Acts 2.36-47: Imagining Christian Community

Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.  When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brother, what shall we do?”  Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.”  With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”  Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.  They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.  All the believers were together and had everything in common.  They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.  They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.  And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

– Acts 2.36-47, TNIV

 _______________________________________

 

            This description of the earliest disciples of Jesus life together (v. 42-47) following the Apostle Peter’s most famous sermon has always intrigued me.  The description is the outcome of the response to Peter’s challenge in v. 36 to accept Jesus of Nazareth as both Lord and Messiah[1]  The response to the challenge from Peter was to accept the call to repentance and baptism which came with the promise of forgiveness and the gift of the Holy Spirit.  The life of these disciples is a direct result of what happens when the gospel is truly understood, when both grace and the powerful presence of God through the Spirit are truly received. 

            One of my big theological interests is how Christian eschatology (present and future hope, salvation, redemption, etc…) shapes our ecclesiology (formation of the life and practice of church).  This week as I was preparing a sermon from the above passage, I ran across a great statement by George E. Ladd who discusses this very interest.  Ladd suggests that what Luke is summarizing for us is what a Christian community looks like that has been shaped by Christian eschatology (the realization that their future victory in Christ is already a present reality that now shapes the formation of Christian life).  Ladd writes:

The early Christians were conscious of being bound together because they were together bound in Christ.  They were an eschatological people not only because they were called to inherit the eschatological Kingdom but because they had already experienced the blessings of the messianic era.  In a sense, their fellowship was a foretaste of the fellowship of the eschatological Kingdom, displayed in history in the midst of Judaism.  It was inconceivable that a believer should be such in isolation.  To be a believer meant to share with other believers the life of the coming age, to be a believer in fellowship, to be in the ekklēsia.[2]

The connection between the abstract theology into practical theology may not be easily apparent in most contemporary English translations where there is usually a division existing between verses 41 and 42 which may subconsciously allow us to read v. 42-47 apart from its proceeding verses.  Ladd helps us to see the eschatological dynamics taking place here that give shape to the life and practice of this early Christian community.  It is also important to remember that such a community cannot exist without the acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Messiah which assumes a call to repentance and baptism.

The question we face today is what do we do with a passage such as this?  The challenge to accept Jesus as Lord and Messiah and the call to repentance and baptism has always been accepted as normative for the formation of church.  However, the rest of the practices have been a challenge.  Do we practice the contents of v. 42-47 with literal precision?  Or do we seek the intent of the passage but recognize that such practice will vary from culture to culture?  Rather than reading this passage as a formulaic set of rules on how to do church, Hays suggest we need to read this passage as it is given to us – as story.  In reading the passage as a story, we are asked to “consider how in our own communities we might live analogously, how our own economic practices might bear witness to the resurrection so that those who later write out story might say, ‘And great grace was upon them all.’”[3] 

I offered the quote from Hays because I happen to agree with him (that’s a real surprise☺).  For those of us from the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement, we have always struggled with how literal our practices must be to live as faithful recipients of the grace we have received.  I would suggest our call is not necessarily to restore the same form in Acts 2 but instead, as a community that has accepted Jesus as Lord and Messiah and has embraced the call to repentance and baptism, to be vigilant in allowing the victory we have received in Christ to form our community.  When this occurs, I suggest that we will be a community that has restored the intent of v. 42-47 even if the form would not be an exact replica of the first century description.  In the meantime, as Hays suggest, let’s read and re-read this story and allow that story to stir our imaginations as to what it might look like in our own culture if we allow our victory in Christ to shape the life and practice of our Christian community.


[1] Luke Timothy Johnson, The Acts of the Apostles, Sacra Pagina (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1992), 60.

[2] George Eldon Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1993), 388.

[3] Richard B. Hays, The Moral Vision of the New Testament: Community, Cross, New Creation; A Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethics (New York, NY: Harper Collins, 1996), 302.

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63 responses to “Acts 2.36-47: Imagining Christian Community

  1. This has got to be the theme that has dominated my thinking the most for the past two years (eschatology and ecclesiology). I’m working my way through Hays Moral Vision right now as well. I’d be curious to know how much you are wrestling with (either internally or externally) the subtle arguments that creep into his work about Pauline authorship of various books (especially 2 Tim.) and the subsequent implications as they extend to various ecclesial practices or dogmas (women’s roles, etc.). I’d be lying if I said I haven’t lost a little sleep stewing on these things.

