This is the questionnaire used by World Video Bible School that has been adopted by many congregations.
- Is all of the Bible the verbally inspired infallible word of God? Yes
- Are there any contradictions in the Bible? No
- Is the New Testament the only acceptable standard of religious authority today? Yes
- Must we have Scriptural authority for all that we do in religion? Yes
- How do we establish that scriptural authority?Scriptural authority is ascertained by means of explicit statement, approved example and/or necessary inference. Explicit statement means that we can find a direct command or similar statement giving approval to specific activities. Approved example means that we can find biblical examples of specific activities being engaged in with a clear indication of approval or acceptance by the in- spired writer. Necessary inference means that there are statement and/or examples found in Scripture that necessitates a specific conclusion. Necessary inferenceis not speculation. It is something that is a required conclusion based on what is revealed in Scripture.Please see my articles and lessons on this topic: Ascertaining Biblical Authority, Establishing Biblical Authority Again, Prove All Things, pt. 1, Prove All Things, pt. 2.
- Must God specifically forbid something in order for it to be sinful? NoWhy or why not?
Biblical silence forbids (Heb. 7:14). If we cannot establish biblical authority for what we do then it is forbidden (2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Col. 3:17; et. al.).
- Is Jesus Christ the only begotten, virgin-born Son of God? Yes
- Was Jesus Christ bodily raised from the dead? Yes
- Is Jesus Christ coming again sometime in the future to raise the dead, judge the living and the dead, and destroy the earth? Yes
- Is Jesus going to establish His Kingdom at that time? No
- Will you personally be judged at that time? Yes
- Can one be saved who has never heard of Jesus? No
- Was the Church of Christ established in Jerusalem on the first Pentecost following the ascension of Christ? Yes
- a) Is the Church of Christ a denomination? Nob) If not, how can man distinguish the Church of Christ from the denominations?
Denominations have man-made doctrine, man-made organizations, earthly headquarters, etc. The church of Christ has none of these. Denominationalism is based in man-made authority where the Lord’s church is based in biblical authority. Denominations have no biblical authority for their existence! The church of Christ is the body of Christ (Eph. 1:22, 23) and was purchased with the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28). It belongs to Him and wears His name, not that of any man or man-made organization.
Please see my video on this topic: Finding The True New Testament Church (Bible Q-n-A TV Program clip).
- Must a person be in the Church of Christ to be saved? YesPlease see the following lessons on this topic: Can A Person Be Saved In A Denomination?, Is One Religion As Good As Another?, What About All Those Good People?.
- Are all or at least some denominations a part of the Church of Christ? No
- Are the church and the kingdom the same? Yes
- Is the Independent Christian Church (also erroneously called the Instrumental Church of Christ) a denomination? YesPlease see my lesson on this topic: What’s Wrong With The Christian Church?
- a) Should congregations / individual Christians have religious fellowship with
any denomination? Nob) Why or why not?
1) Denominationalism is not authorized by Scripture.
2) Denominationalism cannot be a good work (2 Tim. 3:16, 17).
3) Denominationalism must, then, be a bad work.
4) Denominationalism cannot be fellowshipped in any way because it is an unfruitful work of darkness (Eph. 5:11).
- a) Would it be sinful to allow a denominational preacher to come to your congregation and preach a sermon or teach a Bible class?This is not a “yes/no” question but I am sure about my answer.
b. Why or why not?
It would depend on his reason for being there and the setting of his being allowed to speak. It would not be sinful to allow him to speak if the setting and/or intention is to engage in debate in order to expose his teaching to be false doctrine and convert people from that error. However, it would be sinful if the setting and/ or intention was to give any indication of approval or fellowship to his teaching (2 Jn. 9-11).
- a) Would it be sinful for the church to have a joint worship service with the denominations in our area? Yesb. Why or why not?
- a) Would it be sinful for a youth group or any other group from a congregation to participate in activities sponsored and conducted by the Lord’s church where false teachers are speaking or unscriptural activities are being participated in? Yesb) Why or why not?
Scripture explicitly forbids participating with those who pervert the Gospel (i.e. teach or practice false doctrine) (Gal. 1:6-9; 2 Jn. 9-11; Rom. 16:17; et. al.).
- Are there saved people in the denominations? No
- a) If your answer to question 23 is yes, will those people be saved if they live and worship in that denomination until they die? I answered Nob) Why or why not?
