THE CURRENT APOSTASY
Simply stated, an apostasy is an abandonment of things once
believed. It is also termed a departure from the faith
(Vines). It involves the rejection of truth and embracing the
teachings of Satan and his hellish host.
There are frequent prophecies of such departure in the New
Testament. Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the
latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to
seducing spirits and doctrines of devils (1 Tim. 4:1).
For the time will come when they will not endure sound
doctrine (2 Tim. 4:3a). The situation is vividly
described in 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 where it is stated,
because they received not a love for the truth, that they
might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong
delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be
damned who believe not the truth but had pleasure in
Apostasy occurs in the ranks of believers for one cannot
fall from a place or position where he has never been. It comes
forth from congregations who claim Jesus Christ as Lord. In the
midst of professed believers, Gods truth is flung to the
ground, belittled, ridiculed and ignored.
Students of church history can pinpoint the departures
that virtually obliterated the Bride of Christ for centuries. We
are familiar with the struggles of the reformers and the fervent
desire to eliminate the buildup of centuries of error. Then there
was the refreshing cry not to reform a corrupt institution but to
restore the church as it was in the New Testament. How thrilling is
the plea to be simply Christians as they were in the New Testament
and worship as they did!
Literally thousands embraced this desire. No book but
the Bible, no creed but the Christ, speak where the Bible speaks,
be silent where the Bible is silent, became the watchword. And
the church grew as it did in the first century because the same
things they preached and practiced were again preached and
practiced. But the old temptation to be like the nations round
about reared its head again in Gods spiritual Israel.
Corruption of worship and corruption of Gods pattern for
evangelism began to develop. Apostasy became a reality.
Faithful brethren had to begin again to rebuild the
walls. The faithful remnant put their hands to the Gospel plow
and seed falling on good and honest hearts had the desired effect.
Now, to use the old cliche, history is once again
repeating itself. As was true of the initial apostasy, the time has
come when believers will not endure sound doctrine. Instead,
after their own lusts they heap to themselves teachers, having
itching ears. They turn away their ears from the
truth and are turned unto fables. In many circles, truth is
considered irrelevant, divisive, cultish or just a matter of
opinion. Many preachers deliver their weekly sermons with scarcely
a mention of the Word. In its place, jokes, fables and death bed
stories are inserted.
As the famine in hearing the word of the Lord
has intensified, there is seldom ever even a proclamation of the
plan of salvation. There are now places where one claiming to be a
Gospel preacher can close his sermon by inviting those who need to
do so to pray the sinners prayer and hardly an
eyebrow be lifted, let alone a voice of protest. It is reasoned
that we are all sinners saved by grace and there is now no need to
emphasize the need to do the will of the Lord. It ought to be
apparent to those who claim to be of Christ that once they refuse
to obey the Lord and do his will, they have begun that fateful fall
from the ranks of true believers. Not every one that
saith unto me Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom heaven, but he
that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven
For the last several decades there has been a gradual and
persistent move away from the time-honored belief in the
infallibility of the Bible. An evidence of this is the multiplicity
of versions now available. Reliable versions like the King James is
generally scorned as being archaic and difficult, being a relic of
no longer used English. The truth is the new versions are watered
down perversions not worthy of serious study or research and simply
indicate the decadence that has pervaded both the religious and
The current apostasy can trace its beginning to the same
source as all of the others unconcern and disregard for the
authority of Gods word. Our Lord plainly declared that those
who would follow him must observe and obey his teaching.
Why call me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I
say (Luke 6:46)?
There is no longer a distinction between the Christian and
the world. Jesus declared concerning his followers: the
world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as
I am not of the world (John 17:14). The reason there is
hostility between the world and the true followers of Jesus is
because those true followers do not compromise their standards nor
join in with the worlds activities and agenda.
But it must be admitted that it is now difficult to
differentiate between the saint and the people of the
world. They look alike, dress alike, behave alike, have the same
goals and pursuits in life, watch the same movies and listen to the
same music. It is nothing short of amazing that many denominational
schools have stricter standards of dress and behavior than do our
supposed to be Christian colleges.
