Seek The Old Paths

Vol. 16   No. 2                   February,   2005

This Issue...


Wayne Coats

        There comes now a very disgusting announcement from Freed-Hardeman University informing me that a very special feature of the February 2005 Freed-Hardeman Bible Lectureship will be a Contemporary Discussion dealing with: “Should the use of instrumental music in worship be a barrier to fellowship with others, such as the Independent Christian Church?”
        Two men selected to present the heretical, digressive viewpoint will be Phillip Morrison, assisted by Tim Woodroof. The two men selected to negate the matter will be Marlin Connelly, assisted by Philip Slate. Earl Edwards will moderate the farcical affair.
        I realize full well that President Milton Sewell will pay absolutely no attention to my objections, as has been true in the past, but such has not been a hindrance in his continuous supplicant for my money.
        A very sound and judicious brother called to inform me that he had received an announcement about the Contemporary Discussion. As we conversed he retorted, “I think the President is crazy to provide a sounding board for false teachers.” I agree — and the event makes no earthly sense at all.
        Whoever conjured up the Contemporary Discussion needs their head and heart examined. Such a fiasco is in no way a mere Contemporary Discussion. Do the people at Freed-Hardeman not have access to all of the many discussions, debates, articles and confrontations which sound and faithful brethren have presented relative to instrumental music throughout the past years? Whatever happened to the Hardeman-Boswell debate? Is the scholarly work of brother M. C. Kurfees no longer in the F. H. U. library? Are there no Bible teachers at Freed-Hardeman capable and willing to teach what the Bible clearly presents relative to the kind of music to be used in the worship? Is it the case that F.H.U. students and others need to hear heretics palaver why Christians should fellowship “...others such as the Independent Christian Church?” Who are all the “others?” I am fully cognizant that my statements will be spurned, but nonetheless, there is not a person at Freed-Hardeman or anywhere else in the entire world who can prove that the Independent Christian Church is any part or parcel of the New Testament church. I know what the liberal element prattles. They say, “The Christian church preachers baptize for the remission of sins.” Any person with a “thinker” can realize that some of the “others” claim to baptize for the remission of sins. This is the crux of the matter. The Mormons, Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Jesus Only Pentecostals all claim to baptize for the remission of sins and they claim to be the church or a part thereof. When will Sewell, et al, have some of the “others” to come to the campus to bray for fellowship?
        Does Milton Sewell believe that the Independent Christian Church is the church of Christ? Does he believe the Mormon Church is the church of Christ? When a person is baptized into the Independent Christian Church, does he think he is being baptized into the one body, the church of Christ? Of course not!
        It makes no sense whatever during a time when so many elders, preachers and congregations are turning aside from the faith — and clamoring for instrumental music — to set aside a time and place for false teachers to proliferate error.
        There is no excuse for such compromising, blundering, erroneous, defective and dereliction of duty. The inspired Word declares, “Neither give place to the devil” (Eph. 4:27). No amount of chatter will let the liberals rub that verse out of the Bible. How could the F.H.U. authorities give place to the devil? How would anyone be able to give the devil a place? How can people show disrespect, impudence, arrogance, contemptuousness, irreverence and scorn toward the Word of God? I would think the best way would be to give the devil a nice, sweet invitation to occupy a place.
        When discussing false teachers who use vain words, the apostle wrote, “Be not ye therefore partakers with them” (Eph. 5:7). The marginal reading says, “Have nothing to do with them.” How much sense does one need to understand what the apostle teaches? The announcement has been sent out to regions all around. Widows will be expected to send their mites and congregations will be pressured to send thirty pieces of silver in order to help provide a PLACE for the devil.
        A real problem which obtains among so many is a very loose and liberal attitude toward the Word of God. The Bible still reads, “...mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned and avoid them” (Rom. 16:17). Somebody is to be avoided by somebody. People who teach false doctrine are to be avoided. Does Phillip Morrison teach error? I have no more respect for those who cause divisions and teach contrary doctrines than I have for those who compromise the truth and feign fellowship with them. The Bible plainly declares, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11).
        Brother Perry Cotham wrote, “I think it is time our Christian colleges stop giving encouragement to the liberals by having any of them to speak on their lectureships. I do not intend to keep silent and let the Lord’s church be turned into some kind of a Pentecostal holiness denomination. Are you?”
        Brother Foy E. Wallace, Jr. wrote, “Respecting history sustains the assertion that every major digression and departure culminating in apostasy has originated in the schools.”
        Brother E. R. Harper wrote, “Why invite men who are known to be and/or believed to be liberal and by so doing cause such anxious hours when there are scores of good men who would bring no such criticisms, especially when the men who bring him know that the man is žunder fire’ from good men who love the church and the truth.”
        Brother Hall Calhoun declared, “Heretics are not at liberty to confiscate property which was given by men who believed that the Bible is the final authority in religion and use this property contrary to the known will of its donors.”
        The person invited to Freed-Hardeman in order to make a plea for the use of instrumental music is Phillip Morrison who is a member of Rubel Shelly’s church and who served as Executive Director of the notorious Jubilee. That would be a marvelous invitation for someone at F.H.U. to present to Morrison. When will they invite Sadam? How much money will the University pay Morrison and Woodroof to present their palaver? Which congregations will send the money to F.H.U. to be used to pay false teachers?
        I will venture a guess that some of the students who are straddling the fence will swallow the Morrison rot.
        Philip Slate is a professor at the ultra-liberal Harding Graduate School which reeks with its own brand of heretical teachings and Connelly is a former teacher at the apostate Lipscomb University. Selecting those two men to negate the use of mechanical instruments of music would be similar to having some Hollywood actress to speak on chastity.
        Brethren, do you think you might be able to voice your thoughts against this ridiculous and compromising scenario at Freed-Hardeman University? Edmond Burke said, “The only way for the forces of evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.”
                705 Hillview Dr.
                Mt. Juliet, TN 37122

