THE LORDS SUPPER AT WEDDINGS AND FUNERALS?
Some brethren have attempted to make the Lords
supper part of a common meal. The June, 2002 issue of STOP, in an
article by Jack Simons, reported about a place that made the
Lords supper part of a barbecue dinner.
Now we see another step some are taking, that of
offering the Lords supper at weddings and funerals. These
modern trends and fads are perversions of the Lords supper.
Perversions such as these show no respect for God and his Word, and
no real love for Jesus who died for us.
Consider this prayer þ- Lord, thy will. Nothing
more. Nothing less. Nothing else. I dont remember where
I read it or who prayed it, but it reminds us of the essentials of
Bible authority. In the matter of religion, either the Bible has
ultimate and absolute authority, or it has no authority at all. If
we are free to add things that we want, take away or ignore the
things we dont like, and substitute those things that appeal
to us, then the Bible has no authority over us at all.
THE BIBLE PLAN FOR THE LORDS SUPPER
Israel of old was reminded of the authority of
Gods law. Ye shall not add unto the word which I
command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may
keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you
(Deut. 4:2). This verse was once more well-known and quoted
than it is today. Look at it carefully. Why were they told they
should not add to nor take away from the word? So they could keep
Gods commandments. If we feel free to add to and take away,
then we cannot keep his commandments. We destroy any authority
Gods word ever had.
Lest anyone should forget, we also are under these
same commands. For I testify unto every man that heareth
the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto
these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written
in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the
book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book
of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are
written in this book (Rev. 22:18-19). While it is true
these commands are specifically about the words of the book of
Revelation, it would be exceptionally strange logic for someone to
conclude that you cant add to or take away from the book of
Revelation, but you can from the rest of Gods word.
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). If all of Gods word is inspired, then we cant
take any of it away. If it is able to equip us to every good work,
then we need to add nothing to it.
Colossians 3:17 is still in the Bible. And
whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord
Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
The pattern for the Lords supper is detailed in the
Bible and that makes it quite simple for us. The more specific God
is in setting forth a pattern for us to follow, the less
expediencies there are for us to decide in following that pattern.
When God was specific with Noah about what wood to use for the ark,
Noah did not have to worry about deciding which wood was better for
him to use.
THESE PERVERSIONS OF THE LORDS SUPPER
Jesus instituted the Lords supper and showed us
what things we are supposed to use as emblems: unleavened
bread and the fruit of the vine (Matt. 26:26-29).
We have no right to take away either of these emblems from the
Lords supper. We also have no right to add more than these.
This condemns the use of barbecued pork (or beef).
Paul revealed to the Corinthians the mind-set and
focus we are to have when we partake, and declared that if we fail
to partake in the right manner, we will lose our souls (1 Cor.
Even the day and the frequency
are clearly set out in Scripture for those who have respect for the
Biblical pattern. The disciples came together on the first day
of the week (Acts 20:7-12). In 1 Corinthians 11 beginning in
verse 17 Paul discusses the assembly for the Lords supper
without giving us a day or a frequency. However he continues the
discussion in chapter 14 when he discusses how spiritual gifts were
to be used in their assemblies. He then goes on in chapter 16, as
he discussed the collection, to pin down the day and frequency of
those assemblies -- the first day of the week. It is
sinful for us to partake of the Lords supper on any other day.
The pattern also shows us that the Lords supper
is a matter of public assembly. It was taken by the brethren at
Troas when they came together and Paul preached to them (Acts
20:7-12). Paul describes the taking of the Lords supper in
Corinth with the words ye come together in 1
Corinthians 11:17,18,20,33,34. It is true that there are some who
cannot assemble with the saints (shut-ins, prisoners, etc.).
However, no matter what we say about their partaking of the
Lords supper, there is clearly no biblical authorization for
taking the Lords supper and willfully placing it in assemblies
that are for purposes other than congregational worship to God.
SHOW NO RESPECT FOR BIBLE AUTHORITY
The Bible does not authorize these new changes in the
Lords supper. It plainly condemns using it as a common meal (1
Cor. 11:20-22), and there is no Bible authority for making the
Lords supper part of a wedding or a funeral. Since there
is no Bible authority for it, that makes it a sin.
