Hello Brother Jeffress,
You have successfully been
removed from the list.
Your strong response has
raised several questions in my mind that I am asking you as a brother in
Christ. What in my material has brought such a response? You would be my
friend indeed if you would help lead me from sectarianism and legalism. I am
asking this sincerely and would be open to any material you may have to
In love to you, I also ask
that you examine your motives as well. You may be responding in anger out of
past dealings with other people. While I do understand how past wounds often
hurt and are hard to heal, you need to be careful in writing off others
spiritually. As an evangelist you surely you know this since you certainly
have been on the receiving end of these kinds of responses yourself!
As I mentioned, I am happy
to remove you from the list. I do not have a problem with that.
May the Lord bless you in
your work for Him.
In Christian Love,
There was no response from
When this publication
began in September of 2005, I included all churches of Christ in
Virginia that had a presence on the web in my e-mail list. I realize
that there are many things that are taught and believed by churches that
go by that name. For the record, I have never personally known brother
Jeffress nor have I ever been associated with the before mentioned
"fellowship" that he left. Our brother obviously has some bitterness towards
those in his past.
I remain open to being
taught and corrected from God's word. Sadly, so far, our brother has called
me and those within "my fellowship" some names and then severed contact.
Here is the second
How did I start getting this false teaching in my
have been successfully removed from the list.
did, however, arouse my curiosity. What false teaching did you find? You
would be my friend to show me anything that is not right! I say this with
utmost sincerity and not in any blind "self-defense" or self-righteousness.
There was no response from
Our brother has posted
this about himself on a website: " Progressive-minded minister …. who
is grace-driven, outreach-focused, Spirit-filled and Bible-based."
He describes an effective church
as: " will highly value teaching the Word, contemporary praise and
He also describes his work with a
church as: "emphasizing contemporary praise and worship songs as
opposed to traditional hymns. We believe that clapping and raising of hands
in praise should be encouraged but not mandatory."
When I included the article on
"Clapping in Worship" in my publication, I had no idea that
it would bring such strong responses! The article was written in a careful
and Bible centered manner. While I could always expect brotherly
disagreement, I never thought a careful study on this subject would produce
I am concerned when men, in or
out of the pulpit, describe themselves as "grace-driven" or being free from
the "legalistic" views of the Pharisee's act in this way. I will leave you
with a quote to consider from a recent article published on our site
"Turning the Grace of God into a Carnal Weapon."
Years ago I read an article by Connie
Adams that I never forgot. He received some advice concerning men who claim
to define their lives by the “grace” of God and how they actually act under
"Years ago, an older preacher told me of
a warning he had received years before from Cled Wallace. He said, "Watch
out for the real sweet men. They will rip you to pieces when they get a
chance." I have received more unkind and unjust treatment over the years
from those who had the most to say about love, kindness, gentleness and such
nobler qualities, but who could not tolerate any criticism about what they
"I much prefer to deal with people who
will meet you in the open before witnesses to air honest disagreements than
those who isolate and insulate themselves in ivory towers where they look
down with contempt on the fray below them.”
We are getting your bulletin by e-mail. We would like to know more about you
and your work. When did you begin meeting in Charlottesville?
We especially liked the article about clapping. Roger has been
preaching 50 + years. We are grieved about the ''dumbing-down" [lack of
respect for God's word ] in the change movement. I'll mail this week's
Roger and Sue
In Response to "The Difference Between a Hypocrite and
a Good Person Making a Mistake"
This was a good article. It is certainly something else
to reflect on.
From the article:
The hypocrite will insist that he has not sinned, that he has been
misunderstood, or that someone else is really at fault. He thus relinquishes
the benefit of having an Advocate with the Father, by denying his need for
such (1 John 1:8‑2:6).
That's a slightly different definition of hypocrite than I'm familiar with.
However if you switch out "sinned" with "done something wrong" and then
transfer the situation to an "allegedly" professional environment and I
could say that I've known entirely too many of those type of people during
In Response to “The Christian's Apparel --
Inside and Out"
Hi Brother Rouse,
Excellent article on
Modesty. I plan to use it in our bulletin this Lord's Day unless you direct
I read your article "The
Christian's Apparel --Inside and Out" and was wondering how you feel about
Christian women going to male doctors and allowing them to examine them? If
that is okay why is it wrong to wear shorts, etc.?
Thanks for your good question. In my article I tried to be specific to
public gatherings among adults! I have no problem with what one does in
medical situations, or with one's own mate, or among those of the same sex,
or how an infant may dress, etc. I may not have made that clear.
Also, I did not name "kinds" of clothing because what something is called
does not necessarily make it modest or immodest. I believe shorts can be
modest! I run in them every day and have a pair on now. Could you possibly
have read into my article what someone else has taught in another setting?
