Table of Contents
----------------------










The Bible:  Worthy of Your Trust?


Eyewitness Testimony Invalidated

     Responses to Eyewitness Testimony Invalidated

God Is Not The Author

History or HIS-STORY?

How Firm A Foundation... of Forgeries???

James the Brother of Jesus

Schizophrenia and Personal Revelations

     Responses to Schizophrenia




The God of The Bible

Biblegod Is Not Perfect

    Responses to Biblegod Not Perfect

Biblegod The Warcriminal

    Responses to Biblegod
The Warcriminal


Tyrannosaurus Pettius Rex

Jehovah Unmasked

In or Out or Neit
her


Acts of God

September 11th Biblegod Did Nothing

    Responses to September 11th




The God of The Bible:
Does He Exist?

E=MC Disproves God

    Responses to E=MC

How To Prove The Existence of God

    Responses to How To Prove The Existence of God

Shopping For A God

Transcendental La La Land




Caught in a Lie:  Contradictions Within The Bible

Don't Be Such A Cretan

The Genealogy of Jesus

Galilee vs Jerusalem

Matthew vs John

Intrinsic Contradictions

Splainin To Do

The Intercontinental Ballistic Jesus

The Sign on The Cross

     Responses to The Sign on The Cross




Sand, Not Rock:  What Christianity is Really Built Upon

The Atonement

Monotheism Not Biblical

The Ten Commandments

Christianity Has Pagan DNA

Faith

Misc. Topics & Thoughts




Jesus:  False Prophet?


False Prophet- Liar, Fraud!

 If Anybody Else But Jesus…

 Jesus and His Expired Prophecies

Matthew 24 Verse by Verse

Mt 24:34 What The Scholars Say

Significance of Jesus Being a False Prophet

Preterism

     Responses to Jesus The False Prophet




Jesus:  Resurrected?

Even If True

Evidence That Doesn't Demand a Verdict

The Roman Soldiers: "We Were There!"

     Responses to Roman Soldiers




Churchianity Examined

Connecting The Dots

The Authority Totem

Twenty Percent Fewer Errors

Fire The Clergy

     Responses to Fire The Clergy

The Wealth of Churches

Authority In Church Government

The Fleecing of The Flock

The Great Commission Does Not Apply




CAUTIONChristianity May Be Hazardous to Your Health

Victims of Religion

   Responses to Victims of Religion

Voices In Our Head

Brainwashing

   Responses to Brainwashing

We Love Our Lies




Christian Morality or Lack Thereof 

Christianity Doesn't Work as Advertised

Hypocrisy- Thy Name is Christian

Morality

The Gospel of Jesus

 Happy Father's Day

He Wasn't a REAL Christian




Evangelical Atheism

Free JCnot4me Business Cards
JCnot4me Business Cards- FREE!

Without A Leg To Stand On (A Message For Freethinkers)

Give To Him That Asks

   Responses to Give To Him That Asks

Just Say No

   Responses to Just Say No

Damn The Truth- Full Speed Ahead

Answering Christian Stock Arguments

Modern Miracle Workers

Atheists In America

Anti-Religious Songs

Do Unto Others

Kissing Hank's Ass

Why Beer Is Better Than Jesus

Poster: Jesus is a Liar & Lunatic

The Good News of Atheism

The Skeptic’s Prayer

What Would Jesus Do?




Christian Cults

Consumers Guide to Religion- John Cleese of Monty Python (audio file)

Geek Speak Like a Fundy

   Responses to Geek Speak 101

How To Be a Fundy

-----

Baptists} Once Saved, Always Saved: Always False

Catholics: Only Child or Eldest Brother

Church of Christ

   Responses to Church of Christ Essays

Dr. Robert Schuller: Racism By A Nose

Jehovah Witnesses

Nazarenes} Entire Sanctification = Entire Nonsense

   Responses to Entire Sactification

Mormons

Seventh Day Adventists




For Christians...

Message to Christian Apologists

Notes to Christians Battling Atheists

Move A Mountain

Hope

Ex-Christians Get No Respect

Abortion

Hellfire For Homosexuals and Roses




Creationism, aka Intelligent Design

The Universe According To The Bible

   Responses to The Universe

In The Beginning God Was Nuts

Intelligent Design




Politics

Legalize Prostitution

Its The Economy, Stupid

Illegal Immigration

Bush Is Outta Here!!!

