Questions about salvation : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

What do AMEs believe in when it comes to salvation?

I grew up in the Baptist church in Florida where I was taught that I was saved only by believing in Christ. I was later baptized in which was an outward showing of an inward grace. I was introduced to the Church of Christ at the age of 19. The church of Christ taught me that I must beleive that Jesus died on the cross and rose again the third day, repent of my sins, confess Jesus as Lord and Savior and be baptized for the remission (or forgiveness) of sins. After which, live a good Christian life. John chapter 17 speaks about Christ's disciples and the body of believers. The verses basically say that the believers should be one like the Apostles, Christ, and God are one. Denominationalism is unscriptural and is not supported by God's word. The bible speaks about "one body" (the church) in Ephesians 4. To wrap this up, I just want to say that the AME church was established due to racism, which is sad. But the religous world needs to go back to the blueprint (the Word of God). This is the only source from God that the religous world can unite on. Whether its worship, the plan to salvation, communion, church organization, etc., we need to get back to the 1st century church. The church thats in the bible. To find out more on the churches of Christ go to the following website.

If the above site doesn't work go to the site below and then click on

"Who are the churches of Christ, and what do they believe in ?"

Biblically we should be Christians and Christians only. Not Catholic, Lutherean, Episcopalian, Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, AME, Presbyterians, COGICs, etc.

Believe "and be baptized": Matthew 16:15-16 Repent "and be baptized": Acts 2:38 Confess "and be baptized" Acts 8:26-39 Be Baptized: 1 Peter 3:19-21; Romans 6:3-5; St. John 3:5; Acts 22:16

Baptism is essential to salvation. Does the AME church believe in this? Will you answer the question? Will you put the question on this website? Lets be honest with ourselves and true to God's word the Bible. Thanks.

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2000


First, let me caution you that the response you are about to read is not from an AME theologian, but represents a "lay" view of soteriology. We do have such theologians who read this site, and perhaps they will clarify or redact what I am about to say.

Second, I will deal only with the initial question (on salvation), and not delve into a debate on the perspectives, substance, and doctrinal differences of our two "organizations" (our "denomination", - AME, and the Church of Christ, especially as practiced by the Boston Movement).

At the core I would say "AMEs" believe as you do, but I do note that there are some verses we consider that you seem to have omitted. I will go into that in just a second. Summarily speaking, we believe that salvation is, like so many things of God, triune in nature, haveing both a past, a present, and a future. We believe you were saved when Christ died on the cross, and made thereby his oblation for the sins of the world. This is referred to in the New Testament as a "propitiation" (or substitute/payment) for our sins, since the Old Testament teaches us that "without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin." The price having been paid, we believe you are presently saved when you recognize that the culmination of your choices without God are evil and self-driven, that there is none righteous (Psalms and Romans), that we are carnal in nature (Romans 6-7), that there is a better life for us NOW (Romans 8-10), and that we must bring our being in concert with that realization. We finally believe that you are ultimately saved to Eternal Life, when our advocate, the Great Jesus Christ Himself, stands in the gap and says to the Father "this is one of mine; my blood covers their sin." (Philemon).

We believe in the path to spiritual realization as described by Christ in the "Sermon on the Mount" (Matthew 5). As such, we confess first that we have sinned "by thought, word and deed, (I Corinthians 3:1-5) against [God's] Divine majesty, provoking most justly [His] wrath and indignation against us." But we also believe that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9). We further believe that such confession is the middle step of taking thought, word, and deed to the direction of salvation. What is the first step? "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." (Romans 10:9). Thought=belief, Word=Confession, Deed=Baptism. Thus, we believe the process of salvation begins with the thoughts, is expressed in confession, and is signified in baptism.

Some would raise the question "Can we be saved by our works?" Your Baptist training served you well in this regard, recognizing that it is not by works of righteousness we've done; but it is a gift of God, through faith, and not of works, lest any person should boast (Epehesians 2:8-10, Titus 3:4-6). But note, the act of salvation does not stop with the regeneration of washing, as noted in Titus, but goes on to include renewal by the Holy Spirit. Indeed, the doctrine of Justification, as expressed by Paul in Romans, implies this when it suggests in Romans 12:1-2 that we "be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,...". If I remember the Greek correctly, the tense of "renewing" is Aorist, which is not a singular act, but a constantly recurring thing. Since the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but are spiritual (2 Corinthians 10:3-5), the constant renewing of the mind is needed to stay on top of the battle. To this end the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is a sine qua non.

So salvation is both an event (historical in Jesus and contemporary in the believer) and a process. I hope this gives you some sense of our perspective.

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2000

Let me clarify something first. The Boston Movement which is also the Crossroads Church of Christ came out of the Church of Christ. This religious body believes that the disciple is over the new babe in Christ. Basically the disciple takes the place of Jesus.

I believe in mostly everything you've said, but you've left out or omitted scriptures. Baptism is essential to salvation and if anyone is teaching differently, is not scriptural.

