"SPECIAL SUNDAY COMMUNION"
The above title was the heading of an announcement of a
SPECIAL activity planned by the Skyway Hills Church
of Christ in Pearl, Mississippi, as it appeared in HEART
MATTERS, their bulletin, April 28, 2002 issue. The
announcement read as follows:
Sunday, May 5 we will have a special
opportunity to experience the Lord's supper
shared in the setting of a common meal. Those
who wish to participate in this `table
setting' must sign up by Sunday, April 28.
Communion will be served as always during
worship. Participants in the meal setting
will partake again in the fellowship building
during lunch. We are thinking the meal will
cost around $5.00 per person.
In a phone conversation with Yale Canfield, the minister
of this congregation, I got more information concerning what this
Special Sunday Communion would entail. After asking him
many times exactly what this activity would involve, he finally
explained to me that immediately following their regular morning
service they would have a BAR-B-Q catered fellowship meal during
which they would experience the Lord's supper in a setting that
hopefully would better enhance its meaning to those participating.
As they ate the common meal they would have leaders discuss the
meaning of the unleavened bread and fruit of the vine and they
would partake of it -- all of this as they also ate their common
meal! He also said that after this they would have those present
who wished, tell how Jesus and God had been a positive force in
their lives. I asked him to confirm the $5.00 charge for
participating and he did, explaining it was to defray the cost of
the catered BAR-B-Q meal.
Summarizing what this Special Sunday Communion,
involved as gleaned from their bulletin announcement and my
conversation with their minister, here is what they did:
They observed the Lord's supper twice -- that is, those who
partook during the regular morning service and chose to pay
the cost and attend the common meal table setting
that would follow immediately after their morning service
took it again in a seemingly more enhanced atmosphere. It
would seem the first was somehow inadequate!! If not why
have it again?!
They observed the Lord's supper in conjunction with, along
with, and during the eating of a common catered BAR-B-Q
meal. They came together as the church in one place to do
both in conjunction with each other.
They signed up prior to, and paid $5.00 per person to have
the privilege of doing this! This comes close to having a
closed communion, and at the very least extends it to a
Special few! If it was a Special
activity, then those participating had to be
Special! Their mandating a sign up prior to
expressly shows the distinct selectiveness of this activity.
After the meal, those who wished were given an opportunity
to do some so-called personal witnessing and testifying
(though brother Canfield did not call it that) how Jesus was
a positive force in their lives. I assume this would also
include women testifying along with the men since it was
open to anyone who wished to participate.
At the end of my phone conversation with Yale Canfield, I
suggested he read 1 Corinthians 11 before proceeding further with
this activity! Why refer him to 1 Corinthians 11, especially verses
17-34? Because it addresses a similar situation in the church at
Corinth -- AND CONDEMNS IT!! The Christians at Corinth had profaned
the Lord's supper BY MAKING A COMMON MEAL OF IT! They had come
together in one place as the church to observe the Lords supper
(vs.18-20), but profaned it by making a common meal of it
(vs.21-22)! Paul referred to such practice as, heresies among
you (v.19). He told them they were come together not for
the better, but for the worse (v.17). He also denounced such
activity as divisive (v.18). He concluded, What? Have ye
not houses to eat and to drink in? Or despise ye the church of God,
and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I
praise you in this? I praise you not (v.22). He then
explained to them how to observe the Lord's supper as instituted by
our Lord and the manner in which they were to go about it warning
them that, whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this
cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood
of the Lord. ... For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth
and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's
This passage condemns the very thing the Skyway Hills
congregation did! First, they divided the church making the
activity something to be engaged in by a willing few who had to
sign up by a certain time and pay the fee for the privilege. What
of those who may not have had the $5.00 and were too humbled to ask
if they could come anyway?! Would this not have shamed them
that have not (1 Cor. 11:22)? Seeing that attendance required
signing up ("MUST sign up by Sunday, April 28"), it became
selective and divisive. It divided the willing few from the
unwilling or unable many! 1 Corinthians 11:18 condemned this for
what it is -- divisive! See also 1 Cor. 1:10.