Some of this invasion of the world has come through the
glorified baby sitters styled as youth ministers. Dare we
ask for Bible authority to hire special ministers for some elite
group in the church? In many cases, they have begun using the
worlds music in their so-called devos. Under the
tyranny of rock and roll, young people of the world are impelled to
be involved in all kinds of orgies. What do you think church folks
are impelled to do under the same tyrannical spell when the same
music (except for the words) is used in a religious service? There
is no such thing as Christian rock music it doesnt exist.
The use of that ungodly beat and sound is an effort to attract and
hold young people in the organization. They can get their kicks in
church rather than go to a concert or a nightclub or a cabaret.
The seeds of apostasy have sprouted as seen in the
popularity of the social gospel. No longer is the church viewed as
performing its function when engaged in evangelism, edification and
benevolence. Recreational activities are now considered as a normal
work of the church. Many congregations now host agendas
that range from job training to weight loss and field ball teams
and drama clubs. A bulletin from a Tennessee congregation announces
that because so many of their teens are involved in high school
basketball, they will run the van to the away games for the
spectators of the congregation.
As the apostasy grows, no longer is there an understanding
that the son of man is come to seek and save that which
was lost. The family life center is the home. The church
is not charged by God to raise children. The church is not a
business enterprise charged to render services to the community or
make a profit. The basic goal of the church is not to alleviate
temporal suffering but eternal suffering. Apostates make loud
lamentations about losing our children, being out of
touch with society and the need to appeal to the whole
man. They forget, For I am not ashamed of the gospel
of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone
that believeth to the Jew first and also to the Greek
(Rom. 1:16). A mark of the current apostasy is the lack of
confidence in the power of the Gospel. Love to have it so
elderships smilingly approve as the youth entertainment directors
wean the young people away from the church for the uplift of a
bowling party or a lock in.
Another sign of the prevalence of apostasy is the
preponderance of a desire for affluence or an abundance of material
possessions. It is not unusual to hear of congregations holding
seminars to guide people on how to be debt free or accumulate
wealth. The gospel of prosperity seems to be all the rage. Am I
wrong. Didnt Jesus say, Lay not up for yourselves
treasure on earth? Is affluence synonymous with
Gods approval? And having food and raiment let us be
therewith content (1 Tim. 6:8).
Further evidence of the harvest from the seeds of apostasy
that have been sown is in the drift from Bible teaching concerning
marriage and divorce. God stated emphatically that a man
shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his
wife (singular) and they shall be one flesh
(Gen. 2:24). Many marriage ceremonies have become cluttered with
nonsense and meaningless verbiage. The statement till death do
us part has become a joke and could as well be substituted
with the words, till we grow tired of each other.
This flippant spirit has produced carnal minded
congregations who declare to those who have been divorced and
remarried for all kinds of reasons come to us as you are.
Men may proclaim so-called new ideas about marriage and divorce but
God has not changed his viewpoint: adultery is still adultery and
fornication is still fornication. And professing Christians are
neither automatically excused nor forgiven just because they are
professing Christians! While it is true that God forgives sin when
a person is truly repentant, repentance does not allow a
continuation of sin. Repentance seems to be a lost message in the
church more seeds of the great apostasy! Proof of this is the
increasing number who take pleasure in unrighteousness while
maintaining their claim of Gods approval on their lives and
The cliche again comes to mind, history repeats
itself. When this apostasy is finished (and personally I think
it is far from being done) those who love the truth will again have
to sweep away the muck and the rubble. Once again we must seek to
rebuild the walls of Zion and call for a return to the old paths.
6677 County Road
Town Creek, Alabama 35672
Table of Contents
DIFFERENT KINDS OF WORKS #2
All that I have heard in the last few years about
works is that they will not and can
not save. From the pulpit, television, radio and printed page,
many are brave to claim that works have nothing whatsoever to do
with salvation. Whenever they come to the word works in
the New Testament, they automatically include any and all works of
any kind. However, there are at least six different classes or
kinds of works mentioned in the New Testament. We would do well to
learn something about each one and then seek to understand them in
their context because each one is different.
