Connie W. Adams
It is urgent that congregations develop and maintain a good program for teaching the Bible to all age levels. Some congregations work very hard at this while others drift from quarter to quarter or year to year with no well defined goals and little attention to obtaining those goals. The primary objective in every Bible class should be the instruction of every student in the knowledge of the word of God. Methods are important but whatever they may be, they must all serve that over-riding objective.
We have just completed a three month study for teachers at Manslick Road in Louisville. Phillip Mullins and I worked together in teaching this. We had a very good interest sustained throughout the study. As a study guide we used the booklet Teaching: The Heart of the Matter by John A. Smith. It contains 13 lessons and was written by a faithful gospel preacher who has had several years experience in public school teaching. Brother Smith preaches now in Winchester, Kentucky and also teaches school there. He has also been able to make two trips to Russia where he has been allowed to teach the Bible to high school and university students. Having used this material I am glad to recommend it to any congregation wanting to improve Bible class teaching at all levels.
This booklet is only one of a growing list of useful study booklets for classes published by Guardian of Truth. Here are a few others you might consider:
Revelation: A Message From Patmos by Weldon E. Warnock Show Thyself a Man by Herschel Patton (a study of the role of men in society)
Lilies of the Field by Fay Mobley (a study of the role of women in society)
Church History by Aude McKee
Mike Willis has authored a growing list of study books for high school and adult classes. I have taught his material of Proverbs. It is excellent. He also has one on Genesis, Exodus, Ecclesiastes. We have also recently published an excellent study book: Preparing to Teach Our Neighbors by Max Tice. All of these and more can be ordered from: Edited for out-dated information
Sincere Teachers of Error
I keep hearing brethren refer to 2 Peter 2 in dealing with the question of false teachers. That passage certainly provides much help on the subject. But the impression is being left by some that a brother cannot be a false teacher unless he demonstrates the qualitities of dishonesty, and malicious misleading with which Peter so forcefully dealt. But it is not possible for a brother to use his influence to lead people astray while having pure motives? When Paul reviewed his past, including the time he persecuted Christians, he said, "I have lived in all good conscience until this day" (Acts 23:1). He also said, "I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth, which thing I also did" (Acts 26:9-11). He was sincerely wrong and the suffering this brought upon the persecuted Christians was just as severe as it would have been had he acted from malicious motives. 2 Peter 2 needs to be studied on this subject, but it is not all the word of God has to say on the subject. Motives aside, where does the teaching lead those influenced by it? What does it prompt them to do? What are the eternal consequences of putting the teaching to practical use?
While We Were Yet Sinners
It is a continuing sauce of amazement that God loved us when we were not lovely or lovable and that Christ died for us when we were yet sinners. "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8).
"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind, but now I see."
Guardian of Truth XXXVIII: 7, p. 3-4