“JUST WHAT ARE THE CHANGE AGENTS DOING THAT IS SO WRONG?”

Joined: January 2nd, 2005, 6:45 am

September 16th, 2006, 8:31 pm #1

<font face=courier>-----Original Message-----
From: fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com [[url=mailto:fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com]fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com[/url]] On Behalf Of john.waddey
Sent: Sunday, August 27, 2006 12:34 AM
To: fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [fortify_your_faith] A Lesson to Fortify Your Faith - 08/26/06</font>

JUST WHAT ARE THE CHANGE AGENTS DOING THAT IS SO WRONG?

Dear Christian Reader:

Christ and the apostles taught that false teachers would arise, troubling the church and drawing away disciples after them. The change movement, now troubling churches of Christ around the world, is of this very nature. These weekly lessons are sent forth to help inoculate our brethren against the smooth and fair speech of the change agents. You can help by sharing these lessons with fellow-Christians in your email address book. Together we can accomplish much good.

John Waddey
  • <font size=4>JUST WHAT ARE THE CHANGE AGENTS DOING THAT IS SO WRONG?</font>

    <font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Dear Bro. Waddey: I love God and want to be like Jesus. I love Jesus' church and want to do the will of God in all things. I believe in the inerrancy of the holy Scripture and think that spiritual and moral truth is knowable and is intended for my life. What I don't understand is why there is so much turmoil. Is it mostly about ways to worship? I cannot find a biblical reason for arguing over which songs to sing or for specific teaching methods. I cannot ague over the number of cups to use in communion or whether the cups are passed to me or if I walk to the cup. I have searched and read and prayed about this. I have been talking to friends who feel the same way. Can you tell me exactly what the problems are? Does everyone else know what problems you are talking about but me? Katie

    Dear Katie: God bless you for your love for his Son, his Church and his Word. We are in agreement on the things you mentioned. Yes, there are some who are protesting over the trivial, insignificant things you mentioned, but I do not.

    It matters not which songs we sing so long as they are psalms, hymns and spiritual songs offered to God through Christ....sung in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). It does matter however if instead of singing praise to God, we listen to a musical presentation, whether vocal or instrumental when we assemble for worship. When we are to sing we are to speak one to another with the words we sing (Eph. 5:19). It does matter, if in addition to our singing, we add instrumental music, which is something other than singing. Singing in worship Christ has clearly authorized. The use of instruments he has not. We are to do that which he has commanded us to do (Matt. 28:20).

    It matters not the method chosen to distribute the communion to the worshipers. It does matter however if we should change the day He authorized for the communion to be observed. His New Testament clearly shows that it was on the first day of the week that disciples assembled to break the holy bread (Acts 20:7). It does matter if we should try to mix the communion service with a common meal (I Cor. 11:20-22).

    The thing that is troubling our churches is the spirit or attitude that says we can do anything we want to do in our worship. They hold this mistaken view because they do not respect the New Testament as the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2) or accept that it is a pattern for us to follow (II Tim. 1:13).

    We are troubled by men who no longer believe the teaching of Scripture that makes baptism an essential element of the sinner's salvation. They correctly emphasize salvation by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9) but then they place baptism in the area of something one does as a demonstration of his salvation. They hint that a man can be saved even if he never gets around to baptism, because of God's grace and the man's faith. Such teaching is diametrically contrary to the plain teaching of God's Word. "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mk. 16:16); "Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins" (Acts 22:16).

    We are troubled by men who no longer believe the truth of God's Word about the nature of the Lord's church. They often speak of the church of Christ in a derogatory manner; they shame her before the world. They seek acceptance among folks who are members of churches founded by men. They seek to reduce the church of Christ to the status of a denominational church of human origin. Christ built but one church (Matt.16:18; Eph. 4:4-5). The idea of dividing into groups that call themselves after men is clearly condemned (I Cor. 1:10-13; 3:1-6).

    While building large congregations for themselves they are undermining and harming the body of Christ. For that we fault them.

    I regret very much we have to deal with such unpleasant matters as we serve Christ as make our way to eternity. If however you read your New Testament carefully you will see that such problems existed even in the days of the apostles of Christ. We must be faithful to Christ, even if others turn away. We must not allow the confusion Satan caused to discourage us.</font>
___________________________________
* You may wish to subscribed to Christianity: Then & Now, a monthly journal edited by John Waddey. To subscribe send $6 to the Church of Christ c/o John Waddey12630 W. Foxfire Dr. Sun City West, AZ 85375

* For a bound volume containing 104 of these Lessons to Fortify Your Faith, send $7.50 to the address above.

___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
Last edited by Donnie.Cruz on October 15th, 2006, 7:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

October 2nd, 2006, 7:56 am #2

<font face=courier>-----Original Message-----
From: [[url=mailto:fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com]fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com[/url]] On Behalf Of john.waddey
Sent: Monday, September 25, 2006 11:25 AM
To: fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [fortify_your_faith] A Lesson to Fortify Your Faith - 08/26/06</font>

PREACHING CHRIST IN A DAY OF CHANGE

Dear Christian Brother or Sister:

Today's lesson addresses a common call of the promoters of change, "We just need to preach Christ and not dwell on doctrine, etc." The article below answers this proposal and shows from scripture what it really means to preach Christ. We hope you will share this lesson with others. Forward it to Christians in your email address book. Print it out and make copies to share with friend where you worship. Together we can keep the church on the straitened and narrow way of truth.

John Waddey

___________________________________

  • <font size=4> PREACHING CHRIST IN A DAY OF CHANGE
    </font>


    <font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman> Paul was determined to know nothing among the Corinthians save Jesus Christ and him crucified (I Cor. 2:2). Ignorant of the true meaning of these words, some folks insist that teaching that goes beyond the life and words of Jesus, as revealed in the four gospels, is non-productive, even divisive.

