THE CHURCH AND ITS DETRACTORS
A detractor, in the sense of this article, is one
who attempts to weaken, diminish, nullify, or alter the will of God
Almighty, as the Lord has revealed his plan for the redemption of
fallen humanity. The tendency toward detraction seems to
be characteristic of many whom the Creator has endowed with freedom
of choice, but who abuse the gift. Such was the case even among
angels in heavenly realms (II Peter 2:4; Jude 6).
AN HISTORICAL PATTERN
At the dawn of human history, sacred writ warned that there
ever would be conflict between truth and error. The Lords
protevangelium, the so-called first gospel, is
evidence of that reality (Gen. 3:15). The Old Testament overflows
with examples of those who have dedicated themselves to detracting
from Gods redemptive plan, as well as distracting and
deflecting those who are committed to Heavens order of
RESTORATION MOVEMENT DETRACTORS
Moses and Aaron had their Korah, who led an anti-authority
mob into a black hole of the wrath of God (Num. 16:1ff). Ahab and
Jezebel sought to detract from the ministry of Elijah, and the
wicked couple came to a bloody end on account of it (I Kings 22; II
Kings 9). Jeremiahs detractors claimed that Judah would never
see captivity (Jer. 14:13), and they treated the prophet
shamelessly, but seventy years of Babylonian incarceration
The church of the living God is glorious beyond ones
ability to express adequately (Eph. 5:27). Purposed in eternity
(Eph. 3:10-11), and carefully prepared across the eras of Old
Testament history (Gal. 3:24; 4:4), it burst onto the scene of
human activity on Pentecost Sunday in the spring of A.D. 30, fifty
days after the death of the Lord Jesus (Acts 2:1ff).
But it was not long before even this blessed organism had
its misguided revisionists. Judaizers attempted to affix
circumcision as an appendix to the Gospel (Acts 15:1). Some, with
Greek ideological baggage, denied the Saviors promise of a
resurrection from the dead (Matt. 22:31-32; I Cor. 15:12). Others
tried to distract from the simplicity of Gospel revelation with a
corrupt, Gnostic-oriented (special knowledge) dogma (I Tim.
Ominous New Testament prophecies foretold of even more
sinister times that lay in the future, when sound doctrine would be
forsaken with reckless abandonment (II Thess. 2:1ff; I Tim. 4:1ff;
II Tim. 4:1ff). History has demonstrated the fulfillment of those
inspired declarations in a monstrous apostasy from the primitive
faith that has unfolded in the various sects of
Finally, though, a new day dawned first in Europe,
then in America. Honest folks kindled a passion to throw off the
shackles of those dark ages that were burdened by the
oppressions of the Roman Church. Too, they yearned to go beyond the
well-intentioned, though misdirected, efforts of Protestantism.
Under the instruction and leadership of talented and dedicated men,
multiplied thousands embraced the primitive Gospel without the
encumbrances of sectarianism.
Typically, the restorers eventually had their
detractors as well. In the mid-1800s, Jesse B. Ferguson disrupted
churches in the Nashville area. He taught that there is no
hell, and that people possess the ability to communicate
with the dead. H. Leo Boles compared Ferguson to a meteor
that briefly lights up the sky, but leaves only darkness in
A few years later, voices of outright modernism and
theological liberalism, began to swell in a chorus of confusion and
digression. R. C. Cave of St. Louis denied the historicity of the
virgin birth of Jesus and the Lords bodily resurrection, as
well as a variety of additional errors. Alexander Proctor and
George Longan capitulated to the radical theories of German
Restoration leaders who contended for faithful obedience
to Christ were dubbed legalists. Radicals claimed that
the pious unimmersed were saved, and changes were
initiated in the worship format of the local churches (e.g., the
incorporation of choirs and the use of instrumental music).
The progressives clamored for fellowship with
denominational groups and intermingled happily with a variety of
sectarian causes. Finally, as every student of restoration history
knows, a distinct rupture came, resulting in the Disciples of
Christ or the Christian Church, standing aloof from
brethren who were determined to adhere to New Testament doctrine
Those who wish to be conversant with what has happened to
our glorious brotherhood over the past century and a half, should
read Chapter XIII, The Rise of Liberalism, in Earl I.
