THIS THING WAS NOT DONE IN A CORNER
The vanity of seeking the traditions of men
over the word of God is legendary (Matt.
15:9). Jesus said, Whosoever therefore
shall be ashamed of me and of my words in
this adulterous and sinful generation; of him
also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he
cometh in the glory of his Father with the
holy angels (Mark 8:38).
A parachurch organization currently known as MUM (Memphis
Urban Ministry) was formed in 1994 for the purpose of planting new
churches in Memphis. It was then called MCPM (Memphis Church
Planting Ministry) and was led by a full-time coordinator/church
planter, Ron Cook, and by a steering committee representing
congregations involved in church planting.1
Mission: Memphis was a quarterly newsletter designed to
inform and involve people in MCPM, which is now, MUM.2
Subsequent publications such as Vision for the City
published by the Highland Street Church of Christ which sponsors
MUM and Up Close and Personal: Embracing the Poor3
written by Harold Shank, Anthony Wood, and Ron Bergeron about
their experiences in MUM have continued to publicize MUM and the
churches under its canopy of organization.4 The
published Vision Statement of MUM is The goal of
Memphis Urban Ministry is to involve area churches of Christ to
establish ethnically diverse city churches, locally led, to
holistically serve and evangelize their
communities.5 Harding magazine, an
internationally circulated periodical, published in August of 1995
the story of the Downtown Church in Memphis.
The Purpose Driven Church
The Raleigh Community Church opened its doors June 15,
1997, as announced in Mission: Memphis in the winter
edition of the same year, page 3. It was in the spring of the
following year when Mission: Memphis carried the
background of the new church's beginning. Sadly, it has taken all
these years for some brethren in Memphis to become concerned about
whether or not MUM and its predecessor MCPM is scriptural. As more
and more unscriptural actions are taking place in MUM churches such
as testifying, women leading in prayer in the assembly, and women
waiting on the Lord's table, some who have been involved and
apparently cannot or will not decide whether they are for or
against MUM are claiming earlier exposures of their support are
misrepresentations. The tract I wrote in 2000 on The Community
Church is said to contain a misrepresentation on page 23 of
the activities of the Boulevard and Chelsea Avenue congregations'
participation back then. Please, bear in mind that the information
quoted in that tract is taken verbatim from Mission: Memphis,
the newsletter of MCPM, which is now, MUM. If Boulevard did
not organize an area-wide fund-raising dinner and if the
Chelsea Avenue singers did not hold a special concert to
encourage Raleigh Community members and inspire seekers, then
they need to take that up with Ron Cook and MUM because he is the
gentleman who reported these practices for all to see through his
newsletter. Quoting Paul before King Agrippa, This thing was
not done in a corner (Acts 26:26).
The objections that observant, concerned brethren and I
have raised come not from misunderstandings about private, personal
differences but from well-established, publicly published sources
such as those mentioned earlier. Matthew 18:15-17 applies to the
former, and I Timothy 1:3 and II Timothy 4:2 applies to the latter.
The only time anyone currently associated with MUM ever came to me
in private was in the early 90s when Ron Bergeron came to my office
at the Gragg Avenue Church of Christ one day to ask me what we did
to start the Horton Gardens Church of Christ. When I told him we
taught and preached the Gospel through Bible correspondence
courses, personal home Bible studies, a two-week tent meeting, and
Gospel meetings, I never saw or heard from him again. Exposures of
MUM churches and the Cordova Community Church have been made not on
private conversations with its leaders but on publicly published
and widely circulated printed materials, i.e., books, periodicals,
newsletters, bulletins, and websites, that they themselves have
made available to involve area churches of Christ.
In view of the upcoming area-wide youth conference slated
to be held at the Raleigh Community Church of Christ in 2003,
perhaps fewer congregations will be drawn into this movement by
seeing a review of the church's doctrinal stance that is a matter
of public record and refuse to promote or participate in advancing
the unscriptural MUM churches. People are asking the question,
What's wrong with it? The following four items are listed
for investigation: (1) The wrong name, (2) The wrong terminology,
(3) The wrong pattern, and (4) The wrong organization. (The wrong
worship was touched upon earlier).