John 3:5 states unless a man is born of the water (baptism) and Spirit (Holy Spirit) he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.

Mark 16:15-16 states that he who believes and is baptized shall be saved.

Acts 2:38 states repent and be baptized (in water) everyone of you for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the (Holy Spirit).

1 Peter 3:21 states that baptism also now saves...

I can go on. There are an abundance of scriptures to support this.

Baptism is where we contact the blood of Christ and it washes away our sins. (Acts 22:16). When Christ was pierced in his side out came "blood and water". Now baptism is our obedience to the Faith. Baptism isnt the only thing that must take place. You first have to believe that Christ is the Savior and that he died on the cross for our sins so that man can be reconciled back to God, and that he rose from the dead conquering death. A person must then submit themselves to the will of God and not man's will or their own will and choose to follow Christ (the Word of God). This is repentance - meaning to turn away from. The scripture from Romans you quoted was excellent concerning confession. I use it all of the time. (Romans 10:9). And then we must be baptized. It is a commandment from Jesus himself (Mark 16:15-16). A person is not saved until after he or she completes his obedience in baptism. Anything less than this is not the truth. Then and only then we find grace and truth. Grace given by God and truth in his Word.

(Epehesians 2:8-10, Titus 3:4-6). "Can we be saved by our good works?" No we are not saved by works. Our faith should generate good works but we are not saved by it. We are saved by grace. But in order to obtain grace the indvidual must obey the gospel of Christ in which I have stated above on how to do so. All spiritual blessings ar IN christ. How does one get in Christ?

Believe, repent, confess and be baptized.

But we also believe that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9). (Romans 10:9).

Who is John and Paul talking to in these passages? He is writing to bretheren. Members of the Lords body(the church) who have already obeyed the gospel.

James writes: Confess your faults one to another and pray one for another. The effectual fervent prayer of the righteous availeth much (James 5:16).

You have to be careful with the word of God because it can be misinterpreted. The difference is the epistles are primarily dealing with issues within the church of Christ. The epistles are address to Christians. Christians will sin from time to time, but thats the beauty of God's salvation. As long as we continue to believe, repent and confess our faults and pray for forgiveness we are in good favor with God. Thanks to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who was the final sacrifice for our sins. No more sacrificial lambs to roll the sins over for a year. God is good and merciful. Amen! For those who have not obeyed the gospel, they do not have this privilege.

And my conclusion is based on John 17. We must be one in doctrine. Jesus prayed for it. The Apostles warned the early church about divisions and false teachers. Please study the word of God. Lets get back to the bible. The AME church is a division from the Methodist church and the Methodist church is a divsion in itself. The world sees the sad condition. Some are being led astray. Some believe that Holy Spirit baptism is the only way to be saved although it happened only twice in Acts. (Acts 2 and 10). The church is the bride of Christ and is his body. The body of Christ, the church.

"Study to show thyself approved...rightly dividing the word of truth." 1 Timothy 2:15 "All scripture are given by inspiration of God... 2 Timothy 3:16.

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2000

Brother Derrick, With all due respect and with great appreciation for your love for the Lord and your passion for Scripture, I ask you this question; Should we not be concentrating our witnessing efforts on those who do not know the Lord instead of "challenging" the theological integrity of other Christians ? How does the Body of Christ gain from two brothers (or sisters) crossing swords over doctrinal issues? If, after serious objective examination and study of our 25 Articles of Faith (which I would be most happy to provide for you), you still truly believe that our doctrine is in error, then do this my brother; First,take a moment to REJOICE in the fact that we African Methodist's love the Lord even as you do, for surely our 213 year history as a Church gives witness to that. Secondly, PRAY that the Holy Spirit might further illuminate our understanding of the Scripture so that we might some day grow to the same enlightened knowledge that you have. Third, resolve in your heart to love us in Christ, even in our sincere but obviously misguided state ,for that is your Christian duty. What I would ask that you NOT do however, is come into our house (AME Discussion Board)and proceed to insult the men and women who love the Lord in this community of faith by insinuating that you have the absolute corner on doctrinal truth and that we are somehow ignorant of the teachings of scripture because we do not see eye to eye with you. There is just too much of that kind of intolerance and rancor on other "Christian" discussion boards and chat rooms on the WEB. I, for one, would not want to see that kind of spirit take hold here.

