Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


Below you will find answers to a variety of questions.  Please read through these questions and answers.  If you have any questions about the information you can send us an email.


What did the preacher mean, "Listen to the silence of the scripture"?


Listen to Scripture’s Silence1

It may at first seem odd, but the silence of Scripture must be respected. The Bible is a message from the Creator to those He created. We must respect His authority in all things. A healthy way to look at His message is that in it we find the authority of God to do all that is good and right. Actually, this is a scriptural position. Remember what Paul wrote: “…whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,…” (Colossians 3:17) What does it mean to do something in someone’s name? If I transact business in your name, it implies that you have authorized me to conduct that business. A spokesman for the president of our country, speaking in his name, says only those things the president has authorized him to say.

When such authority is given, it is not necessary to name everything that is excluded from the authority. For example, if you give me the authority to buy for you a new fishing boat, you don’t have to say, “You cannot buy for me a car, a house, a yacht, an airplane, etc., etc.” Giving authority to do a thing automatically limits that authority to the things stated. Remember the law of exclusion?

Suppose a parent gave a twelve-year-old son five dollars and said, “Ride your bike to the store and buy a loaf of bread.” It should not be necessary to say don’t roller blade or ice skate there. Nor should the parent have to enumerate all of the things that the child should not buy with the remainder of the five dollars: candy, ice cream, potato chips, bubble gum, etc. Permission to travel another way and to buy other things is excluded in the stated authority. Silence about these other things does not authorize their inclusion.

We have no trouble recognizing and respecting these limits on authority in most areas of life, and should have no trouble with most of what the Bible authorizes. Notice this example: the Hebrews writer makes the argument that there was a change in the priesthood. He stated that Jesus was a high priest of another order, not of the Levitical priesthood: “For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of law. For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood.” (Hebrews 7:12-14) The Law of Moses provided for priests to come only from the tribe of Levi. No prohibition was stated against making priests from the tribe of Judah, the tribe from which Jesus came. Nothing needed to be said. The silence of the Scripture was understood to prohibit selection from Judah. Since God had not given any instructions about priests coming from Judah, there was no authority for that.

How much more united the broad community of Christianity would be if we all practiced and taught only what God has authorized!


1 This article is an excerpt from Charlie Brackett’s book, Bible Study for Joy and Profit (2008), pages 176-178, Clarion Word Publishing, Chattanooga, Tenn. All rights reserved.



How should I choose what in the Bible to study?


The following is an excerpt from Bible Study for Joy and Profit (2008) by Charlie Brackett, pages 38 and 39, Clarion Word Publishing, Chattanooga, Tenn. All rights reserved.

How Do I Choose?

When choosing what to study, remember that staying in the game until the end is crucial if you are going to be a successful student. Pick something that interests you, but by all means something that you need, something that will benefit you and make the expenditure of time and energy worthwhile. If you have questions, mount a study that will provide you the answers you need. If you know that your understanding of historical periods is shallow, and by understanding them more you will strengthen your grasp of the Bible as a whole, spend some time building in your mind an historical timeline of the Bible. If you are not in a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, by all means put salvation at the head of your study list, and go at it!

There may be friends or members of your family who have been urging you to become a Christian. Doing it for their sake is not the best reason. Study the evidence. Investigate God, the Creator of all things and the Promiser of salvation. Consider Jesus and His claims. Weigh the value of eternal salvation against what the world offers. If, after honestly evaluating all of the evidence you are still not convinced, do not repent. God’s promise of eternal life is to those who are convinced, those who believe sufficiently to turn from the world to the Lord and obey His commands. Obedience without first believing is meaningless.

Back to the point of what to choose for study. At the end of the day, your study needs to be beneficial to you in order to keep you motivated enough to finish.



Why Not Leave Theology to Theologians?1


There is a popular belief in denominational Christianity that the Bible message can be divided into two groups: ethics and theology – ethics having to do with how to live as a Christian and theology dealing with matters of salvation, organization and work of the church, etc. This seems to some a convenient way to have unity throughout the broad community of Christianity yet still maintain the distinction of denominational difference. The idea is that we can unite in our belief that Jesus is the risen Christ, but cling to our favorite means of being saved and worshiping the Lord.