Again, I thank you for your question. I have thought about writing another
article going into the endless questions that could arise. I wanted to deal
with the attitude of heart from which our clothing must come. You might want
to hear the audio of my sermon on the topic that is posted under "additional
Please let me know if you have any additional questions! You, by asking
these questions, are displaying the kind of heart that will help all of us
to better serve the Lord!
God bless you in your service to Him.
Thanks for the quick
I understand one's mate
but how does a medical situation make it okay?
Are male doctors not
humans who have the ability to lust?
While these questions are outside the immediate scope of our public apparel,
you do raise some good points that ought to be weighed. As professionals,
doctors have training in these areas but, as you have said, they are also
will give you my judgment on the matter, but I am open to your thoughts as
well. My wife has chosen female doctors for her care. I have chosen male
an emergency, I would not refuse any doctor from treating me. I would liken
it to the situation of the "ox in the ditch" Jesus gave in His ministry
is my reasoning based on my desire to do right and help others do right. I
do not bind those opinions on others but I hope others will think about
these things, as you have.
other point to consider and it, too, is another opinion. From observation
and from talking with other Christians, a person through immodest clothing
can be more enticing to bad thoughts than in a setting such as a doctor's
examination room. I suppose that in human nature, the thought about the
possible and the setting in which it is presented often has more appeal than
the reality. Again, that is just another opinion.
do you think? I would welcome any insight you may have.
I agree 100% that women
should seek out women for medical care and men seek out men. I think that
this is part of the breaking down of the modesty that the Bible talks about.
We have always sought
same-sex doctors for our children and for each other.
I don't think the setting
matters. Folks use that same thing about going to the beach and being
The problem is that so
many are involved in different sex doctors that everyone assumes it is fine.
If you preach or teach
about it you will be in trouble. How can we help others to see this?
will post this discussion to our feedback section of the webpage!
Thanks for your thoughts
Thank you for this good article. Too many in
the church today do not consider modesty, either inside or out.
We read with interest your article on
Christian apparel. It seems that you have identified the problem and also
you have given the solution, with scripture. There is a very real problem
among Christians in dressing like the world even when coming to worship. I
wonder how we can be different from the world when we dress like them. This
is something we think needs to be addressed at __________. Thank you for
sending your newsletter. The articles are really interesting. We hope
things are well with you and your family.
Melinda suggested that I log onto your website and read
a recent article on "The Christian's Apparel - Inside and Out".
I read it and passed it on to Shane suggesting that he
print it in our hand out bulletin. He did just that this week. I want to
encourage all (parents and children) to read it. It is excellent.
I would appreciate receiving your emails and
bulletins. I wish you success in the work there.
It was always a pleasure to see you at Cahaba Heights.
In Response to "Baptist Questions Given Bible
I appreciate the articles that I receive through your
email list. I have read several of them and am encouraged and learn much
from them. I also appreciate your diligent work for the Lord's church.
But I am emailing you with a concern about part of Mr.
Hafley's response to the Baptist who wrote him ("Baptist Questions Given
I agree that generally
speaking Baptists (and others in denominations) are not being baptized
for their salvation, but because of their salvation. Yet I do
think it is possible that there are those Baptists who believe baptism to be
a part of salvation -- even if the preacher who is baptizing them doesn't. Does the "baptizer"'s
heart have anything to do with the one being baptized's salvation? I don't
believe so. I've never known of qualifications that had to be met before
someone could baptize. All the conditions of salvation are only met by the
one desiring to be saved.
I do realize that all
the examples we have in the New Testament are of believers doing the
baptizing. Is that a necessary inference? It doesn't seem so to me. It
only seems logical that the only ones who would be baptizing would have been
I have heard of
circumstances where a person in a denomination understood the scriptures to
teach baptism for the remission of sins and had their preacher to baptize
them. I fail to see how this person's faith is nullified by the one who
Perhaps I am
overlooking an obvious teaching of scripture here, and that is definitely
possible. If so, I would appreciate your willingness to teach me "more
perfectly". It may also be that I have misunderstood what you were saying
in the above quotes. If so, I truly apologize and hope you will help me see
I also want to state
that I am not defending "Robby"'s salvation...it is clear that he does not
understand the necessity of baptism. I am merely addressing your assertion
that denominational preachers cannot baptize one into Christ and disagreeing
Please know that this
is written in the love of truth and love for you and for those being
taught. I am encouraged by your willingness to expose false teaching.
I agree with your points.
The things you refute indeed are not certainties, however, at least one
point you refute I do not believe brother Hafley made, namely that it was
impossible for a non-Christian to baptize another and it be a scriptural
baptism. The points he makes are high probabilities, but not a certainty. I
will write more later.
I am going to use your
question in my “question night” sermon tomorrow afternoon. Also, I hope to
write some material using your question on our feedback page. I will not use
your full name.
Thanks you for a good
response! I pray that the Lord will bless you in your work for Him.