Wests incomparable series, The Search for the Ancient
Order (Vol. 2, pp.259-291). The comparisons between the era
brother West describes (1849-1906), and the current change
agent aberration, are more than striking! In this connection
it would be well to remember Santayanas admonition, that those
who do not learn from the mistakes of history are destined to
One of our notable preachers in the first half of the past
century was G. C. Brewer (1884-1956). When his autobiography
appeared in the year following his death, it contained this warning
regarding the smoldering embers that ultimately would be fanned
into a roaring, destructive flame.
It does not cease to astonish us that Christians generally,
and preachers especially, are now holding views and making
arguments that we opposed and refuted when advanced by
denominationalists forty, fifty and a hundred years ago.
Like Paul, we are going to have to declare again the gospel
which we preached.
THE CHANGE AGENT DEFECTION
Distinct movements generally emerge gradually; hence, it is
very difficult to date the advent of such with precision. This
assuredly is true of that arrogant and insidious swell that has
come to be identified as the change agent conglomerate.
In terms of its make-up, the change agent
confederation scarcely can be viewed as homogeneous. It doubtless
contains an element of sincere, though immature, Christians who,
due to their novitiate status, or perhaps a long-standing exposure
to superficial instruction, are swept to and fro easily by varying
winds of doctrine (Eph. 4:14).
It always is difficult (if not mostly impossible), to
judge motives in individual cases. Be that as it may, many believe
that it is neither unkind nor unrealistic to suggest that this body
largely consists of malcontents. They appear to be a collection of
unstable souls led by those whose common passion is for renown.
Their goal may be achieved (in their minds) only by redesigning the
apostolic pattern of Christianity, each according to his own notion
of how things ought to be. As someone has noted, the highest form
of vanity is the quest for fame.
When Carl Ketcherside and Leroy Garrett joined together
more than two-score years ago, in an effort to restructure the
brotherhood of Christ by broadening its scope of
fellowship, they were considered by most respected
brethren to be fringe-element oddities, rather than a significant
threat to the Lords cause. Through their respective journals,
Mission Messenger and Restoration Review,
they chipped away at the biblical concept of being vigilant to
restore the New Testament pattern of doctrine and practice. Now, in
a radically different brotherhood, they virtually have been
enshrined in the digressive hall of fame.
Eventually, others began to raise voices of criticism
regarding what they dubbed as the stale dogma of
Church of Christ traditionalism. The church of the
fifties became a favorite slogan associated with their
assault. Magazines like Integrity, Image, and finally
Wineskins, joined the dissident movement, each
contributing its own measure of discontent.
Christian Scholarship Conferences began to be
conducted on certain college campuses and, quite undisguised,
appeals were made throughout our brotherhood that we should ignore
many of the doctrinal differences that have kept us separated from
the denominations. By means of the Internet came the misdirected
theology of the grace-centered gurus who claim to have
discovered a refreshing concept heretofore unknown among our
In the initial stages of this baby-boomer rebellion, the
restoration plea merely was questioned under the
guise of honest investigation. Then, bolder voices emerged, openly
challenging elementary propositions of the faith issues that
had weathered countless battles with sectarian antagonists. Now, we
are far beyond that. The fundamentals of the faith are brazenly
ridiculed as a new breed of brotherhood entertainers do
stand-up comedy routines with the church of the Lord as the focus
of their barbed assaults.
Almost no point of doctrine now goes unchallenged. The
inspiration of the Scriptures is disputed. A college professor asks
his students, What difference does it make if the Bible
contains contradictions? Graduate Bible courses question the
Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, and repudiate the New
Testament testimony that the prophets wrote the documents that bear
Several of our influential universities are hotbeds of
liberalism, and perhaps none is without at least some hot
spots of potential danger. A widely-traveled, popular speaker
boasts that the Bible and evolution agree on almost all
issues. Men in our classrooms and pulpits have gullibly
embraced several egregiously compromising theories that accommodate
Charles Darwins basic thesis.
Bizarre views concerning the work of the Holy Spirit
abound. A Texas professor authors a volume on the workings of the
Spirit, compiling information from Augustine, Calvin, Luther,
Stott, et al., and a brotherhood news journal praises it
as a collection of outstanding insights into the Holy
Spirit that will open ones daily life to explore the
presence of God. Church members are claiming special
revelations from the Lord. A preacher in Texas tells how God spoke
to him and told him that he was taking too much pride in his
preaching. Thus, one must suppose, the New Testament documents have
been supplemented. Sue, Harry, Dick, and Tom, now join Matthew,
Mark, Luke and John!
