THE PRESERVATION OF THE FAITH #1
Leroy Brownlow (deceased)
The most important thing is not
whether you are in the main stream
of the fellowship of the church,
but whether you are in the main
stream of The Faith (Jude
The preservation of the faith is a topic I consider to be
one of the most relevant and pressing topics that can be
discussed in our brotherhood today. I firmly believe with all of
my heart that the church is now facing the greatest dangers it
has ever faced in my lifetime dangers from within:
modernism, denominationalism, new hermeneutics, liberalism.
Liberals remind me of the old farmer who kissed his mule. His
explanation was, Well, its every man to his own
choice. But his neighbor down the road didnt want to
kiss his mule. He wanted to kiss only his wife; and, he was
called a legalist. Brethren, guard against liberalism fever. It
can cause a person to talk out of his or her head. It is
dangerous. It is deadly. Some take it and never recover. Protect
yourself from it by standing fast in the faith.
I said to some people not long ago concerning their
congregation, You need to decide whether you are going to
follow the Bible or not follow the Bible; whether you are going
to be the church of Christ or not the church of Christ, because
we are divinely obligated to preserve the faith. Jude said,
It was needful for me to write unto you and to exhort you
that you should earnestly contend for the faith. Now, while
the false teachers, like raging waves of the sea, foam out their
shame; you contend earnestly for the faith.
In the same connection, Paul commanded the Corinthian
church, Watch ye, stand fast in the faith. Stand fast!
Dont waver. Dont go with the wind. Dont play
politics. Dont try to be on both sides. Dont be like
the soldier in the Civil War who put on the coat of a Northern
soldier, a blue coat, and the pants of a Southern soldier, gray
pants, and tiptoed onto the battlefield. He got shot by both
The apostle Paul commanded Titus, Wherefore,
rebuke them sharply that they may be sound in the faith. Not
all sound, but sound in the faith. And, rebuke them sharply to
produce it. That is preserving the faith. But there are those who
say the faith does not refer to the teachings of Christ; that it
refers only to the deity of Christ, and that, if one believes in
the sonship of Christ, that he can violate all of the teachings
of Christ all the way from Dan to Beersheba, from a to
z, and still be a keeper of the faith. But thats
not what Paul taught. Paul taught otherwise. Paul stated in
Galatians 1:8 that he preached the Gospel, and in verse 23, he
stated that he preached the faith. What did he do? He preached
the faith of the Gospel, and Paul used that very expression in
Philippians 1:27, striving together for the faith of the
So, what is the faith? It is the gospel faith. It is
the Christian system. It is the Christian religion. And,
therefore, we must respect it and we must not trample it under
foot because it will be the standard of judgment when the
judgment day comes.
Jesus said, The word that I have spoken unto you,
the same shall judge you in the last day (John 12:48). So, I
appeal to our brethren everywhere: Do not sell the standard of
judgment, the teachings of Christ, for a mess of denominational
Also, in the same connection, warning Christians to
preserve the true doctrine, Paul gave this command to Timothy:
That thou mightest charge some that they teach no other
doctrine (1 Tim. 1:3). No other doctrine! No other doctrine!
No other doctrine! Yes, I know the word doctrine upsets
some of our people. Just mention the word doctrine and
they start shaking like they had the saint-itis dance. But they
could overcome this if they would quit dancing to the tune of
denominational professors and writers. And, if they dont
overcome it, then, they themselves place their names in the
category with Hymenaeus and Alexander, whose names have gone down
in infamy as the shipwreckers of the faith (1 Tim. 1:19,20).
Again, concerning doctrine, Paul has said, Now, I
beseech you brethren, mark them which cause divisions and
offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and
avoid them (Rom. 16:17,18). Now, God has spoken to our
hearts, and God has said, Mark them and avoid them.
