OF THE CHURCH
James W. Boyd
It is wrong to misrepresent anyone or anything. Sometimes it
is done ignorantly. Sometimes it is deliberate. To deliberately
misrepresent is dishonest. Regardless of the motives behind the
misrepresentations of the church, they do the church harm. The
misrepresentations need to be refuted and corrected. The truth
deserves defense against those who would misrepresent it.
THIS IS SERIOUS
We should not be alarmed that the church is sometimes
misrepresented. Nor should we assume that what we have to say in
its defense will forever silence the voices of those who have no
love for the church but instead seek its detriment. It is no new
thing for those who love the Lord to suffer various kinds of
persecution. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and
persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely
for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is your
reward in heaven, for so persecuted they the prophets which were
before you (Matt. 5:11-12). All that would
live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (II
We are not to hastily conclude that we suffer
misrepresentation just because of our godliness. Sometimes we may
be living in such a fashion as to misrepresent that for which we
profess to stand. We may give a distorted picture of what we
believe and therefore people misunderstand and misrepresent.
Hypocrisy provokes ugly things against the church.
When some Jews approached Paul in Rome, they said,
But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest, for as
concerning this sect, we know that everywhere it is spoken
against (Acts 28:22). The sect of which they
spoke was the Lords church, mistakenly thought to be a sect of
the Jews at that time.
Our lesson is to help us be as was Paul when he said,
...knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel
(Phil. 1:17). We not only need to be ready to give answer to
every man that asketh a reason for the hope that is in
us, but also to defend the Lords church against
We cannot minimize the seriousness of the church being
misrepresented. The inevitable consequence is that truth is
hindered. False ideas will be believed. People will be misled and
develop misconceptions. The result of this is the creation of
prejudice spiritual blindness to the truth that saves. It
will discourage brethren as well as turn away the lost without even
a fair investigation of the truth. It leads to the condemnation of
souls that Christ came to save.
Misrepresentation is based on half-truths and
a lack of complete information. Distorted versions of what the
Lords church really upholds will cause the church to be
erroneously presented to others. It is sinful to circulate a false
report. Lying and bearing false witness is transgression. Even if
one is sincere and honestly believes what he presents, if it is
false, he is guilty of misrepresenting. Certainly, everyone that
may do this does not do so out of maliciousness as much as out of
ignorance and prejudice. But no honest person will continue to
believe and circulate a false report once the truth has been
presented to him. Therefore, in making a defense of the church, we
can only appeal to those who are honorable enough to be
open-minded. We really do not expect to make headway with those who
are intent on being injurious.
It is said that the church of Christ was founded by Alexander
Campbell and was a break-off from the Baptist Church.
There are those who proudly point to Campbell as the founder of
their church, such as the Christian Church, the
Disciples of Christ. But those of the church of Christ are not
among them nor admit to Campbell or any other man being the founder
of that to which they belong.
THE ONLY CHRISTIANS
Is it wrong to plead for the Lords church? We are
concerned about the church of which you read in the Bible. Cannot
people be concerned about that? Take your Bible and learn that the
church of Christ was founded by Christ on the foundation that Jesus
is the Son of God (Matt. 16:16-18). It began on the first Pentecost
following the resurrection of Christ (Acts 2). This was nearly two
thousand years ago. It was founded in the city of Jerusalem, with
the Word of God being the guide as was delivered by the Holy Spirit
through the apostles.
To assign the name of Campbell to that institution, or to
call those who are members of it Campbellites, is to cast
derision on those who are concerned only with the church of the
Bible. There is nothing taught or practiced by members of the
church of Christ that came by the authority of Campbell or any
other uninspired man. Should we hold convictions which Campbell and
others also held, it is because we have derived these convictions
from the same source, the Bible. I was a member of the Lords
church for over three years before I recall even hearing the name
of Alexander Campbell (though it may have been mentioned). We are
not what we are because he designed or authorized anything. We seek
to uphold no denomination whatever, but only the Lords church.
