THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IS NOT A DENOMINATION
When speaking of Christianity, many ask, What
denomination do you belong to? How do you answer such a
question? Do you simply say you are a member of the church of
Christ? Or do you explain the church of the Bible was
non-denominational and you are striving to simply follow the New
Testament pattern? Or do you explain disunity and division was
condemned in the New Testament? These and various other answers
should depend upon who is asking the question, and why the
inquiry is asked.
In answering the question, Is the church of
Christ a denomination, we must understand that God has a
plan for unity. In the beautiful prayer of Jesus in John 17,
Jesus prayed, And now I am no more in the world, but
these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep
through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they
may be one, as we are (v.11).
It was and is Jesus desire that His followers
(Christians) be one. Since He prayed for our unity, then Jesus
must expect us to strive to be one, and since He expects us to be
one, then we can be sure He provided a way for us to be one. That
way is the New Testament of Jesus Christ! If every person who
calls himself a Christian would put away his selfish pride and
man-made doctrines and simply follow the New Testament pattern,
all division would be eliminated. What causes division is not the
Bible, but personal opinions and doctrines of men which are
elevated above the Divine plan of God.
In this light, think about the words of Paul, the
apostle. In 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, Paul writes, Now I
beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 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. For it hath been declared unto me of
you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that
there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one
of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas;
and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you?
or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
Just two chapters later, Paul told the Corinthian
Christians they were not spiritual, but carnal because of the
division that existed within the church (3:1-3). Thus, true unity
is a sign of being spiritually minded.
What do we mean by true unity. True
unity is not union. Many within the religious world
claim they are striving for unity but in reality they are
striving for union. True unity is found in the exhortation of
Paul as he writes to the church at Philippi: Fulfill ye
my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one
accord, of one mind (Phil. 2:2). Notice the number of
ways unity is emphasized: likeminded, same love, one accord, one
mind. Unlike the unity demanded in the Scriptures, many
religionists want to agree to disagree.
There is no likemindedness within such an idea as
this. I will think as I want, and you think as you like, but
we will agree anyway. There is not the same love for God,
brethren, and the lost within this self-contradicting thought.
Though there is a shadow of being of one accord, the reality of
such is completely and totally absent. Amos question is
certainly fitting, Can two walk together, except they be
agreed (Amos 3:3)?
Paul outlines for us the Divine standard of unity.
In Ephesians 4:4-6, we read, There is one body, and one
Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One
Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is
above all, and through all, and in you all. Certainly
these are not the only things that pertain to unity, but they are
a good place to start.
The one body is the church (Eph.
1:22-23). How many churches are there? There is only one which
belongs to Christ, though there are numerous churches which
belong to men.
The one Spirit is the Holy Spirit who
inspired holy men to write words by which we can be saved (II
Peter 1:20,21; Acts 11:14).
The one hope is mans only true hope
which is in Christ Jesus and which reaches beyond the grave (I
The one Lord is Jesus, the Christ (Acts
2:36; 20:21; I Cor. 1:2).
The one faith is the faith (the
system of faith) taught within the New Testament (Rom. 10:17;
The one God is God, the Father (I Peter
1:3; II John 1:3; Jude 1:1).
Besides the outline of the Divine standard of
unity, when Jesus prayed, He disclosed the standard of unity.
Jesus prayed, Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word
is truth (John 17:17). The standard of unity is the
Bible Gods Word. Those who have the courage to allow
God to set them apart from the world by keeping His word, will
enjoy true unity with God, His Son, His Spirit, and His children
in the heavenly abode.
Thus, we call all men to the Bible. Read it, study
it, and accept it for it alone can bring us to Jesus,
the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey
him (Heb. 5:9).
Because the religious world views the varying
kinds of churches as a part of the whole, it is not surprising
the sectarian world views the church of Christ as a denomination.
However, it is truly sad that many within the church of our Lord
are asking, Is the church of Christ a
denomination? Before one can answer this question,
there are several preliminaries that must be considered.
First, some terms must be defined. What do the
terms denomination, nondenominational, undenominational, and
The term denomination means a part of
the whole. A one dollar bill is a denomination of money. It is
one denomination as is a five, ten, or twenty dollar bill. Each
are a part of the whole money system of the United States. To
nearly all religionists, various denominations such as Baptist,
Lutheran, or Methodist are a part of the universal church of
Christ. In their minds, all are Christians striving for heaven by
The term nondenominational means not a
denomination. The prefix non means not. Thus, when a
church is nondenominational, it is not a denomination.