    Also, if I read you correctly you hope to write on the aforementioned themes in your dissertation? I’d love to follow along.

    Zach Cox

  2. Unfortunately in too many of our churches today we find our identity in places other than Jesus Christ. When we find the identity of the Jerusalem church we find that identity was in Jesus the Christ. Today we place identity in places like restorationism, patternism, intellectualism, etc. If we are going to share the culture that existed within the early church we must first share their identity. That identity will always be in believing that Jesus is the Christ.

  3. Zach,

    Thanks for stopping by the blog. To answer your question about some of Hays’ views. I have actually not read much of his book (although I will plough through it at some point). I have heard him lecture and read a couple of articles by him before. As for authorship issues in the NT, I never get overly excited about who wrote what. I know that the issues of authorship are connected to the issues regarding the reliability of scriptures but that still has never raised the level of importance for me. I accept the 27 books of the NT as canonical and reliable (truthful) as a witness to the truth of the Christian faith, regardless of authorship.
    The nice thing about reading is that we encounter a number of views, which will do one of two things (or both). One, reading others is like being a part of a larger learning community. Reading such thoughts will help lead us out of some naive misconceptions. Two, reading others will force us to think about what it is we believe and why we believe it. What we are left with is not just a belief but a belief with credibility for that belief.
    Any ways, I stopped by your blog and enjoyed looking at your reading list. What led you into preaching as a vocation? Did you go to school somewhere? If so, where?

    Grace and peace,

    Rex

  4. Dell,

    Amen! Our identity is Christ. If it is not Christ, we are not Christ-ians.

    Thanks for stopping by the blog!

    Grace and peace,

    Rex

  5. Rex,

    I believe you have your finger on one of great challenges; connecting the future to the present. We ought to know somethinghas gone terribly wrong by the simple fact that we look and behave so different from early Christians. I created my new blog to explore “our hope,” that is, the eschatological dimension of our lives. And I believe Ro. 8.18f is fundamental because Paul indicates that he was saved in a hope that looks strange to most of us. It’s a hope rooted in the created world. It’s a hope expressed in Psalms and in Isaiah but hardly in our imaginations today.

  6. I guess I tend to have the same sentiments as you regarding reliability and truthfulness. Who wrote Hebrews, while of interest, doesn’t detract from it’s rightful place in the Canon. The reason I brought up Hays and 2 Tim. is because he says on page 67 regarding 2 Tim. 2:11-15 that “This is one of the passages in the letter that could hardly have come from the pen of Paul.”

    I guess I’m not quite sure that Hays (who is brilliant) should be so positive. Anyway, this really doesn’t pertain to content of your post so I’ll defer until a more convenient season.

    Thanks Rex. Nice to get to know you a little.

  7. I have always though such higher criticism to be over optomistic of its capabilities, considering that such criticism is dealing with such an ancient text as though the critics were 1st cousins to Paul and others.

    Grace and peace,

    Rex

  8. I noticed your book list to the right. Moltmann has always been one of my favorite academic theologians. His Crucified God is conducive to much meditation if you have not read it …

  9. Bobby,

    I actually read through his triology for a research paper in a class with John Mark Hicks. However, I am wanting to read through them all again because I did enjoy them much (as difficult as they were to grasp at times) and because I think I will be able to read them with a little more ease this time.

    Any ways, thanks for stopping by my little humble space in the blogosphere.

    Grace and peace,

    Rex

  10. Rex,

    I forgot to answer your questions about preaching. I guess I always wanted to do it. I spent about five years in the “far country” before I became engaged in 2001 and decided to commit myself full time to preaching. I attended the Memphis School of Preaching and graduated in 2003. I received a B.S. in Human Development from Amridge University (then Southern Christian) in 2006. I’ll be starting my Masters this fall at Lincoln Christian College and Seminary. Thanks for asking, Rex.

    Zach

    P.S.
    Do you live in Minnesota? I lived in Flint, MI for five years and I guess you would get more snow and cold up north in Minnesota. Go Packers! Oops, I let that slip.

  11. Rex, when you come up with a great way to communicate keeping our eyes so fixed on the future Christ has purchased that our hands can’t help but do His work and our feet can’t help but move in His direction, then put it in writing, will you?

