RESPONSE TO AN INQUIRY ABOUT THE USE OF
MECHANICAL INSTRUMENTS OF MUSIC IN WORSHIP
Roger D. Campbell
From time to time, preachers receive responses to articles,
tracts, or other materials they have written. Not long ago I
received an e-mail message that began with these words, I read
your comments on instrumental music. From there this inquirer,
with whom I was not previously acquainted, went on to make a number
of statements and raise some questions. Because this person's
sentiments and reasoning are not that uncommon when it comes to the
question of mechanical instruments of music in worship, I decided
to share my response to her.
Thank you for your e-mail regarding some material that I
wrote about using mechanical instruments of music in worship to
God. In the outset of your letter you stated, I have a
question and I'd appreciate anything you have to say on the
subject. From this statement I conclude that this subject is
a point of interest or concern to you. I will try my best to answer
your questions and statements about this topic. I realize that in
my response I must answer with a spirit of meekness and
fear (1 Peter 3:15) and I must answer according to the
oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11). For the sake of clarity, I am
going to divide up and number some of your questions and
statements. My quotes from your letter will be in italics and
quotation marks. I will try to deal with them one at a time. This
makes it easier for me to respond to them, and hopefully this will
make my answers clearer.
1. Nowhere in the Bible does God say to use
microphones in worship. But you use them.
My answer: Yes, I have used microphones in my preaching
in many places. However, for the first twenty years of my
preaching, I preached the great majority of times in situations
where no microphone was used in the worship assembly. Thus, it
would be incorrect to assume that microphones are used in every
place where people assemble to worship. Yet, our using them or not
using them in no way proves that using mechanical instruments of
music in worship is pleasing or not pleasing to God.
2. Nowhere in the Bible does God say to use a
light bulb in church, yet every single church uses them.
My answer: I have not traveled to every meeting place of
every religious group on the planet, but I would think that there
are probably some groups meeting out in the bushes that
do not have electricity, and thus do not use light bulbs. Again,
even if it were true that every single church uses light
bulbs, that would not prove that the use of mechanical instruments
of music in worship to God is in harmony with the teaching of the
3. Your later stated, Why not give sermons
in truth without the aid of illumination or microphone?
God never said that you could use those things, yet they're used.
So, why pick just the music aspect of the truth to focus
My answer: I think this question really hits at the heart
of your appeal, which basically is this: if everybody uses lights
and microphones and these items are acceptable, though they are not
mentioned in the Bible, then mechanical instruments of music in
worship must also be acceptable.
We are commanded to preach the word (2 Tim.
4:2). When we add lighting (electric, gas, oil, or whatever kind)
to the command to preach, what do we get as a result? Answer: We
have preaching. Preaching God's word + lighting = Preaching God's
word. The lighting adds nothing to the worship, and thus the
lighting is simply an aid in carrying out the command to preach.
In the same way, when we add a microphone to the command
to preach, what do we get as a result? Answer: We have preaching.
Preaching God's word + a microphone = Preaching God's word. The
microphone adds no new element into the worship. It serves as a
true aid in the sense that it makes the voice of the preacher
heard. That is important when the preaching is done in a large
indoor facility or someplace where it is difficult to hear the
speaker, because if the listeners are unable to clearly hear the
message preached, then they cannot be edified (1 Cor. 14:15-17).
Adding volume by using a microphone helps to do things
decently and in order (1 Cor. 14:40). Also, Jesus said,
If any man have ears to hear, let him hear...Take heed
what ye hear... (Mark 4:23,24). A microphone or sound
system can be helpful to listeners that seek to take heed to what
they hear. Again, the microphone simply serves as an aid to the
hearer, helping him understand clearly that which he hears.