THESE PERVERSIONS OF THE LORDS SUPPER
A wedding is a celebration of two lives becoming one.
It centers on those lives and the decisions of those two
individuals. The Lords supper centers on the Lord, his
suffering and death on our behalf (1 Cor. 11:24-29). There is
simply no way to combine a wedding and the Lords supper. A
wedding is not a worship service, and a worship service is not a
Some may argue that we have prayers at weddings. This
is true, but the Bible teaches that prayer is always appropriate (1
A funeral is a memorial of the life of a mere mortal.
This makes it very different from the Lords supper, which is
intended to memorialize our Lords suffering and death. Again,
there is no proper or Scriptural way to combine a funeral service
and the Lords supper -- they are two different assemblies for
two different purposes.
Someone else may argue that we sing spiritual songs
and preach from the Bible at funerals, so why not partake of the
Lords supper there also? Singing spiritual songs can be done
by those who are happy (James 5:13), and even when people are
experiencing difficult times (Acts 16:24-25). And, preaching can be
done in synagogues, schools, or wherever people gather (Acts
But, where is any particle of Bible authority, any
command, example or implication, that even begins to authorize
making the Lords supper a part of weddings or funerals? In the
absence of such authority, those who practice such things are
showing disdain for the inspired Word of God.
SHOW NO LOVE OR RESPECT FOR GOD OR HIS SON
It may seem harsh to say that these perversions of the
pattern show neither respect nor love for God or for his Son, but
this is not an unfair judgment. Those who do not respect Gods
word do not respect him. Jesus said, And why call ye me,
Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say (Luke
This is the reason Nadab and Abihu died, they did not
sanctify the Lord when they tried to come near to him. In other
words, they had no respect for his commands about how to worship
The man picking up sticks on the Sabbath had no
respect for Gods Word, and died (Num. 15:30-36). He is an
example of a man who sinned presumptuously, one who
reproacheth the Lord because he despised the word of the
Lord (vs.30-31). This is the same attitude shown by those who
pervert the place and purpose of the Lords supper.
It is the vilest of lies to say that we love Jesus and
yet defy his commands, for Jesus said, If ye love me,
keep my commandments (John 14:15). Rejecting his word
and failing to receive Jesus are one and the same thing (John
Cloaked in false spirituality, people take a beautiful
memorial, and in defiance of God who gave the memorial, they twist
it to their own ends for their own enjoyment. And, let us not
forget what this memorial represents. God gave his Son. He did not
do so for the purpose of decorating or dressing up a wedding like
a flower arrangement, an arch, or unity candles.
God did not give us the Lords supper to celebrate
or memorialize our own loved ones. There is nothing wrong with such
memorial services when loved ones have died, but the Lords
supper does not belong in those services -- it has no part or
parcel in these activities.
Let us learn and live the attitude of this prayer and
thus bow in submission at the feet of our Maker and Redeemer --
Lord, thy will. Nothing more. Nothing less. Nothing else.
1495 E Empire Ave.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022
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THE LONG ARM OF GRACE
Marvin L. Weir
The Saturday, June 1, 2002 edition of the Dallas
Morning News contained an article by Rae DeShong featuring
the Highland Oaks church of Christ and their minister of
twenty-five years, Dr. Gary Beauchamp. This
congregation, that boasts of 2500 members, has no respect for Bible
authority and proved such by keeping this apostate preacher in the
pulpit for so many years. They have multimillion-dollar facilities
but meet in homes throughout the city on Sunday evening and
Wednesday night. The Bible declares that Christians are not to
forsake assembling together (Heb. 10:25) and on the
Lords Day are commanded to assemble or come together
(1 Cor. 11:20,33). Dividing the congregation into cells
or groups that meet in homes ignores the command to
assemble together and makes it most convenient for false teaching
to occur and thrive.
The staff writer states that Dr.