There are WORKS OF THE FLESH. In Galatians
5:19-21 we read, Now the works of the flesh are
manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness,
lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations,
wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness,
revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I
have also told you in time past, that they which do such things
shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
The word flesh indicates that associated
with, or pertaining to the flesh, carnal. These works are
ones deeds which originate from the desires that are solely of
the flesh. Ones actions serve to satisfy their desires.
Therefore, they are called works of the flesh. These
works prevent one from entering the kingdom of heaven. So long as
one continues in them he is unrepentant and cant obey the
Gospel. If, after obeying the Gospel, one falls back into such, he
cannot receive the blessings of the kingdom of God.
The very nature of the works of the flesh oppose the works
of the kingdom. But the works mentioned in verses 22-26 of
Galatians 5 are those which benefit the servant of the Lord and
promote the Lords church. But the fruit of the
Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness,
faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they
that are Christs have crucified the flesh with the affections
and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the
Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one
another, envying one another.
There are WORKS OF THE DEVIL or WORKS OF
DARKNESS. In 1 John 3:8 we read, He that committeth
sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For
this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy
the works of the devil. Romans 13:12 says,
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore
cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the
armour of light.
The works of the devil are works that originated with
Satan but are engaged in by man. Christians must not only refuse to
participate in them but must reprove such works. And have
no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather
reprove them (Eph. 5:11).
There are WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS or MORAL
GOODNESS. We read about such in Titus 3:5. Not by
works of righteousness which we have done, but according
to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and
renewing of the Holy Ghost. For rulers are not
a terror to good works, but to the evil (Rom.
13:3). The world recognizes these as worthwhile. Such works may
result in helping others or in ones personal morality, but
they have no power to save one from their sins. Good works are
performed by saints after they become Christians.
There are WORKS OF THE LAW OF MOSES.
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no
flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the
knowledge of sin (Rom. 3:20). The Law of Moses was not
designed to save from sin. Its purpose was to identify and condemn
sin for what it is. It was to show the blackness and guilt of sin.
It brought man to the realization of his utter inability to follow
a set of rules wherein he could justify himself.
The Scriptures make clear that the law of Moses could not
save and that Jesus death on the cross took that law (works)
away. Notice these verses: Wherefore then serveth the
law? It was added because of transgressions... Wherefore the law
was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be
justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer
under a schoolmaster (Gal. 5:19,24-25). Since Jesus died
on the cross, men are no longer subject to the law of Moses (Rom.
7:1-5). Jesus died, Blotting out the handwriting of
ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took
it out of the way, nailing it to his cross (Col. 2:14).
He died that the law might be fulfilled (Matt. 5:17-18).
There are WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS INTRODUCED BY MAN.
Romans 10:1-3, 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. For they being ignorant of Gods righteousness, and
going about to establish their own righteousness, have not
submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
These works may be described as works designed by man to
draw men closer to God. Many such works became traditions and more
often than not, replaced the Laws of God. In many respects, they
became more important to the Jews than obeying Gods commands.
They were thought of as bringing salvation to those who worked
them. According to many scribes and Pharisees, it was worse to
break one of these commands than it was to break a law of God. We
see an example of this in Mark 7:8 when Jesus said, For
laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men,
as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye
do. Some of their traditions did nothing more than
circumvent the law of Moses. When they refused to help their needy
parents by obeying one of their traditions, Jesus said they made
the Word of God of none effect (Mark 7:13).
Jesus said the scribes and Pharisees would bind heavy
burdens and lay them on mens shoulders but not lift one finger
to help them. They were hypocrites for they would say and do not
There are WORKS OF GOD. These are works God
commands all men everywhere to do. They are the works of
God as mentioned in John 6:28-29. They are sometimes called
works of faith (1 Thess. 1:3; 2 Thess. 1:11). We often
refer to them today as works of obedience.