Now, God put that statement in the Bible. It is there. It was
there yesterday. It is there today, and it will be there
tomorrow. And no man or group of men can take it out. Just
cynically calling the preachers of the faith Bible
thumpers or the doxie keepers and cranks
wont take it out. It is there to stay. But a brother says,
Maybe they can take it out with hermeneutics. That
reminds me. One brother said to another, What do you think
of hermeneutics? He replied, I may have met him, but I
dont recall it. Not knowing anything at all about
hermeneutics is far better than knowing something about it that
is not true. Some of the new hermeneutics advocates strain at a
scripture and swallow a whole sectarian seminary.
New hermeneutics is like a greased pig. It makes a lot
of noise but gives you nothing to hold to. New hermeneutics,
modernism, denominationalism, liberalism, are all peas from the
same pod. They are the same disease just different strains
of the same virus. Oh, hermeneutics, how scripture has been
perverted in your name! Oh, hermeneutics, how the reckless head
hunters have walked into cemeteries and invaded the graves of the
sleeping giants of the faith in your name! Oh, hermeneutics,
hermeneutics, what crimes are committed in your name! My friends,
if you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
Paul commanded Timothy to make full proof of thy
ministry, and then he told him how. He said, Preach the
word; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and
doctrine (2 Tim. 4:1-5). Fellow Christians, in all candor,
it takes more than degrees for one to prove his ministry. In
fact, the church can slip into apostasy by degrees. And, you can
interpret that any way you wish.
The most important thing is not whether you are in the
main stream of the fellowship of the church, but whether you are
in the main stream of the faith. The Bible says, That we
henceforth be no more children tossed to and fro and carried
about by every wind of doctrine (Eph. 4:14).
Every wind of doctrine. I must honestly say, from what
I see and from what I hear, the winds of doctrine are blowing
hard against us today. In some places, there is a cyclone, and
every once in a while, there is a flash of lightning and a clap
of thunder. Therefore, duty is incumbent upon me that I call
attention to some of the winds of doctrine blowing against us
to some of the eyebrow-raising events occurring among us. I
cannot be true to this topic; I cannot be true to the church; I
cannot be true to myself; I cannot be true to the God of heaven,
unless I call attention to some of the winds of doctrine blowing
against us today.
Here is a Bible lesson, a sheet, in a big class, in a
big church that teaches no pattern theology. That means
do your own thing in your own way as you see fit no
pattern. Here is a church bulletin that smears the rigid forms of
Christianity that we have been teaching. And, yet, Jesus said,
Enter in at the strait gate that is spelled
s-t-r-a-i-t strait gate and narrow is the
way, and that is rigid.
Here is another church bulletin that tells of a poll
they took in their congregation, and that poll revealed that over
one-half of their members do not believe in the exclusiveness of
the church and do believe in instrumental music in the worship.
Here is another church bulletin that announces their
summer series that features seven denominational preachers that
will preach seven Wednesday nights. In a prominent brothers
last sermon (which I heard on tape), he didnt know it would
be his last sermon, but it turned out that way. He attacked and
assailed congregational autonomy. Fellow Christians, we must have
either congregational autonomy or centralized control. And, if
they want centralized control, where will the headquarters be,
and who will be the one or the ones to head it?
At a Christian university lectureship, an evening
speaker derided thousands and thousands and thousands of people
brothers and sisters in Christ calling them the
five steppers. Some in the audience cheered. Now, it is very
evident that he does not believe in the five steps: teaching,
belief, repentance, confession, and baptism. Since he
doesnt, then, he ought to tell us how many steps he does
believe in four, three, two, one, or none.
Here is a statement issued by a church given to its
members stating that on Sunday morning they would have an
all-women participation in public worship. The women would serve
as ushers, would make the announcements, lead the singing, lead
all the prayers, serve at the Lords table, and wait on the
congregation by serving them the communion do everything
except the preaching! Of course, that will follow next. Because a
boy that drives the plow, can trip them up on that one. A boy
that drives the plow, will tell those elders, if you can have in
the public worship a woman to address God for the people, why
cant you have a woman to address the people for God? You see
what Im talking about there?