The Gospel plan of salvation has been gutted. In spite of
clear passages (e.g., Acts 2:38; 22:16), some allege that baptism
is not essential to salvation or even if it is, the convert
need not understand that it is. Others contend that for the honest
seeker, sprinkling, instead of immersion, may be a
perfectly viable option.
The use of instrumental music in Christian worship is
being accepted increasingly, and the Lords supper has become
a love feast that may be observed any time the notion
strikes. The rush is on for an expanded role for women,
irrespective of the New Testament restrictions relative to this
matter. Everything is up in the air; nothing is certain any more.
Relativism rules the day. Postmodernism has become a maggot in the
Finally, there now is a resurrection of the no
eternal punishment movement, that has even wormed its way into
There is a real war today within the body of Christ. It is a
shameful thing, a heartbreaking thing; but digressive brethren
initiated it. The faithful have but two choices do nothing,
or do something. If we wilt, and let the detractors have their way,
they will capture our schools, our church facilities, our children,
and, yes, maybe even our souls! It is time for devout children of
God to oppose this apostasy lovingly, firmly, and steadfastly
before we find ourselves in a church that we no
longer recognize, and from which the Savior has departed (Rev.
Christian Courier, June, 2005
Volume XLI, Number 2
7809 N Pershing Ave.
Stockton, CA 95207
Table of Contents
GOOD THINGS HAPPEN WHEN WE TEACH THE LOST
Roger D. Campbell
What child of God would not agree that it is good
to teach the Gospel to those that are lost outside of Jesus? Surely
no member of the Lords church would be opposed to the idea of
teaching the lost. The glad tidings of good things (Rom.
10:15) is Gods message of salvation through Jesus. All men
everywhere need that message! We are convinced that good things
really do happen when we teach the Gospel to lost people. What are
some of those good things?
1. When we teach the lost, we are doing what the Lord
instructed us to do. Jesus gave the charge to go and teach or
make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19). He commanded His
disciples to preach the Gospel to every person in the whole world
(Mark 16:15). When you and I take part in this effort, we are doing
what all Christians are supposed to do. And, there is no doubt
about it, it gives us a sense of satisfaction, a great feeling, to
know that we are doing what our Lord wants us to do.
2. When we teach the lost, we are giving them the
chance to hear the only message that can save their soul. The
Gospel is Gods power unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). That message
alone is called the gospel of your salvation (Eph. 1:13).
When we teach the Gospel to lost people, we provide them with an
opportunity to obey from the heart the only doctrine that can set
them free from sin (Rom. 6:17-18). Could there be a more kind,
loving gesture on our part? What could be more beneficial to a
human being than hearing Gods truth? Good things happen when
we teach the lost!
3. When we teach the lost we are increasing the odds
of more people being saved and going to heaven. A farmer
knows that no sowing means no reaping or harvest (Gal. 6:7). An
insurance agent knows that no effort to sell insurance means no
purchasing of insurance. In the same way, no sowing of the word of
God means no spiritual harvest of souls. But there is another
mathematical factor involved in teaching the lost. It is this basic
rule: in general, the more we teach, the better the odds of finding
people that will receive the word. And, the more saints that are
involved in teaching the lost, the better the chances of contacting
people that will obey the Gospel. Suppose that in a congregation of
50 members, only one person works to try and teach the lost.
Lets say that on the average he tries to teach one person per
month. That means that in a one-year period, this church has tried
to reach a whopping total of 12 people (1 x 12). It is wonderful
that an effort is made to reach those 12 people, but what if every
member of the congregation would get involved? If all 50 members
would try to teach one person per month, well, the church has gone
from trying to reach just 12 people in one year to reaching out to
600 (50 x 12).
In our above illustration, by no means are we suggesting
that we should restrict ourselves to trying to teach just one
person per month. God forbid. But the point is clear, is it not? It
is good to try and reach 12 people. It is better to try and reach
600. It is better yet to try and reach as many people as we
possibly can, anytime and anywhere! It just stands to reason that
the more members of the church we have teaching on a frequent
basis, the better the chances of running across honest souls that
will obey the truth and be saved! Heaven will be more populated
because of diligent efforts to teach the lost.