    Our change agents are openly critical of the gospel preaching of past generations and of contemporary preachers who emphasize the church and the doctrine of Christ in their preaching. Their proposal is that "we just need to preach Christ" and cease dwelling on the church and doctrine. They reason that we are not divided about Christ, but about doctrine. To some, their plea sounds thoroughly biblical and reasonable. When we compare what they mean by "just preaching Christ" with what the apostles did we see a stark contrast.
    • Peter preached Christ to the people of Jerusalem, but also taught them to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of their sins, that they might receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).
    • Later, Peter and John preached Christ to the rulers of the Jewish community but stressed the necessity of obedience (Acts 5:30-32).
    • Philip preached Christ to the folks of Samaria, but he also preached "the kingdom of God" (Acts 8:12). He preached Christ to the nobleman from Ethiopia and persuaded him to request baptism (Acts 8:35).
    • When Paul preached to Sergius Paulus, he took time to rebuke the evil sorcerer, Elymas who opposed them (Acts 13:7-12).
    • In Lystra, Paul and Barnabas preached Christ but they also appointed for them elders in every church (Acts 14:21-23).
    • In Athens, Paul preached Christ but he first preached about God as creator and provider of man's needs (Acts 17:22-31).
    • In Ephesus Paul preached Christ to a small group who were disciples of John the Baptist, but he led them to be properly baptized in the name of Jesus (Acts 19:1-7).
    • Wherever Paul preached, he did not shrink from declaring the whole counsel of God and anything profitable for his hearers (Acts 20:20,27). He warned Christians of the danger of false teachers who would arise among them (Acts 20:28-31).
    • In their literary teaching, Paul and the other inspired writers taught about Christ and every other important aspect of Christianity and Christian living.
    What is the conclusion we should draw from these examples? Yes, we must above all else preach Christ! But as we do so, we must also preach the many other aspects of the faith. To fail to do so is to be unfaithful to our trust. To serve Christ faithfully, we must teach disciples "to observe all things whatsoever (he) commanded" (Matt. 28:20). This being the case, we reject as contrary to God's will, the sweet sounding proposal of the promoters of change that we just preach Jesus. Like poison coated in candy, the idea of "just preaching Jesus" and not dealing with the church and doctrine, can only do great harm to the body of Christ. It serves the devious purposes of the change agents, for their goals are more easily reached among brethren who know only Jesus, but nothing of his church and the doctrine he ordained for her.</font>
___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
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Nadab
Nadab

October 4th, 2006, 5:22 am #3

I can't begin to count the lies and inaccuracies in the first article (though I will, if you really care to read it.) I will however, briefly address the second article.

#1- The reason change agents reject SOME of the preaching of the past, is because a lot of it is legalistic, untrue, and contrary to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. That preaching from the past that isn't, is valued.

#2- Waddey obviously doesn't know what it means to preach Jesus. All the "proof texts" he gave demonstrate just that. To say we don't just need to preach Jesus goes against the words of... Jesus.
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

October 4th, 2006, 8:18 am #4

<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Nadab,

It is never good enough to make promises or blab without following up or providing evidence. Yes, of course, we are certainly interested in your addressing the first article. Does your count of “lies and inaccuracies” amount to how many—and let’s just approximate as you may not have the time to count—two … fifty … four hundred? Can you at least list a few and “briefly” refute … I mean really refute—and not just say they’re lies or inaccurate?

Again, all you said about the second article was that you disagreed. You failed miserably to convince me that “a lot of [the preaching of the past] is legalistic, untrue, and contrary...” without offering an alternative solution(s) or examples to justify your claim.

We’re waiting for words of wisdom from you. Perhaps, Abihu can help Nadab?

Donnie</font>
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Ken Sublett
Ken Sublett

October 4th, 2006, 2:41 pm #5

I can't begin to count the lies and inaccuracies in the first article (though I will, if you really care to read it.) I will however, briefly address the second article.

#1- The reason change agents reject SOME of the preaching of the past, is because a lot of it is legalistic, untrue, and contrary to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. That preaching from the past that isn't, is valued.

#2- Waddey obviously doesn't know what it means to preach Jesus. All the "proof texts" he gave demonstrate just that. To say we don't just need to preach Jesus goes against the words of... Jesus.
No, NaBlab, God will never let you read BLACK text on WHITE paper as long as you mumble and grumble against his direct commands.

No, the robbing preachers just LIE and you just mumbled it:

Jesus never preached JUST JESUS: He said that His WORDS will JUDGE you. The direct command was to make disciples by teaching AND baptizing AND teaching all that He taught. That includes what He as the Holy Spirit promised to reveal to the Apostles by correcting bad examples.

Paul never said anything about preaching JUST JESUS. Didn't know that, huh? huh?

Paul said that he would KNOW a Crucified Christ: a suffering servant. You can READ the word as exampled by Jesus and directly commanded by Paul but you CANNOT preach Just Jesus year after year while EXTORTING people by preaching themselves. Now, you go back to remedial reading 101aaa and learn the difference between PREACH and KNOW.

After speaking of ROBBING others to preach to the Corinthians, Paul DEFINED what it means to KNOW a crucified Jesus Christ.
  • <font color=blue>2 Cor 11:5 For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.
    2 Cor 11:6 But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things.
    2 Cor 11:7 Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?
    2 Cor 11:8 I robbed other churches, taking wages [food ration] of them, to do you service.
    2 Cor 11:19 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise. [fools love to be fooled]
    2 Cor 11:20 For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.
    2 Cor 11:21 I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit, whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also.
    2 Cor 11:22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.
    2 Cor 11:23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
    2 Cor 11:24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
    2 Cor 11:25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
    2 Cor 11:26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
    2 Cor 11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
    2 Cor 11:28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.</font>
Now, do you know the difference between claiming to preach JUST JESUS but not knowing Jesus and therefoer lying and preaching themselves, and KNOWING a crucified Jesus by GOING out and suffering for the gospel. There is no ROLE for the DOLE of being a Located Missionary: you, in fact, are sinning and robbing them by taking the food right out of the mouth of honest workers and widows to, in the words of John Calvin, FEED THE LAZY ASSES.
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Nadab
Nadab

October 5th, 2006, 6:22 pm #6

<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Nadab,

It is never good enough to make promises or blab without following up or providing evidence. Yes, of course, we are certainly interested in your addressing the first article. Does your count of “lies and inaccuracies” amount to how many—and let’s just approximate as you may not have the time to count—two … fifty … four hundred? Can you at least list a few and “briefly” refute … I mean really refute—and not just say they’re lies or inaccurate?

