TOLERANCE?

Many of us love to watch Duck Dynasty. The reason? They are plain folks who became wealthy doing what they love and are Bible reading, God fearing people. Phil Robertson should have known better than to give an interview to GQ magazine and state his beliefs. He shouldn’t have quoted scripture either unless he was ready to be attacked. He was a bit crude in his language, but that isn’t what made the organization called GLAAD mad. Phil said he believed the Bible when it said homosexuality is a sin.
Here’s the passage he was referring to: (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” In all the years I’ve been a Christian, I’ve heard many lessons on the list of sins in the passage above. Only one group out of that list has ever threatened to kill me and blow up the Clarendon Enterprise. They now attack Phil Robertson.
I am a sinner, but, as many sinners do, I try to repent and do a better job. There are times that people who love me will point out my sin to help me make a change. That is their God given duty. (Galatians 6:1) “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” The sinner has two choices when confronted with sin: 1. Acknowledge the sin and make a change. 2. Lie, deny, attack the messenger, or just ignore the warning.
Sadly, Phil was being asked questions about his beliefs. He wasn’t trying to force them on anyone. A group that demands tolerance for others, has none for anyone who disagrees.
Our country is becoming so swamped in sin and perversions because we have allowed others to tell us what we can say or can’t say. In the 80’s, the NEA and it’s liberal followers told Christians to be tolerant of “art” that was disgusting. There were pictures drawn of Mary (Jesus’ mother) with excrement as the “paint.” A cross with Jesus on it was put in a jar of urine in an “art” show. These people demanded that we understand “free speech.” These same people attack Phil and anyone else who avails themselves of our rights to free speech if it disagrees with their way of living. Enough! We must stand up and call sin a sin. We must love other people, but we don’t have to tolerate or condone their sinful ways. No more PC, we need more JC!

WHAT’S IN YOUR PULPIT?

You’ve probably seen the Capitol One credit card commercial where the question is asked: “What’s in your wallet?” Of course the commercial wants you to compare the benefits you get from your current card as opposed to the Capitol One card. It is slightly entertaining but highly effective.
I often wonder if people compare what’s coming from their pulpits to the Bible. More often than not, man’s doctrine is being substituted instead of God’s. Often folks don’t know because they don’t study these things on their own but trust the one in the pulpit. That isn’t sound thinking. 1Thessalonians 5:21 tells us: “Test all things; hold fast what is good.” Our spiritual lives hang in the balance regarding what we believe and practice!
If it doesn’t matter what we believe or practice, why did our Savior have to even come to earth and die IF we can do as we please? Hebrews 5:8-9 tells us that the Lord is the author of our salvation. In Matthew 28:18 that “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and earth.” So, it does make a difference what we believe and practice.
I challenge everyone to compare what is coming from your pulpits to the Bible. If it doesn’t match up, you should do one of two things. Demand Bible preaching or find a place that does it! It’s that simple and it’s that important. We have enough in life to worry about than worrying if we are pleasing God. That’s the one thing that does matter over all things. You can compromise on a lot of things in life, but not on the spiritual things. What’s in your pulpit? –Chris

THE PRESS CAME CALLING

The Globe called and I talked with a young lady for a few minutes about the alcohol issue. I told her that if nothing else came from our conversation that the theme should be WE DON’T WANT BARS IN OUR TOWN! It is hard to understand why that is hard to understand! The crime and everything that goes with it is an endangerment to our children and families. There is no amount of money that is worth having that blight in our community. The election is coming to an end….go vote if you haven’t! If you need a ride, give me a call. God bless our initiative.

Why I Will Teach My Children Not to Drink

Recently our local paper featured a pro-position editorial about the measure to enhance the availability of alcohol in Clarendon.  One of the comments that really struck me was the comment that “the Bible does shed a positive light on the issue”.  If a carefully examination of the Holy Scriptures were made into this subject there is no way you could come to that conclusion.

In light of that comment, I offer the following sermon I heard preached on this subject long ago.  Please read and consider this, not only for the upcoming vote, but as a matter of practice in your own home. – Will Thompson.

