ALERT!!! Please Update Your Tracts

Alert! There are no longer 5 steps in the pattern of salvation. The sixth one has been hanging around for a few years and has recently been codified along with a seventh. We are waiting for the verdict from Oklahoma on whether one can be “grandfathered in” under the old plan or whether all who were baptized into the outdated plan need to be rebaptized.

Bob Smith, a deacon from Ardmore, OK, expressed his concern, “I was saved by the five-step plan of salvation, and I don’t need no liberals changin’ the gospel, addin’ other steps that weren’t there in 1955!”

Woe to these brethren who are forsaking the Old Paths of Walter Scott and are apparently preaching another gospel with 7 steps instead of the scriptural 5, which have been taught by godly men like Foy E. Wallace, Jr., Malcolm Hill, and others for centuries.

Please update all tracts, bookmarks, Bible studies, and other simplistic methods of evangelism.

(Disclaimer: I believe in the necessity of baptism and these other things listed in the “plan” but I object to reducing one’s response to God’s salvation to a oversimplified list, not mention reducing the Great Gospel which has been preached since at least Abraham to “five steps” instead of the Grand Picture of God’s Redemption. Preaching the Gospel is not preaching 5 Steps!)


22 thoughts on “ALERT!!! Please Update Your Tracts

  1. J. Lemmons


    Greetings from an old camp friend. I have been lurking on your blog for most of the last year. Finally decided to jump in and add my 2 cents. Are you planning on being at Camp this year? Maybe we’ll see you there.

    I know this isn’t the point of your bringing attention to this advertisement but just had to throw it out here and see what you and any others think.

    If this is true (quoting from the ad):

    The Bible being silent with regards to mechanical instruments of music completely destroys all hope for those who seek its use in worship. If it is utilized, it is done so without Bible authority. It did not originate in the mind of God. Christ never used it in worship. The Holy Spirit never spoke of it. The apostles never sanctioned it. The early church never employed its use. If you still favor it in worship, you have to go outside the doctrine of Christ and into the traditions of men for your authority.

    Then, why isn’t this true:

    The Bible being silent with regards to church buildings completely destroys all hope for those who seek to worship in them. If one is utilized, it is done so without Bible authority. It did not originate in the mind of God. Christ never worshiped in one. The Holy Spirit never spoke of one. The apostles never sanctioned it. The early church never employed its use. If you still favor worshiping in one, you have to go outside the doctrine of Christ and into the traditions of men for your authority.

  2. Brian

    hey J!
    yep, I will be there. the Bible teachers are going to meet sometime soon to work on curriculum.
    thanks for lurking and finally commenting. greetings to W.

    I have thought about that, too. and there are many things we could add in place of “church building” that we accept without a second thought.

    there are many questions and thoughts like this (plus some holes in the use of scripture on both sides) that should temper some of the rhetoric and condemnation, but oh well…

  3. Brian

    hello rick,
    glad you were amused and not offended by my silliness.

    as I disclaimed, I am not against any of them, actually I could add more. If we don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive us. Don’t lie, steal, envy, etc. and so on.

    I realize it is harder to judge some situations, but no one buys ad space to condemn churches that worship God with the right means but no heart or love…..or churches that are cold, racist, unevangelistic, materialistic, sectarian, etc.

    I am just lukewarm about IM issue, and would have spent the Lord’s money in a different way than you guys did.
    I wonder what other Christians might see in the congregations who paid for the ad worthy of attack?
    the people who don’t know any different will just view it as infighting.

    by reading the comments on the newspaper website, you can already see more acrimony between denominational people and churches of Christ.

    I am really not sure what you accomplished.

    God bless

  4. Brian, after skimming through the 200+ comments on the article, the one comment that struck me most was the elder from Edmond (I believe) who said he was against the article, until his wife sat him down and explained things to him. I thought “who is the elder here” maybe that church should hold another election, and elect Mrs Elder. I’m just saying —-

  5. Brian

    yikes, I didn’t see that one.

    maybe someone should buy a full-page ad against woman not being submissive??

