Ephesians 4:14 (A recovering legalist requests serious input from any perspective.)

Sonny
Sonny

December 1st, 2010, 3:47 am #1

"Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming."

What is this verse saying? Does the context reveal that the being tossed back and forth is addressing a specific false teaching?






I personally believe the answer is "no", that it is not addressing one specific error but any teaching that causes Christians and the Church to drift from Jesus Christ. Thus, when Christians (preachers, elders, other teachers) cause others to get off of Christ and on to matters of opinion or the latest fad and hold this up as a must ("thus sayeth the Lord") that it is what this verse is warning.

If this is a correct interpretation, then all of us need to heed the warning.

"Progressives", "conservatives", "moderates", or whomever can all unintentionally get side tracked from the actual teachings of Jesus Christ and fight and even divide over matters for which the spiritually mature ("no longer infants") will not permit to happen.

We need to keep the main thing (Jesus) the main thing.

We do not need to make people think the main thing is _____________.

What would be in your blank?

As an example, at my congregation we worship God in the assembly with only acappella singing. There are several who believe that instrumental would likewise be acceptable to God, however, they do not and have never made it an issue as it would likely be divisive within the congregation and definitely within the community. The church is unified in reaching the lost and fulfilling our mission and keeping Jesus the main thing and not music, etc.

However, as a negative example, at my congregation a few (2 or 3 families) are attempting to make the preaching minister position a conflict and replacing him based not on teachings or lifestyle but personality and wanting a style that is more charismatic. Could this be a pitfall for which Ephesians 4:14 would apply?

-Sonny
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Joined: July 29th, 2010, 2:32 pm

December 1st, 2010, 4:13 am #2

It is dangerous to try to make dogma out of any translation: one Hebrew word can be translated by up to 70 English words. If you are going to try to fabricate a list of dogma you had better resort to some better resources than handed out in most schools. Jesus made it easy by commanding that the Word be preached by being read.

In Romans 14 outlawing doubtful disputations prevents anyone adding anything to the scheduled text. Whatever the translation the minds or spirits will be disciplined.

In Ephesians 4 Jesus gave gifted leaders to PREVENT what Paul defines as the function of music.
Then, you can conduct school of the Word without disabling the rational or spiritual mind which is the role of music. That's why it is called enchantment or sorcery.

http://www.piney.com/Ephesians.4.Unity. ... rsity.html

Still working on this one.
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Sonny
Sonny

December 1st, 2010, 5:07 am #3

I guess I did say any perspective. Thank you.
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Joined: July 29th, 2010, 2:32 pm

December 1st, 2010, 6:04 pm #4

This is the only study of Ephesians 4 you will find in the "brotherhood" seeking to become a "sisterhood."
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Joined: July 29th, 2010, 2:32 pm

December 1st, 2010, 6:25 pm #5


Last edited by Ken.Sublett on December 1st, 2010, 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: January 2nd, 2005, 6:45 am

December 5th, 2010, 6:04 am #6

"Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming."

What is this verse saying? Does the context reveal that the being tossed back and forth is addressing a specific false teaching?






I personally believe the answer is "no", that it is not addressing one specific error but any teaching that causes Christians and the Church to drift from Jesus Christ. Thus, when Christians (preachers, elders, other teachers) cause others to get off of Christ and on to matters of opinion or the latest fad and hold this up as a must ("thus sayeth the Lord") that it is what this verse is warning.

If this is a correct interpretation, then all of us need to heed the warning.

"Progressives", "conservatives", "moderates", or whomever can all unintentionally get side tracked from the actual teachings of Jesus Christ and fight and even divide over matters for which the spiritually mature ("no longer infants") will not permit to happen.

We need to keep the main thing (Jesus) the main thing.

We do not need to make people think the main thing is _____________.

What would be in your blank?

As an example, at my congregation we worship God in the assembly with only acappella singing. There are several who believe that instrumental would likewise be acceptable to God, however, they do not and have never made it an issue as it would likely be divisive within the congregation and definitely within the community. The church is unified in reaching the lost and fulfilling our mission and keeping Jesus the main thing and not music, etc.

However, as a negative example, at my congregation a few (2 or 3 families) are attempting to make the preaching minister position a conflict and replacing him based not on teachings or lifestyle but personality and wanting a style that is more charismatic. Could this be a pitfall for which Ephesians 4:14 would apply?

-Sonny
The initial post stated:
As an example, at my congregation we worship God in the assembly with only acappella singing. There are several who believe that instrumental would likewise be acceptable to God, however, they do not and have never made it an issue as it would likely be divisive within the congregation and definitely within the community. The church is unified in reaching the lost and fulfilling our mission and keeping Jesus the main thing and not music, etc.


[color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]Sonny,

How large is your congregation? That "several" who believe IM is acceptable would be represented by approximately what percentage of the membership -- 20% ... 45% ... 62%? I imagine that most of the "several" are young people. I also deduce from numerous posts of yours in defense of instrumental music that you are one of those in the "several" group.

At this stage, I believe that your eldership is to be commended for not succumbing to the desires of the other side. Much of the problem with division, when it happens, should not be attributed to the individual members of the congregation. It is common knowledge that a member who strongly disagrees with the church's teachings will simply leave and seek fellowship somewhere else. Rather, much of the problem with division can be attributed to whatever decisions made by the elders.

While the ultimate goal set for the Madison congregation might have been to become that "musical" [I wouldn't know this for sure], the division occurred at the [earlier] stage of "transformation" -- it was during the employment of the services of the "Praise Team." (It is a.k.a. "the Church of Christ CHOIR."] That wasn't even about instrumental music. Yet, division occurred.

Once division has occurred, recovery from it is almost impossible to achieve.

