Let Us Go Back To The Bible For It All
Did A. Campbell and others truly restore the New Testament church? We look at Martin Luther and call him a reformer because he sought to reform the Catholic church, not to restore the New Testament church. However, the claim made by the Campbells and others was restoration, not reformation. To all reformers and so called restorers, we are eternally grateful and we owe much of our "freedom" to them.
However, did we, being generally followers instead of leaders, take their word for truth when they claimed to be restorers and, as we so often do, believe that they did indeed restore New Testament Christianity because we were told that they did? As a result, when we study the Bible are we guilty of studying through our traditions as they were brought over by the early restorers? Are we willing to take a second look at some "truths" we have always believed? Or, are they our Sacred Cows that we believe need no reviewing or renewing. Has God sent us "a working delusion that we might believe a lie" about the following points? Are we honest and open minded to God's Word, willing to reconsider our beliefs? Let us see!
1. The "called out" of God are members of an institution. So much has been written on this subject that more discussion is not needed.
2. God's elders are business managers, bosses, in charge, instead of being knowledgeable spiritual leaders and feeders, responsible for souls.
3. I Cor. 16:1-2 is authority for a common treasury that becomes God's money when it enters the "plate," takes away from the individual the responsibility for being stewards of God, and gives a few men (elders) the authority to spend that money as THEIR wisdom directs, usually on fine buildings that please us, not God.
4. Making a ceremony out of passing the Lord's Supper instead of focusing on the supper itself. Men, walking down the aisle like little soldiers, which calls attention to themselves, instead of quietly, without fanfare, taking their places at the table.
5. Conforming to the world around us by building a "church" (building) which looks just like theirs, giving the impression we are a denomination, and naming it the CHURCH OF CHRIST when God did not give an institutional name to His people, but only described them.
6. Having a preacher system that suits us, but with no authority for such. (A preacher preaches at a place, moves on, another takes his place, etc.) And now adding "Christian counseling," which is fostering in the groups today the idea that marriage laws do not apply to the non-Christian. (The only counseling we, as God's people, do is with Bible teaching, and every Christian is a counselor. The preacher system is being fostered by the present setup.
7. Focusing attention on the "Church" building where the staff resides, fosters the idea that instead of our BEING the church, we GO to the church in the building, where all "church" activities take place and where many elders feel their responsibility resides.
8. Our services (worship, etc.) are formal, having performers and spectators.
9. Using the assemblies as a place to bring non-believers to be taught. This takes away our personal responsibility in teaching, and also causes an atmosphere NOT CONDUCIVE to edifying the believers, and teaching "meat" that they (we) might grow toward greater spiritual maturity. (Non-believers cannot worship God, nor are they capable of digesting the meat of the Word.) As individuals we are to teach them, convict and convert them. Christ adds them to us (the Body), then they join us in all worship and other assembling.
Are we willing to cast aside ALL traditional blinders and go to God's Word for His direction, that we may stand justified before Him on that great and glorious day? Will we turn our backs on all practices that are not approved by God through the Bible, that we might allow ourselves to be acceptable to Almighty God? Thus, causing us to be able to bring others to Him, that He will add them to us (the Body)? Now is the time to investigate and destroy all "sacred cows," turning to God who is "the author and finisher of our faith."
LET US GO BACK TO THE BIBLE FOR IT ALL!