The term undenominational is very
similar in meaning to nondenominational. The prefix un
means the opposite of or reverse of. Therefore, when a church is
undenominational, it is the opposite of a denomination.
Finally, the term interdenominational
carries the idea of accepting all denominations. In actuality,
many denominational groups use the term nondenominational when
they actually mean interdenominational.
Second, the term church of Christ must
be considered. Several religious groups use this as a name. In
many other countries, the Mormons are known as the Church of
Christ. In Independence, Missouri, where the temple lot
is located, the Temple Lot segment of the Latter Day Saints are
known as the Temple Lot Church of Christ. Also, in some
locations, the Independent Christian Church carries the name
Church of Christ. Further, the churches associated with the
Boston Movement are known as the International Churches of
Christ. In addition, in the 1960s, five denominations joined
together to form the United Church of Christ. Finally, of course,
there is the group with which many of us who are reading this are
Third, we must consider what we are speaking
about. When we use the term church of Christ, are we
talking about the Mormons, the Christian church, the
International Church of Christ cult, or the far-liberal United
Church of Christ? Are we speaking about a group of people who are
a part of Christendom"? Or, are we speaking about the church
of which we read about in the Bible?
When I write these lines, I am speaking about the
church of the Bible which existed before a single denomination.
It is the church that was in the mind of God before the
foundation of the world and was prophesied in the Old Testament.
It is the church which was established upon the preaching of the
apostles in the city of Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost fifty
days after the resurrection of the Lord (Acts 2). It is the
church which was planted first in Jerusalem, then in Judea,
Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth (Acts 1:8). This
church was planted in the cities of Rome, Corinth, and Ephesus as
well as many other cities and regions of the ancient world. She
is known by such designations as the church of Christ, the bride
of Christ, and the kingdom of Christ. She was prophesied by great
prophets such as Daniel, Isaiah, Micah, John the baptizer, and
the greatest prophet of all Jesus Christ.
Therefore, as we prepare to go into all the world
to teach all nations concerning Christ and the church, the
kingdom of God (Acts 8:12), let us be sure we understand the
church of which we read in the Bible was not a denomination.
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Table of Contents
DENOMINATIONS ARE SINFUL #4
Garland M. Robinson
DENOMINATIONALISM IS SINFUL BECAUSE OF ITS DOCTRINE
The chart below is a brief contrast between
denominationalism and undenominational Christianity -- the church
||CHURCH OF CHRIST
|Many bodies or churches
||One body, One church
(Matt. 16:18; 1 Cor. 12:20)
|Founded by men
||Founded by Christ (Matt. 16:18)
||Christ the head (Eph. 1:22-23)
||Bible as the only creed
(2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3)
|Wear human names
||Wear the name of Christ
(1 Peter 4:16)
||Following men is condemned
(1 Cor. 1:10-13)
|Membership in denominations not necessary
||Membership in Christ's church is essential (Eph. 5:23)
|Preach many gospels
||One gospel (Gal. 1:6-9)
|Rewrite creeds every few years
||Bible remains the same
||One faith (Eph. 4:5)
||One baptism (Eph. 4:5)
||Lord adds to the church (Acts 2:47)
|Abiding in the branches of denominations
||Abiding in Christ the true vine
|Walk by different rules
||Walk by the same rule (Phil. 3:6)
|Thank God in prayers for so many churches
||Christ prayed for oneness
People who sit at the feet of denominational
preachers are told to receive Christ as their personal
Savior or pray the sinners prayer in order to
be saved. But the Bible says those who receive Christ are not
sons of God, but are given the power TO BECOME sons of God (John
1:12). Man is saved from sins ONLY when he BELIEVES in
Jesus (Heb. 11:6; John 8:24), REPENTS of his sins (Acts
2:38; 17:30), CONFESSES Christ before men (Acts 8:37; Rom.
10:10), and is BAPTIZED in water for the forgiveness of
sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16; I Peter 3:21). This is the ONLY plan
taught in the Bible by which one is saved from past sins.