One, the wrong name. Identifying the church as
a community church gives it the wrong name. In the March
and April 2000 issues of The Christian Chronicle the
Community Church movement as it has emerged within churches of
Christ across the United States was presented. The use of new
sounding names like New Covenant Christian Fellowship,
Christ's Community Church, Oak Tree Church,
Servants of Christ, and Grace Church were said
to break the barriers of prejudice with the unchurched
and make them feel less threatened by traditional names.
This paper has a circulation of 103,000, so it is not surprising
that some churches of Christ across the country who are not hearing
preaching on the identity of the church from the Bible and are
being told this will help us grow are adopting these new
names. Rick Warren wrote in The Purpose Driven Church,
The spiritual terminology that Christians are familiar with is
just gibberish to unbelievers.6
The vanity of seeking the traditions of men over the word
of God is legendary (Matt. 15:9). Jesus said, Whosoever
therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous
and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed,
when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels
(Mark 8:38). The church of Christ is the bride of Christ (Eph.
5:23-33). How should a husband feel when his wife finds excuses not
to wear his name? One thing all those in the Community Church
of Christ, whether it is Cordova Community Church of Christ or
Raleigh Community Church of Christ, have in common is to add or
subtract the phrase of Christ depending on their
surroundings like an unfaithful wife might take her wedding ring
off or put it on depending on who is in the crowd.
Two, the wrong terminology. An article published
in Vision for the City by Jim Harbin, preacher for
Raleigh Community Church, bears the title Purpose Driven
Evangelism. The term purpose driven is trademarked
by Rick Warren, a Baptist preacher known for founding the
Saddleback Community Church in Orange County,
California.7 Additional books of his are The
Purpose Driven Youth Ministry and The Purpose Driven
Life. How could someone claim no affinity with the Community
Church movement who is publishing, not similar terminology, but
trademarked terminology coined by one of the foremost leaders in
the movement? Obviously, brethren need to be reminded about I Peter
4:11, If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God;
if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God
giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus
Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever.
Amen. How much light did Isaiah say was in them if they spoke
not according to the word of God (Isa. 8:20)? Is the brotherhood
forgetting that the Lord alone has the words of eternal
life (John 6:68)?
Three, the wrong pattern. In the article
Purpose Driven Evangelism -- Jim Harbin displays a
reliance on Rick Warren's book The Purpose Driven Church
by using it as the pattern followed in their evangelism. Compare
By Rick Warren
1. What do you think is the greatest need in this area?
Purpose Driven Evangelism
2. Are you actively attending any church?
3. Why do you think most people don't attend church?
4. If you were to look for a church to attend, what kind of things
would you look for?
5. What could I do for you? What advice can you give to a minister
who really wants to be helpful to people?8
By Jim Harbin
1. Are you currently attending a local church?
2. What do you think is the greatest need in this community?
3. Why do you think some people don't attend church?
4. If you were looking for a church in the area, what would you
5. What advice would you give to our minister?9
Now, does anyone actually believe Raleigh Community Church is not
looking to Saddleback Community Church for its pattern?
WHAT TO DO?
Four, the wrong organization. The opening
paragraph gave the organizational structure of MUM and those
familiar with the New Testament readily see why MUM is
unscriptural. By its own admission, it has (1) a full-time leader,
(2) a steering committee representing congregations involved
in church planting, (3) a unique mission statement, i.e.,
The goal of Memphis Urban Ministry is to involve area churches
of Christ to establish ethnically diverse city churches, locally
led, to holistically serve and evangelize their communities,
and (4) five local congregations under its control.
In contrast, the New Testament presents no organizational
structure larger than the local congregation. The elders of each
local congregation are answerable only to the chief Shepherd, Jesus
Christ (Acts 14:23; I Peter 5:1-4). Unlike the Church of God in
Christ with its worldwide headquarters in the old Chisca Hotel
downtown and the lesser known Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ
with its worldwide headquarters on White Station Road in East
Memphis, the church of Christ has its headquarters in heaven (Phil.
3:20). The split in the American restoration movement that was
noted in the United States Census Report of 1906 was propagated
from two basic issues, mechanical instruments of music in worship
and the American Christian Missionary Society. Hard lessons learned
from this type of unscriptural organization presently could stand
investigation and review.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of
darkness, but rather reprove them (Eph. 5:11).
