PLUMBLINE -- Editor, Wayne Coats
Volume 3 Number
9 April 1999
We have heard or read of some "gospel preachers" who have made statements like, "The church has nothing to do with salvation" ... "we in churches of Christ just don't understand the grace of God" ... "there are Christians in all denominations" ... "we shouldn't make any judgement about another's belief" ... "we in churches of Christ have preached too much about the church and haven't concentrated enough on Jesus as Lord" ... "the Holy Spirit moves on us in ways we can't understand" ... and the list could be extended. These statements are from "our" preachers. What gives?
I have come to the conclusion that such statements are expressions of one of two problems: ignorance or unbelief.
Consider first IGNORANCE. The unfortunate truth is, we have too many preachers (one is too many) who are simply ignorant of plain Bible teaching. Anyone who would make one of the above statements is suffering terribly from the malady of Biblical ignorance. I have met some young preachers (and this is no indictment of all young preachers; I'm only 33 years old myself) who couldn't quote five verses if their neck depended on it. What is being taught in our schools? One wonders. And, how is the preacher's time spent? Another good question. Are we spending more time with Swindoll, MacArthur and Lucado than with Peter, John and Paul?
> I have had to respond on occasion to criticisms of things I have written. One man with whom I engaged in correspondence was attempting to "defend" the positions he had taken contrary to what I had written, and in reading his reply to me, I had to firmly, with kindness and charity of course, suggest to this brother that he needed to spend far more time with his Bible and far less time with his typewriter. "You need," I said, "to stop writing letters and start studying your Bible. Let me hear you again when you have learned some Scripture." Perhaps that sounds harsh, but frankly, one often tires of hearing tirades from Bible blockheads. If ignorance is bliss, we have many blizzards brewing!
> It is refreshing and stimulating, to read some of the older preachers who preached and wrote with such strong Scriptural content. I'm afraid if we're not careful, we will have reared a generation that won't be able to read the work of the older men; they won't have enough Biblical knowledge to follow them. They'll think the Srygleys', Brents', Woods', Hardemans', Wallaces', et al., were speaking in tongues.
> So it is a problem: Biblical ignorance. We used to hear about "walking Bibles." Our walking Bibles aren't walking around anymore; they're six feet underground now, and unfortunately we are not reproducing their kind like we need to! Bible knowledge requires diligent study and hard work; who ever said it would, or should, be otherwise?
> Many of the problems of liberalism and modernism that confront us now can be traced to men Biblically unlearned and untaught.
Now to the second problem: UNBELIEF. What do you conclude about the preachers, who know better, who are spouting some of the unscriptural nonsense we hear today? Some do know better! And, you know that they know, that you know, they know better! Their problem is NOT ignorance (unless some strange sudden amnesia has swept away their memories)! They have known in the past what saith the Word of God, and some have done a very able job of defending the truth in years gone by. But now, they send forth uncertain sounds. What is their problem? UNBELIEF!
Jesus said to some in His day, "Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God" (Matt. 22:29). That's problem number 1! But the second problem existed in the first century too, for unto others Jesus declared, "Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition" (Mark 7:9). Jesus didn't say they didn't know God's command; He said they rejected it.
> Human tradition that sets aside the Word of God is wrong, whether manifesting itself in the form of Roman Catholicism, or in the form of Protestant denominationalism, or in the form of some of our own brethren's brand of compromising liberalism.
> What we are seeing is a rejection of plain Biblical truth--period! When the distinctiveness of New Testament Christianity, or the one church that Jesus built, or God's plan of salvation, or the Biblical pattern for worship, is compromised or altered, while being done with the full knowledge of the transgressor, it is nothing less than a rejection of the teaching of God. A man who is ignorant needs to be taught; a man who is knowingly renouncing the faith needs to be rebuked.
What is the cure for ignorance and unbelief? It is very simple: KNOW what the Book says, and BELIEVE it. Both ignorance and unbelief are dangerous, deadly, and soul-damning (see Rom. 10:1-3; Heb. 11:6).
There is a group of people down in Huntsville, Alabama, who call themselves the Twickenham Church. As is so true in many places, the Twickenham outfit is nothing more than a Social Gospel Affair. Many years ago, Walter Rauschenbusch studied under the German modernists and he stated that he had nothing left to preach to the people so he began what came to be known as the Social Gospel Movement. He substituted social programs which became popular. After World War I, the Social Gospel Cult dwindled away. I dare anyone to successfully deny that the new liberal element is reviving the Social Gospel System. Youth ministers are being trained and hired to be Social Program Administrators. Anytime the sects come up with some new freakish idea, the alert Administrator will copy it. This new breed of social performers will appeal to carnal minds.