The church of Christ (Rom. 16:16) is the blood bought body of Christ (Acts 20:28; Eph. 1:22, 23), and there is only one body of Christ (Eph. 4:4). The Lord adds the saved to His church (Acts 2:47), not to denominations. The church is the household of God (1 Tim. 3:15), where the saved live (Acts 2:47). Leaving that house means leaving the place of salvation.
- a) Is denominational baptism valid? Nob) Why or why not?
Among other reasons, Denominationalism contradicts New Testament doctrine concerning the Kingdom, the Plan of Salvation, the nature of the church, the purpose of baptism, etc. A person cannot be taught wrong and baptized right!
Please see my lesson, What’s Wrong With Denominational Baptism.
- Did God create the universe (and all that is in it) in six literal 24 hour days? Yes
- Does the Genesis account of creation allow for the possibility of long periods of time in which evolution could have occurred? No
- Did God begin the creation, and then allowed life forms to evolve gradually to their present complex state? No
- Is the Genesis account of creation literal, or is it figurative and allegorical? Literal
- Was the flood of Noah’s time local or universal in scope? Universal
- Can congregations cooperate in doing the Lord’s work as long as they do not form other organizations? Yes
- Can the church, out of its treasury, support a home for widows or fatherless children? Yes
- Is it wrong for the church to assist, from the church treasury, needy people who are not members of the church? No
- Is it Scriptural to have several house churches under the oversight of one central eldership? No
- Are people sinful when they are born? No
- Are we saved by the grace of God? Yes
- Are we saved by God’s grace without any works of obedience on our part? No
- Can a child of God fall from grace? Yes
- Will God’s grace cover our doing things we know violate His word if we do not repent of and confess those sins to Him? No
- Since we are under grace, are we subject to the law of Christ? Yes
- Does the grace of God eliminate our need to strive to obey Him in all things to the best of our ability? No
- a) Is it sinful to miss a worship service if it is possible for us to be there? Yesb) Why or why not?
It is evidence of a greater “heart” problem (Rom. 12:10; Heb. 10:24; et. al.). We are commanded to assemble, and not forsake such assembly (Heb. 10:25).
- a) If a Christian sins publicly, or brings reproach on the church, must he/she make a public confession of fault to be forgiven by God? Yesb) Why or why not?
We must confess as publicly as the sin has taken place. We are to confess to one another and ask God’s forgiveness among one another (Acts 8:20-24; James 5:16). As much as is possible, everyone that is aware of the sin should be made aware of the repentance and restoration.
- a) Is stressing the need for strict adherence to the word of God wrong? Nob) Why or why not?
It would be wrong NOT to have such an emphasis in our teaching. The word of God is the only source for true biblical faith (Rom. 10:17), without which it is impossible to be saved (Heb. 11:6). It is the word of God that will judge us in the last day (Jn. 12:48; Rev. 20:12; et. al.). Without all due diligence to adhere to the word of God there could be no security, no Blessed Assurance, (Col. 1:23; 1 Jn. 5:13).
- Did all of the miracles in the Bible actually occur as recorded? Yes
- Do you believe that miracles occur today? No
- How does the Holy Spirit influence people’s minds today?The Holy Spirit operates upon man today by means of the word of God (Eph. 6:17). Being filled with the Spirit is the same thing as having the word of Christ dwelling in us richly (Col. 3:16 and Eph. 5:18-19).
- a) Does the Holy Spirit have to enlighten and energize the word of God today to help us understand it? Nob) Why or why not?
The word of God is all sufficient (2 Tim. 3:16, 17; 2 Pet. 1:3). To say that we need the word of God AND a direct operation of the Holy Spirit would contradict such passages.
- Does the Holy Spirit take control of our hearts and minds today? No
- Does the baptism of the Holy Spirit continue today? No
- a) Does the Holy Spirit lead and guide us in any way other than through the word of God today? Nob) If yes or not sure, explain your answer.
The question says lead and guide, so the answer is no. However, we know that God does operate in the lives of men providentially (cf. Matt. 5:45).
- Will the lost be in a conscious state of everlasting punishment? Yes
- Does God’s laws of marriage, divorce and remarriage apply to everyone in the world? Yes
- Is fornication on the part of one’s spouse the only Scriptural reason that one can divorce and remarry? Yes
- Does the one put away for fornication have the same right to remarry that the innocent party has? No
- Is it Scriptural to marry one who has been put away for fornication? No
- a) If one is in an unscriptural marriage must he come out of that marriage in order to be saved? Yesb) Why or why not?
The person in an unscriptural marriage is actively living in a condition contrary to the will of God. They are living and conducting themselves in such a way that is only approved in the marriage relationship (Heb. 13:4). However, their marriage is not recognized by God. In God’s eyes they are living in an adulterous relationship (Luke 16:18).