To accuse us of something other than that is to misrepresent.
The Protestant and Catholic world has smarted under the
plea and the effort to return to the Bible as the sole authority in
religion. They have balked at disposing of human creeds. They have
done many things individually and collectively to undermine the
growing conviction that Gods Word is sufficient and
exclusively permitted in determining truth. Campbell was only one,
and not even the first of his generation, to contend that people
should speak as the oracles of God (I Peter
4:11). Is one who obeys what Peter taught a Campbellite? Is he not
rather acting like a Christian?
We do not deny Campbells scholarship in the Bible,
nor his astute mind. His accomplishments are outstanding in the
annals of religious history. But by no adherence to the truth can
he be called the founder of the church. Nor did he pretend to found
one. Our hope is in Christ, not Campbell. We are what we are
because of what the Bible teaches. The challenge is continually put
forth to the scoffer to show wherein we follow Campbell because of
Campbell. When one points out the error of our way he is not our
enemy, but our friend. Unlike so much in this world, we seek the
truth without the additions and subtractions imposed by
theologians, scholars, councils, conferences, etc. etc. We are
Christians, not Campbellites.
We are accused of trying to monopolize the name
Christian. But the truth is that we are calling for
people everywhere to abandon names that have no Biblical authority
and for everyone to wear just the name the Bible gives which
is Christian. We never read of the members of the
Lords church being called Baptists, Methodists,
Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Catholics, etc. Those who
contend exclusively for the name Christian do so with
Biblical authority. Those who want to wear other names, or names in
addition to the identifications of Scripture, are going beyond what
is written. The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch
(Acts 11:26). Peter said, Yet if any man suffer as a
Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this
behalf (I Peter 4:16). Paul almost persuaded Agrippa to
be a Christian (Acts 26:28).
Names have significance and meaning. They bestow honor and
identification. We want to be identified with Christ as the Bible
teaches. Denominational names divide, not unite. The Lord opposes
such division. We would that all religious people who professed to
follow Christ would adhere to the Biblical terminology rather than
perpetuating the divisive errors of human institutions. Surely,
this is a far cry from trying to monopolize the name.
The members of the church are often accused of being
narrow-minded. This may be true in some instances. But some think
that if you believe there is a right and a wrong about anything
that you are narrow-minded. Believe it or not, to be accused of
being narrow-minded may be a compliment even though it is not
intended to be. There is nothing wrong with being as narrow-minded
as is the revealed truth in Gods book.
People do not object to narrow-mindedness in the chemical
laboratories. They insist upon it in mathematics, athletics,
mechanics and medicine. It is only in the realm of religion where
people are wedded to traditions and customs and unbiblical
doctrines and practices that they do not want to accept the line
God has drawn between truth and error. They want anything to be all
Jesus said that the way of life was strait and narrow, not
broad and wide (Matt. 7:13,14). Many are on such a broad-minded
craze that they will embrace those things that are prohibited or
those things not authorized of God. That is too broad for
acceptance before God.
Let us illustrate. Why do people use an organ in worship?
It is not because the Bible teaches it. Those who do not use it are
not just trying to be different and narrow for narrowness sake.
There is that earnest desire to speak where the Bible speaks and be
silent where the Bible is silent. We have no right to add to what
God has spoken. And when he has spoken, we have only the privilege
of conforming to his will. Only singing is authorized in the
Scripture for Christian worship in the realm of music. Some may
call it being narrow, but it is only as narrow as is Gods
Some think that making any distinction between right and
wrong is narrow. They are so inconsistent as to deny there is such
a thing as absolute truth, and they are absolutely sure in making
The church is misrepresented by saying we believe and
practice water salvation. That water is involved in salvation is
true because the Bible teaches it. Baptism doth now also
save us is what Peter said in First Peter 3:21. We are
not going to deny that. There is one baptism (Eph. 4:4-5) and we
deny it not. Every example of conversion to Christ was concluded
with baptism (Acts 2,8,9,10,16). We believe it. We are baptized
into Christ (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3-4). We are baptized into the body
(I Cor. 12:13). Paul was baptized to wash away sins (Acts
22:26). All the words of denominational clergymen shall never alter
We are also aware that water is not the saving element.