When mechanical instruments of music are introduced into
the worship of God, that is an entirely different situation than
what we have with lights and microphones. Here is why: when
mechanical instruments of music are introduced into the worship of
God, that is an addition of a new and separate kind of music. New
and separate from what? New and separate from the kind of music
authorized in the New Testament. The music that the New Testament
authorizes in worship to God is singing (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). Any
other type of music, including whistling, humming, yodeling, or
mechanical instruments of music, is unauthorized. In summary of
this point, when we add mechanical instruments of music to the
worship of the Lord, what do we get as a result? Answer: We get two
kinds of music. Singing (God-authorized) + mechanical instruments
of music (man-authorized) = two kinds of music. God authorized only
one type in worship, and that is singing.
4. Why not return to services held outside,
without the comfort of air conditioning, of microphones, of public
restrooms? After all, they aren't the truth. There are no examples
in the New Testament to their use.
My answer: Scripturally speaking, it would be acceptable
to worship outside. Many have done so before, and because it was
done in spirit and in truth (John 4:24) it was just as
Scriptural, just as God-pleasing, and just as uplifting as any
indoor worship in which people might engage. The Bible commands
Christians to not forsake the assemblies of the saints (Heb.
10:24). The fact that God calls for saints to assemble implies
there must be a place to assemble. The Bible does not specify where
such assemblies must take place, so it is a matter of expediency,
that is, one that is left to the wisdom of each local
Early saints gathered in the temple (Acts 2:46), prayed
in private homes (Acts 12:12), taught the Gospel outdoors and in
the marketplace (Acts 16:13,14; 17:17), and even sang praises to
God and prayed in prison (Acts 16:24,25).
Your point is well taken that there is no New Testament
example of church buildings that had air conditioning, microphones,
or public restrooms. In fact, there is no New Testament example of
any congregation of the Lord's church having its own building,
period. However, possessing, building, renting, or using such a
facility that we call a church building is certainly
authorized by the New Testament. Again, it is authorized by the
command to assemble and worship (Heb. 10:24; 1 Cor. 11:20,24,25).
The command to assemble to worship God requires a place to worship.
When it comes to the physical items that are to be used in a
church building for man's comfort and convenience, the
New Testament says nothing about these matters. However, adding air
conditioning, microphones, and other modern conveniences do not add
any new elements to the actual worship that God has authorized in
the New Testament.
I noted your statement, There are no examples in the
New Testament to their use. It is important to recognize that
the God-approved examples about which we read in the New Testament
are one way of learning what the Lord authorizes. However, New
Testament examples are not the only way of learning what is
authorized by God. Direct statements, commands, and implications
also demonstrate what the Lord authorizes. See again what I wrote
above about church buildings being authorized, though
there is no New Testament example of such. There is no New
Testament example of a congregation meeting for worship at 9:30 on
Sunday morning. Yet, such is authorized by the general command to
assemble on the first day of the week.
5. You say using a piano would make one vain. Why
do you use microphones? To project someone's voice. Isn't that a
form of vanity?
My answer: I do not recall ever writing about a person
being vain because of his/her worship. In one tract on mechanical
instruments of music in worship to God I did write about vain
worship. In that place I wrote these words: Jesus also said,
'Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the
commandments of men (Mark 7:7). Thus, it is possible for
worship to be in vain, i.e., not achieving the desired goal, which
is pleasing God. Since worshipping God with mechanical
instruments of music is according to the commandments of men, then
vain worship is an appropriate description of their use
Why do you use microphones? To project someone's
voice. Isn't that a form of vanity?
My answer: I have already discussed the purpose and
authority for using microphones. Is it a form of vanity?
There may be those that relish the thought of being praised by men
for their words, and for them, perhaps the microphone could add to
their vanity. However, there is no reason to identify as proud or
vain every single person that speaks a message through a
6. How do you compare someone who uses a piano to
worship God to someone who literally spits out God from their
lives? Do you REALLY believe that God is going to condemn someone
because they used a piano to worship him? Do you really believe
that? Because if you do, then, frankly, I don't want to worship
with you. Because I don't believe God is like that.
My answer: It is possible for people to refuse to walk
with the Lord, which would be the same as your spit out
God from their lives. Some disciples of Jesus turned away from
Him and walked no more with Him (John 6:66). It is important to
note that one who refuses to abide by the commands of Christ cannot
truthfully call Jesus the Lord of his life. And why call ye
me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say (Luke 6:46)?