Here are the question
night outline, PowerPoint and audio files where I address these questions:
Although I’m not sure how I started to
get your bulletin by e-mail, and I am an “institutional” brother rather
than NI, I am glad to get your bulletin. I just read much of Brother
Hafley’s reply to the Baptist’s questions, and as a former Baptist, I
found it intriguing. I was glad that Larry approached him in a spirit
of love and kindness. I know Larry has had major health problems
I am in a weekly jail ministry in
Gilmer, my small hometown in East Texas, with an NI preacher, Dennis
________. If you get a magazine that I believe is called the Preceptor,
or something like that, Dennis writes for it. He lives in East Texas,
and I have been studying the “issues” that divide the Lord’s church
(social meals in the building, treasury support for children’s homes,
etc.) for some years, on and off. Although I am not yet convinced of
the non-institutional position, I do enjoy visiting NI congregations and
love my NI brethren, and I have an open mind on these matters. I am
thankful that Dennis works with me although I am “institutional” (I do
not accept the term “liberal,” as some NI brethren would portray me).
Anyway, just wanted you to know that I
am on your email list;
I certainly enjoyed the "Baptist
Questions Given Bible Answers" page.
I was so glad to
hear from you and receive your encouraging words. I, like you,
do not like the labels that are commonly used to describe the
stand of another. An open heart and a willingness to open study
as you and I have will bring forth the fruits of God in our
I, too, came from
a Baptist background and then had to leave the University
Christ, in Tuscaloosa Alabama a few years later after additional
study. Leaving the church that helped me come out of
Denominationalism was the most difficult thing I ever did as a
Christian. 25 years later the University church invited a
Baptist preacher to be their keynote speaker at their “Youth in
Action” program that I once worked with.
As you know,
churches of Christ are not a “monolithic” group, that is, all
believing and practicing the same thing. I wished that they were
but the stand of one generation does not mean the next
generation will. I treat churches like I do individuals, I will
let them tell me what they believe rather than label and avoid
I believe that you
and brother ________ are doing a good work. I would work with
you too in that way if I had an opportunity.
I just read your reply to me. Thanks
so much for writing back.
Nearly 6 years ago, I left the
congregation here in Gilmer ,Texas, and moved my membership to a rural
congregation 11 miles from my home. I did so because the young preacher
here then was liberal. And like you, I too would have left any
congregation that had a Baptist speaker.
Just tonight, I noted with dismay in
the Christian Chronicle that the North Richland Hills “church of
Christ” here in Texas was helping a Baptist church pay off the debt
that it was about to default on! I’ve always wondered why in the world
people say they are members of the “church of Christ’ when they
obviously do not believe and practice what the true church of Christ has
taught and practiced for centuries?
Of course, we should love our Baptist
friends—you and I are former Baptists, and we certainly understand
that. But I feel sure you will agree with me that we do not show love
for them by abetting their error with a financial handout to pay off
their church debt. That is like “helping” an alcoholic by giving him
money for a drink.
It grieves my heart to see “brethren”
participating in such terrible error as is occurring at North Richland
Hills and elsewhere! At the same time, there are ways to remedy error
that are better than others. Some believe the way is to “take the hide
off” such wayward congregations for 30 paragraphs in a watchdog
publication. To me, that is the wrong way to correct error! Paul
warned us in Romans against devouring one another.
Yes, I think Scripture obliges us to
expose false teachers. But we must also remember Galatians 6:1--and we
should express love toward the sinning brethren, and pray for their
repentance. We also should never claim that we ourselves are perfect,
and we must be on guard toward self-righteousness. Many “sound’
brethren, who are well-intentioned in their efforts to combat error in
the church, have a bad case of holier-than-thou-ism.
In closing, I wanted to clear one
thing up. I believe I originally wrote you late at night after taking
medication, as I am doing now, and I left some wording out of my final
sentence to you. I wrote to you that I thought I’d let you know that I
was on your e-mail list. What I meant to say, I suppose, was that I was
on your e-mail list, AND am glad to be! I’m sorry for the incomplete
thought. The lateness of the hour, and the effect of the sleeping
medication, are probably to blame for that. In addition, my elderly
mother was hospitalized Tuesday on the same day that I was diagnosed
with hypertension, so that also may have short-circuited my brain a
Anyway, I am always glad to hear from
brethren like you who have a good attitude, and who want to stand for
the truth. Please keep me posted on what brethren in your part of the
nation are doing. Let’s not let the erring ones get us down. And if
you have any thoughts on the divisive “issues” I have mentioned in the
church, I will be glad to examine them.
Here is a sermon outline, PowerPoint and Audio of why I left the local
church that was involved with practices that they would not defend.
In Response to "On the First Day of the Week"
We are studying
Hebrews 10:25 and some questions have come up. Could you give me your input
on the following:
Does Heb. 10:25
include all services, or just the First Day of the Week?
