In This Issue...
AN OFFENSIVE PREACHER
Every true Gospel preacher is an offensive preacher. There
are many who "preach" that are not, but they cannot truly be
classified as Gospel preachers.
According to Webster's Dictionary, the word "offensive"
has four meanings. Two of these definitely apply to a preacher and
I want to consider both meanings and apply them. Webster defines
"offensive" as: 1) attacking, 4) causing resentment, anger;
A Gospel preacher (really every Christian) is commanded
and expected to "put on the whole armor of God" and take
the "sword of the Spirit" (Eph. 6:10-17). It is true
that one of the purposes of that armor and that sword is for our
defense against Satan's attacks. But too many brethren have taken
the defensive position only, waiting for Satan to attack. The
Gospel preacher not only must defend himself and others against the
attacks of Satan, he must launch an unrelenting offensive
attack against him as well. He will soon discover that the
best "defence" against Satan is an aggressive offense. The grand
old song entitled "Faith Is The Victory" expresses the thought very
well. It says, "Encamped along the hills of light, Ye Christian
soldiers rise, And PRESS THE BATTLE ere the night, Shall veil the
glowing skies. Against the foe in vales below, let ALL OUR STRENGTH
RESENTMENT AND ANGER
Wherever and whenever sin arises, the faithful soldier
of Christ must attack it, no matter who may be involved. That's
what Paul had in mind in his charge to Timothy, "Preach the
word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort
with all long-suffering and doctrine" (2 Tim. 4:2).
Any man who does not have this "attack mentality" should
not be preaching the Gospel of Christ and no eldership should hire
a preacher who does not possess the "attack mentality."
However, if one is an attacker, he is going to anger and
offend some people, and cause resentment. Perhaps this is why so
many of our preachers are not attacking sin and evil. They had
rather be "liked by everybody" than to be resented by a few.
Sometimes the straightforward attack on sin in men's
lives will bring anger and resentment from two different classes of
people. One is the one whose sin is attacked. The other may be a
friend or a relative of the one whose sin is attacked, or, it may
be a member of the church who does not like such straightforward
preaching because it offends people and makes them angry.
EXAMPLES OF OFFENSIVE PREACHERS
While I realize we should "speak the truth in love"
(Eph. 4:15), and while I agree that no one should ever be
unnecessarily harsh and abusive in attacking sin and error, it must
not prevent any preacher from boldly and plainly exposing sin and
hypocrisy which will destroy one's own soul and the souls of
others. If people are offended by such rebuke and exposure of
error, they will remain lost, but we will have delivered our soul
The preachers mentioned in the New Testament were
"offensive" preachers. I want to look at four examples to
illustrate the previous points.
JOHN THE BAPTIST was an offensive preacher. He
saw the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, knew they
weren't there to repent and be baptized, and cried out to them,
"O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the
wrath to come? Bring forth fruits meet for repentance" (Matt.
3:7-8). Careful there John, you may offend those fellows. And, when
he stood before Herod, John saw a man condemned in sin. He
straight-forwardly told him, "It is not lawful for thee to
have her" (his brother's wife, Mark 6:18). It didn't make him
very popular with Herod nor with Herodias. They were greatly
STEPHEN was an offensive preacher also. Because
he took the offensive to preach the Gospel, he was arrested and
brought to court. Given an opportunity to speak, he took the
offensive even more and boldly denounced his audience, including
their forefathers. "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart
and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did,
so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted?
and they have slain them which showed before the coming of the Just
One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers"
(Acts 7:51-54). IT REALLY OFFENDED those folks. They gnashed on him
with their teeth and stoned him to death.
PAUL was an offensive preacher. He took the
offensive to preach and defend the Gospel. When certain men began
to preach a perverted Gospel at Antioch, he immediately challenged
them. He and Barnabas "had no small dissension and disputation
with them" (Acts 15:1-2). These false teachers became
constant enemies of the apostle. When Paul was trying to convert
Sergius Paulus, a sorcerer named Elymas tried to turn the deputy
from the faith. Paul took the offensive against him in the
strongest of language and even struck him blind (Acts 13:7-12).
JESUS CHRIST was an offensive preacher. Notice
the incident recorded in Matthew 15:1-14. The Pharisees criticized
the disciples for not washing their hands before they ate. Jesus
took the offensive and reminded them they transgressed the command
of God by their traditions. He called them hypocrites and told them
their worship was vain as they honored God with their lips but
their heart was far from him. The disciples asked Jesus, "Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard
this saying?" (v.12). He didn't seem too concerned. He said,
"Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted shall
be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind.
And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch"
(vs.13-14). It is interesting that Jesus' disciples were
concerned because the Pharisees had been offended by Jesus'
teaching, but Jesus was not. How many brethren since the first
century have tried to apologize for a preacher's bold proclamation
of the truth that "offended" someone?