Now, here is the account of a preachers reputed
sermon before a large group of youth directors. He said, You
are saved by grace alone by grace period. He condemned
us on the music question. He talked up the idea of women
preachers. He argued that, in the 1990s, there will be a
diversity in the church that do not believe in the essentiality
of baptism. And, then, he boasted, There is nothing
that you can do to change that; nothing, nothing. But, my
friends, there are a lot of faithful men and women in the church
dedicated, strong and sound in the faith who stand in
the way of the fulfillment of that prophecy, especially the older
members. And, for that reason, the digression peddlers have put
the older members on the hit list.
At a north Texas teachers workshop held in Fort
Worth a few years ago, which drew some 1,600 people each night,
in a large class, a man spoke up and said, Dont you
think that the church will be a lot better off when a lot of the
older members are dead? The teacher replied, No
question about it. No question about it. My friends, I
wondered which ones they want to shoot next. Frankly, when my
number comes up, Im going to vote against it. And you have
my word on that.
Concerning the pioneers in the church, there is one
thing sure: They gave the world a lesson in dedication,
commitment, faith, hard work, sacrifice, courage, and success.
Think of the sacrifices and the courage of the older preachers.
They had enough bravery that they would have been willing to
charge hell with only one bucket of water. And, now, it bleeds my
heart that some newcomers, and some not quite so new, would come
along and spit on their graves. My friends, if they could only
see the hearts they are now breaking! If you have prayers,
prepare to pray them now.
Here is a book authored by three Christian university
professors and published by a Christian university press. Brace
yourself, brace yourself! It is shocking! On page 35, it
reproaches us for having been preoccupied with what humans must
do to secure their own salvation with exhortations to duty and
faithfulness and with admonitions to keep the law of Christ. My
friends, I never thought I would live to see the day that there
would be those in our fellowship who would fault us and reprimand
us for putting on the priority list: salvation, duty,
faithfulness, and the keeping of the law of Christ. And, then, on
page 37, it condemns the churches of Christ for competing with
the evangelicals for souls and derides us for being fundamentally
concerned that people come to our churches, not elsewhere. How
could they say this unless they believe that one church is as
good as another? Of course, we competed with those in error for
souls, and that was an outstanding characteristic of the New
Testament church. And, if the Lords church back in the first
century had not competed with those in error for souls, then, the
Lords church never would have gotten off the ground. We come
now to page 58. It assails us for using the New Testament
essentially as a law book or divine constitution for the church.
Fellow Christians, if the New Testament is not the law
book or the constitution for the church, then, pray tell me, what
is? Dont tell me the Lord established a kingdom, gave a
spiritual government, and gave no laws or a constitution to
govern it. That would be preposterous, absurd, ridiculous,
non-sensible. Who ever heard of a kingdom a government
anywhere on the face of the globe, in any civilization, in
any age, that has not had laws or a constitution to govern it?
Without laws, without a constitution, chaos would take over;
anarchy would prevail. The reason we have anarchy and chaos in
the church of our Lord is because some have refused to recognize
the New Testament as the law book or the constitution of it.
On the next page, page 59, it refutes us for our focus
on the scriptures. It says, The focus began to fall heavily
on obeying the laws, building by the blueprint, knowing all the
right facts; in short, upon human knowledge and performance.
Of course, the focus fell heavily on obedience. He is
the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him
(Heb. 5:8,9). Of course, the focus fell heavily on building by
the blueprint. We must not add to it or take from it (Rev.
22:18,19). Of course, the focus fell heavily on knowledge.
Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you
free (John 8:31,32). Of course, the focus fell heavily on
performance. Jesus told of two men: a wise man and a
foolish man. The wise man built his house upon the rock, and it
stood. The foolish man built his house on the sand, and it fell
(Matt. 7:24-27). The thing that made the difference was
performance! And performance will make a difference at the day of
judgment when we are judged according to our works, according to
our performances. And, these men have bashed it.