By Kevin Ellis

Richmond Hills Church of Christ, Augusta, Georgia

June 12, 1983

 

Introduction

 A year ago a woman from Houston wrote an angry letter to the Gospel Advocate.  She says “Speak where the Bibl e speaks, it is a sin to be drunk but not to drink.  Yes, it is wise not to drink too much but not a sin to drink.”

 I suspect many of you agree with her.  I suspect you favor “moderation” in drinking, not “abstinence”.

 Others of us drink no intoxicants at all, and recommend this as the best choice.  Let’s take a different approach to this subject, and let’s be fair with what the Bible does, and doesn’t say.  We have covered these scripture before.  The scriptures are still there and the problem with alcohol still exists.

I want to organize my lesson under this title: “Why I’ll Teach My Children Not to Drink”.  This subject is one we can approach on mutual ground.  Even our civil laws forbid the sale of intoxicants to minors.  We all respect the right of parents to set rules for their own households.  And, we all realize that children eventually become adults, and then must make their own decisions.

 One premise is basic: The Bible absolutely forbids drunkenness!

 Here, then, are the reasons I will teach my children not to drink.

 I.        I want to be very sure my children go to Heaven.

Therefore, I will teach them not to drink.

I Corinthians 6:9-11, “9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Since drunkards are specified among the unrighteous who will not inherit the kingdom of God, I do not want my children to take chances with intoxicants.

Galatians 5:19-21, 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

I don’t want my children to have anything to do with intoxicants because I don’t want them involved in any degree with the deeds of the flesh which can keep them out of Heaven.

If it where my goal to send my children to the most prestigious university in the country, I would require discipline in the classroom studies.  Even if my child could get by in life without knowing some of the details of some particular class, I would insist that he learn every detail.  That is, I would require this discipline if that university were my goal.  But, my goal for my children is Heaven.  And they can’t go there with drunkenness.  So I will teach them not to drink at all.  Heaven is that important!

 II.      I want my children to know fully a better life in Christ.

Therefore, I will teach them not to drink.

Luke 21:34, “Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap;

It is a sad life indeed that responds to the worries of life with drunkenness and dissipation, and I want something better for my children.  As they grow up in my home, I want them to handle stress without intoxicants.

Romans 13:13-14, 13 Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

I want my children to know how drastically different Christianity is from worldliness, so I will teach them not to drink while in my house.  I will teach them not to make provisions for fleshly lust for intoxicants.

1 Peter 4:3-4, 3 For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries.4 In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you;

I want my children to live different—and better—than their friends who are worldly, so I will teach them not to drink with those friends.  I will teach them not to drink intoxicants at all.

You may understand such an absolute prohibition better if you compare a similar vice.  There was a time when people thought it a shame for a young woman to lose her virginity, but it was normal for a young man to discreetly lose his virginity.  Modern thinking rejects this double standard, but chooses the libertine standard for both sexes.  Christian thinking rejects promiscuity for men and women.  That is why we teach our young people not to experiment with intimate relations.  We want them to know the beauty the book of Hebrews describe, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled….” (13:4).

We want our youth to know a better than worldly way of life as regards to the dangers of intoxicants as well.  The better life in Christ is completely divorced from drunkenness.  That’s the reason I teach my children not to drink.

III.    I want my children to prefer spiritual joys over physical pleasures.

Therefore, I will teach them not to drink.

 Ephesians 5:18-21, 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;21and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

Those who pleasure their lives with intoxicants to drunkenness live in a way that leaves no place for greater spiritual joys:

  1. The Spirit vs. “spirits”.
  2. Music from the heart.
  3. Giving thanks.
  4. Being subject to one another.

These give a gift that is moral!

I believe the bewitching qualities of intoxicants might obscure a young person’s perception of these greater joys.  So, I will teach against drinking.

 IV.    I want my children to grow to be leaders in the Church.

Therefore, I will teach them not to drink.