One that does not remain in or go by the teaching of Jesus Christ
does not have God. The Bible says so (2 John 9).
Please consider two examples from the Old Testament that
clearly show that unauthorized worship is unacceptable to the Lord:
the unauthorized worship of Nadab and Abihu that resulted in their
death (Lev. 10:1,2), and the unauthorized worship of King Uzziah
that resulted in him being a leper until he died (2 Chron.
26:16-21). Unauthorized worship is sinful and unacceptable to God.
Those who engage in unauthorized worship stand condemned before
Him. The use of mechanical instruments of music in worship to God
is a form of unauthorized worship.
7. I think God cares about the things he
preached about. Love, Faith, Charity. Jesus didn't give sermons on
the mountain tops about No Pianos.
My answer: In the Bible's record of Jesus' sermons
on the mountain tops there is no mention of the need to
partake of the communion or Lord's supper. Yet, elsewhere in the
New Testament we learn of such a command (1 Cor. 11:24,25). In the
Bible's record of Jesus' sermons on the mountain tops,
there is no mention of baptism, yet elsewhere in the New Testament
we learn of such a command (Acts 22:16). In view of this, we must
not limit our eyes and thoughts to the recorded words of Jesus that
He spoke on mountain tops. Also, and this is very much to the point
of our subject, there is no Bible record that in His mountain top
preaching Jesus mentioned music of any type in worship to
God. But elsewhere in the New Testament we read that God, indeed,
does want His children to praise Him with music. The question is,
what kind of music has the Lord authorized for the
worship of His church? The Bible's answer: Singing (Eph. 5:19; Col.
8. I guess I'm just coming from a place where
I do not understand all the obsession with the piano thing when
there are much, much bigger issues and problems facing
My answer: I cannot deny that religious groups who believe
in Jesus face a number of issues and problems. Many of these issues
and problems they bring on themselves by failing to respect the
authority of God's word. I personally can think of no issue that is
more important than the issue of doing things by the authority of
God's word. That is the whole issue with the question of using
mechanical instruments of music in worship to God: they are
unauthorized by the New Testament. We are charged to obey all
things that Jesus the Christ has commanded (Matt. 28:18,20). Jesus
taught that we express our love for Him by keeping His commands
(John 14:15). Thus, it is the case that in worship and life we can
properly praise and love Him only when we do that which the New
Testament of Christ authorizes. There is no issue in life more
important than this one, for the person that stays within/abides by
the teaching of Christ has both the Father and the Son, but the one
who does not stay within the teachings of Christ has no fellowship
with the Godhead (2 John 9).
The whole tone of your message was definitely one that
supported the use of mechanical instruments of music in worship. I
want you to notice one item that really stands out in what you
wrote. Your letter consisted of twelve paragraphs and approximately
410 words. Yet in that entire message of some 400 words you did not
offer one Scripture from the Bible to defend the use of mechanical
instruments of music in worship. Not one.
Your message started with this appeal: I have a
question and I'd appreciate anything you have to say on the
subject. I have sincerely tried my best to answer your inquiry
and express what the Bible teaches on this subject. Thank you for
taking the time to read and consider it.
4865 Bates Pike SE
Cleveland, TN 373232
Table of Contents
RESPECTING THE SILENCE OF THE SCRIPTURES #1
Garland M. Robinson
The Bible is silent about many things. That is, it
does not specifically mention certain things. Therefore, can Bible
doctrine be based on the silence of the Scriptures
i.e., what the Bible does not specifically say? Can we stake our
souls on what the Bible does not say? Is it really that important
or serious? Is the silence of the Scriptures to be respected or
ignored? These are serious questions and demand a Bible answer.
THE INSPIRED WORD OF GOD ARGUES FROM SILENCE
Two prominent Reformation leaders held opposite views on this
subject. Martin Luther stated, What is not
against Scripture is for Scripture, and Scripture for it.
He believed authority from the Bible was unnecessary and
would therefore practice or allow anything the Bible did not
specifically forbid. On the other hand, Ulrich Zwingli
stated that whatever was not enjoined or taught in the
New Testament should be unconditionally rejected.