Second, they profaned the LORD'S SUPPER by making it a
common fellowship meal -- catered BAR-B-Q none-the-less! They were
coming together to worship, but profaned it by making it a common
meal. They were doing the wrong thing in the wrong place! God's
house is for worshiping God! Our homes are for common meals! We are
not speaking of eating in the building. We are speaking
of profaning the worship assembly of the saints! What they did was
combine worship with common human activity! This profanes worship
and blasphemes God by detracting from its purpose which, first and
foremost, is to worship God (Matt. 4:10). They were come together
as the church, but profaned the purpose for doing so -- to worship
God (Acts 20:7). 1 Corinthians 11:18,20-22 condemns this very
thing, therefore it becomes heresy to do it -- heresy meaning to do
that which is at variance with divine command!
Third, they partook in an unworthy manner, not
discerning the Lord's body (1 Cor. 11:27-29). It must
surely be difficult to appreciate the unleavened bread with BAR-B-Q
in your mouth and the fruit of the vine with 7-UP (or what ever)
running down your throat! Jesus did not intend for HIS SUPPER to be
turned into a common meal! Paul made that very clear in 1
Corinthians 11. In this passage, Paul denounces what they did as
heresy and refuses to praise them for such actions. Neither should
we praise them! They ate and drank damnation to themselves and no
matter how piously they attempted to witness how Jesus is
a positive force in their lives, they denounce it by their actions
and declare Satan to be that force! Paul's denunciation of the
Corinthian Christians in 1 Corinthians 11:30 applies to those who
acted in a similar way at Skyway Hills -- For this cause
many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. In
doing this they manifest that they are sick, weak and some even
It is unbelievable to me that the elders of any
congregation would allow such a thing! It is unbelievable to me
that a preacher of 30 years, as Brother Canfield claims to be,
could promote and encourage such a thing! It is beyond my
comprehension based on biblical precept (Especially 1 Cor. 11) how
knowledgeable members of the Lord's church could engage in such an
These people display despite for the church of God in what
they did (1 Cor. 11:22)! They also show either ignorance or despite
for the scriptures, especially the Gospel of Christ (1 Cor. 11),
the only power of God to save all men (Rom. 1:16)! And, they show
despite for God as they blaspheme His holy name with their actions
(Col. 3:17). Blasphemy, simply defined, involves showing disrespect
for God or anything pertaining to God! That is exactly what they
did when they relegated the Lord's supper into a common meal? They
did, just as the Corinthian Christians did in the first century,
and they are denounced by the Holy Spirit in the word of God for
their actions just as He denounced the Corinthian Christians for
theirs (1 Cor. 11 again)!
Ephesians 3:21 declares, Unto Him be glory in
the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.
Amen. The primary reason for the existence of the church
is to glorify God, not invent activities and practices that placate
men or make them feel good (Gal. 1:10)! The Skyway Hills
congregation seems to have misplaced their priorities and forgotten
this! May we never!
Gospel preacher of almost 45 years
804 Tower Dr.
Laurel, MS 39440
Table of Contents
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH DENOMINATION (1)
Roger D. Campbell
I once taught a class on Denominational Doctrines.
One of the religious groups about which we studied was the
Christian Church denomination. Having very little written
information about it, I turned for assistance to brother Kent
Bailey, who preaches for the Lord's church in Lenoir City, TN. My
reason for seeking out brother Kent for assistance is quite simple:
before obeying the Gospel, he preached for the Christian Church for
five years in the 1970s. Since that time he has kept up with its
activities. In short, he knows well the teaching and practices of
Let me at this point insert a personal note. I have an
uncle who for a long time served as an elder in the Christian
Church, another uncle who served as a deacon, a cousin who
presently is a deacon, and a number of other relatives who are, or
have been, connected with the Christian Church. I want to make it
plain that I have no ill will toward any member of the Christian
Church. With this in mind, let us now consider the teachings and
practices of this denomination.
I asked brother Bailey a number of questions about the
Christian Church. Those questions are numbered below, with Kent's
answer in each case coming after the A:". In this first part,
we are simply printing sixteen of those questions and answers. Lord
willing, in next month's issue we will print the remaining
questions and answers, then make some observations about what
brother Bailey's answers reveal.
