Spring is in full bloom, and with the increase in temperatures, we see a corresponding decrease in the amount of skin covered by those who seek comfort in the sun and the approving gaze of others.
What? You say that your skimpy dress is not an attempt to gain approval (most often from the opposite gender?) Well, I was born in April, but I was not born this last April!
The immodest fashions of the day are very clearly designed to produce lust. The most common term that is used to describe bikinis, short skirts, halter tops and tight fitting clothes is “sexy.” The term sexy is defined by Webster, “sexually suggestive or stimulating: EROTIC” While the term has become common place, it nevertheless reveals a concept that is antithetical to the Christian’s perspective and profession.
Continue reading » Modest Dress: A Man’s Perspective
In just a short time, teenagers all over the country will be thinking about prom. It used to be that a prom was only for 18-year-old Seniors in high school, but for several years, proms have made their way into the middle grades. When one becomes a Christian, everything takes on a new perspective: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). What should a young person who wants to live like a Christian do? Continue reading » It’s Going To Be Prom Time Soon
In the sixth and seventh chapters of the Old Testament Proverbs, the ancient writer of wisdom lays down some timeless warnings for his son concerning the danger presented by “the evil woman” (6:24). Along the way, however, he alerts us all to the perils of sexual temptation and immorality through evil women and men.
The hedonism of this world has infected Christianity to the point that new excuses are being created every day to allow for the tolerance of sexual immorality. Standards of attire, behavior and repentance are being cast aside by the soothing self-delusion that nothing evil will result. In these proverbs, though, we find unalterable truth and a reality that must force us to ask wisdom to be our sister and understanding our near kin. No matter your age, marital status or gender, sexual immorality is an issue that must be soberly considered.
Continue reading » Another Ox Goes to the Slaughter
A number of years ago, a popular series of articles ran in various bulletins and publications and were used in sermons which urged people in the denominational world to “Ask Your Preacher” where the Bible teaches….infant baptism, instrumental music, the doctrine of faith only, etc. The series was designed to raise awareness among denominational people that their preachers could not defend certain doctrines inherent in their beliefs and practices. It was an effective method of urging people to read their Bibles, examine their practices in the light of scripture, and question the preaching of those who could not provide book, chapter and verse for their doctrines.
Is the church of Christ immune to error? Should we not have the same attitude of urging our own brethren to read their Bibles, examine our own practices and question the preaching of those who do not provide book, chapter and verse for what we believe and practice? It was said of the Bereans that they “were more noble (fair minded) than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). Do we get a free pass to believe and practice whatever we want since we are “the church” and “our traditions” are beyond question?
Continue reading » Associate Editorial: Ask Your Preacher
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:
Continue reading » Associate Editorial: Decades of Discontent
A few weeks ago, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled "that barring an individual from the protections, benefits, and obligations of civil marriage solely because that person would marry a person of the same sex violates the Massachusetts Constitution." On a 4-3 decision, four judges have taken it upon themselves to require the recognition of homosexual marriage as equally valid and deserving the same benefits as a marriage between a man and a woman. Their opinion is available to the public as a 75-page document. It is a textbook study of sophistry and the effects of institutionalized amorality. When one reads the whole ruling, it becomes clear how the pieces of our moral decline all fit together. Thanks to four judges overruling the origin of marriage, its legal definition for hundreds of years in English common law and common sense, we now face the very real possibility that "same sex marriages" may soon have the force of law to validate their acceptability. With this decision, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has arrived at the end many have warned was coming — an attempt to form a fully amoral basis for law and ethics.
Continue reading » "What is Written … How Readest Thou?": An Amoral Basis for Law – It Won’t Work!
“Remove me from your mailing list”
“In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea…” (Matthew 3:1). John had a message and he proclaimed it widely and publicly — “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (v. 2). Not everyone liked what John had to say, but he was communicating the will of God. Luke tells us that “the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him” (7:30). Experience and history tells us that communication is sometimes a one-way proposition, though it is intended to be an exchange of ideas.
It is said of Jesus: He “went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom…” Matthew 9:35. But He knew that “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priest and scribes” (Luke 9:22). The Master Teacher was unable to reach many of His day and they turned a deaf ear to the proclamation of the Good News. They crucified Him even while He was willing to communicate God’s will.
Continue reading » Associate Editorial: Unwilling to Communicate?
Churches in many places in the U.S. have been harmed by preachers who have been involved in immoral relationships with women. Most preachers who have preached for any length of time have probably been involved in some kind of effort in reaction to damage done by such sins. Beyond the damage done to churches and Christian families, the Lord’s cause in many places has received serious set backs due to the sins of the very ones supposed to be furthering it.
With the above facts in mind, one can understand that preachers must take extra care to guard against such sins while working in foreign countries. Such a man is often the first Christian many people in foreign countries see. His example must be one that conforms with the holy life and teaching of Jesus (1 Pet. 1:16; 1 Cor. 6:9-10). Also, experience has taught me that many people in foreign countries will watch Americans more attentively than they will those of their own nation. They will note inconsistencies between one’s profession and practice. Sadly, the devil takes no holidays. Hence, the dangers presented by the opposite sex are common to all cultures, some, of course, more than others.
Continue reading » White Unto Harvest: Guarding Against Immorality in the Mission Field
The fight for modest attire has taken an ugly turn.
Exhausted from fighting short skirts and tube tops, parents are now being dragged onto yet another battlefield, the T-shirt with a message. Every sale circular, department store and mall corridor is teeming with teenage girls expressing their empowerment beneath their chins.