  6. Kathy

    Well, evidently there will still be fights/splits if you have instruments. Below are a couple of excerpts from an interesting article. The author comes from the Reformed tradition in which the use of instruments is never questioned. It gives us some insight into human nature by seeing what goes on outside our own religious group:

    Against Music* by Greg Gilbert

    It begins: I think the entire evangelical world ought to put a moratorium on any kind of instrumental music, and just chant psalms in their worship services—for the next ten years*… Just as bad, think about how many church fights and divisions are rooted in disagreements about music. People leave churches because they don’t like the music. Christians who believe exactly the same things about Jesus worship in different buildings next door to each other because they can’t countenance one another’s musical style. Churches split because one faction wants “contemporary” music and another wants “traditional” music. It’s not the words that are at issue; it’s how the words are sung, and to what instrumentation. The thing even has its own name—the “Worship Wars,” which when translated with a little honesty is really “the Music Wars.”

  7. Jeanne M

    I am in the dark on this article. What is being “added” or “subtracted”? Why, oh, why is it so hard for us to read the same scriptures and not get the same meaning? Was God so indecisive that He left it up to humans to finish what He spoke, or the Holy Spirit wrote? I don’t believe men such as Walter Scott, Foy Wallace, et al, in this country had all the answers, nor do I believe people today have all the answers, but let’s be sure that what we believe individually is what the Bible tells each one in order to be saved – to go to heaven – to be with God and Jesus forever. I don’t want to miss it, and I don’t want anyone else to miss it because I have misled them, either intentionally or unintentionally.

  8. Brian,

    Actually, the ad has generated good discussion and opened a door of evangelism. At present we are running about 50-50 for or against the ad. Most of those against have been members of the church while many denominational people have responded favorable (not agreeing with the instrument isssue in all cases, but understanding the need to do what we did).

    For example, as I mentioned to one Baptist lady who called to complain about the ad, “Instruemtnal churches of Christ is like a sprinkled Baptist.” There was a light bulb moment and she said, “Oh, I get it.” One Methodist man called and said that the article made him rethink the whole issue of mechanical instuments in worship. We have set up six Bible studies with people, even a Baptist youth minister because of the conviction he saw in the ad.

  9. Brian,
    I agree with your disclaimer, at least, up to a point. I would hope that the preaching I do never leaves the impression that “redemptions’ sweet song” can be reduced to just steps but Old Testament prophets used this method to get their point across to their intended students (Mic. 6:8). Even Jesus used this method of teaching on occasions (Mat. 22:37-40). Just a few thoughts.

    Again, I also would deplore the preacher who thought that this and this only would bring salvation. The seven listed in the paper are designed to bring to light man’s response to the wonderful grace of God in summary form.

  10. Pingback: Vox Bloguli » Mark Elrod’s Lame-O Weblog

  11. OKCite

    I can assure you that the response has not been about 50-50. I’m in the thick of the CoC community here in OKC, and I haven’t talked to a single person who was even remotely happy about the ad. In fact, quite the opposite. The actual result has been virtually every church publicly distancing themselves from the churches/brethren that ran the ad. In fact, every CoC in the area that is truly faithful is in a PR nightmare trying to deal with the repercussions.

  12. OKCite, says not 50-50 and as a person in the thick of the CoC community no one agrees, not even remotely with the ad. I find this very interesting, maybe OKCite is not in as thick as he thinks?

    This PR nightmare exist because people are not upfront with others regarding their doctrine. Far too many churches in the OKC area have given up the fight on the Biblical doctrine of silence and simply rely on tradition for singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. This all steams from Oklahoma Christian University where many of their staff have done the same. They would put the instrument in today if they would not loose members and money over the whole issue. Many are waiting for the older members to die so that they can “do” church the way they want to.

  13. Scab

    I am an OKC resident and a member of a local c of c. I agree with OKCite. I have heard dozens upon dozens of people condemn the article. This article was an awful, AWFUL way to handle the situation. While many of us do not agree with instrumental music, we do not call them out in the paper. This was the act of a loud and delusional minority who take pleasure in stirring up trouble and arguements.

    What also frustrates me is when people who do not live in the OKC metro make assumptions about OC staff and OKC churches. “waiting for older members to die sot hey can ‘do’ church the way they want to” That is a horrible thing to say and a WRONG and completely inappropriate assumption.

    But really I’ll never read their blog and I’ll never try to argue with them, because I refuse to use scripture as a weapon to condemn… and I don’t see how sitting on blogs for hours and debating furthers the kingdom. Besides, this minority can’t be argued with–like I said they think they are always right and never back down… I wash my hands of them.

  14. Brian

    I probably won’t approve anymore comments on this post.
    I wanted to allow scab’s comment since I hadn’t mentioned anything but this now concludes the comments for this post.

    the editor

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