Seek The Old Paths

Vol. 11   No. 9                         September,   2000

In This Issue...


Steven E. Yeatts

      This coming November, the citizens of this country will decide upon a new president and vice-president, as well as other offices on the local, state, and federal level. Some Christians become more than just a bit testy when Gospel preachers refer to what some Christians consider merely "politics." For those who are so inclined, they have separated moral responsibility that should be their predominant disposition as a Christian from their "politics." I find it disheartening and in some cases (for those who have been warned) downright unconscionable that those who claim Christ will openly align themselves with political candidates who support homosexuality, abortion, and other immoral views contrary to Bible doctrine.
     A Christian is in a unique position being in the world, but is commanded not to love the world or live like the world (Col. 3:1-5; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 Cor. 6:17). James said that to be a friend of the world is to be the enemy of God (James 4:4). In light of this, can it be acceptable in the sight of God for a Christian to disassociate himself from the Lord's Way and cast a vote for a candidate who is openly supportive of the ideology that is destructive to righteousness and holiness?
     Sadly, I am convinced that no matter the amount of warning and the scriptural pleas that accompany such warning, on Tuesday, November 7, 2000, there will be members of the body of Christ who will go to their local polling place, and will cast a vote for some of the aforementioned candidates who will use their office to promote their godlessness.
     God ordained civil government (Rom. 13:1-7). We as Christian citizens are amenable to the laws of the land and should conduct ourselves in an orderly and godly fashion (1 Peter 2:13-17). We are expected to pay taxes and to pray for the leaders of the land (Matt. 22:17-21; 1 Tim. 2:1-3). It is not enforced upon any citizen that one has to vote. It is a right and a privilege. Certainly that right and privilege as a citizen of this country is superseded by our heavenly citizenship. Therefore, research should be done on each candidate to evaluate their moral stances as compared to the law of Christ (Phil. 1:20; Heb. 11:16). There are very few members of the body of Christ (sound and faithful ones) who are up for public office on any level. However, that does not mean that men and women of high integrity and moral fortitude cannot be found to make decisions that will help steer this country back towards God. Often times, an argument used to justify one's vote is that if we evaluate each candidate too closely, we cannot vote for anyone. If it were so that no viable, at least basically moral candidate exists in a particular election, perhaps "no vote" would be best. We should not reduce this issue to a matter of voting for the "lesser of two evils." What seems to motivate some Christians is their family history of voting for a particular party, or their perceived economic advantages in voting for a particular party. Such reasoning is faulty and shallow for one who claims to be the saved of God.
     Jesus established more than just a benchmark of morals for us to follow. He set the precedent for matters of morality (Heb. 4:15). It is conceded that when we vote, we are voting for fallible men or women who will make mistakes. The essence of a candidate's or already-elected official's character and integrity is not measured by whether or not they have made mistakes (all do from time to time), but is instead measured by what they have done after making such mistakes. Did they truly repent and change their ways? Or, have they continued to prevaricate and poison the morality of their locale, state, or country? One need to look no further than King David as an example of a fallible man who was a leader, but a man of integrity who acknowledged his sin and continued on as a leader and served God faithfully (2 Sam. 12:13).
     Some Christians whose employment involves being a member of a union justify their vote for a particular candidate by the union's instructions regarding future financial considerations and protection. If such a "pro-union" candidate also holds to immoral views of pro-homosexuality and abortion on demand, can a Christian honestly separate the moral issues from the financial ones and rationalize such a vote? Jesus spoke to the things that His followers would need, and He said, "seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt. 6:33). The things that we need (food, drink, clothing) will be provided for those who give the kingdom proper priority. Have some Christians displaced their faith in their Father and His Son and trusted in the union to deliver them in their time of need? God forbid! We are to be reminded that Christianity involves self-sacrifice and that this world is truly not our home (Matt. 16:24-26; Luke 12:15-21). We need to store up heavenly treasure by trusting the one who truly provides for us, God the Father (Matt. 6:25-34; Matt. 6:19-21).
     Others will refer to their vote as a private matter that is nobody's business. Certainly the matter of voting is a private matter. When one goes in the voting booth the only parties truly involved are not the modern day political parties, but the voter and God. We must stand before God one day and give an account for our lives (2 Cor. 5:10). Included in our lives is our influence. Christians who think they can cast a ballot for a candidate whose lack of morality is the antithesis of scriptural basics, whose associations and lack of morality fight against the very thing we should pray for in regard to leaders of the land, ("that we might lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty") are part of the problem and not part of the solution as it pertains to the good fight of faith that we are to fight for the cause of Christ (1 Tim. 2:2; 6:12). Is it sensible to vote for a candidate who makes known his or her immoral views, then upon their election, pray that we can lead a godly life with such degenerate leadership? Such reasoning is fallacious indeed. There are members of the body of Christ who will dissociate their religion from their politics and operate as if the act of voting earns them an exemption from the review of Jesus Christ. If we are students of God's Word, His word will shape us as we strive to follow in the footsteps of Christ. If following Christ is our primary focus, we will apply at least the basic morality litmus tests on the candidates for whom we vote.
     No earthly leader deters in any way the control of God over the affairs of this life. God uses the choices of men and women (leaders of the land or not) to work His providence and His will. It is a comforting truth to know that "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will" (Prov. 21:1). When considering the consequences of immoral leadership, Christians should be scripturally motivated to choose those candidates that best suit our desire for peace, morality, and our commission to teach and represent Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords (1 Tim. 6:15). May God bless this country as we elect our representatives in November.
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Table of Contents