No congregation is expected to have all of its members to agree on every religious issue, as the conservatives in politics are not expected to agree on every conservative issue. But yet by having the same practices, the congregation can be "of the same mind and the same judgment."

Try implementing musical instruments in a non-IM congregation and see what happens. Many of those who oppose the use of musical devices in the assembly are likely to leave. That is nothing less than DIVISION in real action.

Be careful about the use of the expression "legalist" or "legalism." I have changed some of my religious viewpoints through the years for a better and greater knowledge of God's truth. That doesn't make me a legalist or a "recovering legalist." I think that the same is true with you.[/color]
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Sonny
Sonny

December 6th, 2010, 11:51 pm #7

Brother Cruz,

I believe you misunderstood my point. Our elders have not had to "take a stand" because no one is pursuing or pushing change.

A conservative number would be 30% of adult members who have no problem with instruments. In fact, we have several couples who used to worship where there were instruments. They did not come to our church because we did or did not have them, but for other reasons. Our church teaches to be Christians only. In fact, we have couples with Baptist, Methodist, and even 3 with Pentecostal backgrounds. I know we aren't the only ones so I am not bragging, but just answering your question. The ages of those neutral on IM range from a few in the 50's to several in their 40's and 30's. Definitely to the 20's and teens it is a non-issue, but they all like to sing and I have not heard anyone in the youngest ages expressing change or being disgruntled, nor anyone older.

While I do not believe Scripture condemns directly nor indirectly (through "law of silence/exclusion"), I would actually be against our congregation changing on this matter.

Finally, I agree with you that changing a view or "growing" does not mean or imply that one was a legalist.

I was one because I made laws where God did not and bound those on others, like the Pharisees. They were very pious and religious and their teachings very rigid and strict.

Matthew 23:4 - "They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders..."

Matthew 23:13 - "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You youselves do not enter nor will you let those enter who are trying to."

Matthew 23:15 _ "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are."

I think the C of C is good at helping people practice both self-righteousness and self-condemnation because we do not teach grace. Not as a license - we do not teach it for what it is. The good news is the gospel of grace.

-Sonny
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Joined: July 29th, 2010, 2:32 pm

December 7th, 2010, 1:50 am #8

"Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming."

What is this verse saying? Does the context reveal that the being tossed back and forth is addressing a specific false teaching?






I personally believe the answer is "no", that it is not addressing one specific error but any teaching that causes Christians and the Church to drift from Jesus Christ. Thus, when Christians (preachers, elders, other teachers) cause others to get off of Christ and on to matters of opinion or the latest fad and hold this up as a must ("thus sayeth the Lord") that it is what this verse is warning.

If this is a correct interpretation, then all of us need to heed the warning.

"Progressives", "conservatives", "moderates", or whomever can all unintentionally get side tracked from the actual teachings of Jesus Christ and fight and even divide over matters for which the spiritually mature ("no longer infants") will not permit to happen.

We need to keep the main thing (Jesus) the main thing.

We do not need to make people think the main thing is _____________.

What would be in your blank?

As an example, at my congregation we worship God in the assembly with only acappella singing. There are several who believe that instrumental would likewise be acceptable to God, however, they do not and have never made it an issue as it would likely be divisive within the congregation and definitely within the community. The church is unified in reaching the lost and fulfilling our mission and keeping Jesus the main thing and not music, etc.

However, as a negative example, at my congregation a few (2 or 3 families) are attempting to make the preaching minister position a conflict and replacing him based not on teachings or lifestyle but personality and wanting a style that is more charismatic. Could this be a pitfall for which Ephesians 4:14 would apply?

-Sonny

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Fred Whaley
Fred Whaley

December 7th, 2010, 2:36 pm #9

Brother Cruz,

I believe you misunderstood my point. Our elders have not had to "take a stand" because no one is pursuing or pushing change.

A conservative number would be 30% of adult members who have no problem with instruments. In fact, we have several couples who used to worship where there were instruments. They did not come to our church because we did or did not have them, but for other reasons. Our church teaches to be Christians only. In fact, we have couples with Baptist, Methodist, and even 3 with Pentecostal backgrounds. I know we aren't the only ones so I am not bragging, but just answering your question. The ages of those neutral on IM range from a few in the 50's to several in their 40's and 30's. Definitely to the 20's and teens it is a non-issue, but they all like to sing and I have not heard anyone in the youngest ages expressing change or being disgruntled, nor anyone older.

While I do not believe Scripture condemns directly nor indirectly (through "law of silence/exclusion"), I would actually be against our congregation changing on this matter.

Finally, I agree with you that changing a view or "growing" does not mean or imply that one was a legalist.

I was one because I made laws where God did not and bound those on others, like the Pharisees. They were very pious and religious and their teachings very rigid and strict.

Matthew 23:4 - "They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders..."

Matthew 23:13 - "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You youselves do not enter nor will you let those enter who are trying to."

Matthew 23:15 _ "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are."

I think the C of C is good at helping people practice both self-righteousness and self-condemnation because we do not teach grace. Not as a license - we do not teach it for what it is. The good news is the gospel of grace.

-Sonny
Sonny I would like to add Matthew 23:24 where Jesus calls the Pharisees blind guides because they strain a gnat and swallow a camel.

Fred Whaley

"If you are in the parking lot and have still not quit arguing with the people on the porch, you haven't left the Church of Christ yet."
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

December 7th, 2010, 5:25 pm #10

Fred cited Jesus' quote about the Pharisees: "...they strain a gnat and swallow a camel."

Actually, the phrase Jesus used was "...they strain at a gnat and swallow a camel."

The wording "...strain a gnat..." implies trying to separate a gnat from liquid by using a filter.

The wording "...strain at a gnat..." is a hyperbole that means making much ado about trivial things.

Omission of a word can make a big difference.

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