 1 Timothy 3:2-3, An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money.

1 Timothy 3:8, 8 Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain,

Titus 1:6-7, namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. 7 For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain,

Titus 2:3, 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,

All kinds of leaders in the Lord’s church are required to be models of sobriety when it comes to intoxicating drinks.

If my children are allowed to use intoxicants, as children in non-Christian home are, I doubt they will see the need to be different from fellow adults in their use of alcohol.

 If my children are to grow up to be leading members of the church of Christ, they must grow up to be above reproach and above even the accusation of abusing alcohol.  So I will teach them not to drink while they are in my home.

V.      I want my children to have the best influence they can have.

Therefore, I will teach them not to drink.

1 Corinthians 5:11, But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one.

Since there is no place in the fellowship of the church for drunkards, I will teach my children to leave the stuff alone that could intoxicate them.

Romans 14:21, It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles.

I am convinced that drinking intoxicants in today’s society can make brothers or sisters in Christ stumble.  I do not drink for this very reason, and I will teach my children the same lesson about influence for Christ.

 There is a single principle behind these two lessons from Paul.  The two lessons are:

  1. The church must ostracize drunkards, and
  2. Christians must not cause other Christians to fall by drinking wine. 

The principle behind these lessons is the same.  Christians must be concerned about influence.  And drinking intoxicants can influence the church (and the world) for bad!

That is one more reason I will teach my children not to drink.

 Conclusion

My children will make up their own minds about drinking when they are grown.  However, when they make that decision, they will remember why their Daddy never allowed drinking in his home.

The Bible is clear in its teaching about drunkenness.  THE BIBLE ABSOLUTELY FORBIDS DRUNKENNESS.

  1. Those who get drunk will not go to Heaven.
  2. Those who get drunk miss the fullness of life in Christ.
  3. Those who get drunk choose a weak substitute for the great spiritual joys the Lord provides.
  4. Those who get drunk cannot be leaders in the church.
  5. Those who get drunk cannot be a good influence for Christ.

A child who does not drink intoxicants the duration of his life in his parents Christian home must have an advantage in resisting drunkenness as an adult.  He will know that he can enjoy an abundant life in Christ without drinking.  He will have an even greater advantage if he never sees his parents take intoxicants.

Consider how much a Christian misses if he gets drunks.  Then tell me why a Christian of any age would chance, and succumb to the temptation to get drunk, you lose the joys of the spirit, you lose your opportunity to lead the church, and you lose your influence for Christ.

Why risk these losses?  Even as an adult?

Let’s conclude by reading Proverbs 23:29-32,

Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? 30 Those who linger long over wine, Those who go to taste mixed wine. 31 Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it goes down smoothly; 32 At the last it bites like a serpent And stings like a viper.

It Is a Matter of Heritage

Recently our county commissioners have been discussing the issue of our heritage and how to best pay homage to it.  I would like to urge our commissioners to strongly consider the placement of the “Ten Commandments” marker symbolizing the importance of our spiritual heritage on our courthouse lawn.

 I site the reasons for doing this as follows:

  The identification of our community as “Saints’ Roost”.  Our faith is an important part of our identification, it is our heritage.  The marker will affirm that identification and retell it to future generations.  We are not known as “Buddha’s Roost”, or “Allah’s Roost” or even as “Athesists’ Roost”, but as “Saints’ Roost”.