1. What is the difference between the
Independent Christian Church, the Disciples of
Christ, and other groups that call themselves Christian
Church? A: The basic difference between the Independent
Christian Church (ICC) and the Disciples would be that the
Disciples have gone further into Modernism. Many of the
Disciples deny the Deity of Christ, His virgin birth, plenary
verbal inspiration of the Bible, etc. They also claim full
denominational status with an international convention that
controls their congregations. The ICC for the most part rejects
such, but they are not far behind. They have a convention known as
the North American Christian Convention that does not extend direct
control over their congregations; however, it does place a great
deal of political pressure on congregations as far as doctrine is
concerned. Both have Missionary Societies.
2. Are there still some groups in the northern part
of the United States that call themselves a Church of
Christ, but they are really the Christian Church? A:
Some of the Independent congregations refer to themselves as
Churches of Christ. There have been a few small splinter
groups that have disassociated themselves from the mainstream of
the Independent Christian Churches and wear the designation
Church of Christ. A very few of these conservative
congregations still remain, however the majority of even these have
either converted to the truth, died out, or have re-connected to
the mainstream of the ICC.
3. What schools or publishing houses are associated
with the Christian Church? A: The mainstream of the ICC has
a number of colleges. In Tennessee they have Johnson Bible College
in Knoxville, plus Milligan College and Emmanuel School of Religion
in Elizabethton. The two most prominent schools are Cincinnati
Bible College and Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio and Lincoln
Christian College and Seminary in Lincoln, Illinois. Ozark
Christian College in Joplin, Missouri is also a popular school. One
conservative splinter group has a Bible college in Ottumwa, Iowa
known as Midwestern School of Evangelism. The mainstream of the ICC
has individual owned publishers. The most popular are: Standard
Publishing Company in Cincinnati, Ohio; College Press and also One
Body Publications in Joplin, Missouri.
4. To what point in time do they trace their history,
i.e., when do they say the Christian Church began? A: For the
most part the mainstream of the ICC identify the origin of their
group with the beginning of the Restoration Movement in the U.S. A
very few conservative congregations seek to claim identity with
Pentecost in Acts 2.
5. Regarding the organization of the Christian
Church: 1) What are the rulers of a local church called? A:
In the mainstream ICC there is what is known as a board of Elders
and Deacons. Often the deacons have just as much authority in their
vote. 2) In congregations where there are elders, is
there always a plurality of elders? A: Generally speaking
there are always elders, but not necessarily a plurality. 3)
Do they have women elders? A: Some have women serving as
elders and deacons; others oppose such. 4) Do they have any
organization that is larger than the local church (such as a
district, conference, state leaders)? A: The few (almost
non-existent) splinter groups oppose the board approach. They have
a plurality of elders overseeing the congregations and also have
deacons. Both the ICC and splinter groups are local and autonomous,
however the ICC in the mainstream has a great deal of
political interference from their Brotherhood Lectureship
known as the North American Christian Convention.
6. Do they have women preachers? A: Some have
women preachers, others do not. The majority of the ICC mainstream
have women song leaders and allow women to usurp control over men,
such as teaching men in Bible classes.
7. Do they call their preachers Reverend
or use other religious titles? A: Some use religious titles
such as Reverend", while others do not. The few conservative
splinter groups oppose such.
8. What is their attitude toward denominationalism?
A: The mainstream of the ICC takes the Rubel Shelly approach
to fellowship and will virtually accept just about any one. What
few conservative splinter groups remain oppose such.
9. Do they have fellowship with denominations?
A: The ICC mainstream fellowships the denominations.
10. Do they accept one into their fellowship that has
been baptized into a denomination? A: The ICC mainstream
accepts denominational baptism, whereas the few minority
conservative splinter groups rebaptize those coming from the
11. Do their preachers participate in preachers'
alliances/work together with denominational preachers in special
causes? A: The mainstream of the ICC cooperate with all sorts
on inter-denominational alliances, whereas the few minority
splinter groups do not.
12. What is their attitude toward/concept of the
church of Christ? A: The ICC mainstream has no more of a
concept of the Lord's church than any other denominational group
does. The few conservative splinter groups have a correct concept
of the nature, identity, organization, and work of the New
Testament church. However they teach fatally false doctrine about
13. Do they partake of the Lord's supper each first
day of the week? A: All of the ICC partakes of the Lord's
supper every first day of the week.
