Legalism vs. Grace

23 Sep

~Legalism vs. Grace~

Rick Atchley really puts some light on why there is so much division and a lack of unity in the Church of Christ. Let’s ask ourselves this question. When Scripture is silent, do we have freedom or prohibition? Is this Grace or Legalism? Please watch and see if this is not true. May Grace be with each and everyone of you!

LEGALISM KILLS ~ It leads to a Dead End

Legalism kills and that road leads to death!

Paul said in Galatians 5:1” It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”The purpose of the Fruit of the Spirit has set us free from sin by telling us how to avoid sinning. We grow and mature as Children of God by bearing the Fruit of the Spirit.

 As Children of God it is important we pray and ask the Lord’s for His spiritual wisdom to help see the truth. Jesus Made Love Mandatory so when reading the written word it comes alive in the hearts of those filled with love. Jesus told us to walk in the Spirit of righteousness and that means having total trust and faith in him. Let the fruit of the spirit pour out and be a light for the Lord. If one is trapped in legalism it is very difficult to see any light in them. They are as D.U.C.K.S. under the Bed.

The acronym D.U.C.K.S. stands for “Devoted Unconditionally to Christ’s Kingdom and Service”. One may be “Devoted Unconditional the Christ’s Kingdom and Service” and know the written word like the back of their hand but something is missing and that is the Light! Legalism causes divisions among the Lord’s children. Legalism leads to unrighteous judgement, it causes a lack of compassion, humility, and mercy. Growing in the Lord is a journey, many of us will fall, having trials and tribulations. As long as we have Jesus as our ARK and are filled with His Fruit, we walk in the LIGHT.

Luke 8:16-17
“Now no one after lighting a lamp covers it over with a container, or PUTS IT UNDER A BED; but he puts it on a lampstand, so that those who come in may see the light. “For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light.


When we walk in the spirit, the “FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT”
shines forth to other people,
like a lighthouse shines forth it’s light.

The acronym D.U.C.K.S. stands for
Devoted Unconditionally to Christ’s Kingdom and Service”.

www.d-u-c-k-s.com/fruits_of_the_spirit.htm

~Calling All D.U.C.K.S. To Come Out From Under The Bed~

On a Personal Note~ I first want to say I love those in the Church of Christ and they hold a special place in my heart. The Lord took me out of an abusive situation and planted me in the church as a teen through my foster parents which I am so thankful for. I was taught that only those in the conservative Church of Christ would be saved. I never understood legalism till later in life. After leaving my foster home I soon left the church, got married and divorced, my ex’s use of porn was our down fall. Later I remarried and had 3 children. I returned to a more liberal Church of Christ and they welcomed our family with open arms. I learned the church was going to build a Fellowship Hall using church funds, being brought up in a conservative Church of Christ that was a no, no, and I felt I had to leave. I then went to a conservative Church of Christ much like the one I use to go to as a teen, I was so excited and felt I was home only to be short lived. When they learned I was remarried, they said my second marriage was adultery. A first divorce over porn was not considered adultery which meant I was never to marry again. They said the only way to repent was to divorce my second husband, there was No mercy. I could NOT be a member of the church while I was still married to my second husband. Well, the Lord opened my eyes and showed me I did not need to be a member of the Church of the Christ with walls, I was already a member of the body of Christ and there was NO walls. The Lord does NOT want His children living in Bondage! I pray eyes will be opened to the Truth!!!

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!”
John 8:36

Lord Jesus Saves

“In essentials UNITY; in opinion LIBERTY; in all things LOVE”
God of all nations, We humbly ask you to guide us in all that we do. Strengthen us to love one another,
to help each other along in our faith journey.
Forgive us of our harsh thoughts, words,
and actions against people of other denominations in Christ. Help us to forgive one another, and join together, so that we may do YOUR work and glorify YOU LORD in the best way possible.
In Jesus name we pray,
Amen

❤ Lord Jesus Saves ❤
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❤ PRAYING BLESSINGS☛ For All OF YOU ❤
op 9-23-2012

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18 Responses to “Legalism vs. Grace”

  1. Scott Shifferd Jr. 09/27/2012 at 3:44 PM #

    Wow! Rick Atchley opposes a strawman. This is revisionist history concerning Lard and McGarvey. He plays around with silence and no authority.