Also, on the same page, page 59, in their derogatory
remarks about obeying God, they cynically say, God, of
course, had done his part long ago, and it now remained only for
human beings to engage their minds, dig in their heels, and bring
the plan to completion. Fan me! That takes my breath! My
friends, thats what Christianity is all about bringing
Gods plan to completion in our lives. And they have bashed
I trust that I can say something about a book published
by a Christian university press without stepping on a land mine.
I dont want to be blown up. I just want to preserve the
faith. Dont misunderstand me please, please dont
misunderstand me. I dont want to throw the baby out with the
wash. I just want to clean up the wash! And, surely, that is the
wish of all of us clean up the wash rather than throw the
baby out with the wash. I trust that we can understand that.
Unless digression is rebuked today, it will be a lot
bigger and stronger and louder tomorrow. And, therefore, we need
to recognize this today, as those who stand in the defense of the
Gospel of Christ. I trust that we shall not allow blind
partisanship to lead us into the ditch. There is no place for
blind partisanship in the life of a child of God.
Part 1 of 2
Sermon delivered over 20 years ago
Table of Contents
THE NEED FOR AN ELDERSHIP IN
Garland M. Robinson
What is the most pressing need of any congregation? A better
meeting place? Better trained Bible teachers? A faithful Gospel
preacher? Perhaps more money to support more work for the Lord.
What if you were able to supply one or all of these. If you could
do one thing for the church where you worship, what would it be?
ELDERS ARE NOT OPTIONAL
Though most of these are pressing needs, there is a
need far greater than any and all of them, that is, a qualified,
faithful, godly eldership in every congregation! With a faithful
eldership, the needs of the church will be taken care of. [Men
who are not scripturally qualified cannot be faithful elders
until they become qualified (1 Tim. 3:1:7; Titus 1:5-11)].
Jesus did not intend to leave His church to be a
formless, leaderless group of unguided people. God intended the
church to be the ekklesia the called out.
His church is to be a thoroughly ordered body of people, not a
chaotic, self-willed sect. The church of Christ is made up of
people who are obedient to Gods will the Faith, the
Elders are the key men in the church. Their
function is to oversee/superintend. That is, they have been given
the charge to see to it that what is done, is done
correctly/rightly. They will integrate and harmonize the work of
evangelists, deacons, teachers, members the entire
membership. A strong, faithful eldership in every congregation is
one of the surest ways to stand before the Lord one day and hear
him say, well done thou good and faithful servant (cf.
Matt. 25:21,23). On the other hand, an unqualified eldership is a
sure way to fail in Gods work. Such a congregation cannot be
what its supposed to be with an unqualified eldership.
Why do not more churches have qualified overseers?
Several questions much first be answered. How many churches
really want godly elders? How many Christians really want elders?
Would the average churchs membership tolerate real New
Testament shepherds? It is sad, but many Christians are in such a
state that it is doubtful they would tolerate someone
scripturally watching for their souls. How many are willing to
submit their spiritual welfare to the care and keeping of the
elders (pastors, shepherds, overseers) of the church?
Congregations must realize that elderships are not optional.
We do not have the liberty to have elders or not have elders. We
do not have the option of forming another system to oversee the
flock on a permanent basis (such as the general mens
business meeting). The mens business meetings are attended
by the faithful and unfaithful, the novice and experienced, the
learned and the unlearned. Such meetings are sometimes
characterized by friction, strife and division. They are many
times dominated by a small minority or sometimes a single
individual who can maneuver and manipulate others to vote the way
he desires. The work of the Lord is not carried on by popular
(majority) vote! Nor is it carried on by minority vote! Nothing
will ever work successfully when everyone is in charge, yet no
one is in charge!
ELDERS HAVE THE OVERSIGHT
However, in the absense of qualified men to be elders,
the word of God compells each congregation to carry on the
business of the church. Decisions have to be made and things have
to be done in the work of the Lord. Therefore, it is obvious that
the mature, faithful male members carry on the work of the Lord.
Concentration must be given to obtaining a qualified eldership as
quickly as possible. The only alternative would be to disband as
the Lords church. We must not let the devil have his way.