One tight T-shirt on a thirteen year old girl reads “Boy Scout.” Get it? Maybe her daddy didn’t and let her buy the shirt thinking it would assist her in getting across the street. No, the shirt means that she is boy crazy and that interested parties should approach and apply for her affections.
Another T-shirt is even more blunt. The fifteen year old girls graduate to the message “Bad Girl.” True boy scouts may not approach her, but any sex starved pubescent male will. Ladies used to complain rightly about wolf whistles and lewd comments, but now they invite them at the youngest ages through their abbreviated attire and perverse mottoes.
Continue reading » Boy Scouts and Bad Girls
Prologue: My desire in this article is to note the societal trends that would not only allow a man such as Bill Clinton to occupy the office of President, but also would allow him to stay, with an astounding measure of personal popularity, despite his rather public shortcomings. Such societal attitudes are expressed very clearly by H. John Rogers, in an article he wrote, titled , Starr’s Church of Christ. Two short phrases from his article sum it up well. He writes, “Unfortunately for President Clinton, his sexual peccadillos were committed during the reign of a spiritual descendant of Oliver Cromwell.” In another place in the article, Rogers’ writes, “It is the President’s great misfortune that his inquisitor is a man who considers a little hanky-panky and its natural by-product (the covering lie), the equivalent of treason and bribery.” Such words are, to say the least, a great concern to those who advocate an adherence to God’s moral standard as revealed in scripture. How can we as a society continue when our attitudes and actions rise as a continual insult before the Almighty God? Continue reading » Reversing the “Spin-Doctors”: One Nation Under God?
Kenneth Starr has been under an extreme denigration from the press, the White House, and various members of Congress for his independent counsel investigations of President Clinton. In his defense, Starr recently told reporters, “Don’t blame the messenger if you don’t like the message.” Attacking the messenger when you don’t like the message has been a common ploy practiced throughout the ages. Many of the prophets of the Old Testament as well as the apostles and preachers of the New have known the stinging feedback that is received when the truth hits its target. When King Ahab saw Elijah he cried, “Is that you, O troubler of Israel?” (1 Kings 18:17,18). Yet, Starr has not troubled America. Clinton and his sins have caused the trouble.
They Attack His AuthorityThroughout this ordeal doubt has been cast upon Starr’s authority for his investigation. Starr has conducted his investigation within the parameters and with the authority delegated to him from others. If he has abused his authority, his accusers have yet to produce any evidence. Continue reading » Reversing the “Spin-Doctors”: Don’t Blame the Messenger
A brother recently sent me an article, titled Starr’s Church of Christ, penned by H. John Rogers, a liberal lawyer who evidently moonlights as a Methodist minister. This brother requested that we offer a response to Mr. Rogers’ rampaging ridicule, and we are happy to oblige. We shall seek to counsel Counsellor Rogers while defending heaven’s wonderful “Counsellor,” whom Mr. Rogers has so egregiously and grievously offended (Isaiah 9:6; 1 Corinthians 8:12).
Introductory Preface: When he sent me a copy of Mr. Rogers’ remarks, and requested a review, the aforementioned brother said, “be ready to be called some names!” This was said in a light-hearted, friendly fashion, but he knew that, given the tone and tenor of Mr. Rogers’ statement, it would be necessary to identify and specify what we were talking about when we made the study which follows. Hence, in a private e-mail, I said to this brother: Continue reading » Reversing the “Spin-Doctors”: Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood
(Could A Lack of Moral Purity Have Caused the Downfall of Demas?)
Recently, I read of a discovery made in the nation of Greece, this year, that stunned quite a number of anthropologists digging below the ancient city of Thessalonica. They unearthed a vast system of overly large tunnels and chambers which had only been hinted at in various ancient texts, some texts well over 2,000 years old. It seems that this city’s subterranean realm was very well known in its own time throughout the Roman Empire. It was devoted to the commercial exploitation of prostitution and all other kinds of sexual wickedness. In fact the complex is so large that it must have employed thousands of people and so was of major social and economic significance. The walls of these tunnels and chambers are richly and graphically embellished with murals, caricatures, and other artistic but very obscene etchings and paintings of a pornographic nature. These pictures tell the story that this place was intended to impress the reveler in Roman times with the idea that when one had descended into this place they had entered “the underworld” in which every sexual deviancy imaginable could be experienced. This place was in its “heyday” and at full swing during the life of the apostle Paul. Continue reading » Be An Example … In Purity: Purity in Morals
The Constant Battle Against Immorality
The world in which we live, late 20th Century America, is quickly deteriorating. By deteriorating, we mean morally. Technologically, physically, and economically society seems to be advancing, but spiritually we are declining. Immorality abounds. Deviant behavior and actions that once were rarely mentioned in public, except to condemn, are now openly discussed, joked about, and promoted. Filthy language (cursing, sexually explicit, etc.) is frequently used by both men and women. Satan is working non-stop to encourage all these evils and he especially works to bring these evils into the lives of Christians.
In this article we want to notice various forms of immorality that are present in the world, how Satan works to bring these evil acts into our lives, and what we must do to combat this error.
Various Forms of ImmoralityMany forms of immorality are socially acceptable and to oppose them is to be narrow-minded, unloving, or worse yet, an extremist. The term “extremist” is used to prejudice the minds of the general population. It is a term similar to the term “anti” used by liberals in the church to paint those of us who demand Scriptural authority for all practices as hate-mongers and orphan-haters. Let us notice some of these socially acceptable forms of immorality. Continue reading » We Need Watchmen Because of Immorality