DENOMINATIONALISM IS SINFUL BECAUSE IT DIVIDES THE HOME
God made Adam and Eve in the beginning. He made them to
be husband and wife. He decreed the home as a divine institution.
It has continued to be such throughout history regardless of what
man believes. There have been those who have sought to destroy
the home, even as there are those today who seek to do so. They
will fail because God designed the home and family.
DENOMINATIONALISM IS SINFUL BECAUSE IT CAUSES SOULS TO BE
Jesus said that ...he which made them at
the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause
shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his
wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no
more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined
together, let not man put asunder.
Denominationalism divides the home and family. So
often husbands and wives are divided religiously. The husband
goes one way and the wife goes another. There should never be
division over service to Christ. There ought to be peace and
harmony in the home. God instituted the home and it is not to be
divided. Woe to the individual(s) who divides the family.
Jesus Christ is the savior. He calls all men to come
unto Him. Since he is Deity, He is one in purpose and goal with
God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. He is in harmony and
unity with the godhead. There is perfect unity between them.
Denominationalism on the other hand is constant division. That is
its very nature. It contradicts everything Jesus is, contends for
and stands against.
DENOMINATIONALISM IS SINFUL BECAUSE ITS CONTRARY TO THE
PROMISE OF CHRIST
Jesus calls men together, denominationalism
Jesus calls for men to come unto Him while
denominationalism calls for them to depart from Him.
Jesus calls men to the one body and
denominationalism calls them to many bodies."
Jesus calls men to the one Spirit and
denominationalism calls them to many spirits."
Jesus calls men to the one hope and
denominationalism calls them to many hopes."
Jesus calls men to the one Lord and
denominationalism calls them to many lords."
Jesus calls men to the one faith and
denominationalism calls them to many faiths."
Jesus calls men to the one baptism and
denominationalism calls them to many baptisms."
Jesus calls men to the one God and
denominationalism calls them to many gods."
Jesus promised, I will build my
church (Matt. 16:18). He did not say He would build
churches plural. He did not say I will make it so
men will have a choice. Denominationalism does that, but Jesus
does not do it.
Jesus promised to bring unity (cf. John 17:20).
Denominationalism brings division.
Jesus promised to save his people from their sins
(Matt. 1:21). Denominationalism promises, but cannot fulfill.
Why not submit to the authority of Christ? Why be a
part of something you cannot read about in the New Testament? Why
follow after men instead of God?
In that last great day, the day of judgment,
dont you want to hear the Lord say, ...Come, ye
blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from
the foundation of the world (Matt. 25:34). The only way
we will be able to hear those words is to obey the Lord NOW. Are
Part 4 of 4
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BOLDLY PROCLAIMING THE GLORIOUS GOSPEL OF CHRIST
Marvin L. Weir
The absence of boldness in those who profess to be
children of God has caused the Lords church much misery.
Boldness is a characteristic sorely needed by those overseeing
the Lords church and those who are preaching and teaching
Gods Word. Without boldness the apostles would have never
accomplished the task assigned to them. They were charged to not
speak or teach in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:18). Peter and John
did not have to think the matter over or consult with their
families. The quick answer of these two men of God was bold and
decisive. But Peter and John answered and said unto
them, Whether it is right in the sight of God to hearken unto you
rather than unto God, judge ye: for we cannot but speak the
things which we saw and heard (Acts 4:19-20). One can
only weep as he contemplates the answer that many preachers and
elders today would give if told not to speak or teach in the name
The apostle Paul fervently prayed that he might
open his mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of
the gospel and that even though a prisoner he might speak
boldly as he ought to speak (Eph. 6:19-20). Doubt and confusion
is not the message that is revealed in Holy Writ (Heb. 11:6; I
Cor. 14:33). Paul unmistakably states, Wherefore be ye not
unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is (Eph.
First, one must speak confidently and boldly
regarding the Creator of this universe. Genesis 1:1 states
both truth and fact and will be accepted by one who truly
believes. Herbert Spencer introduced five facts of science in the
1800s that are found in the first verse of Gods Word.
