My Study With Armando

Neal Pollard

This morning, I had the opportunity to have an impromptu Bible study with a man who introduced himself as Pastor Dr. Armando.  He wanted to find a congregation who would allow his ministry and followers a place to work and worship.  Prayerfully, I listened to him and looked for my opportunity to turn the conversation from his program to the Bible.  After hearing him out, he asked if we would be interested.  I told him that he saw some great needs and had some intriguing methods of providing benevolence to our community, but the problem would come regarding what they taught and how they worshipped.  As gently as I could, I tried to show him what Scripture said about both–since both were matters he brought up in our discussion.  Judging from his facial expressions, he had never heard of a preacher or church approaching the plan of salvation or how to worship or anything else using nothing but the Bible. I told him we had no creed, council, synod, or earthly head who governed or gave us religious traditions to follow.  While he seemed very interested in the concept, his “pragmatic” side did not allow him to see how that would work with the group with which he already worked.  There were nearly 100 people, black, Hispanic, and white, who he said worshipped with him.  They believed how or when one is baptized was not important, and they were very drawn to their drums, guitars, and other instruments in worship.  Yet, as strident as he was about their beliefs, this idea of non-denominational, simple New Testament Christianity intrigued him.  We ended our hour-long discussion by agreeing to meet to talk further about these things in a more systematic way.  I’m optimistic and hopeful!

Perhaps we have bought into the idea that the “restoration plea” has been tried and has failed to find a following.  If Dr. Rangel is in any way representative of the religious world, and I have reason to believe he is, there are a great many who are totally unaware of that plea.  Could there be a whole world of religious people out there, disenchanted with mainline evangelical denominationalism, who would be open to New Testament Christianity?  Let’s pray for opportunities to share it and see what happens!

14 thoughts on “My Study With Armando

  1. Neal, very interesting post!! Thanks for your efforts. I pray the gentleman will be intrigued enough to study further. I likewise wonder if there is a whole world of religious people out there, disenchanted with mainline evangelical denominationalism, who would be open to New Testament Christianity? I believe there are folks like that, but they do not know what to do about it.

    On the other hand what I am finding even more discouraging is the number of members of the Lord’s church who are becoming disenchanted with what has been the mainstream teachings for so long who are willing to give them up for more “open” and “progressive/liberal” teachings with less distinctiveness and doctrine.

    1. Amen, Wayne! I was discussing this with one of our instructors and we agreed that we need to talk more about the restoration plea in our Bible classes and sermons. We are trying to demonstrate it, but we need to emphasize with greater frequency that we are pursuing that course. Great thoughts, brother.

    2. Bernard Barton from Vermont-I preach at the Pleasnt Hill church of Christ i Tennessee

      As a preacher for a Lord’s church I find that a great deal of people are not interested in following
      the Bible-Where I preach I stay with the Word of God-It doesn’t appeal to a lot of people-they want
      more modern teaching,etc. I deal with a great deal of denominational preachers who call themselves pastors and believe in just belief to be saved and use intstruments/bands/solos/ in the worship of their churches and more women are becoming senior/junior pastors in these groups
      I hear of the trend to bring in women preachers in the Lord’s church as well as “modernizing” the
      Lord’s church with musical instruments, supporting things that oppose the Word of God.
      I say that it is not the church of Christ against all religious groups-its the Word of God we follow and if we don’t wether in the lord’s church or in the denominations, e are teaching false doctrine

  2. That is so great to hear that you got the opportunity to spend time with Armando and was able to talk to him about Christ and I hope that you will have the opportunity to further teach him in the near future. Anytime you have the opportunity to teach Christ and His saving grace we should jump at the opportunity.

    1. Howard Sparks

      Ken, while I don’t know you or your doctrinal leanings, it seems from your wording that you are not a strong supporter of what has been, and continues to be for a great many, our mainline approach and advocacy for restoring the church as it existed in the New Testament. Personally, I believe we need to add a greater emphasis on benevolence, grace and God’s love which makes it all possible and motivates us to accept God’s salvation, worship and life plan, but never abandon our source of authority found only in the Bible.

  3. Pingback: BrotherhoodNews.com | ‘Simple New Testament Christianity intrigued’ pastor on hearing restoration plea

  4. Janice

    I’ll keep this man and his followers in my prayers. I agree that there are many people in denominations who are discouraged spiritually because the body of worshipers to which they belong is teaching for fact beliefs which the individual does not believe and cannot affirm in God’s Word. Their problem is that they do not know anywhere else to worship and think there is no where better. On the other hand, we have some in the church who do not have the understanding of the love of God or the gospel which is needed to take it to heart and live it. Then, there are those in and out of the church who are deeply affected by the lives and actions of others. They see people who call themselves Christians who simply don’t act like Christians. The “I’ll have my way or bust” self-focused attitude of those who are just going through the motions and who need the church as self-affirmation goes a long way to drive people from God. There are many people in our communities who are searching, but some of them are extremely hard to reach and very mistrusting because they are wounded and hurting. As Christians, we need to remember our mission! I know you do a good work, Neal. Thank you for your dedication to the Lord.

  5. marybell

    I pray that your conversation will continue and that Armando’s conscience and sense of right will compel him to study further with you. I agree that we need to emphasize the plea more – with our own people first! So many of our younger members do not know – I suppose we expected it to be ingrained in them by osmosis! Praying for your continued ministry. You probably know one of our ministers – a brother by the name of Howell Ferguson? 🙂

  6. Billie D cartwright

    I am encouraged not only by Neal’s devotion to the word, his understanding of the word also for continues search for the Truth and the Will of God. This is an opportunity for us as the Body of Christ to join in with Neal and try and shape the beliefs of this congregation by joining him in Prayer and Fasting. In the KJV Matthew 17: 21 Jesus tells his disciples that this type of demon only comes out with Prayer and Fasting. Yes my Brothers there is no direct command to fast but here we can see the power of it and if we Love as Christ Loved John 13: 34. Christ was continually in prayer and fasting keeping his mind, heart and body in submission. Do we really want to love as He loved. Let us exercise the sovereignty of God and approach him in supplications for Neal and This Group of believers. In Christ Bill Cartwright

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