  1. That identification should not be placed on the side of the road but next to the heart of our community, our courthouse.  Either we are proud of that heritage or not.  Placing it in some remote out of the way spot would convey the exact opposite meaning of the importance of our heritage.  If it is not important to this generation, it certainly will be less so for the next one.
  2. The Bible, the basis of our heritage and faith, tells of what happened to a generation of God’s followers who neglected the importance of reminding their sons and daughters of their heritage.  In the book of Joshua you have the recording of the great things that generation was able to do because of their faith.  Then in the book of Judges, chapter 2 and following, you have the recording of their one great failure; they did not pass the importance of that heritage on to the next generation.  Our heritage will only last as long as we retell it.  Our heritage is only as important as we make it.
  3. 30 or so years ago the generation before mine would have done this without any hesitation.  Some say we now live in different times.  I ask, “why are these different times?”  They are different because we have allowed our heritage to slip away or be removed from remembrance.  We no longer stress the importance of our spiritual heritage to our children and, indeed, they have become different times.  The challenge to this generation is; are we going to stand up and reaffirm our heritage or sit down in silence and have the testimonial of our heritance relegated to some out of the way place, if at all?
  4. Some say if we do this then we risk opening up the courthouse lawn to other markers from other religions, this is just not so.  No other religion can attest to the historical fact that the Ten Commandments and Christianity played in our heritage.  You only need to look at what is happening to Europe which abandoned their spiritual heritage only to become a ripe breeding ground for another one.  The simple laws of nature teach us that nature abhors a vacuum.  So does our spirituality.  It will be filled with something.  Something that was not a part of our heritage.
  5. Finally other counties have done this.  Even our state capital has a marker that states this heritage, and it has stood against those who would try to deny this fact.  Certainly, our community that has claimed and still claims it is “Saint’s Roost” will have legal standing to a marker that attests to this.  We are known as “Saint’s Roost”!

 If you feel the same as I do about this I hope you will contact your county commissioner and respectfully tell them your opinion on the heritage marker.

 To know nothing of what happened before you were born is to remain forever a child.
– Cicero

 Will Thompson

EVERYONE HAS A PRICE

EVERYONE HAS A PRICE
Years ago, I was an avid fan of wrestling. One wrestler’s famous line was, “Everyone has a price.” Now certainly I don’t believe this statement. Jesus Christ didn’t have a price that He would “sell out” for. I also believe there are many God-fearing people that haven’t and won’t sell out or compromise their beliefs. Sadly, where you find a diversion from the “divine pattern” that we can find in the Bible, you will find that someone compromised or sold out.
There are plenty of examples in the Bible of good people who finally gave in to pressure and went against God. For example, the parents of Sampson sold out. In Judges 14, we see that Samson wanted a Phillistine woman for a wife. This was strictly against God’s law. He asked his father to get her for him, and after some protest, Samson’s father gave in to his son’s wishes.
You can see in the book of 1Samuel, chapters 2 and 3, that Eli did a much better job with Samuel than he had with his own sons. He was accused rightly so of not “restraining” his sons. Eli was a good man, yet, when it came to his own, he had no backbone.
I believe you could make the case that Judas was a good man but sold out for money, something he obviously loved more than our Savior. The point is that God demands our obedience and courage 24/7. Our allegiance must be to God no matter how tempting it is to be pleasing to everybody. Sadly, we see in the Lord’s church so many faithful brethren who “give in” after years of great service to God. Usually their standards are lowered because of family, finances, and trying to “keep the peace.” It is hard to remain faithful to God when we are attacked by loved ones, by our greed, or our pride.
I pray that all brethren everywhere would remain steadfast and be courageous. Let us understand the reward will be worth the few headaches that we deal with here on earth. The Devil survives on our weaknesses. God demands our strength and at the same time will help supply it (Phil. 4:13). God told Ezekiel that he would have to have a forehead of “flint” to deal with his brethren. Sometimes we need to be a little less “thin-skinned” and a little more hard-headed. Don’t ever give in or up! –Chris

BIBLE STUDY….Why?

   Why study the Bible?  (1 Peter 3:15) “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;”  As a Christian, we should study the Bible to be able to defend our beliefs. 

      (James 1:21) “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”  Studying the Bible helps a sinner become a saint and it helps a saint to remain saved.  Bible study helps one to more accurately understand what one thought he or she understood.  (Acts 18:25-26) “This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.”  People who’ve just obeyed the gospel are babes in Christ and babes in understanding much of the scriptures (Heb. 5:13). 

   People teaching or believing in and living in error need to be taken aside and taught.  What good would it do to study with a sinner about anything and everything but how to become saved?  Of course patience is required, but think of how long Jesus and His disciples taught before error or sin was pointed out.  Bible study or study of the scriptures has an end point, Heaven or Hell.

