REACHING THE LOST WITH ERROR?
Marvin L. Weir
Some who have received their education from sources not
to be confused with the Word of God are now boldly advocating
reaching the lost with error. The October issue of The
Christian Chronicle (not known for taking a Biblical stance)
notes that Max Lucado and the Oak Hills church have
decided to add an instrumental service and then adds:
Other churches known to have added instrumental
services þ besides 3,800-member Oak Hills þ includes
Northwest, Seattle, the largest in that region;
Amarillo South, Texas; Farmer's Branch, Texas; and
Southlake Boulevard in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
The director of church growth studies at Harding University,
Flavil Yeakley, says, Is this a trend? I would think of it as
five isolated tragedies. John Ellas, director of the center
for church growth in Houston sees a small trend related to
music tied to a larger reality. Ellas also says, A much
larger trend is the willingness to reevaluate previous theological
positions, and a growing number of members are coming to very
different conclusions about numerous church practices.
One would have to have his head buried in the sand to not
see that for several decades liberalism has infiltrated
congregation after congregation of the Lord's people. Thus, no
longer content to respect the authority of God's Word, many
brethren are now working feverishly to lead all who will follow
them into apostasy.
Rubel Shelly, ultra liberal preacher for the 2,200 member
Woodmont Hills Church in Nashville, says:
I am deeply committed to a cappella music. I do my
best to make a strong, reasonable, biblical case for
it. I would oppose anyone's effort to introduce it
into our congregational worship at Woodmont Hills. In
my view, it would be divisive and therefore wrong for
anyone to attempt to do so. I'm not about to champion
instrumental music for the Church of Christ. I do
plead, however, for a more creative, passionate, and
worshipful use of vocal music. Human voices compelled
by hearts zealous for Christ are capable of producing
powerful, God-honoring, and participant-inspiring
praise. I am an unabashed defender of our a cappella
legacy. But when someone wants me to go further and
to condemn to hell someone who doesn't agree with my
view, or to criticize congregations that choose to
use instruments because they believe it will assist
their outreach in a community different from mine, I
have no interest in pursuing the discussion.
Instrumental music and the atonement are not of the
same status or consequence to the human soul and its
On the one hand, Rubel boldly proclaims he will not be the
one to champion instrumental music for the Church of
Christ, but on the other hand he will not condemn to hell
someone who doesn't agree with [his] view. The I'm okay,
you're okay approach is mighty soothing! It is, however, the
Bible view that matters. Instrumental music is not in the same
optional category as eating meats (Rom. 14:1-3,15). Yes, Rubel,
adding the instrument to God-authorized singing will be of eternal
consequence to the human soul (Rev. 22:18-19)! The liberal's only
concern is outreach -- filling the building with people
who are willing to fork over a dollar!
The preacher at Southlake Boulevard, Keith Luttrell,
defends adding the instrument by saying, Relevance is driving
it. Relevance to our community. Reaching out to seekers. It is
stated that over 850 attend each week and more than 600 attend the
service that uses the instrument. One thing is amazingly clear --
this group of people prefer relevance over Scripture
as the driving force!
Chris Seidman, preacher at the Farmer's Branch Church
says that since they have added a Saturday night instrumental
service in addition to two Sunday morning a cappella services, they
have grown from 1,000 to 1,400. He says of the new folks they
now have coming, People with religious backgrounds, but who
haven't gone for some time. They were worn out with the same old
thing. One thing the liberal doesn't mind doing is giving
folks something shiny and new and totally foreign to the Bible.
Amarillo South began using the instrument in 2002 and
went from 900 to 700 in attendance. However, minister Brad Small
says that now they have grown to 1,200 and the congregation
considers itself a non-denominational community church. Enough
The author of the article, Lindy Adams, notes, The
churches who have added instrumental services cite a common
motivation -- evangelism and outreach. All report increases in
attendance since the switch.
Now to the heart of the matter! God will not accept
unscriptural worship -- worship must be in spirit and
truth (John 4:24). There is Bible authority for singing (Eph. 5:19;
Col. 3:16), but no Bible authority for the instrument, so it is not
according to truth (John 17:17).
