Departing from the Faith
C. D. Plum
Parkersburg, W. Virginia
The Church of Christ Is the Oldest. It was established in Jerusalem in A.D. 33. Jesus was prophesied to be its builder. (Ps. 127: 1). Jesus promised he would live up to this prophecy. (Matt. 16:18). And Jesus did live up to this prophecy and promise. (Heb. 8: 2). Since the Church of Rome, being completely established in A.D. 606 with Bonifice the third as first Pope, so appointed by Emperor Phocus it is the nearest rival in point of time to the Church of Christ. But the Church of Christ is five hundred and seventy-three years older than this Catholic Church.
Alexander Campbell did not establish the Church of Christ. Campbell was born Sept. 12, 1788. Thus we see the Church of Christ was 1755 years old when Campbell was born.
The Holy Spirit predicted a departure from the faith of the Lord's church. (I Tim. 4: 1-3). They did not all depart, just "some" of them. We shall briefly name some of the departures, and some of the Scriptures that condemn these departures.
1. Adding instrumental music to the worship of the church is one of the early departures. The early practice was to sing. (Matt. 26:30; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Heb. 2:12)
2. Adding missionary societies in the work came later. And whether that society is called the U.C.M.S. (United Christian Missionary Society) or H.O.T. (Herald of Truth) matters not at all. Both are wrong. The Lord's church is to do its own missionary work. (Phil. 4:15-17). And it is to do it direct, as the church at Philippi sent direct to Paul at Thessalonica. Paul said, "What you have seen in me do, and the God of peace shall be with you." (Phil. 4:9). Adding a society to the work of the church is an equal sin to adding instrumental music to the worship of the church. If not, why not? Do we have to toe the line in worship, but are at liberty to do as we please in work? Even the blind can see by hearing this question.
3. Adding Benevolent Societies to the work of the church, in caring for the needy, is likewise a departure from the faith. There were no Old People's Homes, or Orphan Homes through which the church was to work to care for the needy. God did not organize such. God did not authorize such. And God does not recognize such as institution8 through which the church is to work, to care for the needy that qualify for Church help. Jesus said to John concerning his mother. "Son, behold thy mother." From that very hour John took Jesus' mother into his own house. He did not send her away to some Old People's home.
Christians May Depart From The Faith In Other Ways
1. They may depart from the faith in neglecting to faithfully attend every church service possible. (Heb. 10:25).
2. When they fail to eat the Lord's Supper regularly on the first day of every week. (Acts 20:7: 2:42)
3. When they fail to give as prospered on the first day of the week. (I Cor. 16:1-2)
4. When they refuse to sing (only) in the midst of the church. (Heb. 2:12).
5. They depart from the faith when they cease to make melody in their hearts unto the Lord. (Eph. 5:19).
6. When they leave off praying. (I Thess. 5:17).
7. When they depart from living "soberly, righteously, and godly" in this present world.
Don't Be Afraid Of Being Called An Alarmist
Let Brother William Wallace calm your' fears along this line. He' wrote in the Kentucky Bible Banner in April, 1958 (Vol. 1, Number 9, page 4) a good article on the subject: "Conservative or Liberal Ascendancy"? The interesting paragraph reads: "The prophets of Old Testament times appeared to the Jewish commonwealth as conservative thinkers. The same spirit of the prophets, and of John the Baptist, and yes, of Christ, has a difficult road to travel in this era-in the church. Were the prophets of old, John the Baptist, or even the Christ, to appear in disguise in this age, they would immediately be castigated by liberals as anti's ALARMISTS and legalists." Thank you, Brother William E. Wallace. I think I shall quit worrying as long as I am in that kind of company.
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XV: 40, pp. 11-12