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of
Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he
hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and
bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither
bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of
his evil deeds (II John 9-11). And unto the
angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the
Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation
of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I
would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and
neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because
thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of
nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and
poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried
in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou
mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not
appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and
repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my
voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with
him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit
with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with
my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the
Spirit saith unto the churches (Rev. 3:14-22).
1Ron Cook, Memphis Church Planting
Ministry, in Mission: Memphis, Ron Cook, ed., vol.
1 (winter, 1997), p.1.
3The commendations of the content of the book
on the back and in the flyleaf are from such personalities as Lynn
Anderson, Maxie D. Dunnam, former Senior Pastor of Christ's United
Methodist Church in Memphis, and Max Lucado.
4These churches are known as The Downtown
Church, Raleigh Community Church of Christ, Frayser Mission Church,
Wonder City Church, and the Hispanic church at White Station Church
of Christ (cf. Vision for the City, Anthony Wood, ed.,
September, 2000, pp.1-8.)
6Rick Warren, The Purpose DrivenTM
Church (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1995), p.189.
9Jim Harbin, Purpose Driven
Evangelism in Vision for the City, Anthony Wood,
ed., September, 2000, p.3.
1511 Getwell Rd.
Memphis, TN 38111
Table of Contents
RESPECTING THE SILENCE OF THE SCRIPTURES #2
INSPIRATION FORBIDS US SPEAKING WHERE GOD HAS NOT SPOKEN
Paul wrote, And these things, brethren, I have in
a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that
ye might learn in us not to think [of men] above that
which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one
against another (1 Cor. 4:6). We must not think of men
(or any other subject or matter) above and beyond what God has
revealed in his Word. We must not presume to know what God has not
declared. We must not act, proceed, undertake or perform in realms
or areas where God has not authorized (legislated) our actions.
This verse clearly sanctions the silence of the Scriptures.
APPLICATION OF THE SILENCE OF THE SCRIPTURES
The apostle John declared the same thing,
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of
Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he
hath both the Father and the Son (2 John 1:9). To either
violate what God has said (transgress) or to not be restrained by
what God has said (abideth not, goeth onward), is a violation of
God's will. To do a religious act without Bible authority (book,
chapter and verse) is not abiding in the doctrine of Christ. This
verse clearly sanctions the silence of the Scriptures.
John also wrote, For I testify unto every man
that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man
shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the
plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall
take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God
shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the
holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this
book (Rev. 22:18-19). If we ignore what God has
specified (take away) or teach and practice (add to) what God has
not authorized, we stand condemned. If we speak, allow, permit,
grant, license or authorize on the basis of the silence of the
Scriptures, then there is no end to the things we can teach and
practice in the name of religion. These verses clearly sanction the
silence of the Scriptures.
Many other passages forbid adding to or taking from God's
word (Deut. 4:2; 13:32; Prov. 30:6; Gal. 1:6-9).
Many simple observations have been used to illustrate the
principle of acting on silence. For example:
If a mother sends her son to the grocery store and tells
him to buy a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk and he returns with
bread and milk along with bananas, candy and a magazine, he's got
some explaining to do. He may argue that he was not told he
couldn't buy those things, but his mother's silence about them
forbid his purchase of them. A mother does not have to go through
the list of the hundreds of items in the store and tell her son not
to buy those things. Her silence does not give him liberty to buy
what he wants. Silence is not only important, it is essential!
What would you think if you gave the pharmacist a
prescription to fill and he included another medicine or two? He's
in big trouble! He may say the doctor didn't tell him not to
include other drugs. But, everyone knows the doctor's prescription
(by its silence) forbid any other drugs. The pharmacist has
authority to act according to the prescription -- adding nothing
and deleting nothing. Silence is not only important, it is
What about water baptism? Some religious groups sprinkle
and some include infants. They can argue that the Bible does not
say thou shalt not sprinkle, thou shalt not
pour, thou shalt not baptize babies. However, the
Bible authorizes immersion (Rom. 6:3-4; Col. 2:12) for penitent
believers (Acts 2:38). Its silence on sprinkling and pouring and
infants does not authorize sprinkling, pouring or baptizing babies
-- its silence forbids it. However, the Greek word baptidzo
demands immersion. Silence is not only important, it is
The Bible authorizes singing and making melody in your
heart (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). But someone says, It does not
say we can't play instruments. But, the Bible's silence on the
subject forbids the use of mechanical instruments of music. People
often argue that we are making a law God did not make when we
forbid mechanical music since the Bible does not forbid it.