Lets march on in following our Master to our heavenly
Every congregation should want and desire elders
because it is the will of God! Paul said to Titus,
For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set
in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every
city, as I had appointed thee (Titus 1:5). It is obvious the
congregations in Crete did not have elders. As Paul and Barnabas
appointed elders in every church (Acts 14:23), Titus was to do
the same. No other individuals have the obligation or
responsibility of those who are elders. A congregation will never
be fully organized until the will of God is carried out in this
area. The number one reason why every congregation should have
elders is that it is the will of God.
Elders have the responsibility of seeing to it that
Gods will is obeyed. They do not make laws where God made
none. Neither do they ignore the laws He did make. They simply
carry out the laws God has commanded! God has given them
authority to see that its done.
WHAT FAITHFUL ELDERS WILL DO
Elders are to TAKE HEED to themselves and to
the flock. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to
all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you
overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased
with his own blood (Acts 20:28). The word heed
means to hold to, turn ones attention to. The Holy
Spirit made them overseers and they have the right to turn their
attention to every member and see to it that what they are doing
is pleasing unto the Lord.
They are to TEND the flock. In 1 Peter 5:1-3
we read, The elders which are among you I exhort, who am
also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and
also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the
flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof,
not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a
ready mind; Neither as being lords over Gods heritage, but
being ensamples to the flock. The word tend or
feed means to shepherd, to nourish, promote the
interest of, direct, superintend, to rule.
Elders have the RULE over the congregation.
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit
yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give
account, that they may do it with joy, and not with
grief (Heb. 13:17). Rule means to go
before, to be a leader, to rule, command, to have authority over,
leading in respect to influence, controlling in counsel.
They must give the congregation organization and direction. They
must communicate with them, evaluate the work, always be alert
for ways to use every member to the fullest of their ability.
Elders have the duty of keeping the church
PURE. In doing so, they teach the word (1 Tim. 3:2)
They are able by sound doctrine to convict the
gainsayers (Titus 1:5). Convict means to
bring to light, expose, demonstrate, convince, reprove and
correct those who speak against or contradict the truth.
They are to warn the unruly, comfort the feebleminded,
support the weak, be patient toward all (1 Thess. 5:14).
They take the lead in church discipline (2 Thess. 3:6).
Though they are responsible for each of the souls
entrusted to their care and have authority from God in carrying
out their task, they are not to be lords over Gods
heritage (1 Peter 5:3). This means they must not rule with an
iron hand or dictatorial spirit. They are not to love the
pre-eminence as Diotrephes (3 John 9). Instead, they are to be
gentle and not self-willed.
They will be diligent students of the Bible. Its
hard to be a coach if you dont know the rules of the game.
Therefore, elders will keep themselves informed of false
doctrines and take seriously their responsibility to guard the
They will know the needs of the membership and
strive to meet those needs according to the Word.
They will know the Bible teachers and be assured of
their soundness and faithfulness. This will also involve
making sure the literature used is true to the Bible.
They are men who will hold fast the faithful word
and be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince
[convict] the gainsayers (Titus 1:5). They are men who
have the courage and willingness to meet error head-on. They will
inoculate the members against the errors that run rampant.
They will close the pulpit and classroom to false
teachers. When there are no elders, its more difficult
to stop false teachers. Some will have objections of one sort or
another. People will become upset and division occurs. With
elders, they can put a stop to it and the faithful will stand
behind them. Some may voice objection, but they will learn they
cannot have their way.
They will uphold the hands of those who preach the
word. This is extremely important! They will let the
congregation know what was preached is the will of God and if
anyone has any objection, see them about it, not the preacher.
They will take the church out of the secular
education, entertainment and recreation business. Youth
activities often siphon funds from the church treasury to support
fun and games and other non-spiritual matters. There is no Bible
authority for the church support of such things. And
whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord
Jesus (Col. 3:17). It is the work of the home to supply
these needs, not the church.
They will make every effort to restore the church to
her ancient simplicity and purity as authorized by the
scriptures. An appeal to the old paths is always
foremost in their minds.