   Joshua asked a very pertinent question concerning where the children of Israel wanted to be, on the Lord’s side or not.  (Joshua 24:15) “And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

   Knowing God and His word, once again brings salvation to the sinner, keeps the saint on the faithful path.  Bible study helps a Christian to understand that he can’t continue in certain behaviors.  It helps a Christian understand who he is and that he is to separate himself from worldly behavior.  It helps a Christian to better take a message of good news to the world.

   God’s word is meant to be shared.  Matt. 28:19-20 is the great commission.  (Matthew 28:19-20) “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

   If you will notice, there is an order to this commission.  Make disciples of all the nations.  How?  Baptizing and teaching them.  We understand a person must be taught what to do to become saved, which includes baptism.  After one has become a Christian, logically one would move on to other Biblical subjects that need attention.  Studying the good kings and bad kings of Judah and Israel would be a good study for Christians to better help them understand God.  It wouldn’t be as helpful to study with sinners who need to hear the saving message of Christ.

   Please understand, the Bible has much to teach everyone.  A person needs to hear and study the basics:  “What must I do to be saved?”; “What must I do once saved?”.  One wouldn’t take Calculus without knowing how to add and subtract.

   Random Bible subjects are fine for the Christian as he advances his learning.  Random subjects aren’t what a sinner needs.  He or she needs to know that without Christ they are lost.  They then need to know if there is something one can do to receive the cleansing blood of Christ. (Acts 2:37-38) Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. ”  Notice Peter went straight to the point.  Peter told them what they needed to hear, and then left the decision up to them.  (Acts 2:40-41) And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.”

   The word of God has a purpose as we have shown.  Bible study for the alien sinner is to teach them what they must do to become a saint and attain a relationship with God.  Bible study for the saint is to promote growth and maintain a relationship with God.  –Chris

VOTING IN SIN

   The Lutheran Church (a sect of it) recently voted to allow openly gay men to be ministers or priests.  1,000 delegates cast their votes and of those 680 voted for gay priests.  This was done in an open forum where everyone could stand up and be counted.  What they did was contradictory to plain Bible teaching.  Romans, chapter one, and Jude condemn homosexuality.  But, I at least credit these people with being open with their beliefs.  Think about what is done in the church at times.

   Many times in the Lord’s church, elders and deacons have been appointed who were not qualified, yet because of a majority of members it was done anyway.  Instrumental music is usually introduced when a “majority” wants it. 

   Then there is the “silent” vote.  Open and blatant sin is tolerated at times in the church body.  Everyone knows about it, but because the person involved in it has ties to popular members or is part of a well thought of family, everyone looks the other way.  This is in essence a vote for sin.  By not raising our voices, we have gone to the “silent” poll and voted for something we know is contradictory to scripture.  This is cowardly behavior condemned by Revelation 21:8.  Nearly all congregations that I’ve been a member of have practiced this at one time or another.

   Jude 3 tells us to contend for the faith.  Nowhere is there scripture to “compromise” the faith.  May we all have the courage to stand up and speak out against sin.  May we all “vote” no when it comes to sin.  Let us not be intimidated by church politics or strong personalities.  The church will be stronger for it, your family will be stronger for it, your community, state, and country will also. –Chris

BIBLE AUTHORITY FOR EVERYTHING WE DO IS A MUST…..

    The controversy over instrumental music in the Lord’s church still plagues our brethren.  It is proof that not enough study or sermons are presented on these subjects.  Everyone is too afraid that someone maybe “offended” and let controversial subjects go untaught.  It is no wonder why there is so much confusion and misunderstanding in our midst.

   Let’s look at one of these controversial topics for a moment.  Instrumental music has no Biblical authority in the New Testament.  How would one determine what is authorized and what is not?  I’m going to refer to a book during this post entitled, “Ascertaining Bible Authority.”  It was written by Roy Deaver and is a wonderful help on this type of subject.