- a) Does baptism cleanse an adulterous relationship? (In other words, if two people are married who are not authorized to be married to each other, and they decide to become Christians, does the fact that they are baptized cleanse their adulterous relationship?) Nob) Why or why not?
It is not possible to truly repent and be forgiven of a sin that is still being committed, with no intention of turning away from it. The person that is in an unscriptural marriage is actively committing adultery/fornication. They cannot be forgiven while continuing in that condition any more than a drunkard could be forgiven while having every intention to continue drinking or a thief could be forgiven while having every intention to continue stealing.
If one says that they are not having sexual relations with their unscriptural spouse then they are staying in a marriage that they know is wrong and purposely not fulfilling the terms of the marriage covenant (1 Cor. 7:2-5).
True repentance and forgiveness CANNOT occur while staying in that unscriptural marriage.
- a) Is it sinful to sing songs of praise to God in worship with the accompaniment of mechanical instruments of music? Yesb) Why or why not?
There is no New Testament authority for the use of mechanical instruments of music as an act of worship. Therefore to offer it up to God as an act of worship would, by necessity, be a doctrine of men. Man-made doctrine in our religious practice would cause our worship to be vain (Mark 7:7).
- a) Is it sinful to sing songs of praise to God with the accompaniment of mechanical instruments of music under any circumstances? Yesb) Why or why not?
See above. There is no more authority to offer up mechanical instruments as an act of worship in our private devotionals than there is to do it in congregational worship. Our singing songs of praise and worship (psalms, hymns and spiritual songs – Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Heb. 2:12) is an act of worship. For one to say that the use of mechanical instruments with spiritual singing would be acceptable under certain circumstances is the same as saying praying to Mary would be acceptable under certain circumstances.
- Must our worship be decent and orderly to be pleasing to God? Yes
- Is it Scriptural to accompany songs of praise with whistling, humming, imitating the sounds of instruments, or clapping or to include these acts in our worship? No
- Is the practice of withdrawal of fellowship an unimportant and optional matter? No
- a) Must a congregation withdraw fellowship from any unfaithful member who refuses to repent after reasonable admonition? Yesb) Why or why not?
We are explicitly commanded to do so (2 Thess. 3:6; Rom. 16:17; 1 Cor. 5:9-11; et. al.) Such must be done in order to follow the doctrine of Christ. It is just as essential to following the doctrine of Christ as is taking the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week. If a congregation does not practice scriptural discipline then they are not following the doctrine of Christ and are in danger of having their lamp-stand removed (Rev. 2:5). It is essential to the purity of the church and the spiritual condition of the one withdrawn from (1 Cor. 5:7-8, 5).
- a) Is it Scriptural to include choruses, choirs, quartets or solos in our worship service? Nob) Why or why not?
There is no scriptural authority for such in the worship of the New Testament church. See the answer to #s 60 and 61.
- a) May women preach, teach, lead singing or lead prayer in a mixed group of Christian men and women? Nob) Why or why not?
Such is explicitly forbidden in the New Testament church (1 Cor. 14:34; 1 Tim. 2:8-12).
- a) May a woman Scripturally serve the Lord as a deacon or an elder? Nob) Why or why not?
Among other reasons (see #67), they cannot meet the qualifications of an elder or deacon (1 Tim. 3:2, 12).
- a) Is it Scriptural to partake of the Lord’s Supper on days other than, or in addition to, the first day of the week? Nob) There is no scriptural authority for any day other than Sunday (Acts 20:7).
- a) Is it Scriptural for the church to raise money for its work by bake sales, yard sales, car washes, walkathons, dinners, etc. in addition to the freewill offering on the first day of the week? No>b) Why or why not?
There is no biblical authority to fund the work of the church in any manner other than the first day of the week contribution (1 Cor. 16:1-2).
- a) Is it Scriptural for a Christian to drink alcoholic beverages socially? Nob) Why or why not?
It is not scriptural socially or privately. In short, Wisdom’s counsel is to not even look at it (Prov. 23:29-35). There never has been a drunk that didn’t take the first drink!
- Is baptism an immersion in water for the remission of sins? Yes
- What is wrong with the practice of infant baptism?Among other things, an infant doesn’t have any sins that need to be remitted. Neither can they meet the requirements for scriptural baptism (Mark 16:16).
- a) Is it right for Christians to participate in dancing? Nob) Why or why not?