Garland M. Robinson

      God's people have always been hated and persecuted. They "...were tortured, had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth" (Heb. 11:32,35-38). The apostle John said, "Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you" (1 John 3:13). Jesus said, "Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake" (Luke 6:22). "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you" (Matt 5:11-12).
     Like it or not, faithful members of the Lord's church, elders, deacons, preachers, Bible teachers, and every single member will be hated -- both by those of the world and many of our own brethren. That's all right, don't be discouraged, we know we're in good company, for Jesus said... "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you..." (John 15:18-20). "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved" (Matt. 10:22). "Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets" (Luke 6:22-23).
     The Lord's people in the first century were hated with a vengeance. They were threatened, imprisoned, beaten, and put to death. Stephen was stoned and those who did it laid down their clothes at a young man's feet whose name was Saul (Acts 7:57-59). This same young man stepped up the persecution and made "...havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison" (Acts 8:3). He thought he was doing God's service (John 16:2) but later found out he was doing satan's service (Acts 26:9). Oh, how many multitudes today think they are doing God's service by teaching and promoting their human doctrines, yet all the while hindering and persecuting the cause of Christ and His elect.
     As the Lord's people, we must fight. God wants his servants to stand and fight. "Fight the good fight of faith..." (1 Tim. 6:12). "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong" (1 Cor 16:13). We are not to fight with the weapons of this world, whether it be with fists, guns, or planes. "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds)" (2 Cor. 10:3-4). The weapons of our warfare are spiritual -- the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand" (Eph. 6:11-13).
     As we do battle in this world, we can expect to be hated and persecuted. "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Tim. 3:12). "They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service" (John 16:2). "...In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). "I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world" (John 17:14). "...We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22). "For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know" (1 Thess. 3:4).
     We are hated because we hate evil, wickedness and corruption -- whether in the church or out of the church. We hate iniquity (Heb. 1:9), lying (Prov. 13:5), and every vile thing (Jude 1:23). Our banner is to "...abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good" (Rom. 12:9). We adhere to the command of Ephesians 5:11 to "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." We believe in marking those who cause division by teaching and practicing error (Rom. 16:17). We believe in contending for the faith (Jude 3). And, we're hated for it!
     We are hated because we are not of the world. Jesus said, "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you" (John 15:19). We must not be a part of the world. "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for...." (1 John 2:15-17). "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God" (James 4:4). When we don't go along with the evils of the world, they think we are strange. "Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you" (1 Peter 4:4). We can overcome the world. We're exhorted to (Rom. 12:1-2). "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Phil. 4:13).
     Sad to say, many times we will be hated by our own brethren. This is so because many love the praise of men more than they love the praise of God (John 12:42-43). Our greatest danger lies from within! That's what Paul told the elders at Ephesus (Acts 20:28-31). Day and night, for three years, he did not cease to warn every member there of the danger of false teaching and false teachers. He did so with tears in his eyes, pleading with them to love the truth and hate every false way. Did he go overboard? No. Was he too negative? No. Was he not balanced? Yes. When honest, sound, loving brethren do the same today that Paul did they are blamed with causing trouble, being too negative, legalistic. Brethren, there's always going to be trouble with the devil and his agents when the Truth is proclaimed and error is exposed. It's no wonder the Lord will take vengeance on them that do not love the truth (2 Thess. 1:7-9; 2:10).
     Many want to compromise the truth to get along with the world and denominations. They will compromise the truth to go along with unsound brethren -- refusing to come out from among them (cf. 2 Cor. 6:17). They hate and detest those who will not compromise. Paul asked those in Galatia, "Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth" (Gal. 4:16). He withstood Peter to his face for compromising with error (Gal. 2:11-13).
     There are many soft, weak, compromising brethren who really apply the pressure to faithful, loving brethren who stand up for the truth and will not compromise on dancing, smoking, drinking, immodesty, adultery, gambling, worldliness, authorized worship and faith in the one true church. They will say, "you're too strict," "you're a legalist," "you're a Pharisee," "you're too hard," "you're a Bible thumper," "you're old fashioned," "you're out of date." They really try to destroy your faith. They want you to come over and attend where they go. They apply the pressure to get you away from the truth and join them. No one likes to be under fire, and so many give in and go along.
     Brethren, we can't give up. We can't give in. We must go on. Don't be discouraged by liberal, compromising brethren! They will try to get you to join them. Don't do it! Stand your ground. Stay with the Lord. Remember that the majority, those who count on numbers, have always been wrong. We must not follow a multitude to do evil (Exodus 23:2). Yes, it is good to examine ourselves (2 Cor. 13:5). But the truth is the truth and when you have the truth, then stay with it.
     Love the Lord and His Way more than family and life itself (Luke 14:26-27). There is great reward for those who stay with the Lord. "And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life" (Matt. 19:29).