However, the Bible does forbid it in its silence. By God telling us
what to do (sing) and use (lips, Heb. 13:15; heart, Eph. 5:19), he
eliminates having to tell us what not to do (play) and use
(mechanical instruments of music). Those who contend for their use
are adding to God's word. They are speaking where God (the Bible)
has not spoken and stand condemned before God (Rev. 22:18-19; II
John 9-11). They are allowing that which the Bible forbids in its
silence. Silence is not only important, it is essential!
Many people count beads, burn incense and pray to Mary. They
may argue that the Bible says nothing about these things. It is
silent! But, does that fact allow their use or authorize their
practice? If it does, then there is no end to the things that could
be used or practiced in the name of religion. God authorizes what
he wants and his silence forbids all he does not want -- it
eliminates everything else. Silence is not only important, it is
Many religious groups have synods, councils, conferences,
high ranking clerics or even a pope. The Bible says nothing about
these things. Does its silence grant men liberty to act as they so
desire? No it does not. The Bible says Jesus is the head of the
church (Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18; 1 Tim. 6:15). That eliminates
everything else. God did not have to specify every type of
organization he did not want. Silence is not only important, it is
When God authorizes a thing to be done, His silence on the
subject forbids everything else. For example:
The authority for Noah to use gopher wood in building the
ark forbid him using oak or pine or poplar (Gen. 6:14).
The authority for Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice
forbid him offering Ishmael instead (Gen. 22:2).
The authority to use fire from the altar forbid using a
strange or different fire (Lev. 16:12; Num. 16:46; Lev.
The authority to use a lamb in the passover meal forbid
offering another kind of animal (Exodus 12).
The authority for Moses to speak to the rock forbid him
hitting it (Num. 20:7-12).
The authority for Moses to hit the rock forbid him
speaking to it (Exodus 17:6).
The authority for priests of the tribe of Levi to offer
sacrifices forbid someone from another tribe doing so (Exodus 28:1;
28:43--29:1; Num. 18:21,26; Heb. 5:1; 1 Sam. 13:5-14).
The authority for the high priest to be from the tribe of
Levi forbid one from another tribe being high priest (Exodus
27:21--28:1; Heb. 7:12-14).
The authority for unleavened bread and fruit of the vine
in the Lord's supper forbids hot dog buns and orange juice (Luke
22:18-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-25).
The authority to sing and make melody in our heart in
worship to God forbids playing mechanical instruments of music,
including humming, thumping, booming, whistling, oohing or anything
but singing (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16).
The authority to give as we've been prospered on the first
day of the week forbids giving on any other day and it forbids
tithing, selling or fund raising (1 Cor. 16:2).
The authority to preach the word forbids
preaching anything else (2 Tim. 4:2; Gal. 1:6-9).
Silence is not only important, it is essential!
The Bible clearly demands authority for all we say and do
(Col. 3:17). To act without authority brings God's displeasure upon
us (as seen in the many examples above). God's silence speaks
volumes. We must not presume to speak where God has not spoken. We
must not go beyond that which is written (1 Cor. 4:16). This is
such a simple lesson that so many refuse to learn and heed.
Respect Bible (God's) authority!
Table of Contents
LEADERS CAUSE THEM TO ERR
James E. Farley
For the leaders of this people cause them to err;
and they that are led of them are destroyed (Isaiah
I have a great regard for those who serve as elders in the
Lord's church. I am thankful we have men who have prepared
themselves to meet the imperative qualifications of I Timothy 3,
Titus 1, and I Peter 5. These are men who willingly take on what we
sometimes refer to as an awesome responsibility. It is
awesome, for they are men who will indeed be subject to a harsher
judgment (James 3:1). You see, they watch for the souls of those
under their care, and will give an account of how they've done
their heaven-ordained work (Heb. 13:17). Good and godly elders are
worthy of honor -- some of double honor (Rom. 13:7; I
Tim. 5:17). Members of the church need to know their elders, know
the kind of labor they are involved with, and the stress they labor
under. They need to be esteemed highly because of the work they do
for the Lord (I Thess. 5:12-13). We need to do all we can to lift
up their hands as they lead us into battle against Satan and his
cohorts, and as they struggle with us to win souls for the meek and
lowly Jesus (Heb. 12:12; an illusion to Exodus 17:10-13; cf. also
But beware elders, and beware members who labor under an
eldership. Elders can and sometimes do err, and when they do they
lead their flock into error with them. Let us never forget that the
first major apostasy was a departure from God's ordained plan for
the organization of and leadership in the church. This was foretold
by the Holy Spirit through Paul (Acts 20:25-32).