Zwingli would only practice or allow that which the Bible
An oft quoted slogan from the Restoration movement said,
We speak where the Bible speaks and are silent where the Bible
is silent. What this means is: we will do only those
things the Bible sanctions and/or authorizes and when the Bible
does not address or speak on a subject, we will not act on the
Bible's silence (in the absence of authority). This is a time
tested and true principle: not because it was used in the
Restoration movement, but because it is true with what the Bible
teaches. The point is this: we must only do those things the Bible
authorizes us to do. If we can't give a thus saith the
Lord for our practices, then we must abandon them. This is
made clear in Colossians 3:17, And whatsoever ye do
in word or deed, do all in the name of
the Lord Jesus... (i.e., by His authority). Many
make light of this principle and dismiss it with nothing more than
a wave of the hand. Since they can't answer it Biblically, what
more could they do?
The Bible's silence on matters makes a world of difference
and is extremely important! The silence of the Scriptures is not a
man-made doctrine. God himself makes this clear in His Holy Word.
The silence of the Scriptures has to do with Bible
OTHER EXAMPLES OF THE SILENCE OF THE SCRIPTURES
Simply because the Bible does not address or speak
a particular matter or subject, does not give us liberty to act or
practice something in the Bible's silence. Liberal-minded thinkers
have no respect for the authority of the Scriptures and will
proceed full steam ahead in matters for which they have no
thus saith the Lord. The Bible DOES NOT authorize by its
The Holy Spirit gives an inspired example of the use of
silence in Hebrews 7:12-14. For the priesthood
being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe,
of which no man gave attendance at the altar. For it is evident
that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake
nothing concerning priesthood. These verses prove
that the silence of the Scriptures argument is not
man-made. It is not borrowed from the Restoration period. It is not
simply tradition. It has to do with what God wants his people to
do. It is a question of AUTHORITY.
God revealed to Moses his will regarding the priesthood.
Moses revealed God's will to the children of Israel. Aaron and his
descendants would be priests before the Lord. They were of the
tribe of Levi. Hebrews 7:13 says no man ever served before the
altar that was not a Levite. The fact that Jesus (from the tribe of
Judah) now serves as high priest (Heb. 2:17; 3:1; 4:14-15) demands
that the priesthood has changed. And, the priesthood being changed
demanded also a change of the law for the Law of Moses would not
allow anyone who was not from the tribe of Levi to be a priest. The
important point to see in this is the fact that the Law of Moses
NEVER FORBID (in any specific verse) anyone to serve that was from
a tribe other than Levi. It simply told who was to serve not who
was not to serve. Exodus 27:21㬘:1 shows that Aaron and his sons
were to serve. The law of Moses was silent on the subject of
someone serving who was from a tribe other than Levi! Heaven argues
this point of silence so effectively.
We must honor and respect God's use of silence in
every respect of our lives today. We must not presume to act in
areas the Bible does not authorize us to act. God tells us
what to do (and often how to do) and we must
not go beyond his word and do more or less (cf. 2 John 9-11).
Noah and the ark Gen. 6:14-16. God gave Noah
specific instructions on building the ark. It was to be made of
gopher wood, 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high. It
was to have one window, one door and three decks. Did Noah have to
build the ark exactly as God said, or could he alter or change
God's instructions? What if oak or pine or poplar was more
plentiful or easier to work with? God did not say Noah could not
use other kinds of wood. Did Noah have the liberty to change its
size? God did not say he couldn't. What if the women decided they
wanted more windows. Where did God say they couldn't have more than
one window? God's silence on these matters did not authorize
changes. Gen. 6:22 says, Thus did Noah; according to
all that God commanded him, so did he. Noah altered
nothing. He did not have the liberty to! He was bound to do only
that which God had specified him to do. God's silence on other
points did not give Noah the right to act as he chose in changing
God's specific instructions.
Nadab and Abihu and their strange fire Lev.