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Questions 87-101

Chuck Northrop

       87. You loudly quote Mark 16:16 (First clause only), I don't believe that you or your brethren really believe Mark 16:16, any of it. He that believeth and is Baptized shall be saved? Only 2 things are mentioned. ARE YOU GOING TO HEAVEN? Your answer is I DON'T KNOW. HOW MANY IF'S AND PROVISOS will you have to insert into Mark 16:16, before you will take it, At least five."
     To the Corinthians, Paul wrote, "But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self" (1 Cor. 4:3). If John 3:16 and/or Mark 16:16 were the only passages needed for salvation, then God sure wasted a lot of paper. The entirety of the Bible was given to mankind for our salvation, not just a few select verses. Paul wrote "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Therefore, we cannot approach the Bible with a "pick and choose" mentality.
     88. "If you lose your present salvation, can you ever be saved a second time. Give a Chapter and verse for your answer."
     Thankfully, God has "given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3), and therefore, He has given us the answers to questions such as this. In Acts 8, Luke records the evangelistic activities of Philip the evangelist. While in the city of Samaria, Philip preached "the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ." As a result of his preaching, "they were baptized, both men and women" (v.12). Along with these, Luke mentions specifically a man named Simon who used sorcery and bewitched the people. In verse 13, Luke informs us Simon also believed and was baptized. Was Simon saved when he obeyed the Gospel? Without a doubt! But don't stop here. Keep reading. After Peter and John came to Samaria to bestow the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, Simon tried to purchase this power. "But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money...for thy heart is not right in the sight of God" (Acts 8:20-21). Was Simon saved? Absolutely not! Under this condition, he was going to perish with his money. Thus, Peter called him to repentance (vs.22-23), and Simon asked Peter to pray for him (v.24). Was Simon then saved again? Yes!
     89. "If you are saved NOW but might become UNSAVED tomorrow, would it not be wise for God to let you DIE today?"
     If Christianity was only about receiving a reward, that might be right. However, there is a whole lot more to being a Christian than receiving the glories of heaven. How could we take the Gospel to the world if we are dead (Matt. 28:18-19; Mark 16:15-16)? How could we be "the salt of the earth" and "the light of the world" if we are dead (Matt. 5:13- 16)? How could we grow to maturity and edify and encourage one another if we were dead (Eph. 4:16)?
     90. "In that case, would you not be outliving your salvation?"
     God, in His wisdom, designed the scheme of redemption, and to question God is to stand on mighty dangerous ground. It is God's design for men to be born, but for those who reject Christ, it is better for them not to have been born. The same could be said of those who "have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away..." (Heb. 6:5). Thus, Peter said, "For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them" (2 Peter 2:21).
     91. "Will God let you live TOO LONG?"
     "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). God our Saviour "will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:4). Thus, God may be allowing us to live to give us an opportunity to repent. While alive, "there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion" (Eccl. 9:4).
     92. "If He does, and you die and go to HELL, it is not God's Fault?"
     Is this a statement or a question? Does this "question" express a desire? Are you so filled with anger towards "Campbellites" that you desire them to be lost eternally? Dear reader, our desire is as God's. We desire your salvation! We beg of you to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12). Obey the Gospel today (Acts 2:38)!
     93. "How good will you have to be before God saves you?"
     Salvation is not determined by how good a person is. "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one" (Rom. 3:10). "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). But those who have obeyed God's plan of salvation are "justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 3:24). Does that mean we can live any way we desire? Absolutely not! Paul asked, "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?" Now, listen to Paul's answer: "God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" How and when does a person die to sin? "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Rom. 6:1-4).
     94. "Did Jesus Die to save SINNERS or GOOD PEOPLE?"
     Jesus said, "They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Mark 2:17). Because all have sinned, all are in need of the Great Physician!
     95. "If Baptism was essential to your FIRST Salvation is it not also essential to being saved a second time?"
     Once a person is born into the family of God, he or she is always a member of that family even if they depart. Like the prodigal son, when a person leaves the Father, a person can return when he or she comes to his or her senses. The Father will always welcome them back. What is necessary for their return? Like Simon, the one desiring to return to the Father must repent (Acts 8:22), must confess their faults (James 5:16), and ask for prayers (Acts 8:24; James 5:15-16).