Twickinham is to have, "...a catered barbecue lunch in our gym." The Catholics have had their Icons for centuries and now Twickinham is hosting an Art Ministry where Christian Artists are invited to show their original works. The Twickenham Art and Drama Ministries will present a Dramatic Re-enactment of the Last Supper. "We certainly believe that the accurately written and well executed drama will add to your knowledge of Bible fact in an unforgettable way," so the paper stated.
"Twickenham 'Talent Discovery Night,' will be hosted by the Music Ministry." "Maybe your talent is playing the flute, trumpet, violin, or saxophone,...we would like to organize a concert/jazz band for this program."
"Twickenham's Annual Golf Tournament" is scheduled to have great interest for golfers. The notorious Nashville Jubilee for 1999 is advertised and people are urged to attend. Also the Promise Keepers is highlighted in the Twickenham bulletin.
Down in Madison County at the Monrovia Church, "Acappella will be performing." We give space to these matters to try to show some doubters just exactly what is happening. Huntsville is not an isolated instance where people have gone hog-wild in their quest to have fun. Jesus did not die to purchase the church so that renegades could have a respectable sphere in which to indulge their carnal appetites. For hundreds of years, people have paid little or no attention to the purpose for which Jesus died. The Paganistic and foolish rot being pedaled by Youth Ministers emerges from empty heads devoid of Bible knowledge. For long decades more people have been interested in picture shows than plain Bible preaching. "Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse" (II Tim. 3:13). "For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers..." (Titus 1:10).
--Wayne Coats, Editor
The Lord's church is to be, among other things, strongly opposed to all concepts, doctrines and dogmas that contradict or go contrary to His teachings (2 John 9-11; Eph. 5:11). If we are to truly be faithful to Him we must follow His will in all matters (John 14:15; 15:14). In Matthew 28:20, Jesus told His disciples, "...to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." We are to follow in all things.
One of the primary teachings of Jesus and the early church was that religious division is sinful and not of God (1 Cor. 1:10). In John 17:21-23, Jesus prayed, "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me." It is clear from this passage that Jesus never wanted mass division to occur among so called "believers." So when someone affirms or tries to give validity to the denominational concept, they are in direct opposition to the will of Jesus. We cannot ignore the word of the Christ without being condemned by that same word (John 12:48).
Jesus never endorsed the idea of unity at any price. In fact, a quick reading of the way He dealt with the religious heretics of His day will bear this out. He strongly opposed the Pharisees and the Sadducees for their false teaching and the sin of binding for doctrine their self imposed traditions. In Matthew 15:7-9 we read, "Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."
There certainly is no toleration of falsehood in this passage. Jesus hammered away at men who thought more of their word than the word of God (Luke 6:46). In John 12:48 Jesus reminds us that it is His word that will judge us in the last day. Millions are in for a rude awakening when they are sent to perdition for following creeds and council decisions rather than the word of God (Deut. 4:2; Rev. 22:18; 2 Peter 1:3; Jude 3).
Denominational churches are not the church of the New Testament. The church was very antagonistic toward those who taught "other gospels" (Gal. 1:6-9). The apostle Paul labeled such as "cursed." In Proverbs 12:14 we read, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Even though we may not see the harm in something that God has forbidden, that still doesn't make said action alright (Col. 3:17). We are not authorized to go beyond that which is written (2 John 9).
Far too many launch out upon the sea of speculation and run far afield in their religious concepts. That is why there exists such diversity in religion. In Romans 10:1-3, Paul said of the Jews of his day, "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." We as God's people are to first be pure and THEN be peaceable (James 3:17).
> The Bible opposes sin (Gal. 1:6-9; 1 Cor. 5:5-7). The Lord hates sin (Psalm 5:5; Prov. 8:13, 6:16; Rev. 2:6). Division is sin (Gal. 5:20; Col. 3:8). Therefore, if we are to be true followers of Christ, we too must hate the sin of division among believers (denominationalism).
There is no division among the Godhead (John 10:30; Col. 2:9). Nor should there be any among us (Phil. 3:16; Eph. 4:3-6). We are to have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16; 1:10).
