The Rise of Denominationalism

by Andy Sochor via Unmasking Sophistry, Vol. 4, No. 3, July-September 2024 In the previous article, we discussed the Reformation Movement, which came when the Roman Catholic Church was a religiously and politically dominating force. Over the centuries, it became increasingly corrupt until Martin Luther challenged some of the errors and abuses of the prevailing system.…

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The Reformation Movement

by Andy Sochor via Unmasking Sophistry, Vol. 4, No. 2, April-June 2024 In terms of general “church” history, it is difficult to overstate the importance of the Reformation Movement. As we have already studied, the Roman Catholic Church dominated the world – religiously and politically. As “Christianity” became the official religion of the Roman Empire,…

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The Development of Papal Power

By Andy Sochor Unmasking Sophistry, October-December, 2023, Vol. 3, No. 4 The pope is arguably the most influential religious figure in the world today. Yet there was a time when the one who occupied this office was even more powerful than the current pope. He would not only be the highest-ranking member of the Roman…

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Choirs and Solos

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Choirs-and-Solos.mp3 by Jeffrey W. Hamilton Text: Hebrews 13:12-16   I.         Satan never stops in his relentless pursuit of God’s people to lead them astray – I Peter 5:8-9             A.        In the past, we talked about the introduction of musical instruments into the worship.                         1.         We showed from scripture that the practice was not authorized by God                         2.         We showed…

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A Look at Church History

by Andy Sochor Early Persecution The Beginning of Apostasy The Council of Nicea The Reformation and the Restoration: A Tale of Two Movements The Reformation Movement The Rise of Denominationalism The Same Movement, Yet We Are Different

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The Council of Nicea

by Andy Sochor via Unmasking Sophistry, Vol. 3, No. 2 The first ecumenical council, that occurred in Nicea, was in 325 AD. It was a gathering of church leaders from across the Roman Empire who came together to discuss certain controversial issues and come to a consensus on the church’s “official” position on these matters. Before…

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The Other Side of Church History

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2006/01/The-Other-Side-of-Church-History.mp3 by Jeffrey W. Hamilton Text: I Timothy 4:1-3   I.         When we study the history of the church since its beginnings, we tend to follow the paths of the major divisions.             A.        Thus we see the rise of Catholicism as innovation after innovation is accepted, the splits over those innovations which led to the Orthodox Catholic…

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Early Christians Speak Concerning Assembling

by Ron Halbrook The early saints speak to us in both word and deed regarding their assemblies. Their narrative is rich with lessons for us today if only we have hearts to hear. Let us review and reflect upon the record of their meetings in the book of Acts in the first century, and a…

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Larimore and Tant

by F. Yater Tant Gospel Guardian, September 22, 1955 In the 1890s the beloved T. B. Larimore held a six-month meeting at Sherman, Texas, and baptized something like 250 people. His prestige there and his influence were almost comparable to Paul’s in Galatia at the time the Galatians “would have plucked out their eyes” and…

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Early Persecution

by Andy Sochor via Unmasking Sophistry, October-December 2022 As the apostles were commissioned to “make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19), this would include preparing these disciples to face persecution for the cause of Christ. Jesus warned about this in His Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you,…

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The Beginning of Apostasy

by Andy Sochor via Unmasking Sophistry, January-March 2023 As we noticed in “Early Persecution,” the early Christians openly faced severe persecution for the cause of Christ. While many abandoned their faith in order to avoid these persecutions, there were others who remained faithful even to the point of death. Because of this, the enemies of…

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What differentiates your beliefs from the heresy of Pelagianism?