  12. Keith,

    I have enough trouble just trying to live it out myself. The more I live the more I see how much “myself” gets in the way… fogging up the vision, snuffing out the fire, and domesticating what was meant to be lived with reckless abandonment.

    “I care not today what tomorrow may bring… Living by faith…” God help me, God help us!

    Any ways, thanks for stopping by the blog.

    Grace and peace,

    Rex

  13. Acts 2.36-47;
    You mentioned being “Restoration Movement.”
    I am the “only” Restoration Movement” historian.
    I witnesses the RM deny the faith in 1960, and join “the maddening crowd.”
    1) Do you teach “historical approach” Bible interpretation?
    2) Whay chapter are we in today?
    3) The RM writers knew the future. What do you know about the future on earth
    4) Are you “congregational autonomy?” This means no doctors, preacgers, Bible Colleges, conventions, church merger attempts.
    5) You shouls read BW. Johnson’s, “The Peoples’ New Testament,” 1891; or, “Halley’s Bible Handbook,” 1945; or – me!

  14. SIDWMS,

    Thanks for stopping by this blog. I am sure your insights and observations regarding the Restoration Movement are valuable but I do not believe you are the “only Restoration Movement” historian. I know several good historians whose expertese is the Restoration Movement. As for answers to your questions. Q-1: Yes I believe the Bible must be interpreted in its historical context so that we have a better idea of what the writters actually said before we can faithfully apply that to our own specific situations. Q-2: I am not sure what you mean by asking what chapter we are in today? My only interest is being a disciple of Jesus. Q-3: The future is full of hope because Jesus is coming again. Q-4: Though some would disagree, I have no problem with universities/colleges (and their seminaries), leaders with advanced degrees (especially since I hold a Master of Divinity), conventions, or congregation merger attempt. As for preacher, I am one and I stand in a long line of history of preacher that goes back to people like Jesus, Peter, John, Paul, Timothy, Titus, etc… Q-5: I have never read either Johnson of Hailey, although I have heard of Homer Hailey. As far as suggesting I read you, I have no objections to a little self-advertisement but what have you written?

    Grace and peace,

    Rex

  15. To Keith Brenton:
    “Rex, when you come up with a great way to communicate keeping our eyes so fixed on the future Christ has purchased that our hands can’t help but do His work and our feet can’t help but move in His direction, then put it in writing, will you?” — Quote, Keith.
    You need to learn “”Historical Approach Interpretation” and follow the fotsteps of the Lamb in the news. The Lamb is eternal — meaning — today! He was in the news on CBS Friday the 13th. Millenium (1859-1959), Satan Loosed a Little (1959-2004), Last Battle (2004-2015) — Revival 2015.
    Now what we need is a “Quick-fix Bible Translation.” I have a partial “Real Words Bible Translation.” But this is too much work for one man. I need volunteers who will correct ”
    the names of God” and “church, preacher, baptize,” and give permission to print, working from an E-mail file listing the names and other critical words that are errors from the Jews, about 250 BC, and the Dark Ages. These errors have been “copied” repeatedly for over 1400 years. So then, we have “copies”” and not “translations.” No one has yet got Genesis 1.1 and Matthew 1.1 “correct.”

  16. To: K. Rex Butts:

    Your comment about accepting the Bible translations without question is terribly wrong.
    Esther and Song of Solomon are not biblical for — neither book contains any of the names of God. In “Canon” by F.F. Bruce, he wrote, “Many men, both Jews and Christians knew this fact.”
    John 21.23-25 is Atheism, for it directly opposes Jesus’ words in verse 21.22. And this verse is one of many confirming Rapture in AD 77.
    First John 5.7-8 was erroneous for centuries, and based on only a few manuscripts, but has been corrected by some today.
    “The God” reads only “God” about 700 times.
    “OTI” (for) is consistently omitted in all translations. The original writers of these errors were Dark Ages writers. We still have Latin words in all translations of the Greek.

    “The simple believes every speaking, but the prudent looks well to his gong” – Prov 14.15

    In other words, “You cannot trust any man any farther than you can throw him.”

    Compare: “Everynody is out to get you!” – Eph
    6.12.

  17. Sid,

    I am quite capable of translating NT Greek on my own. I don’t just trust other men, I trust that God has worked through many of his people to give us the canon of his word which includes Ester and Song of Solomon.