They will see to it that Gods word is obeyed in
all things. They will show the way by example.
If you work under good elders, be thankful and hold up their
hands. Never be a worry to them. Pray for them. Work with them.
If you do not have elders where you worship, let it be foremost
in your mind that as soon as there are qualified men, they will
be appointed. Working under faithful men will stir your soul unto
a greater zeal for the Lord. Work for the day there will be such
godly, sound, faithful, qualified men among you!
Table of Contents
PREACH THE WORD!
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season;
reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and
doctrine (2 Tim. 4:2). There is only one priority in
preaching and teaching pleasing God! If we please God in
our preaching, it matters not how men regard it, God is pleased.
He is the judge. God told Isaiah, Cry aloud, spare not,
lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their
transgression, and...sins (Isa. 58:1). We are faithful
today when we do the same. We are to earnestly contend
for the faith (Jude 3) and have no fellowship
with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove
them (Eph. 5:11). That requires exposing error. When Paul
entered a city and preached, trouble followed. The Truth disturbs
those who love darkness (1 Thess. 5:4-5). TRUTH and ERROR are
mortal enemies. They cannot exist together without conflict and
controversy! Satan will go to any length to keep error from being
exposed! Question: Where has God EVER condemned anyone for
exposing, rebuking, reproving and admonishing error? God commands
us to expose error, not conceal it! Refute it, not support it!
Garland M. Robinson
Table of Contents
HAVE CHRISTIAN COLLEGES COMPROMISED?
This is a question posed by Ken Ham and Greg Hall entitled
ALREADY COMPROMISED, as the result of a major research
study conducted last year.
They say that average church members would be shocked
and outraged at their findings of an uncertain sound emanating
from many of our Christian colleges.
Now, dear reader, understand that the authors of this
study and the book they have written are not faithful members of
the Lords church. However they were able to see what far too
many members of the Lords church for years have refused to
see. This in spite of the fact that many faithful members of the
Lords church have documented the uncertain sounds coming
from the private schools established by faithful brethren.
Schools established in times past with good intentions.
The authors of this research state; Average church
members would be shocked and outraged. I so wish that such
were true, but the average member of the Lords
church has been indifferent and continues to be so. Many look
upon those of us who have been sounding the warnings now for
decades as trouble makers. They have in fact become blind
followers of their blind leaders.
The authors of this study state: An uncertain
sound is emanating from many of our Christian colleges.
Many, they say, please show me the exception(s). Have
some gone farther into error than others? Yes, without a doubt
this is the case. However, it appears that it is just a matter of
time as they swap professors and bow to the accreditation demands
It has been shocking to me to observe that so many
members of the Lords church appear to be more loyal to some
school than to the blood purchased church. Some believe that any
education is better than no education. How sadly mistaken is this
concept. My wife and I have labored many decades in educating
ourselves, our children and as many others as possible in that
which is true. Any and all education that conflicts with
Gods word is a curse to any person, church or nation. Jesus
stated that absolute and objective truth is knowable (John 8:31-
32). Evolution is a lie. Secular humanism is a lie. Relativism
and phony Ecumenicalism based upon a unity in diversity
concept is blasphemy. Yet many of the so-called Christian
schools, to some degree, promote these very philosophies.
In the book of Revelation, the apostle John is found to
be providentially on the small isle of Patmos which is located
very near the seven churches of Asia. They were to be given the
responsibility to decode the urgent (at the time) message to the
Lords church. As we know, the church of Christ had its
inception in Jerusalem and was spread throughout Judea before it
was carried to the Gentiles. Even in A.D. 68, it was the heart of
Christianity. It was in that area that Christians had endured the
greatest persecution because every convert weakened the power of
After Rome had its great fire in A.D. 64, it is
believed that Nero sought to find a scapegoat on which to blame
the catastrophe. Nero sent his forces to destroy the heart of
Judaism and Christianity.