14. Do they ever on special occasions partake of the
Lord's supper on any other days of the week? A: The
mainstream of the ICC partakes of the Lord's supper on special
days and even during wedding ceremonies. The few splinter
groups oppose such.
15. Do they observe religious holidays, such as
Christmas and Easter? A: The mainstream
of the ICC observes religious holidays such as Christmas and
Easter. The few splinter groups oppose such, but even a few of them
are beginning to observe these religious holidays as well.
16. Do they have youth church in which young people
serve as elders, etc.? A: The mainstream of the ICC
has the divided assembly, especially Junior Church or
Youth Worship. Some have junior elders while
others oppose the practice. For the most part the few splinter
groups oppose both. However, inroads are being made within their
movement on the divided assembly as well.
part 2 printed next month
4865 Bates Pike SE
Cleveland, TN 37323
Table of Contents
THE ONE BODY
Marvin L. Weir
People often make amazing decisions based purely upon biased
or prejudiced feelings. The Bible clearly reveals that the church
of the Lord is one body. A human body with two or more
heads is abnormal. The same would be true of a human head having
two or more bodies. The human body is used in the Scriptures as a
metaphor of the church or the body of Christ.
The church of our Lord is one body. The apostle
Paul says, Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in
particular (1 Cor. 12:27). There is only one
body, but many members of the one body. Paul likewise taught the
brethren at Rome saying, So we, being many, are one body
in Christ, and every one members one of another (Rom.
In our world there are many different religious bodies all
claiming Christ as the one head. Such surely is the wistful
thinking of man because many different bodies cannot be found in
the word of God! Christ promised to build only one church -- his
church (Matt. 16:18). He never promised one belonging to someone
else. The church and the body are terms that refer to the same
thing (Eph. 1:22-23). There is only one body for which
Christ died (Eph. 4:4; Acts 20:28) and only one body he
has promised to save (Eph. 5:23).
The act of baptism puts one into the one body of
Christ. Paul proclaims, For by one Spirit are we all
baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we
be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one
Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13). The same apostle taught the
Galatians, For as many of you as have been baptized into
Christ have put on Christ (Gal. 3:27). Peter commanded
those on Pentecost to ...Repent, and be baptized every
one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of
sins... (Acts 2:38). Baptism is a burial and
not a sprinkling as is evidenced by studying the fourth
verse of the sixth chapter of Romans.
All people are to be members of the same body.
It matters not whether one is young or old, rich of poor, or
educated or uneducated -- all who obey God's word are members of
the same body. To the Galatians Paul said, There is
neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is
neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if
ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to
the promise (Gal. 3:28-29).
Each member of the one body is important.
And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee:
nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you (1
Cor. 12:21). All members of the body are to work together for the
glory of God. What one member does or does not do can have an
effect on the rest of the body. It is also easy for folks to see
that one leg does not travel in one direction while the other leg
travels in the opposite direction and yet they both end up at the
same destination. Such is the clam of many religious groups who
contend that although they take different routes (doctrines and
worship) they will all arrive at the same destination (heaven).
Jesus taught, 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 (Matt. 7:21-23).
There is to be no division in the one body of the
Lord. The plea of the inspired Scriptures is that members of
the body are to give diligence to keep the unity of the
Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:3). Please note this
is not some man-made, man-agreed upon unity, but rather the
unity of the Spirit. Religious division is sinful and
contrary to the will of Christ. It is not the church of man's
choice but rather the church which Christ built (Matt. 16:18) that
people should give their allegiance to.
Pride will stand between many people and their obedience
to the Gospel. Bias and prejudice will cause multitudes to reject
the simple truth found in God's word. How horrible it will be for
those who had every opportunity to see, yet chose to remain blind!
5810 Liberty Grove Rd.
Rowlett, TX 75089
Table of Contents
WHAT IS A FALSE TEACHER?