Some say that it
includes all of the following: Sunday Bible Study, Regular Morning Worship,
Sunday Evening, and Wednesday Evening, while others say it should include
Ladies Bible Study, Men's Business Meetings, Congregational Meetings, all
the days of a Gospel Meeting, or any time there is a "church" meeting of any
Also, should missing
Bible Study, Sunday Evening and Wednesday Evening be construed serious
enough for disfellowshiping? If so, where are the scriptures for these
meetings (there is no question about the morning worship on the First Day of
Also, are we putting
ourselves in the same class of people as the Pharisees (making laws whereGod
has not made) and using them as a test of fellowship?
Hope you can help.
I responded to this brother by answering these
questions on our question night. Here
are the question night outline, PowerPoint and audio files where I address
In Response to "Fight Boredom"
Please tell Stephen that his article is absolutely
wonderful and is inspiring. Will share it with my girls as they constantly
complain of 'being bored'.
Great article that Stephen wrote. I did not know he had
it in him! (though I am not surprised). I told him so on his blog.
Stephen did such a good job in this article "Fight
In Response to "When To End A Bible Study"
"When to end a Bible study" should be preceded by "When
to not start a Bible study." Why insert a Bible lesson when anger and
dishonesty are present? Christians need to learn when to shut the book and
let the gospel come alive through friendship and careful listening. Those
who are full of "irrational anger" and "dishonesty" may have good points to
make that need to be heard and heeded. It's hard to call someone a hypocrite
who is genuinely interested in what you have to say and will accept your
Thanks for the article you wrote. A great reminder for
me when it comes to making efforts to reach the lost. Helping people to open
their hearts to the truth is indeed so very important to being as effective
as possible in teaching others. Moving on when hearts are clearly closed is
also critical to being as productive as possible and to using our time
wisely as a worker in the vineyard of the Lord.
In Response to "When The Kingdom of God Appears to
Your article "When the Kingdom of God Appears to
Fail" addresses a very important need and brings a very important
reminder to us all. Just consider how many "lousy" churches I have been
a part of and the temptation to conclude that the kingdom has failed!
Brethren are too quick to generalize and express doom and gloom without
looking at the bigger picture. I am very glad you wrote on this subject!
been a while since we last spoke or saw each other. I hope you are doing
well. How is the work going in Charlottesville? It was quite easy is to
find you using a Google search and I noticed you are a prolific blogger. I
wanted to ask you some questions given your extensive and up to date reading
of James Woodruff, LaGard Smith, and others. I sorted through my collection
of papers and found your series on “Institutionalism--Then and Now An
Overview”, which you preached at the Lacey’s Spring congregation several
years ago. I did this after hearing some sermons this past week. My
questions are as follows:
How do bad personal
experiences influence a preacher to make steps toward a wider fellowship?
What book would
someone have read if they really thought the true practice of the 1st
century Lord’s Supper was a common meal that was shared during the service?
think a false teacher is only a person who has insincere motives in their
Should we think
that non-instrumental music in worship is a logical and natural conclusion
from the N.T.?
Considering men that have moved away from the faith, which you have known
personally, what were the warning signs in their public preaching? I would
like to call them veiled subtleties that leave you uneasy after hearing the
hope to hear from you soon!
I responded to this brother by answering these
questions on our question night. Here
are the question night outline, PowerPoint and audio files where I address
You put out an excellent bulletin, and I commend and appreciate your
forthright stand for truth reflected therein. You recently ran, I believe,
Floyd Decker's 1944 article on why he left the Christian Church. Would it be
convenient for you to email me a copy, or tell me how I can to your earlier
issues than are on your website?
Yours in and for Christ,
I want to commend you on the fine articles that you
send out from time to time. The articles are always very good and
profitable. I have used several for devotionals, sermons or bulletin
articles. Keep up the good work.
God bless you in your work in that area. Since
Virginia is in my heart, we're especially grateful that you are there and
the work is starting off well. It's exciting! - praise God!
I love reading the bulletins every week so thank you
for sending them to me I do appreciate it.
Enjoy the variety of topics covered.
Thank you for sending your
"bulletin" by E-mail. I thoroughly enjoy reading your articles and
sermons. You are obviously doing a great work in Charlottesville.
I guess someone noticed
our last names and added me to your mailing list. It's not often I run
across another group of Rouse's, especially in our family of churches. I see
you are an evangelist in Charlottesville Va. I am an elder in the Atlanta
Church of Christ (serving in the Central Gwinnett ministry in Gwinnett
County Ga, see
www.centralgwinnett.org ). My part of the Rouse family comes from
eastern North Carolina, going back at least 200 years in that area.
Anyway it's great to hear
of another Rouse out there!
Response to “Benjamin Franklin on the Failure of Creeds”