Rev. Michael Barta

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2000

Mr. Barta. Is it okay that I call you Mr Barta? For one the bible teaches me that "All scriptures are given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness..." (2 Timothy 3:16). My bible also tells me that "...if any err from the truth" that its my duty to show them. (James 5:19-20). I'm telling you this in love. I'm sharing this to all my AME friends in love. One of the reasons I can't call you Reverend is because this name belongs to God (Psalms 111:9). Paul was an Apostle chosen by Christ and he never addressed himself as Reverend. Paul also states not to think of men above that which is written that no one be puffed up. (1 Corinthians 4:6-7). Mr Barta, we can't just sit back and let things be. We should go back to the Bible, God's revelation to man. You can say all day that we should ignore the division in Christianity and concentrate on saving those who know not God. I say we concentrate on both. So that all Christians can be one (John 17) and that the whole world can see the truth. The reason why many are lost is because they don't know what to believe. There are over 500 denominations in Christianity. Its one of Satan's tactics to confuse the sinner and also those who believe. We need to rely upon the Word of God (God's will) and not man's will. This is the only way that we know for sure that we are pleasing him. Although we are not saved by works, we are commanded to keep his commandments and do his will. Thanks. I appreciate you studying the Bible along with me to find out what thus saith the Lord. Peace.

Romans 10:9-10 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead. Thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth UNTO righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made UNTO salvation.

Romans 6:3 "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized INTO Christ were baptized INTO his death?"

Galatians 3:26-27 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized INTO Christ have put on Christ."

Colossians 2:12 "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of operation of God who hath raised him from the dead."

Going back to chapter 9 in the book of Romans...

Romans 9:13 For whosoever shall CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD shall be saved."

Acts 22:16 "And now why do you wait? Arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, CALLING ON THE NAME OF THE LORD.

-- Anonymous, August 05, 2000

No one would ever mistake me for a theologian, but I thank God that my salvation is not tied up in what I know, but in who I know and who knows me in the pardoning of my sins. I can not exegete every text in the Bible on salvation, but I have more than a passing acquaintance with the Word, cause he walks with me and talks with me--the Word who said to the testilyin Pharisees that God will hear the lowly prayer of one who can only muster up the plea "Lord have mercy on me a sinner"!--the Word that hung on the cross and stopped dying long enough to say to a low life theif who had never paid his tithes, never kept the sabbath, never spoke a word about baptism, never heard of Church of Christ nor AME, "THIS DAY you will be with me in paradise." And this invitation was given in response to the earnest request "Lord when you come into your kingdom, remember me!" It is this Word that reminds us to have the humility in knowing that no matter how much we think we know, "we know in part". Salvation is too great to be reduced to formulaic legalisms, nor is it undermined necessarily simply because we may by birth or choice belong to different traditions more formally known as denominations. The possibility of rebirth is there for all of us. But its in the Living Word

-- Anonymous, August 05, 2000

I appreciate this thought provoking conversation, but since in the present time there is a diversity of Christian groups, all who have thed same commission to 'make disciples of all nations', perhaps it would be time well spent (as well as being more logical) to share any unique ways to fulfill that commission. Time is a little short (in my opinion) for theological or denominational arguements. But I believe that is it is always order to discuss 'how to reach the masses'.

Pastor Hill

-- Anonymous, August 06, 2000

Pastor Hill and Mr Byrd I agree with you. I'm trying to get you to see that denominationalism is not in agreement with the Word. First let me start off by saying that the thief on the cross was saved because Jesus said he would be saved. Keep in mind that this took place under the Mosaic dispensation and that Christ is Chrsit! If he said that the thief will be saved he was saved! Then Christ dies, but raised again the third day. After which, he gave the great commission.

Mark 16:16 "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved..."

This commandment was given after Jesus told the thief on the cross that he would be saved. This is a new commandment! Now if a person wants to be saved they must obey the commandments of Christ and do the will of the Father which is the same thing. The sinners prayer doesn't save you, Holy Spirit baptism doesn't save you. Infant baptism doesn't save you (babies can't believe), speaking in tongues doesn't save you. The Word of God saves.

The church of Christ wasn't even established until the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem. (Acts 2:47)

Denominationalism is contrary to the will of God. In the book of John, Jesus prayed that all christians be one.

John 17:21 "That they (christians) all may be one; as thou, Father, is in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the WORLD may know that thou hast sent me."

Just think of how many people would be saved if the church in this era were one. The church of Christ was the first church and is proven by the New Testament.

Matthew 16:18 Acts 20:28 Romans 16:16 Ephesians 1:22-23 Ephesians 5:23-24 Colossians 1:18 Hebrews 12:23

From the church of Christ came the Roman Catholic church in 606 A.D. in Rome, started by Boniface III. Following was the Lutheran church named after Martin Luther who was against the Catholic church on doctrinal issues and practices. Then we have the Episcopalian church, Presbyterian, Congregational, Baptist, Methodist, Latter Day Saints, Seventh Day Adventists, Christian Science, Jehovah's Witness, A.M.E which started in 1816 A.D. in America by Richard Allen. And the list goes on.

Denominationalism is not in harmony with the scriptures. It was condemned by the apostles.

Romans 16:17-18 "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by smooth words and flattering speeches deceive the hearts (or minds) of the innocent."

1 Corinthians 1:10 "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement."

1 Corinthians 12:12 "For as the body (church) is one, and hath many memebers, and allthe members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ."

The bible also warns us about false teachers. Some of who are intentionally false teaches and those who are false teachers by lack of knowledge.