The blood of Christ is the saving element (Rom. 5:9; Eph. 1:7). It
is not a question if the blood saves but when
does the blood save. When we are baptized into his death we reach
that saving blood. That is why we are raised to a new life (Rom.
6:3-4). The water is only the element into which we are commanded
to be baptized (Acts 10:48).
This is not the same as baptismal regeneration
as some practice: that is, believing that the efficacy is in the
water. The power is in the blood of Christ. But the blood is
applied when we have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine
that pictures the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (Rom.
6:17-18). Baptism is a symbol of those facts, but not a symbol that
we are saved before being baptized.
Why should it surprise us that God involves water in our
salvation? Has not he involved water in other salvations?
Did not Jesus involve water in granting the blind man of Siloam to
see (John 9)? Were not those who were saved with Noah saved by
water (I Peter 3:20-21). Was not water involved in delivering
Israel from the Red Sea (Exodus 14), and Paul called that a baptism
in First Corinthians 10:1-2. Was not water used in the healing of
Naaman from leprosy (II Kings 5)? Why should we think it such a
strange thing that God has declared baptism in water to be
essential to salvation? To ridicule any appointment that God has
assigned it is to misrepresent His truth.
There are other misrepresentations, and they are as
equally false as those which we have mentioned in this brief span.
But we all ought be very careful about making a thing appear to be
something when it really is not true. What the honest person will
do is to hear the explanation and measure it by what the Scripture
teaches rather than blindly, prejudicially, continue to
misrepresent the truth as many are inclined to do.
2720 S Chancery St.
McMinnville, TN 37110
Table of Contents
IS IT SCRIPTURAL TO IDENTIFY
PEOPLE BY NAME?
Roger D. Campbell
When a religious group propagates falsehood that, if accepted
and followed, will cause people to be lost, is it in harmony with
the teaching of the Bible to identify that group by name? Or, if an
individual in or out of the body of the Christ teaches a message
that clearly contradicts the Bible and leads people from the
truth (Titus 1:14), is it ever acceptable in the sight of the
Lord to identify that person by name? And, what about identifying
or pointing out the names of congregations among Gods people
that are apostatizing? Would there ever be a place for such action?
These are practical questions. We are convinced that the
same biblical principles that answer one of the three questions
raised above, really answers all of them. I want to address a
series of relevant questions that I hope will be helpful in
studying this topic.
Is it acceptable to call something by name? God has done
it before. And God called the light Day, and the darkness
he called Night (Gen. 1:5). When it comes to the living
creatures of the earth, God brought them to Adam to see
what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living
creature, that was the name thereof (Gen. 2:19). From
these first two chapters in Genesis we learn that God approves of
assigning names to things, including, as the old timers would say,
calling a skunk a skunk (that is what Adam did).
Lets look further.
Is it acceptable to call geographic names? Again, God did.
When the children of Israel murmured against Him, ...The
LORD smote them with a great plague, And he called the name of that
place Kibrothhattaavah: because there they buried the people that
lusted (Numbers 11:34). Thus, there is nothing wrong
with identifying a place by its geographical name.
Is it okay to call or identify a person by name? God has
done it many times. He gave Abram the new name Abraham
(Gen. 17:5). Gods angel told Joseph that he would call the son
that Mary would bear Jesus (Matt. 1:21). So, again, in
and of itself, there is nothing inappropriate in identifying a
person by his/her name.
What about referring to a particular nation by its name?