Beauchamp...was raised in a tradition that sometimes has a
reputation for rigidity and exclusiveness. But he says he has seen
a change in the church over the years. Friends, this
liberal preacher did all within his power to produce a change
in the rigidity and exclusiveness of the New
Testament church! When it comes to doctrinal matters, faithful
members of the body will be rigid þ- not flexible and compromising,
but fixed and steadfast (1 Cor. 15:58). The Lords church is
exclusive in that it does not divide, share, and
fellowship with man-made denominations. Dr. Beauchamp,
however, with his long arm of grace, desires to reach out
and include those who demand flexibility in doctrinal matters!
What we hear next is absolutely appalling! Dr.
Beauchamp declares, People used to go to church on
doctrine; now people go on programs. The church has to do a really
good job on programming. The churches that only do doctrine are
dying. Folks, if you love the Lord and His Word, read
again this quote and weep! The change agents message is clear:
Doctrine does not matter but programming does. You will
notice, however, that Dr. Beauchamp does not quote
Scripture for what he proudly proclaims. In fact, according to
several sources who have visited Highland Oaks, Dr.
Beauchamp seldom quotes the Scriptures. Why does that not come
as a surprise?
This graduate and strong supporter of ACU continues
to explain that people are not necessarily drawn to the
church any longer because of its stance on biblical truth. People
today are drawn to churches for what they offer them and their
families. Does this statement not bring forth the
righteous indignation of those who love God and His truth? Was the
apostle Paul wrong in speaking words of truth and
soberness to Festus (Acts 26:25)? Wonder why an inspired
apostle did not abandon truth and appeal to Festus with whatever
program he could offer him?
Is it truth or some program or gimmick that frees a
person from his sins? Jesus said, and ye shall know the truth,
and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32). The Psalmist
speaks of the God Who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all
that in them is; who keepeth truth for ever (Psalm 146:6). But
Beauchamp says that programming takes priority over doctrine and
that what we offer folks takes priority over truth! Those like
Beauchamp, proclaiming his version of the long arm of
grace, is the reason the Lords church in many places is
in such pathetic condition!
The staff writer comments that soon it
sounds as if this Church of Christ minister has spent much of his
40-year career hoping to help people who may have experienced less
grace than they have dogma. The American Heritage
Dictionary defines dogma as: Thelogy,
A doctrine or a corpus of doctrines relating to matters such
as morality and faith, set forth in an authoritative manner by a
church. We are not speaking of man-made dogma, but sound
doctrine (1 Tim. 1:10), the good doctrine Timothy
followed (1 Tim. 4:6), and the doctrine which is according to
godliness (1 Tim. 6:3). Brethren, Gods grace does not
negate Gods doctrine!
Gods Word is truth (John 17:17), and people will
be judged by the Word of truth Christ spoke (John 12:48) instead of
Dr. Beauchamps programs.
One last swipe is taken at the indispensable and
unchangeable Word of God. Beauchamp opines, People who
were born and reared in legalism generally break out of that when
they become independent. Then they go out into the world and
experience some hurt and pain. They want to go back to church, but
want to experience something less rigid and more positive.
Translation: when children leave the homes of godly parents
concerned with Bible truth, Beauchamp and his kind will seek to
convince them that programs matter most!
Yes, we believe in Gods grace, but not at the
expense of His truth! Gods grace is for those who abide by a
thus saith the Lord, and Beauchamps long arm of
grace will not cover those who choose programs over doctrine and
truth (cf. Rom. 3:4)!
5810 Liberty Grove Rd.
Rowlett, TX 75030
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DEFILING THE LORDS SUPPER
One of the greatest events to take place in the life of
a Gospel preacher is uniting men and women together in the bonds of
holy matrimony. Love created in the hearts of the male and female
is consummated by Gods arrangement in marriage (Gen.
2:21-24). There is nothing more gratifying or rewarding than to
perform the wedding ceremony joining two people together who repeat
their vows promising to love each other until the union is severed
by death (Rom.7:2). It would be surprising if any preacher would
acknowledge that performing a wedding ceremony was not one of the
most satisfying duties of his entire ministry.