Acts 20:29-30 "For I (Paul) know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also OF YOUR OWN SELVES shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them."

1 Timothy 4:1-2 "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;"

1 Timothy 6:3-4 "If any man teach otherwise (other than the God's doctrine), and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness: He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings..."

2 Timothy 4:3-4 "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

2 Peter 3:16 "...As also in all his (Paul's) epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable twist, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction."

2 Thessalonians 2:15 "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our (the apostles) epistle."

As you can see that the bible talks about false teachers and unlearned teachers. Just because some says that they believe in Christ, doesn't mean that they will be saved. We must do the will of the Father which is the Word of God which includes the epistles written by the Apostles and not just the four books of the gospel. We should diligently seek God (Hebrews 11:6) so that we know what he requires of us. There will be many in that day that will profess that they preached and prophesied in Christ's name and done many wonderful works.

Matthew 7:21-23 "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prohesied (or preached) in thy name? and in thy name have cast out demons? and in thy name done many wonderful works? and then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that worketh inquity."

Noticed that Jesus never said that these people didn't do what they said they did.

1 Corinthians 13:9-10 "for we know in part and we prohesy in part. But when that which is complete is come, then that which is perfect shall be done away with."

Paul is talking about the gifts of the Holy Ghost and that these gifts will cease once THAT which is perfect (or complete) comes. He is not talking about Jesus because the greek text does not support the claim that its Jesus. THAT is genderless. He is talking about the full revelation from God to man, the bible. Now that we have the bible we don't need the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit. God never intended for these gifts to remain with us. The gifts were used to confirm the word of God. If any one studies the book of Acts this is clear. Those who practice speaking in tongues, miraculous healings, and prohpecies are not teaching the truth. Because these so called gifts that are being performed today are not like the miracles that were performed in the New Testament. It goes back to Matthew 7:21-23.

I plead with my AME friends and other religous bodies and those who don't believe to search the scriptures. Everything pertaining to salvation and godliness is there. We have to study to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, RIGHTLY dividing the WORD OF TRUTH. (2 Timothy 2:15).

-- Anonymous, August 06, 2000

Please be aware that "no man knows the mind of God" To say thay a denomination was not of God is not necessarily true because I am a firm believer that just as scripture is "inspired" by God who is to say that the formation of denominations is not inspired. Heaven and Earth shall pass away, but the word of God shall stand. If denominations are not part of the will of God then they shall fail. Only what you do for Christ shall stand.

-- Anonymous, August 07, 2000

If denominations are inspired then they should be in agreement with the word of God. Man has decided to change things based on man's opinions and beliefs. Mohammed wrote the Koran which he claims is inspired by God (Allah). But Muslims and the Koran teaches that Jesus was not the Son of God. Seventh Day Adventist teach that we are to observe the sabbath, but the old law was nailed to the cross and was taken away according to the book of Hebrews. The ten commandments and the law of Moses were given to the Jews anyway. Jehovah's Witnesses claim that only 144,000 will be saved according to Revelations and that those people are the only people who can take communion (the Lord's Supper). Catholics worship Mary and they baptize infants which is unscriptural. They also claim that Peter was the first pope which is a misinterpretation of Matthew 16:18. The list goes on. What this is doing is keeping honest people who wish to serve God, away from the truth. I've seen three different churches on one corner. Why is it that they can't be in agreement with one another and just be one congregation? Because each religious body believes or has faith in something different. That wasn't Christ's prayer in John 17. I say if they are inspired, then show me in the bible. Let the word of God be true and man be a liar. The bible says to "search the scriptures", in them you will find life. Christ is the author and finisher of the faith. After the final book of the bible was written, there should not have been anything else written after that. No Catechism, Koran, Book of Mormons, Jehovah Witness bibles, manuals, creeds, etc.

The word of God does not contradict itself. But man made doctrines contradict the Bible. Sure there are some translational errors, but the message is clear. And to get a better understanding you may have to study some Greek (original text of the New Testament) and Hebrew (original text of the Old Testament). The only thing that we can rely on is the Word of God which was written by the Holy Spirit.

-- Anonymous, August 07, 2000

Well the best way that I can put it because I have studied the various text and translations is this. As with Peter and John when they were brought before the council for preaching Jesus, it was determined that they could not silence them, but if it was not of God than it would not last. As was the case with other movements at the time. If this is not to last then God is the only one who can end it. Instead of trying to show a form of dominance over others continue preaching what you belive because as I tell many when I witness as a preacher in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in which I intend to Pastor it is up to me to preach the word as God has allowed me to understand and interpret it by his Spirit and God himself gives the increase of that knowledge and I know that other will agree with this statement.

