Victor M. Eskew
The first time this writer heard anything about
liberation theology, he was working nights at Federal Express in
Memphis, Tennessee. The year was 1991. It was election night in
Memphis. The incumbent was being challenged by an African
American. About midnight, the results of the election were
announced over the loud speaker: Willie Herrington had defeated
Mayor Hackett. When the victory was sounded, one of my co-workers
began to shout the words: We are free! We are free! I
did not understand the meaning of his words at the time. Now, I
know they were part of an approach to Scripture referred to as
Liberation theology dates back to 1955. Its
origin was in Latin America. Many people in those countries were
poor, oppressed, and sickly. The religious leaders, especially
the Roman Catholic priests, were concerned about their plight.
Their concerns directed them to the scriptures. Scripture was
interpreted in light of the social concerns of the people. The
oppressed needed to be liberated. The poor and downcast needed to
be freed from the heavy hand of the government. The needy and
sickly needed to have the opportunity to be themselves.
Basically, the Bible began to be interpreted from a social
perspective instead of a spiritual perspective. Truth
and freedom found in John 8:32 meant knowledge of
present realities and freedom from the oppression of
the present administration.
Since 1955, many special interest groups have
taken hold of liberation theology. In the United States,
liberation theology has been embraced by three groups: African
Americans, feminists, and homosexuals. The members of these
groups feel they have been severely oppressed by the public and
by the government. Thus, they call for freedom, or, liberation.
This writers co-worker at FedEx believed that the black
community in Memphis had been oppressed by the whites and by the
Mayors administration. This young man believed that Willie
Herrington would provide freedom from oppression to the black
population in Memphis. Thus, he shouted: We are free! We are
Liberation theology involves the
interpretation of the Word of God. Those who hold to liberation
theology, therefore, quote the Bible often. It must be
remembered, however, that their interpretation begins with the
social concerns of the oppressed and not with spiritual
realities. Thus, every aspect of their religion is used to
address social injustice, poverty, and human rights. We have
already noted their slant on John 8:32. Jesus said: And
ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
The truth about which Jesus spoke was the gospel of Christ.
This truth, when known, sets mankind free from sin, Satan, and
wrath to come. This is not how liberation theology views this
verse. In their thinking, Jesus is perceived to be a non-white,
social liberator. Truth means knowledge of those
who are oppressing and how the oppression is taking place.
Freedom is liberation from the oppressor and the
oppression. Freedom is the ability to be the person you were
really intended to be.
Another key passage used by the liberation
theologian is Luke 4:18-19. In the context, Jesus is in a
synagogue in Nazareth. The scroll of Isaiah is given to Him.
And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it
was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath
anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to
heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives,
and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that
are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Those who hold to liberation theology see this verse from a
purely social perspective. Jesus again is viewed as a liberator.
He came to bring relief to the social outcasts and the oppressed.
Liberation theology sees nothing spiritual within this verse. It
involves the liberation of special-interest groups who are in
bondage to the rich, powerful, and those considered to be
The approach of liberation theology toward
Bible interpretation is a warped and perverted approach. Those
who use it are described by Peter as being unlearned and
ignorant. They wrest the Scriptures unto
their own destruction (II Peter 3:17). The ends of their
doctrines show just how perverted this approach to Bible
interpretation really is:
- Jesus is seen as a non-white liberator instead of the
Savior of all men.
- Political freedom is exalted above the salvation of the
- Social reforms are more important than spiritual
- Personal sin is acknowledged, but it is said to exist
because of oppressive political and social structures.
- The Bible is interpreted in light of social
- Groups of men are pitted against each other under the
descriptive terms of righteous versus unrighteous. These words
really stand for poor versus rich, black versus white, lowly
versus the powerful, and moral versus the immoral.
- The church is viewed as a political institution
designed to assist with political and social reforms.
- The pulpit is used as a political platform to incite
the masses against the prevailing class, race, and administration
that is oppressing the poor.
- The pulpit preaches rebellion and insurrection against
the oppressors instead of subordination to the higher powers.
- Inequality is an evil, except when the special interest
groups are in power.
