Index by Subject

May Women Speak in Bible Classes

I will never forget the time that I had just begun to work with a new local church, and was waiting, on a Sunday morning or afternoon (I cannot remember which) to deliver one of my first sermons.  Immediately before the worship began, I was herded and pinned in by a group of older men who had all grown up in a certain part of Kentucky.  They asked me whether I believed women could speak in Bible class, and, practically before I could utter a word, they inundated me with their own arguments why they thought women could not.  One of them even went so far as to say something to the effect of, “I would rather have musical instruments than women speaking in Bible class, because the Bible doesn’t say not to have them, but it does say women can’t speak.”  After having been thoroughly, verbally assaulted by these men, meaning well no doubt, I was hardly in a frame of mind to deliver a good sermon!  But, the fact that this question meant so much to these men made me realize that it is not merely some intellectual, theological question, but a valid question which local churches must study and answer.  To merely ignore or avoid the question is to have congregations where women do not know what to do, and some are afraid to speak, and some feel that they have something worthwhile to contribute to the class, while some men sit fuming, believing these women to be in sin.

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The Double Standard

Let me ask you something.  If you noticed that others applied a stricter, harsher standard to you than they applied to themselves, how would you feel?  I write this article in defense of my fellow evangelists; I write this article, not in the spirit of complaining, for we are to “do all things without complaining and disputing.” (Philippians 2:14)  Nevertheless, it is equally evident in the scriptures that, when we see an injustice or error, we are to expose it and fight it. (Ephesians 5:11)

“Then I returned and considered all the oppression that is done under the sun: and look! the tears of the oppressed, but they have no comforter—On the side of their oppressors there is power, but they have no comforter.” (Ecclesiastes 4:1)  No doubt human cruelty and oppression have always existed, and God knows this.  But, is it right when this oppression and cruelty comes from within the church?  There is an oppression under the sun today, and it involves setting a double standard for evangelists.

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Problems in the Lord’s Church

(Editor’s Note: The following series of sermon outlines are complementary to the discussion regarding the proper “Tone” in preaching).

I. Introduction. Very soon after the establishment of the church of Jesus Christ, there were problems with false doctrine. Probably the first big problem the church experienced was that of the Judaizers: those who taught that all Christians had to obey the Law of Moses. Soon thereafter, the Gnostics became a problem; they were a group that taught that Jesus did not come in the flesh, and that they had a special, secret understanding of the scriptures that the unenlightened could not understand. Ever since then, there have been heresies, false doctrines, and problems in Christ’s church. Today is no different.

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Alcohol and the Christian

I. Introduction

    There is no question but that alcohol is one of the foremost factors in the destruction of the society, the family, human lives, and many other precious things. Alcohol kills, maims, and destroys the lives of millions of people yearly around the world. It is odd, then, that so many people, including those whose lives have been ruined by alcohol, still work hard to support alcohol. The Bible has much to say about alcohol, and Christians should be familiar with God’s truth on drinking.

II. The Facts at Hand

    • 1. A clear reference to fermented beverages (not just the assumption that they are fermented!).
      2. The clear consumption of fermented beverages by humans.
      3. The clear approval of God.
  • A. Just about every professing Christian would agree that abject, total drunkenness is immoral and condemned in the Bible. It is not difficult to see that a staggering, smelly, unkempt drunk yelling out obscenities is sinning.
    B. Yet, there are many Christians who argue that mild drinking, or social drinking, is not forbidden by God. Many brethren make a distinction between social drinking, and abject drunkenness. The question must be asked: “What does the Bible teach about alcohol?”
    C. It is the contention of this sermon that the intake of fermented beverages in any amount is forbidden by the Bible, both in precept and in principle. This shall be accomplished with five basic arguments. First, it shall be demonstrated that the wine of the Bible is not the same as modern wine. Secondly, it shall be demonstrated that the Bible contains two distinct evaluations of the word wine. Thirdly, specific passages which condemn the intake of fermented beverages will be examined. Fourthly, some biblical principles which forbid the intake of fermented beverages will be examined. Finally, the most common arguments in support of social drinking shall be critically examined.
    D. In order for the consumption of alcoholic beverages by Christians to be approved, one would have to find the a passage of scripture with the following characteristics:

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The Social Gospel

Why Churches of Christ Do Not Build or Support “Fellowship Centers” or Sponsored Recreation

“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3). So wrote Paul the apostle to the Corinthian Christians two millennia ago. Problems in the church of Christ are nothing new, and have existed since the First Century. There have always been problems, issues, disagreements, heresies, and apostasy stemming from within the church, and often this internal turmoil can be more harmful and hurtful than external persecution. The particular manifestations of the root issues have varied throughout history, but the seed has remained the same; that seed is the desire to change the worship of God to the worship of self.

We young preachers have read many accounts of the issues that affected the church in the 19th Century and earlier, especially in this country as the issue of institutionalism played itself out in the debates over the church’s support of manmade institutions. Yet the people representing the two sides of these issues have, for the most part, stood their ground, so that today there are faithful brethren who refrain from such practices, and others who insist on them – a vast rift between those who once were brethren, and now are very different.

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