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Unbiblical Doctrines

un-BIB-li-cull: adjective, 1) something not found in the Bible, 2) something contrary to teachings in the Bible, 3) Satanic.


There are many wonderful Churches of Christ. However approximately 20% of Churches of Christ teach these painful doctrines:

1. You can never be sure you are saved.

This is never stated out loud from the pulpit. However Bible stories of people being struck dead are told so many times from the pulpit that the message comes across loud and clear. Every time a passage about the security of salvation is read in a Bible class, the teacher is quick to counter it with verses like: "Make every effort to work out your salvation with fear and trembling." The statement is made repeatedly that Baptists are so sure they are saved that they use grace as a license to sin.

 Consider also the frequent words of warning that Paul gives regarding over confidence toward salvation. 1 Corinthians 10:12 states "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." 2 Corinthians 13:5 says "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves." --Kevin Cauley, Berryville church of Christ, Arkansas

One of us taught at a rural Church of Christ for 18 months. Each sermon Sunday morning and Sunday evening was on the security of our salvation. After 18 months a 70 year old woman was asked, "Do you believe you're definitely going to heaven?" "No," she replied, "but I feel a lot more secure than when you first arrived." A few months later her husband died of cancer. She was worried that he wouldn't go to heaven because he died smoking cigarettes. He had tried many times to quit, but never did. *

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life." --I John 5:13

19We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain" --Hebrews 6

One preacher explained "Not Under Law, But Under Grace"
(Romans 6:14) in this way:

"'`For you are not under law'' is an ellipsis (``Gram. Omission of one or more words, obviously understood, but
necessary to make the expression grammatically complete,''
Webster. ..."For you are not under law only, but also under

This preacher cannot imagine a forgiveness from God that puts us under grace and not under law.

Another example comes from a preacher who wrote an article entitled: Will Those Under Grace Have To Give an Account? His answer is "yes."

2. Only people baptized in the Churches of Christ will be saved.

See here  and here for examples of this teaching.

If those who are not circumcised keep the law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? 27The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.28A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God." --Romans 2

3. Every time you sin you are lost until you ask forgiveness.

See here and here for examples of this teaching.

"For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace."  --Romans 6:14. Paul teaches that we live under forgiveness.

 "12But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, 14because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy." --Hebrews 10

"23The words "it was credited to him [Abraham]" were written not for him alone, 24but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness--for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification."  --Romans 4

For more on this click here.

4. Obedience is following the blueprint in the book of Acts.

See here for an example of this teaching.

'16"This is the covenant I will make with them
       after that time, says the Lord.
   I will put my laws in their hearts,
       and I will write them on their minds." 17Then he adds:
   "Their sins and lawless acts
       I will remember no more." 18And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.' --Hebrews 10

There is no new law in the New Testament. There is only new forgiveness and the fulfillment of the shadows of this forgiveness found in the Old Testament. (See sidebar for more.)


5. Worship is following the blueprint in the book of Acts.

The practice of establishing authority by command, apostolic example and necessary inference, is a doctrine that descends from the Scottish Enlightenment, the reformed Presbyterians, the Puritans and Ulrich Zwingli.

See here for an example of this teaching in the Churches of Christ.

Worship is telling God how much you appreciate what he has done for you. Worship is every positive thing that goes on in your head and in your heart.

6. God is reluctant to forgive.

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him." --Luke 15:20

7. Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10) are an example of how we will be punished for wrong worship.

See here  and here for examples of this teaching.

Nadab and Abihu were instructed to take coals of fire from the altar to burn incense before God. They took coals from a different fire. The symbolism is clear: The altar represents Jesus' sacrifice (Hebrews 13:10-12) and incense represents prayer (Rev. 5:8). The symbolism of this passage only teaches that our prayers are unacceptable to God unless we go through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It is a teaching in humility. It is not our own obedience that is acceptable to God, but Christ's sacrifice and Christ's obedience through which we find access to God. This passage is actually comforting when we realize that our own efforts are not what put us in a right relationship with God, but it is what God has done for us, and our simple acceptance of that fact, that brings us to God.

8. Uzzah (II Samuel 6) is an example of how we will be punished for wrong worship.

See here for an example of this teaching.

The priests were instructed never to approach the ark of the covenant (the Presence of God) without blood and incense (forgiveness and prayer). They were never to touch the ark, but were to carry it on their shoulders. Uzzah, a priest, steadied the ark when the oxen stumbled, and was struck dead.

King David parked the ark in the nearest house, then later moved it the proper way, with the priests carrying it on their shoulders. Sacrifices were made. David leaped and danced with all his might before the ark. (II Samuel 6). There is no record of God asking David to leap and dance. Yet God accepted David's worship and no-one was struck dead.

9. Instruments of music are forbidden and unacceptable to God in church worship.

See here for an example of this teaching.

a. There are instruments of music in worship to God in heaven (Revelation 5:8).

b. There were instruments of music in worship in the Old Testament.

 c. There is no condemnation of instruments of music in the New Testament (or in the entire Bible).

d. There are many Psalms quoted in the New Testament, with no statements of caution to make sure to not obey the musical instrument passages in the Psalms.

10. The Lord's Supper must be taken every Sunday.

See here and here for examples of this teaching.