4. When we teach the lost, we become better teachers
as a result. The more we teach, the more comfortable and
confident we become as teachers. The more we teach, the more
effective we become as communicators. The more we teach, the more
we are prepared to set forth logical arguments in a clear fashion.
The more we teach, the more we are able to anticipate the questions
and reactions of the hearers. The more we teach, the more we are
forced to study the word of God, and in the long run, that is going
to benefit us, those we try to teach, and anyone around us that we
may want to influence. Teaching the Gospel to lost people is like
a lot of other activities in life: the more experience we gain in
doing it, the more skilled we become at it. Put another way,
practice improves performance.
The conversion of a lost soul to the Lord Jesus requires
the good seed the word of God (Luke 8:11), an honest and good
heart on the part of the hearer (Luke 8:15), and a sower. Brothers
and sisters, you and I must be the sowers that go everywhere
preaching the word (Acts 8:4).
Let us all make a commitment to try and do all we can to
reach the lost. Let us pray earnestly for them, prepare diligently
to teach them, and work tirelessly to reach them. Our God will
bless us as we do that. Remember, good things happen when we teach
4865 Bates Pike SE
Cleveland, TN 37323
Table of Contents
BIBLE AUTHORITY MUST BE RESPECTED
Marvin L. Weir
God is the Creator and man is the created. The created is
never greater than the Creator. Isaiah noted that man was
created to glorify God (Isa. 43:7). The apostle Paul admonishes,
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do,
do all to the glory of God (I Cor. 10:31).
The majority of people today refuse to abide by Biblical
authority because they desire to glorify themselves! So many folks
prefer to do what they want to do, and they fully intend
to do it their way. This type of attitude spawns religious
division and promotes denominationalism. It also produces
liberalism and modernism within the Lords church.
The Bible plea is ...that ye all speak the same
thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be
perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same
judgment (I Cor. 1:10). The Holy Spirit instructed the
Colossian brethren in saying, And whatsoever ye do in
word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks
to God and the Father by him (Col. 3:17). All
unscriptural religious division today is the direct result of
people refusing to abide by the authority of the Scriptures.
Gods law has been absolute and binding in every
dispensation. Those in denominations and liberal members of the
Lords church absolutely abhor the principles taught in the Old
Testament regarding Bible authority. They have nothing but disdain
for Bible examples that clearly show the wrath of God upon those
who reject and spurn a thus saith the Lord.
Since God is no respecter of persons
(Acts 10:34), we know He communicated with both Cain and Abel
regarding an offering acceptable unto Him. God has respect for
Abels offering, but unto Cain and to his offering he
had not respect (Gen. 4:4-5). Man has never been given
permission to deviate from what God has specified! God expected
folks under the Patriarchal dispensation to be submissive and
obedient to His will.
The Mosaical dispensation reveals to us the story of Nadab
and Abihu. The Scriptures read, And Nadab and Abihu, the
sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire
therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before
the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from
the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD
(Lev. 10:1- 2). There is no getting around the fact that
Nadab and Abihu were killed because they took the liberty to do
that which God had not commanded them.
Gods will is still to be honored and respected in the
Christian age. Jesus makes it clear that what we say must agree
with what He demands that we do if we are going to be with Him in
Heaven. The Lord warned, Not every one that saith unto
me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that
doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven (Matt.
7:21). Again, the Master admonished, And why call ye me,
Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say (Luke
6:46)? Remember that the words of the apostle Paul in Colossians
3:17 were whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in
the name of the Lord Jesus....
If we abide by the teaching of Christ, it does not allow
us to hear and do not! James clearly states that we are to be
doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own
selves (James 1:22). Jesus teaches that the wise
man who hears His word and respects and follows it is building
upon the rock, but that the foolish man who
hears and does not abide by His word is building upon the
sand (Matt. 7:24-27). It is said of the one who refused
to abide by a thus saith the Lord and built upon the sand
and great was the fall of it. The
standard of authority by which we are to abide is not majority
rule (Matt. 7:13-14; Exodus 23:2), the Pope of Roman
Catholicism, or some man who founds his own church. Christ is the
head of His church which is His body (Eph. 1:22-23). Jesus has been
given all authority in heaven and on earth
(Matt. 28:18). This leaves no authority for the Pope
nor any other man or woman. As the Scriptures teach, For
ever, O Jehovah, Thy word is settled in heaven (Psa.