Johnny D. Hinton
Pseudodidaskalos is the Greek term translated as
false teacher in 2 Peter 2:1. It is a compound word from
pseudo meaning false, and didaskolos meaning
Some would contend that in order for a teacher to be
false, he must be a person of bad character. The person must have
evil motives for why and what he teaches. Essentially they want to
defer to his conduct rather than the content of his teaching.
The problem here is that we do not simply have a noun
(teacher) modified by an adjective (false). Rather, what we have is
a compound noun. From numerous lexicons (Greek Dictionaries) we see
the following definitions: one who inculcates false
doctrines, one who teaches what is not true, a
teacher of false doctrines, one who teaches
falsehoods, a spurious teacher, that is, a propagator of
erroneous Christian doctrine.
Teachers teach the teaching. False teachers teach false
teaching. The use of teaching(-s) here is the same as
doctrine. Therefore, false teachers teach false doctrine. This has
nothing necessarily to do with his character or his motive, but
primarily the content of what he is teaching. He may be honestly
mistaken, but still a false teacher. If he is in fact honest in his
character, then he will readily admit his error and change
While many passages in the New Testament refer to our
subject in a variety of ways, only 2 Peter 2:1 actually has our
term. But there were false prophets also among the
people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who
privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord
that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
(NOTE: The phrase damnable heresies can also be
destructive opinions which is not just grouping into
parties or sects, but rather the ideas contrary to what is
Titus 2:3 uses the term kalodidaskalos and is
translated as teachers of good things rather than as
good teachers. This shows that the emphasis is not on the
character of the teacher (although important), but rather the
content or character of what they were teaching (i.e., doctrine).
In a similar style pseudodidaskalos could be translated
teachers of what is false.
Jesus is called good master (or, teacher) in
Matthew 19:16. The phrase used here, however, is didaskale
agathe. In this form we have both the noun (teacher) and its
modifying adjective (good). This construction does refer to the
character of the teacher himself rather than the content of his
doctrine. The parallel accounts of Mark 10:17 and Luke 18:18 use
the same word construction.
If the Holy Spirit had intended for us to understand that
he was referring to the false character of a false teacher rather
than the false doctrine, he could have done so. There is an
adjective form which could have possibly been constructed as such,
didaskale pseude, BUT it is not used.
What we have then are some folks who are uncomfortable
with being called false teachers. They then are trying to invent a
new definition for the term so as to point the finger away from
themselves. This is self-justifying and points to a character
issue. This then may reveal that not only are they teachers of what
is false in doctrine but they are also false in their character.
*The Analytical Greek Lexicon Revised (1978 Ed) by Harold
K. Moulton, (c)1978, Zondervan.
*A Concise Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament
by Barclay M. Newman, Jr. / The Greek New Testament, 3rd Ed.,
Edited by Aland, Black, Metzger (c)1971, United Bible Societies,
*Greek-English New Testament Lexicon by George Ricker
Berry, (c)1952, Zondervan.
*Bauer's Greek-English Lexicon, (c)1979, Second Ed.,
Edited by Danker.
*Strong's Greek Dictionary. (c)2002, (May 9th)
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Wewoka, OK 74884
Table of Contents
A FLOOD OF EVIL
Our days are evil days. Materialism, immorality, dishonesty,
raping, robbing, murdering, and molesting run rampant in our
society. John wrote correctly, We know that we are of God, and
the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one (1 John
5:19). The whole world around us is under the power of the Devil.
The evil of gambling: Gambling is sinful. Why is
gambling sinful? 1) Gambling violates the Golden Rule (Matt. 7:12).
2) Gambling violates the second great commandment -- you shall
love your neighbor as yourself (Matt. 22:39). 3) Gambling is
sinful because it destroys a good influence (Matt. 5:16). 4)
Gambling is a violation of God's law of faithful stewardship (1
Peter 4:10). Gambling and other wrongs associated with it are
flooding our nation.
The evil of dancing: Dancing is sinful. Why is
dancing sinful? 1) Dancing is lewdness (Gal. 5:19). 2) Dancing is
a failure to abstain from all appearance of evil (1 Thess. 5:22).
3) Dancing is reveling which is sinful (Gal. 5:21). 4) Dancing
often puts one in the company of those doing other evils (1 Cor.
15:33). 5) Dancing is a stumbling block to others (1 Cor. 10:32).