In a similar vein, some have divided New Testament teaching into gospel and doctrine. The gospel, it is said, is the good news of Christ: His death, burial, resurrection and appearance. Doctrine is, on the other hand, all of the teaching that resulted from that good news: how one is saved, the nature of acceptable worship, and the rest of the teachings in the epistles. Similarly, this view leads some to conclude that belief in Christ’s resurrection is sufficient to unite us in Christ, and doctrine is that which we necessarily will understand and practice differently.

Both means of compartmentalizing the message of Christ offer to some the opportunity to move responsibility for understanding the “weightier, more divisive matters” of Scripture to those with theological credentials. If they cannot agree on the nature and purpose of baptism, it is reasoned, how can we who are less trained expect to understand?

Separating the faith (Jude 3) into compartments for the sake of ecumenism in the midst of denominational division is, to this writer’s mind, a failure to handle God’s Word correctly (2 Timothy 2:15). The apostle Paul seems to use gospel and doctrine interchangeably when he writes to Timothy, “…if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.” (1 Timothy 1:10, 11) When he warned the Galatians against “a different gospel,” (Galatians 1:6-9) surely he was warning against turning from any part of the true faith in Christ, not only belief in His resurrection from the dead. Separating Christian ethics from theology is, at best, equally tenuous. How does one distinguish?

The two are intrinsically interwoven. Faith in Christ is all about faith that prompts action: behavior toward God and one another, in other words, ethics and theology all mixed up together in our daily walk and worship.

I fear that those who try to shift responsibility for understanding God’s will to others, no matter how learned, are in for a rude awakening at the judgment bar. Where will the experts be when God calls you to answer for your faith? Even if they are close at hand, who is to say which ones have the truth? They cannot agree, and the disagreement among them is increasing at an alarming rate. The only sensible answer is your own diligent study of God’s Word. You can understand it, and God expects you to.


1 This article is an excerpt from Charlie Brackett’s book, Bible Study for Joy and Profit (2008), pages 14-16, Clarion Word Publishing, Chattanooga, Tenn. All rights reserved.


How can I choose a good translation of the Bible?


 This is a very good question considering all of the English translations now available. Some are good and some are not so good. A really good translation will present the message God gave in the original Hebrew and Greek languages as accurately as possible. That said, a reliable translation is one produced by a committee in order to avoid doctrinal biases that may appear in a one man or one denominational group translation. Also, the translation should be as close to the original text, that is literal, as possible and still be understood. Of those by a committee, the popular New International Version (NIV) is a "thought for thought" translation sacrificing closeness to the original for easy reading. The New King James Version (NKJV) is closer to the original, but the New American Standard Version (NASV) and the New English Standard Version (NESV) are considered the most literal of all translations by committee.



Is the entire Bible true?


Let's answer this by consider what the Bible claims for itself. The Bible claims to be given by the inspiration of God. In the Greek, that means, "God breathed" (2 Timothy 3:16). It claims purity (Psalm 19:7; 1 Peter 1:23; 2:2). It claims completeness (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). And, it claims to be the absolute truth (Psalm 119:142; John 17:17). In one place Jesus is called "the Word" (John 1:1), and in another, He said, "I am the way, and the truth and the life (John 14:6). Those who say that the entire Bible is not true generally have taken something out of its intended context.



Does the North Terrace church have a pastor?


The North Terrace church of Christ does not have pastors just now. We did have for several years. They were chosen by the congregation according to the qualifications given in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. Scripture refers to these men by any one of three names: bishop (overseer), pastor (shepherd) or elder (presbuteros in the original language referring to one who is older). See Acts 20:17-28 where the three aspects of their work represented by these words is mentioned by the apostle Paul. Denominational Christianity has so abused the biblical meaning of the terms "bishop" and "pastor" we tend to use the term elder more than the other two, but they all refer to the same office. By the way, there is no indication in the record of the early church that there was ever only one bishop, pastor or elder over a single congregation and there was never one or more over more than one local church.

The North Terrace church does have a full time evangelist, or preacher, but he is not our pastor.



What social, entertaining activities does your church offer the community?


The North Terrace church of Christ does not offer church sponsored activities designed to promote socializing or entertainment. We understand from scripture that the Lord authorized only three types of work for His church: evangelism, edification, and benevolence. All except benevolence are wholly spiritual in nature. This is not to say that we believe socializing and wholesome entertainment are evil. Rather, they are not a God given work of the church. We engage in those activities as individuals using our personal funds, not as a church using the Lord's treasury for such activities.