It does not matter how many people you pack into a
building -- you cannot reach the lost and save souls with error!
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THE SPIRIT OF DIOTREPHES
I wrote unto the church; but Diotrephes, who
loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth,
prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith,
neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them
that would, and casteth them out of the church (3 John
There are many examples of great men and women of faith
recorded in both the Old and New Testaments. These are written for
our learning and encouragement (Rom. 15:4; Heb. 11:1-12:1), and we
would benefit greatly to imitate those good examples (cf. 1 Cor.
11:1). Then, on the other hand, there are records in the Bible of
people and individuals whose examples we would certainly not want
to follow. These examples of unfaithful and unbelieving men and
women are written for our admonition and warning, and we would do
well to study and learn from them, lest we also fall in the same
manner they did (1 Cor. 10:1-12; Heb. 3:7-15; 4:1-11). One such bad
example is that of Diotrephes (3 John 9,10). His example is not one
we should try to imitate, but rather, one that we should be
familiar with so that we do not find ourselves guilty of the same
sins he committed.
Diotrephes loved to have the preeminence among brethren
(3 John 9). He wanted to be top dog in the church. He
loved for people to look up to him and would not tolerate any
competition. He reminds us of the Pharisees, who loved
the first seats in the synagogue and greetings in the marketplace
(Luke 11:43). Diotrephes was out of line. In the church there is no
one more important than another (1 Cor. 12:12-31; Rom. 12:3-5). We
ought to do nothing with the intent of being praised or respected
by others. Let nothing be done through strife or
vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better
than themselves (Phil. 2:3). Are we full of pride? Do we
seek recognition for what we do in the service of God? Do we get
angry if we are not always the center of attention?
Diotrephes spoke against his brethren with malicious
words and would not receive them (3 John 10). This was a result of
pride. John and other faithful Christians were a threat to
Diotrephes' preeminence, so, naturally, they were counted as
enemies. Remember, Paul asked the Galatians, Am I
therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth
(Gal. 4:16)? Diotrephes should have repented of his prideful
heart, put on the bowels of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind,
meekness, longsuffering, and love (Col. 3:12-15). He should have
received those brethren.
Diotrephes cast out of the church those who supported the
true and faithful brethren (3 John 10). Contrast what Diotrephes
did with what John wrote in 3 John 5-8. Diotrephes not only
rejected faithful Christians, but tried to get others to do the
same. Again, we are reminded of the Pharisees. Jesus said to them,
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For
ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in
yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in
(Matt. 23:13). We see the destructive nature of pride and
what it can do to a group of God's children.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to hear today of
brothers and sisters who have the spirit of Diotrephes. Their love
for preeminence takes precedence over truth, and has caused Gospel
preachers to lose their jobs, elderships to fall apart, and
congregations to split. Let us avoid becoming like Diotrephes. Let
us examine ourselves (2 Cor. 13:5), always praying that the unity
of the Spirit in the bond of peace would prevail among members of
the church (Eph. 4:3).
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AHAB'S MARRIAGE TO JEZEBEL
How It Reeked Havoc Among God's People
Roger D. Campbell
Ahab was the 7th king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. All
nineteen of the kings that reigned in the North were wicked, but
Ahab's wickedness outdid them all. But there was none
like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the
sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up (1
Kings 21:25). The Bible makes it plain that Ahab's wife, Jezebel,
who slew prophets of Jehovah (1 Kings 17:4,13) and ruthlessly got
rid of anyone that got in her way, certainly had a hand in his evil
activities. What a couple they made!
What do we know about the background of this woman whom
King Ahab chose to be his mate? She is described as the
daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians (1 Kings
16:31). There are two points of interest from this statement.