I surely want to be one of those "offensive" preachers
who is not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16).
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Table of Contents
PAUL AND MARKING
James W. Boyd
"Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them
which walk so as ye have us for an example" (Phil. 3:17).
Paul was very aware of brethren who walked the path of
righteousness, and he commended them. He was very careful to urge
his brethren to imitate him as he imitated Christ (1 Cor. 11:1).
Not only did he have respect for such people, but he wanted other
brethren to take note of those who walked in the light.
In Romans sixteen we have a demonstration of Paul
practicing what he preached. In that chapter there is a long list
of individuals considered deserving of commendation and he
proceeded to name them by name and relate in most instances just
why they were to be so recognized. Paul did not subscribe to the
idea some have developed that it is improper to call names. In
fact, those who would blast faithful brethren for calling names do
not usually object to calling names just so long as you name only
those who are worthy of commendation. Paul was marking those in
Romans sixteen for their faithfulness and loyal service to Christ.
But we should read some more. There are some others Paul
commanded to be marked. "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark
them which cause division and offenses contrary to the doctrine
which ye have learned; and avoid them" (Rom. 16:17). Paul
considered some to be noted and identified as false teachers,
creators of trouble, dividers of brethren, with whom faithful
brethren should have no fellowship, but rather avoid. What is
interesting (and we cannot dismiss it with the oft used "wave of
the hand" attitude of liberals and seekers of acceptance by men) is
that the same word, "mark" is used in both passages (one an
infinitive form and the other an imperative form). Did you notice
how Paul marked the good brethren in Romans sixteen? Did he not
name them, and in most instances tell why they were named? Is that
not the same way we should mark those who cause trouble with their
false doctrines to the havoc of the church? How could brethren know
who was to be commended if he did not name them? How could brethren
know who was to be avoided if they were never named? How could
brethren know why such marking, both the good and the bad, was
deserving if nothing good or evil was ever connected with the
There are some weak and timid souls, for whatever
motives, who shy away from naming names when it comes to false
teachers and their false doctrines. They will even berate and
chastise brethren who do as Paul did. If they had been alongside
Paul when he wrote Romans 16:17 they would surely have "corrected"
him in his instructions. To them, naming names of false teachers is
too unloving, unkind, and like the Pharisees. But I suggest to you
that failure to name names of false teachers and their false
doctrines is unloving to those who could well become victims of
their heresy. It is unkind to the unsuspecting who could become
followers of error by deceitful smooth talkers of false doctrines.
It does injury to the faithful who could well become subverted by
I have never yet had it explained to me why those who
say they love souls and the truth that saves, want to protect the
false teachers. Is it because they want to be included in their
forums, considered "loving and sweet," or are they just lacking in
faith and too cowardly to do what inspired teaching directs us to
do? God be their judge, but their fruit in this matter is
disgusting. Such "don't-call-names" people continue to pave the way
for the acceptance of false teachers and the adoption of their
false doctrines, especially by the young, uninformed, and
Paul wrote Scripture that was to be read by people for
generations. In that Scripture he often called names, both of
commendable brethren as well as those who proved themselves to be
enemies of the cross. Today, we have some who obviously think they
have outgrown the wisdom of the Holy Spirit and rather than condemn
the false teachers and their error will condemn those who imitate
Paul in dealing with them. No wonder many churches are weak and
insipid, compromising with those who lead the digression that has
ransacked the church in recent years. The "loving" brethren, who
really show a lack of love by their failure to mark false teachers
by name and doctrine, have numbed the brains of many who, in turn,
swallow the destructive heresy that produces apostasy.
Until some of these "don't-call-names" brethren produce
some Biblical basis for their folly which is based on their own
fallacious thinking, faithful brethren will continue to be faithful
and mark in the same way the inspired apostle did and taught. He
loved his brethren. He commended those who were faithful. He wanted
the faithful to be advised, warned, and protected from the wolves
that spare not the flock. He was not concerned with being accepted
by those who promoted error. He only sought to please the Lord and
save the souls of men. What he taught about marking is a powerful
part of accomplishing that very thing. Then why do some object? Do
they recall at just what age they decided they were smarter than
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Table of Contents
101 QUESTIONS FOR CAMPBELLITES,
74. "Where was your CHURCH OF CHRIST when Alexander
Campbell was being baptized by a Baptist preacher?"
Let's think about the term "your church of Christ."
This term shows a double possession. Is it "your church" or is it
Christ's church? Quite frankly, I do not have a church. I was not
crucified for one, I did not purchase the church with my blood, nor
was anyone baptized into my name. And, that is the way I want it!
I am not qualified to die for the sins of the world. I am not
perfect as the Lord is. The church of Christ does not belong to
anyone but Christ.