-- Anonymous, August 07, 2000

Doing the will of God is part of what we do for Christ. We worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). So we commune with the Lord every Lord's day (Acts 20:8). If you check history, the 1st century church took communion (the Lord's Supper) every Lord's Day. We give a portion of what we've prospered back to God on the 1st day of the week. (1 Corinthians 16:2). And we sing without the accompaniment of instrumental music because the Apostles didn't authorize the use of it in worship. Music was introduced in the Lutheran church. History tells us that the 1st century church didn't use instrumental music when worshipping God. And most importantly we should practice the Beattitudes of Matthew chapter 5 and exercise love to all men. Without love we are nothing (1 Corinthians 13).

The Muslim are still around today. Do you believe that they are Inspired by God. Even the fact that they say that they believe in Christ but only that he was a prophet and not the Son of God? And that he never rose from the dead but that God took him up? Muslims believe in the Old Testament, but they believe that Mohammed is the messiah. The muslim religion is larger than Christianity! Don't be blind brothers by the American Way. Or the "have it your way motto." Don't resist the word of God. It benefits you to know it. So I plead with you to diligently search the scriptures. I think I've said enough. I will let any one who would like to respond. I believe I've said all I can say. Thanks. I'll be praying for you all.

-- Anonymous, August 07, 2000

In response to this than we must take the entire canon and look at it. First of all music in worship is key, if not than David a Hebrew would not of been a musician who used instruments in worship. Solomon the builder of the temple used music in worship. As I look at it I follow the 150th Psalm in regard to my public and private worship. In regard to the apostles they were all Jewish as well as Jesus was raised as a Jew. If anything our pattern and form comes from this. The 3 major Jewish sects at the time Pharisee, Sadducee, and Zealots came from the period in which Hellinism influenced the culture. (see the book of the Maccabees) Hellinism was the influence of Greek culture by conquest of Alexander. I do not debate your stance because that is your belief and conviction but I and evryone else involved also have their own. God is still God and he chooses where, when, and how he wants to move. Yes the Muslim is still around, yes the Buddhist is still around, yes all of these other forms of doctrines are still around but I belive that only Jesus can solve the great question of what is truth because he is the truth. I just stand upon where, when and how he wants me to move and when.

-- Anonymous, August 07, 2000

How do you know if God isn't trying to get you to see the truth through our converstion?

-- Anonymous, August 07, 2000

How do you know if God isn't trying to help you understand the truth through our conversation?

-- Anonymous, August 07, 2000

150 Psalms is david praising God because God brought him through to victory. In the Old Testament instrumental music was permitted. It was part of the worship. Now we all know that we are not under the Old Covenant, but under the New Covenant. The Old Testament is written for our learning, but now we are under Christ's dispensation and not Moses'. All scriptures referring to New Testament worship omits the use of instrumental music. If I had the Bible in front of me I would list all of them. The first century church didn't use it. The Apostles didn't authorize it. What if I don't like the kinda of music you play during worship? Music is another way to separate God's people. A Capella music can be sung by anyone who has a voice. No matter what culture you represent. Singing. If I use 150 psalms in reference to worshipping God with instrumental music, then everyone in the congregation is supposed to have an instrument! Don't forget we are under the law of Christ, not the law of Moses.

-- Anonymous, August 07, 2000

Like on "Who wants to be a millonaire" This is my Final answer. How do you know God is not speaking to you? In regard to covenants. Jesus said "I came not to destroy the law, but that it should be fulfilled." We must continue in the Law of God. Jesus gives us access to Grace and was the fulfilling of the Law, but that does not mean we should still go out and commit murder. We must still be mindful of the law, we just have a better chance of God's grace. No longer do we need to sacrafice, because God Himself was the sacrafice. Worship is a matter of taste. Each person worships in their own fashion and understanding. My worship of God should not be in a situation of discomfort because if this is the case then I cannot worship him effectively because my mind will not be on him. You continue referring to the 1st Century church and the Apostles what you must be mindful of is that Jesus is the foundation with which the church is founded and built upon. Christ is the only foundation that matters and he will not judge us by our denominational ties, but on our FAITHFULNESS to him.

-- Anonymous, August 07, 2000

Everything in the Law of Moses is contained in the "Law of Christ". What my CofC brother doesn't understand that the christian has liberty. We are not the lawless so we are not bund by it. The law, the Bible says, was made for the Lawless. He need to read Pauls letters to the churches at Rome and Corinth. The apostle explains all "things" are lawful for me. He further explained it that lawfull things becomes an occasion of sin then I want do it because I will not be bound by any.

The CofC teaching on music is silly. Psalms are mention in the New Testament several times by Paul. Since he was a Jew then we can with assurance assume he is refering to the Book of Psalms. In Addition the Greek word for Psalm which Paul mean to pluck the strings.

I wonder why??? Old testament with Music CofC says New Testment No Music Bible says Heaven has Music Why would he keep us from having what he enjoyed in the Old and in Heaven NOW. I Thought God does CHANGE. The CofCs God has.

-- Anonymous, August 07, 2000

Authorization for music. Youn say the Apostles didn't authorise it. Well brother they are not God either. They wrote as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Why should restated what He already approve of in the Old.