We are living in a time when error among the people who
name the name of Jesus is rampant. Many congregations of the
churches of Christ are being swamped by tidal waves brought on by
smooth talkers with fair speeches (Rom. 16:17-18). If elderships
had been watching as they should have been, and stopping the mouths
of the gainsayers as they should have been, many of these false
preachers would not have gotten to first base with their pernicious
ways (Acts 20:25-32; Heb. 12:12; Titus 1:9-11). Some have crept in
(Jude 1:4) and have poisoned the flock of God while
shepherds have sat idly by and slept, allowing it to
happen; some elderships even encouraging it to happen! When false
brethren came in among the churches of the first century, they were
not given even an hour to discharge and inject their venom (Compare
In the 1979 Freed-Hardeman College Lectureship book,
Andrew Connally wrote on The Authority Of Elders. On the
duty of elders he wrote concerning: a) The duty of self-examination
(Acts 20:28), b) The duty of watchfulness (Acts 20:31; cf. Ezekiel
3:16-21), c) The duty of meeting the forces of error (Titus 1:9),
d) The duty to plan worldwide evangelism (Mark 16:15-16), e) The
duty to keep the church pure (I Thess. 5:14; II Thess. 3:6), and f)
The duty of leadership in the local work (Acts 20:28).
Commenting on The elder's duty for watchfulness,
he wrote, God's elders must be ever vigilant to guard, protect
and keep God's heritage safe from error both from without and
within. Perhaps no other passage in all of God's word better
expresses the responsibilities of a watchman than does Ezekiel
3:16-21. An elder's soul is dependent on his faithfulness as a
watchman. He shall give an account (Heb. 13:17); as a steward of
God's heritage it is required that a steward be faithful (I Cor.
Under the heading of meeting the forces of evil,
brother Connally wrote, So few elders ever do such in most
congregations. Far too many of them preach 'love, sweet love,'
while whole churches are steeped in sin and apathy. How many of
them can actually defend the truth on marriage, divorce and
remarriage? How many of them are prepared to meet the false
philosophies and ungodly elements of liberalism in the church? Far
too many of them cannot do this and do not want their preachers to
do it either! For shame!
Under the heading of keeping the church pure he
wrote, Elders are commanded to discipline the ungodly members
(II Thess. 3:6). To fail at this point is to court disaster and
imperil their own souls. It is little wonder most congregations
have so little influence in their communities. Their members are so
ungodly their influence is a shame and disgrace and the elders
tolerate it. Many, many times those in positions of leadership are
the worse offenders! Every preacher I know has long lamented the
negligence of elderships everywhere at this very point. Elders want
preachers to defend their authority and to go to bat for them at
the first sign of rebellion, but they steadfastly refuse to
exercise that same authority to discipline the ungodly. Which is
worse, those who reject the authority of elders or elders who
neglect the authority and refuse to discipline the ungodly or
refuse to give every Christian a job and see that he does it? How
Brethren, we need elders in every congregation. However,
we need men who meet the qualifications, and men who will work the
work as God has ordained it. Much of the trouble we are currently
experiencing within the churches of Christ is due to a lack of
qualified and willing leadership. Let us pray that the situation
may be reversed. Let us work toward training men to become elders
as God would have them to be.
P.O. Box 285
Crum, WV 25669
Table of Contents
CAN A CHRISTIAN STILL BE AN EVOLUTIONIST?