     96. "Name one person in the Bible who was saved a second time?"
     Simon who used to be a sorcerer, obeyed the Gospel, turned his heart away from the Lord and then repented and asked Peter to pray for him (Acts 8:13-24). See question 88.
     97. "Is not your entire program a matter of salvation by works?"
     Salvation is "the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8) and "not by works of righteousness which we have done" (Titus 3:5). So many want to stop there but continue with Ephesians 2:10, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Jesus said, "So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do" (Luke 17:10). We must work the works God has commanded that we do (John 6:28-29).
     98. "Do you know the difference in WORKS and GRACE? In Works, one does something for God: In Grace, God does something for us. Which would you rather go out to eternity with? Something you did or something God did. Which would afford the greatest JOY?"
     There are different kinds of works. Some are done to earn something, others are done because of love and faith and the commands of God. Works done to earn salvation are the works mentioned in Ephesians 2:9 and Titus 3:5 -- they will not save. A person cannot work enough to earn salvation. It is impossible, but nonetheless, we demonstrate our love and our faith by our works of obedience (John 14:15; James 2:24). God's grace is bestowing favor toward someone who does not deserve it. God's gift to man is seen in His sending His Son to be a propitiation for sin, in providing His scheme of redemption for us to know how to contact the blood of His Son, and in giving His word for us to know how to live righteously in Christ Jesus. Without either grace or works of obedience, there is no forgiveness. Both are necessary. Both are essential. And both bring great joy!
     99. "Was Paul Thankful that God sent Him to preach only one part of the Gospel? 1 Cor. 1:17."
     There should be no doubt that Paul was thankful to God for sending him to preach the Gospel. However, he was not sent to preach only one part of the Gospel nor did he preach only one part of it. In fact, he told the elders of Ephesus, "For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God" (Acts 20:27). Though Paul himself only baptized a few in Corinth, he still preached baptism (1 Cor. 12:13). Because of the Corinthians' party spirit, he was thankful to God he had baptized only Crispus, Gaius, and the household of Stephanas (1 Cor. 1:14- 16).
     100. "If Faith always includes and involves Baptism - as you preach it - why did the Holy Spirit use two different words - if they mean and include each other? Mark 16:16."
     Faith and/or belief does not necessarily include baptism. In question 3 (p.27), we noted that belief is used in two ways: 1) as knowledge of facts, and 2) inclusive of obedience. In Mark 16:16, Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Before one is baptized, he or she must have the knowledge that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Without continuing in such knowledge or belief, a person will be damned. Thus, belief must be acted upon, and the way it is acted upon in Mark 16:16 is by being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.
     101. "In Gal. 3:26, 27: þFor Ye are ALL' (V. 26) þFor as many of you' (V. 27). Do these two statements mean and include the same people? Had ALL the people in verse 26 become Children of God? Had ALL of them been baptized or AS MANY OF YOU as had been baptized?"
     Galatians 3:26-27 says, "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." These two verses cannot be disconnected. "In Christ" is a sphere of location in which are all spiritual blessings (Eph. 1:3) including salvation (2 Tim. 2:10). In the original, the text says, "ye are all children of God by the faith in Christ Jesus." This is not the act of believing but the faith system or the gospel scheme of redemption as in Acts 6:7 and Jude 3. By what means did they become the children of God? By means of the faith or by the Gospel. When did they become children of God (get into Christ)? "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." "For" is a conjunction of explanation. It explains when they received the blessings which are in Christ. Thus, baptism is the particular step one must take to get into the marvelous sphere of being "in Christ" where salvation is.
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     Editor's note: Friend, are you IN Christ? Just thinking you are does not make it so. Believing and following man's doctrine will not make it so. One gets INTO Christ (Gal. 3:27) WHEN (Rom. 6:17-18) he/she has an active faith that causes them to work/perform/obey the commands of God (Matt. 7:21; Heb. 5:8-9). God commands all men to BELIEVE in Jesus (John 8:24; Mark 16:16), REPENT of sins (Luke 13:3,5; Acts 2:38), CONFESS faith in Jesus as the Son of God (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:37) and is BAPTIZED in water for the forgiveness of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-6; 1 Peter 3:21). Water baptism into the Lord's death is when one contacts the saving blood that washes sins away (Rev. 1:5; Eph. 1:7; Acts 22:16; Rom. 6:3-6). Don't fight against the Lord, obey the Gospel today.
     Many have asked about compiling this series of articles into a tract. That is under consideration. In the mean time, this six part series has been compiled into one on the internet. You can see it in its entirety by clicking on: www.seektheoldpaths.com101quest.htm.