The Bush Monkey

Twilights Last Gleaming




Contra Craig
    (Dr. William Lane Craig)


Contra Craig

   Responses to Contra Craig




Misc.

Editorials

   Responses To Editorials

Comments to JCnot4me- Pro + Con

One Picture is Worth...

Links- Other Websites Worth Checking Out




Books You Should Read   

Jehovah Unmasked cover
Jehovah Unmasked




Ha Ha Ha

Christian Election Poster

Flying Spaghetti Monster

Invitation from Rev. Jim Jones

Jokes

Pranks

Songs and Poems




 





The Church of Christ, Non-Instrumental

Table of Contents:

My_Old_Stomping_Grounds
Quest For a Public Debate with a CofC Minister
Restored- Fact or Fiction?
THE RESTORATION MOVEMENT
WHO PREACHES TO THE PREACHER?
Call No Man Teacher
The Confessions Of A Located Preacher  
The Authority Totem  by Carl Ketcherside
Responses to Church of Christ Essays
Offsite: Mission Messenger  (a magazine that takes a good hard honest look at the Churches of Christ, edited by Carl Ketcherside)  http://www.mun.ca/rels/hrollmann/restmov/texts/wcketcherside/mm/index.html
Offset: Restoration Review  (an enlightened magazine by a Church of Christ scholar, Dr. Leroy Garrett)   http://www.restorationreview.org/ 
Offsite:  Massive compilation of links to everything Church of Christ, plus many good ref. books:  http://emporiachurchofchrist.i8.com/links.htm 
 

 


My Old Stomping Grounds

South Trail Church of Christ
Sarasota, Florida

http://www.southtrailchurchofchrist.com/index.html


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 Trial???

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}

 


Good Day;
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.

http://www.jcnot4me.com/Items/cults/church_of_christ.htm


Awaiting your reply,
--Mark Smith,
SET FREE


 

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!!!

     ----Mark Smith     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:   http://www.churches-of-christ.net/usa/ca_churches.html#acities 
       

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}

http://www.cocn.org/ca.html 


http://church-of-christ.org/churches/United_States/California_S.htm 

http://church-of-christ.org/churches/United_States/California_S.htm

 

LIST OF CHURCHES I EMAILED & TRIED TO EMAIL:

Alhambra: Church of Christ      AlhambraCC@aol.com
Anaheim: Canyon Church of Christ  preacherdan@aol.com 
Anaheim:  Central Church of Christ (Ball Rd)  (no email link)
Anaheim: Church of Christ, Orange Ave.  kmharper@earthlink.net 
Anaheim: State College Church of Christ  (no email link)
Anaheim: The Church of Christ at Anaheim              info@anaheimcoc.org
Anaheim: West Anaheim Church of Christ      jjxb@wachurchofchrist.com 
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       preachwalker@juno.com
Carlsbad: Church of Christ    (no email link)
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  secwind@pacbell.net 
Costa Mesa: Church of Christ      (no email link)
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 link)
Crenshaw: Church of Christ      info@crenshawchurchofchrist.org 
Cypress: Walker St. Church of Christ  (no email link)
Downey: Imperial Hwy. Church of Christ  (no email link)
Downey: North Downey Church of Christ  secwind@pacbell.net 
Escondido:  North County Church of Christ     northcounty1@hotmail.com 
Escondido: Church of Christ    dquixote@pacbell.net
Fallbrook: Main St. Church of Christ       (no email link)