    The absence of things from the Bible does not forbid nor have such men claimed that silence forbids. Yet, regarding things that God has given specific instructions, no one have authority to change such as baptism being immersion in Jesus’ name and observing the Lord’s Supper with bread and fruit of the grapevine. We cannot change such things as though we are equal with God. The same applies to worship in the Assembly on all matters that God has blessed us with instruction. God’s Word is perfect and pure. Let us worship Him as He has delivered to us.

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    • Lord Jesus Saves † 09/27/2012 at 3:49 PM #

      Why all the division? Why would those who don’t use instrumental music not go to a church that does?
      The problem is so much greater than these issues. The church teachings limit the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
      They use unrighteous judgement by telling someone who has received the Lord and been baptized in a church other than the CofC that they need to be re-baptism. The Lord is the judge, Not man and the Lord knows one’s heart. On marriage, divorce, and remarriage the teachings on repentance is totally false. The teaching is actually telling one to commit sin by getting another divorce even when a couple has been totally faithful. There is No mercy, it does not matter if the couple has children and has been married 20 years. They say you must divorce to repent. Repentance is not making the same mistakes and repeating them over and over. If you murder someone you can not bring them back, to repent you ask for forgiveness and not repeat the same sin.
      This is legalism in it darkest form. There is NO light in these teachings. Legalism leads to a DEAD END. Legalism KILLS! Legalism robs Grace. LEGALISM robs the LIGHT!!!

      I just wanted to add this, King David committed adultery with Bathsheba, King David even had her husband killed, yet the Lord still allowed them to be together and even later blessed him with a son who became KING.

      Psalm 150
      Praise the Lord!
      Praise God in His sanctuary;
      Praise Him in His mighty expanse.
      Praise Him for His mighty deeds;
      Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.
      Praise Him with trumpet sound;
      Praise Him with harp and lyre.
      Praise Him with timbrel and dancing;
      Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe.
      Praise Him with loud cymbals;
      Praise Him with resounding cymbals.
      Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
      Praise the Lord!

      Like

      • Scott Shifferd Jr. 09/28/2012 at 1:46 PM #

        Please, reconsider. How we honest enough to reconsider? I plead with you to be a member of the Church of Christ despite what so-called “churches of Christ” may teach and practice. Yes, even the churches of Christ in the New Testament had their errors and yet Paul spoke of the Corinthian church as still being “of Christ” while being “babes”, “immature”, and even “asleep” (dead) (1 Cor. 3).

        Do you not know that we are under grace and not the law? And yet, you refer to a man under the law whose psalms also speak of sacrifices to God in His sanctuary as does Psalm 150 speaks of His Sanctuary. Is God’s sanctuary now physical or spiritual? What is the temple of God today? Is it spiritual or physical? Is our worship physical or spiritual? Are not all our good deeds offerings to God (Heb. 13:15)? How blessed we are that we are not hindered by instrumental music or any music without understanding by words (1 Cor. 14:9-15).

        Those “baptized” in another denominations invention and twisting Jesus’ teaching must repent, and be baptized as Jesus taught into the Church of Jesus Christ. If one unaware was immersed in Jesus’ name as Christ’s Spirit teaches and added to the Church despite not know that they are in a denomination, who compels them to be immersed again? Is it not their own decision of whether they were immersed as Jesus commanded? This true of the churches of Christ that I know and I familiar with the mainstream in the US. Is this your definition of legalism to observe all that Jesus commanded (Matt. 28:20)?

        In all this, you claim that these are judging other people’s hearts, whom you also are judging them. What is their heart? What mercy is there for the woman left alone with child while her husband puts her away and goes off with another woman having other children over many years? What treachery! Must he leave that previous wife behind and not respect those vows? How is that man repentant and worthy to put on Christ in baptism when by Jesus definition is committing adultery (present active tense) when he has divorced (aorist past tense) and married another (aorist past tense)?