Again, all you said about the second article was that you disagreed. You failed miserably to convince me that “a lot of [the preaching of the past] is legalistic, untrue, and contrary...” without offering an alternative solution(s) or examples to justify your claim.

We’re waiting for words of wisdom from you. Perhaps, Abihu can help Nadab?

Donnie</font>
You want a count? How about 14? 14 lies just in the first article. I don’t expect you give them the time of day, because of who you are, and your erroneous belief and hermeneutic, but I will address them because I have the time, and I said I would:

LIE #1
“It matters not which songs we sing so long as they are psalms, hymns and spiritual songs offered to God through Christ....sung in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). It does matter however if instead of singing praise to God, we listen to a musical presentation, whether vocal or instrumental when we assemble for worship.”

This is nothing but faulty Bible interpretation and theology. If you want a detailed explanation, read the countless threads on this site and others regarding instrumental music. Or try the Bible. It works too.


LIE #2
“It does matter, if in addition to our singing, we add instrumental music, which is something other than singing.”

This is just a repeat of LIE #1. See above.


LIE #3
“Singing in worship Christ has clearly authorized. The use of instruments he has not.”

This is just a repeat of LIE #1. See above.


LIE #4
“It matters not the method chosen to distribute the communion to the worshipers. It does matter however if we should change the day He authorized for the communion to be observed.”

Using Acts 20 is… I’ll be nice and say irresponsible, to say that we are commanded to take the Lord’s Supper on the first day of the week and the first day only. AND, in case you didn’t notice in that passage, they “broke bread” on the first AND second day of the week.


LIE#5
“His New Testament clearly shows that it was on the first day of the week that disciples assembled to break the holy bread (Acts 20:7).”

Same as LIE #5. See above.


LIE #6
“It does matter if we should try to mix the communion service with a common meal”

I Cor. 11 is addressing their attitude in eating, not WHAT they were eating.


LIE #7
“The thing that is troubling our churches is the spirit or attitude that says we can do anything we want to do in our worship.”

The thing that is troubling our churches is the spirit or attitude that says we can’t do anything, EXCEPT what legalistic blowhards say we can do. Nobody I have ever heard of, or Waddey, or you have ever heard of, has ever said, “We can do anything we want.” That’s just false.


LIE #8
“They hold this mistaken view because they do not respect the New Testament as the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2) or accept that it is a pattern for us to follow (II Tim. 1:13). “

His opinion. Not true.


LIE #9
“We are troubled by men who no longer believe the teaching of Scripture that makes baptism an essential element of the sinner's salvation. They correctly emphasize salvation by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9) but then they place baptism in the area of something one does as a demonstration of his salvation. They hint that a man can be saved even if he never gets around to baptism, because of God's grace and the man's faith. Such teaching is diametrically contrary to the plain teaching of God's Word.”

John 3, and Romans 10 for two of many.


LIE #10
“We are troubled by men who no longer believe the truth of God's Word about the nature of the Lord's church. They often speak of the church of Christ in a derogatory manner; they shame her before the world.”

This may not be so much a lie as it is hypocrisy, which I guess is in and of itself a lie. The legalists (or liberals as Max Moon so accurately calls them), are the worst in the world about degrading and insulting the Lord’s church. Don’t believe me? Read just about any thread on this site.


LIE #11
“They seek acceptance among folks who are members of churches founded by men.”

No they don’t. The CHURCH OF CHRIST is all who believe in Christ and accept Him, not those who attend a building with the name “Church of Christ” on the sign.


LIE #12
“They seek to reduce the church of Christ to the status of a denominational church of human origin.”

Similar to LIE #11, but in the context, he’s referring to buildings with “the sign” out front. The Church of Christ denomination has made itself a denomination. No one else cares if they’re a denomination or not. But they are. It’s just humorous to the rest of The Church that they keep trying to deny it.


LIE #13
“While building large congregations for themselves they are undermining and harming the body of Christ. For that we fault them.”

How do large congregations undermine and harm the body of Christ? First of all, this proves that #11 and #12 are lies, because if they aren’t “The Church of Christ”, then how can their congregations harm it?

Second of all, this is used a lot by preachers at small churches to make themselves feel better because their approach to “evangelism” and their attitudes toward other Christians actually repel people from Christ. They are the ones damaging the body.

If 2,000 people showed up at Waddey’s church, my guess is, he wouldn’t turn them away, saying, “Go away, our church is too big! It’s harming the body of Christ!” But then again, I don’t thin he’ll have that problem any time soon.


LIE #14
“We must not allow the confusion Satan caused to discourage us.”

Again, not so much a lie as hypocrisy. Any confusion Satan is causing is coming straight from those like him; the legalistic liberals.


So there you have it. You asked for it, you got it. Now, the question is, will you continue posting articles full of lies, or will you have the integrity to at least edit them, if not ban their authors. I know you are all about banning people, though you criticize other sites for it.

P.S.- If you know John Waddey personally, you might encourage him to respond to his e-mail. I would rather handle this between he and I, but he seems to be in “ignore all who disagree with me” mode. Wonder where he learned that?
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

October 8th, 2006, 2:07 pm #7

<font face=courier>-----Original Message-----
From: fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com [[url=mailto:fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com]fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com[/url]] On Behalf Of john.waddey
Sent: Sunday, August 27, 2006 12:34 AM
To: fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [fortify_your_faith] A Lesson to Fortify Your Faith - 08/26/06</font>

JUST WHAT ARE THE CHANGE AGENTS DOING THAT IS SO WRONG?

Dear Christian Reader:

Christ and the apostles taught that false teachers would arise, troubling the church and drawing away disciples after them. The change movement, now troubling churches of Christ around the world, is of this very nature. These weekly lessons are sent forth to help inoculate our brethren against the smooth and fair speech of the change agents. You can help by sharing these lessons with fellow-Christians in your email address book. Together we can accomplish much good.