   Brother Deaver gives an excellent list of how God doesn’t authorize.  God doesn’t authorize:

1.  Upon the basis of my personal dislikes.  2.  Upon the basis of what pleases me.  3.  Upon the basis of erroneous conclusions which I may reach.  4.  Upon the basis of my opinion or the opinions of others.  5.  Upon the basis of what is popular.  6.  Upon the basis of what may be the consensus in someone’s lectureship.  7.  Upon the basis of what some well-known and highly respected brother teaches or may have taught.  8.  Upon the basis of human traditions.  9.  Upon the basis of one’s inability to “see any harm in it.”  10.  Upon the basis of practices of long-standing.  11.  Upon the basis of the silence of the Scripture.

   Now, I’ve “massaged” some of Roy’s list on how God does authorize.

 1.  He authorizes by example. 

  •  We are commanded to take the Lord’s Supper, 1Cor. 11:24-25. 
  •  We know when to take it by precept and example, Acts 20:7; 1Corinthians. 16:2 
  •  We follow the pattern or example of the scriptures.

2.  We can attain Bible authority by implication. 

  • I am authorized to teach that in his becoming a Christian, Saul of Tarsus repented of his sins.
  • The Bible doesn’t tell us that he repented, explicitly.
  • Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38 tells us one must repent.  Therefore, Saul of Tarsus repented.

3.  Bible authority can be gained by direct statements. 

  • Some direct statements can’t be used.  The Jews in Mark 9 claimed the man that Jesus healed was born in sin.
  • That’s a direct statement, but they were wrong!
  • A direct statement from Jesus, like Mark 16:16 (believe and be baptized), authorizes belief and baptism because it is a direct statement from one in authority.

4.  Bible authority can be gotten by expediency.    MATT. 28:19-20, GOD OBLIGATES US TO GO…..     We can go by walking or riding.  Both are different ways of going but both help us fulfill our going.  Going is the command, the how is left optional.  Let’s look at what is an expedient and what isn’t.

  THINK ABOUT PERCEPTION…    Seeing is a way of perceiving.  Hearing is a way of perceiving. oSeeing isn’t an expedient to hearing and vice-versa.  They are “co-ordinates.”  Eyeglasses would expedite my seeing.  Hearing aids expedite hearing.

But….    oIn the area of making music, we are commanded to sing.  That is a form of music. (Col. 3:16) Other forms or “co-ordinates” are musical instruments, clapping or stomping feet, and humming. None of these can expedite singing because they violate the command because of their being alternate forms of music.

Maybe this will help….    A songbook aids or “expedites” our singing, but we are still only singing.  A microphone allows songleader to be heard, but we are still only singing. When we add instruments, clapping, etc. (co-ordinates or alternative music) to the singing, we have broken God’s commands.  We have added a music He didn’t authorize.

If God said…..    Walk, then you could use a cane or walker, because you would still be walking.  You couldn’t ride a motorcycle because God said to walk.  Walking is the only permissible mode of travel.  His command to walk negates any other mode of travel.

Think about this….    Fact:  The Bible says to give as we have prospered.  Fact:  The Macedonians were commended for giving “beyond their power.”  Conclusion:  We must give as we have prospered and can give even more.  Not less!

More facts…    Acts 20:7; 1Cor. 16:2 shows an example of when the church took the Lord’s Supper.  It was always on the first day of the week.  There is no Bible authority for taking it on Thursday, or Saturday, or any other day for that matter.

Brethren, this is an important study.  We must find authority for what we do from the only place that can give it; the Bible!  Opinions, good intentions, sincere feelings are going to continue to lead people down the wrong path (Matt. 7:13-14).

Conclusion:    One of the most understudied, yet, important subjects is Bible authority.  Let us never be guilty of going beyond the scriptures nor ignoring them either.  Let the Bible be our pattern for living, worshipping, etc.  —Chris

  

Latest News from the Reservation

Eric, Dorris and Edison Gruber of Crownpoint, New Mexico.

Eric, Dorris and Edison Gruber of Crownpoint, New Mexico.

During our recent vacation around the Navajo Nation we visited the missionaries at Crownpoint and Hogback, New Mexico, Montezuma Creek, Utah, Kayenta and Many Farms, Arizona.  We had the opportunity to worship with the congregations at Bluff, Utah and Kayenta, Arizona.

While at Crownpoint visiting Edison and Dorris Gruber we had the opportunity to see Edison’s new trailer.  Edison was able to purchase the trailer with the help of Sue and Marvin Thompson, members of the Clarendon church of Christ.  Edison said it was a big help on the recent Navajo summer encampment.

Later we visited with Phillip and Irita James in Hogback Arizona.  Phillip is recovery from eye surgery.  This was very serious since he cannot see out of the other eye.  He is doing well but will need cataract surgery on the same eye when it heals.  Please remember him and Irita in your prayers.

Phillip was showing off his new laptop PC that  the Mount Vernon church of Christ in

Ray and Oleta Whaley of Montezuma Creek, Utah.

Ray and Oleta Whaley of Montezuma Creek, Utah.

Prescott, Arizona helped purchase.  He was very appreciative of their efforts and the efforts of Larry Miller of the Mount Vernon congregation.   He also gave us a tour of his facilities and discussed his upcoming plans.  One of his projects is finding a church that will help him with the church’s summer vacation bible school. 

Later at Cortez, Colorado we had dinner with Marsha and Jim Beavers, members of the Cortez church of Christ.  Jim serves as an elder there.  The Cortez congregation supports the work at Hogback and Shiprock.  We discussed the Cortez congregation’s past works and future plans for growing the work on the reservation.  It is very encouraging to see other congregations working hard to help the Navajo congregations and their missionaries.

Our next stop took us to Bluff, Utah where we worshipped with Ray and Oleta Whaley.  Ray, through the help of his son-in-law and his relatives, has been able to plant a new congregation there.  We enjoyed worshipping with them, the singing was great.  It is a

Bernie Began, Shirley Carrol and Ben Begay of Many Farms, Utah.

Bernie Begay, Shirley Carrol and Ben Begay of Many Farms, Utah.

good thing to see a new congregation of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

After the morning services at Bluff, Oleta and Ray invited us to eat lunch with them back at Montezuma Creek.  Oleta’s cooking was great and we enjoyed the visit and tour of the facilities at Montezuma Creek.  Ray has reworked the flooring throughout the church building and is working on completing a new bunk house.  He hopes to use the bunk house to host visiting congregations helping with VBS efforts in Montezuma Creek.

That evening we worshipped with the church at Kayenta, Arizona.  We also had the opportunity to discuss the work there with Josh Austin, the preacher and missionary at Kayenta.  Josh told us that he was conducting 8 different Bible studies.  Josh also introduced us to Ryan Begay.  Ryan is very interested in becoming a missionary and working on the Navajo reservation.  Josh hopes that within a year to have him ready to attend Bear Valley Bible Institute and become the third Navajo man to graduate from there.

Todd and Lynn Thompson of Clarendon, on left and right, with Josh Austin of Kayenta, in center.

Todd and Lynn Thompson of Clarendon, on left and right, with Josh Austin of Kayenta, in center.

While at Kayenta we were able to witness the baptism of Shirley Carrol of Many Farms, Arizona.  Ray Begay and his wife Bernie were instrumental in bringing her to Christ.  Ben had to bring her to Kayenta because they do not have a baptistry at Many Farms.  Ben is the missionary at the Many Farms, Arizona.  We also had a good visit with Ben and Bernie.  Ben informed us about the problems they had had that day with the church building’s air conditioner.  Many Farms, Arizona is not a place to be without an air conditioner.  Upon returning from our vacation the Clarendon church of Christ Mission Committee sent Ben a check for a new air conditioner from the donations made by the Mangum church of  Christ. 

All in all it was very encouraging to see the work been done on the Navajo Nation by these men and their families on behalf of Christ.  They continue to work and have success inspite of several hinderances to their work.  It greatly helps them, their families and our Navajo brothers and sisters in Christ when we do what we can to support them.    Please continue to remember them all in your prayers.

Ryan Begay of Kayenta, Arizona.

Ryan Begay of Kayenta, Arizona.