Here is an excellent presentation by Cecil May Jr. on the extremes of erring Christians, “Extremes”:

“June 2002

Extremes Our brotherhood problems are not just major squabbles over minor differences of opinion, although some of the arguments pursued in some brotherhood papers would make one think so. There are destructive extremes on both the left and the right. Each of them is contrary to both the general tenor and specific substance of scripture. Each is equally dangerous because each denies fundamental truths of scripture, and each is a major factor in causing the other.

Extremists on the Left

* Have nothing but good to say to and about other religious groups, and nothing but ridicule to and about churches of Christ.
* Reject every distinctive contribution of the restoration movement.
* Accept anyone who professes faith in Christ as redeemed and as deserving of fellowship, pointedly ignoring the many passages that link salvation and fellowship in Christ to believer’s immersion.
* Conduct their assemblies without asking what the Bible teaches about what they are doing because they do not think that is germane.
* Eagerly adopt from other religious groups any practice or idea that “works” without considering whether it is in harmony with Scripture.
* Say truthful things like, “The New Testament does not contain a minute pattern for every activity in which the church is to engage,” but end up arguing there is no New Testament pattern for anything.
* Ignore the plea to be undenominational, declaring it to be impossible in today’s denominational world.
* Speak often of love and tolerance, but become sharply unloving and intolerant of anyone not as tolerant as they.
* Reject the idea that the church today should follow what the apostles taught the early church in Acts and the epistles about organization, work and worship.
* Assume that anyone not a part of their circle belongs to the opposite extreme.

The same people write virtually all the articles in their magazines and speak at all their special gatherings. A few others may appear occasionally, but generally the circle is closed.

Those reading and listening from outside the circle think they see signs of elitism and arrogance.

Extremists on the Right

* Virtually ignore the heart of the gospel as centered in “Christ and Him crucified.” Speak and write almost exclusively against errors of extremists on the left.
* Are so convinced the whole brotherhood is going headlong into apostasy that they immediately believe, and often exaggerate in retelling, anything they hear that tends to confirm that suspicion.
* Have a long and rapidly growing list of positions on issues with which everyone must agree in detail if they are to be counted among the faithful brethren.
* Exclude from fellowship anyone who appears on the same program with anyone who differs with them, gradually drawing their definition of faithful brethren narrower and narrower.
* Count anyone who does not fight the same errors they fight with the same ferocity and methodology they use as, therefore, in sympathy with all the errors of the apostasy.
* While allowing no doctrinal deviation at all, have very little negative reaction to serious moral deficiencies in those who agree with them doctrinally.
* Claim to “speak the truth in love” but sound very unloving and often pervert the “truth” they purport to be speaking.
* In “discovering” and exposing error, sometimes appear to be delighted that there is error there to expose.
* Assume that anyone not a part of their circle belongs to the opposite extreme.
* The same people write virtually all the articles in their magazines and speak at all their special gatherings. A few others may appear occasionally, but generally the circle is closed.
* Those reading and listening from outside the circle think they see signs of elitism and arrogance.”