John Waddey
  • <font size=4>JUST WHAT ARE THE CHANGE AGENTS DOING THAT IS SO WRONG?</font>

    <font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Dear Bro. Waddey: I love God and want to be like Jesus. I love Jesus' church and want to do the will of God in all things. I believe in the inerrancy of the holy Scripture and think that spiritual and moral truth is knowable and is intended for my life. What I don't understand is why there is so much turmoil. Is it mostly about ways to worship? I cannot find a biblical reason for arguing over which songs to sing or for specific teaching methods. I cannot ague over the number of cups to use in communion or whether the cups are passed to me or if I walk to the cup. I have searched and read and prayed about this. I have been talking to friends who feel the same way. Can you tell me exactly what the problems are? Does everyone else know what problems you are talking about but me? Katie

    Dear Katie: God bless you for your love for his Son, his Church and his Word. We are in agreement on the things you mentioned. Yes, there are some who are protesting over the trivial, insignificant things you mentioned, but I do not.

    It matters not which songs we sing so long as they are psalms, hymns and spiritual songs offered to God through Christ....sung in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). It does matter however if instead of singing praise to God, we listen to a musical presentation, whether vocal or instrumental when we assemble for worship. When we are to sing we are to speak one to another with the words we sing (Eph. 5:19). It does matter, if in addition to our singing, we add instrumental music, which is something other than singing. Singing in worship Christ has clearly authorized. The use of instruments he has not. We are to do that which he has commanded us to do (Matt. 28:20).

    It matters not the method chosen to distribute the communion to the worshipers. It does matter however if we should change the day He authorized for the communion to be observed. His New Testament clearly shows that it was on the first day of the week that disciples assembled to break the holy bread (Acts 20:7). It does matter if we should try to mix the communion service with a common meal (I Cor. 11:20-22).

    The thing that is troubling our churches is the spirit or attitude that says we can do anything we want to do in our worship. They hold this mistaken view because they do not respect the New Testament as the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2) or accept that it is a pattern for us to follow (II Tim. 1:13).

    We are troubled by men who no longer believe the teaching of Scripture that makes baptism an essential element of the sinner's salvation. They correctly emphasize salvation by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9) but then they place baptism in the area of something one does as a demonstration of his salvation. They hint that a man can be saved even if he never gets around to baptism, because of God's grace and the man's faith. Such teaching is diametrically contrary to the plain teaching of God's Word. "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mk. 16:16); "Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins" (Acts 22:16).

    We are troubled by men who no longer believe the truth of God's Word about the nature of the Lord's church. They often speak of the church of Christ in a derogatory manner; they shame her before the world. They seek acceptance among folks who are members of churches founded by men. They seek to reduce the church of Christ to the status of a denominational church of human origin. Christ built but one church (Matt.16:18; Eph. 4:4-5). The idea of dividing into groups that call themselves after men is clearly condemned (I Cor. 1:10-13; 3:1-6).

    While building large congregations for themselves they are undermining and harming the body of Christ. For that we fault them.

    I regret very much we have to deal with such unpleasant matters as we serve Christ as make our way to eternity. If however you read your New Testament carefully you will see that such problems existed even in the days of the apostles of Christ. We must be faithful to Christ, even if others turn away. We must not allow the confusion Satan caused to discourage us.</font>
___________________________________
* You may wish to subscribed to Christianity: Then & Now, a monthly journal edited by John Waddey. To subscribe send $6 to the Church of Christ c/o John Waddey12630 W. Foxfire Dr. Sun City West, AZ 85375

* For a bound volume containing 104 of these Lessons to Fortify Your Faith, send $7.50 to the address above.

___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
<font face=courier>-----Original Message-----
From: [[url=mailto:fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com]fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com[/url]] On Behalf Of john.waddey
Sent: Saturday, October 07, 2006 5:13 PM
To: fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [fortify_your_faith] A Lesson to Fortify Your Faith - 10/07/06</font>

LET THE CHURCH FULFILL HER ASSIGNMENTS

Dear Christian Friends:

Today's lesson deals with the mission Christ assigned to his church. It pleads with brethren to allow the church to do her assigned tasks rather than creating their own organizations to do them. If you find the lesson helpful I encourage you to share it with others.

John Waddey

___________________________________


<font size=4> LET THE CHURCH FULFILL HER ASSIGNMENTS </font>


<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>When the founder and head of the church ascended to his throne, he left written instructions for his people (Matt. 28:20). First he designed that in each community his disciples organize themselves into congregations (Matt. 18:20; Acts 2:41-47). Each of these congregations would have elders and deacons to lead them in their work (Acts. 14:26; Phil. 1:1). Collectively all the churches made up the universal kingdom of Christ (Rom. 16:16; Matt. 16:18).

To his church, Christ assigned some duties fundamental to her mission and expansion. First, among these is to teach his message and recruit new disciples (Matt. 28:19-20). Secondly, she is to educate, nurture and shepherd his disciples so they will grow up in all things unto Christ (Matt. 28:20; Eph. 4:15), become functional, dedicated disciples and be faithful unto death (Rev. 2:10). Third, she is to minister to the poor and suffering of humanity in the name of the Lord (Jas. 1:27; Gal. 6:10). All of these duties are incumbent on the individual Christian as well as the congregation. The universal church cannot fulfill these requisite duties save through the individuals and congregations that compose it.

There is a wide-spread tendency among men to doubt the ability of the church to fulfill the tasks assigned to her. Hence men are ever inclined to create other organizations to do the work of the church.
  • Some are convinced the church can't do the job, others that congregations won't do it.
  • Some sincerely believe they have a better way, method or organization to do the work than through the church.
  • Some want the recognition, honor, glory and income that derive from creating and, directing an organization that does the work God wants done.
  • Some look at the business world and other religious bodies and admire their bigness, their great resources and success and long to duplicate that in the service of God. So they set about to plan and organize a business to do some particular task assigned to the church.
We freely concede that these folks have no evil intentions of harming the Lord's church. But in greater or lesser degrees they do so by robbing her of the duty and responsibility laid upon her by her creator. We do not dispute that they do some good through their efforts, perhaps much good. No doubt many folks are blessed by their labors, but we restate the ancient maxim, that the end does not necessarily justify the means. Such thinking is flawed on several counts.
  • It assumes the church is incapable of doing that which God assigned her to do.
  • It assumes that man's plans are better than God's (Is. 55:8-9).
  • It assumes that which is done on a grand, universal scale is better than that which is done in smaller, incremental units.
  • It assumes the ways of business and industry are superior to the simple ways set forth in Scripture.
  • It assumes the recognition and applause of the world for their large-scale undertakings justifies their projects.
  • It overlooks the fact that when we create that which is huge and commands large resources, worldly men are motivated to compete for control of it, and when they get control, they quickly corrupt it.
  • Such humanly designed projects often lead their promoters to view the church, less as the kingdom and body of Christ and more as a cash cow to finance their projects.
  • Our history demonstrates that promoters, ever desiring and seeking for bigger things, conclude the church cannot adequately provide the needed funds and thus they extend their appeal to non-Christians and other religious bodies. To gain their support they find it necessary to adjust their message and practices to please these worldly sources of revenue. In so doing they lose their Christian identity and become just another Protestant eleemosynary organization. Doing good, but no longer as the outreach of Christ's true church.
We appeal to members of the church of Christ to let the church do the work God assigned to her. She is fully capable. Let the glory of meeting the needs be hers. Believe that God's simple way is always better in the long run than our vast business projects. "Unto him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations..." (Eph. 3:20).</font>