First, Zidonians were the inhabitants of the city of
Zidon or Sidon, located on the Mediterranean Sea in the region
known as Phoenicia. The Zidonians were counted as part of the
Canaanites that the children of Israel were to drive out of the
land (Joshua 13:6). Thus, when Ahab married Jezebel, he was
marrying a foreign woman and not an Israelitess. Second, Jezebel's
daddy's name, Ethbaal, means man of Baal or with
Baal. Baal was the name of the supreme male divinity of
the Phoenician and Canaanitish nations [Smith's Bible
Dictionary, p.70]. So, Ahab took to wife a woman that came from a
non-Israelite family that was heavily steeped in idol worship. What
All kings over God's people, including Ahab, had the
responsibility to serve Jehovah and guide the nation to do the
same. Hear what the Lord God told Israel in the days of Moses about
any man that would reign over His people: And it shall
be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall
write him a copy of this law in a book ... And it shall be with
him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he
may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this
law and these statues, to do them...and that he turn not aside from
the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left...
(Deut. 17:18-20). In all seriousness, what were the odds that Ahab
would faithfully serve Jehovah when he was united with Jezebel?
Honestly, was she the kind of woman that would help him do the
things that God charged him to do? Not hardly!
Make no mistake about it, Ahab's honey had a
horrible influence on God's people, and as we shall see, that
influence continued after her departure from this world. Ahab's
marriage to Jezebel reeked havoc among God's people in at least the
following ways. Read 'em and weep:
1) Jezebel influenced her husband, Ahab, to worship
Baal. The Bible's record is clear about what happened:
...he took to wife Jezebel...and went and served Baal, and
worshipped him (1 Kings 16:31). Ahab was corrupt. Jezebel's
influence on him simply took him to a new level of wickedness. As
we noted earlier, Ahab did evil because Jezebel his wife
stirred him up (1 Kings 21:25, NKJV). So, level one of
Jezebel's influence on the people of God was the way she pulled
2) Jezebel, through Ahab, caused many Israelites in
the Northern Kingdom to worship Baal. And he [Ahab, rdc]
reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had
built in Samaria (1 Kings 16:32). And who came to worship in
the house of Baal? Many children of the living God! The fourth king
of Israel after Ahab, Jehu, destroyed Baal out of Israel
(2 Kings 10:28), but Jezebel's corrupting influence caused untold
multitudes to bow the knee to Baal, whom her father served.
3) The daughter of Ahab and Jezebel was corrupt just
like her mother was. This was truly a case of as is the
mother, so is her daughter (Ezekiel 16:44). Here is where the
plot thickens. Athaliah, daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, married
Jehoram, king of Judah. What? Jezebel's daughter was queen in the
Southern Kingdom? That's right. And how did she influence her
husband? Jehoram...walked in the way of the kings of Israel,
like as did the house of Ahab: for he had the daughter of Ahab to
wife: and he wrought that which was evil in the sight of the
Lord (2 Chron. 21:6). Why was it that Jehoram, king of Judah,
acted like Ahab's family? Because Athaliah, Jezebel's daughter was
his wife. Consider what that means: Jezebel not only corrupted the
king of the Northern Kingdom, through her daughter Athaliah, she
also corrupted the king of the Southern Kingdom as well!
4) Athaliah was corrupt. She corrupted her
husband. But that was not the extent of her corruption. She also
corrupted her son, Ahaziah. Here is how the Bible describes it:
He [Ahaziah, rdc] also walked in the ways of the house of
Ahab: for his mother was his counseller to do wickedly. Wherefore
he did evil in the sight of the Lord... (2 Chron. 22:3,4).
Why, again, was Ahaziah so awful? Because Jezebel's daughter was
his personal trainer. She was his counselor of
wickedness. Ahab's grandson, Ahaziah, was corrupt, and one of the
reasons is the woman that Ahab married.
5) Athaliah became ruler over Judah after her son
died. And what was she able to accomplish? She brought Baal
worship into the Southern Kingdom just like her mama did in the
North (2 Chron. 23:17; 24:7)! Do not lose sight of the link
involved. Jezebel, through Athaliah, helped corrupt God's people in
Judah so that they worshipped Baal. What a fine wife Ahab chose!