Where was the church of Christ when Alexander
Campbell was being baptized by a Baptist preacher? Jesus said, "...I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail
against it" (Matt. 16:18). Jesus promised that His church or
the church of Christ would always prevail and would never be
destroyed. Since it is eternal, then the church of Christ was in
existence before, during, and after the life of Alexander Campbell.
75. "Was Elder Luce, the Baptist preacher who
Baptized Campbell, a Christian? Did Baptist Baptism put Alexander
Campbell into the Church of Christ? If not, when and how did
Campbell become a member of the Church of Christ?"
The standard of how a person is added to the Lord's
church is not Alexander Campbell nor elder Luce. The standard is
the word of God. What does God say? God says after Hearing
the Word, a person must Believe Jesus is the Christ (Mark
16:16). Upon this belief, a person then must Repent of his
or her sins (Acts 2:38). Then, a person must Confess Christ
before men as the eunuch did (Acts 8:36-38). Finally, a person
must be Baptized into Christ for the remission of their
sins. Saul of Tarsus was told, "And now why tarriest thou?
arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name
of the Lord" (Acts 22:16). When a person has done this, then
God adds him or her to His church (Acts 2:47).
Also consider this, a person's salvation is not
determined by the one baptizing. If that be the case, then a
person's salvation is determined by another. One day every person
will stand before the judgment seat of Christ, and all will be
judged "according to that he hath done, whether it be good or
bad" (2 Cor. 5:10). We will not be judged by what others have
done, but what we have done.
If Campbell was baptized with Baptist baptism, then
he was not saved. Why? Because Baptist baptism is not done for the
remission of sins for Baptists believe they have already received
forgiveness of sins. If Campbell was baptized "in the name of
Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" by a Baptist
preacher, then he obeyed God, and God added him to the church of
Let me hasten to point out that what Alexander
Campbell (or any other man) did or did not do has no nothing to do
with salvation. Our appeal is, "what does the Bible say?"
76. "If Baptist Baptism put Campbell INTO CHRIST
and HIS CHURCH -why will not Baptist Baptism do the same for people
Baptist baptism is not the one baptism of Ephesians
4:5. In question 19 and 20 (page 37), we pointed out the purpose of
the baptism that Christ commissioned, and Baptist baptism is not
for that purpose -- the remission of sins. Therefore, like all
unscriptural baptisms, Baptist baptism does nothing but get someone
77. "If Elder Luce did not Baptize Campbell INTO
Christ when and where and HOW did Campbell ever get into Christ
since he died with Baptist Baptism, and never did repudiate it?"
If Campbell was "in Christ," he was baptized into
Christ (Gal. 3:27) like everyone else who is in Christ. When,
where, and how Campbell was baptized may be important to Baptist
Davis, but those who simply make every effort to follow the Bible
recognize Campbell's baptism is not authoritative. Again, our
appeal is to the Bible and its authority, not men.
78. "If Campbell was baptized into the Church of
Christ by Luce's act, then was not the Church of Christ in fact
To some, like Baptist Davis, Campbell founded the
"church of Christ." If that be the case, then members of the
"church of Christ" would be "Campbellites." However, the church of
Christ was built by Christ on the day of Pentecost in AD 30 during
the days of the Roman Empire in the city of Jerusalem as prophesied
by Isaiah 2 and Daniel 2. So, yes, the church of Christ existed
before, during, and after the life of Alexander Campbell.
79. "Then, How could Campbell's movement,
'RESTITUTION', 'THE REFORMATION', 'THE CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION',
'DISCIPLES OF CHRIST', 'CHURCH OF CHRIST', CHRISTIAN CHURCH', ECT.,
EVER become the ORIGINAL CHURCH OF CHRIST?"
Campbell's concept was simply to return to the New
Testament. Others before he lived, during his lifetime, and after
him, have had the same concept. Having the desire to do God's will,
and God's will only, does not in any way make one a "Campbellite."
When a person does God's will, not adding to it nor taking from it,
then upon the obedience of that person, God adds him or her to His
church -- not Campbell's movement.
80. "Are you a member of the ORIGINAL GENUINE
CHURCH OF CHRIST or the one that grew out of Campbell's Reform
movement? The Church of which Campbell was a member, he got in by
BAPTIST BAPTISM. DO YOU HAVE THE SAME BAPTISM? Then, if not, you do
NOT BELONG to the original New Testament Church, but to the one
that grew out of Campbell's movement ... SELAH."