The evil of immodesty: Immodesty is sinful. Why
is immodesty sinful? 1) Immodesty violates plain Bible teaching (1
Tim. 2:9-10). 2) Immodesty is lewdness (Gal. 5:19). 3) Immodesty
shows a lack of discretion (Prov. 11:22). 4) Immodesty is sinful
because nakedness is shameful (Rev. 3:18). 5) Immodesty is not
walking worthy (Eph. 4:1).
The evil of beverage alcohol: Drinking alcohol is
sinful. Why is drinking alcohol sinful? 1) Drinking alcohol is
sinful because it destroys the power of the brain (Prov. 23:31-35).
2) Drinking alcohol is sinful because it takes away understanding
and causes people to act foolishly (Gen. 9:18-28). 3) Drinking
alcohol is sinful because it makes one incapable of sobermindedness
(Titus 2:12). 4) Drinking alcohol is wrong because it weakens and
destroys the body (1 Cor. 6:19-20). 5) Drinking alcohol is wrong
because it is a work of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21). It is still true
that, Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever
is led astray by it is not wise (Prov. 20:1).
God has always demanded His people be different from those
around them. In our world it takes being different to be right.
Christians should be careful about the way they dress and the
things they do. Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall
see God (Matt. 5:8).
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Table of Contents
THE SILENT LIBERAL
Assigning names and attaching labels is a common occurrence
in the political realm as well as in the religious world. We have
heard terms like conservative, moderate, liberal and
other such titles. This writer has been subjected to a variety of
terms and labels as most preachers of the Gospel. Having never
sought a particular label makes me wonder why the characterization
needs to be made.
Jesus once healed a man that was possessed with a devil
being blind and dumb (Matt. 12:22). The people giving
their accolades to the Nazarene for such a miracle called Him the
Son of David (Matt. 12:23). While the Pharisees, on the
other hand, accused Jesus of doing this miracle by the power of
Beelzebub the prince of the devils (Matt. 12:24).
Bearing labels and/or other such designations is nothing
new and we should not be surprised to receive an artificial label
in either a flattering or unflattering way. If a
conservative is a person who strives to walk the
strait and narrow and gives strict adherence to a
thus saith the Lord without deviation or alternation, I
am your man. A liberal is one who takes liberty with the Scripture
minimizing the importance of the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9-11),
and brings about innovations to effect change.
The silent liberal is the person refusing to speak up
when God's word is being violated. All too often we think of
preachers and those in the leadership that fall into the
liberal camp, however it needs to be stressed that every
member of the body of Christ must ask themselves, am I a
1. When we are in the company of a person who
diminishes the importance of the church, we are a silent
liberal when we say nothing. How many times have we heard
those cry about the importance of Jesus and in the same breath
desecrate the significance of the divine institution (the church)
for which Jesus shed his blood (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 2:12-16; Acts
20:28)? For over a generation now we have heard those articulate in
their own way, Jesus yes, the church no, or preach
the man, but not the plan. Dear friend, if you hear such
rhetoric and remain quiet, you are a silent liberal.
Silence is not always golden as occasions require that we stand up
and contend for the faith (Jude 3). Using an old
expression, let us put our faith where our mouth is as we
discharge our duties as soldiers of the king and meet the adversary
on every corner (Eph. 6:11-18).
2. When someone inquires what denomination do you
belong to, are we a silent liberal? Frequently,
Christians are placed in an awkward position of having to answer
the query what denomination are you a member of, to which
all too often they respond the church of Christ! The
clear implication is drawn that we are members of the Church of
Christ denomination. What other meaning will the queerest draw from
such a reply? This question should give us a rare opportunity of
informing those that the church of Christ is not a denomination and
these are the reasons why. We are a silent liberal when such an
opportunity presents itself to us and we ostracize ourselves from
giving a proper reply (1 Peter 3:15). Fear should not hinder us in
standing fast in the faith (1 Cor. 16:13; 15:1; Gal.
3. Elders are often silent liberals when
they refuse to take a stand and make decisions mandated by God.
