PLUMBLINE -- Editor, Wayne Coats

VOL. 3 No. 11,  June 1999

Sin In The Camp

Did Aaron really expect Moses to swallow this story? Moses recognized this could not be so! Courage led him to state, "Who is on the Lord's side" (Exodus 32:26)? Imagine his courage in proclaiming the will of God as he stated, "Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour" (v.27). Some may well be moved to state, "What an unloving thing to ask those who had crossed over to the side of righteous Moses." But let us not lose sight of the fact that they had stated they were on the Lord's side. The others had failed to repent and cross over. Thus they were not to remain in the camp with their corrupting influence. God was not unloving! He had given everyone the same opportunity to take a stand for truth. Those to be slain had failed to do so. Whose fault was it if they now had to face the justice of a truly just God? Indeed it took courage on Moses' part--and only courageous soldiers of God are able to carry out God's command in the constant conflict with Satan even in this present day. Those who stated they were on the Lord's side likewise proved they would follow a courageous leader. "And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses; and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men" (v.28). Having shown true courage, and noted the same from the Levites, Moses now showed forth the love he had for his people although they had betrayed him when his back was turned. "Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written" (v.32).

Of course God did not blot Moses out. We have the story as an example of disobedience and punishment--of great weakness and great courage. And it is a story well worth our consideration when we note the "sin in the camp" today. We are seeing much digression in churches of Christ, and leaders in the forefront stating that we must make changes in order to keep our people and/or to gain others, such as "baby boomers." Weak elders and preachers are being persuaded to go along with whatever makes for "good feelings" in worship. And usually what seems to make such good feelings isn't motivated by the pattern set forth by God in scripture, but rather entertainment designed to inflame the emotions! Yes, there is definitely "sin in the camp." As an example, I know of a similar situation to that described in our story wherein a faithful gospel preacher left to attend a lectureship and would be gone from his regularly scheduled class at mid-week. He had taught thoroughly in class and from the pulpit on why certain modern versions, and certain false teachers should not be used and/or supported. Imagine his surprise to learn that during his absence arrangements had been made to show a video tape produced by some of the very false teachers he had been warning against. And in the video frequent references were made quoting from one of the most perverted versions of modern times, the New International Version!

Does this not parallel what Moses faced? He had gone to gain knowledge and help from God to lead Israel into the promised land. As he returned he was faced with a complete departure by the people and by his trusted brother who should have known better. These had been taught and shown the power of the one true God. But they wanted their god to be like those of their neighbour who had only recently held them in slavery. And for worship they were having a shouting party!!!

Like Moses, it takes men of courage to stand up and lead weaker brethren when apostate leaders move in. Those who, like Moses, show true courage will often find themselves having to make what appears to some as "unloving" statements. They, however, like Moses, love their brothers' souls too much to be silenced. They recognize the truth in the statement, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you" (Matt. 5:10-12). And the Holy Spirit inspired Paul wrote, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Tim. 3:12).

Faithful and courageous brethren will be rewarded in heaven in spite of persecution, even from false teachers in their own camp! Are we with them????

Brother Richardson

Perverting Our Worship In Song

Danny Bennett

Our worship in song is undergoing an unprecedented transformation in the types of songs being sung and in format borrowed from the denominational/religious world. Congregations, as well as the youth in their classes and devotionals, are singing songs that contain doctrinal error! Lynn Anderson in Navigating The Winds Of Change, tells us "in order to communicate in the changing heartfelt languages of the people, musical styles in worship must also keep changing" because "our music is a foreign language" and "New songs express new spiritual vistas... cultural variety... spiritual growth calls for the creating of new and varied music." Rubel Shelly says in The Second Incarnation, we must not "close off creativity from the Spirit of God." A cursory look at these books reveals that their authors advocate the unscriptural innovations in the (a). type songs; i.e., replacing the traditional with contemporary and (b). in format; i.e., choirs, solos, bands, and/or instrumental music. They attempt to justify these innovations by an improper exegesis of I Corinthians 14:26, Ephesians 5:19, and Colossians 3:16 using perversions of the Bible; i.e., New International Version, etc. This article will focus on the type of unscriptural songs being introduced into the worship service in many congregations.

