By Johnie Edwards
Too many want to be like the sectarian churches around them. They are afraid they will offend some by preaching the truth. Without compromise, we must “preach the word” (2 Tim. 4:2). There are some things which are nothing more than “smacks of sectarianism”:
1. Offering Thanks For the Contribution: There is an example of offering thanks for the Lord’s supper when Jesus “blessed” the bread and “gave thanks” for the cup (Matt. 26:26-27). But I do not recall anything said about giving thanks when the command was given for “laying by in store” (1 Cor. 16:1-2). Do you? The only example of one praying along this line was that of the Pharisee who prayed, “I thank thee that I give tithes of all that I possess” (Luke 18:12). We can give thanks for all things, but this practice came from the sectarians who begged for money at every service and introduced prayer to get more and more from the people. Such binding prayers are but smacks of sectarianism.
2. Silent Public Prayers: The practice of “silent prayers” was first witnessed with denominational revivals. Jesus said that prayers that were being prayed to be seen were to be done “in a closet” (Matt. 6:5). Prayer is to be “with the spirit and understanding” (1 Cor. 14:15). The Bible knows nothing about public silent praying.
3. Hand-Clapping During Worship: Human churches practice hand clapping when the preacher says something they like or the music is good. Whenever such is done among our brethren, they have borrowed it from the denominations. There is no authority in the Bible for such being done. Did anyone lead a cheer when Peter’s sermon was being preached on Pentecost? I do read concerning the sermon, “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter, and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). No hand-clapping!
We must quit trying to be like the denominations around us and just let the church be the church as planned and purposed by God (Eph. 3:10-11).
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