The churches of Asia were first closely examined by
Jesus. Jesus noted the good as well as the bad. In commenting on
something good found in the church of Ephesus Jesus said:
But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the
Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
Have you wondered just who were these Nicolaitans and
just what were some of their deeds? Here is what Smiths
Bible Dictionary says they were in part. A sect of
heretics of the first Century. They held it lawful to eat food
sacrificed to idols; to join in idolatrous worship and that God
did not create the universe. They held women in common. To
put it simply, they did not believe in the word of God. They, as
many today both within and without the Lords church, believe
they can direct their own steps.
I am struck with the similarity of todays
progressives change agents many of whom
believe in the man originated doctrine of evolution
which is a covert denial of Gods word (Gen. 1:1). Many of
the progressive elders, preachers, professors and members are
eager to embrace and join in with the idolatrous man-originated
churches. An idol does not have to consist of wood, stone or
precious medals. It may be a humanly concocted creed, doctrine or
philosophy. When it replaces the word of God, it is an idol. All
such obeisance has been rendered as vain. But in vain do
they worship me teaching for doctrine the commandments of
men (Matt. 15:9).
There is even a sense in which the progressives among
us hold women in common. They advocate for women to
serve in the same capacity as men in the church ignoring the
teaching of Gods word and the lack of evidence for their
contention. Just as Adam and Eve ignored the word of God, as did
also Cain, and many other examples; so do these change
agents. They willingly accept into their fellowship those
supposedly dry cleaned and those who were
baptized as infants into some humanly-originated
society. They deceive congregations by saying that the elders and
the preachers, after much study, have decided that what the Lord
commanded, and faithful Christians have for some 2,000 years
believed and preached, is not true. Only they have so
recently arrived at the truth. Brothers and sisters in Christ,
they could not as much hold the cloak of the preachers and elders
of times past. Their knowledge of the scriptures is not simply
shallow, the creek-bed among them is bone dry.
Jesus said, Beware of false prophets, which
come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are
ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men
gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles (Matt.
These change agents among Gods people
sow not the pure seed of the word of God. They sow the corrupt
seed of doubt and confusion. Their seeds produce not Christians,
but the thorns and thistles of just one more sad and sick
How can it be the case that entire congregations can so
easily be carried away to the broad road whose end is eternal
punishment? Have so many members of the Lords church become
Biblically ignorant? Are we seeing the words of Hosea once again
to be the state of Gods people today My people
are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6).
If you love me keep my commandments (John
14:15). And this is love, that we walk after His
commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard
from the beginning, ye should walk in it (2 John 6).
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God,
and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of
man (Eccl. 12:13).
Is it not time for Gods people to recognize the
source of so many false doctrines that have troubled the
Lords church in recent decades? Who is it that decided that
the Lords church needs to establish a new set of
ministries in the church? Who is it that is sending
forth change agents out among Gods people to
restructure the Lords church? Who is the champion
of every new translation? Have we so soon forgotten that those
who departed from the Lords church who now comprise the
Disciples Of Christ and the Christian Church
denomination, did so with the blessings of most of the
Ever wonder why the Lord did not teach Christians to
establish private schools to advance His cause? Think about it!
1186 Martha Leeville Rd.
Lebanon, TN 37090
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HAND-CLAPPING & SINGING HAPPY BIRTHDAY
With far too many brethren, a pep-rally atmosphere
permeates their concept of being spiritual. Even the worship
service is not off limits. I frequently hear of congregations
(who, in the past, have enjoyed a reputation of being sound in
the faith) allowing hand-clapping and the singing of Happy
Birthday at baptisms. Recently, when asked about the
authority for such practices, the preacher replied that it was a
happy occasion and there was nothing wrong with what they did.
Notice, please, no Biblical authority (Col. 3:17) was cited to
support the innovations! When the elders were approached about
the matter, they did not like it, but could find nothing wrong
with it biblically. By the reasoning of such brethren,
whistling and the stomping of feet would be
just as acceptable! I am amazed at such outright ignorance of
Gods word and overt refusal on the part of elders to
immediately stop the mouth of the gainsayers (Titus 1:9-11).