Ahab was a free moral agent. The people of the Northern
Kingdom were free moral agents, as were Athaliah, Jehoram, Ahaziah,
and the people of the Southern Kingdom. When these people made
sinful choices, they had only themselves to blame. They alone must
take responsibility for their wrong course of action.
And yet, in all of this history, there is the
unmissable influence of Jezebel. She had her hand in the
corruption of at least two kingdoms and three generations. What a
jewel! What if Ahab had never married her? Yes, it is possible that
he and all the others that we have noted would have been evil
anyway. But, can anyone that reads the biblical record honestly say
that Ahab made a wise choice when he married Jezebel?!
Sometimes we talk about a marriage being doomed before
it ever gets started. That, good people, was surely true in the
case of Ahab and Jezebel's union. Oh, they may have been deeply in
love with one another. They may have supported and comforted one
another as all husbands and wives should. They may have had
wonderful and memorable family outings and reunions. All of that
means nothing, though, if they helped each other live a life that
leads to hell.
Young brothers, it does not matter how pretty, popular,
and pleasant a female may be. If she is not a faithful servant of
Jesus, but you marry her anyway, she just may do to you, your
children, and your grandchildren what Jezebel did to her husband
and offspring. Are the souls involved really worth the risk?
And you, dear young sisters, it does not matter how
handsome, awesome, and cool a male might be. If he does not
faithfully serve Jesus, but you go on and marry him anyway, there
is a great chance that he will help drag you, your children, and
your grandchildren with him to perdition. He may not intend to do
that, but that's just what happens in many cases.
One final thought for our unmarried saints and kids. It
may sound corny, but there really is a lot of wisdom in the words
that follow. Before you walk down the aisle to give yourself in
marriage to another person, you would do well to take a long, hard,
serious look at the parents of the person you plan to marry. I do
not mean to take a look at their photographs. Rather, look at their
lifestyles. Men, look at how your future mother-in-law treats her
husband. Chances are, that is the way your wife has been trained to
treat her husband (you). Ladies, check out how your future
father-in-law treats his wife. Again, chances are, that is the way
your husband has been trained to treat his wife (you). If the
potential in-laws drink, count divorce as a blessing, lie, make fun
of church-goers, gamble, or watch porno films, you had
better watch out. The probability is very high that at least some,
and perhaps all, of that same behavior will be repeated in the
married life of that son or daughter of theirs that you think you
want to spend the rest of your life with. If Ahab looked closely at
the lifestyle of his future in-laws, he had to have seen an
idol-worshipping family. The handwriting was on the wall. Ahab
either missed it or ignored it. Brother or sister, don't you do the
There is no denying this fact: Ahab's marriage to Jezebel
reeked havoc among God's people for many generations. May God help
us all to see the obvious lessons from the history of their
marriage and their horrible influence on their fellow man. I have
not written a single word in this article with the intent of
getting on any person living today that made a poor
choice in spouses. Rather, I have written to encourage those that
have not yet taken the plunge to be careful and prayerful
about their choice of a mate. You see, it is possible your choice
could help populate heaven through you and your offspring. But, on
the other hand, your choice also might help you and yours to be
lost. If you think that sounds serious, IT IS!
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IS FIRST CENTURY UNITY FOR OUR CENTURY?
A study of church unity necessarily involves answering two
questions: Was there in the first century one visible
body or church? If there was one visible church in the
first century, did God intend for that one body to
continue as such in following generations?
In this article, I affirm two propositions: first, that
in the first century there was one and only one church on earth
with God's approval; second, that God wills the existence of only
one visible church on earth now.
It will be observed that I do not, in this article, seek
to justify the church which I am associated. I am merely seeking to
uphold a Bible teaching, whether that teaching is fulfilled in my
brethern or not.
ONE CHURCH IN PAUL'S DAY:
Every informed student of the Bible agrees that in the
first century, God approved of no differing denominations; that at
that time there was only one visible church on earth, made up of
identical, visible, non-denominational congregations of people who
called themselves just Christians. This is abundantly supported by
the following Scriptures: Acts 2:47; 11:26; 1 Cor. 1:10-13; Eph.