He still require sacrifice, though now we offer ourselves and spiritual sacrifices.

If music was a Salvation Issue WHY didn't HE(GOD) put any emphasis on it? Because it doesn't pertain to salvation.

-- Anonymous, August 07, 2000

Authorization for music. Youn say the Apostles didn't authorise it. Well brother they are not God either. They wrote as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Why should restated what He already approve of in the Old.

We still require sacrifice, though now we offer ourselves and spiritual sacrifices.

If music was a Salvation Issue WHY didn't HE(GOD) put any emphasis on it? Because it doesn't pertain to salvation.

-- Anonymous, August 07, 2000

CofC is just as much a denomination as the AME, SBC, UMC and the Christian Church(Disciples of Christ).

So, Derrick, why isn't the CofC in agreement with these other bodies, according to what you stated earlier about denomination???

CofC use to walk hand in hand with the instrumental CofC and the Disciples. But they broke out. Your doctrine more divise then others.

-- Anonymous, August 07, 2000

Where do we get our faith from? The word of God. How do you know that we will not be judge by denominationalism? Everything I've quoted is from the word of God. Christ told the Apostles that when the Holy Spirit (or Comforter) comes he will guide them to all truths. The Apostles were baptized by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2). This was the Comforter that Jesus was referring to. Then Peter and the rest of them stood up and preached Jesus. There were all different nations represented on the day of Pentecost. They were pricked to their hearts and asked "what must we do..." and Peter said "repent and be baptized everyone of you for the remission of sins..." (Acts 2:38)

In Revelations there were two different books. The book of life and another book. Everyone was judged according to the other book. What is the other book? The word of God. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. The word of God is our faith.

No, we should not commit murder. That is obvious. Murder is not affiliated with LOVE. Jesus said that if we have ought with our brother we are in danger of hell. No we should not commit adultery. Jesus said that if we look at a women in lust we've commited adultery.

The law of Christ deals with the heart, or the mind, of the individual. The Apostles were an intricate part of God's plan in establishing the church. Each congregation had issues which was helpful to the church today. Because these apostles were endowed with the Holy Spirit in a miraculous way, they were able to write the epistles addressing the issues they had. Christ purchased the church with HIS blood and the church is his body. So Christ is the founder of HIS church. The Apostles carried out the mission. You don't realize that music was a part of the Old Testament worship. Do you burn incense and light candles, and offer sacrificial lambs and such also? The Apostles instructed the church to sing. I may not like your tamberines and bass guitars and pianos. So am I supposed to go somewhere else? That setting may be uncomfortable to me. Well, I guess we can't see eye to eye on this. I hope and pray that Christ over looks it (denominationalism). The Bible is right. The bible says to prove all things. Christians should be equipped to stand up to anyone who questions what we believe in and be ready to give an answer of the hope that is within us. The word of God is our sword. It was written for us and by us with the power of the Holy Spirit. Take care. Its been a pleasure discussing the good book with you. I will be praying for you all. I love the word of God. Its the perfect law of liberty. It contains the Love of a Father who gave his only begotten son for us so that we may obtain everlasting life. Thank God for his mercy, grace and truth. Amen.

-- Anonymous, August 07, 2000

Sing hymns "psalms" and spiritual songs. You are taking the word psalms (or psallo) out of context. What kind of liberty do I have? Can I serve steak at the Lords table? Can I use steak and Pepsi for a representation of Christ's body and blood for the Lord's Supper? No. What we are free from is the Old law. God established a New Covenant through Christ. Therefore we are under the New Covenant. I will elaborate on the term "psalms" later on. But I will definitely elaborate on it. That will then be MY final answer. Are you even teaching the correct way to obtain salvation. If you are leaving out baptism you are not. (1 Peter 3:21). Thank you.

-- Anonymous, August 07, 2000

Mr. Henry, this discussion was in love until you entered the board. I sense a little hostility in your writings. I tried hard not to insult or offend any one. Lets keep this hostile free. Like I said, I will thoroughly address the instrumental music issue. And that will be my final discussion. Mr. Henry I will pray for you, because the spirit you are exhibiting is quite abrasive. But its okay. I will forgive you for that. I will later on this evening address the music in heaven and the diffence in worship of the Old and New Testament. Take care.

-- Anonymous, August 07, 2000

As I stated earlier that I would elaborate on the statement that instrumental music for the New Testament church is not scriptural and was not authorized by Christ nor the Apostles. We are free from the ordinances of the law of Moses. We are under grace and truth.

Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

There were ordinances regarding public prayer that Paul commanded the church at Corinth to keep. 1 Corinthians 11:2 Now I praise you brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances (or traditions), as I delivered them to you.

The perfect law of liberty in which James calls it does not mean that we can do anything we want in regards to our worship to God. Can we change the day of worshipping God from Sunday to Saturday? Can we use meatloaf and tea as a representation of Christs body and blood for the Lords Supper? Can we use instrumental music in our worship to God? Lets take a closer look.

