By George W. DeHoff
There are always many problems in the Lord’s church. The perfect pattern is the New Testament. Because we me human, we sometimes fail to follow God’s plan. In traveling over the country, here are some of the recent problems I have found among the Lord’s people.
1. A new church has been formed in my home to” calling itself “Christ’s church.” We are informed that it will recognize the “Christians” in “all other”, denominations, use instrumental music “when we want it.” (Nothing is said about how Christians got into these denominations or whether the Lord wants instrumental music.)
2. Speaking in tongues in the Bible was speaking in another language but now some brethren have adopted the “Holy Roller” concept.
3. Baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38) is clearly taught in God’s Book. Every person who is saved is added to the church (Acts 2:47). One who makes the wrong confession and is baptized for the wrong purpose needs to be baptized again when he learns the truth (cf. Acts 19). Comes now some brethren with the notion that “sect” baptism will please the Lord and we become sectarian by insisting that people do what the Lord has said. Bible baptism is not Catholic or protestant baptism – it is older than these denominational groups.
4.Inspired Bible. Comes now the notion that our “translations” are not “inspired.” Any correct translation is God’s inspired Word – our King James, for example. Christ and the apostles used the “Septuagint” and called it God’s Word. It was a human translation but God’s Word. There is nothing one can learn from Hebrew and Greek that he cannot also learn from English and we do have God’s inspired Word in our language.
5. At a recent big lectureship a man threw his Bible in the floor, stamped his foot on it and said “It is no more than the Tulsa telephone book unless the Holy Spirit comes to energize it.” (And that is God’s verbally, inspired, immovable Word! Truly we need some sermons on “the power of God’s Word.”)
6. And now we have heard everything: a church in Shawnee, Oklahoma has just had “foot washing” services!
7. And out in the West I ran into a fellow who decided that God does not answer prayer!
8. And I see in a popular Bible study course where it is im-possible to obey all the commandments of God but “God’s umbrella of Grace” will excuse all (How do we tell which commandments to obey and from which we will be excused?)
Brethren, we know nothing about how sinners are saved or what the gram of God will do for us except what is taught. in the written Word. It is high time we quit borrowing from the denominations and get back to preaching what is plainly taught in God’s Word – on baptism, tongue speaking, the times of the church, the Holy Spirit, foot washing, the grace of God and everything else taught in the Bible. (Do not say “It cannot happen to us.” It is already happening all over the brotherhood.)
[Reprint from: “The McLoud Messenger”, McLoud church of Christ, P.O. Box 197, McLoud, Oklahoma 74851]
Guardian of Truth XXVII: 15, p. 463
August 4, 1983