ONENESS WAS TO CONTINUE:
Most denominational theologians agree that what I say in
the above division of this article is true. But they deny it should
be so today. They say that today is different. They
affirm that no church is perfect; that all denominations are
branches of the great invisible church of the redeemed,
But I affirm that first century oneness was to continue;
that a division of believers into sects and denominations is
expressly condemned in the New Testament.
1 COR. 1:10-13 FORBIDS DENOMINATIONALISM:
The carnal division described and condemned in 1 Cor.
1:10-13 parallels perfectly, in principle, modern denominationalism
EPH. 4:3 DEMANDS ONENESS:
In Eph. 4:3, the Ephesians are urged to keep the
unity of the Spirit. But that unity was composed in part of
one visible church on earth. Therefore, primitive Christians were
to keep or hold firmly to one visible church on earth. I presume
this keeping is still to be kept.
DENOMINATIONALISM AND SECTISM IS SINFUL:
In Gal. 5:20, Paul describes heresies as being of the
flesh. The term heresies is translated from a Greek term
which Thayer defines: dissentions arising from differences of
opinions and aims. This definition is a veritable picture of
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Recently, while opening an account for the local church at
a religious book and supply business, the lady manager commented,
Oh, Church of Christ! That's Max Lucado's church. I
immediately began to distance myself, and the congregation, from
Lucado's ultra-liberal views and practice.
In further discussion she related how that she and some
of her associates knowing the reputation of the Church of
Christ were quite surprised and amused at the inconsistency of
Lucado's new CD release, Opening Windows, featuring an evening of
praise and worship, which includes spiritual songs accompanied by
musical instruments. I agreed that it was inconsistent with Bible
teaching, but asked, Are you certain there are
instruments? With eagerness she popped a CD in her player to
let me hear for myself. The recording began with an introduction of
our minister, Max Lucado, followed by a rousing round of
applause. The manager got a chuckle when I remarked, Funny!
They don't applaud when I get in the pulpit. Sure enough, when
the first song began, the sound of stringed instruments was
obvious. I told the lady that I had heard enough and spent the rest
of my time trying to explain that Lucado's inconsistency
was not really inconsistent with his liberal attitude toward the
A gospel preacher who is a talented writer may author a
book which will hit the best-seller list, but he can't maintain
that popularity without modifying his convictions or, at least,
holding back truth (cf. Acts 20:20,27). Time and again it has been
proven that the general public will not endure sound
doctrine even if the writing style is desirable (cf. 2 Tim.
4:24). Popularity just among our brethren will never put an author
on a best-seller list. Even many of the brethren with whom Lucado
has been associated have been alarmed and embarrassed by his
compromise on doctrinal issues. But, in reality, he is merely the
product of the environment they have created. The brethren at whose
feet he sat probably never taught him to seek scriptural authority
via commands, statements, approved examples and necessary
implications. Or, if they did, they also taught him to make loose
application of these principles.
Meanwhile, the list of unauthorized practices and
brethren from whom we are forced to distance ourselves mounts.
--- Al Diesielkamp
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In The News...
From The Torch, Lipscomb University, Summer 2004, p.7.
A new major in worship ministry will be offered by
Lipscomb University's College of Bible and Ministry this fall.
Offered in cooperation with the Department of Music, the major is
designed to 'prepare students with the knowledge and skills to
assist congregations in meaningful, purposeful times of worship,'
said Dr. Terry Briley, professor of Bible and dean of the College
of Bible and Ministry. The new major is a response to a growing
interest among churches and worshippers in the nature,
effectiveness and unity of worship, he said, Worship involves
the interrelationship of Scripture, song, prayer, communion at the
table, and their impact on the lives of members of the body. It is
a challenge to coordinate these various aspects of worship in a way
that is cohesive, pleasing to God, and effective in touching the
hearts and minds of the worshippers,' Briley said. The major is not
designed to emphasize a particular worship style, but to provide
the knowledge and skills necessary for effective worship leading in
any church setting, he said.