    Grace and peace,

    Rex

  18. answeringthechurchofchrist

    I understand that most all Church of Christ members connect baptism and repentance. Not saying I disagree with this view, but what concerns me, does this mean God can’t or wont act outside of baptism?

    Let me be more precise. As you know, most people in other Churches believe one should be baptized and they do so because of their love for God and for Jesus work on their behalf….but they do not see a connection between remission and baptism which has caused many Church of Christ members to reject them as brethren. I confess that Luke makes such a connection in Acts 2:38, but later the same connection isn’t made with the Gentiles. Cornelius received the Spirit prior to being baptized, which suggest to me that God acts outside of the box that many have Him in.

    What is your take on those in denominations who truly, sincerely, turn to God by faith in His Son, but lack understanding that baptism may be connected with remission?

    ACOC

  19. If I may ask: Does God save outside of the prescribed plan Peter set forth in Acts 2:38?

    ACOC

  20. ACOC,

    While I do not claim to speak for and/or represent the sum total of CoC, let me say a few things.

    First, I do want to maintain a high-view of baptism as being something more than a mere symbol. I believe the highest motive for any person to be baptized is to die to themselves and be raised into Christ (cf. Rom 6). With that being said, the language of baptism in passages like Acts 2.38 and Romans 6 (and more) is passive (hence, “be baptized” rather than “baptize”), thus baptism is not the work of the one being baptized but God’s work.

    Secondly, faith in God is the duty of the believer. And I stress faith in God and not faith in our doctrinal understandings. We are called to trust in God to save us but I do not believe this trust requires us to understand when and in what time frame God saves.

    Third, while some (perhaps many) in the CoC have positioned Acts 2.38 to be the ordinary operative pattern, I believe this has been done so based on many theological assumptions, some bad exegesis, and with some inconsistencies. The event of that Pentecost day were anything but ordinary. It seems somewhat inconcsistant to take much of Acts 2 as an extra-ordinary event that was meant to happen only then but then to take Acts 2.38 as an ordinary event meant for all time. Also, as we read on in Acts we do not always find the same events taking place in the same time sequence. Thus, it seems out of place to say that God can only work in the time sequence of Acts 2.38.

    Lastly, I do believe that God can redeem outside the box of his word/law/previously prescribed pattern (whatever language we prefer) and there are examples of God doing so in scripture. Thus, I would not claim that God cannot and/or will not save outside or and prior to baptism. But having said that, this does not negate the necessary need for repentance and baptism. Both are still a command and not optional. I do not understand why many Christians teach people to respond to the gospel by saying the “sinner’s prayer” when there is no example of such prayer in scripture and yet there are plenty of examples of people responding to the gospel by being baptized.

    As for other denominations…I am not a secterian believer, so I do not believe that the CoC are the only ones saved. While God only truly knows who is a disciple and who is not, if a person is living by their confession of Jesus Christ then I accept that person as a Christian. And while my view is not universally held in the CoC, there are many within the CoC who share much of my views (even if they would articulate them a little differently).

    I hope this helps you understand me a little more.

    Grace and peace,

    Rex

  21. Rex, I am so thankful to see men of God like you within the Church. Thanks so much for your comments to my question.

    In Christ,
    ACOC

  22. Rex, would you say it is right for someone to lie being deceiving to others saying they are not in the cofC denomination?

    There is a conservative cofC denomination who try to hurt people and their families who oppose their beliefs. ACOC – Randy who supports what these men do has tried many times before to fool people. Johnny is the leader and gets men to harass people as they assemble to worship at church and at their homes. Randy (ACOC) is at Johnny’s becking call. It is very sick what they do.

    I just want you to know so you won’t be tricked. here is a link to the original ACOC blog that Randy took the heading from, it will show you how these guys work.

    You really seem to be a nice person Rex and I don’t think it’s right for them to lie to you.

    grace and peace

  23. Rex,

    I have no problem with the cofC denomination, actually think there are people who attend some cofC denominations who are really nice people and dedicated Christians. I just have a problem with these guys like Randy (ACOC) and Johnny who try to hurt people and their families. I have no problem with you at all Rex, I think you seem like a nice person and a dedicated Christian.

    Grace and peace

  24. I am deeply troubled by the accusations presented by this fellow “truth” – I, in no way support Mr. Robertson views. In fact, I agree very much so with the progressive side of the Church of Christ. I do not belong to the Church of Christ, but a denomination located in Woolwine VA. I only seek to grow in grace and this might mean I agree at times with others, but never have I, nor will I exclude others whom have placed their faith and hope in Christ.