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Jim E. Waldron

     At the present time, the churches of Christ are being attacked by rank liberalism and in some cases modernism. Self-styled "change agents" (false teachers, gmr) are trying to restructure the church to make it more palatable to evangelical Protestantism. What is worse, elders who ought to know better are bidding Godspeed to the "change agents" by allowing their preachers to join forces with those who are openly fellowshipping the denominations. This will lead not only to the abandonment of the New Testament pattern (2 Tim. 1:13) for the church, but a complete undermining of our mission efforts. Who will worry about spreading the pure and unperverted Gospel of Jesus, if "one church is as good as another?" Having worked 17 of the last 34 years abroad in preaching and training native brethren to reach their own with the Gospel, I am deeply concerned that those who are watering down the Gospel among us will undermine our efforts to reach the billions beyond our shore. This is a major reason for the following letter:

"JUBILEE" 2000

     Dear Brothers in Christ, June 2, 2000.
     It is truly my hope that you are in good health and that your families are also. Yet, I must confess it is very disappointing to know that you are allowing your preacher to be a part of "Nashville Jubilee" (July 4-8, 2000).
     Just this week (June 1-4) those who are the main driving force behind "Jubilee" are joining with Billy Graham in his "crusade" in Nashville. Many of you are very near my own age, I will be 65 in November, and you are well aware of the kinds of things Graham has taught over the last 50 years.
     He, as a Baptist preacher, has taught millions that salvation is by faith alone, which is a direct contradiction of the Scriptures (Mark 16:15-16; James 2:24). He has taught and teaches that once a person is saved he is always saved, which is the very opposite of the words of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:4; Heb. 6:1-8). Graham teaches that one church is as good as another and that one should join the church of his choice, which things are diametrically opposed to the words of our beloved Master (Matt. 16:18; cf. Acts 2:47; Eph. 1:22,23; 4:4; 5:25). Graham teaches that Christ's kingdom has not come, but will be set up in the future, which contradicts the Truth (Mark 9:1; Col. 1:13).
     How is it possible that you as elders in God's church could allow the brother who fills your pulpit to join forces with those, who proudly published on the internet eight months ago, "several of our shepherds wrote letters of invitation to Dr. Billy Graham to encourage him to come to our city?" (Woodmont Hills "Family of God," Lovelines, Vol. 39, Sept. 29, 1999, ). These men admit to inviting this wolf to come among God's flock in Middle Tennessee.
     Not only are the above things true in relation to Graham, but the "Nashville Jubilee" is a para-church organization that has, for eleven years, done more to divide the churches of Christ in the state of Tennessee than any other thing. This has been done by the use of men who are, as a matter of public record, teaching things which are contrary to sound doctrine. A hundred years ago the "missionary society" was used to divide the body of Christ and to take many churches into the ranks of modernism and classical liberalism. Such division is classed with idolatry and witchcraft as a work of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21). By promoting "Jubilee" you are bidding Godspeed to self-styled "change agents" who are dividing our beloved brotherhood (2 John 9-11).
     I beseech you as brothers in Christ to oppose such "change agents" who are trying to restructure the church of Christ into a protestant community church. Remember the words of the apostle Paul, "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them" (Eph. 5:11). He also wrote to Timothy, that we are to "hold fast to the pattern of sound words" (2 Tim. 1:13). And to Titus he said elders are to hold "fast the faithful word...for there are many insubordinate...whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households teaching things which they ought not, for dishonest gain" (Titus 1:9-11). The list of those appearing at this year's "Jubilee" may be found on the internet:
     Woodmont Hills has four men from its staff on the "Jubilee" program. These are Randy Gill, "worship leader," Eddie Plemmons, "children and family ministry," Terry Smith, assistant preacher, and Rubel Shelly, preacher, who has a long track record of joint participation with denominational churches and their leaders.
     Others who are joining forces with Woodmont Hills at "Jubilee" are Jason Allison, Greg Anderson, Buddy Bell, Mark Black (David Lipscomb University Bible professor and preacher for the Donelson church, Nashville), Phil Barnes, Bobby Chapman, Mike Cope (preacher for the 5th and Highland church in Abilene), Ron Cook, Gwynneth Curtis, and Ken Dye (founder of the Hendersonville Community church, who now preaches for the West End church in Nashville). Still others are Steve Davidson, Doug Foster (professor of church history at Abilene), Joel Fort, Ken Green, Scotty Harris (preacher at Pegram, near Nashville), John Mark Hicks (professor at Harding Graduate School) and Gary Holloway, who is dean of the College of Bible and Ministry at David Lipscomb. Still others are Jim Holway, Wesley Jones (Represents "World Christian Broadcasters, Inc.," Franklin, TN), Wayne Kilpatrick (preacher, Homewood church in Birmingham), Russ King, Mac Lynn, Don McLaughlin (preacher, North Atlanta church), Jim Martin, Rolston Mondaizie and Randy Moody. Others include Ken Neller, Chris Qualls, Floyd Rose, Chris Seidman, David Slater, Brian Simmons, Chris Smith, Mark Smith, Brandon Scott Thomas (worship leader at Otter creek) and Jim Woodroof, whose two books, Divorce Dilemma and The Church In Transition provide self documentation of his antithesis to the doctrine of Christ. Tim Woodroof, Edwin White and Dale Ward are also on the program.
          In Christian love,
          Jim E. Waldron
          P.O. Box 123, Dunlap, TN 37327