In the beginning [time] God [force] created [action] the
heaven [space] and the earth [matter] (Gen. 1:1). We do not
need preachers and teachers today who have only a vague idea of
what God meant in His revelation. Instead of creating doubt and
uncertainty in the minds of people, Gods glorious truth
needs to be stressed and His unchangeable characteristics
emphasized (cf. John 17:17; Rom. 3:4; Mal. 3:6).
Second, one must boldly proclaim the Gospel
plan of salvation. The Savior promised to build His church
(Matt. 16:18) and He did so, purchasing it with His own blood
(Acts 20:28). Thus, Christ has all authority (Matt. 28:18) and
the right to set forth the terms of salvation (Matt. 28:19-20;
Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-47). The one and only Gospel must be
preached in its purity (Gal. 1:6-9) for it is the only power unto
salvation (Rom. 1:16). One who believes what Christ has said will
repent of his sins (Luke 13:3), make the good confession (Rom.
10:9-10), and be immersed for the remission of his sins (Acts
2:38; 22:16). The Lord adds those who genuinely obey the Gospel
to His church (Acts 2:41,47).
The Lord and not man has the right to locate
salvation, and He stipulates that it is located in Him (II Tim.
2:10). We must then boldly affirm that salvation is to be found
only in Christ Jesus, and one is only in Christ if he has obeyed
the Gospel plan of salvation.
Third, one must speak boldly about the
Lords church. Instead of apologizing for the church of
Christ (Rom. 16:16), Christians need to stress that it is the
only church that has the right to exist. The phrase church
of Christ shows ownership and is not used as a proper name
or as a man-made denomination.
Those who truly believe Gods Word will boldly
declare the differences between the Lords church and the
man-made churches that have no God-given right to exist. One will
not be embarrassed that there is only one church authorized by
God (Eph. 4:4). Christ wanted it to be understood that He was the
head of His church that is said to be His body (Eph. 1:22-23). He
promises to save only His body the church (Eph. 5:23)! It
then behooves people of the age of accountability to make sure
they are members of the Lords church. Will those who defend
man-made denominations wearing names honoring some man or woman
be willing to inscribe on their building this is not a
church of Christ? Can one not see there is indeed something
in a name?
Fourth, a Bible believer will boldly state
that Gods grace will not save one in his sins. Some
folks who are living in sin and refuse to repent will say,
Ill just continue to live like Im living and take
my chances. Others say, Ill just do the best I can
under the circumstances, and if God wants to send me to Hell, He
will just have to do so."
Friends, God will keep His Word! It is not His
fault that people refuse to repent of their sins and continue to
cling to that which is sinful! It is, however, repent or perish
(Luke 13:3). Gods wonderful grace is reserved for those who
have hearts pricked by the Gospel and will turn from their sins.
The grace of God is not to be abused (Rom. 6:1).
May we boldly stand firm for the cause of Christ!
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Table of Contents
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO
PROVE ALL THINGS?
Roger D. Campbell
The familiar message of 1 Thessalonians 5:21,22 is
composed of three instructions for all Christians: 1) Prove
all things, 2) Hold fast that which is good, 3)
Abstain from all appearance of evil. Which of these
three commands would you think is important for Gods
children to heed? That is correct: each of them is essential.
In the expression Prove all things,
what does the word prove mean? It means to put to the
test. The same Greek word from which prove is
translated in this text is found in Luke 14:19, where we read
that a man said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go
to prove them. We find the same word in 1 John 4:1
where it is written that Christians are to try the
spirits whether they are of God [all emphasis mine, rdc].
Again, this proving points to the idea of putting
things or beings to a test.
In the context of 1 Thessalonians 5:21, what
would be included in the all things that are to be
proven? In verse 18 the will of God is mentioned, in
verse 19 the message is, Quench not the Spirit, and
verse 20 is, Despise not prophesyings. So, when it came
to the will of God and claims to be led by the Spirit or speak
prophetic utterances, the early saints were to prove all
things. Claims of miraculous power were just that
claims. Was there proof in the form of signs to substantiate the
claims (Mark 16:19,20)?
What about today? Just as God said they
would, true prophecies and all other miraculous manifestations of
the Spirit came to an end after the complete revelation of
Gods truth to mankind (I Cor. 13:8-10). When a modern-day
person or group claims to possess miraculous powers, we put their
statements to a test by examining the Bibles message and
pointing out the falsehoods of Pentecostal fantasies. In fact,
any time a person teaches a religious message, we need to turn to
the Book and test/try the spirits to see if they harmonize with
the genuine will of God recorded in the New Testament (I John
Let us look further. Hold fast that
which is good. This reminds us of the exhortation to
cleave to that which is good (Rom. 12:9). To hold fast
or cleave indicates that we grab on to it and do not let go!
