By Robert Wayne La Coste
“Brother La Coste?” “Yes,” I responded. “Brother La Coste, we of the Weber Road congregation are inviting each and every member of the church that desires to attend in this area to come to our talent show to be held in our fellowship hall.” “Come again,” I replied. The voice faltered somewhat, “Uh, we are having a talent show here in our fellowship hall, and we thought you might want to attend and bring as many as desire to come with you.” I hesitated for a moment, “You want us to come where, bring who and do what?” “Well, uh, . . er, you see . . . we are going to have refreshments, judging, and even final prizes.” Complete silence for about a minute. “Brother La Coste, are you still there?” “Yes, I am still here,” I replied. “I am just curious . . . do you feel the Lord would be pleased with such activity in the name and at the expense of the church?” We here in Refugio believe in having a good time, but we don’t do it in the name of the church neither at the Lord’s expense . . . and by the way, what is a fellowship hall?” “Hello . . . are you still there?”
“Uh, err . . . well, I understand . . . goodbye.” Click.
Someone has said that a fanatic is a fellow who doubles his effort while forgetting his goal. How foolish is such a one. I thought as I hung up the phone; have these ‘brethren’ forgotten their goal or mission as the church? Are they doubling their effort in a near fanatical attempt to attract the attention of the world? Speed, dear reader, means nothing if we are going in the wrong direction! God never intended for His church to get involved in such ludicrous activity! The very idea: A church of Christ talent show! If the Lord were in the grave, He would have been resurrected or at least be turning therein. However, He lives and reigns and we do not have to guess how he feels about it! “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction, and many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” (2 Peter 2:1-2)
Mission or Function
The purpose, mission or function of the church is spiritual in nature! It has always been so and it will always be so, as far as the Lord is concerned) Peter wrote extensively about the matter when he said, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable .to God by Jesus Christ . . . ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who bath called you out of darkness into light” (1 Peter 2:5, 9). In this text, dear reader, if you were to strip away the qualifying phrases, it would read like this: “You are-that ye should.” “Ye are something (showing nature) in order that ye should do something” (showing function). An obvious question is in order here, “What is the church to do?” Have talent shows? Build “fellowship” (?) halls? (What they really mean is a recreational center . . . fellowship is not meat and drink . . . it is a relationship; see 1 John 1:3-7; Rom. 14:17.)
According to Peter, the church is to “shew forth the praises of him who bath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” Shew forth is from the greek exangello, meaning to “tell out, proclaim abroad, to publish completely.” What is the church to proclaim, publish or propagate? The praises, excellencies, the goodness, and wonderful. deeds (see other translations) of the Lord! As Paul put it, “Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). The church has other spiritual activities, but this is its main task!
Where will it all end? What will these people do next? I am afraid to even guess! What is disturbing, is that they are so spiritually ignorant and so naive, that they can not see anything wrong. with their reprobate activity! If we oppose it, we are the troublemakers and the church splitters. Very well, so be it! I’ll risk the name branding and being called “anti” for I am 200% opposed to people spitting in the face of Jesus again and crucifying Him afresh again! Their activity impeaches the wisdom of God, and brings the Lord’s church down to the lowly estate of being “just another denomination.” By the way, guess who really wore their talent show? See 1 Timothy 5:15!
Truth Magazine XXI: 38, p. 605
September 29, 1977