Conversely, one of the saddest events to surface for
a minister of the Gospel is to receive a phone call being informed
of a death in the congregation. Every Christian is cognizant of the
New Testament, which teaches, And as it is appointed unto
men once to die, but after this the judgment (Heb.
9:27). This undeniable fact is keenly felt by all of us and unlike
some appointments, this one cannot be avoided or shunned. Of
course, the Gospel preacher is faced with the possibility of two
kinds of funerals. The one that is a faithful child of God and who
has been devoted to the cause of Christ, however, the other is a
wayward Christian or unbeliever. Ask any preacher which memorial
service he would rather preach. Without fear of contradiction it
would be the one, who had dedicated himself to the cause of Christ.
Offering hope to the grieving family is willingly offered because
the divine record promises such (1 Thess. 4:13-18; Heb. 6:18-19).
Both of these events, the wedding and funeral service,
will occur to virtually every individual that lives. It should be
stated that not everyone will marry or is required to enter such a
sacred union. However, the vast majority will have a wedding, and
children will be the product of that loving union. The appointment
of death, on the other hand, will be faced by each of us with the
exception of those living when Christ will make his second advent
with the reverberating trumpet of Michael, the archangel (1 Thess.
Neither of these events, a wedding and/or funeral, can
be recognized as a worship service. Although both of these events
generally will have Bible reading, prayer, and the singing of
sacred songs, it should be concluded that neither are considered
It has come to my attention that during a recent
wedding ceremony, the Lords supper (communion) was served by
a minister to the couple being wed. One good brother informed me
that it is commonplace in some churches of Christ not only to serve
the Lords supper at a wedding, but also at a funeral service.
He stated, We are becoming more like the Catholic Church
The digression in churches of Christ is becoming like
a runaway train and whether it can be stopped will be predicated
upon faithful elders and preachers that will stand up and be
counted (Jude 3; Phil. 1:27; Gal. 1:6-9). It must also be
underscored that the faithful sheep cannot just stick their heads
in the sand knowing full well the far reaching consequences of
doing so -- like ancient Israel following the evil nations about
them (1 Sam. 8:5,19-20). All to often the membership will go
along and therefore ignore Johns penetrating words,
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of
Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he
hath both the Father and the Son (2 John 9). Proper
decorum and respect in both of these solemn occasions should be
implemented. Remember the New Testament regulates our worship in
the Christian Age and it cannot be put into practice without a
thus saith the Lord. The apostle Paul quotes from the
Lord as he writes, This cup is the New Testament in my
blood: this do ye as oft as you drink it, in remembrance of me. For
as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the
Lords death till he come (1 Cor. 11:25-26). The
first century Christians, on Pentecost, continued
steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in
breaking of bread, and in prayers (Acts 2:42).
There are five avenues of worship mandated by Holy
Scripture with members participating: 1) Bible study (2 Tim. 2:15),
2) prayer (Acts 12:5), 3) Lords supper (1 Cor. 11:23-28), 4)
giving as one is prospered (1 Cor. 16:1-2), and 5) congregational
singing (Eph. 5:19). The apostolic example of engaging in worship
is on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). No other day has been
assigned by Holy Writ to engage in worship, therefore serving the
Lords supper on Saturday or any other day is wholly
unauthorized and is a total abandoning of Gods will (Rev.
Local congregations that would permit and/or allow the
Lords supper to be served during a wedding or funeral service
is the equivalent of Nadab and Abihu adding strange fire
before the Lord, which he commanded them not (Lev.
12:1-2). Godly elders that would take their work seriously must, in
rapt fashion, respond with a firm and forthright rebuke. The
membership must know with certainty that this erroneous practice is
false and such a thing will not be tolerated, but will be
acknowledged as sin. Specific guidelines and directives are
important for the membership and/or anyone else that would use the
physical building of the Lords church for a wedding or funeral
service. Elders and shepherds of the flock must be aware of their
responsibility as Peter states, The elders which are
among you I exhort... 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 (1 Peter 5:1-2).
If elders refuse to take the oversight by giving a
wink and a nod at such an unscriptural (unauthorized)
practice, their leadership should be called into question.