Jehovah charged the Israelites to cast out the seven nations that
inhabited the land of Canaan, identifying them by name: Hittites,
Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and
Jebusites (Deut. 7:1). Based on this, we would conclude that it is
not sinful to refer by name to the people of a nation.
Is it okay to identify a specific group by name? In the
New Testament we read that Jesus did so, both with those that
followed Him, as well as with those that opposed Him. In one case
we read that He chose twelve special men from among His disciples,
...whom also he named apostles (Luke 6:13). On
another occasion Jesus warned His apostles, saying, Take
heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the
Sadducees (Matt. 16:6). What leaven of these
two groups did He have in mind? A few verses later we find the
answer: ...he bade them not beware of the leaven of
bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the
Sadducees (16:12). So, Jesus identified the twelve as
apostles and He called the Pharisees and Sadducees
exactly what they called themselves: Pharisees and
Sadducees. Note that Jesus also pointed out to His
followers the danger of the teaching of the Sadducees and
Pharisees. Jesus loved all men, so we would never accuse Him of
being unloving when He pointed out the errors of specific Jewish
groups, including those occasions when He did so publicly (cf. see
what is written in Matthew 23:1-33).
What about calling or identifying the name of faithful
saints? In the New Testament we read a number of instances where
the Holy Spirit guided the apostle Paul to do this very thing. One
instance of this is Colossians 4:7-14 where we read the names of
nine brethren. Paul specifically referred to Tychicus and Onesimus
as being faithful (4:7,9). Surely none would oppose the
right to call the names of faithful servants of the Master.
By way of summary, to this point we have seen Bible
examples in which God Himself and His faithful servants took the
action of calling names. They called objects by name,
geographic places by name, people by name, nations by name,
specific religious groups by name, and faithful saints by name.
This brings us to another important consideration.
Is it ever scriptural to identify by name an individual
or congregation that teaches or lives unfaithfully? The Holy Spirit
did so, stating through Paul, Holding faith, and a good
conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made
shipwreck: of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have
delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme
(I Tim. 1:19-20). Someone might say, Yes, but this was
a personal letter to Timothy and was not for general
knowledge. It was a personal letter (I Tim. 3:15), but what
was Timothy expected to do with the information he received in this
inspired letter? Paul went on to tell him, these things
command and teach (I Tim. 4:11). What Paul wrote about
Hymenaeus and Alexander was not something Timothy was to keep to
himself any more than he was to keep secret what Paul wrote about
the qualifications of bishops and deacons in chapter three.
When Paul latter wrote to Timothy, he was inspired to
identify by name those who were teaching falsely. And
their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and
Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the
resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some
(II Tim. 2:17-18). These men were a real danger to the Cause
of the Christ, and the Holy Spirit identified them by name. We have
a record of it in the Bible for the whole world to read.
1) If I were a preacher or Bible class teacher, I
would never identify any unscriptural groups or false teachers by
name. Well, Jesus did. So did Paul. Were they wrong to do so?
The Bible says that we are to imitate Paul like he imitated Jesus
(I Cor. 11:1).
2) I just feel like it is so unnecessary to identify
by name those preachers, churches, and schools that are involved in
false teaching or false practices. How is that going to help
anything? The Bible says, Now I beseech you,
brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to
the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them (Rom.
3) I just dont like the way brother Blank
preaches because he tells the names of false teachers. One
that says this is, in reality, doing the very thing that he/she
opposes: Its not right for brother Blank to call names,
but it is okay for me to call brother Blanks name.
Jesus gave a general warning about false prophets with no
names specified. He simply said, Beware of false
prophets (Matt. 7:15). At other times Jesus identified
by name groups of people that were doing things that did not please
God. At least seven times in Matthew 23 we read that Jesus
specifically referred to Pharisees and/or
scribes. Then, as we have noted, the Lords inspired
preachers sometimes identified by name specific individuals that
were false teachers or a corrupting influence in the Lords
In view of the clear biblical teaching we have observed,
we conclude that there is a time for giving general warnings about
false teachers (cf. II Peter 2:1). In addition, there is a time to
identify by name religious groups that do not follow the truth.