All people will be judged by the word of God -- not the
word of man. Jesus teaches, He that rejecteth me, and
receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I
have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day
(John 12:48). It is true that Christ has become unto all them that
obey him the author of eternal salvation (Heb. 5:9).
The great battle that is being fought today is over the
authority of the Bible. Bible authority must be understood, taught,
and put into practice if we are to please the Lord. Bible authority
is not full of comfort for those who insist upon
worshiping as they please, but for those who want to go to Heaven
it is their refuge and source of strength.
We need more folks like the Bereans of Acts 17:11 who
searched the Scriptures daily!
5810 Liberty Grove Rd.
Rowlett, TX 75089
Table of Contents
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE
Occasionally, I hear someone make the comment that those who
are adamant regarding issues that face the Lords church are
issue oriented. Funk and Wagnalls defines issue
as a matter of importance to be resolved. Webster says it
is the point or matter depending in a suit on which two
parties join and put their cause to trial. Oriented means
the determining of ones position with reference to
circumstances, ideals, etc (Funk and Wagnalls). Hence, to be
issue oriented is to determine ones position
and put that cause to trial or to the test.
Since the Christian has the obligation to prove
all things; hold fast that which is good (I Thess.
5:21), it stands to reason that there will always be
issues facing the Lords church. And, since we have
the obligation to ...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 3:15), we are therefore oriented
in giving a defense for the faith once for all delivered to the
saints (Jude 3).
While it is possible to become so imbalanced that we are
cynical about the Lords church and its future, we must also
face the fact that so long as the church exists, we are going to
have to face the issues that come our way. To do otherwise is to
abdicate our responsibility.
A negative connotation has been attached to the words
issue oriented. This label is used by critics
to hush the mouths of those who still love the truth while making
the unsuspecting believe that there is something inherently evil in
dealing with issues. None would be so bold as to suggest that all
issues should be ignored, since even the most liberal change agent
will take us to task on the issue of being issue oriented.
The question arises, then, as to when our
dealing with issues becomes imbalanced. I suggest to you that any
issue, and every issue that comes down the pike, is an issue that
cannot be ignored and must be dealt with forthrightly. If the truth
is at stake we cannot and will not remain silent. The only
alternative is to ignore the issues and allow the church to be
swept into apostasy. It is my studied conviction that at least one
reason why the Lords church is so troubled today is that too
many brethren have simply grown weary of fighting the battle.
Consequently, false teachers have crossed the threshold and are in
the midst of the flock having a heyday. Meanwhile too many
elderships and preachers sit back and do nothing for fear that they
might be perceived as being issue oriented.
Yes, it is possible to become so consumed with the issues
that face the Lords church that we become cynical and never
hold out any hope to Gods people. But the desire to provide
hope and peace cannot drive us to ignore the issues that would in
fact rob us of that hope and peace by leading us into error.
PO Box 283
Talco, TX 75487
Table of Contents
HAND CLAPPING IN WORSHIP?
Today we are living in an entertainment crazed society that
is expecting to be entertained. Hand clapping, whistling, and
yelling are done at plays, ball games, the theater, and at other
forms of entertainment to show our approval and satisfaction of the
entertainment. This influence of the world has crept over into the
church where people today want to clap during the worship or at a
baptism to show their approval of the entertainment they
are receiving. We are not in the worship service to be entertained,
but to give our worship to God.
Do we realize how great God is? We are told O
worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all
the earth (Psa. 96:9). We are to be perfecting
holiness in the fear of God (II Cor. 7:1). Since Our God
is awe-inspiring, Let all the earth fear the Lord; let
all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him
(Psa. 33:8). Hand clapping is done when we have been entertained
but it shows utter disrespect and lack of reverence for God in our
worship services. God is greatly to be feared in the
assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that
are about him (Psa. 89:7). The vast majority of the
denominational world thinks their worship to God is acceptable, but
Jesus says, Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching
for doctrines the commandments of men (Mark 7:7). When
we ignore what God says and do things our way, our worship becomes
vain. If we expect to be pleasing to God and go to heaven, we must
pay attention to what God says in the Bible as to how He is to be
We must show the utmost reverence to God if our worship
is to be acceptable to Him. Let us have grace, whereby we
may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear; for our God
is a consuming fire (Heb. 12:28-29). If our worship is
not acceptable to God, then the end result will be disastrous as we
spend eternity in the burning fires of Hell.