Doesn't taking the Lord's Supper every Sunday cause it to lose its meaning?


The decision for us to take the Lord's Supper every week was the Lord's. Jesus said do it, but He didn't say when or how often. So, we looked in the New Testament to the practice of the early church. Their observance of the supper was under the direction of the inspired apostles, therefore, lacking a command about when to partake, we have used their example as our authority.


In Acts 20 we are told of Paul and his companions traveling to Troas. After their arrival, the record says they waited seven days (verse 6) until the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread,..." (verse 7) The Jews in that day counted each part of a day as a whole day, therefore, they arrived in Troas on Monday and waited until the next Sunday when the Lord's Supper would be taken. Paul was apparently comfortable with that - it was the time "when the disciples came together" for that purpose. Since there is no other apostolically approved example to guide us, we do as they did. We find that a weekly remembrance of the sacrifice made on our behalf is a welcome reminder.



How reliable are today's Bibles?


This article is an excerpt from Charlie Brackett’s book, Bible Study for Joy and Profit (2008), pages 8-12, Clarion Word Publishing, Chattanooga, Tenn. All rights reserved.

Secular records indicate that God is, in fact, preserving His Word. Despite attempts throughout history to eliminate the Bible and its influence, the Bible continues to have its impact on the world today. Since original documents are not available to us now, how reliable are the copies we have? There is a tremendous amount of evidence substantiating reliability of our Bible versions, enough to fill volumes. This is not the place for a lengthy presentation of such evidence, but a few thoughts are in order.

Biblical Text Passes Reliability Tests

There are three basic principles used in the field of historiography

for testing historical reliability of ancient writings:

(1) The bibliographical test

(2) The internal test

(3) The external test


The Bibliographical Test

The bibliographical test alone shows the Bible message to have been transmitted through manuscript copies to our time with no consequential change. Other ancient documents, compared to the Bible, have surprisingly little evidence to support the authenticity of the copies now in our possession, yet we accept them without question. Based on current evidence, no other ancient literature is nearly as trustworthy as the Bible. While there are several points of comparison that prove this statement, one should be sufficient for our purpose.

In his Chapters in the History of New Testament Textual Criticism, Bruce Metzger makes this observation: “Of all the literary compositions by the Greek people, the Homeric poems are the best suited for comparison with the Bible… In the entire range of ancient Greek and Latin literature, the Iliad ranks next to the New Testament in possessing the greatest amount of manuscript testimony.”1 The original writings for both of these documents have been lost, so we work from the most ancient copies available. Whether or not our copies of the Iliad are accurate is generally not questioned, though many claim that our copies of the New Testament are corrupted. Comparing the two shows substantial reason to believe that the New Testament is more reliable:2


Works                               Written             Earliest Copy                Time Span              No. of Copies

Iliad                                  900 B.C.                     400 B.C.                 500 years                              643

New Testament           40-100 A.D.                      125 A.D.                    25 years                 over 24,000


The bibliographical test clearly demonstrates reasons to believe that copies of the New Testament are the most credible of ancient documents.

The Internal Test

There are three types of internal evidences that the Bible is God’s Word and can be trusted. The first is its unique unity. As noted earlier, there are sixty-six books written by forty men over a span of 1,500 years, and though it covers hundreds of controversial subjects, the authors all spoke with agreement. There are no contradictions. From beginning to end, there is one message – God’s redemption of mankind.

The second internal evidence is fulfilled prophecy. The Bible contains hundreds of detailed prophecies relating to the future of individual nations, certain cities, the whole of mankind, to certain people and to the coming of one who would be the Savior of not only Israel, but all who would believe in Him. Unlike prophecies in other religious books, Biblical prophecies are extremely detailed and have neither failed to come to pass or to be accurate in all of their details. There are over three hundred prophecies of Jesus Christ alone, each one accurately and completely fulfilled. (See more about the power of fulfilled prophecy in Chapter 4.) Fulfilled prophecies in the Bible attest not only to the authenticity of Scripture but to its divine origin. The Bible simply had to come from God.