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Mark Lance

     Some people have such a strong desire to have power they are often willing to do whatever it takes to have it, even if it means walking on others to climb the so called "ladder to the top."
     Even some in the church of our Lord have this ungodly attitude. The apostle of love (John) had to deal with a man of this disposition. We read, "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 9-10).
     Diotrephes wanted to have control. He was not content to simply find his place in the body of Christ and fulfill it. He wanted to be the man people answered to. John said that what Diotrephes was doing was evil. It was not of God and was not to be followed (3 John 11).
     Why was it wrong to do as Diotrephes had done? It is wrong because God desires for His people to have unity. The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians about their lack of unity. "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you" (1 Cor. 1:10-11). The wise man Solomon wrote about seven things that are an abomination to God with one of those seven being "he that soweth discord among brethren" (Prov. 6:19).
     When someone has to have "their way" or "no way" in the church, division results and the unity for which Jesus prayed is not enjoyed (John 17:20-21). We must not place our thoughts above God's thoughts (Isa. 55:8-9). Man is guilty of violating God's law when he seeks to have control over a congregation by working behind the scenes to promote his own agenda. How many times has the work of the Lord been hindered because one person thought more of himself than he should (Rom. 12:3)?
     Even preachers fall into this trap. Some brethren cannot be involved in any good work unless their name is going to be at the top of list. When a man tries his best to make sure he is on a brotherhood lectureship just to bring some honor to himself rather than to make sure the Gospel is preached, he has transgressed God's law and is doing harm to the church.
     Thank God for those sound Gospel preachers who do what they do for the benefit of the spread of God's precious word, and for those sound members who do what they do, not for the praise of men, but so souls can be led to Christ.
     May we do those things which will uphold Christ and His church, and not promote our own selfish motives (Col. 3:17).
          P.O. Box 533
          Lovelady, TX 57851