There is also a time to identify by name specific individuals that
are either morally corrupt or that lead others astray with false
teaching. There is New Testament precedent for each of these. Such
is plainly set forth for all to read. For anyone to deny this truth
would be to deny the authority of the Bible itself.
How often should we sound forth general warnings about
false teaching? How often should we tell by name which religious
groups do not teach what the Bible does? With what frequency should
we make it known which preachers and congregations of the
Lords church are involved in unscriptural teaching or
practices? Because there is no New Testament instruction that
specifies how often such should be done, it falls into the realm of
opinion or personal judgment.
When we step outside the arena of spiritual activities,
we all understand the value of identifying by name a person,
product, or activity that is harmful to society. We dont just
want to hear that some medicine has deathly side effects.
No, we want to know the specific name of the product so we can
avoid it. We dont just want to hear that someone
somewhere has grabbed a gun and started gunning people down.
No, we want to know the specifics tell us what state and
city, the type of vehicle used (if any), and provide a picture of
the suspect(s), if possible. Why? Because we care about our
physical safety. In the same way, when true danger looms in the
spiritual realm, we are better served by identifying by name the
deathly doctrine or practices, as well as the proponents of such.
Sometimes the general statement, Lets all be
careful out there, is just not sufficient. Let each of us
strive to speak the truth in love.
4865 Bates Pike SE
Cleveland, TN 373232
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BE NOT CONFORMED
Jimmie B. Hill
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of
God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy,
acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not
conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of
your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and
perfect, will of God (Rom. 12:1-2).
There is no mistaking in these verses that the perfect will
of God is that one be not conformed to this world but be
transformed by the renewing of his mind. The psalmist said,
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin
against thee (Psalm 119:11).
Shortly after I became a Christian, I discovered that many
habits and practices of mine were wrong and needed to go. However,
there were some things that were not as obvious. The Bible was
clear about stealing, lying, and cursing, etc. but what about those
things that were not so clear? What about things that are not
specifically mentioned in Gods Word? As I studied, I found
five questions that helped me in determining some of these things.
Is It Helpful? All things are lawful
unto me, but all things are not expedient... (I Cor.
Does it help me or hurt me physically?
Does it help increase my spirituality?
Does it help me by getting my mind off things that may
draw me into sin?
Does It Enslave Me? ...All things are
lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of
any (I Cor. 6:12).
Do I sleep too much?
Do I consistently overeat?
Do I watch too much television?
Do I do anything to excess?
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants
to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto
death, or of obedience unto righteousness (Rom. 6:16).
Will It Cause Others To Fall? Wherefore,
if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the
world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend (I Cor.
Is It Good Stewardship? Moreover it is
required in stewards, that a man be found faithful (I
Cor. 4:2). God requires that I be a good steward of:
Does It Glorify God? Whether therefore
ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of
God (I Cor. 10:31). What about it? Be truthful! Do these
things you are not sure about bring glory to God? Instead of
asking, What will others think about me? ask yourself,
What will others think about my God?
After asking yourself these questions, there are three more
things you need to do.
First of all, pray! If any of you lack wisdom,
let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and
upbraideth not; and it shall be given him (James 1:5).
Not as I will, but as thou wilt (Matt. 26:39).
Second, ask Gods people. Where no counsel
is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is
safety. The way of the fool is right in his own eyes; but
he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise (Prov. 11:14;
Third, use the gray matter between your ears. Many times
we know what is right but we lie to ourselves. Dont kid
yourself! Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for
whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Gal.
Be not conformed to this world.
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Duluth, GA 30096
Table of Contents
MAX LUCADOS STORYTELLING
Marvin L. Weir
The Dallas Morning News Religious Section of March
24, 2001 (page 2G) features an article by Max Lucado on how to tell
a story. No one would deny Maxs talents for spinning quite a
story. In fact, every denominational religious group today is
enthralled with Maxs storytelling.