When men perform the work God commands them to do, he has
nothing to brag of, he has only done that which was his duty to do
(Luke 17:10). What counts with God is faith which worketh by
love (Gal. 5:6). Jesus said those approved of God are those
who do the will of my Father which is in heaven (Matt.
Peter preached on Pentecost for men to save
themselves by obeying Gods works (Acts 2:40).
If it is the case, as many teach, that man has nothing whatsoever
to do with salvation, then Peter misinformed thousands on the day
of Pentecost and led them astray. But, Peter spoke by inspiration
and his words recorded in this passage are accurate and true. All
men will be judged by them.
Those who obey God are greatly blessed. Blessed
are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the
tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city
(Rev. 22:14). Paul told the brethren at Philippi to
work out your own salvation with fear and trembling
(Phil. 2:12). To humbly submit our will to the will of God and
perform that which he has commanded us, is to work the works
of God (John 6:29).
Though many ignore the book of James and some even deny
its inspiration, what James says about the works of God (the works
Gods command us to do) rings loud and clear. Thou
believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also
believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that
faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father
justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the
altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and
by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was
fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed
unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye
see then how that by works a man is justified, and not
by faith only (James 2:19-24).
The only way Christians will stand approved in Gods
sight come judgment day is by continuing stedfast,
unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as
ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord (1
It ought to be obvious that five of these six classes of
works have nothing to do with salvation. However, to think that
complying with the works God originated and commands men to do have
nothing to do with salvation, is not according to the Scriptures.
As a matter of fact, it is contrary to the Scriptures.
In the next issue, well explore the works of
God and show that obeying these works from the heart
is an essential part of our salvation.
2nd of 3 parts
Table of Contents
ATTENTION WE ARE MOVING!
According to statistics, many Americans move quite
frequently. I know that is the case with many on the mailing list
of Seek The Old Paths. Preachers move quite often and that has now
become true in my case.
I am moving to McMinnville, Tennessee, and will be working
with the East End church of Christ. Even though it will be a little
while before we actually move, all correspondence needs to be sent
there effective immediately. The address is: 102 Edison St.,
McMinnville, TN 37110. All contributions toward the paper need to
be made out to Seek The Old Paths and mailed to the East
End church in McMinnville. Put on the envelope, att: STOP. As
always, there will be a full accounting of all funds contributed to
this worthy work.
The church at East End has enjoyed many good years as a
sound and faithful congregation. It is overseen by four faithful
elders and they enthusiastically look forward to adding Seek
The Old Paths to their many good works.
This move presents my family with new opportunities and
challenges. This will also move us closer to aging parents where
well be able to help as were needed. We will be leaving
behind so many friends and dear brethren in Corinth and especially
at the East Corinth congregation. These brethren have been
essential in helping to do all the behind the scenes
things necessary in getting the paper out each month.
I assure you that nothing will change about Seek The
Old Paths except the mailing address. I sincerely appreciate
all the kind words of encouragement and the many contributions.
Without you, this work would not be possible.
Editor, Garland M. Robinson
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PRAISING AND FELLOWSHIPPING THE WICKED
James E. Farley
They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but
such as keep the law contend with them (Prov. 28:4).
We are commanded to ...have no fellowship with
the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them
(Eph. 5:11). However, more and more we are seeing members of
the churches of Christ fellowshipping, encouraging, and even
praising those in the denominations. If darkness is the opposite of
light, and the light we have to guide us in this dark world of
error and sin is the verbally inspired Word of God (Psalm
119:104-105), then denominationalism is the darkest form of
darkness. Denominationalism is absolutely contrary to the Word of
God (the light) and is certainly darkness (John 17:20-21; 1 Cor.
I must admit that it is staggering to me when I hear about
congregations inviting a denominational preacher to speak on a
program. It amazes me to hear about our schools having
specialists from among the denominational ranks come in
to teach on special workshops. Oh, they will say,
Were not endorsing their error, but these men (and women)
have something to say, and their expertise will be helpful to those
we are training in these fields (i.e. youth ministry, etc.).