Again, to what are we to hold fast? Answer: that which is
good. Well, everybodys got their own opinion about what
good means, right? That may be true, but the only One
whose assessment of good counts is Gods! It is to
Gods standard of good that we must hold fast. Just as God
told the Israelites to do that which was right and good in His
sight (Deut. 6:18), so Christians must turn to the Lords
true doctrine to find Gods standard of good. In order for
you and me to hold fast to that which is good, we must (1) Have
an adequate knowledge of Gods word, (2) Make a
decision/commitment to do what we know is right, and (3) Have the
courage to carry out the right action. And, what is the right
action? Answer: doing that which is pleasing in the sight of God.
There is then the third instruction of our
text: Abstain from all appearance of evil. The word
appearance means form, so we are to stay away
from all types of evil. Again, it is God that determines what is
evil. It is just as wrong to call something that is permissible
evil as it is to label a sinful activity as
good. In Isaiahs day, God pronounced a
woe on those that confused good and evil (Isa. 5:20).
Since sin is the only thing that can separate
any of us from God and keep us out of heaven (Isa. 59:2), does it
not make sense for us to strive to stay as far away from evil
activities as possible? The Lord calls on us to abstain from
fleshly lusts (1 Peter 2:11), depart from iniquity
(2 Tim. 2:19), and lay aside the sin that easily besets us (Heb.
Participating in that which God labels as
evil is no joking matter. Sin is destructive from beginning to
end. Surely we are wise enough to accept the truth that the wages
of sin is death (Rom. 6:23).
Proving all things, holding fast to that
which is good, and abstaining from all forms of evil these
are all excellent practices. We know that is an accurate
conclusion because God is the One that gave us such instructions.
He knows what He is talking about. May we have the courage to
humble ourselves before the Lord and devote our hearts to living
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Table of Contents
BY THE TRICKERY OF MEN
James E. Farley
The apostle Paul issues a warning to the Lords
church at Ephesus concerning the danger of immaturity in the
Christian faith resulting in their being tossed to and
fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine (Eph.
4:14). The New King James Version has this verse, ...no
longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with
every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in
cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting...."
The Lord expects us to GROW (Eph. 5:15; Heb.
5:11-14; 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18). The religion of the Lord is
a living one, and any living thing that is not growing is either
dead or dying. It is true that we have to die to become a
Christian... die to sin... crucify the old man... but Christ must
LIVE in us by faith as we rise to walk in newness of life (Rom.
6:1-6; Gal. 2:20). As we walk this new life in Christ we must
renew our minds daily through study and use of the Word of
righteousness, and in this way only can we discern good from evil
right from wrong (Rom. 6:3-5; 1 John 1:5-7; 2 Cor. 5:17;
Rom. 12:1-2; 2 Cor. 4:16; 2 Tim. 2:15; Heb. 5:13-14). The New
Testament is where God has revealed His righteousness; where we
are taught or instructed about how to live righteously (Rom.
1:16-17; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Titus 2:11-12). We must use the Bible to
judge righteous judgments (John 7:24; 1 John 4:1; 2 John 9-11).
The devil, our adversary, does not want us
knowledgeable. He does not want us to grow in knowledge and
grace, for his two main tools are ignorance and
lies. It is easy to lie to ignorant folks! Satan cares
not that a person, or a group of people, are zealous, just as
long as they are ignorant of Gods right ways (Rom. 10:1-3).
The father of lies and liars (John 8:44) has little trouble
convincing ignorant people of his false ways, for if a person
does not know the Truth (John 8:31-32), how will they be able to
judge whether a doctrine or practice is right or wrong? Yes
indeed, it is easy to lie to ignorant folks!
God has placed the treasure of the Gospel in
earthen vessels (human beings), and he has therefore given the
commission to preach the good news to men and not to spiritual
beings (cf. 2 Cor. 4:7; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 8:26,29; 9:6,10-17;
10:1-6). So too, Satan uses men to carry on his deceptive work.