The church is the army of God. And, part of its work is to destroy and decimate any and all enemies of the kingdom, the church of God (Acts 20:28). The church is not a denomination, it is anti-denominational (1 Cor. 1:10; Rom. 16:17,18). The concept of denominationalism is without any support whatsoever in the New Testament.
Some identifying marks and characteristics of denominationalism are:
1. Human founders. Every denomination existing today was started by a man or group of men, sometime after the first century. Luther, Calvin, Knox, Russell, Smith, Eddy, White, Wesley, Henry VIII and a host of others.
2. Human Names. Another mark of denominational religion is the wearing of man-made names.
3. Human Creeds. Apparently, God's word is insufficient.
4. Human Concepts. Join the church of your choice. One church is as good as another is their plea.
5. A Spirit of separation and division.
6. Complex ecclesiastical organizations.
7. An opposition to the concept of one church.
Is the church of Christ a denomination? No! The church of Christ has no earthly founder. Christ is the founder and the foundation (Matt. 16:18; 1 Cor. 3:11).
We wear no human names (Rom. 16:16). Of the church of the Bible, Christ is: the Head, the Builder, the Bride-groom, the Shepherd, the Captain and the King. One can find the wrong church wearing the right name, but one cannot find the right church wearing the wrong name, for in doing so it would cease to be the right church.
The one true church has no human creed (Rev. 22:18,19), and opposes all such (2 John 9-11). We have a divine creed, the word of God (the Bible) (2 Tim. 3:16,17). We speak where God speaks (1 Peter 4:11). We do not advance human concepts, but scriptural ones (Matt. 15:7-9).
The Bible does not support arbitrary division and separation (1 Cor. 1:10; Eph. 4:1-6, 13-16). Man must walk according to the way of God (Jer. 6:16; Prov. 16:25; Jer. 10:23).
The Bible clearly sets out the government that God approves (Phil. 1:1; Eph. 4:11-12). Jesus is the head of the body (Col. 1:18). He has set up the office of elders and deacons to insure that the work of the church is done according to His divine will (Titus 1; 1 Tim. 3; Acts 20:28; Phil. 1:1).
We strongly teach that Jesus only built one church
because the Bible teaches it (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 1:22,23;
4:4). Denominationalism has no divine right to exist
(Acts 2:47); and as His faithful servants, we must
oppose the sin of denominationalism.
An interesting quote was printed within the very colorful, glossy booklet from ACU (Abilene Christian University) advertising their 81st annual lectures. Before I consider the quote, let us examine a few things from the opening "welcome" comments made by Royce Money (President).
He tells us that we will be welcome to this "period of spiritual renewal." He assures us that through the efforts of the invited speakers, we shall be uplifted and rejuvenated to "new levels of faith and commitment to His service." Now, I have never been to ACU, nor have I been to Corinth. But I can read and learn what sort of things to expect when one travels to such places. Anyone who contends that their spirits will be "renewed" or that they will reach a new level of "faith and commitment" is one who does not understand what the Bible teaches regarding these subjects. One cannot "grow in grace and knowledge" (2 Peter 3:18) while being fed a diet of post-modern poppy-cock, neo-Pentecostal paddy-cake, nor ecumenical enfamil (baby formula). Such comments are insulting to those who have studied their way out of denominationalism, and it is amazing to believe that there are "Christians" who will go to such an event called the ACU lectures and think they are being edified in the most holy faith (Jude 20).
The quote: "The ACU Lectures are one of the few forums left in the Churches of Christ where one can be exposed to a variety of viewpoints, all of which are presented with an attitude of love and respect for the brotherhood as a whole." This is credited to Mark Smith, a member/preacher/associate (I know not which, rwh) of Vaughn Park Church of Christ, Montgomery, Alabama. I do not know Mr. Smith, nor do I know of Vaughn Park Church of Christ, but when such "praise" is spoken for such as ACU in her departure from the faith, I immediately suspect ignorance on someone's part. Perhaps it is mine. Let us examine this quote.
First, there seems to be a lamentation expressed in the opening line. To paraphrase, I would interpret this man saying, "Alas and what a shame that such open-minded freedom to castigate the doctrine of Christ, and to lambast the church of our Lord is too soon being limited to such a few opportunities like those at ACU." This is like lamenting the fact that the chances of contracting polio are sorely reduced.