Garden Grove:  Fairview Street Church of Christ
      mike@followthebible.com
Garden Grove: Nelson St. Church of Christ  
    (no email link)
Garden Grove: Newland St. Church of Christ   newland4@juno.com 
Gardena: Church of Christ    (no email link)
Glendale: Church of Christ    (no email link)
Hawthorne: Church of Christ    (no email link)
Hemet: Central Church of Christ     (no email link)
Hemet: Acacia Church of Christ   tigir_98@yahoo.com
Hermosa Beach: Church of Christ     (no email link)
Hesperia: Church of Christ  (no email link)
Hollywood:  Church of Christ     thehouseofgod2003@yahoo.com 
Huntington Beach: Church of Christ     (broken email link)
Huntington Park: Church of Christ    (no email link)
Indio: Deglet St. Church of Christ     (no email link)
Indio: Ave. 46 Church of Christ     (no email link)
Irvine: Northside Church of Christ    (no email link)
La Habra: Church of Christ      lhchurchofchrist@juno.com
La Puente: Church of Christ    (no email link)
Lake Elsinore: Church of Christ     (no email link)
Lake Forest: Saddleback Valley Church of Christ    GWR1@prodigy.net 
Lakewood: Church of Christ    (no email link)
Laguna Hills: Church of Christ    (no email link)
Long Beach Church of Christ    lbcoc1@juno.com 
Long Beach: Los Altos Church of Christ    (no email link)
Long Beach: Studebaker Church of Christ    LFritz@primenet.com 
Los Angeles: Avalon Blvd. Church of Christ    veeta_maries@hotmail.com  
Los Angeles: Central Church of Christ    (no email link)
Los Angeles: Century Blvd. Church of Christ    (no email link)
Los Angeles: Chinatown Church of Christ    (no email link)
Los Angeles: Main St. Church of Christ    (no email link)
Los Angeles: Normandie Church of Christ    (no email link)
Los Angeles: Southside Church of Christ   (bad email link)
Mission Viejo Church of Christ    mvoffice@ix.netcom.com // kirkm1@home.com // ymoffice@ix.netcom.com 
Norwalk:  Church of Christ      (no email link)
Norwalk:  Central Church of Christ      (no email link)
Norwalk:  Pioneer Blvd. Church of Christ      (no email link)
Palm Desert: Church of Christ     info@pdcoc.com 
Palm Springs: Church of Christ      (email link broken)
Palm Spring: East P.S. Church of Christ  (no email link)
Pasadena: Lincoln Ave. Church of Christ     dave@lincolnavenue.org  
San Bernardino: Church of Christ       sbcoc@americamail.com
San Bernardino: University Church of Christ   preacher@sb.universitychurch.org
San Diego:  Canyon View Church of Christ       (no email link)
San Diego:  Northern Hills Church of Christ      (no email link)
San Diego:  North San Diego Church of Christ      nsd@san.rr.com 
San Diego:  Sunrise Church of Christ     (no email link)
Tustin: Church of Christ      preachermacy@yahoo.com
Vista: Church of Christ     macbro@msn.com

 


 

Restored- 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 church publications. 

*(Note to denominationalists: Until the Churches of Christ allow an official book of church doctrines to be written, these tracts will have to do.)

 

Church of Christ Tracts Church of Christ Claims
from The Tracts
WHAT IS 
THE CHURCH OF CHRIST?

Batsell Barrett Baxter
(1916-1982)
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 reproduce in contemporary times the church originally established on Pentecost, A.D. 30. The strength of the appeal lies in the restoration 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 malfunctioning. )

INTRODUCING THE
 CHURCH OF CHRIST

Delton Haun
Minister, Author, Publisher

(The Church of Christ) is exactly 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.
IS CHURCH 
ATTENDANCE ESSENTIAL?

A.G. Hobbs
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

(author unnamed)

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.
WHAT IS 
THE CHURCH OF CHRIST?

Dr. Joe R. Barnett
(Author, Minister)

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: http://theholyword.homestead.com/book5.html   )

 

The Reality Is...
The New Testament Church The Church of Christ
Apostles1  
Prophets2  
Teachers3 Teachersa
Miracle Workers4  
Healers5  
Tongue Speakers6  
Evangelists7 Evangelistsb
Elders / Pastors8 Elders / Pastorsc
Deacons9 Deaconsd
  Youth Ministere
  Minister of Musicf
  Full Time Professional Clergymeng
   
NOTES: NOTES:
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 School department.
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.

 

CONCLUSION:

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?
DEAD!
Healers?
DEAD!
Elders appointed by God?
DEAD!
Tongues speakers?
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 
19th century?
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!
UH...NOTHING?!?!


* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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
your house.
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!

*****

 

 


WHO 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 it.

*****

 


Call No Man Teacher
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 not.
  • 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 not.
  • 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 not.
  • 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 not.
  • 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 full price.
  • This man has been hired by the Church of Christ; the others have not been.
  • This man can also be fired from the Church of Christ; the others can not.

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.

 





The Confessions 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}  http://www.theexaminer.org/volume3/number4/confess.htm

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Set Free!  Orange County, CA

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