He has ministers and they, like him, are very active in carrying
out their fathers bidding, deceiving and being deceived (2
Cor. 11:13-15; 2 Tim. 3:13). These troublers pervert the Gospel
of Christ, and lead men and women into a snare to become captives
of the devil (Gal. 1:6-10; 2 Tim. 2:25-26; 3:5-9). Keep in mind
that they do this with deception and trickery. They appear to be
ministers of righteousness, but instead, they are
wolves in sheeps clothing (Matt. 7:15-20; 2 Cor. 11:15).
We know that Satan is active and very successful
among and through the denominational churches, and for years we
have prepared ourselves to fight against the wiles of the
devil on that front (Eph. 6:10-20). However, when those from
among our own numbers turn out to be his deceitful disciples, it
delivers a blow that is staggering indeed. This is especially
true when we have come to love and trust the one who turns out to
be a heretic (Titus 3:10-11).
Paul wrote of some false brethren who
came in privily (Gal. 2:4). These kinds Jude says,
crept in unawares (Jude 4). You see, they sneak in, for
they are of their father, the devil. They lie in wait to
deceive (Eph. 4:14). They are ambushers, using lies and
hypocrisy as their camouflage. They are ravenous wolves in
sheeps clothing (Matt. 7:15-20; Acts 20:27-32). Think for a
minute about that picture. Think what one lone wolf could do to a
flock of innocent, unsuspecting sheep! Think of the carnage!
Obviously the Lord wants us aware of this great danger, and He
wants us to prepare to meet them and stop their pernicious ways!
Therefore we must try the spirits to see whether they are of God,
and if they do not have the doctrine of Christ, they must be
marked and avoided (Rom. 16:17-18; 1 John 4:1; 2 John 9-11; Rev.
2:2). Furthermore, when one of these heretics is uncovered and
warned twice, he must be rejected. Notice the urgency in Titus
3:10-11. If a wolf is loose in the flock, we do not use tolerance
and patience with him. We do what we can quickly to rid the flock
of this pressing danger.
Brethren, may God help us to be loving in all we
do for Him (Eph. 4:15). We must love Him first and foremost with
all our heart, mind, soul and strength (Mark 12:30). We must love
Jesus who is the Christ; the one who bled and died for us (I John
4:19). If we truly love Him, we will obey Him (John 14:15). We
must love the church of Christ, purchased with the precious blood
of the Lamb (Titus 3:15; 1 Peter 1:22; 3:8; 1 John 3:14-16;
5:1-3). Jesus loved the church and gave Himself for it (Eph.
5:25). We must love the Word of God that directs us as a lamp in
this dark world of sin and error (Psalm 119:97, 104-105, 127).
And, we must love the souls of men and women even to the point of
warning them of these kinds of dangers. Paul loved, and he warned
of the dangers of wolves within (Acts 20:28-32). We must strike a
balance here. We do not want to develop paranoia in our churches,
but we must do a better job instructing our members to be better
watchmen for the Cause for which our Lord gave Himself.
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WHAT IS YOUR RECOMMENDATION CONCERNING BIBLE SCHOOL?
Virgil L. Hale
Do you recommend Bible school by setting an example of
faithful attendance, or do you just recommend it in word only?
It has always been true (at least in places where
I have been) that some just will not attend Bible school. There
is always a difference in Bible school attendance and the
attendance for worship. Unless there is an unavoidable cause
which prohibits someone from being present for Bible school,
there is no possible reason why there should be such a variance
in the attendance. Here are some questions that need to be
considered, and considered honestly and seriously.
1. Would you recommend to a new convert that he
attend Bible school?
2. Would you recommend to an erring Christian who
has just returned to the church that he attend Bible school?
3. Would you recommend to your children that they
attend Bible school?
4. Would you recommend one to serve as an elder in
the Lords church who seldom, if ever, attends Bible school?
5. If Bible school is good for new converts and
for restored Christians. If it is good for your children and for
men who are considered for elders. Is it not good for you?
6. If Bible school is not good for you, are you in
favor of stopping it? If you dont feel that you need it, why
should others? Do you feel that you are superior to the average
7. If Bible school is good for you, do you
recommend that other Christians quit urging you to attend, or
that they continue to encourage you to be present?