10:1-2; Num. 3:4; 26:61; 1 Chron. 24:2. And Nadab and
Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put
fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire
before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And
there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died
before the LORD. Strange fire was fire that
did not come from the altar the place where God said to get the
fire (Lev. 16:12; Num. 16:46). The text plainly says that God had
not commanded them to use the fire they used v.2 which he
commanded them not. They used fire from another source than
what God had commanded. God did not say they could not use fire
from another source. But, His silence on the subject did not give
them the authority or liberty to use fire from any source other
than from the altar. Their presumption to do as they pleased was
not a little matter. It cost them their lives! They acted without
authority from God.
The ark of the covenant 2 Sam. 6:1-7; 1 Chron.
13:10. And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and
brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and
Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart. ... And
when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his
hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it ; for the oxen
shook it. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and
God smote him there for his error; and there he died by
the ark of God. What appears to be an innocent act, one
performed in good faith, with the best of intentions, ended in
tragedy for Uzzah. Simply as a reflex, Uzzah grabbed hold of the
ark to keep it from falling off the cart and God killed him. Uzzah
was not authorized to touch the ark. God (in the Scriptures) had
authorized the tribe of Levi to carry the ark on their shoulders
(Deut. 10:8; 31:9,25; Josh. 3:3,6; 1 Chron. 15:2,15). It was to be
carried on poles passed through rings on the sides of the ark
(Exodus 25:10-15). No where did the Lord say it could not be
carried on a cart. God's silence concerning others transporting the
ark eliminated all but the tribe of Levi. When Uzzah violated God's
instructions, he paid for it with his life. King David would later
say, ...we sought him not after the due order
(1 Chron. 15:13). They had not followed God's instructions.
Centuries earlier, God had told them how to transport the ark and
they did not do it God's prescribed way.
King Saul's sacrifice 1 Sam. 13:5-14.
And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace
offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. And it came to pass,
that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering,
behold, Samuel came; ... And...said, What hast thou done? ... thou
hast done foolishly.... Saul, of the tribe of Benjamin,
was not authorized to offer a sacrifice. That was done by priests
of the tribe of Levi (Exodus 28:1; 28:43þ29:1; Num. 18:21,26; Heb.
5:1). Where did the Lord ever say no others could offer sacrifices?
No where! cf. Heb. 7:14. The Lord's silence on the matter
eliminated all other possibilities. No doubt Saul meant well. He
was worshipping God. What could possibly be wrong with that? It was
wrong because he had no authority to officiate or preside over
When men and women today go beyond what is written (1 Cor.
4:6; 2 John 9), they act without authority from the Scriptures.
Simply because God has not specifically forbidden certain things,
does not give anyone the right to do those things. God's silence on
matters makes a great deal of difference!
Whatever we DO or whatever we SAY must be backed up with
book, chapter and verse. When called upon to answer for our deeds,
we must be able to point to the Scriptures and say, this is
why we teach and practice what we do.
In the next issue we will examine some practical
of this principle.
Table of Contents
MAN NO LONGER ENDOWED BY A CREATOR?
In the beginning was matter, which begat the amoeba,
which begat the worm, which begat the fish, which begat the
amphibian, which begat the reptile, which begat the lower mammal,
which begat the lemur, which begat the monkey, which begat man, who
imagined God. This, according to atheist Charles Smith, is the
genealogy of man. Sadly, he is far from being alone in his views of
man's origin. In fact, a vast majority of modern-day scientists
cling vehemently to this Darwinist view of origins as
gospel on the matter. It has become the light under which
all new data is examined. It has become their religion one for
which they will fight for in order to secure its place in academia.
And, it appears they are winning.
THE MIRACLE BEFORE ALL OTHER MIRACLES!
While you may find the concept of men evolving from some
primordial slime repulsive or sickening, the reality of the current
political climate is far worse. For in our country, the only
theory about man's origins allowed in the classroom is this
fallacious concept of organic evolution: amoeba to man. And,
although our country declared its independence with these words:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are
created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator
with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty
and the pursuit of Happiness (emp. added), we now live in a
land where we can no longer discuss that Creator in the classroom.