This doctrine is based primarily on Acts 20:1-7. The passage says the church at Ephesus met on Sunday night to "break bread", the idiomatic expression for eating a meal. They eventually "broke bread" the next morning after Paul preached all night. The passage does not specify whether this was a picnic meal together, or if it was a special ceremony to remember Christ's death and resurrection. There is no command in this passage, only an example. There is no statement as to how often they came together, or how often they ate together. The passage states the reason they met on this night was because Paul was leaving town the next day, not because it was the regular weekly church day. The passage also states they met in an upper, or second floor, room. If this passage is to serve as a binding example on the church today then we must meet in upper rooms, and we must meet all night before we take communion the next day.

The early church met daily to "break bread" as one of their activities together (Acts 2:47). There are no references in the rest of the Scriptures to indicate a specific day on which to meet.

The command is from Jesus: "As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, do so in remembrance of me." Jesus does not specify a time frame, however it was at Passover, a Thursday night, that Jesus uttered these words. Many (outside the Churches of Christ) believe that Jesus meant the Lord's Supper to be taken each Passover, once a year.

Others realize that the New Testament does not contain new rules to keep, nor can it be called a blueprint for the work, worship and organization of the local congregation. So they take Jesus at his word: as often as they eat the Lord's Supper, they eat it to remember Jesus.

Paul instructed the Corinthian church to "Lay by in store each one of you on the first day of the week, that there be no collections when I come" (I Corinthians 16). Commentators are divided on this passage, but the majority say that the activity was to be done at home, not at church, "laying by in store" being a reflexive verb referring to what one does to or for oneself.

11. I have to be worthy to take the Lord's Supper.

See here for an example of this teaching.

Paul rebuked the Corinthians for taking the Lord's Supper in an unworthy manner (I Cor. 11). Paul describes the rich members as selfish with their picnic baskets and not sharing--thus one was drunk and another went hungry. Paul says that they were condemning themselves for not sharing.

The Lord's Supper is about how God shares his love and forgiveness with us. When Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Episcopalians and Lutherans take the Lord's Supper they first freely confess that they are sinners unworthy of God's forgiveness. In other words they confess that they are unworthy, and are grateful for God's free gift.

The more unworthy we feel, the more important it is to be reminded through the Lord's Supper that we are freely forgiven by God.

12. Missing a church service is a sin.

See here for an example of this teaching.

"Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together, as is the habit of some, but rather encouraging one another all the more as you see the day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25).

This is the only passage commanding going to church.**

Much of the guilt dealt out in lessons and sermons is aimed at those who have left the Churches of Christ, with the effect that anyone who leaves knows what they will get after they are gone.

One of the reasons members of the hard-line Churches of Christ find it so difficult to leave is that they honestly believe they cannot miss a church service. So on Saturday night or Sunday morning they get the yellow pages out and search through all the listings hoping that there will be one that will be okay to meet with. But there isn't one, so they go back to the discouraging church they are stuck with until they completely burn out.

Click here for a humorous Legalism Questionnaire.

Click here for an examination of almost all of the passages of Scripture that define what is a false doctrine or a false teacher.



"One morning in bible class when I was about 16, the teacher was an elder, there were about a dozen of us teens in class. He asked for a show of hands on how many in the room were confident that if they died today they would go to heaven. I raised my hand. I was the ONLY one who raised my hand. The elder looked at me like I was crazy. Not a smile, but a look of concern. Most of my childhood I lived in fear that if I sinned once and forgot to pray, I'd go to hell, that my salvation was in jeopardy on a daily basis. But at the time of the elder's question, I was strong in my beliefs and about as straight-laced as a kid could get. I believed that because I was doing what the bible told me to do, I would go to heaven. But the elder scoffed that I dared feel such security."  --Contributor to the Support Discussion Board, 2008







Here are all the scriptures in the New Testament containing the words "new covenant" or "new law":

Matt.26:28 "new covenant in my blood"
Luke 22:20 "new covenant in my blood"
1 Cor. 11:25 "new covenant in my blood"
2 Cor. 3:6 "not of the letter, but of the Spirit"
Heb. 8:8-13 "write them on their hearts...remember their sins no more"
Heb. 9:15 "he has died as a ransom"
Heb. 12:24 "Jesus the mediator of a new covenant"

Gal. 6:2 "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."
James 2:8-13 "Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!"

Notice a theme?

For more on the doctrine of the Blueprint click here.


For Jesus' view of God, the Father, click here.

For more on Conquering Sin, click here.

See an article against instrumental music in worship by an orthodox Presbyterian here.


For more on Instrumental Music click here and here  and here for other websites.

For a bulletin board discussion on this topic click here.




See here for the problem with Prooftext Sermons.

Loosing Examples vs. Binding Examples

Some preachers of hardline Churches of Christ talk about "binding examples", while other preachers talk about "loosing examples". What do they mean? A binding example is an example that requires everyone to follow it, even though it is not a command. They believe that Acts 20:7 is a binding example: everyone must take the Lord's Supper every Sunday.

The "loosing examples" preachers come to the same conclusion via a more circuitous route: No day is acceptable to God on which to take the Lord's Supper, unless the day is authorized by God. The example in Acts 20:7 shows that Sunday is approved by God, so that day is loosed for us to take the Lord's Supper. All other days are still unloosed and therefore forbidden.

See here for an online discussion of binding examples.

**Question: Are you encouraged when you go to church? If so, great! If not, this passage in Hebrews 10:25 is somehow missing your situation.

Encouraging one another in the assembly: For many this has seldom happened. The hard-line Churches of Christ have a tacit agreement:

  • Never say anything real or intimate in a Bible study or sermon.

  • Make sure everything said has been said many times before.

  • Make sure most of the guilt dealt out in the sermon is aimed at people not in attendance or not members of the Church of Christ.