Max has spoken for Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, and
Methodist churches. He swapped pulpits with Buckner Fanning of
Trinity Baptist Church and defended his doing so by saying,
Whenever I see a man call God Father, I see a
Paul R. Buckley wrote an article several years ago in the
Dallas Morning News about Max Lucado. He begins, saying:
Weve heard the joke before. A guy is getting
a tour of heaven and is walked by rooms of
folk from all different denominations. As he
passes by one last room he is told to be very
quiet. Why? he asks. The guide whispers to
him: Those are the people from the church of
Christ they think theyre the only ones
Buckley then comments on the joke and Lucado, saying:
Its an old one, but Max Lucado still laughs
because he knows as well as anyone the Church
of Christs no-ones-saved-but-us reputation.
Hes a Church of Christ minister, after all,
as well as the hottest Christian writer
around. And he believes that there really
are Baptists, Methodists, and Catholics in
those other rooms (Emph., MLW).
It was on Radio Station KJAK in Lubbock, Texas in December
of 1996 that the story-telling Max Lucado said:
You see, in God, by virtue of your adoption,
you have a divine affinity, you have eternal
security, and you have a golden opportunity. I
cannot imagine an orphan turning down an
opportunity to be adopted. With one decision,
with one raising of the hand, with one
agreement to leave the orphanage, that person
all of a sudden goes from being abandoned to
being claimed, from having no name to a new
name, no future to a new future þ he leaves
the orphanage, and enters the house of the
Thats what God offers you. No quiz, no
examination. All you have to do is to say
yes to the Father. And many of you have done
that. But I have a hunch that not all of you
have. I have a hunch that there are a few of
you listening, even now, and God is using this
to pull on your heart. The Holy Spirit is
informing you of something that you have never
really heard before and that is, that God
is ready to be your Father. Maybe you never
understood that the invitation was for
everyone. Maybe you thought that you were
unworthy. Maybe now you do understand. God
will make you worthy, and the invitation is
And all you have to do is to call Him
Father. Just call him Father. Just turn your
heart to him right now as I am speaking. Call
him your Father. And your Father will respond.
Why dont you do that?
Father, I give my heart to you. I give you my
sins. I give you my tears, I give you my
fears, I give you my whole life. I accept the
gift of your Son on the cross for my sins. And
I ask you Father, To receive me as your child.
Through Jesus I pray, Amen (Emph., MLW).
The announcer then stated, And friend, if you prayed
along with Max Lucado just now, here on UPWARDS, we want
to welcome you into the family of God. We hope you will
contact us and share your personal testimony. If you are
already a believer, we thank you for praying for these
new brothers and sisters in Christ.
Yes, Max Lucado is quite adept at storytelling. If
you are beginning to suspect that the word storytelling
can have a double meaning you are correct! Many parents have
taught their children not to tell stories that is, do not
tell a lie.
In the March, 24, 2001 Dallas Morning News
article Max gives five guidelines to keep in mind as you tell
stories. I offer the following comments on his guidelines for
Be accurate. Exaggeration and fabrication are
easily detected. Absolutely! Wouldnt it be wonderful
if Max would be accurate with the Word of God? Does the
Bible teach that one is saved by reciting a sinners
prayer? Absolutely not! One must hear the Word of God (Rom.
10:17), believe Gods Word (Heb. 11:6), repent of his sins
(Luke 13:3), confess Christ as Gods Son (Rom. 10:9-10), and be
immersed for the remission of his sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38;
22:16). The apostle Paul admonished, Study to shew
thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be
ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (II Tim.
