back over my experiences with congregations as a minister of the gospel of
Christ, practically speaking, I find that, from the beginning, I have indeed
functioned as a pastor.
I have been working with Church of Christ congregations since 1971. Most of that
time, it has been in a full-time capacity, albeit I have also, on several
occasions, worked in a part-time capacity with congregations. As such, I now
have some 17 years of experience in such work under my belt. During those 17
years, I have had the occasion to work with a total of eleven different
congregations. Only three of these congregations have had elders. The total
number of elders that I have worked with, as such, is eight. Of these eight
elders, sadly, only one really functioned as a pastor. The plain truth of the
matter is that, except for that one instance where I had one elder who was
functioning as a pastor, in every other instance I have been the only one who
was shepherding, that is, feeding, watching over, caring for, etc., the
congregation (flock). And even in that one instance where there was one elder
who was shepherding, I was still doing these things also. Indeed, except for
that one instance, if I had not functioned in this capacity, no one would have.
Doesn't that, then make me a pastor? People may instead refer to me in such
terms as preacher, minister, and evangelist, and in function I am all of these
things. But, I am, in function, also a pastor. And as someone has well said, "A
rose by any other name is still a rose." Make of this what you will. Cry to high
heaven about how it is "unscriptural," or whatever, for me to be a pastor, if
you want to. But don't blame me for having the courage to acknowledge what I, as
well as a lot of other preachers, actually am in function. If you are going to
place the blame somewhere, then I suggest that you place it where it squarely
belongs, on our system of doing things a system whereby something called a
"located preacher" is brought into a congregation and placed in a situation
where he must do what elders should be doing, but so often, there are not any
elders, and if there are, they usually are not doing it, and for that matter are
not even qualified to do it.
Yet, the flock needs a shepherd. As the Bible so aptly depicts, a
shepherdless flock will soon be destroyed. Thus, I have no other alternative but
to function as a pastor, whether you like it or not. And I will so acknowledge
that I function as a pastor, whether you like it or not. Indeed, I will continue
in that function until such time as the system is corrected, with "located
preachers" ceasing to exist, once again becoming, instead, evangelists, and
qualified men begin to function and serve as elders, pastoring the local
congregation, and sending the evangelists out into the field, where they belong,
to convert the lost.
taken from the web page}
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