When Thomas Jefferson penned those famous words, he illustrated
that from the very beginning, America recognized human rights as a
gift of God, not something created by government.
Yet, science and political correctness have
accelerated the complete renunciation of God from public affairs.
Displays of the Ten Commandments [which we are no longer under-BH]
have been banned from public schools, courthouses, and other public
property. Religious clubs have been denied equal access to public
school grounds. Valedictorians risk losing their position if they
make reference to God in speeches, or offer voluntary prayers at
graduation ceremonies. And recently, a court in California found
the words One nation, under God in our nation's pledge of
Individuals who support these court decisions claim to be
acting in defense of the freedom of religion. Yet, they
are systematically tearing away the very foundation of that freedom
and abolishing any reference to an Almighty Creator. God has
become a bacteria in our culture that must be expunged
and eradicated at all costs. At some point however, we must ask our
politically correct society, without a Creator, what can
endowed by their Creator possibly mean?
This war to erase God has taken place in every form of
If this movement had a special forces unit such as the Navy
Seals or Army Rangers it would most surely be called evolution
or neo-Darwinism. The belief of a special creation has been
discounted in magazines, on television, and has now fallen under
attack within the church. The atheists and agnostics of the world
have been effective at casting doubt on the very first verse of the
Bible, where it clearly states: In the beginning God created
the heaven and the earth (Genesis 1:1). These words are no
longer viewed as the words of Almighty God, but rather as a nice
introduction to a fable or myth. Day-after-day our children sit at
the feet of professors who, using fancy words and scientific
theories, teach that man's origins are the result of some Big Bang
or Punctuated Equilibrium. And thus we find ourselves in a nation
that has outlawed God from the classroom, and who now believes
their own origin can be explained by some cosmological accident.
But that is not the most heartrending part. The truly tragic part
is that Christians are now clinging to this fictitious theory of
how man arrived on the Earth. People who have confessed the name of
Christ are suddenly giving more credence to a CNN news report, than
to the inspired, God-breathed, Holy Bible. They, too, are willing
to toss aside those powerful words, In the beginning God
created... in favor of man's latest scientific theory. Sadly,
in the process of discounting the first few chapters of Genesis,
these Christians are undermining the very foundation of their own
religion. If they question the way the Bible explains how man
arrived on this earth, then what makes them think they can believe
what it says regarding salvation and the afterlife? If God did not
do it the way He said He did, then why should we believe He sent
His only begotten Son to die for our sins? Have Christians not
realized the embodiment of all they are compromising when they buy
into evolution and the idea of a six billion year old earth?
If we cannot measure it with our five senses, then it
must not be real. This is the central dogma of science. The
scientific method is concerned only with those things that can be
measured, tested, and observed (which is extremely ironic given
that evolution itself has never been measured or observed, and
cannot be tested). Anything that falls outside of this scientific
method is called into question. Thus, our society has been trained
to discount and discredit ideas or theories that cannot be
measured, tested, and observed. This mantra is repeated over and
over by evolutionists who claim special creation is nothing more
than smoke and mirrors. After all, it relies on supernatural
miracles something that scientists are quick to point out are
unscientific in nature. And sadly, many Christians find themselves
trying to defend their faith by excising miracles out of the Bible.
They do not want to appear unlearned, so they stick to verses that
are far-removed from miraculous events.
This, however, is not what God intended when He said:
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always
to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope
that is in you with meekness and fear (1 Peter 3:15). We
should not be scared to discuss miracles for their main purpose
was to point back to our Almighty Creator. Throughout past human
history, God has performed many wonderful miracles for man. He
caused the burning bush not to be consumed in speaking to Moses
(Exodus 3). He parted the Red Sea so Moses and the Israelites could
escape from Egypt's army (Exodus 14). He caused Balaam's donkey to
speak (Numbers 22), and brought the walls of Jericho crumbling down
without anyone ever laying a hand on them (Joshua 6). He caused the
Sun to stand still so the Israelites could win a battle against
their enemies (Joshua 10). He even raised His Son, Jesus, from the
dead three days after He was crucified (Acts 10:40).