Second, he seems to actually be lauding the fact that at ACU one can be exposed to all kinds of thinking. Now wait a minute. This is ACU. Abilene Christian University. Christian, Christian, now let me think. Where have I heard this title? Oh yes, the Bible. What does that word Christian mean again? Is it really a good thing that Christians can be "exposed" (subjected) to all kinds of poisonous doctrines and thinking of men? Did not Mr Dollar, er...Money, say that we would be spiritually renewed? That we would be carried to new levels of faith? Whence cometh faith (Rom. 10:17)? What happens when God's people "give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons" (1 Tim. 4:1-2; 2 Tim. 4:3-4)? What did Paul recommend to the saints at Corinth? Read it: "Now I beseech you, brethren, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (1 Cor. 1:10). Where does "a variety of viewpoints" fit in here?
Now, lest the reader conclude that I am against open-mindedness and consideration of other doctrines, I am not. I believe it is very beneficial to study denominational doctrines and false philosophies so that we know how to combat and destroy them with "thus saith the Lord." Is that what Mr. Smith is advocating that takes place at ACU? Is there anyone that ignorant and misinformed?
This quote by Mr. Smith contradicts what Mr. Money stated. On the one hand we have one saying that we "will explore the very nature and true depth of God's plan" (Money), and on the other we can be "exposed to a variety of viewpoints" (Smith). Which shall it be: God's plan, or a variety of viewpoints? Which do the attendees at ACU desire? What shall they receive? Actually, "God's plan" or what passes for it, will be but a small part of the wide variety that shall be, and has been offered for some years at ACU. This is good? Mr. Smith seems to think so. Sad!
Our title: I deny that these "viewpoints" are offered "with an attitude of love and respect for the brotherhood." Peter said, "Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king" (1 Peter 2:17). To offer the doctrines of men and pass it off as something from God is not loving the brotherhood, neither is it an action of love, but of destructive irresponsibility! What a shame that so many will continue to be duped by so few there at ACU.
211 N 5th St.
Marlow, OK 73055
"Next, I have learned from my
Pentecostal or charismatic neighbors to take a closer look at what the Bible
teaches about the wonderful role of the Holy Spirit in the conviction,
conversion, transformation, and empowerment of believers. I have accepted what
the Bible tells me about these things and am trusting in the Spirit to dwell
with me, to strengthen my inner man, to intercede for me in prayer, to empower
me with gifts for ministry, and to help me overcome sin (Romans 8:13, 26-28;
12:5-9; Galatians 5:16-26). Trusting in these things is a great comfort and
blessing in my life."
Earl's Comment on Paragraph III:
I wonder from which of the Pentecostal or charismatic friends he learned about the Holy Spirit? Was it the "Jesus Only" who do not believe that there are three persons in the godhead? Or was it from the so-called "trinity" group who do believe in three persons in the godhead? Since one group does not really believe there is a Holy Spirit because they teach "Jesus Only," it would be interesting to know just what the Evangelist from Broadway learned from each of them, would it not?
Since the two groups of Pentecostals do not agree among themselves on the Holy Spirit, it is no wonder that our brother at Broadway is also confused, as we shall show in this critique.
Does he consider the Pentecostal groups to be "believers?" If not, why in the world would he want to "learn about the wonderful role of the Holy Spirit in conviction, conversion, transformation, and empowerment of believers" from them? Now, when I saw the word, EMPOWERMENT, it got my attention! That is not a word I use everyday! My dictionary states of the word: "empower v. t., ered, ering. 1. to give official or legal power or authority to. 2. to endow with an ability; enable. empowerment, n."
And, as we note later in the paragraph, brother Owen believes the Holy Spirit empowers him. He wrote: "I have accepted what the Bible tells me about these things and am trusting in the Spirit to dwell with me, to strengthen my inner man, to intercede for me in prayer, to empower me with gifts for ministry, and to help me overcome sin (Romans 8:13, 26-28; 12:5-9; Galatians 5:16-26)."
First, let us note that brother Owen applies the spiritual gifts of the first century to himself [Rom. 12:5-0]. I deny that brother Owen, or any other man living today, has any spiritual gifts! However, Dan claims he trusts the Spirit to EMPOWER ME WITH GIFTS FOR MINISTRY. In my understanding of spiritual gifts as taught in the NT, that makes brother Owen a false teacher ON THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT!