Let us return to the old paths, where is the good
way, and walk therein before it is too late (Jer. 6:16). We
cannot just close our eyes when error is allowed to raise its ugly
head. Each of us much respond, as Moses called upon Israel to take
action when the golden calf was constructed, Who is on
the Lords side? Let him come unto me (Exodus
Can you be counted on to take a stand?
2101 Glenwood Dr. SW
Hartselle, AL 35640
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The following comes from Jon Gary Williams:
I received an alarming call late last night from
brother Jim Waldron whom we help in preaching in India. He informed
me that yesterday a new law was handed down in the region of Tamil
Nadu forbidding the practice of Christian baptism.
He further explained that anyone caught doing this
would be sentenced to 5 years in jail. This is the result of a
strong Hindu influence among Indian authorities. Our guess is that
Hindu leaders are trying to reduce the flow of converts from
Hinduism to Christianity (of any kind).
Jim has asked me to notify as many brethren as
possible of this unbelievable turn of events. He is requesting that
we give this matter particular attention in our Prayers. He told me
the brethren there had already begun to fast and pray about this.
The region of Tamil Nadu is a large district in the
south of India. It has a population of over 65 million with an
estimated 1,000 congregations of the Lords church. This ruling
will have a devastating affect on the growth of the church. And,
there is the possibility of this spreading throughout all India.
Over the years Jim has begun a number of preaching
schools throughout India and Pakistan. Such a ruling will also have
a negative affect on this great work.
I asked him what they were going to do. He told me
they were going to go right on baptizing (most likely in secret)
and if discovered they would just wait to see what measures are
taken by the authorities. This is a fearful time for the Lords
church in India.
Please PRAY for the church there!
The following paragraph is from an ad in The Christian
Chronicle, Sept., 2002, p.34. Come to the Table: Revisioning
the Lords Supper by John Mark Hicks.
Our church family spent a month studying and
implementing Dr. Hicks book. It has had the very positive effect of
helping many see the supper as a joyous community event focusing on
the Risen Christ instead of a sad and solitary reflection on his
death. --Rubel Shelly.
What is sad is that Hicks and Shelly see a need to
revision the Lords supper. We are to remember the sacrifice of
Christ. We can be very thankful and happy that he was willing to
die for our sins. But not remembering the immensity of the pain,
agony and suffering of that sacrifice takes away from the
sacrifice. Not everything about the Christian walk is fun and
games. We do not have to always have happy feelings to be a joyous
community. Joy can be gotten from the realization of his
willingness to endure a horrific suffering and death. The
joy does not come from the horrific death. We did not deserve his
sacrifice. He willingly did it because he loves us. Tears of
thanksgiving are just as important as the joy of the result of the
sacrifice. The feely, touchy, sugar coated, make me always
feel good revisionism demeans the Lords supper.
Restoration Forum XX will be hosted by Quaker Avenue
Church of Christ in Lubbock, Texas. Cohosted by Broadway Church of
Christ, First Christian Church, Raintree Christian Church and
Vandelia Church of Christ. The Restoration Forums are annual
meetings of Christians from various segments of the Restoration
Movement who gather to reflect on our common heritage, our
differences, and ways we may honor the Lords prayer that his
disciples be one.