The Scriptural traditional songs that faithful brethren have sung over the years with their grand themes of assurance, guidance, the cross, promises, heaven, submission, etc., are almost memories. They are being replaced with contemporary Christian(?) songs with an emphasis on subjective feelings and emotion. For example, (a). Got a Reason -- "Got a reason for livin' again (uh-uh-uh)... for laughin" again (uh-uh-uh).... (b). Heaven Is In My Heart -- "Ooooo.. Heaven is in my heart... ", or (c). Jesus Is A Friend -- "Give someone a hug, and sing, sing ah...."

A brief review of these new songs also reveals that many contain doctrinal error as follows: (1). Direct Operation of the Holy Spirit; i.e., (a). Open My Eyes, That I May See -- "Open my eyes... my ears... my mouth... Place in my hands the wonderful key...illumine me...", (b). Make Me A Servant -- "Make me a servant Lord make me like you ... do what you must do... ", and (c). My Eyes Are Dry -- "soften it up with oil and wine... "; (2). Grace Only: (a). Happy Am I -- "Only believe-don't doubt it... ", (b). We Have Come Into His House -- "just worship Him... ", and (c). He's Still Working On Me -- "He loves me as I am..." (3). Premillennialism: We Are One -- "... And they pray that our unity will one day be restored..."; (4). Impossibility of Apostasy: Blue Skies -- "Nevermore will I be alone since He, promised me that we never would part..."; (5). Second Chance Theory: Get Right Church - "...back, back train and get your load..."; and (6). Pentecostalism: (a). Stand Up And Shout It -- "Stand up and Shout it, if you love my Jesus... ", and (b). Jesus Is A Friend -- "Jesus is a friend, is a friend next to ya... Give somebody a hug, give a hug next to ya... Take somebody's hand, somebody's hand next to ya...", and (c). Glorify Thy Name -- "Father,...Jesus,...Spirit,...we worship you."

The innovations in types of songs that are being introduced into our worship in song are unscriptural and show a total disregard for the pattern/guidelines found in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16. Subjectivism based upon feelings and emotions is rapidly replacing Objective Truth (John 4:24; 7:17). Another doctrine (Galatians 1:6-8) has invaded and perverted our worship in song! Lynn Anderson says, "The howling winds of change are filling our ears and our churches with the sounds of new music!" However, the winds he hears may be those that fan the fires of Gehenna (cf. Matthew 5:29,39; 10:28; 25:41). The result of not following the divine pattern in the Inspired Word makes our worship in song vain (Matthew 15:9); according to our will (Colossians 2:23); and ignorant (Acts 17:23); rather than " spirit and in truth" (John 4:24), and will carry one into eternity, eternally lost (Matthew 7:21-23, Revelation 22:18,19).

Danny Bennett

6205 Wall Triana

Madison, Alabama 35757-7207

"Once Upon A Time"

As small children we were all told or read stories that began with the phrase "Once upon a time." This phrase was a catch-all statement that literally meant "this was the way things were back then." As we look all across the brotherhood and note the numerous problems that are facing the church, we need to take this phrase and make a spiritual application, looking at what made the difference "Once upon a time."

"Once upon a time" the Word of God was respected. People today no longer respect God's Word as the authority in all things spiritual. Most no longer accept it as "the inspired will of God" that was given to man for "doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness." A good example of how people felt about the Word is found in Nehemiah 8:1-12. We see a group of people that desired that the Word be brought and read to them; then while the reading was going on, they were attentive to the reading. As it was being read, they stood and remained standing for the entire reading, they bowed themselves and worshipped the Lord as the Word was read, they understood the reading, and then they went and did as instructed by the Word. Yes, "Once upon a time", we had respect for God's Word, but now we follow after the doctrines, creeds, and opinions of men.

