Index by Subject

A.O.P.P.S.

Peer pressure is a subject that is always talked about but is often dismissed as outdated and useless in real world applications.  Whenever we talk about peer pressure we inevitably bring up alcohol, pre-marital sex, or drugs.  These are the top three in no particular order.  Additionally we tend to only make an application of peer pressure to those who are younger.  Teenagers seem to be our prime target of peer pressure lessons.  Well guess what, peer pressure doesn’t end at twenty but will only increase as we continue to age.
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Mingling With the Gentiles

Most will remember that the Israelites left Egypt under the command of God’s servant, Moses, who led them through the wilderness forty years until they finally reached the Promised Land.

At that point, Moses died and Joshua took charge, leading the people into battle to take control of their land. Because Jehovah’s religion was to have one Lord and be free of idolatry and superstition, the faith of the heathen was a great danger. God commanded that they should be eliminated, but they weren’t.

Today, our strategy in dealing with the world around us involves conversion rather than extermination, but immersion in this life affords us the same opportunities to influence for good or to be influenced for evil. What are the dangers when we mingle with the Gentiles?

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I Grew up Church of Christ

Have you heard this said?  I have.  From time to time you have probably heard this statement.  When the person who says this realizes that you are a member of the Lord’s church they tell you this.  Why is that?  Is it an attempt at making some kind of connection of mutual attitude?  Is it an attempt by them to let you know they “know where you are coming from”?  If you “grew up” church of Christ what happened?  What event took place that caused you to out-grow the Lord’s church?  Where are they now?  What are their religious beliefs and practices?  Are there any at all?

Unfortunately, this is happening all of the time as people who were once a part of the Lord’s church, the church of Christ, leave for other pastures when they grew into adulthood.  Somewhere along the path of their life they either are lured away from Christ by the doctrines of man or they simply fall away, lured by the world and its lusts.
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“Troubler Of Israel”

There are two truths which are confirmed by a multitude of scriptures in God’s holy word. The first truth is that God’s children have always been hated by the religious world. Those who have claimed to be the most religious have always been the greatest enemies to true righteousness, and to the people of God. Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:12, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Acts 14:22 says that we “… through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” Many times the Lord and His apostles suffered by the hands of the Jews, the most religious group in Palestine. Continue reading » “Troubler Of Israel”

Editorial: "Let Us Pr….Play"

In a recent issue of Sports Illustrated, the above title was used for an article written by the back page feature writer, Rick Reilly.  I normally enjoy Reilly’s writing, as it is incisive as well as humorous.  This particular article was no exception.

Reilly mentioned that more and more youth leagues are beginning to have their athletic activities on Sunday.  It is a time when coaches and parents are off of work, and as the emphasis on organized youth sports increases, time becomes more precious.  A time period which was once off limits (Sunday morning) is now routinely filled with regularly scheduled softball, baseball and soccer games.

And, as Reilly put it, we can’t really expect the officials and coaches to take the lead in changing the trend.  It happens more and more often because of the parents!  After all, if the parents did not allow their children to play on Sunday, there would be no games, no matter what the league or coach wanted.

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Associate Editorial: Decades of Discontent

What is wrong with the church of Christ?

If you say, “Nothing, it is the Lord’s church, and I am satisfied with what the Bible reveals about it,” you might be in a minority position. Many are ready to change the work, worship and structure of the church of Christ, including its identity as the “church of Christ.” Are you aware of what is happening?

We have been through decades in which many have sought to change the Lord’s church into something more tolerant and imitative of denominational theology. The exclusiveness of truth and those characteristics that identify God’s people from those of the denominational world are being eroded in many places. We see the evidence of it in the Tampa Bay area and around the nation. Consider some of the issues that the Lord’s people are facing:

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Scripture Studies: Letters from Asthenes (A Satire)

To Paul from Asthenes

Dear Paul,

Peace and grace to you from our God and Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.  I want to commend you for your wonderful work of preaching Christ and Him crucified.  Your compassion and concern for the jailer at Philippi was inspiring.  I also appreciate your comment, "I have been crucified with Christ…who loved me and gave Himself for me."  What wonderful words of comfort.  Thank you.

I have a concern though; a concern that you may not have noticed, but others have.  I know this to be so because I have discussed it with them and they feel the same way I do.  I want you to be aware of it so your service to Christ may be even more effective, more fruitful.  My concern is this, your poor attitude and actions toward others on some occasions — not all — but some.  It seems to be driving people away from Christ instead of drawing them near.  This cannot be good under any circumstances, can it?  Let me give you specific cases.

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Big Bang Advocacy (A Call to Compromise)

Approximately 3,500 years ago, the inspired scribe recorded in the book of Genesis the events which signaled the beginning of physical creation.  "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." The first chapter of Genesis records in straightforward, concise language the origins of the universe, life, and man himself.  For thousands of years men accepted at face value what the inspired writer penned, "Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.  Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done" (Genesis 1:31-2:2).

The presentation of the Genesis account, together with the geneologies contained in that book present a clear history which shows the creation of the universe and the history of mankind to be of recent origin in relation to the claims of great antiquity advocated by evolutionary theorists.

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Contending for the Faith: Should We Criticize Error?

(Correspondence on the Question)

(Editor’s Note: The following correspondence between Larry and a teenage girl’s grandmother may be helpful to other parents and grandparents as they try to teach their children.)

    Larry,

    We had a discussion with our 16 year old granddaughter yesterday, and she is very upset with us and wants an answer to the discussion other than what we gave her.

    The discussion was over the news report about 2 gay men who had adopted a little boy, and they forced his school to do away with making anything for Mother’s Day because it made him feel uncomfortable. (My husband) said it was wrong to force their ideal on everyone since they were living in sin. (Our granddaughter) said she thought we were gossiping and that we should not judge them and just pray for them and everything would be OK. (My husband) tried to tell her we were not judging them that God’s word was judging them.

    She left us this note. Can you help us give the very best answer possible. She is a prime example of the thinking of our "church kids" today. Her Question:

    "Could you show me the verse where it says we are supposed to point out the wrong? I am just wanting to read it."

Larry, we would really appreciate your help. We feel our answer can not be too lengthy or it will turn her off. She is 1st in her class in high school so she should be able to reason. It is very disturbing that our young people think, "Your OK I’m OK."

We will be waiting for your answer.

Response To This Request

Here are some passages which deal with her request:

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Editorial: Are We Protecting Our Children?

When my daughter was 8 or 9 years old, she had her first “conflict” between worldly and spiritual activities. Her softball team was in a tournament, and had an important game scheduled on Sunday morning. My daughter dearly wanted to be at that game. When we got to services, she saw one of her favorite “grandmas” at the front of the building. She ran up to her and said, “I’m having to miss my softball game this morning because of church!” I will never forget and will always appreciate this wise sister’s answer to her. She hugged her, and said, “That’s wonderful! I’m so proud of you!” My daughter walked away from her happy and proud that her sacrifice was appreciated, rather than sad at her “loss.”

In the years that have followed, all of my children have suffered similarly, as gospel meetings, Wednesday night classes, and even Sunday morning assemblies have conflicted with their secular schedules. These are rather mild cases, but are nevertheless characteristic examples of how those who follow Christ suffer in the face of an uncaring world. Paul said that such would be the lot of all Christians, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). Anyone who names the name of Christ will suffer as a result of his profession.

I am proud to say that my children have suffered these persecutions stoically, but it breaks my heart that they have had to give up even this little bit for their faith. Having said that, I believe these “losses” to be among the most powerful and important lessons they have learned in their short lives as Christians. Continue reading » Editorial: Are We Protecting Our Children?