___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

October 15th, 2006, 7:04 am #8

<font face=courier>-----Original Message-----
From: fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com [[url=mailto:fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com]fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com[/url]] On Behalf Of john.waddey
Sent: Sunday, August 27, 2006 12:34 AM
To: fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [fortify_your_faith] A Lesson to Fortify Your Faith - 08/26/06</font>

JUST WHAT ARE THE CHANGE AGENTS DOING THAT IS SO WRONG?

Dear Christian Reader:

Christ and the apostles taught that false teachers would arise, troubling the church and drawing away disciples after them. The change movement, now troubling churches of Christ around the world, is of this very nature. These weekly lessons are sent forth to help inoculate our brethren against the smooth and fair speech of the change agents. You can help by sharing these lessons with fellow-Christians in your email address book. Together we can accomplish much good.

John Waddey
  • <font size=4>JUST WHAT ARE THE CHANGE AGENTS DOING THAT IS SO WRONG?</font>

    <font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Dear Bro. Waddey: I love God and want to be like Jesus. I love Jesus' church and want to do the will of God in all things. I believe in the inerrancy of the holy Scripture and think that spiritual and moral truth is knowable and is intended for my life. What I don't understand is why there is so much turmoil. Is it mostly about ways to worship? I cannot find a biblical reason for arguing over which songs to sing or for specific teaching methods. I cannot ague over the number of cups to use in communion or whether the cups are passed to me or if I walk to the cup. I have searched and read and prayed about this. I have been talking to friends who feel the same way. Can you tell me exactly what the problems are? Does everyone else know what problems you are talking about but me? Katie

    Dear Katie: God bless you for your love for his Son, his Church and his Word. We are in agreement on the things you mentioned. Yes, there are some who are protesting over the trivial, insignificant things you mentioned, but I do not.

    It matters not which songs we sing so long as they are psalms, hymns and spiritual songs offered to God through Christ....sung in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). It does matter however if instead of singing praise to God, we listen to a musical presentation, whether vocal or instrumental when we assemble for worship. When we are to sing we are to speak one to another with the words we sing (Eph. 5:19). It does matter, if in addition to our singing, we add instrumental music, which is something other than singing. Singing in worship Christ has clearly authorized. The use of instruments he has not. We are to do that which he has commanded us to do (Matt. 28:20).

    It matters not the method chosen to distribute the communion to the worshipers. It does matter however if we should change the day He authorized for the communion to be observed. His New Testament clearly shows that it was on the first day of the week that disciples assembled to break the holy bread (Acts 20:7). It does matter if we should try to mix the communion service with a common meal (I Cor. 11:20-22).

    The thing that is troubling our churches is the spirit or attitude that says we can do anything we want to do in our worship. They hold this mistaken view because they do not respect the New Testament as the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2) or accept that it is a pattern for us to follow (II Tim. 1:13).

    We are troubled by men who no longer believe the teaching of Scripture that makes baptism an essential element of the sinner's salvation. They correctly emphasize salvation by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9) but then they place baptism in the area of something one does as a demonstration of his salvation. They hint that a man can be saved even if he never gets around to baptism, because of God's grace and the man's faith. Such teaching is diametrically contrary to the plain teaching of God's Word. "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mk. 16:16); "Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins" (Acts 22:16).

    We are troubled by men who no longer believe the truth of God's Word about the nature of the Lord's church. They often speak of the church of Christ in a derogatory manner; they shame her before the world. They seek acceptance among folks who are members of churches founded by men. They seek to reduce the church of Christ to the status of a denominational church of human origin. Christ built but one church (Matt.16:18; Eph. 4:4-5). The idea of dividing into groups that call themselves after men is clearly condemned (I Cor. 1:10-13; 3:1-6).

    While building large congregations for themselves they are undermining and harming the body of Christ. For that we fault them.

    I regret very much we have to deal with such unpleasant matters as we serve Christ as make our way to eternity. If however you read your New Testament carefully you will see that such problems existed even in the days of the apostles of Christ. We must be faithful to Christ, even if others turn away. We must not allow the confusion Satan caused to discourage us.</font>
___________________________________
* You may wish to subscribed to Christianity: Then & Now, a monthly journal edited by John Waddey. To subscribe send $6 to the Church of Christ c/o John Waddey12630 W. Foxfire Dr. Sun City West, AZ 85375

* For a bound volume containing 104 of these Lessons to Fortify Your Faith, send $7.50 to the address above.

___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
<font face=courier>-----Original Message-----
From: [[url=mailto:fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com]fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com[/url]] On Behalf Of john.waddey
Sent: Saturday, October 14, 2006 2:11 PM
To: fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [fortify_your_faith] A Lesson to Fortify Your Faith - 10/14/06</font>

CONFUSED TEACHERS

Dear Fellow-Christians:

Today's lesson focuses on the confusion we observe in the ranks of those preachers who are seeking to change the church. Some confusion is harmless but some is extremely dangerous. These confused teachers put not only themselves, but others at risk. If you find this lesson helpful, we encourage you to share it with others.