"Once upon a time" the people had a mind to work. When the walls around Jerusalem were rebuilt by Nehemiah and the people, the job only took fifty-two days. We can read why in Nehemiah 4:6. "So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof-, for the people had a mind to work." Our Lord, when He was just twelve years old, knew He had a job to do; "Know ye not that I must be about my Fathers business?" When we do the Work of the Lord, the lost will be taught, the erring restored, the hungry fed, the sick visited, the down-trodden lifted up, and the brethren edified. "Once upon a time" the brethren had a mind to work, and all of these things were accomplished, and the church was the fastest growing religious organization on the earth.

"Once upon a time" the gospel was all that was preached. Jesus gave the command to "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Now, look at what the disciple did. Acts 5:42, "And daily in the temple and in every house, they ceased not to teach, and preach Jesus Christ." Acts 8:4, "Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the Word." Look at the results. Acts 2:41, "And the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls." Acts 4:4, "Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand." Col. 1:23, "if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven." Paul told the young man Timothy to "Preach the word." But today we see anything but the gospel being preached from the pulpit and taught in our class rooms, and then we wonder why we have problems in the church. Yes, "Once upon a time" the gospel was all that was preached to a lost and dying world, and it was this gospel that produced precious fruit in the Lord's vineyard.

"Once upon a time" Christians did not forsake the assembly. The Psalmist had the right attitude about the assembly when he penned these words, "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord." Hebrews 10:25 encourages us not to make a willful choice to miss the assembling of ourselves together with brethren of like precious faith. However, we now see congregations with 200 in attendance at Sunday morning Bible study, 600 for the morning worship service and maybe 250 back for the evening worship, and only about half that many for the Wednesday evening service. My question would be, why the difference? Don't we assemble to worship God? Isn't it just as important to assemble at all the services designated by the leadership, as it is at only one or at most two a week? If not, why not? Yes, "Once upon a time", Christians were glad to go up to the house of the Lord to worship Him.

"Once upon a time" pleasing God was placed above anything else. In Matthew 6:33, we are given this command, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." Our primary purpose and goal in life is to serve God, and we can only do this if He is in His proper place in our life. But now a days we see Christians all across the brotherhood who are trying to serve God, as well as please man and from reading Matt. 6:24 we know this won't work. We see brethren who love the world and the things of the world more than they love God, and 1 John 2:15 lets us know that if this is the case, the love of the Father is not in us. The whole duty of man is to "fear God and keep His commandments," and the only way we can do this is if we put Him first in our life. "Once upon a time" men were willing to do this, but not any more.

As with every good story that started out "Once upon a time", most all of them had a phrase that summed the story up that went like this, "And they all lived happily ever after." If we will do as they did "Once upon a time", then on the day of judgment we will hear "Well done thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord", and when we hear this, we will "Live happily ever after."

Danny L. Box

10985 Country Haven

Cottondale, AL 35453

Christian Living In A Post-modern Society

When the indifferent culture around us embraces the notion of post-modernity, we should shudder. We live in an age which clings to fragmented sensations, promiscuity, superficiality, disposability, anarchic freedom, and general Godlessness. Amid the swirling chaos we stand and ask ourselves, how must I conduct myself in accordance with God's Word among the international and pervasive threat of persecution? Brethren, the answer is as clear and rational as it is stated in Ecclesiastes 12:13. "Fear God and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man."

We must not feel we are the only ones in history to be mocked and belittled at society's whims. Study your Bible. You will find the early Christians, in fact, all of God's people since the beginning of the world, have had to deal with the lawlessness of society. God holds no place in their hearts. Why? The answer: God has placed restrictions on man. Man has always rebelled against God because he was selfish. He sought his own will above God's. Such is not acceptable because God demands, not requests, strict obedience to His will (Acts 5:29). In today's world, men look upon God with a cool and casual nonchalance and deadpan aplomb. They hold vehement contempt for all those who choose to follow God and never miss an opportunity to persecute them.