If a person simply obeys God, then he or she is not
a part of Campbell's or any other man's reform movement. Is he or
she a part of a reformation? Absolutely! Every person ought to be
"transformed by the renewing of the mind." We ought to
reform to God's will. Rather than holding on to the doctrines of
men, we ought to turn to God and His will and obey Him. This is
called repentance. Jesus said, "I tell you, Nay: but, except
ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3). When a
person will give up his man-made creeds and be like the Bereans and
search the Scriptures and receive the Word with all readiness of
mind, then that person is a part of a reformation -- God's
reformation. Why? Because they are striving to reform their lives
according to the standard of God's Word. When that person obeys God
and is baptized according to the Scriptures, then God adds him or
her to "the original genuine church of Christ."
81. "Can you show in History anywhere on earth,
a Church organized and operating as your self-styled Church of
Christ operates today prior to 1826? Where was it located? What
your authority? The scholarship of the world awaits your answer."
The organization of the church as taught in the Bible
is simple. The head of the church is Christ (Eph. 1:22-23).
Biblically, Jesus is the only head. Thus, there are no man-made
headquarters on earth of the church of Christ. Since Jesus, the
head of the church, is in heaven, then the only rightful
headquarters of the church is in heaven (Phil. 3:20). Within the
local church or congregation, there are elders and deacons. Please
notice the plurality. Paul wrote, "Paul and Timotheus, the
servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which
are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons" (Phil. 1:1).
From Acts 20, we learn that elders are known by three names. Paul
"called the elders of the church" to him. In
the original language, the word "elders" is the same word as
"presbyters" and refers to a man of mature age. Then, in verse 28,
Paul called them "overseers" or "bishops" which refers to the
office of ruling or overseeing. Finally, they are "to feed the
church of God." This is the word shepherd or pastor which
alludes to their duties of feeding and tending the flock of God.
The qualifications of elders, bishops, or pastors are found in 1
Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. Deacons are servants who help
elders. Their qualifications are found in 1 Timothy 3:8-13. Working
with elders and under their oversight are evangelists or preachers
whose God-given responsibility is to "preach the word"
(2 Tim. 4:2).
With this in mind and going back to Mr. Davis'
question, the answer is Yes! The church in the first century
throughout the world was organized with Christ as the head, elders
as overseers, and deacons as servants. Thus, the New Testament is
the authority, and scholars do not need to wait for an answer. The
true genuine church of Christ through the ages has always been
organized this same way. The Baptist Church is not organized this
way, therefore, it is not the true genuine church of Christ.
82. "Where was YOUR CHURCH OF CHRIST from
Pentecost until Campbell's day? Almost 1800 years are unaccounted
for. Where were YOU and your brethren?"
Again Mr. Davis, the church of Christ belongs to
Christ, not to me or any other person. Since Jesus taught the gates
of hell would not prevail against the church (Matt. 16:18), then
the church is eternal. Therefore, the church of Christ existed
through the ages. To say it did not exist is to deny the words of
Jesus. How did it exist? Because few will travel the strait and
narrow way (Matt. 7:14), many believe it existed in small obscure
groups. Others believe it existed in "seed form." The word is the
seed of the kingdom (Luke 8:4-15), and whenever or wherever the
word is followed, then the church of Christ exists. The New
Testament is the record the church of Christ existed in the first
century. If we follow the New Testament pattern concerning the
church, we will be the same as they. Therefore, we plead for men to
put away the doctrines of men and follow the pattern set forth
within the pages of the New Testament.
It is not necessary to be able to "rattle the chain"
of succession all the way back to the first century. The Baptist
Church certainly cannot! Let us point out again, if men do today
what men did in the first century to become Christians,
worship as Christians and live as Christians,
then men today are true genuine Christians and members of the one
body -- the church of Christ.
83. "Is it not a fact the ANTI-ORGAN wing of
Campbell's movement split off a few years ago and got their younger
set registered in Washington as THE CHURCH OF CHRIST?"
Whether a group or movement is registered in
Washington or not is immaterial. There is no doubt the Christian
Church, the Disciples of Christ, and some who call themselves
Churches of Christ are in apostasy. They are the ones who "split
off." However, that is not the case with the true church of Christ
as recorded in the New Testament. There are counterfeits today just
as there have always been those who have departed from the faith
(cf. 1 Tim. 4:1-3), but their origin is in man, not God. Since the
true church of Christ existed in the first century, then it is the
case that it can exist today, surpassing Campbell or any other man.
In fact, it does exist today as it did in the first century.
Concerning the comment about the "anti-organ;" for
the most part, historians agree the church in the first century did
not use mechanical instruments of music. Thus, all so-called
churches "split" from a capella worship. However,
historians are not the authority. The Bible teaches that man is not
to go beyond what is written (1 Cor. 4:6; 2 John 9) and not to add
to nor take away from God's Word (Rev. 22:18-19). In fact, all that
is done must be authorized by God. Paul wrote, "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). To do
something in the name of another, is to do it by his/her authority.