    ACOC

  25. Truth : (ACOC) is at Johnny’s becking call. It is very sick what they do.

    RE: I am floored by this comment and in no way connected with what Mr. Robertson does. I am sorry “truth” had bad dealings with Mr. Robertson, but to my knowledge, I have never met “truth” but have invited him to lunch, which he declined. My goal is not to be part or rumor mills nor fussing over scripture. My goal is to learn and grow in grace.

    In Christ,
    ACOC

  26. Randy (ACOC) you can lie saying you are a part of any church denomination. I have given the link to the website of the original ACOC blog, anyone can go on there and compare the very comments you made here on Rex’s blog to comments you (Randy) have made on the original ACOC blog. It is clear to see on original ACOC blog how you try to deceive other people.

  27. answeringthechurchofchrist

    Again, I am lost on what you are saying. I know the blogs are the same, but the other things you say are untrue. I am not with the Church of Christ, truth. I will be glad to meet with you in person.

    ACOC

  28. Randy, I already told you I don’t care to meet with you. You can keep trying to get information on people by trying to deceive them. Not everyone will get tangled up in your and web of deception.

  29. I am very troubled by your comments “truth” and false accusations. Nevertheless, I will forgive you and move forward. Again, I do not hold a view that you are accusing me. I very much so agree with the conservative side, but I still will not say Mr. Robertson and other hyper conservatives are lost. You may do so, if you wish, but I will not.

    I also do not want to use Rex blog for these little arguments. If you wish to discuss something, I will gladly meet with you.

    Best Regards,
    ACOC

    ACOC

  30. And for the record, I also very much disagree with the conservative side. I am somewhere in the middle.

    Far as baptism goes, I agree 100% with Rex view.

    take care “truth”
    ACOC

    ACOC

  31. Randy (ACOC), How about posting my last comment on your blog.

  32. Randy (ACOC), why did you delete editing my comments where I asked you several times when did God say Cornelius was an exception? And why did you delete my last comment yesterday when I replied to you giving Scripture. Here is my comment you deleted.

    ACOC said: Did David follow Gods plan to obtain forgiveness? Did he offer an animals blood to God like God had commanded of the people then?

    Reply:

    2 Samuel 6:17-18
    So they brought the ark of the LORD, and set it in its place in the midst of the tabernacle that David had erected for it. Then David offered burnt offerings and peace offering before the LORD. And when David had finished offering burnt offering and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts.

    Again when did God say Cornelius was an exception?

  33. I am considering putting up a blog that will give the link to your blog that will also give your name Randy Craiger a hyper-conservative church of Christ denomination member’s view. This blog will reply to any posts and comments you make to show all comments.

  34. And Randy (ACOC) don’t get happy thinking you will be able to get information on anyone who opposes you and Johnny. I would make sure that all private information is protected and is not to be given out by anyone who obtains information. The only information anyone is to obtain and is free to discuss with someone else will only be information freely given by the comments there.

  35. answeringthechurchofchrist

    I now see why you have been banned and turned away on other blogs, truth. If you wish to tie Mr. Robertson with me, that is fine. I have no reason to lie about this. Why not call Mr. Robertson and ask him. I am not at all tied to Mr. Robertson.

    I deleted you comments because they were answered and you just were repeating yourself. As others have told you, stay on the subject and dont resort to this kind of attitude.

    I dont know why you are being so hostile towards me. I dont even know you. The offer still stands – I will glady meet you in person and have lunch or something. I really am not at all the person you are making me to be and its sad that you are acting this way, but I will just move on and let you do your thing.

    ACOC

  36. Rex, Every Christian I know supports that we should be baptized and tell others to do so. Baptism should never be just about about getting wet. I believe baptism is a beautiful symbol of what Jesus has already done for us.

    I respect you Rex. You don’t try to force your view of baptism down other peoples throat like Randy (ACOC) does. Randy has been obseesed trying to force his dogma down other peoples throat for a long time. I just wanted to say it is nice to know there are people who can accept others who have just as much love for the Lord as you do without always having to argue them down.

    Grace and peace

  37. answeringthechurchofchrist

    Rex, I will continue reading your blog and commenting, but I will no longer engage this “truth” person on here. He doesn’t even know me, never met me and making false accusations.