Now back to the essential question. How are we to act? We must act as all faithful followers of God have always acted. We must put on the whole armour of God (Eph. 6:11) and not only stand, but take a bold and unflinching step into evil's face. It is true that such an action puts us perpetually at risk of mocking, scoffing, laughing, exclusion, and possibly physical abuse. However, anytime we feel we are being put upon or mistreated, we must remember that our Lord and Saviour suffered this and more in His life.

If we will only take a stand for truth, in spite of the consequences, we will be counted on the right side, God's side, then we will receive the crown of life (Rev. 2:10). And yes, there are sides, no matter what the post-modern "enlightened" ones hold to be the case.

Jeremy Light

P.O. Box 557

Ben Wheeler, TX 75754

New Spelling?

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the EU (European Union) rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty's Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phase-in plan that would be known as "Euro-English."

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c." Certainly, this will make the sivil servants jump for you. The hard "c" will be dropped in favor of the "k." This should klear up konfusion and keyboards kan have one fewer letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replased with the "f." This will make words like "fotograf" 20% shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptance of the new spelling kan be expected to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments enkourage the removal of double leters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also al wil agre that the horible mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the fourth year peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v." During ze fifz year ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

After ziz fifz yer ve vil hav a rali sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech ozer. Ze drem vil finali kum tru!!

What do you think about such a promotion? The above was a letter to William Buckley in a recent National Review by a Christian Frei of Lausanne, Switzerland. It is quite humorous, don't you think? But friends and brethren, there is an application of the principle here promoted that many are failing to recognize. I am talking about those who would change the truth of God into a lie, set aside the clear directives of God's word and replace them with something more appealing to the masses, even if it is the exact opposite of what God reveals, demands, and deserves. If those who seek to change things among brethren have their way, what would be the result? We don't have to guess as they are already at it.

1. Change the book that is read and studied from a reliable translation of the scriptures to a perversion like the New International model. Refer to man's "sinful nature" as if there is such a thing and promote Calvinism by such mistranslations as included in this darling so-called Bible of the changers. Don't even spend much time with God's word anyhow as stories from best selling authors appeal to the Biblically illiterate. Serve cotton candy from the pulpit and in classes as they are sure to come back for more sweetness while starving to spiritual death. Preach and teach anything and everything but the pure gospel which is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16; 2 Timothy 4:2-4).

2. Fellowship that which God has no fellowship with: denominationalism, immorality, and false teachers. Distort or just ignore what God clearly teaches about such matters in Romans 16:17, 1 Corinthians 5, Ephesians 5:11, and 2 John 9-11. If questioned, ridicule and malign honest inquirers as meddling in private matters, hate mongering, or Phariseeism. Court the world with a message of inclusiveness, open mindedness, and agnosticism in regard to truth.

3. Expand the work and influence of the Holy Spirit beyond that which has been revealed. Let hunches and emotionalism be the new standard in the place of "all truth" into which the Spirit guided the apostles and prophets in the first century (John 14:26; 16:13). If someone questions the changes, you can always fall back on your superior spirituality and openness to the Spirit's leading, obviously lacking in the numb skulls who just want to go back to the Bible even though it is the Spirit's perfect sword (Ephesians 6:17; 2 Timothy 3:16,17).

Many other things could be expanded upon but this will suffice to demonstrate the application. If some brethren have their way we would be calling "evil good, and good evil;" put "darkness for light and light for darkness;" and "put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter." But "woe unto them that" do (Isaiah 5:20).

--Freddie Clayton

A Most Interesting Story

Dan Jones

In one of my late night channel surfing sessions, a lady preacher caught my eye. Bottle-blonde hair inflated and set like cement, enough face paint to seal an average sized deck, and a dress that would stand out at Mardi Gras. She made Tammy Fay look like a cheapskate. In a tiny, plaintive voice she was testifying to an absolutely transfixed audience. As the camera panned from one face to another, most of the women were wiping tears, some openly sobbing, and the men all seemed to have a sudden, persistent need to swallow. The lady preacher was telling the tale of her first faith-healing experience, which she had shared with her best friend in childhood.

