* WELCOME to about 400 Christians of the Independent Christian Churches who joined our readership with the previous issue. Most of these are in California. We are building an increasingly larger circulation among this segment of disciples. We are pleased with this and want that number to grow even more.
One word: Please don't be discouraged or confused if you do NOT understand (or agree) with all the teachings herein. This work has been going on for almost three years and you are coming in more or less "in the middle" of this effort. Give us a chance for you to understand what is presented and WHY before you pass judgment, good or bad. Examine everything carefully in the light of God's word. Study and think for yourself. We hope that you will want to stay with us as we reason together concerning the teaching of God's word.
* PERSONAL NOTE: I am the speaker on a radio program each Sunday morning at 8:05-8:30, on WRIC, 540 on the AM dial, in Richlands, VA. It is paid for by the disciples who make up the Cliffield Church of Christ, Pounding Mill, VA. Indications are that a large number of people are listening and apparently good is being accomplished. The station reaches out about 200 miles. If you live in that vicinity perhaps you can tune in.
September 18-25, I am scheduled to be with the saints at Pounding Mill in a series of Bible studies. If you are close enough to attend, we would love to have you come. Pounding Mill is close to Richlands and Cedar Bluff in the mountains of western Virginia. - CAH
* "Contact" Persons: If you are willing to serve as a "contact" person for others who would like to meet in homes to study the vital matters discussed in this paper, as well as others, please let me know. Send your name, address, and telephone number so I can give it to any who may be interested in learning about such meetings. In more and more cities this is taking place to the joy and benefit of all who participate. If you want to know if there is a "contact" person in your area, just write and I will send you the information.
* EAST TEXAS: In June, I was in the Dayton/Liberty/Beaumont area for a Bible study series on a Saturday and Sunday. A large number of saints came together and we had a fine study/discussion. The association itself was a spiritual uplift to all. More of these need to be conducted. Plan one for your area.-- CAH
* DECEIVER? One preacher in Ohio sent a letter written on plain paper requesting the names and addresses of all the people in his city who read THE EXAMINER and who want to meet together in homes to study. It is clear that he was NOT asking so that he could participate. Why do you think he was seeking the identity of these disciples?
* BE AWARE! As of this date (July 8) the proposed platform for the Democratic national convention includes support for the (1) Equal Rights Amendment, (2) "freedom of reproductive choice...regardless of ability to pay," and (3) equal access to governmental services, employment, housing, business enterprise, and education "regardless.. of sexual orientation." Do you understand that position? In those cover-up words, abortion and homosexuality are both approved!
* SOUTHERN BAPTISTS HAVE THEIR TROUBLES A resolution adopted by that denomination gives ministers (Pastors) new authority to interpret the Bible. Opponents claim that "this makes the preacher the boss in the same tradition as the Roman Catholic priest." The conservative-backed resolution stated that church doctrine had been recently misunderstood to mean that Christians could believe whatever they chose and still be considered loyal Southern Baptists.
The resolution said the "doctrine of the priesthood of believers" could be wrongly used to undermine pastoral authority in the local church, and it called on Baptists to obey their ministers. (Sound familiar?)
One Nashville pastor said, "In the last three years there's been a lifting of this doctrine, and the way it's being fostered is that everyone has a say-so in everything...This was undercutting the authority of the Pastor."
Moderates and conservatives have been fighting for control of the 14.6 million-member denomination since 1979. That's the way it is with the institutional church of whatever brand. Who will control is always a source of division. Whoever, which group-moderates or conservatives, controls or rules the ORGANIZATION, controls and rules the people who are members. It is the rule of men by men; and the slave/members are willing to have it that way. It is the rule of the CLERGY over the LAITY, just as in the Roman Catholic Church. Do you suppose that the Lord Jesus has any control, voice or vote, in the workings of the Southern Baptist Convention or any Southern Baptist Church? Of course not!
The Scriptures say nothing about such human institutions. They are of men, not from God. All denominations are the works of men, regardless of the names by which they are called. Are you aware of the Church of Christ denomination?