Some speakers will be: Rick Atchley, Minister at Fort
Worths Richland Hills Church of Christ, Kenny Boles, Ozark
Christian College faculty, Steve Doles, Director of Pray Lubbock,
Leroy Garrett, Author of The Stone Campbell Movement, Randy Harris,
Abilene Christian University faculty, Royce Money, President of
Abilene Christian University, Jerry Reeves, Minister at
Houstons New Beginnings Church, Floyd Rose, Minister of Pine
Hills Church of Christ in Valdosta, GA, Sam Stone, Editor of
Christian Standard, Bob Wetzel, President of Emmanuel School of
Religion. A joint Sunday evening communion service will be held at
the Broadway Church of Christ. Contact person is: Patricia
Browning, Quaker Avenue Church of Christ
The above information is taken from an ad in the
September issue of The Christian Chronicle. There has been a large
amount of evidence presented over the past 20 years demonstrating
that Abilene University is not following the path that her founders
envisioned. The Bible Department and Leadership no longer see the
Church of Christ as the one and only church of our Lord. They see
it as a Movement. And, they see us as only part of a Movement. The
ad states that all those present at this forum are Christians. In
fact, it actually is stating that all those in the Christian Church
are Christians. Royce Money, the President of Abilene has agreed to
participate in this gathering of apostates and non-Christians. Will
he also join in making a mockery of the Lords supper by
partaking of it with those from the Christian Church? Up until now,
President Money has managed to hide from some of the limelight. He
has managed to make apologies for those of the faculty who
participated in very questionable activities or made very
questionable statements. He now has stepped out and is making it
known that he is fully supportive of efforts to apostatize the
church. Will members of the church continue to send their children
to ACU expecting them to get a sound Biblical education?
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YOU ARE...VERY TRADITIONAL
Roger D. Campbell
A number of years ago in the Ukraine, I had a discussion
with a member of the Boston Movement (known in many places as
International Church of Christ"). When he learned I was a
member of the church, he asked, Are you a member of the
traditional church of Christ? I knew exactly what he meant by
the expression traditional church of Christ -- in the
lingo of the Boston Movement that term is used to refer to those
congregations that do not accept the Boston methods and doctrines.
In response to his question, Are you a member of the
traditional church of Christ, I asked, What do you mean,
traditional church of Christ? After a long pause he
said something like, I dont really know, I just know that
is what we call it. I know that Kip McKean is the head of our
church. Who is the head of your church? I said, Jesus
Christ is the head of the church of Christ.
Just a couple of days ago I once again found myself
being called traditional, yea, very
traditional. In the mail I received a brochure about an
extremely liberal web site ("magazine"). The person that sent the
brochure attached a note that said, Because you are a member
of the COC who is very traditional, I thought you might be
interested in hearing about the non-traditional side. Just
what caused him to conclude that I am very traditional, he never
said. However, by describing the material that he sent as the
non-traditional side, it is not too hard to see where he is
coming from. What does his non-traditional side have to
say for itself? The brochure made this claim about the advertised
magazine: Its roots are in Restoration Movement Christianity,
encompassing the church of Christ, Churches of Christ/Christian
Churches, and the Disciples of Christ. Two things stand out
about the way this pamphlet portrays what its sender called
the non-traditional side. First, its roots are in
Restoration Movement Christianity. If the reference is to
what is commonly called the American Restoration
Movement, then that would take it back to the late 1700s, at
the earliest. The church of Christ had its beginning in the city of
Jerusalem in the first century, some thirty-three years after the
birth of Jesus the Christ (Acts 2). Though we are grateful for all
past efforts of men and women to try to return to the Bible way of
doing things, the Lords church owes no allegiance to any
movement, and certainly does not trace its roots to something that
took place on American soil.
Second, the non-traditional side (as
portrayed in the brochure) kind of throws the church of Christ,
Christian Church denomination, and Disciples of Christ denomination
all in together. But, brethren, how can two walk together except
they be agreed (Amos 3:3)? And, how could Gods people ever
consider throwin in with denominational groups that
have no authority to exist? Call us traditional if you
must, but some of us are not yet ready to cave in to the call to
fellowship those that have gone and continue to go beyond the
doctrine of Christ (2 John 9-11).
Back to the word traditional. Is it a good
or bad thing to be traditional? The English word
tradition means the doctrines, knowledge, practices,
and customs passed down from one generation to another
(Websters Dictionary and Thesaurus, 1997).
In the Bible we read of the traditions of
men. Jesus used this term when referring to the Pharisees
effort to try and bind on others their habit of hand-washing and
pot-washing. The Master said, Howbeit in vain do they
worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For
laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men,
as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye
do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of
God, that ye may keep your own tradition...making the word of God
of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and
many such like things do ye (Mark 7:7-9,13).