It seems the two little girls were first at the scene of a hit-and-run which left a victim lifeless, neck broken, and one eyeball hanging from its socket. The audience was visibly moved as she told of her desire to bring healing to that pitiful broken body, just like she had seen her preacher-father do many times. There was no anointing oil available, but surely the Crisco from her mother's pantry would serve in an emergency. So the Crisco was procured and applied liberally. The two little girls laid on hands and prayed with all their might. After an emotional description of the desperate, prolonged prayer, streams of tears plowing black furrows through her eye-shadow, the lady preacher shouted the outcome of her efforts--SUCCESS!!! Life restored to the lifeless! Broken neck straightened! Errant eyeball returned to socket! The congregation simply dissolved in an outbreak of "oohs" and "ahhs" and "HALLELUJAHS! " All the while, the preacheress beamed on them with love from a face which now, because of the tear-smeared make-up, bore an eerie resemblance to a member of the rock band KISS.

The identity of the fortunate beneficiary of this first faith-healing attempt? A chicken! Is it any wonder that so many have turned a deaf ear to the gospel when a steady stream of this kind of carnival garbage is presented under the banner of "Christianity?" And shouldn't our concern be tripled by calls for "raucous celebration," "hubbub," and "holy wow," from among our own brethren? What the world needs now is not more religious side shows, but words of truth and soberness (Acts 26:25).

A Critique Of Article By Dan Owen #4

Paragraph V

"I have learned from our Methodist and Episcopal friends to take a more serious look at those Bible passages about doing tangible good deeds toward others (Matthew 25:31 if, Galatians 6:9-10, etc.). The social action of these groups has been an example to me about how God wants us to reach out to the poor, the sick, and the oppressed of this world."

Paragraph VI

"In each of these cases I have learned from my neighbors because their emphasis has pointed me back to the Bible. Isn't that supposed to be the basic philosophy of churches of Christ? I don't care who points me back to the word of God. I appreciate it! Our plea is simply to submit ourselves the best we possibly can to the Lordship of Jesus by doing what he commands us to do in his word and trusting in his grace. There are many things about the practices of the aforementioned neighbors with which I disagree in light of Scripture. However, I sincerely thank them for the ways in which they help me more perfectly submit to the will of God."

Dan R. Owen


2855 BROADWAY -- 502-443-6206



Earl's Comments on Paragraphs V & VI:

It is, perhaps, past time to draw this critique to a conclusion. The final two paragraphs are just "more of the same." The church where Dan Owens is preaching is certainly deeply involved in social action. He said he learned that from the Methodist and Episcopalians. Well, I knew he did not learn about some of the things his congregation is involved in from the New Testament! The 3.1 million dollar Family Life Center about to be opened by Broadway is not at all related to the ministry of the church. "For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come" (1 Tim. 4:8).

It is just another name for a health club, and is as far from the Pattern for the ministry of the church of Christ as the colleges and hospitals which have found their way into church budgets. The football team at Broadway is just another verse of the old liberal song being sung just as loudly by some claiming membership in churches of Christ as it was once sung by the mainstream, liberal denominations. I am old enough to remember when all of the "special" ministries and "special" ministers were all in the denominations. With Jeremiah the prophet, I would ask all of our brethren who have gone to extremes, to "Come back and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein." Yet, like the people in his time, most today are also saying, "We will not walk therein" (Jer. 6:16). But, let us hear the rest of the story as told by the prophet. Jeremiah 6:19, "Hear, 0 earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it." In many places, we see the people who are reaping the "fruit of their thoughts."

Most of the highest paid preachers in the brotherhood are false teachers. Some have told how much Jeff Walling is being paid at Providence Road in Charlotte, NC. He preaches for a congregation which lists a "female youth minister" on their webpage. I have not found the qualifications and duties of a "male youth minister" in the Pattern yet, so after I do, I will then begin to search for the duties and qualifications of the "female youth minister."