God has given us warnings in the Bible concerning
unacceptable worship. One example is that of Nadab and Abihu in the
Old Testament. And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron,
took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put
incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he
commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and
devoured them, and they died before the Lord (Lev.
10:1-2). Just as Nadab and Abihu were severely punished by being
consumed by fire for their unauthorized worship, we today will be
severely punished eternally in Hell for our unauthorized worship as
we offer strange sounds of hand clapping to the Lord. Do people
today realize that because of their disobedience, It is
a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God
We are told, And whatsoever ye do in word or
deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus (Col. 3:17).
To do all in the name of the Lord Jesus is to do all things by His
authority. Where in the Bible has God authorized hand clapping in
worship to Him? It is not there. If the Lord wanted hand clapping
to be included in our worship, He would have authorized it, but He
didnt. Hand clapping in worship is not authorized just as
playing a mechanical instrument of music is not authorized in
worship to God.
If we are going to clap in worship, why dont we also
whistle, yell, scream, and holler to show our approval? Why not boo
when we dont approve of something? Or why dont we clap
during the Lords supper or as a prayer is being led? We are
not in worship to applaud the words or actions of men. Our worship
to God is not for our entertainment. We are not the spectators, God
is. God is the one being worshipped and glorified, not us.
Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God (I
Cor. 10:31). We glorify and honor God when we do what He tells us,
how He tells us, when He tells us, the way He tells us, where He
tells us, and for the reason He tells us. We are to work
out your own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil.
2:12). Jesus says that those who worship God must worship
him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). But hand
clapping in the worship service is not in truth (according to
truth). We are to Let all things be done decently and in
order (I Cor. 14:40). Hand clapping is not decent and in
order. It is totally out of place in worship.
People who clap their hands in worship may, have
a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they, being
ignorant of Gods righteousness, and going about to establish
their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the
righteousness of God (Rom. 10:2-3). People may be
sincere in their hand clapping in worship, but they are sincerely
wrong just as the vast majority of the religious world is sincerely
wrong and will lose their souls in eternity. It will be too late on
the Day of Judgment if the Lord says to us depart from
me, ye that work iniquity (Matt. 7:23).
Going to Heaven must be our number one priority in this
life. Lets make sure we are worshipping God in spirit and
in truth, the way He has authorized.
God has not authorized hand clapping to be included in
worship to Him.
133 N Woodland Dr.
Conway, AR 72032
Table of Contents
PAUL & THE MODERN PREACHER
And the Modern Preacher (MP), who was sound and faithful in
his message, dreamed a dream. In his dream he found a cell phone.
Checking the numbers listed in it, he came across one that said The
Apostle Paul (AP). In dreams, things seem possible that are not
possible in real life. So the Modern Preacher dared to hope, and he
dialed the number. What a surprise when he was actually connected
to Paul the apostle. It was, after all, just a dream.
Oh, Paul, what an honor! I never expected to actually get
to talk to you. And this comes at such a good time.
also am glad to talk with a fellow preacher. But why does the
timing of this call seem so good to you?
Because this is a crucial time in my life and in my
Im having to make some decisions about my career as a
preacher. In fact, Im not sure I can continue to preach.
Oh that is bad! Are you ill or injured?
No, you misunderstand, brother Paul. Its not a
problem, Im just so discouraged. In fact, Ive been
thinking about selling insurance or something.
Oh, so you dont mean that you cant
preach, you mean that perhaps you dont want
Thats not what I mean at all. Of course I want to
But I am so discouraged that there is no joy in it anymore.
You are saying you dont enjoy spreading the Gospel of
Christ? How could that possibly be? The spread of the Gospel
gave me my chief joy, even when I was in prison for it
(Phil. 1:18). Do you still have faith that the Gospel is
Gods power to save men (Rom. 1:16)?
Of course! No doubt about that.
Then how could you not have joy in preaching it? Do you
still love the souls of men?
Yes. But it costs me so much in sacrifice and effort. I
want men to be saved, but there is a limit to what any man can
You know, I may not be the best person for you to complain
to about how many sacrifices you have made for the cause.
