Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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The Patternists: Hypocrisy, Inconsistency and Inadequacy


The call for authority is objectionable to many. It sometimes elicits a defensive response. When scripture can not be used to answer the admonition, some resort to ad hominem attacks. This creates a logical fallacy. The idea that my inadequacy excuses your activity is simply not true.

One of the first times I heard such an argument was in high school. I was discussing the church support of orphan homes with a friend who attended an institutional church. While he was willing to admit there was no Bible authority for a congregation to use money from the treasury to support an orphan home, he nevertheless maintained it was acceptable because individual Christians were not doing enough to alleviate the suffering of the homeless.

More recently a pro-abortion Catholic nun argued for the practice of abortion based upon the contention that pro-life advocates were not sufficiently caring for the poor and abused children of the world.

A sexually promiscuous person might resist an admonition because he knows of some hypocrite in the church who was caught having an affair. It is a bit like a child responding to a parent’s admonition by crying out that his sibling, “did it too!”

Simply put, my hypocrisy, inconsistency or inadequacy, whether perceived or real, does not excuse your disobedience of God’s command! Nor yours, mine. Paul wrote, “For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (2 Corinthians 10:12).

God’s word is the standard. It is His word that will judge us in the last day (cf. John 12:48)

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