2:15). Paul also said to the Ephesian elders, For I
shrank not from declaring unto you the whole counsel of God
(Acts 20:27). If Max were to make the same claim to the
elders of his congregation, it would indeed be magnificent
Be humble. Dont use a story as a back door
for self-promotion. God ask Pharaoh, How long
wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me (Exodus
10:3)? We ask the same question of Max and every other false
teacher. Maxs storytelling has made him popular and
wealthy, but unless he repents, it will cost him his soul.
Be creatively simple. If a 10-year-old
cant benefit from the story, dont tell it. One
does not need to be creative with the Gospel message just
tell it like it is. Paul said of Timothy, And that from
a child thou hast known the holy scriptures which are able to make
thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ
Jesus (II Tim. 3:15).
Be diligent. The best storyteller is a bad one
who didnt quit. If Max were diligent with
Gods truth, it would be the case that the best
storyteller was a good one, but he quit!
Be observant. Every event is somebodys
story. Tell it. Max should observe the Scriptures the way
he does social events. The Gospel in its purity is what all need to
hear (Gal. 1:6-9; 10-12; 4:16).
5810 Liberty Grove Rd.
Rowlett, TX 75089
Table of Contents
SHALL WE SUPPORT
John D. Cotham
It must be understood that false teachers and false
doctrines exist today. The apostle John said: Beloved,
believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of
God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world
(I John 4:1). John wrote this before the first century ended.
The apostle Paul warned, Now the Spirit
speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from
the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of
devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared
with a hot iron (I Tim. 4:1-2); and again, 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).
This is a sad commentary on mankind, but it is true.
Today, we live in a world where man has so distorted Gods word
that it is impossible to know all the many different false
doctrines and false faiths that exist.
Shall those who insist on following the truth of
Gods word support these doctrines and the people who preach,
teach, and practice these doctrines? The Holy Spirit answered this
question through the apostle John in II John 1:9-11,
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.
In spite of the Scriptures above, some Christians
(hopefully through ignorance) still support some of these false
teachers and their false doctrines. Just how might we be guilty of
supporting false doctrine?
1) We can be guilty of supporting it by our language,
attitudes and actions. Some are guilty of using denominational
language. From time to time one might hear a child of God call the
preacher Pastor or Reverend. A preacher is
neither. Reverend is a term used to describe God. It has
never been a term assigned to the proclaimer of Gods word.
Read Matthew 23:8-12. The only way a preacher might truly be a
pastor is if he is one of the installed pastors, elders, bishops,
etc. And, the Lords church has never had just one pastor.
2) We might hear a child of God talk about witnessing.
No one in the twentieth century is a witness in the New
Testament sense. Witnesses are those who see and
tell. In choosing one to take the place of Judah
Iscariot, notice Acts 1:21-22, Wherefore of these men
which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went
in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that
same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be
a witness with us of his resurrection. Also Luke
24:45-48, Then opened he their understanding, that they
might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is
written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the
dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins
should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at
Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. No one
living today were eye witnesses of these things.
3) We might hear a child of God talking about someone
saved in their hospital bed or on their death-bed. Such is an
impossibility. One must be baptized in water to be saved (Acts
2:38; Mark 16:16). One cannot pray through, nor can a preacher pray
someones sins away.
4) Sometimes Christians support denominational people
by attending their functions. Some have gone to their
Easter programs or Christmas programs. Some
might even go to one of their revivals. Remember John
said that to do so is to bid them God speed in their efforts (II
5) It could be that some of us have supported their
error financially. In my home town there is a large Catholic
complex: huge church building, convent and school. Each year there
are two fun carnivals held. People flock in by
the groves. And, yes, sometimes Christians are present. In the past
they also have a monthly smorgasbord on a Sunday afternoon. Groves
flock to eat their Sunday dinner; yes, sometimes even Christians.