If an individual is part of one of the
special interest groups, it is easy to get caught up in
liberation theology. The theology is designed to lift one out of
his immediate misery and affliction. Too, it has the appearance
of being rooted in the Scriptures. However, it is a warped and
slanted interpretation of Gods Word that is geared toward
the social and economic needs of the masses.
There is no doubt that God is concerned about
the poor. The psalmist wrote: I know that the Lord will
maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the
poor (Psalm 140:12). It is also true that the
righteous are called to assist those in need. Defend
the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and
needy (Psalm 82:3). This being said, it must be
understood that the Gospel of Christ is not focused solely upon
this issue. In fact, this concern pales in significance to the
spiritual plight of mankind. Any theology that misses this point
has missed the aim of God in sending His Son into the world.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten
Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have
everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to
condemn the world; but that the world through him might be
saved (John 3:16-17).
God has not called His people to be political
activists. He has called us to be preachers and practitioners of
the Gospel of Christ. All have sinned and come short of the glory
of God (Rom. 3:23). If something is not done to bring mankind out
of sin, Gods wrath will come upon them all (Rom. 1:18;
6:23). The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16-
17). It must be taught boldly and continuously to the lost,
giving them the opportunity to respond to its call to redemption.
This is the mission of Gods people (Mark 16:15-16).
The poor will be with us always according to
Jesus (Mark 14:7). Their physical plight will end at death. On
the other hand, if mankinds spiritual condition is not
addressed, their eternal misery will begin at death.
Dear readers, lets embrace a liberation
theology that frees man from sin and wrath to come in the realms
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[EDITORS NOTE: This article is not
saying that all blacks or those in special
interest groups believe in or subscribe to
liberation theology. Not all do. This article
simply examines this man-made teaching and
philosophy in light of what the Bible says.
This is what I John 4:1 commands us to do.]
ANSWERING QUESTIONS ON SALVATION #3
Proponents of faith only set forth many
passages which they believe support their doctrine. If a verse
mentions faith, they conclude that faith
alone is all that is required by God. This series of
articles examines the verses they often refer to. We will quote
the verse(s) and then answer their arguments.
Acts 13:38-39, Be it known unto
you therefore, men [and] brethren, that through this man is
preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that
believe are justified from all things, from which ye
could not be justified by the law of Moses.
This is not hard to understand. Believing in
Jesus is the basis, the foundation, from which one humbly
approaches God in obedience. Jesus said salvation is extended to
those who, in faith, obey the will of the Father in heaven (Matt.
7:21-23). It is not extended to those who believe without
obeying. Many during the Lords ministry believed on Jesus,
but they will not be saved. John 12:42-43 makes this abundantly
clear. Why not? Because these chief rulers believed in
Jesus, but did not obey him. They had faith
only. Faith only is a dead faith, a useless faith, a vain
faith. This was so during the first century and the same is true
today. Faith only keeps people in ignorance and damnation because
it does not bring about remission of sins. Not one person in all
of history has ever been saved by or through faith
only. God has always required action on the part of the
sinner. Not a mans own works, but by acting upon Gods
Acts 15:11, But we
believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we
shall be saved, even as they.
Same as above. Gods grace makes
salvation possible. If we dont believe that, we cant be
saved. In this verse, believing stands for all that God
requires including obedience to Gods Word. But by
belief only, one will remain in their sins. I notice
again the absence of the phrase faith only in this
Acts 20:21, Testifying both to
the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and
faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is a good verse. I love it. It
doesnt say anything about faith only. Faith only
is not found in any reliable Bible.
Romans 1:16, For I am not
ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto
salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first,
and also to the Greek.
Same as above. Those who believe the Gospel,
those who have an active belief, will show it by their obedience
to it. Nothing is said here about believing only.