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 Guest Editorial...
James W. Boyd

        The Lord’s church began on the first day of Pentecost after the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. The characteristics of His church are revealed to mankind in the Bible. By those characteristics the church can be identified. It is called the body of Christ, the church of God, churches of Christ, the kingdom of God, the house or family of God, and other identifications that show possession. Its members are called disciples, Christians, saints, priests and other terms found in Scripture.
        The governmental organization of the church is relatively simple. Christ is the head. Members are organized into local congregations. Congregations are organized with elders having the oversight, deacons who serve, preacher and teachers, and all the membership making up the body. Each congregation is autonomous or self-governing inasmuch as there is no super-ecclesiastical organization of the Lord’s church larger than a local congregation.
        The creed is Christ and the written creed (meaning what is believed) is the Bible. The worship consists of singing, praying, observing the Lord’s supper, giving, and proclaiming the Word of God. The terms of entrance are hearing the Word, believing in Jesus as the Christ the Son of God, repenting of sins, confessing faith in Jesus as the Christ and being baptized into Christ for the remission of sins by His authority (in His name).
        The church is united in mind, doctrine, practice, speaking the same things, speaking as the oracles of God, tied together by the bond of faith and fellowship in Christ.
        The work of the church is to evangelize the world with the Gospel, edify and build up itself (the saved), recover those who may fall away and render benevolent and charitable deeds to those in need as opportunity presents itself.
        The inspired history of the early church shows the Lord’s people doing the Lord’s work the Lord’s way. The New Testament gives us His pattern and blueprint to which we must adhere if we would be the Lord’s people and do the Lord’s work.


        As prophesied, there came a falling away from the truth (I Tim. 4:1-3; II Peter 2:1,2: Acts 20:28-30). The apostasy did not occur rapidly, but gradually over a long period of time. Many of the departures from truth occurred concurrently. There was first a change in the governmental structure of the church into an ecclesiastical hierarchy. The names of the church and its members were changed. Human creeds were introduced alongside of, and then instead of, the Bible. Traditions, doctrines of men, superstitions, and combinations of truth with pagan and heathen practices perverted the church away from God’s pattern. There was a change in the manner of worship, the terms of admission, the mission, purpose, and work of the church. Very little was left untouched by the apostasy.
        Down through the years when these changes were taking place, there were voices that cried out against them, but to no avail. Many warned of the error involved, pleaded for people not to follow men but to return to God. But they were ignored, silenced by persecution and death, intimidated into retreat and the apostasy rolled on. Human history entered into the period historians call the Dark Ages.


        Eventually, after several centuries, there were those who could raise their voices in opposition to the ruling powers, primarily the Roman Catholic Church, and survive. Their voices were not silenced but heard. They would not be ignored nor intimidated. Such were Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, Ulrich Zwingli, and many others who are considered the “fathers of the Protestant Reformation.”
        Moving rather rapidly now over history, suffice it to say that the Reformation Movement did not reform existing Romanism as was first intended. Rather, it produced Protestant denominationalism with its many names, churches, doctrines, creeds, practices, etc. All that characterizes the confused, contradictory, and chaotic religiously divided scene so evident today was produced to a great degree from the Reformation.


        In the eighteenth century, men began to see the gross inconsistency of denominationalism. They began the plea for a return to New Testament Christianity. They urged people to go back behind denominationalism (the apostasy), all the way back to a “thus saith the Lord” found in the Scriptures. They urged that men preach what was preached then, speak as the oracles of God, speak where the Bible speaks, be silent where the Bible is silent, require what Scripture requires, neither add to nor take from what the Bible teaches. They desired men to recognize the Bible as the all-sufficient religious authority it claims to be (II Tim. 3:16-17).
        Prominent men involved in this plea that had its beginning in Europe but found fertile soil in America were James O’Kelly, Elias Smith, Abner Jones, Barton W. Stone, Thomas and Alexander Campbell and a host of others. Their plea was based on the irrefutable principle of sowing and reaping — sowing the seed of the kingdom, the Word of God, into hearts as was done in New Testament times. What the seed produced then, it would produce again.
        Such a plea captured the attention of thousands upon thousands. Many battles were fought and won against the die-hards of denominationalism. The Lord’s church was restored, and that period has come to be known as the early days of the Restoration Movement.


        Unfortunately, the dark clouds of Satanic apostasy raised other storms for the church to endure. Two vastly different approaches were adopted toward the Bible. One said we are permitted to do whatever the Bible does not specifically prohibit. The other says that we are to do what we do “in the name of Christ,” which means by His authority (Col. 3:17). Second John nine forbids transgressing the doctrine of Christ and binds abiding in the doctrine of Christ. This was the unsuppressible contention of faithful brethren.
        These two approaches finally produced division over such innovations as the missionary society and instrumental music — neither of which has authority from Scripture. The missionary society was a organization separate and apart from the church that assumed to do the work of the church, that rivaled the church. Instrumental music was wrong because it added another kind of music in worship rather than that which God had repeatedly commanded and authorized.
        Since these original divisive intrusions into the otherwise growing restoration efforts of the Lord’s church, there have been more innovations, such as the church becoming involved in politics, entertainment, secular education, fun and games evangelism, observance of “holy days,” women preachers, raising funds through raffles, rummage sales, etc. rather than the free-will offerings as Scripture teaches. Those who launched out upon the sea of digression drifted so far away from the shores of truth that they now admit to being nothing but a denomination among denominations. They practice open membership, not even requiring what the Bible teaches is absolutely necessary to be considered a child of God. They have adopted all manner of false doctrines. And on it goes.
        Years and years of faithful labor was plowed under by liberal digressives and apostate people and their ways. Entire congregations, properties, preachers, members were taken away from the loyal and faithful plea of staying with the Bible, and they went their own way, the way of the world, and “did their own thing.” The real tragedy of this and any other apostasy is the loss of souls. One cannot be saved and defy God and His will.


        Even so, the remnant remained and the church began to grow and prosper once again until, numerically, it outnumbered the digressive elements that sprang from the departure of restoration principles.
        But history has a way of repeating itself. Today, even as these words are written, some of the same false ideas, practices, innovations, organizations, attitudes and doctrines are dividing the church. The wail is “unity in diversity,” which simply means agreeing to disagree and “do your own thing.” We hear of “new hermeneutics” which is neither new nor hermeneutics. It is nothing but a denial of truth. “Change” is the watch-word regardless of why. Compromise is the fashion. “Go along to get along” replaces conviction. Schools, large metropolitan churches, “big name” preachers and brotherhood papers are all calling for the relaxation of the plea to stay with the Book. They have learned to practice a pseudo love by tolerating whatever anybody wants so long as they are honest and sincere, regardless of the revealed will of God in Scripture.
        The cause of restoration is noble and right, but it suffers from the Lord’s enemies, being allowed again to be retarded, splintered and abandoned. They want to become accepted by the world and have a large number of followers.


        The only way to unity is faithfulness to God and to hold tenaciously to the teaching to “speak as the oracles of God” (I Peter 4:11). There must be Bible authority for what we say, believe, and practice, because the Bible is the sole authority. Unity based on truth is the only true unity. The plea shall never be outdated nor irrelevant. It is our sacred duty before God and man to uphold this plea regardless of the cost to ourselves and those around us.
                2720 S Chancery St.
                McMinnville, TN 37110

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Rusty Stark

        Our country is at war. The United States has men and women, young, bright, dedicated, patriotic men and women, who are in harm’s way, fighting and dying at the decision of our President and out of loyalty to this country. This is no light matter. When we think of these brave young men and women, and when we remember brave generations now gone who have fought for this great nation for our freedom, and for our welfare, gratitude swells in right thinking minds. Patriotism is not out of place in the Christian.
        In fact, Christians, who are among the most grateful people on earth, recognize the freedoms we have as being far beyond what most other people on the face of the earth, now or at any other time, have ever experienced. It is no light thing to be able to worship openly, to teach the truth without fear of government intervention or censure, to even be able to condemn the sin of our leaders without fear of losing our heads as John did when he condemned the marriage of Herod (Matt. 14:3-4). We would like to believe we would do these things even if it meant being condemned and persecuted by our government, but it is certainly easier (on us) to worship, teach, and rebuke sin in an atmosphere of freedom such as we have in this great country.


        It has come to our attention that some congregations of the Lord’s church, in the midst of patriotic fervor, are singing songs in the worship services that are for the purpose of praising our great country. While we are not against many of these songs themselves, we are against using such songs in worship services.
        Do we really need to stop and remind people that God is the recipient and audience of our worship (John 4:24) or that we are to worship Him alone (Matt. 4:10)? Is it really necessary to point out that My Country Tis Of Thee or America The Beautiful are songs which are sung primarily in praise of our country rather than the praise of our God? To whom are we singing praises, God or man? Patriotic songs have no place in the worship of our God.
        I realize that these types of songs in some cases ask God to bless our country. And truly we should be praying for our leaders and rulers (not just ours but for all that are in authority, I Tim. 2:1-2) so that we can lead quiet and peaceable lives. But there is no doubt that such songs are sung primarily in praise of this country, and we do not come together in worship to sing praises to earthly things.
        The authority we have from God is to sing “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” (Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19).


        In our congregation, we use the songbook Church Gospel Songs & Hymns (Editors V. E. Howard & Broadus E. Smith, Central Printers & Publishers). There are several examples of songs in this book that are not suitable for a worship service:
        1. #587 — Just a Rose Will Do. When time shall come for my leaving, when I bid you adieu; Don’t spend your money for flowers, just a rose will do. — I’ll go to a beautiful garden, At last when life’s work is thru; Don’t spend your money for flowers, Just a rose will do.
        It may be a nice sentiment. It may be a nice song in another setting, but what does it have to do with the worship and praise of Almighty God?
        2. #622 — Sweetest Mother. She’s a little old fashioned, that sweet mother of mine, There are many whose beauty will my mother’s outshine; She’s a little old fashioned as I can plainly see, But she is forever sweetest mother to me.
        My mother is a great Christian woman. I have more respect for her than I can possibly express. But I will not sit in a service and sing about her when I should be praising my God.
        3. #628 — Time Has Made a Change. Time has made a change since my childhood day, Many of my friends have gone away; Some I nevermore in this life shall see, Time has made a change in me.
        Notice, there is no word about the transforming Gospel, no praise to the God who teaches us to put off the old man and put on the new (Col. 3:9-10). Rather, it is TIME who has made a change in me.
        4. #658 — There’s a Church in the Valley. This old favorite is not about a church; it is about a small, brown building, in a place that is sentimental to the writer.


        It is sometimes a difficult thing to identify the cause of something. But sometimes it is helpful. Whether or not the following things are the direct cause of the problem of singing praises to others besides God, they are at least related to the problem:
        1. Many simply do not recognize the nature of God, and therefore cannot understand the nature of worship. Worship is from the word ‘worthship’ and has to do with the worth of God. This meaning is clearly shown in scripture. I Chron. 16:29, Psalm 29:2, and Psalm 96:8 all teach us to “give to the Lord the glory due to his name.” No matter how great our country may be, no matter how great our mothers may be, they cannot compare with the greatness of our God. He far outshines all things in his power, in his purity, and in the love and mercy he has shown to all men. These other things simply do not come near to the worshipful attitude we should have toward God.
        2. Many simply do not recognize the difference between the sacred and the common, the holy and the profane. Yes we can take certain acts of worship into the world with us. We can pray and even sing praises while in prison. But let us never be guilty of bringing the things of the world, even the profound blessings that we have, into the worship. Worshiping the things of this world is idolatry. It is worshiping the creature more than the creator (Rom. 1:25).
        3. Many have failed to recognize that worship is not about what we want. It is not up to us to decide what we will do in worship. Many have challenged the pattern concept — the idea that God has given us a pattern for worship. But not only do we need a pattern to worship in truth (John 4:24), denial of the pattern makes worship totally subjective. If there is no pattern, then we can do anything we want and call it worship. Skydiving becomes worship for some. Fishing becomes worship for others. Where is the end of this kind of madness? Those who deny the existence of a pattern probably do not want to go this far, but once they break down the walls of the pattern there is no stopping place to the digression.
        4. Many do not see the difference between emotionalism and spirituality. If a thing stirs deep emotions — i.e. a song about country, mom, or about a little church (building) in a valley by a wild wood — it is mistaken for a spiritual thing. This confusion results in a never-ending search for new things to do in worship which will stir the emotions. This is not spirituality, and it is not worship. Can you imagine ancient Israelites saying, “You know, killing an animal just doesn’t do it for me any more. Maybe we should find something even more exciting.” But it was not about exciting. It was not about emotionalism. True worship does touch emotions within us (gratitude, Phil. 4:6), conviction of sin (Acts 2:37), etc., but it does not rely on or aim at pure emotionalism.


        Let us mold our hearts by God’s word. Let us lift up our voices and make melody in our hearts “to the Lord” (Eph. 5:19). Let us be satisfied with the simple pattern of worship he has authorized (Col. 3:17). Let us learn to put Him first, in the very heart and center of our worship, so that we may learn to put Him first in all aspects of our lives.
                1495 E Empire Ave.
                Benton Harbor, MI 49022