The worship ministry major will focus on three main
areas: leading congregational worship, finding and arranging music
appropriate for a cappella worship and working with church singers,
he said. Courses will emphasize biblical studies, historical and
theological aspects of worship, and development of the musical
skills necessary to adapt songs for use in worship, he said. Briley
said he believes the worship ministry major is the first to be
offered among institutions associated with the churches of Christ.
Lipscomb was also the first to offer a children's ministry major.
For full information on the worship ministry major and other
biblical studies at Lipscomb, call 615-279-6051, 800-333-4358, ext.
6051, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Comment on the above...
I wonder how the church has managed to worship
effectively for 2,000 years without this? And, I wonder what is
meant by 'any church setting' in reference to 'worship style?'
Since other schools have followed the lead on children's ministry
degrees, how long before they follow on the worship degree? Are we
just getting closer and closer to having a professional clergy? Now
we have congregations mandating a degree for pulpit preacher, youth
minister, elderly minister, music minister, and worship minister.
If you do not have an accredited degree, you just do not have the
knowledge capable of being a leader in the church. Some
congregations are even mandating a master's degree.
Intimated by the above article, unless you have this
worship ministry degree, you may just be getting lucky in having a
cohesive, pleasing and effective worship. After all, it is really
hard to sing, preach, give, pray and take the Lord's supper in a
cohesive way. It is really hard to touch the hearts and minds of
worshippers, unless you have the in-depth knowledge this degree
will give you....
-- Freddie Clayton
The article quoted below comes from World
Christian, Third Quarter, 2002, p.7 (Quarterly Paper
of World Convention [Christian-Churches of
Christ-Disciples of Christ].
STONE-CAMPBELL DIALOGUE EXPANDS TO LOCAL AREAS
The Dialogue, which has met twice a year since 2000,
brings some twenty ministers and scholars from the Churches of
Christ, Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, and the Disciples of
Christ together for dialogue concerning their differences and their
common concerns. The stated purpose of the Dialogue reads: To
develop relationships and trust within the three streams of the
Stone - Campbell movement through worship and through charitable
and frank dialogue, 'that the world may believe.'
Dr. John Mills, Brunswick, Ohio, chaired this June
meeting which was built around an area rally on Sunday night.
Members of the churches of all three branches of the Stone-Campbell
Movement gathered at the Okolona Church of Christ for worship
featuring the well-known quartet Acappella. A
leader from each of the three branches in the Dialogue shared
briefly their reason for being part of the Dialogue. The leaders
were Dr. Doug Foster, Abilene Christian College, Abilene, Texas,
Churches of Christ; Dr. Henry Webb, Milligan College, Johnson City,
Tenn., Christian Churches/Churches of Christ; and Dr. Robert Welsh,
Ecumenical Officer, Indianapolis, Ind., Disciples of Christ.
On Monday evening leaders from Louisville area
congregations were invited to join in small groups for discussions
on the issues facing their congregations and the potential of
working together with others of the Stone-Campbell Movement. Sixty
ministers, elders, and leaders coming from 25 congregations were
present for this event which is hoped to further local dialogue and
encounter. Members of the Dialogue dealt with the question
What do we mean by Christian unity? Brief statements were
given by each of the three groups followed by a general discussion.
The focus of the Dialogue for the future will be to serve as the
catalyst for numerous rallies, joint worship and dialogue in the
cities or regions where the Dialogue members live or have contacts
who can do this work. The meetings in Louisville will serve as a
model for these other events.
Dialogue members firmly believe the work must go
beyond the number of people in the formal dialogue. They recognize
that the lack of communication between the three branches of the
Stone-Campbell movement has gone on for far too long. The prayer of
our Lord in John 17 that they may all be one needs to be
fulfilled in each city or town. This does not mean merger, but
developing working relationships, mutual trust and understanding.
For any wishing to begin a dialogue in their area, the papers
presented during the first two years of the formal Dialogue are
available, as well as a new brochure presenting brief sketches on
each of the three groups which was developed for use in the
meetings in Louisville.
All those concerned about the unity of the church
are invited to join in prayer that the prayer of John 17 might bear
fruit in this generation.
