Index by Subject

Cast Out From Among You

(Editor’s Note: David writes in the following article, “Christian periodicals … reluctantly and infrequently publish opposing viewpoint except in the form of a debate or with an answer written by a staff member supposedly correcting the error present in the opponents article.) While taking exception to the issue of frequency, we must plead guilty to the policy of answering what we perceive to be error. The differing views regarding this are an outgrowth of differing attitudes toward truth and fellowship which will be indicated in the following article. So, after reading David’s article (which we perceive to be filled with error), the reader is encouraged to read the editor’s reponse.)

Then John answered and said,
“Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name,
and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.”
But Jesus said to him,
“Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is for us.”

Christians are divided over so many issues, some significant and others frivolous. The culture of conflict has become so powerful that Christians feel justified in constantly testing strangers by asking controversial questions about contentious issues and using the answer to classify the stranger as a friend or a foe. Various lists of congregations are produced which are meant to distinguish churches adhering to one viewpoint about a controversial issue from those accepting a different viewpoint. Christians can use these list so that when they are traveling they never have to meet anyone whose views differ in any significant way from their own. Christian periodicals identify themselves according to their stand on controversial issues and they reluctantly and infrequently publish opposing viewpoint except in the form of a debate or with an answer written by a staff member supposedly correcting the error present in the opponents article. When a teacher at a congregation begins voicing views which are contrary to the majority, steps are quickly taken to discourage the teacher from voicing his beliefs or the Christian is prevented from teaching any longer at that congregation. When new members voice beliefs contrary to the view of a congregation, they may discover the members will have become more distant and they find themselves unwelcome. Continue reading » Cast Out From Among You

Slandering the Denominations

“He who digs a pit will fall into it, and whoever breaks through a wall will be bitten by a serpent.” (Ecclesiastes 10:8-9 NKJV)

For so many years I sought no contact with those among us which are labeled (or label themselves) “liberal” because they represented error, transgression and apostasy. Not willing to contaminate myself with false doctrine, I was not willing to read Gospel Advocate or visit a “liberal” congregation or treat a “liberal” Christian as a brother. My attitude toward these people differed very little from my attitude toward the denominations, though a little anger, sorrow or bitterness was mixed in because the “liberals” were perceived as traitors to the cause and now enemies of the church which Christ established and the truth which is found in the Bible. Lingering memories of the split in the church were taught by those who experienced the conflict, and their own bitterness about the behavior of some was taught to myself and many others. Separation and isolation over several decades instilled a tangible feeling of “us” verses “them.” None among us would speak about the “liberals” except to complain about their excesses or accuse them of sin or engage them in debate so that refutation of their error would follow. Contemplation of their condition led to speculation about what could motivate them to continue in error — was it ignorance, obstinance, or deception? Not even a hint of these faults were present among the “conservatives” or the congregations which I associated myself with. No potential existed that error or apostasy could occur among those which I trusted from my youth. The best motives were found within the leaders of the “conservatives” and they successfully resisted error and honestly sought the truth. I could read magazines such as the Guardian of Truth with confidence knowing that all these people adhered to the truth and maintained almost total agreement. I could attend a college such as Florida College knowing that it has the truth and teaches it accurately. I would listen only to those who were included among the authentic Christians because they knew the truth, taught the truth and protected the truth. If only more people would follow these error and division would not exist … Continue reading » Slandering the Denominations

Neither Black Nor White

When Paul wrote to the Galatians, he spoke of the unity of believers in a powerful manner: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). Ideally, the barriers which are present in society will not continue to exist within the church of God. Former divisions based upon nationality, race or economic differences would become irrelevant when faced with the knowledge that God has created everyone and that God gave His Son for the souls of all people. When speaking to the Athenians, Paul unified all humanity by saying: “He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26). None of the distinctions between the races Continue reading » Neither Black Nor White