Elders are often weak by appeasing a certain group, as weighty
decisions must be made in the best interest of the church. Matters
regarding the role of women in the church,
marriage-divorce-remarriage, innovations in the worship, etc. This
writer is aware of a congregation that allowed their guest
evangelist to speak in their six-day Gospel meeting to promulgate
the doctrine of grace only. These elders became
tragically silent liberals by allowing such false
doctrine to go unchecked. Paul writes ...mark them which
cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have
learned; and avoid them (Rom. 16:17). Elders are all too
often ready with a wink and a nod at doctrinal problems
and in some cases refuse to act as godly elders for fear that such
decisions would cause them to lose substantial financial
Elders become silent liberals when they abandon
the mandated decree of God and therefore the church blends in with
the world (Rom. 12:2). Peter clearly underscores the chief
responsibility of elders to feed the flock of God...taking the
oversight (1 Peter 5:2). There's no better time than now that
we desperately need those godly, mature, men of wisdom to lead and
guard God's flock in these troubled times (Heb. 13:7,17).
4. Preachers are silent liberals when they
ignore certain subjects and souls are lost due to their silence.
The root meaning of a Gospel preacher is one who heralds
good news. Preachers must never forget the power is in the
Gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16) and not in the human
eloquence of man (1 Cor. 1:21-23). Our pulpits are becoming weaned
from the inspired message of Christ and as a result, those on the
pew are ill-prepared and ignorant to meet the attacks of Satan (1
Peter 5:8). Some preachers have stated in my hearing, I cannot
preach on marriage-divorce-remarriage or I would lose my job.
The silent liberals who refuse to speak-out on a biblical
subject that is needed is nothing short of professional preachers
who are more concerned about their position, financial package or
their homes. Imagine visiting your doctor with a serious illness
and he ignores your condition. You would give him a serious
reprimand and dismissal; therefore preachers that refuse to address
serious spiritual issues are straddling the fence and are nothing
short of silent liberals.
Let us be cognizant of this grave problem or else the
existence of the church will be on the brink of extinction. Paul
writes, with all boldness as always Christ shall be
magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death
(Phil. 1:20). Paul says he was a debtor and was
ready to preach the Gospel (Rom. 1:14-15). All preachers
should have this disposition of heart as life and death weighs in
2101 Glenwood Drive SW
Hartselle, AL 35640
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The following is from the April 30, 2002 bulletin of the
Sunset church of Christ in Carlsbad, NM: 'After a careful and
prayerful study of hand clapping and raising hands during singing,
the elders have determined that some members are conscientiously
opposed to the practice -- others are not. The elders neither
endorse nor forbid these practices. It is up to each individual to
decide according to his/her own conscience. We do ask you to be
sensitive to the feelings and beliefs of others who may become
offended and caused to stumble by your practice.' A group recently
broke away from this liberal congregation and formed the 'Caverns
City Church, a fellowship of the churches of Christ.' The report is
that on Sunday, May 5, 2002 a group of cheerleaders was in front of
their meeting place urging folks to come in. And, just when I
thought I had heard it all! ...Roelf Ruffner, Carlsbad,
NM. I was recently made aware of your excellent paper
while filling in for Brother Albert McDaniel at the House Springs
Church of Christ. Brother McDaniel had recently had heart surgery
and will be unable to preach for a few weeks, so a number of men
from the sound congregations agreed to fill in. After searching
your website for what turned out to be a few hours I decided to ask
if you would be so kind as to include me in your mailing list. I am
saddened and very concerned about the 'changes' some of our
brethren are trying to sneak into the Lord's church. We (the elders
at the Pacific Mo. congregation) have just this past month had to
expose error trying to be taught here and fear more is on the way.
This is a time that we certainly must beware as the 'ravenous
wolves in sheeps clothing' seem to be everywhere. Again thank you
for your publication. May the Lord continue to bless your good
work ...Kenneth L. Moore, Union, MO. Though I
appreciate your having sent your publication to me for some time,
please remove me from the mailing list for Seek the Old
Paths ...William Dickinson, Salisbury, NC.