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"What a wonderful experience to be a part of the lectureship! It is always the highlight of my year to be able to associate with such wonderful brethren and hear such great lessons from God's Word. Thank you, the eldership, and the congregation there for allowing me to participate. I already look forward to next year's program" ...Richard Guill, Murray, KY. "The following statement is taken from the Willow Creek Community Church's Willow Creek Association web page. "The churches that have joined the Willow Creek Association have shown an interest in the method and philosophy of Willow Creek Community Church. All the member churches have professed an evangelical Christian faith, which crosses various denominations. It is important to note that this is only a referral and the Willow Creek Association does not oversee the ministry expressions of the individual churches." On this page, you may search for member churches. Here is the address: Two of the churches listed as members of the Willow Creek Association are the Woodmont Hills Church of Christ (Rubel's Church) in Nashville, Tennessee and the Quail Springs Church of Christ in Oklahoma City. Brethren, how long shall faithful men tolerate the digression/apostasy of such entities and keep silent about those like Oklahoma Christian President Kevin Jacobs and some of his faculty members who remain members at Quail Springs? How can faithful Christians even think of contributing to or supporting an institution like Oklahoma Christian? ...Jerry Brewer, Elk City, OK. "Thank you very much and may God's blessings be with you and the church with its strong leadership. Yours in Christ" ...Steffie Stewart, MI. "I appreciate the good work you do with Seek the Old Paths. The articles are timely and informative. They are an excellent source to combat the unnecessary and sinful changes taking place within the Lord's church. Please add my name to the mailing list. Thank you in advance for any attention given to this matter. May God continue to bless your efforts in His vineyard" ...Patrick Morrison, Little Rock, AR. "David and I enjoy reading the Seek The Old Paths. Thank you" ...David and Donna Carson. "I enjoy Seek The Old Paths very much" ...Russell Tuttle, Mount Morris, MI. "Hello, I would like to thank you, the elders and the congregation at East Corinth for the wonderful work which you are doing. I receive STOP and look forward to each issue. Can you tell me if there is anyway that I could purchase audio tapes of some of your previous lectureships?" ...Jason White, Milliken, CO. [NOTE: All audio tapes are free for the asking. Send your request and we will do our best to get you whatever tapes you want.] "I was recently given a copy of your Feb. 2000 issue of "Seek The Old Paths" and used some of its information in our Men's Bible study of II Peter 2 yesterday. I'd like to request that we be put on your mailing list" ...Jerry L. Duke, El Paso, TX. "I have just visited your website and am very interested in receiving copies of your monthly publication "Seek the Old Paths." I am a member of the Church of Christ in Bermuda" ...Paula Mae D. Bean, Southampton, Bermuda. [NOTE: We mail to foreign addresses every two months to save postage.] "S.T.O.P. letters are very good keep up the good work" ...Robert Schultz. "We are members of the Lord's church at Holly Pond, Alabama. May God continue to bless you with your work" ...Dennis and Sarah Talley. "Please remove Lee Acres Church of Christ from your mailing list. Thank you" ...Members, Lee