Does the Holy Spirit empower people with gifts or help people to overcome sin in a direct way? I deny it! The Psalmist wrote: "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, THAT I MIGHT NOT SIN against thee" (Psa. 119:11). Though Peter was most certainly an inspired apostle, the Spirit did not keep him from sinning [Gal. 2:11ff], so why would He keep Dan Owen from sinning? Maybe the fact that brother Owen loves the NIV may explain some of his error! It is riddled with false doctrine, yet Dan and his elders and members use it.
Brother Foy E. Wallace, Jr. wrote a 116 page critique of the NIV New Testament alone, before his death [The Old Testament was not out; but, brother Wallace correctly predicted that it would be just as bad as the New], in which he listed 128 specific verses which teach open and obvious error. But, brother Owen, who some around here call a scholar, is not worthy to carry the pen of a man like brother Wallace.
Brother Wallace also wrote 120 page book on THE MISSION AND MEDIUM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT which brother Owen could also benefit from studying.
In my opinion, brother Owen either is not a scholar, or he is not a man of integrity! A scholar would know the many errors of the NIV and denounce it for what it is: a Calvinistic debacle which many false teachers and bad translators have pawned off on an ignorant and indifferent populous as a Bible. Does brother Owen not recognize the many errors of the NIV? If not, he is no scholar. If he does recognize the many errors and will not warn people, he is not a man of integrity! God will Judge!
Finally, I wonder just what brother Owen means
when he wrote:  "am trusting in the Spirit to dwell
with me?" If he believes the spiritual gifts have been
given to him, I suspect he means the Holy Spirit
dwells in him and helps him separate and apart from
the word of God.
"I have learned from our Catholic neighbors to take
a closer look at passages which describe the presence
and activity of God in times of humble compliant
worship. I have learned to feel a sense of awe and
mystery in the presence of God. I have learned to
appreciate the mystery of God's working in actions like
baptism and the Lord's Supper (Colossians 2:12-15; 1
Corinthians 10:16-22). Thanks to these insights I can
no longer feel complacent about these God-ordained
So sad that such an educated and talented man would bother to print such drivel in a newspaper. If I might paraphrase and misquote a well known saying: "Dan never met a denominational doctrine he did not like!"
I confess that I have never been in a Catholic worship service and have no intention of doing so unless I may some day need to go there for a funeral or wedding; that I do not know as yet. However, I will assure you of this: I will not go there to learn any useful doctrine.
If brother Owen really wanted to learn about Catholic doctrine, he would have had a more profitable and useful time if he had purchased and read the two volumes written by O. C. Lambert: CATHOLICISM AGAINST ITSELF. In more than 550 pages, brother Lambert laid out much of the error taught and practiced by the Catholics by using their own writings.
Brother Owen wrote: "I have learned from our Catholic neighbors to take a closer look at passages which describe the presence and activity of God in times of humble compliant worship."
Really, what is this man saying? Do priests present brother Owen with opportunity to observe them in acts of humble and compliant worship? Do you suppose he claims them as brethren? Only faithful children of God can act in humble and compliant worship! So how could our liberal brother make such a ridiculous claim?
Again he verbalized: "I have learned to feel a sense of awe and mystery in the presence of God."
Now tell me, how could a man who labels himself as "an evangelist of a church of Christ" possibly make such statements? His "insights" were gained from the mother of all religious superstitions and ungodly acts of murder and mayhem in the name of religion. No one can number, except God alone, how many people the Catholic Church has murdered since she arose as the mother of all apostates!
Then he wrote: "I have learned to appreciate the mystery of God's working in actions like baptism and the Lord's Supper (Colossians 2:12-15; 1 Corinthians 10:16-22)."
Now that really does it! Does brother Owen know what the Catholic really teach about baptism and the Lord's Supper, and then say: "I have learned to appreciate the mystery of God working?"
One of the "mysteries" of the Catholic Church concerning baptism is that babies are lost and must be "baptized" [sprinkled, in fact-E. G.] because: "The child arrives not a member of the Church, even in positive enmity--unconsciously--to Almighty God, and in the power of the enemy of mankind. As a result of the priest's ministration, the devil is expelled, and the child acquires the state of one of the faithful." [The Priestly Vocation, Ward, 89. Quoted by Lambert, page 182; Vol. II]. That is part of the mystery of God's working in baptism which I doubt brother Owen even knows about.