In Philippians 4:9, the inspired Paul wrote, Those
things, which ye have both learned, and received,
and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace
shall be with you. One thing is for certain, brethren who
have brought in these innovations did NOT learn, receive, hear
and see in Paul or other inspired mens writings any Biblical
authority for such practices! Such practices came from the
denominational world and so-called youth ministers in
the Lords church!
Not long ago (9/13/10), brother Gary Colley, evangelist
for the Getwell church of Christ in Memphis, TN, wrote the
following in their bulletin which needs wide circulation
throughout the brotherhood.
We have had several questions (from at least
two states recently) concerning whether
hand-clapping, Praise Teams,
singing Happy Birthday at baptisms,
and singing during the Lords Supper were
Biblically right. Basically, they are WRONG
because we do not have the Lords
permission to practice such (Matt. 28:20) any
more than we have authority to add
instrumental music to our singing or
buttermilk and corn bread to the Lords
table. We are to do all things in the
authority of Christ (Col. 3:16-17; 2 Jn.
9-11), and again we say these practices do
not have Heavens approval. They are
introduced by those who have more zeal than
knowledge, it seems (Rom. 10:1-2). These are,
therefore WRONG for the following reasons:
(1) We have no authority from Heaven. (2)
They produce division and confusion. (3) They
do not contribute to orderly and decent
worship (I Cor. 14:40). Can anyone imagine
one clapping around the cross? Some want to
clap when one is baptized into the death of
Christ (Rom. 6:3-4). Clapping at a sporting
event is in order, but in worship it is out
of order! Some want to sing while taking the
Lords Supper when they should be
thinking about and remembering the death of
Christ. They are mixing two items of worship,
both of which demand, separately, our devoted
thinking (Acts 2:42). Brethren, these
things ought not so to be.
Brethren, mark it down, the practices discussed in this
article, if continued, opens the door to the raising of holy
hands and dancing in the isles as an expression of Christ
living in us. That will never happen here, some may say. But bear
in mind, thats precisely what brethren said about
hand-clapping, singing Happy Birthday at baptisms,
etc.! Scriptural worship involves reverence, NOT revelry!
Its time for elders to stop these worldly
practices or else resign! O earth, earth, earth hear the
word of the Lord (Jer. 22:29).
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Rowlett, TX 75089
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Seek The Old Paths. Im looking forward for the next
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Odessa Russell. I came by her mail box and found a copy. My
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like to thank you for the years of service you have provided in
sending out your bulletins and articles for our reading. I know
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PEACE is a word that is sweet to the ear. It seems every day
we hear about war in some part of the earth. This has been the
way of man throughout history and will continue until the end of
the world. Although this peace on earth is so important and
desired by millions, there is another peace which is much more
important. Ever since sin separated man from God, the need for
peace has existed (Isa. 59:1,2). Jesus said, Blessed are
the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of
God (Matt. 5:9). Peace with God can be obtained by the
Gospel. It is by the gospel of peace that one is made a
child of God (Eph. 6:15). We are told by Paul that Jesus
preached peace (Eph. 2:17). Paul wrote, therefore
being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord
Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1). This passage makes it clear that to
have peace with God, we must have faith. It is impossible to
please God without faith (Heb. 11:6). This faith comes by hearing
and believing Gods word (Rom. 10:17). The faith that saves
is the faith that obeys. The eleventh chapter of Hebrews gives us
examples of how faith saves. Their faith was acceptable to God
because it acted. Faith alone is worthless in saving the soul.
James wrote, For as the body without the spirit is dead,
so faith without works is dead also (James 2:26). We
learn in the first Gospel sermon that the ones with faith were
told to repent and be baptized to be saved (Acts 2:38). A faith
that is too weak to obey Gods commands is too weak to save.
Ones actions are proof of his/her faith. When one obeys God,
he makes peace with God. Do you have enough faith in God to obey
him and enjoy being his child? Earl B., Claud, 106
Bradley Hill Dr., Dover, TN 37058
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