False Teaching Comes to Mission Field
By Jim E. Waldron
There is a strong effort across America to restructure the churches of Christ to make them more palatable to the denominational world. This is not the first time this has happened in North America. In the latter part of the last century churches by the hundreds were swept into apostasy because Bible authority was scorned.
The code word of the modern digressives is "change." Many of them are saying the church will die if it does not change to attract baby boomers. Who are we seeking to please and honoróbaby boomers or God?
Those who support false teaching export their heresy into the mission field. While I was in South India recently, brother E.A. Arumugam showed me a copy of a book which had been mailed to him anonymously: The Second Incarnation, by "Dr." Randall J. Harris and "Dr." Rubel Shelly (1992).
This book is bold in its efforts to obscure the identity of the churches of Christ. For example, the writers affirm, "It is a mistake to equate the church with whatever it is that we are at the moment" (p. 61); thereby condemning the affirmation by God's people today that they are the church because they hold the pattern of sound words (2 Tim.2:13). Again, Harris and Shelly say, "What religious people of all stripes and varieties have done to determine the identity of the church seems to make perfectly good sense" (p. 62).
They also deny the church is the kingdom of God founded on Pentecost and proclaim, "We are praying for the kingdom to come" (p. 104). They, like many in the denominational world, confuse the eternal home of Christians with the kingdom foretold in Mark 9:1 and founded on Pentecost (Acts 2:36-41; 8:12; Col. 1:13; Rev. 1:9).
Brother Curtis Cates, (9194 Lakeside Drive, Olive Branch, Miss. 38654) director of the Memphis School of Preaching, has written a review of the Shelly-Harris book and carefully exposed many of the errors in it.
A major part of the digression in the last century came when preachers went for graduate studies in such seminaries as Harvard and Yale, then came back promoting evolution, classical liberalism, and modernism.
Brother J.E. Choate, and Adron Doran have documented much of this digression in their book, The Christian Scholar.
Brother Choate is writing articles in which he shows how modernists took over the College of the Bible at the beginning of this century. He is also demonstrating how false teachers in this generation are seeking to do the same thing in some of our present schools. Also, the Firm Foundation has over the last five years documented much of this current digressive movement coming out of Abilene Christian University.
Brother Goebel Music in 1991 published Behold The Pattern, in which he meticulously documented the uncertain sounds of ten preachers and/or college professors. These men are: Max Lucado, San Antonio, Texas; Stephen Taylor, former professor of Abilene Christian University, who is now in England; Larry James, Plano, Texas; Rick Atchley, Fort Worth, Texas; Randy Fenter, San Antonio, Texas; Jim Hackney, Fort Worth, Texas; Jeff Walling, Mission Viejo, Calif.; Randy Mayeux, Dallas, Texas; Rubel Shelly, Nashville, Tenn.; and Denny Boultinghouse, West Monroe, La.
Published September 1996