Romans 3:22, Even the
righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all
and upon all them that believe: for there is no
Justification is by faith. Thats been
explained in all the passages above. There is no disagreement on
that. However, this verse doesnt say the righteousness of
God is by faith only. Where do you read that? The
answer is, people who believe it, make it up. Its not found
in the Bible. They would like it to be there, so they invent it
and try to pawn it off on gullible souls. Lets show how this
works. Someone reads a passage that is connected with salvation
(justification, everlasting life, etc. etc.) and then conclude
that it involves ALL that God requires a sinner to do, even
though it doesnt say that. Look at Matthew 9:13. This verse
says Jesus came to call sinners to repentance. Luke
13:3 says without repentance, salvation is impossible. So, does
that mean that repentance is all that a sinner needs to do since
the verse does not mention faith or anything else? If they can
add the word only to faith, I ought to be able to add
the word only to repentance. But, Jesus did not say he
came to call sinners to repentance only (plus nothing,
We learn from other passages that repentance
without faith is vain (such as Mark 16:16). Repentance without
baptism is vain (such as Mark 16:16). Thousands in Acts two
wanted to know what they needed to do to have forgiveness of
their sins (Acts 2:37). Acts 2:38 gives them the answer,
repent and be baptized. Nothing is said about faith.
Shall we conclude that all one needs to do is repent and be
baptized? Why cant we add the word only to repent
and be baptized? We cant add the word only because
that would be mans doctrine. If God wanted the word
only in that verse he would have put it there. Besides
that, the word only would make it conflict with other
verses. So, salvation is not by repentance only or
baptism only any more than salvation is by faith
First Peter 3:21 says baptism doth now
save us. Is that true? Of course it is. Heaven said so. Can
we put the word only in there and say that baptism
only saves? If they can put the word only with
faith, why cant I put the word only with baptism?
The point is, neither of us can do that because it would be false
doctrine. It would be adding to Gods word. It would not be
loyal to the teaching of the Lord and the apostles. Baptism only
is as dead and vain as faith only. The devil loves the doctrine
of baptism only. He loves the doctrine of
repentance only. He loves the doctrine of faith
only. He knows that all of these doctrines keep people out
Romans 3:26, To declare, [I say], at
this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the
justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
The Lord justifies those who believe in him. It
does not say he justifies those who believe only or
have faith alone. Where did you come up with that? As
Ive said multiple times above, the word faith sums
up all the actions of those who obey the Lord. Obedient faith is
a living faith, a saving faith. Faith only is a dead
faith, a damning faith.
Romans 3:28, Therefore we
conclude that a man is justified by faith without the
deeds of the law.
Same as above. Without faith, it is impossible to
please God (Heb. 11:6). One is made just, that is,
right in the eyes of God, by faith. One is not made
right before God by faith only. The verse does not say that. By
the way, the deeds of the law has reference to the law
of Moses, the Old Covenant. No man can be justified by the Old
Testament law. There is an old law and a new law, the Old
Testament and the New Testament, the law of Moses and the law of
Christ. Obedience to the law of Moses does not save. Obedience to
the law of Christ does save. This is clear in Matthew 7:21-23,
Hebrews 5:8-9, Romans 8:1-2. I dont read anything about
faith only in this verse.
more to follow...
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SHAKE HANDS WITH OR HUG THE
PERSON NEXT TO YOU
Weve all seen it. Perhaps weve even done it
ourselves. A congregation is gathered together and the person
making the announcements or the preacher asks everyone to turn
around and shake hands with the person next to them; or hug
someone, tell them you love them and let them know youre
glad theyre here. What exactly is the purpose and value of
such group greetings?
NOT TALKING ABOUT SIN!
It is not wrong to greet one another. It is not wrong
to encourage a group to greet one another. Greetings are
important in the church. Romans 16:16, 1 Corinthians 16:20, 2
Corinthians 13:12, Philippians 4:21, 1 Thessalonians 5:26, and 1
Peter 5:14 all command us to greet one another.
NOT A QUESTION OF MOTIVES
Of course, such group greetings are not part of our
worship, and we should take care not to confuse our greetings
with an act of worship. It is also important to keep our worship
assemblies orderly. But we openly acknowledge that it is
necessary and important to greet each other when we come
We do not want to question the motives of those who ask
others to turn around and hug someone. This can be done
from the best of motives, for the purpose of encouraging greater
closeness and interaction and fulfilling the above commands.
IS THIS REALLY THE ANSWER?
This gets us to the real question: Do these
group-greetings actually cause greater closeness and love between
the saints? Can they possibly be the fulfillment of Gods
commands to greet one another?
WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE WHO MAY FEEL LEFT OUT?
Are we to believe that a loving congregation needs to
have a group greeting in order to greet one another?
What exactly is the need that is met by such collective
If a congregation doesnt greet each other
except in a collective way when prompted by the announcement
maker, they have big problems that wont be solved by a group
greeting. Christians are to consider one another (Heb
10:24) and have love as a perfect bond between them
(Col 3:14). If we are distant and cold in our dealings with each
other, how can all men know our discipleship by the
evidence of our love (John 13:35)?
If we are not really cold and distant from each other,
if we regularly and consistently make a sincere attempt to greet
and acknowledge one another, what purpose is served by
encouraging these types of stilted and artificial group
It is true that sometimes people feel left out. It is
true that sometimes we get busy and we dont greet everyone.
And sometimes this can be mis-interpreted as a lack of love and
concern. Sometimes people feel slighted. We all have heard
complaints of a lack of friendliness, and such criticisms are not
always unfair or unwarranted.
THE REAL ANSWER
But, are we to understand that a person may be sitting
in our assembly, feeling unnoticed, left out, and even slighted,
and somehow he will feel better because the person next to him
turns and greets him only after being prompted to do so? Does
this even come close to filling the friendliness gap
that we sometimes inadvertently have? Would you really feel loved
and greeted if those around you only greet you when they are
reminded and told to do so?
We should address ourselves to the real problem. We
need to be reminded to love each other, to greet each other, to
give up self-centered attitudes and cliques that interfere with
loving interaction. And, we need to teach people not to feel
slighted just because someone fails to greet them. After all,
there could be any number of reasons this happens.
But if we learn the lessons of love, if we pattern
ourselves after the one who showed perfect love, stilted
artificial, awkward group greetings will be totally unnecessary.
We need to consider these passages:
Philippians 2:1-4. If there be therefore any
consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship
of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that
ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of
one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in
lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the
things of others.
Ephesians 4:1-3. I therefore, the prisoner of
the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation
wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with
longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to
keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:32-5:2. And be ye kind one to
another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for
Christs sake hath forgiven you. Be ye therefore followers of
God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath
loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a
sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
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IS OUR WORSHIP RIGHT WHEN
OUR HEARTS ARE WRONG?
Jimmie B. Hill
Our worship is not wanted by God if it comes
while we are holding a grudge and unwilling to go
the second mile in order to make things right with
Worship, in the church of our Lord, is one of the
highest functions of which we are capable. It certainly must not
be entered into lightly. Our worship to God must be done
according to the truth of Gods word and with a proper heart.
Jesus said, God is a Spirit: and they that worship him
must worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).
Similarly Paul wrote, every man according as he
purposeth in his heart, so let him give (II Cor. 9:7).
The word purposeth here is from the Greek proaireo
and is used only in this verse in the Greek New Testament.
Its meaning is to bring forward, bring forth from ones
stores; to bring forth for ones self, to choose for
ones self before another, i.e., to prefer; to purpose.
There are two primary thoughts given in this word, namely, that
we are to reflect seriously on the amount we are giving and, that
no one else can do this reflecting for us. The amount we give and
the spirit in which we give it are to be determined by the
following conditions in the verse, that is, ...not
grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful
giver. This principal can be aptly applied to all
other facets of our work for and worship to our God.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus stated,
Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there
rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there
thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to
thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift (Matt.
5:23,24). The Law of Moses encouraged the Jews to bring voluntary
gifts to the altar to be consecrated to the Lord. This act was to
show how much the giver was devoted to the Lord. These gifts were
expected to proceed from the pure heart. However, if one refused
to make a matter right with a brother who had a complaint against
him, such a gift would be considered no more than mere ritual.
Ritualistic service to God can not be a substitute for humility
and brotherly kindness. Therefore the command was given to
postpone the altar service until he had made things right with
his brother. What is the principle that our Lord gives here? The
quality of the gift is determined by the quality of the giver.