John Waddey

___________________________________


<font size=4> CONFUSED TEACHERS
</font>


<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>In his day, Paul had to deal with brethren who were desiring to be teachers of the law, though they understood neither what they said, nor whereof they confidently affirmed (I Tim. 1:7). Today we must deal with our change agents who are suffering from the same spiritual infirmity.
  • They confuse the abrogation of the law of Moses with the abrogation of all law, including that of Christ (Rom. 10:4; 8:2).
  • They confuse Christ's true church with Catholicism and other denomination bodies. They often speak of them as one and the same.
  • They confuse God's salvation by grace (Eph. 2:8-9) with denominationalism's salvation by grace only.
  • They confuse God's expectation that men respond to Christ by obedient faith (Gal. 5:6) with the Protestant doctrine of faith only (Jas. 2:24).
  • They confuse women being authorized to teach women and children (Tit. 2:3-4) with the Pentecostal practice or them teaching and having authority over men (I Tim. 2:11-12).
  • They are confused about the difference in the Old and New Covenants. They do not understanding that Christians are under the authority of Christ, hence under his covenant (Matt. 28:18, 20; Heb. 8:6-8).
  • They are confused about the praise worship of the church. They think "sing" means play. They think speaking to one another means a soloist singing while others listen. They think they are making melody in your heart means playing a guitar or an organ. They think teaching and admonishing one another means entertaining one another (Eph. 5:19-20).
  • They are confused about the Lord's Supper. They think Paul really meant have a fellowship meal for the belly along with, instead of a sacred memorial to Christ's death (I Cor. 11:20-22; 11:23-27).
  • They think "one baptism" (Eph. 4:5) really means other kinds of baptism are acceptable to God.
  • They are confused about the relation of Christian schools and the church. Schools are the creations of men. The church was created by Christ. Schools were founded to serve the Lord's church, not to be her guardians, directors, and the overseers. The church does not exist to serve the schools.
  • They confuse worldly scholarship with true knowledge of God's word
    (I Cor. 1:21). They put too high a premium on the wisdom of men, emanating from denominational seminaries and secular schools, which is often contrary to God's truth.
Such teachers are not only confused, they are confusing others. Herbert Spenser wisely observed, "When a man's knowledge is not in order, the more of it he has, the greater will be his confusion." When one observes the confused thinking and teaching of our agents of change, the words of Shakespeare come to mind, "Confusion now hath made his masterpiece!" Wise Christians will always keep in mind that "God is not the author of confusion" (I Cor. 14:33).</font>

___________________________________

Permission is granted to individuals and congregations to reproduce and distribute any of the lessons in these weekly mailings.

Sacred Principles on Which We Stand would make an excellent book for a Bible class or study group. It contains 52 full length lessons, with discussion questions, on the fundamentals of the faith, many of which are now under fire. Order a gift copy for your minister or family members. Order your copy for $10. Make your check to the Church of Christ and mail to John Waddey, 12630 W. Foxfire Dr. Sun City West AZ 85375. This and other books are available also at

http://www.johnwaddey.net/books.html

___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

January 18th, 2007, 7:34 am #9

<font face=courier>-----Original Message-----
From: fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com [[url=mailto:fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com]fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com[/url]] On Behalf Of john.waddey
Sent: Sunday, August 27, 2006 12:34 AM
To: fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [fortify_your_faith] A Lesson to Fortify Your Faith - 08/26/06</font>

JUST WHAT ARE THE CHANGE AGENTS DOING THAT IS SO WRONG?

Dear Christian Reader:

Christ and the apostles taught that false teachers would arise, troubling the church and drawing away disciples after them. The change movement, now troubling churches of Christ around the world, is of this very nature. These weekly lessons are sent forth to help inoculate our brethren against the smooth and fair speech of the change agents. You can help by sharing these lessons with fellow-Christians in your email address book. Together we can accomplish much good.

John Waddey
  • <font size=4>JUST WHAT ARE THE CHANGE AGENTS DOING THAT IS SO WRONG?</font>

    <font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Dear Bro. Waddey: I love God and want to be like Jesus. I love Jesus' church and want to do the will of God in all things. I believe in the inerrancy of the holy Scripture and think that spiritual and moral truth is knowable and is intended for my life. What I don't understand is why there is so much turmoil. Is it mostly about ways to worship? I cannot find a biblical reason for arguing over which songs to sing or for specific teaching methods. I cannot ague over the number of cups to use in communion or whether the cups are passed to me or if I walk to the cup. I have searched and read and prayed about this. I have been talking to friends who feel the same way. Can you tell me exactly what the problems are? Does everyone else know what problems you are talking about but me? Katie

    Dear Katie: God bless you for your love for his Son, his Church and his Word. We are in agreement on the things you mentioned. Yes, there are some who are protesting over the trivial, insignificant things you mentioned, but I do not.

    It matters not which songs we sing so long as they are psalms, hymns and spiritual songs offered to God through Christ....sung in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). It does matter however if instead of singing praise to God, we listen to a musical presentation, whether vocal or instrumental when we assemble for worship. When we are to sing we are to speak one to another with the words we sing (Eph. 5:19). It does matter, if in addition to our singing, we add instrumental music, which is something other than singing. Singing in worship Christ has clearly authorized. The use of instruments he has not. We are to do that which he has commanded us to do (Matt. 28:20).

    It matters not the method chosen to distribute the communion to the worshipers. It does matter however if we should change the day He authorized for the communion to be observed. His New Testament clearly shows that it was on the first day of the week that disciples assembled to break the holy bread (Acts 20:7). It does matter if we should try to mix the communion service with a common meal (I Cor. 11:20-22).

    The thing that is troubling our churches is the spirit or attitude that says we can do anything we want to do in our worship. They hold this mistaken view because they do not respect the New Testament as the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2) or accept that it is a pattern for us to follow (II Tim. 1:13).

    We are troubled by men who no longer believe the teaching of Scripture that makes baptism an essential element of the sinner's salvation. They correctly emphasize salvation by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9) but then they place baptism in the area of something one does as a demonstration of his salvation. They hint that a man can be saved even if he never gets around to baptism, because of God's grace and the man's faith. Such teaching is diametrically contrary to the plain teaching of God's Word. "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mk. 16:16); "Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins" (Acts 22:16).

