They Have a Zeal of God But Not According to Knowledge, No. 4 – Don Smith

Don Smith


Throughout the walk of a Christian, there are many struggles that must be faced. Whether it be the world of moral sin or the denominational world of doctrinal sin, the struggle is real, and the battle is sometimes great. Willful ignorance is rampant, and this is no less true regarding the situation under consideration in our current series. We are about to see the response of Mrs. Julie Jackson to the manuscript, “Have Miracles Ceased?”. Each paragraph and sentence will be numbered, as they are referenced in this way in future correspondence within this series, and all grammatical errors and typos will be kept as the original has them. Though kind she is, her response is a prime example of that willful ignorance. Without further ado…

Hi Don & Micah, started 12-11-2014 finished 12-17-14


1In this letter I shall start my response to your theological piece entitled “Have Miracles Ceased?” and the some of the articles I have read on line at the website.


1I must say it is hard to start this letter as I have so many things I want to address. 2I agree with you and Micah that you are in a rare setting to study the Word. 3By that I mean that it is unfortunate that you are in prison but it is a setting where you don’t have the demands of the “world” such as a job etc and daily life. 4I don’t say that to be mean. 5I am agreeing that you can devote time to studying the Word and I commend you on making the Word of God your priority. 6I very delicately make this observation that the beliefs of you and Mr. McClish are that of “Church of Christ”, which is a denomination. 7I have also read the other two papers you sent by William Davis and Daniel Denham. 8They too profess to be Church of Christ members.


1I do want to tell you that I have a HUGE concern that my response could be taken by Don incorrectly, especially since you don’t know me. 2That is the drawback of corresponding through print. 3These are my concerns: You can’t hear the inflections of my voice, you don’t know me and my demeanor (I don’t accuse people, I am open to disagreeing with someone and still being a friend, I don’t have to be “right”, I try to be humble, I am full of mercy.). 4That being said I shall continue.

As can be seen, there are a significant amount of grammatical errors and typos, however, it is trusted that the reader can certainly comprehend what is being stated. Mrs. Jackson assumed some things about those who are incarcerated, such as that they have no job or daily life. This wrong assumption may be an indication of her thought process to jump to whatever wild conclusions her mind comes up with. She states that the church is a denomination, which is addressed in this writer’s response to her. Moreover, her concern that her response could be taken incorrectly due to inflections in her voice and her demeanor is unwarranted. If we can understand the writings of Paul and others, we can understand one another, inflections of the voice notwithstanding.


1I could easily look at your material and “put previous teachings on the shelf” as you both suggested. 2It’s my personal walk and experiences with the Lord that cannot be extracted from my persuasions to believe what I believe. 3I, in no way, want to sound arrogant. 4I have studied Inductive method of interpretation (while at Christ for the Nations Bible College) and agree that it is the most solid. 5I also need to let you know that I see the huge problem with many if not all denominations. 6There will be no denominations in heaven. 7Denominations are man-made. 8It truly is sad & I doubt very seriously that God approves of any of the man made doctrine that is espoused in His Name. 9Micah stated in his letter that you had not set foot in a church prior to prison but it is obvious that your theology is Church of Christ as I already pointed out. 10(Someday I would be interested to know how you got in touch with Mr. McClish & this theology.)

Regarding her claim that she could put previous teachings on the shelf and study objectively from the Bible, it is clear that she could not because she was not willing. After stating—with no evidence to back up her claim—that the church of Christ is a denomination in paragraph 2, she then rants about denominations not being in heaven and that God does not approve of their doctrine. She does this all the while never taking a look at herself and the church she belongs to, never considering the doctrines she espouses, nor even the designation of the church she is a member of, which have no scriptural authority. It is a very sad condition of willful blindness when one will not examine themselves to be sure they are right (2 Cor. 13:5). The lengthy response this writer gives also answers her inquiry regarding the beginning of said writer’s walk.


1Regarding church: The Bible does request us to come together as Believers (Heb. 10:25) but the age old problem always rears its head. Self or flesh or man vs. God. 2Oh to die to self and know that there is no better way than God’s way. 3See I believe man gets in the way of the truth time and time again. 4Always thinking they have a better plan. 5It is just not so. 6Hebrews 13:8-9 says: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. 7Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. 8For it is a good thing that the heart be established with Grace; not with meats (religious ceremonies), which have not profited them who have been occupied therein.”


1I believe organized “religion” put Christ on the Cross. 2When people call me religious, I correct them and say, “No, I Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior, I am not religious.” 3You can be religious about a ton of things but when you are “religious” about the things of God and His Word, it all goes back to legalism. 4Since I believe Jesus Christ died for my sins, I live under the covenant of Grace. 5The O.T. has the thread of Jesus Christ all through it. 6”What the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His Own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the Righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:3 & 4. 7Verse 5 brings me to the point that is most paramount in my mind. 8There was no mention of the Spirit in your paper. 9The Bible can be read by anyone but if you want spiritual truth to be revealed you need the Holy Spirit to do so (1 Cor. 2:10-14). 10When Christ left this earth He told them “But you shall receive power. After that the Holy spirit is come upon you…” Acts 1:8. 11The Bible is very clear in attributing personhood to the Holy spirit by stating that the Holy spirit has a will (1 Cor. 12:11); that He can be grieved (Eph. 4:30); that He would be our Teacher (John 14:26) and more.

In paragraph 5, Mrs. Jackson uses the word church in the sense of going to do something, not really understanding a church is a called-out body of people. Some denominations will echo an essential truth, as she does regarding man trying to change the truth of God’s will. The problem is they continue to do the very thing they are condemning, when the Bible teaches very clearly about a specific subject (such as baptism for the remission of sins), and they teach the exact opposite. What she wrote about legalism and religion in paragraph 6 is completely wrong. Moreover, she clearly has Old Testament and New Testament law mixed, or rather, does not even recognize New Testament law. These issues are addressed in the upcoming thorough response.


The goal of this part of the series is to relay the response of Mrs. Jackson and briefly address a few items within it, which will continue in next month’s issue. In the reply to this response (which will begin in the 7th part of this series), the subjects are dealt with much more deeply. It is always the desire that some can learn from such interactions in order that they may be better positioned to defend the faith and possibly save some souls. Though the interaction may not see immediate results, the seed is now planted. It is very possible that with time that seed could still produce a change.

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Author: Editor

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