Will you please add me to your mailing list of your
publication of Seek the Old Paths? I appreciate so much
your good work in standing for the Truth. May the Lord bless you in
your work ...Betty Tyler, Pocahontas, AR. I
don't know who sent our name to you, but I am happy they did send
it. When I first began reading your informative lessons, I became
somewhat defensive. I believed you were teaching the truth, but
something about the way you presented it seemed to me to be
argumental and accusing. The more I read them the more I think it's
what it's going to take to restore the purity of the church. In my
opinion one of our biggest problems is trying to make our beliefs
acceptable to denominations and to save our numbers at any cost. To
me the church is God's church. He gave us everything and all he
asks in return is that we love him enough to accept his plan of
salvation, his plan of living righteously, and teach his word. He
made it all so simple that a child can understand it if he is
taught and as he grows studies the word. But people are not willing
to accept it in a simple manner. As in everything else, man thinks
he has to add something to it every now and then to keep up with a
world that grows more sinful and evil every day. The simple message
when used as God intended it to be used, is the most powerful,
effective, and persuasive answer to the problems of the people of
this world than anything man has ever even thought about. So, yes,
I think your way is perhaps one of the most effective messages we
can offer at this time. I don't think we have to worry about being
God's people. We can believe that God only has one church if we
want to. I don't fall out with denominational people because they
believe the way they believe. God is going to be the final judge.
Every one believes the teachings he wants to believe will take them
to heaven and isn't that what we believe. I think it's unfair for
the world to condemn us and criticize us for believing the same
thing they believe, 'That what we believe and practice will get us
to heaven.' If I didn't believe that, I'd find something I could
believe in and so would all denominations. But it's really nothing
new. The church has always been criticized, condemned and all kinds
of efforts to stop its teaching. The teachings of the church of
Christ is the only one today that is not accepted, so a lot of
people would like to change it so we'd be more popular. Good
Christians will never be popular in the world. The world doesn't
like to be reminded of its warts. The church needs to stay
together, now, more than ever instead of trying to unite with
denominations. I guess the only thing we can do now is to be sure
we have good sound teachers, both in the pulpit and in the
classroom, and definitely in the home to teach our people what the
original design for the church is and how to be grounded in the
Word, so that every puff of wind that comes by will not carry them
away, and pray like never before. With men like you who write the
truth, the church will always be here. It doesn't matter if it's
big or little, it will be a haven for those who really love God and
truly want to follow his Word in its entirety. I'm sorry you have
to take abuse from your own brothers and sisters as well as from
the world. But I know you know that your heavenly reward will more
than compensate for that in the end. God is with you, as are
prayers from those of us who believe God was intelligent enough to
give us a plan of salvation and instructions to go by, and the
ability to learn and understand it. Thank you for your good
work ...Almeta Brantley, Newport, AR. Please
remove me from your mailing. Good paper. Keep up the good work
...Marie Harrell, Sibley, MS. I have read some of
your papers. I really like it. I would like to be added to your
mailing list. Thank you ...Letha Hicks, Drumright, OK.
I enjoy your STOP very much. I have only
received one copy but admire you for teaching the truth in love. I
would like my son to receive this copy, too, if you would add him
to your mailing list. Thank you and keep up the good teaching of
truth ...L. Fagan, Trimble, TN. Please remove my
name from the mailing list. I did not request this publication.
Thank you for your assistance ...Ken Slater, Lansing, MI.
We here at the church of Christ at Deer enjoy your
publication of Seek the Old Paths very much. It is
wonderful to find a publication that is sound and scriptural. We
have been able to trust what is written in here to be the truth.
This day and age, this is hard to find. Please keep up the good
work and may God continue to bless you and your work. I, as the
preacher, enjoy your web site very much, as do some other members
of the church. May this contribution help in your work. Please feel
free to use it however you best see fit ...Church of
Christ at Deer, Kelly Woods, Deer, AR.
LECTURESHIP BOOK INFORMATION:
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1, 2002. Please include postage and handling: 1 book $1.50, add 50cents for each
additional book. Make checks payable to “Old Paths Publishing” and mail to:
PO Box 97, Nettleton, MS 38858. These books are not sold by the church. The
latest schedule and information can be found at www.seektheoldpaths.com/lect2002.htm
2002 Lectureship Schedule
The 2001 Bound Volume can be ordered
Old Paths Publishing
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Corinth, MS 38834
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