What saith the Scriptures concerning music in worship? "Let
the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and
admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (Col. 3:16).
The kind of music God authorizes for worship is singing. Let not
man add to nor take away!
84. "All Historians trace the origin of your
young set back through the organ-wing of the Campbellite Church,
back to the days of Campbell, Walter Scott and Barton W. Stone. Can
you trace your origin beyond this date? Are Historians all liars or
just plain ignorant?"
Concerning history, someone once said, "There is what
the historians recorded, and then there is what actually happened."
For various reasons, historians do not always get all the facts,
and they do not always agree. Thus, historians are not the
Why does Mr. Davis continue to refer to Campbellites?
Based on his example, should we call him a "Smythite." What is his
purpose? Is he trying to be demeaning or rude? Only he can answer
that, but it sure makes one wonder. Be that as it may, I'm not a
Campellite! And, his persistence in using the term doesn't change
reality. In fact, I've never even met any one who claimed to be a
Campbellite. The only persons I've ever heard use the term are
those like Mr. Davis who make charges against the church of Christ.
The origin of the church of Christ does not go back
to Campbell, Scott, or Stone. It goes back to Christ's promise of
building His church (Matt. 16:18). It goes back to the
establishment of the church on Pentecost in AD 30 (Acts 2). It goes
back to the first century -- not the nineteenth century.
85. "Your Doctrine of Church and Baptismal
Salvation are both Fundamental doctrines. Did you know that the
Catholics, the Mormons, the Jehovah Witnesses, and one Branch of
the Holiness sect, are EXACTLY in harmony with you on these points?
They tell the world the same story about Baptism and Church
membership that you do -- identical doctrines. Why don't you
fellowship these people?"
Questions have various motives. Some who came to
Jesus were sincere and wanted to know the Truth. Others came with
no interest in the Truth. They only wanted to trap Jesus. The
preceding questions make one wonder about the motives behind them.
Is Mr. Davis trying to alienate these people from the church of
Christ? It is almost as if he is saying, I'm in fellowship with
these folks, but the "Campbellite Church" is not. Is he really in
fellowship with these churches? Of course not, but he wants them on
his side to battle his enemy -- the Truth. The Bible is the Truth,
and the Truth teaches the essentiality of baptism (Matt. 28:18-19;
Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:1-4; 1 Peter 3:21, etc.),
and those who are baptized are added to the church (Acts 2:47; 1
Cor. 12:13). However, baptism is not the only Truth that must be
obeyed. Baptism is only one commandment given by God. All
commandments must be obeyed to have fellowship with God and God's
people (1 John 1:7; Eph. 5:11; 2 Cor. 6:14-18; James 4:4).
86. "Why don't you tell your people the truth
about the Music Question? What means the Greek Word PSALMOS or the
Hebrew word MIZMOR? Read 1 Cor.14:15, and define the words as you
go. BOTH THESE WORDS MEAN 'TO PLAY ON THE HARP OR OTHER STRINGED
INSTRUMENT' (Liddell and Scott, 28th. Ed. Clarendon Press, 1903)
(Standard Lexicon of New Testament Greek, Souter, 1916) Would David
be able to worship at your Church should he return to earth? If
Musical Instruments are so sinful, why will a Trumpet be blown at
the Resurrection Day? Will you rise and rebuke the BLOWER of the
TRUMPET and refuse to fellowship HIM because he uses AN EVIL
INSTRUMENT ON THAT SACRED OCCASION? Read Psalm 150 for a good
One does not have to be a Greek expert, nor does one
have to have a Greek lexicon to know the meaning of "psallo."
This word is only used five times in the New Testament in
* Rom. 15:9, "And that the Gentiles might
glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For
this cause I will confess to thee among the
Gentiles, and sing (psallo)
unto thy name."
* 1 Cor. 14:15, "What is it then? I will pray
with the spirit, and I will pray with the
understanding also: I will sing
(psallo) with the spirit, and I will
sing (psallo) with the
* Eph. 5:19, "Speaking to yourselves in psalms
and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and
making melody (psallo) in your
heart to the Lord."
* James 5:13, "Is any among you afflicted? let
him pray. Is any merry? let him sing
With one exception, this word is translated "sing." The
exception is Ephesians 5:19, and in this passage the instrument is
named -- "your heart." There are three kinds of music:
instrumental, a capella (vocal), and mixed (vocal and
instrumental). God is specific in the music He desires in worship
-- singing. In every passage in the New Testament where music is
mentioned in connection with New Testament worship, it is singing.
Since God has specified what He wants, then we must not add to nor
Though one does not have to be a Greek scholar, there
are a few observations that ought to be made about Baptist Davis'
question/statement. First, Liddell and Scott is a Classical Greek
Lexicon. The New Testament was written in koine Greek.