Or, the acceptability of any act of worship is determined by the
acceptability of the worshiper. Our gestures of worship are
meaningless unless our hearts are right with God and our
The principle of John 4:24 and Matthew 5:23,24 is
also found in Isaiah 1:11. To what purpose is the
multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full
of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I
delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he
goats. The Lord was asking Israel, What do you
think you will gain by your sacrifices? All of the items in
this verse were commanded under the Law of Moses and were not
innovations that were brought in by Israel. They had, however,
become unacceptable to God because Israel had become so corrupt
and sinful. They were doing what the truth demanded, in a sense,
but their heart was not right.
We have this lesson powerfully enforced by the
prophet Micah. In the middle of a heated controversy with the
Lord, Israel says, Wherewith shall I come before the
LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him
with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the LORD be
pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers
of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit
of my body for the sin of my soul (Micah 6:6,7)? Note
that Israel asked the questions and then gave the appropriate
answers. The things mentioned would have normally been acceptable
but because of their corruption they knew they were not. Then we
see the ignorance and arrogance of Israel as they go beyond what
is expected by inquiring of the Lord concerning thousands of rams
and ten thousand rivers of oil. This is such an extravagant
offering that only a king could bring such. Surely the Lord would
be impressed. And they do not stop there. They then inquire about
the offering of their firstborn thinking that not even Jehovah
would doubt the sincerity of such a sacrifice.
But the Lord responds through Micah, He
hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD
require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk
humbly with thy God (Micah 6:8). Not even the
sacrifice of a firstborn child is an ample substitute for genuine
honesty, kindness, and humility. Again, the acceptability of the
gift is determined by the acceptability of the giver.
Our worship is not wanted by God if it comes while
we are holding a grudge and unwilling to go the second mile in
order to make things right with our brother. Sanctimony cannot
cover up an unsanctified soul. Our God guards His altar against a
profane spirit presuming to make up in worship what is lacking is
humility and love. Our Lord has stressed the seriousness of right
relationships. Our conscience may be clear. Any misunderstanding
may be wholly on the part of the other. He may or may not have
the cause for the unwholesome attitude. However, it is the duty
of the worshiper to go and try to make reconciliation. The gift
(our worship) should be left at the altar until we first be
reconciled to our brother (Matt. 5:24).
Our worship is not right when our hearts are
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THE SIN OF UNBELIEF
From the beginning of time, man has seemed to have a
problem with unbelief in regard to the commands and warnings of
Jehovah. The first man and his mate ate of the forbidden fruit,
even after God instructed them as to what NOT to do. Apparently,
they preferred the words of Satan rather than those of the
Almighty. They simply did not believe that God meant what He
THE CAUSE OF ALL DEPARTURE FROM GOD IS UNBELIEF
The Israelites found themselves wandering outside
the promised land for forty years. Why? Because they refused to
believe what had been told them by their Heavenly Father. In
fact, the sin of unbelief continued to plague Gods people
throughout Old Testament history. Their falling away was a direct
consequence of not believing God and His promises and warnings.
Things were no different during the days of Christ
and the Apostles. From the early beginnings of Christianity and
the Lords warnings for five of the seven churches of Asia,
to modern-day congregations that choose to ignore the Bible
pattern of worship and its teaching on grace, faith, and
fellowship, many of Gods children still disbelieve Him in
regard to what will happen if they continue to depart from His
Unbelief is the rejection of testimony, even though the
testimony is supported by sufficient evidence it is the
closing of our eyes against the truth and refusing to accept the
Word of God as a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path
(cf. Psalm 119:105).
UNBELIEF AND DISOBEDIENCE ARE THE SAME
More often than not, unbelief arises from a desire
to shift responsibility placed upon us by the Word of God, which,
in turn, leads us to do whatever we desire, regardless of what
the Bible says. Unbelief is the occasion of all sin and the very
bond of iniquity. It darkens, destroys, and makes the world a
moral desert wherein no divine footsteps are heard. Unbelief on
the part of anyone closes to that person the door of Heaven, even
as the door of Canaan was closed to the Israelites who
could not enter in because of unbelief.