I take this question to be in regards to the kind of lewd, lascivious dancing that takes place at night clubs, dance halls, school dances and the like. Such is explicitly forbidden as a work of the flesh (Gal. 5:19f).
- a) Is it sinful to participate in mixed (male and female) swimming? Yesb) Why or why not?
It typically involves such things as immodest dress, unchaste handling, lust of the eyes, and the like. Placing ourselves, especially young people, in such situations of temptation is contrary to the will of God (Matt. 5:29, 30).
- Do you smoke, chew, dip snuff or use tobacco in any form? No
- Do you use non-prescribed drugs (marijuana, cocaine, heroin, valium, uppers, downers, etc.) for pleasurable purposes? No
- Do you drink alcoholic beverages in any amount for any purpose? No
- Is a person (male or female) modest who wears short shorts, tight jeans, short or tight skirts, revealing blouses or go shirtless in public (1 Tim 2:9)? No
- Do elders have authority? Yes
- In what matters do elders have authority?Elders have the authority to oversee and rule the congregation over which they have been appointed (1 Tim. 3:5; 5:17; Heb. 13:17, 24). They have the authority to require those under their oversight to adhere to the doctrine of Christ and they have the responsibility to exercise church discipline where such adherence to the word is lacking. They have the final say in all matters of judgment or expedience in conducting the business of the church. The congregation has the scriptural obligation to submit to the elders authority.
- Would you follow elders who had to make decisions in matters of opinion even if you disagreed with their decisions? Yes
- Do the elders of the local congregation have oversight of all members, including the preacher? Yes
- a) Is abortion sinful? Yesb) Why or why not?
The Bible makes no distinction between the unborn and infant child (Gr. brephos, Luke 1:41; 2:12; 18:15; Acts 7:19). Luke, a doctor, uses the same word to apply to the unborn child and the infant. Life begins at conception. Therefore, abortion is the willful taking of human life in premeditated murder. It is the shedding of innocent blood (Prov. 6:16-19). This kind of gross disrespect of human life should be withstood in every lawful manner possible.
- a) Is it wrong to expose the error of denominational doctrines or practices from the pulpit or in Bible classes? Nob) Why or why not?
Among other reasons, we are commanded to expose the unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:11). All of God’s faithful preachers (prophets and apostles alike) had the practice of exposing false doctrine, as is evidenced by nearly every book of the Bible. Even Jesus, repeatedly and strongly, rebuked false doctrine publicly. I strongly believe that preaching like that of the Old Testament prophets and New Testament apostles is what the church needs to expose, and save people from, the vain transitions (1 Pet. 1:18) of man- made doctrine.
c) Do you support such exposure of error? Yes
- a) Is it wrong to expose from the pulpit or in Bible classes departures from the Bible on the part of preachers, other Christians or congregations of the Church of Christ? Nob) Do you support such exposure of error? Yes
- a) Do we need to change the worship, doctrine or organization of the church to make it more appealing to younger people, non-Christians or others? Nob) Why or why not?
The church is the fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose in Christ (Eph. 3:10, 11). The gospel is God’s power to save (Rom. 1:16). We must abide in the doctrine of Christ (2 Jn. 9-11). The word of God is all-sufficient (2 Tim. 3:16, 17; 2 Pet 1:3). A changed, perverted (Gal. 1:6-9), doctrine (worship, organization) would have no power to save or serve God’s purpose. Such would produce branches cut off from the Vine (Jn. 15:1-8).
- Do you use a version (or a translation) of the Bible in your teaching or preaching other than the King James, the New King James or the American Standard of 1901? No
- a) Is all that we do in life worship? Nob) Why or why not?
There are specifically designated acts of worship (i.e. sing, pray, study, communion, contribution). There is no New Testament authority for offering up anything else as an “avenue of worship.” Our worship is one part of our life of service (Rom. 12:1-2). But not all service is worship. Benevolence is not worship but it is service (Jas. 1:27).
- a) Is it sinful for a Christian to participate in the lottery or other forms of gambling? Yes b) Why or why not?
Among other things, it is typically motivated by a love of money (1 Tim. 6:9-10). It is inseparably connected to covetousness and desire for someone else to loose so you can take what is theirs (Eph. 5:3, 4; Col. 3:5). It is ungodly (1 Tim. 5:6).
- a) Does God require teachers of His word to pay close attention to their manner of life as well as the doctrine? Yes b) As a teacher of God’s word do you pay close attention to your manner of
life and doctrine? Yes
- Explain the difference between Law and Grace.Please see my lessons on this topic: