Seek The Old Paths

Vol. 10   No. 4                                                             April   1999

In This Issue...

Paul M. Wilmoth

        The apostle Paul was a great preacher. By his example and instruction he teaches much about preaching the Gospel. In his letter to the Thessalonians he gives a glimpse into his style of preaching. In chapter two he writes, "For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain: But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the Gospel of God with much contention. For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the Gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness; God is witness: Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children" (1 Thess. 2:1-7).
     From this description of Paul's preaching among the Thessalonians, we learn the following:
     1. Paul's preaching was not vain, useless. He did not teach the doctrines of men which are useless (Matt. 15:8-9), but preached the "word of God which effectually worketh also in you that believe" (1 Thess. 2:13).
     2. One who preaches the Word of God is subject to being shamefully treated. In Paul's day, as in ours, most folks do not wish to hear the pure, simple Gospel of God. Paul even warned the young preacher Timothy, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Tim. 3:12). Jesus spoke of a time "when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake" (Luke 6:22). Preaching the Gospel does not make friends from the world or from those who have turned their backs on the truth and deserted the ranks of faithful Christians.
     3. The Gospel must be proclaimed boldly! There is no place in the pulpit for one who is a coward. There is no room in the pulpit for one who will shirk from proclaiming ALL the counsel of God. At Miletus, Paul talked to the elders of the church from Ephesus. He told them, "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 20:26-27). He instructed Timothy to "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine" (2 Tim. 4:2). One must be bold in his proclamation of the truth. He must preach it when folks desire to hear it and when they do not wish to hear it. He must not shun to declare the whole counsel of God without fear or favor.
     4. Paul's preaching was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile. Paul had no hidden motives or agenda. His only motive was to please God and save men. Today, our pulpits are filled with men who will not teach the truth about God's plan for man. They will not teach the truth about the church of our blessed Lord. They refuse to speak out against worldliness in the church. Thus, they preach of deceit.
     5. The Gospel preacher has been put in trust with the Gospel. This great treasure has been placed in earthen vessels! One should be ashamed to be afraid and afraid to be ashamed of this glorious Gospel. If the Gospel preacher is not true to this trust, then who is going to teach the truth to the world? Certainly it will not be done by denominational preachers preaching their lies!
     6. The Gospel preacher must preach to please God, not men. "For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ" (Gal. 1:10). Too many today appear to be more concerned with "making friends" than in winning souls. Too many seem to be more interested in making a name for themselves than in proclaiming the name of Christ. Too many allow friendship, family, etc. to alter their teaching. We must preach to please God and Him only!
     7. Paul never used flattering words. Plain talk is the easiest to understand. The Gospel is for all and should be taught so that all may hear, understand and respond.
     8. God is witness to our preaching. Therefore, I dare not seek to preach to please men. I dare not preach less than the whole counsel of God. I dare not be anything but bold in my proclamation of the Gospel.
     9. One can obey all of the teaching of Paul concerning the preaching of the Gospel. One can follow the example of preaching that Paul left for us and still be " a nurse cherisheth her children." One can be bold in telling men the truth. He can be plain. He can be strong and still be gentle.
     How about you, fellow preacher? Do you preach like Paul?
         P.O. Box 5000, Tech Station
         Cookeville, TN 385055

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Garland M. Robinson

        Dear brother _____; student at Lipscomb University. Thank you for taking the time to write expressing your concerns about what we print in "Seek The Old Paths." I'm glad you are concerned, far too many are not.
     You make several statements regarding the harshness of some of the material we print but have offered no evidence to substantiate your claims. You charge us with making unsubstantiated claims. If you have evidence to the contrary than what we have presented, I'd love to see it. I assure you we never desire to print anything that is not correct and if we have, will certainly print a retraction and spread it far and wide. However, we must be provided evidence to show we have misquoted or otherwise mishandled these matters.
     Also, you have used several "harsh" words to describe and vent your frustration such as "ultra conservative, closed-minded, egotistical, hypocritical," words which we have not used in regards to anyone. You admit that you have been harsh in your letter but suggest that such was necessary to get us to see what we've done. I accept that. But, we've simply dealt with the facts -- the evidence. Jesus used words like "whited sepulchres" (Matt. 23:27), "serpents" and "generation of vipers" (Matt. 12:33), "hypocrites" (Matt. 23:13), "blind guides" (Matt. 23:16), "fools and blind" (Matt. 23:17). Are we kinder than the Lord if we don't use such strong words? We haven't addressed anyone like this. We haven't dealt with personalities. We've dealt with doctrines. However, you can't have a doctrine being propagated without someone proclaiming it. Would you suggest we deal with false doctrines and leave the one's teaching them alone? The apostles did not do that (1 Tim. 1:20; 2 Tim. 4:10; 2:17). Are we better than the apostles?
     You deny that many congregations of the church of Christ are headed toward denominationalism and say that such is "the most absurd thing that I've ever heard." Brother, it's later than you think because many have already gone there! Many are hardly recognizable at all as having once been faithful to the Lord. When one teaches and practices denominational doctrine, then pardon me if I recognize and call them what they are. If it waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck, lays eggs like a duck and looks like a duck, then I'm going to call it a duck. I'm not going to deny the evidence and say it's a humming bird! Likewise, if an animal drools like a wolf, howls like a wolf, eats like a wolf, smells like a wolf and looks like a wolf, I'm not going to call it a sheep!

     WRITER'S COMMENT: "You're afraid that God is actually going to love other people too!"
     ANSWER: God loves all people (John 3:16) but is not going to save all people. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of people will be lost (Matt. 7:13). Multitudes of devoutly religious and sincere people will be lost (Matt. 7:21). This includes those who once walked with the Lord and even now think they are walking with the Lord (Matt. 7:22-23) but are enemies of Christ (Phil. 3:18). Salvation only comes to those who love and obey the Lord, not simply those who are sincere (Heb. 5:8-9; Luke 6:46).
     Walking with the Lord includes honoring and respecting his Word. It involves fellowshipping those whom God fellowships and refusing to fellowship those whom God refuses to fellowship. To ignore God's Word on fellowship makes one as guilty and condemned as the evil-doer himself. The Scriptures are plain on this point. "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" (2 John 9-11; compare Obadiah 1:11). I'm sorry, but those who do not teach and practice the doctrine of Christ, the teaching of Christ, does not have God. They are not in fellowship with God and do not enjoy the blessings of God. The doctrine of Christ is not simply the teaching concerning his nature as some have proposed in order to escape the consequences of His Word and include in God's circle those whom they want to include, but involves the whole system of his teaching. It includes everything Jesus, the apostles and inspired writers recorded in the New Testament.

     WRITER'S COMMENT: "I hope to minister to you and help you see all the good that Lipscomb, Dr. Flatt, Jeff Walling, etc. are doing for the church."
     ANSWER: Whatever good someone does is fine. We have not examined their good and find no fault with it. But, shall we highlight the good and ignore the error? Shall we be blind to false doctrine and practice? Shall we accept any and all that comes our way? Is there anything brethren can do that you would oppose? I know you oppose those of us who are willing to expose false doctrine and those teaching it as per Jude 3, 2 John 9-11, Eph. 5:11 and Rom. 16:17. Is there anything you would oppose other than these verses?
     Brother, is it error to teach that Jesus never repudiated the law? -- that the law of Moses hasn't been done away? If it is error, and it certainly is (Col. 2:14; Gal. 3:24-25), then you ought to reconsider your statement concerning Steve Flatt since he is the one that said these things. Should we just throw a calf rope around all the denominations and accept them into the unity of the Lord? If you don't think so, then you ought to be trying to teach Jeff Walling because that is what he has said. Romans 16:17, 2 John 9-11 and Ephesians 5:11 will not allow unity with the denominations, nor even unity among those who have left the faith.
     Thank you for your time.
     With kindest regards,
     Garland M. Robinson

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Rusty Stark

...tolerance and endorsement of sin is typical of our once-upon-a-time "Christian" schools, and either they have no idea, or they have no concern over the amount of damage they are doing to the kingdom for which our Lord died

        Yesterday I received notice of the Annual Sermon Seminar to take place in May of 1999 at Rochester College (formerly Michigan Christian College).
     The first person listed as a presenter was Tom Long. There were others mentioned, some of whom I had questions about. There was also a contact person, David Fleer.
     I called David Fleer and asked him about one of the other presenters, and then asked him about Tom Long. When I asked if Tom Long was a member of the church of Christ, David Fleer replied that he was not, that he didn't know for sure, but he thought he was a Presbyterian. The contact person for this seminar didn't even know the religion of the man the college had asked to present material on biblical preaching.
     When I began to express my concern about this, David Fleer asked me if I had read Mr. Long's book. What does it matter if I had read his book? He is not even a Christian. We are not going to learn how to preach the Word from someone who does not know how to follow it. When I said as much to David Fleer, he responded by saying that Mr. Long was going to teach us to use the text of the Bible to determine the form of our preaching, and that he (David Fleer) thought that was very biblical. Since 2 Timothy 4:2 says that preaching includes reproving, rebuking, and exhorting, I asked if anyone was going to follow the biblical precept and rebuke Mr. Long for not being a true follower of the Word. David Fleer informed me that they would not be doing that.
     Am I surprised? No. But I am deeply saddened. This tolerance and endorsement of sin is typical of our once-upon-a-time "Christian" schools, and either they have no idea, or they have no concern over the amount of damage they are doing to the kingdom for which our Lord died. Whether this springs out of ignorance or apathy, the results are still just as devastating.
     If we accepted the lead of Rochester College in this matter, what would we learn? Rochester College is teaching by this example that "scholarship" is more important than truth, and that man's words are valued beyond God's Words.
     Rochester College is ignoring 2 John 7-11. For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 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.
     Those who would argue that the doctrine of Christ in 2 John 9 simply means the doctrine that Christ is come in the flesh (v.7) have given up on the plan of salvation taught in Scripture. If we say that the doctrine of Christ is just the doctrine about Christ, that he came in the flesh, then whoever has that doctrine has both the Father and the Son. Then why worry or teach about baptism? Why teach any truth other than that Jesus came in the flesh if that alone is enough to ensure we have the Father and the Son? The doctrine of Christ is the doctrine that springs from Jesus and from his authority.
     Mr. Long does not abide in nor bring the doctrine of Christ. Rochester College does not have the right to endorse him, to bid him God speed, neither do they have the right to give him a platform from which to preach.
     Rochester College is ignoring Ephesians 5:11 in both parts. They are extending their fellowship to works of darkness, and they are refusing to expose or reprove them. When did our brethren lose their fear of directly disobeying God?
     Will the students at Rochester College, or the ministers who go to this seminar learn that it is sinful to belong to the Presbyterian denomination? Will they be influenced by the College to stand against the error of denominationalism? No. This is not surprising, but very sad indeed is the truth that Rochester College is teaching by its actions in this matter that listening to the doctrines of men (Tom Long) is more important than following the Word of God (2 Tim. 4:2).
     Addendum. After writing this article, I called the President of Rochester College, Ken Johnson. I told him I wished to express my concern about their decision to bring a presenter to this seminar who was not even a member of the Lord's church. He responded by asking me why I was suddenly taking an interest in Rochester College, how long since I had been on their campus, and how long since I had been to one of their programs. I have not been there in a long time, but I am an alumnus of this school and a concerned Christian. As such I told him I certainly had the right to express my concerns. He responded that these programs were put together for people who appreciate the college and who are generally involved with their programs, and thanked me for my call.
     Again, it is not surprising that they didn't really want any input from a lowly little nobody like me. In this matter they will not even accept input from God. But, oh, how sad it makes me.
         1495 E Empire Ave.
         Benton Harbor, MI 49022

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Chuck Northrop

        Educating our youth in the principles of Christianity is a vital need. In this time of open rebellion against God, we need to fortify our youth with the Word of God that they with "the shield of faith...shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked" (Eph. 6:16). For this reason, many parents have sent their precious children to "Christian Colleges." However, rather than being fortified, many have returned home being corrupted by evolutionary and denominational thinking.
     In this world of complexity, the roles of parents, the church, and educational institutions have been confused. It is not the church's responsibility to educate anyone in a secular field of study. It is the parents responsibility to see to the education of their children. Colleges have been intrusted by parents to help in this responsibility and have served a vital role in helping parents educate their children. In defense of the colleges, it is not their responsibility to finish what we as parents have started, nor is it their responsibility to do what we have failed to do. Nonetheless, some "Christian Colleges" have assumed responsibilities that do not belong to them. It is not the responsibility of colleges to educate gospel preachers. By inspiration of God, the apostle Paul gave that responsibility to the church. In 2 Timothy 2:2, he wrote, "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also."
     Though the church of our Lord does not officially have a clergy/laity system, many congregations certainly lean in that direction. In these congregations, the preacher is a hireling -- a pastor. And because of such a view, those congregations seek preachers with secular degrees who could not quote enough Bible to prove baptism for the remission of sins. The words of Hosea the prophet ought to ring loud and clear in these times of ignorance: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6). Brethren, a congregation who seeks only preachers with degrees would not want men like Peter, James, and John to be their preacher. Though they were not educated by the world's standards, yet they knew Jesus and they knew the Lord's will for mankind. Such congregations are more concerned with the excellency of speech than the testimony of God (1 Cor. 2:1,4).
     From the establishment of the church, "preacher-itis" has been a problem. Paul writing to the church at Corinth reminded them, "that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ" (1 Cor. 1:12). Of late, this has expanded into "college-itis." In defense of a position, sometimes you hear someone say that such and such college teaches... Or sometimes someone may ask, "which college teaches...?" Sadly, in some circles such and such college gives credence to certain doctrinal positions and when a college is not named when asked "which college," it breeds discredibility. Brethren, we do not need a college to establish doctrinal positions. The Bible is our only source of religious authority (Col. 3:17). Our Alma mater may be important to us, but let's keep it in the proper perspective.
     Brethren, if we are trusting in "Christian Colleges" to do the work of the home, the work of the church, or establish doctrinal positions or practices then we are trusting in uncertain education.
         610 Elmwood Dr.
         Cleveland, OK 74020

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James Sisemore

        (The following is from the Seibles Road church bulletin in Montgomery, Alabama, December 13, 1998)
     Just in case you are one of those who do not believe that anything alarming is occurring in the Lord's church, please read the following that appeared in the November 18, 1998 bulletin of the Woodmont Hills Church of Christ in Nashville, TN, where Rubel Shelly is the preacher.
Community Thanksgiving Service
     On the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, we will assemble in our Great Hall with members of four other area churches for a Community Thanksgiving Service. Although many of you may be on the road for holiday travel already, we hope the rest of you will try to be present for a wonderful evening that has been planned. Brookhaven Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Cofers Chapel Free Will Baptist Church, Glen Leven Presbyterian Church, and First Christian Church will join us to give thanks to God for the blessings of the past year. With music and Scripture, we will join with our neighbors and friends to honor the Lord for his continual goodness. Following our time together, light refreshments will be served in the lobby to give us the chance to get better acquainted. A Thanksgiving Offering will be taken on behalf of people suffering the devastating effects of Hurricane Mitch in Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
Now, read the following advertisement as it appeared in the Nov. 21, 1998 issue of "Times Daily", regarding the Magnolia Church of Christ in Florence, Alabama.

     This Year's Community Celebration of Thanksgiving Will Be Held At: Magnolia Church of Christ, Florence AL. 10:00 A.M., November 26, Thanksgiving Day.
     Ministers leading the assembly include: Milton Glor -- Grace Episcopal, Viskie Montaie -- Jesus Church, Mark Parris -- North Wood Methodist, Gary Rapp -- First Nazarene Church Florence, Joe VanDyke -- Magnolia Church of Christ.
     Congregational singing with special music by The Magnolia Singers. Join your neighbors from across the Shoals on this special day!
     Most of you know these are not widely scattered happenings. More and more we see departure from the Pattern. The elders are charged to uphold the Truth but it is apparent some do not take this charge seriously.
     I have recently heard that a long time LIBERAL congregation in Chattanooga, Tenn. had many members leave because a women got up and read Scripture. Hmmm, too liberal for some of these liberals? One MUST understand though, these are congregations that have fallen off the edge. Liberalism and departure start from small innocent (a lot of times, well meaning) ideas BUT grow into a monster -- this is the case of many congregations of the Lord's church today. Where does it stop? When the brethren begin entering into the entertainment business instead of the preaching the Gospel business, it opens the door for a multitude of factions. When the brethren began laxing their stance on sin so that no one is offended, then they will reap the reward of their actions. When the brethren put the Lord's money into building cathedrals to impress the community instead of saving their souls, they have their reward.
     James Sisemore

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Dan Goddard

No faithful eldership or faithful college president would allow such a false teacher as Max Lucado to appear on any program sponsored by them.

        The following article appeared in the Observer and Eccentric a local newspaper for the Detroit, Michigan area. The Temple Baptist Church located in Livonia, MI; a suburb of Detroit, will host a Leadership Conference in April of 1999. Max Lucado will be one of the featured speakers. The article states: "Lucado senior pastor of Oak Hills Church of Christ in San Antonia, Texas, has authored such books as 'Six Hours One Friday' and 'A Gentle Thunder.' Max is a pastor and an extremely well-known author."
     Now that Max has long since shown his true colors, will members of the churches of Christ keep inviting him to speak on their lectureships, hold gospel meetings and appear on their college campuses? Will "we" keep on buying his books, which will in part produce money for his works of error? It is true that in some places we are no longer a people of the Book. No faithful eldership or faithful college president would allow such a false teacher as Max Lucado to appear on any program sponsored by them. If they did they would be in violation of such passages as 2 John 9-11. "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."
     One wonders what good if any it does nowadays to warn members of the Lord's church of such things. It seems to me that so few are listening to any such warning because Max and others like him keep on appearing on church of Christ sponsored events. These fellows like Max want to hold on to Jesus with one hand and the Devil with the other. They want the endorsement of our Lord Jesus Christ while at the same time wanting the endorsement of the denominational world. You can't have both. Not according to Matthew 7:21-23, "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. 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."
     Paul was one who believed in warning people of the dangers coming on the Lord's church in the first century as he would try to warn the elders in Acts 20:28-31, "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears."
     Can we do no less?
         29511 Bock St.
         Garden City, MI 48135

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Kent Bailey

        Re-Baptism? What One Must Know To Be Born Again is a 245 page book written by Jimmy Allen, retired Professor of Bible at Harding University. In this particular work, Allen sets forth his views regarding exactly the essential amount of Biblical knowledge one must attain in order to be scripturally baptized, thus being added to the church of the Lord.
     While this book is well written, and the author expresses himself in an easy to read manner, it is very unfortunate that a compromise of the Gospel is set forth, in so far as a willingness to accept into fellowship those, who have been immersed, but without a proper understanding of the scriptural design of New Testament baptism. Love of the truth, as well as the souls of men, demand that we oppose the thesis of this work as being fatal error (Rom. 16:17-18; 2 John 9-11). While certainly we have only the highest personal regards for Jimmy Allen, one must be reminded that good and sincere men can indeed be fatally wrong!
     As have others in the past as well as in the present, Allen advocates the false notion that New Testament baptism had numerous designs, the understanding of which is not essential to its validity. He further advocates that there is a single design that must ALWAYS be understood -- the principle of obedience to God. If such is indeed the case, then by what rule of logic, or, by what hermeneutic does one conclude that ONLY one design must be understood before the alien sinner can be baptized into Christ? Allen's line of reasoning is purely and arbitrarily subjective, void of ANY Biblical truth!
     It is further argued that "remission of sins" is "a blessing to be received" like the "gift of the Holy Spirit," that one "does not obey blessings," but rather, one "obeys commands," and that "remission of sins is never given as a command." Only a casual analysis of Acts 2:38 proves that remission of sins is essentially connected by the preposition "for" (eis) to the commands "repent" and "be baptized." To argue that one need not understand the design of remission of sins is to argue that one could "obey God" by accident, while in reality one was disobeying God and ridi- culing the design! Matthew 13:15 and Romans 6:17-18 powerfully refute Allen's contention. The phrase "gift of the Holy Spirit" in Acts 2:38 is NOT part of the design of baptism. Such was a conse- quence received because one had become a child of God, not to make one a child of God.
     Obedience to God is the general purpose of EVERYTHING one does in life. However, that particular expression is NOT a specific design to a positive institution such as baptism. To argue that "remission of sins" is only "A" not "THE" design of New Testament baptism is to fail in understanding the import of New Testament teaching. Certainly, it is true that THE DESIGN of baptism is stated in varying expressions, however, to argue that baptism has more than one design is to imply that "Salvation," "Remission of Sins," and being "in Christ," "in the one body," (the church), etc. are all different blessings. If such were true, one could have remission of sins without having salvation, and be in Christ without being in the one body, the church. When one believes that he is already saved prior to being baptized, then in being baptized one does not "obey from the heart" and in reality DISOBEYS GOD! If one believes that baptism is for the remission of sins, yet also believes that in being baptized one is "joining" a denomination, one is disobeying God in the fact that the design of New Testament baptism IS NOT to put anyone into a man-made religion. One cannot be taught wrong regarding the Plan of Salvation and baptized right, and one cannot be baptized right and as the result of the design of that baptism be joined to a human denomination.
     The book, Re-Baptism? What One Must Know to Be Born Again, will lead individuals from the knowledge of the truth of God and serves as adequate evidence to prove false doctrine of the past is being revived in the present.
         3095 Harrison Rd.
         Lenoir City, TN 37771

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News Brief...

Kent Bailey

        There is an obvious common bond and shared motivation that propels a certain segment of those receiving Bulletin Briefs. It can properly be called unity, but is it the type prayed for by our Lord (John 17) and expounded upon by Paul (Ephesians 4)? There was a united effort recorded for us in Genesis 11. Unity existed in apparent unanimous agreement to build a city and tower "lest we be scattered abroad" (v.4). They were "one" with "one language" (v.6) following the same agenda and plan. Babel's unity lacked God's approval and serves notice that agreement, fellowship, and communion can exist in opposition to God's plan.
     Is there such a pattern of commonality, shared agendas, and unity that exists even today? Survey the following facts easily accumulated from web pages accessible to anyone who desires to see something akin to Babel's blueprint revisited.
     Restoration Forum XVI was hosted by The Family of God at Woodmont Hills in Nashville, Tennessee (where Rubel Shelly preaches) November 1-3, 1998. The theme was "Coming Together In Christ." November 5-8 featured a Worship Renewal Conference with "a unique learning opportunity in worship theology and experience," presented by The Zoe Group (, including a registration fee, and featuring "presenters" such as Jeff Walling, Randy Harris and Jeff Nelson ( Woodmont Hills hosted an Acappella concert the last of January with at least part of the admission price going to "Mercy Ministries," ( Nancy Alcorn, President of this foundation, calls Joyce Meyer, syndicated woman preacher, her "spiritual leader and mentor." Meyer is a large contributor. Woodmont Hill's Youth and Family Ministry had a "SUPERBOWL PARTY" January 31 from 4:00 to 9:00 at Lipscomb University Student Center ( Jeff Walling is to be the featured speaker at Lipscomb at what is being called "The Summit" on March 5 & 6. John Mark Hicks, Harding Graduate School professor and co-introducer of a Community Church in Cordova, Tennessee (Yokefellow, Vol. 25. No. 10) was guest "facilitator" of a men's retreat for Woodmont Hills January 29 & 30 ( Hicks is also to be featured along with Rick Atchley, Randy Harris, and Gary Hollaway in a Biblical Preaching Seminar at Lipscomb University May 10 through 12 ( Three elders of the Woodmont Hills Family of God, Robert Hooper, Roy Hamley, and Bill Tallon, are faculty members at Lipscomb University. Randy Harris is a Lipscomb professor and "pulpit minister" at Donelson church of Christ. Madison church of Christ recently named Keith Lancaster as Minister of Worship and he will lead the singing on the Amazing Grace Bible Class program ( Lancaster founded The Acappella Company and is producer and promoter of this "ministry" ( He and Marvin Phillips have teamed up to start scheduling joint seminars "that offer Marvin's outstanding teaching and Keith's praise and worship skills." Three different "acts" work out of The Acappella Company and one will be at Lipscomb University this Spring.
     The unity, joint purpose and shared objective, obvious from these examples that are just, shall I say, the tip of Babel's foundation, is not limited to any specific area. Randy Harris, John Mark Hicks, and Jeff Walling will be speakers at the Crossview Prayer Retreat of Crossview Ministries in 1999. They will join Joe Beam, Albert Lemmons, Keith Roberts, Terry Rush, and Barry Stephens May 31 through June 3 at Eureka Springs, Arkansas, in this endeavor formerly known as "World Radio" and out of Whites Ferry Road in West Monroe, Louisiana. Denominational preachers are also offered as speakers on their various broadcasts (
     The unity shown in this article is familiar from Dan to Beersheba. Their evangelistic efforts may make it to your city. Conventions are regularly held at Pepperdine, Tulsa, Abilene, and just about anywhere people prize getting along above Truth. We return to the original question: Is this the unity for which Jesus prayed and about which Paul expounded?
         Freddie Clayton
         374 Hill Circle Dunlap, TN 37327


14th Seek The Old Paths Lectureship

July 25-29, 1999

The Uniqueness Of The Church

32 lessons, 32 speakers

Limited housing is available in the homes of the members. If you need a place to stay, please let us know as soon as possible. Accomadations will fill up quickly. Even if you have already asked for a place to stay this year, please reconfirm your reservations. We want to use every room we have available. If you plan on bringing a RV, we need to know well in advance so we can prepare. Contact us at: 1801 Cruise. St., Corinth, MS 38834 -- Phone 601- 286-2040. Books and tapes will be available. The schedule of the lectureship will be available soon.

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MailBag I enjoy the paper very much. Keep up the good work. May God richly bless you" ...Lizzie Payne, Indianapolis, IN. "Dear brother Robinson, your article in the January Seek The Old Paths was very revealing for one to really follow the commands of the Bible. I appreciated that article and enjoy the publication very much" ...Madge Moore, Odessa, TX. "Please accept the enclosed check as an anonymous gift to help in publishing S.T.O.P. It's a wonderful paper. I appreciate all the issues" ...Anonymous, MS. "You and the others are doing a wonderful job in preaching the truth. I wish every preacher that preaches could see the truth and obey the gospel. There are so many gospel preachers going astray and it's sad to see so many preachers are going astray and leaving the truth. There isn't but one way and we all need to follow it" ...Vallie Chaffin, Silver Point, TN. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Vallie Chaffin passed away March 6, 1999 at the age of 86, the first of 10 children to depart this life. She was my aunt. Just two weeks before her death I received the above note along with a contribution for Seek The Old Paths. We communicated often and she would always express her desire that people would live faithful to the Lord. She was very much concerned with the rampant departure of many from the faith. Among her last requests were the sentiments expressed in her letter -- "there isn't but one way and we all need to follow it." --gmr] "How would I go about receiving your Seek The Old Paths? I read one of these wonderful papers years ago and never forgot it" ...Kay Barron, Mobile, AL. [EDITOR'S NOTE: the paper is free, just send us your name and address.] "Please accept this very small token of my appreciation for your faithful production of Seek The Old Paths. I always look forward to receiving it and reading it thoroughly" ...Bill Trees, Spencer, IA. "Please remove our names from your mailing list" ...Aaron & Leah Redling, Lincoln, NE. "Thanks for the Lord's church web site at Corinth. I have enjoyed it very much. Keep up the good work for the Lord's church. Your Co-Worker in the Kingdom" ...Mack Bennett. "Just a note to comment on the STOP publication. I am always amazed at the reasons one would give to be removed from the STOP's mail list. In the latest edition the reason that got my attention was "Hate mail." I suppose that Matthew was writing hate mail when he recorded Matthew chapter 23. Likewise, Paul was writing hate mail when he wrote his epistles. I find many instances of sharp rebuke and even sarcasm in these inspired letters. I find it interesting that when you speak out against evil you are dubbed "hateful." Jesus will be hateful when he tells the evil doer, "Sorry I never knew you." To the elders and Garland, I appreciate your efforts for good. I hope to see you in July at your lectureship" ...Danny Butler, Paoli IN. "Just found your web page and we love it!! Wanted to download the audio tapes of the lectureship. We love your paper, keep up the good work" ...Roger & Judy Jackson, "Love and best wishes to you and to the congregation at East Corinth and to the work that you are doing. Thank you for publishing" ...James Fisher, Franklin, LA. "Thank you and may God continue to bless you in this ministry" ...Steffie Stewart, Riverview, MI. "I really want to thank you for your paper. STOP is really an inspiration to me. I can never repay you for your effort to help keep the church as pure as possible. May God ever bless you and yours. We need people like you, thanks" ...Carl Clayton, Pascagoula, MS. "I believe that the Vol. 10, issue 10 was one of the best S.T.O.P. issues. Your issues of STOP are a constant reminder of the need to PRAY for the church, the brotherhood, the Elders, and the preaching brethren" ...Don Layman, Moulton, AL. "While most church's youth programs are not particularly well attended, there is evidence that young people today are hungering for spiritual content. A study by Barbara Resch, a music professor at Indiana-Purdue University, found that teenagers from all church backgrounds -- including the unchurched -- overwhelmingly prefer traditional hymns, rather than pop compositions, as being "right for church." The Wall Street Journal recently featured an article on the religious traditionalism among young people today, for whom Gregorian chants and ancient prayers are now in vogue (World, January 30, 1999, p.25). (Elders need to take a hard look at this. This doesn't say that the contemporary worship now in vogue doesn't draw more numbers. What it does say, is that the young people are seeing it as being entertained more than worshipping. They like being entertained. But in their own minds, they are not really worshipping God as solemnly as they think they should.)" ...Mark McWhorter, Pell City, AL. "I appreciate your teaching. Sure wish all congregations could see the damage that a little drifting and innovations cause. Continue to stand for the truth and know that some of us are still pleased with the old paths" ...Bill Howell. "Please send your magazine." The articles are great and I want to use it in my prison ministry" ...Dan Allen, Inverness, FL. "I enjoy the articles in the publication and look forward to receiving it. Thank you for your consideration and the trouble you take to send the publication to me" ...Ian Coker, Queensland, Australia. "Greetings to you in the name of God almighty. I have been receiving S.T.O.P. throughout last year and I wish for more this year. Most of the time I read your papers I learn many new things from it. I do not hesitate to read and study your papers any time I receive them" ...Emmanuel Nodjo, Ghana, West Africa. "Please be informed that I enjoy reading the S.T.O.P. I read every article featured in the paper. I enjoy reading the paper because of your stand for the truth. May God bless you to keep on the good works you are doing and please keep my name on your mailing list. Thank you" ...Ken Dadzie, Ghana, West Africa. "Greetings to you and the whole family there at America. I hope that this letter finds you and your loved ones well. Thank you so much for your letter. Please go on send me your magazine Seek The Old Paths. I like to read your booklet. It is very good magazine to me. May God bless you this year 1999 help us" ...Phineas Muremela, Sibasa, South Africa. "Sometime I send letter to you just to keep you inform that am always enjoy your magazine and I therefore love it to be one of your magazine receiver. Also, am a preacher in the local church of Christ. How is the gospel over there? It is my prayer that may the Lord guide us aright" ...Amos Olusegnn, Nigeria, West Africa. "I appreciate receiving Seek The Old Paths. The Las Vegas and Central congregations merged, built a new building and are now known as Bright Angel church of Christ" ...Boyd Gilliland, Las Vega, NV. "Please remove my name from your mailing" ...Mike Ballard, Haysville, KY. "Please take me off you mailing list" ...Mary Harsh, Magnolia, AR.  





        1998 -- The Home, $6.50
        1997 -- The Church At Colosse, $5
        1996 -- The Seven Churches of Asia, $5
        1995 -- The Church at Corinth, $4
        1994 -- Immorality, $3.50
        1990 -- New Testament Questions, $3.00
        1989 -- Old Testament Questions, $2.00
        Preparing For The Eldership, $2.00
        The Race That Is Set Before Us, $8.00

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Old Paths Publishing
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Corinth, MS 38834

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