Acres Church of Christ, Tupelo, MS. "I have just finished the February issue of S.T.O.P. that one of our elders gave me. Please sign me up to receive my own copy of Seek The Old Paths. I have enjoyed the reading and look forward to my own future copies. The church needs a sound publication like this and I hope and pray more copies will be sent out to our brethren in the church and those who have fallen out of the church. Keep up the good work with your solid stand for the truth" ...Darrell Andrews, Odessa, MO. "Thank you so much for directing me to another good website: It truly concerns us that many in the Lord's church are not following the Old Paths any more. Our own congregation is beginning to show signs of liberalism. We're doing everything we can to try and stop it before it's too late. Thanks again for responding to my letter" withheld. "With what little consolation I might contribute, Lennie Reagan's article concerning the INSIGHT 2000 debacle was very well presented. The loving spirit of a concerned Christian, Lennie very adeptly expressed himself, his love for the Gospel, and his concern for the purity of the Lord's church. It is encouraging to hear of brethren across the nation who's love for Christ compels them to stand for truth in such a noble manner. Continue to print Seek the Old Paths and may God bless us with an increase of brethren with backbone!" ...J. D. (Jeff) Sweeten, Editor, Seek Ye First. "I have no use for this church of Christ trash, lies, false teaching, baloney!" ...David Bennett, Shamrock, TX. "We just received your publication "Seek The Old Paths" from a member of our congregation. We would like to be put on your mailing list, we really enjoyed reading it. Thanks" ...Philip Gee, Olive Hill, KY. "The STOP articles are great. Keep up the good work" ...Robert Schultz, Burton, MI. "Thank you. I appreciate all that you do. I enjoy your publication as well" ...Denny Wilson. "Please remove me from your mailing list" Jeff Tacker, Oxford, MS. "Just wanted you to know that I am an elder at the Orange Grove church and thoroughly enjoy reading Seek The Old Paths. There is much going on in the brotherhood today and in our local congregations that is disturbing. Just wanted to send you a word of encouragement. Hope you have a great weekend! ...Tim Chapin, Gulfport MS. "I am very happy that we can use this site to grow and edify one another. I would like for your congregation to pray for my family and children Chris, Frank and Kyrin. We will also pray for the growth of the good works which we are provided. I thank you" ...E Cruse. "Please remove me from your mailing list. Thank you" ...Janice Davis, Harvest, AL. "I am a member of the Battle Church of Christ in Battle Creek, Michigan. God will bless you for the good work you are doing. May God bless you" ...Mac Asher, Battle Creek, MI. "Keep up the good work, this publication is needed in the brotherhood today" ...Darrell Andrews, Odessa, MO. "Good article on colleges and the church. Plain and simple, the way it ought to be" ...Douglas Hoff, Effingham, IL. "Can you please send me information about "Seek The Old Paths" or put me on the mailing list? If there is a cost, please bill me. I'm always looking for good bulletins to receive that stand firmly for the truth" ...John Bobo, Trinity, AL. "I have heard very good things about your congregation and would like to receive your newsletter. God bless you and your elders as you stand for the truth" ...Myrlen Britt, Hendersonville, TN. ..

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