The unique authority and power of the Bible message is another area of internal evidence. Countless lives have been changed by its instruction. Whether it speaks of correct behavior, healthy living, good management, effective teaching, salesmanship, communication, positive thinking, conflict resolution, marriage, or child rearing, its words are authoritative and its counsel is wise. No good advice found in today’s books on these subjects is in conflict with Biblical principles penned long ago before men had discovered for themselves the matters in human psychology and relationships now considered wholesome and workable.

All internal evidence supports the conviction that the Bibles we hold in our hands are from God and can be trusted.

The External Test

The external test seeks to find other historical material outside the Bible that will confirm or deny its accuracy, reliability and authenticity. One such source is the body of other early documents. The list of early writers who considered the Bible accurate is long: Eusebius, Papias, Irenaeus, Ignatius, Clement of Rome, Polycarp, the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, and others. The Biblical quotes of these and other writers are so complete they can be used to precisely reconstruct the text of the Bible as we have it today.

Another source of external confirmation is archaeology. Merrill Unger notes, “Old Testament archaeology has rediscovered whole nations, resurrected important peoples, and in a most astonishing manner filled in historical gaps, adding immeasurably to the knowledge of Biblical backgrounds.”3 Consideration of all available supporting archaeological evidence deserves its own volume of books. Before leaving the subject to other books, let’s notice a couple of quotes about the Bible from noted archaeologists:

Archaeologist Joseph Free said, “Archaeology has confirmed countless passages which had been rejected by critics as unhistorical or contrary to known facts.”4

Renowned Jewish archaeologist Nelson Gluek made this startling statement: “It... may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or exact detail historical statements in the Bible.”5

Having considered all of the evidence (bibliographical, internal and external), Josh McDowell stated, “The logical conclusion based upon evidence is that if one rejects the Bible as being reliable, then, if he is consistent and uses the same tests, he must throw out all classical literature and disregard their historical testimony.”6


1 McDowell, Josh, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Volume 1, (1990), p. 43, Here’s Life Publishers, San Bernadino, CA, citing Metzger, Bruce, Chapters in the History of New Testament Textual Criticism, p. 144, Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1963.

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid, citing Unger, Merrill F., Archaeology and the Old Testament , Rev. ed., p. 15, Chicago: Moody Press, 1954. Used by permission.

4 Free, Joseph, Archaeology and Bible History, (1969), p. 1, Scripture Press, Wheaton, Illinois.

5 Glueck, Nelson, Rivers in the Desert , (1959), p. 136, Farar, Straus and Cudahy, New York.

6 McDowell, Josh, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Volume 1 , (1990), p. ix, Here’s Life Publishers, San Bernadino, CA



How can I know the Bible has not been corrupted over time?


God is Obligated to Protect His Word1


God’s claims about His Word necessitated that He protect it until now. The Bible claims it will endure forever thus implying endurance in original form. By claiming His Word will last forever (Mark 13:31; 1 Pet. 1:23, 25), God would have to take whatever steps needed to assure that no one destroys it. By claiming His Word is perfect God obligated Himself to protect it from tampering (Proverbs 30:5; James 1:25; 1 Peter 2:2; Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32; Revelation 22:18, 19).

By claiming His Word is all-sufficient, God obligated Himself to preserve it to do the work for which He claimed nothing else was needed (2 Timothy 3:17; Jude 3).

Evaluating the accuracy of what we have today involves two questions: 1) how reliable are the sources from which our Bibles were translated?, and 2) how accurately did the translators do their job? This latter question is dealt with more thoroughly in Chapter 6 in the discussion about using various translations. Suffice to say here, translations are the work of uninspired, fallible men, and as such, have errors in them. As it turns out, errors in translations by scholarly committees are slight and do not materially affect the message as God gave it to mankind. (More on this in Chapter 12 under Inerrancy of Scripture.)

Secular records indicate that God is, in fact, preserving His Word. Despite attempts throughout history to eliminate the Bible and its influence, the Bible continues to have its impact on the world today. Since original documents are not available to us now, how reliable are the copies we have? There is a tremendous amount of evidence substantiating reliability of our Bible versions, enough to fill volumes. This is not the place for a lengthy presentation of such evidence, but a few thoughts are in order.


1 This article is an excerpt from Charlie Brackett’s book, Bible Study for Joy and Profit (2008), pages 7-8, Clarion Word Publishing, Chattanooga, Tenn. All rights reserved.



Don't scientific facts support the evolution of species?