But none of these miracles would have been possible had it
not been for a significant miracle that occurred many years before.
When Moses wrote in Genesis 1:1 that in the beginning God
created the heaven and the earth, he summarized in a single
sentence one of the most important miracles of all the miracle
of creation. In a period of six literal days, God brought into
existence a Universe full of galaxies, solar systems, planets,
stars, and the first inhabitants of the earth. The writer of
Hebrews said: We understand that the worlds were framed by the
word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of
things which are visible (11:3). When God created, He did not
use matter and energy that already were in existence. Rather, He
spoke them into existence by the word of His power
(Hebrews 1:3). The psalmist wrote: Let all the earth fear the
Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For
He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast
(Psalm 33:8-9). This is the Bible's way of letting us know
that God did not use natural processes to bring the Universe, the
earth, plants, animals, and humans into existence. Instead, He used
a great miracle the miracle of creation! One that we should
neither neglect nor be afraid to defend.
Christ is given credit for healing the lame, walking on
water, and feeding the five thousand. To Christians, those miracles
are demonstrations of the power of God. We readily accept and
believe them along with the resurrection of Jesus following His
crucifixion. Yet we question God's ability to create the Universe
and the earth on which we live. Scientists have inundated society
with their scientific method and the belief that it would be
impossible. Six literal days? It would break all the known
laws of science. It would be a Herculean task just to create one
animal, much less all of them in just 48-hours. After all, with all
of our knowledge and wisdom, we still cannot produce life from
non-life. And yet that is the whole point it was
miraculous! It was Herculean! God was able not only to break
the laws of science, but He also then shaped those laws and put
them into place. Have we forgotten that God is omnipotent,
omnipresent, and omniscient? If we are to believe and protect the
rest of the Bible, then we must be ready to believe and defend that
God did it the way He said He did in six literal days.
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IS IT NOTHING TO YOU, ALL YE THAT PASS BY
Jerry C. Brewer
Sometimes people's attitude and philosophy are more clearly
expressed by what they don't say than by what they do say. This may
be the case in the wake of the concert produced Nov. 17th at the
Tornado Dome by the Church of Christ in Clinton,
Oklahoma. After mailing out 40 some letters to area churches in
Oklahoma and Texas (including the Clinton elders) there has not
been a single reply in defense of that shameless spectacle
performed by Seventh Day Adventists, Mennonites and members of
The Church of Christ. Yes, some of the people the
Clinton Church of Christ hired for the performance were
members of denominations. That is confirmed by an email message
from a member of the group Vocal Union. I received the following
message after visiting the website of Vocal Union and asking singer
Steve Camping about the members' religious affiliation.
Thanks for checking out the website! Hope you liked
the music on there, we are constantly out touring the
country, keep your eye on the tour schedule...we may get
to your neighborhood soon. As for your question on my
church. I live in Reno, NV and go to a small
non-denominational community church here. To tell you
the truth, we have a rather diverse church background
amongst our members, we have Church of Christ, Seventh
Day Adventist, CMA, Christian Reformed....its amazing
what God is doing in our group and the harmony we
continually find in Him. I hope this answers your
questions. Keep God the main focus of your life and you
will never go wrong!
Steve C (Email message from Steve Camping,
firstname.lastname@example.org) sent Wed., Nov. 6, 2002)
But that pales into insignificance when one considers the
number of elders, preachers and brethren in western Oklahoma who
fancy themselves sound in the faith but who apparently
suffer from spiritual lockjaw. Their silence, so far, says a great
deal more about their alleged soundness than anything
they could shout from the rooftops.
Fifty years ago faithful brethren in our area would have
up in arms about this disgraceful embrace of denominationalism.
