Good News for Paranoid Preachers, Your fears are real!

Below are some of the ways you can loose your salvation if you are a member of “the Lord’s church” (church of Christ). The good news is that there are other ways you and I might not have thought of. This is far from being a complete list. There are some I have missed. But, the scary fact is there are some you haven’t thought of either, so be on guard…
(This list is not in order of priority or popularity. When you think about it, one way is just as worthwhile as another as long as it causes you to be lost.)
1. Failure to use the King James Version of the Bible for readings in worship. (Some more enlightened conservatives use the risky NKJV)
2. Clapping hands in time to music when singing.
3. Clapping hands at any other time in the Sunday assembly. (Any use of human hands in the assembly is suspect except for leading a song when only one hand at a time may be used but only modestly. Preachers may also gesture while preaching using their hands but not to excess, it is too much like the Pentecostals)
4. Singing during the Lord’s Supper. This is strictly forbidden by the silence of Scripture.
5. More than one person leading a song at one time. Only one song leader is approved by Scripture.
6. Serving the Lord’s Supper from the back of the “building”.
7. Serving wine in the cup instead of grape juice.
8. Serving grape juice in the cup instead of wine.
9. Using more than one cup.
10. Using only one cup.
11. Missing participating in the Lord’s Supper on Sunday.
12. Serving the Lord’s Supper on Sunday night. (In some churches, not serving the Lord’s Supper on Sunday night might damn.)
13. Using money given to the church to support orphans.
14. Using money given to the church to support widows.
15. Paying a preacher a salary.  (Paying someone to sweep the building and clean the toilets is approved)
16. Having a preacher who is not married.
17. Having only one elder. (If a church has two and one dies it is better for the church if the surviving elder dies as quickly as possible)
18. Reaffirmation of elders. (It is just as wrong to tell an elder he is doing a good job as to tell one he is not doing a good job)
19. Having a “located” preacher. (Not to be confused by having a loco preacher)
20. Doing anything Baptists might do or have done in the past.
21. Using a musical instrument in Sunday worship. (Using instrumental accompaniment for weddings is authorized provided it is done in a separate structure, divided by a separation of the roof from the part of the building used for the Sunday assembly. (There must be an air space dividing the buildings) It can be done in the part of the building where the kitchen would be if we were going to hell. Recorded music with instruments is slightly more authorized than the actual.)
22. Teaching that churches or the individuals in them are saved if they violate the first 21 items on this list.
23. Women speaking in the assembly will damn the whole congregation. ( To be safe, if an elderly widow should fall she should sing her request for help rather than speak it.)
24. Women are not allowed to pray on Sunday.
25. Women are allowed to pass communion plates and trays only from side to side. (If sitting on the end of the pew and the attendant overlooks that plate or tray a woman should modestly and quietly hold it looking straight ahead until a man notices is was missed. You just can’t be too careful!)
26. Women teaching males over 12, no over 10, no…The elders should decide what age males can be taught by women.( Women being so modest they are confused with Assembly of God , or Church of God women at Sunday lunch is not good so they should wear some make up.)This is not a salvation issue but is important enough to be mentioned.
27. Stained glass windows.
28. A church steeple is authorized if it is noticeably shorter than the shortest denominational steeple in town. Any exception to this puts the whole congregation in danger of hell fire.
29. Publishing a “Statement of Faith”.
30. Teaching that Max Lucado is a Christian.
31. Teaching the “once saved always saved” heresy. (Everyone knows it the absolute right of every faithful member of the Lord’s church to have his soul in constant jeopardy.)
32. Teaching anything that hints of the “supernatural”.
33. Teaching focused on the Holy Spirit. (If God had wanted Christians to know about the Holy Spirit he would have put it in the Bible)
34. Teaching that anyone who has not “obeyed the gospel” is saved. (It is impossible to “obey the gospel” unless one is immersed in water by a church of Christ man who says as he puts the candidate under the water, “for the remission of your sins”. If he fails to say this the person is very likely still lost.)
35. Discontinuing the Sunday night service. ( Everyone knows that all 8 people can be there if they are faithful.)
36. Sending children and grand children to ACU
37 Attending the Tulsa Workshop if you know ahead of time they are going to say anything nice about Christian church people or denominational people. If you are pretty sure this will not happen it is OK to go but do not visit the booths of progressives.
38. Teaching that the churches of Christ started any time other than 33AD.
39  Having a Sunday school.
40. Missing worship services three times in a row if not bedfast.
41. Missing worship services while on family vacation. (The safe thing is to show a bulletin or gospel tract to an elder or the preacher with the churches name on it where you visited)
42. Teaching that anyone in a denomination is saved. (There may be a possibility of some tolerance on this point if an elders daughter marries a Baptist pastor’s son. Something can possibly be worked out with God to make an exception in such hard ship cases)
43. Fellowshipping anyone or any church who fellowships anyone or any church that commits any of the prior 42 sins.
Please note: This is not an exhaustive list. Other church of Christ preachers, elders, and preaching school teachers are able to think of more and I am sure I have overlooked some. If you know of others please comment and tell what they are.
Of all of these damnable things the widely accepted view is that “the instrument” is the most common and easiest way to be lost. Some church of Christ people have guitars or pianos in their homes but why take the risk? It is a slippery slope I fear.