The words of Jesus make it plain that following the
traditions or teachings of men in the service of God is not
according to His commandment or word, and therefore is
unacceptable. It is also written, Beware lest any man
spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition
of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ
(Col. 2:8). Again, it is plain that the tradition of
men is not after Christ. Thus, the religious
traditions of men are to be avoided.
Is the term tradition ever used in the Bible
in a favorable manner, that is, as something that is desirable? A
couple of references from the book of 2 Thessalonians give a clear
answer. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the
traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our
epistle (2:15). The traditions in this
instance must refer to what we could call inspired
traditions, as they were the message that the apostle Paul
taught. Paul previously told the saints in Thessalonica that what
he had preached and written to them was the word of God
and commandments by/from the Lord (1 Thess. 2:13; 4:2).
Therefore, the traditions they were to hold fast were
simply the doctrine of Christ.
In 2 Thessalonians 3:6 it is written, Now
we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh
disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of
us. Obviously, in this passage the tradition
is again used in reference to the inspired word of God. So, what
shall it be? In our service to the Lord Jesus, should we keep
traditions, or not? We must keep the inspired traditions
that come to us as the word of God, but avoid and refuse the
traditions or commands of men, because those are traditions
that turn from the truth (Titus 1:14). When you and I
teach the exclusive nature of the body of Christ, try to worship
God according to the New Testament pattern, follow the New
Testament pattern for the churchs organization, accept the New
Testament teaching about the necessity of baptism for the remission
of sins, preach the connection between mans obedience and
Gods grace, and try to stand for and proclaim other biblical
truths, some brethren with great contempt label us as the
traditional church of Christ.
Let us not allow anyone to pull us aside from our task
of teaching and living the Gospel of Christ.
4865 Bates Pike SE
Cleveland, TN 373232
Table of Contents
ITS SHOWTIME IN WESTERN OKLAHOMA!
Jerry C. Brewer
The Clinton, Oklahoma, Church of Christ is stepping right
into postmodern sectarianism with its upcoming religious burlesque
production set for Nov. 17, 2002 at the Tornado Dome, Clinton
Highschools basketball gymnasium. The show is explained in the
following announcement recently mailed to area churches:
Clinton Church of Christ -- Presents
Acappella Ministries Inc. Vocal Union In
Concert Sunday, Nov. 17, 2002. Accappella
(sic) Ministries Inc. of Paris, TN along with
the Clinton church of Christ is happy to
present the seven man, all-vocal, contemporary
Southern Gospel ensemble, The Vocal Union in
Concert (sic). Along with Acappella, Keith
Lancaster, and The Fireman, The Vocal Union
rounds out Acappella Ministries roster of
professional artists. Calling on years of
singing, song writing, and recording
experience, as well as rich gospel heritage,
VUs members bring acapella (sic) expertise,
moving enthusiasm, and good old fashioned
carisma (sic) to every performance. The Vocal
Union represents a kind of music that reaches
people of all ages. Together with Vocal Union
we want the lost to hear the Good News about
Jesus Christ and the faithful to be uplifted
in their walk with him. Go into all the world.
. . Clinton church of Christ Youth. (Brent
Evans -- Associate Minister, Clinton church of
Christ, 2601 Custer Ave. Clinton, Oklahoma).
If years of singing, song writing, recording
experience, an undefined rich gospel heritage,
acappella expertise, moving enthusiasm, and
good old fashioned charisma will save souls, then one
wonders where the Gospel of Christ fits in. Paul said God chose the
foolishness of preaching to save men (1 Cor. 1:21), not the glitter
and glitz of charismatic show-biz. Gods power to save is in
the Gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16-17), not in the Nashville
At the bottom of the flyer are listed 15 local
businesses, above which is a line that says, Sponsored by the
following business owners and many other generous contributors from
the Clinton church of Christ. This shameless recruiting of
sponsorship from local businesses makes a beggar of the church and
casts the bride of Christ into the same muck and mire as the
Knights of Columbus Casino Nights, Methodist Bazaars and
Baptist car washes and carnivals.