Second, the standard of koine Greek Lexicons is Walter
Bauer's translation of William F. Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich.
Arndt and Gingrich defines psalmos as a
"song of praise"
or "psalm, in accordance with Old Testament usage." (Notice this is
a noun and not a verb indicating to play...) psallo is
defined in the same reference as to "sing, sing praise." Third, if
psallo means to "to play on the harp or other stringed
instrument," then according to Ephesians 5:19, all would have to
play an instrument and not just a select group or a single
One of the purposes of singing is edification. For
this reason, Paul states, "...I will sing with the
understanding also" (1 Cor. 14:15) and "...teaching and
admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (Col. 3:16).
Though mechanical instruments of music may set tone and/or mood,
they do not edify nor teach. With instrumental music, one can
express excitement, anger, and tranquility, but with it, one cannot
teach anyone about Jesus, salvation, or heaven. Listen to the
exhortation of Hebrews 13:15, "By him therefore let us offer
the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit
of our lips giving thanks to his name."
From a historical standpoint, mechanical instruments
of music are a "Johnny come lately." It was introduced into the
Roman church over six hundred years after the establishment of the
church in AD 30. Within Protestant denominationalism, it is less
than two hundred years old. John Calvin, in his commentary on the
twenty-third psalm said, "Musical instruments in celebrating the
praises of God would be no more suitable than the burning of
incense, the lighting of candles, and the restoration of the other
shadows of the law. The papist therefore have foolishly borrowed
this as well as many other things from the Jews. Men who are fond
of outward pomp may delight in that noise but the simplicity which
God recommends to us by the apostles is far more pleasing to Him.
The voice of man assuredly excels all inanimate musical
instruments." In Clark's Commentary, Vol. 4, p.686, John Wesley is
recorded to have said, "I have no objection to instruments of
music in our chapels provided they are neither seen nor heard."
Finally, Charles H. Spurgeon, the great Baptist preacher who
preached to ten thousand people every Sunday in Metropolitan
Tabernacle in London, said in reference to 1 Corinthians 14:15, "I
would just as soon pray to God with machinery as to sing to God
Concerning the trumpet on the day of resurrection,
the trumpet is not used to worship God, it is used to call an
assembly of all mankind to stand before the great judgment seat of
God. As to David, he lived under the Mosaic law which was taken out
of the way and nailed to the cross (Col. 2:14). Since David was
faithful to God under the covenant in which he lived, then we can
be sure if David lived today, he would be faithful to God under the
New Testament under which we live.
RR 4 Box 4412
Cleveland, OK 74020
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Roger D. Campbell
This is the title of an article that I recently read in
a periodical. The article was written over a year ago, but the
practices mentioned in it continue until the present hour in many
places. There are some relevant matters in this article that
deserve our attention.
In June 1998, a congregation of the Lord's church in
Huntsville, Alabama "began a weekly Bible study based on episodes
of The Andy Griffith Show." An article in the Cleveland,
TN, Daily Banner (9-1-99) indicated that a denominational "ministry" called "Heart of Atlanta Network" has
also started using "The Gospel According to The Andy Griffith Show"
approach. In addition, the newspaper article said some 50 "church
congregations" have contacted the Huntsville, AL church about using
this form of "study." The original article that our brethren
published last year about the church in Huntsville reported that
the class "begins each week by watching a 20-minute episode of the
classic sitcom." Then, the class discusses moral issues, based on
the TV show they watched. At one point the article's author spoke
of the actions of sheriff Andy Taylor in one of the episodes and
made this observation: "This is a Christian example, admit it."
First of all, though some of the characters in this
often hilarious TV series may at times have acted in harmony with
the teaching of Jesus Christ, to my knowledge there is no
indication in any of the episodes that any of the characters
portrayed were Christians. Thus, it is certainly out of place to
refer to their behavior as "a Christian example." The New Testament
uses the word "Christian" in three passages (Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1
Peter 4:16). We must be certain that we use the word "Christian"
only in reference to those who are truly in Christ (Gal. 3:27), and
thus members of the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13). To apply the
word "Christian" to individuals who are not in Christ is to fail to
speak "as the oracles of God" (1 Peter 4:11).
Second, this "Mayberry mentality" shows that some
brethren have simply lost track of what attracts people to Jesus
Christ. "Mayberry Morality" smacks of trying to draw people by the
ways of the world (1 John 2:16). One can come to the Christ only if
the Father draws him. How does God draw or attract men to His Son?
"And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that
hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me"
(John 6:44,45). Men hear and learn from the Father through the
teaching of the Scriptures. Thus, God draws or attracts men to
Christ through the Bible. The early church continued steadfastly in
the apostles' doctrine (Acts 2:42). Have we "advanced" so far that
we cannot see the difference between Barney and the Bible, or Andy
and the apostles' doctrine? What does it say about our hearts when
we want to turn to a secular program instead of the Book?
