Notes on Rubel Shelly

Rubel Shelly

From Wikipedia 

Dr. Rubel Shelly is an author, minister, and professor [at] Lipscomb University. He is the former president of Rochester College

Shelly began as an instructor in the department of Religion and Philosophy at Freed-Hardeman University in 1975. In 1978, Shelly began preaching as Senior Minister for the Family of God at Woodmont Hills, formerly known as the Woodmont Hills Church of Christ, in Nashville, Tennessee where he continued until 2005. While preaching at Woodmont Hills, he also taught at Lipscomb University, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and Tennessee State University. From 1979 to 1980 while he worked to complete his graduate work at Vanderbilt University, he served as a graduate assistant in the Department of Philosophy. From 1981 to 1983, he was an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Lipscomb University. In 1986, while continuing his education at Vanderbilt University, he taught as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine (Medical Ethics) until 1988. From 2000 to 2004, he was an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Tennessee State University.

When he stepped down from the pulpit in 2005, he began teaching again as a Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Rochester College, in Rochester Hills, Michigan. He was named the President of Rochester College in May 2009. He also currently serves as a co-minister for the Bristol Road Church of Christ in Flint, Michigan. In late 2012, Shelly announced that he would be stepping from his role as President at Rochester College by September 2013.…

Shelly’s theological stance on several important issues abruptly shifted around 1986 from traditional Church of Christ theology. He began to voice a radical plea for Ecumenism, as indicated by his book, I Just Want to Be a Christian. Shelly had started out as a boy preacher in the Churches of Christ, writing several books containing what some have called “sound teaching,” yet eventually Shelly became disenchanted with what he has called a “language of exclusion.” “Out of my own spiritual evolution, I’ve tried to adopt a much more Christ-like spirit and not be so sectarian and isolationist,” Shelly said (

Examples of Rubel Shelly’s Apostasy

Connie W. Adams

At the Nashville Jubilee 1989, Rubel Shelly read a statement in which he apologized to the Christian Church for the division over the instrument of music in worship. Simultaneously, that statement was read before a convention of the Christian Church and received with great celebration. Division was caused congregation by congregation when the instrument was forced in over the protest of sincere Christians who could not worship with it without violating their consciences. Much controversy in the journals and in public debates explored the scriptural authority (or lack of it). When all was said and done, no divine authority had been found for it and the only real justification for it was, “I like it and I intend to have it, whether you like it or not.” It was granted by all that singing in public worship was authorized in the New Testament.

In a speech by Rubel Shelly at Florence, Alabama, April 1996. Shelly, probably one of the most influential of the liberals of our time appeared in Florence in a conference “with an assortment of denominational preachers and charismatic leaders.” Shelly said,

One of the things that I think is so wonderful and precious and dear to the heart of God about a conference like this is that it is a conference that cuts across the lines that we have erected to keep us separate…. We need every one of us on the same team…. We will not lose our separate denominational. identifies;… we will not have to give up our distinctive practices with regard to our different organizational structures, worship, and so on. I see no need for that…. Being a Christian is more important than whether…you’re premillennial,…or you’re Baptist, or you’re charismatic, or you’re church of Christ, or you’re Presbyterian.

Shelly now ignores such questions as the organization and worship of the church. You can be baptized by sprinkling or use instrumental music, but he still desires fellowship with you. More material will be coming soon on Shelly’s errors.

Attribution: From Guardian of Truth, November 6, 1997.

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Author: jfm

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