Question: What differentiates your beliefs from the heresy of Pelagianism? Answer: I’m a bit curious why you would think that someone who lived some 1700 years ago has any impact on a group of Christians who focus on teaching the Bible. We follow the Bible and not the teachings of men. I’m also curious if…

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The History of the La Vista Church of Christ

The La Vista Church of Christ was established in September of 1971. There were two families living in the area and they met for a time in the home of Ken and Rita Hirshey and their children. The other family was Wally and Nellie Bates and their children. Ken worked in a government position and Wally…

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The Church of Christ in 1771

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton In a book titled, “A History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists in Virginia” by Robert Baylor Semple, published in 1810 is a copy of this journal entry: “Wednesday Morning — Met and proceeded as follows: The church of Christ on Black Water, in Bedford, having sent neither letter…

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I Have Fought a Good Fight

by J. D. Tant (1861-1941) Sixty years have come and gone. I hope and pray that long after I cross the great divide, hundreds will read my sermons, be taught the way of life, and take up their cross and follow Jesus. I am leaving this bit of history that others may know that life…

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The Rise of Catholicism

by Julius C. Nwankwo Unmasking Sophistry, vol. 1, no. 2, July-September 2021 The history of God’s people in the Old Testament is a history of faithfulness, apostasy, and restoration. This is also true of the church. Next to a study of the Bible, church history is the most valuable study for a Christian. In this…

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The Reformation and the Restoration: A Tale of Two Movements

by Andy Sochor The New Testament repeatedly warns about drifting; in particular, drifting away from the faith. This can be done either individually or collectively. The Hebrew writer warned the Christians to whom he wrote that they “must pay much closer attention to what [they had] heard, so that [they would] not drift away from…

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Immersion, Pouring, and Sprinkling: A History

by Bruce Edwards, Jr. Truth Magazine XIX:27 (May 15, 1975), pp. 422-424 This writer can remember witnessing at the age of five the “baptism” of his infant cousin; the denominational “pastor” sprinkled drops of water upon his forehead. I wondered at the significance of that action then, but now, with an increased understanding of the…

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The Legacy of Campbell’s Error

by Steve Dewhirst Sentry Magazine, December 2000 Alexander Campbell Alexander Campbell (1788-1866) was a remarkable man, but he was just a man, subject to error even as the rest. for all of his great learning, teaching, and writing over many years, he was profoundly wrong in his understanding of one vital aspect of the New…

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The History of the Institutional Controversy

by Jefferson David Tant Those who have a general knowledge of churches of Christ today are aware of the fact that a division took place during the last half of the 20th Century. This division took place over doctrinal issues concerning the organization, work, and mission of the Lord’s church. In many respects, this division…

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A Friendly Letter on Benevolence

  by Irven Lee (1914-1991) April 1, 1958 A good friend that I have known and appreciated a long time sent a letter of inquiry which prompted this answer. Since so many are wondering about the same problems, I am making a few copies of the letter [that I wrote in response] with the hope…

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The Holiness Movement

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/The-Holiness-Movement.mp3 by Jeffrey W. Hamilton Text: I Thessalonians 5:16-28   I.         Pietism took off during the 1600’s with Philipp Jakob Spener (1635-1705)             A.        Eventually a denomination form that was referred to as the Moravian church             B.        From here we skip ahead to the early 1700’s II.        John Wesley (1703-1791)             A.        He was raised in the Church of England and eventually…

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Pietism

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Pietism.mp3 by Jeff Hamilton Text: II Corinthians 11:1-4   I.         In the late 1300s lived a man named John Wycliffe in Oxford, England, where he taught in Balliol College.             A.        He was a theologian and a lay preacher, strongly advocating evangelism.             B.        This man found many things wrong with Roman Catholicism                         1.         The Bible was the supreme authority and…

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Christians in First Century Corinth

by Hugh DeLong We live (lived, past tense, as our world is quickly changing), in a time when Christianity (the basic principles) is the majority belief. The concept of one god is accepted. Such was not true back in the first century. The pagan world was full of gods. Such were woven into the very fabric of the lives…