If one were to believe everything the scientific community
has offered regarding man's origins, we would find that very few
theories include acts by a supernatural Creator. In fact,
scientists are quick to point out that the Universe took billions
of years to form, and thus it would be absurd to believe that it
was created in just six days. For instance, consider what Thomas
Hayden recently wrote when he added another certainty of
life, besides taxes and death. His effort to shore up the
ever-faltering theory of evolution was the cover story of the July
29, 2002 issue of U.S. News & World Report. In explaining how
evolution works, and why it matters more than ever, Hayden
stated: It's an everyday phenomenon, a fundamental fact of
biology as real as hunger and as unavoidable as death (2002,
Sadly, this type of grandstanding and propagandizing in
the media occurs all too often. And people by the millions accept
it as the final word on the subject -- without any real
knowledge as to what the evidence truly reveals. Even within the
church, Christians often subconsciously find themselves favoring
science over the Bible. We have forgotten the Truth on the matter,
which can be summed up simply with the first ten words that appear
in the Bible: In the beginning God created the
heaven and the earth (Genesis 1:1, emp. added). If this
is not true, then every word that follows should be called into
Because of the prevailing idea of an ancient Cosmos, many
people have tried to find ways to fit evolution and its
billions-of-years time frame into the biblical account of creation.
In essence, they still espouse belief in God and the Bible, but
they also pledge a great deal of allegiance to science and the
evolutionary theory. As the old adage says, they want to have
their cake and eat it, too. But can both the Bible and
evolutionary theory be true? People clinging to both the Bible and
evolution are commonly known as theistic evolutionists.
Theistic comes from the Greek theos, which
means God. Thus, theistic evolutionists believe God does
exist, but they also hold to the theory of evolution as true. They
rationalize their beliefs by stating that yes, God created the
heavens and the Earth, but then He used (or allowed)
evolutionary processes to produce the Universe we see today.
Thus, Bible believers find themselves in the
awkward position of compromising the opening chapters of the Bible.
If Genesis 1-11 is tossed aside as merely a mythological story,
then we must toss out the entire Bible because the one major theme
that is taught throughout the Bible is redemption. Man's
relationship with God started at the pinnacle of Creation week in
the Garden and degenerated from there. Christians need to be fully
aware that theistic evolution teaches that man started out at the
bottom and worked his way to the top (via the old amoeba-to-man
story). Therefore, either man started at the top and fell, as the
Bible indicates, or he started at the bottom and rose to the top,
as evolution supposes. Both cannot be correct! The prophets long
ago declared the fall of humans, and the resulting need for a
Savior. Scripture indicates that this was the reason for Christ's
death -- to bring men back into a covenant relationship with God.
If men truly did not fall as described in the Creation account,
then why did Jesus Christ, the Son of God, come to this planet and
suffer a cruel death on the cross? Additionally, consider the
Surely evolution will not have to reverse itself and
concede that it reached its zenith with the birth of the Christ
child a long, long time ago. Surely this colossal system will not
have to concede that it is less able now to produce a greater than
Jesus than it did produce two thousand years ago. If evolution is
not now able to produce a greater than Jesus, then it seems the
system has ceased to be evolution and has become devolution, at
least in one sense? (Taylor, 1974).
Today, this theory appears more like devilution
than devolution. As long as we are tossing aside Scripture, we
might as well get out our scissors and cut out all references to
the Creation, starting with the Gospel recorded in Matthew, Mark,
Luke and John. Jesus Christ Himself made reference to the Creation
when He stated in Matthew 19:4 (c.f. Mark 10:6): Have ye
not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male
and female. These words indicate that Adam and Eve had
been on the Earth from the beginning of Creation (Mark
10:6). Of course we also would have to throw out John, because the
first few verses of chapter one review the beginning and Creation.
Other Scriptures such as Acts 4:24, Acts 17:25, Romans 1:20,
Colossians 1:16, 1 Timothy 2:13, Hebrews 1:2, 1 Peter 4:19, and
Revelation 4:11 also would be called into question if the Creation
account is merely a nice story and not historically
accurate. As a matter of fact, the only books that do not refer to
the Creation in some form are the books of Jude, Philemon, and 2
and 3 John!