16 comments on “Good News for Paranoid Preachers, Your fears are real!

  1. I’ve never understood #43. (Nor many others on the list, of course) Seems like you would have to have perfect knowledge of the beliefs of every Christian you came in contact with. The only “safe” course would be to fellowship nobody. And some brothers seem to be headed that way.

    Grace and peace,
    Tim Archer

  2. May need to add: Addressing Jesus in a prayer. It’s acceptable to address Him directly in songs, but never in a prayer!

    That’s right. Thanks John.


  3. all five acts of worship must be performed in the Sunday assembly BUT you can NOT perform more than one at a time.

    This applies only to singing during the communion service. but does not apply to singing or reading prayers.

    praying scripture is borderline

    How did I overlook these? Thanks B


  4. royce, i believe you left out the all important abomination of “visiting” another church. you know, if you hang around with baptists, methodists, and others of their ilk something unimaginable could happen–like grace!

  5. hi royce,
    are you presently or have you ever been a member of the coc? i was “raised” in the coc in a very conservative branch. when i was about 10 years old my grandfather was an elder and i saw a good sized congregation split over whether the church should suppot orphans directly from th church treasury or whether individuals should write a check for their support. this event is was the catalyst to my attitude of questioning the beliefs and practices of the leadership. i am now 59 years old and have yet to resolve all of the issues concerning coc membership. i have studied with what i believe to be and honest heart and open mind — but to no avail. this has been central to my very being for as long as i remember. you know what the issues are. baptism,instrumental music,fellowshipping in the church, the 5 step plan of salvation, etc.
    any info would be appreciated.

    Bro’ Sid,

    I appreciate your honest and humble heart. And, especially that you are on a quest for truth. In my view you are far better than those who claim it exclusively.

    I am a member of a Church of Christ. The people I worship with are a tolerant bunch, they put up with me! I love and appreciate the good people who share the Restoration Movement, those who love Christ and want others to know him. At the same time I detest and oppose those who have put religion ahead of Christ. We have both kinds don’t we?

    What coc folks fight about, for the most part anyway, cannot be defended by the Bible or common horse sense. It is a reproach on the name of our Lord for people to divide and call each other names because of some of these issues I have listed in the blog post.

    Our only hope is Jesus and what He has accomplished for sinful men like me and you, our only basis of Christian unity and brotherhood is our common trust in Jesus Christ, and the only external evidence we know him is that we love each other and live our lives in such a way that we don’t dishonor His holy name. That is what matters to me.

    I don’t care how people in distant cities worship God. It doesn’t matter to me if they have a piano or clap their hands or how they serve the Lord’s Supper or what they say when they baptize someone, I just want them to love the Lord Jesus and those he died for with a pure heart.