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The Church in Crisis

by Edward O. Bragwell, Sr. I have a sermon titled “Crises in the Jerusalem Church” that I preach from time to time. It is based on notes that I took on a sermon I heard brother Clinton Hamilton preach many years ago. It points to several crises faced by the first congregation of Christians ever.…

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The Split of the Catholic Churches

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/SplitOfTheCatholicChurches.mp3 by Jeffrey W. Hamilton Text: Matthew 23:1-12 I.         Very shortly after the first century, one elder in the church became the chief elder and took on the title of bishop to distinguish himself from the other elders.             A.        Even though elder and bishop refers to the same duty – Titus 1:5,7             B.        By the third century, we…

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The Apostles’ Creed

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/ApostlesCreed.mp3 by Jeffrey W. Hamilton Text: John 17:11-23   I.         Every once in a while someone will ask what is our statement of faith.             A.        Back when we were home schooling, we were wanting to get involved with a local group, but they wanted us to sign a statement of faith             B.        Another name for a statement of…

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How Did Christianity Survive?

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/2016Summer6HowDidChristianitySurvive.mp3 by Tommy Peeler God Has a Plan

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The History Behind “Freedom’s Ring”

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton “While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage” (II Peter 2:19). My first encounter with the doctrine promoted by Freedom’s Ring was when the congregation where my wife and I met got pulled into apostasy…

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The Congregational Cooperation Issue During the Restoration Movement

by George P. Estes via Gospel Guardian, May 3, 1956 Behind the thinking of the men who attempted to restore the New Testament church lie two basic premises or accepted facts: first, that the church as it existed in the apostolic age contained no admixture of human doctrine and was, therefore, a God-given and perfect…

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Was the term “Christian” originally a derogatory reference?

Question: By your teaching the disciples were first called “Christians” at Antioch of Syria, which is true; however, who at Antioch was calling them this term and why? It was a derogatory term toward them, my friend. Then again by King Agrippa, another pagan. Then one other time this name is mentioned by Peter only…

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Augustus H. F. Payne

by Earl Kimbrough via Biblical Insights When the dark and angry clouds of war gathered over the nation in 1860, some pacifist gospel preachers in Missouri drew up a document pleading with their brethren to refuse to take up arms in the conflict. Entitled Circular from Preachers in Missouri, the paper was intended for brethren in all…

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The Same Movement, Yet We Are Different

by Andy Sochor Daniel Austen Sommer (1878-1952) was the son of the gospel preacher, Daniel Sommer. In 1916, D.A. Sommer debated J. Roy Wright of the Christian church. The debate dealt with several issues, including instrumental music in worship and missionary societies. In his first speech, Sommer pointed out something that he and Wright had in…

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The Origin of the Sinner’s Prayer

by Ryan Hasty No method of conversion has gained such popularity amongst mainstream denominations in the last century than that of the “Sinner’s Prayer.” It has been said that thousands of people utter this prayer daily in response to altar calls and one-on-one conversations between friends, relatives, co-workers, and schoolmates. To find the origin of…

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To Play, or Not to Play: That Is the Question

by Jefferson David Tant Shakespeare’s Hamlet pondered the question: “To be, or not to be. That is the question.” In the following pages, we want to deal with the question: “To play, or not to play. That is the question.” The question continues as it has through many centuries and divisions in the body of Christ as…

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William Tyndale: Christian, Translator, Martyr

by Jefferson David Tant William Tyndale (1494-1536) was a Reformation leader in England. He was born near Gloucester and has the distinction of being the first man to print the New Testament in English from the original Greek. (John Wycliffe had done a Latin to English translation in 1382). He was fluent in eight languages…

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Did He Say That? John Calvin on Instrumental Music

by Doy Moyer Why is it that those who want to identify with Calvinism are quick to quote Calvin on matters like predestination, but don’t appear to want to quote Calvin on instrumental music in the assemblies? Here are a couple of pieces of Calvinism that modern Calvinists seem to have missed, so I’m just…

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