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

Index by Subject

Contending for the Faith

The United States is among the most tolerant and permissive of societies. Yet it is a society that is extremely intolerant of a very few things. One example of intolerance is with regard to “political correctness.” There are certain attitudes and ideas, which if expressed, lead to the ruin of public reputations and careers. Often those who rush to condemn these attitudes, (what they call “hate speech”), are the same ones who clamor over the right to freedom of expression. This is incongruous, but is nevertheless a rather prominent feature of our day.

This is also true in religion. These permissive influences claim that all religions have worth and that religious criticism is a form of that “hate speech.” Pleas for toleration have led many to the irrational claim that all these terrorist attacks by Muslim fundamentalists had “nothing to do with religion.” They ignore the fact that such extremists have declared a “jihad” (holy war) against all non-muslims. Continue reading » Contending for the Faith

Sermon: 150 Years of Controversy

2 - 150 Years of Controversy

Lesson 2 of 5 in Lectureship Series: Controversy Among the People of God

Speaker: Stan Cox

This lesson examines controversies that have troubled God’s people in the last 150 years. This is especially an examination of the Lord’s church in recent history, here in America. Issues discussed include the Missionary Society, Instrumental Music, Premillennialism & the Grace/Unity movement.

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Powerpoint PPTX File

Sermon: Controversy Among the People of God

1 - Controversy Among the People of God

Lesson 1 of 5 in Lectureship Series.

Speaker: Stan Cox

This lesson introduces the theme, establishing the reality of controversy (as Satan does his work), and correct response of the Christian. It examines how God’s people in the first century handled the controversies that erupted.

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Powerpoint PPTX File

A Militant Faith

A peculiar aspect of our culture is a tendency to shy away from any reference to militancy as a positive characteristic. I suppose that there has been so much violence that people are uncomfortable even entertaining the concept of a legitimate use of force — i.e., a defensive application.

And yet, scripture commonly makes use of the concept.  For example, Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:12, “Fight the good fight of faith…”  In another place, Paul described the characteristics of the mature Christian in militaristic terms, exhorting the Ephesians: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:10-13). Continue reading » A Militant Faith

Sermon: Our Obligations Toward Truth

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Our obligations toward truth include: Procuring it, Practicing it, Proclaiming it, Protecting it, and Pleading it.

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Sermon: The Benefits of an Increasing Faith

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As our faith grows, and with it we mature spiritually, it enables us in various ways. It gives us the ability to: 1) Discern good and evil; 2) Resist temptation; 3) Forgive; 4) Deal with those who oppose the truth; 5) Cope with physical decline; and 6) Face death.

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Sermon: Building for the Lord

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The book of Nehemiah reveals a people successful in building for the Lord because they had a working mentality, a balanced approach, were hindrance resistant, and were conscious of their responsibilities to God.

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Sermon: “And if the blind lead the blind…”

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Sermon by Dennis Scroggins

Truth can be understood, and must be defended, heeded, and obeyed. Too often men look to the unrighteous or ignorant for advice, rather than those who are familiar with and wise in the ways of God.

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Sermon: Spiritual Bullies

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The lesson discusses the existence of spiritual bullies, much like the Jewish leaders who opposed Jesus. Such exist today, and there are ways to effectively respond to their evil.

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The Patternists: Is Defending Truth Divisive?

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There are two models followed in an attempt to attain unity among God’s people. The first is an attempt to have unity amidst diversity. In effect, to go along to get along. Those who follow this model claim that doctrine is unimportant, and will not contend with those who believe differently than themselves. The idea is that God is love, and is accepting of all of us, no matter what we believe or teach.

The second model consists of defending truth. It is the Biblically based model. It certainly excludes those who are unwilling to hold to truth, but allows those who love God and His word to rally around a divine standard. Christians are told to: 1) All speak the same doctrine, and all have the same mind and judgment (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:10); 2) Be unified in the same way that the Son and the Father are unified (John 17:20-21); 3) Avoid doctrines which originate in the minds of men (Matthew 15:8-9); 4) And contend for the faith (Jude 3).

In the first model those who contend for the faith are the ones who are castigated as divisive. “There wouldn’t be a problem if you weren’t so contentious!”

In the second, Biblical model, those who contend for the faith are acknowledged to be defending the unity of the Spirit. Those who teach error that are the ones identified as guilty of causing division and strife.

To which model do you ascribe?

To see The Patternists Page on Facebook, click here, and Like!

7 Bad Habits of Superficial Christians

ImageHow often have you seen articles with titles like the one above shared on Facebook feeds? It is a common tactic, as authors and websites vie for the attention of readers. A catchy title or provocative picture will lead to clicks. Often the article itself has little to offer, but internet traffic leads to advertisers and revenue, so the trend will not soon change. Unfortunately, the trend is prevalent in material offered with the intent of aiding in spiritual growth.

Which leads me to note the first bad habit that leads to a superficial faith. Taking a Facebook mentality into matters of spiritual importance! I confess that I click on such titles myself, because they are attention getting. Too often the article is as much pop psychology as Biblical teaching. The quality of writing on spiritual matters is suffering as authors try to adapt to the short attention spans and novel cravings of a culture unduly influenced by social media. This is sad.

Continue reading » 7 Bad Habits of Superficial Christians

The Patternists: Contending for the Truth

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Recent forays into blog and Facebook comments have again uncovered the idea that those who have the audacity to point out religious error are uncharitable, un-Christian, stubborn, and bizarre.

Some comments come from people who ridicule the concept of divine inspiration and the veracity of the Bible. Too often, however, those who show such animosity toward a defense of truth are themselves claimed followers of Christ.

To the former we confess no surprise. The idea of contending over a book which is the product of men is nonsensical, and we understand their disdain.

To the latter we defend ourselves with the following words from the pen of Jude:

“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (verse 3).

To see The Patternists Page on Facebook, click here, and Like!

In the News: Consciousness & God

ImageA common question in science and common theme of science fiction is the potential of robots to become sufficiently complex to become conscious. That is, have self-awareness. In a sense, it would mean that they are alive, would have self-will, and (as happens often in Sci-Fi novels and shows) perhaps would rise up in revolt against mankind (cf. Terminator, among others). Like I said, science fiction.

There is a theory out there about how the brain works, called Quantum Brain Dynamics (it’s a real theory). It states that our brains not only give us the ability to hear, see, taste, feel, etc., — our brains also use quantum mechanics to create consciousness in us.

Continue reading » In the News: Consciousness & God

In the News: Is the Pope Humble?

Image I am sure some who read this would object to the question. They might first object to any question of his humility as absurd. It has, after all, been his most commonly acknowledged attribute, proclaimed by the media which has covered each of his appearances in America. Others might object to the idea we might “judge” the heart of another. Who are we to deem the Pope as being anything other than what he “appears” or “claims” to be.

Of course, the judging of hearts is not appropriate. And, I freely admit that despite the adulation supplied him, his cloistered lifestyle, and his privileged existence, he continues to speak to and show compassion toward those who are poor and destitute.

Continue reading » In the News: Is the Pope Humble?

Sermon: Anatomy of Institutional Apostasy

Image Many denominations have departed from any semblance of Biblical faithfulness. From Heresy to Sectarianism to Denominationalism to full blown Humanism, the process of the institutional apostsy is explained.

Those who are faithful must learn from history, and heed the warnings to remain faithful to the standard, God’s word.

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