Seek The Old Paths

Vol. 19   No. 4                   April,   2008

This Issue...


Lloyd Gale

        “Lipscomb University A Cappella Singers will perform Requiem by Gabriel Faure, accompanied by a full orchestra, at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 14, at Christ the King Catholic Church, 3001 Belmont Boulevard in Nashville. The general public is invited and this event is free of charge.”
        The announcement above was reported in the Lebanon Democrat Newspaper in Lebanon, Tennessee.
        Now, just in case you are unfamiliar with the word “requiem” (because it’s not found in the Holy Scriptures), it is a doctrine concocted by the Roman Catholic Church. It is defined as any musical composition or service for the dead. In the Roman Catholic church, it is a solemn mass sung for the dead.
        The word Mass is defined as: “In the Roman Catholic church as the eucharistic liturgy, consisting of various prayers and ritual ceremonies, and regarded as a commemoration or repetition of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. A celebration of this liturgy. A musical setting for some of the fixed portions of this liturgy.”
        The word “liturgy” is defined as the prescribed form for public worship; religious ritual. In this case it is the man made doctrine of the Roman Catholic church being honored.
        The article continues by stating:
        “Faure’s Requiem setting is a work for chorus and orchestra, with soprano and baritone soloists. It uses the traditional Latin requiem text, but Faure sets it in a way that reminds the listener of light, Heaven and eternal rest, rather than the flames of Hell. It features organ, harp, and low strings; wind instruments play, but are used primarily in some movements.”
        “The A Cappella Singers perform a broad range of choral music, incorporating music from all periods including sacred and secular works.”

        We have read how leading professors and the president of Lipscomb have openly fellowshipped the denominations. And now, they must be considered apostates from the Lord’s church. For years, sound godly Christians have warned of the growing secularism and syncretism taking place at Lipscomb University. It may now be seen, by those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, that Lipscomb is determined to restructure the Lord’s church in their own image. If the founder of the Nashville Bible School could return and observe the school that bears his name, his tongue would be as a searing flame of fire in denouncing this cesspool of error.
        These “leaders?” are well described by Paul in Romans 3:12-13. “They are all gone out of the way, they are all together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips.”
        Jesus would say that it is time to leave them alone that they are beyond redemption for they have become the blind leaders of the blind and their fate is certain (Matt. 15:14). Lipscomb has become just one more school founded with good intentions but which is now an agent of Satan.
        The question that remains is; will godly elders, preachers and teachers come out from among their evil influence and stand for the truth or will they follow their pernicious ways? Will foolish and unlearned parents continue to send their children to such a den of iniquity and not be warned by knowledgeable and faithful Christians? Will brethren continue to support such a school or will they love the Lord and His church enough to do what Ephesians 6:13 tells us, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” II Corinthians 6:17 says, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”
        It is time to get off the fence. It is time to stop cutting bait and start fishing. Joshua 24:15 says, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Will you today serve the man-established religions from which men extracted themselves during the restoration of the pure New Testament church or will you serve the Lord? Will you yield to the syncretism of the American society in whose land you dwell or will you follow the example of Joshua? Yes indeed: “Whatsoever things were written afore time were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Rom. 15:4).
        Paul wrote, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God” (Rom. 10:1-3).
        Many schools based upon religious principles have been founded in America and elsewhere. In the process of time, they become the enemies of true religious faith and practice. God’s school of true religious faith and practice is the church which is the pillar and ground of the truth (I Tim. 3:15). The command to the church is to preach, teach and edify.
        While there is nothing wrong with a Christian or Christians establishing a secular school, one should not expect such schools to aid and abet the work of the church because their basic philosophy is decidedly different. With the church, truth is final, complete and never changing. Schools are constantly searching for something new and different. Therefore the twain shall never meet. Schools seek to be accredited by worldly standards and in order to do so must comply by having accredited qualified teachers. Teachers who obtain their accreditation, do so at the feet of false teachers who require them to master the text books they prescribe. When employed by “Christian schools” they teach what they have learned. “Hello!”
        The Apostle Paul sat at the feet of Dr. Gamaliel, but when he met Jesus and learned the truth about life here and hereafter, he accounted his secular religion as human refuge. If one obtains all of the degrees in the world and fails to come to a knowledge of God’s truth, they are but educated dupes (Phil. 3:4-8).
        Paul stated that he was not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ because it is the power of God unto salvation for all people. He taught that it was by the means of the Gospel that the righteousness of God is revealed to mankind. He further stated that, “...the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” (Read Romans 1:16-22)
        There was a day when most of the schools in America were dedicated to seeking the truth in an objective scientific manner, but that day is long past. History has been revised to placate the political correctness of the moment. Belief in an all wise, all powerful Creator has been replaced with the godless theories of organic evolution. Human secularism has broken down moral and spiritual absolutes. Living together in sin is nobody’s business; that is until a child is conceived and then either it must be “legally” aborted at taxpayers expense or provided for by the taxpayers. Schools now call evil good and good evil. They have influenced judges and public officials to force the acceptance of God-condemned conduct upon the public. So-called higher education has become a modern day idol for government officials, judges and many citizens. It has now come to pass that if one preaches and/or teaches God’s word, it can be labeled “hate speech” and one may be imprisoned or fined if someone claims they were offended. Whatever happened to the first amendment to the constitution? Even if one wins their case, they may have to bare the time and expense in doing so.
        If more Christians do not stand up and speak out, we may be the next group to be in bondage. It may be much later than most people realize.
                1186 Martha Leeville Rd.
                Lebanon, TN 37090

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        Throughout the Bible we read of many opposites or contrasts. We read of light and darkness, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter (Gen. 8:22). We read of those who “ evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter” (Isa. 5:20). We read of the broad way and narrow way (Matt. 7:13-14), heaven and hell (Luke 10:15), right and wrong. We read of ignorant worship (Acts 17:23), vain worship (Matt. 15:8-9), will worship (Col. 2:23) and acceptable worship (John 4:24).
        There’s likewise a vast distinction between knowledge and ignorance. Every individual is faced with a decision in their life to choose one or the other. They can choose to remain ignorant about certain things or they can choose to learn and understand about certain things. Many choices between the two make no difference as far as salvation and our eternal destiny is concerned. But, the choice of either knowledge or ignorance in the spiritual realm, makes all the difference between heaven and hell.
        Salvation does not come without obedience to God. 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). Hebrews 5:8-9 tells us that Jesus learned “...obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.”
        One cannot obey the Lord when he/she does not know what the Lord requires. So, the choice of knowledge instead of ignorance gives one the information necessary to obey God.


        Ignorance does not relate to one’s intelligence. It is not a reflection on one’s mental state. It has nothing to do with one’s capacity to learn. It simply means that one does not know — does not have knowledge concerning a certain subject. Are we not all ignorant about many things? I confess I’m ignorant about a multitude of things. I don’t know much of anything about nuclear fission, aeronautics, mining, chemical engineering and mountain climbing. Ignorance often puts one at a great disadvantage when in a crowd with those who know a lot about a certain subject. But, ignorance on secular subjects (things of this world) does not lessen our chances of going to heaven.
        There are even many Bible things I don’t know the answer to — you could say I’m ignorant about them. I don’t know what Jesus wrote on the ground when an adulterous woman was brought to him for judgment (John 8:6,8). I don’t know what Paul’s thorn in the flesh was (II Cor. 12:7). I don’t know why Nicodemus came to Jesus by night (John 3:2). I don’t know the exact age of the earth. But I do know it’s not millions or even billions of years old.
        Those things we’re curious about, and yet the Bible does not reveal the answers to, should not take up our time and effort to study them. Deuteronomy 29:29 says, “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” If God did not reveal it, then it has nothing to do with our service to God. It has nothing to do with acceptable worship. It has nothing to do with our every-day living in this world. On the other hand, the things God has revealed to us are those things that are needful for us. “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” (II Peter 1:3). If it’s important, God tells us about it. If it’s not important, God often does not tell us about it.
        Some amusing individual along life’s way has said, “ignorance is bliss.” However, ignorance is not bliss. Especially is this true when it comes to spiritual matters. There are many things we cannot afford to be ignorant about. There are things that each one of us will have to give an answer for in the day of judgment. These responsibilities require knowledge.
        One, we are responsible for our OWN SOUL. Ignorance of this fact leads to damnation and hell. Notice these passages: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (II Cor. 5:10). “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works” (Rev. 20:11-13). “But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul...” (Prov. 8:36). “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him” (Ezek. 18:20). “Who will render to every man according to his deeds” (Rom. 2:6).
        No one will be excused by simply saying they did not know. If so, most of the world’s population could plead innocent on the grounds of not knowing the will of God. If ignorance of God’s Will is acceptable, then it would make the knowledge of God’s Will a detriment and handicap. It would make the saving news of the Gospel the word of condemnation and punishment instead of salvation, forgiveness and reward. People would be better off not knowing about Jesus than to learn of Him and then not obey Him.
        People are lost, not because they don’t know the Bible, not because they don’t believe in Jesus, not because they have never heard or obeyed the Gospel. People are lost because they have sinned! People are dead in their trespasses and sins. People live according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air. They are children of disobedience and live after the lusts of their flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and are by nature the children of wrath, even as others (Eph. 2:1-3). “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). “There is none righteous, no not one” (Rom. 3:10). Romans 6:23 says, “...the wages of sin is death....” This was made clear even in the days of Isaiah when he said, “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isa. 59:1-2).
        Sin is a violation of God’s will. It is a transgression of the Law of God. First John 3:4 says, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” It matters not whether one is aware of the Law of God or not. Ignorance of the Law is not an excuse. God’s law is still God’s law. One breaks that law whether they have knowledge of it or not. Ignorance of the law does not change that. We can be guilty of speeding and never know we were driving over the limit until we’re pulled over and given a ticket. Pleading ignorance does not change the fact that we were breaking the law. Small children have no knowledge of the law of gravity. They don’t realize that violating that law can bring about serious injury and even death. But when they fall from a high place, they are not spared from injury because they were ignorant of the law of gravity.
        Two, we are also responsible for the SOULS OF OTHERS.
will give an answer regarding the church members under their watch and care. Hebrews 13:17 tells every member of a local congregation, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” What a weighty responsibility is incumbent upon elders because they have the obligation to watch for members souls. An elder is not qualified to be an elder if he is ignorant of his duty. This requires that he know God’s Word and is able to teach it to others (I Tim 3:2-6).
        Preachers, likewise, will give an account as to whether they have discharged their responsibility. Paul told the elders of the church at Ephesus, “...I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. ... Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:20-21,26,27). Paul also wrote to Timothy saying, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (II Tim. 4:2). Preachers cannot carry out their task of reproving, rebuking and exhorting if they are ignorant of God’s will. Sadly, many are ignorant by choice because they choose to travel the way of the masses.
        Isaiah told of conditions in his day of those who had the charge to proclaim God’s will to the people. “His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber” (Isa. 56:10).
        I cannot imagine preachers choosing to go along with the flow — to deliberately choose to not know the “right ways of the Lord” and then proclaim it to both the people of the world and the people of God. But, church members also are to be blamed and will be held accountable because they want it to be so. Isaiah was told, “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever: That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits” (Isa. 30:8-10). Much the same thing is said to Timothy by the apostle Paul. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (II Tim. 4:3-4).
        Every church member bears responsibility toward others. It is required of all of us to be a positive influence for the Lord’s cause. Will we stand before the Lord one day in judgment and hear someone say, “you saw me from day to day and knew I was astray, yet you never mentioned Him to me?” When we see people hungry, thirsty, naked, sick or in prison and we do nothing to help and assist them, we are not doing what the Lord has commanded us to do. We are to have a heart of compassion and tenderness. When Jesus “...saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd” (Matt. 9:36).
        Jesus tells us that we are His people and as such, our light will shine. Our good deeds toward our fellowship man will be observed. God will be glorified. “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:13-16).

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Ron Boatwright

        There are hundreds of different religious denominations, all wearing different names, teaching different doctrines, practicing different forms of worship, promulgating different plans of salvation, and each with its own earthly headquarters. How could anyone conclude that Scripture authorizes this present confusion or that God is at all pleased by the wholesale abandonment of His plan? “For God is not the author of confusion” (I Cor. 14:33), but man is.
        The people of most all denominational churches call Jesus, Lord. But Jesus says in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” On Judgment Day, there will be many people pleading with the Lord that they had prophesied and done many wonderful works in His name. They hadn’t done “the will of my Father which is in heaven,” but man’s will. Because of this, they will be horribly surprised when they are told by Jesus, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” This is the worse thing that will ever be said to an individual because he will be eternally lost in hell forever. This is very serious. They practiced lawlessness because they did not do what God says but what man said in following their many, various, and differing denominational creeds. One must do the will of the Father in heaven, and not the will of man, if he expects to go to heaven. Doing the will of the Father has never put one into a denomination. People must do something “more” or “less” than what the Bible says to become a member of a denomination.
        Satan wants man to be eternally lost. He uses many devices to deceive man into accepting his way and to reject God’s way. We read in 2 Corinthians 2:11, “Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.” Satan and his ministers pass themselves off as ministers of Christ. We read in 2 Corinthians 11:14-15, “For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness.” Satan and his ministers are still hard at work today.
        Denominationalists falsely claim to be the ministers of Christ. They urge people to reject the Lord’s one plan of salvation and substitute one of Satan’s plans, such as to “accept Jesus as their personal Saviour” and to say the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved; but where in the Bible is any of this found? It is not there because this plan has come from Satan, “who changed the truth of God into a lie” (Rom. 1:25). Satan’s ministers persuade people into believing they are saved without doing what Jesus says we must do to be saved, so they are still lost. They urge people to reject Christ’s one true church and to accept a man-made denomination. They urge people to reject the worship of God in truth as found in the New Testament (John 4:24) and substitute man-made worship which is more entertaining. Denominations are one of the cleverest and most deceptive things Satan has ever done.
        Christ died for His church and purchased it with His own blood (Acts 20-28). He did not purchase nor die for any of the hundreds of differing denominations. When the Book of Mormon is planted into the human heart, the result is a Mormon, not a Christian. When the Baptist Church Manual is planted, it results in one becoming a Baptist, not a Christian. When the Methodist Discipline is planted it brings forth a Methodist, not a Christian. A Catholic Catechism makes one a Catholic, not a Christian.
        Each man-made denomination has a different name that separates it from all the other man-made denominations. Each teaches a different doctrine from its own man-made creed. Obeying any of these false doctrines will never make one a member of the Lord’s one true church. All denominations exist without divine authority and those who remain in them will be eternally lost. Denominationalism exists because something other than God’s word is taught. Anything taught that is different from the Bible is false doctrine. From where did all this religious confusion come? “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (II Tim. 3:13). If all people were following the Bible and the Bible only, there would be no denominations.
        The Lord has only “one body” (Eph. 4:4) and the Bible says His “one body” is His “one church” (Eph. 1:22-23). After Peter confessed to Jesus, “Thou are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16), Jesus promised, “upon this rock I will build my church” (Matt. 16:18). The church of Christ was established in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost after the resurrection and ascension of Christ into heaven as we read in Acts chapter two. The church Jesus built was not a denomination. The Lord did not say He would build many churches, but He said “my church,” singular, and it belongs to Him. None of the many differing denominational churches belong to the Lord. They all belong to Satan.
        Many denominational churches react in bitterness and hatred when the truth about denominationalism is presented. This is similar to the hatred and bitterness we read of in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John when Jesus taught the truth and was crucified for it. In the book of Acts, all the apostles were imprisoned and beaten and commanded to no longer teach the truth (Acts 5:17-42). Stephen was stoned to death (Acts 8:58-60) and the apostle James was killed with a sword for teaching the truth (Acts 12:1-2). Secular history tells us that all the apostles died a violent death (except the apostle John who was exiled to the Isle of Patmos) for teaching the truth. Satan’s war against the truth of God’s word continues in full force today, with false doctrine being his main tactic.
        Jesus came into this world to establish one and only church to which only the saved are added. When one obeys the Lord’s command, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16), it is then “the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47). Men may join their own denominations, but the Lord adds only the saved to His one church.
        No Protestant denomination can trace its beginning back farther than the 1500s. There are hundreds of different denominations, each founded by different men at various times and different places. Psalm 127:1 says, “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” Because the Lord did not build any of the many denominational churches, many people are laboring in vain.
        Denominationalism promotes the false notion that any of the denominations are just as valid as the Lord’s one true church. This is what Satan wants people to believe.
        “Christ is the head of the church and he is the Saviour of the body” (Eph. 5:23). Christ has only promised to save His one body, which is His one church. Many people refuse to accept that the Lord only has one church that He is going to save. But what is going to happen to the hundreds of differing denominational churches which men have started? Jesus says, “Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Matt. 15:13). If one is in any of the many denominational churches, he will be uprooted and thrown into the eternal fires of Hell forever. This is sad because it doesn’t have to be this way.
        Satan’s main tactic in causing people to be lost is deception. Denominationalism offers a deceptive satisfaction to many people which will only lead them to be eternally lost. It does great harm by elevating human opinion over the truth of God’s word as found in the Bible. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Man doing what seems right in his own eyes will end in his spiritual death, which is being eternally separated from God (Isa. 59:2). Many people do not want the truth. The Bible says, “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (II Thess. 2:10-12). If one doesn’t love the truth of God’s word, he is going to be condemned on Judgment Day.
        Many people applaud the system of denominationalism. We hear it stated, to “attend the church of your choice.” God doesn’t give us a choice of churches so we can select the one we like best. We must select the church of God’s choice so we can be saved and go to Heaven? The process by which one becomes a member of a man-created denomination is not the process by which one becomes a Christian and a member of the Lord’s one church for which He gave his life (Eph. 5:25).
        Consider all the exclusive and conflicting doctrines held by the hundreds of different denominations and they all are deceived into thinking they are going to Heaven. Denominationalism does great harm by fostering a false sense of security. Its lies have caused multiplied millions of people to go through life believing they are saved. This destroys any capacity to examine their condition in light of Scripture. People in denominations are “...tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph. 4:14). People must seek the truth of God’s word if they expect to go to heaven.
        If one will only take the Bible and obey only the instructions therein without adding to, deleting from, or changing it in any way, then he becomes a Christian and a member of the church of Christ. The church of Christ is composed of all the saved in Christ but all those outside His one church are deceived and are lost. It will not be a joking matter to find out on the Day of Judgment that the Lord is not going to save anyone in the hundreds of different man-made denominational churches, since they are not His.
        If we really want salvation, it must be on the Lord’s terms, not ours. Horrible surprises will greet many on Judgment Day. The Judgment will be final. There will be no second chances or appeals. We must get it right the first time.
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Roger D. Campbell

        By “MDR,” I mean Marriage, Divorce, and Re-Marriage. It is a fact that the Christ spoke about marriage, putting away or divorce, and entering into a subsequent marriage. We read of His teaching on these important matters in Matthew 5:31,32, Matthew 19:3-12, Mark 10:2-12, and Luke 16:18. Not every word that is recorded in these passages was spoken by Jesus, but all of the verses referenced show the contexts or conversations in which Jesus taught on these subjects.
        Sometimes the thought is expressed that what Jesus had to say about MDR only applies to those that have obeyed the Gospel. That is, as long as one has not become a Christian, then he is not accountable to Jesus’ doctrine on MDR. One implication of such a theory is that a man who is not yet in the Christ could marry, divorce his wife for any reason he wanted, then marry a second woman without that second relationship constituting adultery. And, per this theory, the fellow (because he is not yet a child of God) could repeat this cycle of marry again, divorce without scriptural cause again, and marry again as many times as his heart desired. Why is such action supposedly not unlawful? Because he is not yet a Christian, so it is said.
        Though this position has a number of vocal advocates, and despite the fact that to some it has an avoid-some-sticky-situations appeal to it, it is false. Jesus’ message is for all people everywhere, meaning that all are subject or amenable to His teaching. Jesus told His apostles to preach the Gospel to every person, with the truth being that those who respond to the Gospel by believing it and being baptized, shall be saved (Mark 16:15,16). What kind of person needs to be saved? One that has sinned. Sin is lawlessness or transgression of the Lord’s law (I John 3:4). The only way that one can be counted as a violator of a law or instruction is for him to be under or accountable to such. Thus, the fact that the message of the Gospel must be preached to lost people shows that they are, indeed, held accountable for violating the message of the Gospel.
        Along this same line of thought, Paul told the Athenians that God commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30). Sinners — those who have violated God’s law — are the ones who need to repent. So, it must be the case that people outside of the Christ violate His teaching when they do not live in harmony with it. They are subject to what the Master says on every subject, including who has the right to marry, divorce, and enter into a subsequent marriage.
        “But Jesus said to preach the Gospel to lost people, not doctrine about other stuff. The Gospel is the good news of salvation through Jesus and has nothing to do with doctrine.” In the past there have been those who expressed such an idea — that “gospel” can only be preached to non-Christians, while “doctrine” is only for Christians. First of all, the word “doctrine” simply means teaching. Second, we read that Paul told those who were already saints of God, “So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also” (Rom. 1:15). He later told those same Christians, “...but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you” (Rom. 6:17). Put these two thoughts together and it is obvious that these people (in order to be saved and become Christians) obeyed “doctrine,” then after they were already Christians, Paul and others could preach “the gospel” to them. Thus, it is false to claim that you cannot preach doctrine to those that have not yet obeyed the Gospel. Since that is the case, the Lord’s doctrine (what He taught about any topic, including MDR) is what all people are obligated to obey.
        “But what about things like the Lord’s Supper or prayer? If non-Christians are responsible for living by Jesus’ law, then you ought to encourage them to break bread with us and pray to God for forgiveness.” All sinners have the duty before God to obey Him in all things. There are some items, however, that a person is privileged to participate in only when he/she is already a spiritual child of God. All spiritual blessings are in the Christ (Eph. 1:3), and only those who are in Him have access to such, including the privilege of partaking of the communion and the blessing of being able to address God in prayer as their heavenly Father.
        The message of 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 also helps us see that those who have not yet obeyed the Gospel are subject to Jesus’ teaching on MDR — that is, His doctrine on MDR applies to non-saints, just as it does to His disciples. The message of 1 Corinthians 6:9,10 is that “the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Included in the category of “the unrighteous” are “adulterers,” and verse 11 says “And such were some of you, but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified....” When the Holy Spirit declares through Paul that some of the saints in Corinth “were” (past tense) adulterers, he is speaking about the time before their conversion — before they became Christians.
        So, some in the church at Corinth used to be adulterers before they became Christians. The fact that they were adulterers means that they violated the Lord’s law on marriage and sexual rights. But, again, when were they guilty of breaking the Master’s teaching on such matters? Answer: before they obeyed the Gospel. The conclusion is inescapable. If they violated the Lord’s doctrine and stood condemned as a result, then they must have been amenable to or under His law at the time. Yes, Jesus’ teaching on MDR does apply to those who are not Christians, just as it does to those who are in the Lord. Folks, marriage is not a church ordinance. The Lord God established marriage long before there were Christians, and Jesus’ universal law applies to all people of all nations, whether they be in or out of the Christ.
        What about homosexuality? Well, what about it? Would our Lord’s doctrine about this evil activity apply only to Christians, or would non-saints also be accountable to Jesus’ message on this topic? Is homosexuality condemned in Christians, but counted as an acceptable activity among non-saints? God forbid. In that same passage in 1 Corinthians, we read that in their pre-Christian days, some of the brethren in Corinth had been “effeminate” or “abusers of themselves with mankind” (6:9); that is, they were homosexuals, and by being such they transgressed Jesus’ teaching on morality. The law of the Christ applied to them even before they were baptized into Him.
        We have no intention of trying to identify and label the motives of those brethren that suggest that Jesus’ teaching about MDR does not “count” when it comes to those who have not yet become members of His church. However, we can see the consequences of such a false message, can we not?
        Many marriages in our society are in a horrible mess. The sad reality is that great masses of our population have no clue what the New Testament says about MDR. We have got to become more diligent in educating them! It is also a great tragedy that others know exactly what God’s word says about MDR, but they simply do not care. They have made up their minds how they want to live, and they do not want to hear anything about their need to change their course of action. That is their choice to make, but on Judgment Day they will not be able to hide from the truth that Jesus’ teaching on MDR applies to all people, whether they accept it or not.
                120 Will Lewis Dr. SE
                Cleveland, TN 37323

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“The church of Christ which meets at the corner of Reagan Drive and Trinity Lane in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary on May 4, 2008. A Gospel meeting with area preachers will be conducted May 2-4 to commemorate the occasion. The Gatlinburg church was established in 1958 by the late Creed Spurgeon, a dedicated minister who was native of this area. His three children and one grandson continue as members today. The present building was erected in 1964. We are blessed with thousands of visitors annually because of our location near the main entrance to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Our visitors have come from every state as well as several foreign countries. Many of them return every year. We would especially love to have our regular visitors with us during our Gospel meeting. If you are planning to go to the Smokies this year, why not come the first weekend in May and join us as we celebrate fifty years of service in the Smokies” ...Rod Rutherford, PO Box 268, Powell, TN 37849, 1. “Thank you” ...Gaylon Patterson, Richmond, TX. “Please send us the paper copies in the mail each week or when you publish this great study tool. We have missed getting it in the mail. It is a sound doctrine paper and we enjoy the study from it. It is a great study tool with your Bible. Thanks for all you do to make this publication possible to Christians” ...John and Beth Crum, Valdosta, GA. “I have moved and don’t want to miss any issues, so here’s my new address. Thank you very much!! I appreciate the truth in your paper” ...Gail Nelson, Beverly, WV. “I’m writing to inform you that as of July 22, 2006, my father, George Harlin Cage, passed away. Please remove him from your mailing lists immediately. Thank you” ...Kathy Fridge, Nixa, MO. “I would please ask that you remove my name from the subscription list. It is not that I disagree with what is being taught or stressed, I agree with your teaching, I just have problems with some of the attitudes displayed in some of the judgmental, vindictive wording of some of your writers. Doctrinally, I agree, but where is the love that must also accompany our preaching. I find your paper more discouraging than uplifting. Please honor my request and remove my name. I might resubscribe at a later time, but not now. Thank you” ...Clayton King, La Junta, CO. “I want to thank you for the publication of Seek The Old Paths. Never under estimate the value of the written publications that have been produced over the years. You never know when a bulletin published years before will surface and do much good. During the year 2000 I was questioning the elders of the church I attended here in Jacksonville about the future of this local church and where they were headed. They refused to discuss the matter with me or give me any answers. Then one day in April, 2001, a friend handed me a copy of the September, 1997, issue of Seek The Old Paths. I don’t know where this issue had been for four years, but I do know that every question I had been asking the elders was answered in that one issue. Within one month from receiving this “old” issue I had left that church and found a church that taught chapter and verse from the Bible. I am very grateful for Seek The Old Paths and enclose a contribution to help with your efforts in spreading the Gospel. Thank you for being there in 1997, 2001 and 2008 and for years to come” ...Bob Price, Jacksonville, FL. “Would you please send a monthly copy of Seek The Old Paths to a friend of mine? Thank you” ...Milton Strickland, Kerrville, TX. “I would like to subscribe to STOP. Thank you” ...J. C. Wilder, Vine Grove, KY. “I read in John Grubb’s report about your videos online. I’m viewing one right now. Thanks for putting them on. I’ve got you marked on my browser and will return from time to time. I have always enjoyed your preaching and have learned and benefitted from the sermons I’ve heard you preach” ...David Lemmons,, Dublin, GA. [NOTE: These videos can be seen at] “Thank you for continuing to send me your paper. It is a very good publication and I appreciate your efforts in spreading the truth of the Gospel. Thank you very much” ...Lois Murner, Tuscumbia, AL. “Start sending STOP. The publication is a wonderful, sound and informative paper. Keep up the good work and everyone involved are in my prayers. We need to get back to the basics of Gospel preaching for so many are being led astray by weak preaching from our pulpits that are full of gook, with no substance. Please put a friend of mine on your mailing list” ...Collin Pinkston, Swartz Creek, MI. “Please send us 10 copies to pass out at the church at Yell each month. We are a small congregation striving to be true. Some of us have read a paper or two of yours and really enjoy it” ...Yell Church of Christ, Lewisburg, TN. “I just learned of your publication Seek The Old Paths and would like to receive it” ...Edgar Beard, Centerville, TN. “Thank you” ...Kraig Bolus, Acworth, GA. “I am 96 years old and have macular degeneration and have a hard time reading with a powerful magnifying glass. I sure thank you for sending STOP to me. I have to ask you to cancel it” ...James Williams, Evansville, IN. “I would like to receive your monthly paper. I enjoy reading it” ...Clarence Batman, Niles, MI. “I so enjoy the wonderful work you do in getting Seek The Old Paths out to all who wish to read it. So sad how some reject the teaching of our Lord. It is their loss. Those who have been taught the Bible and turn away from it, how terribly sad! I look forward to receiving your paper and read every word. Will you please add some names to your mailing list? They have expressed their desire to receive it” ...Helen Summers, Grand Blanc, MI. “Greetings. Appreciate your good work via STOP. God bless and please continue to stand for the right and against the wrong” ...Ken Butterworth, Oxford, AL. “We appreciate every issue. Please send us 10 copies. God bless your good work” ...Charles & Lucile Nicks, Hayesville, NC. “Please remove me from your mailing list. I am moving” ...Fran Hardin, Sparta, TN. “Hi to you brethren in the great USA. I am sending this email from Montreal Canada. It is a great joy and pleasure to spend time listening to you all. What a great edifying experience. You have been instrumental in lifting my soul in times when I was struggling with my flesh from without and within” ...Lennard, Montreal, QC, Canada. [You can hear the Gospel preached 24/7 at On (a companion web site to, you can select what lessons you want to hear, either by speaker or by subject. Tell others about this great work in spreading the Gospel.] “I have been receiving STOP for a few years and have always enjoyed it. In this part of the country, the church is few and far between. It is at least 35 miles from here to the next congregation” ...Vernon Bracknell, Baldwin, IL.

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