Table of Contents
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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

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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




 





 

W. Carl Ketcherside

 

This is an essay, published in 1969,  by Carl Ketcherside (Church of Christ) which kicks the problem of "true church-ism" dead in the balls. If every Church of Christer would really understand what this essay is saying, there would be no more arrogant C of C'ers running around bashing everyone else on the planet.

The original essay is at:  http://www.mun.ca/rels/hrollmann/restmov/texts/wcketcherside/mm/mm31_08b.html 

 

 

     The influence of this little journal* now reaches far beyond the limits of the particular religious segment in which I grew up and I am deeply indebted to a kind providence which has lent wings to my words beyond their deserving. However, my concern for our immediate problems is in no sense lessened. As one broadens his acquaintanceship he need not forget those with whom he is more closely allied by choice and circumstances.

*NOTE: The journal was "Mission Messenger", which has been put up on line at:
 http://www.mun.ca/rels/hrollmann/restmov/texts/wcketcherside/mm/index.html

     I have a deep sense of compassion for those of my brethren who are the constituency of the Churches of Christ. They are heirs of a movement which began as "a project to unite the Christians in all of the sects," but they were fragmented into so many rival factions and warring tribes that any real witness attempted by them for unity is virtually negated among thinking people. Even the type of approach toward unity by most of them only serves to widen the existing chasms and create new cleavages.

     The reason for this is quite understandable. Our brethren have a veil over their faces in the reading of God's message and they cannot distinguish between the divine revelation and their own human interpretation. They confuse their deductions with his declarations and seek to bind all equally upon the hearts and consciences of those who are willing to be servants of God but are not willing to be slaves of men. Unless our brethren are transformed by the Spirit and renounce their false premise they are destined to become the most narrow and antagonistic sectarians of our age.

     At the risk of becoming offensive when my only aim is to be objective, let me be as specific as possible. One of the mainline journals published in Texas in defense of Church of Christism has a very personable and well-informed editor. He is, of course, as all such editors are, caught in a partisan trap which makes it essential for him to trim his sails according to the factional winds, and this means that he cannot keep a straight course but must steer by tacking from one week to another. Thus his editorials must veer from left to right and back again, as the passenger load shifts from one side to another.

     This method may eventually land him, or a succeeding pilot, close to the goal, but it is a costly way to travel and makes for a lot of seasick voyagers who are going along for the ride. Recently our fellow-editor has had to take note of other godly, sincere and consecrated brethren in the Lord who are heading for the same goal but who see no harm in using instrumental music in conjunction with their expression of praise unto the Father. How does he justify our fragmentation of God's wonderful family over such an issue?

     The answer is made over and over. "It is a question of the authority of God's word." It is just that simple. Our Texas editorial brother respects the authority of the Bible. Those who have instrumental music reject and despise that authority. They do not recognize the Lordship of Jesus over their lives. If they say that they do they are dishonest. If they did they would throw the instrument out, confess their sin for ever having thought it was justified, and then the loyal brethren who have always respected the authority of the word would forgive and receive them, and we would all be one. Unity is that simple! It is just that easy!

     Is it really? In order to keep you from becoming more confused I will designate the editor of whom I have here been speaking as Editor Number One, for there is another paper published in Texas, and its editor also opposes instrumental music. But he is equally opposed to the support of Herald of Truth and orphan homes which Editor Number One endorses and defends. Editor Number Two says it is simply a matter of respect for the authority of God's Word, and that division between them is wholly unnecessary and caused by Number One.

     All that Number One needs to do is to repent and renounce Herald of Truth and the institutions, and acknowledge his sin in once defending them, and the loyal brethren who have stood for the truth will forgive him and receive him, and unity will follow as day follows night, or better, as night follows day!

     In the meantime. Number One calls those who use instrumental music "liberals", and those who oppose Herald of Truth "antis." He brands the first as sectarian and the others as extremists. He calls them hobbyists. Number Two brands those who use instrumental music as "liberals" but he also labels the supporters of Number One as "liberals." He tries to put them in the same boat, but Number One refuses to allow this. He thinks that his is the only boat that has a ghost of a chance of making the crossing. Number Two laughs at this. He thinks that Number One is already on the rocks and doesn't know it!

     However, this is just the beginning of sorrows. There is another paper published in Texas by a genial and perceptive editor. He is opposed to instrumental music and Herald of Truth, but he is also opposed to Sunday Schools, of which Number Two is an ardent defender, even to the point of pushing and promoting the sale of literature to perpetuate the classes. Number Three says that it is simply a matter of respect for the authority of the word of God. He concludes that he reveres the Lordship of Jesus whereas Number Two rejects and denies it.

     Number Three declares that unity is not a complicated matter at all. It can be achieved very easily. All that Number Two needs to do is to study the Bible without his preconceived prejudice for classes, repent and renounce the classes, and send a letter to the loyal paper asking for forgiveness, and the faithful brethren who have remained sound on the issue will receive him, and together they can labor to help the world see the glorious majesty of the kingdom of heaven and the awful sin of having Sunday Schools.