Any preacher or teacher who has stood firmly upon the principles learned only from the Bible have almost always been mistreated by unloving brethren who love the praises of men more than the praises of God. I have been fired twice; but, not for teaching error. I have also moved, though not fired, because of the treatment by some in the congregation. I admit to being "negative" in some of my teaching and preaching. I read much negative teachings in the Bible by both the Lord and his disciples in the first century. If always asking for a passage as proof before doing something is "negative," then color me negative.

If I have caused some to stop and think about what the church can and cannot do by the authority of the Scriptures in these articles, I will not have labored in vain. I hold no animosity towards brother Dan Owen. I have written what I have written out of my love for the truth. Few members of the church in our area believe and practice Romans 16:17-18 and Ephesians 5:11.

Only the truth will set us free, and keep us free.

Earl Gieseke

Heath Church of Christ

1025 Woodville Road

Kevil, Kentucky 42053

Restored To The Grace Of God

Galatians 1:6-12
Adron Doran

The concept, process and principle of the procedures of restoration are as old as the history of man's departure from God. The Book of Genesis records the detailed process by which "God created the heaven and the earth" and all that dwelt in them.

Adam and Eve were created and placed in the Garden of Eden with specific instructions for their pattern of behavior. As a result of their sin, they were not only driven out of the garden, but God placed enmity between the tempter and the woman but promised that the seed of Eve would eventually bruise the head of the serpent.

From the time that God made this pronouncement, all of His forces were mobilized to the end that one day man would be redeemed from his fallen state and restored to the full favor of God. The Bible is replete with examples of God's creation who became dissatisfied with the way the Lord was dealing with them and drifted into rebellion and apostasy.

By the latter days of Noah, the "wickedness of man was great upon the earth and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was evil continually" (Gen. 6:5). However, Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord and God called him to build an ark of gopher wood whereby eight souls were saved from the flood which destroyed the world (1 Peter 3:20).

Following the flood, the entire Adamic race was of one language and one speech. Those inhabitants of the land of Shinar devised a plan by which they would "build a city and a tower whose top may reach unto heaven" (Gen. 11:4). The Lord confused their language and confounded their speech and scattered them abroad upon the face of the earth" (Gen. 11:9). These people of different nations began to forget God and turned to worship strange and heathen gods.

Out of this system of false teaching and corrupt worship God called Abraham at the age of seventy-five years. He became the progenitor of a chosen nation which would eventually make its way from the land of Mesopotamia into the land of Palestine. The nation of Israel experienced many difficulties in the journeys under Moses and Joshua. They often departed from the commandments of God and suffered dire consequences. However, when they repented and returned to God, He was willing to receive them and restore them to His favor. When Joshua assumed the leadership of the people of God upon the death of Moses, God said unto him, "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein (Josh. 1:8). Joshua responded in a stirring and memorable address to the people in which he said: "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose ye this day whom ye will serve...but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord" (Josh 24:14-18).

The people responded with a firm resolve to bind themselves to the Lord God who had brought them into the promised land by saying, "God, forbid that we should forsake the Lord...therefore, we will also serve the Lord for He is our God."

It is important that we search the pages of the New Testament to find how God deals with us through Jesus Christ in perfecting the scheme of redemption for every creature in all of the world. The Apostle Paul reminds us that God speaks to us "in these last days by His Son." He also warns us that there is no escape for us "if we neglect so great salvation" and let what we have heard slip (Heb. 1:1-2; 2:1-4). We have no business toying with the gospel of Christ or tinkering with the church which Jesus purchased with His own precious blood in His death upon the old rugged cross of Calvary. The Apostle Peter wrote to "them of like precious faith" that "if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning" (2 Peter 2:20).