    Even if I were part of the hyper conservative Church of Christ, he shouldn’t act that way, but the fact is that I am not at all affiliated with those whom he states. I do not even attend a Church of Christ church and he could easily know this if he would meet me. I have read much of Church of Christ teachings and agree with some and disagree with some. If I were to be in the Church of Christ, I would find me a progressive Church, but I still wouldn’t act too harshly against those within the hyper conservative Church of Christ. My blog is just a place to discuss their teachings, not a place to judge their souls.

    In Christ
    ACOC

  38. Randy (ACOC), What other blogs have I been banned from?? Tell me I sure don’t know about it.

  39. answeringthechurchofchrist

    You were not perm banned, but banned in the sense that your comments were deleted by others and you have been warned by others. I don’t know why you are so upset and acting this way. You are stating things that are untrue – saying I and Mr. Robertson work as a team or suggesting I attend Church there, when I do not even attend a Church of Christ. I attend Faith Community Church. Meet with me and then you will understand that I am not this person you are saying. I am deeply bothered by this and cant understand why you are doing this. I forgive you.

    Rex, I am sorry this has taken place on your blog and I will step aside and allow “truth” to continue, if he so see’s fit.

    In Christ,
    ACOC

  40. A note to lee. I am looking at getting a blog so try to hold off comments on Randy’s (ACOC) blog till I get another blog that will be fair. I will let it be known when the blog is up, okay.

  41. Oh you mean the other hyper-conservative CofC blogs that deleted my comments giving replies with Scripture just like you did.

    How do you know I was on these other blog?

  42. answeringthechurchofchrist

    Rex, I am considering attending a “disciples of Christ” church for a number of reasons. One, they have the Lords Supper each Sunday, which I think is honorable and something that the early Church done, but not so from legalism.

    I do not know much about the disciples of Christ and would like to know if they line up pretty much with Church of Christ teachings. All I can find out is that they do have music in their assemblies which Al Maxey informed me.

    I really would love to find a progressive Church of Christ, but don’t know of any in my area.

    BTW, my IP is not where I live. I live near my IP address so if you know of any progressive Churches, please let me as I would love to attend there. If not, I am considering the Christian Church – disciples of Christ.

    ACOC

  43. Rex, I am sorry you got caught up in Randy’s game. It is not right for Randy to lie decieving people. I don’t want other people to get tangled up in Randy’s web of deception.

    I didn’t have to say anything. But I care about other people and don’t like what these people do to other people.

    Rex, like I said I don’t have any problems with you or others who attend some cofC denominations. I have brothers and sisters who attend cofC denominations. And thank you for your kindness Rex.

    Grace and peace

  44. answeringthechurchofchrist

    Truth, I know many of the folks you frequently visit under the name “truth, bondservant, and sometimes as anonymous.” I have corresponded with Al Maxey, John Mark Hicks, Jay Quin, and many others with questions and they have been a great help guiding me along my journey.

    I also am good friends with an ex hyper-conservative church of Christ preacher who taught on TV for years and he was the one who first admitted to me the weakness of some of their arguments. Matter of fact, I met with him again about a month ago. I was hoping he would have returned to Church, but he was so brainwashed with legalism that I fear he will never return to God. My heart goes out to this young man.

    BTW, I even ask Jeff over at http://www.truth-in-love.com/ to help me talk with this guy and he did. Btw, Jeff is a conservative and one of the nicest I know. I probably side most with Clint Howard http://cthoward.wordpress.com/ far as conservatives go. To my knowledge, he is the only one I know to say other denominations would be in heaven.

    But, to set the record straight one more time – I would very much like to be in an assembly where progressive teaching is taught and I do NOT attend with Mr. Robertson.

    ACOC

  45. Randy (ACOC), I thought you weren’t going to engage me on here anymore. That’s something you Randy said a lot of times to people on the original ACOC blog but you always try to have the last word.

  46. answeringthechurchofchrist

    Truth, all I can say is I am sorry if I have said anything to make you act so harshly. I forgive you and you are welcome to have the last word.

    ACOC

  47. Randy (ACOC) I never said you attended the cofC building Johnny Robertson does but that you are a cofC denomination member. You support what Johnny Robertson does to people who attend other church denominations. You can lie all you want, people can go on the original ACOC blog and see who you are Randy.