Have you gone hungry to preach (II Cor. 11:27)? Have you
suffered shipwreck (II Cor. 11:25)? Have you suffered the
loss of all things (Phil. 3:8)?
No, nothing like that, but nobody wants to listen anymore.
People actually get angry with you when you try to teach
them the truth. Its not like it was in your day.
Oh really? Let me show you some scars. This one here on my
scalp, its from when they stoned me and left me for dead
Lystra (Acts 14:19). Look at my back I cant even
to tell you where all these scars come from. Ive been
beaten at least eight times for preaching the gospel (II
Cor. 11:24-25). I know something about people who dont
Yes, but full-time preaching is so hard on my family.
Everyone is constantly looking at my wife and kids as if
theyre in a fish-bowl. Some people seem to want to see
Is your family engaged in behavior that would possibly
others to stumble? Do you want your children to have freedom
to do wrong without being corrected by Gods people? Why
complain that they are under pressure to do right? That kind
of pressure has got to be better than the pressure that
Satan and the world brings to bear on them to get them to do
Yes, but I have had to move my children from school to
school. And, every time we moved they had to make new
friends. Its so hard on them. Ive actually been
twice just for preaching the truth. Since you never had a
wife and children, you just cant understand how hard it
I dont want to downplay the sacrifices your family
It is always hard for a loving person to watch his children
suffer sadness. But perhaps you need to be thankful you have
them instead of using them as an excuse to shirk your duty
as a preacher. You need to remember the value of a soul. Our
Master gave up his life for souls. Can we do any less?
It sounds like you are saying that taking men and women to
heaven is not worth the sacrifices you and your family have
had to make.
But you just dont understand, brother Paul. Why
family and I make all these terrible sacrifices? Ive
up so much, Ive been treated so badly. And you cant
imagine the kind of salary my brethren think a preacher
should be able to live on. Thats why this insurance
looks so good. I have the chance to make serious money for
the first time in my life . . . bzzzzz. Paul,
Paul! Can you hear me now? bzzzzz. Hmm. What
happened? We must have been disconnected. Could he have...?
No, Paul wouldnt have hung up on me, a fellow preacher.
Ill try to call him back tomorrow. Maybe he could give
some leads for some people who need a good whole-life
1495 E Empire Ave.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022
Table of Contents
I enjoy reading Seek The Old Paths online. Thank
you for your hard work ...K. D. Davis, Burleson, TX.
I am serving a four year sentence in Oklahoma. I served the
Lord in the past but decided I could drive the car on my own
without the Lords help. I am blessed with only a minimum
sentence considering the wreck Ive gotten myself in. I have a
wife and four children that could use your prayers. Please add me
to your STOP mailing list and your pen pal list also. Please pray
for my family. Thank you and God bless you ...Joe Sabella
245975, O.S.R. Unit A-1-11, PO Box 514, Granite, OK 73547.
I borrowed STOP from my friends at church and really liked it
because I see so many of these things starting in the Lords
church in many places. I would love to start receiving this monthly
publication please. Thank you for alerting us of these false
teachings that are entering the church of Christ ...Debbie
Vickers, Tuckerman, AR. Thank you for sending me the STOP
paper. I appreciate the sound articles. I worship with the Cushing
Church of Christ in Cushing, OK ...Nora Cole, Drumright,
OK. Please remove us from your mailing list
...Bill & Brenda Wheeler, Nolensville, TN. Please
continue to send STOP. It means so much to me ...Marian
Word, Decatur, AL. Thank you for the article in STOP
about the new hymnal Sacred Songs Of The Church
...Brad Bradshaw, Norcross, GA. Since no one in our
congregation reads your publication, I request you to remove me
from your mailing list ...A. P. Farnell, Shongaloo, LA.
I appreciate your paper so much. It is wonderful to know
there are still brethren that continue to preach the truth in love
for the lost and brothers and sisters in Christ. God bless and give
you the funds and strength to continue in this work
...Lorene Wilson, Binger, OK. Please delete my name from
your mailing list ...Lamar Roberson, Palestine, TX.
I receive your bulletin. I enjoy it very much. Please send it
to my daughter ...Pat Brumbelow, Pocahontas, TN.