Here are some comments regarding the above article:
Abilene professor Doug Foster plays a very
important role in this apostate fellowship. The only thing the
world will believe by watching these folks is that doctrine does
not matter. Just ignore differences and get along. The world cannot
believe in Jesus and follow the example of these folks. They are
Their reference to John 17 demonstrates a severe lack of
what our Lord was saying. He wanted his disciples to be one as He
and his Father were one. Are those in the Dialogue expecting us to
believe that God the Father and Jesus Christ believed that there
were differing ways to get to Heaven? Did Jesus have his way and
God the Father have another way? Did they just decide to get along
even though they could not agree that baptism is essential to
become a Christian? Did Christ intend for there to be branches of
a movement instead of unity of One? If Christ was meaning that
there could be disagreements on doctrine just as long as they all
believed in Him and his Father, then Paul was wrong for condemning
divisions in 1 Corinthians chapter one.
Also, note the constant use of the phrase, Stone-Campbell
Movement. Do they not believe that they are members of the Lord's
church? Why use this phrase unless they also believe there are
saved individuals outside of what they term as the Stone-Campbell
Movement? I wonder if those of the first century referred to
themselves as members of the Peter-Paul Movement? After all, it
would be perfectly all right, according to members of Dialogue, if
some believed one thing and others another. All that is important
is that they all believe in Jesus.
It is a joke when these folks talk about themselves as
scholars. A true Biblical scholar would never even suggest that
such teaching could be in accordance with God's teachings.
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IS IT SCRIPTURAL TO TAKE COMMUNION ON ANY DAY?
Occasionally we hear of people eating the Lord's supper on
a day other than the Lord's day (i.e., Sunday). The question
naturally comes up, Is this OK? To determine if God
approves of this practice we need to search the scriptures (John
5:39; Acts 17:11). Everything a Christian does is to be done in the
name of the Lord Jesus (Col. 3:17). Is there any authority for
taking communion on a day other than Sunday? If the Bible does not
address the matter in any way (i.e., command, example or necessary
inference), then there is no authority for the practice and must be
First, is there a command to partake of the Lord's table
on any specific day at all? No. When Jesus instituted his memorial
he did not specify the day or days to observe it. However,
Christians are commanded to do this in remembrance of me
(Luke 22:19). The only way to discover which day to take communion
is by considering when the first Christians did so. Since eating
the Lord's supper is clearly an act of worship, when would we
expect the church to engage in this action? The obvious answer is
Sunday. Why Sunday? Well, there are several good reasons. First, it
is the day when Jesus rose from the grave (John 20:1ff). Second, it
is the day on which the church was established (Acts 2:1). Third,
it is the day Paul specified the church was to give of their means
(1 Cor. 16:1,2). Acts records that the brethren at Troas met upon
the first day of the week to break bread and on that
occasion Paul preached to them (Acts 20:7). This is an example of
Christians purposely waiting until the first day of the week to
take communion (Acts 20:6). Why wait until Sunday to take the
Lord's supper with the disciples if it is permissible on any other
day? After all, Paul was in Troas a whole week. He stayed there
long enough to be able to eat the Lord's supper with them.
Would it be scriptural to take the Lord's supper on any
day other than Sunday? No. There is no command to do so, no
approved example of the apostles or early church doing so and no
reasonable conclusion to justify the practice. Thus, it cannot be
done in the name of the Lord Jesus since God's word does not
authorize it. To take the Lord's supper on any day other than the
first day of the week is vain worship and sinful (Matt. 15:8,9;
John 4:23,24; Col. 2:8,23).
Some might argue the point that there is an example of
the early church taking communion on a day other than Sunday. They
might point to Acts 2:46 which says, And they, continuing
daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house
to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of
heart. Does this verse mean Christians were taking
communion daily in their houses? No. In this verse Luke used the
Greek word trophe (meat) which means
nourishment. The Lord's supper is not taken to nourish our bodies
but ordinary meals are. This is a setting for a common meal, not
the Lord's supper.
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