The Bible is very clear concerning the future of those
who do not believe Gods word. Referring to them
that had sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness,
the writer of Hebrews continues by stating, And to whom
sware He that they should not enter into His rest, but to them
that were disobedient (believed not, KJV). So we see
that they were not able to enter in because of unbelief
(Heb. 3:18,19). Furthermore, it is said in Hebrews 4:6, in
regard to those who shall not enter into His rest,
Seeing therefore it remaineth that some should enter
thereinto, and they to whom the good tidings were before
preached, failed to enter in because of disobedience
CAUSES OF UNBELIEF
It was unbelief that brought sin into the world,
that filled the world with violence, that brought the flood and
the downfall of Israel and will close the gates of heaven against
all who do not believe God and His commands. Take heed,
brethren, lest haply there shall be in any one of you an evil
heart of unbelief, in falling away from the living God
1) An evil heart. The heart can become so set
on evil as to refuse to accept the truth. The heart is evil when
it cherishes evil. From the heart comes forth evil
thoughts (Matt. 15:19).
EFFECTS OF UNBELIEF
2) Ignorance or blindness of mind. Those
guilty of such were the murderers of Christ, along with all who
shut their eyes, close their ears, and harden their hearts to the
truth. It is not the case that they cannot believe,
they simply refuse to accept that which they know to
be right. Israel had an abundance of evidence. They had seen the
power manifested by God in many ways, but they were bent on evil
and desired to turn back, in spite of all that Jehovah had said
3) The love of sin. The Gospel demands
our all. Those who profess to be Christians must come out of the
world and be lovers of God rather than lovers of pleasure. But
because some do not want to give up the pleasures of sin, they
refuse to believe and continue in unbelief. The reason so many
are out of Christ is because of their love of sin and
refusal to believe that God means what He says.
4) The influence of the Devil. The
parable of the sower presents a powerful lesson as it explains
the seed that fell by the way side: And those by the
way side are they that have heard; then cometh the devil, and
taketh away the word from their heart, that they may not believe
and be saved (Luke 8:12). It is not that they could
not understand, they simply chose to disbelieve and let the devil
fill their ears with what they wanted to hear. They heard the
truth, but turned away from it and refused to believe.
5) The pride of human nature. All those
who love the truth believe the Bible doctrine of faith and the
fact that it humbles the soul. But the love of honor and social
standing leads to a refusal to accept the truth. Gods word
has much to say about the harmful consequences of sinful pride.
The writer of Proverbs delivered the divine truth when he penned,
Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more
hope of a fool than of him (Prov. 26:12). Guided
graciously by the Holy Spirit, James quoted from the same Old
Testament book, that God resisteth the proud, but
giveth grace to the humble (James 4:6). And lest there
be any doubt as to the plight of the proud, 1 John 2:16-17 should
convince us: For all that is in the world, the lust of
the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the vainglory
(pride, KJV) 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 forever.
Centuries ago, God pronounced that
cursed is he that confirmeth not all
the words of this law to do them (Duet. 27:26) and
cursed also is he that continueth
not in all things which are written...to do them (Gal.
3:10). Christians are also to understand that if we profess to a
part of the law, we are debtor to the whole law
(Gal. 5:3); because, as is taught in James 2:10, to
keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point
makes us guilty of all.
Yet, so many seem to disbelieve that we are to
accept and do the whole counsel of God. They shut their
eyes and close their ears to the reality that a refusal to accept
and practice even one of Gods commands will
result in their being rejected by Him at the last day.
Those who are guilty of unbelief (including
Christians) are joined together with those to whom Christ said,
Ye shall die in your sins (John 8:24). What
a terrible death that will be, because to die in sin (even one
sin) is to die without God, facing an eternal torment in the
horrors of hell.
Failure to believe that God means what He says is
the biggest mistake a responsible person can make. This is true
whether one does not know Gods word or refuses to obey
Gods word. The consequence of unbelief is eternal loss.
There will be no salvation and hope of heaven for those who do
not believe and obey Gods word (John 8:31-32; Matt. 7:21).
4316 Coldsprings Dr.
Pensacola, FL 32514
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IS GOD'S WAY TOO NARROW?
Roger D. Campbell
By His great power, the Lord God brought this
world into existence. By that same power, He will one day take it
out of existence, destroying it with fire (II Peter 3:10,12). In
the meantime, the world stands, with over 6.5 billion humans
inhabiting its seven continents.