        Open your heart. May God bless us to follow Jesus’ words and the mysticism of our hearts.

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        • Scott Shifferd Jr. 09/28/2012 at 1:49 PM #

          typo “Are we honest enough to reconsider?” among a few others. Sorry

          Like

        • Lord Jesus Saves † 09/28/2012 at 9:58 PM #

          I believe Legalism is the road to “fallen from Grace”.
          How is it that the Church of Christ with walls is the One true Church and all other Children of God are condemned? Is this truth when the teachings limit the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
          I believe we are to walk in the spirit. Jesus did not come to abolish the commandments but to fulfill them.
          I have never not stopped loving and praying for those in the Church. I pray their eyes will be opened to the truth. This is matter of life and death. I pray we each have His spiritual wisdom.

          The term “fallen from grace” is only used *one time* in the Bible.
          Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; YE ARE FALLEN FROM GRACE” Galatians 5:1-4.

          So to be fallen from grace is to be “justified by the law”
          Justification was reckoned to us by Christ’s sacrifice at the cross. It is a gift of grace. Those who “work” for justification fail to realize the greatness of what Jesus accomplished, thus his accomplishment becomes of “no effect” to them. They have fallen from grace! You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 2 Peter 3:17. What happens when one falls from grace? One falls into law observance. One become a legalists. Christians lose their grip on grace whenever they fall prey to the teachings of legalism. Legalists robs the Christians of their liberty. Legalists do not live by the Spirit, but by rules and regulations. One is bound to laws and traditions instead of walking by faith in Christ. We are to walk in the Spirit of righteousness! We are to have hearts filled with the fruit of the Spirit.
          Galatians 5
          22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things
          there is no law.
          When we are walking in the Spirit then we have the desire to want to please the Lord and not do sinful acts. Some believe this liberty is a means to sin but it isn’t.
          If we are filled with the fruit of the Spirit our heart is not going to be looking to do things of the flesh, our thirst will be for righteousness. We may get tempted but the Lord will never give us more than we can bear.

          No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
          We all fall short of the glory of God and no one is perfect but we want to do our best to try and please HIM. This comes from our heart because of our Love for HIM! Legalism gives a false sense of security, it chokes the Christ-life out of the believer. It causes us to lack love and cast stones at our bothers and sisters in Christ. When we are trapped in legalism it causes one to become self-righteous not allowing us to see our own sins because we are blind by the BIG LOG in our own eyes. If we have called on the Lord but are also trusting in our good works to get us into Heaven, then we are not truly trusting Christ. We won’t get into Heaven any other way than through the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son. We Must Love HIM and others! Jesus made LOVE Mandatory.

          Matthew 22:37 And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ 38 “This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ 40 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
          I want to add, faith without works is dead but we are not doing it for justification, we do it because we love the Lord and we love one another! It comes from the heart to help others not because we are working to win our way to heaven. Legalism keeps one bound up in the system of men and men’s expectations as opposed to God.
          The Lord does not want his children living in bondage!!!

          Like

          • Scott Shifferd Jr. 09/28/2012 at 10:05 PM #

            How can the Church of Jesus Christ be within the walls of the One true Church? These are one and the same. All God’s adopted children are in His Church (Gal. 3:26ff). He adds them (Acts 2:41, 47).

            You don’t really understand the churches of Christ or those diligently living to be just Christians without denominational walls. What are we to say about un-Christ-like hierarchies and special titles for their leaders that are oppose to Jesus Christ?