These want to associate with the denominationalists and
use them in their programs, while saying We are not
fellowshipping them, we are not endorsing their error, but we can
still use them to the glory of God.
There was a king of Judah named Amaziah, who, when he came
to the throne of Judah, determined that he would go to war against
the Edomites. He surveyed and inventoried his men of war and found
that he had ...three hundred thousand choice men, able to go
forth to war, that could handle spear and shield (2 Chron.
25:1-5). However, Amaziah seemed to think this was not enough, so
He hired an hundred thousand mighty men of valour out of
Israel for an hundred talents of silver (v.6). This is during
the time of the divided kingdom with Israel in
the north and Judah in the south. The kingdom split years
before when Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, led the ten northern tribes
into rebellion against God! Jeroboam set up a different worship,
established a new priesthood not from the tribe of Levi, made new
feasts that were ...like unto the feast that is in Judah,
and he himself offered sacrifices upon the altar at Bethel! These
things were certainly not ordained by God, but Jeroboam devised
these things of his own heart (1 Kings 12:25-33). This
was sinful for it was contrary to Gods revealed law (1 John
3:4; 1 Kings 12:30). This sin certainly separated these ten tribes
from God, for that is precisely what sin does, separates (Isa.
59:1-2). Sin brings death, always has, always will! (Gen. 2:16-17;
Rom. 6:23; Prov. 14:12). And, death simply means
separation. When men are in sin, they are separated from
God they do not have God (cf. 2 John 9). Jeroboams actions
became sin unto the house of Jeroboam, even to cut it off, and
to destroy it from off the face of the earth (1 Kings 13:34).
Romans 15:4 says these things which were written
aforetime were written for our learning. We can learn
something from Jeroboams actions. We learn that manmade
religion divides people from God. If we are to have fellowship with
He who is light, we must walk in His light (1 John 1:5-7). If we
are to be disciples indeed we must continue in the Word
(John 8:31-32). This principle has always been true and is true
In 2 Chronicles 25 we learn of Amaziah hiring mercenaries
from Israel for an hundred talents of silver. But there
came a man of God to him, saying, O king, let not the army of
Israel go with thee; for the Lord is not with Israel, to wit, with
the children of Ephraim (2 Chron. 25:7). Why was it that
God was not with Israel? It was because of the sin of
Jeroboam who caused Israel to sin. Over and over
again, from 1 Kings chapter twelve forward in the Old Testament, we
read of the sin of Jeroboam (cf. 1 Kings 13:34; 14:16;
15:30, 34; 16:2; 2 Kings 3:3; 9:9; 10:29,31). Essentially, what
Jeroboam did was to set up a manmade denomination with manmade
headquarters, manmade worship, manmade priesthood, etc. This was
(and is) contrary to Gods law, and it separated (and still
separates) people from God.
Amaziah, in 2 Chronicles 25, could have reasoned like some
of our people today by saying something like, Well Lord, I am
not condoning Israels error, I am not really fellowshipping
them, I just want to use them to whip the Edomites, after all Lord,
they do have certain skills and talents that can be used to your
glory. But Gods man straightforwardly told the king,
let not the army of Israel go with thee; for the Lord is not
with Israel. This has to be our attitude toward the manmade
religions of today. Denominations have come from men planting
different seeds and producing plants which God
has not planted (Luke 8:11; Matt. 15:13).
When Amaziah obeyed the Word from God and sent the men out
of Israel home, they were greatly angered, and on their way home
they destroyed some of Judahs cities and took much spoil (2
Chron. 25:10,13). Let us not be surprised when those among the
sectarian groups (even those who were once with us like the
Christian Church) become angered when we tell them we
cannot use them because God is not with them. Our brethren would do
well to study the book of Nehemiah again with these things in mind
(Neh. 2:20; 6:1-4; 13:1-9).
Proverbs 28:4 is correct. The further from Gods law
men get, the better the wicked look, but when faithful ones will
abide in Gods Will, they cannot help but to contend with those
who oppose it (Jude 3; Phil. 1:17). Those who are living according
to the doctrine of Christ must never give those who are not, any
indication that we are having any kind of fellowship with them (2
John 9-11). We must try the spirits whether they are of
God (1 John 4:1), warn them and attempt to correct them, but
if they will not repent, they must be marked and avoided (Rom.