Yes and no. Yes, there is scientific support of micro evolution, that is, changes within a species to adapt to its environment. Darwin's much publicized finches demonstrate micro evolution. The finches were observed to increase the size and strength of their beaks to adapt to the rigors of a drier season. When the dry period was over, their beaks again adapted to the new conditions.

But, there is no science at all to support Darwin's theory of macro evolution. That is, the transition to a newer, higher species from a lower form. Micro evolution is a fact plainly observable throughout nature, while macro evolution has never been observed. In fact, there are many scientifically proven facts of nature that deny the possibility of macro evolution. The only conclusion remaining is that we and all we see in the universe were created by an all-powerful, intelligent Creator.



Why should I believe there is a God?

Written by Charlie Brackett


There are a lot of reasons to believe in God. Too many to provide here. One strong reason with many supporting evidences is the plausibility of creation over evolution. Evolution says the universe and all creatures came about by time and chance, while everywhere we see evidence of intelligent design. There is even considerable scientific evidence that destroys the theory of macro evolution, that is, evolution of higher species from lower. For example, the laws of thermodynamics, the age of the earth and sun, etc. And, there are many other evidences. If you would like to know more about this important subject, use our contact page to arrange a time to get together to discuss it.



Is it true there are many contradictions in the teachings of Jesus?


Some today are saying that, but all such claims we have seen were a misunderstanding of His teaching. Particularly followers of the New Age Movement have charged Christ with contradictory teaching. It is a strange charge since one of the primary tenants of New Age believe is that each person is god, therefore, whatever he believes is truth. How could there be any contradictions in a belief system like that?

The New Age, or New Thought, Movement was born of humanism and is becoming stronger and stronger now influencing much of our government, media and educational system at all levels. The following explains how some of these charges have originated:

Is the Entire Bible True?1

 The popular New Age teacher, Neale Donald Walsch, operates a blog on Having read in a Walsch book that not everything in the Bible is true, a visitor asked how to separate Bible truth from error. Walsch answered:

“You should know that even top Bible scholars point out that many statements in the Bible are, in fact, not in harmony with facts. There is not enough time or space to run through the Bible chapter by chapter, line by line, and comment upon which words I believe are ‘true’ or ‘accurate’ and which are not. Allow me to offer you just a few statements and let you be the judge...”

Then Walsch listed several Old Testament commands of God about sexual relations, dress, women’s role, discipline of children, etc., which would be unpopular or unlawful today. For example, stoning an adulterer or a disobedient son. Walsch is either ignorant of or chooses to ignore the fact that those commands were part of an earlier covenant and are no longer in effect. Hebrews 8:7 and 8 explain: “For if the first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second, Because finding fault with them, He says, ‘Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah – …’” Verse 13 adds: “In that He says, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete.”

Another way to put Walsch’s answer is, “Read the Bible and decide for yourself what is truth and what is not, as it pleases you.” Why not? For those in the New Age Movement, it is only logical. According to Walsch, God is in me, therefore, I am God. I will decide what is true and what is not. Problem is, man’s logic is the broad road to hell.


1 This article is an excerpt from Charlie Brackett's book, Oprah's New Age Church? (2008), pages 21-22, Clarion Word Publishing, Chattanooga, Tenn, All rights reserved.




Can living together before marriage assure a more successful marriage?


While it may seem logical that living together before marriage would help a couple learn about each and increase their chance for success, statistics prove it is not a wise choice. "A study of 3,300 married couples found that those who cohabited prior to marriage have an estimated likelihood 'of dissolution that is about 46% higher than for non-cohabiters.'1 ...Clearly, a better method of premarital preparation is needed. Interestingly, there is one not only available but proven."2 That way is premarital counseling - proven by several studies to improve the changes for a successful marriage. Of course, the very best marriage counseling is based upon biblical principles. After all, marriage is God's institution. Shouldn't His Word have the best advice for a good marriage?


1 Latimer & McManus citing DeMarus & Rao 1992, p. 19 (20030, How to Give Marriage Insurance to Premarital Couples, Revised 12/30/03, (

2 Brackett, Charlie, Get Ready, Get Set, I Do! (2006), p. 4, Clarion Word Publishing, Chattanooga, Tenn.



Isn't sinning a little the best way to learn what sin is?