I recently had the opportunity to read something in your
periodical and really like what I was reading. Would you please
provide me the information as to how I can receive this publication
on a regular basis? I am a member of the Lords church in
Newport, Tennessee, and I want every opportunity to further my
knowledge concerning the oracles of God ...Paul Powell,
Dandridge, TN. I would like to be put on the mailing
list. One of the members of the congregation gave us a copy and we
really enjoy reading the articles ...James Williams,
Grayson, KY. Keep up the good work ...Marcus
Morris, Athens, AL. We enjoyed seeing an issue of
Seek The Old Paths and would love to receive it
regularly ...The Hinkles, Lynchburg, TN. I
appreciate STOP very much. It is an excellent publication
...Kenneth Jarrett, Huntingdon, TN. Please remove my name
from your subscribers list. I receive many publications and prefer
to spend my time focused on Bible reading and studying. Thank
you ...Irene Aschen, Brookfield, CT. Thank you
very much ...Steffie Stewart, Riverview, MI. It
is at this time I ask you to stop sending me your publication.
Although you are scripturally correct, you also are falling into
the whipping a dead horse category by constant use of
condemnation. Jesus still cried over Jerusalem and lamented that
this holy city would fall to ruin because of their hard hearts. You
do have a fine publication, there is no doubt about that you have
been a good sentinel for the brotherhood, but if you would print a
prayer section for Max Lucado (Who I know teaches falsely)
or the others who have strayed from the pure gospel, that they
would return to the old paths, maybe there would be some huge
interruption of their lives and they would return to the pure
gospel and with that influence they would set the world on edge as
tools in the Masters hands!!! Wouldnt you agree? We have
many fine brothers in the Lords church who are apt and able to
cause restoration in the Lords church, but what if we had
folks like Rubel Shelly and Jeff Walling back on
the beam and preaching correctly? We do need to keep an eye on
these brothers as they continue on that they do not infect the
saviors body, but we also need to be compassionate towards
them. I would liken it to how Jesus felt towards the Jews he wanted
to save. He still hoped that they would listen to the message, and
He still reasoned with them. He could have kept his message from
them, but he was still with them and wanted them to change. He knew
their hard hearts and that is what stopped their entry into the
kingdom. I am just as conservative and willing not to stray off the
word and think you are doing a noble job, but there is just too
much repeated whipping and the newsletter smacks of bitterness and
self righteousness. Thanks for sending it to me while it came and
God bless you all ...C. J. Rimmer, Southgate, MI.
[EDITORS NOTE: We thank you for your words of
commendation but were certainly puzzled by your lack of
understanding in the nature and purpose of Seek The Old Paths.
Passages such as Jude 3, II Tim. 4:2-5, Titus 1:13, Titus
2:1, and II Peter 1:12, all command us to tell it like it
is. We seek to do this diligently and with love
(Eph. 4:15). We certainly do pray for the kingdom and all who are
wayward. Paul did so in Romans 10:1-2: Brethren, my
hearts desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might
be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but
not according to knowledge. We acknowledge that false
teachers have zeal, but as Paul said, they do not have
the knowledge of Gods word. It would be good if
false brethren would see the error of their way and return to their
first love. The Lord certainly needs more workers. The whole
purpose of STOP is to teach these men of their error and encourage
them to repent. It also is for the purpose of instructing others of
false doctrine and those who teach it so that they may not fall
into the same error. We pray for all to come unto the knowledge of
the truth and obey it while there is time. We pray for all men and
we pray for you.] God be thanked for real men who are capable
and able to stand with God against iniquity. STOP is appreciated by
everyone who loves God and Truth! God bless the saints there and
you brethren ...Fayetteville, AR. I picked up a
copy of STOP while attending the Memphis School of Preaching last
March. I would certainly enjoy being added to the mailing list to
receive the paper and the good articles I know it will contain
...Thomas Forrest, Sr., Clanton, AL. Please send us
STOP. We would like to have our own copy so we can read it and
share it with others. Thank you ...A. B. Copeland,
Stephenville, TX. My wife and I really appreciate the
work you do publishing STOP. Keep up the good work
Bound Volumes can be ordered from:
Old Paths Publishing
2007 Francis Ferry Rd.
McMinnville, TN 37110
$5 postage paid
Bible Page |
Seek The Old Paths |
East End Church of Christ |