Does our learned scribe not know that Catholics "baptize" [sprinkle] unbelievers? Does Dan not know that the "baptism" of adults is almost unknown in the Catholic church?
On the element of baptism, the Catholic Church taught: "In an emergency baptize with tea, coffee, or carbonated drinks." [Leaflet, Sacraments in Pictures; Lambert; page 215; Vol. II]
What about the mystery of the Lord's Supper which Dan learned from his neighbors, the Catholics?
Personally, I have never heard or read a Catholic scholar who ever called it anything except THE EUCHARIST. Since brother Owen has learned so much from them, maybe he has heard them call it the Lord's Supper.
> Eucharist is a Greek word meaning, thanks. So how could one learn anything positive about the Lord's Supper from the Catholics? Does brother Owen know about the mystery of THE MASS in which the Catholics teach that the bread becomes the real body of Christ, and the fruit of the vine becomes the real blood of Christ? I would call that a mystery! It really is not a mystery, but a lot of hocus-pocus!
Finally he wrote: "Thanks to these insights I can no longer feel complacent about these God-ordained rites."
These "insights" were, of course, learned from the Catholics. Is that not a pathetic paragraph to have been written by a preacher who totes a "doctorate" around with him? Does he call the actions of Catholic "God-ordained rites?" If I might, I shall quote another well known line: "Dan, thou art beside thyself, much learning doth make thee mad." [More to follow]
The tremendous power of the Word of God is profoundly stated in Hebrews 4:12. "For the Word of God is quick, and powerful,, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Sadly, there are countless preacher/writers in the present day who spout off untold pages of erudite theory in order to make the Word of God easier to understand. Their writing becomes stylistic excess, which, after reading, the point was lost in the byproduct of intense study of the works of men. God's Word was written expressly for the purpose of guiding men to heaven, not to numb them with complex, laborious references of men with B.A.'s, B.S.'s and PhD's.
The average alien sinner, picking up a copy of one of today's bulletin/magazine articles is no likelier to understand the truth proclaimed therein, than if he read the latest edition of Horse and Rider. Much is to be said for plain speaking.
The truth of the matter is, there are, within the brotherhood today, many self-exalting acolytes of enlightenment that seem to have a secret yen for proclaiming their own brilliance. God's Word, and the great truth it reveals, is sufficient to guide men to heaven, without the help of the cacophonous jargon, masking as radiant wisdom that is the norm of today's articles. Let us not forget the irrefutable truth expressed in II Timothy 3:16-17. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works," God's Word is plain, let's not make a mess of it.
Jeremy Light , P.O. Box 557 ,> Ben Wheeler, TX 75754
On yesterday I enjoyed a visit from brother Jody Apple who preaches in Media, Pa. Brother Apple has been in that mission field for several years and is doing a good work. The church in Media is small in number but great in faith. There are those who feel too big to preach for little congregations. Not my friend Jody.
Today my good friend Steve Wiggins from Burkburnett, Texas, stopped by for a visit. Bro. Wiggins and his family had come to Tenn., for the funeral of Sister Wiggins' grandfather. Our sympathy to the bereaved relatives.
> Brother Wiggins and brother Bill Lockwood began a paper a few years ago which is known as Hammer and Tongs. The purpose of the paper was and is to refute the infernal heresy of Calvinism relative to the Holy Spirit. You can receive the paper by contacting Steve Wiggins in Burkburnett, Texas.
A flyer is in hand praising the 1999 Jubilee which is planned for a lot of suckers. It has been reported that old P. T. Barnum said that a sucker is born every minute. He denied saying that. He just filled his pockets with the money from suckers. Little Liz said of suckers, "I want to know where all the rest come from." Well, a sizeable portion come from the Jubilee as is evidenced by the clapping, oohs and ah's when the heretics get on the podiums.
The flyer states that Jubilee 98 reached its peak with approximately 8000 in attendance. With Rubel's Church, Steve Flatt's Church and a few other large liberal churches in Nashville supporting the big-top circus; 8000 is but a drop in the garbage pail. They boast of having people from 37 states and eleven foreign countries. That would no doubt make a big impression upon some. How many of those registrants were Lipscomb students?
The keynote speaker for Jubilee 1999 will be the great church-divider, Lynn Anderson from the ultra, ultra, liberal Highland Church in Abilene, Texas. The Jubilee promoters want money from one and all. I am more than positive that enough suckers will respond to the pleas of Shelly, et.al.