It is extremely difficult to understand why some of our liberal brethren are becoming entangled and overcome with digression and sectarianism instead of calling the brotherhood to repentance and restoration. So many gospel preachers are ridiculing the doctrine of Christ and bashing the Lord's church. Every congregation of the church of Christ should be identified with the Jerusalem church established in 33 A.D. The Apostle Paul wrote that the church in Thessalonica "became followers of the churches of God which in Judea are in Christ" (1 Thess. 2:14). For a congregation to be in Christ, it must follow the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9-11).

People, Places, Things

Sometimes I wonder if I appear to be as inconsistent to the liberals as they appear to me. In all honesty, I have serious doubts that any liberal will bother to peruse that which I scribble on paper. The one thing which interests me with great amusement is the absolutely foolish, disparate, divergent, deviant, patchworked, multifarious, disjunctive, incongruous and inconsistant manner of the liberals as they try to say something.

Does it appear that I write with a pen of contradiction, either from ignorance or otherwise? It doesn't take too many brains for one to speak or write with logical consistency. If we are to follow our Lord, whether we write in the sand or on paper, we must be completely and absolutely honest. It could very well be the case that there are some out there who might know as much or perhaps more than we know. I do not think any pompous liberal will ever admit that there might be at lest one or two people on earth as brilliant as a liberal.


"Do you Hear the Call," is the latest from the pen of Rubel Shelly. We are told that Christ "called you to join him in doing battle against the spiritual forces of darkness that war against our souls." "He called you to step into the breach so that the battle for what is holy, just and pure can be pressed forward on planet earth." One writer recently said, "we are producing millions of consumers of religion, but consumers of religion are a far cry from true disciples."

What a farce, a jargon, a fantastic, ludicrous, paradox! Place the above alongside Shelly's garbage about "Unity in Diversity" and the result is pure nonsense. Do you think Shelly would be specific and tell us who "...the spiritual forces of darkness" are? Those forces are "spiritual." They could not be Catholic forces. You see Shelly invited a Catholic to speak at one of his big-to-do's. They could never be Protestant forces because Shelly has done the tango with practically every Protestant cult that will give him an audience.

Shelly wants to battle against spiritual forces, but such is sheer babbling braggadocio. His battle plan is to appease and please the cults as he slurs, belittles, croaks, and prates against faithful brethren. Yesterday he was a philosopher, today he is a theologian and tomorrow he will be a courageous soldier ready to enter into battle if anyone can be found equal to the task.

So far as "pressing the battle forward," please do not hold your breath until that happens. When Jesus confronted the false teachers of his day, he was full of courage and valor. He did not select the people with which he would do battle, and he did not make fun of them and them flee.


The Youth and Family minister of the Woodmont Hills group wrote the following after he was hurt, "A few from Terry Smith's movie prayer group saw me limping and one immediately prayed with me. He asked the Lord to heal me or maybe see this injury as a reminder of the Lord's control and we need to slow down. I don't believe I had ever met this man, but the Lord spoke to me using him." HOGWASH! What a youth minister! Parents who send their younguns to Lipscomb should know that hundreds of them go to Rubel's Church where the Lord speaks to the youth minister. Some parents will not listen to the truth which I print.

Lord willing, in our next Plumbline we will begin the first of five articles written by brother Stark who lives and preaches in Benton Harbor, Michigan. The articles are answers to a lopsided paper by Ken Johnson from Rochester College in which he attempts to "define who they are religiously speaking." Will someone please inform me why some of these fellows in the colleges and universities can get so far out in left field and still expect congregations, alumni and brethren generally, to continue to support them?


The Wilson Avenue congregation in Tullahoma, Tenn. is in the midst of a special series of studies. For the adults, "four excellent speakers" are Steve Flatt, Ronnie Misseldine, Dan Winkler, and Bill Goree. You can, "see Jesus heal a lame man, escape from prison with Peter, see Saul blinded on the road to Damascus." Wonder how many those clowns will raise from the dead?

When you move, send us your change of  address so you won't miss a single issue. The Post Office does not forward the Plumbline

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