Third, spiritual shepherds of the flock of God have
the God-given duty of feeding or tending the flock (Acts 20:28; 1
Peter 5:1,2). With what must the elders do this feeding? With that
which makes the sheep (members of the church) grow. What is that?
The word of God. "But desire the sincere milk of the word that
ye may grow thereby" (1 Peter 2:2). Paul's exhortation to
first century overseers is still appropriate for bishops today:
"I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is
able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them
that are sanctified" (Acts 20:32). The design of "Bible
classes," which are under the oversight of elders, is to teach and
study the Bible, not watch some sheriff smile and laugh at a drunk
man in jail!
Fourth, all the foolishness that is taking place in
the church today under the guise of building up or edifying the
church ought to make us all renew our commitment to a serious study
of the Bible. Jesus charged the Jews of His day to "search the
Scriptures" (John 5:39). Our Lord constantly prefaced His
remarks with "it is written" (such as when Jesus was
tempted, Matt. 4:4,7,10). It is he who meditates in the law of the
Lord day and night that is blessed (Psalm 1:2). These passages, and
scores of others, point us to the Word of God for our guidance and
strength and not to some modern invention of men. It is time for
all of us to give more diligence to be people of the Book.
Fifth, it is high time for a number of congregations
to seriously analyze what is being taught and just what goes on in
those periods that are supposed to be devoted to Bible study. True,
most congregations of the Lord's church are not yet ready to begin
using Andy Griffith episodes in their classes as an attraction to
draw a crowd. But the fact remains, some materials published by
supposed "Christian" publication houses contain error. It is just
as wrong to teach error by using a textbook as it is to preach it
from the pulpit. Elders need to be certain that the Bible class
materials being used are sound. Much of the material that is used
in Bible classes is extremely weak and not very challenging to
those in the class.
Also, I can tell you from the experience of my
children, that even in some of the teenage classes of sound
churches, on occasion there is time wasted and time spent talking
about non-biblical topics. My kids have sat in Sunday morning or
Wednesday night classes in which a lot of time was spent talking
about Michael Jordan and sports, or some other modern
entertainment. I personally do not take kindly to turning my kids
over to a teacher, fully expecting him to teach them the Bible
during the whole class period, and have him "fiddle around" in
class. If our young people turn out to be imitators of those
Israelites who lived after the death of Joshua ("And there
arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor
yet the works which he had done for Israel," Judges 2:10),
then surely part of that ignorance is going to be because some of
our Bible classes have not done an effective job.
Are we totally against television and Andy Griffith
in particular? Not at all. But in our search to find what pleases
Jehovah, we are to hear Christ, not Andy (Matt. 17:5), the Gospel,
not Aunt Bee (Rom. 1:16).
Note: All quotations in this article re: "Mayberry
Morality" are from Wineskins (July-August, 1998,
pp.20-22). At the time the above-mentioned "Mayberry Morality"
article was published, this periodical was co-edited by Mike
Cope and Rubel Shelly, two outspoken "change
agents" who have done extensive damage in the church.
4865 Bates Pike SE
Cleveland, TN 37323
Table of Contents
"The Third Annual Lubbock Lectureship will be held Oct.
8-12, 2000 at the Southside church of Christ, 85th St at Quaker Ave
(PO Box 64430) Lubbock, TX 79464. Phone (806) 794-5008 or 798-1019.
Also, the 1st Annual Southside Gospel Singing begins at 7:30pm,
Oct. 7, 2000. 35 lessons will be delivered by as many speakers. The
theme is In The Beginning, Christian Evidences & Apologetics.
There is free housing and RV space. Audio and video tapes and
books are available" ...Tommy Hicks, Lubbock, TX. "The
Archibald Church of Christ in Archibald, Louisiana, is searching
for a preacher. If you know of someone we might could contact,
please contact me at my e-mail address email@example.com. We are
located about 35 miles southeast of Monroe, Louisiana. The church
here at Archibald is grounded in the truth and sound doctrine, and
we are looking for a preacher that is also preaching sound doctrine
and the truth. Our Sunday morning service has a average attendance
of 85 to 100. Thanks for your help. My family and I really enjoy
reading the newsletter that you send us. My God bless you, and your
efforts for the truth. Thanks" ...William Burgess, Archibald,
LA. "Thanks so much for your continued good work in printing
and issuing S.T.O.P. It is so
sad to see so many in our
brotherhood who no longer want to wear the name of Christ but
prefer to be associated with a "community church" with a
denominational practice in worship and "outreach." Brethren, please
continue to hold to the truth. We pray that your paper will spread
all over this nation and that more and more people will become
aware of the evil that has invaded the Lord's church. May God
bless!" ...Jack Lawyer, Conway, AR. [EDITOR'S NOTE: We
plan on examing the "Community Church" in an upcoming issue.] "May
God bless you all in your great efforts in doing the Lord's will.