16:17). We must have no fellowship with the unfruitful
works of darkness, but rather reprove them (Eph. 5:11).
P.O. Box 285
Crum, WV 25669
Table of Contents
A number of years ago I was checking on some work following
my return from South Africa. I sent out a number of resumes along
with questions about the congregation to which I was applying and
answered questions they had sent me. It is unfortunate that the
Lords church is in such a state of disarray that some of the
questions being asked (by preachers and congregations alike) need
to be asked at all. Some of those interviews were quite
interesting. There were some congregations, thankfully, who were
open and candid about the issues, and those calling me would ask
some very pointed and direct questions (as they should). Others
seem to be more interested in employing a hireling to do the work
of the church while at the same time manifesting a poor attitude
about issues in the Lords church. In fact I had one brother
affirm that the congregation he represented refused to be
issue oriented. When I asked him what he meant, he told
me that they simply did not want their preacher getting embroiled
in the issues facing the church AT ALL! So what about issues?
Can the local congregation simply ignore brotherhood
issues? Please consider the following.
When I was a little boy, I would watch some of the old
western movies and television programs. When the bad guys would
flee, the men in the white hats would take the initiative
and head them off at the pass. Our heroes were not afraid
to face the enemy head on. Great leaders of the past, in both the
secular and spiritual fray, were men of courage.
More often than not, a good leader will take the
initiative. They believe that an ounce of prevention is worth
more than a pound of cure. There is no such thing as
issueless Christianity. Our Lord lived among the most
outspoken and radical false teachers of His day. He would speak
boldly on issues, teaching the truth and exposing error. Like our
western heroes, our Lord would take on the enemy and head them
off at the pass. He was the Master Controversialist. Were I to
ask if Jesus addressed the issues of His day, doubtless
none would answer in the negative.
The church is the body of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23; Col.
1:18). If we are the body of Christ, do we not represent Christ?
Are we not (as we have often heard said) His hands, His feet, etc?
Paul said that the church is the pillar and support of the
truth (1 Tim. 3:15). We are to contend earnestly for the
faith (Jude 3). How can we fulfill these two sacred
obligations if we do not address issues? The late Bill Jackson was
straight to the point: We keep hearing from those who admit
that the issues are present, but their recommendation is that
nothing be said about it. The preacher or the editor is censured
for speaking or writing on it, as if the noble thing to do when an
issue rears its head is to ignore it. We wonder if some feel that
by ignoring it, it will go away? The basis behind the urging of
silence is that men are involved, and thus these men have their
friends, associates and supporters, and they do not want to see
their friends spotlighted at all. Let a problem such as Crossroads
appear, and let men thus begin to promote it; then, those who try
to counter it face the friends and supporters. Let someone get off
on the doctrine of marriage, divorce and remarriage, and spread the
doctrine abroad; again, those countering the false position must
face the friends and supporters. How right he is.
The church in any location cannot afford to remain silent
on the issues facing the brotherhood. We live in such a mobile
society close knit in every sense of the word. If a congregation
has not yet experienced the error being taught in some places, just
give it time and it will eventually arrive in your community and
your congregation. So, wisdom dictates that we head it off at
the pass. Yet so often when the preacher or elders address an
issue they are branded as trouble makers (reminds me
somewhat of what Ahab said of Elijah, 1 Kings 18:17-18).
Brethren, we cannot, dare not, remain silent on issues.
A strong, definitive, clear proclamation on where we stand is
absolutely important. The survival of the body depends upon it.