The apostle Paul says no! "I would not have known sin except through the law." (Romans 7:7) It is an interesting phenomenon. The more we play around with sin, the more it becomes comfortable and acceptable. The more we move away from sin by learning and living God's Word, the more attuned to what sin is we become. The one who knows nothing of God's laws has no way to identify sin. Sin is defined as the transgression of God's law (1 John 3:4).



Do you baptize babies?


We do not baptize babies for the simple reasons they cannot believe in Jesus, repent of their sins and confess Him as their Lord. All of these are prerequisites to being saved by baptism. Besides, babies are born into the world innocent, free of sin, and therefore, have no need of baptism. God said in Ezekiel 18:20, "The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the quilt of the father, nor the father bear the quilt of the son."



Is it okay to choose the church of my choice?


The world of Christianity is presently split into thousands of denominations. There is a wide choice, but the problem is Jesus never gave us a choice. He said He would build His church (Matthew 16:18). He gave specific instructions to His apostles regarding who could be members, how the church was to be organized, how it should acquire necessary funds, who would qualify to be its local leaders, what they should be called, and the nature of the work and worship that the local church should engage in. And He said, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven." (Matthew 7:21) Christianity offers a wide choice, but our Lord does not.

When one is baptized into Christ today it is just as it was at the beginning. The Bible says, “...the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47) Since He adds us to His church, it behooves a new convert to seek out a church that is teaching and practicing what those early New Testament churches taught and practiced.



Didn't denominations arise because the scriptures cannot be understood alike by all?


No, denominations arose and continue to arise because many do not want to follow the New Testament pattern for their teaching and practice regarding salvation and the organization and work of the church. Some part of scripture may be difficult to understand alike, however, most of what divides us can be understood the way God wants us to understand it. The apostle Paul said in Ephesians 3:4 "...when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ..." We need to set aside our preconceived ideas and open our eyes and hearts seeking to love and imbibe the whole truth of God's Word. Then, perhaps, we would be more like those Jesus prayed we would be in John 17.



Doesn't placing emphasis on obedience mean we are not saved by grace?


No. Ephesians 2:8-9 is often quoted to prove we are saved by grace. And, it does. Listen: "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast." There is nothing feeble, sinful humanity can do to earn salvation. It is God's gift out of His great love for us. But there are conditions. Notice in verse 8 above: "For by grace you have been saved through faith." The mechanism by which we access God's gift of grace is our obedient faith.



Can't I just pray for salvation as the TV evangelist said?


No, according to the Bible, it doesn't work that way. Simply believing is not enough. Belief has to be action-based. The Bible says in Hebrews 11 that by faith (belief) Noah built an ark, by faith Abraham left his country, by faith Abraham built an altar, and many others mentioned there were motivated by their belief to act in accordance with God's will. Jesus said in Mark 16:16, "He who believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." Prayer is good, but God nowhere said pray for salvation. He gave very specific commands, which if obeyed out of a believing heart, will result in salvation.



How do I schedule a time to be baptized?


We do not have scheduled times for baptisms. Salvation is too important to implement by prearranged schedule. When an individual is convicted with the sinfulness of their life outside of Jesus Christ, comes to the belief that Christ is the Son of God, the Sacrifice for their sins, and is willing to repent, confess Him as Lord and be baptized for remission of their sins, then, at that moment, is the time they should be baptized. When that is the case, night or day, contact someone at the church, and they will immediately and gladly arrange for the baptism.



Why do churches of Christ stress water baptism?


It is not our intent to emphasize water baptism over any other of the Lord's conditions of salvation. And, there are conditions. We want to do all of God's will rather than be like those Jesus spoke of in Matthew 7:21: "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven." Often we hear claims that it is sufficient to simply believe and ask Jesus to come into our heart. Of course, without belief nothing we do will be pleasing to the Lord. However, those in Acts 2 were told what to do for remission of sins after they had demonstrated their belief. They were told to repent and be baptized. Without repentance and baptism, one cannot be saved. Romans 10:9 teaches us "to confess with your mouth.... and believe in your heart... you will be saved." And, Revelation 2:10 affirms we must live faithfully until death. One must obey all of the Lord's commands to be saved.

Perhaps we seem to be unduly emphasizing baptism because of trying to teach against the widespread abuse of baptism - what it is and how it should be done, for whom, when and why - throughout so much of denominational Christianity.