Acceptable worship must be by the divine authority of Christ. In John 4:23, 24, Jesus said: But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: For the Father SEEKETH SUCH to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

There are two conclusions from this passage of scripture. First the statement clearly implies that there is true worship and a false worship.

According to Matthew 15:8,9, Jesus emphasized that worship which is according to the doctrines and precepts of men is vain worship. Vain worship is certainly the opposite of true worship.

Paul said in Colossians 3:17, And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus. From this statement of inspiration it is evident that our worship must be in the name of, or by the authority of, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The question is, did Christ, the apostles, or the Holy Spirit authorize mechanical instruments of music in worship? If so, then Christians should comply with His will. If not, then we must not disobey the will of the Fathe by engaging in worship authorized by man and not by Christ. Lets see what Paul had to say in the book of Ephesians.

Ephesians 5:17-19 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding that the will of the Lord is this.

Now what is the will of the Lord regarding music in the church? The answer is revealed in verse 19.

SPEAKING to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, SINGING and making melody in your heart to the Lord.

Here the apostle said that the music is to be vocal  singing. Just so you wont think that Im just using one scripture out of the Bible and basing the claim of A cappella worship on it, lets look at some more in the New testament.

Matthew 26:30, and when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

Acts 16:25, At midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God.

Romans 15:9, I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.

1 Corinthians 14:15, I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

1 Corinthians 14:26, When ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm.

Ephesians 5:19, Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.

Colossians 3:16, Teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Hebrews 2:12, In the midst of the church will I SING praise unto thee.

James 5:13, Is any merry? Let him sing psalms.

As you can see that there is an absence of mechanical instruments in the New Testament in which governs the actions of Christian worship. But Mr. Henry I wont stop there. Like I said we are going to look at the whole picture here. The first organ introduced into worship of any body of people claiming to be Christians was 670 years after Christ. It was introduced by Pope Vitalian I. It threatened division in the Roman Catholic Church and was removed to preserve unity. Eight hundred years after Christ the organ was reintroduced into the Roman Catholic church worship over some opposition. The Greek Catholic Church refused it then and still refuses it today.

The churches of Christ are not alone in refusing mechanical instruments of music in worship. It was, at one time, opposed by the Methodist Church. John Wesley, who was the founder of the Methodist Church, commented on mechanical instruments in worship.

I have no opposition to the organ in our chapel provided that it is neither seen or heard. (Clarkes Commentary, Vol. IV, page 686)

Adam Clarke, a Methodist, said, I am an old man and a minister; and I declare that I never knew them (mechanical instruments) productive of any good in the worship of God; and I have reason to believe that they were productive of much evil. Music, as a science, I esteem and admire; but in the house of God I abominate and abhor. This is the abuse of music and I here register my protest against all such corruption in the worship of the Infinite Spirit who requires his followers to worship him in spirit and in truth. (Clarkes Commentary, Vol. IV, page 686).

Well, Mr. Henry, as you can see even your own church history disagrees with mechanical instruments of music in worship. Doesnt sound so silly now, does it? The Methodist Church is not alone on this. Other religious bodies today or at one time did not condone the use of mechanical instruments in worship. Here is a list of them below:

The Greek Orthodox Church The Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Easter Church John Calvin  Founder of the Presbyterian Church Charles Spurgeon, a Baptist minister

These men, however, are not why we do not use instruments in worship. With Christians, it is a matter of faith. Worship, in order for it to be scriptural and acceptable worship, must be according to the New Testament pattern, by divine authority of Christ. Romans 10:17 states that faith comes by hearing the word of God; mechanical music is not authorized in the New Testament, therefore, a practice without FAITH.

Instrumental music was used in the Old Testament in some cases, although not used in the tabernacle and synagogues. During Old Testament times other practices were approved such as circumcision, burnt offerings, sacrifice of blood of bulls and goats, burning incense, observing the Sabbath day and other rituals, but such are no part of Christianity.

Lets talk about Psalms 150:1-6, where David used instrumental music under the Old Law. You say this is basis for Christians to use instrumental music today. Mr. Henry you dont understand the difference between the worship of the Jews under the Old Law and the worship of Christians under the New Law, the New Testament. Paul writes in Romans 3:19, We know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the Law. Are we all Jews living under the Old Law? I dont think so. What David did under the Law of Moses, was one thing. What Christians do, under New Testament law, is another thing. If Christians follow the example of the religious practices of David, then where is Davids lamb for the burnt offerings and Davids bowl of incense?

Now Mr. Henry lets look at instruments in heaven (Revelations 14:1-3).

And I heard a voice from heaven, AS the VOICE OF MANY WATERS, and AS the VOICE OF A GREAT THUNDER: and I heard the VOICE OF HARPERS HARPING WITH THEIR HARPS: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

Question: John, what did you hear? John said, I heard a voice. John, what did the voice, which you heard singing, sound like? As the voice of many waters, and as the voice of great thunderthe voice of harpers harping with their harps, John replies.