Additionally, if we do not accept that God created the
Heaven and the Earth in six literal days, then we are making Jesus
Christ our Savior, a liar. Jesus stated: But from the
beginning of the Creation male and female he made them
(Mark 10:6), affirming that Adam and Eve were on the Earth since
the beginning of Creation. Paul affirmed in Romans 1:20-21 that the
things God had made had been perceived even since
the Creation of the world. According to evolutionists, man did
not come into the picture until about 3-4 million years ago. It
doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if the Earth is
supposedly 5-6 billion years old, then the last 3-4 million is not,
by any stretch of the imagination, from the beginning.
Rather, it is from the end. Therefore we are left with a
choice: either Jesus Christ lied and the evolutionists are correct,
or we can believe that the words Jesus Christ spoke are true, and
therefore evolution is 100% wrong. The belief in theistic evolution
allows for the Savior to be called a liar!
Ah, but you say, Adam was just a mythological
creature. We know today that man originated from a Neanderthal-type
creature. However, if this is true, why did the inspired
apostle Paul pen these words: For as in Adam all die,
even so in Christ shall all be made alive (1 Cor.
15:22), and then in reference to Christ he wrote, And so
it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last
Adam was made a quickening spirit (1 Cor. 15:45)? If
Adam and Eve are merely mythological, does this mean that this
last Adam, Jesus Christ, was a mythological creature, as
Reference: Taylor, Robert (1974), More Problems for
Theistic Evolution, Gospel Advocate, January 3.
230 Landmark Dr.
Montgomery, AL 36117
Table of Contents
Notice this little lectureship series from the 2003 ACU
Lectureship catalog: SEEKING PEACE IN TRANSITION: STORIES OF
THREE CHURCHES. Monday, February 24, 2 p.m. -- Monterey
and Worship by Barry Stephens of Lubbock, TX. Transitions
are an inevitable part of congregational life. Some transitions are
minor, but others significantly challenge the way a church
conceives its life. How can churches maintain their peace in the
midst of transition? In this class, three churches, (Monterey,
Lubbock, TX.; Garnett Road, Tulsa, OK, and Highland, Abilene, TX)
describe their journey through significant transition, sharing both
the things they did well and the things they wish they had done
Sounds like a journey to Hell to me. As I recall, Monterey
was an active participant in the Graham Crusade in Lubbock a few
years ago. They now have two worship services on Sunday,
Contemporary and Traditional. If I were a
betting man I would bet that the traditional is not that
traditional. On Tuesday, February 25 they have Garnett Road
and Leadership by Jon Mullican of Tulsa, OK. And on Wednesday,
February 26 they have Highland and the Role of Women by
David Wray of Abilene, TX.
Future faithful church historians will note this
compendium of apostasy. Brother West, I hope you are taking notes!
They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly,
Saying, 'Peace, peace!' when there is no peace. Were they ashamed
when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all
ashamed; nor did they know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall
among those who fall; at the time I punish them, says the Lord
(Jer. 6:14 NKJ).
Roelf L. Ruffner, Carlsbad, NM
I never lose my sense of amazement every year when I check
out the catalog for the annual ACU Lectureship in Abilene, TX. This
year is no exception with the theme of Welcoming the Reign of
God. It always seems to chronicle the new trends in
apostasy. Notice the following: Monday, February 24, 8:30 a.m.
Lecture by Jack Reese (I think he is still chair of the Bible
Dept.). Title: Out of the Quiet; Taize Worship as a source of
Renewal and Reconciliation (Part I). The river of worship
renewal should be fed by many streams. This class will explore the
possibilities for renewal emerging from the Taize movement, an
international fellowship committed to simplicity, confession, and
reconciliation. Come learn about and experience the ancient yet
contemporary worship that characterizes the Taize movement.
Sounds like a holy wow to me. Just like the
apostles did, eh? I looked these folks up on the Taize website and
it is mostly Catholic in emphasis. ACU is so enamored with them
that they printed this in the FRONT of the catalog concerning this
worship experience: Join us Sunday through Tuesday
evening after the evening lecture in the lobby of the Williams
Performing Arts Center. Sounds like they discovered some new
gimmick for spirituality and experiencing God.
I wonder if they offer the Lord's supper then. I imagine they also
offer a free tape of Benedictine monks humming. Maybe they even
shave the top of their heads and walk around in robes? Apostasy
always leads to further apostasy. These folks have gone off the
Roelf L. Ruffner, Carlsbad, NM
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