            Like

            • Lord Jesus Saves † 09/28/2012 at 11:07 PM #

              I totally understand the teaching that the Church of Church denies it is a denomination but the truth is, it is still a denomination. The one true Church has no walls. You are going to find the (called out/Ekklesia) in other denominations where Jesus is the foundation. The written word is inspired by the Holy Spirit, yet we have many interpretations of the written word which causes many divisions among the Lord’s children. What happens is, many of us believe a certain way and we desire to show others the truth because we believe we know the truth and others are misinterpreting the word. So what do we do? As children of God we try to show others how their interpretation is false and what is correct, while they are trying to show us how we are wrong. Have you ever seen Children of God get ugly with one another over interpretations and not seeing the sin in how they are treating one another? I believe one of God’s hidden mysteries is here and we will only see this as we come closer to being transformed into the perfect. Many see these different interpretations as false doctrine. But if we could rise above and see things from the Lord’s eyes using his spiritual wisdom not the wisdom of man, many of these interpretations that divide Children of God have nothing to do with our salvation.
              The Lord is concerned with our hearts and motives. How are we are treating one another? Are we fighting over what we believe is truth and hurting each other? The Lord warns us not to devour one another. Is our love genuine for HIM and others? I believe the Lord was well aware of the fact we would not agree on every interpretation of the written word, but in order to find perfect unity he knew we must rise above that. If our heart is truly filled with the attributes of the fruit of the Spirit and we are seeing through HIS eyes we will begin to come together through Love which brings about UNITY which is found only in HIM! That is why he said the whole Law can be summed up in one word LOVE! He says in loving him and others we fulfill the Law.

              The Lord teaches, what defiles man comes from the heart and when Jesus spoke on the sermon on the mount everything he spoke of had to do with man’s heart. So if our heart is filled with Love there is no room for the things that defile us, like immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. The one true church is found in the hearts of the “called out”! Those walking in righteousness through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!
              Galatians 5
              25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
              26 Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
              Colossians 3:12-17
              So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

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        • Lord Jesus Saves † 09/29/2012 at 11:49 AM #

          I totally believe the Church is spiritual. Jesus is building this temple made without hands, built with living stones (those called out). But just because the building says Church of Christ does not mean it is the true Church of Christ. Look at all the divisions just among it’s members in the man-made church, the lack of love and mercy. James 2:13 For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.
          We are to be one body, unity is found in Christ. It is not the name on a building, it is that personal relationship with Our Lord that we the “called out/ecclesia” wear His name in our Hearts. One must look at the fruit that is coming forth and if there is a lack of light in the Church something is seriously wrong.

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  2. The Jesus Encounters 11/06/2012 at 1:17 PM #

    Reblogged this on Thejesusencounters's Blog and commented:
    I believe this Brother has the real message that separates us from fellowship with other bodies of Christ … Think about it

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  3. Steve Finnell 08/02/2013 at 11:51 AM #

    PHARISEEISM—IS IT LEGALISM?

    A favorite defense for those who do not want to obey God’s terms for pardon, is to label strict obedience to God as Phariseeism. Is Phariseeism keeping God’s law to the letter?

    LEGALISM DEFINED: Strict and literal adherence to law.

    Were the Pharisees guilty of legalism? No they were not. The Pharisees practiced illegalism. They were not legal.

    Matthew 26:59 Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, so they might put Him to death.

    Is obtaining false testimony an example of strict adherence to God’s law?

    Matthew 28:11-13…the chief priests…12 And when they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers. 13 and said, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and sole Him away while we were asleep.’

    Is conspiring to bribe men to lie, strict adherence to God’s law?

    Matthew 23:14[ Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.]

    Was devouring widow’s houses an example of legalism or illegalism? Were the Pharisees literally following God’s law by devouring widows’ houses?

    Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law; justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.

    Jesus did not reprimand the Pharisees for their strict compliance to God’s law? No, it was the exact opposite. The Pharisees were neglecting strict obedience to the law.

    THE LEGALISM OF THE PHARISEES?

    The legalism of the Pharisees was because they followed man-made traditions, not because they followed God’s law to the letter.

    Mark 7:1-7 …..5 The Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the traditions of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?” 6 And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips. But their heart is far from Me, 7 ‘But in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrine the precepts of men.’

    Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for teaching the traditions of Men. Jesus did not scold them for literal obedience to God’s laws.

    Mark 7:8 Neglecting the commandments of God, you hold to the traditions of men.”

    The Pharisees were not practicing legalism by strict obedience to God’s law. They were illegal for neglecting God’s commandments and keeping man-made traditions.

    Is teaching what Jesus said in, Mark 16:16, being Pharisaical.
    (Mark 16: He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved….)

    Would it be a tradition of men to say that “has been baptized shall be saved?” No it would not; it would the words of Jesus Christ.

    To claim that Christians are practicing the legalism of the Pharisees because they say you have to be obedient to God’s terms for pardon in order to be saved, is factually incorrect.

    GOD WANTS US TO BE HIS LEGAL CHILDREN

    ILLEGAL CHILDREN WILL BE LEFT WITHOUT AN INHERITANCE.

    WHAT MUST MEN DO TO BECOME LEGAL?

    A. FAITH: John 3:16
    B. REPENTANCE: Acts 2:38
    C. CONFESSION: Romans 10:9-10
    D. WATER BAPTISM: 1 Peter 3:20-21

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. Google search>>>steve finnell a christian view

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    • Lord Jesus Saves † 08/03/2013 at 2:33 AM #

      Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for teaching the traditions of Men which is what is happening in some of the Christian churches today. You have some churches that claim using instrumental music is a sin but Jesus said what defiles man comes from the heart. I do not believe Christians should tell a married husband and wife of 20 years with 3 children they must get divorced or they can not be accepted as members of the church. My first married ended because my ex-husband was addicted to porn, but some Christians seem to believe that is not grounds for divorce and a second marriage is living in adultery. That is what happened to us and I see that as legalism in the church today. That is man-made not the Lord’s church made without walls.

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      • Scott Shifferd Jr. 08/09/2013 at 9:18 AM #

        Wow! Steve makes an excellent point. Think about some this and reconsider some things. Didn’t Jesus correct the Pharisees for divorcing their spouses for any reason other than fornication, sexual immorality (Matt. 19:1-9)? They took the more liberating position rather than just the legalizing of traditions side. Do not the hypocrites do both?

        These men judged others for fornication and readily picked up stones against adulterers, and they were no different from any man or woman who jumps from partner to partner today with being married. These men would divorce for any reason other than fornication and then marry another woman and in so doing they were committing adultery in the present active tense (Matt. 19:9, Mark 10:11-12). Though married, these men are adulterous and so are their new spouses, who are their mistresses. Should a man continue in adultery with his mistress because he has made a home with her and had children? Should he not repent? That repentance would first include going back to the first spouse unless that spouse has died or married another (Rom. 7:2-3, Mark 10:11). If the previous spouse has died or married another, the one, who had an adulterous marriage, is no longer committing adultery against the previous spouse, but those who were once adulterous must still repent (change the mind) and maintain their current marriage before God.

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        • Lord Jesus Saves † 08/09/2013 at 8:08 PM #

