NTCC is in large measure guilty of the sin of Legalism, in that they uphold an array of rigid doctrines that are not specified in the scripture, drawing a line between the saved and the unsaved based upon obedience to their peculiar pet teachings. Normal Christians realize that those things not explicitly or implicitly stated in the Bible should be left to the conscience of the individual and the Holy Spirit of God to work out. New Testament Christian Church, though its name contains the word Christian, is lacking in the most basic child-like understanding of this very important Christian rule.
We would probably not possess an adequate understanding of the gospel today if the Roman Catholic Church had continued unopposed in its domination of Europe. The evangelical revolution known commonly as the Reformation of 1517 may have officially begun with the stand taken by one man, and it may have ridden a wave of popularity owing to the economic impetus of the German middle class; yet the true force and power of the movement was its adherence to a principle. The principle in play was that of strict reliance upon the scripture alone for guidance in both doctrine and practice. Thus it has been the goal of Christians for centuries to limit themselves and those who attempt to lead them in spiritual things to that which is stated in The Word. The Roman Catholic Church of the Middle Ages and Renaissance insisted upon the primacy of the Papal office as God’s instrument for revealing truth to the world. The pope stood as Vicar of Christ for all Europe. In this manner, the doctrines of the Church shifted constantly as various popes and universally recognized councils expressed their unilateral or collective opinions. Having assured themselves of all spiritual authority on earth, these opinions became law and the rule of faith was changed. This self-proclaimed authority to represent God’s will apart from the written Word had created a pseudo-Christian institution bearing little resemblance to the Church established by Christ and the Apostles. Men such as Tyndale and Wycliff, Huss and Luther, faced the uphill march against this ungainly institution armed only with the Word of God, and the Truth was seen to triumph over the oppressive monster. Arbitrary authority was the problem. The Scripture Only principle was the solution.
RW Davis places organization and authoritarian rule above the Scripture Only principle, and the gospel is preached to all of New Testament Christian Church through his own personal filter. He takes upon himself the mantle of Primate, creating doctrines as the need arises, establishing the rules for admittance into heaven based upon his 1950’s ultraconservatism. The primary means by which his organization abuses and fleeces the people under his ministerial care is that of absolute Pastoral authority. Davis claims that the Holy Spirit does not and can not lead us into all truth, which is why we have a pastor, and that God expects obedience to the Pastor just as if we were obeying Christ directly. He teaches that scripture, being at times silent or unclear, is to be interpreted for us not by our conscience, the indwelling Spirit, or our other self-governing faculties, but by the preacher. He believes that the pastor is put in place to tell us what God’s standards and
requirements really are. His job is to tell you what sin is.
NTCC places heavy emphasis on Paul’s overview of certain ministerial offices, stressing that these positions are to be filled and their proper prerogatives exercised for “the perfecting of the saints”. NTCC preachers often quote this passage in order to promote the notion that the saints have to listen to the pastor and obey everything he says, even if he is wrong. They project an intimidating authority, claiming that “God placed me in your life to perfect you”, for which blessing you apparently ought to be grateful. But notice that in no case does Paul declare that this is the minister’s job, only that the minister is the servant of God and of the people; that he is a tool for God to use in the performance of His job. No authority exists for a pastor to invent doctrines, to act as a disciplinarian, or to wear out the saints.
There ought to be a very high wall erected between the pastor and the authority to create ‘’guidelines’’ that apply rigidly to everyone. This perfecting of the saints was never intended to be according to the pastor’s man-made standard, but according to the standard of Christ. If the pastor is so worried about standards and morals then why does he not give to the people God’s written standards and leave it at that. The problem is two-fold: 1) They simply do not trust God to sanctify the believers, and 2) Any relaxation of pastoral authority would soon cause the floodgates to open, and the liberty of the saints would come cascading down onto the pastor’s long-enjoyed ministerial privileges.
Why not put an end to the hypocrisy and join Catholic Church? If NTCC Christians are expected to submit to a man as though he alone has “the anointing” then they ought to consider joining the Medieval Romanists. There was evidently no need whatsoever for the evangelical reform of the 1500’s if we are to follow someone who behaves like the pope in his usurpation of authority. What was Luther doing if not attempting to free the conscience of a man to worship God according to the Word of God only? What were the founders of America doing if not attempting to find a place to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience?
If NTCC leaders gave themselves to the Word and Doctrine, encouraging their followers to study and to rely upon the Written Word Alone, they would find themselves presiding over a much more uplifting spiritual environment, a much more healthy assembly of believers, and a much less cringing and obsequiously respectful herd of clone-like Davis-ists. The reason they resist this needed reform is because they prefer threats of eternal hellfire for disobedience to the pastor to the alternative, which is to be Christ-like and “feed my sheep”. To do anything else and claim to be a “leader” of God’s people is unsafe in the extreme.