God has revealed His will for mankind in the
Bible, and yes, that will is narrow. That does not suit well with
some people. As you know, the ones who think Gods plan is
way too strict are those who are not ready to submit to it!
I dont care too much for that
preacher. He said that Jesus is the only way of salvation.
Thats just too narrow. What did Jesus Himself say?
I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto
the Father, but by me (John 14:6).
I think that Bible class teacher is too
narrow minded. He said that most people will be lost. What
did Jesus say about it? Enter ye in at the strait gate:
for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to
destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because
strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto
life, and few there be that find it (Matt. 7:13,14).
That booklet I read says that Jesus only
promised to build one church. Can you believe that some people
are so close minded? Again, we ask, what does the Bible say?
Jesus said, ...and upon this rock will build my church;
and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it
(Matt. 16:18). Friend, you do not need a calculator to count up
the number of churches the Master promised to build!
If you are inclined to say that Gods way
is narrow, do you know what? We agree. Do you know why we agree
with your conclusion? Because the Bible clearly shows that
Gods revealed will is narrow. God instructed Noah to build a
single ark (Gen. 6:14). That was pretty narrow was it not? God
chose Jerusalem as the single location to place His name during
the Old Testament era (I Kings 12:36). That, too, was narrow,
would you not agree? Per Gods decree, today all spiritual
blessings, including the forgiveness of sins, are found in one
location they are in the Christ (Eph. 1:3,7). Someone had
to decide where salvation should be made available, and, for our
good, the Lord God made that decision. End of discussion. Yes, by
mans reckoning, that comes across as a narrow plan.
All of these biblical matters that point to
narrowness cause us to raise this question: should God seek out
mans input, advice, requests, and opinions before making His
decrees, or is it okay for Him to go it alone and
decide on His own what is best for mankind? Since He is the
all-knowing Almighty, the first and the last, the Creator and
Sustainer of all, of course He has the right to express His will
to mere mortals in the language that He desires. That revealed
will is just what we have in the Bible. Regardless of whether a
person counts Gods word and plan as too narrow, too loose,
or just what they ought to be, the following truth remains
unchanged: For the word of the LORD is right; and all
his works are done in truth (Psalm 33:4).
Yes, indeed, God does know what He is talking
about, and His way is always best! There is no doubt about it:
the way of Jehovah is narrow. But, it is not our business to
critique Gods efforts or message. No, no. Our task is to
accept without question what God says, obey it, and teach its
soul-saving message to others.
120 Will Lewis Dr. SE
Cleveland, TN 37323
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Dear Brother, Please send me 12 copies of Seek the Old
Paths if you have them. Yours in Christ ...Dana
Cochran, Parrish, AL. I have received your edition of
Seek the Old Paths for a few years. It is a great
paper, much food for thought. I am sending a small donation. I am
80 years. I would like for you to add a young Brother to your
publication ...Archie Ristine, Ellensburg, WA.
Enclosed is a check as an anonymous gift to be used in the
publication of the paper ...Name withheld, Oxford, MS.
Dear Brethren, just a note of encouragement on your
great work for the Lord. Our prayers are for you and with you. In
Him ...Burton & Harold Wood, Paducah, KY. I
appreciate the work you are doing with your publication. It is
very much needed during these crucial times in the church
...Frank Harris, Clarksville, IN. Your article
Pro-choice is Pro-death is very good. Thine
eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect (not
complete); and in thy book (book of life, Rev. 21:27)
all my members were written, which in continuance were
fashioned (in the process of being made), when as yet
there was none of them (Psalm 139:16). As
thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit (soul),
nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child:
even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all
(Eccl. 11:5). If men strive, and hurt a woman with
child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief
follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the womans
husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges
determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life
for life (Exodus 21:22-23). I enjoy STOP very much
...Wanda Huff, Seligman, MO. Please send 20 each month.
Thank you ...church of Christ, Cooledge, AZ.