    In every place, without regard to the sign on the church building, where there are people who are devoted to Jesus Christ and live lives of holiness, caring for the poor and making the good news known to as many people as they can, it is there I have family. Those who honor the Lord Jesus Christ in word and deed I will honor.

    May God bless you,

    • Bro Royce,
      thank you so much for your kind words. i will continue to study confident that the Lord will allow me to find the complete truth that he has provided for all of us who love Him and await His coming. i will be conacting you soon.
      In Christ,

  6. years ago I copied a list of Church of Christ rules on my blog. It remains one of the most visited posts. I was going to comment on the violation of two acts of worship at the same time but b beat me to it. I was actually taught that.

    Interesting. I just wonder how someone first came up with that supposed “sin”? Thanks for visiting and for your comment.


  7. And:

    Having communion and/or a church service on any day other than Sunday. Except Wednesday. For church, not communion.

    Attending the Pepperdine Lectureship. In fact, attending any lectureship not held by a specific congregation or Freed-Hardeman.

    Not subscribing to “Seek the Old Paths” or at least one similar publication.

    Using the word “grace” in reference to anything but saying a prayer at the dinner table.

    And on and on and on …..

    LOL Good additions! Thanks


  8. Bro. Sid, I concur with brothr Royce’s reply to your post and join with him to encourage you to continue seeking after truth. We in the c of c heritage have a lot of “doctrinal bagage” that sprang mostly from traditions which cannot be justifiably supported by the scriptures. I, too, like you, have lived through many sectarian issues in our hertiage. While many of them still exist, I am thankful that some very real progress is being made by our moving away from the cult/sectarian mind-set and toward the acceptance of all whom the Lord has added to His church. We (me included) have thought that the Lord needed help with His math where the scriptures say “And the Lord added to the church daily such as were being saved.” I doubt there could be any higher form of arrogance than to think that the Lord just doesn’t know how to add so we (I) best help Him. In my quest for a better understanding of many of these issues I found the work done by Bro. Al Maxey to be very helpful. I point you to his publications (now 400+) at: Since his work was/is an evolving effort, I suggest that you start with his first “Refections” issue and work forward. May our Lord bless you and us all with lives conducted in such a way as to bring glory our blessed Savior.

    I too hold Bro’ Al in high regard. His material is excellent and always points to the Lamb of God who alone is the answer to sin.


  9. Pingback: Top 10 posts of 2010 | Grace Digest

  10. What do the Word of God say about preachers teaching for pay? Read Micah 3:8-12. Preaching for pay is a sin. Thus says the Word of God, “But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord, and of justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and Israel his sin. Her heads judge for a bribe, her priest teach for pay and her prophets divine for money. Yet they lean on the Lord, and say Is not the Lord among us? No harm can come upon us. Therefore because of you (God is referring to the preachers who teach for pay) Zion shall be plowed like a field, Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins and the mountain of the temple like the bare hills of the forest”.

    • Caroline, There is something very important about understanding the Bible, and especially for those of us who are doing it in 2011. That thing is context. And, you are making a broad statement based on something a prophet said centuries ago that does not take into consideration that place and time, nor does it consider the Levitical priests who ate from what the faithful brought to the temple. Nor phrases in the Bible that address this subject like this one, “Don’t muzzle the ox that pulls the press” (my paraphrase).

      I wrote a post about this subject and suggest you read it although I don’t pretend you will agree. My purpose is not to enter a debate with you. My sense is that your mind is made up, so I will not try. The post can be found here.

      Thanks for reading and commenting. God’s best to you.

  11. A very entertaining and informative list. I suspect that not every item on the list has been claimed to cost someone their salvation. Rather, everything on the list has been claimed to be wrong for one reason or another, and some items have been claimed to be salvation issues, but not all. Can it really be documented that stained glass windows were alleged to cost someone their salvation, for example?

    • The fact that any of those things are considered to be a “salvation issue” speaks volumes about how little people know about what God has accomplished for ungodly sinners in the person and work of Jesus. Jesus didn’t die to give people the chance to save themselves. God doesn’t want our offering of a perfect life, He wants to give us His perfect life.

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