          I tried to explain all that happened to others in the conservative Church of Christ. As a child I was molested by my dad who was engulfed in porn. I got married at the age of 19 and six months into our marriage I found out my husband was using porn. It was something I was not able to handle, it reminded me of my dad. Jesus said lusting over a woman is adultery, but those in the Church said it had to be physical. If someone is looking at porn and masturbating, is that not physical? I really believe the Lord is looking at one’s heart and thoughts, a husband fantasizing over pictures of other women is just as painful and sickening?
          No wife should have to watch perverted sex acts and then act them out to please her husband. My husband wanted that too. I understood why Mary Winkler shoot her husband who was a Church of Christ preacher. Not that I believe it was right but he was making her do perverted sex and was using porn. It defiles one marriage, it is just as bad as going and having a one night stand. It belittles the wife.
          I knew the church was wrong about this issue when they told me I must divorce my second husband. After spending so much time trying to help them see, they remained blind, with No mercy or compassion. The Lord let me know I did not have to be a member of the denominational Church of Christ, He Let me know I was already a member of His body with no walls, where the Holy Spirit is not limited. Soon I will have been married 30 years.
          Here is an example in my own life of legalism used in the church today as I relate to Matthew 12. Legalism shows a lack of compassion as we see with the Pharisees.
          It was not until Sept 2007 when I learned the Lord accepted me as a child. Nov 19, 1967 I was 11 years old when I accepted the Lord and was baptized in a Baptist Church. It was a time when I was really hurting. My grandmother had died and my mother left. At the age of 16 I was living with loving foster parents, protected from molestation. While living in foster care I started attending the Church of Christ, but the teachings made my first baptism void. So at the age of 17, I got re-baptized in the Church of Christ. For 34 years I believed that teaching so I didn’t acknowledge the fact that I was his at age 11, I continued to believe that the Lord did not accept my first baptism. Then amazingly in Sept 2007 the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to the truth and let me know the Lord loved me and accepted me when I was 11 years old, a re-baptism was Never necessary. It is sad that those in the conservation Church of Christ don’t understand Matthew 12:7 “But if you had known what this means, ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT A SACRIFICE,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.
          I mention this because it was only a few years ago, several COC preachers were still condemning me because I said I was HIS at age 11 and was baptized in the baptist church. There was No consideration to the fact that I told them I was a child hurting and the Lord knew my heart. The preachers believed if you think you are saved and then baptized the Lord will void it, you will not be accepted. The church teaches there is No way the Lord will accept you as His child before you are baptized with water. Forget one’s heart. Some Christians today act like the Pharisees that Jesus spoke of, Jesus would say to them Matthew 9:13“ But go and learn what this means: ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

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          • Scott Shifferd Jr. 08/16/2013 at 11:23 AM #

            Yet, all of these problems with that church, that does change what Jesus said about building His church and about baptism. The Lord adds you to His Church, and a church’s vote does not add. The Lord adds us at baptism (Acts 2:41, 47). You are saved when you are raised with Christ from baptism (Eph. 2:4-7, Col. 2:12-13). Does it matter that a Baptist baptized you? No if you were baptized in Jesus’ name in water for the forgiveness of your sins. If you understood that you were dying to the sins of the world being buried with Christ and raised with Him into the newness of life, then you baptism is scriptural. Most Baptists do not baptize this way or for the reasons that Christ’s Spirit revealed in His Word.

            Also, recognize that the church “of Christ” in Corinth permitted a man to live in open fornication with his father’s wife (1 Cor. 5). That church had serious issues. Some in this congregation were still saved Christians while others had fallen asleep or died as Paul describes them. Like all churches, no church is perfect being made of imperfect people. The church at Corinth was the exception, and so is that congregation that rejected your divorce for being only lust and not being physical. In your situation, I would have sought another congregation of Jesus Christ and not a denomination.

            May God bless you in seeking His Church.

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          • Scott Shifferd Jr. 08/16/2013 at 11:54 AM #

            As you present your side, I can’t imagine a justifiable defense for the elders’ decision. Since you would have given your husband the note of fornication, then this should have been clear (Matt. 5:31-32). With this situation not being like the spouses, who deprive or provoke the other to adultery, then these elders could not have considered you both guilty and unable to divorce. Jesus spoke of the man who provoked his wife into an adulterous marriage in Matthew 5:31-32. This man shared in the adultery. Those who deprive their mate commit sin and leave them without self-control. One of the reasons for Christians to marry is for self-control (1 Cor. 7:1-9).

            The sin that your ex-husband engaged in was definitely physical. If you are referring to looking at porn as engaging in active fornication, then I very much agree and see that as fornication. You would have been right to have given him the note of fornication. Then, you are right to divorce and remarry. He was not simply lusting or keeping adultery in his heart. He was acting it out in his behavior. The elders should have thoroughly investigated your situation.

            Again, I am sorry for your great difficulty. Please, do not hold this openly against all churches of Christ. I do not know what those church leaders were thinking, but take them as the exception.

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