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Douglas Hoff

        Many people’s concept of Christianity includes some mysterious work of the Holy Spirit to change one’s life. The Bible teaches the Spirit operates upon man to create faith, convict of sin and convert the soul. But the question is, does the Holy Spirit operate directly on man or does He work through the word of God?
        The Bible states that the “sword of the Spirit” is the word of God (Eph. 6:17). This word is “quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). These two verses show that the Spirit does not operate directly upon man, but through a means — the agency of the word of God. It is much like a man who went to cut down a tree. Did the man himself cut down the tree or did the saw he used cut down the tree? Obviously, the man did cut down the tree, but he used a tool to do so, a saw.
        Suppose the Holy Spirit did operate directly upon mankind apart from the word of God. What would be the results? God does not want anyone to be lost (2 Peter 3:9). He is also no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). Therefore, the Spirit would act uniformly on everyone. Since the Holy Spirit is part of the Godhead, He is all powerful. So it should be the case that everyone would be saved. There can be no other outcome when an irresistible force operates directly upon a very moveable object such as man! But Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21). This accounts for the fact that not everyone will be saved though God is no respecter of persons. Not everyone chooses to do the will of God.
        If the Spirit operated directly on mankind apart from the word of God, the New Testament would not be needed to convert people from their sinful lives. Conversion would depend entirely on the work of the Holy Spirit. If someone was not converted, the blame would lie at the feet of God. Who would dare charge God with a failure to accomplish His will? The truth was stated long ago: “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isa. 55:11). Preaching God’s word will harden some and soften others. The sun will melt wax but harden clay. Different effects are the result of the differing natures of the materials. So it is with mankind. Some will choose to believe and obey while others choose not to believe and thus disobey leading to their damnation.
        If the Spirit operated directly, why even bother preaching? Here is a curious thing. Those who advocate a direct operation of the Holy Spirit preach it! Shouldn’t the Spirit have revealed his message directly to each person? Jesus told his apostles, “ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Without a knowledge of God’s word, one cannot have faith in Jesus Christ since faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom. 10:17). The Bible nowhere states that faith comes by some mysterious operation of the Holy Spirit.
                1708 Wildwood Rd.
                Bloomington, IL 61704

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Marvin Weir

        The Lord’s church is the one that was established in A.D. 33 in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. The Lord’s church is the one that Jesus built (Matt. 16:18) and purchased with his own blood (Acts 20:28). The Lord’s church is the one body the apostle Paul recognized as being valid (Eph. 4:4). There is only one body that the Savior has promised to save (Eph. 5:23). It is imperative to understand that we are not discussing what denominations were established to do. Denominations may do whatever their founder desires them to do and please men, but they will never please God. If the church of our Lord is to be faithful, it must only do the bidding of its founder, Jesus Christ, and such will never please most men.
        The Lord’s church was not established to exist incognito! It makes one want to gag to hear those who profess to be members of the Lord’s church avoid telling people they are a member of the church of Christ. These modern day dreamers will tip-toe for miles on eggshells before they will admit they are a member of the church of Christ. Upon being forced to make the admission, they then apologize by saying, “But we don’t believe we are the only one’s going to heaven.”
        What is wrong with the name church of Christ? Am I ashamed that Christ built His church? Am I embarrassed that the church wears His glorious name? Do I not want the church to be connected with the Savior? Brethren, these questions deserve an honest answer. Many members need to begin thinking for themselves and cease following the liberal change-agents who would place the church under a bushel (cf. Matt. 5:13-16). Faithful soldiers of the cross will boldly proclaim the essentiality and eternal destiny of the Lord’s church. We cannot keep the church a secret and save the souls of men!
        The Lord’s church was not established to provide entertainment for its members! One can search the Bible from beginning to end and never find one incident where God has sought to entertain His people. It can be proved, however, that God “would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth” (I Tim. 2:4). It is also true that “the Son of man came to seek and save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). We read that it was the Lord’s desire “that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name unto all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47). When the early church was persecuted and scattered, they did not offer all types of entertainment to attract people. They did, however, go “about preaching the word. And Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and proclaimed unto them the Christ” (Acts 8:4-5). The early church realized that the Gospel was the only “power of God unto salvation,” and they were not ashamed to proclaim it (Rom. 1:16).
        The early church did not seek to attract people with eloquent dramatized skits laced with finger-nail biting excitement! Neither did the early church have “youth ministers” to entertain and baby-sit the young or a 㦓’ers minister” to transport the older saints to every play and flower garden within driving distance. Didn’t they know that because of severe persecution they would have to cater to the wants of both young and old in order to grow? The wisdom of man says that the early church is destined to fail. The result — the early Christians who feared God and unashamedly proclaimed the Gospel grew by leaps and bounds (cf. Acts 2:41; 4:4; 5:14; 6:7; 9:31).
        The Lord’s church was not established to provide a soothing answer to man’s sins! The majority of men want to live in sin, enjoy the pleasures of the moment, and be told that all is well with their souls. Thus, alcoholics have a disease, homosexuals have a defective gene, fornication is simply an affair, lying is misinformation, and sin is tolerated as a mistake. Brethren, we can ill afford to pat members on the back, accept their contribution, and overlook sin! All sin is deadly (Rom. 6:23), and all must repent (give up) of their sins or lose their souls. Even though not “politically correct,” Christians will teach sinners that they must “repent or perish” (Luke 13:3).
        May we keep in mind that the Lord’s church was established to do what no man-made institution can do. Let us therefore not lose sight of the glorious purpose and mission of the Lord’s church.
                5810 Liberty Grove Rd.
                Rowlett, TX 75089