The very idea that modern Southern Gospel
music can save souls is Biblical ignorance at best and blasphemous
at worst. The Lords injunction to Go ye into all the
world and preach the gospel (Mark 16:15) is rejected by these
religious vaudevillians whove changed it to read, Go ye
into all the world and sing and act and call it the Good News
about Jesus Christ. There is not a breath of a hint of
authority in all of the New Testament for the church to provide
entertainment of this kind. If this concert is worship
its unauthorized worship and if its entertainment,
its a transgression of Gods law because the church was
never authorized to entertain.
Elders, preachers and youth ministers seem
to think theyve discovered something new in drama and musical
concerts. Calling them outreaches, they tell us
theyre just other ways to communicate the Gospel. But with
theatre so widespread in the Roman Empire, one would think the
apostles would have known of its value in communicating the
Good News of Jesus Christ...in song and praise.
The Clinton church cannot produce a single passage
from the New Testament to justify this shameless corruption of the
Lords message, the worship of the Living God, and blood-bought
church. If, like Ethel Merman, area brethren think Theres
No Business Like Show Business, they aint heard
nothin yet if this holy burlesque is a portent
of things to come. With this event scheduled for the Sunday
Night Live Youth Series rotated among western Oklahoma
churches, its only a matter of time until area youth demand
concerts at home so they can sit down to eat and to
drink, then rise up to play more often.
Brethren, the world is lost in sin and is steeped
in the love of pleasure. The world cannot be saved by
entertainment, by playing them in. The world must be
taught the gospel (Romans 1:16). God has chosen the
foolishness of preaching as the means by which the world
can be saved (1 Corinthians 1:21); he has not chosen
plays and other forms of entertainment to convert the
world. Entertainment is not going to keep the church saved either.
What is needed in the church is all the counsel of God
(Acts 20:27)... We need to stop playing and return to
preaching. (Lester Kamp, And They Rose Up to
Play, Matters of The Faith, Vol. 4, No. 3,
October-December, 1998, p.3).
Drama and concerts are added elements to worship as
surely as the mechanical musical instrument. They serve the
self-interest of audience and participants, have no saving power,
exalt the messenger instead of the message, take Christ from the
cross and like the soldiers in Pilates common hall (Matt.
27:27-30), treat him as a buffoon instead of the Lamb of God.
When the 12-year-old Jesus remained behind in the
temple and was confronted by Joseph and Mary three days later, He
asked them, Wist ye not that I must be about my Fathers
business (Luke 2:49)? The Fathers business to which He
referred wasnt show business and He certainly wasnt doing
a song and dance routine for the doctors of the Law. This
denominational show business foolishness is a radical, unwarranted,
and sinful departure from the New Testament pattern. Clintons
elders need to repent and lead a return to the principles of the
New Testament that made them Christs church in the first
place, or they need to take down their sign which reads Church
308 South Oklahoma
Elk City, Oklahoma 73644
Table of Contents
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received the bundle of Seek the Old Paths May and June
issue package. Many thanks and may the Lord reward you for all you
have done. Most of the church members now have a copy of their own
and they are thankful so much for sending us such kind of sound and
scriptural publication in the time of need to encourage every
member in the truth. I would like to request you another great
favour of remember us sending the 17th Annual Lectureship tapes and
mailing 10 copies of S.T.O.P. regularly. It will
greatly help us to stand firm in the truth. We wonder it very much
that some members of the Lords church are easily swift away by
the liberalism doctrine. Books written by Rubel, Buddy and Cecil
are freely distributed or sent freely by some missionaries to the
church members in Manipur. Through their literature compromising
campaign is very strong here in Manipur, Imphal. We are the only
congregation who fought and stood fast to uphold the sound
doctrine. Most of the congregations are influenced by this
liberalism theory. There is a great delusion in the church and
there was division in the church. We need a periodical in the local
language to published such sound and biblical doctrines and
teaching. Literature is one of the effective service spreading the
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encouraged the members in the truth. May God bless your
ministry ...T. Ngulkhopao, Manipur, India.
Please send your bulletin Seek the Old Paths.
Thanks for proclaiming the truth ...David Brink, Lake
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