Through much study and prayer we hope many can come to the
knowledge of the truth and will be added to the Kingdom. Keep up
the good work. Contend for the faith" ...Ferrell Hurley,
Albemarle, NC. "I came across your Seek the Old Paths
and found them very interesting. It warms my heart that there
are still sound and well balanced brethren still out there. Please
put me on your mailing list" ...Michael G. Kissel, Tennyson,
IN. "Would you please send your paper Seek the Old Paths.
I have read this paper and really believe you teach the
truth" ...Dollie Chandler, Wisconsin Rapids, WI. "Remove
Sue Woodard & Eddy Don Russell from your mailing list" ...Sue
Woodward & Eddy Don Russell, Warren, MI. "You all have an
excellent publication. The articles are very timely. However, I
desire to have my name removed from your mailing list. I am simply
receiving too much mail, and I do not have time to read all of it.
Your prompt attention to this matter will be greatly appreciated"
...Coleman Crocker, Union City, TN. "I love S.T.O.P."
...Harold Heath, Princeton, KY. "I would appreciate
receiving S.T.O.P. I like it very much" Cecil
Seamon, Mocksville, NC. "Please cancel these two addresses.
Thank you" ...Charles Matthews, Tyler, TX. "We appreciate
having received your monthly publication, Seek the Old Paths,
for these past months and wish to continue to do so. The
publication is relevant, informative, and reliable. It represents
one of the rapidly decreasing number of publications in the
brotherhood that still lives up to and represents its name. We wish
to help a bit in the defrayal of expenses associated with printing,
handling, and mailing the publication" ...Jim & Frankie Bailey,
Middleton, TN. "Please continue sending this publication. In
reading many other publications, I find S.T.O.P. to be
the best help in keeping up with what the change agents are doing.
Our local agent is Lynn Anderson. He has helped with the
development of a new Community Church with instrumental music here
in Arlington, TX. The news is out on him, and most churches are not
using him in their men's retreats, vacation school, or as special
speaker. I did hear that he was working to help Max Lucado
in San Antonio when he was out changing the word of God! The new
problem I find myself concerned with has to do with Faith &
Praise song book. Howard Publications has really put a
problem in the churches with this work. Can you help with the
problem of using songs to change the fruit of vine into wine in
Song? Three times this changing of the word of God is expressed.
Other problems exist with this book but our young people have
accepted the fact that wine is ok! Can you send additional
information and or tell me where I can get help to expose this song
book?" ...Name withheld. "I am glad and pray for your
continued efforts in standing for and teaching the TRUTH and
contending for THE FAITH. May GOD bless you and the congeration of
East Cortinth" ...Wesley Bradley, Paris, TN. "Greetings
brother Garland. Appreciate very much continuing to receive your
fine publication, and your continued stand for the truth. Perhaps
if you have the wherewithal you could send a few issues each month
for our small congregation...10, 15, 25. Though small, we have very
knowledgable members who appreciate hearing the truth. Also, I am
interested in submitting articles for publication, if you would
consider them. Please advise what your requirements are for
submission" ...Ewell D. Pritchett, Greeneville, TN. [NOTE:
Thank you for your good letter and words of encouragment. We do
accept articles for publication. You may submit them via email or by regular mail. Make sure the type is
clear so it can be scanned. We like articles of general interest
that would be of benefit across the brotherhood. It may be
examining an error being taught or practiced or simply a good
teaching article.] "I wanted to express my thanks for the good work
that you do. The spirit of the articles and letters by Lennie
Reagan, Bobby Duncan, David B. Jones, and the open letter from the
Mississippi congregations to the elders of the Senatobia Chruch of
Christ all demonstrate a faithfulness to God, Jesus Christ and His
word. At the same time it demonstrates a heart of love, compassion
toward the wayward, and a genuine desire for repentance that is
needed. There are times, it seems, that some relish at the finding
of fault and the opportunity to expose it. It seems to me that they
spend "their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear
some new thing" (Acts 17:21). On the other hand, Paul was stirred
in his spirit because of those who were following false ways. Some
may say that Paul castigated those pagans. But anyone who reads his
Mars Hill sermon can only be amazed at the wise approach that Paul
took. I commend you for exposing error. Equally so for the broken
spirit that such error causes. Thank you. God bless you"
...Steve Vice, Saipan, Mariana Islands. "Please remove me from
your mailing list. I believe that satan is using you to cause
dissention among the brethren" ...Charles F. Many, Ruston, LA.