     As the situation now stands. Number Three regards Number One and Number Two as "liberals." He also regards those who use the instrument as "liberals" but he thinks that Number One and Number Two are more dangerous than those who use instruments because they are more nearly like the genuine, and the counterfeit dollar that is most like the original will fool the most people. The genuine is represented by Number Three and the folks who oppose Sunday Schools. They are the real true Lord's church. Number One and Number Two are sectarian.

     Number One and Number Two both agree on one thing and that is that Number Three is an "anti" and an extremist. He is a hobbyist and would rather oppose the Sunday School than to have peace. They both agree that he does not need to have a Sunday School to be accepted by them. All he needs to do is to keep still about the Sunday School they have and quit trying to proselyte their members by making it appear that the Sunday School is like the missionary society.

     Do not become bored or aggravated with my little recital for there are at least two dozen of our factions, all of which deserve mention. Just to say there are twenty-five divisions in the non-instrument ranks doesn't impress us very much because we are all holed up and hibernating in our own monasteries and we never meet any of the others. Thus we can shrug them off as inhabitants of Never-Never Land. But when we get right down to the nitty-gritty of it, they are all here and must be reckoned with in all of the inglorious shadow which they cast over a once noble unity experiment. They are all alive and kicking--especially the latter!

     So let's move along to Number Four who edits a paper in California. He opposes instrumental music, orphan homes and Sunday School classes, but he also opposes individual cups on the Lord's table, while Number Three endorses these. Number Four declares that Number Three is not sound in the faith. He has caused division and offences contrary to the doctrine. He must be marked and avoided. He says that peace can easily be restored. All that is required is for Number Three to begin respecting the authority of God's Word by renouncing individual cups and requesting forgiveness for his sin in countenancing their use. The prodigal simply needs to return to the Father's house and take up life again with his "elder brothers."

     Meanwhile, Number Four says that Number One, Number Two and Number Three are all "liberals." But Number Three calls Number Four an "anti" and an extremist. The others do also but they are not "bugged" by him so much, because Number Three is between them and Number Four.

     But this has gone far enough! If you don't get the point by adding two and two together, you'll not get it by tacking twenty more on. If you think all of this is funny, you are mistaken. There is nothing more shameful than to see the children of God split up into warring tribes, hacking away at each other with the sword of the Spirit, blunted though it may be by their rashness and ignorance.

     What we have done is to carve out a restoration totem pole with a couple of dozen grotesque figures squatting on each other and representing the traditional image passed along to us by our factional forefathers who were just as wrong as they were sincere. We may have inherited their sincerity but we have also adopted their errors. Look up and down the entire pole and every party considers every other either sectarian or extremist.

     A sectarian is one who has what we oppose, an extremist is one who opposes what we have. This is unvarying in its application. So here we are, all carved out of the same trunk, and every one of us is a sectarian to some, and an extremist to others. That is, all of us except the one on the top and the one on the bottom. There are no sectarians for the one on top for no one has anything which he does not have. There are no extremists for the one on the bottom for he has nothing which anyone would take time to oppose. The one caught in the middle has an equal number of sectarians and extremists to bother with.

     Let not Editor Number One flatter himself that he is better than the others because he is "nearer right" for this would be denied by every other on the totem pole. He would be charged with being ultra-liberal, for what he calls "nearer right" is what they tag as being more liberal. Besides this, the spirit which puts him where he is, is the same identical spirit which puts the rest of them where they are. The Church of Christ in Texas (or anywhere else) which denies fellowship on the basis of an honest opinion regarding instrumental music or the millennium is just as bigoted and intolerant in spirit as the lowest faction on the totem. It does not manifest itself in as many items but the sectarian spirit is not really a relation to things at all, but an attitude toward brethren.

     And if Editor Number One were to be "converted" by Number Two he would automatically increase the number of things regarded as tests of fellowship, and decrease the number of those whom he regards as in it. Thus, fellowship has little to do with relationship to Jesus, but is regulated purely by the rationalization of human minds up and down the scale of all those controversial items dreamed up and drummed up by those who confuse being sticklers for opinions with standing for the Lord. In the final analysis this hinges fellowship on the mental meanderings of the most extreme and anti-social exclusivist.

     This crazy-quilt pattern results in absurd simplistic propositions for eliminating division. Editor Number One suggests that if those who use instrumental music love their brethren more than they do the instrument they should give it up and thus restore peace by removing the cause of offense. Since he has adopted the policy of peace by surrender of offending items, Editor Number Four now has a tool for effectively removing individual cups from every congregation in the land. Instead of debating the issue, which always intensifies the sectarian spirit, all he needs to do is to plant a brother in every "cups church," as he comically and quaintly refers to them, and let these infiltrators demand that what the brethren preach on the instrument they practice on the cups. "What is sauce for the goose is applesauce for the gander."

     Seriously though, what is our difficulty? It is not a question of attitude toward authority at all. Our brethren who keep parroting this moss-covered cliché should realize they are divisive. I know brethren who love Jesus as much as anyone on earth and they feel justified in using instrumental music, not because they do not study the Bible but because they do. The point is that they highly regard the authority of God but they just do not acknowledge the authority of Texas editors. And they can tell the difference! They insist on reading the scriptures for themselves. They acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus but not that of men.