If John heard literal harping on harps, did he not likewise hear literal thunder and literal water? Why the harps in worship and leave out the thunder and the water? If harps are literal, in this passage, then the thunder and waters are literal and John really didnt hear the voice at all! He heard thunder, waters, and harps!

No mistake about it, John heard a voice AS the voice of many waters, a great thunder and harpers. The voice was singing; not playing. The beautiful melody (waters), the volume (thunder) and the harmony (harps) of the song, which was being sung, was comparable to the melody, the volume, and harmony of the voice of many watersthe voice of a great thunderthe voice of harpers This was heavenly music, with a voice, Gods gift of music to man.

And lastly, the psallo argument. If psallo means sing with the accompaniment in Ephesians 5:19, then instrumental music is commanded; there is no choice in the matter; worship would not be acceptable without it. Psallo does not mean sing. Psallo means to pluck, pull, twang, like plucking the hair, the beard, or the strings of a musical instrument. The instrument that the Christians plucks, as he/she sings praises to Almighty God, is his heart. When singing, the Christian is making melody (psallontes) in your heart to the Lord. Notice that Paul, who was inspired, said that the instrument is the HEART and not a mechanical instrument.

So Mr. Henry, it doesnt seem so silly now, does it? This is my final discussion. From one African American to another. Peace my brothers. I hope this clarifies instrumental music worship and that it is not authorized by Christ, the apostles, nor the Holy Spirit. Except Jehovah build the house, they labour in vain that build it (Psalms 127:1)

-- Anonymous, August 07, 2000

Unfortunately your are not sighting the entire Word. In addition you Methodist history is a bit off. In regard to Wesley, he and his brother John wrote a number of Hymns and music, accompanied by a piano. This was used by them in the Anglecan Church as well as when they came to america both times. Now you are using scripture from the New Testamnent with no regard to the Old. Christ came to fulfill the Law and every reference Paul makes is in regard to Old Testament scripture because of his training and up bringing. You cannot look at the New without the Old because the Old was a forshadow of things to come. In addition the book of acts does not record any real worship experiences. You also need to research the history of King James if you are going to use that as your primary source. The dead sea scrolls where transaleted but also recently other scrolls were found and are now being translated. Worship of God comes out of the Hebrew. Jesus was a Hebrew and he did not disown that therefore he came unto his own and they received him not, so he went to another set of people. True worship comes from your heart. Yes we sing but if it is not in love than we are sounding brass and tinkling cymbals, I believe that was Paul's words. We must take the entire bible as a whole not just in Old and New. Also read the Apochrphya.

-- Anonymous, August 08, 2000

I am distressed and not at all encouraged by this discussion. If I were a non-believer, and I were seeking some indication that confessing Jesus Christ as my savior was what was best for me, I am certain that I would be persuaded otherwise after having read the things that have been said here. And I don not mind saying that it was Mr. Macon's argument that distresses me most.

Earlier in the discussion, one contributor interjected that this polemic over denominalization and instrumental music in worship services was counter-productive and that our time would be better spent ministering to the non-believer instead of indicting ourselves over our differences. I tend to agree with that assessment. To say that one that does not do as the Church of Christ does, and will thereby not receive salvation, is, to me, as bad as the Pharisees and Saducees during the time of Christ.

One word about instrumental music. The scriptures that Mr. Macon quoted all mention singing. None of them mention instrumental music, and certainly none of them forbade the use of such. I do not believe an accurate assessment can be made of the Apostles' position on the use of instrumental music if they themselves never addressed such.

I am reminded of a call for assistance that I received from my very good friend. He was conducting a workshop with a group of teens from a particular church, the denomination is unimportant. There was one young man in the group that was drifting toward atheism. He could not fathom being a Christian, there was just too much uncertainty, too much taken on faith, and way too much hypocrisy and negative criticism. I, among others, was asked to present answers to about 10 questions that the young man presented to my friend. These were not to be persuasive arguments in support of Christianity per se. But, if the respondent was a Christian, then he or she could not help but couch the answers in terms that would allow the young man to understand the beneficence of confessing Christ as his savior, and the goodness, the inclusivity of our religion.

Had that young man read this discussion string, he would have been lost forever.

Mr. Macon, I feel strongly that you should be cautioned. If you feel that God has directed you to preach to the converted in the manner you have espoused here, then so be it. But please consider that for every one or two of us "misguided Christians" that you succeed in persuading, there may be dozens of non-believers that you succeed in dissuading.

W. J. Richardson

-- Anonymous, August 08, 2000

Mr. Richardson,

Thank you for your fatherly wisdom. I withdraw from any further discussion.

-- Anonymous, August 08, 2000

I've withdrawn from any further discussion likewise.

With brotherly love, Mr. Macon

"All scripture are given by inspiration of God, and can be used for reproof, correction, doctrine, and instruction to righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16)

-- Anonymous, August 08, 2000

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