    We are troubled by men who no longer believe the truth of God's Word about the nature of the Lord's church. They often speak of the church of Christ in a derogatory manner; they shame her before the world. They seek acceptance among folks who are members of churches founded by men. They seek to reduce the church of Christ to the status of a denominational church of human origin. Christ built but one church (Matt.16:18; Eph. 4:4-5). The idea of dividing into groups that call themselves after men is clearly condemned (I Cor. 1:10-13; 3:1-6).

    While building large congregations for themselves they are undermining and harming the body of Christ. For that we fault them.

    I regret very much we have to deal with such unpleasant matters as we serve Christ as make our way to eternity. If however you read your New Testament carefully you will see that such problems existed even in the days of the apostles of Christ. We must be faithful to Christ, even if others turn away. We must not allow the confusion Satan caused to discourage us.</font>
___________________________________
* You may wish to subscribed to Christianity: Then & Now, a monthly journal edited by John Waddey. To subscribe send $6 to the Church of Christ c/o John Waddey12630 W. Foxfire Dr. Sun City West, AZ 85375

* For a bound volume containing 104 of these Lessons to Fortify Your Faith, send $7.50 to the address above.

___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
<font face=courier>-----Original Message-----
From: fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Monday, January 15, 2007 6:45 PM
To: fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [fortify_your_faith] A Lesson to Fortify Your Faith - 1/13/07</font>

UNLESS YOU KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERYTHING IN THE BIBLE...

<font color=indigo face=arial>Dear Brethren:

Today's lesson addresses one of the tools often used by those who seek to silence all criticism of their change program. If they succeed in gagging the faithful brother they are left free to spread their new message and impose their changes on our churches. If the lesson is helpful, please pass it on to others.

John Waddey</font>

___________________________________

  • <font size=4>UNLESS YOU KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERYTHING IN THE BIBLE...</font>


    <font color=black size=3 face=times new roman>A battle is raging between those determined to change the church of Christ and those who support the traditional understanding of God's word that has guided us for generations. One of the tactics of the change agents is to boldly ask their critics, "Do you claim to perfectly understand every verse of the Bible and every aspect of Christianity?" The reason for this ad hominem attack against individuals is to silence those who would question, criticize and condemn the agenda of the promoters of change. Their illogical reasoning runs something like this:

    Since John doesn't know everything about every subject of the Bible, John is in no position to pass judgment on change agents' teaching that runs counter to what Churches of Christ have commonly believed and practiced. Some brethren with limited perception seem to be impressed with this specious argument.
    • First, no one has ever claimed that he perfectly understands every verse of the Bible. The question is loaded and is used by change agents to discredit their critics by implying that they claim perfect and complete knowledge, which all would recognize as arrogant and impossible. It is designed to discredit by creating prejudice against their objectors.
    • Second, it is a fallacy to say that since a person cannot claim to know and understand everything about the Bible and its teaching therefore he cannot pass judgement on some things which are clearly and easily understood. It is a hasty generalization. It's like saying that since John cannot know everything about all birds therefore he cannot be sure a redheaded woodpecker is not a water fowl. But John may have done extensive research on redheaded woodpeckers and thus can be certain in his conclusions about that particular bird.
    • Third, this approach is faulty because it proves more than its proponent is willing to concede. Since Richard does not know everything about the Bible, his logic would imply that he cannot know for certain that Jesus was born of a virgin or raised from the dead. Yet Richard insists he believes these two points. If the question proves that John cannot challenge Richard's views on worship, then it would also mean that Richard could not question the man who denies the virgin birth and resurrection of Jesus.
    • Fourth, it is self-contradictory to say that since John does not know everything about every Bible subject, therefore he is not qualified to question the possibility of error in Richard's teaching. But since Richard does not know everything about every Bible subject, Richard cannot question John's points made in opposition to his beliefs and practices.
    • Fifth, this line of reasoning is a "red-herring." A red herring is a question, denial or assertion whose purpose is to divert attention from the real issue at hand and thus escape having to deal with and answer difficult or embarrassing questions. Change agents are determined to change the faith, worship and practices of churches of Christ. Knowing full well that such presumptuous actions would not be well-received, if perceived by the average member, they seek to divert the attention of folks to other matters. Thus they can continue their malicious activities without interruption. When John questions Richard about his "new or strange" teaching, Richard responds by demanding, "John, do you claim to know and understand everything about the Bible and worship? While John pauses to deny that he much such a ridiculous claim, Richard slyly diverts the discussion to other matters. The average person might never realized what Richard has done!
    • Sixth, the conclusion that since John does not know every thing about everything in the Bible therefore he is in no position to pass judgment on the change agents is a non sequitur. This means the conclusion does not necessary follow from the premises advanced. That I cannot and do not know and understand everything about the state of the dead does not imply nor prove that I cannot therefore know what is essential for man's salvation. Little is said in the Bible about the state of the dead, but much is said about the requirements for man's salvation. On the former subject I can only offer tentative conclusions. On the latter I can cite numerous verses that prove my point.
    • Seventh, this approach is often described as building, attacking and defeating a straw man. When a controversialist cannot successfully meet and answer the arguments of his opponent, he may be tempted to paint an unreal picture of his opponent's position and then proceed to attack and destroy the false picture. In this case the change agent falsely depicts all his opponents as arrogant men who claim to know everything about the Bible. He may attempt to portray them as unlearned and ignorant men who are unqualified to discuss the matter and thus unworthy of a hearing.
    Paul warns, of vain talkers and deceivers...whose mouths must be stopped (Tit. 1:10). Let no man deceive you.

    John Waddey</font>
    ___________________________________
You may order four years of these lessons, in book form. Lessons to Fortify Your Faith ($7.50) and More Lessons to Fortify Your Faith ($8.00). Make your check to Church of Christ and send to John Waddey, 12630 W. Foxfire Dr. Sun City West, AZ 85375
___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

January 28th, 2007, 6:31 pm #10

<font face=courier>-----Original Message-----
From: fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com [[url=mailto:fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com]fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com[/url]] On Behalf Of john.waddey
Sent: Sunday, August 27, 2006 12:34 AM
To: fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [fortify_your_faith] A Lesson to Fortify Your Faith - 08/26/06</font>

JUST WHAT ARE THE CHANGE AGENTS DOING THAT IS SO WRONG?

