By Earl Robertson
Christ built His church (Psa. 127:1; Matt. 16:18). There was divine aim or. purpose for the church (1 Tim. 3:15). The church of Christ is the body of Christ (Eph. 1:22, 23). Christ is the only head of His church (Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:22). Whatsoever, therefore, the church might do it must have authority from the head to act. Christ has a work for it to perform and that work it must do.
The work of ministry and edification are the works perfected saints perform (Eph. 4:12). Claptrap and gimmicks are carnal and are engaged by the worldly minded. Human efforts utilizing cheap gimmicks supported by churches is a “drift” from the divine way, and the apostates responsible will inevitably face the Lord for their presumption.
In late 1942, Brother N. B. Hardeman, then President of Freed-Hardeman College, preached a series of sermons in the War Memorial Building in Nashville, Tennessee. Discussing the “Mission and Work of The Church,” he said, “Again, I say to you, with caution and thought, that it is not the work of the church to furnish entertainment for the members. And yet many churches have drifted into such an effort. They enlarge their basements, put in all kinds of gymnastic apparatus, and make every sort of an appeal to the young people of the congregation. I have never read anything in the Bible that indicated to me that such was a part of the work of the church. I am wholly ignorant of any Scripture that even points in that direction. Furthermore, it is not the work of the church to try to adjust labor troubles, or to supervise our social conditions.”
Hardeman spoke the truth thirty-five years ago! It is the truth today! But the efforts then were nothing as compared to what is today being done by the churches. Some churches feign to have respect for the teaching of Hardeman, but have no ethical principles that inhibits their actions in the very things he condemned as being without divine authority. Why can’t churches of Christ be satisfied to do the work today that churches of Christ did in the first century? Take your stand upon New Testament authority.
Truth Magazine XXII: 43, p. 709
November 9, 1978