8. Do you recommend Bible school by setting an
example of faithful attendance, or do you just recommend it in
The answer to these questions could be most
enlightening. If you are not presently attending Bible school,
why not? Not only will it help to increase your knowledge of the
Bible, but it will be a good influence on someone else. It is one
thing to talk about spiritual matters, but it is altogether
something else to put talk into action. As the old saying goes,
actions speak louder than words. When we decide to put
the Lord and His Cause first in our lives, we cannot help but be
a good example to others. Rest assured you are either a good or
bad example to others. Influence is something that we
automatically have we do not have to intentionally try to
have influence. What kind of influence have you been exerting in
regard to Bible school attendance? Think about it!
Someone has said, The true mark of success is
to be able to recommend your way of life to your son. Far
too many parents have this philosophy: Dont do as I do;
do as I say. This is not just limited to parents. Far too
often we see Christians say the same things if not by word
of mouth, by their actions.
976 Jackson Rd.
Almo, KY 42020
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ARE WE LIKE THE JEWS?
A charge being made against many of Gods faithful
people today is that we are Pharisees", meaning we are like
the hypocritical and tradition-bound Jewish leaders of
Christs day. Are we like those Jews? I categorically deny
that adhering to the tenants of the law of Christ, and standing
against false doctrine is Phariseeism."
On the other hand, are we in some ways like the
Jewish leaders of Christs day? In some ways we probably are.
If some of us are guilty, then we need to recognize the problem
and fix it so the charges are no longer true.
Many Jews in Christs day were arrogant about
their salvation. Most thought they were saved simply because they
were sons of Abraham. When Jesus tried to teach them
about their bondage to sin (John 8:32-39), they misunderstood and
remarked, ...We be Abrahams seed, and were never in
bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made
free (John 8:33)?
How might we be like these arrogant Jews? Many of
the Jews thought they were saved by bloodline. Do we think we are
saved for similar reasons? Some third-generation Christians seem
to think they are saved because their parents and grandparents
were saved. They have missed the fact that no one is saved by the
goodness of his/her parents or grandparents. Notice Gods
instructions in Ezekiel 18:20, The soul that sinneth, it
shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father,
neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the
righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the
wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. No one is
saved because their parents were devout, hard working Christians.
The Jews had developed a very arrogant attitude
toward the Gentiles, believing they were better because they were
children of God. This caused Paul to say in Romans 3:9,
What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for
we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all
under sin. Some Christians today wear their salvation
like a badge as if it makes them better than everyone
else. This kind of Christian looks down on those of the world.
They constantly judge and ridicule the neighbor for his ungodly
acts, but they have never gone to that neighbor to see if he
would be receptive to Bible study. This kind of attitude is
foreign to scripture. In fact, Paul says we are to have the very
opposite attitude about ourselves and others, Let
nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of
mind let each esteem other better than themselves
(Phil. 2:3). Jesus said, Therefore all things whatsoever
ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for
this is the law and the prophets (Matt. 7:12). A
Christian should remember that the only difference between
himself and his lost neighbor is that he as a Christian has taken
advantage of the saving power of the blood of Jesus and is
striving to overcome his sins.
The Jew seemed to have the idea that salvation was
only for them. Some Christians today wear their salvation like a
chip on their shoulder implying, Ive got it,
and you cant have it. They forget that salvation is for
ALL men, But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower
than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory
and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for
every man (Heb. 2:9).
When we become a child of God we accept the
responsibility to teach others, And Jesus came and spake
unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in
earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in
the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded
you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the
world. Amen (Matt. 28:18-20).
God forbid that we should really be like the
Pharisees in Jesus day. If we are, then pray to God to help
us repent so that the charges are no longer valid. We need to
change so that no one can use us to propagate false doctrine.
John D. Cotham
23466 Highway 49
Saucier, MS 39574
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I am still making contacts and meeting with churches to
talk about the work and informing them of the need for my
personal support. There is great interest among those Ive
talked to. I have received a great deal of encouragement to press
Are you able to help? You can contact me or the
elders at: 102 Edison St., McMinnville, TN 37110. Make your check
to the East End Church of Christ and put Garland or
printing work in the memo field. Thank you so much.