6) The easiest way for the average Christian to
support false teachers and false doctrine is to just keep their
mouth shut. So many are weak and they are never willing to
earnestly contend for the faith (Jude 3). To let a
co-worker espouse his false doctrine without rebuttal from
Gods word is to bid one God speed in his
doctrine. Peter said: But and if ye suffer for
righteousness sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their
terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your
hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that
asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and
fear (I Peter 3:14-15). Paul said ...I am set
for the defence of the gospel (Phil. 1:7,17).
120 Stegall Rd.
Shady Valley, TN 37688
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the Lord continue to bless you and others who work on this sound
publication ...Mrs. E. P. Browne, Colorado City, TX.
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keeps me informed and uplifted and so true to Gods Word. God
bless you in this great work to help the Truth Seekers those
who really love the truth by staying on the strait and narrow
way ...Barbara Johnson, Apopka, FL. May
Gods blessing rest upon your work with STOP. I am writing for
permission to copy and mail one article in your publication, namely
the one by Vernon Joines. For some time I have thought that
Churches of Christ Disaster Relief, Inc. was
manmade, and not of our Lord. Vernon called it like it is and needs
are demanding that something be done. My plan is to try to make all
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this by mailing copies ...Jack Vanover, Fairview, TN.
[EDITORS NOTE: Yes, you have our permission to copy and
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enlightening and will truly expand my knowledge in the church. I am
still a fairly new Christian and am continuously seeking the
truth ...Simone Minor, Clemmons, NC. As an elder
of the church, I feel the congregation needs to be aware of the
false teachers. Your publication will be a great help in that area.
Enclosed is a check to help with the postage. Keep up the good
work ...James Ray, Delaware, AR. Someone several
years ago placed my name and address to receive your good
publication, as well as they also did for Walter Piggs
Banner of Truth (1131 Hickory Grove Rd., Almo, KY 42020).
Walter and I were students together at Freed Hardeman before the
changes took over, which has turned out unsatisfactory. I started
preaching full time in 1954 and counting the time before I did
that, I now have been trying to preach the gospel for almost 55
years. I have seen a lot of changes, but it takes people like you
and Walter and other faithful brethren to keep us alert to all the
bad stuff that comes our way. I am now preaching at Stephens,
Arkansas, where I began my full time effort in 1954. Oh, the
problems that plaque the Lords church. I received your
publication today and see some fine articles as usual. I was with
Bro. A. W. Dicus some of the time around the 1960s. He was an
extraordinarily brilliant Christian. I heard him preach several
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receive this particular publication that have the subjects these
men have addressed. Would you send a bundle? I will see that our
small group receives one each ...Leon Watson, Magnolia,
AR. Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, our
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hard to find one that maintains commitment to the truth. I will
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appreciate the work you are doing for the Lord. Thank you so much
and keep up the great work ...Hoby Grace, Killen, AL.
Refused ...Ned Hicks, Franklin, NC. Thank
you for your very good article in STOP concerning women in worship
(March 2005, www.seektheoldpaths.com/stop305.htm). It was really
well-written, thought provoking and informative. Its a great
thing that you have such skills ...Sherry Embry, Farwell,
TX. It helps people to know the truth that makes us free.
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AL. Greetings in the precious name of Jesus. I am enjoyed
reading every excellent articles which you had published. Many good
articles also I shared to the individuals and also I used in my
preaching efforts. They have had benefitted to your great endeavors
for the Lords cause ...Gerry P. Telabangco, Digos
City, Philippines. The paper is good ...Gene
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work. Please keep fighting for the Truth. We pray this will help
many more Christians to stand up for whats right
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STOP and declaring Gods message. In Christ ...Guy
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publication ...Everett & Colleen Anderson, Flint, MI.
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up a copy of your publication while visiting in Burlington, Iowa.
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you very much ...Sandra Ingram, Crane, MO. A
friend and sister in Christ let me read some copies of your
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of the things going on in the brotherhood. Please add my name and
another friends name to your mailing list. Thank you
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STOP. I really enjoy reading it ...Carol Bell, Rainsville,
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is at work ...Bryan Hayhurst.
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