Having been a preacher for 58 years, I appreciate good
bulletins and yours is a very good one ...Bill Darnell,
Greenville, TX. I would like to subscribe to your
excellent paper, Seek The Old Paths. I have only seen
one copy, but I was impressed. If you have a few sample copies
that I might have as well, I will see to it that they are passed
out after our worship service at the Molalla Church of Christ,
Molalla, Oregon. Thank you for your good work. May God richly
bless you as you labor for Him in McMinnville in service to the
only real cause ...Thomas Broadbent, Beavercreek, OR.
I have moved and would like you to change my address
and keep sending STOP. I look forward to getting it each month.
Thank you ...Name withheld, AR. I have been
receiving STOP for some time now and enjoy each and every copy to
the fullest. Being a member of the Lords church since my
youth, I enjoy the fullness of the publication and the research
that no doubt goes into each article in the publication. Please
keep up the great work ...David Belcher, Jasper, AL.
Please change my address. Thank you ...Charles
Tedford, Brownwood, TX. I enjoy your paper very much.
Keep up the good work ...Troy Smith, Jr., Hazard, KY.
I enjoy getting the truth from papers like STOP. Thank
you again ...Wilma Donaldson, Dickson, TN.
Please remove my name from your mailing list
...Marie Harrell, Sibley, MS. Please take us off the
Old Paths ...Jeff & Susie Brown, Chattanooga, TN.
While I have enjoyed reading STOP for the last few years, I
no longer wish to receive them. Please remove me from your
mailing list ...Daniel Crosby, Antioch, TN.
God bless his church at East End and God bless you and your
family. I hope one day soon I can be free and visit East End and
share the love I have come to have for all of you there. Great
newsletter. I loved the article on Pro-Choice is Pro-
Death ...Douglas Kirk, Mitchells, VA. Thank
God for your efforts with STOP! I just finished reading the last
page of Truth of the March issue given to me by a good, sound
brother in the Lord. The first article I read was by Roy J.
Hearn, whom I was acquainted with through his writings and
speaking at lectureships. That was rich reading. However, as I
continued with the other articles, by men I have heard of, I was
most definitely thrilled with their militant efforts in marking
false doctrine and men who deliver such rot! Each article hit a
vital subject matter needing attention. Thank God, and thank them
for their courage. I have been preaching the Gospel of Christ
(the ancient order of things) for about 57 years (and cannot
stop, even though I have been somewhat retired since
1995). After that, I drove to Talladega several months to preach
for the Talladega church while they looked for a full-time
preacher. Then for a few months I went to Oxford, Alabama, to
help Oxford church of Christ while they also searched for a
preacher. After that, my wife and I travelled over a hundred
miles west of here to the town of Greensboro, Alabama, for three
years helping a small congregation of around a dozen members who
could not financially support a preacher with a family. Since a
heart attack, we havent been back to Greensboro, but I keep
sending material out for people to read. Please pray for us. As
long as this 85 years old frame will survive, I intend to keep at
it. Again, I appreciate your work through that good periodical.
Will you please put this old warrior on your reading list? Thank
you kindly ...Olin Warmack, Montgomery, AL. We
need to let you know what a blessing it is to receive Seek
The Old Paths with the great lessons that you always have
in it. Some of the churches in our area leave many members
starving for the sermons that were preached in days gone
by. One church had women taking part in the worship service.
One of their elders told me that it was stopped, but it is now
done again! Too many in the Lords church dont seem to
do any studying at home. There is no hunger for being fed the
meat of the word. It is beyond sad to see churches grow
weaker and more accepting of blatant error. We would appreciate
your prayers for the churches in this area. It seems church
problems are growing. Friends in other states have been telling
me for quite awhile about splits and preacher/congregation
issues. Were so close to losing our country, and to think
its deliberate and planned for many many years is hard to
imagine. We can only pray that God will still be on our side. Our
entire way of life, culture and beliefs are at stake. Thank you
always for STOP and all who work to write and publish it. Above
all, thank you for the truth in it! Preachers who seem to think
they need to have some sugar to make the medicine go
down instead of the meat we desperately need, are very sad
to see or hear. God bless you all ...Name Withheld.
Hear the Gospel preached 24/7 at www.wsoj.net from the
End Church of Christ, McMinnville, TN. You can also select what
you would like to listen to by subject or speaker. Check it
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