     Editor Number One does not regard Number Two as the supreme court and both reject Number Three from the same position. How shall we extricate ourselves from our predicament? We can do it by refusing to play God with the consciences of other men. Not one of our petty divisive issues has one thing to do with fellowship in Christ. We are in that fellowship because we are called into it by God. We are children of God by the Spirit, and not citizens of a pro or con party on any of these matters.

     Our brethren do not need to accept instrumental music, the pre-millennial interpretation, cups, classes or colleges. All they need to do is to accept brethren. But I am asked, "Shall we accept brethren in error?" Certainly so. There are no other kinds of brethren. No one knows it all. No one is infallible. If brethren accept you they will have to do it in spite of your error. You do not accept the error because you accept the brother, any more than you have to become cross-eyed because a brother in your physical family has such a defect.

     And all of this talk about "full fellowship" is sheer poppycock. It is wholly without scriptural warrant and has been conjured up by little minds and dwarfed hearts. God has no stepchildren so we can have no half-brothers. If we are in his family we are in it wholly or not at all. The idea that you can be in partial fellowship is like loving the right side of your wife and hating the left side. You cannot parcel God out and you cannot carve up his spiritual offspring either.

     I have some brothers who use instrumental music and some who deplore its use. I have some brethren who think Jesus will precede the millennium and others who think the millennium will precede Jesus. I have some brethren who support the Herald of Truth and never look at it, and others who never support it and always look at it. I have some brothers who attend where there are Sunday Schools and others who could not be dragged to such a place. I have brethren who pass a container of wine to every person, and others who pass every person a container of wine.

     They are all my brothers, not because we share the same opinion but because we share the same Father. I was not begotten by a class nor born of a glass, and no position on either will ever affect my relationship in the wonderful family of God. Nothing will ever blot out for me the cross which makes us one, not even if it is as big as a pipe organ or as little as a "communion cup." I have a deep sense of compassion for those who are trapped in ridiculous factional positions. I know exactly how they feel. I know their inconsistencies, their vain professions and their empty protestations. And I pray for all of them to be delivered from the dead albatross draped about their partisan necks.

     We can never offer anything tangible to a world hungry for peace and serenity so long as we think that because men differ with us over music or the millennium, cups or classes, that they are disowned by the Father. Our fathers were wrong when they made the deductions of men on music a test of fellowship. I do not care how honest and earnest they were--they were wrong!

     And I was wrong when I followed their factional spirit and made tests of union and communion out of opinions about music, homes, colleges, and all of the rest of that motley horde of things which we turned into devil's wedges to splinter and divide the royal family into which we were adopted through grace. No man is wrong when he speaks out against that which he cannot condone in the family, but that man sins who destroys the family ties over matters of difference.

     I refuse to continue in the wrongs of yesteryear and perpetuate the consummate folly of factionalism. I refuse to project the arrogant and silly position that we have a corner on "respect for the authority of the scriptures." I regard all of "our" editors in California and Florida as my brothers. I love all those who squat on our totem pole, even those who detest one another as brothers in error. But I go farther than that-- much farther. I receive and accept as my brothers and sisters all those upon this whole wide earth whom God regards as his children. It is not their attitude toward a restoration totem pole that makes the difference, but their attitude toward the blessed cross of Calvary. We carved out the totem pole but God drove the cross into the earth. I have brethren on earth who never heard of Alexander Campbell or Barton Warren Stone. So long as they come to Christ they need not come by any group of men. We are saved by the grace of God and not by the favor of the "Church of Christ."

     Let us have done with the silly bickering which has negated our influence and made us the laughingstock of serious people in our generation. Let's remove the stigma of schism which manifests itself in six or seven divisions in some cities, with brethren hurling thunderbolts of wrath and indignation at one another over the air waves. Shall we perpetuate our shame and glory in it? I thank God that our younger men and women are seeing a vision that their fathers have not caught. It is with these that the hope of our future lies. They are sick of the rehashing of the outworn arguments and the dishing out of slanted interpretations which are dishonest and irrelevant.

     I pray that our brethren will sing out for freedom and speak up for liberty in Christ Jesus. We can no longer be held down and held back by skeletal hands reaching out of partisan sepulchers. Do we esteem the praise of men in our own little segments as of more value than the praise of God? The fact is that the kingdom of heaven is greater than any of our factions or all of them put together. Let us find the way to unity of the Spirit by rising above the smoking ashes of our hopes, slain and burned by our unwritten creeds.

     It is time for a new day to dawn. We have led in dividing, now let us lead in uniting. We have walked the dreary path of strife and left it strewn with the bloody corpses of our slain hopes, now let us resurrect the ideals which gave us birth and unfurl the flag of peace as the rallying standard for the Christians in all the sects. Now is the accepted time. Today is the day of our salvation! It is for such a time as this that we have come to the Kingdom. Let us not fail!

 

 


 

 






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Set Free!  Orange County, CA

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