511 Southgate Dr.
Mt. Pleasant, TX 75455
Table of Contents
NON-BORING WORSHIP DESIGNED TO PLEASE
Marvin L. Weir
Where are the Scriptures for theatrical
dramas, inspirational concerts, and dancing,
shouting, and swaying to the beat
The Saturday, February 15, 2003 Dallas Morning News
featured an article by Berta Delgado in the
Religious section entitled Lights, camera,
worship. The caption noted that high- tech wizardry is as
expected at these churches as pipe organs are at others. The
article notes that many houses of worship now have somewhat
the look and feel of performing arts centers, and then gives
the following information regarding the Fellowship Church in
The church, which draws 16,000 people or more, has a
sanctuary with comfortable, theater-style seating.
The stage can be changed, even moved around to suit
any message the Rev. Ed Young, Jr., senior pastor, is
delivering. (Once, while preaching about Gods armor,
he sat in an Army tank). The stage also has a ramp,
so Mr. Young can walk down among the congregation
while preaching... Most people think church is
boring, that its something they have to suffer
through and dont really want to be a part of, said
the Rev. Rob Johnson, Fellowships worship pastor.
Were trying to tell them were excited that we
in our faith. God is the author of all creativity. He
gives us all these wonderful things, so use them ...
Media Ministry members, working in a control room
decked out with $800,000 worth of electronic
equipment, also roll video onto the giant screens.
Craig Janssen, co-founder of Addison-based
Acoustic Dimensions, called the technology trend in
the church a steamroller. His company says a basic
system runs around $500,000. A system to accommodate
concerts and other productions costs about $1
million. But many churches spend was beyond that.
Its not a luxury anymore, its expected,
It is obvious that modern, man-made worship is
designed to appeal to ones emotions and feelings rather than
ones reasoning and intellect. The statement that most
people think church is boring, that its something they have to
suffer through and dont really want to be a part of is
indicative of mans distorted view of worship.
The Bible makes it clear that God is to be the object of
ones worship. The Scriptures declare, Then saith
Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou
shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve
(Matt. 4:10). What is sad it that denominational ideals and
innovations have more influence over men than the Holy Scriptures!
Brethren, it is not whether I am pleased with worship, but
whether God is pleased with worship! God is only pleased when one
worships in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).
Christ has made clear His disdain for those who give lip-worship
while their heart is far from Him. He says, But in vain
do they worship me, teaching as their doctrines the precepts of
men (Matt. 15:8-9).
Most people today believe that if they are happy
with their worship that God is happy with their worship.
Not so! The Creator has the right to demand how His
creatures worship Him. Scriptural worship will never be
boring to those who truly love and appreciate God.
Mr. Johnson stated, He [God] gives us all these
wonderful things, so use them. Thus, folks who possess certain
objects and have certain talents convince themselves that these
objects and talents should be used in worship to God. By whose
authority is anything and everything to be used in worship to God?
Only the Bible tells us how we are to worship God! There
is Scripture for preaching and teaching (Acts
2:42; 20:7), praying (Acts 2:42), the Lords
supper (Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 11:20ff) and giving as
we have prospered (1 Cor. 16:1-2). Where are the Scriptures for
theatrical dramas, inspirational concerts, and dancing, shouting,
and swaying to the beat instrumental music?
In the same papers religious section, Kristen Holland
titled her article, Place of Worship Greenville Avenue
Church of Christ. She declares that the junior high students
of this congregation in Allen spend a great deal of their time
clowning around. The article states:
In the past year, the G. O. Clowns have performed at
church events, birthday parties and hospitals...and
also assisted My Guardian Angels in the 2002 Allen
Christmas parade. For a donation of $25 and two
weeks notice, the ensemble will schedule a drive-by
clowning, with less-than-stellar singing and
colorful balloons...The program is still in its
formative stages, but church leaders (emph.
MLW) say its full smiles ahead for the
innovative ministry. We know that the kids
enjoy it, said Galon Jones, minister of
You will notice that this program belongs to the
Greenville Oaks church of Christ and the congregations leaders
admit it is only in its formative stages. Minister
of congregational care (emph. MLW) is a misnomer if this
is an example of their caring for the congregation.
Wonder if the chief concern of Paul and the apostles was
non-boring worship and innovative ministries?
I think not!
5810 Liberty Grove Rd.
Rowlett, TX 75089
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