Dear Christian Reader:

Christ and the apostles taught that false teachers would arise, troubling the church and drawing away disciples after them. The change movement, now troubling churches of Christ around the world, is of this very nature. These weekly lessons are sent forth to help inoculate our brethren against the smooth and fair speech of the change agents. You can help by sharing these lessons with fellow-Christians in your email address book. Together we can accomplish much good.

John Waddey
  • <font size=4>JUST WHAT ARE THE CHANGE AGENTS DOING THAT IS SO WRONG?</font>

    <font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Dear Bro. Waddey: I love God and want to be like Jesus. I love Jesus' church and want to do the will of God in all things. I believe in the inerrancy of the holy Scripture and think that spiritual and moral truth is knowable and is intended for my life. What I don't understand is why there is so much turmoil. Is it mostly about ways to worship? I cannot find a biblical reason for arguing over which songs to sing or for specific teaching methods. I cannot ague over the number of cups to use in communion or whether the cups are passed to me or if I walk to the cup. I have searched and read and prayed about this. I have been talking to friends who feel the same way. Can you tell me exactly what the problems are? Does everyone else know what problems you are talking about but me? Katie

    Dear Katie: God bless you for your love for his Son, his Church and his Word. We are in agreement on the things you mentioned. Yes, there are some who are protesting over the trivial, insignificant things you mentioned, but I do not.

    It matters not which songs we sing so long as they are psalms, hymns and spiritual songs offered to God through Christ....sung in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). It does matter however if instead of singing praise to God, we listen to a musical presentation, whether vocal or instrumental when we assemble for worship. When we are to sing we are to speak one to another with the words we sing (Eph. 5:19). It does matter, if in addition to our singing, we add instrumental music, which is something other than singing. Singing in worship Christ has clearly authorized. The use of instruments he has not. We are to do that which he has commanded us to do (Matt. 28:20).

    It matters not the method chosen to distribute the communion to the worshipers. It does matter however if we should change the day He authorized for the communion to be observed. His New Testament clearly shows that it was on the first day of the week that disciples assembled to break the holy bread (Acts 20:7). It does matter if we should try to mix the communion service with a common meal (I Cor. 11:20-22).

    The thing that is troubling our churches is the spirit or attitude that says we can do anything we want to do in our worship. They hold this mistaken view because they do not respect the New Testament as the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2) or accept that it is a pattern for us to follow (II Tim. 1:13).

    We are troubled by men who no longer believe the teaching of Scripture that makes baptism an essential element of the sinner's salvation. They correctly emphasize salvation by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9) but then they place baptism in the area of something one does as a demonstration of his salvation. They hint that a man can be saved even if he never gets around to baptism, because of God's grace and the man's faith. Such teaching is diametrically contrary to the plain teaching of God's Word. "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mk. 16:16); "Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins" (Acts 22:16).

    We are troubled by men who no longer believe the truth of God's Word about the nature of the Lord's church. They often speak of the church of Christ in a derogatory manner; they shame her before the world. They seek acceptance among folks who are members of churches founded by men. They seek to reduce the church of Christ to the status of a denominational church of human origin. Christ built but one church (Matt.16:18; Eph. 4:4-5). The idea of dividing into groups that call themselves after men is clearly condemned (I Cor. 1:10-13; 3:1-6).

    While building large congregations for themselves they are undermining and harming the body of Christ. For that we fault them.

    I regret very much we have to deal with such unpleasant matters as we serve Christ as make our way to eternity. If however you read your New Testament carefully you will see that such problems existed even in the days of the apostles of Christ. We must be faithful to Christ, even if others turn away. We must not allow the confusion Satan caused to discourage us.</font>
___________________________________
* You may wish to subscribed to Christianity: Then & Now, a monthly journal edited by John Waddey. To subscribe send $6 to the Church of Christ c/o John Waddey12630 W. Foxfire Dr. Sun City West, AZ 85375

* For a bound volume containing 104 of these Lessons to Fortify Your Faith, send $7.50 to the address above.

___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
Jesus said, "Ye are my friends, if ye do the things which I command you" (John 15:13). What if the disciple of Christ does not wish to do His will? Is he still His friend? Consider the following cases and decide if the persons described are friends of the Master.

* What of the man who reads that baptism is a command (Acts 10:48); that it is "for remission of sins" (Acts 2:38); but he does not accept that? He preaches that one receives salvation solely by faith (Jas. 2:24). Is he Christ's friend?

* What of the man who reads that we are to obey all things whatsoever Christ commanded (Matt. 28:20); that only those who do the will of the Father will be saved (Matt. 7:21); yet he rejects such an idea and insists that there are no commands to be obeyed in order to please God? He prefers to teach that we need only love God and our neighbor to please Him. Is he Christ's friend?

* What of the man who reads that Christ died for, purchased, established and saves His church (Acts 20:7; Matt. 16:18; Eph. 5:23); yet he cannot accept that Christ's one true church exists today, so he teaches that all the different churches men have created are of equal value? Is he Christ's friend?

* What about the man who reads Christ's prayer that all His disciples be one (John 17:20-21) and that there "be no division among" His people (I Cor. 1:10); yet he argues that God accepts and blesses all kinds of denominational bodies regardless of their divisiveness? Is he Jesus' friend?

* What of the man who reads that women are to keep silent in the church (I Cor. 14:33-34); that they are not permitted to teach or have authority over men (I Tim. 2:11-12); yet he is more impressed with the demands of feminists? He teaches that these verses do not mean what they say; that really they authorize women to teach and have authority over men. Is he the Master's friend?

* What of the brother who reads Paul's exhortation to speak to one another in songs, hymns and spiritual songs, to sing and make melody in our hearts unto God (Eph. 5:19), but concludes that it really means that a soloist or choir can do the speaking; that singing and making melody with the heart really means playing a mechanical instrument? He substitutes the kind of music he prefers for that which Christ's Word specifies. Is he the Lord's friend?

* What about the man who reads the warning not to add to or take from Christ's word (Rev. 22:18-19), and yet he feels no obligation to obey that? He changes anything in the Savior's religion that does not suit his taste, that is not in step with modern culture. Is he a friend of Jesus?

Such disciples may talk much about being friends of Jesus. They may sing the old hymn by that name, but since they refuse to keep His commandments, to do what He says, they demonstrate that they are not true friends to our King.

John Waddey

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