Sadly, brethren have become so hardened through the years by the
tiny, step-by-step departures away from the old Jerusalem Gospel
that this atrocity committed against the Bride of Christ is nothing
In the 1960s and 70s there were a few very few voices
raised that, in the light of history, saw this apostasy coming. But
brethren in rural areas like ours didn't believe it would ever
affect us country folks. Those things, they thought, happened in
the big city churches like those in Abilene, Dallas,
Nashville, or Houston. They had a false sense of security because
of our rural situation and largely ignored the warnings. Now it is
too late. Those warning voices of 30 and 40 years ago are being
vindicated and apostasy's chickens have come home to roost in rural
western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. And the saddest part is
that few seem to care or even recognize apostasy's presence. And,
those of us who dare to speak up are censured for pointing out that
the emperor is naked.
Much of the culpability for the apathy and indifference
toward publicly proclaimed error rests on the shoulders of elders
who have been too busy functioning as boards of directors rather
than shepherds of the Lord's flock. Elders have turned over their
responsibilities to preachers and allowed them to spew whatever
they've imbibed from their college professors and denominational
textbooks, and even so-called sound preachers have been
too concerned by their need for job security to speak up.
After all, the pay is better than that provided to any preacher in
previous generations. One area preacher refused to speak up when
Joe Beam came to Weatherford in 1997, but assured me he was
supportive of the two of us who did speak out. That man is a
hireling who has no business claiming to be a Gospel preacher.
Jesus said, He that is not with me is against me
(Matt. 12:30). Neutrality in Christ's service puts one
squarely in the devil's camp.
I am no prophet, nor the son of one, but I can foresee a
in the not-too-distant future when the faithful must recognize the
ties of fellowship that have already been severed by apostasy. This
was the case in North America in 1906 and it has been 40 years in
coming to our own generation.
Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by
308 South Oklahoma
Elk City, OK 73644
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to do all that we can to stop the liberals and their false
teaching. Today, too many people want their ears tickled
by being told that everything is alright with them when in fact
they are lost if they do not change ...Bobby Crowell,
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But I would appreciate it if you would discontinue it
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to know that there are still Christians who stand up for the truth
and refute those that are in error of the truth. Thank you so very
much for S.T.O.P. and may God continue to bless you in
your work ...Gail Nelson, Elkins, WV. I enjoyed
reading an article on Battling Baptist Baptism in your
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bless you. It is always helpful. Please do not relent, keep up the
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please receive a cordial greeting from your brother in the faith.
I want to tell you that I received the bundle of Seek the Old
Paths May and June issue package. Many thanks and may the
Lord reward you for all you have done. Most of the church members
now have a copy of their own and they are thankful so much for
sending us such kind of sound and scriptural publication in the
time of need to encourage every member in the truth. I would like
to request you another great favour of remember us sending the 17th
Annual Lectureship tapes and mailing 10 copies of S.T.O.P.
regularly. It will greatly help us to stand firm in the
truth. We wonder it very much that some members of the Lord's
church are easily swift away by the liberalism doctrine. Books
written by Rubel, Buddy and Cecil are freely distributed or sent
freely by some missionaries to the church members in Manipur,
India. Through their literature compromising campaign is very
strong here in Manipur, Imphal. We are the only congregation who
fought and stood fast to uphold the sound doctrine. Most of the
congregations are influenced by this liberalism theory. There is a
great delusion in the church and there was division in the church.
We need a periodical in the local language to be published with
such sound and biblical doctrines and teaching. Literature is one
of the effective services spreading the Gospel. We need a local
periodical to educate the public and encourage the members in the
truth. May God bless your ministry ...T. Ngulkhopao,
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appreciate the paper very much. I hope that it continues to thrive
for many years. May God bless your efforts in the kingdom for many
years to come. Tell everyone at the church there hello. We pray for
their continued stand for the truth. The church there is doing so
much for the cause of Christ ...Victor M. Eskew,
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and preaching ...Bill Trees, Sioux Falls, SD.
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articles by Bob Spurlin. It's good to see someone doing what he can
in spite of adverse circumstances ...B. Dean Beard,
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editorial Misleading Use of Scripture? in the September
issue of Seek the Old Paths. How sad that the blind
refuse to see, but at least we must keep trying to help folks out
of the eternally condemning sin of addition in worship and
otherwise ...Gary Colley, McMinnville, TN.
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