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"I have been receiving your paper for many years and appreciate
your good work. Recently I noticed that some of my mail was going
to the wrong address. Please correct this error so I may continue
reading. Thank you and may God continue to bless your efforts to
print the simple truth of the Word!!! ...Raymond Rose,
McKeesport, PA. We have enjoyed receiving your
publication. We appreciate all the good you do by spreading the
gospel. We would like to devote more of our time to studying the
Bible and feel we are not doing justice to your material. We also
want to make sure the Lords money you collect is being put
to the best use. Mailing and paper costs are constantly
increasing and we dont want to be guilty of not reading and
studying your publication as often as you intend. Please remove
our names from your mailing list so that you can send the copies
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We wish your congregation well and encourage you to keep up the
good works you do in spreading the gospel. We pray for our
brothers and sisters in Christ and also pray for our great
country in such troubling times. May God continue to bless you
all ...Jimmy & Nancy Alsup, Pulaski, TN. Would
you please send a copy of the monthly publication of Seek The
Old Paths to my friend? She would love to receive this
paper. She is a member of the church. Thank you very much
...Judy Miller, Doniphan, MO. I am a resident of the
county jail. I was raised in the church all my life and my dad
served 20 honorable years as an elder. Obviously, I have made
some mistakes in my life but I am closer to God now than Ive
been in the past 30 years. My dad and mom send me several
bulletins and publications to study while here and I usually put
the articles into outline format then pass them on to other
inmates here. Dad sent me a March 2008 issue of STOP and I
thoroughly enjoyed reading it today. I was wondering if you could
please send me any other back issues you may have. Thank you in
advance and please look for further support from my family and I
when I get out of here! Also, if you print this letter please
just omit my name ...MS. THE GOSPEL TRADEMARK A
trademark is used by manufacturers to distinguish their product
from others. The Gospel is produced by God and is stamped with
His trademark. The trademark of the gospel is Inspiration. The
Gospel was revealed, inspired and confirmed as true by the Holy
Spirit. No other book can rightly claim such inspiration. The
inspiration of the Holy Spirit insured the accuracy and
reliability of the scriptures. That makes it a definite and
accurate standard. Each Denomination also has its trademark. Its
trademark is its particular teaching that identifies it and
distinguishes it from others and from the church for which Christ
died. Christs church also has its trademark. Its trademark
is the doctrine of the apostles without deviation (Acts 2:42). It
is the deviation from the apostles doctrine that produces
Denominations. Have you looked at the trademark of your church?
Does it deviate from the apostles doctrine, failing to teach
all that the Gospel says, adding to it, taking from it, changing
it and making Gods word contradict? ...Ed Allard,
Jr., Mansfield, GA. To help with the expense. Thank
you ...Name Withheld, Harrisburg, AR. I still so
enjoy STOP and when I finish reading every word, I pass it on for
someone else to enjoy. I especially like to give it to a non-
Christian so they can read the truth about God and his church in
hopes it will lead them to Christ. At this time, I would like to
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this time, you could stop sending Seek The Old Paths to
George LeHew because he is in the nursing home and not able to
read anymore. My husband, Samuel, has passed away. They both
enjoyed the papers. Thank you ...Myrtle Troute,
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always look forward to it. I believe I sent you someones
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would like for you to send it to and please send the March 2009
issue ...Vernon Bracknell, Baldwin, IL. The old
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...Ravenswood, WV. Enclosed is a check. I am
presently unemployed and see no change in sight. It would save
some money to take me off the STOP mailing list. Even though I
enjoy it, it might be a good idea to drop me because I know it
costs a lot. Please do not list my name. East End is doing a lot
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Please do not use my name ...Amory, MS. Please
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Thank you ...Reba Burns, Burton, MI. These
people would love to start receiving a copy of STOP. Thank you
very much ...Marilyn Franklin, Clinton, MO. Dear
brother Robinson. I have found your paper, Seek The Old
Paths, to be one of the best among the brotherhood. Your
articles are so helpful to the novice, the new Christians or to
others who need to know the truth about the Word (Bible). I have
emailed you asking for ten copies, plus I sent you two names to
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paper, but I am sending a contribution to help you continue with
your work. It is needed too badly, especially now. In God we
Trust ...Patsy Cox, El Paso, TX.
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