I pray that brethren will assist in fighting this
cancer which moves into Nashville each year. Silence
is a terrible sin when Satan has free course.
A copy of a letter is in hand which was written by Steve Flatt of Lipscomb wherein he is seeking preaching appointments for himself and a couple of other Lipscomb followers. Those who keep abreast of matters will recall a recent issue of the Plumbline where mention was made of Scott McDowell joining in with the Baptist churches in the Cookeville, Tenn. area to have some sort of Baptist Seminar. Comes now one Steve Flatt begging churches to invite McDowell to preach. Why will Steve not request congregations to invite Baptist preachers to come in and preach? There is not one whit of difference and whoever thinks otherwise needs his head screwed on properly. McDowell is a part of the Lipscomb Administration.
Then Steve wants congregations to invite him to
visit and preach. Invite Steve Flatt who helped set up
the unscriptural, ungodly, wicked Jubilee structure?
Invite Steve Flatt who went to Smyrna and praised the
heretic, Jeff Walling who is doing his best to destroy
the faithful congregations of the church of Christ?
Heaven forbid! Invite Steve Flatt who preaches a neo-pentecostal heresy regarding the Holy Spirit? Listen
to his tapes.
If we could only get a bunch of dunderhead elders, preachers and members to awaken from their stupor, these liberal school men might get a much needed lesson. Someone said that the pen is mightier than the sword. How true! Oh, for thousands of pens which might be used against the diabolical onslaughts of modernism! Tis difficult to use a good writing pen while holding on and casting with a rod and reel. We need more penmen and fewer perch-men.
Bro. Danny Bennett from down Alabama Way has sent information which announces a concert by Acappella at the Monrovia Church of Christ. This note is just another reminder of apostasy which is so widespread. The Social Activities of liberal churches is about all people are interested in.
In the same newspaper ad, the Mayfair church in Huntsville has Lynn Anderson scheduled for a conference. If there ever was a heretic proclaiming the need to divide congregations, Lynn surely takes the prize. Elders need to guard the flock against wolves.
We continue our feeble efforts to catch up to date with the Plumbline but it seems there are entire days when the devil moves in with his pitchfork. Of course this is a figure of speech. Other days I feel like working some in the mornings. For some strange, baffling, reason, the afternoons are filled with such pain as to cause a bull elephant to lie down in defeat.
Why do I mention the above? Number first, please keep me in your prayers. Number second, if you can, exercise patience with me and try to realize that I am trying. Number third, for two months just past, I did not look at one piece of mail. It seemed that I simply could not tolerate the stress and strain of anything which required energy--which some of that, I had not any at times. Number fourth, if you have ordered books and have not received them, I am trying to get my house in order by taking care of book orders. I've had my face to the wall long enough and would be so thankful to really live with energy, strength, vitality and a sense of value to my brethren. Like brother G. K. Wallace said, "It hurts to have to hang up the sword."
I have several manuscripts which have been completed and ready to be published. Notice of these will be made known by means of the Plumbline. If and when!
I have decided that the quickest way for a congregation to grow is for the congregation across town to have a big blowout. The members act like Peter Cottontail when he came hopping down the bunny trail. In our area it just looks like brethren and sisters cannot be satisfied. They are restless, nervous, shaky and seemingly have no sense of understanding about worship. If and when we can get rid of all those infernal externals which crowd our minds about a place and learn to focus on a person, we will get rid of the carnal desires. On any given Sunday morning, what does the average church member have in mind? I insist that the idea in mind is to find a place with all those accouterments and appeasements.
I have long since thought that these churches with all those MINISTERS and ministries should have a, 'Minister of Sticks.' The job of the Minister of Sticks would be to make and furnish the membership with pogo sticks so they could hop about from congregation to congregation.
Occasionally, we will be greeted by a church hopper at the Villages Congregation but for some strange reason, they usually hop along after a few Bible based sermons. Church hoppers are always hunting for a PLACE and it isn't difficult nowadays to find a church loaded with hoppers. I do not speak of those who move about in order to find a sound, loyal, faithful, congregation.
Another has just said that I need to drop all the issues which are in arrears and start all over. This is said with respect to my health condition. I am trying desperately to get updated. Please check your label and if you need to renew your subscription, please do so. Help increase our subscription list.