  48. answeringthechurchofchrist

    Truth, just because I support some of the teaching doesn’t mean I agree with everything they do. I strongly believe the Church of Christ are closest to scripture. I also lean strongly towards the progressive side. Have I sit on the fence on certain issues? Yes. Do I still find myself questioning things? Yes. Do I have a right to change my mind? Yes. If I agreed with them in your area, I would be there with them each Sunday and Wed. This is why I rather find a progressive Church or may attend the Christian Church. Ask me where I stand on a subject and you will get an answer, but lets not take over this blog for this purpose.

    Rex, I am so sorry this has turned this way.

    ACOC

  49. Randy (ACOC), You have lied saying the same things many times before and then show your true colors. A liar lies.

  50. Randy (ACOC), as your claim to being on the fence…you have been on the fence for a long time as the original ACOC blog show but then you of course show your true colors. You also have made the same stements on the original ACOC blog that the cofC denominations are closer than other churches, I don’t know if someone should take take that as right coming from someone who claims they are sitting on the fence.

  51. And thank you again Rex for your kindness as I said you don’t try to force your dogma down other peoples throats you show to be very nice person.

  52. Rex, if Randy (ACOC) wants to debate he should do so fairly and let both sides be seen. Until he can show both sides of the debate from people on both sides without deleting comments replying with Scripture it is not a fair debate and shows he is not a truthful person. And he should not force his beliefs/dogma down other peoples throats as he and Johnny Robertson like to do.

  53. I am not into debating…as I have seen too much ill rather than good come out of theological debates. I am open to Christian dialogue on matters of theology so long as 1) everyone treats everyone else as a Christian ought to be treated and treat others, and 2) everyone makes a reasonable attempt to ground their views in a cogent biblical and theological rationale.

    Grace and peace,

    Rex

  54. answeringthechurchofchrist

    I too, am not wanting to debate. I am, as you open to Christian dialogue. Thus far my quest has lead me away from the conservative teachings, but I will not discount them as brethern and my hopes are that we all somehow find middle ground.

    In Christ,
    ACOC

  55. answeringthechurchofchrist

    Rex, I am considering attending a “disciples of Christ” church for a number of reasons. One, they have the Lords Supper each Sunday, which I think is honorable and something that the early Church done, but not so from legalism.

    I do not know much about the disciples of Christ and would like to know if they line up pretty much with Church of Christ teachings. All I can find out is that they do have music in their assemblies which Al Maxey informed me.

    I really would love to find a progressive Church of Christ, but don’t know of any in my area.

    • I am more familiar with the Independent Christian Churches / Instrumental Churches of Christ, as I have family members who are members of that restoration branch. I would expect that with the Disciples of Christ, like the toehr two major restoration branches, there is much diversity in the congregations due to numerous factors.

      Grace and peace,

      Rex

  56. Rex I absolutlely agree with you that debating dialogue does brings out more ill than good. As I said the reason I say anything about Randy(ACOC) and Johnny is because I think it is very wrong how Johnny gets men to help him harass people who attend other church denominations.

    I really think you are a nice person Rex and believe you are a dedicated Christian, please be careful Randy (ACOC) is very very cunning and tries to come up with ways to decieve people.

    Grace and peace

    • Truth,

      I apreciate your comments but I must tell you that describing another person as be “very very cunning” and trying “to come up with ways to decieve people” is not helpful to Christian dialogue…at least not in a public forum such as a blog.

      Grace and peace,

      Rex

  57. ACOC & Truth,

    You both seem like good Christian brethren as well. Thanks for your confession of and committment to Jesus Christ.

    Grace and peace,

    Rex

  58. Rex, there are people who are cunning and deceiving even people who attend church. Look at the comments Randy makes on the original ACOC blog see how inconsistent his own comments are with other comments he makes on there notice the tone of a lot of his comments. Sometimes the truth isn’t always pretty. If you don’t believe me then give Randy (ACOC) all the information you want it is your choice. I still ask you to be very cautious and careful.

    You have no idea what these men are doing to people in their surrounding area. People have to deal with the harassment these men bring to them. I guess until it is closer to home it’s hard to imagine what it is really like. Well the people and their families in these areas know what it feels like to be constantly harassed.

  59. A note to lee. Here is the link to my blog.

    http://bondservant3.wordpress.com

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