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        “Preach the Gospel to every creature” is a charge current in every generation until the end of time. Admittedly, reaching every soul with the message of salvation is challenging, when one considers the world’s population of over six billion — a figure that could double by the year 2040! Coupled with the fact that about a hundred precious souls are dying every minute, the problem the Lord’s people face in reaching a world rapidly rushing into eternity is obvious. However, since God desires that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, we must believe He has given His people the power and potential to solve the problem of reaching every soul with the truth.
        A large part of the solution as to how we may reach the masses with the message of salvation is now in production: GOSPEL BROADCASTING NETWORK a satellite network, broadcasting the truth, and nothing but the truth, 24 hours a day, seven days a week — under the oversight of the Highland Church of Christ in Dalton, Georgia, scheduled to go on the air no later than January 1, 2006.
        The primary thrust of the network is: 1) to establish in viewers of all ages a strong belief in the existence of God through a heavy concentration of Christian evidences, 2) to establish in viewers the conviction that God has revealed Himself and His will to man through the Bible; and, 3) to encourage the proper response to God’s Word — obedience to the plan of salvation and adherence to the New Testament pattern of worship, work, and Christian living.
        In many places brethren are threatened by false teaching, and a saturation of sound Bible teaching via GBN may help strengthen them to withstand error and to stand for the truth. Also, there are areas where the church is practically nonexistent and brethren are striving to grow in the faith. Sound television programming that may be viewed, possibly videotaped for later use, may edify these Christians and assist in their evangelistic efforts.
        The members of the GBN management team, under the oversight of the Highland elders, bring many years of collective experience to their responsibilities. Barry Gilreath, Sr., is the Executive Director of GBN and serves as one of the overseeing elders. Jim Dearman is the Program Director, and Don Blackwell and Mike Hixson are National Field Representatives. Common to all is a strong determination to air nothing on the new network but sound Bible teaching and preaching. Members of the Lord’s church may contact GBN at:
                P.O. Box 23604
                Chattanooga, TN 37422
                on the web:
                Phone: (423) 893-7807; toll free:

Table of Contents


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I would appreciate the opportunity to receive this quality publication. Thank you and God bless you in your efforts” ...Phillip Vermillion, Lake in the Hills, IL. “We appreciate this wonderful bulletin” ...Glen & Carol Braswell, Vilonita, AR. “I very much enjoy them” ...Joann Stutzman, Bloomfield Hills, MI. “Thank you very much for sending me all the issues of STOP. As a minister of the Gospel for some fifty years, I share with you an ever growing alarm with the digression from the truth of the Gospel as given to us in the Word of God. We are tying our best to hold the line of truth here” ...Archie Duty, Merkel, TX. “Thanks so much for your help spreading the good news. Thanks for the 10 extra copies to hand out here. I have only got good responses from people here. People here are starting to talk and ask questions about what the Bible teaches on different subjects. May God bless you as you continue your good work” ...Roy Dahlgren, Pikeville, TN. “Thanks so much for your stand for the Truth. In Christian love” ...Tommy Cope, Sierra Vista, AZ. “I recently read your publication and enjoyed it very much. I would like for you to send me a copy to my home” ...Eugene Todd, Murfreesboro, TN. “It is such a joy to be receiving the Seek The Old Paths magazine that everyone I talk to about it wants a subscription” ...Charles Johnson, Gardena, CA. “We enjoy your paper. Here is a few dollars to help out. Thanks a lot” ...T. W. & Mary Meredith, Coldwater, MS. “We of the Powell Grove congregation appreciate your true to God’s word publication. Some here have been long time readers of your publication and others are new readers. We thank you for the copies that you send to us and are placing them in the hands of those who will be profited with your excellent work. We are enclosing a contribution to help defray some of your expenses” ...Lloyd Gale, Powell Grove Church of Christ, Lebanon, TN. “I have just finished reading STOP for the year 2002. I picked these up at a local congregation. I was greatly impressed with the wealth of information about that which is transpiring in the Lord’s church. I would like to have my name added to your mailing list” ...Jimmy Canup, Galax, VA. “Thank you for continuing to send STOP even though my husband Frankie passed away a few months ago” ...Janice Boynton, Dunlap, TN. [NOTE: You are in our prayers. We extend sympathy to you on your loss]. “Enjoy STOP. Please keep it coming” ...Bobby J. L. Fox, Aurora, CO. “We appreciate your good articles. Keep up the good work. Your articles are informative and in accordance with the Word. May God richly bless you” ...Phil & Diane Carpenter, Burton, MI. “Please remove me from your mailing list. Thank you” ...Ross Mitchell, Fort Walton Beach, FL. “Such a fine paper, just wanted to send a little extra to help” ...Frankie & Jim Bailey, Middleton, TN. “I hope the work goes well there at East End congregation. I enjoy getting your magazine, as do many in our congregation. Keep up the good work and may the Lord bless you and your family and the congregation there” ...Ben Porter, Davison, MI. “Thank you so much for your help spreading God’s true word” ...Roy Dahlgren, Pikeville, TN. “We are looking forward to receiving this publication” ...Michael & Jeanie Lauzon, Okeechobee, FL. “Refused. Please don’t send anymore” ...Michael & Patsy Black, Valdosta, GA. “This paper has helped me in my personal study. It helps me to be aware about liberalism and other innovations. It helped me in countering the practice about ‘competitions’ and ‘presentation’ using spiritual songs (like choirs and choruses). It has helped me in my teaching work. Thank you very much” ...Tito Peralta, Philippines. “I absolutely appreciate your publication. I am a preacher working with a church of Christ I established. It has a membership of 15. May the Lord continue to keep, bless and use you to his glory and excellence. Greet the saints. Pray for us” ...Ignatious Mabiko, Zimbabwe, Africa. “I look forward to every one of your papers. You have such good articles” ...Martha Hill, Long View, TX. “We appreciate STOP and would like to start distributing it to our members. We would like a bundle each month” ...Everett Hodges, Central church of Christ, Denison, TX. “I appreciate STOP very much” ...Rick Kelley, Prestonsburg, KY. “Please add me to your mailing list. I have just been reading one of your papers that I received through the Northwest Florida School of Biblical Studies and have greatly enjoyed it! I also checked out your web address ( and want to say ‘thank you’ for so much valuable information that you have made available. God bless” ...William Davis, Cantonment, FL. “Your paper is wonderful” ...Ruth Garroutte, Ponca City, OK. “Please remove me from your mailing list” ...Clifford Glenn, Waverly, TN. “Thank you. Hope all is going well for you. Please continue the great work that you and the STOP staff are doing. In Christian Service” ...Jamie Beller, Marked Tree, AR. “Greetings in the sweet name of our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ. I am preaching the Gospel here. Thank you very much for the sending magazine. Today I was received it, I am very happy to have tis booklets. I hope tis will be very much useful to me and to the church here. Please pray for the church brother. Thanking in Christ” ...S. Dhananjaya, Sullurpet India. “Thank you very much for the best publication on Bible truth I have ever read. It is needed so much in our society today” ...Dorothy Chism, Plumerville, AR. “Greetings from the church that meets in Allenhurst, Georgia. We have been receiving your sound publication for some years. It continues to be one of the best publications in the brotherhood. We have encouraged sister congregations in south Georgia to take advantage of this fine publication. We ask that you continue to send the publication to us on a monthly basis. Please accept the enclosed check and use it in whatever way you deem best for the publishing and distribution of this good work. May God continue to bless you in your good efforts” ...Bob Miller, Church of Christ, Allenhurst, GA.

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